Ahead Tech Summit 2015 – Building a Highly Automated Hybrid Cloud – and thank you!

As most people know, I work for Ahead, a Partner based out of Chicago. I have been here for over a year and have loved every minute of my time there, continuing to evolve the work my predecessor, Alex Mattson, started here as an Automation/Cloud specialist.

2 weeks ago, we hosted our 2nd Ahead Tech Summit and I was fortunate enough to be asked to present on Building a Highly Automated Hybrid Cloud. The video of my presentation is below.

This is the 2nd year I’ve presented at the Tech Summit, attendance was up and it was an absolute joy. We had more to showcase and I love talking about this. Many customers approached me afterwards and said they really enjoyed the presentation. As always I love feedback and hearing how I can improve, so please post your thoughts in the comments section below.

In addition, as I watched this back, I did want to thank some people who have really helped me grow into a better presenter. When I compared this talk, to my one last year, it feels like it was night and day.

Kim Jahnz – another good friend of mine who I met as a TAM at TransUnion. Kim helped catapult my career, pushing to get me a talk at VMworld in 2013 on Self Healing Datacenter which was extremely successful. The feedback from the customers was great, and I thank you so much Kim for pushing me to do this at a time I almost said no due to other personal commitments.

Sean Sergent – Sean and I worked together in the UK when we developed our own consultancy practice. Thank you for all the leaderships you demonstrated to me and learning by “osmosis” as you once described it. Many of the behaviours I have today are a result of the work we did in the UK.

Adam Cavaliere – my good friend and colleague from Tintri. We worked together at TransUnion and Catamaran. At TransUnion we completed our first presentation together in front of a large audience showing the benefits of VMware. It’s amazing to think how nervous we were there, and now see the things we are doing today. Thanks for being a great friend and being an absolutely pain in the ass when we worked together at TU, but we did achieve great things!

Eric Kaplan – Our CTO at Ahead, who makes sure I remained on track with both of my Tech Summit presentations. Thanks (I think) for always filling up my Trello board with 5 minute meetings. I’m sure I heard that from Chris Wahl once as well.

Justin Lauer – You said one thing to me at dinner last year that I still think about. “I don’t think that nervous feeling you get before you go up for a presentation ever goes away”. I think this says a lot…I think it’s because we care so much and want to achieve great things.

Chris Wahl – 30 minutes sitting with you and getting presentation tips is something I hope to do again.”Don’t say so!”

Alex Mattson – Thanks for recommending me to Ahead. I loved our lunches and chats about Automation when we were at Catamaran. Many of those discussions and ideas we had floating around have helped shape the process we have today.

Rob Warren – Thank you for your amazing leaderships and rules to live by. Everything has a standard. There’s a standard for everything. Standardize, Procedurize, Automate…enough said :)

Frank Denneman – For minor tips, and recommending to me that I don’t orange drink juice the morning of my VMworld presentation.

Doug Barnes – For your amazing attention to detail when we started out in Automation and being a great friend. Would not be where I am today in this space if I hadn’t worked with you in the beginning.

Nick Rodriguez – For the 16 revisions you worked on with me to make an amazing PowerPoint deck.

Plus everyone at Ahead and many others. Definitely did not get this far alone, and I’m very pleased to be able to go on stage and present about the things I love to do in this space.

So with that said. Thank you and enjoy!

 

Automating Tintri with vRO Part 5a: Sync VM

What is Sync VM?

Every now and then a technology on a storage array gets me really excited. When Adam Cavaliere showed me Sync VM last month I was impressed. After talking about it and showing it to customers, they were very interested. More specifically they wanted to see it automated, and in vRealize Automation.

So what is it, and how does it work?

I think it’s best explained by Adam Cavaliere and Emad Younis who have posts and videos on this already.

Video showing Database Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWsVLUb9O_A

Blog post by Emad Younis: https://www.tintri.com/blog/2015/04/tech-tuesday-time-travel-syncvm-snapshots

The vRealize Orchestrator Workflow

In this part (5a), I will explain how to use the vRO workflow I’ve created which is available on FlowGrab along with the others in this series. In part 5b I will be showing how to integrate this vRO workflow with vRA, to offer it as a day 2 operation.

Pre Requisites:

1. Completed Part 3 verifying that you can get a Tintri UUID from a virtual machine.
2. Have a source and target virtual machine in vCenter with the same disk configuration upon which you want to sync.
3. Download the latest Tintri Workflow Package I created and uploaded to FlowGrab.

Important!

Do not execute this vRO workflow without an understanding of SyncVM. The code in this example replaces 3 disks (SCSI 0:1, SCSI 0:2, SCSI 0:3 to be precise). If you need to use alternate disk configurations, then you will need to adjust the parameters and action item to compensate. Please post questions if you are unsure how to do this, but this assumes a good understanding of vRealize Orchestrator.

Step 1: Import the Tintri Workflow Package you downloaded from FlowGrab.

You should now see extra workflows in your vRO Design view as per the screenshot below.

syncvmwflows

Take a look at FG-SyncVMExample you can see this utilizes a number of the other workflows previously created.
Sync VM Example

SyncVMInputs

Running FG-Tintri-SyncVM by itself, you can see this requires the RestHost, SessionID, and a snapshot UUID from the source VM, as well as the Tintri VM UUID from the target VM.

In FG-SyncVMExample I use the modular components built previously to retrieve all the information required to initiate a Sync VM operation.

The process is as follows:

  1. Create Rest Session
  2. Tintri Snapshot the Source VM in order to get the latest data.
    1. Get the Tintri VM UUID
    2. Snapshot the VM
    3. Get the Snapshot UUID for the latest snapshot
  3. Get the Tintri VM UUID for the target VM
  4. Shutdown the Guest OS (This is because if you initiate a sync VM via REST API it will do a hard power off of the virtual machine.)
  5. Initiate SyncVM now that we have the UUIDs we needed.
  6. Power back on the target VM.

Step 2: Run the workflow!

Exampleinputsforsyncvm

Select your REST Host, type in a sample name for the snapshot (this could obviously be set as a general attribute or automatically generated in the future), select your source VM and target VM from vCenter…and off we go!

Step 3: End Result

Login to your Tintri VM Store and you should see a message on the target VM indicating that synchronization is complete.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 3.43.37 PM

vRealize Orchestrator will also show logging to indicate the Sync VM operation was successful.

vrologsyncvm

What’s next?

Hopefully this workflow helps. I would recommend adapting the actions and workflow to your use cases. i.e. which disks to sync? How many VMs do you want to sync to?

In the next post I’ll be demonstrating how you can add this capability to vRealize Automation as a Day 2 Operation you can present to Software Development and QA teams in order to get the latest data.