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Category Archives: vSphere

Journey to the SDDC – vSphere with Operations Management

Are you looking at the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) and taking a dive into the vCloud Suite? As you take your journey it sometimes becomes confusing and potentially overwhelming as you look at all the possibilities and figure out what comes next.

For example, it’s fairly easy to recognize the value in these solutions, but you also do understand that implementing change takes time and resources no matter how much you desire to get them done. Continue reading

New Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from Cisco and Hitachi!

What is the VMware Virtual SAN team announcing today?

Further to the initial launch of the new Virtual SAN Ready Nodes two weeks back, the VMware Virtual SAN product team is launching more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes today, this time from leading OEM vendors, Cisco (4 Ready Nodes) and Hitachi (1 Ready Node).

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.32.32 PM

We now have a total of 29 Ready Nodes from leading OEMs including the ones we announced two weeks back from Dell (3 Ready Nodes), Fujitsu (5 Ready Nodes), HP (10 Ready Nodes) and SuperMicro (6 Ready Nodes)!  The more, the merrier!

We also have some exciting updates on the Ready Nodes from the other OEM vendors that we released two weeks back!

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vSphere IAAS Interoperability: Virtual SAN, NSX, OpenStack

VSAN-NSX-OpenStackJust in time and right before everyone is off on a long 4th of July weekend here in the good old U.S. of A, I wanted to share a integration demo that I’ve been holding for some time now. Hopefully everyone can see the fireworks delivered by the demo as well.

In this demonstration we’re showcasing the advanced IAAS features and deep integration of vSphere with Virtual SAN, and NSX using Openstack as the Cloud Management Portal for a multi tenant IAAS platform.  To prove our point here, this is not just some isolated lab environment, this is a real environment running today and its leveraging currently available technologies.

The  environment utilized in this demonstration is actually the NSBU internal cloud which has over 200 environment as a mix of KVM and vSphere.  Virtual SAN is used for all vSphere data stores and NSX is used for all tenant connectivity with OpenStack providing a scalable and secure multi-tenant, multi-hypervisor environment.

This demonstration showcases the agility and flexibility of the integration capabilities of vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN.  In the demonstration we rapidly standup of a two tier ‘application’ and demonstrate the connectivity between all elements of the virtual machines providing the applications.

When complete, all instances, networks and routers are decommissioned and the tenant is returned to an ‘empty state’.  The whole process takes less than 10 minutes (as can be seen in the instance uptime section in the horizon UI).

VMware vCenter Orchestrator – vCenter Invalid Credentials

There are a few errors I’ve run into over the years that just stump me. Like you, I start doing some web searches and piecing things together. I cross-reference what I find with people I think may have more details for me. Well, I have recently had the “Invalid credentials” error in VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) when viewing my vCenter Server instance in the vCO inventory. I hate to admit that it had me stumped for a while.

When adding my vCenter server in the vCO plugins section, the connection and credentials tested out just fine, so why was the VCO client giving me this error?  Continue reading

Getting Started with VMware vCenter Orchestrator – Building Many Virtual Machines

I’ve recently been building and rebuilding some of our physical labs many, many times. I’ve found that I have a very common base configuration that I need to start with and it takes me a while to manually configure all of my components. While I won’t be going into the infrastructure configuration just yet, I’m writing this to show you how easy it is for you to use VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) to easily perform repetitive tasks with the built in workflows.

The point of this article is to get you started with something you either may not be aware of, or just have attempted before and didn’t know how or where to get started. We won’t be getting advanced so it should be easy to follow. Continue reading

SLES for VMware End of Availability Announcement

On June 25, 2014, VMware is announcing the End of Availability (EoA) of all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware offerings.  As a result, the SLES for VMware offering will be removed from the VMware price list on July 25, 2014.  After July 25, 2014, customers that purchase VMware vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise, or vSphere Enterprise+ (either standalone or as part of a suite) will no longer be eligible to a free SLES for VMware offering.

All Support and Subscription Services for the EoA product will be unaffected and will continue as per VMware’s Support Lifecycle Policy through the published support period until August 25, 2016.

Customers are not required to take any immediate action.  This notification in no ways impacts customer’s ability to use SLES for VMware past June 25, 2014.  However, if customers want to take advantage of their eligibility to receive SLES for VMware, they must do so before July 25, 2014.

For any further inquiries, please contact VMware Support.

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – Ready, Set, Go!

What is the VMware Virtual SAN team announcing today?

The VMware Virtual SAN product team is very excited to announce 24 new Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from leading OEM vendors – Dell (3 Ready Nodes), Fujitsu (5 Ready Nodes), HP (10 Ready Nodes) and SuperMicro (6 Ready Nodes)!

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What is a Virtual SAN Ready Node?  How “Ready” is it?

Virtual SAN Ready Node is a hyper-converged ready-to-go hardware solution sold by server OEMs which has been pre-configured to run the Virtual SAN in a certified hardware form factor.

The Virtual SAN Ready Nodes include unique and optimized combination of hardware components from the OEM, and may also include software from the OEM for vSphere and Virtual SAN. Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are ideal as hyper-converged building blocks for large datacenter environments with strong automation and a need to customize hardware and software configurations.

OEM vendors offer Virtual SAN Ready Nodes that are unique to their server offerings and include optimized combination of hardware components (I/O controller, HDD, SSD) to run Virtual SAN.  In some cases, they also include pre-loaded software for vSphere and Virtual SAN.

So what does a Virtual SAN Ready Node look like?

Virtual SAN Ready Node is a preconfigured ready-to-go hardware solution.  Virtual SAN Ready Node is prescriptive in that it provides the size and quantity of CPU, Memory, Network, I/O Controller, HDD and SSD required to run a VDI or Server workload.

For a detailed list of available Ready Nodes from OEM vendors, please refer to the Virtual SAN Ready Node document

But what if I want to choose my own hardware components for Virtual SAN?

Sure, you can do that using the Build Your Own option on the VMware Virtual SAN Compatibility Guide.  Using this option, you can pick any certified server, I/O Controller, SSD and HDD from your vendor of choice, decide on the quantity of each components and build out your own Virtual SAN solution.

Alternately, if you are interested in a preconfigured and ready-to-go solution which can be procured faster using a single SKU/Reference ID, go for the Virtual SAN Ready Node!

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are also prescriptive and are classified under different solution profiles for VDI and Server use cases so we have made it easy for you to pick the Ready Node that best matches your workload profile requirement.

What are the different solution profiles under which Ready Nodes are classified?  

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are classified into Low, Medium and High profiles for Server workloads and Full Clone & Linked Clone profiles for VDI workloads.  The solution profiles provide prescriptive hardware recommendations to meet different levels of workload requirements based on the maximum number of VMs (assuming an average instance size for each VM) that can be run per host.

For more details on infrastructure sizing assumptions and design considerations that were made to define sample Ready Node configurations categorized into these solution profiles, please refer to the Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide.   See snapshot of the document below:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.06.27 PM

So how do I choose the right Ready Node for my Virtual SAN?

Visit the VMware Virtual SAN Compatibility Guide website and follow this simple process:

1.  Determine your Virtual SAN workload profile requirement for VDI or Server use case.

2.  Refer to the node profiles and guidance in Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide  to determine the approximate configuration that meets your needs

3. Refer to the Virtual SAN Ready Nodes document to identify preconfigured and ready-to-go Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from OEM server vendors.

The server I want is not on the Ready Node list.  Will it be supported with Virtual SAN?

As long as the server is certified on the VMware vSphere Compatibility Guide, it will work with Virtual SAN and can be selected as part of the Build Your Own option to build out your Virtual SAN even if it is not one of the standard Virtual SAN Ready Node offerings.  This is also true for any certified component like I/O controller, HDD and SSD on the Virtual SAN compatibility guide.

How do I quote/order the Virtual SAN Ready Node from my vendor of choice?

Please contact your OEM sales representative and use the SKU/Reference ID listed for each Ready Node to quote/order the Ready Node from your vendor’s procurement system.

Note: For some of the vendors, the SKUs/Reference IDs are still under works and we expect to get these finalized soon.

Are there more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from other server vendors to choose from? 

Yes, stay tuned.  We have more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from other server vendors coming soon over the next few weeks.

Watch this space for more details!

Hadoop moves to 2.0 – Virtualizing the New YARN

Hadoop 2.0, also known as Yet Another Resource Negotiator
(YARN) is the newest generation of the Hadoop technology that is in popular use
today for highly distributed processing and management of big data. YARN is now
shipped by the Hadoop distributors as part of their Hadoop 2.x distributions. YARN
changes the architecture that was inherent in Hadoop 1.0 in order to allow the
system to scale to new levels and to assign responsibilities more clearly to
different components. Looking deeper into the functionality that YARN offers,
it is clear that there are many good reasons for virtualizing it.

We find that the YARN and vSphere technologies are complementary and that they serve mutually beneficial purposes in building your big data clusters.
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vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

Today VMware released an update to its virtualization management solution, vCenter Server. The update brings several fixes as documented in the release notes which can be reviewed in full here.

The new versions are as follows:

  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891313
  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b Installation Package | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891310
  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891314
    downloaded now from vmware.com

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Which vCenter Server platform should I use – Appliance or Windows?

One of the most repetitive questions that I get asked is which version of vCenter Server should I be using. This obviously is based on the decision between using the vCenter Server appliance (VCSA) introduced with vSphere 5.0 or the trusted and proven vCenter Server on Windows.

whichplatform

It has been general knowledge that the vCenter Server appliance, since its introduction has lacked features to that of its Windows counterpart. With vSphere 5.5 the vCenter Server appliance has come a long way, it supports all solutions that integrate with vCenter Server (vCD, vCOPs, SRM, VUM etc) but is it production ready? I can confidently say yes but will it meet your requirements?
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