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Posts from the ‘VMware’ Category


VMworld: SRM 5.0 & vSphere Replication (BCO1562)

Speakers: Lee Dilworth, Clive Wenman (VMware)

Understanding the Use Cases and Implementation Options

Prior to SRM 5, relied on array-based replication
– requires same versions of vCenter and SRM but ESX versions can vary
SRM 5 now supports vSphere Replication (in addition to array-based)
– vSphere Replication requires parity of all versions of vSphere

SRM: Site Recovery Manager
SRA: Storage Replication Adapter

SRM 5 UI allows seeing both sites from one interface

vSphere Replication offers a cost-effective choice/alternative to array-based
– does not replace array-based for the foreseeable future

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VMworld: Enhancements in vStorage VMFS 5 (VSP2376)

Speaker: Mostafa Khalil (VMware)

– VMFS3 Limitations
– VMFS5 Enhancements
– LVM Changes
– VMFS5 Changes

# Excellent presentation and deep-dive on VMFS5 and it’s benefits in vSphere 5

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VMworld: Storage vMotion Deep Dive (VSP3255)

Speaker: Min Cai, Ali Mashtizadeh (VMware)

– Basics of Storage vMotion
– Use Cases
– History of vMotion
– Architectural Overview in vSphere 5
– Snapshots & Storage vMotion
– Linked Virtual Machines
– Future Roadmap

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VMworld: vMotion in vSphere 5 Best Practices (VSP2122)

Speaker: Sreekanth Setty (VMware)

– What is vMotion?
– Memory Iterative Pre-Copy
– Enhancements in vSphere 5
– vMotion Performance
– Best Practices

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VMworld: Distributed vSwitch Best Practices (VSP2894)

Speaker: Vyenkatesh Deshpande (VMware)

– Overview of VDS
– vSphere 5 New Features
– VDS Best Practices
– VDS Myths

# Overview
– unified network virtualization management in dependent of physical fabric
– manage datacenter-wide switch vs. individual switches per host
– vMotion-aware: statistics and policies follow the VM simplifying debugging and troubleshooting

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VMworld: Designing Network for Multisite vSphere (VSP3122)

Speakers: Sanjay Aiyagari (VMware), Simon Hamilton-Wilkes (F5)

Journey of IT Transformation: Accelerate and Amplify
– moving from server consolidation to being able to monitor and manage your applications
– and from there to hosting multiple instances of your application in the cloud provisioned independently for varied users

The Journey: Stage 1 – Infrastructure Focus
+ shared resource pools
+ elastic capacity
– no business continuity

The Journey: Stage 2 – Application Focus
+ zero-touch infrastructure
+ increased control and service assurance
– possible downtime
– idle infrastructures
– infrastructure dependencies

The Journey: Stage 3 – Business Focus
+ service definition
+ self-service
+ chargeback
– isolation between instances
– application configuration updates reflect infrastructure

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VMworld: Engineering The Future (Keynote)

This morning’s keynote is purported to be more technical in flavor than yesterday’s presentation by VMware CEO Paul Maritz, who apparently wasn’t in his prime on Monday (per veteran EMC staff in attendance). Looking forward to what Steve’s going to offer…

Video interviews with VMware engineers: “It should just work and work well.”

Project Octopus: a collaboration platform that bridges somewhere between independent work and SharePoint with a service and simple centrality.


The entire presentation will be done with post-it notes and whiteboards (on screen), instead of PowerPoint.

We want to manage services not individual servers. We want the people to be thought of as a first tier individual who is accessing IT.

Devices. It’s about using all of our devices and having universal access. We have very high expectations. Devices + Universal Access + High Expectations = DUH!

Simplify the existing world: extract from silos, treat things in a common way with a common policy
– Desktop Service: not strapped to a Windows PC
– – VMware View 5
– App Catalog Service: one place
– – Project ThinApp Factory
– – – indexes a location for all MSI’s and exe’s
– – – may even spin up a VM to install the app and package it as a thin app
– – – assign access to apps by groups or users as auto-provisioned or user-activated
– – Horizon App Manager (ships today)
– – – next step is to add Windows apps to Horizon
– Data Service: inconvenience and big security challenge
– – how many of you are using DropBox today?
– – how many of you are /supposed to be/ using DropBox today?
– – Project Octopus:
– – – enterprise controls over external sharing, including expiration and domains
– – – works with both private cloud and public cloud

Manage: secure, user-focused
– Unified Service Broker
– Users, Application, Data Policy
– demonstration by Vittorio (VMware staff) of View thin & mobile

Connect: my app, my data, my colleagues
– Secure Universal Access
– View 5: access via thin client
– Horizon: provision mobile access (Horizon Mobile)
– – work life and home life separated but contained on one device
– – IT has control to wipe the work portion of a phone without affecting the personal side
– Project Octopus: “My Docs” present on Windows and mobile device
– Socialcast: new VMware acquisition for collaboration
– demonstration by Vittorio of iPad access and sharing files
– – Project App Blast: presents MS Excel to iPad
– – – presents apps via native HTML5 primitives
– – video calling from iPad to call center
– – Steve: “how a mobile user will interact with IT in a post-PC era”

Simplify – Manage – Connect

VMotion from the iPad using VCMA

# vSphere 5

# Accessible Innovation (including demonstration by Bruce)

Small Businesses:
– VMware Go: designed for small businesses getting started with virtualization
– – scans network for servers capable of running vSphere
– – Go reaches out to the machine, checks info, asks for password, and converts a Windows server to ESXi
– – can also do patch management and even help desk functionality
– vSphere Storage Appliance
– – enables organizations to deploy VMware without requiring a formal SAN
– – VSA runs as a virtual appliance on each host and presents local storage as shared
– – also writes data to primary and secondary locations for resilience

Larger Environments:
– Auto Deploy: enables ESXi provisioning via PXE

– biggest VM ever: 32 vCPU, 1000 GB RAM, 1 million IOPS
– guarantees: performance, availability, security

# Guarantees:

Intelligent Virtual Infrastructure
– set the policy, deploy the VM, and let IVI satisfy the contract in the private or public cloud

+ Performance Guarantees:
– “noisy neighbor”
– protect VMs from one another
– already been protecting CPU and memory for years
– now protecting Storage in vSphere 5
– – Pooling: take all the arrays in place and create pools and tiers
– – Placement: chooses storage based on policies and even within a tier
– – DRS: tracks behavior of VMs within the pool and migrates VMs within pools
– Storage I/O Control: minimums and shares for VMs
– Network I/O Control: same principles in networking — FINALLY!
– – at the hypervisor layer

– making networking fully virtualization aware
– Problem: Identifier = Location (IP addresses)
– – also shows up in the telephony space as phones moved from landlines to mobile
– – same goal in networking
– VXLAN: encapsulating L2 packets in L3 —HUGE!
– – create logical extensible overlay networks to span geography
– – applicable both inter-datacenter and intra-datacenter for DR, etc
– – vendors: Cisco, Intel, Emulex, Arista, Broadcom, IETF

+ Availability:
– one of the main reasons people have always chose to virtualize
– Datacenter outages:
– – SRM 5
– – – SRM has always abstracted the hardware
– – – SRM 5 introduces vSphere Replication for disparate SANs or less need for replication performance
– – – also introduces Automated Failback
– – – vCloud Partners to use 3rd party data centers as your replication site
– – – use cases: disaster avoidance, datacenter migration

+ Security:
– “nosy neighbor”
– critical in public cloud consideration
– vShield
– Defense In Depth
– – vShield Endpoint (VM)
– – vShield App (between VMs)
– – vShield Edge (virtual edge of network)

Guarantees: Performance – Availability – Security

Automate. Automate. Automate.
– typically an Alert –> Respond model
– an intelligent solution should Respond –> Alert
– Management Solution:
1) Monitor: AppSpeed
2) Correlate: event relations
3) Remediate: DRS, Storage & Network I/O Control, etc
– Sneak Peak (demonstration by Bruce):
– – vCenter Management
– – “Navigator” technology discovers applications running within servers —incredible!
– – no need to change apps within the servers to monitor them
– – discovers how the applications relate to each other
– – vCenter Operations Advanced —very interesting dashboards and metrics

It’s about the services and it’s about the people.


ESX 4.1: Local users cannot login

If you regularly SSH into your ESX hosts, this may be old news to you. But if you’re like me and mostly manage your ESX hosts via vSphere Client, you might have a surprise waiting for you when you upgrade to ESX & ESXi 4.1. With the advent of ESX Active Directory integration, VMware kindly decided to impose some new changes and requirements for local user accounts. What does this mean to you?

For me, it meant that when I tried to SSH into my ESX host, I ran into “Access is denied.” And with only one non-root user account on the system, this meant no remote access (on the host itself). Root is restricted to interactive access, so that wasn’t any help. Thankfully the Dell Remote Access Card (DRAC) put me on the console, so to speak, and let me poke around as root.

The solution, though, came from a Google search, a somewhat unhelpful VMware KB article (1024235), and a little connecting of the dots. AD integration places a new dependency on the local “Administrators” role. If local user accounts aren’t in that role, they can’t get in.

Oddly enough, vSphere Client has to be targeted directly at the ESX host (not vCenter) to edit the role and local users. Looking while connected through vCenter won’t get you anywhere. So, here we go: Read moreRead more


VCE: Virtual Computing Environment

Are you familiar with VCE? If not, add it to your IT acronym dictionary, but it’ll be something you hear more about in the future if virtualization, shared storage, converged networks, and/or server infrastructure are in your purview. VCE stands for “Virtual Computing Environment” and is a consortium of Cisco, EMC, VMware, and Intel (funny…if you take three of those initials, you get V-C-E). The goal and objective, which they seem to be realizing, is to deliver a “datacenter in a box” (or multiple boxes, if your environment is large), and in a lot of ways, I think they have something going…

The highlights for quick consumption:

  • a VCE Vblock is an encapsulated, manufactured product (SAN, servers, network fully assembled at the VCE factory)
  • a Vblock solution is designed to be sized to your environment based on profiling of 200,000+ virtual environments
  • one of the top VCE marketed advantages is a single support contact and services center for all components (no more finger pointing)
  • because a Vblock follows “recipes” for performance needs and profiles, upgrades also come/require fixed increments
  • Cisco UCS blade increments are in “packs” of four (4) blades; EMC disks come in five (5) RAID group “packs”
  • Vblock-0 is good for 300-800 VMs; Vblock-1 is for 800-3000 VMs; Vblock-2 supports 3000-6000 VMs
  • when crossing the VM threshold for a Vblock size, Vblocks can be aggregated

Those are the general facts. So what does all that mean for interested organizations? Is it a good fit for you? Here are some takeaways I drew from the points above as well as the rest of the briefing by our VCE, EMC, and Cisco reps… Read moreRead more


VMware & Link-State Tracking

If you’re running a VMware vSphere cluster on a two-tier (or greater) Cisco network, you might be in a situation like I was. You see, we built in redundancy when we planned our core and access switches, but the design had one significant flaw (see the simplified diagram to the right). Pretend all of those lines are redundant paths. Looks good so far, right? If CoreA goes down, ESX(i) can still send traffic up through AccessB to CoreB. The reverse applies if -B is down, and likewise for either of the Access- switches.

The catch comes for VMs on ESX(i) when one of the Core- switches goes down. ESX(i) balances VMs across the ports in the Virtual Machine port group(s). If a port goes down, it will smartly move the VM(s) to another port that is up. If an “upstream” hop like CoreB goes down, though, ESX(i) doesn’t know about that event, so it keeps its VMs in place, oblivious to the fact that the VMs on AccessB ports are as good as dead to the world. [Enter Link-State Tracking] Read moreRead more