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Category Archives: Uptime

App HA 1.1 Released – Now available for download

App HA overview

The latest version of App HA, 1.1, was released last week and is now available for download. This release has a number of cool new features that will greatly increase the usability of App HA. I will do additional post(s) on these in the next few weeks.

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vSphere Replication Capacity Planning Appliance

We often get requests on how to estimate vSphere Replication network bandwidth utilization. This can be rather difficult as there are a few variable factors that influence how much traffic is generated by vSphere Replication (VR). A couple of key items are data change rate in the virtual machine (VM) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) setting in VR for the VM. Data change rate can be difficult to determine and is rarely a constant number. Fortunately, one of the engineers here at VMware built a virtual appliance that calculates and graphs the the amount of replicated data generated by a VM and the bandwidth that would be consumed when using VR for replicating this VM.

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Site Recovery Manager – Changing a placeholder datastore

The idea of changing a Placeholder Datastore in SRM has come up a few times in internal discussions recently and there was some confusion around how to deal with it so I wanted to put something together to clarify things.

As a quick refresher, Placeholder Datastores are used to contain the Placeholder VM files at the recovery site. If you intend to do a Planned Migration and Reprotect you will need Placeholder Datastore(s) at the protected site as well.

Here is the process for changing the Placeholder Datastore(s) at the recovery site. The process is the same for the protected site.

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vSphere HA VM Monitoring – Back to Basics

In my experience as a customer, partner and working for VMware, I’ve found HA VM monitoring to be an incredibly helpful feature that I am consistently surprised is not used more. It is easy to turn on, provides an additional layer of protection for your VMs and just works. So why don’t more people use it? I am not going to be able to answer that question in this post, though I hope to provide enough information to get more people to try it out. Continue reading

Backing up VMs on VSAN with VDP Advanced and Data Domain

As I am sure most of you are aware, VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is now generally available with vSphere 5.5 U1. Perhaps you have been using VSAN since its beta debut last year or maybe you are just getting started. Either way, the next logical question once VSAN has been deployed is how do I back up the VMs running on VSAN? To address that question, VMware has also released vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced 5.5.6. One of the main features added to this VDP Advanced release is full support for backing up and restoring VMs running in a VSAN cluster.

vsan_vdpa_interop

It is certainly possible to deploy a VDP Advanced appliance to a VSAN cluster and back up VMs running on VSAN. However, this breaks the cardinal rule of not having your production data and backup data on the same storage. How can we address that? Keep reading…

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PowerCLI for Site Recovery Manager

Along with the release of vSphere 5.5 U1 and the VSAN general availability, there is some other pretty exciting news that might risk getting overlooked:  The release of PowerCLI 5.5 R2.

Why is that so exciting for an availability guy?  Because for the first time you can now use PowerCLI with the SRM API directly!    Check it out in the PCLI release notes.

You can now manage the vCenter Site Recovery Manager Public API through the Connect-SRMServer and Disconnect-SRMServer cmdlets.

Great, what does *that* mean?  Well my friend Alan Renouf who now manages the product informs me that it means:

Full management of the vCenter SRM Public API: Using the Connect-SRMServer and Disconnect-SRMServer you are now able to connect to vCenter SRM and access all public APIs available, use of the $global:DefaultSrmServers object properties and methods after connection allow for access to recovery group and protection group automation, see the built in help and examples for more information.

Now be aware that this does not mean we have a full and rich set of PowerCLI cmdlets for SRM, just that PowerCLI can now view the entire existing API that SRM presents.  But for those of you who want to do things like running tests programmatically – here’s a much easier way than cracking out the java code!

Make sure you take a look at the PowerCLI User’s Guide and also examine the sample scripts for SRM.  They sure make it easy to call API functions like ListProtection Groups, GetInfo, ProtectVMs, etc.  The samples include handy things like:

  • Connecting to an SRM server with PowerCLI
  • Protecting a virtual machine
  • Creating a report on protected virtual machines
  • Creating a report of virtual machines associated with all protection groups

For more info stay tuned here as well as at the Official PowerCLI Blog where Alan and others will doubtless be providing more examples on use.  You might want to check out the SRM API Documentation as well for the context of what exactly you are capable of doing with SRM via API/PowerCLI.

-Ken

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 Released

As hinted throughout most of the day, the vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 has been publicly released this evening.

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1623101
vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1 Installation Package | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1623099
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1 | 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1624811

Whats New

  • vCloud® Hybrid Service™ vSphere® Client Plug-in, is now available in vSphere Web Client
  • vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • This release delivers a number of bug fixes

Full release notes can be found here

Download bits here

Getting ready to upgrade production to vCenter Server 5.5? Make sure you’re using the correct deployment option

Over the last few months, many customers have been testing and familiarizing themselves with vSphere 5.5 however deployment into a production environment is usually stalled until the availability of the first update or service pack. As we are nearing the typical time frame of when such an update or service pack may become available, I wanted to share some findings that may affect your deployment selection of vCenter Single Sign-On when deploying or upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5

During the installation of vCenter Single Sign-On server you are asked on the deployment option of the vCenter Single Sign-On instance. Below is the intended use case for each deployment option.

SSO#0

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Protecting Applications on Physical Servers with VDP Advanced

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced is able to perform true application-consistent backup and recovery of tier-1 applications – specifically, Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint. This functionality is enabled by the VDP Advanced application agents for these applications. With these agents, administrators can back up and restore individual databases, enable multiple backup streams, truncate database logs, and restore individual Exchange mailboxes. Up until now, these agents were only supported for applications running in virtual machines. I am happy to report that it is now possible to offer the same level of data protection for these applications running on PHYSICAL servers! I repeat – VDP Advanced can now backup and restore SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint running on physical servers. Keep reading for more details…

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Updated VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal

The VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal iOS and Android app has recently been updated. It sports a great new look and feel and makes finding the information you need even easier by grouping it by area in our SDDC vision.

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