vCheck for Horizon : small updates & running it (automatically) from ControlUp

Remark : as of the time I was writing this article the vCheck for Horizon  sba hasn’t been published yet. Contact me if you want me to send you the xml file.

Last week I have been doing a few small updates to the vCheck for Horizon. The file with the encrypted password is now replaced by an xml file that holds all of the credentials and is usable directly for Horizon connections. I have been using this for my blog posts and demo’s for a while already. Also I have renamed the security & composer plugins by default to old as those have been deprecated and I don’t want to have them active by default anymore. Further I have done some small changes to other plugins.

Creating the xml file

Running the vCheck from horizon

But but wasn’t the vCheck all about running it automagically?

Creating the xml file

this can be easily done like this:

$creds = get-credential
$creds | export-clixml filename.xml

as you might have seen during my demo’s you can use this $creds object to make a connection.

$creds = import-clixml filename.xml
$server = connect-hvserver connectionserver.fq.dn -credential $creds

Make sure to save this file to a good location and edit the “00 Connection Plugin for View.ps1” file with the proper location. I haven’t completely removed the old ways yet, they’re still partially there.

Running the vCheck script from ControlUp

Before everything else: make sure the machine that will run the vCheck has the latest version of PowerCLI installed. Download it here, and unpack the modules to “C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules” like this:

There are several things that I needed to do before I was able to run the vCheck from the ControlUp console or as an Automated Action (more on this later!). First I needed a way of providing credentials to the script. This is something I do using the Create Credentials for Horizon Scripts script action. If you already use some of the other Horizon related sba’s or the Horizon Sync script you might already have this configured. What it essentially does is creating an xml file as described above in a folder dedicated for ControlUp and usable by the service account that ran the sba. More on this can be found here.

Next was a way to get the vCheck itself. I do this by downloading it from github and unpack the zip file to C:\ProgramData\ControlUp\ScriptSupport\vCheck-HorizonView-master if downloads from the interwebz aren’t available you can download and unzip it yourself, just make sure it looks like this:

Next would be all the settings for email, connection server etcetera. This is all done trough the Script Action Arguments. WHat technically happens is that the Script Action removes both the globalvariables.ps1 and the “00 Connection Plugin for View.ps1” files and recreates them with those settings.

Once you have downloaded the vCheck you can run it manually so right click any random machine and select the vCheck for Horizon.

and fill in all the details you need. If you set the Send Email to false there is no need for the rest of the info.

Once you see this screen the script has completed, make sure to read the last line for the correct status and where you saved to file to.

And on my d:\ I see the file (and some others I used for testing)

And even better I received it in my mail as well

But but wasn’t the vCheck all about running it automagically?

Well yes it is and you can do that starting with version 8.5 that we have announced today! For now it will need to run hourly but in future releases we can also do this once a day. What you need to do for this is first change the default for the script action. Select that sba and hot the modify button.

Under settings you can keep the execution context as console (this will use the monitor when you run it as an automated action) or select other machine to pick a scripting server. Also make sure to select a shared credential that has a Horizon credentials file created on this machine.

Now go to the arguments tab and edit the default settings to set them to what you need.

Before:

Editing the first one

and done, press ok after this.

Now click finalize so the monitors can also use them and go trough all the steps ( no need to share with the community) an dmake sure the ControlUp Monitors have the permissions to run the sba.

Next we go to triggers > add trigger and select the new type: scheduled and click next

select the hourly schedule and a proper start and end time and click next

On the filter criteria make sure that you set the name to a single machine, otherwise the script will run for all machines in your environment. I recommend the same machine you used for the execution context. Keep in mind that the schedule functions just like any other trigger so you need to filter properly to what machine it applies and if you don’t it will apply to all of them.

You can select the folder this machine resides in and/or select a schedule to run the script in.

At the follow-up actions click add and select run an action from the pulldown menu. Under script name select the vCheck for Horizon, click ok and next

Make sure to create a clear name and click finish

The html should automatically end up in the export location and in your email.

 

How to add Rocky Linux (& Other not supported Linux Flavors) to ControlUp

Disclaimer: I am a ControlUp employee but am posting this on my own. We officially only support the Linux flavors here: https://support.controlup.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001497917-Linux-Integration-with-ControlUp

Disclaimer 2: I am NOT a Linux expert, I consider myself a basic user for most Linux things.

With the recent rise of the truly community driven (beta) releases of Rocky Linux I thought it was time to see what would be needed to add Rocky Linux to the ControlUp console. If you want to know more about how and what with Rocky Linux I recommend reading my good friend Angelo Luciani’s blog post here. TLDR: Rocky Linux is a project from one of the CentOS co-founders and is supposed to be enterprise grade once GA is reached.

Adding the linux machines to ControlUp

Fixing Linux to work with ControlUp

Adding linux machines to ControlUp

To compare the process with CentOS 7, 8 and Ubuntu 2004 LTS I have deployed fresh vm’s for these distributions. For Rocky and the CentOS vm’s I selected Server with a GUI, for Ubuntu I picked the default installation. All of them got 1 cpu, 2GB ram and 64GB disk space (overkill, yes I know). I also added the same user to all of them during the deployment. Network wise I just gave them a proper host name and selected dhcp as that was enough for this test.

The setup screen for Rocky Linux

To be able to add unsupported Linux Flavors you need to enable this in Settings > Agents

After deploying all 4 of the vm’s I added them to the ControlUp console with the same Linux Data collector.

I could use another credential that I setup in the past for my domoticz & Unify linux machines, after this click add to add the machines.

I entered the ip range to scan, hit scan, selected the 4 linux machines (note: CentOS 8 is not being reported as a not supported flavor, I have reported a bug for this), click add and hit ok twice.

By default the CentOS 7 machine is the only one working correctly.

if you see some weird negative number for CPU make sure to check your locale settings that it is the same as the regional settings on your Console/Monitor.

Now let’s make sure we get proper metrics in the console 🙂

Fixing Linux machines to work with ControlUp

Rocky Linux needs the same fixes as CentOS 8, Ubuntu needs another step.

  1. Install gcc : for CentOS / Rock
    sudo yum install gcc

    or for Ubuntu

    sudo apt-get install gcc
  2. run
    ps -V
    1. if the output has ps from procps you need to remember the number 6
    2. If the output has ps from procps-ng you need to remember the number 7
  3. Create a file called a.c
    1. run:
      nano a.c

      (or vi, whatever you like)

    2. Add:
      1. #include <stdio.h> 
        int main() 
        {
          printf("6\n");
          return 0;
        }

        replace the 6 with 7 if you had procps-ng in the previous step

    3. save this file
  4. run:
    gcc a.c
  5. run:
    sudo cp a.out /bin/rpm
  6. Install sysstat: For Rocky Linux / CentOS
    sudo yum install sysstat

    or for Ubuntu

    sudo apt-get install sysstat
  7. Reboot ( yes I needed this)

For Rocky Linux and CentOS you’re done

For Ubuntu you will also need to install ifconfig from net-tools before the reboot

  1. run:
    sudo apt-get install net-tools

For me this was enough to have all four of these machines look properly in the ControlUp Console. Remember we might not officially support this way of working but it works good

Adding Nutanix CE CVM nodes & Prism Central VM’s to ControlUp

Take note: at the moment of writing I am preparing to upgrade my Nutanix #vCommunity Edition to the latest version so I am still at version 20191030.415 of AHV. Also be aware that I can’t do any promises on if what I am doing is supported to do on your production Nutanix systems but as long as you don’t install any extra packages it’s just an ssh sessions that pulls some data.

Today I had a call with Samuel Legrand and a potential ControlUp customer where they had some questions about the Nutanix CVM resource usage. Because of that I tried to add the CVM of the Nutanix Community Edition in my lab and that resulted in this tweet:

So yes it’s possible to add the CVM as a monitored Linux Machine in ControlUp and it’s rather easy to do so. Let me show you what to do. To make sure that I don’t try to potentially mess with any CentOS packages I disable the installation of missing packages on Linux machines in the ControlUp console.

Next up is defining a (shared) credential I choose a shared credential so I get to see the data in Insights as well. You do this under Monitor Settings > Domain Identity

Click Add Credentials, use .\nutanix as username (so it’s seen as a local account and not a domain account), fill in the password and make sure the Friendly name is clear for what it is.

Next up we’ll actually add the machines by configuring a Linux Data Collector. Click Linux Data Collector in the ribbon, make up a name and select the credential you just created.

After this click add and use an IP range to scan or work with single IP’s, press scan and click add for the correct systems and hit ok.

Strongly advisable is select a dedicated data collector instead of the Console/Monitor this can be any system that has the ControlUp agent installed. In the Linux Data Collector screen click the arrow for the Connector Options, select ControlUp Console / Monitor and click remove.

Now click add and select the machine you want to use as data collector and click ok twice.

The machines will now be added to the bottom of the tree

Before the next screenshot I moved them into a folder but you can clearly see that things like OS, memory utilization are working. CPU is not and when we tried it with the production systems from the customer they actually gave an error this is most probably caused by the fact that not all required rpm’s are installed. It’s better than nothing though!

When drilling down on the machines to the processes it’s clear what the biggest consumers of processes are for the CVM.

And for Prism Central CE

So with this we could monitor the Nutanix pieces and create triggers for if or when one of the processes would become unavailable or when the entire machine goes down.

Report out of the second Dutch Nutanix User Group Meeting

Last week the second Dutch Nutanix Use Group meeting was held at the Dutch Nutanix offices. I think we managed to get a nice agenda together and even my own session worked great despite it being an experimental way to do, the last one of the day and right after pizza. For the rest I really enjoyed all the presentations and so did the audience from what I gathered. With 41 signups and 27 people showing up it was about what I expected this time of the year.

The agenda with the slidedecks where available:

  • 14:00 –14:30 Registration & Welcome
  • 14:30 –15:00 Keynote: Ruben Spruijt
  • 15:00 –15:45 Community Speaker: Vishwapreet Mahabir (PQR) – Xi Leap & Xi Frame with demo’s – Slidedeck
  • 15:45 –16:00 Break & Refreshments
  • 16:00 –16:45 Community Speaker: Bart Donders (ICT Partners) – Data Management in the real world – Slidedeck
  • 16:45 –17:30 Nutanix Support: Martin Miedema and Mustafa Gulkara – Slidedeck
  • 17:30 –18:30 Networking & Dinner
  • 18:30 –19:15 Interactive Session: Favorite Tooling, Wouter Kursten – Slidedeck
  • 19:15 – 19:30 PM Take-aways & Closing

I am planning on doing the next meeting somewhere in May or June so if you would like to present please contact me. I would also love it if someone would be able to create our own logo because I suck in that department.

For the rest I can only share a boatload of tweets with pictures and the video that Preet made.

https://twitter.com/rspruijt/status/1200108366846201857

https://twitter.com/VNMahabir/status/1200142664114544640

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Dutch] Inschrijvingen voor de tweede Nederlandse Nutanix User Group meeting zijn geopend

Op 28 november zal in Hoofddorp in de tweede Nederlandse Nutanix User Group meeting gehouden worden. In het mooie nieuwe kantoor van Nutanix hebben we een mooi programma samen kunnen stellen.

Schrijf je hier in: https://events.nutanix.com/event/?id=1571327994-5da88ffab8960-5db058b9652ac

  • 14:00 –14:30 Registration & Welcome
  • 14:30 –15:00 Keynote: Ruben Spruijt
  • 15:00 –15:45 Community Speaker: Vishwapreet Mahabir (PQR) – Xi Leap & Xi Frame with demo’s
  • 15:45 –16:00 Break & Refreshments
  • 16:00 –16:45 Community Speaker: Bart Donders (ICT Partners) – Data Management in the real world
  • 16:45 –17:30 Nutanix Support: Martin Miedema and Mustafa Gulkara
  • 17:30 –18:30 Networking & Dinner
  • 18:30 –19:15 Interactive Session: Favorite Tooling, Wouter Kursten
  • 19:15 – 19:30 PM Take-aways & Closing

Hopelijk zie ik je 28 november in Hoofddorp!

Nutanix .Next 2019 Copenhagen Day 2

And Nutanix .Next 2019 is already over. Today I enjoyed the first Keynote again from the Executive lounge and hit the community booth afterwards. I don’t think there was a lot of really new tech in the keynote but I liked seeing it anyway. The interview with Caroline Wozniacki was great she sound like a very humble and down to earth person to me.

In the community area we had way too much fun distributing the 100’s of Nutanix Design Guides that where shipped to Copenhagen. So much fun that I actually forget to go to the sessions where I wanted to go but hey I met some nice people and really felt like Operah with giving away those books.

The closing keynote had two parts, the first with Dr. Katie Boumann who worked on creating the image of the black hole the last few year. I barely understood 20% of what she was saying but I loved hearing about the process. The second part was with Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones, while I never really liked the show I loved hearing all of his stories.

And see you next year in Paris!

Nutanix .Next 2019 Copenhagen Day 1

Having arrived in Copenhagen on Sunday I have had plenty of time to go for some sightseeing but yesterday things really started for me at the Nutanix .Next event in Copenhagen. I haven’t done any sessions to be honest but had a full schedule anyway. First we started of at the keynote with the NTC’s getting a shoutout from marketing Chief Ben Gibson and one of us on just before at the celebration of 10 years of Nutanix: Andrea Mauro. Several announcements where made during the keynote like Metro availability for AHV, one minute RPO for Xi Leap and ESXi availability for Xi Leap as well. For me the highlight was Julie O’Brien (VP of marketing ) doing a tech demo on stage.

What followed after the keynote was a lot of networking and offcourse the yearly NTC lunch. While it was only a small group it actually was great to catch up with everyone. Too bad Angelo didn’t have a microphone because he was singing with the music as usual.

In the afternoon I did a roundtable session about a new type of certification that Nutanix is exploring. This was with a small group of ntc’s and I have to say the discussions where great and what is actually the future of us engineers and what does an engineer actually do?

For the evening keynote Angelo got us in the executive lounge (that hadn’t been used a lot during the day according to some of the staff). Too bad the part with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike wasn’t broadcasted but they made up for that at the awesome party in the evening. They did a great set with lots of oldskool music that got the croud really going.

(yes my smartphone can’t handle 120+db’s of music)

 

Looking forward to Nutanix .Next in Copenhagen

This year will mark my third visit to the European Nutanix .Next conf, this time in lovely Copenhagen. This year though will be my first time as the Nutanix User Group Champion for The Netherlands. While the sessions will be awesome I am mostly looking forward to meeting the international #vCommunity once again.

My trip will start Sunday evening since the airfield closes to home only flies to Copenhagen on Sunday evening or Monday morning at cr*p o clock. This means I have spare time on onday and Tuesday that I will spend sightseeing if the weather permits. Hopefully I can get some people together to do a guided bicycle ride through town.

If you want to meet up during the event than hit me p on Twitter or look at the community area, there’s a good chance of seeing me there. I will be trying to visit a variety of sessions from architectural deep dives to new technology like Nutanix Mine with a side meal of IoT and the Edge. And I am certainly looking forward to the closing keynote because it sounds like it will be awesome. Maybe not as awesome as the keynote with Dr. Jane Goodall but that one is hard to top anyway.

So will I see you at .Next for some coffee and stroopwafels?

 

 

vExpert 2019? check! Why does it matter for me?

Last week whilst on holiday in Disneyland Paris I received the email every aspiring and existing vExpert was waiting for.

This means that for the fourth consecutive year I have been named a vExpert.

What is a vExpert? (or any other community award like NutanixNTC)

Per the vExpert site the criteria for becoming a vExpert are:

If you are interested in becoming a vExpert the criteria is simple. We are looking for IT Professionals who are sharing their VMware knowledge and contributing that back to the community. The term “giving back” is defined as going above and beyond your day job. There are several ways to share your knowledge and engage with the community. Some of those activities are blogging, book authoring, magazine articles, CloudCred task writing, active in facebook groups, forum (VMTN as well as other non VMware) platforms, public speaking, VMUG leadership, videos and so on.

I totally agree on the above description, for me a real vExpert shares knowledge in one of many ways. But blogging, speaking, tweeting, podcasting, writing isn’t the only way. We answer questions online and offline and if we don’t know the answer than we have an awesome backstop to ask questions called the vCommunity. Is it technical only you might ask? Absolutely not! I have seen hundreds of job changes by now because of the vCommunity. People were helped with personal issues, hell even home deco tips and tricks are shared. I think it’s just in our nature to help one another.

Yes it’s also about advocacy but the sharing of information is all voluntary. Do you want to tweet or blog about stuff? No-one will force you but they do appreciate it if you share news.

One things advocacy program members are also good at is providing feedback. Not only to the software vendor but if you want some feedback about a possible blog post, presentation idea, news item or piece of hardware most of us will give you that feedback. Just be prepared because we can be brutally honest if it sucks!

But there are over 1700 vExperts, is it about quantity or Quality?

This is a point where I personally disagree on how the program is run. I have the idea that they want to grow just to grow and for me the selection criteria could be tightened quite a bit. I value growing but please do it by adding quality. If you look at smaller programs like some of the vExpert subprograms or others like the VMware EUC Champions or Nutanix NTC’s they are most times better managed, get more briefings, nda information and events. Not that the vExpert program is managed badly or doesn’t have an awesome party at VMworld but things just get more complicated at this scale.

But does the program still matter to you?

It certainly does! Through the vExpert program I have managed to grow personally and professionally but also made boatloads of friends online and offline. All the extra’s like licenses, swag and things like that are fun but nothing is as good as knowing you have some great people who are always happy to help you in any way possible!

I want in too, how do I become a vExpert?

Currently the sign ups are closed but until they open again (probably somewhere in June) you can start doing some things already:

  • Start a blog, most people do it as their own knowledge base. Write about what you experienced at work or a customer so you won’t forget it for next time.
  • Get a twitter account, follow a bunch of people and interact with them.
  • Help others out in places like VMTN, Reddit.
  • Present at a vmug or at your employer about things that could be interesting to others. This could be as basic as explaining how your homelab is setup.

If you need help or feedback on your blog or need help on how to build your presentation I am always happy to provide my 2 cents.

When the sign ups are opened again contact your local vExpert pro with how to tackle the application form. You can also ask me or any other vExpert you might know personally.

All new Nutanix Test Drive now available

The last few weeks I was invited to and involved with beta testing of the all new Google Cloud based Nutanix Test Drive running AOS. Previously it was hosted on Ravello and running on a version of the Community Edition. When you go to http://nutanix.com/testdrive just enter your details and you’ll be running in no-time. Please make sure that you copy the admin password from the next page. You should also receive an email with these credentials but you never know with the spam filters these days.

After this you can hit the start test drive button, accept the next certificate warning and you’re set to run the testdrive. Use admin as username and the provided password to log on.

First you will get a guided tour through the basic features and when you finish that you will probably have about an hour and 50 minutes of the original 2 hours left.

Personally I was amazed with the speed of the testdrive. I have no idea where it is hosted but it was full steam ahead from start to finish. The console you get is the basic Prism console for a cluster, not Prism Central that allows you to manage multiple clusters.