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Hands-on Labs: Differential Replication

blocksForgive me. It has been more than six weeks since my last post. To make up for it, this post is pretty long, weighing in at around 3,000 words. On the plus side, you only need to read all of those words in the example code output you’re really interested.

Part of the reason I have been slacking on the blog front is that our team has been working to get our new content and infrastructure built, upgraded and ready for all of you to enjoy at the VMworlds this year. We have some pretty exciting new labs in coming, as well as a some of VMworld sessions about how we run things and how some people are using our labs: INF1311 - Deploy and Destroy 85K VMs in a week: VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage and SDDC2277 - A New Way of Evaluating VMware Products and Solutions – VMwareHands-on Labs

Got Bandwidth?

There are some cases when you have plenty of bandwidth between your source and target, and other times when that is just not possible. Sill, the data must go through! So, if bandwidth between clouds is on the lower end, or if we are refreshing a version of an existing vPod, our second replication mechanism using rsync may save us quite a bit of time.

It has been said in a variety of different ways that the best I/O is the one you don’t need to do – that is especially true for moving data over great distances and/or via low-bandwidth connections. For the 2013 content year, as we developed this solution we transferred our base vPods using the LFTP method, then used the base pods as “seeds” for an rsync differential replication.

This solution is a combination of the right tools and the right process. Either one used in isolation would not provide us as much benefit as using them together. I know it sounds a bit gestalt and maybe a little cheesy, but I hope you see what I mean when you read through this post.  Continue reading

Experience Horizon 6 with View today

We are excited to announce that the first lab in the 2014 Hands-on Labs content catalog is the Horizon 6 with View Introduction.

1451-catalog

VMware Horizon 6 with View is an important product release that brings advanced features to your end-user experience. As the first release in the 2014 Hands-on Labs development cycle, HOL-MBL-1451 brings exciting new content in real time with the general availability release of the Horizon 6 with View product. Be the first to experience Horizon 6 with View and see how your applications and desktops can be unified in a single workspace.

Launch

Ready to get started? Launch your own Horizon 6 with View lab experience:

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/#lab/1184

Explore

Only interested in browsing the lab manual? Explore the content:

Collaborate

Connect with other interested HOL users and discuss Horizon 6 with View:

https://communities.vmware.com/thread/482072

More Details

You can read all about the Horizon 6 with View release over at the Horizon Tech Blog. Enjoy!

http://blogs.vmware.com/horizontech/2014/06/horizon-6-with-view-intro-lab.html

We are looking forward to an exciting VMworld 2014 and cannot wait to share the rest of the labs with you. Be sure to check in regularly at hol.vmware.com for the latest VMware Hands-on Labs news and features.

Backstage Pass Session #4 – Project NEE & OneCloud – Delivering Hand-On Labs at Cloud Scale

A peek at what it our dashboard look like

A peek at what our monitoring dashboard looks like  during VMworld – Join us for this Webinar on How Project NEE works and how the OneCloud Team operate the Hands-on Labs Infrastructure.

Wednesday June 4th 2014
Time: 9:00 AM PDT
Length: 60 minutes+ depending on questions
In this session we will have the guys from the ProjectNEE team and OneCloud walk us through the architecture and go into details on how we manage our infrastructure.
The first part of this session we will cover details on Project NEE. The second part of the session will go into OneCloud – our internal Cloud infrastructure service. The OneCloud team will discuss how they use the vCloud Suite – vCenter Operations Manager, vCenter Log Insight and various tools.  This is a great session for folks interested in learning how we run and operated our infrastructure and a great opportunity to ask questions.
Agenda
- What is ProjectNee
- What is OneCloud
- Solving the Delivery Problem
- Operating Cloud at Scale
- Questions and answers
This meeting will be recording for folks that cannot attend.
Our Speakers:
Michael DiPetrillo  – Principle Architect – Co Creator of Project NEE
Brian Smith – Director One Cloud Operations

PDF and MP3 Now Available…

Hands-on Labs: Seeding the Clouds

This is the first part of a post that I have been promising for quite some time. We have large amounts of data that we need to replicate to many locations. For the 2013 Hands-on Labs “season,” we used two methods to move our data. One of them is generally applicable while the other is more specialized and tailored to our use case.

In this post, I will cover the more general use case because that process is used when we must “seed” a new cloud. I think the more specific use case is the more interesting of the two cases, but we will need to save that for the next post.

Continue reading

Back up ! Uplanned Maintenance – (Extra large fingers at work)

Many thanks to our OneCloud guys – service is back up and humming along – please let us know if you run into any issue…

Thanks

VMware Hands-on Labs Team

Folks,

We are experiencing some unplanned downtime this morning – we were migrating our storage over and ran into some issues with the size of our fingers (fat fingers)

Will keep you guys posted on updates – the guys are working hard to get the service back up and appreciate your patience..

Please follow us on twitter for short message updates -

thanks

Backstage Pass Session #3 – Performance Tuning Hands-on Labs VMworld

Joshua Schnee at VMworld checking on our HOL Performance

Jon S. asking Joshua  S. about our HOL Cloud Performance VMworld 2013 San Francisco CA

Backstage Pass Session #3 – Performance Tuning Hands-on Labs VMworld

This session will discuss how we tested and tuned our Datacenters for optimal performance. Josh will discuss the tools he used to test our multiple clouds and Joey will go into details on the infrastructure we have deployed and our planning for VMworld. This is a great session for folks getting ready to roll out their Clouds and a great opportunity to ask questions.

Date: Wednesday May 7th, 2014

PDF + MP3 is available now

Hands-on Labs: Importing vPods

This is the fourth in my series on managing content for VMware Hands-on Labs. You can find the previous posts in the following locations:

The next phase of our multi-cloud vPod management process is sometimes a data replication, but there are times when we have multiple clouds at the same physical location. In that case, the next phase is simply an import to the target cloud. Doing this by hand is tedious and error-prone, so we employ some PowerCLI to keep us sane.

We use the built-in Import-CIVAppTemplate cmdlet for importing vApp templates. It usually does the job pretty well, but I have noticed a couple of things about the cmdlet that are worth sharing. First off, in my experience, it does not do very well with high latency links. At high latency, its bandwidth utilization is terrible when compared to even the Java-based uploader that is part of the vCD web UI. The capability to script the import process can be a worthwhile tradeoff in many cases. If the source and target clouds are geographically distributed, we usually replicate the export files to a “library” host that is LAN-connected to the target cloud and then perform the import locally anyway. I will go into more on that process in a future post in this series. Beyond that, I find that Import-CIVAppTemplate can use a little help in the resiliency department and I’ve created a little wrapper to help it out:

Continue reading

Backstage Pass with VMware Hands-on Labs Session #2

Join Doug and Bill as they describe how we operate our Hands-on Labs Service

Join Doug and Bill as they describe how we operate our Hands-on Labs Service

In this Session Bill Call and Doug Baer will walk you through an overview of the Hands-on Labs infrastructure, design considerations when creating our vApps (vPods) and how we move them across multiple datacenters around the world.

This technical session is for architects, and administrators running datacenters. The content level is intermediate to advanced. Please plan to attend and be prepared to ask questions at the end of the talk.  We also encourage you to start thinking about joining us for VMworld 2014 in San Francisco or Barcelona and visiting us in the Hands-on Labs room. 30 minute talk /presentation with plenty of room for questions and answers.

PDF and MP3 Recording

Announcing VMware Hands-on Labs BackStage Pass Webinars

Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass

Join our Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass

Friends,

We are announcing the VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series.  These sessions are for Administrators, Architects and IT Managers running VMware environments of any size. Our talks are easygoing , focus on technology and provide tips and tricks to help make your life easier.

The VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series will run the first Wednesday of the month 9:00 AM PDT. All sessions will be recorded and posted on our Hands-on Labs blog if you cannot attend session. Please join us as these are a great opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and learn how we use our products to run the VMware Hands-on Labs service.

VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass – Webinar Schedule / Abstracts

March 25, 2014

Session #1  VMware vSphere Operations Management 101 – Online Workshop
In our vSphere with Operations Management 101 online workshop, you will learn first-hand how vCenter Operations Manager can help you manage your vSphere environments. We will walk you through the steps to access the live vCenter Operations labs.  Using the Hands-on Labs online portal you will be able try vCenter Operations Manager and chat with our VMware experts who use this product to monitor the Hands-on Labs infrastructure. Attend this online workshop to see how vCenter Operations Manager provides comprehensive visibility into the health and performance of your vSphere environments, helps you improve the efficiency of your virtual infrastructure, increase your consolidation ratios, and how it provides capacity management with “what if” planning capabilities.

This online workshop is targeted at customers who are running vSphere and who are new to vSphere with Operations Management. Registration is closed thanks for your interest.

April 2, 2014

Session #2Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs – vPod and Data Sync

In this Session Bill Call and Doug Baer will walk you through an overview of the Hands-on Labs infrastructure, design considerations when creating our vApps (vPods) and how we move them across multiple datacenters around the world.

This technical session is for architects, and administrators running datacenters. The content level is intermediate to advanced. Please plan to attend and be prepared to ask questions at the end of the talk.  We also encourage you to start thinking about joining us for VMworld 2014 in San Francisco or Barcelona and visiting us in the Hands-on Labs room. 30 minute talk /presentation with plenty of room for questions and answers.

Backstage with Bill Call and Doug “Trevor”

PDF and MP3 Recording

May 7th 2014

Session #3Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Performance Testing Tuning Hands-on Labs Architecture with @jpschnee and Joeyd.

This session will discuss how we tested and tuned our Datacenters for optimal performance. Josh will discuss the tools he used to test our multiple clouds and Joey will go into details on the infrastructure we have deployed and our planning for VMworld. This is a great session for folks getting ready to roll out their Clouds and a great opportunity to ask questions.

Recording and PDF

Session #4 Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Project NEE & OneCloud – Delivering Hand-On Labs at Cloud Scale
Wednesday June 4th 2014
Time: 9:00 AM PDT
Length: 60 minutes
We have had tons of requests for more information on Project NEE and more details on how we run and operation our Hands-on Labs Infrastructure. In this session we will have the guys from the ProjectNEE team and OneCloud walk us through the architecture and go into details on how we manage our infrastructure.
The first part of this session we will cover details on Project NEE. The second part of the session will go into OneCloud – our internal Cloud infrastructure service. The OneCloud team will discuss how they use the vCloud Suite – vCenter Operations Manager, vCenter Log Insight and various tools.  This is a great session for folks interested in learning how we run and operated our infrastructure.
Agenda
- What is ProjectNee
- What is OneCloud
- Solving the Delivery Problem
- Operating Cloud at Scale
- Questions and answers
This meeting will be recording for folks that cannot attend.

Upcoming Maintenance window – March 19th 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST

Hands-on Labs - Maintenance Window
Folks,
Just wanted to make you aware of the planned Maintenance window coming up next week on March 19th.
We will be adding some fixes and updates to Project NEE.
During this time access to Hands-on Labs will be up and down
Please do not schedule any critical meetings, workshops for this time period.
Date: Wednesday March 19th
Time: 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST
What: NEE Portal will be going through updates / fixes you may experience HOLs going up and down.

Regards

VMware Hands-on Labs Team