PowerCLI script for applying Host Profile

Encountered an issue with Auto Deploy this week where it wasn’t properly assigning the VMware License key contained within the Host Profile, so the ESXi hosts would not add themselves into the vCenter environment automatically. Looking into the issue, we only have this problem when we try to have Auto Deploy add in HP blade servers using the VSAN license key for this environment.

Anyway, it became necessary to add the hosts in manually after they each PXE booted into ESXi and apply the proper license key. From there, because we are doing everything through the slower web client for VSAN, we were going to have to apply the host profile to 80 hosts and there was no way I wanted to do that manually.

So I wrote up a quick script to handle this for us. Feel free to reuse if you find it helpful.

[string]$VCENTER = ""
[string]$USER = "administrator@vsphere.local"
[string]$PASSWD = ""
[string]$HOSTPROFILE = "vCache"

Connect-VIServer $VCENTER -User $USER -Password $PASSWORD

$i = 100
while ($i -le 120) {
  $hostname = "mraesxi" + $i " ".local.domain"
  Set-VMHost -VMHost $hostname -State "Maintenance" -Confirm:$false
  Apply-VMHostProfile -Entity $hostname -Profile $HOSTPROFILE -Confirm:$false
  Set-VMHost -VMHost $hostname -State "Connected" -Confirm:$false

The script itself could likely be more efficient, especially around putting everything into maintenance mode and then apply the host profile to all the virtual machines in a parallel fashion. This was a quick hack to get around an issue we were dealing with while trying to bring online a bunch of blade chassis’ at once.

VMware Cloud Automation Center Identity Store issue

There is a known-issue (KB article) where a tenant can lose connectivity to the identity store and prevent vCAC from working properly. It is a major pain if you encounter the issue within your environment and led me to spend several hours trying to fix within my own vCAC environment that is acting as the self-service portal for Hadoop-as-a-Service.

The first thing to note is that the KB article insists this will fix the issue immediately. That was not my experience. In fact, after going through the commands of the KB article, my environment still failed to connect to the Active Directory identity store and I had to open a support case with VMware to further address the problem. Ironically the first suggestion from the support personal was to re-execute the commands an additional time. Since I had already done so twice, I was flippant in thinking it would change the result, but sure enough going through the command set an additional time (3rd in this case) resolved the issue for my environment.

For reference purposes, here is the KB article from VMware:

VCP5-DCV and VMworld EMEA Preparations

It’s been very quiet around here since VMworld US ended a little over one month ago. I have had my head down studying for my VCP5-DCV exam — which I am taking on Wednesday. The rest of my spare time has been consumed getting ready for VMworld EMEA in Barcelona, Spain. I took the feedback received after VMworld US and will be showing a demo of Hadoop being deployed virtually through the vCAC orchestration workflows that interact with Big Data Extensions.

I am looking forward to my trip to Spain. I am planning on having several days to wander about and see some of what Europe has to offer — especially a FC Barcelona game on Saturday the 18th.

I do have some good things planned for the site, including posts on Isilon performance metrics with Hadoop, expanding BDE functionality to include Flume nodes, blueprints for deploying HDFS-only virtual clusters to be used for a unified data warehouse layer.

It is going to be a very busy winter here in Utah this year with all of the Hadoop work, next-generation Openstack (VMware Integrated OpenStack) and preparing for the VCAP5-DCA test in January.

VMworld 2014 US Wrap-up

The conference was completed just over two weeks ago, and since then I’ve had the opportunity to go through my notes, think about the sessions I attended and summarize what insight I gained while there.

The biggest takeaway I had for VMworld 2014 compared to last year revolved around lessons learned in 2013 were applied in 2014. The key insight in 2013 was that many other partners and customers of VMware were facing the same challenges around standardization, automation and self-service. It was helpful to learn that the things we were trying to accomplish within our department at Adobe were not unique to us.

This year, 2014, I learned that we have solved many of the challenges from the last year and now have great insight to offer out to the community. As we work towards building on the standardization, automation and self-service phases of offering both comprehensive IaaS and PaaS offerings, we are doing what we can to share that information with the broader community.

All of that is wonderful, but what are the next steps for our team, the market and others in the virtualization space? We heard a lot at the conference about OpenStack, Docker, VSAN and other emerging technologies. The focus I personally have for the next year is going to revolve around further implementation of the Hadoop ecosystem, using VMware technologies, and building out larger, comprehensive PaaS offerings.

There are many questions to be answered around how OpenStack and Docker plays in the space. I am looking forward to the challenges coming to us as we work with our engineering teams.

Should be an exciting year!

VMworld 2014 Day 2

Yesterday was another great day in San Francisco and VMworld 2014. The big takeaway I had revolved around Docker and VMware integration. There is a great article over on the Office of the CTO blog regarding this exact topic. Two key takeaways the CEO of Docker said during his portion (paraphrased):

  • Use VMs for security and consistency and use Docker for speed of deployment.
  • Docker + VMware gets you the best of both worlds when utilized together

There are some exciting things, like Project Fargo, going on in the space right now that should enable Operations teams to incorporate Docker into their existing environments to give their applications the flexibility next-generation apps and engineering teams are starting to require.

Beyond the sessions, the CTO party last night was really amazing! Lots of networking and conversations were taking place and I was able to gain some good insight into how Mesos could be used to replace YARN. I am excited to follow-up on several of the conversations last night.