TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VCAP6-CMA Design Objective 1.1 – Gather and Analyze Business Requirements.

Due to my decision to aim for my VCDX6-CMA this year and thereby to get it submitted in time for the only VCDX-CMA defence of the year (so far) I have had to sign up for the VCAP6-CMA Design beta exam. I’ve been working on a very large-scale vRA 6.2 project for the past 14 months and so I hope this experience of designing and building it as well as my preparations via these objectives breakdown(plus my study resources) and using some of my VCDX5-DCV knowledge will help me. So I thought I would slowly post up each objective for my own benefit but also hopefully help other people looking to pass the VCAP6-CMA Design exam (beta or GA).I will be consolidating all the objectives on my blog page here.

Knowledge

Associate a stakeholder with the information that needs to be collected.

  • This is down to the questions you need to ask and also who you need to ask these questions. These questions are ones you are going to ask during the design workshop for the design/project. For the workshop you need to make sure you have the applicable project participants/stakeholders who can join the workshops (depends if you want one big one where people come and go at certain points or multiple ones where you speak to each business unit/ team). For the stakeholder meetings/design workshops I personally like to try bring in the following people, this does vary depending on the project and what has been chosen but 9/10 times these are the people you want to speak to:
      • Virtualisation administrators (if applicable. If not already present then future administrators of the solution)
      • Server Hardware Administrators
      • Backup Administrators
      • Storage Administrators
      • Desktop/OS Administrators
      • Network Administrators
      • Application Administrators (these are very important as their applications may have very specific requirements)
      • Security Officer
      • Project Sponsors
      • End users/ Developers/ Help desk personnel (this I find is helpful to find out what are the current support desk tickets/problems the company are facing and if these will impact the project in any way. Also these discussions are easy to have in the hallway/over a coffee but have alerted me to unknown risks that would have severely impacted the design and delivery)

Utilize customer inventory and assessment data from the current environment to define a baseline state.

  • This is a really strange one for a vRA design as this normally applies for a vSphere design where you are possibly migrating workloads into a new environment but I’ll take this as possibly an assessment of the current vSphere estate and if it is a fit for the customers’ requirements from vRA. This is still conceptual so basic things like sites connectivity possibilities if they want off site DR or stretched clusters.
  • This could also mean the workloads being created on the vRA portal as catalogue items are currently workloads running somewhere and an analysis of these to determine possibly sizing metrics to have for example 1000 of a certain developer workstation in the vRA environment is a possibility. Also if the workstations all require isolation from each other for something like CD/CI then you will know you will need Level 4-8 capabilities to provide this isolation from NSX or Palo Alto for example.

Analyze information from customer interviews to explicitly define customer objectives for a conceptual design.

  • · I think this is fairly straight forward as from the design workshops and interviews you have collected what their objectives are and also ensured from all the workshops there are no obvious conflicts of people’s plans for the solution they want you to design. A “normal” customer objectives piece would be:
    • Customer XYZ has embarked on a strategy to increase extensively the level of automation and the rate of virtualization of data centre services. The intention is to enable application and system owners to consume on demand services as a catalogue-based service through a web portal. By initiating this project, XYZ aims to create a platform for IT service delivery that:
      • Is cost-effective through improved resource utilization with the use of cloud management software.
      • Can host 1000 developer workloads.
      • Increases agility through the use of automation and virtualization provided by cloud management software.
      • Is accessible through the use of their custom XYZ-Cloud portal for the consumption of IT Services.
    • Customer XYZ has chosen VMware vRealize™ Automation™ to provide their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Given results of a requirements gathering survey, develop requirements for a conceptual design.

  • Again this should be relatively straight forward for anyone as you’ve now spoken to all the applicable people and have taken down all their requirements and ensured there are no requirements conflicts. Requirements have to be very precise so that there is no misinterpretation that could cause scope creep and it forces you to ensure you know exactly what the customer requires and that they validate this as correct before you start the logical design. For example a requirement of “Customer wants high availability” is far too vague as everyone might have a different understanding of what high availability means. Your requirement should be “Customer wants 99.99% availability for the front end portal and 99.9% availability for consumer workloads outside of scheduled maintenance windows”. You would also include RPO and RTO values for these in my opinion in subsequent requirements so that SLA mapping is clear.

Categorize business requirements by infrastructure quality to prepare for a logical design.

  • I’m glad this is mentioned here as for the VCDX they are very big advocates for mapping your requirements to the infrastructure qualities. If you don’t know what the infrastructure qualities are they are:
    • Availability
    • Manageability
    • Performance
    • Recoverability
    • Security
  • So for example my previous concise requirement would fall under Availability, application of PCI/SOX/Hardening guidelines would fall under security, and ability to run the 1000 developer workloads would be performance.
  • This is also very helpful if you are doing requirements mapping from the conceptual requirements to the logical design decisions to the physical design decisions.

VMware Recommended Tools

The VMware recommended study tools for this objective are:

If you disagree with anything I’ve said above then please let me know and if I agree (I’m always open to learning) then i will update the posting. Now onto objective 1.2.

Gregg


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VCAP6-CMA Design Study Resources

A very quick posting around the creation of my new VCAP6-CMA Design study resources page now that the beta exam has been released. As I have done in the past for the VCP5 and VCAP5-DCV exams, I have started building a list of resources I will be using for the beta and if I don’t make the mark then the GA exam for the VCAP6-CMA design. If you feel I’ve missed any resources please do let me know as these pages seem to be very popular and so everyone can benefit with top class resources.

For those signed up for the beta, good luck!

Gregg


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vRealize Production Test Tool Configuration

The vRealize Production Test Tool was released in April this year to allow people to do health checks on their vRealize Automation, vRealize Business and vRealize Operations solutions to ensure your environments are running as planned and the most important part to me, being able to quickly prove the environment is working to your customer/consumers.

The tool is free and has been updated to version 1.2 at the time of this posting. Once once you have downloaded the tool you need to browse to the location where you saved the tool via command prompt and run the config command on the tool like the example below.

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You accept the EULA after of course reading every single word and promising your first-born child and then get to the configuration UI.

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Click on either vRealize Automation, Operations or Business on the left hand side and start filling in all your information.

vRealize Automation

If you have selected the vRealize Automation option and have your vRA portal load balanced then ensure the vRA URL is the VIP URL of your load balancers. The rest of the information is fairly straight forward.

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For the endpoints I clicked the add button a few times to add additional fields so that I could enter not just my vCenter endpoints but also my vRO and NSX endpoints.

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For the vRA Tenant name above go to https://your-vra-instance.com/vcac and check the name under your tenants tab and put in the exact name including the case.

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Now save the configuration and close the UI. Now you can run the tool via command prompt by running the java -jar vrealize-productiontest-1.2.0.jar run –oobList VRA command like the example below.

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vRealize Business

Open up the configuration UI again by running the config command as shown below

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For vRealize Business click the option on the left and fill in the required information. The vRA tenant name can be retrieved via the method mentioned above in the vRA section ensuring the case sensitivity is maintained.

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Once complete save the configuration and close the UI

Now you can run the test via command including the VRB acronym at the end to run the vRB test.

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Once it completes running it will give you the number of tests runs and most importantly how many failures you may have.

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You can then see the output of the report under the folder you ran the tool from /report/VRPTReport.html and it gives you a brilliant break down of the tests and where you may have had failures. The remediation and cause fields are URLs to VMware KB articles to fix the issues. In my lab I have three failures as you can see in the screenshot below.

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I haven’t gone through the vROPs setup but it follows very much the same method as the vRA and vRB sections. I really like the tool although it isn’t perfect for enterprise distributed installations and I had quite a few hassles with the vRA tool working but it is good and coupled with the vRA management pack for vROPs it gives brilliant reporting  of your environment.

Gregg


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VCP6-CMA track on the EMEA #vBrownbag

Now that my VCDX defence is over and hopefully I’ve done enough to be awarded an illustrious number I can pick up my old responsibilities for the EMEA vBrownbag of which I am one of the hosts and decided that the VCP6-CMA track would be a great one to do.

african children dancing - Lets learn Some vRA goodness

We are going to be going through the blueprint in order so that it is easy to follow and watch as well if you are subscribed to the iTunes feed. So starting next week Tuesday at 7pm GMT (Clocks have changed in Europe so this is GMT not BST) we will be doing objective 1 and it is being covered by one of the co-hosts of the vBrownbag, Frank Buechsel. You can register for the series and future vBrownbag EMEA sessions via the following link https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8540909933274906113 and can also subscribe to the vBrownbag YouTube channel.

 

If you are interested in covering an objective on the vBrownbag then please get touch as we are always looking for presenters.

 

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.