Exploring Docker Networking – Ports and Forwarding

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If you’ve followed along in my other network posts about bridge and the rest of the default networks, you may have noticed that I keep spinning up CentOS containers.  This is well and good for demos and instructional purposes but you might have also noticed that they don’t really do anything.  I mean they exist, but that isn’t why you run things in your environment.  You don’t have a bunch of server OSes spun up doing nothing, right?  RIGHT?

Well, we hope not anyway.  Ideally your server actually does something like hosts an app, database, or webserver.  In this post we are going to explore some aspects of bridge networking and get a little more into the underpinnings of Docker.  And in order do that, hey we need a container that actually does something! Continue reading

Exploring Docker Networking – Host, None, and MACVLAN

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As with our previous post on bridge, the intent here is to explore the remaining standard (mostly non-swarm) network configurations.  Those configurations are host, none, and the newer MACVLAN.

Unlike bridge these are non-default configurations which means you must manually specify the network somewhere.  In our case we are just going to explicitly list the network when we run the container.  We will also explore the configuration elements that we looked at earlier.   Continue reading

Exploring Docker Networking – Bridge

Exploring Docker Networking – Bridge

If you have been under a rock (like I was for a while!), Docker is a container technology and containers are very cool.  Containers sparked my interest in the same way that virtualization did the first time I saw it.  I really regret not getting into it sooner but better late than never.  Seriously if you haven’t played with containers at all try it on a local system, VM, or use this really nifty site http://training.play-with-docker.com/

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VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – Upgrade and Health Check

VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – Upgrade and Health Check

As you may be aware, vRealize Automation 7.3 just released a few days ago.  I took some time to upgrade my lab and thought I would share my experience as well as a look at the new embedded health service.

First it goes without saying that this is a lab, not a production instance.  Obviously you should take care before any upgrade with standard checks like ensuring compatibility with any extras you have, ensuring you have good functional backups, etc.

Also my lab is a simple deployment, not a distributed one.  Again, do your homework to ensure that you are prepared for the entire upgrade scenario.

Ok let’s get to it!

Upgrade

You have the option of doing the upgrade by using an online repository.  I am never a fan of doing a major upgrade this way.  It is one thing to download minor patches but I would rather download the file and do my own checksum validation before applying it myself.

First, you will need to download the upgrade ISO from the VMware download site.  It is the same location where you get the vRA OVA, just a different download.  After the download completes, validate the checksum against the provided one to ensure that your download is good.

After it is downloaded, I uploaded it to a datastore I have for ISOs and then attached it to the vRA CDROM.  Make sure you actually connect it!  This still trips people up, including yours truly.

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Next, login to the vRA VAMI (default :5480) as root.  Under Update > Settings, select Use CDROM Updates and save.

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Back on the Status page, hit Check Updates which should show the 7.3 update.  If you don’t see it, you probably don’t have the CDROM connected.  Then just hit Install Updates.  Note that I’m actually jumping two versions here, 7.1 to 7.3.  This is OK but if you have an older one than 7.1 you’ll need to check the release notes on how to get to 7.3.  

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You will see this message below for a while during the appliance update, but fear not – let it go and it will finish.

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My only complaint about this process is I hate messages like this with no “update progress” messages (or even worse, progress bars that just constantly scroll and don’t actually indicate progress) but it is a minor fault.  The IAAS updates actually do provide some good progress indicators.

Once it completes it will let you know and you can reboot the appliance.

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After the appliance reboot you can check the update screen again as the IAAS server components get upgraded next.

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Once the IAAS updates finish, you are good to go.  Overall a very painless experience, so kudos to the vRA team for ensuring easier installs and upgrades!

Health Check

Next after I logged into my tenant and took a quick look around to make sure nothing looked awry, I gave the new health check feature a whirl.  As IAAS Admin, you’ll find the Health option under Administration.  Note that you can also see this as Tenant Admin but you can only view results, not configure or run tests!

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Click New Configuration to create a new test.  Configuring the test is pretty straight forward aside from the fact that you will need to input vRA info as if the system doesn’t understand itself.  This is because you are not limited to monitoring the vRA instance you are logged into…as long as you can reach it and have credentials you can do a health check.

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The only thing that caught me up was the naming for my tenant admin who is a domain user.  After trying domain\user in several iterations and failing miserably, I simply used user@domain and it worked like a charm.  So be careful if you are using domain accounts here.

After the test is configured, simply run it.

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Test results are all green, and green is good!  If you click on the icon you’ll get a more detailed view of what tests were run and the results.

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When I had the wrong user and some of the tests failed to run (the output was decidedly more yellowy-reddy than above), the detailed output actually did notify me of the problem and sometimes it will offer fixes as well.  As far as I was able to determine from the guide and my poking around, you can’t configure notifications for the health check which is kind of a bummer.  It would be great to be able to SMTP/SNMP if a health check issue arose.  Hopefully this can be added in the future unless I’m just missing it.

Look for more on vRA 7.3 over the coming weeks!

VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 – What’s New?

vRealize Automation 7.3 was just released and there is a lot to unpack.  I haven’t had the chance yet to play with the new version (hope to soon!), but I wanted to take a brief moment to call out some cool things I noticed.  Here are the release notes (link) if you want to check the whole thing out.

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vRealize Automation and UCS Director Interaction via REST API – Part 3

If you’ve been following along, whew!  Last post in this series and likely the easiest.  Let’s do a quick recap.

In our first post we basically went through the process of determining “how do I do what I want to do?”  In our case that was making a REST call to UCSD and kicking off a workflow.  We used the Postman utility to help accomplish this.

In the second post we went through the process of “how do I get vRealize Orchestrator to do what I want to do?”  Here we used some existing sample workflows and made some modifications to do what we wanted, how we wanted.

In this final post we need to expose that workflow to vRealize Automation so that it can be consumed in a catalog.

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vRealize Automation and UCS Director Interaction via REST API – Part 2

OK this is definitely the meatiest part of this series, but bear with me and we’ll get through it.  Before we get started, it is important to note there are a million different ways to skin this cat in vRO.  This is just one that I find to be fairly straightforward.

I will also fully disclose that this is not easy and at times very frustrating.  Some of the vRO stuff is well documented, but some of it is behind curtains and seems to be (on some level or another) different than some of the provided API documentation.  I say that just to say, if you are getting your angryface on while working through some of this, you are not alone.  Hopefully this series will help alleviate some of that frustration! Continue reading