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Category Archives: vSphere

VMware Configuration Guide for Virtual SAN HCL Component Updates

The Virtual SAN Configuration Guide has been updated with new components. We recently certified 12 SSDs, updated 4 existing SSD certifications, and updated firmware information for 2 HDDs. Make sure to visit the VMware Configuration Guide for Virtual SAN for more details!

Here is a list of changes:

New SSDs
•  HGST HUSML4040ASS600
•  HGST HUSML4020ASS600
•  HGST HUSML4040ASS601
•  HGST HUSML4020ASS601
•  HGST HUSSL4040BSS600
•  HGST HUSSL4020BSS600
•  HGST HUSSL4010BSS600
•  HGST HUSSL4040BSS601
•  HGST HUSSL4020BSS601
•  HGST HUSSL4010BSS601
•  NEC S3700 400GB SATA 2.5 MLC RPQ
•  NEC N8150-712

Updated SSD Certifications
• Samsung SM1625 800GB SAS SSD1
• Cisco UCS-SD800G0KS2-EP
• EMC XtremSF1400 PCIEHHM-1400M
• EMC XtremSF700 PCIEHHM-700M

Updated Diskful Writes per Day (DWPD) for Samsung and Cisco drives
A new firmware, B210.06.04, was certified for EMC PCI-E SSDs

HDD Firmware Information Updates
•  Fujitsu HD SAS 6G 1.2TB 10K HOT PL 2.5” EP
•  Hitachi 6Gbps,900GB,10000r/min,2.5in.

 

Operationalizing VMware Virtual SAN: How to configure alarms

VMware Virtual SAN has received amazing response from the virtualization community. Now as more and more customers are completing the acquisition and implementation processes, we are receiving more requests for operational guidance. Day 2 operations is perhaps my favorite topic to explore. Essentially the questions asked can be summed up as “Ok, I have done the research, proved the concept, and now have this great new product. Help me know the recommended practices to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot the inevitable issues that pop up with any software”. This question is the driver behind our new blog series, “Operationalizing VMware Virtual SAN“.

In this series, our aim is to take your most frequently asked questions around Virtual SAN Operations and provide detailed recommendations and guidance. In our first article in this series we look to answer the question “How do I configure vCenter Alarms for Virtual SAN?

(Many thanks to Christian Dickmann (@cdickmann), Rawlinson Rivera (@PunchingClouds), and Ken Werneburg (@vmKen) for their much appreciated interest and contribution to this series): [Joe Cook: @CloudAnimal]

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SAP SD Benchmark Results on vSphere Shows Near Native Performance

I wanted to highlight some recent work done using a 3rd party benchmark and audited certification process that helps to address concerns that virtual overhead is still unacceptable for enterprise applications.

Many of our customers are no longer focused on this negligible consumption by virtualization as VMware software defined infrastructures have continued to demonstrate they can meet all their application needs, but yet some people still ask for this information.

SAP provides a test and certification methodology known as the Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark which provides several units of measurement, including Users and SAPS, that determines a hardware-independent score. This benchmark is run on both virtual and physical platforms and is well scrutinized before a certification number is issued.

There are two results I’d like to draw attention to:

  • Certification Number 2014043 (11/7/2014) by Dell/VMware – 9400 Users, 51400 SAPS
  • Certification number 2014017 (5/5/2014) by Dell – 10,253 Users, 55970 SAPS

These two benchmarks were performed on the exact same hardware and application stacks with the only exception being that VMware ESXi 5.5 was used on the most recent test. From this we can easily demonstrate that this comprehensive application and database benchmark shows only a 8.3% difference in virtual versus physical performance.

Additionally it’s worth noting, for Monster VM fans, that the virtual machine was configured with 48x vCPU’s and 256GB of RAM.

The message here is that virtual performance of an enterprise’s most demanding applications is near that of physical and that the value provided from the virtual platform more than exceeds the minute cost. Be confident – virtualize everything!

Special thanks to our partner Dell and our performance gurus (Erik, Sebastian & Louis) at VMware for these efforts.

Oregon State University uses VMware Virtual SAN for their growing VDI environment

Oregon State University, a public institution with more than 26,000 students and growing VDI workloads wanted a high performance storage tier for their VDI environment. However, they wanted the solution to be up and running before the school summer session began, along with being easy to operate and scale on an on-going basis, without requiring large upfront investments.

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Logging USB devices plugged into ESXi

 

I just found an interesting question on an internal message board here in VMware. A customer was wondering if it was possible to disable USB ports at the ESXi level. They are a very security conscience organization and they want to block any opportunity for someone internally with malicious intent to plug in a USB drive. Normally, this would be done at the BIOS level of the hardware but some device manufactures don’t implement that functionality.

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vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 SPBM – Part3: Associating vSphere Storage Policies

powercli 5.8 icon
In our last article we demonstrated how to use the new vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 SPBM cmdlets to create vSphere Storage Policies. In this article we will demonstrate how to quickly associate a vSphere Storage Policy with  a new or existing VM.

Example Provisioning Scenariospbm_1vmdk_vsan

To illustrate how to leverage PowerCLI to associate vSphere Storage Policies with VMs we will continue with the provisioning example from our previous article.

  • Virtual machine
  • Single virtual disk
  • Virtual SAN datastore

Follow these links for more information on creating vSphere Storage Policies for Virtual SAN:

Previously in order to create, manage, and associate vSphere Storage Policies with VMs using PowerCLI, one would need to leverage an intermediary method as well (e.g. Esxcli, RVC, REST API, etc). Often this could require the use of third party applications to bridge the gap in interfacing with the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management service. This resulted in added complexities and additional processing time for workflows that were automated with PowerCLI.

With the new PowerCLI 5.8 cmdlets for vSphere Storage Policy Based Management we are able to greatly reduce the complexity of vSphere Storage Policies with PowerCLI now by using PowerCLI exclusively. In the example below, we will demonstrate how to enhance the VM provisioning process by associating a vSphere Storage Policy with a virtual machine.

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Disaster Recovery for Virtualized Business Critical Applications (Part 3 of 3)

Planned Migration:

One of the relatively newer use cases for SRM is planned migration. With this use case, customers can migrate their business critical workloads to the recovery or cloud provider sites in a planned manner. This could be in planning for an upcoming threat such as a hurricane or other disaster or an actual datacenter migration to a different location or cloud provider. Continue reading

What’s New in vSphere Big Data Extensions version 2.1

Big Data Extensions enables the deployment of Hadoop and HBase clusters in virtual machines on the VMware vSphere platform. This article gives you a brief introduction to the new features in BDE version 2.1. BDE ships as a virtual appliance (an OVA file) and it is a free download for users of vSphere Enterprise or Enterprise Plus.

BDE users are interested in using their favorite management tools from their Hadoop distro vendors, along with BDE and vCenter, to manage their newly created virtualized Hadoop clusters. The 2.1 release of BDE implements this feature in an elegant way!

Now you can use BDE and Cloudera Manager or Ambari together to install and manage your Hadoop clusters without leaving your Web Client BDE seat. You can also use the earlier styles of provisioning a Hadoop cluster as shown under the “BDE Only” and “BDE 2.0″ headings below.  The first method on the left allows BDE to use a repository to install the Hadoop vendor’s software on to the virtual machines. BDE does the whole job of provisioning everything in this case – hence referred to as “BDE Only”.

Using BDE 2.0 (shown in the center column) you can create a basic cluster, i.e. one with no Hadoop software in it. Then you can use the Hadoop vendors’ installation and configuration tool to install the Hadoop software on those virtual machines. With BDE 2.1 you don’t have to go between the different tools; the full Hadoop installation can be done inside BDE’s user interface, but using the vendor’s APIs under the covers to do that. The difference between the BDE 2.0 and 2.1 methods is that in 2.1 the management tool from the Hadoop vendor is called by BDE directly.

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vSphere Storage Policy Based Management Overview (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management Overview. In our previous article, we looked at challenges with traditional storage provisioning models, the advantages of the Software-Defined Storage model, as well as an introduction and background to VMware vSphere Storage Policy Based Management. If you have not yet had opportunity to read it, it might be beneficial to glance through before continuing on.

In today’s article, we will be carrying on with the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) theme as we look to understand the components of the vSphere Storage Policy. Afterwards we will display a few policy examples for single VM provisioning and options for a collection of VMs as well.

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vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 SPBM Walkthrough (Part 1): Introduction

powercli 5.8 icon

Welcome to a new blog series for the all new vSphere PowerCLI 5.8 Release 1. In this series we will be exploring the new vSphere PowerCLI cmdlets for vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM).

With this release, we now have the ability to interface with the vSphere Storage Policy Manager through the addition of the new VMware.VimAutomation.Storage snap-in. This snap-in provides PowerCLI cmdlets that let you manage vSphere policy-based storage from the PowerCLI command line or by automating through PowerCLI scripting.

In this blog series we will look to provide indepth coverage along with real-world scripting examples for each of the cmdlets. All scripts provided will be examples only and unsupported however I do validate each script with great scrutiny in multiple testing environments so you may not require much adaptation, if any, if you choose to leverage them in your own environments. As always, please ensure all coding is validated in a non-production environment prior to production deployment.

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