The team that brought you PowerNSX just released the ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) of project Magpie. The ‘Multi Access General Purpose Infrastructure Explorer’ is specifically designed to be modular, and by this allowing new tools to be rapidly integrated into Magpie. I instantaneously have a small flashback to the Webcommander days, but that can just be me. In short, Project Magpie is an appliance containing various tools and utilities to support NSX. This appliance will serve as a framework for various tools to support operation and management of VMware (NSX) deployments. In short, the v0.1 Magpie contains release contains the following features:
- Multi-user Support – Create accounts for all users that require access to PowerNSX.
- PowerCLI and PowerNSX modules included and ready to go.
- Web-based User Interface – Access PowerNSX and PowerCLI from just via a web browser.
- Hosted documentation – You can access a searchable PowerNSX documentation that is updated from the Internet (Github). The documentation requires a working Internet connection, no Internet no documentation.
- PowerNSX SSH access – Access the PowerNSX/PowerCLI environment via an SSH terminal to the appliance.
- Photon OS – The appliance is built upon VMware’s lightweight Photon OS.
Pretty awesome as for NSX who does not use PowerNSX? And this is just the first initial release. Let us take her out for a spin and play!
Deploy Project Magpie
For us to play we will need to head over to Github.com and download the ova. Deploy the OVA, and attach a network (some front-end management where you can reach the components you would like to be manageable). Don’t set a static IP in the OVF deployment for DHCP. Done? Start the VM.
We first have to head over to the console and change the root password. The default ‘changeme’ password is displayed during the OVF deployment screen and in the VM notes.
Next check the IP configuration by using: networkctl status eth0. Here you will find the configuration file and IP address currently used.
If you are not lucky like me and don’t get an IP assignment, or want to change to a static IP, head over to the Photon OS Administration Guide. There we will find the command to set a static IP. In short: disable the DHCP to no in /etc/systemd/network/99-dhcp-en.network and add a /etc/systemd/network/99-eth0-static-en.network (chmodded to 644).
Open the browser and go to https://<fqdn DNS or IP/. Root credentials will not work here. The only valid account OOTB is the ‘powernsx’ account. Login with the default password of ‘changeme’ and just like with root you will be prompted to change it on first use.
You can add more users by logging in to the console and using create_powernsx_user <username> and set a password. This user now also can use the Interface.
In the web interface, I connected to the NSX Manager by using Connect-NSXServer -vCenterServer and typing in my SSO credentials with access to NSX. Next, I used the cmdlet Get-NsxFirewallRule to look at the default (id 1001) and some other rule. Results are in.
This could really get the Windows PowerShell/PowerCLI/PowerNSX out of the virtual building. For a first release, it does what it was set out to do. I really like the idea of the modular approach, the opportunity to make it better. Its very simple to use. You still need to have some PowerCLI/NSX skills to know the cmdlets. At least those to start with. You got the documentation tab to help you along the way.
With the PowerNSX and PowerCLI release of Project Magpie, this will give us PowerNSX rangers the tools to defeat NSX challenges ahead. For some this is a nice replacement for the vSphere Management Assistant (vMA). Time will tell what other modules and plugins will be included with Magpie.
-Enjoy the Magpie’s!