It’s tough to believe that VMworld US 2015 has nearly come to a close. Tonight, we’ll celebrate our experience with our customers at AT&T Park during the Customer Appreciation Event. Throughout the conference, we’ve had some great sessions and Wednesday was no exception. Today we heard from experts regarding the newly announced EVO SDDC solution, as well as discussed current and future options for vCenter High Availability.
EVO SDDC Best Practices
Presented by Anil Kapur, EVO SDDC Product Management and Jason Lochhead, EVO SDDC CTO, this session focused on the processes and automated best practice configurations that are built into EVO SDDC. Anil presented to a small, but very engaged group, and collected feedback from the audience throughout the presentation that will be used to prioritize the next round of automated services.
Anil highlighted the major challenges for customers implementing SDDC as the up-front setup, the bring-up and lifecycle management. The problem is that configuring a workload domain is non-trivial and complex, and that’s where EVO automation comes in. EVO SDDC is designed to work with EVO Racks, and automates the more common and time-consuming configuration activities. During the session, he showed a demo illustrating the process for creating an IaaS workload domain. The current built-in best practices handles IaaS, Big Data and VDI workload domain configurations.
Utilizing the EVO SDDC Manager UI, Anil was able to quickly define the availability, performance and security requirements from a list of dropdown parameters. These parameters, in turn, select, acquire and deploy the correct resources to meet the defined requirements automatically. Policies are then set automatically from the standard choices. For example, availability can be configured from simple requirements like Low redundancy, Normal redundancy and two levels of High redundancy. Behind the scenes, the automation allocates, configures and enables the appropriate resources to meet these availability requirements.
Anil also went through scenarios showing examples for a typical EVO Rack configuration and how to scale out the workload domains.
It appears the first workload domain automated best practices were right on the mark, as a poll of the attendees revealed that IaaS and SQL configurations were identified as the first and second most time intensive tasks, respectively.
Anil asked for suggestions from the audience about what other tasks they would consider their next challenges on SDDC. The number one response was Internet App Logic workloads, and overwhelmingly, the audience agreed that the ability to standardize and maintain consistent workload builds was the most important to them.
Keep EVO SDDC on your radar! More best practices for automation to standardize and save time are on the way!
vCenter High Availability
Madhup Gulati, VMware Product Manager for vCenter, discussed the current toolset and options for providing High Availability to vCenter in vSphere 6. There were quite a few interesting exchanges between Madhup and the audience regarding who was comfortable with the current options and who wanted better tools and capabilities. This initial discussion also showed that very few customers are using Oracle as the external database for vCenter, and also that quite a few customers are at least testing the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). In general, however, customers agreed that they wanted more capabilities to protect their vCenters.
Throughout the session we also discussed High Availability, specifically for the Platform Services Controller (PSC). The PSC is a critical component because it contains the Single Sign On (SSO) feature. Therefore, if there is a PSC failure, user and solution authentication will not be possible creating substantial usability issues within vSphere. Madhup reviewed PSC replication capabilities and the high availability topologies included supported load balancers. Finally, he provided a roadmap of what will be coming in future releases, which were very well received.
This session was very interactive and provided many insights into customers’ requirements and challenges as the criticality of vCenter and the Platform Services Controller has steadily increased. The audience learned how to better protect these components in vSphere 6 as well as the exciting new features coming in future releases.
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