Well, the advantage of more time on my hands and a working homelab is that I finally got round to installing Grafana! I have been reading up on this wonderful open source visualisation tool and wanted to use it… ever since I attended a FOSDEM session last year! I think this is a great tool to bring different data sources together and offer a complete stack view. I was contemplating attending Grafanacon next week, but the plane tickets to LA are a bit expensive… To console myself I installed version 6 beta 3 to learn everything new straight away.
I installed a Debian 9 vm in my vSphere environment with 2 vcpu, 4-GB RAM and a 50-GB disk. I played around with centos and ubuntu, but I think more and more of Debian as the clean, stable secure, mother of some other linuxes… and the CLI is so familiar with all my raspberry pis….
The Grafana install is very quick and painless. I just got some mixup when registering on their site. My username did not get through. Of course I did not read too much doc and I had not created a user in my instance yet… Worldping was not working… I almost immediately got some emails from Matt to point out something was wrong, which is rather impressive…
Anyways I have Worldping working, it is a plugin to monitor any services on the internet. When I pointed it to this blog it automatically connected DNS, ping and https to monitor! And installed some standard dashboards. This is a great quick intro to Grafana and a great way to get mileage out of it straight away!
I also connected Azure monitoring, since they announced a collaboration with Grafana. The only thing a bit involved here is setting up a service admin to connect to. It went flawless but now I need some data to display there…. I also played around with Darksky as a data source to get the weather forecast, but no luck so far. I will keep you updated. Next is connecting AWS and maybe setup Prometheus …
If you want to start with Grafana, head over to their website and access the install instructions there or use their hosted version. You can also find Grafana images on AWS or Azure.
It was long overdue, but now that I have to recertify as vExpert for 2019 and since I will be looking for new business opportunities, an upgrade to use ssl was long overdue. I host my blog at UnixSolutions, simply the best hoster I know in Belgium with the great support and options. Disclosure: I have a reseller account… so if you want to host there let me know … 😉
First the WordPress application I use for this blog itself: Unix Solutions uses a powerful, yet simple software management tool: Installatron. It includes a great portfolio of web apps, including ecommerce – ready websites! Once installed it is also very simple to take backups – even automatic ones. This came in handy later and it means my blog is safe without buying one of the professional plans from WordPress/Jetpack.
Unix Solutions supports a number of options for SSL configuration. I am not going into theory here, there are a lot of great resources for that. By default you can use a self-signed certificate, but that is obviously not going to roll for SSL encryption… When I asked they quickly reactivated support for Let’s Encrypt. I cannot give enough praise for an initiative like Let’s Encrypt. It is a free Certificate Authority. Where in the past you had to pay a lot of money to a CA like RSA, anyone can now secure their comms with their own certificate, free! The DirectAdmin interface at Unix Solutions makes it so simple, just fill out some fields, domain and subdomains and save! Presto and you get your certificate. You can even check automatic recertification!
After setting up SSL I applied the changes to my WordPress site as detailed here. I choose the second option of course, not to use a plugin but to edit config files to force rewrites from http to https and also for the admin interface. And then panic set in because my site would not load… I will spare you the details of everything I tried…. In the end I am not to proud to admit I went for a backup restore… I noticed that I could restore to the https version of the bitstream… and after a few minutes everything was working! You can see my second copy running in the first screenshot. And in good old IT fashion I am not exactly sure why! The backup option sure is great because you can configure it to make a backup before any WordPress upgrade, even plugin or theme updates.
And now the Bitstream is up and running again, ready for new blog posts…
This post is more of a marker than anything else. My contract with Blue Medora has been terminated January 2nd. I will be free to pursue other opportunities at the end of the month.
I will of course continue to write about VMware vRealize Operations and other monitoring and cloud provisioning tools. I might even write about the excellent Blue Medora plugins, but not working for them anymore.
Our second-to-none engineers have launched a utility today that has been developed internally to help with VMware vRealize Operations management: the vROps CLI tool! It is now publicly available for free on Github for linux, Mac and Windows on our public repository.
As you can guess this utility allows you to interact from the command line with your vROps instance: install adapters, list alerts,… And of course this opens the door to some nifty scripts to automate tasks in your environment… like installing those great new Blue Medora management packs:
One of the management packs for VMware vRealize Operations that has evolved the most over the past two years is the Pivotal Cloud Foundry solution. From connecting through our own open -source nozzle to using the BOSH API, Blue Medora now enables you to monitor all aspects of your PCF deployment, including apps. Today we publish yet another set of enhancements. This is one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market to monitor PCF and how it runs on your VMware environment.
PCF infrastructure dashboard
Features in this Release Include:
Added BOSH Job resource kind, which serves as a catch-all resource for any BOSH job (including BOSH metrics) not covered by other previously-defined resource kinds (See: Resource Kinds and Relationships)
Improved alerts and recommendations to align with PCF Key Performance Indicators best practice documentation (See: Alerts)
Added one new Advanced Configuration setting: Collect Events (See: Creating an Adapter Instance)
Updated Blue Medora Nozzle Tile to include timeseries for historical data to enable improved alerts (NOTE: Be sure to upgrade the management pack prior to upgrading to the new nozzle version. See: Upgrading the Management Pack.)
Linkedin published a new version of their iOS app today and it has a feature that I am going to use *a lot* at meetings, VMUGs, conferences… I think it might even revitalise my use of Linkedin. It’s profile QR codes. I heard about it through Engadget.
Basically if you click the QR icon in the search bar in the main screen, it allows you to display a QR code with link to your profile that others can scan. Or you can scan other QR codes. Since Apple now has easy QR scanning in the camera app (just point camera at any QR code), this is a great tool that is going to save me a lot of business cards and scanning in other cards.
My Linkedin profile QR code
Of course you want to make sure to update your contact details and visibility, I added for instance Blue Medora’s product matrix….