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.
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 →
With the release of vSphere 5.5 now upon us, before jumping in and performing a fresh install or an upgrade I wanted to highlight the minor changes to the vCenter Server installer, specifically when to use the simple installer and when to use the individual custom install wizards.
With the new release, when you attach your ISO image you will be presented with the updated splash screen
Selecting this option which is now the default will give you an installation of the core components required for vCenter server with the default settings on too a single physical or virtual server. With vSphere 5.5 we have now added the vSphere Web Client into the mix to assist with setting up vCenter Single Sign-On if necessary. Simple Install will install the following core components in the required order specified.
Using the simple install, the components will be installed to the default C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure destination folder or upgrade the existing version in the installed location. If you have distributed components with vSphere 5.1, this will install all components locally when ran, installing any components anew if not present which may affect you permission and accessibility (ie new vCenter Single SIgn-On instance)
You will use the Simple Install option if you are installing or upgrading a single vCenter server with all of its components local to each other (VMware recommendation).
NOTE: If you are intending to install or upgrade multiple vCenter servers (ie for Linked Mode) then you can use the Simple Install for the first vCenter server to setup the vCenter Single Sign-On security domain and then use the custom installation options for the additional vCenter servers.
The custom install provides the individual installer for each vCenter component which allows for additional options during install or upgrade. Each installer must be ran in the correct order (shown above) and allows for the following use cases
Distribute components across multiple servers
(although supported, customers have shared that this does add complexity with management and availability options of vCenter server)
Install into a specific destination folder
Install more than one vCenter server(s) in too the same vCenter Single Sign-On security domain
(ie for Linked Mode as multiple vCenter Single Sign-On security domains (eg: vsphere.local) is not recommended)
I recently posted a summary of the new features and capabilities available in vSphere 5.5 and I want to follow that with a summary of the new features and capabilities available in vCloud Director 5.5.
However, before we talk about what’s new in vCloud Director 5.5 I recommend you first read Mike Adams recent post discussing the new vCD product strategy that was announced at VMworld 2013. This post has some important information that everyone working with vCloud Director should be aware of.
With that, I’m excited to announce these new vCloud Director features as there are some very cool new capabilities being introduced with the 5.5 release. I want to stress that this list is just a summary. For additional information be sure to check out the new VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal iPad app where you will find several recorded demos that show most of these features in action. In addition there are also some nice click-through demos available online. Both the Mobile Knowledge Portal app and click-through demos were created by VMware’s Technical Marketing Group and provide a wealth of information not just on vCloud Director but the entire vCloud Suite. We’re actively working to add more content so even if you’ve played with it in the past, be sure to revisit and check out the recent additions.
For those of you who have tried to import an OVA directly into vCloud Director have probably noticed that this is not supported and only an OVFfile can be uploaded. However, it is possible to upload an OVA directly into vCloud Director, but it does require the use of another tool called the ovftool which is multi-platform command-line utility for OVF/OVA management. This article was motivated by a recent internal discussion and I thought I share this little tidbit in case it was not very well known.
Version 2.0 of the popular VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal (VMKP) is now live!
The VMKP is a free app which is designed to provide a simple way for VMware customers to view technical collateral around the Datacenter & Cloud Infrastructure and Infrastructure & Operations Management products.
Gain easy access to a variety of media and download your selected items to your device for when you are without access to the internet, the VMKP contains:
What’s New papers
The app will be updated and new content will be added routinely, so check the VMKP often!
What’s New ?
VMKP 2.0 adds the following enhancements:
Android and iPad support (Previously only iPad support was available)
Ability to rate collateral
Ability to provide feedback to VMware on pieces of collateral
Integration with Facebook and Twitter to let others know what you have been reading on the VMKP
Mechanism to request additional collateral items – let us know what you want to see!
Download it now
The VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal is now available for both IOS iPad and Android devices and can be downloaded below.
Note: There is a planned update for VMKP 2.0 in late April to better support smaller form factor tablets, such as iPad mini and Nexus 7
The Android version of this app can be downloaded from the Google Play or sent to your device by using the below button:
With thanks to many sources including: Michael Haines, Jesse Schachter, Zach Shepherd, Vegard Sagbakken, Trevor Gerdes, Michael Haines
Hello and welcome to the third vCloud Suite Digest, a compilation of common technical questions and answers on vCloud Suite architecture and implementation. Behind us is a legion of people a group of people far too numerous to mention (for us these are the unsung heroes of VMware) who provide definitive answers and guidance. People fixing problems on a daily basis, that don’t get half the spotlight that jumped up evangelists do. In this months edition we cover such topics as:
vCloud Director Database Encryption
vCloud Director Database Settings
vCloud Director and NFS Transfer Share
vCloud Director: Maximum Number of VMs
vCloud Director: Sticky Sessions
vCNS Edge Gateway: vNIC Maximum
vCNS Edge Gateway Load Balancing
vCloud Connector: Copying vApps from vCD 1.5 to 5.1
A new whitepaper has just been published on the VMware website, this paper was written by Aidan Dalgleish, Consulting Architect who’s personal blog can be viewed here and Alan Renouf, Sr Technical Marketing Architect.
VMware vCloud Director® enables enterprise organizations to build secure private clouds that dramatically increase datacenter efficiency and business agility. Coupled with VMware vSphere®, vCloud Director delivers cloud computing for existing datacenters by pooling vSphere virtual resources and delivering them to users as catalog-based services. It helps users build agile infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud environments that greatly accelerate the time to market for applications and the responsiveness of IT organizations.
Resiliency is a key aspect of any infrastructure, it is even more important in IaaS solutions. This technical paper was developed to provide additional insight and information regarding the use of VMware vSphere PowerCLI™ to automate the recovery of a vCloud Director–based infrastructure. In particular, it focuses on automation of the recovery steps for vCloud Director 1.5–managed VMware vSphere vApp™ workloads. The recovery of management components can be achieved using VMware® vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager™ and will not be discussed. It is already available in the original VMware vCloud Director Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study.
vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command-line tool that enables users to automate all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, virtual machine, guest operating system (OS) and more. Included since the release of version 5.0.1, vSphere PowerCLI introduced support for vCloud Director. vSphere PowerCLI is distributed as a Microsoft Windows PowerShell snap-in and includes more than 300 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and examples.
This technical paper discusses the use of PowerShell and PowerCLI to automate the recovery of vCloud Director resource clusters.
Similar to my previous blog post for vSphere, you can now programmatically retrieve the list of supported guest OSes for vCloud Director 5.1 if you are looking to build your own custom provisioning solution or portal. You no longer have to create a static list and you can now dynamically generate the list of supported guest OSes, their supported configurations and capabilities as seen in the vCloud Director UI. In the vCloud 5.1 API you can view the list of supported guestOSes by performing a GET operation on the following URL: