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Some vRO IP address actions

I just wanted to take this opportunity to share a few vRO actions from my library that I’ve recently tidied up. Some started life as scriptable tasks in other workflows but it made sense to strip those bits out and put them in to discreet actions to enable better re-use.

Background

Several of these functions came from a single project. The IPAM system in use only returned an IP address for the vRA provisioned VM being worked on and a subnet mask. The gateway address had to be calculated. In another project, similar constraints existed but with the added complication of some networks having the gateway as the first address in the subnet and some having it as the last!

A couple of these functions also came in handy for some NSX automation, making sure that a new IP address was added to the correct interface of an NSX Edge Services Gateway (ESG) device.

The Actions

There are 7 actions in total. I added a couple to complete some extra functionality that was missing from the original use case requirements.

  1. areIPsInSameSubnet – Takes two IP addresses and one subnet mask as inputs and returns “true” if they’re in the same subnet or “false” if not.
  2. areIPsInSameSubnetUsingCIDR – Takes two IP addresses and one subnet CIDR value as inputs and returns “true” if they’re in the same subnet or “false” if not.
  3. convertCIDRToIPMask – Converts a subnet CIDR value (e.g. 24) to a subnet mask (e.g. 255.255.255.0).
  4. convertIPMaskToCIDR – Converts a subnet mask (e.g. 255.255.254.0) to a subnet CIDR value (e.g. 23).
  5. getIPBroadcastAddress – Takes an IP address and a subnet mask as inputs and returns the network broadcast address (e.g. 10.10.36.12 & 255.255.255.0 returns 10.10.36.255).
  6. getIPHostAddress – Takes a network / subnet address, a subnet mask and an address index as inputs and returns the specified IP address. The address index can either be a string or a number. If it’s a number, the corresponding address in the subnet is returned (e.g. 10.10.36.0 & 255.255.255.0 & 8 returns the address 10.10.36.8). If the address index is a string, it can be one the values “first”, “last”, “broadcast”. The correct address from the range is then returned (e.g. 10.10.36.0 & 255.255.255.0 & “last” returns the address 10.10.36.254).
  7. getIPNetworkAddress – Takes an IP address and a subnet mask as inputs and returns the network / subnet address (e.g. 10.10.36.12 & 255.255.255.0 returns 10.10.36.0).

Download

I’ve put all 7 actions individually in a GitHub repository along with a package that contains them all. (Note: some of the actions have dependencies on the others.) They’re free to use, so help yourself.

mpoore/o11n-utils-network-ipv4

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VMworld Europe 2014 – Looking forward…

CapturFiles-201409272_230945

It’s October now and it means that VMworld Europe 2014 is right around the corner.

I’ll be attending in Barcelona for what will be my 4th VMworld. It will be the first time that I’ve ever attended under a full conference pass rather than just as a blogger. However, I don’t expect the experience to be hugely different. Perhaps in the general sessions the view will be slightly different but that’s about it.

My employer, Xtravirt, is sending a number of my colleagues along with me to VMworld this year. Whilst we’re all very different people working on different projects, we generally have fairly complementary skillsets and a passion for what we do.

Speaking just for myself, I’m really looking forward to VMworld. Like my children’s birthdays, each VMworld is “the best one ever”. It’s not the announcements, the sessions, the labs or even the free t-shirts that make that happen for me though – it’s the people. Not that I’m knocking the other bits but I love chatting to partners, customers, vendors and pretty much anyone that I bump into.

I’ve planned a few sessions to attend. Mostly they’re focussed around Automation and SDDC as they’re my areas of interest. Ultimately I may have to cancel my registration for a few of them (and catch up with the recordings online later) to make time to speak with everyone that I want to.

Among the partners and vendors that I’ll be targeting are:

I’ll also be calling at the VMUG stand for sure. And of course VMware themselves to learn a bit about some of the upcoming developments and meet up with some key employees who will be around to discuss vCloud Automation Center, vCenter Orchestrator and VMware NSX.

Add to all of that the vBrownBag TechTalks (the schedule will be announced soon), numerous parties, the hands-on-labs and catching up with fellow VMware community members in the Community lounge, I imagine that there won’t be a moment to spare.

That said, if you want to stop for a chat then I’m all for it and so are any of the Xtravirt team.

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VCP-NV: Getting Started

So, you’ve decided to take the VCP-NV exam that VMware launched just recently. If you haven’t been living and breathing VMware NSX for the past few months, you’re probably going to need to do some preparation so that you don’t waste the exam fee. Even if you’re an expert, it’s sensible to at least look over the blueprint first and make sure that you have all of the bases covered.

Either way, if you want to get this certification then there are three routes that you can take to do it.

1. You’re new to VMware certification

Before you can earn the certification, you MUST attend the VMware NSX: Install, Configure and Manage course. Then to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route1-option

2. You have any other valid VCP certification

VMware recently implemented a recertification policy. It may change over time (or go away completely) but you need to check and see if your existing VCP is still valid. If it isn’t then you need to go back to option 1.

There are optional courses that you can take but to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route2-option

3. You have a valid Cisco certification

If you have one of these four certifications and you’re reading this before 1st March 2015, you fit in here.

  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNP Data Center
  • CCNP Routing and Switching

There are optional courses that you can take but to earn the VCP-NV certification, simply register for and pass the VCPN610 exam.

vcp-nv-route3-option

Exam Blueprint

As far as the VCPN610 exam itself goes, your first step is obtaining the exam blueprint from VMware. This can be found on VMware’s certification page dedicated to the VCP-NV.

Depending on your comfort level, you can now either work through the exam topics by yourself, with colleagues, as part of a study group or make use of other online resources. One that I’ll recommend now is the #vBrownbag EMEA webinar. There’s a series starting tonight covering Objective 1 of the exam blueprint. Register via the link on the #vBrownbag website. (The webinars are recorded an usually available to watch offline later the same week as they are broadcast.)

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vCAC 6.1 goes GA

Ping! It’s baked and out of the oven at last. vCAC 6.1 has hit a download server near you.

I’ve been waiting for this for a while now, so what’s new? From my perspective some of the most interesting new bits are:

  • Tighter Puppet integration
  • Enhanced support for NSX (including the use of NSX / vCNS workflows as actions in the vCAC Advanced Service Designer) – I need to try this out!
  • vCenter Orchestrator plugin enabled scripting of entities including Catalog, Approvals, Entitlements, Advanced Service Designer etc (I’ve wanted this for a while now)
  • vCAC support for Windows Server 2012 SP1 R2 (.NET 4.5.1)

But there’s plenty more (see the Release Notes).

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vCO “Plugin” for NSX

If you’re starting to get your hands dirty with NSX and want to automate some operations using vCenter Orchestrator (vCO), there’s now a plugin for it that’s been released into the community by Christophe Decanini (who writes on the vCOTeam blog and works for VMware).

It’s not a traditional plugin for vCenter Orchestrator in the same way that there are plugins for vCenter / vCAC / Infoblox etc. Instead it’s built on the Dynamic Types plugin that was launched with version 5.5 Update 1 of vCO.

The goal of the plugin is to create the ability to offer NSX “as-a-service” operations as catalog items within vCAC. The creation and manipulation of security groups and policies along with the ability to associate VMs with these objects can all be offered as options for users to select within the vCAC catalog using this plugin.

If you’re not using vCAC then the plugin could still be used within your own workflows.

The plugin was released on the VMware Communities site yesterday.

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VCP-NV Exam Prep Series to start on vBrownbag EMEA

Starting tomorrow on the #vBrownbag EMEA webinar, we’re starting a series of sessions covering the exam blueprint for the VCPN610 exam. The exam is a required component of the new VCP-NV certification.

The first session is being presented by Frank Buechsel (from VMware GSS) who will be covering Objective 1 from the blueprint.

Don’t miss out, register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/541316569

(Please note that if you have previously attended the vBrownbag EMEA webinar that the meeting ID has changed and that you’ll need to re-register – sorry.)

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LonVMUG 23rd January 2014

First VMUG of the year*. That has a nice sound to it. Full of promises for lots of good events to come.

The lovely folks who organise the London VMUG look to be putting on a super first event for 2014 and I’m looking forward to it. As well as having a distinctly “cloudy” flavour to it, there’s a series of lightning talks on home labs scheduled. I know that the committee have been debating a trial of this format for a while now because I’ve suggested it a time or two myself. It works very well at CloudCamp (which, coincidentally, is on the same day but starting at 6:30pm – register for it here if you’re interested) and I hope it will fit in very nicely here too.

Track A Track B
0830 – 0945 Event Reception
1000 – 1015 Welcome
1015 – 1100 Pernix Data – Frank Denneman
1100 – 1145 vCAC 6 – What’s New
(Matt Steiner, VMware)
1145 – 1215 Break
1215 – 1300 vSAN
(Justin Beck, VMware)
vCHS Overview
(Simon Greaves, Computacenter)
1300 – 1400 Lunch
1400 – 1450 10ZiG Nimble Storage
1500 – 1550 NSX with an Angle
(Peter Bury, VMware)
Home Lab Lightning Talks
Simon Gallagher
Erik Bussink
Frank Denneman
Alex Galbraith
1600 – 1650 How LEGO relocated to a new datacentre
(Enrico Laursen, LEGO)
vCAC Real World Deployment
(TBC)
1700 – 1715 Close
  vBeers @ The Pavilion End

So don’t miss it, register now to avoid disappointment!

(* – Actually it’s the 9th after Indianapolis, Spokane, Toledo, New Mexico, Iowa, Singapore, Louisville and Denver but for me it’ll be the first.)

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VMware Education Offers at VMworld Europe 2013

I popped by the certification area in hall 7 (behind the HoL) at VMworld Europe today to chat to the lovely people working in VMware’s Education team. One of my primary reasons for going there (aside from getting some badges) was to enquire about progress on the exam track for Network Virtualisation. More on that in a minute.

If you’re new to VMware certification or just getting started, there are a couple of good reasons to visit the Education Team whilst at the conference. Firstly they are offering a discount code to take a VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam if you register for it before November 15th 2013.

The VCA certification is VMware’s entry level certification and the exam can be taken online. The current availability and structure of the certification tracks can be seen below.

screenshot466

If you want to take your certification further (to get your VCP5-DCV for example) you need to take a VMware course to qualify. The good news is that the required course, VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage, is available as an on-demand classroom course.

If you sign up while you’re at VMworld, you can take the course for only $499 and replay it for up to 90 days. Since the ICM course typically goes for upwards of $2000, that represents a big saving. For more details, go to the Certification area and ask for Julie.

So, what about the Network Virtualisation exams? No concrete news yet (although I got to meet John Arrasjid, @vcdx001 whilst trying to find that out) but given that NSX went GA today it’ll probably be in the next 3 -6 months.