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Monthly Archives: March 2013

VMware Upgrade & Update Operations Survey

If you have a few minutes to spare, can you please fill out this short survey for VMware Upgrade and Update Operations. We are interested in how you currently manage the lifecycle (upgrades & updates) of your VMware infrastructure. Your feedback will help us improve our products and better support our customers.

VMware Upgrade and Update Operations Survey

Thank you for your time

VMware VXLAN Deployment Guide available for Download

Recently I posted the Network Virtualization Design Guide that provides details on the different components of VMware’s VXLAN based network virtualization solution. The guide also discusses the packet flow and design considerations while deploying VXLAN in an existing and a green field environment.

To accompany this design guide we have put together a VXLAN deployment guide that provides more detail on how to prepare your clusters and existing networks and how to consume logical networks. The consumption of logical networks is shown through the vCloud Networking and Security Manager and vCenter Server UI. Those who are using vCloud Director in their environment the consumption of VXLAN network pool is similar to the consumption of any other type of network pool. The VXLAN preparation process in vCloud Director deployment is same as described in this paper.

Please download the guide from here.

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New Whitepaper published–vCloud Disaster Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study

A new whitepaper has just been published on the VMware website, this paper was written by Aidan Dalgleish, Consulting Architect who’s personal blog can be viewed here and Alan Renouf, Sr Technical Marketing Architect.

Overview

VMware vCloud Director® enables enterprise organizations to build secure private clouds that dramatically increase datacenter efficiency and business agility. Coupled with VMware vSphere®, vCloud Director delivers cloud computing for existing datacenters by pooling vSphere virtual resources and delivering them to users as catalog-based services. It helps users build agile infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud environments that greatly accelerate the time to market for applications and the responsiveness of IT organizations.

Resiliency is a key aspect of any infrastructure, it is even more important in IaaS solutions. This technical paper was developed to provide additional insight and information regarding the use of VMware vSphere PowerCLI™ to automate the recovery of a vCloud Director–based infrastructure. In particular, it focuses on automation of the recovery steps for vCloud Director 1.5–managed VMware vSphere vApp™ workloads. The recovery of management components can be achieved using VMware® vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager™ and will not be discussed. It is already available in the original VMware vCloud Director Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study.

vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command-line tool that enables users to automate all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, virtual machine, guest operating system (OS) and more. Included since the release of version 5.0.1, vSphere PowerCLI introduced support for vCloud Director. vSphere PowerCLI is distributed as a Microsoft Windows PowerShell snap-in and includes more than 300 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and examples.

This technical paper discusses the use of PowerShell and PowerCLI to automate the recovery of vCloud Director resource clusters.

Download

Read more and download the whitepaper as a PDF from the VMware website here: http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10355

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide Release Candidate now available

I have posted the following in the vSphere Security blog. It is being cross-posted here to get maximum visibility and as an FYI

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide Release Candidate now available

I would like to announce the release of the Rev B/Release Candidate for the vSphere 5.1 Security Hardening Guide.  This guide should be functionally complete and has been posted for your review and your feedback.

We’d love to hear your feedback, good and bad, on the contents of the guide. I would encourage you to post your reply in the Security and Compliance Communities forum but if you have more sensitive concerns, send it to me at mfoley@vmware.com. The intent is to publish the final GA copy in two weeks with any changes/updates incorporated so get your inputs in as soon as possible!

The vSphere 5.1 Security Hardening Guide has been posted to the VMware Communities in the “Security and Compliance” area, in the Documents tab. A separate Change Log document has also been published with the RC Guide.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the Rev A Draft, and also to the team at VMware who contributed to this guide in many significant ways.

Thanks,
mike foley

Configure Virtual Machine Disk Shares & IOP Limits Using vCO Workflow

Last week I received a question from a customer asking about configuring shares for a Virtual Machine’s virtual disk (VMDK) as well as setting the IOP limits for a virtual disk. An old script that I had written was shared with the customer to provide an example but they were interested in the functionality being provided through a vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) workflow instead.

Continue reading

vSphere future: storage reservation survey

The resource management team is interested in your opinion about a feature in development; storage reservations.

The current version of Storage I/O Control provides tools to prioritize and provide fairness to I/O streams of virtual machines. However the current version does not provide a function to specify number of IOPS to guarantee a minimum level.
Because the storage subsystem can be shared, external workloads can impact the performance capacity (in terms of IOPS) of the datastores and therefore a guarantee cannot be met temporarily. This is one of the challenges that must be taken into account when developing storage reservations and we must understand how stringent you want the guarantee to be.

One of the questions we are dealing with is whether you would like a strict admission control or a relaxed admission control. With strict admission control, a virtual machine power-on operation is denied when vSphere cannot guarantee the storage reservation (similar to compute reservations). Relaxed admission control turns storage reservations into a share-like construct, defining relative priority at times where not enough IOPS are available at power-on. For example: Storage reservation on VM1 = 800 and VM2 = 200. At boot 600 IOPS are available; therefore VM1 gets 80% of 600 = 480, while VM2 gets 20%, i.e. 120 IOPS. When the array is able to provide more IOPS the correct number of IOPS are distributed to the virtual machines in order to to satisfy the storage reservation.

In order to decide which features to include and define the behavior of storage reservation we are very interested in your opinion. We have created a short list of questions and by answering you can help us define our priorities during the development process. I intentionally kept the question to a minimum so that it would not take more than 5 minutes of your time to complete the survey.

Disclaimer
As always, this article provides information about a feature that is currently under development. This means this feature is subject to change and nor VMware nor I in no way promises to deliver on any features mentioned in this article or survey.

Any other ideas about storage reservations? Please leave a comment below.

Click here to take survey

New Beta Program offering: VMware Hosted Beta

Many of you probably have participated in one of the many beta programs VMware has offered in the last couple of years. I personally have participated in various beta programs when I was a customer / partner and I always loved going through the various exercises. The challenging part for me always was finding the time to setup the environment.

Recently VMware started offering a new way to participate in the evaluation and feedback of VMware’s developing products. The VMware Beta Program is now offering a Hosted Beta; providing registered users access to pre-build online Lab environments with guided workflows to get a closer look at the latest and greatest VMware technologies without the need to build-out infrastructure onsite.

This hosted technology is based on the same technologies used for the Hands-On Labs (HOL) at VMworld, providing a fully built environment to explore intricate product features while requiring nothing more than an HTML5 compliant browser and the latest View Client.

In my opinion this is a great opportunity to test-drive products and provide VMware with your feedback on the features still under development. On top of that this will allow you to spend 1-2 hour blocks to get acquainted with new technology, without the need to be on-site. You can do this at the office, or at home with just a connection to the internet.

If you are interested and want to learn more about the VMware Beta Program you can go here: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/beta

If you are interested in joining the VMware Beta Program you can either work with your VMware account team or submit a participation request form found here: http://communities.vmware.com/community/beta/betainterest

Which Guest OSes Are Supported In vCloud Director?

Similar to my previous blog post for vSphere, you can now programmatically retrieve the list of supported guest OSes for vCloud Director 5.1 if you are looking to build your own custom provisioning solution or portal. You no longer have to create a static list and you can now dynamically generate the list of supported guest OSes, their supported configurations and capabilities as seen in the vCloud Director UI. In the vCloud 5.1 API you can view the list of supported guestOSes by performing a GET operation on the following URL:

https://[VCD-URL]/api/supportedSystemsInfo

Here is an example output of what you would see:

    <OperatingSystemFamilyInfo>
        <Name>Microsoft Windows</Name>
        <OperatingSystemFamilyId>1</OperatingSystemFamilyId>
        <OperatingSystem>
            <OperatingSystemId>85</OperatingSystemId>
            <DefaultHardDiskAdapterType>4</DefaultHardDiskAdapterType>
            <MinimumHardDiskSizeGigabytes>40</MinimumHardDiskSizeGigabytes>
            <MinimumMemoryMegabytes>512</MinimumMemoryMegabytes>
            <Name>Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)</Name>
            <InternalName>windows8Server64Guest</InternalName>
            <Supported>true</Supported>
            <x64>true</x64>
            <MaximumCpuCount>64</MaximumCpuCount>
            <MinimumHardwareVersion>8</MinimumHardwareVersion>
            <PersonalizationEnabled>true</PersonalizationEnabled>
            <PersonalizationAuto>true</PersonalizationAuto>
            <SysprepPackagingSupported>true</SysprepPackagingSupported>
            <SupportsMemHotAdd>true</SupportsMemHotAdd>
            <cimOsId>74</cimOsId>
            <CimVersion>0</CimVersion>
            <SupportedForCreate>true</SupportedForCreate>
        </OperatingSystem>
    <OperatingSystem>
    ...
    ...

For more details on this particular vCloud API, please refer to the vCloud API Reference guide found here.

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Which Guest OSes Are Supported In vSphere?

A common question that I see asked on the VMTN community forums is the ability to programmatically identify which guest OSes (Operating Systems) are supported in vSphere using the vSphere APIs. This request usually comes in handy for folks looking to build their own custom provisioning solution or portal to provide to their end users.

Similar to the way the vSphere Web Client / C# Client provides a list of supported guestOSes and recommended configurations and maximums, you can also generate this list dynamically using the vSphere API.

Continue reading

Italian VMUG – April 3rd, 2013 – Milan

VMware User GroupThis is one for our Italian readers. If you are a VMware user and reside in Italy, we are having a great Italian VMUG event in Milan on April 3rd, next month.

I will be presenting on VMware’s Software Defined Storage vision, and giving some insight into some of the features VMware is currently working on which will make this SDS vision a reality.

Of course, there are some other notable speakers at the event too, such as Duncan Epping, Mike Laverick and Scott Lowe. This is a veritable who’s who of the virtualization world. It should be a super event, and I’d urge you to attend if you possibly can (and like all official VMUGs, it is free to attend). The full agenda is available here.

If you are interested, please sign up here as soon as possible. We would be delighted to see you there.

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