Home Lab, NSX, NTP, and Update Manager

I’m writing about a comedy of errors trying to deploy vRA and NSX in my homelab. As usual, I just grab the bits and start trying to make things work.

tl;dr: Use NTP in your home lab, NSX host prep relies on Update Manager, and look at the VMware interop guide.

My first problem was an inability to deploy the NSX VIBs with error “Agent VIB module not installed”. I googled around and found this KB “Agent VIB module not installed” when installing EAM/VXLAN Agent using VUM (2053782)“, but it didn’t apply to 6.5

I started tailing /var/log/messages and my vpxd.log on the VCSA and saw certificate errors as well as complaints about NTP drift. So I tried refreshing the certificates
/usr/lib/vmware-updatemgr/bin/updatemgr-util refresh-certs

This eliminated the certificate complaints, and the NTP errors were because I hadn’t properly configured NTP across the whole lab. I rarely have dedicated lab time, so I’m doing the work in small chunks across many days. Sometimes I miss some of the basic steps like NTP. I ended up syncing everything in the lab to the NTP service running on my core switch.

I still was unable to deploy the VIBs, and at that point I discovered that the VIB deployment is reliant on Update Manager. I opened up update manager in the web client only to discover that it errored out. Having services down was not a surprise because I’m experimenting with just how little RAM I can give the VCSA in my lab and still have it functional.

root@vc01 [ /usr/lib/vmware-updatemgr/bin ]# service-control –status
applmgmt lwsmd vmafdd vmonapi vmware-cm vmware-content-library vmware-eam vmware-perfcharts vmware-rhttpproxy vmware-sca vmware-sps vmware-vapi-endpoint vmware-vmon vmware-vpostgres vmware-vpxd vmware-vpxd-svcs vmware-vsan-health vmware-vsm vsphere-client vsphere-ui
vmcam vmware-imagebuilder vmware-mbcs vmware-netdumper vmware-rbd-watchdog vmware-statsmonitor vmware-updatemgr vmware-vcha
root@vc01 [ /usr/lib/vmware-updatemgr/bin ]# service-control –start vmware-updatemgr

Once I started the service I could use update manager in the GUI, but still not deploy the VIBs. I rebooted vCenter, still no success deploying VIBs even though all of the services were up. At this point I went back to the basics of how to install NSX, and the first step is to check the interop. Uh-oh. My lab is running vSphere 6.5.0d. I was trying to deploy NSX 6.2.7. And they’re not compatible.

I ended up fixing some bugs in the lab, which was good, but I spent a lot of time troubleshooting something that was never going to work!

Once I used a supported version, things got much better.


Restaurant Experience – Vito and Nicks II

I typically keep my blog posts in the technical realm, but after our lunch experience at Oswego’s Vito and Nicks II restaurant in Oswego IL, I decided to make an exception.

We went to the pizza and pasta buffet at 1:30, 90 minutes before the 3:00 cutoff. We weren’t sneaking into the tail end of the buffet or anything.

There were 2 trays of mostaccioli sitting above warmers. Both were about 20% full and had clearly been sitting out for quite some time. They had smothered the noodles with a top layer of mozzerella cheese to try to mask the age of the pasta. The sauce was bland.

The salad was frozen – you could tell because the lettuce hadn’t thawed all the way. The lone cherry tomato collapsed upon touch to reveal a frozen core.

The soups were served lukewarm, both were a sloppy mess as the server didn’t seem to be able to carry them without spilling. The broccoli cheddar was bland and thin. The other soup was some kind of beef and french onion concoction. The flavor combination was bizarre.

There were 3 pizza trays on warmers, and they’d obviously been out for a very long time. The cheese from multiple slices had melted off the side, then congealed onto the platter. Crust was a bit like cardboard. The cheese pizza was essentially tasteless. The sausage pizza was at least edible with a decent amount of spice to the sausage.

There is an Oswego-based company called Aftermath. They specialize in cleaning up after horrible disasters – car accidents, suicides, crime scenes, etc. I mention it because the server was discussing working there with the people at the table next to us. She was sitting one foot from our table; overhearing the discussion was unavoidable. She mentioned what the company did and that she was either looking in to working there or already worked there. She then proceeded to say “Bleach doesn’t kill all the bacteria in bodily fluids. It leaks into the floor. People try to clean it up themselves, but they don’t do a good job and it seeps into the walls. Then it starts to make a horrible smell.”

Not that we wanted to eat much more of that food, but the graphic descriptions pretty much put a dagger into the rest of the meal.

Find some other place to go. Seriously. Go buy a Tombstone and cook it yourself. Take your Tombstone and eat it while sitting around tombstones – you’ll have a better experience than going to this restaurant.