Category: Automation

Ubuntu Cosmic 18.10 – Use Ansible To Deploy Docker

Ubuntu Cosmic 18.10 – Use Ansible To Deploy Docker

As it turns out, Docker doesn’t officially support any version of Ubuntu past Artful. This is a bit of a challenge if you want to use a state configuration manager such as Ansible to deploy Docker, or even if you want to install it manually. I was able to get this working by using the test branch of the docker release for Ubuntu Cosmic.

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Thin Provision VMs on Workstation Pro using the vmrun Command

Thin Provision VMs on Workstation Pro using the vmrun Command

Continuing my series on provisioning VMs on workstation pro outside of the GUI, I’ve got a functional script that will create a linked clone using the vmrun command.

It allows you to specify the following options on the command line:

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Clone VM in Workstation 15 Pro via REST API using Powershell

Clone VM in Workstation 15 Pro via REST API using Powershell

After posting yesterday about modifying the parent image to allow for hostname changes, I was still looking for something a little more streamlined. I remember reading about the new REST API that is available on workstation, so I wrote a little script to use the Workstation API to clone a VM.

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Prompt For A New Hostname on Boot

Prompt For A New Hostname on Boot

I’ve been brushing up on a few technologies in my home lab, and have found myself using VMware workstation for some simple tasks that don’t require a whole virtualized environment. Workstation didn’t set the hostname of my Ubuntu 18.xx VMs properly after they booted. Maybe I’m a little spoiled by guest OS customization or missing something, but either way, I needed a way to quickly spin up a whole VM and have it’s hostname set correctly. It’s definitely not the cleanest, and I realize I would be better off using the Workstation Pro REST API, but I’m not there yet.

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VMware Powercli – Gather NIC Driver and Firmware Versions from Hosts via vCenter

VMware Powercli – Gather NIC Driver and Firmware Versions from Hosts via vCenter

I recently encountered an issue in vSphere 5.5 where I wasn’t able to change the interface speed on an ESXi host from auto-negotiate to anything else. After a good amount of troubleshooting I was able to determine that this issue was occurring due to the fact that the NIC firmware version and driver version on a blade server was out of date. VMware has a good KB article on how to grab the firmware and driver versions that I followed. However, the problem is that even on the most modest ESXi host that isn’t running 10G to it, you’ll likely have a minimum of 4 NICs on it. This means that you’ll have to enable SSH on every host you want to check, run one command per NIC each of them (or run a one line script that loops through them, but will that really save you time..?). It doesn’t take a very large cluster for that to become a very large endeavor.

This PowerShell script will connect to a vCenter server, allow you to scan all ESXi hosts, or only hosts within a particular cluster, and output the results in object format so that you can manipulate them how you wish.

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Use VMware PowerCLI to Pull CDP information from ESXi Hosts

Use VMware PowerCLI to Pull CDP information from ESXi Hosts

I like having documentation, but I hate creating documentation.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m slightly lazy at times, however, my own personal preferences for what I’ll call “Effort Allocation”, are not the root of my dislike for creating documentation.  The issue really stems from the fact that creating it is very time consuming, tedious, and usually lower on the priority list.

However, sometimes it’s not you that failed to create the documentation. Consultants frequently fall into this category.

The issue I’m handling here is documenting CDP information from the perspective of ESXi hosts using PowerCLI.

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Modify DNS Records via Powershell

Modify DNS Records via Powershell

Over the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of work with VMware Horizon 6. I’m not going to go into details, as VMware has done a great job doing that, plus I’m under a NDA. Suffice to say, details that have been provided suffice if you’re just looking for info.

In my company sponsored lab environment, I have HWS 1.8 deployed in feature/option parity compared to production. Deploying a second instance of HWS (perhaps a pre-release version), is challenging, due to DNS/Reverse DNS Checks that are done.

Anyways – the reason you’re probably here is to find out how to systematically modify DNS records, so here ya go!

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Powershell – Provision NetApp Volume as NFS Datastore to vCenter

Powershell – Provision NetApp Volume as NFS Datastore to vCenter

powercli-iconFor anyone that’s ever been through the process of provisioning a new datastore to multiple ESX hosts, you know it can take some time. Below are the steps I use

  1. Create Volume on NetApp
  2. Set Security Style to Unix
  3. Enable Storage Efficiency
  4. Set NFS Export permissions to allow Read/Write + Root Permissions to all applicable hosts
  5. Mount datastores on ESXi hosts

For a handful of hosts this is fine, but adding it to anything more than 4-5 hosts is reaaally painful in my experience. Below is a script you can use to take care of these steps in one swipe.

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NetApp: Get Statistics from Multiple Filers With One Command

NetApp: Get Statistics from Multiple Filers With One Command

Does anyone actually find NetApp OnCommand System Commander to be fast enough for normal operation? I’ll admit, I still create a good amount of Volumes and LUNs using it, but it leaves a lot to be desired in the performance category.  If you follow my blog at all, you know that I’m in the middle of a migration from a non-ha exchange environment to a DAG. Being the sensible admin that I am, I have multiple copies of my Exchange databases on different storage arrays, controlled by different NetApp filers. Using System Manager to monitor the space usage of the Volumes hosting my mailbox databases is way to slow for my comfort.

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