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Getting Started with SaltStack

I, along with seemingly everyone else, am jumping on the automation bandwagon as much as I possibly can. There are a ton of options out there from vendors and then several open-source(ish) solutions out there as well. In this article I’m going to go through what it takes to get started with SaltStack (or Salt for short). Some opine that Salt is a configuration management tool for the operations side of IT, making the scripting/dev part easier while still maintaining some flexibility and offering some awesome orchestration.

Salt is built for simplicity and is founded on remote execution. It uses what is called a ZeroMQ topology to enable high speed communication. ZeroMQ allows for parallel communication between many nodes in a datacenter.

Salt is similar to Puppet Enterprise in that it runs a master server with clients which in the Salt world is referred to as the Master and Minion roles. For my Salt master I chose to use Ubuntu 14.04. However, there are several options. The following steps are all for Ubuntu, though.

Install Salt

First I added the Salt repository and updated the software packages on the linux VM:

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Getting Started with VMware vSphere OpenStack Virtual Appliance

VMware has been getting involved with the OpenStack project over the last couple of years. They’ve created Hands On Labs geared towards OpenStack as well as creating the VOVA virtual appliance to make it easier for VMware administrators to get started with OpenStack. The VOVA appliance is not meant to be used in production. It is only a proof-of-concept appliance. It will allow VMware admins to deploy private clouds within their environments, though, and will give them insight into the OpenStack environment via vCenter. For more information see the OpenStack pageon the VMware Developer Center site.

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Create service profiles for Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers

n the previous installment of my series about configuring theCisco UCS B-Series blade servers and chassis, we finally got toconfigure the necessary pools in order to start creating service profiles, which is what I’ll cover in this article.

You can think of a service profile as the personality that gets assigned to the server. It will dictate how many vNICs or vHBAs a server gets, BIOS settings, security settings, and essentially anything you can think of that would apply to a server. Read a full description of service profiles in the Cisco UCS documentation.

We’ll spend most of our time in the Servers tab. We’ll start with creating a service profile template.

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