What is Ansible

I thought to create a series of posts on Ansible, mostly for my own benefit of learning the tool. So what is Ansible ?

Ansible is a lightweight, open source configuration management, provisioning, application deployment and orchestration system which has an agentless architecture. This means that the nodes do not require to install and run background daemons to connect with the main control node.

Ansible has been bought and it is now sponsored by Red Hat.

There are a lot to be covered and I will try to put everything in here, firstly for on my own learning experience, and then for anyone that might find it useful.

Installation:

Installing Ansible on Windows 10, Using the Linux Subsystem
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Installing Ansible on Windows 10, Using the Linux Subsystem

If you are using a 64 bit version of Windows 10 and a version later than Build 1607, you can install the Linux Subsystem and use Ansible from it.

Check if it’s 64 bit:

run msinfo from a command prompt and check the below details:

Recommendation is to install all the windows updates prior to the installation of Linux Subsystem.

Installation of Linux Subsystem for Windows:

Control Panel – Programs and Features – Turn Windows features on or off

Check Windows Subsystem for Linux

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Deploy vSphere 6.5 Platform Services Controller – PSC

The purpose of this document is to go through the installation of the Platform Services Controller PSC version 6.5, as part 1 of the vCenter Server (Appliance) deployment with an external PSC.

vCenter Server and the vCenter Server components are deployed on one system, and the services included in the Platform Services Controller are deployed on another system.

The following components are included in the vCenter Server and vCenter Server Appliance installations:

  • The VMware Platform Services Controller group of infrastructure services contains vCenter Single Sign-On, License service, Lookup Service, and VMware Certificate Authority.
  • The vCenter Server group of services contains vCenter Server, vSphere Web Client, vSphere Auto Deploy, and vSphere ESXi Dump Collector. vCenter Server for Windows also contains the VMware vSphere Syslog Collector. The vCenter Server Appliance also contains the VMware vSphere Update Manager Extension service.

For more information about vSphere 6.5 please refer to the official VMware vSphere documentation here.

For What is Νew in vSphere 6.5 click here.

 

Let’s start with the installation of the external PSC.

Download the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 ISO from VMware downloads.

You will see below that the VCSA installer has changed dramatically, it’s a lot cleaner, simpler, and many deployment options (install, upgrade, migrate, restore) are bundled into the same one installer.

Let’s do it.

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Scratch location set to /scratch – vSAN node on SD card

At the place I work, we experienced continuous “The ramdisk ‘root’ is full” issues on our vSAN ESXi nodes.

The first thing we did was to raise a support call and have vmware check what is filling up the ramdisk.

Support suggested that we need to limit the size of vsantraces to 200MB, and pointed to the below KB Article

https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2150320

This puzzled me, as the vsantraces was not full.

I kept digging and I found out that the scratch partition on the hosts was not pointing scratch -> /tmp/scratch

but it was on / instead.

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Home Lab Environment

Setting up the Home Lab Environment

The main reason behind building a Lab at Home, like many others also do, is to help me study and learn.

The specification of the hardware I used for the Lab can be found here.

To give you a better understanding of the setup and the nesting that is happening, I have drawn the below diagram. You can see that everything is on a single physical machine running VMware ESXi 6.0 U2, and the picture below represents the logical design of my lab. A physical switch, a physical server, and everything else virtual.

Logical Design

Vgnosis Logical Design

 

The Main Lab “Infrastructure” Setup

Let’s outline what our basic infrastructure components will be for the Lab.

Hostname OS Description Hardware
vgnosisesx01 Vmware ESXi 6.0U2 vGnosis Physical ESXi Host HP Proliant DL360 G7
vgnosis2k01 Windows 2012 R2 vGnosis Domain Controller and DNS Virtual Machine
vgnosisvap01 Virtual Appliance – SLES 11 vGnosis PSC (Platform Services Controller) Virtual Machine
vgnosisvap02 Virtual Appliance – SLES 11 vGnosis VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) Virtual Machine
vgnosis2k03 Windows 2012 R2 vGnosis VUM (Vmware Update Manager) Virtual Machine
sw01 Cisco IOS vGnosis Cisco Switch Cisco WS-C3750E-48PD
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Platform Services Controller (PSC) Replication Latency – Enhanced Linked Mode

At work, we have deployed a  PSC / VCSA 6U1  in Singapore, and linked it to our London PSC on the same domain,

so we can use Enhannced Linked Mode.

Below diagram diagram describes the PSC / VCSA deployment.

 

PSC_Replication

Tried to logon to VCSA01 which is in our London vSphere and it took 10 minutes for the web client to load.

VCSA02 which is in Singapore appeared on the screen and couldn’t be expanded.

Hosts and Clusters on VCSA01 didn’t show any tabs. So, Web Client wasn’t responding as it should, and couldn’t do any work.

c# client worked OK.

As soon as we powered off PSC02 / VCSA02, Web client started responding as it should.

 

It seems that PSC replication is affected by high latency, which in our case is ~ 200ms.

 

Question here is why VMware or any of the nice blogs around hasn’t got any maximum latency numbers around PSC replication.

We have based a design around Enhanced Linked Mode with our upgrade to vsphere 6 around the globe, if latency is an issue we need to change everything.

 

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My Lab – Hardware

The Kit I use for my Lab:

PHYSICAL SERVER:

HP Proliant DL360 G7

DL360-G7

Specs:

CPU Cores: 12 CPUs x 2.666 GHz

Processor Type: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5650 @2.67GHz

Processor Sockets: 2

Cores per Socket: 6

Logical Processors: 24

Hyperthreading: Active

Number of NICs: 4

Memory: 288GB (16x16384MB @1333MHz

SWITCH:

Cisco Catalyst 3750E-48 2x10GE

 

ws-c3750e-48pd-ef

 

 

 

 

 

HOME ROUTER:

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750

 

348351-tp-link-archer-c7-ac1750-dual-band-wireless-ac-gigabit-router

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