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Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

POSH1Liner:Configure all hosts in a cluster

ok, a little more than a 1-liner; but a shell loop that you can use to do *something* to all hosts in a given cluster (in this case the cluster is called L2-C2; 2nd level of virtualization, e.g. not physical which is L1, 2nd cluster if you’re interested in my naming convention)

in this case it’s adding an iSCSI software adapter and pointing it at some targets – pause is optional (assumes you’re already connected to a vCenter via connect-vihost)

# Generic shell
$cluster = get-cluster L2-C2 | get-vmhost
foreach ($hypervisor in $cluster) {

write-host Doing config for $hypervisor
#Do stuff here for each host in the cluster $hypervisor is the hostname variable
Get-VMHostStorage -VMHost $hypervisor | Set-VMHostStorage -SoftwareIScsiEnabled $True
get-vmhost -name $hypervisor | Get-VMHostHba -Type iScsi | Where {$_.Model -eq “iSCSI Software Adapter”}
Get-VMHost -name $hypervisor | Get-VMHostHba -Type iScsi | New-IScsiHbaTarget -Address “172.16.20.20”
Get-VMHost -name $hypervisor | Get-VMHostHba -Type iScsi | New-IScsiHbaTarget -Address “172.16.20.21”
get-vmhost -name $hypervisor | get-VMhostStorage -refresh -RescanAllHba -RescanVmfs
write-host “————————————————————————————-”
pause #wait for keypress

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POSH1Liner: Set NTP server on all hosts attached to a vCenter

Connect-VIServer L2-mgt-vcsa01.theborg.int
Get-VMHost | Add-VMHostNtpServer -ntpserver “pool.ntp.org”
Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostFirewallException | where {$_.Name -eq “NTP client”} | Set-VMHostFirewallException -Enabled:$true
Get-VMHost | Get-VmHostService | Where-Object {$_.key -eq “ntpd”} | Start-VMHostService
Get-VMhost | Get-VmHostService | Where-Object {$_.key -eq “ntpd”} | Set-VMHostService -policy “automatic”

Original script from this blog post Modified to add -ntpserver parameter and public NTP server name incase you don’t have your own

POSH1Liner:Deploy VM from template

Populate variables

$targetdisk = Get-Datastore -name vd03*
$target = get-vmhost -name l1-mgt-slotXX.theborg.int

#Deploy VM from template
new-vm -name L2-C2-NXX -Template TPL_vESXI -vmhost $target -Datastore $targetdisk -runasync

#rinse & repeat

Posh1Liner – Add ESX Host to vCenter

#Connect to vCenter server
$vc = connect-viserver -name l2-mgt-vcsa01.theborg.int
Add-VMHost -server $vc -name L2-C1-N4.theborg.int -location theBORG -user root -Password YourPassword -force -RunAsync

#then add to cluster L2-C1
Move-VMHost L2-C1-N1.theborg.int -destination L2-C1

#Add a bunch of hosts to vCenter 1 liner
for($i=99; $i -le 102; $i++) {$runline= “L2-C2-N” + $i +”.theborg.int” ; Add-VMHost -server $vc -name $runline -location theBORG -user root -Password VMware1! -force -RunAsync}

#put hosts following a naming pattern into maintenance mode
get-vmhost -name L2-c2* | set-vmhost -state maintenance

#move ESX host called L2-C2-N$i to L2-C2 cluster

for($i=2; $i -le 8; $i++) {$runline= “l2-c2-n” + $i +”.theborg.int” ; move-VMHost $runline -server $vc -destination L2-C2}

Clicking Configure to bind with a Google Android for Work account in Azure InTune doesn’t do anything

I hit this and scratched my head for ages. I was using a Mac (so I’ve not tried this in IE or Edge, where I would expect it to work).

if i hit the configure button under “device enrolment” / “Android for Work enrolment” it does nothing in Chrome or Safari (my 2 normal browsers)

spent ages disabling plugins, Private mode etc. however, weirdly – it worked 1st time in FireFox…

So if you hit the same issue and have found this via Google – try that.

online UI and docs are moving quickly for InTune as it’s absorbed into Azure.

weird.

Password sync Warning: no recent synchronization on Office365

If you manage an Office365 tenant like I do for my lab, and are security minded you may decide to change the password of the account you configured AAD Connect to use to talk to your on-prem Active Directory. For example if maybe you were lazy and used the default domain administrator account in your lab…. tut, tut :)) you need to update AAD Connect to reflect the new password otherwise you’ll get “Password sync Warning: no recent synchronization” on your admin page and no password changes will sync to Office365.

*I* thought you did this by running the Azure AD Connect tool and re-entering the password there, refreshing the directory. nope and other error logging is a bit sparse, other than the warning in the o365 tenant admin portal.

Password sync Warning: no recent synchronization on Office365

There are some excellent PowerShell utils for debugging this stuff in this post

in my case I got an error back like the following;

AAD Tenant - MyTenant.onmicrosoft.com
Password hash synchronization cloud configuration is enabled

AD Connector - MyDomain.tld
Password hash synchronization is enabled
No password hash synchronization heartbeat is detected

Connectivity:
=============
Directory Partition - MyDomain.tld
Password synchronization agent had a problem to resolve a domain controller in the domain "MyDomain.tld" at: 07/
11/2017 16:38:19 UTC
Please make sure AD Connector account username and password are correct
Only Use Preferred Domain Controllers: False
Checking connectivity to the domain...
Domain "MyDomain.tld" is reachable

Would you like to diagnose single object issues? [y/n]: n

For more help:
+ Please see - https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=847231 or
+ Open a service request through Azure Portal or Office 365 Admin Portal.

Which led me to think maybe AAD Connect was still using the old password.

To actually change the password and configure more details there is another utility outside of the Azure Connect wizard called “Synchronization service” which resides under “Azure AD Connect” on your start menu, run this. select the connectors to MyDomain.tld hit properties/Connect to AD Forest and update the password for the account you use to connect to on-prem AD.

You can also use this utility to configure a preferred domain controller if you don’t want it to follow the normal DC discovery process (useful if you have a segregated environment)

Blogged for when I have to do this again and invariably forget how..

Where there are geeks, there are gadgets – a cautionary vBeers tale

At the London VMUG we’ve held social beers in a pub after the event for over 10 years, in what has become known as vBeers.

In all that time I’m pleased to say that we’ve never had any problems, it’s all been good social fun. As you’d expect most of our attendees come with gadgets. Laptops, tablets, phones, watches etc. and we’ve never had any issues – other than the occasional identical bag or phone picked up by mistake. but quickly resolved.

Unfortunatley at our most recent event we were targetted by an oportunist thief who helped themselves to a selecton of gadgets from the bag pile – directly under the pub CCTV system.

The pub think they have identified the thief on CCTV and will be handing it over to the police.

Hopefully that won’t detract from future events or discourage you from attending some crime is unfortunatley inevitable in a large city like London but please do be careful and don’t make yourself a target. Keep an eye on your bag as you never know who is keeping an eye on your bag for you.

Cohesity at vRetreat

Last month I had the luck to be invited to the vRetreat event put together by Patrick Redknap, this was a day to get some bloggers face to face with some presenters looking at some cool, new tech.

In the interests of disclosure I should point out that there was a Porsche track day, food and a hotel involved. On the day we were very privileged to have 1:1 instruction around the purpose built track at Silverstone race course (you can pay a visit for this yourself http://www.porsche.com/silverstone/). There is no directive on what content I have to write or pressure to write something positive. Evidence of this is that it was over a month ago and work commitments have meant I’ve not had chance to write a blog post about the event until now, Patrick was very cool about it.

This delay did, however give me some time to give some serious thought to the info we received during the day, Veeam, Zerto and Cohesity presented on the day. I’ve worked hands-on with Zerto and Veeam before but Cohesity were new to me and it piqued my interest – the delay in writing this blog post meant I thought about some very cool real-world use-cases.

As a side note; Zerto also demonstrated something very cool, they have a ready to use appliance in Azure, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with Azure recently and whilst they were explaining some of the finer points I managed to deploy it before the end of the session! Now that’s the real power of the cloud! A little disappointing that the Azure ready to run appliance at the time was a Windows VM with some links, but I understand this has was due to some license constraints and the full appliance will be ready to download from Azure soon.

Anyways, back to Cohesity, who bill themselves as a Hyperconverged platform for secondary storage. I have to say I rolled my eyes a little at the mention of “another” hyperconverved platform, it’s secondary storage – everyone de-dupes etc. Jam in more capacity and shove some data on it to forget about it, or let it rot. We spent a lot of time talking about storage functionality that to be honest is plain storage, But I have to say regardless of how their magic is served up software or hardware offering – the last 5mins were the coolest part; it has a very cool plug-in architecture to allow Java apps to run on the appliance itself, just think about that analytics, search, applications themselves running on the storage itself. Now that is the cool bit, and it’s USP as far as I’m concerned, it’s new and still being developed, but bear with me..

A long time ago I worked for a company that did video on demand solutions, about 10 years ago one of the most interesting (but now defunct) vendors I worked with had scale-out storage solution (think cheap, x86 pizza boxes with very clever software way ahead of its time) that could store large amounts of video content but also transcode it to different formats at the same (or near-realtime) something that is very computationally expensive; storage is boring (sorry, but it is..) but if you can make it do something with the data it holds at the same time then to me, it’s very clever.

Cohesity offers this with its plugin and analytics plug-ins, what if you have a compliance use-case and you need to prove to regulators that all your data doesn’t contain credit-card numbers or other Personally Identifiable Information (PII); scanning large volumes of data with an application can only run a) periodically on a schedule, and b) at the speed of NFS/SMB etc. as data has to be read off the array, scanned, and in some cases written back. in this case the storage can do it efficiently on the array itself using all that spare CPU power.

Plug that together with an API on the Cohesity array or via the plug-in application and you not only have a really powerful scale-out storage device, but you have an application with vast amounts of data adjacent and on-tap (sorry, rubbish NetApp joke).

I like to think I maintain an even, unbiased professional line and I guess like me you’ll eye start-up storage vendors with the evil-eye as there is a risk that they go belly-up leaving you with an un-supportable storage headache that you need to replace at massive cost and migrate off, but I think this one has legs and something that nobody else on the market has, and to me that’s a reasonable bet they’ll get snapped up or live on their own.

Anyways, back to the Porsche bit. As a life-long Porsche fan the Porsche Experience is a great day out and you get to do some cool stuff like skidding about and a wet skidpan to test your driving skills (verdict: needs work!). I’ve always been a sceptic of those new fangled J pretend automatic/sort of manual gearboxes in sports cars after a bad investment in a BMW e46 M3 with an SMG gearbox (don’t do it kids). But a couple of hours of proper driving with a PDK gearbox is starting to convert me. My wife said specifically to me when I left the house for this event to not come back wanting to change my car, err..

Also got a ride in Joe Baguley’s Tesla Model X… those things are like rocket ships!

Sad post-note: Several days of very creative man-maths have not yet resulted in me being able to buy one, back to the grind-stone Gallagher.

if you want to get a flavour of what went on, check out this video

London and UK VMUG Dates 2016 and 2017

Dates for your diary for our future events, keep an eye on http://vmug.com/london for details of the agenda – Also feel free to join our LinkedIn group or follow our London VMUG Twitter feed and UKVMUG Feed to be kept up to date, we will post/tweet when the agenda and registration link is live as well as any logistical info.
2016

23 June at TechUK in London – followed by Luxury vBeers at a brewery
November 17th National Motorcycle Museum for the national UKVMUG

2017

19 January TechUK, London
6 April TechUK, London
22 June at TechUK, London
#UKVMUG 16th November at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull (Near Birmingham)

We (the committee) pride ourselves on promoting community content, we’re all about the U in VMUG – if you have an idea for a session at one of these events – you can use our handy call for papers form

Look forward to seeing you at a future meeting

 

How much do VMUG leaders contribute to VMUG globally

I’ve just attended the 1st annual VMware User Group Leader Summit, a day and a half event hosted at the VMware campus in Palo Alto to share best practice amongst the various groups around the world to better the organisation which was an excellent event.

The event was an impressive showing of commitment from VMware to the community in terms of the focus it has, but was more impressive was the scale of effort that the VMUG leaders put into their events – there aren’t many real rewards for being a VMUG leader other than some kudos and a pat on the back and it’s a very clear sign of people’s passion for the technology that they give this time freely.

Some leaders are self-employed or work full-time for an employer – but generally the time they give is their own personal, unpaid time as vacation time or work time that has to be made-up in personal time.

The London VMUG group of which I’m a leader in is currently going through a transition to a new team of leaders (I’m staying on but 3 leaders are stepping down after many years of service) and we’ve spent some time trying to quantify how much effort is required to run a VMUG group so we can set expectations appropriately for our new incoming leaders;

This is based on our experiences running 3 London (~100 attendees) and 1 UK national event (~600 attendees) each year.

Disclaimer this is very finger in the air analysis (and a little bit of fun) – but I do think it’s interesting to look at the opportunity cost of such activities (info on opportunity cost here) and other interesting {honest!} economics stuff here

Between the 4 of us we have 4 full-day meetings, so 4 man-days** contributed per meeting which we attend*, plus on average 2hrs of calls per month = 24hrs = 3 man-days/yr. (@8hrs/day) – so individually each leader contributes 7 man-days per year of effort to manage and run our events.

*I’ve not managed to sit through and enjoy a session at the London or UK VMUG meetings since I became a leader, because there is always something that needs doing, cats to herd, things to organise – not complaining, but – that’s the truth!

Our leadership team consists of 4 people, if we said the average group is 3 leaders (some have 7+, some have just 1!).

I don’t have access to all the details of the global VMUG chapters, but if you work on the basis that there was 1 leader invited from each active VMUG globally to the summit, there were 93 leaders in-attendance so let’s base our numbers on 93 ‘active’ groups – although I appreciate there are probably more as not everyone would be able to attend.

if we said an average of 3 leaders per ‘active’ group, each contributing 7 man-days per annum that’s 1,953 man-days per annum contributed by leaders to the VMUG community events. (3 x (4+3) ) x 93 = 1,953 man-days

Given there is an average of 251 working days per year that’s 7.7 man-years

Now, to make this more interesting, if we said the average salary of a VMware administrator was $80k USD (sort-of based on this article, and assuming that an VMUG leader will generally have more than 2 years of experience under their belt and will generally be in a senior-type role, the majority of VMUG leaders are in the US and salaries outside the US will obviously differ, but most VMUGs exist in well-developed 1st-word countries, rather than 2nd/3rd world emerging countries)

That would mean a VMUG leader globally earns an average of $318 per day before tax, multiply that out by the number of man-days given per year, that represents an opportunity cost that the VMUG leaders contribute to the VMware community & VMware itself of…..(drum-roll)

$622,470.12 USD.

Not too shabby 🙂 VMware, I hope you appreciate it 🙂

Anyways – just a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously, but do go and hug a VMUG leader at your next meeting… (ok, don’t do that!)

 

 

**Yes, there are also many women who are VMUG leaders.. but man-days is an accepted term, and it’s shorter to type than person-years, apologies if it offends, it’s not meant to!