All posts by bsier

VCF Infrastructure Disaster Protection (Yeah, backups)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with backup tapes.

Words to live by, and as the density of those backup tapes continues to increase (Last time I used backup tapes they were 400/800GB LTO3’s), so does the station wagons bandwidth! I’ll leave it up to you to get your tapes to the vault but let’s go through what it takes to get the pertinent VCF infrastructure configuration data into a state and place where it can be backed up and restored. This will include configuration of the backups for SDDC Manager, vCenters, Exporting VDS configs, and NSX Managers, lets go!

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New VCF Cluster size available!

VCF 4.4 gives you two node clusters

With the release of VCF 4.4 you are able to create a 2-node cluster! There are a few caveats with this;

  • You must use NFS or VMFS over FC for storage
  • You must use vLCM Images

Both of those mean that you can’t have a 2 node cluster in the management domain, as vSAN is required and it uses vLCM Baselines.

Let’s walk through what it takes to create a new workload domain with a two node NFS.

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Synology 1621+ Review

This is not my normal blog post, but.. a while back someone from Synology contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their devices. Having never used one before I asked a few questions about running virtual machines on it and was sent a 1621+ which could run a small VM as it only has 4GB RAM. I wasn’t sure what I could do with this for what I was looking to test (backup/DR, running Cloudbuilder and a virtual router), but I was given a promise of something larger in a few months time where I could run multiple larger VMs. That was last summer and the person who sent the device has left Synology and now I’ve gotten a follow up from another person looking for my review. I did use the 1621+ for a few things while I was waiting for something that, unfortunately never materialized. I’ll detail those here.

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Easy lab VMs with Photon on VCF

Split' Photon Provides New Way to See Light | Dartmouth
The finding of the Majorana boson demonstrates that photons can be “split” into halves. (Animation by LaDarius Dennison)

For quite awhile I’ve been challenged to find a small Linux VM to do small tasks like demonstrating connectivity (ping) between a couple of *magic* SDN segments, or running an application that’s only available on, or well… just better on Linux. Here we’ll go through a quick run down on how you can build these easily and quickly. Future posts will build on this lab VM idea and we’ll add more functionality.

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Adjusting the VCF API Swagger

These go to 11 / Spinal Tap | Know Your Meme

The API for VCF is hands down, one of the most powerful in the industry. Allowing you to accomplish everything from scheduling backups, to rotating certificates and passwords across the deployment, to deploying an NSX Edge Cluster complete with Tier-0 and Tier-1 routers configured!

While the Developer Center is a great place to start and try out API’s, making it part of your enterprise automation/orchestration systems should be the goal. For that you’ll want the VCF API swagger file to import into your API Orchestration engine. While this isn’t able to happen straightaway, it’s easy to complete with just a few simple tweaks.

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Removing Failed Edge Cluster

Sometimes.. things just don’t work right, I am writing another blog entry that required me to deploy an edge cluster and well.. I fat fingered an IP address so there was a failure. While it would be nice to just make a change to the submitted configuration, we can’t in this instance. Rather we need to remove and then redeploy the edge cluster. There is a KB for this, but I like visuals to go along with my text so let’s walk through it together!

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Changing DNS and NTP with SDDC Manager APIs

File:Lochstreifen-2.png - Wikimedia Commons

Not so long ago while working at customers, one of the things you didn’t like to hear was that old “data center services” would need to be retired. In my experience, it was usually because they were running an ancient version of FreeBSD or <pick you distro> that wasn’t supported any longer. New services would be stood up, with new IP’s of course.. and then you had to manually change it on every. single. system… The VCF DNS and NTP API’s go a long way to help in these situations!

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VLC/VCF Lab Dedicated Server, best value I’ve seen!

The other day I was helping a friend of mine get VLC up and running on his server. When doing some discovery about what hardware he had I learned that it was a dedicated server hosted at OVH. I asked how much he paid per month and was quite surprised at the response. As this is something that we constantly run into… HOW much for a lab to run VCF?! I was surprised enough that I went out and got my own!

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Install VCF, Workload Management and Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster in an afternoon

Yes! It’s possible, I’ve done it.. twice, just to make sure :). At the risk of being redundant @Kyle Gleed was instrumental in driving K8’s in VCF consolidate and has a blog post and paper here, @Tom Stephens posted a great blog on Minimalistic VCF 4.0 deployments with Kubernetes, but I’m lazy and like to make things even easier. That is what I am to cover here, There are a lot of steps, and tons of screenshots making this blog post quite lengthy, my apologies.. I’ll learn to split these up!

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