Build Photon OS appliance using packer.io

I found a great article from William Lam about how to build an Photon OS virtual appliance which includes OVF settings for configuration. During my initial tests I faced some issues like the virtual machine network did not connect properly and others. First I had changed the existing scripts to work with the vmware-iso builder which was in the end working but the performance was pretty bad. So I decided to convert the existing template from vmware-iso to vsphere-iso.

The base code is really good an most of it can be re-used. My changes can be found in my fork of his repo.

https://github.com/mdhemmi/photonos-appliance

And here a video of a build run.

Source:

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2019/11/packer-reference-for-building-photonos-virtual-appliance-using-ovf-properties.html

Homelab the current state

It’s time for a new update about my new Homelab. In the past I was running HP Microserver 2x N40L and 1x Gen8. All these machines are still here but no longer in use and will be for sale soon. My new Homelab contains now 2x HP ML10v2, 1x Zyxel 16 Gbit Switch, 1x Lenovo ix4-300d storage.

2x Server HP ML10 v2: HP ProLiant ML10 v2 G3240-Server (nicht Hot-Plug-fähig, 4 GB-U, B120i, 4 LFF, 350-W-Netzteil)
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35 SATA DriveCarrier Einbaurahmen für 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) bis 8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll) schwarz
Memory: Samsung 8GB (1x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800E) 2Rx8 ECC Unbuffered Dimm Server Workstation Arbeitsspeicher RAM Memory
1x Zyxel 16 Port Gbit Switch: Zyxel GS1100-16-EU0101F Gigabit Switch (16-Port, RJ-45)
1x Lenovo ix4-300d Storage: Lenovo Iomega ix4-300d Network Storage (0TB Diskless EMEA, Marvell Armada TM XP, 1,3GHz, 4x HDD, 512MB RAM)
2x HP Quad …

Virtual appliances

I tried a lot of “appliance” but the most of them are not appliance. Always the same stuff, they virtualize a server and call it virtual appliance. There is no menu to configure the network and so on. Just an virtual machine with an full OS and an application.
A real virtual appliance has an OS called JeOS (Just enough operating system). There are some JeOS available, for example Ubuntu JeOS or Suse Enterprise JeOS. Next point is an console menu to be able to configure the network in an easy way. The last feature would be an web interface which provides functionalities to start/stop, backup, update processes and the whole appliance.

A very good example for real virtual appliances is Turnkeylinux. The have a lot of different appliances in there portfolio and the best is that they are free.

If you have experiences with virtual appliances like Turnkeylinux, …

OpenSource RedHat Satellite Server – Spacewalk

I found this software during my search for a management solution for a virtual appliance farm running hundreds of CentOS based virtual machines. As CentOS is binary compatible to RedHat it makes sense to use a RedHat satellite server equivalent for software management.

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project from which the Red Hat Network Satellite product is derived.

What Can Spacewalk Do?

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution that allows you to:

* Inventory your systems (hardware and software information)
* Install and update software on your systems
* Collect and distribute your custom software packages into manageable groups
* Provision (kickstart) your systems
* Manage and deploy configuration files to your systems
* Monitor your systems
* Provision and start/stop/configure virtual guests
* Distribute content across multiple geographical sites in an efficient manner.

Link

Update about Proxmox

My HP Dl115 G5 is now running Proxmox VE. My first impression is that this is a quite good virtualisation plattform. I have created some virtual machines (OpenVZ using the templates and KVM using a Ubuntu 10.04 iso) which was really easy! In the next days I’m going to run some tests with different configurations. In addition with support of colleague we will create a Proxmox cluster using 2 HP ML servers (ML110,ML115) and a shared iSCSI storage. …