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VMware Values Your Opinion

VMware Values Your Opinion

Thank you for being an engaged reader of the VMware Cloud Management blog!

At VMware, we are consistently exploring new ways to refine our offerings. The Management Blog has been a great medium to stay in touch with you and share product announcements, technical content, use cases etc.

The best way for us to improve the Management Blog is to ask our expert audience and today, we would like to hear about your experience with the Cloud Management blog. 

Here is the link to a short survey. This survey should take 3 – 5 minutes to complete. Your feedback will help us improve the content on management blog and tailor it further to your needs.

Please click here to provide your feedback!

In appreciation of your time completing the survey, we would like to offer you the opportunity to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $100 Amazon Gift Cards. We will pick three (3) lucky participants and each one of them will get a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

amazon-gift-card

Amazon $100 gift card

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Exploring New vRealize Operations Capabilities – David Davis Post #21

vrealize-operations-6-youtube-videoIn my last post, I covered how you can view and test, first hand, how vRealize Operations and Log Insight can be integrated to work together in the VMware Hands on Labs (HoL). In this post, I’d like to explore some of the many new vRealize Operations, version 6.0, features.

While vRealize Operations 6 was announced at VMworld Europe around October of 2014, if you are super-busy like most IT people are then you may not have had the chance yet to download, install, and try out some of the new features first-hand (I know that was the case for me, up until recently). To familiarize myself with the new features, there were a number of resources that I used and I’ll list them out right from the start, below, because I’m sure that they’ll help you, just as they did me:

Based on what I learned in the resources above, there are a LOT of new features to checking in vR Ops 6. For brevity, I checked out the following 5 new vRealize features and changes…

#1 Unified User Interface

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How to Configure Widgets – vRealize Operations Tech Tips #13

In my previous blog post, we discussed customizing vRealize Operations Manager to better meet your business needs by creating Custom Dashboards.  We would be remiss if we didn’t take some time here to discuss the Widgets that are the building blocks of the Custom Dashboards.

This video will walk you through and explain the process to configure Widgets in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. Widgets are a key component of vRealize Operations Manager and we provide a large number of them out of the box.  Widgets that will give you different visualizations and ways to view your data, from simple graphs to complex data mash-ups; alert lists to detailed health breakdowns; topological relationship views to geographic maps.  vRealize Operations Manager helps you display your data the way you need to visualize it.

Blue Medora extends VMware vRealize Operations to Cisco UCS

Cisco UCS is a common building-block within virtualized data-centers and is used in both converged (including VCE Vblock and NetApp FlexPod) and non-converged infrastructures because it integrates compute, network switching fabric, and an integrated management layer called UCS Manager.

We are pleased to announce that Blue Medora has released a new VMware vRealize Operations Management Pack for Cisco UCS.

Blue Medora is one of VMware’s partners in the Cloud Management marketplace on VMware Solution Exchange. The vRealize Operations Management Pack for Cisco UCS is the 6th Management Pack Blue Medora has released over the past year with 6 more Management Packs expected to come in rest of the 2015.

UCS VMware vRealize BlueMedora

In this post, we are going to dig into the Management Pack for Cisco UCS in more detail:

vRealize Operations Management Pack for Cisco UCS  Continue reading

IT Compliance Management with vRealize Operations – How to Set Up Alerts and Reports

My own compliance based on customized symptoms

My own compliance view based on customized symptoms

In this article I would like to provide some suggestions on following topics:

  • How to enable pre-defined compliance alerts in vRealize Operations Manager?
  • How to create and modify the rules?
  • How to create a detailed compliance report?

But first things first, why should we care about it?

IT Compliance has always been an interesting topic and a critical concern for IT organizations. No one wants to see one’s name in the headlines about outages, security breaches or stolen customer data. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying it can’t happen to you if you are compliant, but at least you can prove you did your best to avoid it. If you loose your server room key in a karaoke bar, no hardening guide will help.

There are at least three different kinds of compliance rules:  regulatory compliance (for example PCI DSS),  vendor best practices compliance (for example vSphere Hardening Guide) and internally defined compliance rules.

vRealize Operations 6 (6.0 and 6.0.1) provides alerts and symptoms which allow you to check your ESX host and VM settings for their compliance to the vSphere Hardening guide. This is a classic implementation of a vendor best practices compliance check. Continue reading

Capacity Management in SDDC – Part 4

In the previous post, I covered capacity management for the compute element of data center. In this post, I will cover storage and network.

For the storage node, capacity management depends on the chosen architecture. Storage is undergoing an evolution with the arrival of the converged storage, which introduces an alternative to the traditional, external array.

In the traditional, external storage model, there is a physical array (for example, EMC VNX, HDS HUS, and NetApp). As most environments are not yet 100% virtualized, the physical array is shared by non-ESXi servers (for example, UNIX). There is often a physical backup server (for example, Symantec NetBackup) that utilizes the VMware VADP API.

The array might have LUNs replicated to a DR site. This replication certainly takes up bandwidth, FC ports, the array CPU, and bandwidth on your inter-data center line.

If the array is not supporting VAAI (or that specific feature is not yet implemented), then the traffic will traverse the path up and down. This can mean a lot of traffic going from the spindle to ESXi and back.

Book - Capacity Management - storage 01

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VMware vRealize™ Code Stream™: Troubleshooting Errors in a Release Pipeline

Continuous Delivery requires the capability to quickly spot errors while executing a release pipeline and easily investigate them. Determining the root cause of a pipeline failure can be quite hard to work out by just looking at the symptoms. However, if the failed execution can be compared against a previous successful run, then the differences can pinpoint the cause quickly.

The release dashboard in vRealize Code Stream provides the capability to compare the results of multiple pipeline executions. By comparing a failed pipeline to a benchmarked one, the release team can quickly narrow down to the changes that broke the pipeline run. The comparison is applicable on finished, cancelled or failed pipeline executions. The example below shows a missing jar file in the pipeline execution that failed.

Compare Pipelines

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What is vRealize Air Compliance?

vRealize Air Compliance drives security and compliance by automating the detection of non-compliant infrastructure against industry best practices and hardening guidelines – without manual effort or custom scripting.  Discover, measure and manage the compliance of your infrastructure in real-time, not monthly or quarterly.  vRealize Air Compliance is a low friction compliance engine with an event driven approach that leverages vCenter events, provides quick compliance assessment, trending, exceptions and alerting.

 

vrealize Air Compliance

vRealize Air Compliance Management overview screen

With pre-configured and customizable policies, vRealize Air Compliance can:

  • Automatically discover and pinpoint vulnerabilities within the configuration of your virtual infrastructure.
  • Provide visibility into who made non-compliant changes in real-time.
  • Assess infrastructure against a variety of out of the box security and regulatory policies (e.g, vSphere Hardening Guidelines, PCI, HIPAA and more).
  • Deliver centralized, real-time insight into the state of compliance through intuitive dashboards and reports.
  • Highlight the severity and risks of the virtual infrastructure configuration with dynamic and informative compliance badges. Continue reading

Kick the Tires: vRealize Automation and vCloud Air

It wasn’t long ago that vRealize Automation could only provision virtual workloads into vCloud Air if you purchased a subscription to a dedicated pool within vCloud Air. That made it really difficult to just go in and kick the tires to see if the solution would work for your needs. Well, that’s all changed with vRealize Automation’s ability to provision workloads to vCloud Air’s OnDemand option. Now, you can you layer on vRealize Automation to handle the governance, policy, and self-service catalog for users to consume pay as you go vCloud Air resources from vRealize Automation.

For a blog article with instructions on how to do this, please see the following link: http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2015/03/connecting-vrealize-automation-vcloud-air.html 

Capacity Management in SDDC – Part 3

In the previous post, I covered capacity management at VM level. In this post, I will cover capacity management at infrastructure level.

At the infrastructure level, you look at the big picture. Hence, it is important that you know your architecture well. One way to easily remember what you have is to keep it simple. Yes, you can have different host specifications—CPU speed, amount of RAM, and so on in a cluster. But, that would be hard to remember if you have a large farm with many clusters.

You also need to know what you actually have at the physical layer. If you don’t know how many CPUs or how much RAM the ESXi host has, then it’s impossible to figure out how much capacity is left. I will use storage as an example to illustrate why this is important. Do you know how many IOPS your storage has?

The majority of shared storage is shared with both ESXi and non-ESXi servers mounted. Even if the entire storage is dedicated to ESXi, there is still the physical backup server mounting it, and it might be doing array-based replication or a snapshot.

Some storage support dynamic tiering (high IOPS, low latency storage fronting the low IOPS, and high latency spindles). In this configuration, the underlying physical IOPS varies from minute to minute. This gives a challenge for ESXi and vRealize Operations to determine the actual physical limit of the array, so you need to take extra care to ensure you accurately account for the resources available. A change in the array configuration can impact your capacity planning. Changing the tier preference of a given LUN can probably be done live, so it can be done without you being informed.

Capacity planning at the compute level

Once you know the actual capacity, you are in a position to figure out the usable portion. The next figure shows the relationship. The raw capacity is what you have physically. The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) workload is all the workload that is not caused by a VM. For example, the hypervisor itself consumes CPU and RAM. When you bring an ESXi host into the maintenance mode, it will trigger mass vMotion for all the VMs running on it. That vMotion will take up the CPU and RAM of both ESXi hosts and the network between them. So the capacity left for VM, the usable capacity, is Raw CapacityIaaS workloadNon vSphere workload.

Book - Capacity Management - workload

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