Month: June 2013

Why Orchestrate?

As you all can probably tell by reading my blog lately I have went head first down a path that lead me directly to vCenter Orchestrator.  Honestly, since doing that I haven't looked back.  I've known about the application for quite some time but never could find a use case for it in my environment.  Sure, getting the same results every time is great, that's the most obvious reason to script anything, but I had already been achieving this with Perl, PowerCLI and PowerShell, so why orchestrate? This is an attitude I had for quite some time.  I'll just keep plugging away at all of the tasks I need to do throughout my day, finding efficiencies here and there for things, scripting some, manually pounding away on the keyboard for others; no biggie!  Then something happened – and by something I mean our environment grew…substantially.  We for the most part doubled in size over the course of a few months and things started getting really crazy really fast.  Those daily tasks, or one-off things that I had been doing started to become a hold up to the rest of the team and the business.  Let's take a simple example of deploying a new application or VM into your environment… Wait, I thought VMware was supposed to improve provisioning time? Well it certainly has, I can deploy servers in a...

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Move your templates to a new cluster – The PowerCLI Way

Alright, here's a script I quickly pieced together to accomplish the task of moving some of our templates over to a new cluster.  At the time I was currently in the process of deploying a new cluster on a new distributed virtual switch, thus this script only tackles your templates on a single host basis.  Meaning I was walking each host over to the new switch one by one and then migrating virtual machine networking and all vmkernel interfaces on the host, then performing a vmotion on the VMs and templates and finally destroying the original host… Oh well, enough history (blabbing).  The script is very simple as you can see below.  Aside from your vCenter information it takes a couple of variables; source and destination host (Lines 7/8).  The only quirkiness I found was with the Set-Template cmdlet – I could not find a way to specify the location of the VM when converting it, thus you can see on line 18 I have to move it back to my source host after the conversion to ensure i will have the connectivity on my migrated vMotion network. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 $vcenter ='IP of vCenter' $vcuser = 'vCenter User' $vcpass = 'vCenter Pass'   Connect-VIServer $vcenter -user $vcuser -pass $vcpass   $sourcehost =...

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Friday Shorts – VMworld content, #vBrownBag TechTalks and of course Sh!t I Starred!

I'm a mog – half man, half dog – I'm my own best friend. – Barf (John Candy) from Spaceballs VMworld content catalog is live The votes have been tallied and the results are in!  VMworld has officially released the 2013 Content Catalog for both the US and  Europe conferences.  This is always a trying task to pick out which sessions you want to attend so be sure to get over there and get started early!  One thing though!  Don't stress too much – all sessions are recorded and made available after the conference so don't miss out on the 'hallway' track by clogging yourself up with too many sessions! No accepted session – vBrownBag it! Once again the ever so devoted vBrownBag team will be orgainizing TechTalks at VMworld for those that didn't get their sessions accepted or those that simply just love to talk 🙂  You can read all about TechTalks here – I was able to catch many of these last year and let me tell you they are awesome.  Every year there are a whack of great sessions that don't get accepted and the vBrownBag guys make it possible for those people to get their information out.  If you interested in signing up for the US show you can do so here. Sh!t I Starred Eric Sloof has a great write-up about the new features and how...

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VMware vCenter Log Insight – Make your logs make sense!

Today VMware has introduced the world to VMware vCenter Log Insight, labeling it as a "new automated log management and analytics product for the cloud era".  In my opinion this is a great next step for VMware's management portfolio and if integrated correctly, could really compliment the analytics and performance data crunched by VMware vCenter Operations.   More than just syslog? From what I have seen, YES!  Although the underlying technology utilizes syslog collectors/receivers to receive the data, the visualizations and dashboards by which that data is presented to the end user is really where the value resides.  On average an ESXi host will dump roughly 250MB of data per day.  That's 250MB of data, that you, the end-user will need to parse and correlate line by line to try and make some sense out it.  I know I only understand about 25% (if that) of what is spit out in some of those logs.  vCenter Log Insight takes this data and with what they call 'content packs', presents the user with a bunch of predefined dashboards of some of the most relevant data that you may be looking for, along with common links to KB articles if any. Easy transition from monitoring to troubleshooting Hopefully we have all seen the power of vCenter Operations; How it correlates and analyzes all that data to really help us drill down and find...

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vSphere USB Passthru and Autoconnect Devices and PowerCLI

Wait!  I thought I had UPS plugged into my host and setup as passthru to my VM already!  Why can't I see it now?  What happened?  Who moved that external drive I had connected to my Veeam console to seed an offsite backup?  Ever find yourself asking yourself any of these questions…I certainly have!  Due to circumstances out of my control I have a few hosts that tend to be "out in the wild".  Available and insecure, readily accessible to the hundreds of people walking by it each day.  At time to time either someone trips over a cord, some deliberately unplugs something, or equipment needs to be moved and gets plugged in to different ports upon reconnection. Not as many options in the GUI As is with most other products, using the GUI to configure something sometimes doesn't give you all the options that you need.  Essentially when configuring USB Passthru to a VM from within either the vSphere Client or the vSphere Web Client you the device needs to be plugged in and it gets assigned to the VM based on the host USB port that it is connected to.  Again in most cases this is fine but in my situation I needed to be able to have this device connected to the VM no matter what port it was connected to.  Turned out after reading some...

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