VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Click Below for Plug-ins:

vCO Plug-in

VMware released vCenter Orchestrator 5.5.1

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This week VMware released vCenter Orchestrator 5.5.1. While this is not a major new release it contains a lot of new features focusing on making vCO content development easier. Also important is a list of deprecated features.

How to allow the vCO Appliance to write files to a Windows CIFS share

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A frequent question around vCenter Orchestrator is: Can I read/write to shared folders? The answer is always yes, but the documentation may be difficult to find - especially when you are referring to a Windows share - aka CIFS in samba and *nix mounting terminology. Read on to learn EXACTLY what you need to do to allow your vCO server to read/write to a Windows Share!

Getting started with vCO and vCHS

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vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) is backed by vCloud Director. What does this mean? Well, it means that once you have defined 1 or more Virtual Data Centers, and VMware releases an updated vCD plug-in, you will have access to a vCloud Director Organization! Why is that good and what is the point of this post? Well, in short, this means you can use vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) to do some automation within your vCHS Virtual Data Centers! Read on to learn exactly HOW you would go about doing this. This tutorial will step you through the process of configuring vCenter Orchestrator to access resources hosted on VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service.

How to Change AD:UserGroup Scope and Type

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The AD plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) allows for the creation of AD:UserGroup objects as well as the management of its members. A missing option though is to define the type of Group to create. Read on to learn how I came up with a workflow that allows you to change the group to any group type and scope you like.

How to get Active Directory User Attributes

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Have you ever had the need to get some attributes of your Active Directory user account? Perhaps Manager for an approval, maybe direct reports, etc... but not sure how to work with the AD:User object in vCO... Well here's a great little snippet that can help you quickly identify the available information attached to the AD:User account you specify.

Leveraging the Guest Script Manager package

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Running commands or scripts in VM guest is something that has been done with vCO for quite a while using different mechanisms. A popular way was to use the VIX plug-in for vCO. This plug-in is not needed anymore since the VIX functionality is part of the vCenter API since vCenter 5.0 and there are guest operations workflows to copy a script and run it into a VM guest OS since vCO 5.1

Using these library workflows requires to copy scripts from the vCO filesystem or include the scripts in your workflows. Getting the script output can be tricky and if part of the script include parameters that need to be replaced with your custom workflows inputs it requires a bit more coding.

The Guest Script Manager package handles all of this for you so you do not have to reinvent the wheel. You can even create specific workflows to run existing scripts without having to do any vCO scripting !

Code snippet : Find a workflow by name

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vCenter Orchestrator references workflows by ID and allows to have multiple workflows with the same name. If the workflows you are calling have a unique name you can write a vCO wrapper to find a workflow by name with the following code.

NUC Lab Kit

Below are my thoughts for a vSAN nuc lab. Since I already have cables, not including them here. I ordered (and received by Nov 30, 2016)
3 x nuc, 3 x 32GB Crucial mem, 3 x Toshiba NVMe drive, 3 x Startech USB to GB NIC, and 3 x Crucial 1TB SSD. I've also been very happy with my Cisco SG300-10 so I bought one more since my existing one only has one port available. Each of the items listed here are linked below - all were purchased using the provided links below.
single NIC (See this post for details on using the USB -> GB NIC item listed below

I stayed with the i5 for the power consumption and form factor vs. the i7 Skull Canyon ;)