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New Release: vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d

Today VMware released an update to its vCenter Server management solution.

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442329
vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d Installation Package | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442328
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 2d | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442330

Please make sure to review the release notes and download from vmware.com

While this is a minor release it does resolve many issues previously experienced as summarized here:

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SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering and the VMware Software Defined Data Center

The latest release of SAP HANA has brought the concepts of multi-temperature data and lifecycle management to a new level.  With SP09, SAP has addressed the size and cost constraints which may prohibit an all in memory solution. SAP HANA with the Dynamic Tiering (DT) option enables placement of the highest value “hot data” in the classic SAP HANA in-memory tables, and less frequently accessed “Warm Data” is placed or migrated to tables which reside on an SAP HANA Extended Storage Host (ES Host).

The data associated with the ES Host will reside on disk and not in-memory, however since data is stored using the same columnar paradigm as classic SAP HANA, performance is optimized for data processing.

SAP Business Warehouse Powered by HANA

The Dynamic Tiering option is Plug & Play for SAP Business Warehouse (BW) 7.4 SP8 Power By HANA. SAP BW provides full access to your data whether it resides in-memory data or on the extended host, access is transparent to the user, so no need to direct your queries to the SAP in-memory store or extended host store.

With the SAP HANA SP09 release BW Objects which can reside on the Extended Storage Host are the Write-Optimized Data Storage Objects and the Persistent Staging Area. Since these objects can comprise between 15% to 40% of the total database footprint, customers using DT in their landscapes can realize substantial savings by reducing the amount of RAM necessary to run SAP HANA. In addition the SAP HANA Extended Storage Hosts can be deployed on either Certified Servers or standard x86 commodity servers.

SAP HANA Native Use Cases

The number of software ISVs and developers choosing SAP HANA as their native database is quite impressive. Whether SAP HANA is being used for Data Marts, Enterprise Data Warehouses, or for custom applications, Dynamic Tiering presents interesting opportunities to make these use cases more robust. It’s important to adhere to the SAP HANA Node to ES Host ratios when using HANA as the native database. When the HANA in-memory database is 64GB to 512GB in size, the Extended Storage Host resident data can be 4 times the size of the HANA in-memory database. Below is a sizing summary:

SAP   HANA In-Memory Data

Extended   Storage Host Data Ratio

64GB – 512 GB

1:4

>512 GB to <2TB

1:8

>2TB

Unlimited

 

Deploying SAP HANA In The VMware Software-Defined Datacenter

SAP HANA Extended Storage Host is fully supported by SAP to runs on VMware vSphere. It’s interesting to note that SAP does not allow the deployment of a SAP HANA Worker Node and the Extended Storage option on the same physical server. In addition when deploying SAP HANA with DT in the physical world, SAP provides the following guidance:

“The distance between HANA hosts and Extended Storage hosts should be as short as possible to avoid performance impact on distributed INSERTs, UPDATEs, or Queries. Ideally, ES hosts should be placed inside the same rack as the HANA hosts.”

VMware can actually go one better. In the VMware Software Defined Datacenter both the SAP HANA Worker Node virtual machine and the Extended Storage Host virtual machine can be consolidated on a single physical vSphere Host which is a supported SAP configuration. This avoids the performance impact on distributed INSERTs, UPDATEs, or Queries which SAP mentions in the physical world. This is a clear benefit, by consolidating these virtual machines customers can better utilize server resources and increase their ROI. Also the consolidation and co-location of SAP HANA Nodes onto a single vSphere Host may reduce the internode communication latency associated with multi host deployments in a physical SAP Dynamic Tiering landscape.

SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering with VMware HA and Workload Management

For customers who choose to use the Dynamic Tiering option, SAP HANA System Replication is not available in SP09. However as with SAP HANA single node scale up deployments, the Extended Storage Host can be protected against hardware and or OS outages with VMware High Availability (HA). Enabling VMware HA allows the ES Host to be restarted on any vSphere hosts within the vSphere cluster without the need for a dedicated standby server. Also vMotion can be used to perform workload management or zero downtime maintenance by live migrating the ES Host to another server. Since the ES Host can run on both certified and standard x86 hardware, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) can be set to atomically migrate virtual machines to other vSphere hosts within the cluster in order to maximize performance and availability.

SAP has devised a brilliant multi-temperature strategy to manage the data lifecycle of their customer’s SAP HANA landscapes. When deploying SAP HANA with Dynamic Tiering our joint customers can extend and virtualize their SAP HANA databases beyond the 1TB vSphere 5.5 monster VM limitation. I will be discussing these topics in-depth, as well as techniques to simplify and accelerate SAP HANA deployments in the VMware Software Defined Data Center at VMware Partner Exchange 2015 in my session entitled; “Leveraging SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering Strategy and Concepts in The VMware Software Defined Data Center”

Storage and Availability at Partner Exchange 2015

VMware’s 2015 Partner Exchange is now just about one week away, and it’s shaping up to be a great one!

In storage and availability we’ll have a lot to talk about across the board: Some sessions will offer deeper examinations of our current products, others will give you a great exploration of some of the newer things VMware has to showcase.

I’ve made a list of some of the sessions put on by those of us in the storage and availability product team; it’s a good cross section from product marketing, product managers, and technical marketing people such as myself.  Outside of the engineers who actually write the code, these are the people closest to the products you use, so sign up and hear something new.  There are also sessions from our highly experienced field sales and technical teams — the experts at understanding how these products address customer requirements and explaining their value to our customers.

I’m personally doing a technical session with my colleague Rawlinson on Virtual SAN (STO4275) and looking forward to it quite a bit.

Lastly, don’t be shy to come say hello after the sessions.  We love to hear your thoughts, if we’ve got time between activities…

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Performance Unplugged: vCenter Performance

Welcome to a new video series I’ve titled “Performance Unplugged”

In this video series, I’ll showcase a number of talented performance gurus and cover commonly asked questions and topics. Performance of the Software-Defined Datacenter should no longer be a concern for customers and we’ll explain why. Links to the latest information pertaining to the topic will also be provided.

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Storage Blog Recap: Top Blogs from December

In case you missed it, we’ve compiled a list of the top vSphere Storage posts from December for you to digest. Check it out!

VMware Virtual SAN and ScaleIO: Fundamentally Two Different Approaches to Software-Defined Storage

VMware’s Vijay Ramachandran clarifies how VMware Virtual SAN’s unique approach to software-defined storage stands apart from other SDS competitors.

Gartner Predictions: Storage Integration Leading the Way in 2015

Learn why Gartner predicts that 40% of midsize enterprises will replace all data center services and storage with integrated systems by 2018.

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Technical Preview of CoreOS on vSphere 5.5

VMware is focused on bringing the value of containers to our customers and helping them streamline application delivery and portability in their virtualized infrastructure. CoreOS is a new, lightweight Linux distribution that’s designed from the ground up to run containerized applications. We’ve been working with the CoreOS team to enable the new OS to run on the vSphere platform, including integrating open-vm-tools.

Today we’re announcing technical preview of CoreOS 494 and 522 on vSphere 5.5, and encourage our customers to take the images for a spin and help provide feedback to the development teams on improving our CoreOS support.

You can download the VMware images from the CoreOS repository -

Installation guidance on vSphere is published in KB2104303

The above installation process will be simplified in the future when CoreOS is available as an OVA image. A preview of this is available in the 557 beta channel.

You can find additional guidance on deploying CoreOS in the vSphere environment in William’s blog.

Down the road, we continue our collaboration with the CoreOS team to further improve integration of the OS with vSphere and vCloud Air environments.

Feedback can be provided in the VMware CoreOS community forum.

 

-vSphere GOS support team

Performance Unplugged: Demanding Applications

Welcome to a new video series I’ve titled “Performance Unplugged”

In this video series, I’ll showcase a number of talented performance gurus and cover commonly asked questions and topics. Performance of the Software-Defined Datacenter should no longer be a concern for customers and we’ll explain why. Links to the latest information pertaining to the topic will also be provided.

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vSphere Data Protection – SharePoint VSS writer registration failed

I was working with the SharePoint agent and came across the following error message: SharePoint VSS writer registration failed.

mossagent_error

On a Windows Server 2012 R2 VM running SharePoint Server 2013, I found the location of stsadm.exe here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\BIN

I ran this command which fixed the issue: stsadm.exe -o registerwsswriter

@jhuntervmware

Assess the Performance Impact of the Security Change in Transparent Page Sharing Behaviour

As VMware continues to use a “secure by default” policy, there are some up-coming security changes to the Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) memory mechanism you need to be aware of and should assess for potential performance impact.

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Discover Software-Defined Storage & VMware Virtual SAN at PEX 2015!

Are you a VMware partner? Come learn more about VMware Virtual SAN — our software-defined storage solution designed for vSphere environments — at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015.

The sessions, like the rest of PEX 2015, will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, February 3 – 5th. Depending on your needs, there will be several important Software-Defined Storage and VMware Virtual SAN sessions you won’t want to miss.

If your organization is concerned about enterprise-level storage and availability, add these Software-Defined Storage and VMware Virtual SAN sessions to your calendar. (Log on and register to view session abstracts, speakers, and locations.)

Tuesday 2/3

  • STO4280: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, VMware Software-Defined Storage Overview
  • STO4278: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Virtual Volumes Technical Overview
  • STO4273: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM, What’s New with VMware Virtual SAN and How to be Successful Selling It
  • STO4289: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Conducting a Successful Proof of Concept for Virtual SAN

Wednesday 2/4

  • STO4295: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, SRM & Business Continuity Overview
  • STO4275: 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM, Virtual SAN Technical Walkthrough
  • STO4290: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Delivering SDS to SAN/NAS with Virtual Volumes
  • STO4464: 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM, Virtual SAN Panel: View from the Sales Trenches
  • STO4465: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM, Performance and Best Practices for Business Critical Applications leveraging Virtual SAN

Thursday 2/5

  • STO4293: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, SRM & VR6 Technical Deep Dive
  • STO4276: 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM, Virtual SAN Hardware Guidance & Best Practices
  • STO4279: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Software-Defined Storage: the Key to Agility with Control

Be sure to follow our social channels at @vmwarevsan and Facebook.com/vmwarevsan for the latest updates.

For more information about VMware Virtual SAN, visit http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san.