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Category Archives: Performance

VMWorld 2016 Preview – The Software-Defined Data Center – Mission Critical Applications & Databases

Continuing on the theme of making the VMware Software-Defined Data Center real, here is a preview of my abstracts for VMWorld 2016 submitted along with our partners Hitachi Data Systems and NetApp. One session will feature SAP HANA with the Dynamic Tiering option and the other session will feature Oracle 12c with the in-memory option. Both these sessions will showcase full stack SDDC architectures; NSX, vRealize Operations, vROPs Management Packs, and software-defined storage (virtual volumes). For the Oracle session NetApp will be a co-presenter and for the SAP HANA session Hitachi Data Systems will be the co-presenter. Get ready because VMWorld voting opens May 3rd – 24th

Title: The SDDC Stack Day 2 Operations: Oracle 12c RAC Business Intelligence In-Memory Option, SUSE Enterprise Linux, VMware NSX, vRealize Operations – Blue Medora Management Packs, Virtual Volumes on NetApp All Flash Array – AFF8060

Abstract: This session will focus on the Day 2 operations of a fully virtualized Oracle RAC 12c Business Intelligence stack using the in-memory option at multi-terabyte scales, up to 4TB, running SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition 11 on standard Intel x86 servers. The virtualized infrastructure will incorporate several major tenants of the Software-Defined Data Center, compute, network, storage, and operations. We will be deploying VMware NSX, highlighting micro-segmentation techniques by adhering to the network guidelines in the Oracle Enterprise Deployment Reference Topology. The software defined storage will be configured using vSphere 6.0 virtual volumes on a NetApp AFF8060 Flash Array. Day 2 Operational data will be captured and analyzed in VMware vRealize Operations Management and the Blue Medora NetApp vROPs storage management pack and Oracle OEM Adapter.

Title: The SDDC: Full Stack on vSphere SAP Business Warehouse Powered By HANA, NSX, vRealize Operations with Blue Medora Management Packs, SDS – Virtual Volumes on Hitachi Unified Compute Platform and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Abstract: This Software-Defined Data Center is no longer a concept, it is reality. In this session we fully virtualize an industry leading mission critical application and database; SAP Business Warehouse Powered By HANA with the Dynamic Tiering Option running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on Intel x86 servers. We will go beyond the use of vSphere to virtualize compute and extend this reference architecture to cover virtual networks and software-defined storage. We will cover the rationale and specific use case behind VMware NSX micro-segmentations for mission critical architectures. We will define and create software-defined storage via VMware Virtual Volumes, using The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform. In addition we will show the value of vRealize Opeations in conjunction with the Blue Medora SAP HANA Management Pack plug-in for vROPs when managing mission critical workloads.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling v1.2 (h5client) – Moving away from Client Integration Plugin (CIP)

Today we’re pleased to announce our second full update to the h5client fling.  Once again, in case you missed it, this blog post helps introduce how to install the first version of the fling (These instructions should all still apply if you’re installing from scratch): http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/03/vsphere-html5-web-client-fling-getting-started.html

Update instructions are available at the fling page (Instruction’s tab): https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client

Updates

You can read more detailed notes about version 1.2 on the Fling page, but this week we want to highlight something very different: Avoiding dependency on the Client Integration Plugin (CIP).  One of the new features this week is the ability to browse Datastores, and download a file.  In the vSphere 6.0 Web Client, doing so required the installation and running of CIP, which has had its own problems, separate from the Flash runtime.  File download has been implemented within the h5client without any external plugin dependency.

File download is only one of the features that requires CIP, so we still have a ways to go in order to remove all the dependencies on CIP, but we’re making this a strong goal.  We are definitely interested to hear your feedback about this direction, and if you can preface your Feedback tool submissions with “CIP:” that would be very helpful too.

Separately, we’re also incredibly interested in learning more about your deployments.  Please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey:

http://goo.gl/forms/H7c6Itrwvk

Of highest interest is learning more anyone that has deployed into Production in a large environment.  Please include your email address in the survey so that we can contact you for further feedback.

New features in v1.2:

  • Browse files in a Datastore ([Datastore] -> Manage -> Files)
  • Download a file from a Datastore
  • URL redirects: your old bookmarked URLs now work, simplifying adoption of h5client.  Examples (base URL only)

https://<h5client ip or domain name>/vsphere-client

https://<h5client ip or domain name>:9443/vsphere-client

Will now automatically redirect to the h5client standard:

https://<ip or domain name>:9443/ui

The port redirection requires running the “firewall.sh” script, which is step 5 in the updated fling Instructions

Interested in announcements and providing more feedback to VMware on this project?  Sign up for our mailing list here: http://goo.gl/forms/IqGJ5twYHf

Dennis Lu & Vishwa Srikaanth

Product Managers, vSphere Web Client

 

Top Ten things to consider when moving Business Critical Applications (BCA) to the Cloud (Part 3 of 3)

In the first part we looked at public, private and Hybrid Cloud and their characteristics. In this part we will look at the common characteristics of business critical applications. In the second part , we looked at how some of these characteristics relate to the different types of Cloud infrastructure. In this final part we will look at he lifecycle of a business critical application in the cloud and the conclusion. Continue reading

vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling v1.1 – h5client Continuous Improvement

Today we’re pleased to announce our first full update to the h5client fling.  In case you missed it, this blog post helps introduce how to install the first version of the fling (These instructions should all still apply if you’re installing from scratch): http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/03/vsphere-html5-web-client-fling-getting-started.html

You can read more detailed notes about version 1.1 on the Fling page Change Log, but in this space we’d like to highlight one particular thing: Our focus on continuous improvements for h5client.  Releasing as a Fling gives us the opportunity to take user feedback faster, but a very important component of this tight cycle is making it easy for you to stay current.

Making an OVA deployment was the first step.  The second step is to provide the in-place upgrade flow that you’ll now find on the Fling’s Instructions page (https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client).  Some of you have already tested this flow, and we thank you for your help!  

Please sign up for our mailing list if you’re interested http://goo.gl/forms/IqGJ5twYHf

We will make further improvements to the upgrade flow (upgrade notifications in the UI, easily upgrade from the UI, etc), so this is only the beginning.  The biggest thing we need is your help in sticking with the mindset of always staying current with the h5client.

We’d also love to hear about how you’ve deployed the h5client.  We have heard of at least one very large customer that has deployed the Fling directly into their Production environment.  We’d like to hear more stories like this, so please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey: http://goo.gl/forms/wmOvmLVwV4

New features in v1.1:

  • Add Devices (CD/DVD Drive, Network Adapter, Hard Disk)
  • Migrate to cluster (and set migration priority)
  • Add new cluster (basic)
  • Bug fixes
  • Minor improvements to existing flows

Stay tuned to this space for more news about h5client.  You won’t want to miss our next update.

Dennis Lu & Vishwa Srikaanth

Product Managers, vSphere Web Client

Top Ten things to consider when moving Business Critical Applications (BCA) to the Cloud (Part 2 of 3)

In the first part we looked at public, private and Hybrid Cloud and their characteristics. In this part we will look at the common characteristics of business critical applications. We will also look at how some of these characteristics relate to the different types of Cloud infrastructure.

Common Characteristics of Business Critical Applications (BCA):

Business critical applications typically have very stringent SLAs and have a direct impact on the business. These are the crown jewels of the business that need to be managed with utmost care to avoid loss of productivity, data and potential revenue. These are the major factors can have a direct impact on these applications such as the following:

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vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling

Today we are excited to announce the release of the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling. The decision to go with Flash was made years ago, before HTML5 and developer tools were ready. The situation has changed, and we’ve been working very hard on removing the dependency on Flash to improve performance, stability, and security.

The Web Client is a huge application with a lot of features,and making the switch to HTML5 will take some time. This first version of the Fling does not contain all the features of the existing Web Client. We focused on providing the most commonly used workflows/features (centering around VMs and Hosts) in this version.

This Fling is distributed as an appliance (OVA), so you can easily deploy it within your existing environments. This Fling has been designed to work with your existing vSphere 6.0 environments. You can find browser requirements, download, and installation instructions from our Fling website: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client

 

Html5_webclient_image1 2016-03-07_1803_H5client_-_screenshot12016-03-07_1804_H5client_-_screenshot2

 

Here are list of the most important features/workflows available:

– VM power operations (common cases)p>

– VM Edit Settings (simple CPU, Memory, Disk changes)

– VM Console

– VM and Host Summary pages

– VM Migration (only to a Host)

– Clone to Template/VM

– Create VM on a Host (limited)

– Additional monitoring views: Performance charts, Tasks, Events

– Global Views: Recent tasks, Alarms (view only)

– Feedback Tool (New feature to collect feedbacks from you)

– And many more.

We are explicitly seeking feedback on the Fling to help us in further development. We have also integrated a feedback tool into the web client. You can submit your feedback along with annotated screenshots using this feature. You can also provide feedback through the VMware community web site: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vcenter

At this stage, we welcome feedback through all the channels (Feedback tool, Fling web site, VMware Community website etc) so that we can make the HTML5 Web Client better. You can also share your thoughts about the HTML5 Web Client on social media using #h5client.

We wanted to thank the entire vSphere Web Client team for bringing this HTML5 Web Client to the customers. We also wanted to thank all the customers who helped us in giving valuable feedback that resulted in the development of HTML5 Web Client.

We eagerly await your feedback to help direct our development and shape future versions of the Fling. If you would like to receive email updates and surveys from us regarding this fling, sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/IqGJ5twYHf.


Vishwa Srikaanth & Dennis Lu

Product Managers, vSphere Web Client

Top Ten things to consider when moving Business Critical Applications (BCA) to the Cloud (Part 1 of 3)

The cloud transformation is now for real. Customers have a stated long-term goal of running a majority of their applications in the cloud. Gartner predicts that public cloud services to grow by 16.5% in 2016. The highest growth area is cloud infrastructure, which is projected to grow at 38.4% in 2016. Today’s CIOs understand that a clear cloud strategy is a critical component of managing their information technology needs.

While developers have adapted to the cloud and its benefits, traditional enterprise business critical applications are not very prevalent in the cloud. Until recently most of these applications had not even been virtualized. Just in the past two to three years a majority of these enterprise applications have been virtualized. What are the unique characteristics of these applications that need to be considered for cloudification? In this three part blog series, we will analyze the top ten BCA requirements and how different types of cloud infrastructures satisfy them. In part 1 we will look at the different types of cloud infrastructures and their characteristics. Continue reading

VMware Validated Design with VSAN and NSX running High Workload Oracle 12c

VMware Validated Design for an Al-Flash VSAN with NSX running high workload Oracle – A VMware, Intel and Quanta Project from Principled Technologies

The rigorous process of following a VMware Validated Design (V2D) to build a Business Critical Applications (BCA) database architecture was made more interesting by focusing on VSAN and NSX on Quanta Hardware with Intel SSDs. On this All-Flash architecture we chose to run the Oracle RDBMS version 12c under high workload using the formidable workload generator known as the “Silly Little Oracle Benchmark” or “SLOB”. Six compute nodes were concurrently loaded with the SLOB tool which generated an extreme workload that would be highly uncommon in any practical customer environment. The details are available in the full report linked below but it should be noted that at 200k IOPS the read latency averaged 5ms. This was truly a BCA workload and this is an effective BCA architecture.

The functional testing was even more impressive. All 6 compute nodes were transitioned through a vMotion under the load referenced above to a secondary site running an equal workload to simulate a full site evacuation in just over 8minutes. True VMware classic functionality under heavy BCA-Oracle workload on an All-Flash VSAN leveraging NSX. The SDDC can be considered complete for high workload BCA applications and Databases.

Principled Technologies

BCA Homepage

Oracle U2VL With Virtual SAN And The Batch Processing Use Case

Unix to Virtualized Linux (U2VL) is a critical step towards SDDC, it targets to migrate applications and data from physical Unix servers to Linux virtual machines running on x86 virtualized infrastructure. These applications are typically business critical, therefore, customers normally take a very cautious approach by doing a carefully planned and executed Proof-of-Concept (POC) in order to validate performance, availability, and scalability, among many other areas.

My colleagues in China (a big shout out to Tony Wang and his team!) recently did one such POC with a large local bank, and naturally they chose Virtual SAN hyper-converged architecture for all of the compute and storage needs. The test results were so illustrative of many of the Virtual SAN benefits, I’d like to share this POC and some of the test results here, although I’m not allowed to mention the customer name due to reasons you probably understand.

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VMware Virtual SAN Delivers Enterprise Level Availability

One of the slides we showcased during the VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 Launch that got a lot of attention was the following slide:

Pic 1

A lot of eyebrows in the audience were going up wondering how we came to the conclusion that VSAN delivers 6-9s availability level (or less than 32 seconds of downtime a year). While, Virtual SAN uses software-based RAID, which differs in implementation from traditional storage solutions, it does have the same end result – your data objects are mirrored (RAID-1) for increased reliability and availability. Moreover, with VSAN your data is mirrored across hosts in the cluster not just across storage devices, as is the case with typical hardware RAID controllers.

The VSAN users can set their goals for data availability by means of a policy that may be specified for each VM or even for each VMDK if desired. The relevant policy is called ‘Failures to Tolerate’ (FTT) and refers to the number of concurrent host and/or disk failures a storage object can tolerate. For FTT=n, “n+1” copies of the object are created and “2n+1” hosts are required (to ensure availability even under split brain situations).

For the end user, it is important to quantify the levels of availability achieved with different values of the FTT policy. With only one copy (FTT=0), the availability of the data equals the availability of the hardware the data resides on. Typically, that is in the range of 2-9s (99%) availability, i.e., 3.65 Days downtime/year. However, for higher values of FTT, more copies of the data are created across hosts and that reduces exponentially the probability of data unavailability. With FTT=1 (2 replicas), data availability goes up to at least 4-9s (99.99% or 5 minutes downtime per year), and with FTT=2 (3 replicas) it goes up to 6-9s (99.9999% or 32 seconds downtime per year). Put simply, for FTT=n, more than n hosts and/or devices have to fail concurrently for one’s data to become unavailable. Many people challenged us to show them how the math actually works to arrive at these conclusions. So let’s get to it.

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