Thursday, November 24, 2016

vRealize Business – Pricing software

Recently I’ve been working on a vRealize Business for Cloud project where the client asked if it was possible to add specific software costs to specific VMs, not all of them.

Before digging up let’s make things clear, vRB has 2 distinct areas, Expenses and Pricing.

Expenses: are costs evolved in maintaining your operations, like hardware purchase, licenses, power and cooling, labor, etc.
In general, this section focus for Infrastructure Admins and management, showing how much it costs to maintain the operation running.

Pricing: on the other hand, focus on showing to the end user how much a specific VM will cost to them or to his business unit.
 I’m not here to discuss a business case, but different companies might have different goals, such that one company can decide to just cover his expenses while others can decide to have profit with his operations, so depending on its goal the pricing policy might look different.

Back to my client, his goal was to show to his end user, during request time through vRealize Automation, how much cost a database (SQL or Oracle).
The solution we gave to them was through the use of vRA’s custom properties.

Let’s see how it works:

-       Create a vRA‘s custom property, mine was called
-       Add the custom property to the blueprint on the VM component where the software is installed, on the Value column, type the software identification

-       Edit the pricing policy where this cost will be applied
-       Near the additional service click “Edit

-       Add the custom property (in my case to the identification field, on the tag column the value that matches what you specified on the Blueprint, finally the cost of it (on my screen are just silly values, OK).
      Repeat it for each software you want to price.

vRB will just show custom properties for the VM's that have been already provisioned, so, if you don't see your property on the dropdown list, make sure you provision a blueprint which has the property you want, also allow vRB to run an inventory collection (making sure your VM will be listed on vRB's reports)

As you can see, now the cost of the software is included in the VM’s price.

If you want, you can click on “View cost details” to understand how the price is composed.
Under the additional costs, you will see the cost of the software we just added to our pricing policy, in this case, 2.000 for Oracle.

It was not the first time I have been asked this, so it would make sense to post it here in case anyone else is looking for such solution.

Monday, November 14, 2016

VMware Workstation/Fusion hacked at PwnFest

Last week (November 10th to 11th) we had PwnFest, a hacking competition that took place at South Korea at the 2016 Power of Community (POC) security conference.
This year VMware was one of the many targets with VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion.

It turns out that a vulnerability has been found and exploited.
The drag and drop (DnD) functionality on those product had an out of bound memory access (buffer overflow) vulnerability that allows a guest to execute code on the operating system that runs Workstation or Fusion.

Let me be crystal clear here: This vulnerability is JUST presented on VMware Workstation and Fusion only. Nothing related to ESXi or other products.

With that said, VMware worked diligently during the past few days and on November 13th  we released the fix.

Although it's not possible to exploit it remotely, they would need to have access to your computer in order to run it, I encourage all of you to install this fix.
The protected versions are:
If for any reason you could not install it, there’s a workaround to prevent the vulnerability to be exploited. Disable DnD !!!

-       On the VM Settings
-       Click on Isolation

-       - Uncheck, Enable Drag and Drop and Enable Copy and Past

See you next!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

GitHub – The Basics 2/2

It’s play time !!!
Make sure you have your environment ready as I showed on the last post before proceed.

-       Create Repository
Let’s start creating a Repository, it’s like a folder where you keep all the files related to a specific project.
Once logged, there are several places to create a new repository, even a button called “Start a project

Just give it a name, mark it “Public” and click “Create repository”;

for this tutorial I’ll call mine basicsguide.

Most of the time you are working offline and then from time to time you sync your changes with an online repository
As a best practice, create a folder for each single project you are working with.

 -       Initiate Repository
You need to tell Git what’s the folder you want to work with. (it will be your current directory)
Run: git init

Now you can start working on your offline repository, creating or adding files to it.

 -       Check Status
At any time you can check the status of your offline repository, it will show you what files were added, deleted or modified.
I just created a dummy file called hello.txt for the purpose of testing.
Run: git status


-       Add Files
Before commit your changes you need to say what files you want to commit
Run: git add “file_name” (for single file)
Run: git add * (for all files reported by the status command)

As you can see the file color changed from red to green, meaning it’s ready to commit

-       Commit a file
Now let’s commit the changes, adding a description is a nice touch
Run: git commit –m “description for the changes”

-       Add Remote Repository
At this point all your changes still local to your offline repository, let’s add a online repository to work with and sent your updates to

-       Push Content
Now it’s time to send your commits to your online repository
Run: git push -u “name” “branch”
As it’s a simple tutorial I’m using the master branch, if you want to learn more about branches here’s a nice article

 If you go back to the webpage you will see that the new file got updated with the commit description you just set.

-       Pull Content
Now if some else is working on your project and submit changes to your online repository, you can sync it with your offline repository  (for the sake of testing I did a small change to the hello.txt file through the webpage, not showing it here.)
Run: git pull

-       Clone Repository
Now the cool stuff !!! 
if you want to work with some else repository you can just clone it to a offline repository of yours
Run: git clone “repository_address”

In this case I’m working with vmware/powernsx project.
As said before, I created a new empty folder and as expected after cloning all the files were available on my offline repository.

Congratulations you just gave the first step into this new world.
As a homework, why dont you try to clone my project ( and add your name to hello.txt file ?!?
I’m planning to add more advanced posts in the future, meanwhile you can check the GitHub tutorials, there are a lot fancier features available.

See you.

Who am I

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I’m an IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infrastructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Consulting Architect, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them successfully on their journey. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opinion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinions. Reach me at @dumeirell

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