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Category Archives: Uptime

vSphere Replication and Virtual Raw Device Mappings

Some vSphere administrators utilize a storage feature called "raw device mapping" or RDM. There are two types of RDM - virtual RDM and physical RDM. For more information on RDM, please see the vSphere 6.0 Documentation Center. In general, I recommend using VMDK files or Virtual Volumes, but there are certain benefits of RDM.

"Does vSphere Replication support the replication of RDMs?"

The answer is yes, but only virtual RDMs. vSphere Replication does not support physical RDMs. The next question I get is "How is the virtual RDM restored when recovered by vSphere Replication?" The answer is actually quite simple: It is recovered as a VMDK file at the target location. If you would like to see more details, keep reading...

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Updated version of the vMSC white paper for vSphere 6.0 available now!

One of the most popular white papers of the last couple of year has definitely been the vSphere Metro Storage Cluster best practices white paper (vMSC). Over the past 12 months we have received many emails asking if there were changes that needed to be taken in to account for vSphere 5.5. More recently we started receiving questions if all of the information was still valid for vSphere 6.0. With the introduction of vSphere HA VM Component Protection and changes in how vSphere HA can handle host failures when Cluster VM/Host rules are defined it was time to update this paper.

The past weeks we've worked hard (my co-author Lee Dilworth and I) to ensure all changes that were introduced with vSphere 6.0 were captured in this white paper. We hope you will enjoy the document. You can find a link below to the document for your convenience. If there are any questions do not hesitate to leave a comment below or reach out to Lee or I on twitter. Thanks!

*** vSphere Metro Storage Cluster recommended practices white paper ***

vSphere Replication Synchronization Types

vSphere Replication is VMware’s hypervisor-based virtual machine replication solution that is included with vSphere Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions. We commonly get questions around the differences between the various types and modes of synchronization — or “sync” — vSphere Replication utilizes. This article covers sync types and modes and discusses related performance improvements introduced with vSphere Replication 6.0.

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vSphere with Operations Management Product Walkthroughs

If you’ve ever tried to watch a product demo video, or tried to use it to show a product to someone else, often times you find yourself trying to pause the video at the exact right moment, and then having scrub backwards or forwards because you missed the timing.  At VMware we’ve created an alternative way ot showing demos, which we call Product Walkthroughs.  These are web-based demos that let you walk through a scenario screen-by-screen, at your own pace.  Each screen has annotations to explain what’s going on and markups that highlight important parts of the screen, both of which can be turned off if you want a clean view.

Although we have created Product Walkthroughs for numerous products and solutions, the ones I want to focus on are for vSphere 6 and vSphere with Operations Management.  Both of these provide a great way to learn about these products and their features at your own pace, as well as to show how something works to your colleagues (or bosses).  The one on vSphere 6 highlights the features in this major new release, with sections on:

and more.

The vSphere with Operations Management product walkthrough provides an in-depth look at all the features of its two major components, vSphere and vRealize Operations, including

So, check them out and let us know what you think!

VM Component Protection (VMCP)

vSphere 6.0 introduces a powerful new feature as part of vSphere HA called VM Component Protection (VMCP). VMCP protects virtual machines from storage related events, specifically Permanent Device Loss (PDL) and All Paths Down (APD) incidents.

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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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vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide

VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability GuidevCenter Server has become a mission critical part of most virtual infrastructures. It can be a single point of failure if it is not designed for availability. vCenter Server 6 has many changes relating to vCenter Server and its components and careful consideration has to be made in the design of its architecture.

There are multiple solutions for high availability. Many of these options can be combined to provide different levels of availability. vSphere HA, FT, vCenter Watchdog services and in guest clustering solutions can be combined depending on customer requirements for availability.

The Platform Services Controller (PSC) serves many VMware solutions in addition to vCenter Server such as VROPS, View, etc. The PSC deployment modes have to be carefully evaluated based on unique customer requirements and architected appropriately as well.

The VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide is a great resource for architecting a HA solution for vCenter Server.  I hope you find it useful!

vSphere Replication Without DNS

I believe most individuals know proper DNS configuration is essential to a smooth operating VMware environment - or pretty much any environment, for that matter. However, there are a few cases where certain components must be deployed to an environment that does not have DNS servers. I had a question about this specific to vSphere Replication so I decided to do some testing. My test environment consists of vCenter Server 6.0 running on Windows Server 2012 R2 in a virtual machine, a couple of local vSphere 6.0 hosts, and another vCenter Server 6.0 environment about 800 miles away from the local environment. I deployed a vSphere Replication 6.0 virtual appliance to the environment and removed the DNS server entries. It did not take long to see warnings and error messages in the UI.

vr_not_available

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SRM Protection Group Design Considerations

When designing vCenter Site Recovery Manager environments the question of how to organize Protection Groups (PG) frequently comes up. In this post we'll review what a protection group is, where it fits in the context of SRM and the factors to keep in mind when deciding how to organize them.

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vSphere Replication Target Storage Consumption

vSphere Replication is an asynchronous, host-based replication feature that is included with vSphere Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions. It can be used as a standalone solution for simple, storage-agnostic, cost-effective virtual machine replication. vSphere Replication also serves as a replication component for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. When replication is configured for a powered on virtual machine, vSphere Replication starts replicating the files that make up the virtual machine from the source location to the target location. A question that comes up sometimes is "How much storage will be consumed by the virtual machine at the target location?" As with many questions like this, the short answer is "It depends."   :)

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