Friday, May 27, 2016

Requesting a Virtual Machine with VRA 7

Background Information:

VRA 7 is a fantastic piece of software that enables valid users to automate the requesting of virtual machines among other things. VRA 7 is a Linux based appliance with 4vcpus and 18gbs of RAM (or more) that works together with an IAAS server running Windows 2k8 or 2k12 with an SQL Database. The deployment is done via ovf and configured with port 5480.

The Configuration of VRA entails multiple steps (like creating Tenants, Business Groups, Reservations, etc) and configuring multiple users (Tenant Managers, Business Group Managers, etc).

What follows is the end-result from the user's perspective.

Step 1: Log into the portal with a valid user and password.

Step 2:  Go to the Catalog tab, view the choices available to you and select one.

Step 3: Submit your request.

Step 4:  Go to the Requests tab and track down the progress. Wait until it completes.

Step 5: Don't like it, destroy it.

 Step 6: Or take a look at the choices available to you.

The Host Client in vSphere 6.0 Update 2

Background Information:

The host client was initially a fling that allowed the admin to connect to the esxi host via a browser. Nowadays, it is built in and looking awesome. What follows are a few captures to display the host client capabilities. Works beautifully with different browsers (using firefox here) and it does NOT rely on Flash.

1. Connect to your esxi host using https://ip_of_host/ui or https://fqdn_of_host/ui. Log in as root.

2. The main window has plenty of information available.

3. The Virtual Machine option allows you to manipulate vms, create them, etc.

4.  The Storage option allows you to create nfs and vmfs datastores.

5. The Networking view allows you to see or create standard switches, port groups, etc.

6.  The Monitoring view allows you to see performance charts.

7. Creating a virtual machine is easy.

8. Same for creating datastores.

9. Creating switches  is yet another breeze.

10. The host client lets you see more logs than the vsphere client. Logs like fdm.log (for clustering) and the shell.log (which displays commands run in the shell).

Final Thought:  Is this the tool that puts the vSphere Client to rest? What do you think...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Autodeploy with the vCenter Appliance

How to Configure Autodeploy with the vCenter Appliance

1. Install a new vCenter Appliance with generic settings.

2. Connect to the appliance (port 5480) and enable ssh and the esxi shell.

3. Putty into the appliance. Log in as root (not administrator@vsphere.local)

4. Type shell.set --enabled True and then shell.

5. Edit the /etc/dhcpd.conf file so it looks like this. My vCenter was .180 by the way.

6. Edit the /etc/sysconfig/dhcpd file so the last line looks like this. Just add the word "ANY" to the DHCPD_INTERFACE parameter.

7. Start the dhcp service by typing service dhcpd start. Type service dhcpd status to confirm

8. Start the atftp service by typing service atftpd start and status to confirm.

9. Open up port 69 in the firewall by typing iptables -A port_filter -p udp --dport 69 -j ACCEPT

10. Create the tftp file just like below to make the change personal.

11. Reload the firewall by typing /usr/lib/applmgmt/networking/bin/firewall-reload.

12. Using the web client, start the autodeploy service. Set it to automatic.

13. Download the latest esxi offline bundle. As of today, it's update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02

14. Create a folder called Depot in your C: drive and move the bundle there.

15. Connect to the vCenter Appliance using powercli. Run it as administrator. Use version 6.3 Release 1 Patch 1. I had problems with the previous version.

16. Type the following commands as in the capture. These commands will add the software depot and create a generic rule for all hosts to boot up.

17. Boot the esxi host using the network card. The server will boot up for the first time. As is, the machine will have no identity, no password and rely on DHCP.

18. Optional: Create a host profile and configure it for stateless caching. Also, modify how the ip will be given. My dns server maps the ip addresses to the hostnames.

19. Add a second rule to tell the host to use the generic host profile.

20. Boot the host to test. The profile will be attached but the host will boot into maintenance mode until the administrator removes it from that state. I am sure there are more tweaks to the answer file but how hard is it to manually remove the host from that state? LOL