vmware

now browsing by category

 

How to deploy Vmware VM’s using Ansible from Cloned Templates

QUICK OVERVIEW OF WHAT ANSIBLE IS..

Ansible is a radically simple IT automation engine that automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs.

Designed for multi-tier deployments since day one, Ansible models your IT infrastructure by describing how all of your systems inter-relate, rather than just managing one system at a time.

It uses no agents and no additional custom security infrastructure, so it’s easy to deploy – and most importantly, it uses a very simple language (YAML, in the form of Ansible Playbooks) that allow you to describe your automation jobs in a way that approaches plain English.

On this page, we’ll give you a really quick overview so you can see things in context. For more detail, hop over to docs.ansible.com.

EFFICIENT ARCHITECTURE

Ansible works by connecting to your nodes and pushing out small programs, called “Ansible modules” to them. These programs are written to be resource models of the desired state of the system. Ansible then executes these modules (over SSH by default), and removes them when finished.

Your library of modules can reside on any machine, and there are no servers, daemons, or databases required. Typically you’ll work with your favorite terminal program, a text editor, and probably a version control system to keep track of changes to your content.

 Okay so what that actually is saying is. Ansible has a whole library of python modules that come out of the box coupled with a huge community of open source python modules to do all sorts of tasks to automate infrastructure.
 You can call these modules by writing yaml code, inside your yaml code when you call a specific module, you can the pass specific variables to that module to do specific things defined by the python module.
Example power on and off a vm, or connect or disconnect network, etc.

For the purposes of this post we are are going to dive into using vmware_guest” module by way of using http api authentication session & cookies. There are many other python modules which you can search in the ansible documentation and or ansible-galaxy

.

https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/latest/collections/community/vmware/index.html

Now it definitely helps to be able to code in python or at least be able to read python code, however completely not necessary. Anyone with basic understanding of bash scripting can learn ansible. I could teach a newbie ansible in a couple days. Sharing is caring.

.

Anyone who says otherwise……don’t hire them.

.

.

Ansible Setup: 

 Now this post assumes you already have ansible setup and are running a newer version. If not you will need to review post on how to setup ansible before you can proceed with this.

Pre-Module install Steps: 

Requirements

The below requirements are needed on the host that executes this module.

 python >= 2.6
 PyVmomi
 PIP
 Community.vmware library of python modules

.

1.Okay so you if your on our ansible machine as root
 Run the following this should install the modules you need
ansible-galaxy collection install community.vmware
 Note: Depending on where you ran this from. If you ran this from /home/root. You can find all your python modules in ‘root/.ansible/collections/ansible_collections/community/vmware/plugins/modules’
 You will probably need to install python 2.6 or greater
Redhat : Yum install python (should get you the latest version)
 Okay you may also neeed to install pip

Note: Now on centos its not available out of the box

.Centos 7 PIP install:

1.sudo yum install epel-release
2.sudo yum install python-pip
3.pip –version (verify its installed)
4.sudo yum install python-devel (these are for building python modules)
5.sudo yum groupinstall ‘development tools’ (these are for building python modules(

.

.Install PyVmomi: 

1.pip install –upgrade pyvmomi

.

It will look like…..

[root@nick roles]# pip install –upgrade pyvmomi

Collecting pyvmomi

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/ba/69/4e8bfd6b0aae49382e1ab9e3ce7de9ea6318eac007b3076e6006dbe5a7cd/pyvmomi-7.0.1.tar.gz (584kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 593kB 861kB/s

Cache entry deserialization failed, entry ignored

Collecting requests>=2.3.0 (from pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/29/c1/24814557f1d22c56d50280771a17307e6bf87b70727d975fd6b2ce6b014a/requests-2.25.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl (61kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 61kB 3.5MB/s

Collecting six>=1.7.3 (from pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/ee/ff/48bde5c0f013094d729fe4b0316ba2a24774b3ff1c52d924a8a4cb04078a/six-1.15.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl

Cache entry deserialization failed, entry ignored

Collecting certifi>=2017.4.17 (from requests>=2.3.0->pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/5e/a0/5f06e1e1d463903cf0c0eebeb751791119ed7a4b3737fdc9a77f1cdfb51f/certifi-2020.12.5-py2.py3-none-any.whl (147kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 153kB 6.5MB/s

Cache entry deserialization failed, entry ignored

Collecting urllib3<1.27,>=1.21.1 (from requests>=2.3.0->pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/f5/71/45d36a8df68f3ebb098d6861b2c017f3d094538c0fb98fa61d4dc43e69b9/urllib3-1.26.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl (136kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 143kB 6.9MB/s

Cache entry deserialization failed, entry ignored

Collecting idna<3,>=2.5 (from requests>=2.3.0->pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/a2/38/928ddce2273eaa564f6f50de919327bf3a00f091b5baba8dfa9460f3a8a8/idna-2.10-py2.py3-none-any.whl (58kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 61kB 4.4MB/s

Cache entry deserialization failed, entry ignored

Collecting chardet<5,>=3.0.2 (from requests>=2.3.0->pyvmomi)

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/19/c7/fa589626997dd07bd87d9269342ccb74b1720384a4d739a1872bd84fbe68/chardet-4.0.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (178kB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 184kB 3.5MB/s

Installing collected packages: certifi, urllib3, idna, chardet, requests, six, pyvmomi

Found existing installation: certifi 2018.4.16

Uninstalling certifi-2018.4.16:

Successfully uninstalled certifi-2018.4.16

Found existing installation: urllib3 1.22

Uninstalling urllib3-1.22:

Successfully uninstalled urllib3-1.22

Found existing installation: idna 2.6

Uninstalling idna-2.6:

Successfully uninstalled idna-2.6

Found existing installation: chardet 3.0.4

Uninstalling chardet-3.0.4:

Successfully uninstalled chardet-3.0.4

Found existing installation: requests 2.18.4

Uninstalling requests-2.18.4:

Successfully uninstalled requests-2.18.4

Found existing installation: six 1.9.0

Uninstalling six-1.9.0:

Successfully uninstalled six-1.9.0

Running setup.py install for pyvmomi … done

Successfully installed certifi-2020.12.5 chardet-4.0.0 idna-2.10 pyvmomi-7.0.1 requests-2.25.1 six-1.15.0 urllib3-1.26.2

You are using pip version 10.0.1, however version 20.3.3 is available.

.

You should consider upgrading via the ‘pip install –upgrade pip’ command.

(You noticed this at the bottom)

A lot of the time you need to upgrade pip for the modules to install as python is always evolving at a fast pace

.

So run

.

2.pip install –upgrade pip

.

[root@nick roles]# pip install –upgrade pip

Collecting pip

Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/54/eb/4a3642e971f404d69d4f6fa3885559d67562801b99d7592487f1ecc4e017/pip-20.3.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl (1.5MB)

100% |████████████████████████████████| 1.5MB 799kB/s

Installing collected packages: pip

Found existing installation: pip 8.1.2

Uninstalling pip-8.1.2:

Successfully uninstalled pip-8.1.2

Successfully installed pip-10.0.1

.

You get the idea……

.

.VpsherePre-requistes for this to work:

.

You will need a vmware user who has api access permission for the following items. If the user you have setup in vcenter is unable to see these items. This module will fail. You do not need a user with full admin privileges, which is what a lot of documentation says online cryptically. I have tested this and confirmed that is not the case. Obivously, its way better to just give admin privileges to the user and trust the people you hire and use ansible vault to hide the credentials. Which we will get into later….

.

You can also check these parameters in your code by validating using assertions to see if they are all working with your user prior to moving on the next task.

.

– vSphere API configuration

– VM details

vcenter_host

– cluster

datacenter

– folder

vm_disk_size

vm_cpu_count

vm_memory

vm_vlan

vm_vlan_name

vm_dvswitch

vm_datatstore

vmware tools and or open_vm_tools must installed the clone template (super important)

.

.

Okay so now were on setting up the vmware_guest module using yaml code.

.

Setting vmware_guest module on ansible:

.

Now what I like to do is set everything up as a role in ansible to call in your playbooks, it keeps things cleaner and its much easier to find spacing mistakes in your code when writing in yaml. Lots of NBTo aid in checking for mistakes. But ultimately its experience. I’m a bit of both but I tend just pop a vi open and just write and much in there

.

1.Inside your /etc/ansible
 Create a directory called roles
mkdir roles
3.Next you want to move inside the that directory and create a name directory for this role and then go inside that directory
i.cd roles
ii.mkdir ansible-vmware-deploy
iii.cd ansible-vmware-deploy
4.Next create the following direcorties inside ‘ansible-vmware-deploy’
iv.mkdir defaults
v.mkdir tasks
vi.mkdir meta (this is really only needed for when you’re setting repositories in bickbucket, git, etc)
5.move into the tasks directory
vii.cd tasks

Note: Now we do most of our work in this directory. Your primary yaml file is always called “main.yml” Your playbooks always look for this file when trying to call python modules.

.

6.Open your favorite editor vi, nano, joe, visual studio (whatever)
a.Call the file “main.yml
b.Inside the file…

.

Setting up the yaml:

.

1. First stage of the yaml is use the http login to the vcenter host and successfully authenticate and then grab those session cookies to carry out the next set of tasks which utilise the vmware_guest module.

– name: Login into vCenter and get cookies

  delegate_to: localhost

  uri:

url: https://{{ vcenter_host }}/rest/com/vmware/cis/session

    force_basic_auth: yes

    validate_certs: no

method: POST

user: ‘{{ vcenter_username }}’

password: ‘{{ vcenter_password }}’

register: login

.

.

2. Okay so this where we are now actually calling the vmware_guest module in yaml. You can see that the code has a lot of areas that are variablelised. These variable are passed in a couple of ways. You need to pass the defaults through the defaults directory we created earlier, and the second is host specific variables which will be under your host_vars directory under your inventory structure, which we will get into later.

 

Note: Now remember this is code to deploy from an existing cloned template you have sitting on datastore somewhere in your environment. The process to deploy a vm using kickstart using DHCP that’s bit different to setup I wrote this to help out those people who cant see the wisdom and efficiency of having DHCP’d deployments

You will be passing these variables

.

– name: Create a VM

  vmware_guest:

hostname: “{{ vcenter_host }}”

username: “{{ vcenter_username }}”

password: “{{ vcenter_password }}”

    validate_certs: False

cluster: “{{ vcenter_cluster }}”

    datacenter: “{{ vcenter_dc }}”

 

Note: name: This will be the name of the new vm created. Keep in mind the vm host will also be setup with a shortname for the hostname of the server not the FQDN. You can probably fix this using vmshell or I used a completely separate role to setup the network for physical machines which uses jinja templates and inside the role I passed the new name as a variable. But that’s for another post

name: “{{ inventory_hostname }}”

folder: “{{ vm_folder }}”

template: “{{ VMTemplate }}”

state: “{{ vm_state }}”

Note: guest_id: this is what kind of OS will the VM Run, almost every hypervisor asks that prior to creating a vm. You can find the list online.

    guest_id: “{{ vm_guest_id }}”

Note: disk: this section you could technically pass it through as a variable in your host_vars on the specific hosts, but since were using a template. I kept these parameters static here inside the role.

disk:

size_gb: 80

type: thin

datastore: “{{ vm_datastore }}”

size_gb: 100

type: thin

datastore: “{{ vm_datastore }}”

hardware:

      memory_mb: “{{ vm_memory }}”

      num_cpus: “{{ vm_cpu_count }}”

      scsi: paravirtual

 

Note: Customization: This section is very important because without it your dns in /etc/resolv.conf will not be configured correctly. A lot of people have a hell of time with this on the net, as the parsing of this in yaml is bit tricky, and people resort to using vm_guest_file to update the /etc/resolv.conf, which sucks because now you need the root/pass via ssh. My way will work


customization:

      dns_servers: “{{ vm_dns_servers }}”

      dns_suffix: “{{ vm_dns_suffix }}”


Note: networks: This section is the section which will use
vmware-tools or open_vm_tools to update the network config on host after powering on the vm, but before the OS is booted, provided you said to power it on in your host_var file. This section helps people get around the issue of having no DHCP and having to deploy each server using the same static address on a dedicated vlan. This section will go and update the vm network parameters and the template vm will deploy on a  whatever vlan, with different ip, gateway, netmask. It will also register a new mac address to the vm, so you don’t end up with vm’s with duplicate mac-addresses. Lastly, it will update /etc/hosts with the new ip and shortname of the server


networks:

– name: “{{ vm_vlan_name }}”

type: static

      dvswitch_name: “{{ vm_dvswitch }}”

      ip: “{{ vm_ip }}”

netmask: “{{ vm_netmask }}”

gateway: “{{ vm_gateway }}”

      start_connected: “{{ vm_connected }}”

# wait_for_ip_address: yes (this is if you are using DHCP)

  delegate_to: localhost

register: vm_deploy

.

Note: This section is just spits out verbose information on the how the build went and the mac-address of the vm. This hand to pay attention to so you can ensure your template mac and your new vm don’t have duplicate macs. If you do. You will need to go into vshere find the VM. Remove the network and readd it manually, to register a new mac

.

– debug:

var: vm_deploy.instance.hw_eth0.macaddress

.

– debug:

var: deploy_vm

.

– debug:

var: mac.

.

7.Okay so now we need to setup our defaults to pass the to role we just created.

.

 So go into your defaults directory for the role
cd /etc/ansible/roles/ansible-vmware-deploy/defaults
 Create another file called ‘main.yml
Vi main.yml and copy the contents below.

Not: Its easier to put all your defaults here and then comment out the ones you want to pass through your host_vars specific files after you got it working the way you want.

.

vm_disks: 100

vm_cpu_count: 2

vm_state: present

vm_memory: 2048

#vm_datastore: vmfs-datastore1234

vcenter_username: BruceWayne

vcenter_password: ( you will put ansible_vault encrypted variable here, for now just put in your password for testing)

vm_dvswitch: DvSwitch

vcenter_cluster: ProdCluster

vcenter_host: vcenter.nicktailor.com

vcenter_dc: London

#vm_folder: /Production/Unix/

#vm_vlan_name: VM76123

vm_guest_id: rhel7_64Guest

#VMTemplate: redhat-template2020

.

 Save the file defaults/main.yml

.

Ansible Hosts and Inventory:

.

Okay so this is where everyone handles things uniquely. I personally like to take the approach of creating inventory based on environment. Its logical and the best way to manage hosts in very large infrastructures.

.

So if you have DEV/STAGING/PRODUCTION as your environments. Then I would set it up as such

.

.

      1. Inside your /etc/ansible directory create the following

Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory
Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV
Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory/STAGING
Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory/PRODUCTION

.

2.Inside each environment(DEV,STAGING,PROODUCTION) one you want to create the following:

.

Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV/group_vars
 This is where you can pass group variables if you have hosts setup as groups in your hosts file that we just created.
Mkdir -p /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV/host_vars
 This is where you pass specific variables per host instead of groups
Touch /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV/hosts
3.Open up one of the host files in your favorite editor vi, nano, joe, visual studio, etc….

.

 vi /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV/hosts

.

For the purposes of this post we are just going to
create one group
=====================================

.

[All]

nicktestvm.nicktailor.com ansible_host=192.168.1.200

=====================================

.

 Save file

.

Note: ansible_host=(ip) This is used when you want to override dns of the host and tell ansible. Do not resolve the dns this host only connect to this ip. You don’t need this here, however if your’re using ‘a’ static address to deploy vm’s initially and not using vmwre_tools to configure the network, and went with SSH after for configuration of the host. Then it will need to know which host to connect to setup the network. So I just like to have there in case I want to temporary tell ansible look here for this server.

4.Now we want to create host_var for the specific VM host we want to deploy.

.

 Create a host_var file for the new host you want to deplo
Vi /etc/ansible/inventory/DEV/host_vars/nicktestvm

.Note: You can see all the variables that were in the role and defaults are now being passed through here for this specific host. It has to be done in this fashion for it all work correctly. If you pass all this through the role may crap out on you.

.

#vm_requirements

vm_ip: 192.168.1.86

vm_netmask: 255.255.255.0

vm_gateway: 192.168.1.1

vm_vlan_name: VM76123

VMTemplate: redhat-template2020

vm_folder: /Production/Unix

vm_state: poweredon

vm_connected: true

vm_datastore: vmfs-datastore1234

note: vm_dns_servers: this section is very important. This was the only way I could get the dns server to parse and update the /etc/resolv.conf properly. If you list them out individually as one lineers. It seems to be a bug and will simply empty out the file, which will leave your vm unable to resolve dns.

vm_dns_servers: [8.8.8.1, 8.8.8.2]

vm_dns_suffix: nicktailor.co.uk

.

 Save the file

.

Setting Ansible Vault and Encrypted variables:

.

5.Setting up the vmware-user password to be encrypted using ansible vault. Now this can be easily decrypted by anyone who has the vault password. But the benefit is that its not directly visible in your open code for prying as eyes. Which is just a generally good idea.

.

 So you want to create vault password for the variable in side defaults which was “vcenter_password”. Keep in mind variable is apart of the encrypted process.

there a couple of ways to do this you can do it via file, or via prompt.
I’m going to show you how to do it via file.
First create a vault password file
Echo “password” >> vault.pw.txt
Cat vault.pw.txt (to ensure the password is now there)
 This the password for the ansible vault not the password for your vcenter_password
Now encrypt the vcenter_password as a varible inside the vault as id1. It good to use id’s incase you you want to have multiple passwords inside your vault.

Note: the –-name is the variable you want to pass in your code. So whatever you call that has to be there.

ansible-vault encrypt_string –vault-id 1@vault.pass.txt ‘vcenter-password-here’ –name ‘vcenter_password

 

vcenter_password: !vault |

$ANSIBLE_VAULT;1.2;AES256;1

31623638366337643437633065623538663565336232333863303763336364396438663032363364

3665376363663839306165663435356365643965343364310a313832393261363466393237666666

36666437626563386366653938383565663361646333333732336439356633616231653639626465

3130656134383365320a323032366238303366336562653865663130333963316237393839373830

65396139323739323266643961653766333633366638336435613933373966643561

Encryption successful

.

6.Okay now you want copy by highlighting this section below

.

.

vcenter_password: !vault |

$ANSIBLE_VAULT;1.2;AES256;1

31623638366337643437633065623538663565336232333863303763336364396438663032363364

3665376363663839306165663435356365643965343364310a313832393261363466393237666666

36666437626563386366653938383565663361646333333732336439356633616231653639626465

3130656134383365320a323032366238303366336562653865663130333963316237393839373830

65396139323739323266643961653766333633366638336435613933373966643561

.

 open your /etc/ansible/roles/ansible-vmware-deploy/defaults/main.yml
vi etc/ansible/roles/ansible-vmware-deploy/defaults/main.yml

.

 Next replace the whole ‘vcenter_password’ line with the highlight section above and save the file.
  •  •  You should also store the vault password somewhere offsite in some password database and delete the vault.pass.txt file you created.

.

Deploy VM with ansible:

.

 From inside the /etc/ansible directory you now need to create your playbook that will call the role you just setup.

.

 Create a new playbook file standard_build.yml
Vi standard_build.yml

.

 Now add the following:

– hosts: all

  gather_facts: no

roles:

– role: ansible-vmware-deploy

 Save the file

.

 Now you want to call the new role to deploy against the environment and specific host we setup earlier

.

 Still from inside the /etc/ansible directory you want to run all your playbooks from here

.

ansible-playbook –i inventory/DEV/hosts –-ask-vault standard_build.yml

.

.

Note: Important thing to remember when deploying linux machines from a template is that all your machines will have the same ‘Network’ UUID as the template machine. If you define these…. You will need to write some code to fix that up after the VM is deployed and powered up. Check  out the link below on how to do that.

http://www.nicktailor.com/?p=1177

.

Special Note: if you attempt to deploy multiple hosts at the same time. This will deploy 5 clones in parallel at a time and not one by one. Which will reduce deployment time significantly. I didnt bother to see if i could override this….:)

Output log of successful automated ansible deploy:

.

[root@nickansible]# ansible-playbook –i inventory/DEV/hosts standard_build.yml –ask-vault –limit ‘nicktestvm

.

Vault password: (paste password here in your shell window)

.

PLAY [all] ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

.

TASK [ansible-vmware-deploy : Validate Project Requirements] **********************************************************************************************************************************************

ok

.

TASK [ansible-vmware-deploy : Login into vCenter and get cookies] *****************************************************************************************************************************************

ok: [nicktestvm]

.

TASK [ansible-vmware-deploy : Create a VM] ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

changed: [nicktestvm]

.

TASK [ansible-vmware-deploy : debug] **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

ok: [nicktestvm] => {

“vm_deploy.instance.hw_eth0.macaddress”: “00:40:51:53:11:a6”

}

.

nicktestvm            : ok=4 changed=1 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0

.

.

.

.