Category Archives: HowTo

NSX REST API Primer #1: Connecting with cURL

Welcome to part one of a new series detailing the use of the NSX REST API. My goal is to highlight several administrative tasks of your VMware NSX environment that have been exposed via API. I will assume that the reader has an entry level understanding of layer 2 & 3 networking and where we go a bit deeper I will explain what is going on. I will not assume… 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 »


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 »


30 Minute Deploy Session 1: CentOS 6.5 VM Template

What It Is: The Community Enterprise Operating System (CentOS) is a freely available Linux distribution that is fully binary compliant with the approximate version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This means that it is basically the same as RHEL, although there is no formal support. The fact that it is fully binary compliant makes it the perfect platform to test the many Open Source enterprise applications that are extremely popular… Read More »


Install and Configure RabbitMQ Integration with vCloud Director

Defining Automation With Messaging In today’s world of distributed systems and cloud computing  independent compute nodes need to communicate with each other to enable end to end services. The process of enabling this communication is the core of automation. In the client-server model servers generally communicated with each other via messaging services like Microsoft’s Distributed Transaction Coordinator. As systems became more complex and optimized for speed the Advanced Message Queuing… Read More »


Defining The Machine Lifecycle as a Service

A Service is a powerful thing. It is the basis for all automation and orchestration. One of the hardest things I have to do in my job is define “as a Service” to people. “X as a Service” has become a huge buzzword, yet few folks actually understand what it means. The first step in automating any task is to document it as a series of one or more services. ITIL… Read More »


Useful Linux Commands for ESXi

ESX has long had its roots in the Linux OS. Depending on the version, and who you ask, ESXi contains traces of RHEL, SLES, CentOS 3.9 and CentOS 5.3. With every release ESXi takes another step away from “standard” Linux, but the heart is still based on ld and glibc. This means Linux commands core to a standard bash shell still work. vSphere 5.x also ships with the “Swiss army… Read More »