A few weeks ago I saw on an internal email thread an ask from a customer via their VMware sale engineer. The customer was using AutoDeploy and Host Profiles. As part of this process, they were creating a local user on their ESXi hosts and when they connected to the host via the vSphere Client application on Windows, they were worried to see that the user was created with Shell Access already granted! As you can imagine, that’s probably not something you want done by default. Even more so when you’re in an environment that has compliance concerns. And especially when you have the Security Guy looking over your shoulder!
Well, like our friends from Down Under would say, “No Worries Mate”. What you are seeing here is a UI bug in the vSphere Windows Client. As you know, the vSphere Windows Client has been superseded by the new vSphere Web Client. But at the moment, it’s the main tool for configuration by those who connect to ESXi servers. With the vSphere Web Client being the current and future client user interface for vCenter Server managed objects and resources, the “old” vSphere Client may, at times, not be as current as we’d like.
This week I was reminded of that great Wayne Gretzky quote,
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”.
How is that relative to the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)? Well, because things are moving so fast! That virtualization infrastructure you have today (thank you for my paycheck!) is introducing new challenges in IT and Security management. What was once a few servers, some network and storage and a firewall is growing into hundreds, if not thousands of VM’s, hybrid clouds, tiered storage and stretched networks. There are new tools to learn and new innovative capabilities to leverage.
But it’s getting very complex!
Yes. It is. Every new technology seems complex at first. Every new technology brings benefits and challenges. (Remember the pre-PC era? I do!) But, here’s the good, no, AWESOME part, it’s becoming increasingly easier to automate, validate and assess. However, if you are still managing and securing this new infrastructure using your old methods, you may find yourself skating to where the puck was and not where it’s going.
When architects think about putting big data and Apache Hadoop on virtualized commodity servers they usually see virtualization as a performance deterrent. Virtualization software is just that—software. Additional software layers are overhead and they must make it run slower.
In a recent performance study by VMware, they demonstrated that performance between bare-metal deployments and virtualized deployments can even exceed bare-metal performance in certain cases when using multiple virtual machines allowing for parallelism.
EMC World kicked off today in Las Vegas, and much of this week’s buzz is focused squarely on big data. Specifically, VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger is hot on how to build big data solutions into the enterprise as a service. During his keynote, Gelsinger and VMware data architect Michael West showed attendees how smart organizations will be deploying and managing Hadoop clusters in the future that will dramatically improve time-to-insight and productivity.
VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager is a component that enables support for heterogeneous hypervisors in a VMware vCenter Server environment. It provides the following benefits to your virtual environment:
An integrated platform for managing VMware and third-party hypervisors from a single interface.
A hypervisor choice for the different business units in your organization to accommodate their specific needs.
No single hypervisor vendor lock-in.
When you add a third-party host to vCenter Server, all virtual machines that exist on the host are discovered automatically, and are added to the third-party hosts inventory.
The ability of vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager to migrate virtual machines from third-party hosts to ESX or ESXi hosts is implemented by exposing the capabilities of vCenter Converter Standalone in the vSphere Client. See VMware KB article 2048927 for information about dependency between vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager and vCenter Converter Standalone.
vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 introduces the following set of basic management capabilities over third-party hosts:
Third-party host management including add, remove, connect, disconnect, and view the host configuration.
Ability to migrate virtual machines from third-party hosts to ESX or ESXi hosts.
Ability to provision virtual machines on third-party hosts.
Ability to edit virtual machine settings.
Integrated vCenter Server authorization mechanism across ESX/ESXi and third-party hosts inventories for privileges, roles, and users.
Automatic discovery of pre-existing third-party virtual machines
Ability to perform power operations with hosts and virtual machines.
Ability to connect and disconnect DVD, CD-ROM, and floppy drives and images to install operating systems.
This release of VMware vCenter Server 5.1 Update 1 offers the following improvements:
vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012
Additional vCenter Server Database Support: vCenter Server now supports the following databases.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2
Additional Guest Operating System Customization Support -vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:
Windows Server 2012
vCenter Essentials no longer enforces vRAM usage limit of 192 GB With vSphere 5.1 Update 1, the Essentials and Essentials Plus licenses no longer restrict virtual machine power-on operations when the vRAM usage limit of 192 GB is met.
Resolved Issues – This release delivers a number of bug fixes that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.
As of this evening, both Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication have been updated and the 5.1.1 release is now available. I strongly recommend this build as even though there is little in the way of new functionality, it is almost completely filled with things that make SRM and VR work better.
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1.1 | Build 1082082
VMware vSphere Replication 5.1.1 | Build 1079383
Some of the fixed issues, for example, are things like:
All sorts of timeout problems ranging from multiple operation timeouts to reprotect timeouts to HBA rescan timeouts
Custom vCenter https ports now work better with vSphere Replication
Pairing SRM servers using custom certificates and VCVA now works
Re-protect using vSphere Replication is more resilient
Two things in particular that I want to highlight though are really nice to see are listed below.
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 the release of vCenter 5.1 adding additional certificates into the environment to make communication between components more secure, the process of updating these certificates with customers’ own signed certificates has been a challenge.
We are pleased to announce the general availability of vCenter Certificate Automation Tool1.0. This tool provides an automated mechanism to replace certificates in the following components of the vCenter Server 5.1 management platform:
I’ve been asked several times if there is a way to get a host profile to stop prompting for MAC addresses. This is actually pretty easy, although arguably not very intuitive. Lets start with a quick example showing a host profile prompting for MAC addresses: