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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Integrated vCloud Suite Demo

In case you haven’t read the post here already, there’s a great screencast available that demonstrates how to use the vCloud metadata policy descriptors and mechanisms to trigger the enforcement of policies in a cloud environment.

 

This screencast highlights several products included in the vCloud Suite, such as vCloud Director (vCD), VMware vCloud Networking and Security, and VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO).  Additionally, it also demonstrates how someone can leverage VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) to provide more governance around policies within cloud environments.

Overall, this is a great example of how you can leverage several of the components contained within the vCloud Suite in your environment.  If your interested in finding out more about the products shown in this screencast, or any of the other products that are contained within the vCloud Suite, you can visit the vCloud Suite page on VMware.com.

Which Template Did That vApp Get Deployed From In vCloud Director?

A common question that I have seen asked by customers is how to correlate a vApp back to it’s original vApp Template in vCloud Director. The primary driver for this information is usually for patching and/or application management but it can also serve other use cases such as application license auditing as well as billing and showback. In prior releases of vCloud Director, identifying this relationship meant monitoring the deployment task which contains the reference to the source vApp Template. This information is usually captured as part of the provisioning process through the use of a custom portal or deployment script. If this information is not captured prior to the task completing, the vApp Template reference would be lost. In vCloud Director 5.1, we have simplified this by allowing you now to retrieve the source vApp Template for any deployed vApp at any point in time.

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Monitoring and Troubleshooting using Edge Gateway CLIs

VMware vCloud Networking and Security Edge Gateway Command Line Interface (CLI) comes in handy for monitoring and troubleshooting. CLIs can be executed by login to Edge Gateway virtual machine console from vCenter or by remote access using SSH. Currently, Edge Gateway does not support configuration CLIs to apply changes. In this blog, we are going to look at few CLIs using SSH session to Edge Gateway.

Enable SSH access to Edge Gateway by ticking the “Enable Remote Access” as shown below.

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vSphere 5.1 – VDS Feature Enhancements – Port Mirroring – Part 1

Network troubleshooting and monitoring tools are critical in any environment. Especially in data centers where you have many applications or workloads consolidated on server virtualization platforms such as vSphere. When you ask any network administrators, what are the challenges in troubleshooting data center networks, where server virtualization is prominent? They will say that they don’t have the visibility into virtual networks and they don’t know what is going on in the hypervisor world.

To provide the right amount of visibility to the administrators, VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) supports industry standard features such as port mirroring and NetFlow. These features were introduced with the release of vSphere 5.0. In this latest release there are more enhancements to the features along with configuration workflow improvements. I will provide more details on the different types of port mirroring capabilities and which one to choose while troubleshooting or monitoring your network.

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L4 Load Balancing Support in vCloud Networking & Security Edge Gateway?

Load Balancing is just one of the many networking services provided by the vCloud Networking and Security Edge Gateway which is a part of the VMware vCloud Networking and Security solution. By default, when the load balancing service is enabled, Layer-7 (L7 proxy) load balancing is automatically used which uses both SNAT (Source Network Address Translation) and DNAT (Destination Network Address Translation). However, an additional load balancing mode Layer-4 (L4) can be enabled using the vCloud Networking and Security APIs. Layer-4 mode only uses DNAT and preserves the original client IP Address of the request. In addition to the above differences, there are also performance differences between L7 and L4 load balancing and you can find more details in the recently published KB article (KB2042799).

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vCloud Suite Poster

Are you still confused by the vCloud Suite?  Are you unaware of the products and great features you could have access to right now?

This poster was designed to help you, the vSphere administrators, understand which products are part of the vCloud Suite, this poster will show you what is available as part of the vCloud Suite but also what the vCloud Suite products can be used for.

The vCloud Suite Poster (shown below) can be downloaded as a PDF file from here and printed to hang on your wall, it shows both the cloud management and cloud infrastructure products and how these can be used within the vCloud Suite to turn your IT Infrastructure into a Software-Defined Data Center.

If you are at Partner Exchange 2013 (PEX) make sure you pick up a poster to take back to your office, if you are not at PEX then please click here or the below poster to get the PDF version.

Also, don’t forget to visit http://vmware.com/go/Posters for more fantastic VMware posters available to download.

VMware vCloud Suite Poster

vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 Manager and Edge Deployment

In order to deploy Edge Gateway(s), we need to first deploy vCloud Networking and Security Manager (formerly known as vShield Manager) and connect it with vCenter.

Manager virtual appliance is deployed using the OVA file as shown below.

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vSphere 5.1 – Network I/O Control (NIOC) Architecture – Old and New

Recently there has been some discussion around the egress traffic management feature of vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) also called as Network I/O Control (NIOC). Thanks to my colleague Frank Denneman for providing more details about this feature on his blog site and bringing to my attention an architectural change in the vSphere 5.1 release. This change impacts how the Limit parameters are applied at the host level. In this post, I will first describe the old architecture of NIOC and then discuss the change. I will also talk about the impact of this change and what users need to keep in mind while configuring limit parameter.

Let’s first take a look at the NIOC components and architecture in the previous releases of vSphere. The diagram below shows a vSphere host with two 10 gig NICs, VDS components, NIOC configuration table, and different traffic types running on the host.

NIOC – Old Architecture

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PEX 2013 Storage Picks

As many of you are already aware, PEX, the VMware Partner Exchange for 2013 is almost upon us. As usual, I decided to call out a number of sessions which I thought you might be interested in attending from a storage perspective, if you are indeed attending PEX.

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vSphere 5.1 – VDS New Features – Rollback Recovery and Backup Restore

Some of the key features released in vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) addresses the management and operational aspects. I talked about the Network Health Check feature, which reduces the time it takes to identify configuration issues across virtual and physical switches, in an earlier post . In this post I am going to cover the following features that further simplify the management and operation of VDS:

1)   Rollback and Recovery

2)   Configuration Backup and Restore

The above features are briefly discussed in the What’s new paper. I will provide some more technical details beyond what is discussed in this paper.

One of the common questions I get asked is whether to have management network on a standard switch (VSS) or distributed switch (VDS) ? For those who are new to this term management network, it is primarily used to provide communication between vCenter Server  and vSphere hosts. I will address this question in this post.

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