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vCloud Automation Center (vCAC 6.0) Installation Part 3 – Deploy VMware Identity Appliance

First Step before deploying vCloud automation Center vCAC (6.0) is deploying VMware Identity Appliance.VMware Identity Appliance provides single sign-on (SSO) for vCloud Automation Center. Multiple instances of Identity appliance can be deployed for availability purposes.You can use the SSO services from the VMware vCenter ™deployment, if you are running vSphere 5.5 Update 1. Identity appliance is not a mandatory requirement. 

You can use the existing SSO which should be vSphere 5.5 Update 1.With single sign-on (SSO), Active Directory users who are granted access to the vCloud Automation Center portal can log in l with their AD credentials.The Identity Appliance can be deployed using OVA (Open Virtualization Format).

Ensure you have downloaded  vCAC ID Virtual Appliance (SSO) from VMware Website. Connect your vCenter Server using vSphere Web Client. Right-Click on the Cluster where you want to deploy the vCAC ID appliance and Select “Deploy OVF Template”.  and browse towards the directory of vCAC ID appliance OVA file.

Verify the Product name and Version to ensure you are deploying the appropriate version of VMware Identity Appliance and Click on Next.

Click on “Accept” to accept the end user license agreements and click on Next to continue.

Specify the Name and Location for the Identity Appliance and Click on Next.

Select the  Virtual Disk Format and Datastore location to place the identity appliance. Click on Next.

Select the PortGroup from the Drop-down to connect the network for the identity appliance and Click on Next.

Enter the Below details to customize the deployment properties of Identity appliance and Click on Finish to start the  Identity Appliance deployment.
  • Enter Root Password
  •  Hostname
  • Default Gateway
  • DNS
  • IP Addresss
  • IP NetMask

Once Identity Appliance Deployment is completed. You will be able to see the Identity appliance VM under the specified cluster with IP address and hostname configured during the deployment.

Open the VM Console of the Identity Appliance VM to ensure it is properly booted and note down the URL of the Identity appliance admin page URL. Default URL is https://:5480

Access the Identity appliance Admin Page using the URL  https://:5480 “ and Login with root and credentials specified during the OVF deployment.

Click on Admin tab and Select Time Settings. It is recommended to keep your time synced with NTP server.  Enter the Time server details and click on Save Settings.

 Click on System and Select the System Time Zone from the drop down and click on Save settings.

Configure the SSO by entering the password for the SSO system domain “vsphere.local” and click on Apply. Ensure that SSO status is changed to “Running”.

In the host settings tab, type FQDN of identity appliance and append SSO port 7444 to host name, In My case, and click on Apply.

Generate the Self signed Certificate or import the Signed Certificate. Select General Self Signed Certificate from the Choose Action drop down menu and click on Replace Certificate. Ensure Status is changed to SSL Certificate is replaced successfully.

Configure the Active Directory authentication  under SSO Tab -> Active Directory. Enter the Domain Name , Domain credentials and click on “Join AD Domain” to join the VMware Identity appliance to Active Directory.

Thats’it. We are done with configuring VMware Identity Appliance and we are now ready to deploy vCAC appliance. I hope this is informative for you. 

vCloud Automation Center (vCAC 6.0) Installation Part 2 – Components of vCAC

vCloud Automation Center vCAC 6.0 required 3 important components. We should install and configure the below 3 components  and its sub components properly to make use of vCAC website to provision and manage the cloud services along with authoring, administration and governance. ITBM and vCloud Application Director are add-on optional components. ITBM(IT Business Management) helps you to examine the financial data of your infrastructure. vCloud Application Director delivers the application services.

It should be installed and configured in the below order:

1.Identity Appliance – The Identity Appliance is a pre-configured virtual appliance that provides single sign-on for vCloud Automation Center. It is delivered as an open virtualization format (OVF) template. You can also use the SSO services from VMware vCenter Deployment If you are running vSphere 5.5 Update 1

2. vCloud Automation Center Appliance – The vCloud Automation Center Appliance is a pre-configured virtual appliance(OVF) that deploys the vCloud Automation Center Appliance server. It provides the Single portal for self-service provisioning and management of cloud services , as well as authoring,administration and governance. For High Availbality of Portal,you can deploy multiple instances of vCloud Automation Center appliance behind Load balancers

3. Iaas Components Server (Should be installed on Windows Server and MS SQL Database is Mandatory) : Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)enables the rapid modeling and provisioning of servers and desktops across virtual and physical,private and public, or hybrid cloud infrastructures. Iaas Components of vCAC includes multiple component:

  • IaaS Website
  • Distributed Execution Managers(DEM)
  • Agents
  • Model Manager
  • Manager Service
  • Database
IaaS Website : provides the infrastructure administration and service authoring capabilities to the vCloud Automation Center console. The Website component communicates with the Model Manager, which provides it with updates from the Distributed Execution Manager (DEM), proxy agents and database.

Model Manager : The Model Manager communicates and integrates with external systems and databases. Models included in the Model Manager implement business logic that is executed by a DEM. The ModelManager provides services and utilities for persisting, versioning,securing, and distributing model elements. The Model Manager communicates with a Microsoft SQL Server database, the DEMs, and the console Web site.

Distributed Execution Managers :DEM executes the business logic of custom models, interacting with the IaaS database andexternal databases. Proxy agents – virtualization, integration and WMI agents that communicate with infrastructure resources DEM instances can be deployed in one of two forms:

DEM Orchestrator
  • • Preprocesses workflows, schedules workflows, and monitors DEM Worker instances.
  • • Only one DEM Orchestrator is active at a given time. A standby should be deployed for redundancy.
DEM Worker
  • • Communicates with the external systems
  • • Responsible for executing workflows
Manager Service : The Manager Service coordinates communication between agents,the IaaS database, Active Directory (or LDAP), and SMTP. The Manager Service communicates with the console Web site through the Model Manager.

Agents: Agents, like DEMs, are used to integrate vCloud Automation Center with external systems:
  • Virtualization proxy agents are used to collect data from and provision virtual machines on virtualization hosts, for example, a Hyper-V agent,a vSphere agent, or a Xen agent.
  • Integration agents provide vCloud Automation Center integration with virtual desktop systems, for example, an EPI Windows PowerShell agent, or a VDI Windows PowerShell agent.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation agents enable data collection from Windows machines managed by vCloud Automation Center

vCloud Automation Center (vCAC 6.0) Installation Part 1 – Overview of vCAC

In this Modern Enterprise environment, Datacenters are occupied by hardware and software components from multiple vendors. Even some companies have hardware from multiple vendors like HP, DELL,Cisco etc and even mutli vendor hypervisors like vSphere, Hyper-V, Cirtix ZEN, Redhat KVM. How do you manage and provision using all this platform. It is real pain of using multiple admin portals to manage and provision.

vCloud Automation Center provides a secure portal where authorized administrators, developers or business users can request new IT services and manage specific cloud and IT resources, while ensuring compliance with business policies. Requests for IT service, including infrastructure, applications, desktops,and many others, are processed through a common service catalog to provide a consistent user experience. 

How To Configure Sensu Monitoring, RabbitMQ, and Redis on Ubuntu 14.04

Sensu is a monitoring tool written in Ruby that uses RabbitMQ as a message broker and Redis for storing data. It is well-suited for monitoring cloud environments.

Sensu connects the output from "check" scripts with "handler" scripts to create a robust monitoring and alert system. Check scripts can run on many nodes, and report on whether a certain condition is met, such as that Apache is running. Handler scripts can take an action like sending an alert email.

Both the "check" scripts and the "handler" scripts run on the Sensu master server, which is responsible for orchestrating check executions among Sensu client servers and processing check results. If a check triggers an event, it is passed to the handler, which will take a specified action.

How to Protect your Server Against the Shellshock Bash Vulnerability

On September 24, 2014, a GNU Bash vulnerability, referred to as Shellshock or the "Bash Bug", was disclosed. In short, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code given certain conditions, by passing strings of code following environment variable assignments. Because of Bash's ubiquitous status amongst Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X distributions, many computers are vulnerable to Shellshock; all unpatched Bash versions between 1.14 through 4.3 (i.e. all releases until now) are at risk.

The Shellshock vulnerability can be exploited on systems that are running Services or applications that allow unauthorized remote users to assign Bash environment variables. Examples of exploitable systems include the following:
  • Apache HTTP Servers that use CGI scripts (via mod_cgi and mod_cgid) that are written in Bash or launch to Bash subshells
  • Certain DHCP clients
  • OpenSSH servers that use the ForceCommand capability
  • Various network-exposed services that use Bash
A detailed description of the bug can be found at CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169.
Because the Shellshock vulnerability is very widespread--even more so than the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug--and particularly easy to exploit, it is highly recommended that affected systems are properly updated to fix or mitigate the vulnerability as soon as possible. We will show you how to test if your machines are vulnerable and, if they are, how to update Bash to remove the vulnerability.

Note: (Sept. 25, 2014 - 6:00pm EST) At the time of writing, only an "incomplete fix" for the vulnerability has been released. As such, it is recommended to update your machines that run Bash immediately, and check back for updates and a complete fix.

Check System Vulnerability

On each of your systems that run Bash, you may check for Shellshock vulnerability by running the following command at the bash prompt:

env VAR='() { :;}; echo Bash is vulnerable!' bash -c "echo Bash Test"

If you see output that looks like the following, your version of Bash is safe:
bash: warning: VAR: ignoring function definition attempt
bash: error importing function definition for `VAR'
Bash Test

If you see "Bash is vulnerable!" as part of your output, you need to update your Bash. The echo Bash is vulnerable! part of the command represents where a remote attacker could inject malicious code, following a function definition within an environment variable assignment. Read on to learn how to update Bash and fix the vulnerability.

Test Remote Sites

You may use this link to test specific websites and CGI scripts: 'ShellShock' Bash Vulnerability CVE-2014-6271 Test Tool.

Fix Vulnerability: Update Bash

The easiest way to fix the vulnerability is to use your default package manager to update the version of Bash. The following subsections cover updating Bash on various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Red Hat, and Fedora.

Note: (Sept. 25, 2014 - 6:00pm EST) At the time of writing, only an "incomplete fix" for the vulnerability has been released. As such, it is recommended to update your machines that run Bash immediately, and check back for updates and a complete fix.

APT-GET: Ubuntu / Debian

Update Bash to the latest version available via apt-get:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade bash
Now run check your system vulnerability again by running the command in the previous section.

YUM: CentOS / Red Hat / Fedora

Update Bash to the latest version available via the yum:
sudo yum update bash
Now run check your system vulnerability again by running the command in the previous section.


Be sure to update all of your affected servers to the latest version of Bash!

How to fix iOS 8 battery life problems

The problem with iPhone, iPAD battery life issues is that it is very subjective as it is based on your usage pattern, so it is difficult to pin point what exactly is causing a problem. Check out these tips to see if they help in fixing the battery life problem on your device:

How to downgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 7.1.2

If you had accidentally upgraded your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iOS 8 or don’t like it or are finding performance issues on older iOS devices and want to downgrade back to iOS 7.1.2, then the good news is that you can downgrade as Apple seems to be still signing the iOS 7.1.2 firmware file.

How to update Jailbroken iPhone or iPad to iOS 8

If you’ve a jailbroken iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and trying to update it to iOS 8 using OTA update, then you are probably seeing the “Checking for Update” screen as you can see above.

The issue is expected behaviour with jailbroken devices, as most modern jailbreaks like evasi0n and Pangu disable OTA updates to ensure jailbreakers don’t accidentally install the update.

So the only option jailbreakers have is that you have to update your device using iTunes. You can follow these simple instructions to update your iOS device to iOS 8:

Note: Upgrading your device you will end up losing your jailbreak, and the installed jailbreak tweaks.
The iOS 8 update is available as a free upgrade for the following iOS devices:
  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s
  • iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2
  • Retina iPad mini, 1st gen iPad mini
  • 5th generation iPod touch 


How to install iOS 8 update using iTunes:

Before you plug in your iOS device. take a moment to make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes. Click on iTunes in the menu bar and then click  on “Check for Updates..”.
Once iTunes is all squared away, it’s time to turn your attention to your iOS device and follow these instructions:

Step 1: Connect your iOS device to your computer using an USB cable. Wait for iTunes to open and connect to your device.

Step 2: Click on device button to the left of the iTunes Store button in the top right corner in iTunes.

Step 3: Click on the “Check for Update” . If the iOS 8 update is available it will automatically download and update your device to iOS 8.

Step 4: You will get a popup message informing you the new update is available. Click on Download and Update button. If it says iOS 7.1.2 is the latest version then download the appropriate firmware file using download links provided in step 5.

Step 5: Skip this step if you iOS 8.0 was available in Step 4.
Download the firmware file for your device using the download links provided below [Note the download file could be as big as 1.7 GB]:

Note: If you’re downloading the firmware file using Safari then ensure that auto unzip feature is disabled or use Chrome or Firefox.

Note: You will be able to find the model number starting with at the back of your device.

Step 7: If you get a popup message informing you that iTunes will update your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to iOS 8.0 and will verify with Apple. Click on the Update button.

Step 8: It will then show you the release notes for iOS 8. Click on the Next button. Then click on the Agree button for the terms and conditions.

Step 9: iTunes will now download the firmware file (which can take a long time depending on your internet connection as it can be as big as 2.1GB). After downloading the file, it will process it, extract the software, prepare the device for software update, and install the update.

Step 10: Do not disconnect your device until the update has finished. It can take a few minutes. Your device will be updated to iOS 8.0 and reboot once or twice during the process. You will see while Hello screen after it is successfully update.

Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Following months of rumors and speculation, Apple took the wraps off its highly-anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at its product event on Tuesday afternoon. Advertised as “bigger than bigger,” the iPhone 6 models received a design overhaul, improved

Storage and Hyper-V Part 7: Actual Performance

This series has meandered down a long and winding path from basic concepts to theory to practice. In this final post, I’m going to show a lot of really boring graphs and charts to answer the big question: What about performance? 

Storage and Hyper-V Part 6: How To Connect Storage

This series has talked at very great length. Now it’s time to actually get something done. What I’m going to do in this article is show you how to connect to storage. How you connect depends on entirely on how the storage is presented. You can use either PowerShell or the GUI. Since this post is likely to be long anyway, I’ve decided to show only GUI methods.

Storage and Hyper-V Part 5: Practical Designs

In the previous parts of this series, our focus was on the basic concepts and theory involved with storage. In this tutorial, we’ll look at some of the ways you can approach your own storage challenges.

Storage and Hyper-V Part 4: Formatting and File Systems

Very little is said about file systems and formatting for Hyper-V Server deployments, but there are often a number of questions. This article in our storage series will examine the aspects of storage preparation in detail.

Storage and Hyper-V Part 3: Connectivity

This post in our series on storage for Hyper-V is devoted to the ways that a Hyper-V host can connect to storage. This will not be a how-to guide, but an inspection of the technologies.

Storage and Hyper-V Part 2: Drive Combinations

The first part of this series was dedicated to looking at some of the most basic concepts in storage. In this article, we’ll build on that knowledge to look at the ways you can use multiple drives to address shortcomings and overcome limitations in storage.

Storage and Hyper-V Part 1: Fundamentals

When it comes to Hyper-V, storage is a massive topic. There are enough possible ways to configure storage that it could almost get its own book, and even then something would likely get forgotten. This post is the first of a multi-part series that will try to talk about just about everything about storage. I won’t promise that it won’t miss something, but the intent is to make it all-inclusive.

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