VMware vExpert. Again! VMware's second vExpert award.

I congratulate the entire expert community and myself personally with the annual award!

The blog is coming back to life after a forced hiatus.

Adapting to work in wartime. Forward to victory!

Glory to Ukraine!

Sincerely, AIRRA

Military IT architect and instructor.

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War! Life Before and After February 24, 2022. Russia's attack on Ukraine. Evacuation to the West. Mobilization. Notes of an IT Architect and Instructor in military service.


Greetings to all guests and readers of the IT Architecture and Education Blog.

On the air Andriy Romanenko, IT Architect and instructor.

This post is not intended to be about technology, architecture or learning at all. When I registered my airra.net domain and started my own blog over twenty years ago, I could not have imagined that I would have to write about military topics. The sick imperial ambitions of the leadership of the neighboring state at the same time changed the fate of millions of Ukrainians. The country woke up early in the morning on February 24, 2022, to the explosions of rockets flying to kill peaceful Ukrainians. And columns of enemy armored vehicles have already advanced from the north, south, and east. For most Ukrainians, life is divided into BEFORE and AFTER.

This post is the beginning of fixing the chronology of the author’s consolidated thoughts for more than four months of war with the Russian invaders. And even though the calendar is now mid-July, this post will have a publication date of February 24, 2022!

Life Before and After February 24, 2022

The deadly breath of war has been in the air since the middle of last year. This was evident from publications in the mass media, the atmosphere of posts on forums on the Internet. And even on purely technological communities, messages with the theme “Kill Ukrainians!” periodically appeared. Hysteria grew. And as theatergoers say, if there is a gun hanging on the stage, it must fire at the end of the performance!

But, for the time being, the country was still living a normal life and many thought that everything would be fine. I was mentally prepared for a different course of the situation, so I began to prepare for a possible evacuation from a small town from the relocation of Kyiv to the West of the country. My wife was instructed to scan copies of all our main documents and documents for our entire extended family. The logistics of AliExpress still worked flawlessly, so a special case for documents was ordered. Diagnostics and maintenance of the car were carried out, more or less tried to keep the fuel in the tank, although here too there were planning flaws. But about that, a little later. A supply of dry food and filler for cat trays was purchased for their pets.

The Instructor’s life was quite measured, the training centers planned their activities and I, as one of the top cloud technology instructors, was booked many weeks in advance.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine

I slept very badly that night. Waking up around four o’clock, I decided to go to my office to read the Internet news. After the first reports of the invasion of Russian troops, there was great psychological anxiety. He decided not to wake up his family at the moment, but they woke up themselves from the sounds of explosions, which were very audible. Our town on the outskirts of Kyiv is near Zhulyany airport, so the rockets landed somewhere there.

There was no internal panic, a sober plan gradually matured in his head. Collect everything necessary, load things and cages with animals into the car and go west to Lviv.

The piquancy of the situation was that there was only 200 kilometers of fuel in the car’s tank, and the possibility of refueling was disappearing every minute. I had planned to refuel the next morning and was a bit late.

Within an hour, we as a whole family were ready to leave.

Evacuation to the West

We left Vyshneve around seven in the morning. Since the main highways will be extremely congested in such a situation, I decided to drive along small regional roads on P04 in the direction of Byshiv, in order to get as far as possible to the E40 highway direction Zhytomyr, Rivne, Lviv.

Slowly overcoming traffic jams on the way out of Vyshneve, we lose several hours of precious time and understand the unfortunate situation with fuel at gas stations: some of them have closed altogether, and long queues are forming at the ones that are open.

In the direction from Kyiv to the West, there is an endless flow of cars. Finally, we take the E40 highway from the country roads in the Kalynyvka area and get to the OKKO gas station. There is excitement, but fuel is still released without a limit, so within forty minutes of waiting it was possible to refuel a full tank and a 20-liter canister.

The road to Lviv was extremely difficult. Usually I overcome it in 5-6 hours. This time it was over 20. It felt like you weren’t going, just standing or crawling. They reached the suburbs of Lviv late at night.

The plans for the next day were obvious – a visit to the military commissariat. And now the dream just turned off.


The next day, the military commissariat received a somewhat unfriendly welcome. Stress among workers added to the chaos. Having intuitively understood the correct sequence of steps, he successfully passed the medical examination and received a mobilization certificate. As for my fifty-plus years of age, my health is excellent. Given the previous service experience, he was sent to the military unit of the corresponding profile. Arrival at the military unit was given a day, so it was necessary to properly prepare for the new realities of military service.

Anxiety was added by the fact of uncertainty as to whether my knowledge and experience would really be relevant and needed in the new conditions of reality. A visit to the military commander did not provide any answers to these questions. Let’s see what happens next…

Notes of an IT Architect and Instructor in military service

The subsequent course of events showed that the IT knowledge of an architect and an instructor can come in handy, the main thing is to be at the right time and in the right place. Later, I will publish more detailed Notes of an IT Architect and Instructor in the military service within the limits of what does not constitute a military secret. But, this is already after the Victory. Currently, short essays and some architectural sketches of the pre-war period will appear in the blog.

The blog in that form will exist for some time, and then it will be disabled for an indefinite period. Enemy shells and destruction will not reach the location of my mini Datacenter for several kilometers.

I pause at this point. I am gathering my thoughts for the next publications. I wish you health!

Glory to Ukraine! Death to enemies!

See you on the air a few days.


AIRRA, military IT architect and Instructor.

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Azure VMware Solution. Part 1. Introduction. What is Azure VMware Solution? Cluster and hosts. Networks. Monitoring. The next steps.


Hello to all readers of the blog about Architecture and Training.

Today we will talk about a joint technological solution of two irreconcilable, at first glance competitors – Microsoft and VMware. Azure VMware Solution will allow you to combine your usual VMware tools and technologies and the breadth and power of Microsoft Azure cloud services.

Let’s take a look at this hybrid solution from VMware and Microsoft, and try to take a deeper look at how these technologies work.

What is Azure VMware Solution?

So what is Azure VMware Solution?

Azure VMware Solution gives us the ability to use the private cloud model in Azure data centers. With the help of the self-service portal and together with Azure Resource Manager, we are deploying a cluster of three hardware hyper-converged servers, to which you can later add up to 16 more nodes. This environment will be managed through the usual management tool – VMware vCenter Server, and in the case of a virtual network using NSX Manager. Also included in this decision are such mandatory components of the Software Defined Data Center as vSAN and NSX-T.

The goal of this approach is to easily transfer workloads from your on-premises infrastructure, and easily integrate with popular Azure services such as Azure Web Applications or Azure SQL Databases.

It should also be noted that the list of operating systems that can be deployed in the VMware environment is much larger than in Microsoft Hyper-V, on which the Azure virtualization stack is built.

Cluster and hosts

As mentioned above, the hosts that make up the cluster are hyper-converged, bare metal. These are two-processor Intel Xeon Gold 6140 platforms with a clock speed of 2.3 GHz. The amount of RAM reaches 0.5 TB. In addition, hosts have two groups of disks to build vSAN – 15 TB SSD for data and 3 TB NVME for cache.


Because Azure VMware Solution is a private cloud environment, it must be accessible from local or Azure resources. This can be achieved through services such as Azure ExpressRoute, VPN connection, or Azure Virtual WAN.

When a private cloud is deployed, private networks for management, provisioning, and vMotion get created.

Access control and security

Azure VMware Solution Private Clouds use vSphere-based access control to increase security and integrate vSphere SSO LDAP with Azure Active Directory.

VSAN data encryption is enabled by default and is used to secure the vSAN data.


After deploying Azure VMware Solution, as with other Azure services, they are affected by Azure Monitor. With the help of which you can have an understanding of the state of health of your services, collect and analyze metrics and logs. For Linux and Windows virtual machines, you can install a special Monitoring agent and use standard or customized dashboards to control the required parameters.

The next steps

 Let me remind you that we recently reviewed this free resource from VMware in the series of articles “VMware Practice. Season 2021-2022”.

Thus, the next step of practical acquaintance with Azure VMware Solution technology is the service of practical laboratories – VMware Hands-on Labs.

But, I will tell about it in the following article.

See you on the air a few days,
Sincerely, AIRRA

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VMware vRealize Operations Manager. Scripting and programming. Part 1. Introduction. Laboratory Environment. First Steps with Power CLI.


Hello to all readers of the blog about SDDC and Architecture, Solution, Implementation and Operations as Code.

Today we will talk about such a conceptual approach as Operation as Code, as part of the strategy Anything as Code.

And I will use these features for a product like VMware vRealize Operations Manager, from VMware Realize Suite. Part of this material was written long ago, for version 6.x, but even today has not lost its relevance. I will start my story with the simple technologies of VROPs 6.x and gradually move to the 7.x and 8.x versions, gradually complicating the material.

We will need a laboratory environment to understand and test the code that will be published. So let’s start with his brief description.

Laboratory Environment

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VMware Practice. Season 2021-2022. Part 1. Introduction. Practice. What is HOL (Hands-on Labs)?. Hands-on Labs types.


Hello to all readers of the blog about IT Architecture and Learning!

Last year we published a series of articles “VMware Practice. Year 2020”. VMware recently released an updated catalog of Hands-On Labs.

So, we’re starting a new series of articles called “VMware Practice. Season 2021-2022.”, in which we will consider all new Hands-On Lab of VMware and we will update the information on previous versions of Labs.

To begin with, let us briefly recall last year’s topics in this area.


Recently in the series of articles “VMware Training. Season 2021-2022” we talked about the training programs for authorized learning VMware 2021-2022 season. Today we will talk about one of the options for gaining practical skills in working with VMware technologies.

During the authorized study, students have access to the laboratory environment in which they perform tasks according to the course scenario. This is enough to gain basic technology skills. However, after the end of the course, this access is terminated, and to consolidate skills, such a laboratory must be constantly available, and training in a productive environment is a very bad idea.

There are several main options: to create a permanent laboratory or even a home one mini data center, or take advantage of a special resource from VMware – Hands-on Labs.

What is HOL (Hands-on Labs)?

So what is a HOL (Hands-on Labs)?

VMware Hands-on Labs provide a quick and easy way to access VMware products and solutions, testing use cases and learning about the latest features with no installation required. There are no special hardware or licenses needed. VMware Hands-on Labs delivers a real, virtualized infrastructure in the cloud using VMware managed infrastructure including vCloud Foundation, vRealize Operations, VMware Learning Platform, Wavefront and more. Best of all, they are provided at no charge and you only need a modern browser to run them. All labs are created by product experts, documented and supported by the VMware Hands-on Labs team and community.

Hands-on Labs types

In general, there are three types of Hands-on Labs:

  • Lightning Labs;
  • Comprehensive Labs;
  • Odyssey Game Labs.

Lightning Labs – The quickest and easiest way to experience VMware products in 30-minutes or less. Lightning Labs help you experience and evaluate VMware products in small segments of time. “Bite-sized” labs allow you to learn about core product features quickly!

Comprehensive Labs – Dive deep into VMware products features and capabilities with full guided labs. Experience the full range of VMware products and learn about new features. Up and running on any browser in minutes and 100% free. No installation, licenses, or special hardware required. Relevant content available and updated year round.

Odyssey Game Labs – Test your knowledge and skills of VMware products by completing tasks. Where will you rank on the leaderboard? VMware Odyssey are short tasks that challenge your knowledge of VMware products and solutions. Go against the clock and players online to top the leaderboard! Get instant feedback on your progress. Sharpen your skills and showcase your technical expertise.

Brief Summary

So, from this short publication you learned about VMware Hands-on Labs, about the types of labs. Since this resource is absolutely free, and only a modern browser is required for access, I advise you to bookmark the address of the resource “VMware Hands-on Labs” and quickly register and read a fairly large catalog of laboratory work.

And in the next publication, we will talk about the main available laboratory work in the direction of Lightning Labs, for a quick introduction to the technologies of VMware.

Follow the news until the meeting is on air in a few days.
Sincerely, AIRRA.

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