Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New Home Lab 2017 Edition

Over the last few months I've really been struggling for resources with my Home Lab so figured it was time for an upgrade.  My previous lab comprised of the following:

3 x HP ML310 G8's with 32GB Ram
1 x RouterBOARD RB751
1 x Linksys SRW2016 16 Gigabit Switch
1 x Synology DS412+ (4 x Crucial m4 256GB Sata 3 SSD)

I normally leave all three hosts powered on but during holidays and quite periods I often power off two of them and just keep one permanently on which runs my Remote Desktop Gateway, Domain Controller and Jumpbox VM's.  I wanted a new host that could handle at least 128GB Ram with sufficient CPU to run multiple nested ESXi hosts and NSX Managers / Controllers / Edges etc.

I opted for a Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T (https://www.supermicro.com/products/system/midtower/5028/sys-5028d-tn4t.cfm) maxed out with 128GB RAM and only running a few local SSD's for storage as the bulk of my critical VM's still run on my Synology DS412+.  This is what the bulk of my testing and demo VM's will be running on.  I also purchased an Intel NUC (NUC6i5SYH) with 16GB Ram for my infrastructure VM's that need to be on 24x7.

Both boxes are currently running ESXi 6.5 and so far they are all performing as expected.  The NUC was a great choice as it's draws very little power and silent.  It wasn't worth the extra money to max it out with 32GB Ram as the bulk of my resource intensive VM's will run on my Supermicro.

Big thanks go out to Tom from Server Factory who sorted me out with a great deal on the Supermicro.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

vRealize Network Insight Support Bundle

Recently a customer of mine had an issue with an instance of vRealize Network Insight and I needed to provide a support bundle to engineering for further analysis.  In order to create a support bundle you first need to SSH into the vRNI Platform VM with the following credentials:

Username - consoleuser
Password - ark1nc0ns0l3

Once authenticated run the following command:

support-bundle create

Once the support bundle has been created you should see the new support bundle filename:

You can optionally run support-bundle list to view all support bundles that have been created.

You then need to copy the support bundle off the vRNI Platform VM.  Easiest way I found to do this was copy it to a datastore on an existing ESXi host and then download the bundle via the datastore browser.  To copy the support bundle to an ESXi host's datastore simply run the following command and provide the root password for the ESXi host:

support-bundle copy --user root --ip --port 22 --bundle DOFNNHE-IOFNNHD-11012016-104042 --targetpath /vmfs/volumes/ESXI6-03:Local-SSD

Once the copy process completes you should be able to browse the datastore and download the support bundle:

Friday, 7 October 2016

North East VMUG - Thursday 3rd November

The next North East VMware User Group is locked and loaded.

03 November 2016

11:30 - 18:00

Victoria Room
Royal Station Hotel
Neville Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Some of the highlights of the event are:

Atif Qadeer (VMare) – vROPS
Community Session: Ian Sanderson - Veeam Troubleshooting
Kyle Jenner (NE-VMUG) – Feedback from VMWorld Barcelona
Steve Wood (VMWare) - vSphere 6.5 What’s New
Community Session: Kevin Johnson –  Open Tech Cast
Hear from our Gold Sponsors: Simplivity and Rubrik

The full agenda and registration for the event can be found here

Big thanks to our gold sponsors Simplivity and Rubrik

and our silver sponsors iGel

See you all at the event.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Central CLI - Host Health

A new feature of Central CLI that was introduced in NSX 6.2.3 is host health.  The host heath command runs over 30 checks against a host which includes network config, VXLAN config, resource utilisation and many others.  For those who are new to Central CLI it's accessed via SSH'ing into NSX Manager.

Once you have SSH'd into NSX Manager we need to identify the Host ID that want to perform a health check against.  We first need to list all the clusters with the following command:

show cluster all

We are interested in the Cluster ID first.  We now need to view all the hosts within a particular cluster:

show cluster <ClusterID>

Now that we have the Host ID's we can run the following command to show the health status for a particular host:

show host <HostID> health-status

This host is clearly in a healthy state but if I make a few changes can you guess what's wrong now?

Monday, 16 May 2016

NSX 6.2 Central CLI MindMap

For those of you not familiar with the Central CLI feature available in NSX 6.2 it allows you to troubleshoot your environment from a single interface rather than having to connect to multiple systems such as NSX Manager, Hosts, Edges and Controllers.  I'm going to be doing some work for the VMware Hands On Labs so I figured I'd create a MindMap of all the Central CLI commands that are available:

The commands were taken from an installation of NSX 6.2.2 so depending on your version they may have changed.  You can download a .jpg version of the MindMap from here

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

New NSX Editions (Standard | Advanced | Enterprise)

NSX has three primary use cases that we focus on when talking to customers:

DMZ Anywhere
Secure User Environments

IT Automating IT
Developer Cloud
Multi-tenant Cloud

Application Continuity
Disaster Recovery
Metro Pooling
Hybrid Cloud Networking

I have worked with customers who have only had a requirement for the security use case for specific projects such as securing virtual desktop environments and others who have deployed the entire SDDC stack for a developer cloud environment with security and disaster recovery.  Previously NSX was only available in a single edition which provided all functionality irrespective of the customer utilising or requiring that functionality.

As of the 3rd May 2016 NSX is now available in three editions that align the functionality to the primary use cases that are mentioned above.  The following image depicts the new editions available and what functionality they provide:

I feel this is a tremendous step forward as the majority of objections that I receive from customers is around cost of the full license when their only requirement is security.  NSX also requires the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) which only comes as part of Enterprise Plus licensing.  If you are running vSphere 5.5 U3 or vSphere 6.0 onwards then the the vDS license comes with NSX so there is no longer a requirement for Enterprise Plus licensing from an NSX perspective.  This KB article explains the licensing requirements for NSX.

For existing customer who have already purchased NSX you will automatically be upgraded to the Enterprise edition which unlocks all functionality.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

North East VMUG - Thursday 19th May

The next North East VMUG is locked and loaded.

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

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: