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vSphere Storage Policy Based Management Overview (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management Overview. In our previous article, we looked at challenges with traditional storage provisioning models, the advantages of the Software-Defined Storage model, as well as an introduction and background to VMware vSphere Storage Policy Based Management. If you have not yet had opportunity to read it, it might be beneficial to glance through before continuing on.

In today’s article, we will be carrying on with the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) theme as we look to understand the components of the vSphere Storage Policy. Afterwards we will display a few policy examples for single VM provisioning and options for a collection of VMs as well.

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Virtual SAN Observer – Offline Monitoring Bundle Issue

Virtual SAN ObserverI recently published an article describing the procedure to configure and enable the VMware Virtual SAN Observer tool to work without the requirement of Internet access. This operating mode is known as the offline-mode.

VMware Virtual SAN Observer Offline Mode article

The Virtual SAN Observer tool provides three different options for monitoring statistics. The offline monitoring option is probably the most utilized option out of the three as it presents the most flexibility for archiving and data transportability. A brief description of the Virtual SAN Observer monitoring modes is listed below.

Virtual SAN Observer Monitoring Modes

  • Live Monitoring – This mode displays the performance statistics in real time as they are being generated by the system.
  • Offline Monitoring – This mode provides the ability to create a tar.gz package with html bundle which can be utilized for archiving purposes or future inspection.
  • Full raw status bundle – This mode provides the ability to collect all the stats into a large JSON file for deeper analysis.

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vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 SPBM Walkthrough (Part 1): Introduction

powercli 5.8 icon

Welcome to a new blog series for the all new vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 Release 1. In this series we will be exploring the new vSphere PowerCLI cmdlets for vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM).

With this release, we now have the ability to interface with the vSphere Storage Policy Manager through the addition of the new VMware.VimAutomation.Storage snap-in. This snap-in provides PowerCLI cmdlets that let you manage vSphere policy-based storage from the PowerCLI command line or by automating through PowerCLI scripting.

In this blog series we will look to provide indepth coverage along with real-world scripting examples for each of the cmdlets. All scripts provided will be examples only and unsupported however I do validate each script with great scrutiny in multiple testing environments so you may not require much adaptation, if any, if you choose to leverage them in your own environments. As always, please ensure all coding is validated in a non-production environment prior to production deployment.

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Register now for Webinar to learn about Pivotal CF, based on Cloud Foundry and powered by VMware vSphere and vCloud Air

Learn about how customers are rapidly adopting Pivotal CF on VMware, the enterprise Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables customers to experience turnkey PaaS capabilities on familiar vSphere and now vCloud Air environments.

Register now for the upcoming webinar: Supercharge your Application Delivery.

Jointly hosted by VMware and Pivotal, the speakers are:

  • Jay Marshall, who is a Principal Cloud Development Strategist at VMware, who has spent almost 20 years working in enterprise application development and specializes in next generation application architecture on VMware’s vCloud Air cloud platform.
  • Rosie Pongracz, who leads Pivotal CF and PaaS Product Marketing at Pivotal, with over 20 years of experience bringing enterprise technology to market.

Patching the Shellshock Vulnerability in vSphere Replication 5.8

I am sure most of you have heard about the “Shellshock” vulnerability – if not, you can read about it here. Seeing that the vSphere Replication 5.8 virtual appliance is running Linux, a patch is required. This short blog article shows how to fix this issue in vSphere Replication 5.8. To review more details on this security advisory, please see this page.

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VMware Orchestrator Shellshock Patches Released

A few days ago there was an announcement on some security vulnerabilities potentially affecting Linux based machines (see here: VMware Security Advisory). Well, today we announced the availability of more patches for various versions of VMware Orchestrator here: VMware Orchestrator Express Patch.

Please refer to the knowledge base articles above for steps to upgrade and/or patch your current systems that may be vulnerable. Note that if you are running VMware Orchestrator installed on Windows, this machine is not impacted by this vulnerability.

Check here for the download page for these relevant patches.

Please subscribe to the following blog feed for continuous updates: VMware Shellshock Blog Updates.

 

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Uptrend for Virtualized Oracle Deployments on VMware vSphere

In August 2014, Unisphere Research fielded a study among the members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) to examine the current state of Oracle database sites, including the key issues, priorities and solutions being adopted by organizations. A total of 338 qualified responses were collected and analyzed. Respondents came from organizations of all sizes and across various industries. The survey was commissioned jointly by EMC2 and VMware. The sponsors of the survey were not revealed to the respondents.

Below are few of the highlights/excerpts:

  • VMware vSphere is used for virtualizing Oracle environments substantially more than all other virtualization solutions combined (57% of organizations reported using VMware vSphere, followed by Oracle VM, reported by 9% of organizations). The use of vSphere for Oracle software, while widespread, has been increasing in the last few years, with almost two-thirds of organizations reporting increases over the past year.
  • Although many respondents report that the top objection to virtualization is the potential for increased license costs, over 50% of respondents report that cost reduction is a primary benefit of their virtualization effort. A reasonable inference to this finding is that the potential increased licensing costs are more perception than reality, as suggested by reports of organizations with virtualization efforts experiencing significant aggregate cost reductions.
  • Apart from reduced costs, the most common benefits that organizations report as a result of using virtualization within their Oracle database environments are
    • Consolidation (54% of respondents)
    • Standardization of infrastructure (47%)
    • Greater agility (39%)
    • Increased automation/reduced provisioning times (26%)

Check out the results of The Empowered Database – 2014 Enterprise Platform Decisions Survey

Source: The Empowered Database – 2014 Enterprise Platform Decisions Survey

 

Virtual SAN Troubleshooting: Automating Multicast Configuration

powercli 5.8 iconWelcome to another episode of our Virtual SAN Troubleshooting series. In our last article we detailed guidelines and troubleshooting steps around the Virtual SAN networking requirement for layer 2 multicast. In today’s article we will show you how to quickly automate the modification of the Virtual SAN multicast group address in the event the need arises.

Requirements

  • PowerCLI 5.8 release 1
    - (Note: It is likely to work with PowerCLI version 5.5 or above however I just happened to have version 5.8 on my test system).
  • Microsoft .Net 2.0 or higher Continue reading

vSphere Replication to vCloud Air Disaster Recovery

With the release of vSphere Replication 5.8, it is now possible to replicate virtual machines from a vCenter Server environment to another vCenter Server environment and to vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. Please understand that does not mean you can replicate the same VM to both, but rather you can configure replication for a VM to one destination or the other using the same vSphere Replication 5.8 user interface. Before vSphere Replication 5.8, you could deploy version 5.5 for replication between vCenter Server environments or deploy version 5.6 for replication to vCloud Air Disaster Recovery, but not both.

I have recorded a few short videos – less than two minutes each – to demonstrate using vSphere Replication to replicate virtual machines to both a vCenter Server environment and to vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. These videos do not have audio, but it is easy to understand what is happening in each video thanks to the simple interface vSphere Replication provides us.

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Virtual SAN Troubleshooting: Multicast

Hello and welcome to the Virtual SAN Troubleshooting blog series. This series of articles is dedicated to and driven by requests from you our readers. Today we will be focusing upon one of our most requested troubleshooting topics, Layer 2 Multicast functionality from the Virtual SAN Networking requirements.

You are probably familiar with the Virtual SAN networking requirement of Layer 2 Multicast but today we would like to discuss why Virtual SAN leverages multicast forwarding for a portion of its network traffic as well as provide troubleshooting steps when it seems as though multicast traffic is not being received by the Virtual SAN VMkernels. The goal of this article is to educate the networking novice as well as provide clarification for the networking experts so we will be taking a thorough, ground up approach for our discussion.

Click the link if you need to jump directly to the testing examples Testing Multicast functionality. You will also want to make sure that you are following the guidelines below.

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