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Category Archives: vSphere

vSphere Distributed Switch – Network Monitoring

When users adopt the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) there is a whole new level to monitoring that becomes available that’s not possible with our vSphere Standard Switch. Industry standard tools such as Port Mirroring and Netflow and our own VDS monitoring called Health Check. These powerful tools not only help to troubleshoot issues or monitor traffic but help to ensure you don’t have issues to begin with.

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Effect of VAAI on cloning with All Flash Arrays:

Cloning virtual machines is an area where VAAI can provide many advantages. Flash storage arrays provide excellent IO performance. We wanted to see what difference VAAI makes in virtual machine cloning operations for “All Flash Arrays”.

For the test 500GB of random data on a VMDK was created on a Linux virtual machine. This virtual machine was then cloned with VAAI turned off and then on to study its impact. The results of the testing truly attest to the big benefits that VAAI bring to massive write operations.

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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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Big Data Extensions – Four new demo videos available

Four new demonstrations using the vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) have recently been made available on the VMwareTV area on Youtube for your use. They are all compact (less than 5 minutes in duration). The demos are described below.

BDE Demo #1: Installing and Configuring the vSphere Big Data Extensions

This demonstration shows the process for installing and configuring the vSphere Big Data Extensions feature. This capability is available as a free download with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus. It allows you to provision Hadoop clusters on to vSphere virtual machines easily and quickly, and to manage them in a flexible way. It also provides a number of elasticity features for scaling your Hadoop virtual machines up or down automatically or manually.

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What happened to that Hardening Guide setting?


As usual, most of my blog posts come from customer or field questions. Here’s a new one crossed my path recently.

A customer, running vSphere 5.1, was finding some anomalies within their VM’s. Their belief was that some of the vSphere Hardening Guide settings were causing it. When this was assigned to me, I noticed that they were referencing the vSphere 4.1 hardening guide!

The customer was applying guidelines from the 4.1 guide against a 5.1 system. They believed that the guideline was still relevant because it was referenced in a KB. (I’m going to try and get that fixed!)

The guideline setting is “guest.commands.enabled”. The 4.1 guide said to set this to False. The 4.1 guide AND the KB both state that setting this to False would disable the operation of VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) and VMware Update Manager (VUM), both of which call the VIX API for guest operations.

Cue the old Henny Youngman “Doc, it hurts when I do this!” so the Doctor says “Don’t do that!”  Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal! <rimshot>

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Pivotal CF 1.1 on VMware vSphere: Making it Easier for Developers to Build and Deploy Modern Applications Using Platform as a Service

In Q4, 2013, Pivotal CF 1.0 was made available to customers and the vSphere team announced that VMware will begin resell of Pivotal CF. Pivotal CF is the commercially supported hybrid Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) based on the Cloud Foundry platform and optimized to run on VMware vSphere. It provides a turnkey PaaS experience for development teams to rapidly develop, update and grow applications dynamically on a private cloud allowing enterprises to operate at Internet scale for continuous delivery.

I am excited to announce the 1.1 release of Pivotal CF. With Pivotal CF 1.1, customers can utilize useful improvements to version 1.0 such as improved developer debugging, buildpack administration, higher availability and simple experience for adding new services through the service broker.

What’s new with Pivotal CF 1.1?

  • Improved app event log aggregation: developers can now go to a unified log stream for full application event visibility
  • Buildpack Management: operators can add new runtimes using buildpacks and control the order in which buildpacks are applied
  • Higher availability: this release introduces a 3rd generation application health manager for higher system and application availability
  • Simple experience for adding new Services: providers can develop and expose new services in the Pivotal CF catalog using a streamlined V2 Service Broker API
  • Faster Developer Console: faster, with enhanced usability in managing teams and interacting with services
  • Faster CF CLI: faster, with native installers for all modern platforms and versions of Windows, OSX, and Linux
  • And more…

For more information on the 1.1 release of Pivotal CF, please click here

VMware Virtual SAN Interoperability: vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager

VSAN+VR+SRMFor the third article of the Virtual SAN interoperability series, I want to showcase the interoperability between Virtual SAN vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager. This demonstration presents one of the many possible ways in which customers can use of vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager with Virtual SAN.

In the demonstration below, I performed a fully automated planned migration of virtual machines hosted on traditional SAN infrastructures onto a Virtual SAN environment seamlessly. This example particularly shows how simple this type of operation can be achieved utilizing existing vSphere tools and technologies that possess integration capabilities with Virtual SAN.

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vSphere Distributed Switch – Backup and Restore

Continuing on with features found in the vSphere Distributed Switch, the Backup and Restore capability is a feature I rarely saw used when I was in the field. I saw, and still do see, customers going out of their way to make sure they can backup the vCenter database, and even more so SSO, but if you have to rebuild your vCenter or migrate to a new one and don’t have a backup of your Distributed Switch you’re going to be in for a lot of work.

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vSphere Distributed Switch, Traffic Filtering

When talking with customers about our vSphere Distributed Switch I often find that they don’t know about a feature in the Traffic Filtering policy engine that allows for creation of Access Control Lists or ACLs. This is in additional to being able to tag traffic and pass Quality of Service (QoS) or Differentiated services Code Point (DSCP) values up to the physical network for prioritization.

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VMware Virtual SAN: Cross Cluster Migrations

VSANI was recently involved in a conversations with regards to Virtual SAN and virtual machine migration capabilities. A few customers have been wondering about whether or not all of the vSphere migration operation and functions work with Virtual SAN due to the way the system works. One particular migration operation in question was around the ability to migrate virtual machines.

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