TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VMware Introduces New Open Source Projects to Accelerate Enterprise Adoption of Cloud-Native Applications

Last week I was fortunate enough to be part of a blogger early access program covering VMware’s  announcement around two new open source projects built to enable enterprise adoption of cloud-native applications

 

– Project Lightwave, an identity and access management project that will extend enterprise-scale and security to cloud-native applications

– Project Photon, a lightweight Linux operating system optimized for cloud-native applications.

 

Below is more information about the two projects and the awesome abilities they are opening to VMware customers and the ability for cloud native applications:

 

Project Lightwave will be the industry’s first container identity and access management technology that extends enterprise-ready security capabilities to cloud-native applications. The distributed nature of these applications, which can feature complex networks of microservices and hundreds or thousands instances of applications, will require enterprises to maintain the identity and access of all interrelated components and users. Project Lightwave will add a new layer of container security beyond container isolation by enabling companies to enforce access control and identity management capabilities across the entire infrastructure and application stack, including all stages of the application development lifecycle. In addition, the technology will enable enterprises to manage access control so that only authorized users will be capable of running authorized containers on authorized hosts through integration with a container host runtime such as Project Photon. Features and capabilities will include:

  • Centralized Identity Management – Project Lightwave will deliver single sign-on, authentication, and authorization using name and passwords, tokens and certificates to provide enterprises with a single solution for securing cloud-native applications.
  • Multi-tenancy – Project Lightwave’s multi-tenancy support will enable an enterprise’s infrastructure to be used by a variety of applications and teams.
  • Open Standards Support – Project Lightwave will incorporate multiple open standards such as Kerberos, LDAP v3, SAML, X.509 and WS-Trust, and is designed to interoperate with other standards-based technologies in the data center.
  • Enterprise-ready scalability – Project Lightwave is being built with a simple, extensible multi-master replication model allowing horizontal scalability while delivering high performance.
  • Certificate authority and key management – Project Lightwave will simplify certificate-based operations and key management across the infrastructure.

 

Project Photon, a natural complement to Project Lightwave, is a lightweight Linux operating system for containerized applications. Optimized for VMware vSphere® and VMware vCloud® Air™ environments, Project Photon will enable enterprises to run both containers and virtual machines natively on a single platform, and deliver container isolation when containers run within virtual machines. Future enhancements to this project will enable seamless portability of containerized applications from a developer’s desktop to dev/test environments. Features and capabilities include:

  • Broad Container Solutions Support – Project Photon supports Docker, rkt and Garden (Pivotal) container solutions enabling customers to choose the container solution that best suits their needs.
  • Container Security – Project Photon offers containerized applications increased security and isolation in conjunction with virtual machines as well as authentication and authorization through integration with Project Lightwave enabling customers to further secure their applications to the container layer.
  • Flexible Versioning and Extensibility – An industry-first, Project Photon provides administrators and enterprise developers with extensibility and flexibility over how to best update their container host runtime by supporting both rpm for image-based system versioning, and a yum-compatible, package-based lifecycle management system, allowing for fine-grained package management.

Today, Pivotal also announced Lattice which packages open source components from Cloud Foundry for deploying, managing and running containerized workloads on a scalable cluster. Together, VMware and Pivotal will provide end-to-end cloud-native solutions from infrastructure to applications. VMware’s resilient infrastructure for cloud-native applications complements Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry application platform solutions.

To encourage broad feedback and testing from customers, partners, prospects, and the community at large, Project Photon and Project Lightwave will be released as open source projects. By open sourcing the software, developers will be able to contribute directly to the projects to help drive increased product interoperability and new features. Project Photon is available for download today through GitHub. Project Photon has been packaged as a Vagrant box so users can easily test its capabilities on any platform. The Photon Vagrant box is available for download through HashiCorp’s Atlas here. Project Lightwave is expected be made available for download later in 2015.

 

I’m really looking forward to learning more about these projects and trying them out once they are released. With the popularity of docker it’s no wonder VMware decided they needed to start integrating with the technologies.

 

Gregg


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vRA 6.1 Entitlement Actions Missing

A quick posting around a problem I was experiencing at my current customer where if we went into entitlements, chose a service and tried to add an entitled action, the list was missing a number of actions and seemed as if it had only installed actions up to D.

 

To fix the problem all that the needed to be done was to open command prompt as an administrator on the machine your Model Manager Data service is installed on (for mine this was the IaaS Web servers) and to run the following commands:

 

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\Model Manager Data\Cafe

 

Vcac-Config.exe registercatalogtypes –v

 

The command will run and once completed successfully will say “Command succeeded”

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Now all your entitled actions should be there for allocation.


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VCDX Spotlight : Joe Clarke

Name: Joe Clarke

Twitter Handle: @elgwhoppo

Blog URL: www.elgwhoppo.com

Current Employer: Rolta AdvizeX

VCDX #: 138


How did you get into using VMware?

Started leveraging it when the company I worked for started a P2V project in 3.X days.


What made you decide to do the VCDX?

The desire to become the first VCDX at my company, and a little bit of notoriety as well.


How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

Start to finish, it probably took me 6 months. Writing that documentation definitely took several full Saturdays at the office.


What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

DO IT. You will learn more than you ever imagined, pass or fail. Get ready for a rough period of time however, you will be consuming a lot of personal time.

http://elgwhoppo.com/2014/07/13/how-the-path-to-vcdx-will-change-you/


If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

Thinking back, I probably would have perhaps relaxed on my documentation a little, but that’s only because I think I perhaps did too much. For example, I literally spelled out every single design consideration and rationale that I encountered with a full pros and cons matrix. That may have been a little over the top, but hey, it sure helped me make sure I knew why I had decided something.


Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

The VCDX was a definite “market value adjustment” talking point in my yearly review. It also started a domino effect, and we now have 2 other VCDXs at the company in total, with several more studying currently for 2015 defenses. Completely worth it, highly recommend.


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VCDX Spotlight: Samir Roshan

Name: Samir Roshan

Twitter Handle: @kooltechies

Blog URL: http://thinkingloudoncloud.com

Current Employer: Nutanix

VCDX #: 124


How did you get into using VMware?

It’s been more than a decade of my adventure and journey with VMware and Virtualization. I started using VMware workstation as a customer in 2004 when I was working for Safenet. One day I got a call from a recruiter hiring for EMC2 in their project team which was working on VMware products. At that time VMware was not an independent company in India and it was still under the banner of EMC2. I was so impressed by Workstation back then that I decided to go ahead and joined them in 2005 then I moved from New Delhi to Bangalore. I spent around 8 years working in 3 different teams of VMware in two stints. The most recent was as a Senior TAM where I was leading the TAM practice for India and SAARC before joining Nutanix.


What made you decide to do the VCDX?

For me it was about the next level and being a better technical person in the journey. When I look back at my journey I think it was all well worth the effort.


How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

The roots of my journey dates back to 2009 when VMware launched the advanced exams for VCDX. I was working in VMware R&D back then as Lead in the CPD team. My curiosity in the exam was due to the fact that it was the next level in VMware cert having achieved VCP and VCI I thought to conquer this exam. So I decided to take the exam on 3rd October 2009 and I got my results 17 days later with a score that I passed.

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I was very serious about getting VCDX that I decided to leave my excellent job in VMware R&D and moved to IBM Software Labs in a consulting role. I knew that I can’t do VCDX without having a consulting/design experience. However I couldn’t pursue other necessary certification for next 2 years. Then in 2011 an excellent opportunity again knocked on my doors, I got a call for a position of Senior Consultant in VMware PSO when VMware started their consulting business in India. I grabbed the opportunity and started as the first consultant in the VMware PSO India team.

This was an excellent platform for me to start the journey again but at this time the VCDX was at version 4. I needed to take the same journey again so I cleared VCP 4, VCAP DCA, and VCAP DCD. I couldn’t focus on creating a VCDX proof design in that time period.

Then VCDX5 was announced and I thought lets do it on version 5, same process again, I cleared all the prerequisites and then started working on my design. This time I got it through; I paired with one of my colleagues Shankar Garikapati for the design and then we both submitted our design. It took 5 months from completing all the prerequisites, working on the design and then clearing the Defense.


What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

Don’t loose the sight on the goal, even though it’s the toughest and will take a longer time. Remember there is no glory in achieving something simple and timid. When you feel like quitting remember why you started.

I like the below quote by Mario Andretti

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

VCDX is such a goal and you need to be prepare well, you have to pace yourself through the journey. You have to make sure that you are not burning yourself through the process it’s all about learning at each and very step.


If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

I would not change anything much. I did what I could do best by keeping my work life balance. I didn’t burn myself and was able to spend time with my family and my newborn Son.

I was fortunate enough to pass in my first attempt and I am thankful to my family for that. Being the first VCDX in India was a special feeling for sure. I can’t forget the below message on 4th Nov 2013 by Mark Brunstad.

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The first thing I did was to touch the feet of my Mother/Father for their blessings and thanked God (It’s an Indian thing you can say ;-)).

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

VCDX is worth every second, every minute every hour, every day that you spent on doing it. The VCDX process changed my perspective on many things, made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Made me a confident person, again it’s not the tag it’s the whole journey that’s matter.


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VCDX Spotlight: Magnus Edh

Name: Magnus Edh

Twitter Handle: @vTerahertz

Current Employer: VMware

VCDX #: 140


How did you get into using VMware?

I started working with VI3 back in 2008. We were looking for a new way of deploying servers for internal use but also for our customers as the number of physical servers was growing fast, but the rack space remained the same.


What made you decide to do the VCDX?

It was a personal challenge for me, to see if I had what it took to reach that kind of level. I also saw it also as a great learning experience as I knew that a lot of different areas needed to be covered in depth.

How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

From start to finish it took around 10 months. And in parallel of doing the VCDX design I was also studying for both the VCAP-DCA and DCD exams, which in itself, was a challenging task. So in the end there was a lot for writing, a lot of reading, a lot of thinking, some sleeping, and a lot of preparation/mock defences for the main defence.

What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

Follow the blueprint, know all the “why” in your design, and say “Yes, I can!”

If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

I would not do the VCAPs or the equivalent certifications at the same time when preparing a VCDX design that’s for sure.

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

A nice change after I got my number was that I didn’t need to set an early alarm clock on the weekends any more. And it was a very interesting feeling to know that I was the second VCDX in the Nordic. Was it worth it? Oh yes, it was absolutely worth it, every minute I spend doing it. You learn so much during the journey and quickly realize that it never stops.


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VCDX Spotlight – Alexander Thoma

Name: Alexander Thoma

Twitter Handle: @vcdx026

Current Employer: VMware

VCDX #: 26


How did you get into using VMware?

It was during my time @Novell, when we had to deal with a lot of complex customer scenarios in PSO. We were using Virtual PC from Connectix those days. When they were acquired by Microsoft®, Novell internally switched to VMware Workstation – that was 2003.


What made you decide to do the VCDX?

It was a logical step since it was a blueprint of what I was doing for my customers in PSO in those days. We were told to sit the beta version of the 2 required multiple choice tests with no notice during an offsite in southern France. Still remember Duncan sitting with me in the same room … and it was a real beta ;-)


How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

Originally I was planned to be in the first group of 10-15 people doing the defences, but due to my busy schedule I was not feeling comfortable to be able to prepare my design in 10 business days. So it took me about 3 months to prepare.


What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

The first and utmost important thing is to accept that this certification will require experience. It will be very hard to achieve with little or no experience in the field actually doing design work.

Secondly I strongly recommend taking your time to prepare, do not rush anything or spend all your spare time with the application. Better go for the next defence round then burning out on trying to meet unrealistic timelines.


If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

I have been able to sit on more than 90 defence panels and the amount of knowledge that I have gained through this about different ways to design, think and communicate is endless. My new journey would be far better planned, organized and structured. And would take much more time.

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

I have not done a lot of things in my life that made such a difference for my career, but also for me as a person. In VMware PSO I was promoted to Consulting Architect (during that time it was a hard requirement to be VMware Certified Design Expert). In addition to that it has opened so many doors, enabled so many opportunities to influence the way the company would evolve that I can only strongly recommend anyone to pursue this certification.


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VCDX Spotlight: Jason Shiplett

Name: Jason Shiplett

Twitter Handle: @jshiplett

Blog URL: https://blog.shiplett.org

Current Employer : VMware

VCDX #: #183


How did you get into using VMware?

I started using VMware products with a VDI project at my employer, an equipment manufacturer with around 500 users, in 2007. I went to the VMware Infrastructure 3 Fast Track class, which was a 5-day course that combined “Install and Configure” and “Deploy, Secure, and Analyze” courses into one jam-packed week. This was definitely more information than I was prepared to absorb at the time – I was really just a helpdesk tech with no real server administration experience to my name. After the training, I hit the books and tried my best to learn as much as I could. After a couple of months, I took and passed the VCP3 exam in early 2008, which was my first technical certification.

A year or so after that, I took what experience I had gained during the design and pilot of that VDI system, and parlayed it into a full time VMware admin job on the east coast.

I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my first mentor, Rusty Hilim (@fordman_069 on Twitter). He provided leadership and oversight for me when I honestly had no business doing work at the level I was. I absolutely wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have without his mentorship in the early days. I’m forever grateful.


What made you decide to do the VCDX?

In a nutshell, it was what was next. After completing the VCAP5-DCA/DCD and VCAP-DTA/DTD certifications, I was left with either looking at the CIA/CID exams or trying for something outside of VMware if I wanted to do any non-VCDX certification (and what am I going to do, not push forward? If you’re not improving yourself, you’re falling behind everyone else who is). Since I work for VMware, I decided to push forward with the VCDX.


How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

I completed VCAP5-DCA and DCD certifications within a couple of weeks of each other back in August 2013. The DCA I took two weeks before VMworld 2013, and the DCD I took at the show. I took and passed the DCD on Monday and found out I passed the DCA a day later. At that same VMworld, I went to my first VCDX bootcamp, which was a huge wakeup call – I was nowhere near ready to take on VCDX defense.

I started serious work on my design in June 2014. By that time, I’d gained quite a bit more design experience both as a VMware-centric consultant at a partner and as a Senior Consultant at VMware working in the Professional Services Organization. After grouping up with some of the smartest guys I know (you know who you are <3), I put in over 500 hours over the next 4 months completing my documentation set, revising, reviewing, revising again, reviewing again, submitting, getting accepted to defend, prepping for defense, creating my defense presentation, revising, reviewing, revising again, reviewing again, doing mock defenses (over and over and over), and then finally defending successfully in October 2014 at the Palo Alto defenses.


What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

Don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort it’s going to take. If you have a significant other, kids, a pet ferret that loves you, whatever, get their buy in before you think about doing it. You are going to neglect them for months if you want to be successful.

I can’t say that it’s for everyone, because with 190 VCDXs in the world, it’s obviously not. But if you are considering attempting VCDX certification, know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t look at someone who achieved VCDX, and say to yourself, “Hey, I’m smarter than that guy/gal. I should do that, too!” (Like I did). Do it, because it’s a goal of yours. Do it, because it enables you to do X, Y, or Z. Do it, because you want to validate your skills as a vSphere/View/NSX/vRA architect.


If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

I absolutely would have started earlier. I didn’t feel all that great about my design when I submitted it and was pretty close to deferring to the next defense date. That could’ve been avoided if I had just started working in earnest a few months earlier.

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

Working at VMware, being a VCDX isn’t the biggest thing in the world (I’m 1 of 81 VCDXs working at VMware in all different sorts of capacities). Certainly there was a lot of congratulations, both from my peers, as well as my management chain, but that was about it.

In the end, achieving VCDX certification was more about improving and validating my architectural skills than recognition, financial reward, or whatever other reasons people do it. In that sense, it was absolutely worth the effort. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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