Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pivotal Cloud Foundry in a Nutshell, Laptop Lab, Best Practices

In this blog I will introduce you to Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF), provide you instructions on how to setup PCF Laptop Lab to play around and finally discuss best practices to be used for Enterprise PCF Deployment. So, lets start with Introduction PCF.
PCF in Nutshell 
PCF is enterprise grade Cloud Foundry which is Open Source software. As described in following diagram, traditionally we used to manage the entire IT stack from top to bottom, as we evolve into Private cloud, we started offering IaaS and PaaS services. So PCF is essentially PaaS offering which is enterprise grade and runs on Any IaaS, well most of the leading IaaS !

Lets look at very high level what's in it. In following diagram, I have tried to explain PCF from 2 angles, Infrastructure and Operations.

The biggest advantage of PCF is Rapid Application deployment and scaling, we just need 2 command to deploy and scale applications in PCF!

PCF Laptop Lab

Login to pivotal site create an account and create a org.

Make sure that you have at least 40 GB free disk space and 5 GB free RAM

Download and install virtual box

Download and install JDK 1.8.X

Download CF CLI tool

Check the installation using following command

cf help

Download and install the pcfdev, unzip the downloaded file and run the exe.

Start the Dev PCF (This may take several min’s depending on your internet speed) 

cf dev start

Once started, deploy sample spring music application.

unzip the above file.
cd spring-music-master
.\gradlew.bat assemble

Deploy the Application 

cf login -a --skip-ssl-validation
cf push --hostname spring-music

Login to Admin console and verify application is up and running

Check out the sample app

Here are few other useful commands 

Viewing logs
cf logs spring-music --recent
cf logs spring-music

Install database and connect
cf marketplace -s p-mysql
cf create-service p-mysql 512mb my-spring-db
cf bind-service spring-music my-spring-db

Restart services
cf restart spring-music
cf services

Scale applications
cf scale spring-music -i 2
cf app spring-music
     state      since                  cpu     memory         disk             details
#0   running    2017-10-22T07:13:43Z   0.3%    380.9M of 1G   170.1M of 512M
#1   starting   2017-10-22T07:18:03Z   52.9%   249.1M of 1G   170M of 512M

Increase the resources of app
cf scale spring-music -m 1G
cf scale spring-music -k 512M

Best practices for Enterprise PCF deployments

  • Size your PFC using PCF sizing tool
  • Store all the passwords in keypass
  • Make sure that you setup at least 3 Availability Zones
  • Plan and design your Org, Spaces, Apps and Security of Applications well in advance before you start the setup

... Will keep updating this section.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

vSphere Optimization Assessment (vOA)

In this blog, I will provide more details on how to install and use vSphere Optimization Assessment (vOA). As name suggests, this utility is designed and developed to optimize vSphere Cloud environment. This is one of the plug-in which needs to be installed in vRealize Operations (vROps)

Once the plug-in is installed, please run 3 reports, which will provide very interesting dashboard and detailed reports such as

  1. Identify mis-configured clusters, hosts and VMs.
  2. Identify performance problems and their root causes.
  3. Reclaim underutilized CPU, memory and disk space. 

Check out sample report videos here.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kafka - Intro, Laptop Lab Setup and Best Practices

In this blog, I will summarize the best practices which should be used while implementing Kafka.
Before going to best practices, lets understand what is Kafka. Kafka is publish-subscribe messaging rethought as a distributed commit log and is used for building real-time data pipelines and streaming apps. It is horizontally scalable, fault-tolerant, wicked fast, and runs in production in thousands of companies.
Here is the high level conceptual diagram of Kafka, where in you can see Kafka cluster of size 4 (4 number of brokers) managed by Apache Zookeeper which is serving multiple of Producers and Consumers. Messages are sent to Topics. Each topic can have multiple partitions for scaling. For  fault-tolerance we have to use replication factor, which ensures that messages are written in multiple partitions.

Kafka Laptop Lab Setup

To setup Kafka Laptop Lab, please install VMware Workstation, Create a Ubuntu VM, Download and unzip Kafka

tar -xvf kafka_2.11-

-- Set environment parameters
vi .bashrc
--Add following 2 lines at the end of .bashrc file, save and close the file.
export KAFKA_HOME=/home/myadav/kafka_2.11-;
export PATH=$PATH:$KAFKA_HOME/bin;
exit and open new terminal

-- Install JDK
sudo apt-get purge  openjdk-\*
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/java
sudo apt-get install default-jre
which java
java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_131"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_131-8u131-b11-2ubuntu1.17.04.3-b11)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.131-b11, mixed mode)

--Start Zookeeper
cd $KAFKA_HOME/bin $KAFKA_HOME/config/

--Start Kafka server
cd $KAFKA_HOME/bin $KAFKA_HOME/config/

--Start Topic start and list
cd $KAFKA_HOME/bin --create --topic mytopic --zookeeper localhost:2181 --replication-factor 1 -partitions 1 --list  --zookeeper localhost:2181 --describe  --zookeeper localhost:2181

--Start Produce console
cd $KAFKA_HOME/bin --broker-list localhost:9092 --topic mytopic

-- Start Consumer console
cd $KAFKA_HOME/bin --zookeeper localhost:2181 --topic mytopic --from-beginning

In this screenshot, you can see, I have started Zookeeper and Kafka in top 2 terminals, in middle terminal I have created topic, and bottom 2 terminals has Producer and Consumer Console. You can see the same messages in producer and consumers.

Best Practices for Enterprise implementation

Sharing best practices for Enterprise level Kafka Implementation
  1. Make sure that Zookeeper is on different server than Kafka Brokers.
  2. There should be minimum 3 to 5 zookeeper nodes in one zookeeper cluster
  3. Make sure that you are using latest java 1.8 with G1 collector 
  4. There should be minimum 4-5 Kafka brokers in Kafka cluster
  5. Make sure that there are sufficient / optimum partitions for each topic, higher the number of partitions more parallel consumers can be added , thus resulting in a higher throughput. More partitions can increase the latency.
  6. There should be minimum 2 replication factor for each topic for fault-tolerance, again more number of replication factors will have impact on performance  
  7. Make sure that you install and configure monitoring tools such as Kafka Manager
  8. If possible implement Kafka MirrorMaker for replication across data-centers for Disaster Recovery purpose 
  9. For Delivery Guarantees set appropriate value for Broker Acknowledgement (“acks”) 
  10. For exceptions / Broker Responds with error set proper values of Number of retries, and

I will keep appending this section on regular basis.

Monday, October 9, 2017

vRA 7.3 Implementation Sample Project Plan

VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is the IT Automation tool of the modern Software-Defined Data Center. vRA enables IT Automation through the creation and management of personalized infrastructure, application and custom IT services (XaaS). This IT Automation lets you deploy IT services rapidly across a multi-vendor, multi-cloud infrastructure.

In this blog, I am going to describe overall vRA implementation project plan which can be used as sample for any vRA implementation.

We need variety of skills for this implementation such as, Cloud admin, OS Admin, Process expert, Monitoring tools team, Project Manager, Technical Manager etc and last but not least, Customer Management!

Timelines mentioned in this sample project plan are indicative and may vary depending complexity. For example, creating handful of templates and 20 odd blueprints without any Application or Database may take less time, however when we are considering provision of App and DB using vRA, we need to consider more time, including testing time.

Information gathering stage is very important and make sure that customer understands advantages, disadvantages, product feature, limitations which needs to be considered while designing the vRA solution.

Friday, November 25, 2016

IT Operations Management

If you are in IT Operations, here are few things you should focus on and set goals in order to have full control over the operations

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Some of my innovations in past

In this blog, I want to describe few of my innovations / innovative ideas for which I was rewarded in my current and past companies.

1) CIO Bottom line award (2013) for automated health check of Load test environment. Before we start any load test, we need to perform health check on the entire environment, restart services in sequence on all the 150 servers. This used to be manual and labor intensive activity, and we need to follow the sequence, needs too many handshakes between various admin teams. We did automated all the health checks and also automated the restart of all services including Databases, Middleware, Portals, eBS , IDM etc and also inbuilt the sequence. This resulted in a saving of around $110K/year.

2) Question of the day (2009): We were running 24X7 monitoring operation, and we hardly used to get time for in class training to my team. So I came up with a innovative idea, why can't they learn every day a small portion of the technology. For them understanding of OEM was a must, so I came up with series of tasks and questions and sequenced them, and also automated them to be sent to team members on daily basis so that that they can try these activities / try to answer these practical questions during their spare time. For this innovative idea of training, I was also awarded.

3) Remote Monitoring system (2005): Remote Monitoring Service is Systems management solution which was designed by me around Enterprise Manager Grid Control technology, that means the majority of this solution was, in and around 10g Grid Control. It proactively monitors all components of IT infrastructure, like database, listeners, application servers, storage, you name it.. CPU, Memory, load balancer etc.. And now a days using plug-in even third party s/w like IBM, Microsoft databases can be monitored. It immediately sends alerts and notifications to relevant and registered mail id’s, like DBA’s, Unix Administrators, Helpdesk or some times to managers as well for very critical errors with short message. In-built intelligence through “Fixit Jobs”, say like, if a database went down, we can proactively give instructions to restart the database. Also we had write scripts to fix regular DBA issues, for example if a tablespace is out of space, it will automatically add a data file to that tablespce and inform the DBA, regarding the action it has taken. Customizable threshold and critical levels: different customer’s will be having different standards for warning and critical levels, for example one customer may say 85 is our warning and 95% is critical limit, but these limits may be different for other customer, and this can be achieved by setting different limits for different customer, so its customizable as per customer needs. And finally, it facilitates conformity to Service Line Agreements. This became entry level service and started generating huge revenue in the form of main services. For this innovative idea, I was awarded.

4) Clock as angular measuring equipment (1995): During last year of my Engineering, I was playing with my mechanical table clock, and accidentally, it fall down and got damaged. Basically when we wind the key, it was getting unwind quickly and all the hands were also moving quickly. I was thinking what to do with this clock, and Idea strike me! One full round of the key is getting amplified and we are getting a detail reading on dial, then why not use this angular measuring equipment. I opened the clock calculated the gear ratios and came up with the scale of the the clock, i.e. 1 second equal to how much angle. Then I created a platform to mount the clock and also a platform to keep the object of which we need to measure the angle. I represented this project in SARCH in Solapur where I got second price.

5) 32 bit number system ( 1991): During 11th standard / PUC, we had computer science, and we were learning binary, octa, decimal and hexa decimal systems. I took it further ahead and developed 32 bit number system and also provided methods to convert from 32 bit to hexa, octa, decimal and binary systems. I did'nt know how to publish and take forward at that point of time, however it became quite popular in my class and professors recognized the work I did at that point of time.