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

Download

About author Jase McCarty

Rating: 5/5

Jan 06

Scripted ESXi Installation

Scripted installation is an efficient way to provision multiple ESXi host. This video explains how to use a kickstart file to install or upgrade ESXi. Both Shift-O invocation and PXE boot are supported.

Rating: 5/5


Jan 05

Creating Reports with PowerCLI

In this video, Senior Product Manager Alan Renouf covers some of the concepts of reporting using PowerCLI and gives you examples of reports that can help you manage your vSphere and vCloud environments.

Rating: 5/5


Jan 04

Using PowerCLI to configure hosts

Kyle Ruddy covers examples of adding a host to a vCenter Server system, setting the host to be in maintenance mode, licensing the host, adding an NTP server, setting up the networking and adding datastores to the host.

Rating: 5/5

Dec 14

VMware PKS Overview

This animation video gives an overview of VMware PKS. To learn more about VMware PKS, visit: VMware PKS

Rating: 5/5


Dec 11

VSAN Easy Install

First Published On: 04-11-2017
Last Updated On: 05-02-2018

An Introduction to Easy Install

Deploying VMware vSAN is not a difficult task. The vSAN Cluster Wizard is one of the workflows included in configuring a vSAN as a part of a vSphere Cluster. To use this wizard, some tasks had to accomplished beforehand as prerequisites of vSAN. These tasks were accomplished by vCenter:

    1. A Datacenter had to be created
    2. A Cluster had to be created
    3. Hosts had to be added to the cluster
    4. A VMkernel port had to be added to each host for vSAN communications
    5. A VMkernel port had to be added to each host for vMotion communications
    6. vSAN could then be enabled.To accomplish these tasks, vCenter had to already be installed somewhere.
In environments where vCenter (Windows or VCSA) already existed, it was not difficult. In “greenfield” deployments it was a bit more challenging. There were a couple methods for “bootstrapping” a VCSA to accomplish this task of getting vCenter running on top of the vSAN datastore it was managing.

Pre-Easy Install

Before Easy Install, there were a couple mechanisms to bootstrap the VCSA onto a vSAN installation.

Method 1 – Using a Temporary Datastore

Virtualization administrators familiar with Storage vMotion are aware that a virtual machine, or VCSA appliance in this case, can be Storage vMotioned to the vsanDatastore after being installed on a traditional VMFS volume. This process is traditionally called using a “Transfer datastore” or a “swing datastore.” The steps to use this method include:
  • Create a local VMFS datastore on the first host
  • Deploy the VCSA to the temporary datastore
  • Create a vSAN Cluster, including the first host
  • Add two or more additional ESXi hosts to the vSAN Cluster
  • Ensure vSAN networking is in place for all hosts and they are communicating properly
  • Storage vMotion the VCSA to the vSAN Datastore
  • Destroy the local VMFS datastore on the first host, ensuring no partitions remain on the device (vSAN doesn’t work with VMFS partitions)
  • Add a disk group on the first host
This process isn’t complicated, but is a bit transient. The transfer or swing datastore only serves the purpose of allowing the VCSA to be configured and then ultimately moved to the vSAN datastore. William Lam posted this method on virtuallyghetto.com in 2013.
http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2013/09/how-to-bootstrap-vcenter-server-onto.html

Method 2 – Manually Creating the vSAN Datastore

This method is a bit more complicated. An alternative to using a temporary datastore, is manually setting up a vSAN datastore on the first host as a target for the deployment of the VCSA. The process is as follows:
  • Install ESXi 6.x on physical hosts.
  • Because the vSAN default policy requires includes a Failure Tolerance Method of Mirroring and a Number of Failures to Tolerate of 1, the only way to deploy to a vSAN cluster with a single node, is to modify the default Storage Policy to allow for forced provisioning. The following command will need to be run on the first host: For virtual disks: esxcli vsan policy setdefault –c vdisk –p “((\”hostFailuresToTolerate\” i1) (\”forceProvisioning\” i1))” For the VM namespace: esxcli vsan policy setdefault –c vmnamespace –p “((\”hostFailuresToTolerate\” i1)(\”forceProvisioning\” i1))”
  • Now a vSAN cluster must be created. This is done from the ESXi console using the command: esxcli vsan cluster new
  • At least a single disk group must be created using the following command: esxcli vsan storage add -s SSD-DISK-ID -d HDD-DISK-ID Device ID’s can be listed using: esxcli storage core device list A disk group can be created with multiple capacity devices like this: esxcli vsan storage add –s SSD-DISK-ID –d HDD-DISK1-ID –d HDD-DISK2-ID –d HDD-DISK3-ID
  • The VCSA installer can be used to deploy the VCSA to the first host with the manually created vsanDatastore.
  • Once the VCSA has been deployed, a Datacenter has to be created, a Cluster (with vSAN enabled) and the first host added.
  • Additional hosts can then be added, as well as vSAN networking
As can be easily seen, the manual method it a bit more complex. William Lam posted this method on virtuallyghetto.com in 2013.
http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2013/09/how-to-bootstrap-vcenter-server-onto_9.html

Easy Install using the VCSA Installer for vSAN 6.6

Easy Install takes the effort out of installing the VCSA on a standalone host and enabling vSAN for a larger deployment.
With the introduction of vSAN 6.6, installation of the VCSA to a brand new, “greenfield” vSAN cluster is very simple using the Easy Install method.

The Easy Install method is only available when connecting the VCSA installer to an ESXi host that has vSAN 6.6 preinstalled. Hosts that have previous builds of ESXi will not be presented the option of creating a vSAN datastore.

When presented with the “Select datastore” wizard, “Install on a new vSAN cluster containing the target host” is an alternate option to installing on an existing datastore.

Download VSAN 6.6_Easy Install.

Rating: 5/5

Dec 10

VMware Architectural PKS Overview

VMware Product Manager Merlin Glynn provides an architectural overview of VMware PKS. PKS delivers enterprise grade Kubernetes with complete automation, backed by vSphere data center resources as well as public cloud services, to enable modern public cloud application development and delivery in the the Private Cloud. For more information, visit: VMware PKS – Deploy, run and manage Kubernetes for production.

Rating: 5/5