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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Video: Virtual SAN From An Architect’s Perspective

Video: Virtual SAN From An Architect’s Perspective

Have you ever wanted a direct discussion with the people responsible for designing a product?

Recently, Stephen Foskett brought a cadre of technical bloggers to VMware as part of Storage Field Day 7 to discuss Virtual SAN in depth.  Christos Karamanolis (@XtosK), Principle Engineer and Chief Architect for our storage group went deep on VSAN: why it was created, its architectural principles, and why the design decisions were important to customers.

The result is two hours of lively technical discussion — the next best thing to being there.  What works about this session is that the attendees are not shy — they keep peppering Christos with probing questions, which he handles admirably.

The first video segment is from Alberto Farronato, explaining the broader VMware storage strategy.

The second video segment features Christos going long and deep on the thinking behind VSAN.

The third video segment is a run-over of the second.  Christos presents the filesystem implementations, and the implications for snaps and general performance.

Our big thanks to Stephen Foskett for making this event possible, and EMC for sponsoring our session.

 

Downloading a VMware Suite with the Push of a Button using VMware Software Manager

If you’re looking for an easy and simple way to download all of the products and features of a VMware Suite, VMware Software Manager dramatically simplifies the download process.  VMware Software Manager is a free product that:

  • Provides an easy to use interface to find, select & download the content needed to install or upgrade a VMware suite
  • Verifies the suite or product was downloaded without corruption
  • Automatically detects the release of new VMware suites, products and versions and displays them for download

SWmanager

The following VMware suites are available for download using VMware Software Manager:

  • VMware vCloud Suite® 6.0, 5.8, and 5.5
  • VMware vSphere® with Operations Management™ 6.0 and 5.5
  • VMware vSphere® 6.0, 5.5, and 5.1

 

Additional VMware suites and suite versions will be added in the future and will dynamically show up in VMware Software Manager (for you to download).

To download VMware Software Manager, visit the product information page -

www.vmware.com/products/software-manager

Bob Perugini, Sr. Product Manager, SDDC Install & Update, VMware

VMware Announces General Availability of vSphere 6

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of VMware vSphere 6 along with a slew of other Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) products including VMware Integrated OpenStack, VMware Virtual SAN 6, VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes, VMware vCloud Suite 6, and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6.

vSphere 6 is the latest release of the industry-leading virtualization platform and serves as the foundation of the SDDC. This is the largest ever release of vSphere and is the first major release of the flagship product in over three years.  vSphere 6 is jammed pack with features and innovations that enable users to virtualize any application, including both scale-up and scale-out applications, with confidence. New capabilities include increased scale and performance, breakthrough industry-first availability, storage efficiencies for virtual machines, and simplified management  at scale. For more details on the blockbuster features please refer to the vSphere 6 announcement.

If you are interested in learning more about vSphere 6, there are several options:

CoreOS Now Supported on VMware vSphere 6 and VMware vCloud Air

By Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of product management and marketing, Cloud Platform, VMware

Editor’s Note: This post, initially published on March 9, 2015, was updated on March 13, 2015 to reflect that CoreOS is now supported on vSphere 6.

A key driver behind vSphere’s popularity and broad adoption in the enterprise has been VMware’s commitment to choice including giving you a broad selection of supported operating systems (OS) to run. This choice applies to both traditional OSes and to an emerging group of OSes targeted for use with Linux containers. Today, VMware is announcing support for CoreOS to give you more options for managing containers on both VMware vSphere 6  (and earlier releases) and VMware vCloud Air.

Since October of last year, we have collaborated with the team at CoreOS to enable the OS to run on vSphere 6 in production. That includes joint integration work on the open-vm-tools and simplifying the deployment process by providing the OS in OVA format optimized for installation on vSphere.  Read CoreOS’s blog post.

CoreOS is a new Linux distribution that has been designed to provide features needed to run modern infrastructure stacks. One of those features is containerizing applications to help developers to streamline application delivery as well as benefit from application portability.

Our goal is to simplify how enterprises run and manage their containerized applications on their vSphere  environments or on vCloud Air, while minimizing complexity by reducing the need to build out new and separate infrastructure silos for their container initiatives. By offering enterprises a common platform for running virtual machines and containers, developers gain agility and speed while offering IT teams the control they need. Enterprises running containers within virtual machines can also benefit from high performance, security isolation, dynamic virtual networking, software-defined storage, and the extensive ecosystem of third-party solutions developed for virtual machines. Read Kit Colbert’s blog post on VMware + Containers.

Supported CoreOS releases begin with 557.x release and will extend to future stable releases. These will be populated in the VMware Compatibility Guide as they become available.

Getting Started

Following are few links to documentation, resources and forums to get started with CoreOS on vSphere:

Download the current stable OVA image from the CoreOS repository at: http://stable.release.core-os.net/amd64-usr/557.2.0/

OVA installation instructions: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2109161

Guidance on vCloud Air deployment: http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2015/02/using-coreos-vcloud-air-demand.html

The latest supported CoreOS version can be found in the VMware Compatibility Guide under CoreOS Stable:http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=guestos

Feedback can be provided at the VMware / CoreOS community forum: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vm-guest/linux/coreos

vSphere APIs for IO Filtering

I’ve been fortunate to have one of our super sharp product line managers, Alex Jauch (twitter @ajauch), spend some time explaining to me one of the new enabling technologies of vSphere 6.0: VAIO.  Let’s take a look at this really powerful capability and see what types of things it can enable and an overview of how it works.

VAIO stands for “vSphere APIs for IO Filtering”

This had for a time colloquially been known as “IO Filters”. Fundamentally, it is a means by which a VM can have its IO safely and securely filtered in accordance with a policy.

VAIO offers partners the ability to put their technology directly into the IO stream of a VM through a filter that intercepts data before it is committed to disk.

Why would I want to do that? What kinds of things can you do with an IO filter?

Well that’s up to our customers and our partners. VAIO is a filtering framework that will initially allow vendors to present capabilities for caching and replication to individual VMs. This will expand over time as partners come on board to write filters for the framework, so you can imagine where this can go for topics such as security, antivirus, encryption and other areas, as the framework matures. VAIO gives us the ability to do stuff to an IO stream in a safe and certified fashion, and manage the whole thing through profiles to ensure we get a view into the IO stream’s compliance with policy!

The VAIO program itself is for partners – the benefit is for consumers who want to do policy based management of their environment and pull in the value of our partner solutions directly into per-VM and indeed per-virtual disk storage management.

When partners create their solutions their data services are surfaced through the Storage Policy Based Management control plane, just like all the rest of our policy-driven storage offerings like Virtual SAN or Virtual Volumes.

Beyond that, because the data services operate at the VM virtual device level, they can also work with just about any type of storage device, again furthering the value of VSAN and VVOLs, and extending the use of these offerings through these additional data services.

How does it work?

The capabilities of a partner filter solution are registered with the VAIO framework, and are surfaced for user interaction in the SPBM Continue reading

Announcing vSphere 6: Virtualize Applications with Confidence

Today, VMware announces vSphere 6, the latest release of the industry-leading virtualization platform, and the first major release of the flagship product in more than three years (read the press release).  vSphere 6 is packed with 650-plus new features and innovations that will empower users to virtualize applications with confidence by delivering increased scale and performance, breakthrough availability, storage efficiencies for virtual machines (VMs), and simplified management for the virtual data center.  vSphere 6 is purpose-built for both scale-up and scale-out applications including newer cloud, mobile, social and big data applications. Following is a sample of the new features:

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VMware’s vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) achieves Hortonworks Operations Ready Certification

 

Hortonworks announced on the 17th December 2014 that VMware’s Big Data Extensions tool for Hadoop on virtual machines is now both HDP Certified and Operations Ready. HDP is the Hortonworks Data Platform – an open Hadoop platform that is centered on YARN. The Operations Ready designation is a new certification introduced by Hortonworks to focus attention on those tools that integrate in an approved way with Apache Ambari by making use of the open Ambari management application programming interfaces. The focus of the program is to certify operational tools for managing a Hadoop/HDP cluster. The Operations Ready program also provides assurance to enterprises adopting Hadoop that the tools they select to run and interact with Hadoop have been tested and validated to work correctly. At VMware we are excited to get this additional level of certification for VMware’s BDE and we look forward to continued engineering collaboration with Hortonworks.

Here is the description of the new Operations Ready program from Hortonworks:

http://hortonworks.com/partners/certified-technology-program/ops-ready/

You probably by now have also seen the recent VMware Big Data Extensions 2.1 announcements. Here is a quick summary of those new features in 2.1:

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/10/whats-new-vsphere-big-data-extensions-version-2-1.html

BDE 2.1 was announced as being Generally Available in October 2014. One of the central new features in BDE 2.1 is better integration with the de-facto Hadoop management tools from the distro vendors. Chief among those tools is Ambari. This integration with Ambari was the result of a request made to us directly by the VMware BDE user community.

BDE 2.1, with the new application manager construct, can now use the Ambari APIs under the covers to provision the HDP software into the virtual machines that it has created through cloning its template virtual machine. This method of deploying everything through BDE ensures that the resulting new Hadoop cluster is entirely compatible with Ambari. That is important because many of our users would like to use Ambari and VMware vCenter together from the point at which a cluster is provisioned onwards.

  • Ambari is the management tool of choice among HDP users in order to gain insight into what is going on at runtime at the Hadoop level (e.g. checking the status of HDFS, YARN, MapReduce and other services) and to make service changes there.
  • VMware vCenter is the virtualization infrastructure management tool that is in use at tens of thousands of VMware’s customers to view system behavior and performance at the virtual infrastructure level (virtual machines, physical machines, consumed resources and performance data). vCenter with the BDE plug-in is in popular use for deploying user Hadoop clusters today at many enterprises.

The BDE plug-in uses the vCenter APIs as well as the Ambari Blueprint APIs. Combining the two tools together to collaborate on the Hadoop provisioning details simplifies the management of your virtualized Hadoop cluster significantly. Both the Hadoop application architect and the virtualization manager can converse about the components of the HDP cluster and their effect on hardware consumption.

Hortonworks’ new Operations Ready program is one of a set of certifications that are currently available from the company. Other certifications available are the YARN Ready, Security Ready and Governance Ready programs. You can read more about the new programs here:  http://hortonworks.com/blog/accelerating-adoption-enterprise-hadoop

You can find the full BDE Administrator’s  and User’s  Guide and the BDE Command Line Interface Guide, as well as the Release Notes at: https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-big-data-extensions-pubs.html

 

vCenter Server 5.5 Availability guide

It brings me great pleasure to announce the vCenter Server 5.5 Availability Guide is now available.

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Automatic Backup of VMs Migrated by SRM

A question came across my desk a few days ago around being able to automatically back up VMs that have been migrated by vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM). After a bit of thought, it seems this is fairly simple to solve. With SRM, I migrate VMs to a resource pool at my recovery site. Why you might ask? This resource pool is configured with shares set to “High”. This has no impact during normal operations, but when I migrate or fail over important workloads, I want to be sure these workloads have priority if there is contention for CPU and memory. However, this also creates a secondary benefit when it comes to backing up migrated VMs…

srm_resource_pool

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Do You Need Hardware Guidance to Accelerate Your Virtual SAN Deployment?

It has been 10 months since we released the first set of Virtual SAN Ready Nodes , which are validated server configurations jointly recommended by VMware and Server OEMs to accelerate Virtual SAN deployment. We have been working closely with multiple Server OEM partners to continuously update the list of Virtual SAN Ready Nodes.

The Virtual SAN Ready Node is another great option besides the DIY/Build-your-own option to deploy Virtual SAN, as we had discussed in the past such as in the June 23rd blog.

We have expanded the list from 24 (in June) to 40 Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from eight Server OEMs.

Why should you care about the Virtual SAN Ready Nodes and how do you use them?

RN Benefits

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