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

vCO Plug-in

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.

How to Enable vCO 5.1.x to log API requests

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When working with new integrations that utilize the vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) REST API you may want additional logging on the vCO side to see what is happening. I came across this need on a recent project. By default, vCO is logging workflow and webview activities but not API calls. This short article walks you through the steps necessary to enable such logging.

Run a program in guest from vCloud Automation Center

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vCloud Automation Center is the VMware hybrid cloud self-service provisioning portal. It can be customized to extend its OOTB functionality. The following tutorial shows how from the vSphere web client create a menu operation to run a program in a guest or how to do it automatically once the VM has been provisioned. This does not involve any scripting !

Working with vCloud Automation Center IaaS entities

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vCloud Automation Center has several constructs such as blueprints, business groups, reservations to manage the virtual machines lifecycle and governance policies.

While most customers will use vCloud Automation Center out of the box some have several use cases for automation and integration. This is where vCenter Orchestrator comes into the picture.

How to use the REST API to Start a Workflow

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It seems everyday the interest in vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is growing. I love this because it brings more and more use cases to our attention. One such use case is the need to call vCO workflows via its REST API. In order to keep this article generic, but useful, I will work with the free RESTClient plug-in/add-on for Firefox as the client. The general process here will be similar to what you may need to do from your software or portal to integrate with vCO's REST API.

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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 ;)