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Let Us Wow You with vSphere 6

Not yet on vSphere 6?  Join us for a webcast to learn why you should be.  Starting June 2nd, 2015 and recurring every other Tuesday at 9AM, join the vSphere product experts to learn what’s new and exciting about vSphere 6!  A different topic will be covered each session and time will be allocated at the end of each webcast for Q&A.

Please always check the latest schedule each week as topics may change and sessions may be added or removed.

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Configure Auto Deploy Rules - PowerCLI

In the previous post Configure DHCP and TFTP for Auto Deploy, we discussed how to setup your DHCP and TFTP servers to allow your ESX hosts to PXE boot. However, once an ESX host boots, it will need directions to know what to boot. This is where Auto Deploy Rules come in. Continue reading

DRS Keeps VMs Happy

Since the introduction of Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) almost 10 years ago, it has become the most trusted way to ensure virtual machines are running at their peak performance. Over 80% of customers that have introduced DRS use it in fully automated mode, which allows for automatic placement and rebalance operations that simplifies capacity planning and administrative overhead.

There seems to be quite a bit of inaccurate information floating around recently about vSphere DRS. The most common thing I hear is that “DRS is focused on balancing hosts in the cluster, and is not focused on workload performance.”  Actually, nothing could be further from the truth, and hopefully this will help explain how DRS is working to keep your VMs performing optimally.

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vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide

VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability GuidevCenter Server has become a mission critical part of most virtual infrastructures. It can be a single point of failure if it is not designed for availability. vCenter Server 6 has many changes relating to vCenter Server and its components and careful consideration has to be made in the design of its architecture.

There are multiple solutions for high availability. Many of these options can be combined to provide different levels of availability. vSphere HA, FT, vCenter Watchdog services and in guest clustering solutions can be combined depending on customer requirements for availability.

The Platform Services Controller (PSC) serves many VMware solutions in addition to vCenter Server such as VROPS, View, etc. The PSC deployment modes have to be carefully evaluated based on unique customer requirements and architected appropriately as well.

The VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide is a great resource for architecting a HA solution for vCenter Server.  I hope you find it useful!

Project Lightwave Now Available

Project Lightwave Now Available

Today, we are happy to announce that Project Lightwave, an identity and access management project for cloud-native apps, has been released as a free, open source project and is now available via GitHub and JFrog Bintray. Project Lightwave was originally introduced last month (read the news release).

What is Project Lightwave?

Project Lightwave is made up of the following key identity infrastructure elements:

  • Lightwave Directory Service - standards based, multi-tenant, multi-master, highly scalable LDAP v3 directory service enables an enterprise’s infrastructure to be used by the most-demanding applications as well as by multiple teams.
  • Lightwave Certificate Authority - directory integrated certificate authority helps to simplify certificate-based operations and key management across the infrastructure.
  • Lightwave Certificate Store - endpoint certificate store to store certificate credentials.
  • Lightwave Authentication Services - cloud authentication services with support for Kerberos, OAuth 2.0/OpenID Connect, SAML and WSTrust enable interoperability with other standards-based technologies in the data center.

When paired with Project Photon, VMware’s lightweight Linux operating system for cloud-native apps, Project Lightwave helps to assure that only authorized objects can run in the infrastructure.

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vSphere Replication Without DNS

I believe most individuals know proper DNS configuration is essential to a smooth operating VMware environment - or pretty much any environment, for that matter. However, there are a few cases where certain components must be deployed to an environment that does not have DNS servers. I had a question about this specific to vSphere Replication so I decided to do some testing. My test environment consists of vCenter Server 6.0 running on Windows Server 2012 R2 in a virtual machine, a couple of local vSphere 6.0 hosts, and another vCenter Server 6.0 environment about 800 miles away from the local environment. I deployed a vSphere Replication 6.0 virtual appliance to the environment and removed the DNS server entries. It did not take long to see warnings and error messages in the UI.

vr_not_available

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Big Data on vSphere : Two Customer Case Study White Papers Published

VMware-vSphere-Adobe-Deploys-HAAS-CS

Two new white papers are now available on the work done at Adobe on virtualizing Hadoop. The VMware-authored paper,  Adobe Deploys Hadoop as a Service on VMware vSphere, focuses on the business background and justifications for virtualizing the workload. It also talks about implementing Hadoop-as-a-Service by the central Technical Operations function to satisfy the needs of the business units and data analysis groups that require Hadoop as a platform. This paper also gives details about the use of the vSphere Big Data Extensions tool which was used heavily in the project, as well as the connection to vRealize Automation that forms the basis for the cloud offering at Adobe.

The second, complementary white paper, on the same architecture, Virtualizing Hadoop in Large-Scale Infrastructureswas written by the EMC consulting team that supported the project. The EMC paper, with the title "Virtualizing Hadoop in Large-Scale Infrastructures", focuses on the technical reference architecture for the Proof-of-Concept conducted in late 2014, the results of that POC, the performance tuning work and the physical topology that was deployed using Isilon storage. The two papers were written in concert by the organizations and should be read together for a full picture of the Hadoop virtualization project. This system is now live at Adobe Digital Marketing, hosted on their Virtual Private Cloud and it is being used by different groups within the big data community there. The papers together provide an outline reference architecture for use in other installations also. Watch this space, there are more technical case studies in the works.

Speaking of technical reference material for Hadoop on vSphere, here is the current list of technical papers and websites that are now available for people to learn more about this particular subject - for your reference:

Big Data/Hadoop on VMware vSphere - Reference Materials

Deployment Guides

Reference Architectures

Customer Case Studies

Performance Studies

There are some very useful best practices in the first two technical papers.

vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE)

Other vSphere Features and Big Data

SRM Protection Group Design Considerations

When designing vCenter Site Recovery Manager environments the question of how to organize Protection Groups (PG) frequently comes up. In this post we'll review what a protection group is, where it fits in the context of SRM and the factors to keep in mind when deciding how to organize them.

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Using the ESXi 6.0 CPU Microcode Loading Feature

Using the ESXi 6.0 CPU Microcode Loading Feature

Authored By: Tim Mann

Abstract: Occasionally ESXi users want to run updated CPU microcode that isn't yet available either from their hardware platform vendor in a BIOS update or bundled into ESXi. This article explains how to do that.

Note: This procedure is not supported by VMware, and in production environments VMware recommends using only microcode obtained from your platform vendor.

This article applies beginning with ESXi 6.0. For earlier versions of ESXi, the following third-party blog post seems generally accurate, though of course not officially endorsed by VMware: FAQ: CPU microcode updates and VMware ESXi.

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High performance lab and Infrastructure for Elite Database Workshop - SQL Server Event #2

The VMware BCA team successfully conducted the second batch for SQL Server MVPs April 21st-23rd. The attendee list includes.   Steve Jones, Tim Ford, Arnie Rowland, Wendy Pastrick, Eddie Wurech, Robert Davis, Sean McCown, Allan Hirt, Geoff Hiten,  Randy Knight, Chris Shaw, Jason Strate, Brandon Leach, Shawn Meyers, Melissa Connors. Alumni guests include David Klee, Mike Corey and Denny Cherry.

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