Poem : Found

Poem : Found

Scripture : Hebrews 10:16, Luke 15:1-7

Poem

We go through life searching
We wander about looking for answers

Information is everywhere
There is too much to digest

Many are still lost looking for answers by themselves
Even though itís at their fingertips

The culture teaches your way is right
You can have your cake and eat it too

Life happens, challenges arise
We change our definition of right and wrong

We seek out different answers
We look for comfort from our struggles

The culture is not forgiving
They only worry about themselves

For those lost, they are not aware or have forgotten
God put His law on our hearts, his law is written on our minds

Some are called to serve Jesus
The few lead the many, this is not an easy task

Only those who have walked in their shoes truly understand
They seek His guidance daily to provide answers to the Lost souls

There seems to be many struggles with few wins
The enemy tries to remind them the wins are brief

When the lost are found, heaven rejoices
Working through these few people, the LOST find Jesus

Please encourage the people called to serve to lean on You
May you protect them, their families and ministries

May you have MANY come to know the light of Jesus through their works
May those who are FOUND know the peace having the Holy Spirit reside in them

Thank you for the people who accepted your call
They lead the Lost to be found in Jesus.

Amen!

Story Behind the Poem

I was watching baptism testimonies and had this feeling of joy. I want to encourage our pastors, their families the ministry they accepted makes a difference. There will be struggles, there will be doubts as the enemy tries to distract. May they draw on this experience that will turn into wisdom. The next time fear, doubt or loneliness happen, they are encouraged and reminded of the differences their efforts make in so many lives.

Upgrade vRA 7.1 to 7.2 journey

Challenges are one of the reasons that keeps my interest in IT. ¬†I’ve supported many products in my career. ¬†Every product I’ve supported have one thing in common…..UPGRADES.. ¬†( Typed that in upper case on purpose).

There are couple strategies to upgrades.

  • Blue / green deploys, a recent cloudy term to stand up new, deploy, test and cutover. ¬† Before this was a term, I prefer this method. ¬†If there is an issue, it’s easy to revert to original environment.
  • In-place upgrade of existing environment. ¬†This is NOT my favorite method, but necessary sometimes.

This post shares experiences on a recent upgrade from vRealize Automation 7.1 to 7.2. ¬† ¬†These are my notes, they include links to formal documentation, which in my experiences with any product, there are a few tips / tricks between the lines docs don’t cover. ¬†I’ve included my raw notes below. ¬†I hope this helps in your adventure.

I was fortunate enough to have a separate environment to test before doing the real environment.  Since this was an in-place upgrade, going through the experience helped prepare what to expect, as well as to revert back to original environment.

With the magic of cloning Linux appliances, snapshots on IaaS windows machines, and a SQL Server backup. ¬†It helped simulate the ability to go back to original infrastructure. ¬†It’s doesn’t make me as comfortable standing up new, but was better than no backout plan at all.

  • Read the upgrade docs, search forums for others reporting issues
  • Test the upgrade multiple times. ¬†Also, think about if something goes wrong, how to revert to original version. ¬†Do this multiple times until you are sick of it, that means you’ll be prepared
  • Have backups, clones and use snapshots on windows machines
  • Disable Backups before starting. ¬†Contention on machines could cause issues
  • If you have support with VMware, open a proactive case and have them review your environment.
  • Clean-up any un-submitted requests
  • Clean-up any In-Progress requests that are orphaned
  • Give yourself 4 to 8 hours. ¬†Communicate to your end users. ¬†(Under promise, over deliver)
  • Coordinate with your users to test use cases after upgrade
  • Remember external systems like vRealize Business, Log Insight that access vRA.
  • Make sure end users disable automated build requests.

Here are my raw notes including links including ¬†steps I followed. ¬†¬†These were reminders to help the overall process, the order of operations. ¬†I’ve found having these types of notes help to refer to.

Prep work, review documents and blog posts.

Items I did as prep work.

Launch config using the command: java.exe -jar <vRPT Jar file> config

  • Download updated management agent. KB article with updated management agent, Workaround issue on upgrade on IaaS components
    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2147926

Load-balancing

The network guys will wonder, what?!  Mine did, just tell them the vendor requires the change, double and triple check this step.

Cloning each machine vRA to upgrade

  • Turn off vRA appliances – Clone each machine (good to have backups of original appliances)
  • Turn off IaaS machines, snapshot.
  • Turn on all machines, verify services both IaaS and vRA are healthy (both appliances) I learned by testing if you clone windows, I see extra machines in the VAMI you’ll see “several called clone”
  • https://<vra-url&gt;:5480/#cafe-services (make sure all services are started)
  • Close any opened files in the pgdata directory and remove any files with a .swp suffix. (on primary vRA appliance)
    –/var/vmware/vpostgres/current/pgdata/
  • Backup SQL Server database (Get with DBA to schedule ahead of time)
  • Upload ISO to datastore, mount to primary and secondary appliances if you don’t have internet access for updates.
  • Adjust settings in VAMI on primary and secondary to use cd-rom
  • ***- Run on a remote machine well connected to network, not laptop on wireless***
  • ***Disable vCenter backups on the cluster so snapshots aren’t taken***
  • De-register vRB via vRB appliance (because we haven’t used it yet) – might not apply to you.
  • Run update on primary (Look for text similar listed below when completed)
  • Reboot primary and secondary vRA appliances after upgrade completed
  • Verify both appliances upgraded
  • Deploy updated Management agent on IaaS machines
  • Deploy updated java (version 1.8)
  • Reboot each IaaS machine
  • Verify services on IaaS and appliances are healthy
  • Create upgrade.properties on primary ( Backup file = cp -p upgrade.properties upgrade.properties.password)
  • run ./upgrade (cross your fingers) – I had to run three times and my install FINALLY upgrade all six windows machines.

Raw text after upgrade
Version 7.2.0.381 Build 4660246

Last Check:
Tuesday, 2017 January 31 15:46:07 UTC-5 (Using update CD found on: /dev/sr0)

VA-check: finished

Pre-install: finished

After all appliances are upgraded, ssh to the master appliance and go to /usr/lib/vcac/tools/upgrade. Populate all the required data in upgrade.properties and execute ./upgrade script

Replica nodes are upgraded successfully. Reboot master node to trigger the reboot of replica nodes

Post-install: finished

Update finished successfully.
WARNING: Immediately update any vRealize Automation IaaS nodes after reboot to avoid product version mismatches.

Last Install:
Tuesday, 2017 January 31 16:29:07 UTC-5

VA-check: finished

Pre-install: finished

After all appliances are upgraded, ssh to the master appliance and go to /usr/lib/vcac/tools/upgrade. Populate all the required data in upgrade.properties and execute ./upgrade script

Replica nodes are upgraded successfully. Reboot master node to trigger the reboot of replica nodes

Post-install: finished

Update finished successfully.
WARNING: Immediately update any vRealize Automation IaaS nodes after reboot to avoid product version mismatches.

Hope this helps,

Steve Schofield
#vExpert 2017

@steveschofield
http://vsteve.me

Poem – Absolution

Poem : Absolution

Scripture : Matthew 3:3-13, Ephesians 2

Poem

Freedom from guilt is a gift from God
Accepting his free gift of eternal life thru Jesus is absolute

Nothing in heaven and earth can stand in Gods way
His way is right

He alone can take our soul and rise to the heavens
Alone, we are dead in our transgressions

Godís gift provides absolution
No more consequences

No more obligations of religion
No more blame and guilt

The chains are broken
We are set free in Christ

We become children of God that will live in His kingdom forever
We cannot fully realize while on earth

Our faith in his promise brings hope
His love for us cannot be described

When we accept Christ into our lives
The Holy Spirit moves into his temple, our body

He helps us through all things
We can publicly show God rules in our lives

Jesus was the perfect example
From baptism to death on the Cross

He rises higher than anyone through resurrection
He brings life to all who accept Him as their savior

Divine forgiveness comes from God
When we are baptized, we are made new

All praises be to God
Thank you Jesus for your example

God commanded all things are under your authority
There is nothing more powerful

All children of God will one day see the fullness and Glory of God
We are all unique, made in Gods image

Amen!

Story Behind the Poem

This was inspired when a good friend was singing worship at my home church. They display the words on the screen and when I seen the word absolution, I knew this story was meant to be.

Additionally, the theme of the service ďChrist in meĒ and 20+ people got baptized. The Holy Spirit was extra excited this day because many of kids who got baptized Iíve had the privilege to teach at Sunday school and mid-week program!

Poem : Hidden in plain site

Poem†: Hidden in plain site

Scripture : Proverbs 25:2, Ephesians 6:19, Proverbs 1:23, Acts 15:1-3

Poem

The most obvious is usually ignored
A person can look right past it

Time passes by quickly
The object isn’t noticed, yet is in plain site

Something with the best intention might not be
Culture can adopt portions of something

We might ignore other aspects
These could be false, worshiped by many in other cultures

The enemy claims a foothold
It could unknowingly put us in bondage

More time passes, life moves on
The issue continues to fester

Everyday life becomes routine
Stuff comes up, we wonder what is happening

We search deeply for answers
We seek out answers from the world

We don’t understand what is happening
God is excluded from the conversation

He loves us, he is patient
He lets us stumble, yet is with us always

When we seek his guidance
He welcomes us with open arms

His word is clear, contains direction on any topic
When we seek his will

The Holy Spirit guides us
The better we know his world

The clearer we spot hidden items in plain site
We can protect ourselves

The closer we get to God
The more we need to be careful of hidden items

We need to cling to God
Depend on him, seek his guidance

God is hidden in plain site
The enemy tries to convince otherwise

Amen

Story Behind the Poem

I’m taking a series of classes regarding prayer ministry. This covers a variety of topics, this session covered Cults, False religions among other topics. I couldn’t relate to much of the material. As normally happens when new topics are being covered, the Holy Spirit will make something known.

Sometimes items that seem normal, (i.e Yoga) is used by many for exercise. More subtle meanings can mean things worshiping false things. I’m not 100% sure the topic totally relates to me, it’s more a precaution to be aware of, because sometimes my own ignorance can get me in trouble innocently.

Getting used to web client only world…Using VMware HTML 5 fling….

Looking for some hope? ¬†This post hopefully will make you smile, give you some hope. ¬†Grab your favorite beverage and let’s begin. ¬†I’ve been working in an environment with multiple vCenters. ¬† Many were either 5.5 or 6.0. ¬† We still had access to the famed ‘full C# client’, even though the Flash Client was available, many didn’t use and would continue to use C# client until we were forced to change (me included).

For long-time admins, the full client is like comfort food or that favorite beverage they are used to, don’t make me change. With anything in IT, change is part of the job.

In one evening, we upgraded multiple (5) vCenters to 6.5, putting the C# out to pasture.  On one hand, we were thrilled the upgrades and migrations from windows to appliance worked (couple bumps, but we were able to get past).  for those wondering what bumps, we had to remove / re-add the PSC to Active Directory.

On the other hand, there was a small empty feeling.  I try look at the bright side in any situation. ( I really do although there are others who would disagree).

As part of the 6.5 rollout, there is two clients.

  • The Flash client (full functionality and some stresses to using it!)
  • The new HTML 5 shiny client

The links are accessible within the landing page when navigating to the vCenter by name. I’ll give VMware credit putting the wording (partial functionality) on the landing page. ¬† This blog post isn’t here to debate Flash vs HTML5, that has been settled elsewhere. ¬†Remember, this blog post is about giving hope. ūüôā

html5-1

Did I say this blog post was about providing some hope.

Dennis Lu¬†apparently likes taking on big challenges. ¬†He is a frequent contributor and main person for something called HTML 5 fling (more info here) ¬†For those unaware or haven’t checked this in a while, it’s grown up.

As part of our rollout, I deployed a separate HTML 5 fling appliance. The appliance is used on more frequently used vCenters accessed by customers. Plus, you can give the appliance a handy DNS name. We call ours vhtml.example.com (have to get a little “v” in the name)

When I first explored the HTML 5 fling, the appliance required a re-deploy every time. Although the HTML 5 fling was “kewl”, it wasn’t functional enough to use in our environment.

Fast forward, the current release is 3.9 as of this blog post. A few weeks ago, I deployed the 3.3x release appliance. ¬†I’ve used the update feature twice without issues (remember to snapshot before upgrade). ¬†Good Job Dennis and crew! ¬†Handy feature here.

html5-2

To access this functionality, go to https://<ApplianceIPorName&gt;:5490 (note 5490, not 5480 like I type a few times).  Login and click update.

The update will take a few minutes.  I noticed the finalized update status appears to not always notify when done..   I waited a few minutes and refreshed my browser (Chrome is my preferred one).

Here is a screenshot of the update in progress.

html5-3

The reason we deployed the extra appliance was to give ability to have a client end users could access, that gets updated more frequently than the HTML 5 client hosted on the vCenter appliance.

To update the HTML 5 hosted on vCenter, requires an upgrade as far as I know.  Would be handy to do it separately from a vCenter upgrade.  (@VMware hint hint!)

We generally try to limit upgrading vCenter to once or twice a year.  Using an external appliance, we get new features faster, safer with less hassle and risk upgrading vCenters.

I hope you enjoyed this slice of hope, there is part of me that misses the C# as my every day tool, we have a couple of vCenters it still works on, although there is little need to access them regularly.

Thanks Dennis and team for providing this option. ¬†It’s made the transition a little less painful. ¬†The disclaimer is use at your own risk, test in a non-production environment first.

PS – The appliance appears it needs internet access, so you’ll have to check with the security group or whoever manages the firewalls to download updates. I’m not sure if there is a way to do offline updates to an existing appliance, probably a reload is required.

Enjoy,

Steve Schofield
#vExpert 2017

@steveschofield
http://vsteve.me

What is this section for? ¬†It’s a separate way to share¬†ideas to pass along that I thought of while typing my blog post. ¬†If you know some of the answers, I’m on twitter at @steveschofield

  • Love to have the appliance automatically redirect port 80 to 443. ¬†We have to type in https:// (maybe a browser issue now HTTPS is more common)
  • Ability to externalize web client on multiple machines, load-balance vs. being a single point of failure + the authentication window that appears on a Platform service controller
  • Update HTML 5 client / Flash web client separately from vCenter appliance
  • Single Appliance access multiple, separate vCenters hosted in separate SSO domains.

 

 

 

Notes : Book of Ezekiel

I’ve spent the last year or so studying Old Testament including minor prophets.† Here is the article† These books provided a lot of wisdom and perspective.† I was amazed the insight revealed in ‘that ole’ scripture.† God spoke to me and several poems I wrote sharing things the Holy Spirit revealed to me, Jonah especially.† Many of these poems haven’t been publically shared, I’m not sure if there is another book in the works or not.

After I finished up the study of the 12 minor prophets, I had an interest in continuing to study, research and read other Old Testament prophets / books.††The next three in line were

I can honestly tell you I don’t recall studying Lamentations, nothing struck me during that time.† Some books do that, some don’t.† Depends on what God reveals during that time in my life.† Ezekiel was completely different.† Wowza!† I’m typing this up as a reminder so when / if the day I study again, I can recall my thoughts and impressions.

The book starts out God giving Ezekiel a glimpse of heaven, I wrote a poem based on this portion of scripture.† It was incredible to say the least.† After God showing Ezekiel this, the rest of the book up until Chapter 40 was hard.† Ezekiel goes into great and graphic detail how destruction would happen, what would happen to people.† There were many times I would ponder why it had to happen that way.† It doesn’t shake my faith in God, although it was hard to comprehend.†† Unlike in modern times, the Israelites KNEW God and had his presence yet they chose to turn their backs and sin.† God provides the bible, revealing his story through his son Jesus Christ.† I tried a few times to make sense and just realized my comprehension isn’t vast enough to understand.†† Like many times, I refer back to Job 37-41† The summary (God is God and we are not).† That directness is hard to take, but we are sinful creatures and he is perfect and Holy.† God has showed up large in my life and I’m grateful.

In Chapter 37, there is a popular description of dry bones† There is a song popular right now by Lauren Daigle†talking about this scripture.† It shows how God is all powerful and willing to bring our sinful, selfish hearts and clean us up for his use to do Kingdom work.

Other impressions were I was legitimately shocked when God used Ezekiel’s wife and took her away in death as an analogy.†† It was an example Jerusalem and the template was going to be taken away from the Israelites.†† Ezekiel’s wife was “apple of his eye”, he loved his wife very much and is described in various ways depending on the translation you use.†† None-the-less, he was a faithful servant and allowed God to continue using him for Kingdom work.† Personally, I would have struggled as I love my wife very much.† We all have to trust God his plans are greater than our plans.† That might sound easy to say, it would be hard to accept.† I’m sure given the same choice, a lot of prayer and discernment would have been involved.

The book finishes up with a vision of a new Temple, after some research, this particular temple hasn’t been built yet.† Here is an article describing this is good detail. Other articles referred to this article as well.

In summary, this book was probably one of the hardest books for me to read / study so far in my walk with the Lord.† The graphic detail described over and over was hard.† I’m not afraid to admit it and ask God to reveal to me one day the purpose, I might not get a clarification, we’ll see.†† The term “Fear the Lord” is definitely a reminder in this chapter facing the wrath of God is not easy, nor quick.† He is patient, wise and Holy.† He shows his glory to those who love him, he shows kindness and Love.†† For those who ignore, don’t accept him. May he have mercy on them.

Resources I used to study were on EasyEnglish

The Sin of Judah and the Judgement of God (Ezekiel Chapters 1-24)

A Commentary on Ezekiel Chapters 1-24 by Ian Mackervoy.

God’s Plans for Israel and the Nations (Ezekiel Chapters 25-39)

A Commentary on Ezekiel Chapters 25-39 by Ian Mackervoy.

The Future Temple and Sacrifices (Ezekiel Chapters 40-48)

A Commentary on Ezekiel Chapters 40-48 by Ian Mackervoy.
This commentary deals with the Bible text as a description of an actual future temple.

Enjoy Steve

Poem – Generational Baggage

Poem – Generational Baggage

Scripture :†Numbers 14

Poem

We carry our burdens throughout life
We experience so much as a kid, we forget many things

There is some baggage left over as we grow-up
It’s might not seem to impact us in an obvious way

It runs deeper, more subtle
It shapes our likes, dislikes, fears, habits

It shapes our behaviors, tendencies
We hang onto them, it defines us in many ways

Our personality in large part is shaped by our baggage
A life time can pass, we still let habits hang around

It becomes so ingrained in us
It becomes part of our DNA

People identify with their baggage
People almost celebrate their baggage

I’ve always been like this, because of x…y…or…z
One day something comes along, surprises us

It can be our ticket away from this life
It can help re-shape our very being

Loved ones look in amazement at the transformation
Deep down, there is a little kid that remembers “the way it was”

When we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit moves in
Trying to let go of our personality is hard

He brings all kinds of tools to help reshape you one atom at time
Little changes, behavior and habits to our soul

We resist, for some reason, we feel comfortable in our uncomfortable
We are happy with the known problems vs. something unknown

When we were young, we were not afraid to do something crazy
Ride a mini-bike, Climb a tree, Drive a tractor

God has great things planned, he is patient
He’ll continue to do as much with us as we let him

If we let him into our lives a little bit
He’ll use us at that level

The only one that can truly change our heart is God
Not a spouse, not a friend, no one else

God, I pray we let go of our generational baggage
Clean out anything that would slow us down, throw it out

We want to be light and nimble to do kingdom work
All you ask is a willing heart, may you give us a fresh start

Amen!

Story Behind the Poem

We attended a training session talking about forgiveness and generational sin. It was an enlightening session to say the least. There was a fair amount of material to digest yet a few things stood out. One being generational baggage we let hold us back, hold us down and not allowing us to move forward. It becomes so normal, we treat it like oxygen. We take it for granted.

As the one line states, “we are comfortable with our uncomfortable”. We aren’t willing to change because we don’t know any different. The enemy reminds us of our baggage, he reminds us constantly it defines who we are, what we believe in and if we take that away, who will be? We become scared, we fall back to old habits, many are protection mechanisms. we learned in our youth. I also picked up we can focus on our walk, we also need to be aware of our “sphere of influence as well”. Then enemy doesn’t just attack us, he will use our closest loved ones to attack us. We need to be prepared in prayer, through Jesus Christ, to be aware, pray for forgiveness.