Randy

Randy

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta

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Yesterday, Red Hat released a beta of version 8 of their Enterprise Linux. Amongst others, changes are TLS1.3 support, Python 3+, yum is replaced by DNF and others. You can download your free copy via the Red Hat Developer program here.

The SCL repository is moved to ‘Application Streams’. No more hassle in /opt, etc. It will integrate much better into the Operating System and replace standard binaries if wanted.

RHEL8 is targeted to release somewhere in May, 2019.


First finding: When creating a default RHEL8 Virtual Machine in VMware with the RHEL8 profile, UEFI is selected. The installer will not run. Change this manually to BIOS to continue.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 Beta

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Red Hat just released version 7.6 Beta of their Linux distribution. Amongst others, new features are:

  • Available updates are now shown in the Web Console (cockpit)
  • New FIPS compliant ciphers are available
  • The CephFS kernel client is now fully supported
  • XFS now supports modifying labels on mounted file systems
  • The ipset comment extension is now supported
  • firewalld rebased to version 0.5.3
  • RPM now provides Audit events
  • cockpit rebased to version 173
  • DNSSEC available as Technology Preview in IdM
  • Containerized Identity Management server available (Technology Preview)
  • Wayland available as a Technology Preview
  • kexec fast reboot as a Technology Preview
  • USBGuard enables blocking USB devices while the screen is locked (Technology Preview)
  • YUM 4 available as Technology Preview
  • USB 3.0 support for KVM guests
  • Python 2 has been deprecated
  • Ansible moves from the Extras to the Ansible channel
  • Sendmail has been deprecated. Use Postfix
  • Btrfs has been deprecated

The complete Release Notes can be found on the Red Hat website.

Cleanup old brew packages

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Here is how to save lots of space after multiple brew updates.

r2d2@starfighter:~ $ brew cleanup

Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/go/1.9.3… (7,652 files, 294.0MB)
Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.14_2… (6,344 files, 87.6MB)
Removing: /usr/local/Cellar/kubernetes-cli/1.9.2… (172 files, 65.3MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Caches/Homebrew/go-1.9.3.high_sierra.bottle.tar.gz… (89.4MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Caches/Homebrew/kubernetes-cli-1.9.2.high_sierra.bottle.tar.gz… (14.9MB)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/wget… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/go… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/awscli… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/sqlite… (64B)
Removing: /Users/r2d2/Library/Logs/Homebrew/imagemagick… (64B)

==> This operation has freed approximately 551.2MB of disk space.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 Beta

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Red Hat just released version 7.5 Beta of their Linux distribution. Amongst others, new features are:

  • Integration of Ansible Automation with OpenSCAP
  • Compliance improvements with PHP/NTP and bonding;
  • The introduction of Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO)
  • Enhanced usability of the Cockpit administrator console
  • Windows Server 2016 domain levels are supported for trust
  • OpenLDAP is now compiled with the OpenSSL library
  • Samba is rebased to version 4.7.1
  • Kernel 4.14 brining support to ARM processors

The complete Release Notes can be found on the Red Hat website.

VMware IT Academy to change

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VMware has informed academies worldwide that they will no longer be able to offer classes through Continuing Education programs as of July 31, 2018.  Additionally, VMware is not going to allow academies to teach the official Install, Configure and Manage and/or Optimize and Scale classes as of July 31, 2018. This includes the cheap option to get your VCP mandatory training via Stanly Community College (SCC), as written down before.

A new VCA level course that will fulfill the class requirement for VCP certification will be available via an option in our curriculum program.  More details will be available later this year. But already known is that prices will go up fast. For SCC this means  $918.25 for out of state students, whilst the current pricing is around $185.

SCC is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible and excellent IT training.  We regret that the changes VMware is making to the program increase student costs and limit course availability.  If you use VMware products in your environment and are not happy with the changes VMware has made to the VMware IT Academy program, we suggest you inform your Dell/EMC/VMware representatives of your dissatisfaction with the changes.

SCC will offer two more courses, one starting in March and the other in May. Add yourself to the waiting list on this website if you were planning the (VMware approved) VCP training via Stanly.

New VMware home lab

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I’ve updated my VMware home lab. Until now, I’ve used 2 Mac Minis with 16 Gbyte memory each and an Intel i5 as processor. The Mini’s had local SSD storage and a Synology NAS (DS1815+) for shared storage. Some disadvantages were the lack of multiple NICs and the limited memory per host. The new lab is build on top of these parts:

  • Intel NUC 7 with Kaby Lake i5 processor
  • 32 Gbyte (2×16) DDR4 SODIMM Memory
  • 240 Gbyte Samsung 960 M2 SSD, NVMe ready
  • 1 Tbyte Seagate hard-drive, 2,5″, 7200 RPM
  • DeLOCK USB 3.0 gigalan Adapter (asix chipset)

The lab requirements were:

  • VMware vSAN and NSX ready
  • Also usable for Hyper-V, RHEV, etc.
  • Multiple Gigabit NICs
  • Low power consumption (!)
  • Total price below €800 ($1000) per node

I was in doubt between the faster i7 or this i5 NUC, but since one of the requirements was that a node should cost less than $1000 the i7 was out of reach. This 3-node setup is still about €2.500 ($3000) in total. For the same reason (pricing), the new HP Microserver Gen.10 was no option, tough you get more cores, NIC’s, M2 slots, disk-slots and PCIe expansion slots for your money.

To use the 2 extra NIC’s with ESXi custom drivers are needed. But since the on-board NIC and storage-controller are not on VMware’s HCL, I needed to create a custom image anyway. The issue about the NIC drivers is written down here, here and here.

Licensing is done via de VMUG Advantage licensing program. Enough to do for the next weekend…

 

Windows 10 on late 2009 iMac

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When installed Windows 10 via Bootcamp on my late 2009 model iMac, I wasn’t able to install the Bootcamp drivers. Apple had hard-coded some versions and they rather sell you new hardware than supporting the older hardware. Since my late 2009 iMac is upgraded with memory and SSD, the 27″ monster is still fast enough for day-time use. But when installing Bootcamp drivers, this error appears:

This version of boot camp is not intended for this computer model

The fix is simple. After downloading the Bootcamp (v5.1) drivers via OSX, boot to Windows. Start an elevated command box and navigate to the path of your drivers. Copy the files from the USB disk over to your harddisk. In my case the path was: Downloads\bootcamp5.1.5769\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple.

Manually run: “msiexec /i bootcamp.msi” from there. The new Bootcamp drivers will be installed and yes, you Magic Mouse scroll-funtion will work again.

Red Hat renames certificates

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Effective since december 1, 2017, Red Hat will rename all Certificate of Expertise certifications to Red Hat Certified Specialist. Some titles will be renamed to. For instance: Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Platform-as-a-Service will be Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration and ed Hat Certificate of Expertise in Hybrid Cloud Storage will become Red Hat Certified Specialist in Gluster Storage Administration. Red Hat announce it will come with a seperate certification for CEPH soon.

More information can be read on the Red Hat website.

Native SSH in Windows 10

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With the latest updates installed on the 2nd Tuesday of December, Microsoft silently brings SSH support to Windows. You can install both ssh client and ssh server as optional feature. Does this mean farewell to PuTTY? No, it probably does not since, as a professional, you’re using ssh-keys instead of passwords. Microsoft only supports ed25519 keys. Not the default RSA ones. But since native ssh on Windows is still beta, let’s see what 2018 brings us.

Cheapest way to VMware VCP

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The cheapest route to become a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) would be to attend a mandatory 5-day classroom training with a VMware Authorized Training Center. Classroom trainings will cost you about 3000 euro/dollar and if none is close by, travel and hotel expenses. Some VATC’s offer online classrooms but you still pay the same amount of money to attend a training to hear stuff from a professional trainer (read; an ex sysadmin who lost contact with the real world out there for over 10 years) telling you stuff you already knew. It’s not worth the 3000. And, as a freelance professional, it would be even more since you’d rather bill the customer let’s say 40 hours * 75 euro is another 3000 euro’s. Yes. Classroom trainings are expensive.

There is a cheaper alternative: follow a self-paced, online class at Stanly Community College. This does meet VMware’s requirements and will cost you only $185. Courses are made to attend after working hours and spread out in 6 weeks. And, as a bonus, you’ll get a discounted exam price paying only $70 for the Pearson VUE exam. One catch: there is a waiting list. So you have to wait some weeks / months till there is a free spot. But this is the ideal route to become a VMware Certified Professional for people who are paying for the training and certification themselves. Have a look here for information and reserve your spot on the waiting list over here.

Install VMware VAAI support for Synology

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In my home lab I’m using Mac Mini’s as ESXi-server and a Synology NAS for storage (besides the SSD’s in de Mac Mini’s itself). The more expensive Synology models support VAAI for VMware. VAAI stands for vStorage APIs for Array Integration and with this support you can offload particular tasks from ESXi to the storage.

To install VMware VAAI support for Synology:

  1. Download the required package
  2. Enable SSH support on the ESXi node
  3. Put the ESXi node into maintenance mode
  4. (Win)SCP transfer the vib to the ESXi hosts /tmp
  5. SSH to the ESXi node, and type in the command:

    esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/esx-nfsplugin.vib –no-sig-check

  6. Reboot the ESXi host

Congratulations. Your ESXi node now has VAAI support.

New Microsoft Linux exam

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Microsoft announced a new Linux exam related to Azure, which will be available in March 2018. The exam is given number 70-539 and titled Managing Linux workloads on Azure. The content is yet unknown. This exam can be used to upgrade your MCSA on Linux to MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. As Azure continues to gain mind and market share, related certifications are becoming increasingly valuable for IT pros.

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