Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adding Active Directory to GoDaddy!

I managed to add active directory records to my GoDaddy DNS, following the instructions in this article: 

Here's what my entries look like: 

My domain is (it's cut off by the ellipses). 

Friday, August 17, 2012

VMware and Cisco UCS integration: Oh blogpost, Where art thou?

     It was starting to look like I was having a "senior moment". I knew I had seen a blog entry on the VMware PowerCli blog site that described the integration between Cisco UCS and VMware AutoDeploy. But when I looked for it, it had somehow disappeared. Maybe I didn't see it after all? Maybe I was dreaming the whole thing (I typically don't dream about technology, but hey, anything is possible)?

     Alan Renouf, VMware PowerCli wizard, posted a blog entry on 31Jul12, detailing and praising the integration between VMware AutoDeploy and Cisco UCSM , which you can read more about here.

     My confidence in my sanity was buoyed by Google Cache, which has the original blog post. It's a good read for those who wish to automate AutoDeploy with respect to the type of hardware they are using.

     The reason for the disappearance remains a mystery. Anyone care to comment?

Moving Service Profiles can disconnect your Nexus 1000v!

I was just working on the vSphere 5.0 on FlexPod CVD, and found an issue where moving a Service Profile from a B series to a C series can cause your server to lose connection to your Nexus 1000v. Here's what happened:

I created a Service Profile, applied it to a C200-M2, and installed VMware ESXi 5.0 to a storage LUN. Nothing was stored on the local disk. I put all the networking through the Nexus 1000v, so neither of the network cards (P81E Cisco CNA nics) were connected to VMware vSwitches. Networking worked at this point. 

Then, one of my other C200-M2 servers died. I'm not sure why, but it wouldn't power up any more. So I decided to use one of the C200-M2 servers that were in my FlexPod. But all my other servers were B series blades, and I didn't want a lone C200-M2 running with a blade in HA mode. So that prompted me to move my Service Profiles from the C200-M2 servers to some B200-M3 servers I had. 

I suspended all the VMs on the FlexPod, shut down the ESXi servers, and disassociated the Service Profiles from the C200-M2's and associated them to the B200-M3's. When the B200-M3 servers came back up, they were disconnected from the network. I had to restore the networking from ESXi local console in order to recover them. 

I wondered why the Service Profiles didn't come back up properly, so I performed an experiment. I put one of the servers in Maintenance Mode. Then I disassociated the Service Profile from the B200-M3 and associated it with a C220-M3 I had. When I rebooted it, it didn't connect to the network. 
I then moved the Service Profile back to the B200-M3, migrated the management network to a local vSwitch (off of the Nexus 1000v dVS), and moved the Service Profile back to the C220-M3. This time, the management networking came up, but all the rest of the networking remained disconnected! 

I conclude from this that when migrating to/from the P81E and to/from the VIC 1240, the Nexus 1000v can tell the difference and won't allow the physical nics to connect. 

Next experiment is to determine whether the VMware vDS has the same behavior. 

New design of VCO clientŠ. where are the logs?

It took some time to find the log output of the VCO client 5.1. When I first started working on workflows, the screen doesn't show the Logs tab. You have to reveal it…
Notice the up/down arrow below. This helps you find what the log area. 

What a waste of an hour or two…

Thursday, July 12, 2012

AutoDeploy Stateless Computing: The Chicken, or the Egg

Without a vCenter, you can't set up AutoDeploy. Most customers put vCenter in a VM on an ESXi server. But if you don't have AutoDeploy, you probably don't have an ESXi server. So you can't set up vCenter, which prevents you from setting up AutoDeploy, which prevents you from setting up ESXi, and on, and on, …

In my case, I had a FlexPod (I do validation of the FlexPod architecture and procedures for a living). So, since it already has a full vSphere setup, I just used that. 

But in your case, if you don't have a vSphere architecture set up, you probably don't want to set one up just to tear it back down to use for AutoDeploy. So here's what you can do. 

Set up a temporary vCenter/AutoDeploy/TFTP/DHCP server in a VM on VMware Workstation or Fusion. Use this to get started. Then, once you build your permanent vSphere architecture, you can move things over. 

You'll want a single VM, with vCenter, AutoDeploy, DHCP and TFTP already installed. This can get things going. 
Once you have ESXi running on something, you can then create your real vSphere setup. 

Directions on how to do this will follow. Stay Tuned! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NetApp FAS 3270 HA interconnect, when the controllers are in separate chassis

In trying to get my NetApp FAS 3270 controllers to work together in HA mode, I kept getting an error. It said that controller B was not allowed to take over controller A's disks, due to an "interconnect error".
What I didn't know was, when two controllers are in two different chassis, connecting the c0a and cob ports of each controller to the other with twinax is necessary.
Thanks to my friend and colleague John George over at NetApp for that one. I never would have figured it out. I solved the problem by putting both controllers into one chassis. That seems to have worked.

Monday, May 7, 2012

UCSM 2.0 and MAC OSX Lion: can't get UCSM to work?

turns out when you upgrade to UCSM 2.0 and use Lion, Java is too secure to work properly. Here's the fix.

Finder ->  Applications ->  Utilities -> Open Keychain Access

Under Preferences there, click on Certificates, then turn OSCP and CRL off.

Found it here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VMware VSA can export NFS to ESXi servers not part of the VSA cluster

For those who wonder exactly what good the VSA is when it only supports 3 esxi servers, here's a blog post that shows how to make VSA useful by extending the shares to non-VSA esxi hosts. The KB article can be found here.
The most interesting thing is the out-of-the-blue introduction of a "WSCLI" utility, which VSA installs on the vCenter. I'm betting Lam over at vGhetto will have a good time investigating this, if he hasn't already.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

new-deployrule can't find trusted source

turns out, when New_DeployRule is run and can't find a trusted source(error msg) then add the variable:


That'll get you past it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AutoDeploy, statesless computing, and Cisco UCS

It's been a while since I blogged anything, which should mean it's been a while since I've learned anything new. Not true, I've just been avoiding writing anything down. Bad techie, no Doritos for me.

I work in the SAVTG now, so I get to be the resident expert on VMware vSphere and other things VMware-ish. One interesting area I'm exploring is AutoDeploy.

The fact that VMware even productized AutoDeploy means they really are interested in stateless computing, meaning not having your software inextricably coupled to your hardware. Cisco endorses and supports this point of view, and embraces the AutoDeploy concept. UCS hardware even puts special OEM strings into it's AutoDeploy response, so the AutoDeploy server can have rules associating the Service Profile with the ESXi image. Read more about that here:

The basic PowerCLI commands used to set up the AutoDeploy server are:

   Add-EsxSoftwareDepot “<path to your depot>\<>”

Or you can use the VMware depot, if you have internet access:

Use the Get-EsxSoftwareDepot command to find the name of the image you want

Then, create a Deploy rule

  New-DeployRule -name "<a name>" -Item "<the image you want>" -AllHosts (or -Pattern, if you want to restrict this image to certain physical servers)

More infor can be found at the VMware website, or here:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An update to VM-FEX and VMware

Recently, I changed jobs and now work in the Cisco SAVBU, the unit that supports Unified Computing! My colleagues have put out a new CVD that sneaks in the instructions to set up VM-FEX with VMware. For those looking for it, find it here.
SharePoint 2010 for FlexPod on VMware  [Design Zone for Data Centers] - Cisco Systems

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saved by the cloud: Pitney Bowes knows how to do Disaster Recovery

Here's a good article about how Pitney Bowes (PBI) survived a fire at their Grand Prairie presort facility last year. Seems they had the foresight to create a DR plan and actually test it!!  Comes in handy when bad things happen, you know.
They had a backup facility with office space (how many DR plans include that? extra datacenter capacity, sure, but copiers and phones?), but the best part is ...

"Another huge benefit that we had was our customer information and contacts and employee information is all online, and we could get the clients’ information...”
Based on very little research, I have concluded that Pitney Bowes and are partners.  It is therefor logical to assume that the online presence that held the CRM data for Pitney Bowes is, most likely, So next time you need to justify budget for cloud to the execs, show them this article.

Of course, if the fire had happened to Salesforce...