Put away the computer and take a relaxing trip

I have been so busy I haven’t had time to put any articles together in quiet some time.  I know many if not all of you have the same issue.  Never enough time in a day to do all the things you need to get done and the back log just keeps piling up.  Every once in a while you need to just get away and reboot.  Take some time and do something peaceful and relaxing.

If you are like me and you like to scuba dive I want to invite you to step away and enjoy a great time diving the beautiful reefs of Bonaire.  Bonaire is just an all around awesome place to dive.  If you have never been this is more a demand then a request because you simply have to explore the over 100 different dive locations on Bonaire.

One of my favorite things about Bonaire is although you can do boat dives, you don’t have to.  Bonaire offers 24/7 hour shore diving.  You simply pull up, gear up, and get in the water.  I can also say of all the sites I have dove I have not found one that wasn’t amazing in it’s own right.

So if you enjoy diving and need to plan a getaway and leave work behind come join us on our Bonaire trip in February 2018.  I dare you.

https://www.westshorescuba.com/community/events/viewevent/182-bonaire-2018

 

Release Announcement – vRealize Automation vRA 7.2

While I was away on vacation last week it seems VMware had another exciting round of releasing starting with the Release of vRA 7.2.  Probably the most anticipated feature is the new Azure Endpoint.  Although this is a very exciting feature there are some other very exciting enhancements as well.  Enhancements to the API, container support, installation API, and one of my personal favorites Scale out/scale in.

GA date: 22 November 2016

What’s new?

The vRealize Automation 7.2 release includes resolved issues and the following changes:

 

  • Azure endpoint.
  • Configuration API enhancements.
  • Containers.
  • Enhanced installation API.
  • Enhanced upgrade API.
  • Entitlement enhancements:
    • Add all users.
    • Delete inactive enhancements.
  • Import vcd workloads to import vCloud Director workloads.
  • IPAM Framework expansion to allow vendor plug-ins to support on-demand routed networks.
  • Leap support – API & UI to OpenLDAP support.
  • Migration improvements:
    • Migration now accessible from the installation interface.
  • Scale out/scale in for XaaS objects.
  • New EBS events for blueprint components:
    • Pre- and Post- Event for each blueprint component.
    • Before|After request, Before|After Allocation, and so on.
  • Scale out/scale in for XaaS objects.
  • Selectable Algorithm for On-Demand Load Balancers on the blueprint.
  • ServiceNow integration to ITSM tools integration with ServiceNow. Available from Solution Exchange.
  • Service Monitor URL added for HTTPS.

 

Download details:

Download landing page https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VRA-720&productId=569&rPId=13853
Release Notes http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vra/vrealize-automation-72-release-notes.html
Documentation https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vrealize-automation-pubs.html

Release Announcement – vRealize Automation 6.2.5

Still running vRA 6.x, then you will be happy to hear vRA 6.2.5 is now GA and boast some great performance improvements.  See blow for more details.

GA Date:11/17/16

 What’s new?

Enhancements

  • Hotfix Management with toggle feature.
  • SCVMM 2012 R2 support.
  • Enforce lease maximum.
  • Option to hide price and cost with toggle feature.
  • Thick Eager Zeroed disk is supported.
  • Correct Change Owner request status.
  • Display IP address for SCVMM workloads
  • Display correct status for Amazon reconfigure operation.
  • Windows 10 and SLES 12 Guest OS support.
  • Added retry mechanism during failure of catalog resource creation
  • Sync virtual machine description and renaming in vCloud Air to vRealize Automation.
  • Enhanced DEM to avoid crashes.
  • Enhanced telemetry to capture more data: post provisioning, NSX, License, ASD.

Performance Improvements

  • A 70 to 90% gain in vSphere Agent data collection.
  • From 70 to 50 seconds for vCloud DIrector state data collection.
  • From 2 hours to 8 mins for vCloud DIrector inventory data collection in scaled environments.
  • Memory improved for Amazon inventory collection.
  • 50% gain on fabric group listing and actions.

Download Details

            Download Page:                    

https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/info/slug/infrastructure_operations_management/vmware_vrealize_automation/6_2

            Release Notes:       

http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vra/vrealize-automation-625-release-notes.html

Amazon and VMware better together….

I’m sure you have all heard the news about the VMware and Amazon partnership.  I’ve been getting loads of questions from people and it seems that their are misconceptions on what exactly this means short term.  Here is some of what I have heard and some clarification as to what it really is.

The offering will be VMware’s hypervisor running nested on top of AWS. – False

The offering is actually the vSphere hypervisor running on bear metal running inside Amazon’s data center.

I want AWS features, not just vSphere in another datacenter.  I don’t see any AWS value or features with this offering – False

The machines running on vSphere in the AWS datacenter can take advantage of lots of AWS offerings such as storage, database offerings, security, analytics, and from what I understand 70 other services.  While it’s not the ability to use the AWS API to provision workloads this is still huge.  This of projects you may have that utilize AWS services interacting with workloads running in your own physical data center and the what you have to do you secure those interactions.  Now you have the ability to run the workloads inside the same data center as those services greatly reducing the complexities of securing those communications.

It’s great but what about NSX?

In the offering vSphere, NSX, and vSAN are all available.  I can’t speak to how the cost and licensing works with regards to these, but they are all available.

When will this be generally available?

It is expected to be available sometime late H2 2017.

As more and more info becomes available it will become even more apparent how much value this will add to the enterprise datacenter.  Most organizations today have a disconnect when it comes to their on-prem and off-prem workloads.  Having a standardizes infrastructure, standardized process, and standardized integrations can only lead to less complex and more manageable infrastructure.  As more information becomes available that can be shared I will certainly be focusing more on this area and once possible I will certainly be providing some insight and sneak peaks into this great new partnership.

Hackers, Phishers, Malware and more…..a virtual cancer

Many of you may have noticed over the last few weeks that Dailyhypervisor has had some ongoing issues.  It all started around the same time my 2 year old son went into the hospital I had gotten an message from a friend letting me know that google had flagged dailyhypervisor.com as a malware site.  Sure enough it had been flagged and malware was indeed present.  With no time to properly resolve the issue I did the only I could do to prevent anyone from coming to my site from being impacted by the malware.  I took the site down.

For me it was a quick temporary fix until I could find the time and focus to get it back up and fixed.  Of course it wasn’t until 11 days later when my son was finally released from the hospital that I got to fixing the site.  My fix was to perform a complete restore from a known good backup.  Luckily I do subscribe to a cloud based backup solution that takes nightly backups and I was able to determine when was the best time to restore the site to.  However I knew this wasn’t going to need to be the only step I took.

After the restore was completed I then needed to try and figure out how they got in and try to lock it down to prevent further incidents.  After hours spend reviewing the security I already had in place, file permissions, firewall rules, and updating all components of the site I got to a point where I felt I had done all the things I needed to and everything should be ok.  Well I recently just found out that was not the case.  These lechers of the internet that exploit any sites they can with vulnerability’s in order to turn them into petri dishes for spreading malware and other malicious code once again gained access to dailyhypervisor.

After doing yet another restore and and exhaustive review of the site again I decided to dig deeper into the plugins that I was using on the site.  I believe the download manager plugin to be the culprit but also discovered other plugins I was running that haven’t seemed to be maintained in a long time.  I ended up removing all the plugins that I felt were insecure, outdated and posed a security risk to the site and my readers.  With the removal of my download manager I will have go to through the entire site and update all the links to all the downloads to point them to the external sources where our downloads are located.  In the meantime if you need to download any of the packages we have shared you can find them on github or VMware Sample Exchange.

I would however like to take this time to apologize to all of my readers for the ignorance of these hackers that hide behind their keyboards in the darkness  and prey on those of us trying to be productive and helpful.  The craziest part is in the last year my blog has probably been the most secure it has been since I started it in 2009 and I’ve never had these issues before in the past.  The good news is they have not hacked or gotten access to the database, just the file system of the site.

I would like to ask all of you that if you see something, please say something.  Please send me a tweet to @vmmeup if you notice anything off.  I have up’d my game a little I now have a solution that monitors all my files and notifies me of any changes, but this isn’t bullet proof and I can’t look out for it ever minute of every day, so please if you notice anything strange with the site moving forward please let me know.  Thank you all for your patience and I resolved this issue and for being loyal readers.

Sid Smith