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Category Archives: Networking

Reference Architecture for building a VMware Software–Defined Datacenter

The latest in our series of reference architectures is now available. This is an update to the previous version which brings in additional products and covers the vCloud Suite 5.8 release.

This reference architecture describes an implementation of a software-defined data center (SDDC) using VMware vCloud® Suite Enterprise 5.8, VMware NSX™ for vSphere® 6.1, VMware IT Business Management Suite™ Standard Edition 1.1, and VMware vCenter™ Log Insight™ 2.0 to create an SDDC. This SDDC implementation is based on real-world scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. The configuration uses industry-standard servers, IP-based storage, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking to support a scalable and redundant architecture.

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VMware Feature Walkthrough: Step-by-Step VMware How-to’s

If you are like me, VMworld 2014 in San Francisco left my brain on overload. With so many new product and services announcements, plus breakout sessions filled with technical information and demos in the expo floor booths, it’s hard not to feel like you are drinking from the proverbial fire hose.  Throw in a party or three, plus the pile of work waiting when you get home and all that great info you gathered starts to turn up with some CRC errors in your memory.
VMware Feature Walkthrough Home

Fortunately, VMware has a tool that you can use to refresh your memory on the VMware solutions and services that you explored at VMworld.  The VMware Feature Walkthrough site (http://featurewalkthrough.vmware.com) provides technical overviews and step-by-step guidance for installing, configuring and managing our solutions.  Each walkthrough includes screen shots with relevant steps highlighted and text explaining the process.

VMware vSOM Walkthrough

The Feature Walkthrough site is a great for stepping through a self-paced demo of a particular VMware product or feature.  We’ve made the site mobile friendly, so go ahead and open it on your tablet and take it into the data center to guide your proof-of-concept install of the products you saw or heard about during VMworld, or to simply refresh your memory on just where exactly that checkbox to enable a product feature is.  Use it to show your boss that cool feature you saw at VMworld, or to familiarize yourself with the basics of a product before you jump into a live Hands-on Lab environment.

We’re always adding new walkthroughs; the vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) series of Walkthroughs was recently refreshed, and NSX and Virtual SAN walkthroughs are now available. If there are any particular products or features that you want to see added to the site, feel free to drop me a note at featurewalkthrough@vmware.com or leave a comment below!

VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide

VSAN Network GraphicVirtual SAN is a scale-out hypervisor-converged software-defined storage solution that can scale up to 32 nodes in a cluster. The network serves as the backbone of a Virtual SAN cluster by providing the interconnects between nodes via an Ethernet network topology.

There are many design options when creating a vSphere network design that includes VMware Virtual SAN. Proper network design is critical to ensure the performance and availability of  both your Virtual SAN cluster, and other vSphere services and workloads utilizing the network. A holistic approach that considers all the network services within your vSphere cluster should be taken when planning networking for Virtual SAN. The VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide reviews design options, best practices, and configuration details, including but not limited to the following -

  • vSphere Teaming Considerations – IP Hash vs other vSphere teaming algorithms
  • Physical Topology Considerations – Impact of Spine/Leaf vs Access/Aggregation/Core topology in large scale Virtual SAN clusters
  • Virtual SAN Network Design for High Availability – Design considerations to achieve a highly available Virtual SAN network
  • Load Balancing Considerations – How to achieve aggregated bandwidth via multiple physical uplinks for Virtual SAN traffic in combination with other traffic types
  • Virtual SAN with other Traffic Types – Detailed architectural examples and test results of using Network IO Control with Virtual SAN and other traffic types

For an in-depth detailed review of Virtual SAN Network Design considerations and recommended practices, download the VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide today!

SDDC Reference Architecture

I’m pleased to announce the first in a series of reference architectures is now available.

This reference architecture showcases the integrations between VMware vCloud® Suite Enterprise, VMware NSX for vSphere®, and VMware vCenter Log Insight to create an on-demand infrastructure with a secure networking environment. It is based on real-world scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. It uses industry-standard servers, IP-based storage, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking to support a scalable and redundant architecture based on vCloud Suite Enterprise version 5.5.

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vSphere IAAS Interoperability: Virtual SAN, NSX, OpenStack

VSAN-NSX-OpenStackJust in time and right before everyone is off on a long 4th of July weekend here in the good old U.S. of A, I wanted to share a integration demo that I’ve been holding for some time now. Hopefully everyone can see the fireworks delivered by the demo as well.

In this demonstration we’re showcasing the advanced IAAS features and deep integration of vSphere with Virtual SAN, and NSX using Openstack as the Cloud Management Portal for a multi tenant IAAS platform.  To prove our point here, this is not just some isolated lab environment, this is a real environment running today and its leveraging currently available technologies.

The  environment utilized in this demonstration is actually the NSBU internal cloud which has over 200 environment as a mix of KVM and vSphere.  Virtual SAN is used for all vSphere data stores and NSX is used for all tenant connectivity with OpenStack providing a scalable and secure multi-tenant, multi-hypervisor environment.

This demonstration showcases the agility and flexibility of the integration capabilities of vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN.  In the demonstration we rapidly standup of a two tier ‘application’ and demonstrate the connectivity between all elements of the virtual machines providing the applications.

When complete, all instances, networks and routers are decommissioned and the tenant is returned to an ‘empty state’.  The whole process takes less than 10 minutes (as can be seen in the instance uptime section in the horizon UI).

vSphere Distributed Switch Concept Video

Over the past few months I’ve been creating assets showcasing the features and how to deploy them for our VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS). This last video takes a much higher level overview to help those not so technical realize the benefits of leveraging the VDS.

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vSphere Distributed Switch – Network Monitoring

When users adopt the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) there is a whole new level to monitoring that becomes available that’s not possible with our vSphere Standard Switch. Industry standard tools such as Port Mirroring and Netflow and our own VDS monitoring called Health Check. These powerful tools not only help to troubleshoot issues or monitor traffic but help to ensure you don’t have issues to begin with.

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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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