VMWorld 2018: Sunday Funday!

Another year another VMworld!

I got registered early this morning and headed to the HandOnLabs.  Lots of 19xx labs, but nothing groundbreaking that I noticed – mostly updates.  Hopefully any big announcements will release cool labs.

I tried challenge labs for the first time and the NSX one (SPL-1992-01-CHG) has a lot of depth – the first hour or so is learning the environment, then they have you launch a powershell script that provides a whole bunch of troubleshooting scenarios.  Selecting a scenarios kicks off a script to break the environment, leaving you to fix it.   Pretty cool stuff.  I’ll have to dig into it more after VMworld.

I also got on track for Cloud Cred who have lots of giveaways all week incl Go Pros and Drone, plus there is a VMware {code} program (vmcc) that is also gamifying learning by giving you “coins” for different activities (incl HoL) but the have a little store in the {code] booth in the hangspace where you can cash in the coins for things like tshirts and phone chargers.

Goody bag for vExpert at the {code} desk and one for being NSX certified at the Cert desk.

Tried to sign up to take the new 3V0-21.18 VCAP DCV Deploy (on vSphere 6.5) exam but the exam is not available for sign ups yet.


Hit 4 sessions today – when did they start making 30min sessions?  That is not a lot of time!

HCI1475QU : Demystifying vSAN Management for the Traditional Storage Administrator

Pete Koehler, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

This session packed a whole bunch of info into the time available.

A brief overview of traditional vs vSAN followed by some of the differences and then some of the key things to know about vSAN.

vSAN is truly-clustered, object-store based on block storage.
The network is the storage fabric
Functionality is based on the number of hosts
If you size to the minimum hosts required you can’t recover before a host is added.
Need ~30% slack space plus the failure mode requirements for overhead.
Performance and Availability are set per-VM



QuickStart DevOps Culture with VMware

Marshall Massengill Senior Consultant, VMware

This was a quick overview of DevOps and a brief discussion of how a DevOps implementation by VMware might look.

Did you know VMware would come over and teach you DevOps?
DevOps can’t be downloaded.
People, Technology, products
Can use a structured approach with one company’s framework or a best-of-breed which might be more chaotic



NSX Data Center for vSphere Hardware Gateway Solution

Hongya Qu Staff Engineer 2, Architect, VMware

Hardware VTEPs with NSX.  Who, when, why.

Use software bridge if the VLAN is available to a vDS unless you have scalability/performance needs
Use case: Migrate, Integration, L2 stretch
OVSDB is the protocol NSX will use to talk to the HW gateway to setup the interaction.
Can use GUI or API to setup w/ NSX
You add hosts to use as “replicators” so the hardware gateway doesn’t need to handle BUM traffic
Troubleshoot control plane then data plane
Can use redundant hardware gateways w/ BFD
Not available with NSX-T/NSX-Cloud (yet)
Quite a few vendors (incl Cisco 9k tho that was not mentioned in the presentation)



Troubleshooting for VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere

Hammad Alam Lead Solutions Architect- Networking and Security, VMware

Everything you can learn about NSX troublshooting in 34min.

The organization really stood out here as this should be a several-hour lecture (or 4-day ILT) but he got the overview and covered the basics in just over 30min.

level 1: Know the basics of NSX and your environment
level 2: Use VMware tools VRNI, Log Insight, NSX UI
level 3:Use third party tools like wireshark w/ packet capture
Native tools are closest to the truth
PowerOps is amazing and shows config state vs actual state (router config vs route table)

Caught up with some clients and some folks that knew me from the VCAP/TestTrack days.  Heading to bed to get a good start on tomorrow.

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NSX-T a.k.a NSX Cloud API tips and tricks

NSX-T has lots of interesting capabilities, but due to the rapid development and release cycle many are only available via API calls right now.

Making a request

While the NSX-T documentation has some nice examples such as:

  1. Configure an L2VPN service.

Use the POST /api/v1/vpn/l2vpn/services call.

POST /api/v1/vpn/l2vpn/services { "logical_router_id": "b6fe5455-619b-4030-b5f8-8575749f4404", "logical_tap_ip_pool" : [ "" ], "enable_full_mesh" : true }

It doesn’t exactly hold your hand to get going.

What you’ll need is a RESTful API client like Postman from Google and some important settings:

URL:    https://<IP or FQDN of the NSX-T manager>/api/v1/vpn/l2vpn/services

(the part after /api will change depending on what call you are making)

Authorization: Basic Auth
Username: admin
Password: <admin password for NSX-T Manager>

Content-Type  application/json

(this only matters when you are sending a body in the request, such as a POST request like this one.)


Raw: <Copy the sample code, modified for your environment>

That should get the request set without any “UNSUPPORTED MEDIA TYPE” or “content type not supported” messages.

Adding all the APIs as a Postman Collection

Note that you can add the NSX-T API calls as a collection into Postman by doing :

GET  https://<IP or FQDN of the NSX-T manager>/api/v1/spec/openapi/nsx_api.yaml

Select can copy all of the text in the returned body:

Then click Import in the top bar, select Paste Raw Text and paste the copied body in:

Before you click Import, scroll up ti the very top and change “host: nsxmanager.your.domain” to the FQDN of your NSX T manager.  Then click Import.

After you see the imported message

You will have a new collection listed  If you double-click on one of the requests, the request will populate with the call including the proper content type and the FQDN/IP of your NSX Manager:


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VMC on AWS – Sign up for a paid trial

VMware announced sometime back the availability to rent bare-metal vSphere hosts in an AWS data center, with such perks as the (included) ability to stretch from your existing data center and “local” no-egress-charge access to AWS features like S3.

They recently announced a single-host version available for testing, with a few caveats:

$7 per hour and if you want to stop the charge you have to delete your SDDC.  If you don’t delete is $5k for the month.

Takes about 2 hours to deploy/redeploy an SDDC.

You can’t have an single-host SDDC running more than 30 days – it will automatically be deleted and erase all data.

You need to have an AWS account as well – and you want to make sure your services are in the same VPC/AZ to keep egress costs down if you use AWS services.

You can upgrade to a 4-host SDDC at any time, but the price is  $33.47/hr if you don’t reserve a year or three.

You can skip over to https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws and hit “Get Started”

VMware has a video to walk you thorough kicking it off correctly

I hope to have some posts shortly demoing some of the features like HCX and IPSec back to on -prem and moving VMs to/from S3.

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Day 9: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Presentation day!

After lots of long hours working on the deck and the talking points, the presentation was delivered.  We had a panel of 9 experts sitting in as the client, responding to the presentation as it went and asking follow-up questions.

Afterward there was an awards presentation for best teams and top individuals with cool jackets and other prizes.

To recap the experience, it was a 9-day whirlwind of advanced product knowledge, road map (services and products), and soft skills training like informal and formal CxO interactions.

I look forward to working with colleagues on these skills and using them to help customers solve their business problems.  No more “Hey I have a cool product,  let see what excuse we can find to sell it to you” but “Lets work together to identify and resolve the problems preventing you from succeeding.”

Now I desperately need some sleep.

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Day 8: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Containers, PKS, PCF, Docker, K8, Developer cloud, machine learning.

Emerging technology, but lots of similar-but-different info on the last day and almost all PowerPoint-delivered.  HoL or actually writing code would have been nice.

5 more hours on the project, I think we are up to low-30s in the number of hours spent.  I hope we survive tomorrow!

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Day 7: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6

EUC uses cases and overview architecture
All about the UAG
Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS
Horizon on IBM Softlayer & Azure
Horizon architecture, VCF for VDI

My brain hurts and I’m really short on sleep.

VCF-for-VDI is like a startup company started making products for a larger vendor.  There is no real togetherness.  You’d think once deployed the Connection manager would prompt to use VCF to deploy additional hosts for capacity, but there is no connection/awareness.

Gotta spend more time with the team on the presentation.  Already close to 30hours spent on it as a group – plus alone time.



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Day 6: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 2 3 4 5

3/5 of the team met for 7 hours on Sunday to hash out the presentation a little more and do some script writing.  In a decent place probably, but lots to do.

Day 6 is “Consultative Essentials” presented by Technically Speaking.  A full day of conflict management, negotiation essentials,   Executive expectations and role playing.

I’ve never had classes like that before, probably the best part of the course so far.

Now to work on the deliverables with the team…

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Day 5: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Good day, and welcome to Day 5.  Last day for this week, it’s been a firehose of information so far.  Today is NSX in the morning, use cases, -V, -T and NSX SD-WAN (the solution formerly known as VeloCloud).  PowerNSX, PowerOps and always focus on the business need/use case.

Afternoon is VMware Cloud Foundation with workload descriptions, vRA, VDI and VDI with vRA.

The course is providing lots of looks at how VMware anticipates services around their products changing to meet the needs of tomorrow’s business models.  Start adding capabilities to solve business needs and stop just deploying and walking away.

Its also eye opening to see how they view VCF and some of the other automation tools to decrease admin overhead and free up man hours to work towards solving specific use cases.   VCF also looks much better than when I first commented on it.   It configures (Day0, Day1,Day2) the switches managing the VMware environment.  Who knew?

Time to get with the team and work on the presentation.

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Day 4: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1  Day 2  Day 3

Another whirlwind day covering VDD & VCF, VMC on AWS, Cloud Management and Enterprise App Architecture.

Quote heard today: “SDDC should be “Software Defined Application Platform” how can we design a datacenter w/o ever mentioning workloads?”

VCF looks like a pain in the ass to deploy via VIA.

The daily quizzes are not pulling from what was presented and some of the answers can’t be googled.   Seems like they are testing on what they expected you to bring in, and it’s more PSO-focused/specific.

Got some guidance with our project.  Got out at 7:30 tonight.  8-6 isn’t enough time, we’ll need to pull the team together for a while over the weekend to get the project in shape.


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Day 3: VMware Center for Advanced Learning – Advanced Architecture Course

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 is covering Business Transformation, how the people roles and processes will need to transition to supporting a new solution.   Lots about discovery, a transformation road map (where they are, where they need to be and the incremental steps to get there), iterative design and agile development

Common themes are focusing on business outcomes, helping customers create capabilities and getting continuous feedback for continuous improvement.

Focus on customer experience rather than nerd knobs.

Topics include: Discovery best practice, Transform Operations, Bringing DevOps to IT Operations.

Daily quiz and team time for the presentation.


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