07 July, 2018

Infrastructure as Code

"Infrastructure as Code" or IaC, when you search for this term online you will get loads of information and all this information has a different interpretation of Infrastructure as Code. Even if you search for it in the VMware context it will deliver you loads of different VMware blog posts and product related web pages.
Although the all the different interpretations, there are some things all information has in common. They all have the same basic concept, have IT teams to treat IT infrastructure the same way application developers manage / develop their applications, so treat it as code. Human readable software code that is. This concept is also known as DevOps. And most of the information will also tie this concept to Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery practises.

If you are looking for additional information on IaC, there are two Forrester reports that are very relevant and therefore are referenced frequently when writing about IaC:

I mentioned that there is an abundance of information on IaC and most Vendors have multiple product or solution pitches around it. In this blog post I'm not going to focus on the well known solutions, I would like to provide some information on a less known solution, which has the obvious name Infrastructure as Code.
This particular solution is a offering from VMware's Professional Services Center of Excellence (PSCoE) and it basically delivers an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) focusing on getting vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) coding to "the next level". In other words provide a toolchain that provides the tools a Developer needs, but is missing from the standard vRO solution. So what features does this PSCoE IaC solution bring:

  • Work Easy – Powerful tools for Management of vRA/vRO content
  • Work Together – Share Code, Validate, Do Peer Review
  • Quality Control – Quality Gates, Unit Testing
  • Improve Efficiency – Solution Modularization, Dependency Management, Versioning, Parallel Releases
  • Release – Frequent Releases, Policy Gates, Sites Distribution
  • Step Back in Time – Rollback releases, Troubleshooting
As you can see for yourself the PSCoE IaC solution is focused on vRealize Automation, let's look in a bit more detail how a vRealize Automation environment looks when the PSCoE IaC solution is deployed.

Currently this PSCoE IaC solution is only available as an complete PSCoE offering, this offering includes the Installation and configuration of the required software components, Onboarding training for in-house developers and Initial guidance.
The solution is not a one-size-fits-all solution, there are customer / environment specifics that can influence the solution. If you are interested in learning more about this solution offering contact PSCoE or find them during the upcoming VMworld events.

Lastly a small word of caution, this PSCoE IaC solution is not a good fit for all vRealize Automation customers. In general customers that already have adopted the DevOps way of working and/or have in-house (Java) developers would benefit from this solution, most of the time this will be the larger enterprises that already have a (Private) Cloud Solution in Production.

28 June, 2018

Meet the VMworld 2018 Content Catalog

I guess most of us know the moment when the VMworld Content Catalog becomes available. You want search it and get into the sessions as soon as possible, because the more populair the sessions are the quicker they are full and you will be put on the waiting list.
But what if you are new to VMworld, how do you select the sessions that are relevant and of interest to you? Of course there are blog posts out there that will list their favorite sessions, most of them are the obvious sessions presented by known speakers. These listings will get you a good base, for the rest you need to search on your own.
But what type of sessions do you attend?
In previous years VMworld sessions have been categorized in a couple of categories, from Business to Deep technical. With the 2018 edition of VMworld a new way of using / consuming the Content Catalog is being introduced, it's now role based. So you select a role description that best covers your actual professional position, this way the sessions that are (pre-)filtered hopefully align with your goals, this way you should get the most out of your VMworld visit.

If you are afraid you're going to miss out on sessions because they are filtered out based on your role, don't worry there is a possibility to select multiple roles.

For a detailed description on the available roles please check out this VMworld blog post.

13 February, 2018

VMworld 2018 Call for Papers!!

So you're a VMworld veteran and feel the time is right to submit your own VMworld session, don't wait any longer!
The VMworld 2018 Call for Papers is now open, you can submit your proposal until March 13th. This call for papers is for VMworld US, VMworld EU or both.

If you want more information please checkout the VMworld submission guidelines and also have a look at the FAQ.

Looking for information around submitting a VMworld proposal that was not covered in this blog post, please have a look at this VMworld blog post.

And remember "Possible begins with You"!

26 October, 2017

NLVMUG Usercon 2018 Call for papers

For the last couple of years the NLVMUG has probably been the biggest thing after VMworld (Europe) if you live in The Netherlands or Belgium.
If you are thinking about presenting, why not give it a try at a VMUG conference, the NLVMUG to be more precise? For less experienced presenters there are Lightning Talks, present to a smaller audience with a time slot of 20 minutes. Or if you want to have a interactive architecture discussion, go for a whiteboard session.

Call for papers is open from October 26 2017 till January 26 2018. Submitting your paper can be done through this link.
If you're not ready to present by yourself, but want to be part of the NLVMUG Usercon on March 20 2018 then register through this link.

The location for this years edition is the same as last year, 1931 Event Center in Den Bosch
And as last year, you can expect next to the well known solution exchange, workshops and breakout sessions, also Lightning Talks, Whiteboard sessions and Group Discussions this year.

For those of you who are attending this NLVMUG Usercon, see you March 20th 2018!

18 September, 2017

VMworld US and Europe 2018 Dates and Locations

VMware confirmed the dates and locations of the 2018 edition of VMworld in both US and Europe.

VMworld US event:

Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas
August 26 - August 30

VMworld Europe event:

Fira Gran Via in Barcelona
November 5 - November 8*

* Please note that the VMworld Europe event is about two months later then this year. So if you already put a blocker in your calendar based on this years dates, make sure to update this ASAP!

I don't have any information why the VMworld Europe event is in November this year. It does not matter for the actual event, however there is less chance that you can enjoy summer days in Barcelona.

21 February, 2017

NLVMUG Usercon 2017

The NLVMUG is probably the biggest thing after VMworld (Europe) if you live in The Netherlands or Belgium and it has been the biggest Usercon in the world for a couple of years in row now.

The location for this years edition is the same as last year, 1931 Event Center in Den Bosch
The way the sessions are scheduled has changed this year, all to be able to have more sessions during the event. You can expect next to the well known solution exchange, workshops and breakout sessions, also Lightning Talks and Group Discussions this year.

Registration is still possible through this link. And the full event agenda is here!

For those of you who are attending this NLVMUG Usercon, see you March 16th 2017!

29 November, 2016

Adding an Tenant Administrator in Multi Tenant vRealize Automation environment gotcha!

While configuring the vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) Managment Pack for vRealize Automation (vRA) I ran into a somewhat strange issue.
The vRA environement was multi-tenant, having one additional tenant (Customer-1) next to the default tenant and to have the vROps Management Pack collect data from both tenants we need to have the same user account across both tenants. In my case an AD user account (service account) would be the account to manage this.
The AD account needs to have to correct vRA roles in each of the tenants:

  • Infrastructure Administrator
  • Tenant Administrator
  • Fabric Group Administrator
  • Software Architect role (vRA 7.0 and later)

Adding this account to the required roles is easy and went without any issue on the default tenant. When doing the same on the Customer-1 tenant adding the account (svc_vra in my screenshot) to the Infrastructure and Tenant Administrator roles I ran into an issue, to complete the action you need to click "Finish".

When I did this it returned an error message and failed to complete successfully:
Another user has already modified the data. Please reload the form and try again.

The only error that could be found in the vRA logging was the following:
it needs both the  vRA domain user add across all tenants, one tentant with error:

com.vmware.vcac.authentication.service.sso.horizon.HorizonTenantManagement.updateUserAttributeDefinitions:265 - Updating user attribute definitions in the tenant 'Customer-1'...
2016-11-29 08:28:33,186 vcac: [component="cafe:identity" priority="ERROR" thread="tomcat-http--32" tenant="vsphere.local" context="7kprPPeo" parent="" token="7kprPPeo"] com.vmware.vcac.platform.rest.client.error.ResponseErrorHandler.handleRestError:113 - [Rest Error]: {Status code: 409}, {Error code: 7} , {Error Source: null}, {Error Msg: Duplicate user attribute definition "manager" for org.}, {System Msg: vidm.userattributedefinition.duplicate}
2016-11-29 08:28:33,189 vcac: [component="cafe:identity" priority="ERROR" thread="tomcat-http--32" tenant="vsphere.local" context="7kprPPeo" parent="" token="7kprPPeo"] com.vmware.vcac.platform.service.rest.resolver.ApplicationExceptionHandler.handleRestException:610 - [Rest Error]: {Status code: 409}, {Error code: 7} , {Error Source: null}, {Error Msg: Duplicate user attribute definition "manager" for org.}, {System Msg: vidm.userattributedefinition.duplicate}
Reffering to AD user attribute "manager" which is additionally added to the default user attributes:

The error message you see in the partial logging above refers to a duplicate user attribute "manager" screenshot, this user attribute is not a default user attribute but additionally added in each of the tenants. Now having this attribute in multiple tenants looks like the cause of my error.
To be sure I removed the user attribute "manager" from the user attribute in the Customer-1 tenant.

After the user attribute "manager"  was removed I could without any issue add the account to the Infrastructure and Tenant Administrator roles.

Note: Don't forget to add the user attribute "manager" back to the user attribute configuration of the tenant.