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Category Archives: Networking

vSphere Distributed Switch – Backup and Restore

Continuing on with features found in the vSphere Distributed Switch, the Backup and Restore capability is a feature I rarely saw used when I was in the field. I saw, and still do see, customers going out of their way to make sure they can backup the vCenter database, and even more so SSO, but if you have to rebuild your vCenter or migrate to a new one and don’t have a backup of your Distributed Switch you’re going to be in for a lot of work.

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vSphere Distributed Switch, Traffic Filtering

When talking with customers about our vSphere Distributed Switch I often find that they don’t know about a feature in the Traffic Filtering policy engine that allows for creation of Access Control Lists or ACLs. This is in additional to being able to tag traffic and pass Quality of Service (QoS) or Differentiated services Code Point (DSCP) values up to the physical network for prioritization.

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Updated VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal

The VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal iOS and Android app has recently been updated. It sports a great new look and feel and makes finding the information you need even easier by grouping it by area in our SDDC vision.

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Getting Started with the vSphere Distributed Switch

When I joined the Technical Marketing team last September I was tasked with vCenter Availability and Scalability along with providing coverage for all things vCenter and SSO.

Since that time I’ve branched out and am also covering Resource Management (more on this coming soon!) and also features in the Enterprise Plus SKU. I’m really excited about this as to this day one of my favorite and I feel underused features is the vSphere Distributed Switch, or VDS.

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Load Balancing vCenter Single Sign-On

One question that we often get from customers is how to load balance SSO. While we do have documentation and support for setting up Apache to load balance SSO many customers already own a load balancer or do not wish to use Apache.
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A Summary of What’s New in vSphere 5.5

On August 26th at VMworld 2013 VMware announced vSphere 5.5, the latest release of  VMware’s industry-leading virtualization platform.  This latest release includes a lot of improvements and many new features and capabilities.  In an effort to try and get my head around all this exciting new “stuff” I decided to go through the what’s new paper and compile a brief summary (well, relatively brief anyway).

Here’s the list I came up with.  I’m sure I missed some things, but this list should help you get started with learning about what’s new in vSphere 5.5.

Summary of new features and capabilities available in vSphere 5.5 Continue reading

2013 VMware Fling Contest – Call for Entries

The 2013 VMware Fling Contest is now open. Do you have an idea on how certain features or functionality could be improved upon? Can you think of an app that would make the life of a system administrator so much easier? Do you have a repetitive task that you wished you could have automated in your vSphere environment? Or a decision making tool for certain tasks? We are looking for you, our customers & users, to propose ideas for new VMware Flings.  Our panel of judges will pick the winner.  The submitter of the winning entry will win a free pass to VMworld 2014.

Last year we got over 120 submissions.  We’re also planning to release a new Fling (Proactive DRS) at VMworld that was built based on last year’s winning winning idea.

 The 2013 VMware Fling Contest URL is: https://flingcontest.vmware.com

The contest will remain open for submissions through November 15.

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Preview – VMworld 2013 Extreme Performance Series: Network Speed Ahead

People are madly registering for VMworld sessions as the 10 year anniversary of the conference opens in less than 2 weeks.  I highly recommend this next session in the Extreme Performance Series Continue reading

VXLAN Series – How vMotion impacts the forwarding table – Part 6

I am sorry that it took me a while to do this post on VXLAN. I was on summer vacation to India for three weeks and then got busy with the VMworld 2013 preparation. I hope you have registered for VMworld US conference. If you are interested in learning more about network virtualization please checkout the catalogue. I have couple of sessions in the networking track so hope to see you there.

After that shameless promotion about my sessions and before I jump in to explain the vMotion packet flow in VXLAN deployment, I want to address some of the questions that were raised in the comments section of the last blog. Please refer to the diagrams in the blog here.

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vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 App Firewall Best Practices

This blog provides best practices for deploying vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 App Firewall. Thanks to Shubha Bheemarao, Ray Budavari and Rob Randell for helping me in compiling this.


  • Install vCloud Networking and Security Manager (aka vShield Manager) on a dedicated management cluster. Other components that get installed on this cluster are VMware vCenter Server, vCloud Director etc.
  • vCloud Networking and Security Manager should be run on an ESXi host that is not affected by downtime, such as frequent reboots or maintenance mode operations. Use vSphere HA to increase the resilience of the Manager. Thus, a cluster with more than one ESXi host is recommended.
  • Install vCloud Networking and Security App Firewall on all vSphere hosts within a cluster so that virtual machines remain protected as they migrate between vSphere hosts.
  • The management interfaces of vCloud Networking and Security components should be placed in a common network, such as the vSphere management network. Manager requires IP connectivity to the vCenter Server, ESXi host, and App Firewall virtual machine. Refer the KB article for the network port requirements for vCloud Networking and Security. It is a best practice to separate management traffic from the production traffic.
  • If the vCenter Server or vCenter Server database virtual machines are on the ESXi host on which you are installing App Firewall, migrate them to another host before installing App Firewall or exclude these virtual machines from vCloud Networking and Security App Firewall protection.
  • Install VMware Tools on each Virtual Machine. The vCloud Networking and Security Manager collects the IP addresses of virtual machines from VMware Tools on each virtual machine. Use App Firewall SpoofGuard to authorize the IP addresses reported by VMware Tools to prevent spoofing.  With SpoofGuard use trust on first use to reduce the administrative overhead.

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