VMware at IBM Interconnect 2017

VMware at IBM Interconnect 2017

IBM’s Interconnect conference is March 19-23 this year. There’s quite a few interesting sessions currently lined up related to VMware and IBM Cloud:

I hope to see you at Interconnect 2017!

A new home for the IBM Cloud VMware architecture

A new home for the IBM Cloud VMware architecture

IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is a set of offerings that allow you to rapidly deploy VMware environments into the IBM Cloud. Previously I’ve described how these offerings work to deploy your VMware environment. But the IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions is more than just a framework to deploy and manage a VMware cloud. The VMware Cloud Foundation instances that we deploy are installed and configured according to a standard solution architecture that was jointly developed by IBM and VMware.

The documentation for our VMware architecture has moved to a new home on the IBM Bluemix Garage Method’s Architecture Center. This site hosts a number of architectures, now also including our VMware virtualization architecture. You can see that we have already started to expand the architecture by creating add-on architectures for VMware vRealize and for HyTrust CloudControl, DataControl, and BoundaryControl. These new specifications are the first of many add-on components that will prescribe how to add additional virtualization services to your VMware environments.

Managing SoftLayer VPN subnet access

The IBM SoftLayer VPN only supports connection to 64 of your private subnets. If you have more than 64 private subnets in your SoftLayer account, you need to switch your VPN’s subnet management from Automatic to Manual, and select the specific subnets to which you want to connect.

The process for selecting subnets in the UI is not simple, especially if your account has hundreds of subnets. The subnets are not sorted, the dialog is small, and the pagination is slow.

VPN

However, it is possible to manage your VPN subnets programmatically using the SoftLayer API. I have created a Python script that allows you to manage your SoftLayer VPN subnet access. The script requires your SoftLayer username, API key, and a list of private IP addresses to which you want to connect. The script locates the subnets in your account that match your selected IP addresses, and assigns exactly these subnets to your SoftLayer VPN account.

You should wait a few minutes after running the script for it to take effect.

Travis and Pylint

For awhile my team has had Travis setup to run Pylint (as well as several other lints) against our code base. However, because we didn’t start this practice from the beginning, the number of warnings was a bit daunting. We told ourselves that we would fix this over time, and set our script to always return 0 so that Travis would be happy.

Then I read: Why Pylint is both useful and unusable, and how you can actually use it. I was inspired by this to try my hand at reducing Pylint’s scope. However, I took a different approach. Instead of disabling all checks and enabling them incrementally, I adjusted our script to check only for fatal and error findings in Pylint. Pylint encodes in its exit status what levels of messages were issued.

Here is my approach:

# Fail Travis build if Pylint returns fatal (1) | error (2)
if [ $(($rc & 3)) -ne 0 ]; then
    echo "Pylint failed"
    exit 1
else
    echo "Pylint passed"
    exit 0
fi

The number of errors found by Pylint was much more manageable than the full set of messages it produced. We were able to correct these problems easily, and move to addressing warnings and other messages incrementally over time.

Disaster recovery in the cloud

Disaster recovery in the cloud

IBM and Zerto recently announced a partnership to bring Zerto Virtual Replication to IBM Cloud for VMware.

Zerto provides enterprise-class replication of virtual machines between a variety of environments. IBM Cloud provides enterprise-class VMware virtualized environments in the public cloud. Together, this partnership will bring a variety of public-cloud and hybrid-cloud disaster recovery topologies to the IBM Cloud for VMware offering.

I’m excited about the possibilities opened up by this partnership!