VMUG UserCon Sydney 2019 – See You There?

I’ll be presenting at VMUG UserCon in Sydney this year. If you’re unfamiliar with UserCon, it’s a free event run by the larger VMUG groups and brings together a mix of different folk, all of whom are focused on VMware technologies in one way or another. There are plenty of technical discussions to be had, as well as community talks on “soft” skills from people like me. I’ll be doing a presentation called “Build A Personal Brand: How to Start and Maintain a Blog!”. The alternative title is “Become an overnight sensation in just 11 years”. The first title is probably better though (and more accurate). It covers a lot of the basics of getting started with a blog, using it to maintain a voice in the community, and a bunch of lessons learnt over the last few years.

In any case, even if you don’t want to hear me talk, there’s sure to be something there that will spark your interest. The keynote speakers are Chris Wolf and Brian Madden – both very interesting people. The event’s being held at the Sydney International Convention Centre on Tuesday March 19th. And it’s free to boot. So get along if you can. And there’s also an event happening in Melbourne on Thursday 21st. I won’t be there, but I’m sure it will be very good. I know the VMUG teams are working on the schedule, and I’ll post that here as soon as I know it.

VMware vSphere and NFS – Some Links

Most of my experience with vSphere storage has revolved around various block storage technologies, such as DAS, FC and iSCSI. I recently began an evaluation of one of those fresh new storage startups running an NVMe-based system. We didn’t have the infrastructure to support NVMe-oF in our lab, so we’ve used NFS to connect the datastores to our vSphere environment. Obviously, at this point, it is less about maximum performance and more about basic functionality. In any case, I thought it might be useful to include a series of links regarding NFS and vSphere that I’ve been using to both get up and running, and troubleshoot some minor issues we had getting everything running. Note that most of these links cover vSphere 6.5, as our lab is currently running that version.

Basics

Create an NFS Datastore

How to add NFS export to VMware ESXi 6.5

NFS Protocols and ESXi

Best Practice

Best Practices for running VMware vSphere on Network Attached Storage

Troubleshooting

Maximum supported volumes reached (1020652)

Increasing the default value that defines the maximum number of NFS mounts on an ESXi/ESX host (2239)

Troubleshooting connectivity issues to an NFS datastore on ESX and ESXi hosts (1003967)

Brisbane VMUG – November 2018

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The November 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting (and last one of the year) will be held on Tuesday 20th November at Toobirds at 127 Creek Street from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm. It’s sponsored by Cisco and promises to be a great afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

  • VMUG Intro
  • VMware Presentation:Workspace ONE UEM Modern Management for Windows 10
  • Cisco Presentation:Cloud First in a Multi-cloud world
  • Q&A
  • Refreshments and drinks.

Cisco have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to hearing what they’ve been up to. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

Brisbane VMUG – October 2018

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The October 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting will be held on Tuesday 23rd October at Toobirds Bistro and Bar (127 Creek Street, Brisbane) from 4:30 – 6:30pm. It’s sponsored by Coevolve and promises to be a top afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

  • VMUG Introduction
  • VMware Presentation by Michael Francis – Project Dimension & VMC on AWS Technical Demonstration
  • Coevolve Presentation – How to securely transform your network using NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud and Zscaler.
  • Coevolve Demonstration – to show how easy it is to:
    • Build a new branch site on the fly
    • Apply consistent policies across your network; and
    • Integrate NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud with the Zscaler security platform
  • Q&A
  • Light Refreshments.

Coevolve have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to it. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with Brisbane VMUG by email (brisbane@vmug.com) and I can help make it happen.

Heading to vFORUM 2018 in Sydney?

Will you be at vFORUM Sydney this year? Have you considered signing up to deliver a vBrownBag session?

VBrownBag will be at vForum Sydney and are looking for contributors for:

  1. TechTalks: 12-minute technical presentation using at the vBrownBag theatrette.
  2. Interviews: 10-15 minutes of informal conversations

Examples of topics could be:

  • Talking about a project you implemented or led, a problem you solved, something you excelled or innovated, how you implemented / integrated a new solution, etc.
  • Talking about a defining career moment or how you progressed in your career.
  • In general anyone who can offer expertise to the VMware user community.

Audience will be designers, builders, and operators of IT solutions – content should be educational and aimed at a technical audience.

All sessions will be video recorded and published on the vBrownBag channels that have thousands of downloads and views locally and globally.

Complete this form if you would like to get involved.

Brisbane VMUG – BNEVMUG at The Movies – August 2018

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The August 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting is a purely social event, with a members-only screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It will be held on Friday 3rd August at the Elizabeth Picture Theatre in Elizabeth Street. This special social event is sponsored by VMware. There’ll be pizza and refreshments from 5:00 pm with the screening starting at 6:00 pm. Parking at the Wintergarden will be validated by the cinema. Be sure to reserve your seat now as seats are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

Brisbane VMUG – May 2018

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The May edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting will be held on Tuesday 29th May at Toobirds Bistro and Bar (127 Creek Street, Brisbane) from 4 – 6:00pm. It’s sponsored by Lenovo and promises to be a top afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

Lenovo have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to hearing about their work with vSAN. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

VMware – vSphere Basics – Re-package An OVA

This is a quick and easy one. I came across a virtual appliance the other day that had an expired certificate.

When you click Next you’ll get an error saying the package is signed with an invalid certificate.

It’s a relatively easy fix (or at least workaround) and I followed Stephen Wagner‘s guidance here. In short, grab a copy of the VMware OVF Tool from here. You then run the following command:

ovftool.exe --skipManifestCheck c:\tmp\old.ova c:\tmp\new.ova

You’ll then be able to deploy the appliance without it barfing. Remember, though, that this is a bit of a rough workaround, and you should really contact the appliance vendor in the first instance as they’ll likely be keen to fix the issue. In my case I was able to continue with my testing while the vendor went ahead and fixed things on their side.

VMware – vExpert 2018

I’m very happy to have been listed as a vExpert for 2018. This is the sixth time that they’ve forgotten to delete my name from the list (literally never getting tired of that joke). Read about it here, and more news about this year’s programme is coming shortly. Thanks again to Corey Romero and the rest of the VMware Social Media & Community Team for making this kind of thing happen. And thanks also to the vExpert community for being, well, such a great community to be part of.

VMware – vSphere Basics – Create a Custom Role

I’ve been evaluating a data protection solution in the lab recently and wanted to create a custom role in vCenter for the solution to use. It’s a basic thing, but if you don’t do it often it might not be that obvious where to click. The VMware documentation site has more information on creating a custom role as well. Why would you do this? In the same way it’s a bad idea to give every service Domain Administrator privileges, it’s also a bad idea to give your data protection solutions elevated privileges in your environment. If you’re into that kind of thing, read this guidance on roles and permissions too. In this example, I created a “CohesityTest” user as a domain user in Active Directory. I then wanted to assign that user to a custom role in vCenter and assign it certain privileges. In this example I’m using vCenter 6.5 with the Web Client. The process is as follows.

Go to the Home screen in vCenter and click on “Administration”.

In this example, I’ve already created a Role called Cohesity (following the instructions above) and assigned privileges to that Role.

Click on “Global Permissions” and the click on the green plus sign.

I want to add a user to a role. Click on “Add”.

The user I want to add is a domain user, so I use the drop down box to select the domain the user resides in.

Typing “coh” into the search field yields the only user with those letters in their name.

Once the user is selected, you can click on “Add” and then “OK”.

Make sure the user has the appropriate Role assigned. In this example, I’m assigning the CohesityTest user to the Cohesity Role and propagating these changes to child objects. Click “OK”. And then you’re done.

To check your role has the correct privileges, click on “Roles”, “Role Name”, and then “Privileges” and you can expand the items to check the correct privileges are assigned.

Once I’d done this I went back and re-added the vCenter to the Cohesity environment using the CohesityTest user and I was good to go.