Installing a server on our hypervisor with vSphere 6.0

Installing a server on our hypervisor with vSphere

So, where are we?

We have a virtual server with exsi hypervisor running on as a base for a virtual lab,  now as a (out of touch) windows domain admin i think installing windows server to refresh myself is a good a place as any to start. Since the last time i administered a domain was when server 2008 R2 was new and starting to get adopted, i figure ill grab myself a evaluation copy of windows server 2016 and see whats new. So I’ve grabbed an ISO of that and im ready to get started.

So here i am, a vSphere front screen,  now Inventory, Administration and Recent Tasks, seam like reassuring fields to have connecting to a hypervisor, especially when you can see power events in t the tasks pane.  looks like i’m good to go.

Now as a noob, I must confess it isn’t entirely obvious where to go to start creating virtual machines, but hey,  i figure inventory is the most likely of the options presented to me.

so opening inventory i find:

 

After that brief moment of confusion, everything is much clearer now another MMC-like window with a nice explanation of what a virtual machine is and a nice “create new virtual machine link”

that’s more like it, now i’m happy again, so lets do that and create a Virtual machine  for windows server 2016.

Up comes another great Wizzard,  prompts you for each configuration option.  Now this is so quick and easy i am basically going to accept defaults at every stage where possible, after all a vanilla 2016 install must be one of the most common tasks performed and i want to see how it does.

Just calling it testvm for now

again default storage location.

I changed from the default, to server 2016 (64bit).

Default nework configuration looks good to me.

again I accept the defaults, reducing the disk to 10Gb assuming i can always grow it if necessary

Click finish, and in a blink of an eye, its done and all i have to show for it is a new item under inventory;- testvm

looks like it worked, lets see if we can get windows installing on it

nice to not the create virtual machine task is registered in recent tasks, lets click on testvm and see what we can do,

first thing i notice is we get a toolbar with play pause and stop buttons,  hitting the play button.

does very little. apart from putting a play icon over the virtual machine, and adding a power on virtual machine event in the task log.

ok makes sense, its for virtual servers, which are usually headless and remote, and from past playing with virtual machines at cambridge i know i need to connect to the console of the virtual machine. lucky for me in the new toolbar one of the icons has a hover over tooltip that says “launch the virtual machine console”, so i hit it:

and i’m greeted by a failed pxe boot screen,  again makes sense i haven’t given it an install media and the VM is network booting by default. very useful for remote installs..

so we need to give the virtual machine a install media, i have an iso and as i’m too lazy to burn it i will try and mount it, so closing down the console and shutting down the vm, lest see if we can mount the iso to install from.  Right clicking on the testvm i have an option to edit settings..

now under CD/DVD drive Device type we have client device with a message telling us to power on the device then click on the connect cd/dvd button in the toolbar.

sounds sensible, lets try that..

on the 3rd reboot i worked out to press F2 to enter the bios of the VM in order to give me enough time to mount the ISO to boot from it.

now im not going to talk you through installing windows, i’m sure you are capable of that,   and in my next post i will mention any hurdles i had.

off to install windows, hope you enjoyed it.

Tchau for now

Phil

Hypervisor installed, what now?

Hypervisor installed so what now?

Well a hypervisor has one purpose, host and allocate resources to virtual machines. so to do that we need some way to manage the hypervisor and the virtual hardware it will provide

How do we manage esxi?  well looking at the splash screen on the esxi server we have a friendly prompt:

“Download tools to manage this server from http://192.168.159.128”

That sounds like just the ticket,  noting it’s the ip address of our newly installed esxi server. so firing up our internet browser of choice and heading over to that url…

 

We find a nice VMware EXSI welcome page, and the first paragraph suggests downloading something called vSphere to manage the server,  i liked the sound of that so i downloaded it.

Running the installer gives us a standard compressed windows package installer: (note pretty sure its going to need administrator privileges to install so i granted them when asked

lets keep it simple and install it in English!

Accept the license Agreement..

Specify the install location

Install

well that was painless, lets see what has appeared in our start menu

VMware vSphere Client, that’s new lets take a look.

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ok, the first thing the cvlient wats to do is connect to a server to manage, so i enter the IP of our new esxi server and the root credentials i set at install

Now as this is a home lab to play around with i don’t have a certificate authority, so vSphere will prompt to accept the self signed certificate the first time you connect.

Success!

vSphere has successfully been downloaded, installed, and connected to a remote hypervisor.  In what can only be described as a super slick, fast and intuitive process.

I find it very exciting that this process is all that is involved in deploying new hardware in a virtualised environment,  install the hypervisor on the bare metal and connect it up to the existing infrastructure. the rest can be done remotely.

 

Now, next up lets install a server on our hypervisor and get to know vSphere a little

Tchau for now

 

Phil

 

Repost : What is vNIC, VMKNIC, PortGroups, Uplink Ports, vPorts and VMXNET3 Adapter

Studying NSX, I found that a review of the differences between vmnics, vNIC’s, and the terminology where in order.

 

I thought this blog post did a good job of over viewing the terms.

 

What is vNIC, VMKNIC, PortGroups, Uplink Ports, vPorts and VMXNET3 Adapter

 

Virtual Networking is one of the Key components of Datacenter. If all your Critical VMs running on highly redundant & high speed SAN or Ethernet Network but if VMs can’t communicate with each other then everything is useless.
From Functioning perspective, Virtual Network in VMware is similar to Physical Networks. Like Physical networking, Virtual networking is also exercises TCP/IP stack so nothing is changed underneath.
But Virtual networking has introduced many new components or its complex terminology which is sufficient enough to confuse any new admin or anyone who is trying to familiar with VMware Networking.

In this post, I will try to make you guys familiar with VMware Networking components, Its terminology and significance of each Networking Component.”

 

What is vNIC, VMKNIC, PortGroups, Uplink Ports, vPorts and VMXNET3 Adapter

 

Source and all credit to http://www.govmlab.com

 

Scale on the up with Scale computing Hypercore 7.3 and Hardware updates

Scale on the up with Scale computing Hypercore 7.3 and Hardware updates

Scale Computing have been making waves in the hyperconvergence world and their recent announcement of hardware updates and new admin friendly additions to their HyperCore management software are sure to continue to impress. Especially considering the recent News of their HC3 cloud utility integrating HC3 Scale’s excellent seamlessly with Google’s cloud platform, allowing unthought of (for me anyway) IT agility for anyone with existing VMware virtualized infrastructure or those wishing to implement one. Any company can buy a complete HCI package from Scale with assured futureproofing and effortless upscaling on premises or off
Now let’s turn to the HyperCore 7.3 updates and hardware releases from scale, I got hold of some slides for your enjoyment.

As you can see, some impressive updates with all flash systems now available with incresed storage utiliztion, furthermore I.T. departments should be pleased with a multi-user interface, allowing greater tracking in multi-admin IT departments.
Stay tuned for more details on the HC3 Cloud utility form Scale….

Phil.

Let’s get started…. with VMware workstation pro (12)

Let’s get started….

So, I need to learn about VMware, what’s the best way to go about it I asked myself?  Jump on In and install VMware workstation pro (12) and have a play!

My desktop has 8 4ghz cores, 24 gigs of ram and a few terabytes of disk, I think I should be fine. So, of to vmware.com to download VMware workstation 12 after creating a free account.

I`m running windows so ill grab the appropriate version, I have a key for version 12 so that’s what I’m getting, the 400ish Mbyte download is quick and slick, as is the installer to follow, the usual ELUA fare and customise options, but if you’re considering VMware you have enough knowledge I don’t have to go through the installer process the only thing of note is you get a full featured 30-day evaluationSo, if you want to play and explore the possibilities you can.

Frankly installing VMware to this point has been simple slick professional installer as to be expected from VMware’s reputation and industry standing.

Now, for learning VMware I figure I need a virtual environment, so I`m going to set up a virtual server within VMware workstation on which I will install a hypervisor (esxi) and use that as a base for a home lab.

So, let’s see what we have and open workstation for the first time…

 

 

Not unlike a Microsoft management console (MMC) window, and immediately feeling at home, with the addition of some helpful shortcuts on the home screen.

Strikes me as VMware workstation is very easy to install, for anyone with basic computer skills, and that’s great its accessible for people to learn, and it’s  quick and easy for tec-heads like me to install, and i can only imagine that as a a plus in the enterprise world..

Next time installing the hypervisor..

Tchau for now..

Phil

 

 

It Begins…

Howdy!

Phew, now that’s out the way, I was expecting writers block, but hey, no!

 

Who is this fool you ask?
Well let me introduce myself, My name is Phil Marsden and I have been invited by @rogerlund to start blogging my experiences, well at least my experiences in the world of cloud computing and virtualization. To that end I think It’s only fair that you should be familiar with the guy currently occupying your eyeballs. I met Roger through a shared love of photography and it is true, photography has become somewhat of a passion of mine, but that is unimportant for now.

What is important is I love technology and what technology can do for us, I could use a photography analogy here, old school photographers, shot film and developed their own film in a dark room patiently waiting for the developing and fixing chemicals to fix the image. They then take this fragile negative and lovingly enlarge and process a print, a process in the most professional of labs, for “instant news” may take an hour or more. Today we shoot digital, and have a 15 + Mb data dump RAW from every shot and load it and develop in digital darkrooms in a matter of minutes, not only can we replicate old systems much faster, technology allows us to go much further than ever before. Part of my love for technology comes from my background, I’m nearly 40 and I grew up in a nice southern English market town where I was always a bit of a nerd at school, never enjoyed school very much but I did well at it, and finally at the ripe old age of 18 I shipped off to university. I studied chemistry at university, which again was fascinating, and I did well at it understanding and growing in the process, but nothing really grabbed me and shouted this is what you want to do!!
In the final year of my degree we had a module called computer aided-drug design and I was hooked, hooked by the concept of a computer being able to model a chemical process. calculating a chemicals properties and interactions with other properties we could virtually screen compounds in silico or design the perfect compound for a drug to act on a specific target. Now this process wasn’t perfect, in matter of hours, or days or weeks we could come up with something that through traditional methods would have taken years with dozens of chemists synthesizing and testing compounds. In short, we could get faster and better, thanks to computers.

I was so hooked, this took me on to do my PhD at Cambridge in molecular informatics, where my project was very cool, and I got to play with stereo 3D visualization long before 3d was even in the cinema. Even in the sea of intellectuality that was the theoretical and computational chemistry department at the university of Cambridge, I was still a nerd, when it came to computers, as I gamed, and I was a poor student, I’d build my own computers, I frequently overclocked them too far and broke components, so I was always fixing something, and that carried over into my professional life and I was frequently the person asked to help out when workstations did funny things so I’d help out after (finally writing up my Ph.D.) I had nothing planned and the head of the group asked me if I wanted to stay on as a computer officer (now we are getting somewhere) and very quickly I realised it was the challenge of learning things coupled with the use of technology that gets me going!

When I joined the group IT was basically firefighting, all users had root or admin on their workstations and frankly it was a nightmare, there were network policies that defined if personal machines were allowed on the network, so this department of 2500 registered machines and around 10k registered users had a team of 7 computer officers managing everything, OS installs, upgrades, application installs, machine meltdowns network infrastructure maintenance and socket patching. It was all firefighting, there was no man power for development and departmental infrastructure.
Now I came on as an assistant to the computer officer in the Unilever centre (hello Charlotte!) and Charlotte to my eternal gratitude, instead of using me as a personal slave assistant in a very hectic work environment (which for future reference contained a “training area” of 25 identical workstations for us to host events and workshops.) decided she wanted me to manage the training area. The training area was frequently reinstalled and having various packages installed for certain workshops. Indeed, one of my first tasks was to install office 2000 on each machine, amazingly we only had one cd and it involved going to each machine in turn, powering up, logging on inserting the disk and installing office – 25 times!

Now I’m not the brightest, but even to me it seamed there must be a better way. Charlotte sat me down and said she wanted me to go on a training course for Active Directory, as she had done one “a while ago” and was “fairly sure it had the answer”. And boy was she right!

The next couple of years of my life were spent implementing a AD infrastructure in out little sub department, and as our carrot to entice the user into letting us manage their machine was a little fileserver I knocked together out of recycled bits kicking around, IIRC it had a 6TB raid 6 array. On which I gave the user space mapped as a network drive. And an assurance that any data put there needed 3 disks to die simultaneously for their data to be lost.
Over time this grew, and when charlotte went to follow her passion of marine biology and her job became available I was successfully recruited, and the domain slowly grew research group by research group. The domain also only grew thanks to a cohesive strategy emerging within the department, which resulted in departmental resources, which we spent on servers. Partly because the domain had proved its worth both in terms of network security and machine maintenance and resiliency of user data and now justified departmental resources. When we first set up the domain we used old workstations, probably 1Ghz Celerons as Domain Controllers and made sure we had enough for replication to keep us safe.

Now with investment we moved onto virtualized servers where each virtual server would be hosted on a pair of real servers with network mirrored hard drives, with automatic failover etc, System uptimes from that point on were just great 99.9% upwards.
No whilst at the university I met a lovely Brazillian doctor and we fell in love and got married, and in time my eldest son was born. Well circumstances led us down a path which resulted in us moving to Brazil and my becoming a stay at home dad.
Fast forward 7 years I was talking to my family at lunch about this opportunity to be blogging this today, and my son ended up asking “what is cloud computing?”

That’s pretty much where I am, I was a sysadmin 7 years ago I’m familiar with the concept of virtualization, I’ve run virtual machines in the real world. I’m a bit out of touch at the moment, but I am now at a point in my children’s life that I have more time to develop and a brain that still wants to learn
I eagerly accept Rogers invitation to learn about the VMware platform and blog about my experience.

Thanks Roger!

 

Philip

Splunk Announces Availability of Splunk Enterprise 7.0

Splunk Enterprise 7.0 is now available for download.  Some key new features have been added to the latest release.  These are:

  1. Metrics – which are sets of numerical, time series data are now treated as a first class data type bringing massive performance improvements such as up to 200x faster queries
  2. Event Annotation seamlessly unifies logs and metrics by overlaying multiple searches in a single time chart or graph
  3. Chart Enhancements expand the selection of visual styles and chart options geared toward improving the visualization of metrics and mult-series monitoring use cases
  4. Faster Data Model Acceleration through core search technology tweaks
  5. Self-Service App Management in the cloud has been updated to allow the installation of your organization’s own internal apps
  6. The latest Machine Learning Toolkit improves extensibility, scalability and ease of use through several new enhancements

Visit the link below from Splunk to read in more detail on what the new features are in 7.0.

(Source: https://www.splunk.com/blog/2017/09/26/what-s-new-in-splunk-enterprise-7-0.html)

 

Splunk.conf Coming


Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have posted. My new job role is completely focused around Splunk these days. Splunk’s annual conference is next week in Washington DC. I will be posting news and announcements throughout the week so stay tuned for some Splunk goodness. Sometime after the conference I will work on some Splunk related posts such as installing, how to use it and some good use cases. Stay tuned!!

Netapp ‘s Soldifire HCI Overview at VMworld 2017 – Tech Field Day Extra.

Netapp ‘s Soldifire HCI Overview. I had a chance to get a overview of Netapp’s new HCI Product while at Tech Field Day Extra while attending VMworld 2017.

 

I’ve long been a fan of the Solidfire Technology. From the early day’s to after the purchase and the re-branding of the product into Netapp.

 

 

Solidfire has always been built on Guaranteed Performance, flexibility & scale, and automated infrastructure and the Netapp Solidfire HCI product is no different.

 

With Netapp’s HCI Architecture, you see standard services that you would across all Netapp Products.

 

1

Here is the appliance and the new Netapp Solidfire look!

 

 

The idea is to indepentily scale the compute or storage nodes.

 

One OS across the entire Solidfire Platform.

 

Built on a open storage model.

 

 

Grow as needed.

 

Node Information

 

 

 

Great Stuff! Looking forward to learning more!

 

Here is the link to the Tech Field Day Video

 

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Roger Lund

 

 

 

Pluribus Networks Netvisor & Adaptive Cloud Fabric @ VMworld 2017 – Tech Field Day Extra

I had the chance to get a Netvisor And Adaptive Cloud Fabric Overview by Pluribus Networks at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2017.

 

White box Networking has been main stream in the service provider world for some time. Plurbus has been strong in that space, but now more and more enterprise’s are looking for SDN, and exploring the White Box Networking Space. Pluribus Netvisor and Adapter Cloud Fabric is a product that can sit on these devices.

 

Below are the slides, and below that the video.

 

EDIT : Updated Slides.

 

Video of the Presentation.

 

Thanks

 

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