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 »


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 »


Optimize and Manage Virtual JVM Workloads for Performance

The Java Memory Problem Java web applications running on middleware like Apache Tomcat and RedHat JBoss have long had performance issues when running inside a virtualized guest machine. It is ironic that the cause of these performance issues is the same thing that has made Java so popular and portable, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM provides yet another layer of hardware abstraction, although not the same as a… Read More »


Publishing EMC ViPR Blueprints with vCloud Automation Center Advanced Services

One Portal To Rule Them All vCloud Automation Center’s self service portal is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for all of your cloud provisioning needs. The ultimate goal is that the service consumer is able to execute a request for the complete end to end service that meets their business need. Imagine a scenario where the service consumer is a junior sysadmin, let’s call him Ted, wants to deploy new… 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 »


Performance Analytics of Multiple ESXi Hosts with esxtop and MongoDB

Introduction I have been playing around with using data science and statistics tools with machine generated performance data for a little while now. I did some work using R Studio to visualize vscsiStats results and that was useful. I tried to apply the same methodology to a CSV capture from esxtop in batch-mode. This failed for a couple of reasons, however the main cause that it was too much data.… Read More »


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