How to create AWS Lambda function with PowerCLI to access VMConAWS?

 

AWS Lambda in a nutshell

Lambda is an AWS offering to build serverless applications. It helps you to run code without provisioning or managing servers. The Lambda functions can be invoked directly through API calls or in response to events. AWS will charge the customer only for the compute time consumed by Lambda function, so no need to pay for idle time. You can learn more about lambda here.

AWS Lambda, PowerShell and PowerCLI

The code you run on AWS Lambda is uploaded as a ‘Lambda Function’. AWS Lambda natively supports PowerShell as scripting language. It helps us to write Lambda functions in PowerShell which includes commands from PowerCLI modules.

Let us see the steps to create a PowerShell based Lambda Function to get the list of VMs from a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC. As of now the AWS Code Editor doesn’t support writing or editing PowerShell based Lambda functions. The steps discuss how to create the Lambda functions offline and deploy them in AWS Lambda.

Step 1 : Install PowerShell Core.

The Lambda functions in PowerShell require PowerShell Core 6.0, Windows PowerShell isn’t supported. If you have PowerShell Core 6.0 or above already installed, skip to step 2. The environment variable $PSVersionTable will help you to find the PowerShell version and Edition.

I’ve used Powershell Core v6.2.1 which can be downloaded from PowerShell GitHub repo.

1.1 Goto https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell/releases/tag/v6.2.1 > Assets > and download the Package suitable for your OS, mine is Windows 10 and the bundle ‘PowerShell-6.2.1-win-x64.msi’ worked fine.

1.2 Once downloaded, double-click the installer and follow the prompts.

Step 2 : Install .NET Core 2.1 SDK.

Because PowerShell Core is built on top of .NET Core, the Lambda support for PowerShell uses the same .NET Core 2.1 runtime for both .NET Core and PowerShell Lambda functions. The .NET Core 2.1 SDK is used by the Lambda PowerShell publishing cmdlets to create the Lambda deployment package. The .NET Core 2.1 SDK is available at .NET downloads on the Microsoft website. Be sure to install the SDK and not the runtime installation.

Step 3 : Install Powershell module ‘AWSLambdaPSCore’

Open PowerShell Core and run the following command to install ‘AWSLambdaPSCore’ module.

The following are the commands available in module ‘AWSLambdaPSCore’

Step 4 : Install PowerCLI

If you already have PowerCLI modules installed in Powershell Core, skip this step.

Open PowerShell Core and run the following command

Step 5 : Create script from PowerShell Lambda Templates.

AWSLambdaPSCore module provides some Script Templates. Get-AWSPowerShellLambdaTemplate will list out the available templates.

We will use the template ‘Basic’ to create script ‘VMC-GetVM.ps1’ for getting the VM list from VMC SDDC.

Step 6 : Modify the script to get the VMs from vCenter located VMConAWS SDDC.

If you are new to Powershell Lambda its good to go through this article to understand Input Object, Returning Data, Additional Modules and Logging.

Open the script VMC-GetVM.ps1 in the editor, I use VSCode. Replace the content of the script with the following script.

Note: Please ensure the version of modules marked with #Requires statement are same as the version of modules loaded in Powershell Core. If it’s different, then update the script with version details of corresponding modules which are loaded. The following command will help to find the versions of required modules.

The values for the properties (venter, vCenterUser, etc) in the object $LamdaInput will be passed when we execute the function.

Save the script.

Step 7 : Reduce the size of package

In next step we will publish the Lambda Function. While publishing, a deployment package that contains our PowerShell script ‘VMC-GetVM.ps1’ and all modules declared with the #Requires statement will be created. But the deployment may fail since the package with listed PowerCLI modules will exceed Lambda’s hard limit on Package size, ie 69905067 bytes. In that situation the following error will be thrown.

To avoid that, as a workaround, we’ve to reduce the package size by cutting down the size of PowerCLI modules. When I checked ‘VMware.VimAutomation.Core’ is the largest module which is due to  Remote Console files included in the module.

Browse to the following path and move the folder ‘VMware Remote Console’ to Documents.

Step 8 : Create IAM role to access CloudWatch Log and to execute Lambda.

Login to AWS Console and navigated to IAM. Create new role ‘lambda_basic_excution’ with the policy ‘CloudWatchLogsFullAccess’.

Step 9 : Publish to Lambda

To publish our new PowerShell based Lambda function, let’s execute the following command from Powershell Core.

It will take a while to create the package and deploy to AWS Lambda.

Step 10 : Configure environment variable.

Once the function is deployed, login to AWS Console and navigate to Lambda. Select the newly created function ‘VMC-GetVM’

Set the environment variable HOME to /tmp.

Step 11 : Install AWSPowerShell module.

To execute the newly created function from PowerShell Core we need the module ‘AWSPowerShell’. Run the following command to install it.

Step 12 : Execute the function

From the editor (VSCode) create new file LambdaExecute.ps1 and copy the following code.

Once the execution completed you can see the list of VMs in CloudWatch Logs.

From AWS Console go to CloudWatch > Log Groups and select ‘ /aws/lambda/VMC-GetVM’ and click on latest log stream.

You can see the VMs list in the Message!

 

Uninstall VMware PowerCLI modules from Powershell Core

Recently I had to uninstall PowerCLI modules from Powershell Core. As we know installing PowerCLI on Powershell from Powershell Gallery is an easy one step task. The following command will help you to do that.

As of today (30-08-2019) the above command will install all following modules.

But when you try to uninstall the module ‘VMware.PowerCLI’ with following command, it will remove only VMware.PowerCLI, rest of the modules will be retained.

The following option is not useful since some modules are dependent on others.

The easiest way to remove all VMware modules is to remove them from module path. The following command will help you to find out the location of VMware modules. Once its identified just delete them from explorer. Powershell modules doesn’t make windows registry entries, so deleting them from the path is equivalent to a complete uninstall.

vCD : Permissions to view and execute vRO workflows in vCloud Director

Its important to add necessary privileges to the roles after vRealize Orchestrator 7.5 is registered in vCloud Director 9.5. Otherwise you will not be able to see the Option to ‘Execute’ the vRO workflows. As shown in the following screeenshot the option ‘Execute’ will be hidden in Tenant Portal. 

Hamburger Menu > Libraries > Service Library > Workflow

Please find the steps to provide adequate permissions to execute the vRO workflows from vCloud Director 9.5. Continue reading

vCD : Change SSH Session Idle timeout of vCloud Director Appliance.

Its bit annoying that the SSH connection to vCloud DIrector Appliance get cut off for just idling for a short time. So we may want to tweak the ssh configuration of vCD appliance to keep the connection alive for longer period.
The following two properties of SSHD define how long the SSH session should stay though there is no input received from the client.

ClientAliveCountMax
ClientAliveInterval


Please click here fore more details.

ClientAliveCountMax
Sets the number of client alive messages which may be sent without sshd(8) receiving any messages back from the client. If this threshold is reached while client alive messages are being sent, sshd will disconnect the client, terminating the session. It is important to note that the use of client alive messages is very different from TCPKeepAlive. The client alive messages are sent through the encrypted channel and therefore will not be spoofable. The TCP keepalive option enabled by TCPKeepAlive is spoofable. The client alive mechanism is valuable when the client or server depend on knowing when a connection has become inactive.
The default value is
3.

If ClientAliveInterval is set to 15, and ClientAliveCountMax is left at the default, unresponsive SSH clients will be disconnected after approximately 45 seconds.

ClientAliveInterval
Sets a timeout interval in seconds after which if no data has been received from the client, sshd(8) will send a message through the encrypted channel to request a response from the client. The default is 0, indicating that these messages will not be sent to the client.

Continue reading

Change Hostname of vCloud Director Appliance

Hey All, hope you all doing well.

At the moment when you deploy VCD appliance we dont have the option to provide the hostname for the vCloud Director Cell . When you login to the console or ssh to the appliance, it just shows the default ‘photon-machine’ as the hostname. Its difficult to identify the VCD Cells if you have multiple cells in the environment.

Changing Hostname of the appliance is easy. Here is your warning.  I would not recommend using this workaround in your production environment without being directed to make this change by VMware support or officially documented by VMware.

Please find the steps below.  Continue reading

Powershell oneliner to find the VMware softwares installed, version and installDate.

#vmwTip 1 : Powershell oneliner to find the VMware softwares installed, version and installDate.

oneliner

PowerCLI to find vCPU to pCPU ratio and vRAM to pRAM ratio

vsphere-PowerCLI
 
 
I was in search for a script to generate report on vCPU to pCPU ratio and vRAM to pRAM at cluster level in a vCenter. Found couple of interesting community threads which address part of the requirements. Thought to consolidate (or extract:) ) the code and created the following. The report will be generated as CSV file.

Output in table format :

DatacenterClusterNamevCPU-pCPUCoreRatiovRAM-pRAMRatioNumVMHostsNumPCPUSocketsNumPCPUCoresNumvCPUPhysicalMem(GB)VirtualMem(GB)
1234512345-HypClus11.85:10.28:1364889768214
678910678910-HypClus20.60:10.21:152016096640132
1234512345-HypClus22.08:10.91:12212256458

Ref : https://communities.vmware.com/thread/456555?start=0&tstart=0

 

Steps to find NAA ID of a RDM LUN mapped to a Windows Volume

Scenario:

Customer requested to increase the windows volume T:. The mentioned volume is a RAW LUN located in EMC VMAX storage. To expand the LUN storage team needs NAA ID (or WWN) of the LUN.

Its easy to find the naa id of a LUN from windows Guest OS with the help of EMC’s Inquiry (inq) tool. Please find the steps below to fetch the naa id with inq tool.

 

Steps:

  1. Download the inq tool to the VM from following hyperlink.
    1. inq
  2. Open a CMD window.
    1. Go to RUN -> cmd
  3. CD to the directory where inq is downloaded.
  4. Find the device associated to the windows volume T:.
    1. Run the command inq -winvolwinvol
    2. Here the Device name is PHYSICALDRIVE4.
  5. Find the NAA id of the LUN associated to the Device PHYSICALDRIVE4.
    1. Run the command inq -wwn naa number
    2. You can see that naa id is displayed in WWN column!!!.

To Confirm you can use the following method.

  1. Find virtual device node of the Device.
    1. Run the command inq -btlVirtual
    2. note down the Bus (0) and Tid number (4).
  2. Open VM settings check the NAAID of the disk with Virtual Device Node “0:4”.vm settings - Virtual Devicevm settings - NAA ID

Disclaimer :

I have’nt tested it on all windows platforms and tested only with EMC storages. So use at your own risk.

Configure Virtual Machine-FEX with Cisco VIC and Nexus 5K – Part 2

Cisco-VMFEXOnce the configuration on Cisco VIC adapter is done, we need to do certain configuration settings on Nexus switch to enable VM-FEX. In this section we discuss more on the configuration settings that needs to be done specifically on on Nexus 5000 Series switch to enable VM-FEX. We also discuss on settings that needs to be done on ESXi to enable VMFEX.

A VM-FEX license is required for Cisco Nexus device. The license package name is VMFEX_ FEATURE_PKG. Incase if you are just interested in experimenting with this cool feature, a grace period of 120 days starts when you first configure this feature.

We have to do the following configuration on Nexus 5000 switch:

  1. Enable VM-FEX and other related services
  2. Define port profiles for dynamic Virtual Machine ports
  3. Enable vntag on applicable ports
  4. Install Cisco_nexus_vmfex plugin in vCenter
  5. Configure SVS connection to vCenter
  6. Activate and verify the SVS connection

Continue reading