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Creating a virtual machine on vCloud Air

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Objective here is to create a new virtual machine in vCloud Air.

As you can see I have no virtual machines in my Virtual Data Center

Click on “create your first virtual machine”


Several default options to choose appear.

These are a handful of default options which incluse (as of this posting)

  • CentOS 6.3 (32/64)
  • CentOS 6.4 (32/64)
  • Ubuntu Server 12.04 (32/64)
  • Windows 2008R2 Standard (64)
  • Windows 2012 Standard (64)
  • Windows 2012R2 Standard(64)

Of course you can upload your own options but at the moment we will chose one of the defaults:

I’m choosing Ubuntu server 64.


Now customization options will appear.

Here you can name your vm, and allocate resources,

The cost per hour is generated as you play around with the options.

The more resources you consume, the greater the charge.


Now you see the vm being created, and the status will circle.

Still waiting on the status to update.


Once the vm is ready the status will show that its powered off

I chose to leave it powered off at first

The option to start powered on was also there.


Check the box next to the vm and power it on

You could also select the drop down and power it on or just the nice big button above.


Once the vm is on the status changes.


To view the console of our newly powered on vm

  • Select the vm,
  • Select the actions drop down
  • Choose “open in console”


Now the Console pops out and we can see the console and use the vm.

The buttons on the upper right are for

  • sending control alt del
  • going full screen


if you just created your vm you may have problems logging on.

See the next post for updates


Failover using Vmware Site Replication Manager (SRM) 5.5 And Dell Equallogic Storage Replication Adapter (SRA )

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Datacenter Site A:

There is a problem where we know we have power outages coming or we have one currently:

In this example: volumesiteA is volume with vms that needs to be failed over to recovery site B.


Recovery to start actual failover to Datacenter Site B:

A warning will pop up:

The difference between planned migration and disaster recovery is that if there are errors the recovery will stop if its planned.

In a true DR situation where site A is down use forced recovery.



One we hit start the recovery begins.


On the Equallogic side you can see that the volume status is set to offline


On recovery site B you will see a new volume appear


Once recovery is complete you can test your migrated servers



If we go back to the failed over datastore on site B, we will see

The volume is not replicated


You may get “amount of in-use snapshot reserve exceeds the warning limit”


Go over to the snapshot windows and delete some snapshots or increase space dedicated to snapshots


If we look at the volume on site A

We will see that the volume is still has a replication job to site B, though it will fail (notice the cancel)


Adding permissions to edit calendar via Powershell for Exchange

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Needed to add permissions to a new secretary to edit her boss’ calendar.

One method to do this is to do it from the owner’s outlook itself.

But what if they are unavailable?

Open up EMS , Exchange Management Shell


To see who has permissions to the calendar:

Get-MailboxPermission -identity “username:\Calendar”

Get—MailhoxFolderPermission —identity “a uerlname:\calendar’P Runspaceld : -da?fa44a9bf FolderNane : Calendar User : Default AccessRights : {AvailahilityOnly} Identity : Default IsUalid : True” height=”129″ width=”729″>


to add permissions:

Add-MailboxFolderPermission -identity “username:\Calendar” -user “secretary” -AccessRights editor


Now you will see the user listed there


If we want to remove permissions then we would use

remove-MailboxFolderPermission -identity “username:\Calendar” -user “secretary”


Telecom Brokers

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The subject of telecom brokers came up, and I wanted to delve a little bit more into it.

Telecom brokers are supposed to be able to find the right options for your telecom needs and have contacts that can help in case of escalation needs.

While a telecom broker can lead you in the right direction, at the end of the day you should always do your own homework as well and verify any solution that is being sent to you.

The following link by John Hagan , President of TeleData Select summarized all the reasons that a telecom broker could be useful. I do think some telecom brokers may have some sales quota’s of their own. But since brokers are reputation based I don’t think that they would want to jeopardize their position for a few sales. The one thing that I do hear is that their negotiation for pricing is optimal since they are doing this day in day out.

9 Top Reasons To Use Telecom Brokers.

Multiple Carrier Options:   Would you like to deal with one person for all you communication services, rather than dealing with a sales person from each company?   The broker will have contacts with many carriers and vendors which means he or she can quickly acquire quotes and information without you requesting it yourself. A big time saver, especially when evaluating multiple locations and offers from vendors.    


More Expertise:     A typical telecommunications company will have over 50% sales turn over each year and end up hiring inexperienced sales people to fill positions.   Many Telecom Brokers have had years of experience working at various telecom companies, they understand technology and are able to compare company A and company B.

Satisfaction: Telecom Brokers long term success is dependent on the ongoing satisfaction of their customers.   Each month, Telecom Bookers get paid a small (residual) commission to manage the telecommunication service of their customers. This ensures that Telecom Brokers/Consultants continue to provide clients with exceptional customer service for years.

Transparency: Some telecom providers provide great pricing, but they take forever to install the services, others have poor billing and are unorganized. Good Telecom Brokers can explain the good and bad of each carrier and what to expect.

No Sales Quotas: Many telecom providers put their sales people under unrealistic sales quotas and end up with pushy unprofessional sales staff and high turnover.   Good Telecom Brokers have a vested interest in a customer’s long term success, helping customers make informed educated decisions without the need of sales quotas.

Single Point of Contact:   All too often after you purchase telecom services and need help with billing or service issues the sales person that sold you the service has left.   You are now have known one to call for help and are left calling the companies 800 number which can frustrating and downright time consuming.   A good Broker can help escalate, troubleshoot or get resolutions resolved much faster than dealing direct with a telecom provider

Consolidation: Many companies with multiple locations and difference providers get multiple bills and need help consolidating services. .   Good Telecom Brokers understand “Telecom Aggregation” consolidating multiple services on one bill and providing a “one stop shopping” model that saves time and money.  

Pricing and Support: In some cases Telecom Brokers offer better rates to their customers than going direct with the telecom company.   In fact, many Telecom companies in an effort to reduce cost have fired their sales staffs and only work with “indirect” or Telecom Brokers.

Tegile vs Nimble debate on reddit

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Debate going over on reddit:

Of interest from SquizzOC:

I’ve got over 50 projects closed with Tegile and here’s why:

  • Hybrid or All flash
  • Multi-Protocol: iSCSI, FC, CIFS, NFS, SMB all in the same array.
  • Inline DeDupe and Compression
  • Zero licensing costs (I don’t believe this applies to Nimble either)
  • Price

Their end of quarter is July so if you plan on purchasing in the near future, cutting a PO by mid July will net you the best cost. I’m seeing deals approved with an additional 20% discount above and beyond their normal killer pricing. Last Nimble vs. Tegile project I quoted:

  • Tegile: 107k
  • Nimble: 140k

Tegile came in with a more powerful array as well. If you aren’t working with a VAR, Ping me and I can guide you sir. I prefer to have the business go through me of course, but if I can help put another Tegile array in a home I’m happy 🙂

Ssukin also echoed that result:  with Tegile being the top contender though he was posting reviews from his employer’s site IT centralstation .

Arista and VMware

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While Cisco is the big boy on the block when it comes to networking gear, competitor Arista has some nice offerings that give one reason to look at a look at its products.

One interesting thing their devices have is “native support for VMware Virtualization” (1). With Vmware endorsing NSX for it’s vision of the software defined datacenter (SDDC), and a partner like Arista providing the physical components, it could make deploying software defined networking (SDN) much easier. In fact, Vmware and Arista have entered a “Strategic Relationship to Advance Adoption of Network Virtualization”. At the moment it’s a 4 year agreement ot work together, but as with any relationship, if it is fruitful it will continue to grow.

One of my concerns with NSX when it first came out was vendor support. At a VMUG conference 2 years ago when asked what steps and hardware vendor support there would be for network issues, the answer was they were working on it. In the meantime use wireshark. At that time, only bleeding edge cases would have likley gotten the most out of NSX. Today with strategic partnerships in place, it’s a different story.

At the moment it appears the targets for their combined solutions are large enterprise datacenters and cloud providers

but for smaller and midsized firms, gaining an understanding of what is available can always lead to a future edge competitively.

This topic needs further research by myself, and I am interested in learning more

1 <;

2 <;

VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance : Review

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VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance


What is it?

The precursor to VSAN, the VSA enabled hosts to have software based shared storage without the need for a dedicated storage platform .


“this appliance is aimed at our SMB (Small and Mid-size Business) customers who may not be in a position to purchase a physical SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure, and as a result, these customers do not have shared storage”

Vpshere Blog


Current status:

As of April 1, 2014. all VSA has entered end of life and can no longer be purchased.


How does it work?

The software would divide up the disk allocation in such a way that a volume from one host is mirrored on another.

The selling point is that you can use a minimal set of hardware, or even an existing one, to take advantage of the great features vSphere offered while having to forgo unneeded expenditures that a company ,may not be willing to make.


A company can use high availability and DRS with a smaller investment rather than using tens of thousands to potentially hundreds of thousands on shared storage.



Why replaced?

VSAN is a MUCH better product than VSA.

Where VSA was aimed at small to medium business, VSAN is focused on the enterprise market, moving away from what Duncan Epping likes to call “San Huggers”.

VSAN is built into the vSphere kernel, it has SSD caching, scalable and ready for the prime time.


Here is a nice comparison thanks to vSphere blog



VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison
VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison



end notes:

Vmware ended a product line that, while an interesting concept at the time, has fulfilled its need. Its features have been placed into the kernel itself, integrating the best, while adding new fatures. So VSA isnt gone in a way, just renamed. Like a lot of other Vmware products.


Project Onyx : Capture click, make code

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Project Onyx: A nice Vmware fling developed by vmware to turn mouse clicks in to command text.

How does it work?

It’s a proxy between your thick client and your vcenter server.

You connect to vcenter via Onyx. Then you use the thick client to connect to the Onyx proxy server

Of importance:

Onyx makes use of direct api calls, rather than powercli.

In the example from the vmware blog, rather than using start-vm to power on a virtual machine,

Onyx will use the API PoweronMultiVM_Task.

So why use it?

True there may be a lot of things that are easier to do using some powercli commands, but if there is something that can’t be automated, you are curious, or just need a hint, at what calls to make, it is still a good tool to have in the tool kit.

Where to get it?

Is there support?

There is (inactive) community driven support

Does it work with Vcenter6?

I haven’t test that yet.


Here is a nice introduction video by Carter Shanklin:

What type of output?

Raw Soap messages 2.0

vCO javascript

How to connect?

Press the connect button

Enter your vcenter server name

Open viclient

once connected you will see the listening port on the pc where you ran onyx

Connect to that port

In this case

The vi client interface is a little slow since it has to run though the onyx proxy:

Here in the client we can see that I changed the network of one of my vms to not connect on poweron