How to Install vRealize Operations

First step is to obtain the vRealize Operations Manager Appliance and install it via your VMware server.  Once the Appliance is uploaded and the installation is complete you will see the below screen on your VM.

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Once you go to the URL you will find the Initial Setup screen.

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I chose new Installation and started by setting the Administrator’s Password.

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I then accepted the default certificate.

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I named my Cluster Node.  We can add additional nodes later.

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I then completed the install by clicking Finish.6.PNG

Now we wait, the Appliance will configure itself.

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Then we need to start vRealize Operations Manager

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Eventually the Node will show a State of Running and Online.

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Once the node is up and running you will have to login

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Note that the login username is admin and not root.

Now we have to do more configuration.

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Accept the EULA, enter our Product Key, and opt in or out of CEIP.15.PNG

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Finally we configure the installation.

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First in order to gather information of our VMs and ESXI servers we need to configure the vSphere Adapter.

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Once the adapter is configured you should see Collecting.

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For a time you will see your items in a grey color while the information is aggregated.

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After a while you see the aggregation working and less and less grey.

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How to Apply Updates to VCenter 6.0

Starting after Update 1 for VCenter 6.0 you are able to update your Vcenter from the Web Interface.  Unfortunately for me, I have pre-version one installed so I need to update via SSH.

First step is login via SSH to your VCenter as the Root User using your SSO Administrator User and password

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Next you download the Update for your VCenter from here.

Once the update is downloaded, you will need to mount the ISO to your VCenter VM.

Then we execute

software-packages install –iso –acceptEulas

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The update will inform you when completed and instruct you to reboot

How to Install VSphere Appliance 6.0

There is only so many installations of a Windows or Linux box you can do before you ask yourself if there is any easier way to do this.  In order to use templates and automate your VM building tasks, one of the choices is to use Vsphere with a variety of tools that plug in like Vagrant, Chef, or Puppet.

First we must acquire the VCSA 6.0 ISO and have a VM or other Windows Host on which to run the VSphere installer from.  For me this is just my Windows 10 Laptop.

First we browse the ISO to /vcsa/VMWare-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe and install the Plugin.  This is needed to run the installer which is Web Browser Based.

Once installed Capture.PNGwe open vcsa-setup.html

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On Internet Explorer, you will be prompted twice to accept the Client Integration Plugin Access to your system.   Accept the access and you will see the Install Window for vCenter Server Appliance 6.0

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First we click Install and Accept the License AgreementCapture.PNG

Then we enter the IP, User, and Password for our ESXi Host

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You will be prompted to trust your SSL Certificate, and since its the default install certificate it will be for localhost.localdomain.  If you have changed your hostname it won’t match and won’t be trusted.  You can click Yes to accept and continue.

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The installer will Validate your setup and if any connection issues are found, it will let you know.  Then it asks you to set the appliance name, and OS Password.  Set these as appropriate.  When setting the OS Password be sure to have an uppercase, lowercase, and special character as it is required by the installer.

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For our installation, since it is such a small VCenter Install, we are going to go with the Embedded Platform Service Controller.

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Next we create our SSO or Single Sign On Domain.  If you plan to have Active Directory Integration, you need to be sure that your Domain Name and Site Name are different than your Active Directory Forest Name.

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Next you pick your Appliance Size.  The Tiny Size fits our installation well, but just incase we decided to bigger, I have decided to go to the Small Size.

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Next Select your Datastore.  Be sure there is enough space to fit your VMs.  The Installer states 150GB is needed, so I have chose a Datastore that has at least that.  I have also enabled Thin Disk Mode as it only allocates storage as needed.

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We chose the embedded database.

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We chose the appropriate Network Settings.  Since my entire homelab is 10Gbe, I want to be sure that I am using a 10gbe Virtual Switch/Network.

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The installer will warn you not to use DHCP, but if you do reservations of DHCP address you will be fine.  Finally accept the Customer Improvement Settings and Finish the installer so that it can build your VMs.  If you want to see how the installer is doing, hop over to your Web Page for your ESXi host.

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Once the VM is built you can also watch it do the installation.

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Once it’s finished, verify you can login and off you go!

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How to Install Plex on Centos 7 with NFS Mounts for Media

The first question you may ask is why on Linux?  Simply, the Linux install of Plex uses less memory resources than a standard Windows Installation in my experience.  With Windows I have also run into instances where the Plex Media Server fails to start on reboot.  With Linux I never experienced this, and it just continues to work without issues.

First step is to provision a Centos 7 VM.  I did this via a VM in my ESXi Environment.

Next we should update the system by executing

yum update

Then we go to the Plex website and download the latest RPM for Plex Media Server and download it via wget and install it.  If you used a minimal ISO Installation disk, you will need to install wget.

yum install wget

wget https://downloads.plex.tv/plex-media-server/1.5.5.3634-995f1dead/plexmediaserver-1.5.5.3634-995f1dead.x86_64.rpm

rpm -Uvh plexmediaserver-1.5.5.3634-995f1dead.x86_64.rpm

[root@plex ~]# rpm -Uvh plexmediaserver-1.5.5.3634-995f1dead.x86_64.rpm
warning: plexmediaserver-1.5.5.3634-995f1dead.x86_64.rpm: Header V4 RSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 3adca79d: NOKEY
Preparing… ################################# [100%]
Updating / installing…
1:plexmediaserver-1.5.5.3634-995f1d################################# [100%]
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/plexmediaserver.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service.

Then we want to enable the Plex Media Server Service and set it to start on reboot

sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service
sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Next we want to mount our media shares via NFS.  I currently have mine shared out via an UNRaid instance.  First we want to install the utilities used to mount shares for NFS.

yum install nfs-utils

Next we want to make the directories that will will mount the share to.

mkdir -p /mnt/Plex

Now we want to make sure all the related NFS Services are enabled and start on boot

systemctl enable rpcbind
systemctl enable nfs-server
systemctl enable nfs-lock
systemctl enable nfs-idmap
systemctl start rpcbind
systemctl start nfs-server
systemctl start nfs-lock
systemctl start nfs-idmap

Then we mount the share that we shared via NFS to the server

mount -t nfs 192.168.1.25:/mnt/user/PLEX /mnt/nfs/Plex/

Now we disable firewalld or put exceptions in so we can reach the Plex Web Interface.  I have chosen to disable firewalld.

systemctl stop firewalld

Then cd 0we browse to http://<YOURIP>:32400/web/index.html and configure the host.

How to Install kmttg on Windows 2012 R2

KMTTG is a great program to transfer TiVo recordings off of your TiVo to either save space or archive.  Most channels support copying of recordings off, with the notable exception of channels like HBO, Cinemax and the like.

So let’s start the install.

  1.  Download kmttg from here
  2. Create a folder on your drive of choice, create a kmttg folder and extract it. Capture.PNG
  3. Install the latest JRE from here.
  4. Navigate to your kmttg install location and double click kmttg.jar.  If you get a prompt that the OS does not know how to launch the file you’ll need to associate JAR files with the Java JRE.
  5. If it launches correctly you will see the tools screen.  Click OK to install the tools.

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  1.  While that download, put in your 10 digit Tivo Media Access Key.  If you don’t know where to find this, kmttg tells you where to look.

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  1.  Now this step is optional.  I like to separate all my File Directories for conversion.

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  1.  You will get errors from kmttg that it can’t save due to errors.  Ignore those and click OK.  Then go and create the folders that you specified.

  2.  Click on the Roamio Tab and Click Refresh and you will see all your shows.

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That’s it, now copy and encode the shows you want for later viewing!

Installing NVIDIA Drivers on CentOS

For those who have every tried to get NVIDIA or AMD Drivers working in Linux, know that its a complete pain to do.  Hopefully this guide will clear things up a bit.

I have a base system with a Gigabyte Xeon D Motherboard along with a Gigabyte NVIDIA 1070 Card for us in ZCash Mining.  My first step was to install CentOS 7.  I chose to use the Net Install ISO “burned” to a thumb drive, which I then booted from and installed the OS.  Be sure to run an update and reboot before starting the below directions.

Next I download NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-375.66.run from the Nvidia Website and copied it to my Linux Server.

First install the prerequisites for the Drivers

yum install gcc kernel-devel kernel-headers make vim wget

Be sure to now reboot so that the new kernel and headers take hold.  If you don’t you will get errors that the headers and or sources can’t be found.

After the reboot, lets install the EPEL Repository in order to install DKMS

wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-9.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh epel-release-7-9.noarch.rpm

yum install dkms

Then I ran to install the NVIDIA Drivers

./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-375.66.run –dkms -s

With the -s flag, the installer will run silent and we won’t see the screens below.

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If you use the -s option this is the output you will see.

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Create a blacklist file for the Nouveau Driver

vim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-nouveau.conf

Add the following text

blacklist nouveau

options nouveau modeset=0

Run the following command and reboot the computer

dracut –force

Now run nvidia-smi to verify CUDA capable devices are seen

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How to Install and Configure Zabbix

One of the issues I have with Observium is how limited the Device Discovery is.  Not all SNMP devices are recognized, and there is no way to customize the system with new Device MIB Files.  Zabbix was recommended to me by a couple of former coworkers, so I decided to give it a shot.

First I built a standard CentOS 7 VM and ran

yum update

 

Next I installed the Zabbix Repository RPM

[root@zabbix ~]# rpm -ivh http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/rhel/7/x86_64/zabbix-release-3.0-1.el7.noarch.rpm
Retrieving http://repo.zabbix.com/zabbix/3.0/rhel/7/x86_64/zabbix-release-3.0-1.el7.noarch.rpm
warning: /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.434W6N: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 79ea5ed4: NOKEY
Preparing… ################################# [100%]
Updating / installing…
1:zabbix-release-3.0-1.el7 ################################# [100%]

The next step is to install the Zabbix Server and Web Frontend with MySQL.

yum install zabbix-server-mysql zabbix-web-mysql

Next we install the zabbix agent in order to allow the server to monitor itself

yum install zabbix-agent

Next we need to install MySQL

yum install mariadb-server

Next we enable and start the service

systemctl enable mariadb

systemctl start mariadb

Now we set the root password for the database by running

mysql_secure_installation

You will see a handful of questions, and you should evaluate them individually.  My responses are not the most secure but for a demo they are fine to use.

[root@zabbix ~]# mysql_secure_installation

NOTE: RUNNING ALL PARTS OF THIS SCRIPT IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL MariaDB
SERVERS IN PRODUCTION USE! PLEASE READ EACH STEP CAREFULLY!

In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we’ll need the current
password for the root user. If you’ve just installed MariaDB, and
you haven’t set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none):
OK, successfully used password, moving on…

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n] y
New password:
Re-enter new password:
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
… Success!
By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MariaDB without having to have a user account created for
them. This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother. You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] y
… Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from ‘localhost’. This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] n
… skipping.

By default, MariaDB comes with a database named ‘test’ that anyone can
access. This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] y
– Dropping test database…
… Success!
– Removing privileges on test database…
… Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] y
… Success!

Cleaning up…

All done! If you’ve completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

We login to the database as the root user and create the Zabbix Database

mysql -uroot -p

From the mysql prompt enter the following to create the database

create database zabbix character set utf8;

Then we grant the zabbix server rights to the database.  You can change “Changeme123” to whatever password you wish.

grant all privileges on zabbix.* to zabbix@localhost identified by ‘Changeme123‘;

Finally apply the new permissions and exit the database prompt

flush privileges;

quit;

Next we need to import the schema and data into the Database.  It will prompt you for a password, of which the zabbix password set above can be used.

zcat /usr/share/doc/zabbix-server-mysql-3.0.9/create.sql.gz | mysql -u zabbix -p zabbix

Open the following configuration file and go to line 115

vim /etc/zabbix/zabbix_server.conf

Your output should look like below after you have made the recquired changes

### Option: DBPassword
# Database password. Ignored for SQLite.
# Comment this line if no password is used.
#
# Mandatory: no
# Default:
DBPassword=Changeme123

Next we update the system for the special PHP server Settings that Zabbix needs and open the following file.

vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/zabbix.conf

Go to line 19 and change the PHP value to be your timezone.  You can determine your closet timezone here.

My file looks like below

#
# Zabbix monitoring system php web frontend
#

Alias /zabbix /usr/share/zabbix

<Directory “/usr/share/zabbix”>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
Require all granted

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
php_value max_execution_time 300
php_value memory_limit 128M
php_value post_max_size 16M
php_value upload_max_filesize 2M
php_value max_input_time 300
php_value always_populate_raw_post_data -1
php_value date.timezone America/New_York
</IfModule>
</Directory>

<Directory “/usr/share/zabbix/conf”>
Require all denied
</Directory>

<Directory “/usr/share/zabbix/app”>
Require all denied
</Directory>

<Directory “/usr/share/zabbix/include”>
Require all denied
</Directory>

<Directory “/usr/share/zabbix/local”>
Require all denied
</Directory>

Next we go to the host specific httpd configuration file.

 vim /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Go to line 95 and change it from

#ServerName http://www.example.com:80

to

ServerName <YOURIPADDRESS>:80

Next we restart httpd

systemctl restart httpd

Before we start the Zabbix Server you need to give the Zabbix User rights to certain folders.

chown -R zabbix:zabbix /var/log/zabbix
chown -R zabbix:zabbix /var/run/zabbix
chmod -R 775 /var/log/zabbix/
chmod -R 775 /var/run/zabbix/

Next we execute the following and let th zabbix_agentd what configuration file to use

/usr/sbin/zabbix_agentd -c /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf

Next we disable SELINUX

setenforce 0

Now we need to allow HTTP traffic for FirewallD

firewall-cmd –zone=public –add-service=http –permanent

firewall-cmd –reload

Now we start the Zabbix Server

systemctl start zabbix-server

Finally check the zabbix-server status

systemctl status zabbix-server

The output should be similar to below

[root@zabbix ~]# systemctl status zabbix-server
● zabbix-server.service – Zabbix Server
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/zabbix-server.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
Active: active (running) since Sun 2017-06-04 13:09:21 EDT; 39s ago
Process: 7480 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/zabbix_server -c $CONFFILE (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
Main PID: 7482 (zabbix_server)
CGroup: /system.slice/zabbix-server.service
├─7482 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server -c /etc/zabbix/zabbix_server.conf
├─7487 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: configuration syncer [waiting 60 sec for processes]
├─7488 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: db watchdog [synced alerts config in 0.000800 sec, idle 60 sec]
├─7489 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000005 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7491 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: poller #2 [got 0 values in 0.000005 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7492 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: poller #3 [got 0 values in 0.000005 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7493 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: poller #4 [got 0 values in 0.000006 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7494 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: poller #5 [got 0 values in 0.000007 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7495 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: unreachable poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000003 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7496 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: trapper #1 [processed data in 0.000000 sec, waiting for connection]
├─7497 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: trapper #2 [processed data in 0.000000 sec, waiting for connection]
├─7498 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: trapper #3 [processed data in 0.000738 sec, waiting for connection]
├─7499 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: trapper #4 [processed data in 0.000000 sec, waiting for connection]
├─7500 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: trapper #5 [processed data in 0.000000 sec, waiting for connection]
├─7501 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: icmp pinger #1 [got 0 values in 0.000005 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7502 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: alerter [sent alerts: 0 success, 0 fail in 0.000391 sec, idle 30 sec]
├─7503 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: housekeeper [startup idle for 30 minutes]
├─7504 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: timer #1 [processed 0 triggers, 0 events in 0.000023 sec, 0 maintenances in 0.001165 sec, idle 30 sec…
├─7505 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: http poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000546 sec, idle 5 sec]
├─7506 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: discoverer #1 [processed 0 rules in 0.000352 sec, idle 60 sec]
├─7507 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: history syncer #1 [synced 0 items in 0.000001 sec, idle 1 sec]
├─7508 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: history syncer #2 [synced 0 items in 0.000001 sec, idle 1 sec]
├─7509 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: history syncer #3 [synced 0 items in 0.000001 sec, idle 1 sec]
├─7510 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: history syncer #4 [synced 0 items in 0.000001 sec, idle 1 sec]
├─7511 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: escalator #1 [processed 0 escalations in 0.000411 sec, idle 3 sec]
├─7512 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: proxy poller #1 [exchanged data with 0 proxies in 0.000002 sec, idle 5 sec]
└─7513 /usr/sbin/zabbix_server: self-monitoring [processed data in 0.000009 sec, idle 1 sec]

Jun 04 13:09:21 zabbix systemd[1]: Starting Zabbix Server…
Jun 04 13:09:21 zabbix systemd[1]: Started Zabbix Server.

Finally lets enable Zabbix to start at boot time.

systemctl enable zabbix-server

Navigate to http://<YOURIP&gt;, and we need to do some configuration

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Click Next and verify that all the checks come back with a status of OK

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Click Next and enter in the zabbix database password

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Click Next and leave the server settings at defaults

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Verify your settings and click Next

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You will be brought to the zabbix login screen, where the user is admin and the password is zabbix.

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