Chef Integration with vRA: Part1 In the previous Chef integration with vRA post, we covered how to install the Chef plugin for vRO. In this post, we will look at provided workflows used to install the Chef Client on Windows and Linux VMs. The workflows are called by the Event Broker Servers (EBS) after a VM is provisioned. The Client Provision Workflow To begin launch the vRO client and navigate to the Chef workflow folder.
The Chef agent is installed on a VM after the VM has been deployed and completed the ‘Machine Building’ stage of deployment. This is achieved by creating an event subscription through vRAs Event Broker Service (EBS). When an event triggers an EBS subscription, vRA communicates with vRO causing a workflow to run. This means the first step of configuring Chef integration with vRA is to configure the Chef vRO plugin.
Building use cases to learn new products allows for new knowledge to be applied and persist much longer. Learning new topics and maintaining that knowledge is a skill. By dedicating time to understanding a range to topics, you start to understand how to learn and become more efficient. Watching videos, reading, rewriting and review are great ways to get knowledge in. But, unless you apply context and apply learning the knowledge will slip away quickly.
One of the challenges many of us come across when taking a more automated approach to infrastructure is the sheer number of tools available. This is especially true when you come from a one tool for multiple roles environment. Every week, there appears to be another tool for you to choose from. Finding where to start is quite daunting, and the opinions of others leads to much second guessing. One of the lessons that would have helped me earlier on, is understanding what the role of a specific tool is and how it fits into the overall process.
Terraform is an awesome tool used to manage infrastructure using the Infrastructure as Code philosophy. Modules called Providers enable Terraform to communicate with a number of different cloud providers. Post deployment tasks are performed through a separate set of modules called ‘Provisioners’;. A provisioner is used to execute commands locally on an instance after it’s been created. One such provisioner enables the Chef client to be installed on the newly provisioned instance and the instance to be added as a node to the Chef Server.
Configuration management systems are used to deploy and ensure a standard environmental state. You might use a configuration manager to ensure that a file exists, or a certain setting is always applied to a system. As your IT infrastructure grows or becomes more distributed ensuring a consistent state becomes more difficult. Through deploying and ensuring consistent state across multiple systems based on central policies configuration managers help to lower the administrative overhead, improve security and reliability.
While at Interop ITX 2017, I met with Eric Pulvino from Cumulus Networks and learnt a bit about where Cumulus was heading and what’s new. One of the topics that got my attention was using a CICD pipeline for end to end testing of network configuration changes. Cumulus Linux in a networking operating system (NOS) from Cumulus Networks. At its heart, this is a Debian Jesse distribution with additional networking smarts.
As I write this, I’;m on my way home after attending my first Interop event. The purpose of this post is to detail my experience at Interop ITX 2017 as a first time attendee. Interop Community Interop was designed around the conference, not vendors. This provides a different dynamic to many other conferences, which are at times a week long sales pitch. Instead, the focus is on the attendees and content making it more enjoyable as an engineer.
Over the past few years, Eric Wright has been organising running events called #vfit for conference attendees. The runs are 5 KM in length and suitable for all fitness levels, from sprinters to walkers. Interop ITX 2017 was the first event to put #vfit on the agenda, and it was big. I’;m not going to count the number of people in the picture below, but I estimate attendance to be roughly 1 million.
The Interop ITX fun started last night with Eric Wright taking me out for a wonderful mothers day dinner. We got good and nerdy covering topics from automation to vendor competition. Actual Day 1 The first day of Interop ITX started with a light run from the MGM to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Testing out the running route for Tuesday and Wednesday vFit runs. On the way to the registration desk, I stumbled upen Chris Wahl heading in the same direction.
During Dell EMC World 2017, I had the chance to chat to Vertiv about who they are and what they do. For the conversation, they chose to discuss their UPS and the benefits it brings, which frankly was underwhelming. Vertiv offers a range of products and services, which we did not discuss at the time. The first question is ‘Who are Vertiv?';. Vertiv provides infrastructure and services for mission critical systems.
With all the T-shirts and swag handed out, Dell EMC World gets boxed up for another year. Over the four day event we heard announcements for XtremeIO, IoT, Hello Alice, DTUG and others. Many things, this post won’;t be touching on :). I attended the event with vBrownBag to produce Tech Talks and even film some podcasts. The recordings are found on the vBrownBag YouTube Channel. vBrownBag For the event, the vBrownBag crew consisted of Alastair Cooke, Jeremy Powers and Myself.
In October 2016, I took the VCP6-NV exam and failed. While this was not the first exam I have failed, it was eye opening. After seeing the question set, I realized my understanding of the exam was incorrect. I wrote a post In February, I went to retake the exam but due to an issue with the Pearson systems I couldn’;t sit on the day. On the 31st of March I sat the exam for the second time and passed.