In our last episode, I wrote about the final construction and initial thoughts on the PC I built to drive my HTC Vive headset. Now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks, it’s time to start talking about my thoughts on the build and on VR. Stick around, it’ll probably be thrilling or at least interesting enough to occupy you for a few minutes in between Pokemon Go captures.
Let me preface this by saying that this is not my first vSphere upgrade. I’m comfortable with the procedures and I’m confident in my ability. I still broke the network. But, like a good admin should, I own up to it. It was my fault. But, also like a good admin, I tracked down the outage and fixed it. Pointing fingers and redirecting blame doesn’t get the packets flowing again. Ok, I’ve got that out of the way so you can’t look upon me with scorn.
It all started during a monthly maintenance cycle. This month, I was deploying a new vCenter 5.5 Server Appliance (VCSA) to replace our non-virtualized Windows 2008 vCenter 5.1 Server. I didn’t really care about historical data, and recreating permissions and so forth is relatively simple in this particular environment, so my plan was to stand up a new VCSA, disconnect the hosts from the old vCenter and connect them to VCSA. Next, I used VUM to upgrade the hosts from 5.1 to 5.5.
Hello, sandwich fans! It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but I have some fresh deli meat for you today. If you recall, last year I wrote a blog post about setting up VMware, Synology, and iSCSI MPIO. It turns out to have been my most-read post so far, for which I thank you. Since I’ve gotten such positive feedback, today I’m going to show you a similar setup, but this time I’m going to use NFS instead of iSCSI.
There are some pretty significant differences between iSCSI and NFS, both in terms of architecture and performance. One big difference is that NFS really doesn’t have support for multi-pathing (MPIO) in the way that iSCSI does. It has a few work-arounds like using alternate subnets and so forth, but for today we’re going to rely on simple failover on the host side with LACP link bonding on the storage side. Later on, we’ll compare the performance to the iSCSI system we built last year.
“Hello, this is tech support. You opened a trouble ticket stating that you had an error message and needed some assistance. Can you elaborate?”
“Yes, it’s broken!”
“What’s broken? Can you tell me what the error message said?”
“I don’t remember.”
“What program were you working in?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Is everything working now?”
“Maybe. I don’t know.”
Does this exchange sound familiar to you? If you’ve spent any time in I.T., then it should. Every day, thousands of I.T. support professionals have to field service calls from users who are extremely intelligent in all other areas of their life, but when sitting in front of a computer they can’t seem to grok the magic screen in front of them. These are people who spend hours a day in front of a keyboard, who have as one of the primary tools of their job one of those mystical computers that only the “gurus” can seem to figure out.
So I had an interesting little problem this morning. I got a call from a fellow engineer asking if something was wrong with our vCenter 5.1 server. He couldn’t log in. Obviously, that’s more than a little concerning so I told him I’d take a look at it. I brought up my client and attempted to sign in and received the following error:
A general system error occurred: Authorize Exception
This wouldn’t be Frank’s Tech Support and Pretty Good Sandwiches without the occasional sangwidge, and since my boss was nagging me to fill this gaping hole in my blog, today I present to you a new twist on an old favorite. I call it the Inside-Out Grilled Cheese.
When I was growing up, my mom always made the regular kind of grilled cheese. You know, two slices of white bread and a couple of slices of Processed American Cheese-Like Substitute And Floor Tiling. I’ll be honest with you, served with a mug of tomato soup, it’s still comfort food and I’ll still make it from time to time. But we’re adults now and sometimes we want more out of our sangwidges. We want them to be Pretty Good, right? They don’t have to be great. I mean, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Do I look like Guy Fieri? No. I do not. You’ll just have to take my word on that. So let’s grill a pretty good cheese.
I hate PowerCLI. There. I said it. I’m not a programmer. I can barely script. My upcoming VCAP exam pretty much requires some proficiency in PowerCLI. Perhaps you see my dilemma. Since I have to know it, I figured I’d better learn it. I decided to get started with something relatively simpe: Backing up my host configs. I’m going to show you how and I’m going to explain the commands.
In one of our data silos, we’ve been using a lot of spreadsheets and manual tracking to manage physical-to-virtual cross-connects between our physical switches and our ESXi hosts. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that up until recently, the silo was using non-Cisco switches and the second is that the licensing on our hosts don’t allow for LLDP, only CDP. We only have Standard licensing and Enterprise is required for distributed switches. Only distributed switches can do LLDP, so we were stuck with a protocol that we couldn’t use with our physical switches. Now that we’re in the process of migrating the silo to some newer hardware, I’m preparing to do a small redesign of our environment.