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vCloud Director 9 – Released!

vCloud Director 9 – Released!

Today new version of VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers was released.

There are plenty of new features and enhancements like:

  • vVols support
  • Increased vCD-vCenter latensy up to 100 ms
  • Multisite feature which lets service providers offer a single port of entry to Tenants having multiple Virtual Data Centers (Org vDC’s) in different instances of vCD
  • Ability to manage routing between two or mogr Org vDC Networks with NSX DLR
  • PostgreSQL database support as an externam database

There are a few more as well as a list of known issues resolved.

Release notes for the product can be found here.

Complete list of new features and enhancements could be found here.

VMUG VIRTUAL EMEA 2017 – 28 September

VMUG VIRTUAL EMEA 2017 – 28 September

Tomorrow starts VMUG Virtual EMEA 2017 – it is a great oppportunity for all of those who missed VMworld or was not able to participate in-person or even online. It is a huge oportunity to learn about newest technology from VMware and supporting companies, play around with dedicated Hans-on labs and so on.

You can register for the event here.

As of VMUG website definition it is a FREE day-long event is meant to empower you through education, training, and collaboration – all with the goal of improving your projects and impacting your career.

 

I highly recommend to attend it 🙂

Configuring the Dukes Bank Sample Application Blueprint

Configuring the Dukes Bank Sample Application Blueprint

In the previous part importing steps of Dukes Bank Sample Application Blueprint were described. Now it’s time to perform additional configurations steps to makes it works. (If you thought that you will be able to request sample three-tier app out of the box after you import it, you were wrong! Do not worry I overinterpreted it also when first seeing it during a training long time ago ;))

But going back to vRA Dukes Bank App – after successful import you have to configure the blueprint.

First of all you must prepare Centos template for the blueprint. There are following prerequesities:

  1. Install Guest Agent.
    • Guest agent can be downloaded from https://your_vra_FQDN:5480/software. You can download it on your mgmt station and then transfer to template machine or directly from template using following command:  #wget –no-check-certificate https://your_vra_FQDN:5480/software/download/prepare_vra_template.sh . After that it have to be made executable e.g # chmod u+x prepare_vra_template.sh and simply run it. A few information must be provided1gugent2gugent3gugent
    • SeLinux feature have to be disabled. without disabling it you can expect following error during deployment.selinux2To disable SELinux rom the command line, you can edit the /etc/sysconfig/selinux file. This file is a symlink to /etc/selinux/config. Changing the value of SELINUX or SELINUXTYPE changes the state of SELinux and the name of the policy to be used the next time the system boots. Simply change it to disabled and save settings.[root@host2a ~]# cat /etc/sysconfig/selinux
      # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
      # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
      # enforcing – SELinux security policy is enforced.
      # permissive – SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
      # disabled – SELinux is fully disabled.
      SELINUX=permissive
      # SELINUXTYPE= type of policy in use. Possible values are:
      # targeted – Only targeted network daemons are protected.
      # strict – Full SELinux protection.
      SELINUXTYPE=targeted
  2.  When your tepmlate is up and ready you have to make additional changes in blueprint. ( Do not forget to run data collection to see current state of your template/snapshot)
    • Modify the blueprint machine specs for each node:
      •Template Name / Customization Spec
      •Reservation Policy
      •Machine Prefix
      •Edit the property http_node_ips in Apache Load Balancer and Binding = Yes
    • In case you use DHCP address allocation you must add a dependency from Load Balancer Node machine to App Server node. Simply put an arrow to connect them.

 

That’s it now you are ready to resuest and test your sample Dukes Bank Application.

 

 

 

VCIX6-CMA – another goal achieved

VCIX6-CMA – another goal achieved

It is almost a tradition or habbit for me to share my experience about VMware exmination taken so far.

Well, it happened, I eventually passed the VCAP6-CMA Design exam which together with previos passed VCAP6-CMA Deploy exam gave me VCIX6-CMA tiltle and badge. It looks like this:vmware_milestone_CMA_expert-e1502128382899Nothing special, it was not an easy way to get it, though!

The biggest problem with that IMHO is that it is and old version which is based on vRA 6.X, whilst we currently have 7.3 available since sometime already..

Besides that I experienced a few additional problems with Pearson Vue/ VMware certification engine which made me to take it each exam more than once.  And still it’s version 6 and a few days ago VMware announced new versions of VCAP certs, however that’s only Design ones.

There is nothing more to do right nowe, just prepare for new version 🙂 which as a certification addicted I will for sure try to gain.

P.S. to be honest VCAP6-CMA Design exam was the most tricky one I have ever took so far.

 

Importing the Dukes Bank sample application blueprint – Introduction to vRealize CloudClient

Importing the Dukes Bank sample application blueprint – Introduction to vRealize CloudClient

Have you just installed the vRealize Automation in your lab and do not know how to start the journey with services? The Dukes Bank for vSphere application might be a perfect start for you!

But what is that mystery Dukes Bank application ? It is not widely known that there are let’s say “embedded” samples of multi-tiered vRealize Automation blueprints  that includes multiple machine components with networking and software components.

The reason that it is not known by many is that they are not available ad-hoc after installation, you will not see them inside your catalog. To publish these services in Tenant’s catalog you need to import and configure it first. Bellow I described the procedure how to import and publish these services, in another article you will find out how to configure it.

The ZIP file for Dukes Bank sample application blueprint is include on the vRA appliance, however to import it you have to use vRealize Cloud Client which can be downloaded here.

vRealize CloudClient is a CLI utility that provides verb-based access with a unified interface across vRA APIs, it is available since vRA version 6.2. The purpose of CloudClient tool is to create a layer of abstraction between vRA and end consumer, I mean Administrator of vRA to increase the ease by which he is able to run automated actions against vRA. It is worth to meantion that this tool is not a REST or SOAP API. It uses the vRA API instead.

Just to list a few of use cases for vRA API:

  • Reporting;
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting;
  • Change request system;
  • Operation scripts;
  • Migration between environments;
  • Creating reservations;
  • Creating business groups;
  • Creating entitlements;
  • Other management tasks.

Going back to the point, after downloading the CloudClient you can run it from Windows as well as Linux, however I realized that if you want to import Dukes Bank application you must run it from vRA appliance.

Whilst running it from Windows I received an error like below:

CC1

Well, my recommendation is to copy CloudClient into vRA appliance and run it using cloudclient.sh.

Before you will be ready to import Dukes Bank you need to download the package using following command:

#wget –no-check-certificate https://YOUR_vRA_URL:5480/blueprints/dukesbankappforv sphere.zip

Then you could copy it to /tmp for easier navigation.

CC2

When you have the package it is hight time to run CloudClient and connect to vRA using following command:

vra login userpass –user tenant_admin_username –tenant your_tenant_name –server https://vra.cloud.local –password your_pass

CC3

After successful login you can validate and import the package.

To validate use the following command with dry-run:

vra content import –path /DukesBankAppForvSphere.zip –dry-run true –resolution OVERWRITE

NOTE! Pay attention to capital letters, it is case sensitive.

To import the package change the argument of dry-run to false:

vra content import –path /DukesBankAppForvSphere.zip –dry-run false –resolution OVERWRITE

CC4

And that is it, the first step to deploy sample blueprints is done. You can validate that these packages are imported by from your vRA console. You need to log in as a user with software and infrastructure architect privileges. The Dukes Bank blueprints and software components on the Design > Blueprints tab and the Design > Software Components tab.

CC5

CC6

vRealize Automation 7 Installation – minimal deployment

vRealize Automation 7 Installation – minimal deployment

Ones might find it quite difficult to installa new product for the first time. Even though they installed previous version in the past (or particularly because of that!) That’s due to changes in requirements or event different structures of wizard form which requires information in different format. E.g domain administator accound in one version is required in administrator@domain.local format whils in other installation it accepts only domain\administrator format.

Thanks to that I’m going to provide the list of basic steps to install vRealize Automation 7 in minimal deployment.

I assume that you have successfully deployed the vRA appliance and prepared IaaS VM.

  1. I suggest to perform the initial configuration from IaaS VM which will be helpful during IaaS components installation during the process. After accessing the vRA appliance console at port 5480 providing default password, the wizard will start. At this stage you can choose the deployment type. Below you can see description of enterprise deployment. I will choose minimal deployment for now, though. It’s

vrainstall2 vrainstall3

2. Now it’s high time to prepare IaaS server for installation of IaaS components. In vRA 7.x it is much more simplier and faster process. You simply need to install the agent to let the wizard  discover the server and perform necessary steps then.vrainstall4

3. Here you can see that the server is discovered and you can move forward.vrainstall5

4. Next step is to check all the prerequisities and fix them if necessary.vrainstall6

5. Here you can see that there is a lot work to do on a freshly  installed Windows Server.vrainstall7

6. Furtunatelly the wizard will do the job by itself. That’s the time for short break 😉 It takes approximately 15 minutes to perform all steps.vrainstall87. When all tasks are done you can re-run the verification script to confirm that everything is fine and move to the next step.

vrainstall9

8. Provide the FQDN of vRA VM.vrainstall10

9. Here you are going to create a password which will be used by the system administrator account.

vrainstall11

10. Next step is to provide IaaS information, and here is the time to use domain\username format for IaaS Administrator account which should have local admin rights assigned.vrainstall12

11. Here you are going to provide information about the database server. I highly recommend to create new database. Keep in mind that IaaS administrator name which you provided in the previous step must have Sysadmin rights on Database Server. Without that the process will go forward. It will fail during the ending installation step, though. 
vrainstall14

12. For minimal or PoC deployment you can simply leave default values here.vrainstall15

13. The same as previous steps, leave it without changing. Just note the exact agent name which will be required during endpoint creation.vrainstall16

14. Provide the information for vRA self-signed certificates, untill you want to use custom ones.vrainstall17

15.  Provide the information for Web self-signed certificates, untill you want to use custom ones.

vrainstall18

16. Provide information for Manager service certificate.vrainstall19

17. Run the validation which might take about 10 minutes.
vrainstall21

18. Now it’s the time for some kind of backup in case something went wrong. I suggest to take snapshot of IaaS server just in case. Even though validation stage was completed successfully there are some issues which could happen during installation. (I’ve faced a failed installation due to lack of appropriate database permissions)vrainstall22

19. Next just start the installation.
vrainstall2320. If you didn’t miss anything your installation should be successfull 🙂
vrainstall25

21. Next you should provide the license key.vrainstall26

22. Deselect the VMware CEIP agreement checkbox.vrainstall27

23. You can also provide the password for initial config content. It’s expecially usefull in case of PoC installation. By clicking Create Initial Content button a blueprint for default automation on basic vRA configuration will be created and published in default tenant service catalog.

vrainstall28

24. After that you can will see the installation confirmation. Now you can start the play and begin the jurney with you vRA!
vrainstall29

Howto – Using Gmail as an Email server in vRalize Automation

Howto – Using Gmail as an Email server in vRalize Automation

Sometimes it is not possible to use corporation e-mail or deploy dedicated e-mail server expecially when it comes to a lab environment (and you are a little bit lazy like me to do it ;)). A workaround which I found is to configure my personal/fictional accounts profided by Gmail. It is more than enough in case you just want to see how notification or approval workflows work. It might not be enough if you want to deploy a little big bigger deployent with a few Business Groups and users, though. Of course there are plenty of other ways or small mail servers which you can deploy in a few minutes. I find gmail much more intuitive, though.

Anyway I’m going to show you how should Inbound and Outbound servers configurations look like.

Keep in mind the the outboud server is used to send notifications from vRA to users/managers etc. Inbound server is used to receive special kinds of notification by vRA from users. For instance when you are a Business Group Manager and you want to approve a request via e-mail without opening you vRA portal you can simply answer to the e-mail notification you received by clicking the hyperlink provided in that message. In this case you need to Inbound server configured.

Outboud Email configuration:

outbound

Inbound Email configuration:

Inbound

 

Note. Be aware that you have to change restiction policy on you Gmail account – you will receive an e-mail with detailed steps displaying the setting to change it after you click Test Connection in vRA’s e-mail configuration window.

Veeam One Reporter Server installation failed

Veeam One Reporter Server installation failed

During the recent deployment of Veeam One as part of Veeam Availability Suite I met a mysterious problem during the installation.
The problems seemed to be related to Veeam Reporter Server.
Environment characteristic:
– Veeam 9.5 with Update One
– Virtual Machine in Windows AD domain
– Domain user with log on as service and local Administrator privileges
– External clustered MS-SQL Server 2012
– Database created by the installator or using the script provided by Veeam – both ways checked with the same result

After starting the installation (running as Administrator just to make sure) it was goint to Reporter Server installation and during that something was going wrong and the whole
installation was rolling back.

In the logs of Reporter Server I found such information:

MSI (s) (28:64) [14:13:16:973]: Product: Veeam ONE Reporter Server — Installation operation failed.
MSI (s) (28:64) [14:13:16:973]: Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: Veeam ONE Reporter Server. Product Version: 9.5.0.3201. Product Language: 1033.
Manufacturer: Veeam Software. Installation success or error status: 1603.

Going deeper I realised that the installator was able to connect to DB, but after that, when it checked that the DB exist or not and tried to reconnect the connection failed.

MSI (s) (28!40) [14:13:14:801]: Doing action: VmaVeeamOneSQLSettings_Check
Action start 14:13:14: VmaVeeamOneSQLSettings_Check.
MSI (s) (28:5C) [14:13:14:816]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:\Windows\Installer\MSID04F.tmp, Entrypoint: _VmaVeeamOneSQLSettings_Check@4
***Veeam*** Windows authentication selected, impersonating will be performed.
***Veeam*** Impersonating. User: ‘ENERGA\veeamone’…
***Veeam*** Impersonation completed successfully.
***Veeam*** Connecting to SQL server. Instance: 192.168.1.187, User:
***Veeam*** SQL Server connection established.
***Veeam*** Sql Server version: 11.0.6544.0.
***Veeam*** Database ‘VeeamOneDB’ exists.
MSI (s) (28!60) [14:13:15:441]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Adding VM_ONE_DB_EXISTS property. Its value is ‘1’.
***Veeam*** Reconnecting to SQL server…
***Veeam*** Checking HADR…
***Veeam*** GET HADR configuration…
***Veeam*** HADR is enabled.
***Veeam*** Get replica role…
***Veeam*** An error occurred while connecting to SQL. Error code: 0x80040E14.
***Veeam*** Description: ‘ADODB::Connection->Execute failed. ErrorMessage: IDispatch error #3092.
Description: The user does not have permission to perform this action.
State: 42000, Native: 297, Source: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server
Failed to connect to SQL Server ‘192.168.1.187’.
MSI (s) (28!60) [14:13:15:722]: Product: Veeam ONE Reporter Server — Failed to connect to SQL Server ‘10.1.10.132’.
MSI (s) (28!60) [14:13:15:722]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Adding VMONE_SQL_CHECKING_RESULT property. Its value is ‘0’.
Action ended 14:13:15: VmaVeeamOneSQLSettings_Check. Return value 1.
CustomAction VmaRP_SQLSettings_Check returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)
Action ended 14:13:15: VmaRP_SQLSettings_Check. Return value 3.
CustomAction VmACheckCustomDialogsParams returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)
Action ended 14:13:15: VmACheckCustomDialogsParams. Return value 3.

I wasn’t able to find anything on the Web which would be similar to my issue.
Then I tried to use a different database instanace – let’s say it was test one, with small difference – it was a standalone SQL Server beside the cluster.
And this time it worked correctly. This was really strange for my expecially in case I used the same VM, domain user, etc.

After that, guided by a Veeam Support I tried one more time installing each component separately. I mean installing first Veeam One server with WebUI option deselected.
Then using the CLI with fallowing commands I was able to successfully install Reporter and Business View.
cd /d D:\VeeamONEReporterWeb_x64.msi
cd /d D:\BV_x64.msi

During the installation of these additional components there is a wizard where is poissible to change internal database to external one.

VMware vExperts 2017 awards

VMware vExperts 2017 awards

VMware vExpert is a non technical award granted by a special committee every year. It is a special award because there is no exam or anything like that. VMware judges give it for individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions to the community and share their expertise with others. This means different kinds of activities like blogging, sharing the knowledge by other channels or social media as well as  public speakers, book authors, CloudCred task writing, script writers, VMUG leaders and VMTN community moderators.
VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2017-k

In this year we are very pleased to announce that both of us (Paweł Piotrowski and Daniel Okrasa) were awarded with this mysterious title for the first time. The whole list of vExpert 2017 can be found here.

We would like to thanks to all of our readers and your feedback. We promise to develop our blog with more interesting articles about our experiences and observations mostly in relation to VMware products 🙂

vSphere 6.5 – Update Manager changes

vSphere 6.5 – Update Manager changes

Going through our list of articles about new features in vSphere 6.5 the last one is vSphere Update Manager for vCenter Server Appliance. Since vSphere 6.5 it’s fully embedded and integrated with vCenter Server Appliance with no Windows dependencies. It means that vCenter Server Appliance delivers now Update Manager as an optional service similar to Auto Deploy, etc.

Since vSphere 6.5 there is no longer possible to connect Update Manager instance that is installed on a Windows Server machine with vCenter Appliance.

That’s mean that you have two ways to use Update Manager component:
• You can install the Update Manager server component either on the same Windows server where the vCenter Server is installed or on a separate machine. To install Update Manager, you must have Windows administrator credentials for the computer on which you install Update Manager.
• You can deploy vSphere Update Manager in a secured network without Internet access. In such a case, you can use the vSphere Update Manager download service to download update metadata and update binaries.

In the a facelifted Web Client Update Manager Web Client appears as an Update Manager tab under the Configure tab in vSphere Web Client.

The whole management processes are rather the same so there isn’t anything special and worth to notice here since the product is pretty simple, easy on of course it’s doing the job.