VMware released NSX-v (NSX for vSphere) 6.2 back on August 20, 2015. With its release the NSX team introduced support to use NSX-v as a load balancer for the vSphere Platform Services Controller (PSC) for highly available deployments (Release Notes). This is a key new feature that enables customers to further leverage existing NSX-v deployments to simplify their vSphere infrastructure while providing additional HA capabilities for the PSC. This can be a fairly straightforward undertaking when there is an existing vCenter being used for management (e.g. a management cluster).
There is a second scenario, however, that requires some consideration. What if you’re deploying a new vSphere and NSX-v environment where a management vCenter does not already exist? Romain Decker, a Solution Architect in VMware’s Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) Professional Services Engineering team has put together a great blog post on the VMware Consulting Blog that walks through that exact scenario and provides a step-by-step instruction on how to work around this chicken and egg scenario using the ability to easily repoint a vCenter Server to an alternate PSC in vSphere 6.0 Update 1.
To learn more about configuring NSX-v as a load balancer for the vSphere Platform Services Controller, read Romain’s full blog post at:
vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) combines the agility and application portability of Docker Linux containers with the industry-leading virtual infrastructure platform, offering hardware isolation advantages along with improved manageability. VIC consists of several different components for managing, executing, and monitoring containers. This post delves deeper into key elements of VIC – for more information, please also see this introductory video:
When vSphere 6.0 launched, there was a celebration. But one beloved feature didn’t make it to the party: The vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface, or more fondly known as the VAMI. The VAMI was the administration web interface included with previous releases of the VCSA that was used to perform basic administrative tasks to the appliance configuration. These tasks included changing the host name, the network configuration, NTP configuration, and applying patches and updates.
Well, good news! The VAMI back! However, it was given a new name while on sabbatical. Its new name is the Appliance Management User Interface. This management UI is written in HTML5 and looks leaps and bounds better than past versions. The Appliance Management UI (Appliance MUI) can set the same appliance configuration settings as the appliancesh commands that are performed from the command line.
Here is a quick overview of the new Appliance Management User Interface.
For those of you who attended my VMworld sessions with Salil Suri, we dropped a hint that there are things happening with Open-VM-Tools (OVT). We at VMware know that vSphere lifecycle is a difficult task to take on and that updating VMware Tools across hundreds or thousands of virtual machines is an ever-increasing burden. There have been some initiatives inside of VMware to help mitigate the amount of work needed to orchestrate this task and I think you all will find very interesting and exciting. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.