Let’s Build an image pipeline! (part 1)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/woodhead/

Imagine a world where the next meltdown level vulnerability is announced and you have to patch your image 5 minutes ago. You  calmly run a script to force approve patches in your patch manager  and 45 minutes later the base template you deploy from in vSphere is updated and all new machines are based on the new image, all while you drink coffee and play the Block Game.  Sounds pretty cool right?  It’s definitely better than the old school way of:

  • Installing Windows or Linux to a new virtual machine
  • Performing your organizations steps to customize it
  • Install patches
  • Stage the system for customization
  • Shut it down
  • Mark it as a template
  • etc
  • etc

While the steps may very slightly depending on the exact platform you are leveraging: Linux, Windows, KVM, Azure.  Or maybe you’ve scripted some of the steps.  No matter where your process stands, at the end of the day this activity is a huge time suck, a huge potential for mistakes, and in no way contributes to a cloud way of working, which results in your platform looking like a pretty poor option to those desiring to do “cloud first.”  Not only that, how can you prove to yourself or auditors that a given image is properly built according to defined standards and controls?

There are potentially many tools out there to help automate the image build process, and like many things in life; some are better than others.  I’m about to walk you through the recipe I settled on and I think is best.  Your mileage may vary.
This is the second post of a planned 4 part series:

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VCDX – my kind of stupid

vcdx

I have always been one to pick stupid goals and then make it happen, fortunately for me as I’ve progressed in life from childhood to adulthood I actually learned that when you set an outlandish goal, you probably need to do things bordering on outlandish to accomplish them.

After gaining my MCSE 2003 certification, I pretty much swore off certifications.  To much work, not enough reward, etc, etc.  Then over the last 18 months or so at work I have had the fortunate opportunity to play a significant role in some incredibly awesome efforts: Always-on Horizon implementation, and SDDC/Automation PoC, and the design and implementation of a full on SDDC.  While shooting the breeze with a co-worker numerous times throughout this period we have discussed that much of the work we have executed for these efforts would make a hell of a VCDX design submission – for the track of our choice.

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Blog 2.0

A log time ago, in a place not very far a way, I had an irregularly updated blog dedicated to tech stuff that I encountered at work and in my lab, which I unfortunately abandoned (the blog). Recently work has gotten exciting and at the same time I’ve been “forced” to rebuild my home lab, resulting in me deciding to revive said blog.

This is the story of that adventure.  There will be stories of intrigue, heartbreak, and magic involving dragons, progress bars, Nutanix, vSAN, NSX, Openstack, vRA, and lots of other buzzwords.

Enjoy.