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The Best Thing for Your Data Center since vSphere

The Advantages of vSphere with Operations Management

It’s come to our attention that some folks are less than certain about the differences between vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management. Let’s clear things up:

As vSphere environments have grown in size, it’s become increasingly important to efficiently manage virtualized capacity and monitor performance. This is why VMware introduced the product called vSphere with Operations Management. As the name implies, it combines the vSphere virtualization you know and love with some pretty awesome capabilities to make operations simpler, more efficient and less costly.

For the vast majority of you who already run vSphere, upgrading to vSphere with Operations Management is a logical, natural progression—one with a very persuasive rationale

Gain Measurable Benefits Over Running vSphere Alone

  • 40% higher capacity utilization
  • 37% higher server consolidation ratios
  • 30% more hardware savings
  • 26% faster diagnostics and problem resolution

These are research-proven results, and here are the capabilities behind them:

Right-size Your Capacity and Optimize Your Resources

It may come as a surprise (or perhaps not), but something like 90% of all VMs are over-provisioned. vSphere with Operations Management lets you quickly identify which ones.

For each VM, it shows you the allocated amounts of CPU, memory, and disk space—together with the resources actually required to run that particular workload. You can then downsize capacity to the latter levels, reclaiming wasted resources for productive use.

Get Out of “Alert Storms” and into Smart Alerts

When traditional monitoring tools are applied to virtualized environments, administrators get overwhelmed with low-level data and false positives, infamously known as “alert storms.”  Enter vSphere with Operations Management. Its patented self-learning performance analytics and dynamic thresholds assimilate the characteristics of your environment and adapt to its behavior. Not so miraculously, all those trivial and inaccurate warnings disappear. When you do get an alert, you can be sure it’s about something you need to look into. Hence the name Smart Alerts: they minimize monitoring requirements so you can devote more time to optimization. Which is operations management the way it should be, right?

Pinpoint Problems Fast with an Intuitive Dashboard

One of the product’s niftiest innovations is an intuitive performance dashboard. Designed on the principle that proactive beats reactive, it rolls up metrics into priority-based indicators that pinpoint performance issues at a glance. You can then quickly drill down deep to diagnose root causes and resolve concerns before they become problems.

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Trying Is Believing

We hope we’ve cleared up any confusion about vSphere with Operations Management and the highly compelling reasons to move up from vSphere alone. Of course, the most persuasive case is the one you can make yourself in your own environment—with a free trial of vSphere with Operations Management. Try it now.

Like more details? Try these links:

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Announcing VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery: Making DR Simple and Affordable for Businesses

This post originally appeared on the VMware vCloud blog

The vast majority of IT applications are not protected by Disaster Recovery because it’s too expensive and too complicated – that changes today with the availability of vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery.

A worrying minority of applications, both Tier 1 and Tier 2, are protected by DR because of that cost and complexity. vCloud® Hybrid Service™ – Disaster Recovery  is simple to install and operate, and costs just $835 per month for:

  • 1TB of storage
  • 20GB of RAM
  • 10 GHz of stand-by capacity

That’s less than half the price of competing DR offerings, and there is also no initial set-up fee and no requirement to buy professional services.

It works by replicating your virtual machines to vCloud Hybrid Service, where they are stored in a recovery virtual data center. You decide the recovery point objective, from 15 minutes to 24 hours. At any time you can start the VMs to conduct a test or recover from a disaster.

This new disaster recovery service is ideal for organizations that don’t want to have to build and maintain tertiary DR sites – it’s much more cost effective. It’s also useful for organizations that want to protect more applications from data loss and downtime during a disaster, but could not justify the cost and complexity of traditional DR.

Installation is simple: you download and install the replication virtual appliance into your vSphere environment, provide the API address for the vCloud Hybrid Service location of your choice, decide which VMs to protect and the recovery point objective(s) and then you can begin replicating. You can also ship VMware a disk containing your existing VMs to seed the initial replication process, and then only the changes (deltas) are replicated to vCHS.

Many DR services simply throw people (managed services) at the complexity of DR, which is why they’re expensive – and the complexity hasn’t gone away, which can be problematic when you want to recover. vCHS DR was designed to be simple from the outset, which helps to keep costs down – but you don’t have to manage everything yourself if you don’t want to. VMware partners are standing by, ready to help you plan and manage your business continuity and DR strategies.

Other cloud DR solutions only work with a narrow set of operating systems and applications. vCloud Hybrid Service supports the widest range of certified operating systems (90) and applications (more than 5,000) because it’s based on vSphere. No tricky VM conversions are required, which is vital when you have a real disaster and need to be sure you can run all of your applications right away. vCHS runs more versions of Windows than Microsoft Azure, and more versions of Linux than AWS and Google Compute Engine combined.

In the event of a disaster, you can run your applications on vCHS as long as you like, and transfer your VMs and data back to your own site at any time.

Don’t just take it from us though – watch Planview discuss how vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery has enabled the organization to cut costs and expand their Disaster Recovery services for customers while enjoying a flexible disaster recovery environment that’s easy to deploy (within a day), suits their needs without requiring a secondary location and is backed up by rock solid support:

To learn more about what VMware Hybrid Cloud – Disaster Recovery can do for your organization, visit vCloud.VMware.com and discover how you can protect your apps. Don’t forget to follow VMware vCloud on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in hybrid cloud news.

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VMware Announces VMware Horizon 6

Yesterday VMware announced VMware Horizon 6, the latest update to our desktop and applications solution that now offers published application delivery along with virtual desktops from a single integrated solution.

VMware Horizon 6 is an updated suite of end-user computing solutions that are designed to deliver desktop and application virtualization through a single platform from any cloud – be it public, private or hybrid – all under a unified, consistent workspace for the end user.

You can read our full press release here but let me highlight a few of the new capabilities in VMware Horizon 6:

  • Published applications and virtual desktops delivered through a single platform offers application and desktop virtualization delivered from a single solution
  • A unified workspace for simplified access provides one place for IT administrators to provision and end-users to access applications and desktops through single sign-on.
  • Storage optimization using VMware Virtual SAN drives down capital costs to where virtual desktops are near parity with physical desktops and less expensive than physical laptops.
  • Closed-loop management and automation offers a holistic view of your entire virtual infrastructure – from data center to device – while also providing cloud-like automation to simplify management.
  • Central Image Management offers central image management of physical, virtual and employee-owned PCs from a single integrated solution that includes the latest updates from VMware Mirage.
  • Hybrid cloud delivery gives customers the ability to deploy Horizon 6 in a hybrid cloud that balances between private and public cloud infrastructures to best satisfy their needs – all through a single integrated Horizon client that seamlessly connects to virtual applications and desktops.

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Your Grandfather’s Backup Tools Weren’t Built for Today’s Virtual Environments.

When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run, you shouldn’t be working with legacy backup and recovery tools. You’re not in your grandfather’s data center, so why use his data protection tools?

Yet that’s the case in many data centers. Instead of deploying backup and recovery solutions built for virtual machines, many organizations are using legacy data protection solutions that were designed for physical environments and retrofitted for use in virtualized environments. And here’s the bottom line: Some are finding they aren’t getting everything they need.

In particular, conventional backup and recovery solutions that were not built with virtualization in mind can be expensive, slow, complex, and unreliable. What you really need for your virtualized environment is a backup and recovery solution that is specifically designed to protect virtual machines.

That’s vSphere® Data Protection™ Advanced, a backup and recovery solution with built-in backup data replication for VMs. vSphere Data Protection Advanced is purpose-built to:

  • Deliver highly efficient, resilient, and simple backup and recovery in midsized vSphere environments
  • Minimize storage and bandwidth consumption using an industry-leading and patented variable-length deduplication algorithm powered by EMC Avamar
  • Simplify backup operations through integration with the vCenter Server and end-to-end management through the vSphere Web Client

For a look at what it takes to implement vSphere Data Protection, download our tech tips, Backup and Recovery for Your IT Environment.This technical brief is loaded with valuable tips, from steps you can take to determine your capacity needs to insights into the protection of your all-important business applications. Download today.

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Back To Basics: Configuring Standard vSwitch (Part Two of Three)

Post by Mike Laverick, Senior Cloud Infrastructure Evangelist, Competitive Team

This post originally appeared on Mike Laverick’s blog

Introduction

In Part One of this series on Standard vSwitches I looked at creating internal, basic and NIC Teamed vSwitches – together with a configuration designed for load-balanced iSCSI communication. Following on from that this part looks at enabling the options for VMotion, Fault-Tolerance and High Availability. I also do a survey of the common settings on vSwitches and Portgroups. In the next part I will look at doing all this configuration using PowerCLI.

Creating an VMkernel Port for VMotion

1. Select vSwitch0 (or create a new vSwitch), and click the Add Host Networking button

2. Select VMkernel Network Adapter as the portgroup type

13. Confirm that you are selecting an existing standard vSwitch

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4. In the connection settings type a friendly portgroup name, and if required a VLAN tag value.

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Find Out Why Businesses Are Embracing the Hybrid Cloud — Register for Our April 8 Webinar!

This post originally appeared on the VMware vCloud blog

The hybrid cloud has become an increasingly appealing option for businesses that need to respond quickly to customer and market demands, but who want to avoid the added burden of investing in expensive hardware or building additional datacenters. This is because a good hybrid cloud solution can empower organizations to seamlessly move their applications from their internal datacenter to the cloud, allowing them to achieve increased business agility while also reducing costs.

To better understand the benefits of the hybrid cloud, join our webinar and hear Tom Bittman, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst from Gartner Research, discuss the state of hybrid cloud adoption, the reasons why more organizations are moving to the hybrid cloud and the benefits they’re reaping.

Additionally, Shawn Wiora, Creative Solutions in Healthcare CIO, will be discussing his organization’s move to the hybrid cloud, including the criteria and business case they developed for moving applications to the hybrid cloud.

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In sum, the webcast will cover:

  • Hybrid cloud adoption and benefits
  • Best practices for implementing hybrid cloud from a VMware customer
  • Five ways to get started with hybrid cloud

Register today to learn more about how the hybrid cloud can transform your organization’s IT infrastructure and provide you with the solution your business needs.

 

 

Back to Basics: Creating Standard vSwitches (Part One of Three)

Post by Mike Laverick, Senior Cloud Infrastructure Evangelist, Competitive Team

This post originally appeared on Mike Laverick’s blog

Standard vSwitches have been around in VMware ESX since the very earliest days – they are a robust, well-known technology and despite the advances in networking with onset of Distributed vSwitches, VMware NSX, VMware VXLAN, and vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) – they remain very popular. Standard vSwitches reside on the VMware ESX hosts and can be managed both in stand-alone way with the vSphere Client, or via the vCenter Server using the web-client. Additionally, there are extensive PowerShell cmdlets available, together with commands on the ESX host. These commands on the ESX host itself can be very useful when used in conjunction with scripted installation for laying down the basic networking layer required for other functions and features such as access IP-based storage (NFS and iSCSI) as well as advanced features such as vMotion and Fault Tolerance.

Standard Switches are packed with features – but they are not as functional or easy to manage as the Distributed vSwitch. You may find that other technologies available from VMware strongly recommend or require the use of Distributed vSwitches. For example VMware’s vCloud Director (vCD) leans heavily on the Distributed vSwitch, and although Standard vSwitches are supported – it is substantially more effort to manage vCD without Distributed vSwitches. With that said, Standard vSwitches remain popular for environments that are mainly geared around primary compute virtualization, and this due in no small part to the Standard vSwitch being available in all distributions of vSphere, whereas the Distributed vSwitch is currently only available within the Enterprize Plus editions of the platform.

Some organizations prefer to use a combination of both Standard vSwitches and Distributed vSwitches. In this scenario they use Standard vSwitches to manage all “host” based networking, and use Distributed vSwitches to manage all “VM” Networking.

I’ve recorded a “Show Me How” video which covers the basics of creating Standard vSwitches – it covers how to create/modify Standard vSwitches in vSphere 5.5 using the all-new Web Client and covers vSwitches, NIC Teaming, VLAN Tagging and load-balancing MPIO for iSCSI Binding communications…

For best quality on YouTube ensure you use Full Screen, 720p HD Quality – YouTube often defaults to a lesser quality to speed up delivery.

Additionally, I did another video which covers the settings on Standard Switches and their Portgroups.

Network Patching of Standard vSwitches

Mode 1: Internal Standard vSwitch

In this case no physical network card (referred to as vmnic’s in VMware terminology) is mapped to the virtual switch. In this case all network communication remains within the walls of the physical server, and only systems configured to the same “internal” Standard vSwitch can communicate with each other. As such their usage remains limited to specific situations such as:

  • Creating a test network within to run VMs isolated from others
  • Creating a “firewall-in-a-box” scenario where one VM contains two NICs connected to two different vSwitches for purposes of being the Firewall/NAT/Router between the two networks.
  • Used by VMware Site Recovery Manager to create a “bubble network” during tests to prevent network conflicts during the use of recovery plans for DR purposes

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Want to Supercharge Your vSphere Environment? Take a Test Drive at Our Online Workshop.

If you’re using VMware vSphere® in your data center, you’ve made a smart choice. You’ve chosen the world’s leading virtualization platform—and what could be better than that?

Answer: VMware vSphere with Operations Management. This next-generation VMware solution provides additional benefits for your vSphere environment with insight into capacity management, performance monitoring, and risk analysis. The platform is designed to help you see opportunities to make better use of your capacity, resolve performance problems in less time, and work proactively to avoid issues that could affect your business services.

To put yourself in the driver’s seat for a test drive, register today for our March 25 vSphere with Operations Management 101 Online Workshop.

In this one-hour session, you’ll experience the full technical capabilities of VMware vSphere with Operations Management in our Hands-on Lab Online portal, run on cloud-based virtual machines. You’ll also have the opportunity for live chat with VMware technical experts. There’s no need to install any new software on your existing hardware—or to don a helmet and fireproof driving suit.

Spots are limited so register here today: vSphere with Operations Management 101 Online Workshop.

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VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced – Top Questions from Our Recent Webcasts

Do you have some basic and maybe even detailed questions around vSphere Data Protection Advanced? You are in luck!  Based on feedback from some of our most recent webcasts, we have compiled the most common questions around vSphere Data Protection Advanced. 

For example, you may be wondering:

  • Can vSphere Data Protection Advanced perform critical data back-ups daily?
  • Is it agent-less?
  • Does it allow thin provisioning?
  • Is it only available on vSphere 5.5? 
  • I was looking at vSphere Data Protection, what is the basic difference?

To learn more about the answers to these questions and others you may have, check out our new guide of top questions here.

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Do you have other questions about vSphere Data Protection Advanced? Let us know in the comments below.

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How to Make the Most of a VMware User Group (VMUG) Membership

The VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to provide our 80,000+ members VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events. Membership is free; click here to join VMUG today.

Included in your free membership:

  • VMUG Special Interest Groups (SIGs) bring together VMware customers, partners and employees with mutual interests in areas of different industries and VMware technology to discuss enhancements, uses or issues and address real-time experiences with the VMware platforms they use in their organizations
  • Access to our Local VMUG Groups and User Conferences – With over 190 local VMUGs and 40+ User Conferences, VMUG offers the ability to connect with your fellow VMware users at a local level
  • VMUG eLearning – A one-stop shop for VMUG members to gain access to different types of complimentary virtual educational offerings
  • Online Workspaces – Catch up with your fellow members, share presentations, and ask questions right from your desk
  • VMUG Voice – VMUG’s monthly electronic newsletter
  • Member discounts with VMware Press and Global Knowledge – exclusive discount on books, white papers, and training materials

If you’re already a member, did you know you can upgrade your membership?

Exclusive to VMUG members, VMUG Advantage is the most cost-effective way to stay on top of your technical skills, with discounts on training, certifications, VMworld and product licenses. Visit VMUG Advantage to learn how you can save over $1,700.

  • 20% Discount on VMware Certification
  • 20% Discount on VMware Instructor-led Training
  • $100 Discount on Admission to all VMworld Events
  • 50% Discount on VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Software Licenses
  • 35% Discount on Lab Connect

Questions? Please contact VMUG at memberservices@vmug.com or call us at +1 312.321.6886.

We hope to see you at a local event soon!

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