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Sunday, 21 May 2017

VMware vRA 7.3 Released

On 16 May 2017 VMware released the vRA 7.3. For Complete info of what's new, resolved issue and known issues refer VMware release notes

What's New

The vRealize Automation 7.3 release includes resolved issues and the following new capabilities.

Parameterized Blueprints to Enhance Reusability and Reduce Sprawl​

  • Introduced component profiles for defining both size and image attributes, enabling "T-shirt sizing" as a request item
    • Component profiles provided for image and virtual machine size including CPU, memory, and storage size
  • Efficiently manage blueprints by leveraging abstracted component profiles
  • Increase reusability while significantly reducing blueprint sprawl
  • Trigger approval policies on size or image conditions
  • Import or export of component profiles using vRealize CloudClient
  • Automatically substitute component profile values

Policy-Based Optimization of Virtual Machine Placement

  • Maximize your infrastructure investment by optimizing placement.
  • Combine vRealize Automation governance with performance based insight to optimize placement
  • Place Virtual Machines according to performance goals, using multiple algorithms
    • Balance for maintaining maximum headroom in case of spikes
    • Consolidate to leave space for large workloads

Enhanced Control of NSX-Provisioned Load Balancers

Enhanced NAT Port Forwarding Rules

  • NSX on-demand NAT
  • Port forwarding rules can be configured at design time
  • Rules can be ordered
  • Rules can be added, removed, and reordered after you create them

NSX Security Group and Tag Management

  • Able to add existing NSX security groups or tags to a running application
  • Able to disassociate NSX security groups and tags from applications

High Availability Automated for NSX Edge Services

  • Edge high-availability mode in the blueprint provides high availability for all edge services to an application when it is deployed
  • Configurable per blueprint based on application availability needs
  • Use custom properties to determine high availability at request time
  • Adds high availability for load balancing, NAT, firewall, and so on

NSX Edge Size Selection

  • Able to specify deployment size for NSX Edge Services Gateway (ESG)
  • Configurable per-blueprint based on application needs or scale
  • Uses custom properties for size selection at request time

Configuration Automation Framework - Puppet Integration

  • Configuration management as first-class citizen
    • Make plug-in invisible to customers and enable actions in the blueprint design canvas
    • Ability to drag-and-drop configuration management notes and dynamically assign roles on the design canvas
  • First implementation with Puppet
    • Register Puppet Master as an endpoint
    • Drag-and-drop Puppet node
    • Dynamically query Puppet Master, environment, and roles
  • Support late binding and early binding options
  • Support post-provisioning actions, such as unregister and delete

Improvements to Installation, Upgrade, Migration

  • New installation API extensions
    • Trigger initial content creation
    • Invoke self-signed certificate generation
    • Certificate replacement in vRealize Automation, IaaS web, and IaaS Microsoft SQL
  • New upgrade API extensions
    • List all available versions for upgrade
    • Get download status of upgrade packages
    • Do pre-upgrade check for the selected version
    • Get approximate upgrade time estimation
    • Get status progress of the upgrade
  • Migration
    • Automated migration from vRealize Automation 7.x to 7.3
  • Ability to a generate certificate signing request (CSR) in install wizard

REST API Improvements

  • Use case based REST API samples using Postman for many of the commonly used vRealize Automation use cases now available on GitHub
  • New and Improved Swagger documentation for all of the vRealize Automation REST APIs available on code.vmware.com
  • Enhanced vRealize Automation Programming Guide providing information about the vRealize Automation REST APIs that is easier to use and navigate

Improvements to High Availability

  • Automated failover of PostgreSQL database
  • Automated failover of IaaS Manager Service
  • Enhanced RabbitMQ recovery
  • Support for multiple NICs in the vRealize Automation appliance

Enhanced vRealize Business for Cloud Integration - Cloud Management Platform

  • Consistent terminology across vRealize Automation and vRealize Business for Cloud
  • No derived costing in vRealize Automation - vRealize Business for Cloud is the single source of truth for all pricing information
  • Accurate pricing for fault-tolerant enabled machines and Azure blueprints
  • Pricing updated after these post-provisioning actions:
    • Reconfigure machine
    • Scale-in or scale-out
    • Import machine

Audit Logging

  • Audit logging framework object types:
    • Workflow Subscription
    • Fabric Groups
    • Endpoints (Infrastructure)
  • Send audit logs to vRealize Log Insight or syslog server using Log Insight agent
  • Configurable retention period

Health Service

  • Health Service as a feature in the vRealize Automation console
  • Role-based and tenanted access to health data
  • Configure multiple vRealize Automation instances to monitor
  • Scheduled and on-demand test runs
  • REST API
    • Enables integration with vRealize Operations/SDDC Health Dashboard or third party tools
    • Full REST interface for performing health service system management tasks

Destroy Virtual Machine Enhancement - Force Destroy

  • Workload maintainability
    • Safely ignores any failures interrupting the destroy process
    • Efficient clean-up of failed deployments
    • Improved stable management of workloads
    • Applies to entire deployment

Syntax Highlighting for Software Lifecycle Scripts

  • Enhanced interface
    • Elegant syntax highlighting for software lifecycle scripts (app authoring)
    • Intuitive color-coding standards
    • Improves productivity and reduces scripting errors

New Business Group User Role

  • Allows for shared resource access and management

Enhancements to Custom Properties

  • Software components now able to to consume custom properties
  • Handling of secure custom properties improved

Extended External IPAM Vendor Framework

  • Added support for on-demand NAT networks
  • Supports one-to-many and one-to-one static IP addresses

Endpoint Configuration Service - Streamlined Endpoint Management

  • Enhanced to support a schema-driven user interface
  • Provides greater capability, control, and a unified experience when managing endpoints in vRealize Automation
  • Allows configuration of endpoints that require inter-endpoint relationships
  • Enhanced UI controls and customer experience
    • NSX is now a separate endpoint, no longer part of the vSphere endpoint configuration
    • Endpoint configuration validation checks for valid URL, credentials, and certificates
    • Certification trust verification
    • Displays certificate details when an endpoint is using untrusted certificates
    • Ability to accept self-signed certificates

Azure Public Cloud Service Design Enhancements

  • Select, drag-and-drop software components on Azure machines in the blueprint designer
  • Specify software properties on the blueprint designer and on the request form
  • Pre-populated forms and dropdowns

vRealize Orchestrator Control Center RBAC

  • All users are able to log in, not just the root user
  • Trace execution and logs for workflow-based vRealize Automation requests, based on user role
  • Troubleshoot requests based on user role
  • Reuse and extend privileges and roles from vRealize Automation

IT Process Automation with Updated SDDC Support

  • All storage policy based objects are now accessible through API in vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation
  • New vCenter Server plug-in provided with vRealize Orchestrator
  • Updated AMQP, REST and PowerShell plug-ins

vRealize Automation and ServiceNow Enhancements

  • View and request AWS catalog items from the ServiceNow portal
  • Seamless integration with the ServiceNow governance engine
  • CMDB and post-provisioning actions support
  • Supported for vRealize Automation 7.3 and ServiceNow Helsinki and Istanbul

VMware Admiral Integration

  • Supports collaboration between cloud administrators and development teams for traditional, containerized, and hybrid applications
  • Enables a balance between the operational control of traditional applications and the flexibility that containers offer
  • New capabilities including persistent volume support, improved container networking, and host management

Enhanced Event Log Functionality

  • System level integration with external SYSLOG compatible log management systems
  • Supports VMware Log Insight server
  • Configurable through VAMI and secured by default
  • Predefined set of auditable objects and an option to turn on auditing for all other IaaS object types included

Audit Logging Enabled by Default for the Following Items

  • Fabric Groups
  • Endpoints
  • Workflow subscriptions
  • Configuration API for the following items:
    • Setting the event logs retention period
    • Filtering certain target types from being processed by the event log
    • Purging old event log messages from local database

Delete Firewall rules in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

In my infra ESXi host frequently disconnects from vCenter. There could be number of reasons when host disconnects from vCenter, which is very well documented in VMware KB articles
One of the possible cause of this is Firewall settings at vCenter might be blocking heartbeat packets. To check this, i have followed these steps:-

1. vSphere Web Client > Home Page > System Configuration > Nodes > Manage tab > Firewall
But i couldn't find any entry here

2. SSH > vCenter Server Appliance
Shell 
iptables -L --line-numbers | more
To delete the iptable rule entry:-
iptables -D <Chain> <rulenumber>

Bingo!!!!! Issue resolved.

How to Find out the PCI Address of ESXi Host Physical Adapters

As in esxi physical adapters are known as vmnic's and these are named as vmnic1, vmnic2, vmnic3 & so on. Now to find out the PCI address of these adapters command is:-

esxcli hardware pci list | more

Once this command is executed, you have to scroll down to the info that you are looking for. Here is the output of this command:-

In this output Address is PCI Address of this card and VMkernel Name is the name used in esxi for this physical card identification

Saturday, 20 May 2017

VMware vRA 7 Event Broker

With vRA 7, New feature Event Broker was introduced. The power and flexibility that it will provide can only be matched by your imagination.
Examples of this are a number of folks when they first got hands on started doing really creative things like, when a blueprint changes trigger the cloud client to export the blueprint for version control. Here is the link of the blogpost:-

Monday, 8 May 2017

What's new in Vembu 3.7 BDR Suite

With Vembu, one can protect VMware, Hyper-V and Physical Server (Windows Servers and Desktops). These are the enhancements made in this product.

Download Vembu BDR Suite from here

1. Support for vSpere 6.5 in Production Environments.
2. New UI, that's user friendly and Rich in Performance Experience.
3. To ensure th enhanced performance for the customers, database will be replaced with vPostgres DB from Mango DB and MySql DB after version Vembu BDR Suit 3.7.
4. Multi-tenancy support available with Vembu BDR Suite and Vembu Offsite Backup
5. Free Edition is supported now, customers can now use limited features of product after Trial Period.

Major features in Vembu BDR Suite those are nowadays needed in backup solutions are supported by Vembu too, here is the list of those features:-
1. Agentless VMware Backup and Replication
2. Agentless Microsoft Hyper-V Backup with Changed Block Tracking Incremental.
3. Specific File and Folder Level Restore from Image Level Backups
4. VM recovery on same of difference host in case of major disaster.
5. The entire crashed physical system can be restored to same hardware or new RAW hardware by using Vembu Recovery CD.
6. The replicated VMware VMs from the target hosts can be instantly failover on target host during VM crash. Also, it can be failbacked to the source ESXi host at anytime.
7. Automatic Verifiication of Backups
8. Restore of specific Disk, Instead of recovering complete VM.
9. Enhanced GFS Retention Policies

To upgrade Vembu BDR v3.1.0 , v3.1.1 & V3.1.2 backup server to v3.7, you need to upgrade them to v3.5 and then upgrade it to v3.6 and finally to v3.7.

For More Info:-
https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-release-notes/

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Auto-Scale vRA workloads with vROPS,vRO and NSX

As per my experience, Auto scaling of vRA workloads is what many customers have asked me, Here is the blogpost on the same:-
http://virtualize-automate.com/wp/index.php/2017/05/06/auto-scale-vra-workloads-vropsvro-nsx/

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Vembu Link-O-Rama

As i have introduced Vembu earlier as my blog sponsor here. Vembu has Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions. This blog post is for sharing the useful resouces links of  Vembu.

https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-download/?utm_source=Virtualization%20The%20Future&utm_medium=Banner&utm_campaign=BDRSuite


Vembu Product Datasheets:-
https://www.vembu.com/product-datasheets/

Vembu Product Reviews:-
https://www.vembu.com/product-reviews/

Vembu Product Presentation:-
https://www.vembu.com/product-presentation/

Vembu Product Demo:-
https://www.vembu.com/vembu-product-demo/

Vembu Technical Documents:-
https://www.vembu.com/technical-documents/ 

Vembu Webinars and Demos:-
https://www.vembu.com/webinars/

Vembu Whitepapers and Product Reviews:-
https://www.vembu.com/white-papers/

Vembu Release Notes:-
https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-release-notes/ 

Vembu Community Forum:-
https://www.vembu.com/community/questions/ 

Vembu Knowledgebase:-
https://www.vembu.com/support/knowledge-base/questions/



Veeam Goodies Link

Goodies Link given below:-
http://rhyshammond.com/?page_id=817

Friday, 28 April 2017

Configuring Auto Deploy in vSphere 6.5

vSphere Auto Deploy can provision hundreds of physical hosts with ESXi software. You can specify the image to deploy and the hosts to provision with the image. Optionally, you can specify host profiles to apply to the hosts, and a vCenter Server folder or cluster for each host.

When a physical host set up for Auto Deploy is turned on, Auto Deploy uses a PXE boot infrastructure in conjunction with vSphere host profiles to provision and customize that host. No state is stored on the host itself. Instead, the Auto Deploy server manages state information for each host

Auto Deploy stores the information for the ESXi hosts to be provisioned in different locations. Information about the location of image profiles and host profiles is initially specified in the rules that map machines to image profiles and host profiles. When a host boots for the first time, the vCenter Server system creates a corresponding host object and stores the information in the database.



Stateless Mode:-
Stateless is a mode of execution for ESXi hosts with no local storage.

Stateless Caching Mode:-
vSphere Auto Deploy stateless caching saves the image and configuration to a local disk, but the host continues to perform stateless reboots.

Stateful Mode:-
The ESXi host initially boots using vSphere Auto Deploy. All subsequent reboots use local disks.
Because vSphere Auto Deploy can be configured without a boot disk, all information on the state of the host is stored in or managed by vCenter Server.

Components in Auto Deploy Architecture:-

 1. Start Auto Deploy Service

Open vSphere Web Client > System Configuration


Services > Select Image Builder Service and Auto Deploy Service One by one > Edit Startup Type


2. Add Software Depot
Click on Auto Deploy Icon > Software depots tab > Type name of your software depot and File needed for software depot > Click Upload



You can create custom depot as shared in the screenshot

3. Create Custom Image Profile and Export it
Click on one of the software depot > Select One of the image profile > Clone


Assign the name to new image profile, select software depot in which you want to keep this new image profile > Next


Select your software packages > Next


Click Finish


Export Image Profile in ZIP format. Select ZIP > Generate Image > Close




4. Create Deploy Rule
Add new deploy rule > select image profile >  select host profile > select folder to keep the new deployed esxi hosts through Auto Deploy > Finish.





5. Activate Deploy Rule
Select Deploy Rule > Activate > Finish




6. Configure DHCP for PXE Boot
Add Boot Server Host Name (TFTP Server Name), Boot File Name (PXE Boot File Name)


7. Start TFTP Service
8. Now boot your PC with network card to test your configuration.