Monthly Archives: August 2021

Sessions I’ll Be Attending at VMworld 2021

VMworld 2021 is right around the corner! This year we are again unable to attend in person due to COVID-19, however this still gives everyone the chance to attend as its an online event!

It is running from the 5th to the 7th October this year –

Like many, I have been marking various sessions as favourites in the catalog ready for when they can be booked. Here are a few that are on my list this year.

Firstly, Frank’s session on NUMA has been on my list for all 3 years I have been attending. For anyone who uses vSphere, this is a must.

60 Minutes of Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) 3rd Edition [MCL1853]

Pass Type: General and Tech+ Passes
Session by: Frank Denneman

“Although we enrich the stack with multiple layers of abstraction, obtaining consistent performance boils down to understanding the fundamentals. This requires the admin and the architect to focus on individual host components again. In this session, we dive into the impact the Multi-chip Module (MCM) has on scheduler behavior and workload sizing. Learn the underlying configuration of a virtual machine and discover the connection between the General-Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) and the NUMA node. Determine how the cores-per-socket impact a virtual NUMA configuration. We will look at the impact of heterogeneous clusters on workload performance and how you can detect faux-wide virtual machine configurations. You will understand how your knowledge of NUMA concepts in your cluster can help the developer by aligning the Kubernetes nodes to the physical infrastructure with the help of VM Service.”

The next two are sessions are focused on performance. I’m personally always looking for ways to improve performance via configuration and tuning, but also ways to identify performance issues.

Extreme Performance Series: vSphere Advanced Performance Boot Camp [MCL2033]

Pass Type: Tech+ Pass Only
Session by: Mark Achtemichuk & Valentin Bondzio

“The VMware vSphere Advanced Performance Boot Camp provides the most advanced technical performance-oriented training available about vSphere performance design, tuning and troubleshooting. Hosted by VMware Certified Design Expert Mark Achtemichuk, we will cover a broad range of topics on all resource dimensions, including the VMware ESXi scheduler, memory management, storage and network optimization. The student will become empowered to identify the location of performance issues, diagnose their root cause, and remediate a wide variety of performance conundrums using the many techniques practiced by the most seasoned vSphere veterans and VMware internal experts. Armed with the knowledge provided in the class will allow you to confidently approach virtual performance and manage it successfully.”

Not got the Tech+ Pass? Here is an alternative session available on the General Pass – Extreme Performance Series: Performance Best Practices [MCL1635].

Deep Dive: VM Performance and Best Practices [VI2158]

Pass Type: Tech+ Pass Only
Session by: Jimmy Arias

“This session will provide a very detailed and technical explanation of the utilization of resources by VM, how to evaluate the performance indicators using ESXtop, and how to better architect and create solutions for performance issues.”

Having watched a couple of sessions this year by David Klee on performance tuning SQL on vSphere, this session was one of the first on my favourite list. Having supported SQL in some fashion my entire career, I am always looking to learn how to get the best performance possible.

Meet the Experts: Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server on vSphere – Stories from the Trenches [MCL1318]

Pass Type: Tech+ Pass Only
Session by: Deji Akomolafe & David Klee

“Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server (the most virtualized mission-critical application) on VMware vSphere has become the standard for SQL Server deployments around the world. As vSphere continues to be the target platform for most SQL Server workloads and, with vSphere now being available in all major public cloud infrastructures, it is a given that you will virtualize your SQL Server workloads. The degree to which you will achieve bare-metal performance is up to how well you align SQL Server with the underlying infrastructure. This session (based on more than two decades of field experience) presents the common pitfalls you need to avoid and those you need to embrace as you run (or plan) your SQL Server instances on premises or in one of the various hybrid cloud options based on vSphere available from AWS, Microsoft, Google, and more.”

Another topic I have really enjoyed getting involved in this year has been Infrastructure as Code (IaC), Packer & Terraform specifically. So this year, I was for sure going to have this session on my list.

Automation Showdown: Imperative vs Declarative [CODE2786]

Pass Type: General and Tech+ Passes
Session by: Luc Dekens & Kyle Ruddy

“The automation landscape has always been a source of rapid innovation. Historically, the languages, whether it’s Perl, Python, vRealize Orchestrator JavaScript, or PowerCLI, may have changed, but the imperative, step-by-step workflows you’ve learned and know have not. However, a new challenger has appeared. Declarative workflows upended the usual processes and even the languages all in the name of infrastructure as code. Human readable, plain text files can be interpreted by products like HashiCorp Terraform and RedHat Ansible to do the heavy lifting of the imperative process. The key is knowing when, how, and where to use each method within your VMware environment. Join Luc and Kyle for this session where they will discuss these different styles of automation, complete with practical examples that you can use in your own environment!”

If like me you like to see things in action, Kyle also has a Live Coding session – Live Coding: Terraforming Your vSphere Environment [CODE2755].

Both of theses session are available on the General Pass so no excuses to miss out on them!

Finally, a session on Azure VMware Solution (AVS). As I am currently studying for my Microsoft AZ-104 exam, I wanted to start exploring and learning about this offering. Perhaps you are already using Azure or O365 and want to begin looking into the options for extending your vSphere solution to the cloud? If so, this session is definitely worth looking at!

Azure VMware Solution: Deployment Deep Dive [MCL2036]

Pass Type: Tech+ Pass Only
Session by: Jeremiah Megie & Steve Pantol

“In this session, we will discuss planning and deployment of Azure VMware Solution beyond the quick start. We will cover planning for network addressing, connectivity, integrating into an existing Azure hub and spoke or virtual WAN deployment, configuring monitoring and management, and establishing governance controls.”

If you haven’t already, head over to the VMworld website and register for the event! All content can be found in the Content Catalog, so get browsing!

As always, thanks for reading!

Enabling VM Rightsizing in vRealize Operations Manager (vROPS)

One of the many great features of vRealize Operations Manager (vROPS) is the ability to identify and address over or under sized virtual machines.

I was asked a short while ago why the option to resize a VM was unavailable or ‘greyed out’ as you can see below.

This feature is something that you need to a enable for a connection or ‘Cloud Account’. In this instance, this is my connection with vCenter.

You can check this by heading to Administration, Cloud Accounts and then select the three ‘dots’ next to the connection you want to check, or enable it for.

When reviewing the connection configuration you can see that the enable ‘Operational Actions’ is not selected.

Go ahead and select it.

Now if you head back to the rightsizing section, you will see that you have the option to resize the VM’s (for the connection or Cloud account you have enabled it for). One thing to note, the account you have used for the credentials on this connection require the appropriate privileges to modify the VM’s!

Once you click resize, you can then confirm the suggested resizing and continue.

Hope you found this useful. Once again thank you for reading!

Getting Started With Packer to Create vSphere Templates – Part 5 – Bringing it Together!

Here we are, Part 5! If you have stuck with me through this series, thank you for taking the time. If not, you can catchup with Parts 1-4 by searching my blog!

I wanted to end this series with something different to just text, code and images. So I am going to show you the end to end template deployment process with video’s using user defined variables but with a few environment variables in the Linux example.

Lets start with a Windows example – Windows 2019 Core

To give some context to the files being referenced for this build, here is the folder structure I will be working with, all of which is available on the link above.

From the root directory of your configuration, run the following:

packer build --var-file=./win2019core.pkrvar.hcl .

The trailing ‘.’ is important as this tells Packer that it needs to reference all of the .hcl files in its current directory.

And here is the finished article in the content library!

Now lets look at a Linux example that uses a HTTP server to acquire its kickstart configuration file from, rather than it being loaded as removal media. – Centos 8

This example also makes use of environment and user defined variables!

And again, the finished article.

If you have followed this series throughout, thank you. I hope you have found it useful and its inspired you to begin your Packer journey! Feel free to reach out via my socials if you have any questions or just want to chat about Packer!