Answering My Own Questions

This week I reached out to a bunch of people in my followers list with a small list of questions. The purpose of this is to gauge what people in different roles, years of experience and geographies had to say about growth in the technology field. I’ve received some of the responses already and I have to say, I’m loving them. I can’t wait to do a write up. Just forgive me for the length, because there will be SO MUCH that I want to share from them. Keep Reading

Holy Crap.. this Community

One of the things about working in technology is how much people tend to share. For as long as there have been forums, chats and channels, there has been some form of community. Growing up, it was neat to build a computer and when I had an issue, I knew that someone somewhere had the same exact issue, using the same exact hardware. That person would likely have asked somewhere and I’d look for that thread.

Moving forward, as I was taking programming classes and working on java, C and later objective-c, I started going to the Orlando iOS Developers Meetup. I thought it was amazing to see a group of people getting together to talk about the tech. So as I progressed and I started working on virtualization, there was this mountain of information available.

Not all areas within technology are the same, some hold information close to their chest, so when I needed information on VMware, it was shocking how much was available. But its not just bloggers, the sheer volume of tweets dedicated to this is outrageous. Then, there is VMUG. I’ve been through and seen a couple communities, but the support and help surrounding virtualization (not just VMware) is incredible. The VMware User Groups are local groups, lead by volunteers who are also customers. Specifically, a leader CANNOT work for VMware.

So, if you’ve been a part of this community for awhile, thank you! If you are just joining, strap in, there is a LOT of content and the list grows hourly. I’m looking forward to 2016, to see what this community will do, and to see more users join in and sharing their knowledge.

ESXi 5.5 and older images in Update Manager 6

After recently upgrading from VCSA 5.5 Update 3 to VCSA 6.0 Update 1, we wanted to continue upgrading hosts to 5.5 Update 3 because we were waiting on Lenovo to release 6.0 Update 1a custom ISO’s.

In uploading the 5.5 U3a ISO’s to Update manager, both through the web-client and through the fat-client, we would get the following error:

Failed to import data. The uploaded upgrade package cannot be used with VMware vSphere Update Manager

After reaching out to VMware Support, we finally got this response:

This is to let you know that with With Update Manager 6.0 you can upgrade hosts that are running ESXi 5.x to ESXi 6.0. Host upgrades to ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1 or ESXi 5.5 are not supported.

So there it is, Update Manager only supports 6.0 and up images. Well, Lenovo’s ESXi 6.0 Update 1 target release date is December 22, 2015.

I think I can, I think I can…

I’ve attempted to blog 3 times in my life, first on tumblr with no topic, second as a blog on general tech as I was working in retail and a third time when I wanted to blog about tech I was learning and getting involved with. Each time amounted to about 2 posts in a year or so. I just couldn’t continue writing because I felt it wasn’t good enough or I was too busy trying to learn the tech to sit down and write about it.

The vDM30in30 challenge came up and I thought I would give it a try. Even as I wrote the 7 or so posts, it was hard to find the time in the beginning, let alone the 15 or so drafts that are still awaiting to be published. The challenge is hard, but just as @kylog pointed out in his post “Writing is Hard, Redux”, this is still more than I’ve written in a single year, and I did this in a month! This isn’t the end, especially as I try to focus on writing about virtualization for first-timers.

I spoke about this topic with @cxi during VMworld and feel like its how I really want to approach this blog. Unfortunately I did not take that approach during this month, its how I want to move forward with this. Ideally, presenting each new tech or feature as if using it for the first time. In the spirit of the category, I am truly #New2 blogging. Watch for those 15 drafts as I clean them up, and maybe as I rewrite a couple. I think I can keep this up, I really do, because I enjoyed it so I am looking forward to 2016!

 

This one goes out to all the students

This is just my opinion based on my experiences and having watched others go through the same program(s) that I did. Take it as you  like, but I hope it helps some of the students out there getting ready to hit that “requires X experience wall” in the job market.

A week or so ago I attended a Program Advisory Committee meeting at the local ITT Tech school. They handed out some folders with the programs that relating to my field of work. In this case thats Information Technology. There were others there representing IT ranging from Government Security to IT Consulting. Overall the experience was pleasant, but showed that there are areas still for improvement. Which of course, was why each of us were there.

They asked a few questions that stood out among the rest. I’ll list the questions below as well as some questions and discussions that I wish we had time for. Keep Reading

Active Directory, Aliases and Hostnames, OH MY!

Before I get into this, I need to set it up.

NOTE: Be prepared to reboot the VCSA a couple times… it takes forever for the web-client to initialize and seriously, that needs to stop VMware. Sub 20 second Web-Client Initialization… NEEDS to be in the next release. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the Web-Client is initializing page is old and needs to die. Anywho. back to the fixing.

We have our active directory domains and our DNS domains. They aren’t the same. We are using alias’s, as support loved to keep saying (I didn’t set it up but sure!) Keep Reading

Adding vCenters with the similar hostnames to the same Root AD Domain

If you add a Windows Server to a Domain, you have the option of preventing the Domain Controller from changing the servers hostname. The example is if I have server1.acme.com, and I want to add it to my ad.acme.com domain, during the process of registering the server, it will change the servers hostname to server1.ad.acme.com. Not always ideal.

Whats worse is that since the VCSA is based on SUSE Linux, there is no checkbox the uncheck to prevent this during the PSC’s Join Domain functionality. Keep Reading

Client is not authenticated to VMware Inventory Service after VCSA Upgrade to 6

Had this issue today after upgrading from VCSA 5.5 U3 to 6.6 U1A.

How was the VCSA setup before?

  • DNS servers configured to Prod DNS
  • Time configured to AD servers (automatic when you join the domain from the VAMI)
  • AD configured

Symptoms:

  • Logging into vCenter Server completes successfully with Administrator@vsphere.local
  • AD Users that used to authenticate with vCenter (even Admins) see the following error pop up: “Client is not authenticated to VMware Inventory Service – http://localhost:10080/invsvc”

After looking around, I didn’t see anything that pointed to a specific answer. Also to note, nothing related to vSphere or VCSA 6. A lot of items we found discussed that it was something that was fixed in 5.5 U2. Hmmm.. ok.

Resolution:

  • Since we were using AD for time server because 5.5 U3 VCSA made the AD server the time server, we had no NTP setup in the VAMI. Added the time server and moved on. Oddly for one of our servers, the DNS was missing as well, its odd, but even though it SHOWED the correct DNS servers, when I went to edit the network settings, it was set to automatic. Well that won’t do at all. Set them manually and moved on.

NOTE: Add the vCenter to the root domain if possible, or at least that is what I had to do. If you are adding more than one VCSA to the same domain, with very similar names, read this post as well.

  • Next, I removed any AD Identity sources and then left the domain.
    • If you are unfamiliar with how, first remove the Identity source from Administration > SSO> Configuration > Identity Sources.
    • Then leave the domain from Administration > Deployment > System Configuration > Nodes > {vCenter FQDN} > Manage > Active Directory.
    • Reboot the server after leaving the domain.
  • Once the VCSA comes back up, rejoin the domain:
    • Go back to Administration > Deployment > System Configuration > Nodes > {vCenter FQDN} > Manage > Active Directory, join the domain again.
    • REBOOT! (I know this takes forever, I’m sorry.)
    • Go back to Administration > SSO> Configuration > Identity Sources and add your AD identity source once again.
  • After this is complete, check your permissions and attempt logging in as an AD user.

This fixed it for us, but if you are having worse luck, let me know and I’ll try and work it out with you.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize (V7000) Updates Coming

Come Novermber 27, 2015, IBM will release Spectrum controller code version 7.6. Spectrum is the name for their mid-range enterprise SAN’s. The main block controller, Spectrum Virtualize, will receive a new update adding a few new features. Also to note, the Spectrum Scale (originally called V7000 Unified) which is the Filers that can be paired

[UPDATE 1] VVols does not seem to be released just yet, there was an issue with the original release, as well as Unified Code version 1.6.0, the original was recalled, and 1.6.0.1 is currently released with a promise that VVols will be released in a future version. Keep Reading

Why am I writing anything at all?

As I was getting started in virtualization, I noticed a heavy reoccurrence of a few people sharing information, fixes and know-how on topics that I was searching. People like @anthonyspiteri, @DuncanYB, @lamw, @FrankDenneman to name a few, providing technical deep-dives about the things I was trying to deploy.

I was handed the resources to build an infrastructure and tasks with deploying them in sites across the globe. Pretty heavy for a new guy. These blogs really helped me get to terms with what I needed to understand, what the architecture would look like and how I should go about it.One of the topics that took a bit to understand was Virtual Distributed Switches.Documentation on it for a newcomer was too dense, some blogs matched the language and it made it hard to grasp the idea of it during the day that I spent concentrating on it. I continued looking at diagrams and reading VMware’s own documentation but it was taking too long to click.

I did finally get it after about half an hour or so and why it would meant so much for deploying this infrastructure. But there was always that voice in the back of my head telling me that it could have been easier. It SHOULD be easier. I know that a lot of people just getting into this are not going to have that same opportunity as I had, but they could atlas benefit from someone breaking it down. I won’t call this Virtualization for Dummies, but I do want to help newcomers.

So I’m starting this blog to break down the concepts, functions and roles of different virtualization topics to help those trying to get a basic idea on them, so that when they get to VMware’s documentation, its already deciphered for them. I hope this helps a few people get started and I hope it proves meaningful. So join me for now as I write the “New2” series. I ‘ll write a couple others from the perspective of being a Service Provider (Licensing), Deep-Dive (when I can) and just general topics.