Managing GNS3 with PowerShell

If you’re a network engineer or like to play around with networks, you’ve used GNS3 (or something similar, like VIRL) to simulate networks to prepare for live configuration changes, preparing for certifications, and maybe keep a demo lab. Part of the demo lab I maintain for vRealize Network Insight, is collecting from a GNS3 network.

Sometimes, you need to restart all, or just some of the nodes. In my case, periodic node restarts are to simulate router crashes, and sometimes the storage underneath GNS3 would error and some of the nodes have kernel panics. All reasons to restart the … Read more

Using OAuth for VMware Cloud Authentication

API calls towards VMware Cloud are typically done using refresh tokens. Most examples you can find about the VMC API are around refresh tokens. These are personally bound to a VMC user. Which makes sense, you are doing something (creating an SDDC, or getting info, etc.). But, what if you’re building a service against VMware Cloud and need all API calls not to be bound to an individual? That’s where OAuth apps come in.

I wanted to document my tinkering to get an OAuth app to work and retrieving information around SDDCs, using that way of authentication. 

Create OAuth App

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Using Terraform to deploy vRealize Network Insight Cloud Collector to VMware Cloud on AWS

That’s a long post title, right?! Well, a lot of moving parts for this one. 😉

Terraform is a powerful tool to achieve infrastructure-as-code. You can do many things, from configuring Cisco ACI to creating and maintaining a VMware Cloud on AWS and everything in between. There’s also a vSphere provider that allows you to deploy VMs from OVA templates. That’s where this story begins.

vRealize Network Insight Cloud has a platform where the data is stored and a collector, which does the collecting. This collector needs to be placed as close to the data source as possible. For VMware Read more

NSX-T Manager: Increasing API requests per second

By default, the NSX-T Manager has a protection mechanism in place to prevent the API from being overloaded. This is a good thing, protecting the NSX-T Manager.

But, the increasing integrations into NSX-T, make it so that more and more products are using the NSX-T API to monitor or configure NSX (vRealize Network Insight, vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation, etc.). I’ve hit this limit several times and needed to push that limit up. 

The API Guide states that the default maximum API request number is 100 per second. In the guide, there’s a reference to the API call to change the … Read more

Archiving Network Flows from vRealize Network Insight to Log Insight

vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) captures all traffic going through the network. It stores the traffic in flow records, and these are made up out of a source, destination, protocol, and port number. The metrics are attached so you can get a nice graph of the traffic behavior.

vRNI Flows and context

After creating the flow, vRNI goes on and attaches a lot of context to that flow: Is it coming from a VM? Is there a firewall rule attached? Which vCenter is this flow going through? What kind of SD-WAN Policies are attached? If any of this context changes (i.e., a VM got renamed), … Read more

SmartNIC – The Next Step in Networking

There has been more and more talk about something called SmartNICs. Development originally started with AWS as an internal project for their cloud, simplifying their network operations and making the physical network devices simpler, dumber, and easier to manage. To me, this evolution is the next step in the networking layer.

The reason why is simple. For the last few years, the industry is moving away from complicated configurations in individual network devices, to simpler configurations in centrally managed controllers. Abstracting away complexity while we scale, is key there. By moving the network configuration to the server NICs, instead of … Read more

Exporting Dashboards from vRealize Log Insight with Python

You can create some pretty cool and quick dashboards with vRealize Log Insight. Send it some data, set some filters, and create widgets that represent the data in a good way. 

I just finished creating some good usage dashboards for the vRealize Network Insight Field Demo instances we have. The NGINX logs are sent via the log insight agent to vRLI, and then I filter out the unique visitors, popular searches, pinboards, and more. I wanted to see how often the field demo gets used and what’s being used.

The only problem is that vRLI doesn’t support generating scheduled reports, … Read more

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