Disable ‘Send Feedback to the Client Team’ in the H5 client

In highly secured environments, customers generally don’t want any type of ‘phone home’ behavior. In the vCenter HTML5 client, we have a ‘Send Feedback to the Client Team’ button. Some customers want that functionality to be disabled. Here’s how to do it:

root@vcenter [ /etc/vmware/vsphere-ui ]# vi webclient.properties

#DisableFeedbackTool Properties
feedbackTool.enabled=false

The reboot the service:

service-control --stop vsphere-ui
service-control --start vsphere-ui

AWS DeepLens – First Look

I had the opportunity to attend Amazon re:Invent 2017, and as part of attending a bootcamp I received a discount code for a free DeepLens! It arrived today.

The box

32GB micro SD card and power supply. Amazon made a single power brick with interchangeable prongs.

The front of the DeepLens

Rear view of the DeepLens

 

After unpacking, the package insert directed me to https://aws.amazon.com/DeepLens

I did not have any of the IAM roles so I clicked Create Roles

The setup created this role for me

I connected to the DeepLens’ wireless network

Connected the DeepLens to my WiFi

I clicked the install and reboot button; it disappeared with no progress indicator.

I watched for the device to come back up, and connected again to the device’s wireless. The install and reboot button appeared again, so I clicked it again. It finished this time

Now I needed to upload the certificate .zipfile that I downloaded earlier in the setup.

The streaming certificate is required to view video from the camera

I set a device password and enabled SSH.

Summary:

For my first project, I thought I’d add what looked to be one of the simplest ones, object detection.

After creating the project, I need to deploy it to the camera.

After a few minutes, the project was ready for use. 

That’s all for now – next post will be my first attempt to run the project.

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager – Part II – Deploying Log Insight

In Part I, I showed how to deploy the Lifecycle Manager appliance.

For my first product deployment, I decided on a quick win with Log Insight.

When you log in to vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager the first time, it takes you through a tour of the UI.

First I generated a certificate

 

Then I clicked to create a new environment

If you have a My VMware account with acccess to vRealize Suite, you can poined LCM directly to My VMware as a download source, you won’t have to manually download bits.

Changing passwords forced a logoff and login.

Enter your My VMware credentials here to allow for direct download

Click on the items you want to download

 

Add a new datacenter for LCM to manage

 

Now adding a new vCenter to the datacenter

 

Starting the wizard to deploy Log Insight

 

I’m only installing Log Insight at this time, so check the box.

Now you get a short Log Insight wizard.

I’m only doing a standalone LI host but note you could do a load balanced config as well as add worker nodes.

The job after it’s submitted.

The deployment failed because it wants to put 16 vCPU on my LI VM, but my little lab only has 4 cores per host. The vCenter error said “No host is compatible with the virtual machine.” All I had to do was edit the deployed VM, change it to two cores (I also decreased the RAM), power it on and the LCM deployment continued without issue.

I now have a running Log Insight instance, I connected it to vCenter and I’m done!

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager – Part I – Initial Deployment

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager is designed to let you manage deployment and upgrades of vRealize Suite. In Part I of this series, I will show you the installation process in my lab.

Here is the OVF that I downloaded from My VMware

Deploy the OVF

 

Standard OVF deployment options here, setting the hostname and IP address information.

The console while the appliance configures itself

Main welcome screen – default credentials are admin@localhost / vmware

You will get asked to change the appliance password

All set, this is an easy, standard OVF deployment.

 

In Part II, I use vLCM to deploy Log Insight.

dvSwitch Migration

I was rebuilding my lab and decided to capture the process of moving machines from the standard switch to the distributed virtual switch

In these screenshots, I’ve already created the new distributed switch and added portgroups.

 

Adding my 2 lab hosts to the distributed switch

Now we need a physical uplink.

In my lab, vmnic1 and vmnic2 are carrying virtual machine traffic. Prior to this step, I disconnected vmnic2 from the standard switch. This is the part that has the most risk in that if you have a bunch of VLANs, it’s possible that vmnic1 doesn’t have all of them trunked. This is where you can cause an outage, so it’s important to check the physical switch configuration for all VLANs to ensure they’re all trunked.

I assign vmnic2 to Uplink 2 for no reason other than to keep the “2”s together. After the migration is done, you’d come back in here and assign vmnic1 to an uplink – I would assign it to Uplink 1 for consistency’s sake., but the name of the uplink doesn’t actually matter.

 

Repeat the process for host #2.

You get a summary of the changes before the changes are made

This screen will detect if you’re about to make a disastrous change

My VM traffic is VLAN 203

Now to migrate VMs to the distributed switch, I right click and click Migrate MVs to another network

 

My source network is the standard switch VLAN203 network

 

Destination is the DVS portgroup, still VLAN203

Here’s where it’s awesome. You could migrate every single VM on VLAN203 to the distributed switch by just selecting all here. I play it safe to start by only migrating one. You obviously would probably not want to start with a domain controller, but I like to live dangerously 🙂

Continous ping to the domain controller

 

I get a little blip but don’t drop a ping

 

VM is migrated. I can now migrate all of the VMs on VLAN203, then remove vmnic1 from the standard switch, then come back and add vmnic1 so I have redundant uplinks.

ASUS stock firmware routing problem?

I have a very simple setup with an ASUS as my edge router /24, a routed connection to my homelab Cisco layer 3 switch, and a few /24 SVIs on the Cisco. I have static routes on the ASUS pointing to the Cisco SVIs, and a default route on the Cisco pointing to the ASUS.

A few months back, lightning struck nearby the house and fried my cable modem, ASUS, and Cisco switch. I replaced all of them, but I could never correctly communicate with the homelab. When I was directly connected to the Cisco switch (3750), I had no problems and could communicate with all SVIs. I could ping back and forth between the 3750 and the ASUS (RT-AC66U_B1). But I could never SSH (or drive any other traffic) from the 3750 to the RT-AC66U, or RT-AC66U to 3750 . This has baffled me for some time, but I was bypassing it by directly connecting to the lab with an ethernet cable. I finally sat down to solve it today.

Even though my ethernet cable between the ASUS and Cisco was able to carry successful ping traffic, and tested OK with a cable tester, I decided to replace it. I apparently can still make my own ethernet cables successfully 🙂  The problem persisted after replacement.

Thinking maybe my laptop was the culprit, I tried other devices but they all exhibited the same behavior. Then I started looking at the ASUS. I had always used the Merlin firmware for my ASUS because the stock firmware was severely lacking in features. However,  the newest stock firmware looked OK when I bought the new ASUS, so I kept it. And there was my mistake. I saw a couple of posts saying that static routing wasn’t working correctly on ASUS routers.

Stock ASUS firmware 3.0.0.4_380_7743 running on my RT-AC66U_B1 does not seem to correctly handle static routes. As soon as I flashed the router to Merlin-RT-AC68U_380.68_4, all of my routing problems disappeared. I didn’t even lose my config.

 

A reflection on the VMworld Hackathon

Many others have written posts summarizing VMworld, I won’t do that here. If you’d like a live-Tweet archive of the keynotes, you can look on my Twitter timeline starting on August 28, 2017. For a full blogpost, please check out Paul Woodward Jr.’s recap, as well as Sheng Sheen’s detailed VMware announcements post.

I had a great opportunity to participate in the VMworld Hackathon and I believe it was a career-changing experience. Back to that in a minute. First, let’s explore why was I part of the Hackathon at all.  I’m not a developer. I’m a presales engineer. Although I wrote code for a living a while back, I haven’t developed anything professionally in almost 10 years. Most of what I did was classic ASP and VBA, and a few monster T-SQL stored procs. It wasn’t what I considered “real” programming at the time – folks who wrote object-oriented code, used big fancy source control systems, worked on large team projects, etc.

Paul did a vBrownBag tech talk at VMworld, see the replay of From CNC to VCP: A Journey of Professional Growth. One of the things Paul talked about is building your personal brand and the power of social media.  To help build his brand, Paul decided to start the ExploreVM Podcast. Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have known that he was starting a podcast. Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have seen him offering guest slots on the podcast, and I wouldn’t have made Episode 7 – Making the Move to a Pre-Sales Role with him.

Without Twitter, Nick Korte wouldn’t have found the podcast, listened to it, and reached out to me via Twitter DM to ask questions.

Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have known Nick’s name as I scrolled through the list of Hackathon leaders when I was considering a team. And I probably wouldn’t have joined a team because I was intimidated – I’m not a programmer.  But I knew Nick, and he’s not a programmer either, he’s a sysadmin. It’s not scary to join a team with a sysadmin, right? So I joined. Nick did a great post-Hackathon writeup, check that out here.

Without Twitter, I wouldn’t have met Chris Dye, one of the professional developers on our team. He kindly spent his time filling in some of my knowledge gaps as I struggled to understand how software development works today.

A number of people spent considerable time running pre-Hackathon training sessions. I went to Jeeyun Lim‘s excellent “Getting started with Clarity” session.  I learned that I still have a lot to learn – but I understood what Jeeyun was doing. I understood how things like Node.js and Angular make my life much simpler. I understood how the frameworks take what I used to do in hundreds of lines of classic ASP and turned them into a few configuration options.  And thankfully, VMware has invested in a Pluralsight account, allowing me to learn what I’ve missed in the last decade.

I’ll never become a world-class developer. I won’t write any earth-shattering algorithms or contribute to the Linux kernel. There’s a reason I moved out of development and into the infrastructure side. But in this world of automation and devops, being able to write and understand code is a necessity. Hackathon rekindled my interest in programming. It made me realize that I don’t have to be somebody who builds APIs, or builds PowerShell libraries, or writes kernel code. Being able to programmatically consume what others have already made for me is enough. I took my first step towards understanding last week, and I will continue this week and future weeks. I hope I get to go to VMworld next year, and if there’s a Hackathon, you can bet that I’ll participate. I might even contribute some code this time.

I will close by saying that you do NOT need to be a developer to participate in Hackathon. In fact, the best teams have a mix of infrastructure folks and developers, as there is always plenty for the infra folks to do. If you get the opportunity next year, sign up. It’s worth it!