Hello HugoOops, I did it again.
It wasn't all that long ago that I migrated this blog from Hashnode to a Jekyll site published via GitHub Pages. Well, a few weeks ago I learned a bit about another static site generator called Hugo, and I just had to give it a try. And I came away from my little experiment quite impressed!
While Jekyll is built on Ruby and requires you to install and manage a Ruby environment before being able to use it to generate a site, Hugo is built on Go and requires nothing more than the hugo binary.
I've been wanting to learn a bit more about SaltStack Config so I recently deployed SSC 8.6 to my environment (using vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager to do so as described here). I selected the option to integrate with my pre-existing vRA and vIDM instances so that I wouldn't have to manage authentication directly since I recall that the LDAP authentication piece was a little clumsy the last time I tried it.
For a while now, I've been using an OpenVPN Access Server virtual appliance for remotely accessing my homelab. That's worked fine but it comes with a lot of overhead. It also requires maintaining an SSL certificate and forwarding three ports through my home router, in addition to managing a fairly complex software package and configurations. The free version of the OpenVPN server also only supports a maximum of two simultaneous connections.
Thus far in my vRealize Automation project, I've primarily been handing the payload over to vRealize Orchestrator to do the heavy lifting on the back end. This approach works really well for complex multi-part workflows (like when generating unique hostnames), but it may be overkill for more linear tasks (such as just running some simple commands inside of a deployed guest OS). In this post, I'll explore how I use vRA Action Based eXtensibility (ABX) to do just that.
This is going to be a pretty quick recap of the steps I recently took to convert a single-node instance of vRealize Automation 8.4.2 into a 3-node High-Availability vRA cluster behind a standalone NSX Advanced Load Balancer (without NSX being deployed in the environment). No screenshots or specific details since I ran through this in the lab at work and didn't capture anything along the way, and my poor NUC homelab struggles enough to run a single instance of memory-hogging vRA.
Intro I've been using short.io with a custom domain to keep track of and share messy links for a few months now. That approach has worked very well, but it's also seriously overkill for my needs. I don't need (nor want) tracking metrics to know anything about when those links get clicked, and short.io doesn't provide an easy way to turn that off. I was casually looking for a lighter self-hosted alternative today when I stumbled upon a serverless alternative: sheets-url-shortener.
One of the requirements for my vRA deployments is the ability to automatically create a static A records for non-domain-joined systems so that users can connect without needing to know the IP address. The organization uses Microsoft DNS servers to provide resolution on the internal domain. At first glance, this shouldn't be too much of a problem: vRealize Orchestrator 8.x can run PowerShell scripts, and PowerShell can use the Add-DnsServerResourceRecord cmdlet to create the needed records.
I recently migrated this site from Hashnode to GitHub Pages, and I'm really getting into the flexibility and control that managing the content through Jekyll provides. So, naturally, after finalizing the move I got to work recreating Hashnode's "Series" feature, which lets you group posts together and highlight them as a collection. One of the things I liked about the Series setup was that I could control the order of the collected posts: my posts about building out the vRA environment in my homelab are probably best consumed in chronological order (oldest to newest) since the newer posts build upon the groundwork laid by the older ones, while posts about my other one-off projects could really be enjoyed in any order.
Connecting a deployed Windows VM to an Active Directory domain is pretty easy; just apply an appropriately-configured customization spec and vCenter will take care of it for you. Of course, you'll likely then need to move the newly-created computer object to the correct Organizational Unit so that it gets all the right policies and such.
Fortunately, vRA 8 supports adding an Active Directory integration to handle staging computer objects in a designated OU.
After a bit less than a year of hosting my little technical blog with Hashnode, I spent a few days migrating the content over to a new format hosted with GitHub Pages.
So long, Hashnode Hashnode served me well for the most part, but it was never really a great fit for me. Hashnode's focus is on developer content, and I'm not really a developer; I'm a sysadmin who occasionally develops solutions to solve my needs, but the code is never the end goal for me.