VCDX #223

The two week waiting period after the defense were maddening. I had mood swings ranging from “what the F did I do” to “maybe juuuuuust maybe”.

And then finally after two weeks of nightmares and nail biting “the” defense results email arrives, I think I’ll never forget the moment that I received “the” email…

I was driving home from work and got a message from my fellow VCDX wannabe Matthew Bunce stating that someone already got his defense results. While reading this message an email notification appeared in the top of my phone called “VCDX – VCDX-DCV Defense Results”, my heart dropped to the bottom of my car. I managed to raise my finger over the the notification, swipe it to the right and read the first line of the email.


I remember thinking to myself, how do you mean “Congratulations! You passed!”? What the? I Passed!?! After I almost crashed my car into the crash barier (this proves again you should not read emails on your phone while driving!) I directly phoned Matthew and he also received the same good news! The VCDX directory has two new additions to the VCDX family, VCDX #222 and #223! Happy days!

You can read more about my VCDX journey and background on the blog of Gregg Robertson in his VCDX Spotlight section : The Saffageek VCDX Spotlight – Marco van Baggum

It now has been more than two weeks ago since I got my VCDX results back and it finally starts to sink in, I actually PASSED! I’m still over the moon and can’t wait to get started on some new projects and write some overdue blog post.

To be continued!

VCDX #223

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Upgrade vRealize Automation 6.2 To 7.x

This post describes how to upgrade vRealize Automation 6.2 to 7.x. Before performing this upgrade please read my previous post “vRealize Automation 7 Upgrade Considerations“, this post describes multiple pitfalls and could prevent potential issues.

Done reading? OK then let’s start!

upgrade vRealize Automation

Step 1 : Backup current Installation

Before you do anything backup your current installation! Believe me when I say this is a critical step, if something goes wrong you don’t want to rely only on a VM snapshot…

Step 2 : Shutdown vRealize Automation services on your IaaS server

Shut down services in the following order on the IaaS servers. But be absolutely sure not to shut down the actual machine, otherwise the appliance upgrade will fail.
Each virtual machine has a Management agent, which should be stopped with each set of services.

  • All VMware vCloud Automation Center agents
  • All VMware DEM workers
  • VMware DEM orchestrator
  • VMware vCloud Automation Center Service

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    vRealize Automation 7 Upgrade Considerations

    For an engagement last week, I had to find out if there are any considerations for performing an in place upgrade to vRealize Automation 7. And funny enough I found a few…

    vRealize Automation 7 upgrade

    vRealize Automation 7 Upgrade Considerations

    • Minimum upgrade version to vRA 7.0 is vRA 6.2.x
    • Note : vRA 6.2.4 will not be supported for upgrade to 7.0 until 7.x
  • vRA 7.0 will only work with vRO 7.0
  • Customers with vRA 6.0 / 6.1 need to upgrade to 6.2.x first
  • The upgrade process to vRA 7.0 will stop if :
    • Physical Endpoints are detected
    • vCloud Director Endpoints are detected
  • Application Services Blueprints will not be migrated
  • Add component for Multi Machine Blueprints will not be available in 7.0
  • vRA 7.0 vRO Plug-in is not backward compatible
  • Customizations that leverage Custom Components Catalog (CCC) and vCloud Automation Center Designer (CDK) will not be supported in 7.0

    Background Information :


    Physical Endpoints

    All previously supported physical endpoints like HP iLO, Cisco UCS, Dell iDRAC etc are not supported. I could not find any specific reason for it, only that it did not make the vRA 7.0 release.

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    vExpert 2016 and VCDX Phase 1

    vExpert 2016

    I was super excited last week that I have been awarded vExpert 2016 for the second(!!) time.

    vExpert 2016
    So what’s a “vExpert”?
    As VMware states : “A vExpert, in the simplest of terms, is an active member of the VMware community who imparts his/her advanced knowledge on others. The vExpert program is a way of recognizing people who participate in the community and increase awareness of VMware products and uses.“
    The list of the vExpert 2016 announcement can be found here : Link
    A great thanks to Corey Romero & the vExpert Team for all their great work.
    And of course congratulations to all other vExperts of 2016!

    VCDX Phase 1

    It has been a crazy month! Not much time for tweeting, blogging or anything else for that matter! Why you ask? Well because I had put my full focus on submitting a design before the VCDX submission deadline on the 14th of February and we actually made it!
    Many thanks go out to:
    Matthew Bunce
    Niels Hagoort
    Paul Geerlings
    Dennis Hoegen Dijkhof
    Gregg Robertson
    And of course my wife Rosa en son Panos for putting up with me over the last month(s) 🙂 .
    Now the waiting begins for the review and maybe if everything goes well hopefully the invite for the defense! To be continued (I hope)…

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    Host Profiles : Number of network stack instances don’t match

    Today was a nice and peaceful day onsite, until I had the “pleasure” to configure vSphere Host Profiles and getting all the hosts compliant. After battling with some PSP path selection “Compliance Failures” an annoying “Number of network stack instances don’t match” failure appeared.

    Host Profiles

    This is not the first time I got this failure and I knew how to solve it, but there is not much information online how you can solve it so I thought lets dedicate a small post about it.

    The Host Profiles fix

    First open a SSH connection to the reference host and run the following command :

    Then open a SSH connection to the hosts that won’t get it and refuses to get compliant with the Host Profile and run the last command show above again. Compare the two results, if it is correct there is another netstack shown on the not compliant host. Write down the netstack name and run the following command :

    After this go back to the vSphere Host Profiles and click on “Check Profile Compliance”, the host should be “Compliant” when the check is completed!


    Enjoy! 🙂

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    How to change your forgotten vRealize Operations 6.x root password

    Today I wanted to access my vRealize Operations (vROps) appliance through the console, but… oh cr*p what did I use as the root password of the appliance again…

    vRealize Operations

    After some research it appears to be quite easy to change your forgotten root password.

    Reset vRealize Operations root password

    Open the console of the vRealize Operations appliance through the vSphere Web Client or the old trusted vSphere Client. Then reboot the vRealize Operations appliance and when the bootloader appears just append init=/bin/bash to the boot options.


    Proceed with booting the appliance and when the appliance is done booting type passwd (more…)

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    Home Lab

    In the years before 2013, I ran my Home Lab on VMware Workstation. I mainly used my desktop for this task, but after some issues with ballooning VMs and performance issues it was time for me to create a shopping list for a more serious Home Lab. The combination of the items on the shopping list had to meet the following requirements :

    – Max performance with power efficiency
    – Has to be silent
    – Minimum of 2 hosts
    – Minimum of 32GB per host
    – Multiple NICs
    – Space for a SSD drive
    – And of course the WAF was quite important

    For whoever doesn’t know what WAF is, damn you’re lucky… But here is a pretty good explanation : link

    Then the search began, googleling I came across some good blog post with helpfull information.

    Erik Bussink : 2013 Homelab refresh
    Kendrick Coleman : Green Machines 5.5 Home Lab Update
    Eric Shanks : Baby Dragon Home Lab

    At the moment this is the current logical design of my Home Lab :

    Home Lab

    And it consists of the following hardware :

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    How to replace the vRealize Orchestrator appliance certificate

    After a lot of struggling in the past I finally found a dummy proof way to replace the vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) appliance certificate that works every time. The official documentation for replacing the certificate of the vRO appliance with a CA signed certificate is not so clear, so I hope this helps a bit.


    Lets get started!

    To create the certificate request first download OpenSSL for Windows and install it in the default location : C:\OpenSSL-Win64

    After OpenSSL is installed create the certificate configuration file : C:\OpenSSL-Win64\Certs\rui.cfg and add the following information. Change the marked values starting and ending with % to your own specification.

    Next we need to create the PFX file that we are going to import in vRO.

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    vRealize Orchestrator ERR_SSL_WEAK_EPHEMERAL_DH_KEY error

    Yesterday while validating a vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) deployment on a PSO engagement with my colleague Matthew Bunce (link), we got this weird error when we tried to open the configuration page of a vRO appliance :

    vRealize Orchestrator

    So what has changed? Why didn’t we got this error before?
    Ah of course Chrome has been updated (version 45)! And not only does this issue appear on Chrome but the problem seems to occur on the updated Firefox (version 40).

    Fix the vRealize Orchestrator ERR_SSL_WEAK_EPHEMERAL_DH_KEY error

    After some Google magic I came across a VMware KB (link) which pointed me in the right direction.

    Open an SSH connection to the vRO appliance, and edit the file /etc/vco/app-server/server.xml
    Search for the line :

    And replace it with :

    And do the same in the file /var/lib/vco/configuration/conf/server.xml

    And finally reboot the appliance (just to be sure…)

    vRealize Orchestrator

    Enjoy! 🙂


    John Milner (link) pointed out to me in his comment below, that if you are using the Windows installation, you can follow the same procedure as above but then for the file : %INSTALL_PATH%\VMware\Orchestrator\app-server\conf\server.xml

    Thanks John!

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    How to manually update the vRealize Business reference database

    On several of my last vRealize projects, I’ve had the challenge (one of many 😉 ) of getting direct access from the vRealize Business (vRB) to the internet to retrieve the latest vRB reference database from the VMware servers. There is a manual way to do this, but this involves opening a SR, sending them the though vRB created file and waiting for VMware support to reply with the updated file. It works but it takes some time and effort also from VMware support.

    But now VMware came up with an improved way to update the vRealize Business reference database :

    vRealize Business


    Update vRealize Business reference database process

    Open the vRealize Automation (vRA) portal and log in to the portal with credentials that has “Business Management Administrator” rights. Then open Business Administration -> Business Management -> Update Reference Database.

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