Today VMware has released the latest release of vCenter Chargeback Manager. Although this release is more an update than a completely new one that doesn’t mean it comes without new features, on the contrary. The full list of new features and more information about 2.6 release of Chargeback can be found on its Release Notes. Some of the most interesting are:

  • Compatibility with 5.5 versions of vSphere and vCloud Director
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard support as host operating system
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 s supported database

However amongst every other new feature the one that has immediately captured my attention is that finally the vCenter Server Appliance vPostgres embedded database is supported. For me it is a very welcomed new addition, combining CBM 2.6 with vCSA 5.5 you can now manage the cost of your vSphere environment without the need of having an external Oracle database or a Windows-based vCenter Server.

In the Add a New vCenter Server dialog you will notice that Postgres now appears as an option.

image

For this option there no need to configure database user, instance or port; just provide vCSA IP/FQDN, root user password and we are done.

image

When the process is completed the newly configured vCenter Server and its database can be checked as always in the settings tab.

image

Juanma.

I found this error last week during a deployment in a customer. The vCenter Infrastructure Navigator appliance does not maintain its configured hostname after a reboot, it gets reset to the default localhost.localdom value.

image

Setting it again in the administration web interface doesn’t solve problem, it will be lost again after the next reboot.

The problem is in the vami_set_hostname script, it has a HOSTNAME variable set to localhost.localdom and if it fails to make the reverse lookup of the hostname from the IP address using the host command it will be set to the default value.

image

To fix this edit that file, it can be found on /opt/vmware/share/vami, and set the value of the variable to your hostname. After that reboot the appliance to check that everything works as expected.

Juanma.

I thought it would be worthy to write a quick post to show the script I’ve been using to create CBM databases in customers installations. The original script wasn’t mine, honestly I don’t know who wrote it, and I’ve modified it to suit my needs.

Just remember to adjust the path of the files, its size, the usernames and password to your environment standards. Hope you find it helpful.

Juanma.

After the previous article about SSL certificate generation in Chargeback I decided that it was worth to write a couple more tips in a second blog post. This is not a “how to install…” or “how to configure…” post. There are other bloggers in the community that have written about it before so I believe there is no point on repeating the same.

Database configuration

At one point the CBM installer will ask for the database details, apparently nothing to worry about. Except for the following:

  • Port: It says is optional but if you don’t enter the port the connection will fail. The default port is 1433 but of course fill it with the value from your installation.

image

Adding a vCenter Server

The first task you want to perform after Chargeback installation is to add a vCenter Server, in theory pretty easy until you get to the database screen. It is very important to remember that in the Database URL field you only need to put the database server IP address as shown in the screen capture.

image

Juanma.

This year edition of VMworld Europe 2013 is gone. For second time it was held in Barcelona, one of most beautiful cities of Spain, and for the second time I was there to enjoy a great week… and what a week.

If you weren’t under a rock during last week you are probably aware of the announcements in the cloud management space, with new upcoming releases for vC Ops, ITBM and vCAC just to name some. Or the announcement of VMware NSX going GA and the tech preview of vSAN.

Regarding the announced vCAC 6.0 the attendees had a glimpse of its awesomeness in the Hands-on Labs since the HOL-SDC-1321 lab was based on 6.0 Beta bits. vCAC 6.0 was also featured in a very well executed keynote by Kit Colbert and our EMEA CTO Joe Baguley on Wednesday morning, showing from all the new features in the portal to the integration with VMware vCHS and other public cloud providers.

I am genuinely excited about this new vCloud Automation Center release and will come back with more articles about my experience with it in the future. In the meantime my friend and colleague Omer has done a nice article in his blog Elastic Skies about what’s new.

But that’s only one side of the coin, for me the most important aspect of VMworld is the Community. This is the only time of the year I have the opportunity to hang face to face with many of the people I already consider my friends, this is I’m not sales, marketing or social media, I am a consultant as you all know and that means that I’m always in the field doing engagements for customers and having lots of fun of course but that leave me no time or even the chance to attend tech conferences… besides VMworld :-)

And this year has been AWESOME!

I had again the opportunity of attending several parties. Parties are always sponsored by several companies, like Cisco, EMC or Simplivity, but in some of them the sense of community is omnipresent.

Take the vRockstar Party for example, held on Sunday evening at the Hard Rock Cafe. That really was a community event, the perfect moment to share a few beers (more than a few actually ;D) a good conversations and strength your friendship with the other members of the community. Or the GeekFest on Tuesday night, again at the Hard Rock and sponsored by EMC, Cisco and VMware. Oh man that party was really great with amazing food and beer and many many friends from all around the world there.

But for me the best example this year was the #BeerTweetup organized by Hans De Leenheer (@HansDeLeenheer) and sponsored by Simplivity. IMHO that was a true community event, no marketing, no vendor swag, just good Belgium beer, great talking and good company.

But hey it wasn’t all about the parties, at least no during the night you know, seriously parties are amazing but it was the only part of the fun. During all day, for three days, some of the most active and prominent members of the VMware community were spreading the word in the Community Lounge. I’m taking about the guys of #vBrownbag or James Bowling (@vsential) and his Operation: Through my eyes series of videos or Craig Waters (@cswaters1) who interviewed many other vExperts for his blog.

Also for me this VMworld has been very special since I had the opportunity to contribute to the community besides of this blog, and of my awesome drinking skills of course ;D My friend Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja) finally manage to got me into her video podcast Engineers Unplugged, Amy and his team really know how to bring social media and community to a different level. As my “opponent” I had Matthew Yeager himself (@mpyeager) from EMC and we had tons of fun recording it and talking about cloud management, APIs and the Software Defined Datacenter. As soon as Amy gets the video up in the show YouTube channel I will feature it here.

My final though is if next year you have the opportunity of going to VMworld, either US or Europe, take it and show up in the community lounge to have some good conversations with the great people there, show your support to that people, get into the parties and enjoy the conference. You won’t regret it, surely I didn’t :-)

Juanma.

vCenter Chargeback Manager gives you the possibility during the installation process to generate an SSL certificate. But this certificate is generated with an expiration period of 60 days.

No problem with that, you can always regenerate it again. Actually Chargeback provides the mechanism to do it. The process can be launched from the vCenter Chargeback Manager Tools folder as it can be seen in the screenshot below.

CBM_generate_SSL

However this new certificate will come with the same limitation of 60 days of valid period. To easily avoid that we only need to edit the .bat file that generates the certificate and modify the correspondent value.

The script is called Generate_Ssl_Certificate.bat and can be found C:\Program Files(x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Chargeback\Apache2.2\bin.

image

Edit the file using your favorite text editor, in my case I’m using Notepad++, and go to line number 72 as in the capture.

image

Change the –days flag from 60 to your desired value, in the example the value is 365 this is the certificate will expire in one year.

After we can launch the generation process. The batch file will open a cmd window, stop the CBM Load Balancer service and asks for the passphrase of default.key. You’ll have to enter it three times and after that the process will ask for information about the State, City, common name (usually the server FQDN), company name, email, etc.

image

After that it will generate the new certificate and will start Load Balancer services.

image

Juanma.

Well it’s been a while since my last post, near nine months. Too much time for any author that really wants to maintain its site more or less alive.  I’m sure that many of my loyal readers thought that I decided to abandon the blog, specially those that also follow my steps on Twitter where I have not been very active either.

What can I say? Working for VMware is without any doubt one of the most awesome and mind-blowing experiences I’ve ever had! During these months I’ve been involved in some really big vCloud engagements, had the opportunity to work with vCAC, vCloud, Chargeback, vC Ops and vCO in an everyday basis and have learn tons of new cool things. I’ve finally started a personal and professional transition from an infrastructure role to an automation and development focused one.

And I’ve been awarded as VMware vExpert for third year! :D

Honestly being a consultant at PSO is amazing but it’s also a very exhausting and time consuming job, there are always lots of new interesting things to do but not enough time available to try and test every crazy stuff you find, write on the blog, do your job and attend your family. As you can imagine not spending time with my family is completely out of the question and I have to admit that closing the blog has crossed my mind a couple of times. Instead I’ve decided to organize better the rest of my life and try to find time every week to write a couple of posts.

I really enjoy write about my experiences at work, time will tell if I am able to keep my promise, I really hope so :)

Juanma.

I got aware of this issue last week after installing a Fedora 18 virtual machine on Fusion 5. The installation of the Tools went as expected but when the install process launched the vmware-tools-config,pl script I got the typical error of not being able to find the Linux Kernel headers.

Searching for a valid kernel header path...
The path "" is not a valid path to the 3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64 kernel headers.
Would you like to change it? [yes]

I installed the kernel headers and devel packages with yum.

[root@fed18 ~]# yum install kernel-headers kernel-devel

Fired up again the configuration script and got the same error. The problem is that snce kernel 3.7 all the kernel header files have been relocated to a new path and because of that the script is not able to find them. To solve it just create a symlink of the version.h file from the new location to the old one.

[root@fed18 src]# ln -s /usr/src/kernels/3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64/include/generated/uapi/linux/version.h /lib/modules/3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64/build/include/linux/

With the problem fixed I launched the config script again and the tools finally got configured without problems.

[root@fed18 ~]# vmware-config-tools.pl 
Initializing...

Making sure services for VMware Tools are stopped.
Stopping Thinprint services in the virtual machine:
 Stopping Virtual Printing daemon: done
Stopping vmware-tools (via systemctl): [ OK ]

The VMware FileSystem Sync Driver (vmsync) allows external third-party backup 
software that is integrated with vSphere to create backups of the virtual 
machine. Do you wish to enable this feature? [no]

Before you can compile modules, you need to have the following installed...
make
gcc
kernel headers of the running kernel

Searching for GCC...
Detected GCC binary at "/bin/gcc".
The path "/bin/gcc" appears to be a valid path to the gcc binary.
Would you like to change it? [no]

Searching for a valid kernel header path...
Detected the kernel headers at 
"/lib/modules/3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64/build/include".
The path "/lib/modules/3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64/build/include" appears to be a 
valid path to the 3.7.2-204.fc18.x86_64 kernel headers.
Would you like to change it? [no]

Juanma.

Installing the vCloud adapter, or any vC Ops adapter, is a relatively easy task as we will explain in this post.

Firstly you need to download the adapter from ftp.integrien.com. Choose the .PAK file.

image

Once it is downloaded log into vC Ops Admin UI (/admin”>https://<vcops-ui-vm>/admin). From the Update tab browse for the downloaded file and click Update.

image

It will ask for confirmation and the will present you the EULA. Accept it and click OK.

image

Will ask for confirmation again.  During the updating process you will be automatically logged out from the Administration Portal, will be unable to log back in until the update is done.

The update process can take a few minutes so grab a coffee and wait until it’s done.

image

Once the vCloud Adapter installation is done proceed to vC Ops Custom UI (/custom”>https://<vcops-ui-vm>/custom). From the Admin menu go to Support.

image

In the support screen open the Info tab, look for the Adapters Info pane and click the Describe gear button.

image

When the describe process is finished refresh the page to check for the adapter presence. Match the adapter version with the build number of the downloaded package.

image

At this point the adapter is installed, now we are going to configure it to collect from our vCloud instance.

From the Environment menu select Configuration –> Adapter Instances. Select the vC Ops Server collector and the vCloud adapter from the drop down menus. Click on Add New Adapter Instance.

image

Fill out he fields from the pop-up window. For the IP/Hostname field the public address of the vCloud can be used if a REST API base URL has been assigned.

image

Remember to set the Auto Discovery option to true unless you want to force the discovery manually.

At this point there will be no credential available from the drop down menu. Click Add to create it.

image

Click OK and the vCloud Adapter should be configured and collecting. To test it go to Environment –> Environment Overview. In the left pane look for vCloud related Resource Kind, select anyone and look for new resources with a vCloud Data Source in the right pane.

image

Following this procedure any vCenter Operations Manager relationship adapter can be installed and almost configure, have in mind that of course there will be differences in the credentials and the adapter specifics.

Juanma.

VMworld 2012 – Day -1

October 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

This year I finally manage to go to VMworld. It’s been held in the beautiful Barcelona, just a few hundred kilometers from Madrid, and now that the event is gone, the dust has settled and everybody is back at home I decided to share my experiences from the conference in a few blog posts. Also don’t expect technical posts but personal ones :-)

My personal VMworld really started on Sunday morning when after a short flight from Madrid I headed to the conference venue.

IMG_20121007_103330

There I found three of my colleagues from VMware Spain preparing to work as Lab Staff for the next four days. I took the below picture while we were waiting out of the HOL room, from left to right Jesus Huerta, Marti Perarnau and Carlos Sen.

IMG_20121007_132751

During the afternoon the HOL Staff and other VMware employees willing to do to labs were allowed to do so. I jumped in and choose the Application Director 5.0 lab, I’ve been trying to find some free time to taste App Director and finally I could.

I was impressed with the product. All the creation process was very straightforward and in the end I had an application with a vFabric Web Server at the frontend, vFabric tc Server as the middleware layer and vFabric vPostgres as the backend. Finally the lab allow me to scale out the app in order to attend a fictitious higher demand. Like I said very easy.

After my satisfactory lab experience I moved to the Solutions Exchange area where all the booths were being built. The transformation process is really amazing. One day there is nothing and a couple of days later… Voila!

Before continuing with the story I have to say that during all day I was tweeting like crazy trying to get in touch with Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja) and Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell), both from Cisco, and after a couple of funny moments with Amy showing my Twitter avatar to other VMware staff at the labs we were capable to meet and start the preparations for the evening.

Also thanks to Amy and after walking a bit through the Solutions Exchange area I was able to find my dear friend Fred Nix (@NixFred) from EMC.

IMG_20121009_123749

We’ve been trying to meet in real life for almost two years without any luck so for me this was a very special moment. The above picture is from Tuesday when the VMworld was “on fire” but I believe it illustrates how funny and awesome is this dude :D

vRockStar Party

Amy, Josh and myself left the conference in the great company of Patrick Carmichael (@VMCarmichael), like yours truly from VMware, and headed to the vRockStar Party. This awesome party was organized by Patrick Redknap (@PatrickRedknap), Marco Broeken (@MBroeken) and sponsored by PHD VirtualNimbleStorage, the DutchVMUG and ITQ, the company my friend Arjan Timmerman (@Arjantim) works for, and of course he was at the Hard Rock too.

We arrived at Plaza Catalunya by bus and from there we felt brave enough to walk a couple of klicks to the Barcelona Hard Rock Café, where the vRockStar Party was going to be celebrated. After a very long and funny walk with me trying to help Josh to improve his Spanish, and Josh and me complaining about Patrick navigation skills, we arrived at Hard Rock Café. We meet there the one and only J Mezt (@drjmetz) and the party begun…

IMG_20121007_185722IMG_20121007_185552IMG_20121007_191651IMG_20121007_193842IMG_20121007_202703IMG_20121007_204114IMG_20121007_214559IMG_20121007_222950

Lots of beer, geek talk and great friends. You can’t ask more from a party.

Juanma.