VVD tools series: Intro and Certgen Tool

Introduction

I’m publishing a series of short blog posts covering some of the great tools available from the VMware Validated Design (VVD) program (disclaimer: these days I’m one of the team at VMware working on the VVDs).

For anyone that isn’t familiar with the VVDs, they are VMware’s blueprints for a “Build Your Own” datacenter. Prescriptive guidance for all the elements in a VMware SDDC, and in my opinion they’re the best documentation set available. Better yet – they’re FREE for you to download. Like now! http://www.vmware.com/go/vvd-sddc

Just as Director Krennic tells Darth Vader:

The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable

(click the link) The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable
(click the photo)

Along with the documentation, a number of super handy VVD utilities are scattered around in various places. Unfortunately, it isn’t that intuitive to find some of them, so that’s where this blog series comes in. I’m going to make sure they get a bit more exposure. All the tools are freely available to grab, and I’d say they’re valuable to anyone that designs, builds or operates a VMware-based datacenter, even if you don’t follow the VVD path.

Without further ado, let’s introduce the first: the CertGen tool…

CertGen tool

The Certificate Generation Utility, know colloquially as the CertGen tool, is a PowerShell script that will:

generate custom certificates for the products that you use to build a Software-Define Data Center (SDDC) based on VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center. Use the utility to reduce the number of steps for end-to-end certificate replacement.

It’s not intended as a long-term VMware solution to the certificate headache. It’s a tool the VVD team developed because it helped us more efficiently deploy a full VVD onto a testbed. It ended up attached to a KB article, primarily because we were keen to get the tool out there and available to as many folks as possible, as quickly as possible.

Currently, the CertGen tool is capable of generating certificates for most of the SDDC stack (host certificates are not included today). We’re working hard on some new capabilities and have some great plans for 2017. Can’t mention specifics right now, but I’m taking feature requests on what other options you’d like to see.

Please get in touch (or via twitter: @forbesguthrie) if there’s anything specific functionality you want – we’re keen to add value.  I can’t make any promises, but if it makes sense for customers of VMware’s SDDC, then we’ll work on it.

The neat thing is even if you’re not a VVD user per se, if you use any of VMware’s SDDC stack (vSphere, vRealize, NSX, vSAN, etc), then there’s going to be some bits of value. The tool isn’t compiled code, just simple PowerShell, so you can pull it apart and use whatever you need to get the job done. Let us know if you customized in interesting ways for your environment.

You’ll find the script attached to this KB with some usage instructions:
https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2146215

Get more details about the VVD

Need to know more about VVDs:
– VVD Download package: http://www.vmware.com/go/vvd-sddc
– Product page: http://www.vmware.com/go/vvd
– Individual documents: http://www.vmware.com/go/vvd-docs
– Community page http://www.vmware.com/go/vvd-community

VVD logo

VVD tools series

  1. Intro and CertGen
  2. Firewall port spreadsheet
  3. VVD documents
  4. Coming soon…

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