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VMware insists on having Network Protocol Profiles for Vsphere Replication appliances (at v5.8 anyway).

Now this is fine if you are using the Appliance in the traditional model of an appliance at each Site A vcenter and Site B vcenter and use SRM.

 

However not everyone will want to use this and today I had a scenario which a customer that needed to replicate VM's from Server A to server B and mirror that across multiple clusters each with their own network settings. The design was to put a replication appliance in each cluster. to manage that clusters replications.

The problem was each cluster had the same port group names. this had the undesired affect when going into the Network settings to setup the Network Protocol Profile you could only set up one profile per port group.  this isnt much use when I had 10 clusters all with the same port group name but different subnets, gateways and dns settings.  Yes I could change the port group name but there were live VM's and there is the issue of Management that the customer didnt want the names changed.

 

Initially I setup the Network Protocol Profile, deployed the appliance and then changed it for the next cluster appliance.  Until I found out the appliance would not re start as the profile settings were wrong after it was changed.  Simple solution was to disable the Vapp Options after each appliance was setup. As I was doing this I wondered can it be done via command line in the appliance?  Why? well  Vsphere webclient (5.5) is so slow reconfigure the Network Protocol Profiles and my usual answer is why not, I like a challenge and I couldnt find anything else about this documented?

 

I played about a bit and came up with a process of deploying the Appliance without the Vapp options at all and manually configure the appliance.

 

  1. Deploy the appliance via OVF as normal.
  2. Edit the VM settings and disable the Vapp options
  3. Power on the VM and open a console
  4. at the boot  menu screen press ‘e’ to get GNU grub menu.
  5. Select the second option and press ‘e’ to edit (second option ends in root=/dev/sda2 append resume=->)
  6. Add ‘init=/bin/bash’ to the end of the line and press enter
  7. Select the ‘root (hd0’0)' option and press 'b' for boot
  8. At the (none):/ prompt type passwd and enter a new password twice.
  9. Reboot the appliance.
  10. Once booted login as root and password you used above
  11. Type ‘/opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_conf_net
  12. Fill in the network details on the menu system starting with option 6 the ip, then 2 the gateway. The others it doesn’t matter what order.
  13. Exit the network config and reboot.
  14. If this is your first appliance access the appliance via the VAMI to configure the connection to vcenter, if you already have an appliance in place you can add the appliance into the Vcenter replication servers.

 

 

 

Ref:

VMware KB: Resetting a lost VMware vSphere Replication root password

krismcewan Hot Shot

My VCAP-DTA Exam Experiance

Posted by krismcewan Mar 12, 2014

I just sat it yesterday and all I can say is VMware have to sort out the Lag, If I gave a system like that to a customer they would throw it back in my face.   I get a better remote response to my home and I live in the middle of no where with crap internet.

This might be to do with the fact I was an afternoon UK user and struggling with the transcontinental broadband activity with the USA coming online from 1pm to 4pm.  So my advice is if your in the UK get a 9am exam so its done by 12.

 

This being my first VCAP it was a shock to the system exactly how much they ask you to do.  But when it takes 15-20 seconds to flip between browser tabs and 30 seconds between RDP sessions it becomes frustrating.  I got no disconnects but taking 10+ mins to complete a wizard I know takes 3 Mins is not acceptable in my eyes. At one point i was ready to walk out it was so bad.

 

The PDF's are gone,  its online HTML docs which is good,  but that doesn't help when the browser and response times are so slow.  you also get access to KB's  but you have to use the VMware KB search and as everyone knows this is useless.

 

Again as everyone says TIME MANAGEMENT.  3 hours is not a long time and factor in 10-20 mins for the Lag.  And Don't have a coffee before hand,  a trip to the loo is valuable time during the exam.

 

Someone of my experience was hampered by over thinking. Some questions to me seemed too simple and I actually spent more time on trying to figure out if it was a trick question.

 

Another thing that threw me is some of the things they ask you to do are already done, Two questions asked me to do something and of course I struggled with the lag to get to the screen to a piece of it only to find that it was done, Again me over thinking probably but annoying that I spent 2 mins struggling to get to that bit for no reason.

 

You really have to know the product,  not just how to install the system or to create pools,  that's what the VCP is for.  Blueprint is GOD nothing that's not in there is not covered.  and don't be like me and study for a couple of days before hand.  get started weeks before and get a lab built.  I didn't do a lot of practical as I thought i had enough covered in my day job.  I was wrong.

 

I hope I have passed but if I have it will be well below the standard I set myself.

krismcewan Hot Shot

How to make Happy Customers

Posted by krismcewan Sep 10, 2009

I am not long back from what I would call a great implementation.  Customer was very happy with the end product and the way it worked. I was happy that the whole engagement went smoothly.

 

I always love doing a job with a customer that is happy with everything you are doing, listens to you and asks pertinent questions. Now I’m not just saying that he was an easy customer he was just one of those types who knew he was paying for a consultant and he was happy for the consultant to do the job.  Nothing worse than a customer trying to fiddle with an environment you are still trying to build or contradicting or distracting you then complaining that it doesn’t work or you didn’t do enough in the time allocated/paid for.

 

My basic tips for a happy customer

•    My biggest and most important tip is first.  Be smart. You wouldn’t go to a job interview with scruffy shoes, unshaven, unironed shirt. Treat all customers (and every day on site) as a job interview when it comes to appearance and time keeping.

•    Get as much information of the environment, equipment, user base etc as you can. Hardware spec’s, expectations, networking anything that pertains to the job in hand.

•    If there are glaring issues with the hardware design make sure the customer knows beforehand so he has a chance to change, upgrade or even verify the issue.

•    Plan what you’re doing, make up a detailed to do list as part of your documentation and go through it with the customer.

•    Hit the ground running on the first day.  After your to do list talk through get started as soon as possible.

•    Arrive onsite with everything you need. Its embarrassing if not bad practice to ask the user for something that you should really have had. (media being a classic one)

•    Update the customer on what you’re doing as much as possible. At the beginning of each day go through what you plan to do that day. At the end of each day have a sit down and discuss the day’s progress.

•    If you encounter a problem.  Investigate it and resolve it. If you know your product then its easier to resolve. Try not to hit the Google consultancy straight away. Check for the simple things first. Never say I haven’t a clue and its nothing to do with my product.

•    Never leave a job you are not happy with. Even if the customer is adamant he isn’t buying any more time offer him a half or full day free so you can complete the job to your satisfaction.

•    Leaving a site it is always best to make sure you have some sort of documentation to hand the customer. Even if it’s a copy of basic notes taken while onsite with a promise to do a better document.

•    Follow up on that promise to do a better document.  Lay it out with front pages, table of contents, diagrams, screen shots and that to do list.

•    And finally, don’t walk away from the customer with the attitude that your offsite and he needs to buy more time, keep in touch and help him out. Customers that feel like they are getting good after service will almost always buy more time from you.

 

Now I’m not saying every customer will be beaming ear to ear with my tips but combined with you knowing your product and job they will make for a much happier customer.

                                                                                if you have any good tips for others feel free to add them as a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.taupoconsulting.co.uk

 

 

krismcewan Hot Shot

Prerequisites

Posted by krismcewan May 19, 2009

If there is one tip about begin a Consultant that i can pass on to everyone else its this. BE PREPARED and get the customer PREPARED

 

Make sure when you do a site survey or discssions with a customer that you lay out all the Pre reqs up front and not go on site untill they have done them

 

From having a Server available to install ESX or having space on a SAN to use as shared storage (yep I have been there on site with none of these things done). Even the basic 1gb network for VMotion. its amazing the number of customers who think that they can get away with 100mb.

 

 

All these things all though really annoying for the Consultant boils down to one thing. Bad Planning. Get involved as early on in the sales process as possible and keep the salesmans feet on the ground. Dont let him promis anythign you know cant be delivered. (but NEVER contradict him in front of a customer). Get a site survey day out of the customer, make a check list of things that are needed and what yu need done. GIVE the customer his list of things to do and let him get on with it.

 

Make sure you concentrate on networking, Domain setup, IP addresses, switch configs, failover paths  anything yo ucan think of that will screw up your day or 2 onsite

 

In the end YOU look good,  Your company looks good and most of all when everything is in place and  working perfectly VMware looks brilliant.

 

 

Kris