Author Archives: dean132

vRA 7.x Remote Console Connection Fails

I recently experienced some strange behaviour at a customer, we had a newly deployed vRA 7.2 platform, and we also built a test 7.3 and had the issue on both versions.

I should point out here that this particular customer runs on a G-Cloud site, so it’s a secure platform heavily firewalled and there is no internet access to the infrastructure.

What was happening was that when a user connected to a VM using the Remote Console they would hit the below error:

“Cannot establish a remote console connection , verify that the machine is powered on if the server has self-signed certificate, you might need to accept certificate, then close and retry the connection”

A quick google of that error will lead you to the following KB Article I followed the steps but alas no joy, also where my issue was different was that if you hit refresh on the browser the console would load, which was even stranger.

In the end I had to log a ticket with VMware Support, after the ticket was escalated to the software team, we were given the solution.

There is a default timeout when initiating the Remote Console connection, unfortunately the setting isn’t documented, and I am not sure what the default timeout setting is, I do know that to replicate our issue VMware support had to drop their timeout to 500ms.

So you need to find the file to edit, which is:

“/etc/vcac/security.properties”

Go to the end of the file and add the below setting:

“consoleproxy.timeout.connectionInitMs=20000”

You can fine tune the setting to what ever your environment needs, 20000ms seemed to be the sweet spot for us.

Hope this helps someone else out there, the only thing we can think is that some kind of CRL lookup, or other checks are happening when the connection is being created and due to our environment having no internet access these fail and increase the initiation time.

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vRA 7 Create a Folder Selection Dropdown

Another quick post, I needed to create a dropdown box that would give a user the ability to select which vCenter folder a newly provisioned VM should be placed in. The custom property we need to set here is VMware.Virtualcenter.Folder, if you don’t want to give your users access to choose which folder to place a new VM in, but you want to ensure all of their VMs go in a specific folder you can set this property in a number of places.

Anyway for this example I want users to be offered a dropdown box on the request form, that will list all of the child folders in a folder called “Management Servers”.

In order to do this I need to create a vRO action and then a Property Definition to enable this.

vRO Action

The code for the vRO action is as follows:

var parentFolder = “Management Servers”;

var vmFolders = VcPlugin.getAllVmFolders();

var arrFolders = [];

 

for(var i in vmFolders){

if (vmFolders[i].parent.name == parentFolder)

{

arrFolders.push(vmFolders[i].name);

}}

return arrFolders;

 

You will need to specify a return type of Array/String

If you want to test the code copy it to a new workflow and sciptable task and change the return arrFolders; line to System.log (arrFolders); and ensure you are getting back the folders you expect to see

Property Definition

Setup you Property Definition as follows:

You need to select your newly created action from vRO:

Attach the property definition to the Blueprint:

Now you have a dropdown to select the vCenter Folder:

Hope someone finds this useful

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Synchronise Embedded vRO

Just a quick note that had me confused for probably a little longer than it should have. I am using the vRA 7.2 embedded instances of vRO in a 2 node cluster, I recently imported a plugin using the vRO control centre, once the plugin was imported I noticed that when looking at the “Orchestrator Cluster Management” page the nodes were out of sync. I thought that as the instances were embedded then maybe vRA did something clever in the background to force the sync, however I left this for a long weekend and the nodes still hadn’t synced sync’d.

What I noticed was when looking at the Orchestrator Cluster Management page on the embedded cluster, you do not get the “Synchronize” option that you normally get when using an external appliance in a cluster, this is what had me stumped for a short while, after I found the solution I thought I’d best blog it just so can find the solution for my next deployment.

In order to view the Synchronize option I needed to append ?advanced to the URL

You’ll then have the Synchronize option available to force the sync.

 

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vExpert 2017

I am very pleased to announce that I have been included in the vExpert 2017 program. For those of you who aren’t aware of the vExpert program you can find details here, this year is the first year I have been included, so I was really chuffed to have made the cut.

I can’t recommend high enough the value of getting involved with the VMware community, I have been fortunate to have worked with or on the same project as a couple of vExperts over the years, Simon Sparks, Gareth Hogarth and Sam McGeown and their knowledge and generosity in sharing that knowledge, was what got me into attending the UK VMUG UserCon, starting this blog and venturing down the vExpert path, so I must say a special thanks to those 3 guys in particular. I’d also like to extend a thanks to Corey Romero who runs the program and to VMware for putting the program in place.

Anyway I’ll keep updating my blog here, I am currently working on a large vRA / NSX deployment so hopefully that experience will lead to some interesting blog posts.

Bye for now.

Dean

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VCAP6-CMA Deploy Exam Experience RANT!!!

Well I took the VCAP6-CMA Deploy exam a couple of days ago, and it’s taken me a couple of days to simmer down after my experience. I had so many issues whilst taking the exam, that if I had have posted about it straight away there would have been a lot of unsavoury language in here. I am not sure where the fault lies with the issues I had, but I have logged a complaint with both Pearson and VMware Education services. Be warned this post is nothing more than a bitter rant….

So this was the first VCAP exam I have sat, I read around the web for any tips I could find, and I used the VMware hands on labs briefly so I could familiar with the environment. The first bad omen was when I first sat at my workstation, the exam application crashed and I had to raise my hand and get the assessor to restart it. Once I got started, I encountered another small annoyance, the exam centre had old fashioned (see small) monitors, this meant that I couldn’t fit the question and the lab on the screen at the same time, but although not the best I could live with this. The main and most infuriating issue was the performance. The whole environment ground to a virtual halt, I was waiting anywhere from 10-15 seconds from mouse click to actual response, I raised my hand and told the exam centre staff what was going on, he cold booted my PC and moved me to a different workstation in the exam centre. After logging back in again, the lab seemed to run great…….for about 15 minutes……..and then again it ground to a halt mid question……..another hand raise and another cold boot and another new workstation (I’m not sure what moving workstations was supposed to resolve). Then whilst trying to reconnect to my console to a desktop I was using inside the exam lab, I watched around 3 minutes slip by…..whilst the console tried….and FAILED to reconnect……after a retry and another 3 minutes(ish) again, it failed to connect, eventually on the fourth attempt 12-14 minutes later I was connected back on my desktop and able to limp along with the questions again.

As well as the stress of moving around the exam centre, losing time waiting for the lab to respond, and the clear understanding that I wasn’t going to get to the end of this exam I admitted defeat and tried to get as much done as possible. I got to question 27, and before I could click OK (and 30 seconds earlier than the end) the exam exited and ended.

I told the exam staff I wanted to raise a complaint, they said they would raise an incident for me……I have emailed VMware Education services and also Pearson Vue and I am awaiting a response.

I am 99% certain I failed the exam, it takes 10 days to get your result, I am not even sure, that even if I answered every question correctly that I managed to get to, I would have answered enough questions to achieve a passing score. I cannot believe that for an exam as expensive as this one, the exam experience is the worst I have ever had. What’s worse if that the exam is based on 6.x and I believe that is out of support next year. I’ll wait for version 7 in the hope that they have improved the exam experience by then.

UPDATE 22/02/17: Pearson Vue have sent me a voucher for a free exam which has definitely eased my frustration, I am now over 2 weeks since taking the exam and I still haven’t received my result.

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UPDATE 22/03/17: I finally received my result and I must say I was just as pleased as I was surprised to have passed!!! On to the Design exam now I suppose

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