Virtually Sober

If there is free booze and Virtualization; I'm there!

See you next week at ZertoCON 2017!

Hi all,

Just a quick Friday update to say that I’ll be at ZertoCON next week as a blogger to catch up on all the latest things Zerto, attend some interesting sessions I have penciled in, and to catch the cool keynote from General Michael Hayden! And of course, there ain’t no party like a Zerto party! If you see me walking around feel free to grab me to talk about any scripts you have ideas for, as I’m always on the hunt for requests.


If you haven’t already registered for the biggest virtualization event on the East Coast (are you crazy?!) then you still have time:

Tip: use the code ZHALF17 at checkout for a tasty last minute 50% discount.

Have a great weekend and hope to see you at ZertoCON 2017,


Scripting a Rubrik Recovery Plan using REST APIs & PowerShell

Following hot on the heels of my first post on an “Introduction to Rubrik REST APIs using PowerShell & Swagger” I’d now like to show you how to easily automate the recovery and boot ordering of VMs as a Recovery Plan.

In the Rubrik HTML5 interface, you can easily recover any VM in just a few clicks with the VMs running on a whopping 30,000 IOPS per brik (Rubrik appliance) giving you a sub 1 minute RTO. However, at scale, clicking on each VM to recover can become tedious, hard to manage and it will always require human interaction. This is where using PowerShell to interact with REST APIs is going to make your life easier by automating the entire process for anything from 1 to 10,000+ VMs. Use cases include: Read more of this post

Introduction to Rubrik REST APIs using PowerShell & Swagger

One thing I’ve always been passionate about is writing scripts that are easy to read and consume. By showing you how to directly interact with REST APIs this enables you to do anything, and not be limited to the PowerShell functions provided by the vendor.

When it comes to working with REST APIs and PowerShell this starts to pay dividends when you want to take all the knowledge you’ve learned from working with 1 platform then use the same skills to connect and leverage another.

My first example of porting skills between platforms follows my recent journey of switching from working for Zerto to Rubrik. In this post I will give you all the information needed to connect and leverage Rubrik REST APIs using PowerShell.

Read more of this post

Automated bulk IP address reconfiguration with Zerto Virtual Replication

If you tried to use this example before 04/25/17 there was a typo in the export script which left 2 key fields blank subsequently causing an error on import. I’ve now fixed the issue so now is as good a time as any to give this cool script a run in your Zerto environment for bulk IP configuration.

Logging Zerto Sync States Using REST APIs & PowerShell

A few days ago a Zerto prospect reached out to me on LinkedIn with an interesting script request and there is nothing like a good challenge to get me motivated to pull out PowerShell ISE! With over 1000 VMs to protect their key requirement was to log the start and end time of initial syncs. While the ZVR GUI shows when a VPG was created, it doesn’t show when the initial sync finishes:

This is certainly an annoying omission and the lack of specific data points isn’t limited to just Zerto; how many other solutions do you use in your environment where you want to know/see something that just isn’t there for seemingly no logical reason? Of course, you could contact your vendor account manager, raise a feature request, wait 3-6 months and cross your fingers that it was even considered let alone in the product. Or you can use the REST APIs to get the data yourself, today, in minutes!

Read more of this post

Connecting your home lab to Azure & AWS using a reverse SSL VPN

One big challenge that I came across when starting to use Microsoft Azure & AWS is how do I connect my home lab to a VM/instance running in the cloud?

I have multiple VMs in my lab that need to communicate with the cloud VM, yet my home router doesn’t allow me to create a VPN bridge. Neither does it allow me to do any port forwarding. If I was using an application that supports direct connectivity to Azure or AWS this isn’t a problem. However, in my case, I have Zerto Virtual Replication 5.0 which requires pre-existing connectivity to be established. So how did I workaround this issue? Watch the video to find out or keep on reading!

Read more of this post

Scripting a Zerto Recovery Plan v2

One of the most popular blog posts in the archive has been scripting recovery plans in Zerto. This is most likely because one of the most frequent requests I hear is the ability to control the boot ordering of Virtual Protection Groups (VPGs), not just the VMs within a VPG. This makes total sense when you have multiple tiers of applications and you want to recover them in order of priority or based on inter-dependencies.

In version 5.0 U2, Zerto included the ability to reverse the protection using the REST API. This meant I could finally deliver a script that automates failover and failback operations in a orchestrated fashion! In a first for I decided to give an overview of the script using a video:

Read more of this post

Top 10 PowerShell Tips & Tricks

In writing countless scripts over the past few years, I have learned many lessons on how to write scripts that are easier to read, more robust and perform ever more complicated tasks.

I recently had the pleasure of sharing these lessons with around 250 people on a Spiceworks webinar in the form of my top 10 PowerShell tips & tricks. I especially enjoyed the Q&A and live demo of my upcoming ZVR Recovery Plan v2 (coming very soon I promise). You can still watch the webinar recording by going to the link below and completing the form: Read more of this post

Automated vSphere VM sizing & cost calculator for DR to Microsoft Azure

When planning DR or migrations from VMware vSphere to Microsoft Azure, one very important task is to configure the appropriate VM/instance sizing to match your current VM settings. This needs to be done in advance for the following key reasons:

  • Ensure adequate performance of the VM when running in Azure
  • Select the VM size that supports the number of vNICS and vDisks required
  • Perform a cost analysis of VM runtime and storage costs

In ZVR 5.0 selecting the Azure VM size is very easy in the GUI:


But what this doesn’t do is tell you exactly which one to pick and neither does it tell you how much it is going to cost!

So how are you going to select the correct instance size and calculate the cost for all your VMware VMs? That sounds like a manual and tedious task that thousands of people are going to have to tackle over the next few years. Of course, you already know I have something that is going to help you otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this far!

Read more of this post

Introducing the Hyperconverged Home Lab!

I was asked the other day why I’ve never written a blog post about my home lab, which I use to test out my scripts and record demos etc, and my answer was “I honestly don’t know?!”. So, I present to you my beloved hyperconverged home lab:


I first unveiled it to the public at the inaugural ZertoCON Boston 2016 and it was certainly a hit. I answered more questions about the lab than I did on Zerto! Questions such as “that looks awesome, what the hell is it?” and “I want one, what’s the build spec?”. At this point you are probably asking the same things and wondering what makes it hyperconverged? Here goes: Read more of this post