Jun 07

vExpert 2019 Second Half Applications are Now Open!

Corey Romero posted June 7, 2019

VMware vEXPERT 2019

The wait is over and the second time to apply for vExpert 2019 is here! Applications will stay open from June 18th and will close on July 31st for a August 9th announcement.

  • June 7th – Applications Open
  • July 12th – Applications Close
  • July 26th to August 9th – Award Results

How to apply for vExpert 2019

  • New vExpert applicants – You can apply at vexpert.vmware.com.
  • Current 2019 vExperts – You do not need to apply for this period.

The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The program is designed to put VMware’s marketing resources towards your advocacy efforts. Promotion of your articles, exposure at our global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap.

Each year, we bring together in the vExpert Program the people who have made some of the most important contributions to the VMware community. These are the bloggers, book authors, VMUG leaders, speakers, tool builders, community leaders and general enthusiasts. They work as IT admins and architects for VMware customers, they act as trusted advisors and implementors for VMware partners or as independent consultants, and some work for VMware itself. All of them have the passion and enthusiasm for technology and applying technology to solve problems. They have contributed to the success of us all by sharing their knowledge and expertise over their days, nights, and weekends.

vExperts who participate in the program have access to private betas, free licenses, early access briefings, exclusive events, free access to VMworld conference materials online, exclusive vExpert parties at VMworld and other opportunities to interact with VMware product teams. They also get access to a private community and networking opportunities.

Evangelist Path

The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public or were in a language other than English.

Customer Path

The Customer Path is for leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have been internal champions in their organizations, or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path

The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements. A VMware employee reference is required for VPN Path candidates.

How to apply for vExpert 2019

  • New vExpert applicants – You can apply at vexpert.vmware.com.
  • Current 2019 vExperts – You do not need to apply for this period.

Questions & Updates

For questions about the application process or the vExpert Program, please send email to vexpert@vmware.com. Be sure to follow @vExpert for updates on the 2019 vExpert program.

Thank you to all who have participated in years past,
Corey Romero & the vExpert Team

Rating: 5/5


May 05

Tips and tricks on Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) for managing Virtual SAN environment

Continuing with our KBTV Webinar Series, in this latest KBTV Webinar you will learn some great tips and tricks you can use in Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) for managing a Virtual SAN environment. Covered in this video demonstration are various commands that can be used within Ruby vSphere Console (RVC), including:
“vsan.disks_stats” Useful for capacity planning, management of disk groups and monitoring the health of physical disks
“vsan.check_state” Useful for troubleshooting data unavailability situations and understanding object health in the VSAN cluster
“vsan.resync_dashboard” Useful for visibility into data resync when changing storage policies
“vsan.whatif_host_failures” Useful for capacity planning on future VSAN nodes and understanding VSAN’s ability to tolerate node failures.

Rating: 5/5


May 03

Troubleshooting Tips for vSAN

This video was live streamed from the Education & Certification Lounge at VMworld 2017.

Rating: 5/5


May 03

How to capture performance statistics using vSAN Observer for VMware vSAN

This video tutorial demonstrates and shows how to capture performance statistics using vSAN Observer for VMware Virtual SAN. For additional information see VMware Knowledge Base article 2064240 at https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2064240
While watching this video you will see the necessary steps to launch, collect and display Virtual SAN Observer (vSAN Observer) performance charts and information for VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN). VSAN Observer is designed to capture performance statistics for a Virtual SAN Cluster and provide access through a web browser and capture the statistics for customer use or for VMware Technical Support.

Rating: 5/5


May 02

VMware VSAN 6.7 License Guide

Introduction

VMware, the leader in Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), enables low-cost, high-performance HCI solutions powered by VMware vSAN™. The natively integrated software solution combines enterprise class vSAN storage with the industry-standard VMware vSphere® hypervisor and VMware vCenter Server™, a unified management solution for today’s modern data centers.
vSAN 6.7 delivers the industry’s best storage value with native security, ease of management, high performance, and low cost. vSAN pools local storage devices to create a distributed shared datastore and
provides a hyper-converged storage optimized for virtual machines. Customers of all industries and sizes trust vSAN to run their most mission critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, SAP, and Oracle Database. It is transformational technology that delivers unique value to VMware customers:

  • Evolve without risk: As the only native-vSphere storage, vSAN enables you to seamlessly extend virtualization to storage, creating a hyper-converged solution that simply works with existing tools,
    skillsets, software solutions and hardware platforms. To help customers maintain infrastructure performance, VMware introduces vSAN ReadyCare support, highlighting VMware’s commitment to supporting customers through investments in people, analytics and technology. vSAN continues to offer the broadest set of deployment choices supported by the vSAN ReadyNode™ ecosystem of leading server vendors such as Dell, HPE, and Cisco.
  • Lower TCO: Faced with tight IT budgets, customers are turning to HCI powered by vSAN to lower total cost of ownership up to 50%. vSAN can dramatically reduce costs due to hardware choice, server-side economics, and affordable flash. Your operations become easier with fewer tasks and intelligent automation that can be managed through one tool and a unified team. The simplicity allows you to
    respond to business demands faster and more intelligently. New to the latest release, vSAN now further expedites time-to-value from a new, intuitive user interface which includes dozens of redesigned
    workflows. Also, global visibility enables you to take rapid action from intelligent insights delivered by vRealize Operations within vCenter.
  • Scale to tomorrow: You can prepare for tomorrow’s dynamic business in the multi-cloud era, with a solution designed to utilize the latest storage and server technologies, while supporting a wide range of applications, from current business critical applications, to next-generation applications using containers.
    Enjoy a common storage platform for your applications, whether running on-premises or off-premises, and use it as a stepping stone to the cloud. When combined with NSX, a vSAN powered SDDC stack can extend on-premises storage and management services across different public clouds, ensuring a consistent experience.
    vSAN is compatible with any edition of vSphere and it is available in multiple packages to accommodate a variety of specific needs and use cases. This guide explains the vSAN licensing editions, discusses some
    vSAN configuration options at a high level, and provides a number of examples to illustrate potential licensing scenarios.

License Editions

vSAN license editions include Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. The following table shows the features included with each license edition.
Contributing factors

vSAN 6.7 comes with HTML5 User Interface which is completely redesigned to deliver a modern management experience. Standard licensing includes support for hybrid configurations—magnetic disks for capacity, flash devices for caching—and all-flash configurations. This change from the vSAN 6.2 licensing model enables the use of all-flash hardware while minimizing licensing costs. It is important to note that Standard licensing does not include support for deduplication, compression, and erasure coding. Advanced licensing is required for these space efficiency features.
The Enterprise license builds on the features included with vSAN Standard and Advanced by adding support for vSAN stretched cluster configurations and data-at-rest encryption. vSAN for ROBO Advanced was introduced in vSAN 6.5 release and is only available in vSAN 6.5 or later versions. vSAN for ROBO Enterprise was introduced in vSAN 6.6.1. In vSAN 6.7 release, vRealize Operations within vCenter feature was made available to Advanced and Enterprise editions of vSAN.

vSAN Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise editions are licensed per-CPU (socket). They are available as standalone licenses and are not included with VMware vSphere® or VMware vSphere with Operations
Management™. Any type of workload—server and desktop—can be run on a vSAN cluster with these licensing editions.
A vSphere host that is not contributing local storage to a vSAN datastore can be a member of the vSAN cluster and utilize the vSAN datastore. Even though a host is not contributing storage, the host must be licensed for vSAN.
vSAN data-at-rest encryption requires an external Key Management Server (referred as KMS), which provides the primary encryption key. This key is used to encrypt other keys in the cluster. While VMware does not provide a KMS solution, vSAN encryption is certified to work with enterprise grade key management servers. Please note, KMS vendors may have an additional licensing requirement. Different KMS vendors offer different license options, please check with the KMS vendor for further details. For a list of certified KMS vendors, refer to the VMware compatibility guide.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

vSAN for Desktop licensing is available for customers using vSAN exclusively for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This includes third-party VDI solutions in addition to VMware Horizon®. While this license option limits the use of vSAN to VDI workloads only, vSAN for Desktop provides unique pricing and packaging options to help further reduce the cost of VDI while enabling the benefits and performance of a distributed storage platform. vSAN for Desktop is available in Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise editions. It is priced per-concurrent user (CCU) in a virtual desktop environment and sold in packs of 10 and 100 licenses.
In addition to being available standalone, vSAN for Desktop Advanced licenses are also included with VMware Horizon Advanced and Enterprise editions.

Download VMware VSAN 6.7 Licensing Guide

Rating: 5/5


May 01

Troubleshooting VSAN Performance

Executive Summary

An infrastructure that delivers sufficient performance for applications is a table stake for data center administrators. The lack of sufficient and predictable performance can not only impact the VMs that run in an environment, but the consumers who use those applications. Determining the root cause of performance issues in any environment can be a challenge, but with environments running dozens, if not hundreds of virtual workloads, pinpointing the exact causes, and understanding the options for mitigation can be difficult for even the experienced administrator.

VMware vSAN is a distributed storage solution that is fully integrated into VMware vSphere. By aggregating local storage devices in each host across a cluster, vSAN is a unique, and innovative approach to providing cluster-wide, shared storage and data services to all virtual workloads running in a cluster. While it eliminates many of the design, operation and performance challenges associated with
three-tier architectures using storage arrays, it introduces additional considerations in diagnosing and mitigating performance issues that may be storage related.

This document will help the reader better understand how to identify, quantify, and remediate performance issues of real workloads running in a vSAN powered environment running all-flash. It is not a step-by-step guide for all possible situations, but rather, a framework of considerations in how to address problems that are perceived to be performance related. The example provided in Appendix C will illustrate how this framework can be used. The information provided assumes an understanding of virtualization, vSAN, infrastructures, and applications

Diagnostics and Remediation Overview

vSAN environments may experience performance challenges in a variety of circumstances. This includes:

  • Proof of Concept (PoC) phase using synthetic testing, or performance benchmarking
  • Initial migration of production workloads to vSAN
  • Normal day-to-day operation of production workloads
  • Evolving demands of production workloads

The primary area of focus of this document is related to production workloads in a vSAN environment. Many of the same mitigation steps can be used to evaluate performance challenges when using synthetic I/O testing during an initial PoC. A vSAN Performance Evaluation Checklist offers a collection of guidance and practices for PoCs that will be helpful for customers in that phase of the process.
Accurately diagnosing performance issues of a production environment requires care, persistence and correctly understanding the factors that can commonly contribute to performance challenges.

Contributing Factors

Several factors influence the expected outcome of system performance in a customer’s environment, and the behavior of workloads for that specific organization. Most fall in one of the five categories, but are not mutually exclusive. These factors contribute to the performance vSAN is able to provide, as well as the performance perceived by users and administrators. When reviewing previous performance issues in any
architecture where a root cause was determined, you’ll find that the reason can often trace back to one or more of these five categories.

Contributing factors

Understanding the contributing factors to a performance issue is critical to knowing what information needs to be collected to begin the process of diagnosis and mitigation.

Process of Diagnosis and Mitigation

A process for diagnosis and mitigation helps work through the problem, and address it in a clear and systematic way. Without this level of discipline, further speculation and potential remedies to the issue
will be scattered, and ineffective in addressing the actual issue. This process can be broken down into five steps:

    1. Identify and quantify. This step helps to clearly define the issue. Clarifying questions can help properly qualify the problem statement, which will allow for a more targeted approach to addressing. This process helps sort out real versus perceived issues, and focuses on the end result and supporting symptoms, without implying the cause of the issue.

    2. Discovery/Review – Environment. This step takes a review of the current configuration. This will help eliminate previously unnoticed basic configuration or topology issues that might be plaguing the environment.

    3. Discovery/Review – Workload. This step will help the reader review the applications and workflows. This will help a virtualization administrator better understand what the application is attempting to perform, and why.

    4. Performance Metrics – Insight. This step will review some of the key performance metrics to view, and how to interpret some of the findings the reader may see when observing their workloads. It clarifies what the performance metrics means, and how they relate to each other..

    5. Mitigation – Options in potential software and hardware changes. This step will help the reader step through the potential actions for mitigation.

A performance issue can be defined in a myriad of ways. For storage performance issues with production workloads, the primary indicator of storage performance challenges is I/O latency as seen by the guest VM running the application(s). Latency, and other critical metrics are discussed in greater detail in steps 4 and 5 of this diagnosis workflow. With guest VM latency being the leading symptom of insufficient performance of a production workload, and an understanding of the influencing factors that contribute to storage performance (shown in Figure 1.), the troubleshooting workflow for vSAN could be visualized similar to what is found in Figure 2 below.

A visual representation of a performance troubleshooting workflow

This document follows the process of diagnosis and mitigation described in Figure 2, and will elaborate on each step in an appropriate level of detail. Recommendations are provided on specific metrics to monitor (In Step 4, and Appendix A), and what they mean to the applications and the environment.
Additionally, the reader will find a summary of useful tools (found In Appendix B) should there be a desire to explore the details at a deeper level. Troubleshooting performance issues can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. This is made worse by skipping valuable steps in gathering information about the issue to really understand and define the problem. Therefore, the information provided here places emphasis on understanding the environment and workloads over associating each potential performance problem with a single fix.

This document does not cover the details of how to evaluate vSAN for a PoC environment, nor does it provide detail on how to run synthetic I/O based performance benchmarks. The information provided here closely aligns with the recommendations found in the vSAN Performance Evaluation Checklist, which is a great resource to level-set an environment for performance evaluation.

Download Troubleshooting VSAN Performance technical white paper (april 2019).

Rating: 5/5


Apr 30

Announcing VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Kit Colbert posted April 29, 2019

At VMworld last year, we announced Project Dimension, which extends VMware Cloud to deliver the SDDC infrastructure and hardware as-a-service to customers’ on-premises locations. Because it is a cloud service, VMware takes care of operating the infrastructure: deploying it; troubleshooting issues; and performing patching, upgrading and maintenance. This means customers can focus on differentiating their business by building innovative applications rather than spending time on day-to-day infrastructure management.

This is a transformational innovation, but in order to realize it we must have deep software and hardware integration. Thus, a key element of Project Dimension is working closely together with hardware manufacturers to achieve this integration.

Introducing VMCloud on DellEMC

So what’s the new news today? Well, we’re excited to announce that the first solution within the Project Dimension family we’re bringing to market is in collaboration with Dell EMC – VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. We’re combining all the great capabilities of VMware Cloud and VMware’s SDDC along with Dell EMC’s industry-leading VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure.

But before we jump into the specifics of this new offering, let’s step back and review why we’re doing Project Dimension.

The Rise of Hybrid Cloud

More applications are being created now than at any time in history, partly because there is more digital data being created now than ever before. This means data gravity is in full effect: as data mass grows, applications and services will be attracted to the data. How cool would it be to just move your applications seamlessly to where the data masses, whether it is in your data center or your edge locations or in a public cloud?

This is the holy grail of a hybrid cloud operating model. Of course, nirvana would be being able to take the best parts of cloud computing model (increased agility, simplified operations that drive accelerated innovation) with the best parts of on-premises operating model (mitigated risks, controlled costs, and increased performance when apps need low data latency and high-performance networking).

And of course, the three laws of hybrid cloud – the laws of physics, the laws of economics, and the laws of the land – will also dictate where data and applications may reside. To do the right thing for your business and move the compute and applications seamlessly to where your data resides, you’ll need a consistent architecture and consistent operations.

This is where Project Dimension and, in particular, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC come in!

Fully-managed VMware Cloud Service

VSAN Capacity Overview

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC takes VMware’s industry-standard SDDC platform and integrates it with Dell EMC’s enterprise-class VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure, delivering the combined hardware and software offering as-a-service to data center and edge locations. We are still finalizing the exact hardware configuration, but broadly speaking it will include a half-rack or full-rack with three or more VxRail servers, two top-of-rack switches, two NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud appliances, and an uninterruptible power supply.

And when we say “as-a-service” we really do mean as a cloud service: you can call an API or use a UI to order a new SDDC with VxRail hardware to any location you like (datacenter or edge location) by simply supplying a street address. Once the hardware arrives, a Dell EMC technician will activate and configure it. After the SDDC is up and running, you can start to deploy your workloads in the cloud, just like with VMware Cloud on AWS today. Since VMware operates the infrastructure along with Dell EMC, we are continually monitoring the SDDC infrastructure for any issues and will proactively act if we determine there’s a problem, including dispatching a Dell EMC technician to remediate issues with the physical hardware. Want another server in your SDDC rack? Just call an API and we’ll deliver one and connect it up for you quickly. VMware also takes care of all the patches and upgrades. You simply provide us with maintenance windows when we can perform those patches and upgrades. We’ll even come and take the rack away when you’re done with the VMware Cloud on Dell EMC service at that location. And there is one monthly fee based on the number of hosts you have in the rack – hardware, software, service, and support are all included in that single price.

When we talk about a “cloud service”, we mean that everything can be done via API or UI. In other words, you don’t have to have humans in the loop. That being said, there are many VMware employees working on VMware Cloud on Dell EMC that are ready to help whenever you need it. It’s easy to get help from support via the interactive chat window in the VMware Cloud portal. While we have designed this system for automation, agility, and speed, we always have people at the ready to assist at a moment’s notice.

Customer Use Cases

As we’ve talked with customers, three use cases for VMware Cloud on Dell EMC have emerged:

  • Datacenter or edge infrastructure modernization: Probably the most common use case is customers taking the opportunity to both modernize their infrastructure and simultaneously to get out of the business of operating that infrastructure. A big driver of this is the hardware refresh cycle. But customers are sometimes looking at switching earlier for the benefits from streamlined operations or to realize a subscription model for their infrastructure.
  • Latency or sovereignty sensitive workloads: There are many reasons customers keep workloads on-premises. The two we most frequently hear are apps that 1) are latency-sensitive or 2) must be kept in certain specific geographic regions for compliance or other reasons. With the rise of IoT and the need to quickly process that raw data, customers need to move apps close to the data. In other situations, due to the type of data collected and its sensitivity, data must not leave certain locations, necessitating local infrastructure. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is a perfect fit for both use cases.
  • Application modernization: Finally, we see many customers innovating in the cloud, with new application development methodologies and advances like continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD). Customers want this same ability on-premises, and thus need modern infrastructure to support it. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC gives customers a true cloud experience within their data center or edge locations, allowing them to run their new applications on-premises just like in the cloud. And in addition, because these apps have many existing components (databases and the like) that already run on VMware’s SDDC, it means the new apps can reside right next to the existing ones, allowing for peak performance and easy manageability.

Summary

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is ground-breaking in its ability to deliver a true cloud experience on-premises. We’re excited to announce that it is available today in beta and will have initial general availability in the second half of this year.

Want to learn more? Check out the following resources:

From VMware:

From Dell EMC:

About the Author

Kit Colbert is VP & CTO, Cloud Platform BU at VMware, driving technical strategy and innovation for the vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS, and Project Dimension product lines. Previously he was GM of Cloud-Native Apps, CTO for End-User Computing, the Chief Architect and Principal Engineer for Workspace Portal, and the lead Management Architect for the vRealize Operations Suite. At the start of his career, he was the technical lead behind the creation, development, and delivery of the vMotion and Storage vMotion features in vSphere. Kit holds a ScB in Computer Science from Brown University and is a recognized thought-leader on Cloud-Native, End-User Computing, and Cloud Management trends. He speaks regularly at industry conferences, on the main stage at VMworld, and is the Cloud-Native voice for the VMware Office of the CTO blog.

Rating: 5/5


Apr 02

Announcing vSphere 6.7 Update 2, vSphere Platinum updates, and vSphere ROBO Enterprise

Himanshu Singh posted April 2, 2019

I am excited to share that today we are announcing the VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2 release, with key enhancements that will deliver an efficient and more secure hybrid cloud platform to our customers. We are also announcing the new vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise edition, as well as updates going specifically into vSphere vSphere Platinum edition.
VMware vSphere 6.7 delivers a set of rich capabilities that provide key value and innovation to our customers. It delivers simple and efficient management to more easily run large infrastructure footprints.
Comprehensive intrinsic security capabilities protect applications, infrastructure, data, and access. Infrastructure teams are equipped to support both mission critical applications as well as new use cases such as AI/ML, VDI and new application architectures. Finally, customers looking to adopt public cloud benefit from seamless management and visibility across their entire hybrid cloud environment.
VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2

vSphere 6.7 Update 2 will deliver simplified operations, enhanced security, and support for new applications. It will include updates to the vCenter Server Converge Tool, new vCenter Server audit events and new VM maximums. With vSphere 6.7 Update 2, VMware is announcing the:

  • Deprecation of external PSCs:
    With VMware vCenter Server enhanced link mode introduced in vSphere 6.7, infrastructure teams can link up to fifteen vCenter Server instances in the embedded PSC topology, eliminating the need for load balancers and simplifying architectures.
  • The vCenter Server Converge Tool introduced in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 enables VI admins to seamlessly migrate topologies with external PSCs to topologies with embedded PSCs. With the new vCenter Server Converge Tool UI in vSphere 6.7 Update 2, infrastructure teams now have an intuitive snapshot of their environments that enables VI admins to make informed life cycle management decisions. The UI provides topological and extended views of the relationships between components such as:

      1. vCenter Server instances and PSC
      2. Embedded vCenter Server instances and other embedded vCenter Server instances
      3. Health checks
      4. Replication status

This delivers exceptional end-to-end user experience as customers migrate their topologies from vCenter Server instances with external PSC to vCenter Server instances with Embedded PSCs.
vSphere 6.7 Update 2 provides vCenter Server events and logging capabilities for single-sign-on operations such as user activity, user management, SSO group operations, identity source and policy updates. Customers now get extensive logging capabilities for detailed visibility into user activity for more secure access.
Customers who are using Intel Skylake or older processors continue to rely on the hypervisor or operating systems to protect against the L1TF security vulnerability. vSphere 6.7 Update 2 provides enhanced protection against L1TF with a modified scheduler that also recaptures performance impacted by the vulnerability.
And to top things off, new VM configuration maximums in vSphere 6.7 Update 2 of 256 vCPUs and 6TB of vRAM enable customers to virtualize database intensive applications such as SAP HANA.
Today, VMware also announcing the VMware vRealize Operations 7.5 release which, among other new capabilities, will deliver new integrated compliance and automated drift remediation capabiities for VMware vSphere, to help reduce risk and enforce IT and regulatory standards. You can read more abut these enhancements in the vRealize Operations 7.5 announcement blog post.

VMware vSphere Platinum

vSphere Platinum updates

vSphere Platinum is the new premier edition of vSphere and combines the rich security capabilities of core vSphere with VMware AppDefense. VMware AppDefense leverages machine learning to establish baseline application behavior and detects and responds to deviations from the baseline, effectively shrinking the attack surface. The vCenter Server AppDefense plugin is a powerful tool that provides deep visibility inside VMs directly from the vSphere client, empowering VI Admins to deliver more secure VMs to run data center applications.
We have introduced several new capabilities to AppDefense with this release, delivering increased application visibility and enhanced security lifecycle management:

  • New scope level dashboards provide a real-time snapshot of application health and an overview of the security validation checks performed.
  • Increased granularity for monitoring and event classification reduces the operational overhead for security incident response and remediation.
  • By automatically adapting to security events that have been classified as normal application behavior, vSphere Platinum effectively reduces false positive alerts, reducing the operational burden on security operators.

vSphere ROBO Enterprise

We are excited to announce vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise as the new highest end edition of vSphere Remote Office Branch Office, an efficient and secure platform for your remote sites and branch offices. vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise brings key capabilities that deliver enhanced security and business agility to the infrastructure at your remote sites.

Customer data at remote sites is further away from the data center and hence, there is a critical need to secure this data. vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise:

  • Helps secure this data through VM-level encryption capability designed to protect data against unauthorized access
  • Moreover, vSphere ROBO Enterprise makes it easier for customers to perform maintenance on remote hosts by delivering Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) in Maintenance Mode.
  • It automatically moves VMs out of a server when it goes offline for maintenance and brings the VMs back to the server afterwards.
  • Maintenance can be done remotely from a central IT location, enhancing business agility and availability.

To learn more about vSphere Platinum and vSphere 6.7 Update 2, visit the product website or try the hands-on lab.

You can get more details about vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise on this product page. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at @VMwarevSphere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Himanshu Singh is Group Manager of Product Marketing for VMware’s Cloud Platform business, and runs the core product marketing team for the vSphere product line. His extensive past experience in the technology industry includes driving cloud management solutions at VMware, growing the Azure public cloud business at Microsoft, as well as delivering and managing private clouds for large enterprise customers at IBM. Himanshu has been a frequent speaker at VMworld, Dell Technologies World, vForum, VMUG, Microsoft TechEd, and other industry conferences. He holds a B.Eng. (Hons.) degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Follow him on twitter as @himanshuks.

Rating: 5/5


Apr 02

What’s New in vRealize Operations 7.5?

Matt Jones posted April 2, 2019

Today we are proud to announce the upcoming release of VMware vRealize Operations 7.5, which will continue to refine the foundational “self-driving operations” vision established in the last two releases.

The vision of Self-Driving Operations is to automate and simplify operations management by delivering on four primary tenets:

  • Intent-driven continuous performance optimization
  • Efficient capacity management
  • Intelligent remediation
  • (NEW!) Integrated compliance

If you’ve been following the development of vRealize Operations over the last few releases, you’ll notice #4 is a new tenet. We’ll get into more details later in the post, but for now we are happy to announce integrated compliance as a new, major benefit that will be accessible in vRealize Operations 7.5.

Use Cases Unlocked by vRealize Operations 7.5

Self-driving operations has been the fundamental idea behind vRealize Operations for over a year now, and 7.5 is packed with new features and improvements that will continue to make your self-driving datacenter a reality. Additions and improvements in performance, capacity, remediation and compliance have made vRealize Operations 7.5 the version that unlocks some really powerful use cases for managing your private, hybrid-, or multi-cloud environment:

  • UPDATED: Private cloud operational efficiency
  • UPDATED: Hyper-converged infrastructure operations
  • UPDATED: Hybrid/multi-cloud operations
  • NEW! Application operations for packaged apps
  • NEW! Configuration and compliance

Time to Value and Return on Investment

vRealize 6.7 and 7.0 were operations management game changers, and our customer feedback to date has confirmed we’re on to something special. We commissioned a reboot of Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) Study[1] this year just to quantify exactly how good vRealize Operations 7.0 has been at saving our customers time, money, and sanity – and the results are in! Customers using 7.0 realized over 300% in 3-year ROI, and passed the break-even point on their investment in under 3 months. WOW. We didn’t expect everything to come out in “3’s” so nicely, but it certainly makes for a memorable conclusion! Review the 2016 study here, check out our full breakdown of the 2019 results here, and read on to see how on earth we’ve managed to improve even more on vRealize Operations in 7.5.

So What’s Actually New in 7.5?

We’re so glad you asked! vRealize Operations 7.5 will come with a huge feature payload and a smorgasbord of usability improvements. Let’s walk through each of the four tenets of Self-Driving Operations and see exactly what will be changing:

Tenet 1: Continuous Performance Optimization

2019 promises to be a massive year for hyper-converged infrastructure (“HCI”), and vRealize has become the go-to for managing HCI performance, observability, planning, and troubleshooting.[3] We’re really excited to introduce VMware vSAN-aware performance optimization in vRealize Operations 7.5. Users will now be able to fully optimize datacenters that contain vSAN clusters, with workload optimization that is resync, slack space, and storage policy aware. As with existing performance optimization capabilities, users will be able to easily teach the system the operational and/or business intent-based policies for their unique environment, then choose to (1) manually conduct workload optimization, (2) schedule optimization for a later date/time, or (3) let vRealize Operations fully automate the optimization process (with full user visibility into what it is doing in the background).

Continuous Performance Optimization

Tenet 2: Efficient Capacity Management

The biggest update for 7.5 in the capacity space is [extended drumroll, please]…………

…the return of the allocation model!

You spoke and we listened – while the demand model can be a supremely useful tool for running a lean, mean, tightly optimized set of virtual machines – in some cases you might really need to manage by allocated capacity. Maybe you have internal policy or budgeting constraints – whatever the case may be, we’ve brought allocation back so you will be able to choose to run capacity management however you like. You will even be able to see even see demand and allocation side-by-side for a holistic view of your resources, and we’ll even be introducing the ability to define custom VM profiles (since not all VMs are created equally, right?) Check out the streamlined interface below:

Streamlined interface

Another incredibly cool development in the realm of HCI management is the ability to identify orphaned (or “zombie”) virtual disks with reclaimable capacity! Just like you’ve been able to view idle VMs with reclaimable capacity, you will now be able to see all orphaned disks with reclaimable disk space and associated cost savings.

One of the biggest feature enhancements in 7.5 is the variety of “what-if” scenario improvements and enhancements we’ve made, to help you better plan for future infrastructure build-out or cloud migration. Not only will you be able to plan for new workloads and adding physical infrastructure – you’ll also be able to plan full HCI capacity additions, public cloud migrations, and complex projects with multiple variables involved. That’s right – starting in 7.5 you will be able to plan huge projects like application deployment or retirement, hardware refresh, and so on with the new “stackable scenarios” capability.

What-if Analysis

I want to focus a bit more on the cloud migration planning, because I think this is one of the more insanely practical new features and I really love the interface here. Say you have a specific workload or set of workloads and you want to evaluate the cost of running that workload on your own private cloud, vs. VMware Cloud on AWS, vs. any number of public clouds (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud). With the new vRealize Operations cloud migration planning feature, you will be able compare the exact cost impact across all of your options (including a custom “any cloud provider” rate card option):

Cross-Cloud Migration

Tenet 3: Intelligent Remediation

Now we come to the part of the announcement where I wish I hadn’t used my drumroll early, because one of the most significant NEW features that 7.5 will bring into play is… [second drumroll]… native application and OS monitoring! That’s right – vRealize Operations 7.5 will provide full visibility from apps-to-infrastructure. This is a HUGE new set of capabilities that have gone into the product to give complete observability into your entire environment and troubleshoot performance issues even faster and more seamlessly than ever before. 7.5 will automatically discover supported services running in your environment and allow you to choose whether you want vRealize Operations to monitor those applications directly, or just pull those metrics straight into Wavefront by VMware. Both Wavefront and vRealize Operations are now using Telegraf agents for metric collection and reporting, which does mean that Endpoint Operations will not be supported forever – but you’ll still be able to use it with 7.5 if you like.

Application Monitoring

One of the coolest new interfaces in 7.5 is the new object relationship widget, which will give you super quick/intuitive line-of-sight from app to infrastructure. All object relationships are charted here and you will be able to easily click into any of the objects shown to evaluate the health of that particular object. This will allow you to evaluate whether a performance issue is isolated to an application, or whether it’s due to an underlying infrastructure problem – all in a matter of seconds. And don’t worry about maxing out the widget – it can handle up to 10,000 objects at a time.

Company Application Dashboard

To support this new object topology, 7.5 will also be adding metric correlation capabilities, allowing you to quickly view correlations of a particular metric across multiple objects, or of a wide variety of metrics within a single object (as shown below).

Correlation

The relationship widget and ability to correlate metrics will give you powerful visuals and analytics for quickly honing in on the root cause of an issue.

One more popular ask that we were able to incorporate into 7.5 is bi-directional ServiceNow integration, so you will be able to feed powerful information into the workflows you need.

Tenet 4 (NEW!): Integrated Compliance

No matter what regulatory or IT standards your business needs to operate within, vRealize Operations will be able to enable compliance of your vSphere environment. In addition to common compliance templates like PCI, HIPAA, DISA, ISO, CIS, and FISMA, you will be able to create your own custom compliance standards and activate automated configuration management and drift remediation with out-of-the-box workflows and VMware vRealize Orchestrator integration. As you might expect, these compliance workflows are completely integrated with the rest of vRealize’s Self-Driving Operations mandates, meaning configuration changes will be interpreted in light of other performance or capacity requirements.

Integrated Compliance

A few last words…

A common question is whether vRealize Operations can manage workloads in VMware Cloud on AWS, and the answer is a resounding YES! To vRealize Operations, VMC on AWS looks like just another VMware vCenter instance. It can also run ON VMC on AWS.

The biggest themes for this release are powerful HCI operations, apps-to-infrastructure observability, rich and precise planning, and integrated compliance. We’re excited about the shape that Self-Driving Operations is taking and hope you are too!

VMware strongly believes the software-defined data center (“SDDC”) is an inevitable transition all companies will need to make to leverage a strategic business advantage through IT. There are three primary paths to building an SDDC:

Depending where you are in your IT modernization journey, you may fit into any of these three buckets. The constant across all three is the role of vRealize Operations as the core management “brain” behind smooth operational efficiency and return on your SDDC investment. Contact a
sales team member today, download a free trial, or take advantage of a number of limited promotions to get started with vRealize Operations.

Citations:

[1] The Total Economic Impact™ Of VMware vRealize Operations, a March 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of VMware.

[2] The Total Economic Impact™ Of vRealize Intelligent Operations, a November 2016 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of VMware.

[3] Burt, Jeffrey. “Dell EMC Bolsters Converged Infrastructure With VMware Integration.” EWEEK, 29 Mar. 2019, www.eweek.com/storage/dell-emc-bolsters-converged-infrastructure-with-vmware-integration.

This article may contain hyperlinks to non-VMware websites that are created and maintained by third parties who are solely responsible for the content on such websites.

Rating: 5/5


Feb 28

PowerCLI 11.2 Released, with more goodness for vSAN!

Jase McCarty posted February 28, 2019
PowerCLI 11.2 has now been released. The additions for vSAN include updates to some existing cmdlets.

Storage Updates

The cmdlets updated include: Get-VsanSpaceUsage, Get/Set-VsanClusterConfiguration, and Test-VsanNetworkPerformance. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 added the ability to estimate the amount of free capacity for a vSAN cluster using a selected Storage Policy in the UI: VSAN Capacity Overview

The Get-VsanSpaceUsage cmdlet can now accept a -StoragePolicy parameter and report what the estimated free capacity for a vSAN Cluster would be.

The Get/Set-VsanClusterConfiguration cmdlet adds some additional parameters that can be reported against and configured respectively these include:
  • CustomizedSwapObjectEnabled – This configures the VM swap file to inherit the VM’s Namespace policy
  • GuestTrimUnmap – Enables TRIM & UNMAP support for vSAN 6.7 U1
    More information can be found on vSAN Space Efficiency Technologies section.
  • LargeClusterSupported – Enable large cluster support (>32 hosts), which is now exposed in Cluster Quickstart in 6.7 U1 as well
  • ObjectRepairTimerMinutes – Configure the Object Repair Timer value for the cluster – Also in the vSphere Client in 6.7 U1 The Test-VsanNetworkPerformance cmdlet adds a -DurationInSecond parameter to adjust the duration of a vSAN Network Performance test. A few samples have been added to the PowerCLI Cookbook for vSAN (now v1.4)

More Information

While not necessarily related to Storage, those Administrators that are security conscious, PowerCLI also introduces some additional authentication options, including support for GovCloud.

More information can be found on the PowerCLI blog: https://blogs.vmware.com/PowerCLI/2019/02/powercli-11-2-0.html

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Rating: 5/5