Tour through VMware vCloud Hybrid Service part 1

Last week I received an account for the VMware vCloud Hybrid Services through one of our internal teams. I wanted to play around with it just to see what it can do and how things work, but also to see what the user experience was like, basically a tour through VMware vCloud Hybrid Service. I received my username and a link to set a password via email and it literally took 3 seconds to get started after setting that password. First I was presented with was a screen that showed the regions I had to my disposal as shown below, 4 regions.

You may wonder why that matters, well it is all about availability… Of course each region individually will have done everything there is to be done when it comes to resiliency but what if a whole site blows up? Well that is where multiple regions come in to play. I just want to deploy a small virtual machine for now so I am going to select a random site… I will use Virginia. [Read more…]

Pre-order Essential Virtual SAN through Pearson…

Pre-order Essential Virtual SAN through Pearson today, printed version that is: http://bit.ly/1uxLo7x

“You’ll learn what VSAN is, exactly what it offers you, how to implement it, and how to maximize the value it delivers. Cormac Hogan and Duncan Epping show how VSAN implements object-based storage and a platform for VM storage policies that simplifies VM storage placement decisions. They explain how VSAN integrates with vSphere features such as HA, DRS and vMotion, providing greater resiliency, more scale-out storage functionality, and greater control over QoS.”

vCenter 5.5 Update 1b with OpenSSL and SPBM fix!

For those not monitoring the VMware website like a hawk… VMware just released vCenter 5.5 Update 1b. This update contains a couple of fixes which are critical in my opinion. So make sure to upgrade vCenter as quickly as possible:

  • Update to OpenSSL library addresses security issues
    OpenSSL libraries have been updated to versions openssl-0.9.8za, openssl-1.0.0m, and openssl-1.0.1h to address CVE-2014-0224.
  • Under certain conditions, Virtual SAN storage providers might not be created automatically after you enable Virtual SAN on a cluster
    When you enable Virtual SAN on a cluster, Virtual SAN might fail to automatically configure and register storage providers for the hosts in the cluster, even after you perform a resynchronization operation. This issue is resolved in this release. You can view the Virtual SAN storage providers after resynchronization. To resynchronize, click the synchronize icon in the Storage Providers tab.

You can download the bits here.

Disconnect a host from VSAN cluster doesn’t change capacity?

Someone asked this question on VMTN this week and I received a similar question this week from another user… If you disconnect a host from a VSAN cluster it doesn’t change the total amount of available capacity. The customer was wondering why this was. Well the answer is simple: You are not disconnecting the host from your VSAN cluster, but you are rather disconnecting it from vCenter Server instead! (In contrary to HA and DRS by the way) In other words: your VSAN host is still providing storage to the VSAN datastore when it is disconnected.

If you want a host to leave a VSAN cluster you have two options in my opinion:

  • Place it in maintenance mode with full data migration and remove it from the cluster
  • Run the following command from the ESXi command line:
    esxcli vsan cluster leave

Please keep that in mind when you do maintenance… Do not use “disconnect” but actually remove the host from the cluster if you do not want it to participate in VSAN any longer.

Running CoreOS on Fusion

I wanted to play around with CoreOs and Docker a bit so I went to the CoreOS website but unfortunately they do not provide an OVF or OVA download. The CoreOS website doesn’t really explain how to do this, they do show how to do it for ESXi where they show how to create an OVF/OVA. I figured I would do a quick write-up on how to get the latest version up and running quickly in Fusion, without jumping through hoops.

  • Download the latest version here: coreos_production_vmware_insecure.zip (~180MB)
  • Unzip the file after downloading
  • If you look in the folder you will see a “.vmx” file and a “.vmdk” file
  • Move the whole folder in to the “Virtual Machines” folder under “Documents”
  • Now simply right click the VMX file and “open” it
  • You may be asked if you want to upgrade the hardware, I recommend doing this
  • Boot

After you are done booting you can “simply” connect to is as follows:

  • Look at the VM console for the IP Address
  • Now change your directory to the folder where the virtual machine is stored as there should be a key in that folder
  • Now run the following command, where 192.168.1.19 is the IP of the VM in my environment:
    ssh -i insecure_ssh_key core@192.168.1.19

Note that the key is highly insecure and you should replace it of course. More details can be found here.

PS: Dear CoreOS, please create an OVA or OVF… It will make life even easier for your customers.