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…Hello VMware!

I’ve been a user of VMware’s products since finding VMware Workstation in the early noughties but things really took off for me in 2007 with ESX3. I’ve long thought that I might work for VMware one day if the circumstances were right. As of yesterday, it became a reality.

This has been mostly a sideways move for me as I have joined the Northern EMEA PSO team as an SDDC consultant. I’ll probably be working on similar projects to the ones I have been working on already. However, I believe that the opportunities within VMware for me at this stage of my career are significant. I’m excited by the prospects and keen to get stuck in.

One downside to this move is that I have had to step down as a co-leader of the South West UK VMUG chapter. It’s been a fantastic 2 years and we’ve organised some great meetings but the remaining leaders (Barry Coombs, Simon Eady and Jeremy Bowman) are more than equal to the task. (Although they almost stole my thunder!)

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On the subject of VMUGs, a quick shout out for the next South West UK VMUG meeting on September 28th 2015. Register here. And although I can no longer have any sort of leadership role in VMUG meetings, I hope to still be presenting at them regularly.

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vCAC 6.1 Removes VM NICs when a description is changed

Maybe my google foo is broken, but I couldn’t see any mention of this in VMware’s KB library. I’m trying to find out if it’s also an issue in vRA 6.2 too.

Edit 14/05/2015: I’m reliably informed that this is fixed in 6.2.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, I was demonstrating how it was possible to change the description of a VM in vCAC via the “Edit” resource action and how it would also result in the vCenter VM being updated.

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So, with the description added, I hit Submit. The description is added to the Virtual Machine in vCAC and also vCenter. I then went to to demonstrate a custom action that executes a vRO workflow and was surprised when it failed and complained about the identity of the network being used.

A brief bit of head-scratching later, and I discovered that vCAC believed the VM to have no network interface:

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The VM’s properties confirmed, that as far as vCAC was concerned, this VM was not connected to any network! However, looking at vCenter, the story was very different:

 

For anyone familiar with vCAC, the solution is easy. And, in fact, vCAC will fix the issue itself in under 24 hours. Forcing vCAC to refresh the vCenter inventory clears up the discrepancy:

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Clearly an odd “feature” of the vCAC portal and I probably wouldn’t even have noticed it but for using the same VM for a particular resource action that needed the VM’s network properties.

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Since You’ve Been Gone…

It’s been some time since I posted anything on this site (over 4 months in fact). There could be any number of reasons I could come up with as to why that is. The truth though is that I’ve had my head down on a large cloud project (lots of vRO and vRA) for the last 6 months and a great many things have taken a back seat to it.

Whilst the project isn’t over yet, I did manage to have some much needed time off recently and have been catching up a bit since. Part of that catching up involves cherry-picking from the long list of articles that I wanted to / started to write and getting them out of the door.

Stay tuned…

(In case you were wondering about the title of this post, I heard this song on the way to work and the name sort of fit, even if the rest of the lyrics don’t.)

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vRealize Automation 6.2 is GA

speeddialLadies and gentlemen, start your downloads!

vRealize Automation 6.2 (formerly known as vCloud Automation Center) has gone GA today. Beside the usual raft of fixes, the major focus for this release is the integration with vRealize Operations 6.0 (formerly known as vCenter Operations Manager).

Download VMware vRealize Automation 6.2

Also updated to download are:

And finally, all new and shiny is vRealize Code Stream. This, I am really looking forward to as it’s aimed at providing continuous delivery of software releases. And that could include vCO (I mean vRealize Orchestrator) workflows – something I’m doing a lot of at the moment.

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vRealize Automation v6.2 Announced

So, vCAC 6.1 was finally announced at VMworld US in August and went GA in early September. Included in that release were some much needed bug fixes and enhancements in a number of key areas:

  • New consumer API
  • Improved partner support with vCO
  • Enhanced integrations with vCloud Suite (specifically ITBM)
  • NSX integration
  • Enhanced Puppet integration
  • Localised Consumer Interface in 12 languages (but crucially not British English!)
  • Bulk import tool
  • User interface configuration
  • Enhanced HA deployment

Today at VMworld Europe, VMware have announced that vRealize Automation 6.2 is coming (hopefully in Q4 this year). Besides the obvious name change of the product, this version, coming hot on the heels of 6.1, is intended as a maintenance release to fix a number of bugs. But vRealize 6.2 is also intended to introduce some new functionality to complement recently announced changes to vRealize Operations:

Integration with vROps

There are two key enhancements in this area. The first relates to the display of Health Status from vRealize Operations. These can be seen in list or item views and provide vRA users with some limited insights into the health of their virtual machines.

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The second enhancement concerns the reclamation of idle VMs. vROps can be utilised by vRA to identify any idle VMs based on configurable criteria.

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The resources used by the identified VMs can then be “reclaimed” if desired.

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CloudClient

This is a command-line interface that will be available as a separate download for use primarily by IT administrators. It will provide verb-based access to vCAC / vRA where scripting is more practical than creating API calls. I don’t know much about it yet but it would be great if it was nicely aligned with other VMware scripting utilities (for example as PowerCLI cmdlets).

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Supportability

If you do run a large, distributed vCAC installation, how much hassle is it having to collect log files from numerous locations and servers to create a support bundle in the event of an issue? In vRA 6.2, there is going to be a one-stop shop for all your support needs. With one click, you should be able to retrieve it all:

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What’s in a name?

Finally, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. The letters (or the sound of them together) C, A and C don’t really work in a lot of languages and this is a welcome name change in my opinion. Having customers emphasise the “cack” sound in vCAC is slightly off-putting when you’re trying to have a serious conversation with them. I’m not quite sold yet on the “vRealize” branding either, but that will come…