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Category Archives: Uncategorized

vSphere Data Protection Advanced Automated Backup Verification

The best way to verify backup data integrity is to routinely perform restores from this backup data. For a variety of reasons, the majority of administrators do not verify backups using this method very often (if ever). Wouldn’t it be great if a backup and recovery solution provided the option to do this automatically on a regular schedule? Wouldn’t it be even better if the solution reported the results of the verification exercise? I am happy to report that is one of the new features of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced 5.5! Keep reading for more information and to download a short white paper on the topic that includes best practices…

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Florida VMUG Meeting Tour

I will presenting at a couple of upcoming VMware User Group (VMUG) meetings this week in Florida. I’ll be delivering a presentation on VMware’s Software Defined Storage Portfolio with focus on Virtual SAN (VSAN) recommended practices, use cases, and vCloud Suite interoperability capabilities.

For those interested in pursuing the VCDX Certification, I will also be participating in the delivery of a VCDX Boot Camp along with Florida’s own local VCDX, Chris McCain (VCDX#79).

On Tuesday, December 3rd, I’ll be presenting at the Tampa VMUG Meeting at the USF Marshall Student Center. Go to the Tampa VMUG Meeting site for more information about the Tampa VMUG Meeting and registration.

On Wednesday, December 4th, I’ll be presenting at the Orlando VMUG Meeting at the PUP Corporate Office. Go to the Orlando VMUG Meeting site for more information about the Orlando VMUG Meeting and registration.

Oh yeah! Last but not least, on Thursday, December 5th, I’ll be presenting at the Miami VMUG Workspace at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. Go to the Miami VMUG Workspace meeting site for more information about the Miami VMUG Workspace and registration.

I hope to see and meet many of you at the events, and hopefully answer your questions with regards to VMware’s Software Defined Storage portfolio. Have your questions ready.

-      Enjoy

For future updates, be sure to following me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

Site Recovery Manager with vSphere Replication Multi-Point-in-Time

One of the new 5.5 features in vSphere Replication is the ability to retain historical replications as point-in-time snapshots on the recovered virtual machines.

Using this feature is quite handy in order to recover from systems that have corrupted data or viruses or even to do auditing of system changes and the like.  While VMs protected with vSphere Replication can be recovered manually, and one by one, the full automation of recovery is of course offered by Site Recovery Manager.

In this post I’ll look at how we configure these multiple points in time (MPIT) during replication, and how we interact with them after failover by SRM.

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Pivotal CF

Today Pivotal announced the availability of Pivotal CF. Jointly developed with VMware, the Pivotal CF product includes a packaged and supported version of the Cloud Foundry open PaaS for VMware vSphere.

In April 2011 VMware first launched Cloud Foundry, an Apache-licensed open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) and an associated vSphere-based public cloud service. A year later, in April 2012, we announced a DevOps toolchain called BOSH, used to deploy and manage Cloud Foundry at scale on virtualized infrastructure. In April 2013 VMware and EMC formed Pivotal, a spinout company using technology from both companies including Cloud Foundry.

VMware’s vision for Cloud Foundry has always been to deliver maximum agility to application developers across both public and private cloud environments. In working with Pivotal to deliver Pivotal CF we have fulfilled that vision, bringing the incredible productivity of Cloud Foundry to vSphere customers.

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A few cautionary notes about replication performance

This is part three of a set of blogs about the fantastic performance improvements found in vSphere Replication 5.5. Take a look at the prior two posts to understand what has changed and why it such a change by reading:




But now I do have a few warnings about all this improved vSphere Replication performance.  Why is this not unequivocally a great thing? Because you may run the risk of overloading certain systems with this.

Let’s look at the technical issues at hand Continue reading

Updated: What you need to know before upgrading to vSphere Replication 5.5

Original title: Do *NOT* Install vSphere Replication 5.5 onto your 5.1 environment yet!

*** Sep 23 2013 update:

This problem is now not as critical since vCenter 5.5 has been released.  Please do ensure that your vCenter Server is upgraded first before upgrading vSphere Replication though!  The supported upgrade path for VR is to download the ISO from the website and upgrade via mounted ISO in the virtual appliance management interface.

Moreover, please ensure the auto-update feature is turned off in the VAMI of the vSphere Replication appliances and that you are not auto-updating vSphere Appliances in VUM.

There is a further knowledge base article dealing with the upgrade and how to resolve an issue if your VMware Update Manager instance is trying to download the 5.5 appliance and has hung.  Please see KB Article 2060339

This article is no longer valid, but the concept still remains the same and the post will remain, slightly edited for clarity.  *Always* ensure that your vCenter Server is upgraded before anything else.  GSS now has a fix for anyone who may have been impacted, and vCenter Server 5.5 is now available as well, so the correct procedure is the same as it always has been – Upgrade VC, then VR (and possibly SRM if you’re using it), and then your hosts.

End of Edit ***

Original text (slightly amended):

Due to a mistake involving automated systems, vSphere Replication 5.5 has been published in VUM catalogs and the VAMI upgrade within the VR appliances.

This is an error, and a very critical one, so please do not upgrade your VR appliances to 5.5 at this time until vCenter Server has been upgraded to 5.5.
VR 5.5 requires vCenter 5.5 which is not yet available, and this will actually break your replication and the upgrade is irreversible. It will require you to re-install VR 5.1 and redo your replications from scratch.  Please note this will not stop the replications that are already configured but will keep you from managing the existing, or configuring new replication.

Please do not install VR 5.5 yet!  Please see KB Article 2060190 for details.

If you have automatic updates put in place, and your VR appliances have already updated, please contact support for assistance.

To avoid this issue, please ensure the auto-update feature is turned off in the VAMI of the vSphere Replication appliances and that you are not auto-updating vSphere Appliances in VUM.

Again, turn off auto-update in the VAMI and VUM to avoid this problem, but if your VR infrastructure has already been updated before vCenter Server, please get in touch with our Global Support Services right away.

A Summary of What’s New in vCloud Director 5.5

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.

vCloud Director Convergence and Transition Plan – What’s the Scoop?

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.

New Features of vCloud Director 5.5 Continue reading

Announcing vSphere with Operations Management 5.5 – Increasing Performance and Availability for Your Business Critical Applications

We’re excited to announce the release of VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5!

Back in March 2013, we launched vSphere with Operations Management as our next iteration of the vSphere platform. Watching our customers struggle with managing capacity through the old-school method of spreadsheets convinced us that by adding a single pane of glass that provides visibility into workload capacity and health to our flagship virtualization platform, we would make our customers’ virtualization journey much smoother.

This 5.5 release offers several enhancements, all related to helping our customers 1) deliver better performance and availability for business critical apps and 2) support next-gen workloads (Big Data anyone?). These enhancements include:

  • Greater Scalability – Configurations have doubled from previous limits when it comes to physical CPUs, memory and NUMA nodes. Virtual disk files also now scale up to 64TBs.
  • vSphere Customization for Low Latency Applications – vSphere with Operations Management can be tuned to deliver the best performance for low latency applications, such as in-memory databases
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache – Server side flash can now be virtualized to provide a high performance read cache layer that dramatically lowers application latency.
  • vSphere App HA – This new level of availability enables vSphere with Operations Management to detect and recover from application or operating system failure.
  • vSphere Big Data Extensions – Apache Hadoop workloads can now run on vSphere with Operations Management to achieve higher utilization, reliability and agility.

To learn more, check out our official page.
If you’re at VMworld, don’t forget to:

  • Play with the product at our VMworld Hands-On Labs (Moscone South – Esplanade Level)
  • Hear how our customers are using vSphere with Operations Management at VMworld Session VSVC4686 on Wednesday, August 28th at 1 pm PT.
  • Learn about pricing/packaging at VMworld Session VSVC1002-GD on Monday, August 26th at 1 pm PT.
  • Caption: Big Data workloads are now supported on vSphere with Operations Management 5.5.

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide Release Candidate now available

I have posted the following in the vSphere Security blog. It is being cross-posted here to get maximum visibility and as an FYI

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide Release Candidate now available

I would like to announce the release of the Rev B/Release Candidate for the vSphere 5.1 Security Hardening Guide.  This guide should be functionally complete and has been posted for your review and your feedback.

We’d love to hear your feedback, good and bad, on the contents of the guide. I would encourage you to post your reply in the Security and Compliance Communities forum but if you have more sensitive concerns, send it to me at mfoley@vmware.com. The intent is to publish the final GA copy in two weeks with any changes/updates incorporated so get your inputs in as soon as possible!

The vSphere 5.1 Security Hardening Guide has been posted to the VMware Communities in the “Security and Compliance” area, in the Documents tab. A separate Change Log document has also been published with the RC Guide.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the Rev A Draft, and also to the team at VMware who contributed to this guide in many significant ways.

mike foley

New Beta Program offering: VMware Hosted Beta

Many of you probably have participated in one of the many beta programs VMware has offered in the last couple of years. I personally have participated in various beta programs when I was a customer / partner and I always loved going through the various exercises. The challenging part for me always was finding the time to setup the environment.

Recently VMware started offering a new way to participate in the evaluation and feedback of VMware’s developing products. The VMware Beta Program is now offering a Hosted Beta; providing registered users access to pre-build online Lab environments with guided workflows to get a closer look at the latest and greatest VMware technologies without the need to build-out infrastructure onsite.

This hosted technology is based on the same technologies used for the Hands-On Labs (HOL) at VMworld, providing a fully built environment to explore intricate product features while requiring nothing more than an HTML5 compliant browser and the latest View Client.

In my opinion this is a great opportunity to test-drive products and provide VMware with your feedback on the features still under development. On top of that this will allow you to spend 1-2 hour blocks to get acquainted with new technology, without the need to be on-site. You can do this at the office, or at home with just a connection to the internet.

If you are interested and want to learn more about the VMware Beta Program you can go here: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/beta

If you are interested in joining the VMware Beta Program you can either work with your VMware account team or submit a participation request form found here: http://communities.vmware.com/community/beta/betainterest