When Software Attacks!

Define Once, Deploy Everywhere (Sort of...)

Using Lability, DSC and ARM to define and deploy multi-VM environments Configuration as code crops up a lot in conversation these days. We are searching for that DevOps Nirvana of a single definition of our environment that we can deploy anywhere. The solution adopted at Black Marble by myself and my colleagues is not quite that, but it comes close enough to satisfy our needs. This document details the technologies and techniques we adopted to achieve our goal, which sounds simple, right?

Unblocking a stuck Lab Manager Environment (the hard way)

This is a post so I don’t forget how I fixed access to one of our environments yesterday, and hopefully it will be useful to some of you. We have a good many pretty complex environments deployed to our lab hyper-V servers, controlled by Lab manager. Operations such as starting, stopping or repairing those environments can take a long, long time, but this time we had one that was quite definitely stuck.

Our TFS Lab Management Infrastructure

Richard and I spend a good deal of time talking about Lab Manager and our environments. I’ve written here before about our migration to the latest versions of the various components of Lab and both Richard and I have delivered sessions at user groups and conferences. Richard was in Belgium last week for Techorama, after which he was asked about the specifics of our setup. Between us, we came up with a diagram of our Lab Environment and Richard recently posted that to his blog.

Migrating to SCVMM 2012 R2 in a TFS Lab Scenario

Last week I moved our SCVMM from 2012 with service pack 1 to 2012 R2. Whilst the actual process was much simpler than I expected, we had a pretty big constraint imposed upon us by Lab Manager that largely dictated our approach. Our SCVMM 2012 deployment was running on an aging Dell server. It had a pair of large hard drives that were software mirrored by the OS an we were using NIC teaming in Server 2012 to improve network throughput.

Unexpectedly now doing a session at DDD North 2013

I had a surprise exchange of text messages last night with Andy Westgarth. Sadly, one of the people who was to speak in one of the first session slots has had to pull out. Andy did the thing all the best conference organisers do – he called his friends! As a result, Richard and myself will be presenting a session about our experience with Lab Manager on Saturday morning. Lab Manager is an interesting part of the development puzzle, allowing automated provisioning of environments that can then have software deployed to them and automated tests run against them.