VCAP-DCD Part 1: Study Resources

Introduction As I write this I have just over 48 hours before I sit the VCAP-DCD 5. I feel ready, but I am nervous. I’ve heard that the test is incredibly hard. I’ve also heard it is not that bad. I’m really not quite sure what to expect. As a blogger I feel obligated to share the resources I’ve used in my preparation. Hopefully this will help others as the… Read More »

Math for Storage Design: Part One – Performance

Introduction In the past 15 years virtualization has transitioned from a novelty to the de facto standard for data center operation. Until recently few people understood the real implications of this transition, especially in the realm of storage. We’ve seen servers go from almost all direct attached storage, to complex SAN and NAS arrays, and now back to direct attached with the trend in node based hyper-convergence technologies like VSAN.… Read More »

Brocade Vyatta 5400 Virtual Router on vSphere

Introduction As Software Defined Networking grows in popularity and adoption networking companies are branching out from their traditional hardware platforms by offering virtual appliances and software based management tools to address this market. Brocade’s Q4 2012 acquisition of Vyatta allowed the storage networking vendor to come to market with their virtual appliance for IP services, the Vyatta 5400 vRouter. Vyatta’s history of creating solutions for routing and IP security services… Read More »

vDynamips – Cisco IOS Hypervisor Virtual Appliance

Introduction Last week I wrote this post about using Dynamips to run Cisco IOS images as a guest in VMware ESXi. The instructions are long and could be complex for a novice sysadmin. To simplify the installation I have created a virtual appliance that is a little easier to use. The appliance can run multiple simulated IOS routers and switches. Juniper JUNOS is also supported. I have minimized the footprint,… Read More »

Networking with Virtual Cisco Routers on vSphere

Introduction When I build an environment in my lab I need it to be as close to production reality as it can be.  When I am at a client I need to be certain of how the compute, network, and storage resources are going to interact. From a compute perspective this is easy to simulate in a  lab environment. vSphere was made to do it. Things get trickier when trying to… Read More »

Docker on Windows with VMware Workstation and Vagrant

Introduction My company laptop is an HP Elitebook that runs Windows 7. I’ve requested a Macbook Pro in the past, but to no avail so I am forced for various reasons to spend the majority of my time living in a Windows world. This is usually not an issue and for the most part I think that Win7 is a fine business desktop. However it is in a issue in… Read More »

Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 3 – Reactor and Events

The Journey So Far: Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 1 – The Setup Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 2 – Grains, States, and Pillar Introduction By now I hope I have demonstrated the power of Salt and the simplicity underlying its configuration. Now we take another step down the salty path of Data Center management. The salt-master to salt-minion conversation to this point has been largely one way. Let’s discuss… Read More »

Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 2 – Grains, States, and Pillar

Introduction In Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 1 I introduced Salt and covered installing and basic use. In this post I’ll be going a bit deeper and discuss grains, The State system, and pillar system. This post is all about targeting minions and configuration management. Up to now every time we have invoked a command on a minion we have used the syntax salt “*” module.command. The “*” glob is the… Read More »

Infrastructure Management with SaltStack: Part 1 – The Setup

Introduction Lately there is quite a bit of talk in IT circles about devops and programmatic configuration management. During these conversations two names come up over and over, Puppet by Puppet Labs and Chef (née Opscode). There is a third option that deserves attention as well, Salt by SaltStack. Salt was developed by Tom Hatch and first released in 2011. Unlike the Ruby based Puppet and Chef it written in… Read More »