Naming Conventions and Standards for Systems and Devices

We all know how important it is to have a naming standard for our systems and devices that means something, rather than a number of Greek mythological names that ultimately mean nothing to most.

A quick google of “Server naming conventions” will lead you to actual help, or polls from slashdot on this subject, or even lists of the best and worst naming conventions in vendor blogs whilst they hammer you to buy their warez (<<< That link may have a massive popup from GFI trying to push you something). Or you can always fall back on reddit to get to heart of the action.

 

Here I am sharing the naming conventions we designed and implemented whilst I was working as a consultant. Please feel free to use, adapt or ignore as you please.

Name Convention Examples

For a good clean and clear name we defined the following;

  • Identify the client or site
    • 2 Letter Abbreviation
  • Site/Location Identification
    • 2 Digit Number
  • Primary Role or Function of the Service/Device
    • 3 Letter Abbreviation + 2 Digits for numbered instance
  • Identify the deployment type, such as Production/Test/Development/Staging
    • 1 Letter Identifier
  • Identify the service characteristic type such as Physical/Virtual Machine/Container
    • 1 Letter Identifier

Below I’ve drawn out a breakdown of such as a table;

Sorry for inserting the tables as images, but its the one lacking function of wordpress!

Or if its easier, here is a nice colourful diagram; Continue reading Naming Conventions and Standards for Systems and Devices

VeeamPN 2.1 – Configure static IP for Network Hub

Today I decided to deploy VeeamPN between two sites. This is a free VPN solution which is optimized for performance. Veeam produced this tool for their customers to be able to easily setup networking between their production site and DR site, so ensure continuity during a disaster or failover situation.

Below is a diagram of my basic setup.

  • Site A – runs the “Network Hub” role
  • Site B – runs the “Site Gateway” role

The issue

When I deployed the first OVA appliance, I realised there was no option for setting a static IP address. DHCP is a requirement to configure VeeamPN. However, when the OVA deployed and the initial configuration for Network Hub is selected, there is no static IP address settings available versus an OVA configured for the Site Gateway rule.

The Fix

The VeeamPN OVA is a stripped-down Ubuntu Linux image, which runs Netplan for the networking service.

I configured a static IP address the following way;

  1. Configure SSH access on the VeeamPN appliance via the management interface.
  2. Use WinSCP to connect to the appliance
  3. Browse to /etc/netplan/
  4. Edit the “01-netplan.yaml’ file and save (see below).
  5. SSH to the VeeamPN Appliance and run “sudo netplan apply” or “sudo netplan –debug apply” for troubleshooting
  6. Log back onto the management interface using the new IP address.

When you edit the YAML file, you will find that indentations are key (as with any YAML file).

To make life easier, I used this file found here that you can use as the baseline;

network:
  version: 2
  renderer: networkd
  ethernets:
    ens160:
      addresses:
        - 10.10.10.2/24
      gateway4: 10.10.10.1
      nameservers:
          search: [mydomain, otherdomain]
          addresses: [10.10.10.1, 1.1.1.1]

Regards

Dean

Interview – Matthew Steiner – Cloud Technologist and Author

Matthew is currently working at VMware as a cloud management technologist, spending the majority of his time visiting customers and discussing their cloud journey. 2020 will mark a milestone, with it being his tenth year at VMware.

Since personally joining VMware in 2018, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Matthew on a common customer, which has led us to sharing a number of trips together. During this time, I’ve learnt a lot from Matt and his insights about the industry, also from Matt as a person. This interview post is brought to you from a number of those chats.

You can find Matt online at the below locations, and no doubt presenting at a VMware or VMUG event near you!

Was technology your first calling?

I’ve always been around tech from the very beginning whilst in school, joining the computer club so I could use the Sinclair ZX81 Spectrum. Like most computer clubs, spending time writing code, and was lucky enough to have it published in a computer magazine at the time.

After leaving school, a move to a Chemical manufacturer lead to learning Cobol programming for their CRM system, client software, and configuring a lot of modems. Unfortunately, I was made redundant from one role, and this is where I moved into the contracting world, working for a large European bank. From here I stayed on and moved my way up through the various roles from entry level technician keeping the lights on, to leading the teams keeping the lights on.

Can you recall the moment where you found yourself thinking “I can move beyond day-to-day operations, work with customers in a more strategic capacity?”

There was not an immediate moment of this happening, it was all part of the journey of during my career. In the latter days working for the European bank, as I’d moved up the ladder, I spent time thinking and articulating the effects of the technology and its effects on the business, especially the positive effects.

In 2000, I moved away from the technical administration roles and joined Compaq as a pre-sales consultant. This solidified the move away from break-fix and I got to see the other side of “the fence” so to speak. Certainly, joining a sales organisation and being part of that sales focus was a shock to the system.

But this was also the start of working with a range of customers from a more strategic position and taking my experiences of the positive impacts of technology on a business out to a wider audience.

Sales Kick off in New York with Compaq, they still meet up each year, the IT space in Scotland is a small world!
Featuring (L-R); Matthew Steiner, Brett Wells, Brian Duffy and Andy Hughes

How would you summarise/guide a person, start focusing on the business before tech? Continue reading Interview – Matthew Steiner – Cloud Technologist and Author

Support Ticket Template – Helping you help your vendor support teams

Below is a support template I crafted with some members of our VMware GSS team, to help my customers reduce the typical back and forth information gathering to help them get to a resolution faster.

Instead when logging a ticket, my customers can log all the necessary information upfront.

Hopefully you will find this useful, and it can be used/adapted to use with other vendor support teams or even internally within your own business.

[Customer Information]
1. Engineer name:
2. What is the Business Impact?

[Product and Environment Information]
1. Environment Name:
2. What VMware products has the customer deployed?
3. What type of environment is impacted?
4. What was the customer doing when the problem was observed?
5. List FQDN and IP for each impacted device:

[Problem Description]
1. Describe the specific problem symptoms:
2. When was the problem first observed (Date/Time)?
3. When was the problem most recently observed (Date/Time)?
4. Describe the recurrence pattern for the problem if existing:

[Problem Troubleshooting]
1. What investigation has been conducted by the customer (give a full report)?
2. If a workaround has been attempted, describe the steps and outcome:

[Ask to VMware GSS]
1.What specific request is made of GSS?

[Logs]
Please collect all relevant product logs and upload them to the SR as outlined here for review:
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1008524
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1008525

Regards

Dean

 

Synology – Moving a package between volumes

I have a Synology 8-bay NAS used for home-lab purposes, but also doubles as local home storage as well.

As part of upgrades, I was decommissioning a volume for a new one with higher capacity drives, however I had Plex installed on the volume to be decommissioned. I moved all the data using the internal file manager, but the package installation remained in place.

Migrate package to another volume

  1. Stop your application via the Synology package center UI.
  2. Login to Synology using SSH and elevate to root.
  3. Use “ls” against /VolumeX/@appstore to find your package folder name
  4. Use “mv” to move the data between the old and new volume, you may need to create the @appstore folder first.
  5. Remove the symlink from the current volume and create the new symlink to the new volume.
  6. Stop and start your package in the Synology Package Centre.

Below is an example the commands I used;

sudo mkdir /volume2/@appstore
sudo mv "/volume1/@appstore/Plex Media Server" "/Volume2/@appstore"
sudo rm "/var/packages/Plex Media Server/target"
sudo ln -s "/volume2/@appstore/Plex Media Server" "/var/packages/Plex Media Server/target"

Now when you try to remove the volume, your package will now show as attached to the volume.

Regards

Dean