Tuesday, June 5, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 3/3


Finally, we get to the last step on this journey of upgrading my environment to the latest and greatest vSphere Integration Containers so far.

Today I'll upgrade my Virtual Container Host, VCH, to version 1.4

VCH management and lifecycle actions, like upgrades, are performed through the use of VIC Engine Bundle.
If you haven't that available yet or is using an older version, grab it now.
Engine Bundle can be found on the VIC Getting Start page (https://VIC:9443)

Unpack the binaries from Engine bundle tar file;
Run: tar -zxf vic_1.4.0.tar.gz

Check the VCH version on your environment;
Run: vic-machine ls
As you can see it’s running version 1.3 and has one container running.

The amazing thing about VIC is that interruptions, like upgrades, to VCH, does not cause any outage to the containers, basically because they are running independently as container-vms;
if you are using NAT based port forwarding then communication will be briefly interrupted but if you are using the exclusive VIC feature, Container Network, you are in good shape them.

Now that we know the ID of our VCH we can upgrade it.
Execute the vic-machine upgrade command and specify the VCH's ID we just got from the previous step.
Run: vic-machine upgrade --id "VCH_ID"

In less than 3 minutes my VCH has been upgraded to version 1.4 and as you can see my container kept running for the entire process.


WHAT ABOUT MY CONTAINERS ???

There’s no process to upgrade your running containers !!!
Containers are ephemeral by nature, so if you want a newer version, delete it and create a new one. Welcome to the container world !!!!

VIC containers are based on Photon OS, and with VIC 1.4 comes a new bootstrap.iso version; don't get too excited, it was not this time it got upgraded to version 2.0, but it got some nice minor packages updates.
So any previous container will still be running the old Photon OS version but the new ones will get the new bootstrap.iso version.

For comparison, I just run a new container based on the same image and compared the OS versions.


That’s all folks there are no more excuses to be running an older VIC version if you still unsure about why to upgrade, take a look at the complete list of what's new.

See you
 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 2/3


Hello there, following my series of upgrading vSphere Integration Containers to version 1.4, I'll cover today how to upgrade the vSphere Web Client Plug-in.

Let’s start with some housekeeping:
I’m considering you are running vCenter Server Appliance right, who is running the Windows version anyway ?!?!?
  • You already upgraded your VIC appliance to version 1.4;
  • VIC plugin 1.2.x or 1.3.x is already installed on vCenter;
  • The bash shell is enabled on VCSA; (just check it on vCenter's VAMI page)
 
Copy the VIC Engine Bundle file from the new appliance to VCSA;
Engine Bundle can be found on the VIC Getting Start page (https://VIC:9443)

Unpack the binaries from Engine bundle;
Run: tar -zxf vic_1.4.0.tar.gz

Execute the upgrade script;
Run: ../vic/ui/VCSA/upgrade.sh

Once on the VCSA bash shell, set up some environments variables;
Run: export VIC_ADDRESS="VIC_v1.4_IP"
Run: export VIC_BUNDLE="vic_engine_bundle_version"




Provide the vCenter name, the user with privileges to register plugins, If the plugin version you want to upgrade is correct, just hit yes to proceed


The log is provided on the screen during the process;

If everything ran as expected, just restart the web client services for the new version takes place.

Run: service-control --stop vsphere-ui
Run: service-control --stop vsphere-client
Run: service-control --start vsphere-ui
Run: service-control --start vsphere-client

When logging back to vCenter we see the plug-in has been upgraded


Unfortunately, this new plug-in has no new features, but VCH Creation Wizard has gone through some design improvements, collapsing and sorting some information in order to make the deployment more intuitive and easier.


Now we are missing the last piece of it, upgrading Virtual Container Hosts....keep watching.


Friday, May 25, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 1/3



On May 15th VMware has released a new version of its own docker implementation product, vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4, as always it comes with enhancements that include but not limited to support for vSphere 6.7 and ROBO deployments, affinity rules (more on that in a future post) and some management portal improvements.

But today I wanna cover the upgrade process, I will break it into 3 phases for easier consumption;

- Upgrade vSphere Integrated Containers Appliance (This post)

To be honest the upgrade itself is not really an in-place upgrade, in fact, the process involves deploying a new VIC appliance and copying the relevant information from the previous appliance to the new one, including management portal, registry configuration and data.

The good thing about it is that it leaves you with an easy rollback option, since the previous appliance is kept intact, in case of any problem, you can just get rid of the new appliance and power the previous one back on and everything will still there just the way it was before the upgrade.

My actual environment compresses of a VIC 1.3 and one VCH connected to it;
obs: you can upgrade from any version later than 1.2.x
I also have a project (cnameetupsp), with a few images, which has been scanned for vulnerabilities and signed by Content Trust (another post I own you guys).


Let’s start downloading and deploying VIC 1.4 since it’s a new appliance, give it it’s own IP address and hostname.
OVA deploy process is pretty standard among VMware’s solutions, so I’m not going through it, but if you still have doubts the product's documentation is your friend.

Important: Make sure to use the Flex-based vSphere Web Client to deploy it, even if you are using vSphere 6.7, because HTML5 Web Client is not ready for VIC yet, although the deployment my succeed the configuration required for VIC to work might not be implemented properly.

 
Once the appliance is deployed access it through SSH. Make sure to enable it during OVA deployment.

Important 2: do NOT go to the Getting Started page of the new appliance, because it will initiate the services for a new set up and would cause the upgrade to fail, if you have done it, just deploy a new appliance ; )


Once on the new appliance console just run the upgrade script;
Run: ./etc/vmware/upgrade/upgrade.sh

The script will prompt you with the information about the vCenter where the previous appliance is provisioned, if you have an external PSC provide their information as well otherwise just leave it blank

Now you need to provide the information about your previous VIC appliance, make sure the appliance is power on and with SSH enabled, if not, power off the appliance and enable it through Permit Root Login within vApp Options.

There you go, just sit back, relax and watch the upgrade process running;
During the process, the relevant files are copied over and the old appliance is shut down.
If you need more information or for troubleshooting needs, the log is saved on /var/log/vmware/upgrade.log

Once it’s done, just power on the new appliance and log in.
As we can see the upgrade was successful, my VCH is connected to the new VIC Appliance

My projects and images are there as well.


The only downside is that my images came unsigned, it’s due as a new appliance comes with a different certificate from my previous one.
So, if you are using Content Trust you will have to plan it accordingly and resigned your images after the upgrade so the users will be able to pull and run them again.

That’s all for today, stay tuned for the remaining upgrade phases; vSphere Plugin and Virtual Container Hosts.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

VMware Cloud on AWS – Test Drive


There's this big buzz since VMworld last year, where the partnership between VMware and Amazon has been announced, creating what's being called VMware Cloud on AWS.
If you are like me, you are deadly curious to put your hands on this beauty, well let me tell you this,  there’s a Hand-on-Lab about it.

HOLs are the fastest and easiest way to test drive the full technical capabilities of VMware products, including VMC on AWS.

As any VMware HOL, there’s a manual you can read the instructions that will guide you through the lab, but if are more a freestyle type of guy, just open up Chrome and it will redirect you to the Cloud Services page.


From there you can consume VMware Cloud on AWS Service with a single click


The creation of your first SDDC could not be easier.


In less than 3 minutes, literally, my SDDC was ready and I could throw workloads on it.


It’s a fully functional service, you can play with all capabilities;


After playing with it, let’s say you are convinced that the solution fits your needs, but you are not sure on how to start and size your environment.

The first approach would be the “Start Small”, get the smaller SDDC possible, nowadays it starts with 4 hosts and increases the number of hosts as you need, Scale-out capability is part of VMC on AWS and just take minutes to spin un a new host to your cluster.

Just fill out a simple form with a couple of information like VM count, storage size, vCPU/core ratio, IP profile….

 
…. and BANG, the recommendation for your environment is presented to you.


I personally love the detailed storage consumption information chart

Along with a Cluster break down information



What else do we need ?!?!?


Friday, April 13, 2018

VMware's release storm




You probably woke up today just thinking about just another regular Friday, right?
During my matinal e-mail check, I was surprised by the number of new product's version VMware has released, some are just bug fixes while others contain full new amazing features.

I will highlight the ones I think it’s more relevant, but you can check all the details on each Product’s release.
Don’t be afraid with the number of details to read, focus on the products you have on your environment today instead, I’m sure you will find some fix or new feature that will certainly make your life easier !!!

Should we begin ?

The most amazing feature is new out of the box custom request form that removed the need for wrapping infrastructure and PaaS blueprints into XaaS blueprints.
Definitely a game change. You might also enjoy the capability of deploying vSphere blueprints from OVF or OVA.

vRB still closing the gap against Chargeback when it comes to vCD;
Talking about it, what about Overage policy for allocation pool models applying differential rate for vCPU and RAM usage, killer case for Service Providers!!
Also adding storage tiers pricing based on storage policy, charge of network bandwidth usage and data ingress and egress.
VMware Cloud on AWS got some new feature that worth checking as well.

That’s definitely a product you want on your toolbelt, debuting on this version is the install pre-checker, validating your environment before starting the deployment, content lifecycle management allowing you to manage the release of content such blueprints and workflows across multiples environment.

vROPs still focus on continuous performance optimization and capacity management features, what you can prove by those enhancements;
- 30% footprint reduction when monitoring the same number of objects;
- predictive real-time analytics;
- software license optimization aware for workload placements;
- native cost visibility;
- new quickstart page, customized homepage, enhanced vSAN dashboards and much more.

If you are looking for a central place to check the health of your entirely SDDC, this management pack is made for you. Now with improved vSAN and vCenter alerts, agentless vRA health and vROPs sizing dashboard.

This management pack is great, it provides out of the box vCenter self-healing workflows that act upon alerts…. How great is that ?!?!

Besides some bug fixes, It added support for vCloud Director 9.1

Although it’s in maintenance mode it still receiving fixes and now it’s compatible with vROPs 6.7
If you are looking for a more long-term solution, take a look at vRealize Network Insight
 
You don’t need to deploy dedicated instances for tenants anymore, multi-tenancy is now available on vRO, along with an updated Web-Based Clarity UI that brings centralized log views and workflow details directly on the monitoring client.

This minor release added support for Kubernetes 1.9.5 and Golang 1.9.4 along with a few fixes, from which I highlight;
- nodes are drained before they stop, minimizing downtime.
- unmount docker volumes fixes,
- BOSH DNS issues fix.

vRealize Log Insight 4.6.0 | April 12th 2018
Enhanced support for up to 15 vCenters per node, If some component suddenly stops sending log you can be notified about it, additional APIs for creating/deleting.

It worth mentioning the vRCS will no longer work with vRA 7.4 or later and its functionality is moving to vRealize Lifecycle Manager, but if you still at vRA 7.3 you should get its new version with a lot of improvements and defect fixes, like name of approvers is now recorded in pipeline executions, SLA for manual approvals and out of the box destroy action for deployments.

Happy Friday 13th

Friday, April 6, 2018

VMware Pivotal Container Service - PKS CLI

Finally, VMware Pivotal Container Service command line options series got to its end.
Featuring today PKS command line tool, allowing cloud admins to create, manage and delete kubernetes clusters within PKS.

Let's the fun begins

*** Installing PKS CLI ***
- Download PKS CLI tool from Pivotal Network;

obs: I'm focused on the Linux version, but it has a version for other platforms as well.


- Once transferred to your system make it executable;
Run: chmod +x pks-linux-amd64

- Move the pks cli to the bin directory;
Run: cp pks-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/pks

- You can test and check it’s version just running the command below;
Run: pks --version






*** Connecting to PKS *** 
Now that we have everything set up it's time to have some fun.

Let’s begin logging in to our PKS system:
Run: pks login -a “UAA_URL” -u “user_id” -p “password” -k

Obs: If you don’t know what the UAA_URL is or the user to connect to, go back and check the previous post.

*** Managing Kubernetes Cluster ***
- Creating kubernetes cluster;
Run: pks create-cluster “cluster_name” --external-hostname “address” --plan “plan_name”

Obs: external-hostname is the address from which to access the cluster Kubernetes API, also plans are part of Pivotal Container Service Tile.


- It's also easy to check all clusters in the system;
Run: pks clusters

- If you want to get a cluster's details;
Run: pks cluster “cluster_name”



- What about scaling out your cluster with a single command and the platform will take care of everything on your behalf
Run: pks resize “cluster_name” --num-nodes “X”

“X” means the number of desired worker nodes

- Finally you can delete your cluster when you don't need it anymore
Run: pks delete-cluster “cluster_name”

That’s all for the PKS command line series, now you are empowered with all the tools required to deliver and manager Kubernetes cluster at the speed and agility the business demands.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

VMware Pivotal Container Service – User Account and Authentication CLI

Continuing my series of command lines options for managing VMware Pivotal Container Service (PKS), today I present you the User Account and Authentication command line.

The primary role of UAAC is to create, delete and manage users within the context of PKS, which means give Cloud Admins authority to create and manage Kubernetes clusters themselves, giving them the freedom and agility the business demands.

Let's see how easy it is:

*** Installing UAAC CLI ***
UAAC is installed with the use of gem, which allows you to interact with RubyGems, so in order to use it first, we need to install ruby and ruby-dev.
Obs: I’m using Ubuntu, if you are using other distribution use the accordingly install tool.

- Install Ruby
Run: apt install ruby

- Install ruby-dev
Run: apt install ruby-dev

Now that the prerequisites are done, let's install UAAC
- Install UAAC
Run: gem install cf-uaac

To make sure UAAC has been installed successfully
- Testing UAAC installation
Run: uaac version


*** Connecting to PKS ***
With UAAC installed the first thing we have to do is point it to our PKS target.

- Targeting PKS
Run: uaac target https://”UAA_URL”:8443 --skip-ssl-validation

During Pivotal Container Service Tile configuration, we set up the UAA URL.

 
Once the target is configured, log in with the credential to perform the actions you want.
 Since I want to create users I’m using admin.

- Login to UAA
Run: uaac token client get admin -s “password”

You can find the password as part of Pivotal Container Service Tile


































*** Creating Users ***
Now it’s just a matter of adding the users

- create user
Run: uaac user add “user_id” --emails “e-mail” -p “password”

The final thing is to attribute some privileges to the user
- adjusting group membership
Run: uaac member add “group” “user_id”

Thinking about PKS cluster’s management we have two main groups;
- pks.clusters.admin: allow the user to create and manage all clusters within the system;
- pks.clusters.manage: allow the user to create and manage only the cluster’s they own;

That’s all I have for today’s post, next one I will show you how to create Kubernetes cluster with the users we just created.

Stay tuned


Monday, March 5, 2018

VMware Pivotal Container Service - Bosh CLI

While VMware Pivotal Container Service UI is great, there are a few things you still need to perform on the command line (or API requests), like troubleshooting and stuff.

Of course, you could just SSH into Ops Manager and run every command from there, but giving access to this crucial resource to others is far from ideal.
That’s why I decided to create some basic tutorials on how to access and perform PKS tasks remotely throughout the CLI.

The tutorials will cover:

Bosh CLI is intended to manage Bosh resources, tasks and objects; In other for PKS to be able to instantiate VMs (K8s Master and Nodes) on vCenter, it needs a broker which has specific vSphere CPI, that’s the Ops Director you first deploy on your PKS environment.



After you deploy it you can connect to the Bosh Director service running within and see the VMs and tasks it’s managing.

*** Installing Bosh CLI ***

- Download bosh cli;   
  Run: wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/bosh-cli-artifacts/bosh-cli-2.0.48-linux-amd64
 

- Make it executable;
  Run: chmod +x bosh-cli-2.0.48-linux-amd64

- Move the CLI to the bin directory;
  Run: cp bosh-cli-2.0.28-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/bosh


- You can test if it's installed properly;
  Run: bosh -v

*** Connecting to Bosh Director ***
Once you get the bosh CLI installed you can point it to your Bosh Director and start issuing commands.

If you are using a self-signed certificate, don’t forget to first download the root CA certificate
- Go to PKS Settings;

On the Advanced option, download the Root CA Certificate;



- Create an environment alias for future reference;
  Run: bosh alias-env "alias" -e "Ops-Director" --ca-cert "CA_CERT_Path"

- Login with the desired credentials (for this purpose I’m using director);
  Run: bosh -e “alias” log-in

You can get the credentials from the Ops Director’s Credentials tab



You are ready to go !! It's possible to create as many environments as you need and you just need to specify which environment the command will run against, like:
bosh -e "alias" tasks

But, If you have a single environment it’s easier to set up a system environment and then you can omit the parameter.
Export BOSH_ENVIRONMENT=”alias”

*** Bosh CLI examples ***

Here are a few commands to get you started

Checking all tasks performed on the system;
Run: bosh tasks -ar

If you need details about a specific task;
Run: bosh tasks "ID" 

To list all VMs provisioned by the system;
Run:  bosh vms

SSH into a specific VM without providing any credentials;
Run: bosh ssh -e “alias” -d “deployment_ID” “vm_Instance”

You can get the deployment ID and VM instance from the bosh vms command.

that’s it, stay tuned for the next basic PKS tutorials.


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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