Race On

VMUG Romania – Race On

On November 1st, the VMware community in Romania is shifting gears, quite literally! The VMUG Romania – Race On event promises an exhilarating fusion of knowledge sharing and adrenaline-pumping kart racing at the prestigious VMAX Karting in Bucharest.

Race On – Event Details

  • Date and Time: Wednesday, November 1 · 9am – 2:30pm EET
  • Location: VMAX Karting Bucuresti

Attendance is limited, so make sure to secure your spot by registering for the event here. Please note that participation in the entire event is a prerequisite for joining the karting session.

Race On – Agenda

  • 08:30 – 09:00: Registration
  • 09:00 – 09:05: Opening Remarks by VMUG Romania
  • 09:05 – 09:50: Presentation by Cristian Stan, Pure Storage
  • 09:50 – 10:00: Break
  • 10:00 – 10:45: Presentation by Cornel Popescu, Veeam
  • 10:45 – 11:15: Presentation by Adrian Birzu, Oracle
  • 11:15 – 11:30: Break
  • 11:30 – 12:30: Presentation by Cristian Radu, VMware
  • 12:30 – 14:30: “Race On”
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The Power of Community: A Personal Journey

Communities hold a unique power. They bring together individuals with shared interests, creating spaces for learning, growth, and lasting friendships. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of several vibrant communities that have enriched my life in countless ways. In this article, I’ll share my experiences with the Go community in Bucharest, Romania, my involvement in the VMware community, and my current role in Lenovo’s internship programs.

The Go Community: Close to 40 Years of Lasting Friendships

In the heart of Bucharest, Romania, I was 10 years old when I first stepped into the vibrant world of the Go community, drawn by a shared passion for this ancient Asian game. Beyond the strategic moves and intense competitions, what struck me most was the spirit of camaraderie that permeated every gathering. We weren’t just players; we were a tight-knit family, bound by a mutual love for the game.

Late-night discussions dissecting the nuances of each move and the jubilant celebrations of victories are vivid in my memory. These experiences forged bonds that have stood the test of time. Even now, after close to 40 years, I find myself reconnecting with those same friends, reminiscing about those moments that defined our shared history.

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How to Use Ansible to Manage VMware Infrastructure

In this article I will show how to install and configure Ansible to manage VMware infrastructure. I will then demonstrate how you can use Ansible to get information about vSphere nodes using two different methods (REST API and Community.VMware Ansible collection).

For my demonstration I used CentOS Stream 9 as my base OS.

You can download all the code and commands used in this article from my GitHub repository.

Install and Configure Ansible

First we need to install Python3 and then we can proceed to install Ansible:

sudo dnf install python3 python3-devel
pip install ansible
pip install ansible
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2022 - a year review in a page

2022 – A Year Review in a Page

A little late to this review party, but better late than sorry 🙂

If I would need to say in one word how was my 2022, I would probably say “Unexpected”.

VMUG Romania

Together with my colleagues Razvan and Mihai, we hosted three VMware User Group Romania meetings in 2022. We started early in the year, with an online meeting in February, sponsored by Pure Storage. Cristian Stan and Cristian Radu talked to us about VMware on FlashArray, Portworx as CSI orchestrator, and using Velero to backup a Tanzu cluster.

At the beginning of July 2022, we checked in at PointHub in Bucharest for a new meeting. Tanzu was the main speaking point, starting with the keynote speaker, Oren Penso, Field CISO at VMware Tanzu, and continuing with Kobi Shamama, Sales Director at VMware Tanzu, and Yaniv Norman, Senior Solution Engineer at VMware Tanzu. Cristian Radu And Adrian Lazar (both from VMware Romania) had a powerful conversation about journey to multi-cloud. I had my slot as well, talking about community power and about my journey from VMUG spectator to VMware Explore speaker.

Middle of October had us meet for the last time in 2022, in a special location, VMAX Karting track in Bucharest. Unfortunately Cormac Hogan, our keynote speaker, was not able to attend the event in person, so we had to stream him to the huge screen from the track. Cristian Radu told us about the news coming with vSphere 8, and then Razvan Ionescu, VMUG leader, told us a story from the beginning of the IT industry.

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Cannot Contact Host in vCenter 8

Cannot Contact Host in vCenter 8

Recently I was doing some jobs in the home lab and at some point I was trying to add a new vSphere host called nuc01.cloudhat.local into a vCenter 8 cluster, but I immediately received an error:

Cannot contact host nuc01.cloudhat.local

This was a new vCenter 8 environment and a new vSphere host. I started to debug the issue using my Windows jump VM. The new vSphere host was responding to ping using the IP address, but DNS resolution was not working. I switched to my DNS server and of course, DNS records were missing for the new host. I added the missing DNS records and then I switched back to my Windows VM to check DNS resolution:

C:\>nslookup nuc01.cloudhat.local
Server:  dns.cloudhat.local

Name:    nuc01.cloudhat.local

This time it was looking good, so I went back to vCenter to retry the “Add Hosts” to cluster operation, just to receive same error: “Cannot contact host”.

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VMware vCenter Server 8 build 20519528

How to Install VMware vCenter Server 8

Middle of October 2022, VMware released the new version 8 of the vCenter Server. Finally I got some time to update my home lab. In this article I will demonstrate how to install VMware vCenter Server 8.

To start, you need an installation kit of vCenter Server 8. For this article, I will use the GA version of vCenter Server 8.0.0 – VMware-VCSA-all-8.0.0-20519528.iso.

Same as in the previous versions of vCenter Server, the installation process consists in two separate stages. At the end of the first stage you will have the appliance installed, then in the second stage you will configure it.

Install vCenter Server 8 – Stage 1 – Install the VM

To launch the installer I will use a Windows virtual machine (you can also use a Mac or a Linux system). Unzip the ISO archive and navigate to VMware-VCSA-all-8.0.0-20519528\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 folder. Launch installer.exe and begin to install vCenter Server 8.

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ThinkAgile VX Deployer

Lenovo ThinkAgile VX Deployer

When you do work that feels good, time flies. LinkedIn reminded me that I joined Lenovo 2 years ago, but I still have a vivid memory of my first day at Lenovo, in the middle of the pandemic: get in the office, spend 20 minutes to get the IT equipment, and then rush home. I realized I wrote nothing on my blog about my work at Lenovo, so I’ll correct this quickly.

In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis priorities changed, for me like for a lot of other people. I decided that 20 years spent in IT operations are enough. During my search for other opportunities, I met the people from Lenovo and I liked their involvement in the community, given my implication in the VMUG community I felt we are sharing similar vision. So here I am jumping in a different boat, software development. I was lucky enough to join a new initiative in Lenovo and help developing a product from scratch, a tool to automate installation and configuration of a vSAN cluster.

What is ThinkAgile VX Deployer?

ThinkAgile VX Deployer is a GUI-based wizard that guides a VMware administrator through the deployment of vSAN clusters on top of Lenovo ThinkAgile VX Integrated Systems. We designed the Deployer to be as simple to use as possible. You just install the VX servers in rack, and then fire the VX Deployer. You don’t need to configure out-of-band interfaces, you don’t need to power on the servers, you just need the right amount of network connections.

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VMware Explore US 2022

VMware Explore – Confessions of a First-Time Speaker

2022 felt like a rollercoaster to me, in part due to an unexpected event. On August 30, in a big room from Moscone West, San Francisco, I presented my first session in a VMware Explore / VMworld conference: “Accelerate Time to Business Value and Achieve Faster Deployment with Lenovo ThinkAgile VX Deployer”, #MCLB1601US.This was an intense experience, so I feel that telling the story of a first-time presenter at Explore will be something interesting to my readers.

Wow! VMware Explore US

Close to the end of April 2022, answering an internal Lenovo call, I got the opportunity to submit a proposal for a VMware Explore session. Beginning of May, I submitted my proposal: a title no longer then 75 characters and a description no longer than 850 characters. I knew getting a session accepted is hard, so I got close to no hope of moving on to the next phase.

The morning of June 23 came with a big surprise:

Dear Constantin,
Congratulations! We are happy to announce that your session(s) has/have been accepted for VMware Explore 2022 US taking place at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA from August 29 – September 1st, 2022.

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VMware vCenter 7.0.3d CLI

VMware vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d – How to Install Using the CLI

In this article I will demonstrate an unattended installation of vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d.

To follow along you will need:

  • installation ISO for vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d, which you can download from your My.VMware account: VMware-VCSA-all-7.0.3-19480866.iso
  • a text editor. I used Microsoft Visual Studio Code, but you can really use any text editor.
  • the ability to run CLI commands. I used a Windows server to launch the command, but VMware also provides binaries for Linux and Mac.

Prepare the JSON Configuration File

VMware provides a number of JSON template files, so we don’t have to start from scratch. Inside the ISO file, we can navigate to vcsa-cli-installer\templates\install to see the available templates. There are 5 templates, among them:

  • embedded_vCSA_on_ESXi.json – minimum configuration required for the deployment of vCSA on an ESXi host.
  • embedded_vCSA_on_VC.json – minimum configuration required for the deployment of vCSA on a vCenter Server instance.
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VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4

VMware recently announced general availability of VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 Bill of Materials

The Bill of Materials for VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 includes the following products:

  • Cloud Builder 4.4
  • SDDC Manager 4.4
  • vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3c
  • vSphere 7.0 Update 3c with Tanzu
  • vSAN 7.0 Update 3c
  • NSX-T Data Center
  • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.6.2
    • vRealize Log Insight 8.6.2
    • vRealize Operations 8.6.2
    • vRealize Automation 8.6.2
    • Workspace ONE Access 3.3.6
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