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Tag Archives: Julienne Pham

Troubleshooting VMs Connectivity with vRealize Network Insight

Julienne_Phamby Julienne Pham

Things can be difficult when you don’t know where a network issue may be.

In today’s datacentre, the rapid need to deploy business applications in minutes is necessary to keep the business ahead of the game. It is even more crucial to keep security and rapid networking configuration in control. So, how can a network administrator get to the bottom of a network issue in a matter of seconds in this new cloud era?

Network Virtualization brings operational and management flexibility and simplicity, but adds a complexity to troubleshooting and pinpointing the root cause of a network issue.

The traditional way would be to check the network activity from vCenter on the ESX level on the physical nic card, and check the packet going on as you run the test. It is also necessary to check the physical network activities and compare with the virtual network traffic and deduce where the bottleneck is.

If now you need to cross check between VCs and multiple sites, how long will it take to figure out the configuration issue? The required information can be gathered on one search on vRealize Network Insight.

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BCDR: Some Things to Consider When Upgrading Your VMware Disaster Recovery Solution

Julienne_PhamBy Julienne Pham

Once upon a time, you protected your VMs with VMware Site Recovery Manager, and now you are wondering how to upgrade your DR solution with minimum impact on the environment. Is it as seamless as you think?

During my days in Global Support and working on customer Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) projects, I found it intriguing how vSphere components can put barriers in an upgrade path. Indeed, one of the first things I learned was that timing and the update sequence of my DR infrastructure was crucial to keep everything running, and with as little disruption as possible.

Here If we look more closely, this is a typical VMware Site Recovery Manager setup:

JPham_SRM 6x

And in a pyramid model, we have something like this:

JPham_SRM Pyramid

Example of a protected site

So, where do we start our upgrade?

Upgrade and maintain the foundation

You begin with the hardware. Then, the vSphere version you are upgrading to. You’ll see a lot of new features available, along with bug fixes, so your hardware and firmware might need some adjustments to support new features and enhancements. It is important at a minimum to check the compatibility of the hardware and software you are upgrading to.

In a DR scenario, it is important to check storage replication compliance

This is where you ensure your data replicates according to your RPO.

If you are using vSphere Replication or Storage Array Replication, you should check the upgrade path and the dependency with vSphere and SRM.

  • As an example, VR cannot be upgraded directly from 5.8 to 6.1
  • You might need to update the Storage Replication Adaptor too.
  • You can probably find other examples of things that won’t work, or find work-arounds you’ll need.
  • You can find some useful information in the VMware Compatibility Guide

Architecture change

If you are looking to upgrade from vSphere 5.5 to 6.1, for example, you should check if you need to migrate from a simple SSO install to an external one for more flexibility, as you might not be able to change in the future. As VMware SRM is dependent on the health of vCenter, you might be better off looking first into upgrading this component as a prerequisite.

Before you start you might want to check out the informative blog, “vSphere Datacenter Design – vCenter Architecture Changes in vSphere 6.0 – Part 1.”

The sites are interdependent

Once the foundation path is planned out, you have to think about how to minimize business impact.

Remember that if your protected site workload is down, you can always trigger a DR scenario, so it is in your best interest to keep the secondary site management layer fully functional and upgrade VMware SRM and vCenter at the last resort.

VMware upgrade path compatibility

Some might assume that you can upgrade from one version to another without compatibility issues coming up. Well, to avoid surprises, I recommend looking into our compatibility matrix, and validate the different product version upgrade paths.

For example, the upgrade of SRM 5.8 to 6.1 is not supported. So, what implications might be related to vCenter and SRM compatibility during the upgrade?

JPham_Upgrade Path Sequence

Back up, back up, back up

The standard consideration is to run backups before every upgrade. A snapshot VM might not be enough in certain situations if you are in different upgrade stages at different sites. You need to carefully plan and synchronise all different database instances for VMware Site Recovery Manager and vCenter—at both sites and eventually vSphere Replication databases.

I hope this addresses some of the common questions and concerns that might come up when you are thinking of upgrading SRM. Planning and timing are key for a successful upgrade. Many components are interdependent, and you need to consider them carefully to avoid an asynchronous environment with little control over outcomes. Good luck!


Julienne Pham is a Technical Solution Architect for the Professional Services Engineering team. She is specialised on SRM and core storage. Her focus is on VIO and BCDR space.

VMworld 2015 US Sneak Peek: Successful Virtual SAN Evaluation/Proof-Of-Concepts

Julienne_PhamBy Julienne Pham

This is the first in a series of previews of our VMware Professional Services speaking sessions at VMworld 2015 US starting August 30th in San Francisco. Our Technical Architects will present “deep-dive” sessions in their areas of expertise. Read these previews, register early and enjoy.

Sneak Peek of Session STO4572: Successful Virtual SAN Evaluation/Proof-Of-Concepts

This is an update to last year’s Virtual SAN proof-of-concept (POC) talk. A lot has changed in the last year, and the idea of this session is to fill you in on all the potential “gotchas” you might encounter when trying to evaluate VMware Virtual SAN.

Cormac Hogan, Corporate Storage Architect, and Julienne Pham, Technical Solution Architect of VMware, will cover everything you need to know, including how to conduct various failure scenarios, and get the best performance. Thinking about deploying Virtual SAN? Then this session is for you.

This session will share key tips on how to conduct a successful Virtual SAN proof-of-concept. It will show you how to correctly and properly set up a Virtual SAN environment (hosts, storage and networking), verify it is operating correctly, and then show you how to test the Virtual SAN full functionality. This session will also highlight how to verify that VM Storage Policies are working correctly, as they are an integral part of SDS and Virtual SAN.

We will also discuss how a Virtual SAN handles failures, and how to test if it is handling events correctly. In addition, it will cover numerous monitoring tools that can be used during a POC, such as the Ruby vSphere Console, VSAN, Observer Web-based analysis tools, and the new Virtual SAN Health Service plug-in. After attending this session, you will be empowered to implement your own Virtual SAN POC.

 Learn more at VMworld 2015 US in San Francisco

STO4572: Successful Virtual SAN Evaluation/Proof-Of-Concepts

Monday, Aug. 31, 8:30 – 9:30 AM

 Speakers:

Cormac Hogan, Corporate Storage Architect, VMware

Julienne Pham, Technical Solution Architect, VMware


Julienne Pham is a Technical Solution Architect for the Professional Services Engineering team. She is specialised on SRM and core storage. Her focus is on VIO and BCDR space.

VIO – A Closer Look from a vSphere Administrator View.

Julienne_PhamBy Julienne Pham

A version of VMware Integrated OpenStack was released in April, and for the DevOps team, the Cloud API did not change from one vendor to another. So, how does it impact me as a vSphere administrator?

This article will go through how VIO can be managed through the vSphere Web Client.

After deploying the VIO cluster services instance, this is what I have noticed:

One Single Pane of Glass

Yes, the initial OVA deployment involves the registration of the VMware Integrated OpenStack services to vCenter Service, so there is no surprise to see the OpenStack logo on the vSphere Web Client.

Instead, I find it very practical to be able to configure all the services through the same vSphere Web Client.

JPham vSphere Web Client

 

Backup and Restore Configuration File

I like this feature in particular, if you are like me, someone who is constantly multitasking, it is really a gain of time when you have to redeploy the OpenStack services or troubleshoot any deployment issue.

The installation requirements can be found on this article: http://blogs.vmware.com/openstack/vmware-integrated-openstack-first-look/

It is quite an exhaustive list, and it can save a lot time especially when you have to fill the IP range.

JPham vSphere Web Client 2

Managing the VIO OpenStack Management Cluster

Depending on the business demand, you can scale-up and scale-down your Nova Compute or other storage configurations from your actual setup within the VMware Integrated OpenStack web interface.

You can:

  • Get the summary of OpenStack Services cluster
  • Add new Nova Compute
  • Add new Nova Storage
  • Add new Glance Storage resources
  • Eventually patch your OpenStack Cluster

JPham vSphere Web Client 3

 

High Availability (HA)/Disaster Recovery Services (DRS) Rules

VMware has designed an OpenStack architecture in high availability mode, but does it integrate with the vSphere HA or DRS? In this example, during the OpenStack services cluster deployment, DRS rules get created to ensure the same OpenStack Service virtual machines are not hosted on the same VMware ESXi host.

JPham vSphere Web Client 4

 

Once configured, the things you need to remember are:

  1. DevOps will provision daily virtual machine workload. You need to make sure you have some controls, monitoring and alarms set on the vSphere infrastructure to prevent any massive production disruption, e.g., a case where a virtual machine provisioning script keeps running in a loop … and might impact the full vSphere environment.
  2. Maintenance. For application awareness, you need to go through the vSphere VMware Integrated web plugin and shut down the cluster from there, not from the vSphere web virtual machine inventory, as it has no application dependency awareness.
  3. We are providing a validated VIO architecture. If you are customizing OpenStack services virtual machines manually, I would suggest backing up the virtual machines and calling support if needed to validate it – as with any future upgrade, your configuration might be overwritten and not persistent.

Julienne Pham is a Technical Solution Architect for the Professional Services Engineering team. She is specialised on SRM and core storage. Her focus is on VIO and BCDR space.