VMware Octant

VMware Octant an Open Source Project

As I have been discovering more with K8s, I have been growing to be a fan of VMware Octant. As defined by the open source project:

A highly extensible platform for developers to better understand the complexity of Kubernetes clusters.

Octant is a tool for developers to understand how applications run on a Kubernetes cluster. It aims to be part of the developer’s toolkit for gaining insight and approaching complexity found in Kubernetes. Octant offers a combination of introspective tooling, cluster navigation, and object management along with a plugin system to further extend its capabilities.

The reason I like Octant is that it allows me to visualize my K8s environment very easily. I can see all of my deployments, Replica Sets, Daemon sets, Pods, Replication Controllers, jobs and almost every other K8s Construct in a visual presentation. It can be of a great value as well to K8s newbies to understand K8s constructs. As it allows them to visualize the effects and changes completed by running a particular Kubectl command.

Here is few examples of the useful screens that you can find in Octant. Here is the Octant overview tab listing a summary of Deployments, Replica Sets, Jobs, Pods, Services, Ingress Controllers and more.… Read More

Kubernetes as a Service utilizing Nirmata and VMware vCloud Director

Over two years ago, VMware had released vCloud Director Container Service Extension (CSE). The idea back then was to allow service providers to spin Kubernetes Clusters for their customers at ease with a single command line. CSE has as well allowed our VMware Cloud Providers to offer Kubernetes Clusters as a self service, where Tenants can request, create and delete their own clusters within few minutes and with a very minimal interaction.

Even better CSE had two methods of integrations, where CSE was able to deploy Kubernetes clusters directly into vCloud Director as a vAPP that contains all masters and workload nodes or to integrate with Enterprise PKS and deploy on top of PKS benefiting from PKS capabilities and features.

While CSE had been very capable Open Source plugin that was originated by VMware, it was missing few features that many Cloud Providers desired. Nirmata had seen the need, and created Nirmata Plugin for vCloud Director which had fulfilled the below desired enhancements:

Nirmata for Kubernetes Logo

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

While vCloud Director Container Service Extension (CSE) had been very capable as far as deploying and managing Kubernetes clusters goes, it lacked a nice Graphical User Interface (GUI). Actually out of the box CSE had no GUI at all.… Read More

vCloud Director 10.0 is here!!

VMware vCloud Director 10

For those who were following VMware vCloud Director Evolution lately, it has been developing quite fast and new features have been added continuously at a none matched speed. The development vCloud Director had over the past couple of years just amaze me as has surpassed what was delivered in 6 years development cycle previously.

vCloud Director 10 Evolution over time

vCloud Director 10.0 is here! Below is a summary of what it’s bringing to the table. Tons of great features and enhancement and more to come as we progress.

Modernizing Cloud Operations and Improving Core Efficiency

  • VCD as Central Point of Management: added Admin and Tenant UI, listing of vCenter inventory
  • Events API
  • VCD Appliance: Enhancements in migration, HA, certificate mgmt. These are very important for those who are keen to move to the vCD Appliance which is the direction where vCloud Director is going in the future.
  • VRO Plugin: Enable Multi-tenancy in VRO plugin and VRO cluster support. This will take vCD extensibility to the next level.
  • Enhanced support for VM storage placement with SDRS: added support for intra-SPOD placement; improved support for: inter-SPOD placement, datastore + SPOD hybrid placement, named disks and linked clones’ placement
  • Upgrading the appliance using the default VMware repository
  • Template based deployments, New Template Repository.
Read More

How to force delete a PKS Cluster

There are times when you want to delete a PKS Cluster, but the deletion with the usual cPKS delete-cluster command fails.

pks delete-cluster <PKS Cluster Name>

This is usually due to issues with that cluster either it failed for some reason during deployment or it was alternate into a way that destabilize it. No worry, there is a way to still force delete it and here is what I will focus on in this post. Please note you should always try to delete pks clusters using the pks delete-cluster command first and only resort to BOSH deployment delete when that does not work.

Please note in this post, I am assuming you have already setup the BOSH CLI and ready to use it. If you don’t have that setup already, I would suggest you follow the instructions at the following link.

Get your Bosh Credentials:

1-  Login to PCF OPS Manager Interface

Login to PCF OPS Manager Interface

2- Click on the Installation Dashboard

3- Click on BOSH Director for vSphere

4- Click Credentials tab

5- Click on the “Link to Credentials” link next to Director Credentials

PKS Get Bosh Director Credentials

6- Keep a copy of the Director Password, as you will need it later. It will look something like below:

PKS BOSH Director Password

Force Delete PKS Cluster using Bosh:

1- SSH to your Operations Manager Appliance

2- Run the following Command to login to BOSH

 $ bosh -e pks login

Use the username and Password collected earlier from BOSH Director for vSphere.… Read More

Installation of NSX 6.4 VIB on ESXi 6.7 host failed

I have often got to interact with customers who had an issue getting the NSX VIB installed on their ESXi host. Most of the time, it is a tedious configuration issue or a step that they have forgotten. I have hit a similar issue today in my lab with me missing a simple step and wanted to share the error and the fix with others just in a hope it helps others recover from the same error quicker.

I was getting the following error every time I tried to install the NSX 6.4.5 VIB on my ESX 6.7U2 host, and similar error as well when I try to run the resolve button. The error stated “Unable to access agent VIB module at https://192.168.1.211/bin/vdn/vibs-6.4.5/6.7-13168956/vxlan.zip (_NSX_87_VTRES01_VMware Network Fabric). A screen shot of the errir is below.

Unable to access agent VIB Module at vxlan.zip

There was a more detailed error on my NSX screen, which unfortunately I seem to have lost the screenshot for, but it stated something like below:

vtesxi01.vt.com: Unable to access agent offline bundle at https://192.168.1.211/bin/vdn/vibs-6.4.5/6.7-13168956/vxlan.zip.
Cause : <esxupdate-response>
<version>1.50</version>
<error errorClass=”MetadataDownloadError”>
<errorCode>4</errorCode>
<errorDesc>Failed to download metadata.</errorDesc>
<url>https://vtvc01.vt.com:443/eam/vib?id=ecf4a884-c9f5-406c-b57e-75a6613a3651</url>
<localfile>None</localfile>
<msg>(‘https://vtvc01.vt.com:443/eam/vib?id=ecf4a884-c9f5-406c-b57e-75a6613a3651’, ‘/tmp/tmpjnw369p9’, ‘[Errno 14] curl#6 – “Couldn\’t resolve host \’vtvc01.vt.com\'”‘)</msg>
</error>
</esxupdate-response>

As I have seen this one before, I was immediately able to spot that the fix is more than likely I have forgotten to setup Forward or Reverse DNS record or configuration for one of my setup component being ESXi, vCenter or NSX.… Read More

How to remove orphaned VM from vCenter the easy way

I have lately had few orphaned VMs in my Home Lab vCenter, as I was recreating my setup. Some of the Virtual machines were deleted directly from ESXi host, but still had records in the vCenter inventory. Below how orphaned VMs looked in my vCenter.

orphaned VM in vCenter

I have looked online for a way to remove these orphaned VMs, and while one of the KB article suggested to add it to a folder then remove the folder, that did not work as that KB was only for older versions of vSphere.

One method to do this, is to use one of the below command lines methods where any of them will do the trick:

PowerCLI
Remove-VM vm_name -deletepermanently

vMA
vmware-cmd --server esxhost –s unregister path_to_vmx_file
vmware-cmd --server vcenter --vihost esxhost –s unregister path_to_vmx_file vifs --server esxhost --rm “[datastore] path_to_vmx_on_datastore

CLI
vim-cmd vmsvc/destroy vmid

For those lazy ones, that don’t want to fire up a command line utility and then construct a command line to do the trick, I have a good news for you. You can delete that orphan VM in the GUI by right clicking the VM, then choosing All Virtual Infrastructure Actions ==> More UnCategorized Actions ==> Remove from Inventory. … Read More

Executing vRealize Orchestrator workflows using Rest API

I have been lately involved in conducting integration between vCloud Director and a Cloud Provider Market Place. The Cloud Provider wanted to use vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) for this integration, as there is different integrations point they wanted to integrate with beyond vCloud Director and they did not want to learn multiple APIs. What is nice about vRO, after you learn it’s API, you can use it to execute workflows against multiple solution using a very similar API calls.

I was able to find them multiple articles on how to invoke vRO workflow from Rest API, but it was not easy to find one that showed my partner the full steps in a simple way, so I am sharing below what I have documented to help my partner with it from scratch.

Alright before we start on the API calls, I have created a simple vRO workflow “AWSNEW” that requires only one input variable “name”. My particular workflow will just deploy an instance to AWS, but in reality the workflow you are calling can be doing anything or talking to any different endpoint that is supported by vRO, and you will still be able to call it the same way.

To call a vRO workflow from Rest API, you will need to know the Workflow ID, and the inputs required. … Read More

‘WIRE’ is a free self-paced learning platform to our Cloud Providers and Aggregation partners

VMware had released VMware WIRE for free to our Cloud Providers and Aggregators. It is a free self-paced learning platform with tons of amazing contents. WIRE offers VMware products and Solutions ennoblement for level (L100) sales level, (L200) Technical, and sometime (L300) Deep Technical. If you have been looking for great VCPP Training materials for your self or your team, here you have it and for free!

VMware Wire VCPP Solution Enablement Learning Path

WIRE is free for everyone to use and doesn’t require a partner central account. You can set up an account in the platform directly – please include all your details so we can put you in the correct team to serve you the correct content.

To use WIRE please login initially via http://bit.ly/SelfPacedWire where you can use a partner central account if you have one, or create one directly in WIRE, (again please remember to fill in all your details!) Once logged in you will be placed into the “VCPP Solution Enablement Learning Path” where you can view all the solution areas and various technologies within.

Watch the orientation course first and change your password so you can log back into WIRE, then save the URL or use http://bit.ly/GetEnabled for future access. If you have any questions on WIRE, you can contact: vcpp_gtm@vmware.com… Read More

VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 Update

The long waited VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 will be released soon, so I thought to share some update about the exciting set of features of what’s coming. If you have been following up the evolution of VMware vCloud Availability, you will find many of your wishes and requests are materializing in vCAv 3.0.

VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 solution introduces a new and simplified product architecture for replication, disaster recovery and migration capabilities into a single product. With the service you can perform:

  • Migration and Disaster Recovery of VMs from on-premise vCenter Server to a vCloud site.
  • Migration of vApps and VMs between two Virtual Data Centers that belong to a single vCloud Director Organization.
  • Replication and recovery of vApps and VMs between vCloud Director sites.

vCloud Availability 3.0 Combined Solution

VMware vCloud Availability (vCAv) 3.0 is combining the features of originally three different products, as shown in the below table. It is replacing all of vCloud Director Extender, vCloud Availability for DR to Cloud, and vCloud Availability for Cloud to Cloud.

vCloud Availability 3.0 Combined Features

 

vCloud Availability 3.0 capabilities:

  • Management and monitoring of replications from on-premise vCenter Server to vCloud Director site.
  • Capability to migrate and failover workloads from on-premise vCenter Server to vCloud Director site.

vCloud Availability 3.0 On-Prem to Cloud

  • Capability to failback recovered workloads from vCloud Director site to on-premise vCenter Server site.
Read More

VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 released

Creative Cloud Provider Pod

Great news, VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 has been released on January 31, 2019. Now the new release include a more recent versions of VMware Cloud Provider stack as below:

  • vSphere 6.7u1
  • vSAN 6.7u1
  • NSX 6.4.4
  • vCloud Director 9.5.0.1
  • vCloud Director Extender 1.1.0.2
  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.5
  • vRealize Operations 7.0, including Multi-Tenant App 2.0
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager – Cloud Pod Management Pack
  • vRealize Log Insight 4.7
  • vRealize Network Insight 4.0
  • Usage Meter 3.6.1

You can download the VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 at: Download Landing Page

For more information you can check the release notes at: Release Notes,  documentation link at: Documentation and the following blog post: https://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2019/01/cloud-provider-pod-1-1-is-out-now.html… Read More

VMware Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 is RELEASED

VMware Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 is Released with a good amount of enhancements and bug fixes. It is highly recommended to apply Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2. Below is a summary of the main fixes and improvement included in HotPatch 2.

What’s new:

  • Bugfixes for Auto reporting or manual generation of reports in vCloud Usage Meter fails
  • Bugfixes for vCenter Server consumption data collection fails
  • Bugfixes for vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.1 Hot Patch 1 does not meter vSAN
  • Performance improvements for report generation, now customers will be able to generate reports where it was not possible before.
  • TLS fix
  • Defined scalability and performance limits for reports

UM 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 can be downloaded at: Download link

For more information, please check the release notes at: Release notesRead More

vCenter 6.7 Appliance fails after the first reboot

I have been getting few requests lately of vCenter 6.7 Appliance installation fails after the first reboot. It sounds like a common theme mostly in lab environments. Below is one of the quite few similar errors that I have received.

“A problem occurred during setup. Services might not be working as expected – Starting VMware Component Manager ….”

vCenter Server Fails upon first reboot

Unfortunately, the error is not very perspective. Checking on the cause of this issue for couple of friends, and it end up being caused by a time difference between their ESXi hosts, and the being deployed vCenter Appliance. While most take care of NTP configuration religiously in production environment, that seems to often being skipped into lab environments. As vCenter 6.7 & higher time sync is becoming more crucial than ever, which in turn can cause your installation to fail. KB56124 is covering this particular issue, and provide more details on what error to expect in the log file in such situation.

In both cases that I have helped my friends with, they have inserted an NTP server to sync the vCenter appliance with but forgot to do the same for their ESXi host. The way to setup NTP on your ESXi host is as follow:

  1. Login to your host using the vSphere Web Client
  2. Go to Host => Manage => System => Time & Date
  3. Hit Edit Settings
  4. Configure the NTP Server as in the below screenshot & Save
  5. Start the NTP Service Client on the ESXi host, by going to Actions=>NTP Service => Start

Configure NTP client on ESXi 6.7 hostRead More

vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 is here!

The vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 has been made available today! 

vCAv C2C 1.5 has come with a number of great enhancements highlighted below:

vCloud Availability C2C 1.5

  • An improved user interface that can be embedded into vCloud Director and allows tenant and service provider users to perform DR operations and monitor DR environments from within vCloud Director.
  • Service providers can enable or disable incoming and outgoing replications for one or multiple vCloud Director organizations in source and destination sites.
  • Policies that allow service provider administrators to limit the following system attributes: a) the number of replications at the vCloud Director organization level, b) the minimum recovery point objective, c) the number of retained snapshots per VM replication, and d) the total number of VM replications.
  • A public API that enables the automation of user session management, vApp replication management and monitoring, as well as system monitoring.
  • A storage consumption report and an enhanced usage metering report.
  • Increased scale and performance.
  • vRealize Orchestrator Integration
  • vRealize Operations Day 2 Monitoring Pack
  • Integration with the VMware Analytics Cloud for the collection of telemetry via the CEIP program.
  • Added support for vCloud Director 9.5

For more information, you can find the release notes at: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR/1.5/rn/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR-15-Release-Notes.html

Product Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR/index.htmlRead More

VMware Usage Meter Support!

If you are a service provider that is a part of VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) which formerly known as vCAN, then you had to use VMware Usage Meter to report usage. At certain time you might need help either with failure during setting up VMware Usage Meter or you need help troubleshooting an issue with Usage Meter. Service providers seem to often ask how to get support with Usage Meter. Usage Meter is like any other VMware product, it is supported by VMware Support Organization (GSS). VMware Support organization (GSS) had been trained on VMware Usage Meter, and to approach the right support channel, please follow the steps below:

To log a technical ticket with our GSS teams, please follow these steps:  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2006985

  1. In your myVMware portal select Support in the upper right hand corner
  2. Under Select an Issue choose System Management in the Technical support pull down menu
  3. Scroll down to VMware vCloud Usage Meter under supported products and click on the version of UM that you require support on
  4. Enter support request information

I hope this help!… Read More

vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR capabilities is here!

Today, VMware has announced the long waited  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.0. This is a thrilling news to many of our VCPP service providers partners who wanted a VMware native Cloud to Cloud DR/migration solution for vCloud Director based clouds.

vCloud Availability C2C

Below is few highlights of the newly introduced  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR.

Simple Deployment:  vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR is delivered as a single Photon-based appliance with a full GUI driven installation. During the beta phase, service providers were able to get it operational in less than an hour! This is a game changer if you compare it to the previous more complex stretched cluster solution, that required specialized hardware.

Hardware Independant:  As the replication is completed in software, there is no hardware dependancy and the service provider can utilize the storage of their choice.

Self-Service: Self-service protection, failover, and failback workflows per virtual machine (VM)/vAPP is provided out of the box.

Modern Interface:  Simplified and easy to use modern HTML-5 interface. Further, it offers a Single, unified portal for both tenant and service provider users.

Multi-Tenant Support: vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR 1.0 is fully multi-tenant aware which integrate very well with the strong multi-tenanacy of vCloud Director

Symmetrical replication flow that can be started from either the source or the recovery vCloud Director site.The… Read More