Part 4: The latest item on my journey with VMware vRealize SaltStack Config as a Windows Server Admin will be salt grains. I have a specific use case that made me start looking at grains. In VMware vCenter I use vCenter TAGs to organize VMs. I also use vCenter TAGs to organize VMs in vRealize Operations. I want to use the same logic of using vCenter TAGs in SaltStack Config.

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Part 3: The next steps on my journey with VMware vRealize SaltStack Config as a Windows Server Admin will be beacons and reactors. Working with Jobs helped me understand how to make changes Ad-Hoc. I have a Job to quickly stop the Print Spooler but what if I always want the state of the Print Spooler Service to be stopped. How do I NOT allow a Server Admin to login into the server and manually start the service?

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I will be doing a VMworld presentation for the first time at VMworld 2021. I have attended VMworld since 2012 and it has been a goal of mine to do a presentation at a VMworld since the first year I attended. There are always so many good sessions to attend. We are putting many hours into this presentation so that the people attending feel it was worth their time and learn a lot about the topic.

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Part 2: I have been able to spend more time with VMware vRealize SaltStack Config. Here are some updates on my journey with SaltStack as a Windows Server Admin. Auto-Accept new minions: I wanted new Windows Server builds (minions) to be auto accepted into SaltStack Config instead of someone manually approving new minions. To do this you need to have a reactor.conf file. I created the file in SaltStack Config File Server in base/reactor/reactor.

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Part 1: I have recently started looking at using VMware vRealize SaltStack Config. This blog is a work in progress on my journey with Salt. I started at zero and let’s see what I discover as I work towards getting to PROD. So if this topic is interesting to you, check back often. I wanted to learn one of the server configuration products that are available like Salt, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, etc… but I wasn’t sure which would be the best choice long term.

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vRealize Operations does a good job to show you what the correct number for vCPU/Memory settings should be based on monitoring history. But instead of showing APP owners a screen that just shows what the current VM vCPU/Memory settings are and what the new settings “Should” be, I wanted to show the real data that proves why these changes should be made. It can still be hard for people to understand that taking away a VM resources can make performance better.

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I recently had a use case where I wanted to execute a vRealize Orchestrator Workflow by using REST API. There is some documentation available but not a lot of details on how to get and use variables, sdk-objects and bearer token for permission. Here is how I made the vRO REST API calls with PowerShell using vRealize Orchestrator built-into vRA. Steps: Permission: Need to get a Bearer Token from vRO to make REST API Call to execute Workflow.

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PowerShell Code Use PowerShell to see if ports are open to a remote server. Living in a zero trust environment can be challenging. Here is some code that I have been using to test for open ports from a Windows server to any type of destination. Just change PortNumber and Destination for your use case. $PortNumber = '443' $Destination = 'Server.vCrocs.info' $socket = New-Object Net.Sockets.TcpClient $socket.Connect($Destination,$PortNumber) if($socket.Connected){ $PortOpened = 'Port: ' + $PortNumber + ' to ' + $Destination +' is Open!

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PowerShell Code I like to create a Scheduled Task in vRealize Orchestrator to create RVTools files everyday. Here is a sample PowerShell script that could be used. The script is also on a 7 day rotation of files and automatically deletes old files. Start-Process -FilePath "C:\Program Files (x86)\Robware\RVTools\RVtools.exe" -ArgumentList '-s vCenter01.vCrocs.info -u administrator@vsphere.local -p "Enter RVTools encrypted Password between the double quotes" -c Exportall2xls -d "G:\RVTools\vCenter01"' -Wait Start-Process -FilePath "C:\Program Files (x86)\Robware\RVTools\RVtools.

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Dale Hassinger

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Lead Systems Engineer - SME

Dillsburg, PA