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Tag Archives: best practices

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2 Released

Today VMware released Update 2 of its vSphere management solution, vCenter Server. In this release there are updates to the supported database versions and many resolved known issues.

What’s New

  • vCenter Server database support: vCenter Server now supports the following external databases:
    • Oracle 12c. Important: For pre-requisite requirements, see KB 2079443.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • vCloud Hybrid Service: The vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) introduces a new container, Hybrid Cloud Service, on the vSphere Web Client home page. The Hybrid Cloud Service container contains the vCHS installer and the new vCloud Connector installer.
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program: The vSphere customer experience improvement program is introduced to collect configuration data for vSphere and transmit weekly to VMware for analysis in understanding the usage and improving the product. For more details, see the vSphere Documentation Center.

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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!

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

Today VMware released an update to its virtualization management solution, vCenter Server. The update brings several fixes as documented in the release notes which can be reviewed in full here.

The new versions are as follows:

  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891313
  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b Installation Package | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891310
  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891314
    downloaded now from vmware.com

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Which vCenter Server platform should I use – Appliance or Windows?

One of the most repetitive questions that I get asked is which version of vCenter Server should I be using. This obviously is based on the decision between using the vCenter Server appliance (VCSA) introduced with vSphere 5.0 or the trusted and proven vCenter Server on Windows.

whichplatform

It has been general knowledge that the vCenter Server appliance, since its introduction has lacked features to that of its Windows counterpart. With vSphere 5.5 the vCenter Server appliance has come a long way, it supports all solutions that integrate with vCenter Server (vCD, vCOPs, SRM, VUM etc) but is it production ready? I can confidently say yes but will it meet your requirements?
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vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 Released

As hinted throughout most of the day, the vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 has been publicly released this evening.

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1623101
vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 Installation Package | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1623099
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1 | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1624811

Whats New

  • vCloud® Hybrid Service™ vSphere® Client Plug-in, is now available in vSphere Web Client
  • vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • This release delivers a number of bug fixes

Full release notes can be found here

Download bits here

Getting ready to upgrade production to vCenter Server 5.5? Make sure you’re using the correct deployment option

Over the last few months, many customers have been testing and familiarizing themselves with vSphere 5.5 however deployment into a production environment is usually stalled until the availability of the first update or service pack. As we are nearing the typical time frame of when such an update or service pack may become available, I wanted to share some findings that may affect your deployment selection of vCenter Single Sign-On when deploying or upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5

During the installation of vCenter Single Sign-On server you are asked on the deployment option of the vCenter Single Sign-On instance. Below is the intended use case for each deployment option.

SSO#0

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Installing or upgrading to vSphere 5.5 made a little easier

Many of you have now kicked the tires with vSphere 5.5 either in your home lab or on some servers at work and you’re anxious to get all the new goodies running in your production environment. Perhaps some of you early adopters are already running in full production, but we’re guessing many of you are just contemplating your major upgrade now.

VMware’s Tech Support staff tend to see a surge during the month of March in number of calls to support. But guess what? Many of the issues we’re anticipating are already resolved, and we’ve been busy compiling and documenting solutions to common problems that you can handle yourself.

Those of you installing or upgrading your vSphere hosts, and vCenter Server instances to version 5.5 will find the following KB articles and Support Insider posts of great interest.

Hadoop meets Virtualization – a Primer

 

You have probably heard the terms “Big Data” and “Hadoop” mentioned somewhere in the industry lately – they are both very popular subjects of discussion at the moment. This blog gives you an introduction to the core technology and explains some of the contributions that VMware continues to make to the Hadoop world.

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When to Centralize vCenter Single Sign-On Server 5.5

While VMware highly recommends the deployment of all vCenter Server components into a single virtual machine (excluding the vCenter Server database), large enterprise customers running multiple vCenter Server instances within a single physical location can simplify the vCenter Single Sign-On architecture and management by reducing the footprint and required resources and specify a dedicated vCenter Single Sign-On environment for all local resources in each physical location.

For vSphere 5.5 the VMware recommendation is to centralize vCenter Single Sign-On when you have 8 or more vCenter Server instances in a given location (this is a soft recommendation).

Centralized vCenter Single Sign-On Architecture


Figure 1: A Centralized vCenter Single Sign-On Server environment

There can be increased risk when centralizing a vCenter Single Sign-On server (to why it is not recommended for smaller environments) due to the increased number of components affected if the vCenter Single-Sign-On server was to become unavailable, in short all vCenter Server components of all vCenter Servers registered will incur authentication loss (when compared to  just the single vCenter Server instance when installed locally) and so availability of the vCenter Single Sign-On centralized server(s) is highly recommended. Continue reading

PM Research: Managing Content with vCenter(s) – Quick Survey

As an admin in the data center, you have to

  1. Ensure that your VM templates are up to date
  2. Maintain a set of scripts for customizing the guest OS’s, installing custom applications, etc.,
  3. Share all of them across sites and vCenter instances.

Therefore, we at VMware are trying hard to provide you with a simple and efficient solution to manage your VM templates, scripts, ISO images, etc. – collectively called “Content”.

We now need your input to ensure that we understand your current infrastructure, methodologies, and core use cases so that we build the right set of features and for the right scale.

We have kept this survey really short (7 questions) and we’d appreciate you taking the time to provide us your feedback. Thank you!

Survey link: http://bit.ly/vSContentMgmt (updated link)