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Register for TAP Sessions at PEX @ VMworld US

The TAP team is sponsoring several sessions at the upcoming Partner Exchange (PEX) at VMworld US event. TAP partners planning to attend PEX can register today for the following sessions using the Schedule Builder feature in the VMworld US Content Catalog.

Meet the Partner NSXperts – How and What to Plan for in your Network and Security Services – Panel Discussion with Q&A [TAP9777]

VMware NSX partner integration involves developing services and solutions that are a part of transforming the data center from a various collection of connected devices to a platform automating the service of business applications. The opportunity of this software defined approach to data center infrastructure comes as a challenge to the architecture that shaped legacy approaches and defined categories of services. How does a partner service for a virtual network in NSX differ from its physical counterpart, what new capabilities are offered and which assumptions are discarded when a decentralized and topology-neutral platform changes much of what defined product innovation in the past? How can you plan for a product that focuses on the business need for applications, and support needs for policy and operation? Understand what makes a good network and security service with Service Composition, Distributed Firewall and micro segmentation, horizontal scaling and unique introspection methods. Listen to a discussion and ask open questions, with technology owners and leaders for the NSX partner ecosystem.

Sunday, Aug 28, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Register Today

“I Want to Be an NSX Technology Partner” – Use Cases, Program and Enablement for the Security and Network Ecosystem [TAP9776]

“NSX is for Everyone” is the watchword for VMware’s SDDC drive with our customers. And VMware NSX is the fastest growing VMware technology since the introduction of ESX, over 10 years ago. NSX is the key technology for every business to unite their hybrid deployments and to partition their massively converged infrastructure for optimum value. Key to driving this capability in the inclusion of a robust ecosystem partners for security and network policy solutions. A new SDDC architecture to deliver on promises of better and more relevant security control is open to integration by technology partners. How will this ecosystem be enabled through VMware? What solutions and services are NSX proven? How does a VMware technology alliance partner engage with VMware to envision, build and deliver for the NSX marketplace? Global Technology Alliances and Ecosystem Services are your VMware partners for an NSX Networking and Security Program. We will introduce you to the SDK and certification materials for NSX Advanced Services Insertion for Endpoint and Network. Find out from your alliance and ecosystem team, the qualifications for program participation and the structure of this partner program and deliverables. Start your path to NSX technology partnership with guidance from this session.

Sunday, Aug 28, 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Register Today

Web Client Plug-In Partner Program [TAP9946]

To provide a more consistent vCenter end-user experience, VMware launched vSphere Web Client Plug-in Partner Program in 2016. In this session, we will provide an overview of the program and outline key benefits for partners, such as certification. Once certified, Web Client Plug-ins will be “VMware-Ready” and displayed in vCG. We will provide an overview of the Certification Program, discuss requirements for certification and partners currently in the program, as well as provide technical direction and customer feedback for future Plug-in extensibility of vCenter.

Sunday, Aug 28, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Register Today

1:1 Program Manager Meetings at PEX

In addition to the TAP-sponsored PEX sessions, TAP partners can also register for a one-on-one meeting with a TAP program manager. Partners can utilize this time to learn more and provide valuable feedback about their partnership.

Applications will soon close and will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Availability is extremely limited, so fill out the application today to apply for your preferred meeting day and time.

Take Your Business to the Next Level at Partner Exchange and VMworld 2016

Don’t miss VMware’s main partner event co-located with VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, register today!

Join us on Sunday, August 28, at Partner Exchange 2016 to get a partner-focused view of VMware’s vision, partner programs and product announcements. These sessions will enable you and your teams to get up to speed on the latest from VMware, ensuring you are well- prepared for customer conversations during the VMworld week.

Partner Exchange kicks off with the Partner General Session, where you will hear directly from VMware’s top executives:
Pat Gelsinger, Ross Brown, Raghu Raghuram, Maurizio Carli, Sumit Dhawan, and a special guest speaker.

After lunch, attend the three Solution Keynotes presented by VMware’s top visionary speakers:

“Deliver the Digital Workspace” from 1:30pm-2:30pm presented by Sumit Dhawan, SVP & GM, Desktop & Workspace ONE

“Enabling Cloud for Your Customers” from 2:45pm-3:45pm presented by Yanbing Li, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage and Availability Business Unit, and John Gilmartin, Vice President & General Manager, Integrated Systems Business Unit

“Accelerate Network Virtualization” from 4:00pm-5:00pm presented by Rajiv Ramaswami, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Networking & Security and Dom Delfino, Vice President Worldwide Sales & Systems Engineering, Networking & Security

Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2016 US is Less than 3 Weeks Away…Sessions and Boot Camps are Filling up Fast

Don’t miss VMware’s main partner event, Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, August 27 & 28, 2016. You’ll learn how to better leverage new partner programs, differentiate your business, and make more money with VMware. Your Partner Exchange pass gives you access to exclusive partner-focused content not available during VMworld.

TAP partners can also register for the TAP sponsored sessions listed below. Simply click on the event name provided at the link to review the abstract and event information.

Other key PEX highlights include:

Saturday, August 27 (boot camps)

Take advantage of the once-a-year opportunity to complete your most-critical VMware certifications. Some popular boot camp topics include VTSP-Mobility, VSP-Mobility, VTSP-NV, VTSP-MA, VSP-MA, VTSP-SDS, VSP-SDS, SDDC, VTSP-DV, VSP-DV, and VSP-NV.

Sunday, August 28 (Partner Exchange)

  • Attend over 40 NDA-based product roadmap sessions, technology futures discussions, beta product concepts, and more. Some topics include:
    • What’s New with vCloud Air
    • VMware + Global System Integrator/System Outsourcer Engagement:
    • Enabling Accelerated Growth and Thought Leadership
    • What’s New with SDDC Solutions
    • Hybrid Cloud Networking and Security: Leverage NSX to extend customers on premise data centers and secure their applications in a Hybrid Cloud Environment
    • EUC and NSX Technical Deep Dive
    • Partner Incentives: Drive More Profit with VMware
  • Partner General Session – Get a preview of the key announcements from Raghu Raghuram and Sumit Dhawan. Plus hear Pat Gelsinger, Maurizio Carli, Ross Brown, and a special guest speaker talk about what’s new at VMware.
  • Group Discussions by Technology Experts – Meet face to face with top VMware technologists and get all your questions answered in a small informal group setting with no slides.
  • Gain exclusive access to the Partner Exchange Lounge all week during VMworld where you can relax, book a meeting room, recharge, and network with your peers.
  • Attend the special Partner Exchange Networking Reception where you can reconnect with other ecosystem partners and VMware experts.

Add Partner Exchange to your VMworld registration today – and prepare your business for tomorrow.

Once registered, visit the Content Catalog and search for Partner Exchange under ‘Track’ to see a full list of partner sessions and boot camps.

Last Chance for 1:1 Meetings – 

TAP partners who are planning on attending the annual VMworld conference can now request a one-on-one meeting with Audra Bowcutt, the TAP Program Manager. Partners can utilize this time to learn more and provide valuable feedback about their partnership.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and availability is limited, so fill out the application today to apply for a meeting.

Join us at Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2016

For the second year in a row, VMware is hosting its main partner event, Partner Exchange, at VMworld 2016. Saturday, August 27, is dedicated to Technical and Sales Boot Camps, and Sunday, August 28, is the main Partner Exchange Event.

During Partner Exchange and VMworld, TAP partners who are attending  can now request a one-on-one meeting with Audra Bowcutt, the TAP Program Manager. Availability is limited, so apply today.

The TAP team would also like to invite you to attend, and to let you know what you (and your teams) can expect from the Partner Exchange event.

Saturday August 27: Partner Technical and Sales Boot Camps

This day is designed for your practice managers and engineers. We will be holding 13 different boot camps, all focused on giving your teams the opportunity to complete their most critical VMware certifications.

Sunday August 28: General Session, Breakouts & More

Join us on Sunday to get a partner-first and partner-focused view of VMware’s vision, partner programs and product announcements. These sessions will enable you and your teams to get up to speed on the latest from VMware, ensuring you are prepared for customer conversations during the VMworld week!

At the Partner General Session, you will hear directly from our executives. Confirmed for that session are:

  • Pat Gelsinger, CEO
  • Ross Brown, SVP of Worldwide Partners and Alliances
  • Raghu Raghuram, EVP and GM, Software-Defined Data Center
  • Maurizio Carli, EVP, Worldwide Sales
  • Sumit Dhawan, SVP and GM, Desktop Products, End-User Computing
  • A special guest speaker

Beyond the General Session, you and your teams will have the opportunity to enjoy a day full of content designed for you. Some highlights:

  • Frank Rauch, VP Americas Partner Organization, will be hosting an Americas Breakout Session on Sunday morning where we will talk about how you can maximize the total addressable market opportunity in the Americas.
  • There will be 40+ Partner-Only Deep Dive Technical Sessions where you and your teams will get special access to all NDA-based product roadmaps, technology futures discussions, beta product concepts and more.
  • We are holding Group Discussions hosted by Technology Experts where you and your team can meet face-to-face with top VMware technologists in a small, informal group setting. They’ll answer your most pressing questions, no slideware allowed.
  • Wrapping up the day will be the Partner Exchange Networking Sessionhosted by Ross Brown and attended by our leadership team and technology partners.

Join us at Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2016

Attached is a listing of all the sessions on Saturday and Sunday so you can get an idea of the offerings available to you and your teams. If you have any questions about these, please let me know.

Take a moment to register for PEX today – We look forward to seeing you there!

PEX @ VMworld, Schedule Builder, and TAP at VMworld Updates

VMworld 2016 is fast approaching and we would like to remind our partners that Partner Exchange US taking place at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, on Saturday and Sunday, August 27-28. Partner Exchange is VMware’s main partner event offering all partner types the content and tools necessary to succeed with their VMware partnership.

Partners can add a Partner Exchange pass to their full VMworld registration, or purchase a pass for Partner Exchange only. See pricing options and details or register now!

Partners should utilize the recently released Schedule Builder feature in the VMworld US Content Catalog to add sessions and create a custom agenda today. In addition to the Schedule Builder tool being live, partners can now register for the TAP PEX @ VMworld US sessions which include the following Technical Sessions:

  • Meet the Partner NSXperts – How and What to Plan for in your Network and Security Services – Panel Discussion with Q&A [TAP9777]
  • “I Want to Be an NSX Technology Partner” – Use Cases, Program and Enablement for the Security and Network Ecosystem [TAP9776]
  • Web Client Plug-In Partner Program [TAP9946]

These technical sessions are available to partners who are attending Partner Exchange @ VMworld US, which is held on Saturday and Sunday, August 27-28. For more information on how to attend PEX @ VMworld, visit https://www.vmworld.com/en/us/programs/partner-exchange.html. Sponsorship information for Partner Exchange is available upon request.

TAP partners who are planning on attending the annual VMworld conference can now request a one-on-one meeting with Audra Bowcutt, the TAP Program Manager. Availability is limited, so apply today.

Important VMware NSX Updates

The NSX support team would like to inform partners about important KB updates for current NSX for vSphere issues. Partners interested in receiving more information about these NSX updates can find them at the following links.

Top 3 “need to know” issues:

  • KB 2144769End of General Support for VMware NSX for vSphere 6.1.x has been extended by 3 months to January 15th, 2017.
    This is to allow customers to have time to upgrade from NSX for vSphere 6.1.7, which contains an important security patch improving input validation of the system, to the latest 6.2.x release. For recommended upgrade paths, refer to the latest NSX for vSphere 6.2 Release Notes and the VMware Interoperability Matrix.
  • KB 2141410 – Migration of Service VM (SVM) may cause ESXi host issues in VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x. See also the CAUTION statement in the 6.2.3 Administration Guide.
    • Do not migrate the Service VM (SVM) manually (vMotion/SvMotion) to aother ESXi host in the cluster.
    • The latest versions of vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 inhibit vMotion migration. However, storage vMotion is not blocked, and such movement may lead to unpredictable results on the destination host.
  • KB 2144605 – vCenter 6.0 restart/reboot may result in duplicate VTEPs on VXLAN prepared ESX hosts. The NSX-side update to protect against this issue is available in 6.2.3. This issue will be resolved fully in a future version of vCenter.
  • The top 20 NSX articles for May 2016 can be found here.

Critical new and changed documentation with 6.2.3 – see the NSX Documentation Center

  • New and completely updated chapter on ID firewall
  • Updated load balancer chapter with additional configuration examples
  • New Upgrade Guides
    • Upgrade from NSX 6.x
    • Upgrade from NSX 6.x, cross-vC
    • Upgrade from vCNS
    • Upgrade from vCNS in a vCD environment
    • Upgrade vShield Endpoint
  • New Troubleshooting Guide
  • New HW Gateway SDK Guide
  • Overhauled NetX and EPsec SDK Guides

Critical new and changed KBs with 6.2.3

  • KB 2122708, Troubleshooting NSX for vSphere Edge Load Balancer – updated for 6.2.3 with show service loadbalancer command to show all active sessions that are used globally per NSX Edge.
  • KB 2125433, Troubleshooting VMware NSX Manager – updated for 6.2.3 with the new central CLI command to show and set the NSX Manager log level.
  • KB 2140009, Troubleshooting NSX for vSphere 6.x Edge appliance – updated for 6.2.3 with show packet drops command to display additional drop counters.
  • KB 2126671, Troubleshooting SSL VPN-Plus for VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x (2126671) – updated for 6.2.3 with SSL VPN logging being enabled by default.
  • KB 2094261, Troubleshooting vShield Endpoint / NSX Guest Introspection (2094261) – updated for 6.2.3 with event log support and with architecture changes which are expected to reduce the number of interoperability issues with other drivers.
  • KB 2123580, Troubleshooting IPSec VPN in NSX for vSphere 6.x (2123580) – updated for 6.2.3 with IPsec logging being enabled by default. This change ensures that issues are logged from the beginning when IPSec issues are encountered which drastically improves troubleshooting.
  • KB 2125482, Troubleshooting Network and Security Service Insertion in NSX for vSphere 6.x – updated for 6.2.3 with a central CLI command to export NSX-related outputs and files in the ESXi host support bundle as well as trace flow support.
  • KB 2125437 – NSX for vSphere 6.x Distributed Firewall (DFW) – updated for 6.2.3 with a central CLI command to export NSX-related outputs and files in the ESXi host support bundle.
  • KB 2125767 – Troubleshooting NSX for vSphere 6.x Controllers
  • KB 2126560 – Troubleshooting NSX Edge High Availability (HA) issues

How to track the top field issues:

  • KB 2122691 – Troubleshooting VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x
  • KB 2131154 – Trending issues and important information regarding VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x
  • KB 2135498 – Trending issues and important information regarding VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x Controller
  • NSX Support Center

NSX for vSphere 6.2.2 Release Notes

TAP Quarterly Webinar Video and vSphere Plug-in Survey

TAP Q1 Webinar Video 

The video from our Q1 Webinar is now available for partners to view. Thank you to all of our partners who were able to attend the quarterly webinar last month.

To access an online recording of the event: log into Partner Central, choose the TAP Events and Training option from the home page and select the Training tab. There you will find our TAP Quarterly Webinar Q1 2016 video, as well as previous TAP videos for your review.

TAP partners will need to ensure they are in good standing to access the recording in Partner Central. If you are an Access partner, you can renew here. Elite partners can renew their membership here.

TAP Quarterly Webinar Survey

Did the Q1 Webinar need an expanded presentation on TAP support offerings? Is there a topic that our team has yet to cover that you need more information about?

Take this brief survey and provide valuable feedback to the team so we address and schedule relevant topics in upcoming webinars.

2016 vSphere Plug-in Survey

vSphere Plug-ins can turbocharge partner products by enabling partners to tap into VMware’s enterprise customer base and accelerate product attachment to vSphere.

Those partners interested in developing vSphere Plug-ins, VMware will soon be launching a new vSphere Web Client Plug-in certification program for 2016. The new certification program is quick and simple self-certification process that takes 3 business days to obtain VMware Ready status.

To fine tune the certification program, the vSphere Plug-in team requests that partners fill out this brief vSphere Plug-in survey.

Please note, the first 100 partners to complete the entire survey will be entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three $50 gift cards.

TAP Q1 Quarterly Webinar – Feb 24th, 2016

We are almost two weeks out from our first Quarterly Webinar of the year and wanted to remind our partners to register for the event. The event will be hosted online, via WebEx, on Wednesday, February 24th, at 9:00 AM PST.

Based on partner requests, we will be discussing the following topics:

  • License Management in the My VMware portal
  • How to Open a Support Ticket
  • How to manage Software Download in the My VMware portal
  • How to manage User Access in the My VMware portal
  • How to setup Folders for License Management in the My VMware portal

The quarterly webinar will be recorded and posted in Partner Central at a later date for partners who are unable to attend the event. To take full advantage of this offering please attend the live event, which will include a Q&A session afterward.

If you have any questions about this, or any other TAP benefit, please reach out to the TAP team at 866-524-4966 or via email at tapalliance@vmware.com.


Virtual SAN All-Flash hosting Horizon 6 virtual desktops on Cisco UCS

VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 introduced an all-flash architecture that uses flash devices for both caching and persistent storage. This provides customers with choice of either a hybrid or an all-flash architecture for appropriate workload requirements. For VDI, an all-flash architecture provides a more scalable solution – higher VM density per server along with better application performance & response times – with ever reducing flash storage costs.

In a joint project with Cisco, we measured VDI scalability & application response times running Horizon 6 based linked-clones on Cisco UCS C240-M4 rack servers in an all-flash Virtual SAN configuration. The table below summarizes the findings of the reference architecture of a 4-node Virtual SAN cluster supporting 660 Horizon 6 virtual desktops.

Test Results Test Summary Main Points
Deployed 660 desktops 660 linked-clones(100% concurrency) · Excellent application response times hosting linked-clones executing Login VSI Knowledge Worker Workload: helps ensures excellent end-user performance for practical workloads.

· Proven resiliency and availability: Provides greater uptime for applications.

· Faster desktop operations: Improves IT efficiency

69 minutes 660 linked-clones deployed
6 minutes 660 linked-clones started
51minutes 660 linked-clones refreshed
102minutes 660 linked-clones recomposed
Average application latency of less than 3 milliseconds (ms) LoginVSI 4.1: Knowledge Worker workload
Average disk latency of less than 13ms Virtual SAN disk latency

So with this all-flash configuration we achieved 165 virtual desktops per host on C240-M4 UCS servers executing Login VSI Knowledge Worker workload. A Login VSI knowledge workload is profiled for a VM with 2vCPU and 1.5GB RAM with higher resource usage simulation to more closely mimic production workloads in comparison to the Login VSI Office workload that is profiled for a 1vCPU VM. For such lighter resource usage workload as the VSI Office workload, even further VM density could be achieved up to 200 VMs per host supported by VMware Virtual SAN.

In addition to performing scalability testing on a 4-node, we also performed operational testing of linked-clones such as time to deploy, refresh and recompose VMs in the environment to understand how the cluster behaves (CPU, IO, Network latency) for such operations. As the results shows, these tasks were performed in an acceptable timeframe and without any delays caused.

In terms of Virtual SAN and Horizon 6 configurations, the whitepaper goes into details of the host and cluster configurations such as disk groups, storage capacity and VM configurations so I won’t go through that here but I would like to highlight the underlying BOM for reference:

Area Component Quantity
Host hardware ·     Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server 4
·     Intel Xeon processor E5-2680 v3 CPU at 2.50 GHz 8
·     16-GB DDR4 2133-MHz RDIMM, PC4-17000, dual rank, 1.2V 96
·     Cisco 12-Gbps SAS modular RAID controller with 1GB Cache 4
·     Cisco VIC 1227 dual-port 10-Gbps mLOM 4
·     32-GB SD card 8
·     800-GB 2.5-inch enterprise performance SAS SSD drive 24 (for linked –clones capacity)
·     400-GB 2.5-inch enterprise performance SAS SSD drive* 4 (for caching)
Networking ·     Cisco UCS 6248UP 48-Port Fabric Interconnect 2
·     Cisco Nexus® 9372PX Switch 2
Software ·     VMware ESXi 6.0 with Virtual SAN 6.1 4
·     VMware vCenter Server 6.0 1
·     VMware Horizon 6.1.1 1
·     Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 4
·     Microsoft SQL Server 2012 R2 1

One thing to note here is that we used Enterprise Performance SSDs for caching tier due to availability in our labs when we commenced this project and that we recommend customers using enterprise value drives instead as per Virtual SAN HCL for caching tier to keep the cost down significantly.

In this project, we also performed basic cluster maintenance tasks such as placing a host under maintenance and also failure simulations of individual components (disks and network connectivity) to seek whether desired failure tasks are performed – such as migration of VMs to other hosts and the reduction in capacity.

Due to this being a 4-node cluster and the primary objective of providing scalability guidance, this architecture is not designed for an n+1 scenario with a stand-by host, which is also recommended for production environments.

Finally here are the multiple Virtual SAN and Cisco UCS white papers that the joint teams have produced so far for your reference:

VMware TAP Team Expands Program Benefits and Offerings

We will be hosting our quarterly webinar for TAP partners on Tuesday, November 17th at 10 AM PST. During this webinar we will have three separate presentations with relevant updates for our TAP Partners.

The first presentation will focus on the expansion of benefits for our TAP partners. Most notable is the addition of several go-to-market benefits, including: supporting quotes for custom press releases, Solution Briefs, Joint Webinars and Joint Whitepapers. Learn more about the TAP Program refresh during the opening portion of our quarterly webinar.

We will then be presenting details how the Ecosystem Services team is simplifying how technical partners do business with VMware. There will be an overview of the new subscription programs available to our partners that provide all the resources and tools partners need for integrating and certifying solutions on VMware’s platform.

Finally, we will provide partners an overview of the strategic moves that VMware is now making with Web Client Plug-in to enable partners’ readiness. In this webinar, we will discuss our plans to make vCSA (I.e. vCenter Server Appliance) the preferred way to deploy vCenter, migration to HTML5, new certification program for 2016, as well as new upcoming security features and Proactive HA.

Register today to learn more about these important updates.