Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Farewell VMware

The clever people and Buddhists know that the only constant thing in the world is change. The change is usually associated with transition, and as we all know, transitions are not easy, but generally good and inevitable things. All transitions are filled with anticipation and potential risks, however, any progress and innovations are only achieved by accepting the risk and going outside of the comfort zone. That's one of the reasons I have decided to leave VMware, even though VMware organization and technologies are very close to my heart, and I truly believe that the VMware software stack is one of the most important IT technology stacks for the future of humans. 

As I prepare to move on, I have to say goodbye and a big thank you to the VMware organization. VMware technologies are part of my daily life for a long time, using the technology since 2006, and I’ll really miss the VMware family I joined back in 2015. It was a great time, and I will especially miss VMware core technical folks transforming the industry and building one of the best software-defined infrastructure stacks humans have done so far. 

And where do I actually go? Back in 2001, I was the co-founder of the software start-up, where I started my professional career by architecting, developing, and operating the air ticket online booking platform, which was later acquired by Galileo Travelport https://www.travelport.com. Now, after 20 years, I have got the proposal to help Kiwi.com to become the # 1 digital system in the modern digitalized travel industry. For those who do not know Kiwi.com, Kiwi.com was originally a Czech start-up growing into a worldwide #3 air ticketing booking platform. They were acquired by General Atlantic back in 2019 https://www.generalatlantic.com/media-article/general-atlantic-announces-strategic-partnership-with-travel-platform-kiwi-com/, and General Atlantic’s past and current investments in the global online travel industry include Priceline, Airbnb, Meituan, Flixbus, Uber, Despegar, Smiles and Mafengwo can tell you where the online travel industry is heading. Those who can read between the lines understand that such a mix allows to build optimal door-to-door traveling for the next human generation(s). I have decided that I would like to be part of such travel industry transformation! Not only because Kiwi.com really does multi-cloud with Kubernetes at a large scale, but mainly to be part of a very young, innovative, and inspiring team including hundreds of software developers and dozens of infrastructure platform and DevOps engineers operating everything as cloud computing.

I'm expecting big fun and you can expect more blog posts about DevOps, multi-cloud, Docker, Kubernetes, CI/CD, Observability, and infrastructure for modern applications because I have to learn and test a lot of new technologies and writing the blog post is the great way to share new knowledge and getting the feedback from other folks in various communities.

Hope my blog will be still useful for my current readers who are typically very IT infrastructure-oriented, however, the software eats the world, and the IT infrastructure is here to support software, isn't it? 

Sunday, April 03, 2022

VMware vSphere DRS/DPM and iDRAC IPMI

I have four Dell server R620 in my home lab. I'm running some workloads which have to run 24/7 (DNS/DHCP server, Velocloud SD-WAN gateway, vCenter Server, etc.), however,  there are other workloads just for testing and Proof of Concepts purposes. These workloads are usually powered off. As electricity costs will most probably increase in near future, I realized VMware vSphere DRS/DPS (Distributed Resource Scheduler/Distributed Power Management) could be a great technology to keep the bill of electricity at an acceptable level.

VMware vSphere DPM is using IPMI protocol to manage physical servers. IPMI has to be configured per ESXi server as depicted in the screenshot below.

I have iDRAC Enterprise in my Dell servers and I thought it will be a simple task to configure iDRAC by just entering the iDRAC username, password, IP address, and MAC address.

However, I have realized that the configuration operation fails with an error message "A specified parameter was not correct: ipmiInfo".

During troubleshooting, I tested ipmi (ipmitool -I lanplus -H -U root -P calvin chassis status) from FreeBSD operating system, and I have realized it does not work as well.

That led me to do some further research and to find, that iDRAC doesn't have IPMI enabled by default. iDRAC command to get the IPMI status is "racadm get iDRAC.IPMILan"

iDRAC command "racadm set iDRAC.IPMILan.Enable 1" enables IPMI over LAN and the command "racadm get iDRAC.IPMILan" can be used to validate the IPMI over LAN status.

After such iDRAC configuration, I was able to use IPMI from FreeBSD operating system.

And it worked correctly in VMware vSphere as well as depicted in the screenshot below. 

When IPMI is configured correctly on ESXi, the ESXi host can be switched into Standby Mode manually from vSphere Client as ESXi action.   

The ESXi Standby Mode is used for vSphere DRS/DPM automation. 

Job done!

Hope this helps some other folks in the VMware community.