On choosing VMware NSX or Cisco ACI by Brad Hedlund

Brad Hedlund, Engineering Architect with the CTO office of VMware’s Networking and Security Business Unit (NSBU), posted an article to help customers who are evaluating both VMware NSX and Cisco ACI.  You can read more here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cisco Releases the Simple ACI Toolkit

According to Lauren Malhoit the Simple ACI Toolkit is basically a combination of an NX-OS like CLI and some custom python scripts that can be used to create and show common daily configuration and administrative actions.  Today it is limited in scope and does not provide the ability to create service graphs, VMM Domains, SPAN, Atomic Counters, or to view most telemetry and health score information.  However, the tool will give you a head start on automating basic configuration tasks.  For more details visit Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Changing the Logging Level for NSX Control Plane logs

In another great post by Dmitri Kalintsev on his Telecom Occasionally bLOG I found a little nugget of incredibly useful information.  Dmitri’s article illustrates in great detail the operation of VXLAN SwSec module for VM IP Update.  It also details how to change the logging level for the NSX Control Plane logs so that you can observe VXLAN control plane operations.  Here is an excerpt from the article NSX-v under the hood: VXLAN ARP suppression

NSX Control Plane logs are written into /var/log/netcpa.log on ESXi host. Logging level by default is “info”, and needs to be changed to “verbose” to observe VXLAN control plane operations described here. To do that (at your own risk!):

1) chmod +wt /etc/vmware/netcpa/netcpa.xml
2) edit /etc/vmware/netcpa/netcpa.xml and change “info” in <level></level> section of <log> to “verbose”
3) /etc/init.d/netcpad restart

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VCP-NV Blueprint Breakdown

Geoff Wilmington @vWilmo put together an outstanding breakdown of the VCP-NV Blueprint, for those of you preparing for the exam this will certainly be a useful resource.  Find the details in his bLOG post VCP-NV Blueprint Breakdown.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cisco’s Failed Nicira Aquisition

Business Insider published an article by Julie Bort which details how Cisco lost a bidding war to VMware in an attempt to purchase Nicira on July 23, 2012.  According to the article VMware ultimately paid $1.05 billion in cash, plus another $210 million in stock, while Cisco Cisco offered $750 million in a mostly stock transaction that looked like $1 billion on paper.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Configuring syslog server for VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x controllers

Today the only supported way to configure syslog for VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x controllers is by using the API.  VMware published a KB Article today with details on how this can be achieved.  See VMware Knowledge Base article Configuring syslog server for VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x controllers (2092228)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Preparing for the VCDX Defense Panel – Timeline

During the last week of July 2014, I delivered the VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [BETA] class in Austin, Texas.  One of the students in class was a VCDX and two others were on the path to becoming one.  The charismatic James Bowling @vSential was attending the class and he asked challenged me, “How come you haven’t attempted the VCDX?”.  For me the answer has always been simple, “Time & Money”.  As an independent consultant I am only paid when I am working.  I knew I would have to take time off to properly prepare for the VCDX Defense Panel.  Taking time off would mean that I wasn’t earning an income.  With the application deadline quickly approaching I had decided that I didn’t have enough time available and wouldn’t defend.  Sometimes life makes decisions for us though, at the last minute a customer moved an engagement from Q3 to Q4 and suddenly I had time.

This quick bLOG post focuses on my VCDX timeline and does not include the time required to prepare to pass the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exams.

I wasn’t sure how much effort was required to become a VCDX, however I knew that it was a significant investment in time.  I was able to complete the process in about 10-weeks.  In all honesty, I wish I would have had more time.  During preparation I was only getting a few hours of sleep and there were far too many all-nighters.

Here was my timeline along with a list of all of the amazing people that helped me along the way:

Date Event
24-Jul Decide to become a VCDX
24-Jul Download the VCDX-DV Blueprint
24-Jul Reach out to John Arrasjid to secure a Mentor
25-Jul Use a recent VMware Implementation as the basis of the design, start scrubbing the document.
26-Jul Download the VMware SET Documentation to identify missing design elements in existing document.
31-Jul Register for 1-day VCDX Bootcamp hosted by John Arrasjid
3-Aug Purchase and Read entire VMware Press VCDX Bootcamp Book
3-Aug Assigned Mentor Eiad Al-Aqqad
8-Aug At Midnight Submit Application and all corresponding documentation
21-Aug Phone Call with Mentor
21-Aug Receive notification from VMware Application is Administratively Complete
23-Aug Attend 1-day VCDX Bootcamp at VMworld
24-Aug VMworld Catch up with former students Jason Boche and Josh Coen solicit preparation feedback, common theme “Study Group & Defense Mocks”
3-Sep James Bowling Defense Mock WebEx
8-Sep Receive notification from VMware Design was Accepted
11-Sep Start the VCDX Success Study Group with 5 other candidates
16-Sep Frank Bueschel VCDX Troubleshooting Mock
16-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Peer Design Review
20-Sep Peer review: Shannon Jackson – Storage Design
20-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Mock Defense
21-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Mock Defense
22-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Mock Defense
23-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Mock Defense
24-Sep VCDX Study Group Meeting: Peer Design Review
26-Sep Peer review: Jeffrey O’Brien – Presentation
28-Sep Peer review: Tim Wright – Security Requirements
29-Sep Peer review: Michael Albright – Backup Design
30-Sep Frank Bueschel VCDX Troubleshooting Mock
2-Oct Phone Call with Mentor
3-Oct Peer review: Emad Younis – Compute Design
5-Oct Arrive in Palo Alto, CA 3-days early to focus on Defense Preparation
5-Oct Nutanix Sponsored VCDX Study Group Mock with Derek Seaman
6-Oct Peer review: Tony Bourke – Network Design
6-Oct Peer review: Dana Trimble, Jason Powell – Security Requirements
6-Oct Peer review: Jason Shiplett – Presentation
6-Oct Peer review: Derek Seaman – Presentation
7-Oct Peer review: Sarah Holden – Business Requirements
7-Oct Peer review: David Leonard – Business Requirements
8-Oct Defense
15-Oct Receive Results (Success!)

Does this mean you can become a VCDX in 10-weeks?  No.  The purpose of this post was to illustrate the amount of time it took me to get ready for the VCDX Defense Panel.  Prior to my defense I had worked with VMware products in Enterprise Environments for more than eight years and have attended 686.75 hours of VMware Training.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment