PXE boot and install ESXi 6.7 U1 – remember to use correct boot files

This is a short revisit of an earlier blog post on automating ESXi installation through PXE booting and Kickstart scripts.

In that post we configured a solution for installing 6.5 U1 and that have served me well for a while. Although we have our hosts on newer builds and versions we like to install them with the same image and then run through the patches so that all hosts in the environment are configured in the same way.

On a new environment however we decided to install the hosts directly to 6.7 U1 and that had me revisiting my tftp server setup.… continue reading

It’s a pass – Thoughts on the VCAP DCV deploy exam

Late last week I finally got my results from the VCAP DCV deploy exam which I sat mid-December.

I was of course extremely pleased to learn I had passed the exam.

In this post I will share some of my thoughts on the exam.

Exam guide / blueprint

There’s lots of preparation resources available and lots of guides already written so I won’t go in to specifics on the different exam objectives, but I’ll list the resources I’ve used.

First, one of the most important preparation steps is of course to read the Exam blueprint closely. This includes the exam objectives in detail, the prerequisites and a lot of resources.… continue reading

Automating two-node vSAN cluster setup

In a previous post I described how we are setting up remote offices for a customer with two-node vSAN clusters. I meant to get this post out right after that previous one, but things happened… Anyways, here’s how we automated those two-node vSAN clusters.

Currently we have 7 of these racks ready with more to come. As these will be installed at distant locations we are extra keen on knowing that they are all configured as they should, and that the configuration is the same cross these multiple locations.

Of course, this calls for automation. And with our favorite automation tool PowerCLI we have put together a script to do the vSAN configuration for us.… continue reading

vSphere Performance – vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) monitoring

This post is a (late) follow-up on a previous post I did about exploring the monitoring endpoints of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), and an addition to the vSphere Performance blog series.

Now we will add performance metrics and health status of the VCSA to our monitoring solution. We’ll utilize the REST APIs in vCenter and feed the data into our Influx database and visualize it in Grafana.

In vCenter we have the Appliance Management page also refered to as the VAMI. We will use this as a blueprint of what we want to visualize, but we’ll try to fit the important parts into a single Grafana dashboard.… continue reading

Slides from my VMworld session

Last week I did a session about Performance monitoring at VMworld Europe in Barcelona. The session was part of the VMTN Techtalks with vBrownBag.

The slides (without the video demos) and the script used in the demo is available at Github.

The session was recorded and can be seen on Youtube.

Thanks to all that attended the session and to those watched it live on Twitch or have seen the recording afterwards. Also thanks to vBrownBag for giving me the opportunity.… continue reading

Welcome to VMworld

VMworld 2018 comes to an end

VMworld 2018 is over. As always I’m leaving with lots of great impressions and lots of content to digest and further explore over the coming weeks.

I think it has been even clearer after this year that VMware is focusing on their Cloud strategy together with partners like AWS and IBM, that vSAN is the storage solution they want you to go forward with and that together with NSX this will be the base for the future.

It was also interesting that only since last year the focus on Containers and Kubernetes has really picked up the pace with lots of new offerings and solution as well as the acquisition of Heptio.… continue reading

Upgrading the VCSA and converting to embedded PSC

This week I’ve been playing in our vCenter lab and tested the upgrade to 6.7 U1 and also changing the deployment type to vCenter with embedded PSC.

I must say that the vCenter team has done a great job on the upgrade process over the last year. Both our migration from the Windows vCenter to the VCSA as well as the upgrade of a VCSA works well and there are lots of great documentation.

Our lab deployment consists of one vCenter VCSA running 6.7 and an external PSC. Both have been migrated from a Windows vCenter and later upgraded to 6.7.… continue reading

Industrialising remote offices with VMware vSAN

Recently we received lots of new hardware destined for a customer that has multiple locations world-wide.

They need a robust server solution for their production environments locally. The environment is small in terms of number of VMs, but there is high demands on the environment and we need local hardware at the sites as the connections to these sites varies and they are not fast enough at all times.

Lots of racks

Our solution for these locations was to deploy a small vSAN environment at each site together with the local network gear they need. While performance and stability being the key factors in the project we also had to have cost in mind (as always).… continue reading

vSphere Performance data – New vSphere plugin for Telegraf

Recently there was a new release of Telegraf, a monitoring agent from the guys that built InfluxDB. This new version, 1.8.0, comes with a plugin for vSphere which I’m pretty excited about!

Previously I’ve been testing Telegraf for monitoring some Linux VMs and also my InfluxDB servers and the agent works as expected and it’s as easy to use as the other products in the TICK stack from Influx.

If you’ve followed my blog series about building a monitoring solution for vSphere and other infrastructure components you know that I’ve pulled metrics with PowerCLI scripts. With this new plugin to Telegraf I want to see if I can use this as a replacement.… continue reading

Speaking at VMworld Europe 2018

The schedule builder for VMworld Europe 2018 in Barcelona is finally live and sessions can be scheduled.

For the first time I will have a session at VMworld, as one of the vBrownBag/VMTN community sessions, and I’m really excited about this.

It is very cool that these community sessions are available in the schedule builder and can be scheduled as other sessions. My session is:

Realtime Performance Monitoring – For FREE [VMTN5524E]

The session will be a quick presentation of the work I did through my Performance monitoring blog series. I have only 30 minutes so I won’t be able to cover all of it, but hopefully I will be able to focus on the most important parts and that I can demo some of it.… continue reading