Created by John Bowdre, Enterprise Architect at Teledyne Technologies
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What everyone's up to

Jan 12, 2022
Wrote an article
Used Kubernetes
Used VMware Tanzu
Deployed a project in a homelab
Learned by doing
+ 3
I deployed VMware Tanzu Community Edition in my homelab

I let the momentum from my recent Docker efforts carry me through getting VMware's free Tanzu Community Edition Kubernetes platform up and running in my homelab. I find that I learn things much better when I have a project to work on rather than just going through the motions of a lab exercise, so I also went ahead and deployed my containerized phpIPAM solution on my new k8s cluster.

And, as always, I wrote up some notes on how I did it:

I've got more work to do but this feels like a great start - and it's my first time actually getting practical with Kubernetes so I learned quite a bit along the way!
Nov 05, 2021
Wrote an article
Used vRealize Automation/Orchestrator
Fixed a deployment issue
+ 1
I ran into an issue after using #VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager to add a SaltStack Config 8.6 instance to my existing vRealize Automation 8.6 enviroment with integrated vIDM authentication.

Here's how I fixed it:

Oct 07, 2021
Attended VMworld conference
Learning Kubernetes
This week I (virtually) attended my second VMware VMworld conference, taking part in two-and-a-half days packed with solution keynotes, product demos, technical deep dives, user study sessions, and hands-on labs to learn more about VMware's latest product releases. It was an exhausting schedule for me (even without emotionally-draining awkward small talk with strangers or a picking up case of Conference Crud) but immensely rewarding.

In particular, I enjoyed learning more about VMware's new Tanzu Community Edition offering, and I've already begun experimenting with using it to deploy a lightweight Kubernetes environment in my homelab. I also learned about the latest VMware Event Broker Appliance/Application release; I intend to deploy that to my TCE instance and leverage it for event-driven automation of my vSphere environment.

And, of course, I learned even more about VMware vRealize Automation, including how to connect it with vRealize Operations for taking automated actions in response to observed events and metrics and how to use Code Stream for building development pipelines. There are a lot of concepts here I'd like to explore more in my own vRA environment.

This was a great event overall, and I'm already looking forward to next year's - hopefully in person!
Jul 21, 2021
Used vRealize Automation/Orchestrator
Wrote an article
Joining VMs to Active Directory in site-specific OUs with vRA8

Connecting a deployed Windows VM to an Active Directory domain is pretty easy; just apply an appropriately-configured customization spec and vCenter will take care of it for you. Of course, you’ll likely then need to move the newly-created computer object to the correct Organizational Unit so that it gets all the right policies and such.

Fortunately, vRA 8 supports adding an Active Directory integration to handle staging computer objects in a designated OU. And vRA 8.3 even introduced the ability to let blueprints override the relative DN path. That will be helpful in my case since I’ll want the servers to be placed in different OUs depending on which site they get deployed to.

I didn’t find a lot of documentation on how make this work, though, so here’s how I’ve implemented it in my lab (now running vRA 8.4.2).
Jun 01, 2021
Wrote an article
Used vRealize Automation/Orchestrator
Adding VM Notes and Custom Attributes with vRA8

In past posts, I started by creating a basic deployment infrastructure in Cloud Assembly and using tags to group those resources. I then wrote an integration to let vRA8 use phpIPAM for static address assignments. I implemented a vRO workflow for generating unique VM names which fit an organization’s established naming standard, and then extended the workflow to avoid any naming conflicts in Active Directory and DNS. And, finally, I created an intelligent provisioning request form in Service Broker to make it easy for users to get the servers they need. That’s got the core functionality pretty well sorted, so moving forward I’ll be detailing additions that enable new capabilities and enhance the experience.

In this post, I’ll describe how to get certain details from the Service Broker request form and into the VM’s properties in vCenter. The obvious application of this is adding descriptive notes so I can remember what purpose a VM serves, but I will also be using Custom Attributes to store the server’s Point of Contact information and a record of which ticketing system request resulted in the server’s creation.

May 20, 2021
Wrote an article
Used vRealize Automation/Orchestrator
A few days ago, I shared how I combined a Service Broker Custom Form with a vRO action to automatically generate a unique and descriptive deployment name based on user inputs. That approach works fine but while testing some other components I realized that calling that action each time a user makes a selection isn’t necessarily ideal. After a bit of experimentation, I settled on what I believe to be a better solution.

Instead of setting the “Deployment Name” field to use an External Source (vRO), I’m going to configure it to use a Computed Value. This is a bit less flexible, but all the magic happens right there in the form without having to make an expensive vRO call.