How to kick-start scripts to automate VMware's ESXi installation via USB

Techrepublic | September 30, 2019

Rolling out hundreds of VMware's ESXi hypervisors is a time-consuming project with the chance for errors. Learn how to use a USB flash drive to automate the ESXi install. VMware is arguably the standard when it comes to virtualizing infrastructure, despite growing support for other virtualization models such as Docker, Amazon's AWS, and Microsoft's Azure. But the focus of this article isn't market share or what's the best solution for your organization—it's to share a simple, effective way to automate the installation of the ESXi hypervisor onto bare metal hardware in order to facilitate the virtual deployment of servers with as light a touch as possible on the part of the technicians/admins. One method that provides a self-contained and fully scripted process that is easy to replicate is via USB flash drive (UFD). Learn how to create a UFD that will install ESXi, apply basic network settings, and configure the host for remote management. Before we dive in, there are requirements necessary to make this work with little to no error.

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You can’t avoid hearing about the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC): computing, networking and storage provisioned through a virtual IT infrastructure. An SDDC can monitor demand and respond automatically in real time by spinning up appropriate resources.


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VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

C3 Complete to Provide IT and Managed Services Across iM Critical’s Expanding Data Center Footprint

C3 Complete | June 23, 2022

C3 Complete, an award-winning technology service provider, and iM Critical, a data center and IT services company shaping the future of IT infrastructure, are pleased to announce the formation of a strategic partnership. Customers of iM Critical’s data centers will immediately gain access to C3’s extensive suite of technology services, and customers of C3 will benefit from the ultra-modern capabilities of iM Critical’s facilities. The combined services of these two companies will enable agile, turnkey solutions and provide next-generation IT results. Available initially in Miami and Pittsburgh, this partnership will expand to additional high-value markets in 2023. C3’s hybrid cloud services, available in all iM Critical facilities, includes Infrastructure, Desktop, Backup, Storage, and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Each iM Critical facility will also feature C3 Complete’s low-latency, high-speed, cloud on-ramp, data center interconnects, and premium multi-carrier Internet access solutions. For those organizations seeking a turn-key IT experience, iM Critical clients can select from a full suite of Managed Services, Network Engineering, Voice and Collaboration, and Information Security solutions provided by C3 experts. iM Critical recently acquired a premier hyper-connected data center in Miami, FL, with over 100,000 square feet of configurable colocation space and disaster recovery office suites and is repositioning the facility with a number of upgrades, all backed by sustainable advantages like on-site renewable power and unconstrained space and power. Strategically located outside of the 100-year floodplain and hurricane evacuation zones, iM’s Miami facility features a gated campus, 24x7 security, multiple independent utility power feeds and a Category 5 hurricane rating. Another iM Critical facility, an HPC-capable campus located in Pittsburgh, PA, offering the same extensive range of advantages, is slated to open in Q3 of 2022. As part of the Miami facility upgrades, C3 and iM Critical are deploying a highly secure, purpose built, Network Operations Center (NOC) / Security Operations Center (SOC). The state-of-the-art NOC/SOC will be staffed 24x7 and will offer deep monitoring, early detection and mitigation, and incident management and response services. “The iM Critical team brings an incredible amount of experience and strategic vision to the evolving data center market, and we could not be more excited about our partnership with them, We believe that the union of their modern facilities and our services capabilities will make C3 and iM Critical the go-to choice for customers and partners looking to achieve digital transformations with ease, efficiency and security.” Rick Mancinelli, CEO of C3 Complete “We are so pleased with our Miami acquisition, and with the improvements we are making, and are looking forward to providing a new level of security, reliability and interconnection to the Miami colocation market. We continually strive to look beyond those table stakes to understand where the market is going and how we can meet those needs for customers,” commented Michael Roark, CEO of iM Critical. “Partnering with C3 further enables our ability to become the premier single-source provider of end-to-end IT infrastructure solutions in the markets we serve, keeping iM, C3 and our customers ahead of a challenging, changing technology landscape.” About C3 Complete C3 is an award-winning technology consultancy headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida. Since 2009, we’ve delivered in-house, relationship-focused, outcome-driven solutions to hundreds of happy clients nationwide. C3 currently owns and operates a geo-diverse VMware Cloud Verified infrastructure that provides high-performance, secure, and compliant Infrastructure, Virtual Desktops, Backup, and Disaster recovery solutions. C3 also operates a state-of-the-art Cisco BroadWorks powered Hosted PBX, UCaaS and CCaaS platform as well as a nationwide SD-WAN network based on VMware’s industry-leading technologies. C3 maintains an extensive list of wholesale carrier relationships for connectivity and has a broad portfolio of technology-related authorizations and certifications. C3’s expert team of certified network engineers design and implement complex solutions and its bilingual service center is available for support 24×7. About iM Critical iM Critical is shaping the future of data centers, providing colocation with deep insight into IT managed service offerings and a specialization in High-Performance Computing (HPC). iM’s service platforms include Colocation, HPC, Cloud, Storage aaS, Network, 24/7 IT NOC Services with premier DR aaS, Cloud Connect, Data Security and IT Transformation aaS solutions. iM Critical provides access to strategic carrier-neutral networks and cloud onramps, risk mitigation, continuous uptime, and data security to deliver quality and sustainable innovation, saving customers time, money and resources.

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VIRTUAL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE

Scale Computing Partners with Servix to Deliver a Leading Hyperconverged Infrastructure Solution to the Brazilian IT Market

Scale | May 25, 2022

Scale Computing, a market leader in edge computing, virtualization and hyperconverged solutions, today announced its partnership with Servix, one of the largest technology integrators in Latin America. Servix will now deliver simple, reliable, affordable, and easy-to-deploy infrastructure solutions to the IT market in Brazil via Scale Computing’s award-winning HC3 virtualization platform, while simultaneously expanding its partner community in the region. Together, Scale Computing and Servix are bringing a virtualization alternative to customers and partners in Brazil. The Scale Computing virtualization platform combines servers, storage, and virtualization into a single solution to make IT infrastructure easier for organizations of every size. Whether an organization has one IT administrator or hundreds, the award-winning Scale Computing hyperconverged infrastructure eliminates complexity, lowers costs, and frees up management time. Many of today’s virtualization solutions consist of multiple vendor products, making them more complicated and expensive than necessary. Moreover, properly configuring disparate server and storage components takes up valuable department resources, and that's even before a company has installed and configured hypervisors or tested for compatibility and performance. Scale Computing’s virtualization software and appliances, meanwhile, are based on patented technologies designed from the ground up to minimize infrastructure complexity and cost. Whether an organization is considering migrating from its existing virtualization platform or is virtualizing from scratch for the first time, Scale Computing’s hyperconverged approach is the shortest path to affordable virtualization that’s easy to deploy, easy to manage, and easy to scale. “To navigate today’s complex infrastructure environments, businesses need flexibility, scalability, and resiliency. Scale Computing has a strong reputation for delivering results to IT operation leaders around the world, and we’re thrilled to be offering the HC3 solutions to Brazil. This partnership further demonstrates our commitment to providing our partners and customers with the most innovative and reliable solutions,” said Cleber Calejon, CEO, Servix. Scale Computing continues to be the top choice for organizations thanks to the simplicity, efficiency, and innovation of Scale Computing software. Automated machine learning capabilities found in the company’s solutions mean that the typical Scale Computing customer sees a reduction in on-going management costs of between 60 and 80 percent. Servix is a leading HCI integrator in Brazil, and we are proud to be partnering with an IT organization that is so forward thinking, embracing new technology as it makes sense for their customer base,” Scott Mann, VP of Sales, ROW & Global Channel Chief, Scale Computing. About Scale Computing Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Scale Computing software eliminates the need for traditional virtualization software, disaster recovery software, servers, and shared storage, replacing these with a fully integrated, highly available system for running applications. Using patented HyperCore™ technology, the self-healing platform automatically identifies, mitigates, and corrects infrastructure problems in real-time, enabling applications to achieve maximum uptime. When ease-of-use, high availability, and TCO matter, Scale Computing is the ideal infrastructure platform.

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VIRTUAL DESKTOP STRATEGIES

Red River Earns Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop Advanced Specialization

Red River | June 16, 2022

Red River, a technology transformation company serving government and enterprise customers, today announced it has achieved the Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) advanced specialization, validating the Company’s deep knowledge, experience and expertise in deploying, scaling, and securing virtual desktop infrastructure on Azure. “Red River continues to invest in its technical capabilities through certifications, specializations and employee development, We are excited to have earned the Azure Virtual Desktop advanced specialization from Microsoft, adding to our portfolio of advanced specializations and validating our ability to leverage Azure technologies to drive positive business and mission outcomes for our customers.” Jason Waldrop, President of Managed Services at Red River Supporting secure remote work for employees is more critical than ever. Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop is a Microsoft solution that seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft products and allows customers to implement virtual desktops in a scalable, secure, and cost-effective way. Partners with validated capabilities in implementing Azure Virtual Desktop can help customers deploy and navigate the licensing efficiencies it offers to deliver the solution that is most efficient for their organization. About Red River Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing more than 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in security, networking, data center, collaboration, mobility and cloud solutions.

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VMWARE

CISA recommends VMware, F5 patches. Liquidity mining fraud. Strapi issues patched. TDI clarifies data incident.

CISA | May 20, 2022

VMware yesterday addressed issues in several of its products: VMware Workspace ONE Access (Access), VMware Identity Manager (vIDM), VMware vRealize Automation (vRA), VMware Cloud Foundation, and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. That these are more significant than the ordinary run of patches may be seen by the way the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has discussed them. Alert (AA22-138B), "Threat Actors Chaining Unpatched VMware Vulnerabilities for Full System Control" warns that "malicious cyber actors, likely advanced persistent threat (APT) actors, are exploiting CVE-2022-22954 and CVE-2022-22960 separately and in combination." The Alert adds, "CISA expects malicious cyber actors to quickly develop a capability to exploit newly released vulnerabilities CVE-2022-22972 and CVE-2022-22973 in the same impacted VMware products. In response, CISA has released, Emergency Directive (ED) 22-03 Mitigate VMware Vulnerabilities, which requires emergency action from Federal Civilian Executive Branch agencies to either immediately implement the updates in VMware Security Advisory VMSA-2022-0014 or remove the affected software from their network until the updates can be applied." US Federal civilian agencies have until next Monday to identify and remediate the issues, and they're required to report completion no later than Tuesday. Fraudulent liquidity mining. Sophos describes the way the threat of fraudulent liquidity mining is shaping up in decentralized finance systems. "Legitimate liquidity mining exists to make it possible for decentralized finance (DeFi) networks to automatically process digital currency trades," Sophos explains, and criminals are using social engineering to abuse such systems to defraud cryptocurrency investors of their holdings. More loosely regulated than conventional cryptocurrency exchanges, which use market makers and seek to ensure that sufficient reserves are on hand to back trades, DeFi exchanges use Automated Market Makers (AMMs). Sophos explains that "Smart contracts built into the DeFi network have to rapidly determine the relative value of the currencies being exchanged and execute the trade. Since there is no centralized pool of crypto for these distributed exchanges to pull from to complete trades, they rely on crowdsourcing to provide the pool of cryptocurrency capital required to complete a trade—a liquidity pool." Liquidity pool tokens, ("LP tokens") are used to represent the portion of the liquidity pool an investor contributed. But unethical DeFi operators can cancel the tokens (or simply not create a pool to back them in the first place), and this, Sophos observes, offers "ample opportunity for digital Ponzi schemes, fraudulent tokens, and flat-out theft." CMS vulnerabilities disclosed and patched. The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) has identified two vulnerabilities in Strapi. Strapi is an open-source headless content management system (CMS) Javascript software that enables developers to quickly design and build content-rich APIs. Both vulnerabilities involve authenticated users with access to the Strapi admin panel having access to private and sensitive data, such as email and password reset tokens. The first vulnerability allows for the authenticated user to view private and sensitive data for other admin panel users that have a relationship with content accessible to the authenticated user. The second vulnerability allows for the authenticated user to view private and sensitive data for API users if content types accessible to the authenticated user contains relationships to API users. The vulnerabilities are fixed in newer, updated versions of Strapi, and Synopsys has commended Strapi for its quick response to the discovery. Texas Department of Insurance clarifies facts surrounding its data incident. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has sent around a fact sheet that clarifies a data incident the agency sustained earlier this year: "In January 2022, TDI found the issue was due to a programming code error that allowed internet access to a protected area of the application. TDI promptly disconnected the web application from the internet. After correcting the programming code, TDI placed the web application back online. The forensic investigation could not conclusively rule out that certain information on the web application was accessed outside of TDI. This does not mean all the information was viewed by people outside TDI. Because we couldn't rule out access, we took steps to notify those who may have been affected." While data could have been accessed by unauthorized personnel, TDI has investigated and found that, "There is no evidence to date that there was a misuse of information."

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Spotlight

You can’t avoid hearing about the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC): computing, networking and storage provisioned through a virtual IT infrastructure. An SDDC can monitor demand and respond automatically in real time by spinning up appropriate resources.

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