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Month: July 2018

Using PowerShell to store S3 objects on Pure Storage FlashBlade

Update 12/5/2018: Pure Storage has modified the returned JSON file.  The AccessKey is no longer stored as Id, rather it is stored as Name.  I’ve updated the code below to reflect that.

Part of my job involves managing our storage fleet, both block storage and some file level services.  I recently had a conversation with some developers about methods in which we were storing files.  The current process involved multiple layers consisting of applications, servers, virtualization and storage systems.  Not that great for a rapidly growing file system.

I suggested to the team that we investigate the use of our Pure Storage FlashBlade investment.  The FlashBlade has native S3-compliant object store support, which would make it an ideal platform for what we were looking to do.  To prove out that the FlashBlade could be up for the task, and to give some basic examples, I leveraged the AWS Tools for PowerShell to do some file manipulation on a bucket within our FlashBlade.  If you’re looking to start doing some object storage on your FlashBlade check out the cmdlets here.  Don’t forget to check out the FlashBlade REST API guide to see how you could write some native API integration and bypass the AWS tools entirely.

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Booting ESXi in UEFI mode on Cisco UCS

Note: This process should work for Windows and Linux as well.  Verify the EFI boot path for the OS.

Through ESXi 6.0 I have run my hosts in Legacy BIOS mode on UCS.  There just was nothing significant enough worth the hassle of switching to UEFI on UCS (rather: I had more important fires to put out…).  The one feature I did want, Secure Boot, wasn’t supported by ESXi 6.0 and earlier.

vSphere 6.5 introduced support for Secure Boot.   Mike Foley has a great blog post about Secure Boot in ESXi 6.5.  If you are starting your 6.5 upgrade and are using Legacy mode, consider switching to UEFI.  It’s minimal effort and increases the security of your hypervisor.

Since I was working on rolling out a new UCS environment with ESXi 6.5 in a remote office environment, this felt like a great time to switch to UEFI and get the benefits of Secure Boot.  This is not complicated on UCS, but there is a new Boot Policy that must be created.  This policy can be reused for Windows (and other OS).

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