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When does “a little code” become “a lot of trouble”

When does “a little code” become “a lot of trouble”

During my career I’ve come from a technical background to a more strategic position and picked up several memorable lessons along the way.  One of those is especially relevant to me in my current role where I have to decide on pursuing a short-term fix (while pursuing the long-term solution) or have the disciple to go the long-term route without a workaround.  I’m personally biased towards the short-term fix, so it’s been a good lesson that has saved me trouble…

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NFSv3 Usage and Audit Logging

NFSv3 Usage and Audit Logging

It seems counter-intuitive that something that is as old and widespread as NFS would be severely lacking in the access logging area.  However, that does indeed appear to be the case.  Recently I’ve been able to take a break from my project management related activities to spend some time in something deeply technical to help prevent myself from getting stale.  The scenario started out very simply: take advantage of a hardware lifecycle refresh to move a legacy service that is…

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Python Exception inside Try/Except Statement

Python Exception inside Try/Except Statement

Recently I was fighting with a scenario where I was throwing an exception but couldn’t figure out why the exception was actually happening.  I’ve created a much simpler example below to demonstrate what I learned during the process of solving this. The simplified scenario is as follows:  I have a Python Module that calls another module to do some work that is wrapped in a try/except.   Code is shown below.     Here’s the problem: when I run the code,…

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Playing with Wavefront – Missing Agents

Playing with Wavefront – Missing Agents

One of the first things that we need to detect when using Wavefront is if one of our endpoints goes silent. To do that, anyone can use the Query Wizard to create a basic alerting query. In this example I’m going to use the “system.uptime” metric as my base in the Alert Wizard’s magic sauce with a 1 minute time window. The Query Wizard shows me quite nicely that I’ve had a couple outages in the past.  But, if you…

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Zenoss Core 5 – Graphs not working

Zenoss Core 5 – Graphs not working

I was recently experimenting with Zenoss Core and noticed that some odd behavior was occuring with my Linux devices. I’m using SNMP v3 and the devices would model correctly and Components would show up, however graphing and performance data never showed up. There’s an article at https://support.zenoss.com/hc/en-us/articles/204643769?input_string=how+to+recover that shows how to nuke HBase and OpenTSDB for data corruption, which is normally the nuclear option in this case, however this is a new build. There are several other articles around this subject,…

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Log Insight (vRLI) Agent Configuration – A basic primer

Log Insight (vRLI) Agent Configuration – A basic primer

It came to my attention during a talk with a customer today that there is some ambiguity around what is needed to use the VMware vRealize Log Insight Agent, and when it’s required. Since I’m writing this up for them, I figured it’s best to just publish it for anyone else who might have the same questions. vRealize Log Insight can ingest logs from native syslog sources, as well as via the vRLI Agent. The vRealize Log Insight Agent is a…

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Configure SNMP on VMware's PhotonOS

Configure SNMP on VMware's PhotonOS

VMware’s Photon OS is a minimal container host that is also used as the host OS of VMware appliances such as the vCenter Server. When using an appliance such as vCenter you can use the API to configure SNMP, however, if you just use base Photon it’s not that simple. The below Ansible playbook is runsafe (can run multiple times without negative consiquences) and installs/configures net-snmp and creates a SNMP v3 user. Enjoy! https://github.com/calebs71/ansible/tree/master/photon_snmp

Comparision of Time Series Database Options

Comparision of Time Series Database Options

We have been investigating how to mature our Time Series Database architecture and options. Towards this end, I have completed an assessment of a couple of the most popular TSDB options as well as exploring Wavefront. In our team we heavily depend on Open Source, but Wavefront is very interesting since it was recently acquired by VMware. Here’s a quick burndown of the assessment. Every comparison has some assumptions, here are the major ones that I made during this comparison…

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Zenoss and ServiceNow Integration – Custom Fields and Values

Zenoss and ServiceNow Integration – Custom Fields and Values

Our Zenoss instance is integrated with ServiceNow so that our support organization can open an incident with the appropriate event details at the click of a button from the Zenoss Events Console. The workflow for this looks something like the below flowchart that I just threw together. The problem however is that our Zenoss instance was not following through in the last step after incident resolution and closing out the associated Zenoss Event. Because of this we were missing alerts…

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Log Insight – Migration to debug level logs

Log Insight – Migration to debug level logs

One of the projects that I am working on is enabling the forwarding of debug logs on all of our VMware vCloud Director Cells to our global Log Insight instance. To do this however we need a fairly accurate appraisal of what the increased overhead is going to look like. As part of this process I’m starting to create a python program that will allow me to quickly find what the current Events per Second (EPS) and log size in…

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