Powershell for Network Engineers

The ever wonderful Ivan Pepelnjak over at ipspace.net asked me back in December to join him for a Webinar on PowerNSX. Given that he was hosting a two part series on ‘Powershell for Network Engineers’ this was pretty great.

As a part of this I am presenting to the audience on PowerNSX! I will also have the wizard Nick Bradford, author of PowerNSX, joining for expert commentary.

So what do you have to lose? It is FREE and you get access to materials afterwards. Be sure to come and see how to use PowerNSX to automate administrative tasks such as

  • Getting comfortable with PowerCLI/PowerNSX
  • Deploying new logical elements
  • Documentation via Visio
  • and other cool examples

I would love to see you there. To find out more Here is the extract from his site.

PowerShell is a very popular scripting and automation language, particularly in environments heavily using Windows Server products. Years ago, virtualization vendors like VMware introduced PowerShell extensions (cmdlets) to give Windows administrators easy access to vSphere API/automation functionality.

Similar extensions are available for Cisco UCS products and VMware NSX; you can also use PowerShell to configure, manage, operate, or automate any device with REST API interface, for example Cisco Nexus switches, Arista data center switches, or Juniper devices.

The PowerShell for Networking Engineers webinar describes the basics of PowerShell (to help you understand the rest of the webinar if you have no prior PowerShell experience) and then focuses on a number of use cases:

Configuring Cisco UCS with UCS PowerTool Suite
Configuring Cisco Nexus and MDS switches, Cisco IOS XE devices and Cisco ASA with REST API
Configuring VMware NSX with PowerNSX.

The webinar will be delivered in two live sessions:

First session on February 13th 2017 will focus on Cisco devices. This session will also include the basics of PowerShell; Second session on February 23rd will describe PowerNSX.

See you then!

Sign up here PowerShell for Networking Engineers – ipSpace.net by @ioshints

NSX 6.3.0 Released

On the 2nd of February VMware released the next major release of NSX for vSphere. NSX for vSphere 6.3.0 adds a number of new features. Here is some more detail about some of the more useful additions.

Universal Security Tags

A personal comment – “Hell, It’s about time”.

Building Universal firewall rules have quite simply been a pure headache until now. How did you define a remote group membership for a Virtual Machine? If a workload migrated to another vCenter how did it gain its security policy?

Universal Security Tags allow a local machine to be configured with a tag that is used by all xVC vCenters. This allows membership to be far more deterministic and the Security Group added to rules accordingly.

It is good to see cross vCenter becoming more mature.

Distributed Firewall Timers

Granularity where required.

Timers have always been a weapon of Firewall Admins to help application admins to odd things. Standard sessions timers have been the bane of many DB admin’s around the world. NSX for vSphere now allows customers to configure per VM and even per vNIC. A Distributed Firewall session timer configuration can tweak and modify a selection of TCP, UDP, and ICMP settings and then be applied to a single or group of VMs and their relevant NICs.

Read more on Session timers here VMware Documentation Library

I will be covering this in more details soon.

Reboot-less upgrades

Reboot-less upgrades allow administrators who are performing an NSX for vSphere upgrade to skip the slow part – rebooting a host. Hosts with large memory, VSAN configuration, and other settings can take a while to boot up (~15 minutes). Multiply that by the number of hosts in each cluster for each cluster and quickly you begin to have a long upgrade window.

When a host is being upgraded it is placed into maintenance mode automatically by the upgrade process. This serial process will evacuate a single host into maintenance mode and the upgrade of the NSX VIBs will occur. The validity of the upgrade and ‘readiness’ of NSX is validated before then release it from maintenance mode.

This starts to make the upgrade process a little more mature and less lengthy.

Read the release notes about 6.3.0 here: 6.3.0 Release Notes

Check out more here with VMware’s official Release post : Introducing VMware NSX for vSphere 6.3 & VMware NSX-T 1.1  – The Network Virtualization Blog