TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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All Things Virtual

I planned to get this post out last week but unfortunately time ran out before I had a chance. I thought I would put a quick post up of all the things virtual and linked to virtual that i have been doing/working with/learning/reading up on in the past week and a bit.

If you’ve been reading any of my previous postings you would know I have been fiddling fairly extensively and trying to grow my knowledge of powershell,powercli and all the things that can be done with these tools. A professional i follow on twitter who is a guru at all things powershell is Luc Dekens(@lucd22). He has many great scripts and tools for anyone interested and put up a very helpful script of how to search for all VMX files in all datastores and register them into VC.

Scott Lowe(@scott_lowe) did a great write up of  the book vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide.The book was written by many people Duncan Epping(@duncanyb) and Alan Renouf being two of them. It’s a book I’m planning to get myself in the new year and a great book for someone wanting to increase their knowledge in a short space of time as well as a brilliant reference book for people who have been in the industry for ages. The book has just been made available for those of us in Europe wishing to buy it.

For all my powershell and PowerCLI scripting and learning I have been using a brilliant tool called PowerGUI. Dmitry Sotnikov posted last week the new addition of the software and detailed all the new features. This tool is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone planning to use and currently using powershell scripting.

Simon Seagrave(@kiwi_si) wrote a very useful posting all about some great virtualization fundamentals videos from VMware. These are brilliant if you’re trying to learn about virtualisation and are even better for those of you who need to show the benefits of virtualisation to management to maybe get them to agree to converting to VMware.

Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf) has created an absolute life saver reference guide for all things PowerCLI. I printed this off straight away and will be using it extensively in my daily job and my continued learning of PowerCLI. Alan has been a MASSIVE help in my learning of PowerCLI. If you want to learn PowerCLI, his blog posting on PowerCLI where do i start is a great place to start and is the place I’ve recently started at. Also I would recommend keeping an eye on the PowerCLI page of the VMware communities as there are some very informative and interesting discussions on the topic.

Scott Lowe has put up two great posts explaining the differences and similarities of npiv and npv as well as what sr iov is in another posting. I love these kinds of posts as for someone like me who needs things explained in laymen terms to understand it fully it really helps and Scott does this in a great way in these two posts. For those out there who somehow don’t know Scott has a brilliant book called Mastering VMware VSphere 4. If you haven’t got this book already I would highly recommend it for the studying for your vcp4 exam and even more so as a brilliant reference book.

Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame has recently put up two great posts announcing ESX 3.5’s update 5 release and detailing what’s contained in it. As well as a posting of how to do the infamous kill –9 command of ESX in ESXi. If you haven’t had to restart your mgmt-VMware service before due to it hanging or had to use the kill –9 command as the service won’t stop/restart then either you have an environment all VMware admins dream of or you’ve been very very lucky so far. Simon Long (@simonlong_) has posted a great blog posting recently with videos from VMware  showing how to do these service restarts if you’ve never done them before.

Lastly is my blog roll on the right hand side of the page. All of these blogs are my favourites and are blogs I highly recommend to anyone wishing to learn and stay informed of everything happening in the virtual world. These are some of the best and the best in the industry so try take some time to get through them all and add rss feeds for the ones you find the most interesting.

Feel free to follow or even message me on twitter  on @greggrobertson5 and I would recommend following the people I have detailed above and in my previous blog postings.

Gregg Robertson

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Powershell,PowerGUI,PowerCLI and vCheck

As i said in my last post I’ve decided to start brushing up my non existent knowledge of powershell and learn the applications that link into VMware Virtual Infrastructure and how they can make my daily job easier and more automated. I’ve found many great articles and actually registered myself for two on demand Microsoft live meetings on using powershell a number of months back which i still need to make my way through. The two live meetings I’m planning to go through are:

Introduction to Windows PowerShell: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032314395&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Writing Scripts with Windows Powershell : http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032320637&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Hopefully these will give me a basic basic knowledge of standard commands i can use and how they work as I’m a very big point and click type of person. There are many brilliant resources out there to learn from and reference.

For PowerCLI there is obviously the administration guide. The administration guide has loads of examples and covers both basic and advanced cmdlet usage. I’m definitely going to be spending a fair amount of time reading through and learning everything in the guide.Obviously to do all the great commands in your VMware environment you’ll need to install the PowerCLI application from http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/windowstoolkit/index.html.

Alan Renouf(@alanrenouf) has written a great blog detailing some really helpful links and documents you can follow and use to learn and perfect your PowerCLI knowledge.I’ll be making my way through this list in the coming days. Alan also has a page on his site where he blogs about any new developments in powercli at http://www.virtu-al.net/category/powercli/

Microsoft has very handy PowerShell Quick Reference guide that has some very good examples for doing stuff in your environment.

Vinternal (@vinternals) has a really great blog page about learning all things powercli http://vinternals.com/powercli-mastery/ which is something I’m planning to get through once i have learnt all the basics from all the above resources. But a really great resource.

But my first port of call is a document detailed on both Alan and Simon Longs blogs that was made available at VMworld Europe last year. As it covers all the basics while teaching me about VMware specific commands.http://blogs.vmware.com/files/vi-toolkit-lab—-vmworld-europe-2009.pdf

If your on twitter and wish to follow me and hear about my progress on my learning of powershell,powercli etc then my username is @greggrobertson5

Gregg Robertson

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London VMware User Group

Last week Tuesday i attended my first VMware user group. I have to admit that i was sadly really excited to be attending it for learning about new things from my fellow peers and also about finally meeting some of the people i follow on twitter and whose blogs i read and receive so much information from. The event was help not far from EMC Consulting’s London offices at the Chambers of commerce and trade near Southwark bridge.

I confirmed my attendance to Jonathan Medd’s( @jonathanmedd) powershell session before the user group as  i knew my powershell skills are far from competent and what better way than to get a run through of the best tools and methods i should learn for administering my VMware environment. Jonathon covered a couple of very interesting applications the first one being the vCheck by Alan Renouf(@alanrenouf). I don’t know how i never learnt or heard about his tool but it is definitely something i am planning on rolling out for my VMware environment as soon as possible as it’s reporting of any problems and things you need to watch/resolve is a great tool for any VMware administrator wanting to keep his/her environment running smoothly.

Another topic which was covered by Jonathan which I’m definitely now planning to make a concerted effort of attempting to get through and learn is using powershell and powergui to automate and administer my environment. Fellow VMware user group attendee Simon Long @simonlong_) wrote a great blog about learning it which I’m definitely going to try and get through.

Jonathan also covered onyx alpha and VESI. New applications to me which look to be very helpful also in the maintenance of your VMware environment. I really do have a lot of reading a research to do on this scripting/powershell side!

Next was the sponsors chat who were Symantec. I was quite impressed with them as i have to be honest i had no idea they had so many tools and solutions geared towards virtualisation. Their next set of releases in 2010 are well worth looking out for especially if you have a number of their solutions in your environment already.

Then Simon Gallagher(@vinf_net) spoke about creating a white box environment for home testing/learning. His T.A.R.D.I.S. (no i can’t remember what exactly the acronym stands for) was a real eye opener especially the vmotioning of a machine from a virtual esx server in a virtual machine(yes this isn’t a typo) to a physical host was very impressive and definitely showed how well developed the VMware technology really is. Simon Seagrave(@kiwi_si) who was meant to co host this session but couldn’t because of work commitments has a really great page on his site about the equipment they used and deals on equipment you could use for your own white box lab environment.

The final session was by Mike Laverick(@mikelaverick) and Guy Chapman talking about their opinions and thoughts on cloud computing and the new vSphere features. This was a great session as really brought up a nice discussion from everyone. I’m definitely looking forward to going through his slides once they are published as he had some brilliant comments and references and his describing of the cloud was especially interesting to me as I’m also trying to understand what the cloud is and what it will do for me and my organisation.

A big thank you to Alaric and the rest of the guys for organising the user group. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to be able to make the next one. If you live in the south of England and wish to come to the next one i would recommend joining the community on http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmug/emea/london?view=discussions and subscribing to any new posting on the community or mailing londonvmug@yahoo.com and requesting to be added to the list for the next one early next year.

Gregg Robertson

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