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vSphere 6 – Clarifying the misinformation

With the Announcement of vSphere 6 this week there is a lot of information being published by various sources. Some of that information is based on old beta builds and is much different than what we’ll see in the final product. In this post I aim to correct some of the information based on the beta builds that’s floating around out there.

First off there’s confusion on the maximum number of virtual machines per cluster vSphere 6 supports. This is in part my fault, when we wrote the What’s New in vSphere 6 white paper the number was 6000. Additional scale testing has been done and that number is now 8000. The what’s new paper will be updated soon to reflect this.

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vSphere APIs for IO Filtering

I’ve been fortunate to have one of our super sharp product line managers, Alex Jauch (twitter @ajauch), spend some time explaining to me one of the new enabling technologies of vSphere 6.0: VAIO.  Let’s take a look at this really powerful capability and see what types of things it can enable and an overview of how it works.

VAIO stands for “vSphere APIs for IO Filtering”

This had for a time colloquially been known as “IO Filters”. Fundamentally, it is a means by which a VM can have its IO safely and securely filtered in accordance with a policy.

VAIO offers partners the ability to put their technology directly into the IO stream of a VM through a filter that intercepts data before it is committed to disk.

Why would I want to do that? What kinds of things can you do with an IO filter?

Well that’s up to our customers and our partners. VAIO is a filtering framework that will initially allow vendors to present capabilities for caching and replication to individual VMs. This will expand over time as partners come on board to write filters for the framework, so you can imagine where this can go for topics such as security, antivirus, encryption and other areas, as the framework matures. VAIO gives us the ability to do stuff to an IO stream in a safe and certified fashion, and manage the whole thing through profiles to ensure we get a view into the IO stream’s compliance with policy!

The VAIO program itself is for partners – the benefit is for consumers who want to do policy based management of their environment and pull in the value of our partner solutions directly into per-VM and indeed per-virtual disk storage management.

When partners create their solutions their data services are surfaced through the Storage Policy Based Management control plane, just like all the rest of our policy-driven storage offerings like Virtual SAN or Virtual Volumes.

Beyond that, because the data services operate at the VM virtual device level, they can also work with just about any type of storage device, again furthering the value of VSAN and VVOLs, and extending the use of these offerings through these additional data services.

How does it work?

The capabilities of a partner filter solution are registered with the VAIO framework, and are surfaced for user interaction in the SPBM Continue reading

VMware’s 64-node All-Flash VSAN demo at PEX

Another productive VMware Partner Exchange day for our partners and we had another great turnout at the Software-Defined Storage (SDS) Pavilion, where we demoed VDI boot storm on VMware’s 64-node All-Flash VSAN and we continue to have multiple ecosystem partners showcasing their joint solutions with Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes.

SDS Pavilion_Feb4

If you missed it, on Monday Feb 2nd VMware launched VMware Virtual SAN 6the best storage platform for virtual machines, including business critical applications. Radically simple, VMware Virtual SAN 6 introduces 2x more scalability (yes 64 nodes!) and up to 4.5x greater performance (that’s 90k IOPs per host!) while adding several new enterprise-class data services capabilities. Continue reading

The Software-Defined Storage Pavilion is open!


SDS Pavilion at PEX 2015

SDS Pavilion at PEX 2015

PEX 2015 is off to a great start, and in case you missed it Software-Defined Storage (SDS) is key component of what VMware wants to show the partner community this year. We announced VMware Virtual SAN 6, the next generation of the radically simple hypervisor-converged storage software, and vSphere Virtual Volumes, a new integration framework to enable VM-aware storage.

To help partners navigate everything there is to know about these technologies, we created the first ever Software-Defined Storage Pavilion. The SDS Pavilion brings together the vast ecosystem of storage technology partners that deliver certified solutions for both Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes.

The Pavilion opens today at 11:30 and it is located on the 2nd floor of Moscone West. 10 showcase partners will be present all day: Cisco, Dell, HP, HDS, IBM, Micron & Supermicro, NetApp, Nexenta, SanDisk and Tintri. We also have a lineup of experts rotating at the Expert Bar and Demo stations.

If you are interested in hearing from Partners, at 11:30 SoftNAS will show NFS & CIFS Storage for Virtual SAN 6, at 12:30 Atlantis computing will show a Virtual Volumes demo and at 1:30 SolidFire will follow on that same topic.

And if you want to engage with VMware experts, we have Christos Karamanolis, Principal Engineer for Virtual SAN at 2:00, Jack Lo, VP for Storage & Availability at VMware at 5:00 and the entire Virtual SAN engineering team on site throughout the day.

So, stop by and learn about VMware Software-Defined Storage! Follow the conversation via #PEXsds #VMwarePEX

vSphere 6.0 Hardening Guide – Overview of coming changes

The vSphere Hardening Guide provides guidance on how to securely deploy VMware vSphere in a production environment. The vSphere Hardening Guide also serves as a foundation upon which regulatory compliance objectives are built. These organizations map compliance guidelines with vSphere Hardening Guide guidelines.

Hardening Guides are an industry recognized method of implementing stricter security to meet regulatory and local security standards above and beyond frameworks like Common Criteria.

Version 6.0 of the vSphere Hardening Guide is the next step in the evolution of the guide. A goal of the vSphere 6.0 Hardening Guide is to make the guide easier to implement and assess.

The intent of this article is to go over some of the major changes that come with the new 6.0 guide prior to its release. Consider this your “heads up”.

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Announcing the VMware Software-Defined Storage Pavilion at PEX 2015

SDS Pavilion Showcase Partners for VSAN & VVOLs

VMware SDS Pavilion Showcase Partners @ PEX 2015

Following the exciting launch of VMware Virtual SAN 6 and vSphere Virtual Volumes, PEX 2015 will host the first Software-Defined Storage (SDS) Pavilion to showcase solutions by the partners in the SDS ecosystem. The SDS Pavilion is located on the 2nd floor of Moscone West. This week, Tuesday to Thursday, the SDS Pavilion will be featuring guest exec speakers, live demos, expert bar Q&A, coffee chats and more for PEX attendees.

We invite you to stop by to visit with our 10 SDS showcase partners and daily guest experts as well as follow the conversation via #PEXsds #VMwarePEX to learn more about delivery of the Software-Defined Storage vision through VMware Virtual SAN 6, VMware’s hyper-converged storage software, and vSphere Volumes which enables deeper levels of integration between vSphere and storage arrays extending SDS policy automation to VMware’s ecosystem.

VMware Virtual SAN 6.0

VSAN-60It is with great pleasure and joy that I like to announce the official launch of VMware Virtual SAN 6.0, one of VMware’s most innovative software-defined storage products and the best hypervisor-converged storage platform for virtual machines. Virtual SAN 6.0 delivers a vast variety of enhancements, new features to the as well as performance and scalability improvements.

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vSphere Virtual Volumes

VVOLs-LogoToday VMware announced the release of vSphere 6.0 and with this announcement comes the official release of vSphere Virtual Volumes. vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) is VMware’s new management & integration framework designed to deliver a more efficient operational model for external storage.

vSphere Virtual Volumes implements the core tenants of the VMware SDS vision to enable a fundamentally more efficient operational model for external storage in virtualized environments, centering on the application instead of the physical infrastructure.

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Announcing vSphere 6: Virtualize Applications with Confidence

Today, VMware announces vSphere 6, the latest release of the industry-leading virtualization platform, and the first major release of the flagship product in more than three years (read the press release).  vSphere 6 is packed with 650-plus new features and innovations that will empower users to virtualize applications with confidence by delivering increased scale and performance, breakthrough availability, storage efficiencies for virtual machines (VMs), and simplified management for the virtual data center.  vSphere 6 is purpose-built for both scale-up and scale-out applications including newer cloud, mobile, social and big data applications. Following is a sample of the new features:

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vRealize Operations Management Pack for Virtual SAN Beta – Early Sign-up

If you already heard the exciting news about VMware new offerings – vSphere 6, Virtual SAN 6 and vSphere Virtual Volumes – and thought it can’t get any better, we have a small surprise for you. Virtual SAN 6.0 includes a host of new features including high performance snapshots and clones, all flash Virtual SAN with intelligent 2-tier model, failure domains and more. One of the most requested features among Virtual SAN 5.5 customers is enabling greater visibility to what happens “under the hood”. The Virtual SAN team developed a new health dashboard that will help customers tackle underlying hardware issues as part of the v6.0 release, but in addition to that the vRealize operations team developed an advanced set of dashboards aimed at making Virtual SAN users life much easier.

The Virtual SAN team along with the vRealize Operations team are thrilled to offer you a unique opportunity to beta test the new vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices. The management pack will feature advanced insight into Virtual SAN through advanced analytics to enable rapid troubleshooting and cluster optimization.

 vrops1 vrops2


We will share more details closer to the start of the beta program which will kick off in Q1 2015. If you would like to get more information and be on the list of people who get an invitation to participate in the beta, please sign up here – www.vmware.com/go/vrops4vsan-beta

Check out the vROps MPSD blog post for more details - http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/02/vsan-simplifying-sddc-storage-operations-with-vrealize-operations-management-pack-for-storage-devices.html