Thursday, 28 April 2016

North East VMUG - Thursday 19th May

The next North East VMUG is locked and loaded.

Location:
The Auditorium - Bunker Coffee & Kitchen, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle upon Tyne & Wear, NE1 6UF

Agenda:
11:30 - Registration, networking and refreshments
12:00 - Introduction
12:15 - EUC Update: Ben Ward, VMware
13:00 - Networking and refreshments
13:15 - Community Session: "Automating the Data Center", Tim Hynes, ANS
14:00 - Networking and refreshments
14:15 - Gold Sponsor Presentation: PernixData, Eliminate the Guesswork with “Analytics Driven Storage”
15:00 - Networking and refreshments
15:15 - Introduction to the NSX Distributed Firewall: Michael Armstrong, VMware
16:00 - Networking and refreshment
16:15 - Gold Sponsor Presentation: Latest updates from Nimble Storage including  "Unified flash fabric" and "InfoSight Predictive Analytics", Rich Fenton
17:00 - Community Session: "Career Disruption 101 - Reinvent yourself", Amit Panchal, EMC
17:45 - Close: Q&A and prize giveaway (a list of prizes will be published prior to the event)
18:00 - vBeers (Centurion bar, next to Central Station)

Big thanks go out to our sponsors as without them the guys would not be able to put on these events:




Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Checking MD5 hash on a mac

When downloading software it's always advisable to check the MD5 hash to ensure the download hasn't been corrupted in transit.  To do this on a mac simply run the following command in a terminal:

md5 <file>.iso or ova


Verify the MD5 hash is the same as the hash supplied by the software vendor.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Resolving Error "Failed to clear disk on...." when clearing a partition table

I'm starting a new project and I needed to spin up a single nested ESXi host and deploy a VCSA to manage and integrate with NSX.  I used to run a VSAN cluster a while back to get more familiar with the product but disabled it when I was finished.  When starting this new project I decided to utilise the SSD in my host as a datastore for my new nested ESXi host to improve performance.  I upgrade the host to ESXi 6.0 U2 to utilise the new HTML5 host Web Interface and started to create the new SSD Datastore.  I first had to clear the existing partition table which is a lot easier in the web client now rather than having to use the CLI but I encountered the "Failed to clear disk Local HP Disk" error:



I then tried to do this via partedUtil but encountered a "Read-only file system during write on" error:


I verified the device wasn't being used for any existing datastore's, DRM's or diagnostic logs:


I remembered that this device was previously used for VSAN so checked that it still wasn't a member of the cluster, which it wasn't, but the devices were still associated with the disk group somehow:


Problem was resolved by using the "esxcli vsan storage remove -u <VSAN UUID>" to disassociate the device from the VSAN Cluster:


Once this was completed the devices were no longer in use and I could clear the partitions and create a local datastore.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Recap of the North East VMUG on Thursday 25th February

Yesterday was the first North East VMware User Group event for 2016 and boy did we start off with a bang.  We kicked off the event with a keynote presentation from Joe Baguley (twitter) who is VMware's CTO for EMEA talking about A Software Defined Future which obviously included cats and chickens and how they need to learn to live together:


Next up was rockstar Duncan Epping (blog | twitter) talking about VSAN's journey from initial release back in March 2014 through to the latest VSAN 6.2 release which includes a wealth of new features such as compression, deduplication, erasure coding, QOS and IOPS limits:


Matthew Bunce (blog | twitter) was the first of our community speakers up talking about real world NSX deployments for customers.  Matthew works in PSO and has been around the world deploying NSX for customer and ensuring it's meets their requirements and has some interesting discussions along the way:


Next up were our Gold sponsors Tegile who were talking about their adaptive flash storage platform and how Barnsley College have made significant saving adopting their technology:


Last up was Kyle Jenner (blog | twitter) talking about the importance of a VDI assessment for an accurate design which ultimately leads to a successful deployment.  Kyle talked about the various tools available to assist in the assessment and why it's so important:


Finally we had our professional, competent and well respected VMware staff ready to answer an array of technical questions from attendees during the event:


Big thanks to our gold sponsor Tegile and Silver Sponsor 10Zig for supporting the event.  Without your support we would not be able to put on these events, or more importantly, keep them free.



The next event is tentatively booked for for the 19th May 2016.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Communication Channel Health not showing correct health

I recently had an issue in my homelab whereby the communications channel health was showing that communication from NSX Manager to the firewall agent was down but NSX Manager to Control Plane Agent and Control Plane Agent to Controllers were both fine:


This seemed a bit strange to me because in order for NSX Manager to communicate with the Control Plane Agent (NETCPA) it does this via the vShields Firewall Deamon (VSFWD) as per my pervious blog article on NSX 6.2 Communication Channel Health.

The environment was working as expected so I started troubleshooting by verifying that both deamons were in fact running on the host, as expected they were:


I didn't have much time to troubleshoot as I was travelling home so I picked this up the following day, when opening my RDP connection to my jumpbox I noticed that I was not automatically logged out of the web client.  I then logged out and refreshed the browser but the login page would not load.  I tested this on another browser which displayed the login screen as expected, once logged in the communications channel health with the host in question was showing that everything was OK.  A simple clear of the chrome cache on my jumpbox VM resolved the inconsistencies with the communications channel health.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Tagging Firewall rules within NSX

One of the new features that was introduced as part of NSX 6.2 was the ability to tag a particular firewall rule with a text string which would then be sent as part of the syslog message.  This could then allow you to easily search / filer for that rule within vRealize Log Insight or any other logging application.  This can be particular handy if you have multiple tenants and you want to be able to filer rules based on tenants:


I've created two rules, one to allow access to WEB01 and log with Tenant 1 and another to allow access to WEB02 and log with Tenant 2:



Now if I ping both servers to hit the rules, the syslog messages should be sent with the appropriate tags, and then I can check vRealize Log Insight and I should now be able to filter my logs based on those tags:

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

North East VMUG - Thursday 25th February

It's that time again, the next North East VMware User Group is happening on Thursday 25th February and boy do we have a great line up of speakers for you.  Joe Baguley (twitter) Chief Technical Officer for EMEA will be delivering a keynote session and Duncan Epping (blog | twitter) will be talking about Virtual SAN.  We have two community sessions at the event, one from Matthew Bunce (blog | twitter) and Marco Van Baggum (blog | twitter) on NSX in the real world and another from Kyle Jenner (blog | twitter) on the importance of a VDI assessment for an accurate design and ultimately a successful project.  We have some great prizes to give away but you have to be there during the draw to win and then onto vBeers afterwards.

You can register here and the event will take place at Campus North:

Campus North
Auditorium
Sunco House
5 Carliol Square
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear
NE1 6UF

Click here for directions

The agenda is as follows:

  • 11:30 - Registration and Networking – Light lunch, Teas and Coffees will be provided
  • 12:00 - NEVMUG Introduction
  • 12:15 - Keynote – Joe Bagluey (VMWare VP / CTO, EMEA)
  • 13:15 - Networking – time to interact with our sponsors and enter vendor giveaways.  Grab yourselves a drink and have a chat!
  • 13:40 - Duncan Epping (VMWare Chief Technologist – Storage and Availability) - Virtual SAN, the story up to 6.2
  • 14:30 - Networking – time to interact with our sponsors and enter vendor giveaways. Don't just sit there – get up and mingle!
  • 14:45 - Community Session: Matthew Bunce (Xtravirt) / Marco Van Baggum (ITQ) – NSX in the real world
  • 15:30 - Networking – time to interact with our sponsors and enter vendor giveaways. Come on you know you want to!
  • 15:45 - Gold Sponsor Presentation: Tegile – Consolidate all your workloads onto a single flash array that's fast, flexible and economical.
  • 16:30 - Networking – time to interact with our sponsors and enter vendor giveaways. Grab yourselves a beer and have a natter!
  • 16:45 - Community Session: Kyle Jenner (SITS Group) – The importance of a VDI assessment for an accurate design and ultimately a successful project
  • 17:30 - NEVMUG Close – Q&A and prize giveaway – all these prizes have to go, but you have to be here to win them!

Big thanks go to our sponsors of the day as without you the leadership team would not be able to put these events on:

Gold - Tegile
Silver - 10Zig