Monthly Archives: March 2015

Using the released version of Docker-Machine (v0.1) with VMware vSphere

I began uplifting some of my content today which included upgrading to the newest docker (v1.5) and docker-machine (v0.1), and came across a number of changes.

  • The command is now officially “docker-machine” instead of just “machine” which is what it was when I first played with it.
  • All the VMware driver commands are now prefixed with “vmware”   so instead of “–vsphere-vcenter” it is now “–vmwarevsphere-vcenter”   a full example is:

    And they have an easier way to set the environment variables now:
  • I couldn’t get “–vmwarevsphere-boot2docker-url” to work with a custom URL which is probably a bug.  If you leave it out entirely it will use a default location.
  • ..Which is a good thing because boot2docker now includes VMware tools, which negates the need for a custom .ISO
  • The only other change I need to make to the boot2docker image is the use of a insecure registry, so I just include in my syntax the running of a shell script which runs: docker-machine ssh $1 sudo sed -i -e ‘s/–tlsverify/–tlsverify –insecure-registry docker-hub:5000/g’ /var/lib/boot2docker/profile  You can find this full shell script on github here.   “docker-hub” is my registry hostname on port 5000
  • I noticed the name of the VM now matches what docker-machine calls it instead of a random string.

That’s about it so far.  I have not used it too extensively yet but so far so good.  I did not see a single hang of the docker commands like I saw previously with the older versions.  Thumbs up so far.

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Where is the OVA/OVF for vCenter 6.0 Appliance?

moooar_vsphere6You might have noticed already that the new vCenter Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 is only being distributed as an .ISO.  While I do wish an OVA/OVF would have been available too, the new installer is pretty sweet.

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When you mount this .ISO, you get a web page interface that cleanly and clearly walks you through deploying directly to an ESXi host.  In my opinion this is a pretty good user experience, which is something that has been lacking at the install time of these products for quite a while.  (Side note – check out the VIO installer too.  It’s slick as well.)

I do think there are a few isolated use cases for directly using an OVA or OVF however.  A vCD (or other hosted environment) is a good example, when you do not have access to the underlying hosts.  Or if you encounter some issues in your browser, perhaps due to draconian IT security measures.  All is not lost!   The OVA is actually hiding in the ISO, you just have to find it.

 

Disclaimer: This is not recommended or supported by VMware.  There are a lot of user input checks that go into the new installer, so use it when you deploy your VC for real.  This should only be used for testing/sandboxing/may blow up in your face. There I said it, so don’t yell at me when you break something!

 

The ISO itself will look like this on disk:

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When you mount it, the directory structure looks like:

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In the “vcsa” directory, you will find a file with no extention like this:

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This is the actual .OVA   Copy it somewhere local so it’s writable and add the .OVA extension.

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Now extract it.  Did not know you can just use an unzip utility to extract an OVA?  Well now you do.

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Aaaaaand here are your familiar files!

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Now I will warn you, you could will have a bad day if you directly try to use this .ovf with vCD.  It seemed to work fine for me in vCenter, but vCD does not understand a lot of the new options and fields in the format of this file.  The outcome is it’s really difficult to deploy anything other than an embedded node (PSC+VC).  If you want to deploy JUST the PSC or VC services you have to do quite a bit of editing.  Luckily I asked around before I spent time on this and I found the VMware HOL Wizard Doug Baer (@dobaer) had already pulled his hair out getting it to work.   So behold!  Customized .OVF files for either PSC or VC nodes!

I warn you, your results may/will vary with these so the usual disclaimers about NOT using this in production and NOT calling support and expecting help apply.

You can find the contents of these files on a Github repo of mine here, and again all credit to Doug for these:

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There you have it.  Go get some vSphere 6 vCenter appliance action on.

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ESXi 6 Whitebox Realtek NIC issues

moooar_vsphere6I upgraded one of my whiteboxes to ESXi 6 and noticed the Realtek NIC was no longer detected.  I tried to install the same VIB I used previously and got dependency errors.   A quick google search later and I found this post that references a communities post that has a fix.  Yay!

Note – this probably shouldn’t have been posted publically during the beta program but meh, past is the past.

Here’s the VIB: http://vibsdepot.v-front.de/depot/vft/net51-drivers-1.0/net51-drivers-1.0.0-1vft.510.0.0.799733.x86_64.vib  I can confirm this working on a Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 that has a Realtek 8168 on board.   Many thanks to the author!

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New release: VMware Software Manager – Download Service

Release Notes

Documentation

Snip20150311_9Today VMware is releasing a trove of software.  One small tool that will surely make release days like this much easier is Software Manager.   I just tried it out and it’s exactly what you will expect.   No more browsing through the somewhat painful download web pages!  Have it all come to you.

The tool is windows only, and comes in at a whopping 17MB for the tool itself.  It comes packaged as a MSI, quickly install it, specify a location (that has enough space for the many gigs of of downloads) and it fires up a web page connecting to localhost on port 8000.  Login with your MyVMware credentials.   BAM!  You will see all the downloads you are entitled to and have a very easy one click download for a whole suite of components.

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UPDATE:  vSphere 6.0 is now showing up in the product.   If you installed it first thing today, you might need to stop and restart the service for it to show up.   Worst case, kill your browser with a hammer.

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vCenter alarms for VSAN not included out of the box

Snip20150309_7I have been testing VSAN in my whitebox hosts of my home lab lately, as I consider migrating off the smattering of Synology and other datastores.  My first mistake was using a spinning drive that apparently was already bad as I quickly got some permanent device loss errors after spinning up some VMs.  I was concerned why I never got any actual VSAN alarms, and just randomly stumbled on the reason why via Reddit.

Turns out, vCenter does not contain any VSAN alarms that map to VOBs.   This KB shows how to add a few of them, but Mister VSAN Rawlinson Rivera’s blog post shows a longer list that appears pretty comprehensive and also includes a bit of powershell code to add the alarms for a specific cluster.  I could not get the code to copy/paste from the blog without characters getting all screwy so it took quite some time to clean up.   Here on my git repo is a version of it that works as is.

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