My notes and ramblings, normally about automation

A while back, I transitioned my blog from Wordpress to Hugo. The transition was relatively painless, mainly due to the number of tools available to manage that process. However, this blog isn’t about the transition. We’re going to be talking about some of the nuances in using Hugo as your blog platform of choice and how to make those easier. The first thing to make clear, Hugo isn’t a hosting platform.

The usage of Kubernetes continues to grow for most organizations. HashiCorp Terraform is used to simplify the Kubernetes deployment and management process by defining the necessary components as code. This can also be taken a step further by configuring guardrails, which help to protect infrastructure changes that may go against the business’ policies or don’t follow regulatory policies. Similarly to the infrastructure, we can define these policies as code with Sentinel.

Recently, there was a great new resource added to the GitHub Marketplace which allows us to easily integrate the HashiCorp Terraform CLI into the CI/CD process that’s been made available with GitHub Actions. The HashiCorp Setup Terraform action is also available as a starter workflow, accessible directly within the Actions tab of your GitHub repository. GitHub Actions GitHub Actions make use of a YAML-formatted workflow file. This file establishes the configuration for things such as what events should include action processes, the type of runner to use, and the configuration of the jobs with the required steps to reach completion.

The good folks at vBrownbag always have some really good series. The current series is around using Python and applying its usage to DevOps concepts and principles. I was asked to present one of the sessions and decided to cover a few tips and tricks for folks with an existing knowledge of PowerShell and how they can translate directly to Python usage. vBrownbag - Python for DevOps - Python for PowerShellers

PSConfEU is Europe’s largest PowerShell conference and this year I had the distinct pleasure of not only attending, but also presenting! It is 4 days of non-stop PowerShell knowledge bombs in just about every area you can think of and I had a blast! If you have a chance to attend, definitely take advantage of it. Luckily, if you missed out, all the sessions were recorded (huge shoutout to Thorsten Butz for all the hard work he put in) and are available on YouTube: PSConfEU Playlist

PSConfEU is Europe’s largest PowerShell conference and this year I had the distinct pleasure of not only attending, but also presenting! It is 4 days of non-stop PowerShell knowledge bombs in just about every area you can think of and I had a blast! If you have a chance to attend, definitely take advantage of it. Luckily, if you missed out, all the sessions were recorded (huge shoutout to Thorsten Butz for all the hard work he put in) and are available on YouTube: PSConfEU Playlist

Keeping a VM’s VMware Tools up-to-date is an important role to anyone whom administers a VMware environment. VMware Tools provide the latest and greatest drivers and provides easy access in order to interact with the underlying guest OS, like performing power options gracefully. However, there was also a recent security issue announced through the VMware Security Advisories page under Advisory ID: VMSA-2019-0009 More information about this advisory can be found in the following blog post: Security Issue with VMware Tools: VMSA-2019-0009

Referencing documentation is one of those things that seems overwhelming at first, but ends up becoming fundamental. I’m working on a series of posts where I take specific tasks and show how to refer to the documentation to accomplish the task. In this blog, we’ve been tasked with reporting information about a VM’s disk space and its associated filesystem. We’ll be working with the built in PowerCLI .Net objects.

Referencing documentation is one of those things that seems overwhelming at first, but ends up becoming fundamental. I’m working on a series of posts where I take specific tasks and show how to refer to the documentation to accomplish the task. In this blog, we’ve been tasked with reporting information about a VM’s disk space and its associated filesystem. We’ll be working with the vSphere objects. vSphere objects are vSphere Web Services API based, which means that we’ll be using a different set of documents to pull the same data.

Documentation is an important part of the automation and development process. When I first started using PowerCLI, I found the docs to be overwhelming and confusing. As my PowerCLI knowledge grew, I started to use them more and more. Instead of frustratingly browsing the multiple levels of properties that make up vCenter objects in a terminal, I found I could easily pick them out in the docs. As part of this blog post, we’re going to walk through the available documentation, which documentation should be used at what points, and then walk-through two use cases of using the documentation to perform a task.

I found something interesting the other day, from someone that mentioned it to me, you can’t move a datastore cluster between folders in the UI! No worries, PowerCLI to the rescue! Move-DatastoreCluster PowerCLI doesn’t have a high-level cmdlet for this action, so we’ll be creating our own. To perform this action, we’ll be using a method that’s available in the vSphere API known as “MoveIntoFolder.” We can see some additional information about this method in the VMware Code API Explorer: MoveIntoFolder Method I have created and shared a script on the PowerCLI Community repository and the VMware Code Sample Exchange which takes that “MoveToFolder” and wraps it in an advanced function we can call with: Move-DatastoreCluster

A recent knowledge base (KB) article was released regarding an issue impacting a specific version of VMware Tools. The KB in question is 57796, which describes the possibility of a guest level network connectivity issues or even a purple diagnostic screen (PSOD). Before getting to the discovery process, I want to cover some of the specifics for this KB. I do this because we’re going to need to be aware of these as we build out our one-liners and the subsequent reporting script.

VMware Cloud on AWS is making a switch to the underlying networking and security platform for the service. This move is being done in order to provide access to services such as distributed firewall, security groups, route-based VPN connections, and more. In order to accomplish this move, SDDCs will be transitioned from NSX-V to NSX-T. More information about this update is available in the following blog post: VMware Cloud on AWS: Advanced Networking and Security with NSX-T SDDC

VMware Cloud on AWS is making a switch to the underlying networking and security platform for the service. This move is being done in order to provide access to services such as distributed firewall, security groups, route-based VPN connections, and more. In order to accomplish this move, SDDCs will be transitioned from NSX-V to NSX-T. More information about this update is available in the following blog post: VMware Cloud on AWS: Advanced Networking and Security with NSX-T SDDC

VMware Cloud on AWS is making a switch to the underlying networking and security platform for the service. This move is being done in order to provide access to services such as distributed firewall, security groups, route-based VPN connections, and more. In order to accomplish this move, SDDCs will be transitioned from NSX-V to NSX-T. More information about this update is available in the following blog post: VMware Cloud on AWS: Advanced Networking and Security with NSX-T SDDC

VMware Cloud on AWS is making a switch to the underlying networking and security platform for the service. This move is being done in order to provide access to services such as distributed firewall, security groups, route-based VPN connections, and more. In order to accomplish this move, SDDCs will be transitioned from NSX-V to NSX-T. More information about this update is available in the following blog post: VMware Cloud on AWS: Advanced Networking and Security with NSX-T SDDC

Something amazing has been added to the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling. This new feature is called Code Capture. While the name might not sound familiar, hopefully you’re already acquainted with its predecessor – Onyx Code Capture gives you the ability to take actions you’ve completed in the vSphere Client and outputs usable code. Once you have the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling installed, it’s just as simple as hitting the red ‘record’ button on the top menu, performing your activities, then hitting the red ‘stop’ button.

As scary as it is, VMworld is almost here. Last year, many folks joked with me that the only way to find me was to attend one of my sessions… Well, this year is going to be no different. When I log into the VMworld speaker resource center, I’m hit with with 16 sessions! Those are just the ones in the schedule builder! Since I’ll probably be a little scarce around the VM Village area, let’s run down where I’ll be and when!

I blinked and it’s already August. That means it’s almost VMworld time! At VMworld, one of my favorite events is the Hackathon put on by the great folks at VMware {code} for the last couple years. If you haven’t been to one of the VMware {code} Hackathons, the whole idea is to create or join a team and code some kind of idea to fruition! The great part about it is that this event is for everyone.

Did you know the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) has file-based backup options? This ability was actually released in vSphere 6.5. However, there was one feature in particular that was missing: a scheduler. I’m happy to say that as part of vSphere 6.7, the VCSA received a backup scheduler! Recently, Emad Younis released a couple cool walkthroughs to the vSphere Central site to manage file-based backup and restore actions. Under the covers, both of these actions are served up by vSphere’s RESTful APIs and therefore we can use the vSphere Automation SDK for Python to automate these actions!