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Tag Archives: vSphere

Technology Preview: Enriching vSphere with hybrid capabilities

 

Today VMware is revealing a Technology Preview of Project SkyScraper, a new set of hybrid cloud capabilities for VMware vSphere that will enable customers to confidently extend their data center to the public cloud and vice-a-versa by seamlessly operating across boundaries while providing enterprise-level security and business continuity.

At VMworld, we will demonstrate live workload migration with Cross-Cloud vMotion and Content Sync between on-premises and vCloud Air.  These features will complement VMware vCloud® Air™ Hybrid Cloud Manager™ – a free, downloadable solution for vSphere Web Client users, with optional fee-based capabilities. Hybrid Cloud Manager consolidates various capabilities such as workload migration, network extension and improved hybrid management features into one easy-to-use solution for managing workloads in vCloud Air from the vSphere Web Client.

Cross-Cloud vMotion is a new technology based on vSphere vMotion that allows customers to seamlessly migrate running virtual machines between their on-premises environments and vCloud Air. Cross-cloud vMotion can be used via the vSphere Web Client, enabling rapid adoption with minimal training. The flexibility provided by this technology gives customers the ability to securely migrate virtual machines bi-directionally without compromising machine up-time; all vMotion guarantees are maintained.

Content Sync will allow customers to subscribe to an on-premise Content Library and seamlessly synchronize VM templates, vApps, ISOs, and scripts with their content catalog in vCloud Air with a single click of a button. This feature will ensure consistency of content between on-premise and the cloud, eliminating error prone manual sync process.

Learn more about these two capabilities under Project Skyscraper by visiting us the VMware booth at VMworld 2015.

vSphere 6 Web Client UI Deepdive – vMotion

New series of vSphere Web Client UI Deepdives

With vSphere 6 adoption going up, the new features are helping our customers manage their environments better than ever before.  vSphere Web Client is the most common way that these new features and enhancements are used, but sometimes the UI changes get lost in the discussion.  The following is a deepdive into the changes and new pages in the vMotion workflow, and if you find this insightful, please let us know in the comments and we can do more posts!  The credit for the below work goes to Dimitar Dimitrov, a member of the engineering team in Sofia, Bulgaria that felt passionate about showing our customers improvements to the UI.

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Introducing the vSphere Host Client fling

Have you ever wanted to connect directly to your ESXi host via a web browser and take a quick look at the available resources on the host? How about checking on the status of the vCenter VM? Conduct host administrative tasks through the browser? Today I’m happy to introduce the vSphere Host Client fling, an HTML5-based UI client served directly from the ESXi host.

The Client is distributed as a VIB that once installed, allows you to point your web browser at the host IP, and begin directly managing the host. Underneath the covers, the Client interfaces with the host through the VIM API similar to other host access methods such as the Web Client or PowerCLI.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.36.46 PM

The current Client feature set include:

  • Display host, VM, storage, and networking information
  • Execute tasks such as create/update/delete of host resources
  • Support of VM console access
  • Configure the host NTP
  • See summaries, events, tasks and notifications
  • Configure advanced host services and settings

The Client will work on ESXi 6.0 and 5.5U3 when the update release becomes available later this year. You can find browser requirements, download and installation instructions from our Fling website:

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

We’d love to get your feedback or if you have questions:

https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere/hostclient

Many many folks contributed to this fling: George Estebe, Etienne LeSueur and Kevin MacDonell our development team for bringing the Client to life, Jehad Affoneh for the proof of concept that inspired what you see today, William Lam and Kevin Christopher for their ongoing (and vocal!) guidance each step of the way, and our ESXi leadership team for allocating the time and resources to make this all happen.

Going forward, we plan to add more features to the fling including additional VM and host resource management actions, datastore operations, performance charts and metrics. Based on your feedback/community support and resource prioritization, we hope to incorporate the Client into a future ESXi release as a formalized offering.

Case Study: Big Data/Hadoop on vSphere and Other Blogs

A new customer technical case study on Skyscape’s use of vSphere as their platform for deploying Hadoop in the cloud was published recently. Skyscape, based in the UK,  deploys Hadoop clusters on demand for their UK Government customers from the company’s public cloud infrastructure. Citizen services data and analysis tools are provided by these government departments that leverage Hadoop for data gathering and analysis.

TitlePageSkyscape

The newly provisioned Hadoop clusters are based on the Hortonworks HDP platform today, but plans are in the works for providing other Hadoop distributions also in the future. The Skyscape engineers really innovated in an impressive way on the Big Data Extensions (BDE) platform. The system not only provides the end user with a Hadoop cluster capability but also with an Ambari Server of their own to manage and monitor their Hadoop cluster. This is all done on X86 hardware servers with direct-attached storage. Skyscape also made use of the BDE REST APIs to achieve their goal. They had five separate end-user customer groups signed up for use shortly after releasing the Hadoop service to their community.

Two other very interesting and useful blogs on virtualization of big data appeared recently: one on Using Big Data Extensions 2.2 written by Julie Roman, a Technical Account Manager at VMware who has worked on big data projects and another (from LinkedIn) on Big Data as a Service by George Trujillo, who is a VP at a Financial Services company. Both of these are very useful reads on their respective areas!

PowerCLI Webcast

Our next webcast in the vSphere 6 webcast series is all about increased efficiency of running your data center via automation.  Brian Graf, VMware’s PowerCLI guru, will discuss what’s new in vSphere 6 for PowerCLI as well as show off some tips and tricks that will wow you.

This webcast takes place July 7 at 9am PST.  Register for the webcast today!

vSphere Business Continuity Webcast

Next up in the vSphere 6 Webcast Series is the very important topic of business continuity.  For many, business continuity equals business productivity and application downtime needs to be minimized or eliminated.  Learn how vSphere 6 reduces downtime for applications and maximizes productivity for businesses.  Matt Meyers will lead our discussion on availability and data protection.

This webcast will occur on Tuesday June 30 at 9am PST and there will be a team present to answer questions you may have.  Register today for the free live webcast.

Agile Big Data Webcast

We are adding a special webcast to the vSphere 6 Webcast series.

The next webcast will be on the topic of agile Big Data happening on June 23 at 9am PST.

Learn how vSphere 6 + Big Data Extensions 2.2 can help you build an agile Big Data platform.      Provision your Hadoop clusters faster, simplify configuration and management of your nodes, efficiently scale and utilize resource saving you time and money, all with no impact on performance.  Justin Murray, our Big Data guru, will be sharing his insights and answer any questions you may have.

Register for the free live event today!

Let Us Wow You with vSphere 6

Not yet on vSphere 6?  Join us for a webcast to learn why you should be.  Starting June 2nd, 2015 and recurring every other Tuesday at 9AM, join the vSphere product experts to learn what’s new and exciting about vSphere 6!  A different topic will be covered each session and time will be allocated at the end of each webcast for Q&A.

Please always check the latest schedule each week as topics may change and sessions may be added or removed.

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Configure Auto Deploy Rules – PowerCLI

In the previous post Configure DHCP and TFTP for Auto Deploy, we discussed how to setup your DHCP and TFTP servers to allow your ESX hosts to PXE boot. However, once an ESX host boots, it will need directions to know what to boot. This is where Auto Deploy Rules come in. Continue reading

Run Containers on vSphere with Project Photon and Project Lightwave

When you think of VMware, virtualization clearly jumps to mind.  But if you take a step back, virtualization is really a means to an end.  IT pros don’t earn their salary because they run virtual machines — but VMs support application services that are essential to business, ultimately contributing to the bottom line.  VMware is focused on providing the best place to run any application; from LAMP stacks to business-critical workloads to big data analytics, vSphere can handle it all.

Project Photon

Two open source projects were just announced by the Cloud-Native Apps group: Project Photon and Project Lightwave. Both of these projects will be foundational elements for running Linux containers and supporting next-generation application architectures. This marked a big milestone in the lifecycle of VMware Cloud-Native Apps, and at first glance may seem to be a lot more relevant to application developers than the traditional vSphere audience, but there really is a great tie-in to the Software-Defined Data Center.

If you’re a vSphere administrator, an important part of your role is supporting the developers that create the apps that run on your infrastructure.  There is a shift underway with developers right now – moving from a traditional waterfall model to agile, continuous integration.  For a specific example of the change in mindset from previous software development processes, check out The Twelve-Factor App to see why the container enthusiasm starts to really make sense.

Today, customers trust their Software-Designed Data Center based on VMware infrastructure for any app.  It would be a shame if a new platform for applications came along and brought back the silos of yesteryear.  This is why vSphere admins should care about next-generation applications and corresponding infrastructure.  The container runtime becomes another essential component of the infrastructure and it should be integrated for seamless operation.    With Photon, VMware is going to make it easy to run containers alongside all of the other workloads – no silos here!

Photon is going to be available in places where developers expect to find it.  For example, many developers use HashiCorp Vagrant as an easy means of pulling down standardized VM images from a central repository.  A Photon image will be available there and elsewhere, enabling the same container runtime on laptops, in the datacenter, and in public clouds.

Administrators will like the fact that Photon has a small footprint because it is not weighed down with all of the packages typically found on a Linux system, and one can draw parallels with the VMware ESXi thin hypervisor.  Less is more when it comes to infrastructure – fewer patches, less administration, and improved SLAs are among the key benefits.

The companion open source project – Lightwave – is an authorization and authentication platform with origins from the vSphere platform.  It provides multi-master replication for scalable HA and flexible topology choices to accommodate any architecture.

There is great integration between Lightwave and Photon.  In fact, Lightwave is designed to actually run directly on Photon instances – no general-purpose OS needed. Take a look at this demo video where a new Lightwave domain is created, Photon clients are joined to the domain, and ssh logins are authenticated against directory credentials, eliminating the need to manage local user accounts.

Linux containers are all the rage right now, but it’s not a zero-sum proposition.  Containers run great on vSphere and VMware is investing accordingly.  VMware SDDC administrators can be confident that their platform is, and will be, the best for any application – with the security, manageability, and governance that enterprises need.