BURA Data Management Hyper-V Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Vembu VMBackup 3.91 released and now with Standard Edition (Sponsored Post)

The team over at Vembu are really making waves this year, having released v3.9 earlier back in January of this year (you can read about that release here but at a high level summary it introduced features such as Tape Backup Support, auto Authorization at the DR site, Quick VM Recovery on ESXi for Hyper-V and Disk Image Backups, Windows Event Viewer Integration, Advanced Backup level encryption for all agents, OffsiteDR Server retentions and Pre/Post backup scripts for all Network & Image Backup clients.

Now, they have released 3.91 which furthers their capability, fixes a few bugs and introduces a new flavour for their software.

So let’s get into what is new in this version starting with the release of a new standard edition.

What does standard edition mean for customers?

Quite simply, standard edition is aimed for the small to medium sized enterprises that perhaps do not need the bells and whistles that come with the Enterprise edition, but are adfter a tailored cost-effective solution that still provides the business with the same trustworthy data protection capabilities. such as Instant File Recovery and granular recovery for Microsoft applications in Hyper-V and VMware environments.

So what are the differences?

Along with some bug fixes, the fundamental differences between Vembu standard edition and the enterprise edition are there is no tape support in standard as well as no retention capabilities, persistent boot (no tracking on quick booted VMs) and Disk level recovery is not included in the standard edition.

On the replication side of things there is no capability in standard edition (it assumes that SMB only have one site).

For more of the differences, check out the chart here

 

Pricing for Vembu as we know is based on a per socket basis, so this means the Standard Edition for VMware Backup is priced at USD $216 USD socket per annum. If you require under six CPU sockets, you get an additional discount of 50% that could lead to USD $108 USD per socket a year.

The Standard Edition for Hyper-V Backup is priced at $144 USD per socket per annum, and again if you need under six CPU’s ithe same discount applies working out at about USD $72 USD per socket a year.

One last thing, Vembu are also holding a webinar in a few days time to discuss recovery use-cases, and more important why is recovery more important than backup.

 

Why you need Multiple Recovery Options?”

Date: May 31Thursday
Time : 12 noon ET4PM GMT9AM PT
For more information on the webinar check out the blog link and this video link .
BURA Hyper-V Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

More announcements from Vembu! (Sponsored Post)

More on the Vembu front, with recent announcements coming on the licensing front as well as a new service program aimed at providing service providers a platform to offer Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) for virtual environments through the Vembu software.

Service providers can leverage the native multi-tenancy functionality in Vembu to backup their VM’s by providing the Web UI access to their customers so that they can monitor their backup jobs individually and restore  files and application data without the need to get in contact with the SP.

Get a recap of all of the annoucements below!

Unveiling the perpetual licensing:
With launching the latest perpetual licensing, we look forward to availing more flexibility with the pricing. The Vembu BDR Suite which was earlier at the subscription pricing model will now be available at perpetual licensing, thereby helping IT environments fulfill their requirements that would cost less over time.
https://www.vembu.com/blog/vembu-provides-pricing-flexibility-unveiling-perpetual-licensing-option/

Introducing the brand New Service Program:
In the aim of setting firm footprints across the globe by catering one of the most comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution at an affordable pricing, Vembu unfolds it’s New Service Provider Program that would provide service providers a great scope for huge benefits and discounts with the Vembu BDR Suite v3.8.0.
https://www.vembu.com/blog/vembu-announces-new-and-customer-centric-service-provider-program/

Vembu complying with the EU GDPR:
Addressing customers’ concern have always been Vembu’s top priority. The Vembu BDR Suite does comply with the new regulation and will make the users the real data owner. Complying with industry standards and policies has always been one of Vembu BDR Suite’s core attributes and the GDPR is no exception as well.
https://www.vembu.com/eu-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

Right now, Vembu can back up VMware and Hyper-V environments only – perhaps we will see integration into Oracle Virtual Manager in the future. Either way, they’re an exciting company to watch. Visit their site here if you want to learn more!

 

BURA Hyper-V Microsoft Oracle Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Welcome Cloud-land sponsor Vembu!

Quick post to welcome Vembu as an official sponsor of cloud-land.com!!!  Vembu has been around for a little while and has been a quiet achiever in the backup and disaster recovery space covering backup for application sets such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, Active Directory, Outlook, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle.

Their Vembu BDR suite provides backup and recovery options for both physical and virtual environments and comes with a range of other features:

  • Vembu VMBackup
  • Vembu ImageBackup
  • Vembu NetworkBackup
  • Vembu OnlineBackup
  • Vembu SaaSBackup

You could probably take a guess from the names above on what the feature does, but if you wish to learn a little more about Vembu head over to their sponsor page on this site or visit their official site at vembu.com

HP vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1 released

Finally! vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is now available and it has some further enhancements and fixes, quite notably the vCenter HTML5 client receives a number of new functionality to it, what is impressive is some of the staggering vCenter related improvement numbers:

 

  • Maximum vCenter Servers per vSphere Domain: 15 (increased from 10)
  • Maximum ESXi Hosts per vSphere Domain: 5000 (increased from 4000)
  • Maximum Powered On VMs per vSphere Domain: 50,000 (increased from 30,000)
  • Maximum Registered VMs per vSphere Domain: 70,000 (increased from 50,000)

 

Obviously, this is just a small snippet of the various other fixes, enhancements and maximums so please check the following release notes and also download links:

 

I’m going to try find some time to bump up my work lab to this new update although, my home based HP DL380G6 is getting a little old for this and is unsupported 🙂

 

Cloud Oracle Uncategorized vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware, Oracle, Cloud in Ravello?

It is not very often that I get to talk or write about VMware related technologies within Oracle, other than Customer purchasing our Oracle X86 based servers for their VMware farms or some workshops I have run in the past for our ZFS customers (VM troubleshooting with dTrace is excellent!).

Even more rarely, does this event crossover span into a cloud-based discussion too.   That is not to say that there aren’t any joint solutions out there in the field, (there are thousands of deployments globally with Oracle and VMware serving a joint purpose of providing a solid storage\computer\virtualisation solution for our customers). But today is that day!

If you are a virtualization nut, you might have heard of Ravello from way back, I remember first using it a few years ago under the vExpert NFR program and ironically, this blog post centres around my vExpert account that I continue to use.

What is it

Ravello is a lovely picturesque resort town set 365 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea on Italy’s Amalfi Coast…….   Kidding!, Ravello Systems started up back in 2011 by Benny Schnaider and Rami Tamir who created the KVM hypervisor at Qumranet (which is now part of Red Hat) and raised $10 million dollars in their first venture capital round. Their objective was not to recreate lightning in a bottle or add another layer of abstraction between hardware and software much like the KVM hypervisor, but rather than virtualizing and partitioning the hardware for multiple stacks to use it at the same time (cloud?), and act somewhat as a facilitator of communication between separate computers.

Along came Oracle and at the beginning of 2016, acquired Ravello Systems with the intent to run VMware/KVM development, test and demo environments in the cloud without migration. The business case for this requirement is huge, why waste precious resources (labour, infrastructure, software) on something that you only need every now and then and is not business critical.

Let’s be fair, these sorts of environments are no doubt virtualised and running on VMware vSphere so the target became “Running VMware workloads on public clouds – without any changes” and form part of our Lift and Shift cloud journey at Oracle.

The Ravello import tool gives the user the capability to clone their entire VMware environment which could be running on Amazon Web Services, Azure or Google Cloud Platform and shift it to the Oracle Public Cloud. It had cloud written on it since the beginning!

 

What does it look like?

I am glad you asked, the console itself is built around “applications” which is similar to a virtual machine but should be seen as more of a “service offering”.  Below you see an application I had published in our Sydney DC, an application can be a group of virtual machines I just labelled it VMware ESXi 6.5 as it was a cluster of ESXi hosts published together!)

 

Applications View

This is the default view and provides a list of all of your published cloud applications, which you can drill into to find which VM’s are running to support that application.

 

Library View

Below is the VM library, of which I can create multiple applications from using these as somewhat of a template. You can see from the owner down the right-hand side that Ravello has pre-populated some templates to use (with predefined configuration options) and that I have also uploaded a few in order to build out my application stacks.  Sharing is caring so you can even share your VMs or disk images on the Ravello Repo to collaborate with others, however, you must have a public profile before you can share or use library items on Ravello Repo.  If you make changes to your shared VM or Disk Images in your library, they will be automatically updated to the version that is visible to other users.

 

Canvas View

This is probably where the platform sells itself, the various canvas views provide an excellent glance over what your Ravello environment looks like from high up, you can see which ports are exposed to the public (internet) and which are internal as well as resource configurations on the right hand side.

 

On the Network Canvas (shown below), you can quickly connect your applications to various network-based services (DHCP, Proxy, DNS etc) quickly and easily by clicking and dragging connection points between each other.

 

Pricing
Users only pay per hour of use and there are no upfront commitments so you can cancel when you need to.

So easy! I  1CPU, 1GB storage and 1GB RAM will set you back about 43 cents an hour (AUD), or approx $315 Australian dollars a month. A lot cheaper than space, power and tin in a data centre.

Keen to learn more?, head over to https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/tryit to try it for yourself for free or wait for my next post on creating and publishing applications in the Ravello Cloud!

Oracle Personal Storage Thought-Leadership Trending vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Update – A hiatus? Yes please!

Happy new year! I hope that my readers have had a good break and are fully refreshed to hit 2016 running, I know for me it is going to be a defining year after 2015. (its now March and 2015 seems a long time ago!). I have not blogged for a while and have been fairly absent from Twitter as well as LinkedIn. So where did I fall off the radar to? HIATUS!

A hiatus?

For the last six months, I have been taking a hiatus (going to be honest here and say I was not familiar with this word originally):

noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus

1.a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

(Retrieved 27th February from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hiatus)

 

This resulted in resigning from my job and making a “bucket list” which included seeing more parts of Australia I have never seen before as well as New Zealand. Sightseeing, Hiking, Wine tasting in different regions, Driving, Kayaking, Cycling, Swimming, Salmon fishing were some of the activities I did whilst on my break.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller#Instagram

 

So what is next?

I have had a lot of people ask me what next for me, and I am please to announce I have agreed to join the team at Oracle Australia, focusing on all things storage cloud, analytics and virtualisation.

My role as Principal Technologist will see me dealing with customers of all sizes across all sectors across Australia and New Zealand , and helping them to plan new I.T services through Oracle cloud as well as working with channel partners in delivering top solutions to their customers.

Why Oracle?

Simply, The People, Technology and Possibilities:

The People

Haven spoken to a lot of the people I would be working with in this role, I gained a clear view and appreciation that there are some very dedicated and enthusiastic people on board which is truly exciting and invigorating – when you are surrounded with that enthusiasm and those positive attitudes, how can one not be inspired.

I spoke to the leadership team and got the feel that it was the right type of leadership to work for (extremely important to me); there is so much opportunity to build a really successful business through partners and customers. The truth is, the group is a start-up business within a massive corporation which gives off a real sense of start-up culture and vibe.

The Technology,

If we look at the most recent Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant published by Gartner as of August 2015, we see that Oracle along with VCE, Nutanix and HP are real contenders in the converged infrastructure market which is rising to be the future of storage platforms as we know it.

Yes, there are still companies that are focusing just on the next evolution of storage (flash), but some of these contenders will struggle as customers are no longer wanting just storage and are looking for real-world integrated packages that are proven and backed by strong ventures. There will be storage startups exiting the market this year.

intgegrated_systems_magic_quadrant_august_2015

 

The Possibilities

I like to build and grow businesses, and the Oracle storage business has so much potential to grow with some pretty impressive tech so evangelizing and educating customers and partners on why this technology can really help their I.T challenges seemed like a fun way to spend my 9-5.

Lastly, Oracle is a huge multinational and traditionally not known for storage – so the opportunity to learn other platforms and technologies other than storage was attractive. Whilst I do not think I will end up as a DBA type, I do know that their application stack sit in the Enterprise space so being able to be exposed to these platforms would be a fresh breath of air.

vExpert 2016 – Evangelist

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-k

I am proud to be recognized again in this elite group by VMware, this will be my fourth camp receiving the Evangelist award, and although I have not been posting as much content as I have in previous years, I plan to step it up in 2016 as a new opportunity has arisen which I plan to use to engage the community.

What is really cool is that not all vExperts are alike, they are no longer posting similar content due to VMware diversifying their portfolio . This is resulting in mass generation of rich content in all aspects of VMware! We have vExperts in Server virtualization, Desktop virtualization, Network Virtualization, Automation etc. and the list has grown phenomenally since I first got awarded a few years back. A special shout out to Corey Romero for his hard work in keeping this program running.

For a more complete list please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2016/02/vexpert-2016-award-announcement.html

Thats it for now, my next posts will be focused on Oracle ZFS and some of the best practices and learnings I come up with around that! Stay tuned!

 

Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Availability Suite v9 extending in the Storage land with further EMC, HP and NetApp support

Today is a very exciting day at Veeam, for those who use NetApp ONTAP and/or EMC VNX\VNXe primary storage in their environments. We are announcing further integration to our existing storage integration capabilities by allowing customers to now:

  • Use storage snapshots to create complete, isolated copies of your production environment in just a few clicks, for fast and easy testing and troubleshooting—available for VMware vSphere with HP 3PAR\StoreVirtual, NetApp ONTAP, and EMC VNX\VNXe primary storage.

 

  •  Perform VMware vSphere backups faster and with reduced impact on your virtual environment by backing up directly from NFS primary storage using Veeam’s proprietary NFS client.

 

  • Completely eliminate the additional impact from backup activities on your production storage by retrieving virtual machine data from NetApp SnapMirror or SnapVault secondary storage systems, instead of from the primary storage system.

 

Also, earlier on this year (actually about a month ago) we announced EMC VNX\VNXe snapshot integration which will allow Veeam Backup & Replication v9 to now read the  snapshots from EMC VNX and VNXe arrays. These can be the snapshots set up via a schedule via the Unisphere or within the Veeam Backup & Replication interface itself. Once Veeam has access to the storage array snapshot, customers can dive in and browse those snapshots and launch these powerful restore options without any agents:

It should be noted that this particular integration is limited to snapshots NFS shares provided by the VNX\VNXe only, yes this means no FC support…………….yet.

 

Why is this important for your business?

For me personally, this gives me added discussion points when speaking to our global alliance partners and their customers  – leveraging storage snapshots is the best way to deliver Availability for the Modern Data Centre and is how I see customers taking their existing RPO\RTO capabilities and really taking them into overdrive to be able to achieve RTPO’s of 5 minutes or better.

Why now?

Storage and Backup used to be treated completely separately, customers had a storage administrator and a backup administrator each with their own agendas and arguably not sharing any synergy between them. We then saw an evolvement where the convergence of Storage and backup technologies were treated separately but very much as a pair of separates (oxymoron?), hardware was being procured that way and it drove behaviour in the customer market to look for synergies to maximise their ROI on each. Enter virtualisation, as well as shared resources and we now have a clear need to treat storage and backup as one. Customers need an availability strategy that touched both storage and backup, and was able to meet the business needs of the company it was serving, and they are demanding more from their infrastructure.  Veeam bridges that gap between Storage and Backup and taps into the Storage Infrastructure resources to enable fast, efficient and smart restores for tier one applications. It’s that simple.

All of these features will be available in Veeam Availability Suite v9 onwards due for release later this year.

 

For our official release on v9 and EMC integration please read http://www.veeam.com/news/new-veeam-availability-suite-v9.html

 

And for a more in depth article – check out my colleague Luca Dell’Oca’s post here

 

Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Fully Supports VMware vSphere 6 via Veeam Backup & Replication 8.0 Update 2

Veeam

So as you know, VMware has recently gone GA on vSphere 6, along with the new features, bells and whistles it comes with, there is also a new requirement on the certification front! VCP5.5 was the last technical cert that I sat and hopefully the last for a while given my current role and focus.  But that is not why I am writing this post, because whilst the release of vSphere 6 brings new cert and cool features to the world of Virtualisation, it is with great pleasure I announce that Veeam is fully supporting vSphere 6 in Veeam Availability Suite v8 with the following enhancements:

  • Support for VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Virtual SAN (VSAN) 2.0
  • Quick Migration to VVol datastores
  • Cross-vCenter vMotion awareness
  • Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM) policy backup and restore
  • Support for backup and replication of Fault Tolerant VMs
  • vSphere 6 tags integration
  • Hot add transport for SATA virtual disks
  • Monitoring and reporting support of VVols

This latest update to Veeam Availability Suite v8 is the largest non-version-increasing update in Veeam history, with more than 1,000 change sets applied. In addition to full support for VMware vSphere 6, it also includes complete integration with Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, a new free product that enables IT to back up Windows-based desktops, laptops and even a small number of physical servers. How cool is that!?

So where do you download Update 2? Visit here my friend and enjoy! Also, read http://www.veeam.com/kb2024 for full release notes.

Social Media Trending vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware vExpert 2015 – what does it really mean to me

Short note to help promote and congratulate the latest vExpert 2015 awardees announcement, and a special welcome to new folk on the list. I am typing this on an iPad so grammar isn’t going to be a strong point especially because of IOS semi-intuitive autocorrect feature, I’ll try clean it up later.

The list has grown – tremendously and as I and other people have questioned the exponential growth of the list, I truly believe and trust the team at VMware is doing a fantastic job of making sure the people in the list belong in the list. I have been out of a “technologist” focused role for almost a year now so it has proven hard to find the time to return to creating fruitful and meaningful technical white papers, blog posts and posters. (Something I do miss)

But then that is what the good thing about the programme, and perhaps I needed to be reminded about. It is about contribution to the community and not the level you are technically contributing at – filling knowledge gaps where you can and putting your hand up and identifying when there is a gap in your own knowledge.

This is what makes the global VMware community special, and whilst I do think there are a lot of ego’s in this world – the one thing I have observed is for this community’s passion for helping others along their journeys.

It creates a virtual sense of family and whilst I and other long time vExperts compete through our chosen companies – I would never be led to believe this causes any friction or animosity towards each other when one is seeking help with a particular problem. That’s what makes this programme beneficial, not the free stuff you get with it, not the label or sense of title it gives you. It’s the people it connects you with- globally.

Check out http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2015/02/vexpert-2014-announcement-2.html to see the full list.

BURA Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Endpoint Backup

Veeam has recently announced “Veeam Endpoint Backup Free” to our portfolio of products, I am excited to share with you what Veeam Endpoint Backup is and what it is not.  The release of this product is our showcase of our exciting innovation we drive at Veeam. Ok so what does this mean to virtualisation practitioners, home users etc? Let’s start with what it is.

 

What it is

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is a standalone product designed to allow users to back up Windows-based desktops and laptops, because while we believe that the modern data center should be virtual, we recognize that some devices – like desktops and laptops – only exist in a physical form factor.  With this new product we will now make it possible for users to back up these types of devices. With Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, you can easily back up your machine to an external hard drive, NAS share or a Veeam backup repository. And if you ever need to get your data back, there are multiple easy recovery options available.

 

What it is not 

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is designed to back up Windows-based desktops and laptops – it is NOT an enterprise physical backup server solution.  It represents a new market for Veeam, and one that we are very excited about.

Best of all, Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is (if you haven’t caught on already) 100% FREE!

 

 Where can I get it?

Please visit http://go.veeam.com/endpoint to request a download link, you should get a response in a couple of days.

 

How simple is it?

I recently installed Veeam Endpoint Backup onto a VM and configured it to backup to my home NAS, here was the process.  First thing we do is Click Configure Backup, this launches the wizard which will take you through the various steps of configuration, the first step is to click the “Configure Backup” link in the top right of the application – this will launch the trusty old wizard interface which all Windows kids adore.  The following modes are available:

Entire Computer – Backup all volumes presented to the local computer, this does not include Samba shares.

Volume Level Backup – Backup a selection of volumes (Think C:, D: etc)

File Level Backup – Backup a sub-selection of folders and/or files within a volume.

 

Endpoint 1 Once you have selected the type of backup you wish to do (I went for file backup as I do not need to backup the whole set of volumes presented to my virtual machine, you click next.
Endpoint 2 This is pretty self explanatory, in the view I chose presents me with the local volumes (in this case the system drive or ‘C drive’ for the old timers).  you can expand the folders and select a sub-selection of folders and files from here that you wish to backup. Once this is done, you may click next to select your target repository.
Endpoint 3 Now select the type of repository (where you want to backup the files to) and click next. For NAS shares, select ‘Shared Folder’. For another drive (perhaps an External USB or similar) select Local drive.
Endpoint 4 Select the location of the NAS share and enter your credentials if you need to authenticate. I selected my home NAS as a test repository.
Endpoint 5 This screen is asking how often you wish to backup? For those backup bunnies, this should be driven by your home RPO’s you set out in your Disaster Recovery plan :).
Endpoint 6 Finally, a summary page to confirm your selections. Once satisfied, click Finish! You can decide whether or not you wish to kick the backup job off immediately by ticking the box.
Endpoint 7 Thats it!  The backup job will start if you ticked the “Run the job when I click Finish” checkbox, if not, you can manually start the backup job at a later time.
Endpoint 8 Wolah! Complete! To configure a new backup, click the configure backup link again and refollow these steps.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, in addition there are the Veeam Endpoint forums where other users will be posting questions and solutions to any queries they may have.

Go Veeam!

Best Practices Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Backup & Replication v8 for VMware: General Overview Poster

Veeam Backup and Replication v8 Poster

We have just updated and released the “Veeam Backup & Replication v8 for VMware: General Overview” Poster which covers deployment methods, components of Veeam Backup and Replication v8 and probably most useful – requirements of all the different moving parts of what makes our software.

 

Use it as quick reference – Hang in the office, any shared space, home lab, bedroom,  toilet whatever…

Download the poster by clicking here.

 

vExpert Virtualization VMWare

#vExpert 2015 – It’s time again!

It’s that time again, applications for the inaugural vExpert 2015 award is now open – It feels like it was only yesterday that the 2014 vExpert announcement was made, I was luckily and privileged enough to be included in that list.

There is no point regurgitating what the vExpert programme is and what tracks you can apply for so I thought I would take a different angle this year.

Why is being a vExpert important?

I am going to go out on a limb here and state being a vExpert is not important, it does not define who you are and how you should do business.  It is an award from VMware that acknowledges your contribution to an ever growing virtualisation community of like-minded technology enthusiasts and users.  I think back to Grant Orchard‘s post (one of my all time fav’s of his) on providing value in your employment (http://grantorchard.com/general/opinion/want-valued-something-valuable/) – Please read it, it provides an honest and fair view on the VCDX program and what value it could (or could not bring) to your career.

The key takeaway I took from his write up is that it is a achievement, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are “better” than anyone else, more knowledgeably than anyone else, or more valued. I think the same way about being a vExpert, its an acknowledgment of your efforts – keep it at that and remain humble.  The ones who do I think are more respected by their peers.

Please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2014/11/vexpert-2015-applications-open.html for more information on vExpert programme.

Quick links

2014 vExperts: Fastrack application: http://bit.ly/1ikZ8hi (For previous vExperts)

New vExperts: 2015 vExpert application: http://bit.ly/LMJqB5

Thanks for reading and get applying!

3PAR HP NetApp Storage Veeam Virtualization VMWare

The Value of Veeam and Storage Array Integration

Time and time again, I get asked by partners and customers what is the value prop behind Veeam Backup and replication integrating with the various storage arrays for offload operations.   Why is there value there? I usually respond by stating that Veeam integrates with specific SAN arrays to let them perform the “heavy-lifting” when creating a backup job resulting in a lot faster backup and restore operations? By why is having quicker backup and restore options that important?

At Veeam, we speak about the 3 C’s of Backup challenges, Cost, Complexity and Capabilities.  Inherent to backup architecture and environments that is considered “legacy” do these challenges exist – Why?  The obvious reason is no doubt that these environments have grown organically and have never really been designed for the type of workloads that we are seeing in todays world. What is troubling is that customers simply get use to these environments and subsequently “accept” the pitfalls of having technology that has been retrofitted for newer trends and workloads – particularly for customers that are new to virtualisation, backup could be an issue that they don‘t realise they need to address.

For example, if a customer wants to restore a single virtual machine, how would they go about that with a conventional backup solution? With Veeam Backup and Replication it is extremely simple. Veeam has great momentum in the market and when you position it with primary storage arrays such as HP 3PAR or NetApp FAS systems  with their unique integration points. These represent the “heavy-lifter” I mentioned earlier in this post, getting a more suitable device to handle specific tasks – for those who are familiar with virtualisation, think vStorage APIs for Array Integration or VAAI – certain storage operations that get offloaded to compliant storage arrays is very similar.

How do we do it?  Veeam Software is an innovative provider of data protection solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments, and offers integration with HP 3PAR InformOS and NetApp ONTAP based arrays as of version 8 of our backup and replication platform. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots enables IT administrators to recover whole virtual machines and application data directly from SAN snapshots, including HP 3PAR snapshots and NetApp SAN snapshots. This capability enables administrators to quickly restore any or all of a Virtual Machine directly from SAN snapshots, which can be taken throughout the day with very little impact on production systems. This enables short recovery point objectives (RPO) for the most common recovery scenarios: users accidentally deleting data, users deleting emails,  and system updates gone wrong. This in turn provides a better return on investment in both your backup infrastructure as well as your storage infrastructure as its hardware utilisation increases making sure you get maximum use out of your investment, and reducing costs by not having to fork out for more CPU power to handle backup jobs.

Here are the key capability points for Veeam and Storage Array integration: It is fast –  customers will be able to recover an entire VM or individual items in 2 minutes or less. It is flexible – Storage Administrators can restore exactly what they need -quickly and easily: a full Virtual Machine, individual guest files, individual Microsoft Exchange items, Microsoft Active Directory objects. In addition, it is also agent-free; there are absolutely no agents to deploy on virtual hosts or within Virtual Machines so upgrading the software in the future is straight forward. By having this architecture and ease of use, IT administrators can see a reduction in complexity and management of their backups.

So more aggressive RPO’s using compliant SAN based snapshots mean that quicker restore options and lower RTO’s are achievable using Veeam.

Note: Veeam currently supports HP 3PAR and HP StoreVirtual for snapshot integration, NetApp FAS systems will be supported in version 8.0 which is due out in the next month or so.

 

3PAR Best Practices Virtualization VMWare

New setting in HP 3PAR and VMware vSphere 5 Best Practices document.

Small change in the updated whitepaper from HP and VMware vSphere 5 when using Round Robin multi-pathing policy (which is the recommended best practice. )

The old recommendation was to use IOPS=100, which has now changed to IOPS=1.

Make sure host persona 11 is selected!

Issue the following command on your ESXi host(s) that are being served storage from the 3PAR.

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s "VMW_SATP_ALUA" -P "VMW_PSP_RR" -O iops=1 -c "tpgs_on" -V "3PARdata" -M "VV" -e "HP3PAR Custom iSCSI/FC/FCoE ALUA Rule"
Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Resetting #VMware Change Block Tracking due to error

So I got this error message today:

Cannot use CBT: Soap fault. A specified parameter was not correct. . deviceKeyDetail: ‘<InvalidArgumentFault xmlns=”urn:internalvim25″ xsi:type=”InvalidArgument”><invalidProperty>deviceKey</invalidProperty></InvalidArgumentFault>’, endpoint: ”

Virtual machines running on ESX/ESXi hosts can identify and track disk sectors that have changed. This feature is called Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

After much research and trying to manually fix this, I came across the following solution which turned out to be easier than I thought! What we need to do is reset CBT as VMs are processed without CBT typically and in this instance the blocks arent being identified.

Thanks to http://www.veeam.com/kb1113 for the images/resolution.

1.  Power off the VM

2.  Right click the VM, click “Edit settings”, find the “Options” tab and click “Configuration Parameters”

User-added image

3.  Set the “ctkEnabled” value to false
4.  Set the “scsi0:x.ctkEnabled” value to false for each disk of the VM in question

User-added image

5.  Open the source folder and remove any -CTK.VMDK files
6.  Power on the VM and power it off again
7.  Set the “scsi0:x.ctkEnabled” value back to true for each disk of the VM in question
8.  Power the VM on

Wolah!

 

HA Virtualization VMWare

Solution patch to VMware ESXi 5.5 Update One NFS connectivity issues

OK this is really important,  when Update one for ESXi 5.5 was released, customers connecting to datastores via the NFS protocol were experiencing intermittent connectivity and in particular All Paths Down or APD.

What is ‘All Paths Down’?

For those who are unfamiliar with this “condition”, APD occurs on an ESXi host when a storage device is removed in an uncontrolled manner from the host, or the device simply fails, and the VMkernel essentially panics. This results in the datastore not accepting any I/O from the virtual machines for the duration of the APD condition. The result is that Windows virtual machines begin BlueScreening and filesystems becoming read only for Linux VMS. This can be permanently or temporarily, either way bad stuff happens.

but alas, a patch has just been released for this.

Patch notes

This patch resolves the following issues:

PR1242103: When you run ESXi 5.5 Update 1, the ESXi host intermittently loses connectivity to NFS storage and an All Paths Down (APD) condition to NFS volumes is observed. During the duration of the APD condition and after, the array still responds to ping and the netcat tests are also successful. There is no evidence to indicate a physical network or a NFS storage array issue.

  • Entries similar to the following are logged in the vobd.log file for volume named 12345678-abcdefg0 as an example:

    YYYY-04-01T14:35:08.075Z: [APDCorrelator] 9414268686us: [esx.problem.storage.apd.start] Device or filesystem with identifier [12345678-abcdefg0] has entered the All Paths Down state.
    YYYY-04-01T14:36:55.274Z: No correlator for vob.vmfs.nfs.server.disconnect
    YYYY-04-01T14:36:55.274Z: [vmfsCorrelator] 9521467867us: [esx.problem.vmfs.nfs.server.disconnect] 192.168.1.1/NFS-DS1 12345678-abcdefg0-0000-000000000000 NFS-DS1
    YYYY-04-01T14:37:28.081Z: [APDCorrelator] 9553899639us: [vob.storage.apd.timeout] Device or filesystem with identifier [12345678-abcdefg0] has entered the All Paths Down Timeout state after being in the All Paths Down state for 140 seconds. I/Os will now be fast failed.

Where can I get it?

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2077361

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control Storage Module for #VMware vCenter, v.7.3.1 now available

 

HP Insight control plugin for vCenter is the go-forward VMware vCenter management integration plug-in for HP Storage. In addition to managing all HP block storage arrays, this vCenter plug-in also manages HP servers and virtual connect networking with the Server module. HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server integrates with both VMware vSphere Client and VMware’s new vSphere Web Client.

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter enables the VMware administrator to quickly obtain contextual information about HP storage directly from vCenter. Available as a no-charge download, this functionality provides the VMware administrator the ability to easily see and manage how virtual machines relate to data stores and individual disk volumes.

By providing the ability to clearly view and directly manage these relationships between virtual machines, data stores and HP Storage, the VMware administrator’s productivity increases, as does the ability to ensure quality of service.

Features and Benefits

  • Fully compatible with the latest version of VMware, vSphere 5.5
  • Monitor and manage the physical / virtual relationships between VMware Virtual Machines, ESX servers and HP Storage
    • Map the VMware virtual environment to HP storage and provide detailed contextual storage information
    • Create / expand / delete VMware data stores
    • Create virtual machines from a template
    • Clone virtual machines from an existing virtual machine
    • Delete an unassigned volume
    • Integrated with vSphere Client and the new vSphere Web Client
    • Visualize complex relationships between VMs and storage.
    • Easily manage peer persistence for HP 3PAR StoreServ

What’s New in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter

  • HP Insight Control Storage Module for VMware vCenter v.7.3.1 April 2014
    • Support for the new MSA 1040
    • Support for HP 3PAR Inform OS 3.1.3
    • Bug fixes

Download here: SW Depot.

Note: Licensing for the storage module is enabled as part of the download and installation sequence. The server module requires Insight Control licenses.

Virtualization VMWare

VMware VCP – Recertification policy

Do you have a VCP from VMware? If so read on!  Maintaining currency in the expertise gained and proven by VMware certifications is just as important as earning the certification initially. If your skills are not current, your certification loses value. The technical and business communities expect that VMware certified professionals are current on the latest technologies and capable of configuring and implementing VMware products with the highest level of skill. To ensure that all certification holders meet these expectations, VMware is instituting a re-certification policy for current VCP’s starting today – March 10, 2014 . To recertify, VMware Certified Professional (VCP) holders must pass any VCP or higher-level exam within two years of earning their most recent VCP certification. For more information please visit http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=46667&ui=www_cert

3PAR HP Hyper-V Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for vSphere 2.5 and Hyper-V 2.0 #VMware #Microsoft

What are they?

HP 3PAR Application Suite of solutions eases administration by providing rapid, efficient online backup and recovery of application specific databases. These software packages enhances the functionality of HP 3PAR Virtual Copy software to allow dozens of VMware VM, Hyper-V VM, Exchange, SQL or Oracle  snapshots to kept online economically allowing for extended or frequent recovery points. Using an easy-to-use graphical user interface these snapshots can then be used to quickly restore Exchange, SQL or Oracle  instances or databases, or to non-disruptively back them up to tape for near-continuous data protection.

HP have just announced the availability of the following Recovery Manager Application suites for 3PAR (Along with Oracle, SQL and Exchange releases):

  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware vSphere (2.5.0)
  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for Microsoft Hyper-V (2.0.0)

 

What’s new in these two particular product releases?

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware v2.5

•       Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for VMware ESXi 5.1u1, 5.5

•      Integrated with Insight Control for VMware vCenter – No more standalone RMV package

•       RM for VMware is a part of ICV4C plug-ins which also includes Server component, Storage component

•       New web client support for IC4VC Plugin integration – supports all new features

•       Host Explorer for VMware is no longer a part for RMV package

•       Standalone VI client – still supported

•       Updated Documentation – Linking objects through hyperlinks in the UI. Users can jump easily between objects.

•       Support for RM Diagnostics Tool

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V v2.0

Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for Windows Server 2012 R2

•       Support for 3PAR VSS HWP 2.3

•       Enhanced restore of Virtual Machines using repository backups

•       Ability to take snapshot on remote array using 3PAR Remote Replication

•       Replication modes supported – Synchronous and Periodic Asynchronous

•       RMHV (International version) now supports Japanese local environment (localised Windows versions)

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5335618

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5335618

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Software Suite

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for Hyper-V links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5386539

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5386539

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control for #VMware vCenter Server 7.3 Now Available! Includes HP OneView support!

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server, which is available as a single download, seamlessly integrates the manageability features of HP ProLiant, HP BladeSystem, HP Virtual Connect and HP Storage into the VMware vCenter console.

By integrating HP Converged Infrastructure management features directly into VMware vCenter, administrators gain insight and control of their HP infrastructure supporting their virtualized infrastructure  —reducing the time it takes to make important change decisions, manage planned and unplanned downtime and do lifecycle management.

Today HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3 with support for HP OneView is available!

HP Insight Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3?

  • HP OneView support: HP OneView and HP Insight Control licensed hosts are managed under one single VMware  plug-in: HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3. All previous features are now available for HP OneView managed hosts.
  • Grow a cluster consistently and reliably with HP OneView profiles/HP OneView reference host in 5 easy steps. When engaged, the process fully automates the application of an HP OneView profile on selected servers, server provisioning is then used to deploy the selected ESXi build and the VMware host networking configuration is applied at the end to match the server Virtual Connect profile configuration.
  • Coordinated and schedulable firmware deployment.  Now uses HP OneView or HP SUM to deploy a firmware baseline.  The process can be scheduled and host VM’s are evacuated and returned to the normal state using VMware maintenance mode to maximize availability
  • Cluster level host networking configuration.  Host networking configuration (introduced in 7.2) mitigates networking configuration differences between the host and Virtual Connect profiles, this feature is now expanded so that simple click yields the same effect at a VMware cluster level
  • New HP Enclosure view delivers greater simplification in understanding the relationship between the physical and virtual
  • Simplified initial configuration of the plug-in credentials aiming at reducing initial configuration errors 
  • Enhanced Storage Management
    • Full HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Integration
    • HP 3PAR StoreServ Peer Persistence management
    • Enhanced provisioning wizard for volumes
  • Simplified Configuration Management
    • Visualization of  peer persistence configuration
    • Graphical relationship representation between VMs and volumes

*As a reminder, VMware is moving away from the classic application based client to the a new web client, as such, new features are only implemented in the new web client.

Web Resources (updates will be live on Feb 18th, download available today!)

  •  HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server web page and download information

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release)

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release.

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter/docs

 

Enjoy folks, this is really cool stuff – I can’t wait to run it up in my home lab!

HP Servers Virtualization VMWare

VMware ESXi 5.1 U2 HP custom image is now available

VMware has released ESXi 5.1 U2 to the general public.

The HP custom ISO for this version is available at the following URL: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.1.0U2-GA-JAN2014&productId=285 meaning that HP now support this Update across our server line.

The updated recipe document has been published and is available on vibsdepot at http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/recipes/HP-VMware-Recipe.pdf

Enjoy

3PAR HP VMWare

NEW HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager available now!

What is it?

The HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager, an adapter for vCenter Operations Manager from VMware, relates virtual machines and datastores to volumes from HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems. Administrators using HP StoreFront Analytics are able to visualize and analyze data from their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage array directly within vCenter Operations Manager.

What does it do?

HP StoreFront Analytics reports detailed health, capacity, and performance metrics for HP 3PAR StoreServ components including volumes, CPGs, storage systems, controllers, drive cages, disk drives, ports, and fans.  It is distributed as a management pack that installs directly in VMware vCenter Operations.

Why is it full of goodness?

StoreFront Analytics includes preconfigured dashboards enabling the vSphere administrator to quickly get started monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems from within vCenter Operations Manager. These dashboards clearly show relationships between virtual machines, datastores, and the underlying HP storage. This visibility increases the VMware administrator’s productivity and ability to deliver improved quality of service.

Licensing?

Ahh licensing, I always forget to write licensing considerations and end up getting emailed lots about it.  HP StoreFront Analytics includes a 60 day instant-on evaluation license. After 60 days the product will provide basic array health information at no charge, but requires a license for capacity and performance metrics.

Where can I get it?

Download from HP Software Depot

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=vCOPS

For more information

HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager web page

www.hp.com/go/vcops

 

 

Servers Virtualization VMWare

Stale NFS Mount in VMware ESXi 5.5

So after successfully updating my vCenter and ESXi host to version 5.5, I proceeded to add back the NFS mount that had previously been mounted only to be met by the following error message:

The “Create NAS datastore” operation failed for the entity with the following error message. An error occurred during host configuration. Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to resolve hostname ‘nas.local”

At this stage, my DNS server was not up (and had not been for a while due to me being forgetful over the last few months) and I was mounting by IP Address so couldnt understand why it kept referring back to the hostname. Now the issue I have is that I have become perhaps too comfortable with the desktop version of the vSphere client so am still learning my way around Web GUI. Things have changed, just ask @nickmarshall9 who mentioned recently in a presentation he is still adapting to the new graphical world of vSphere Client Web style

For some reason, I was unable to see and unmount any dead\stale datastore mounts within the GUI, or the desktop client for that matter. If all else fails, go CLI!

  1. Enable SSH access (Off by default), refer to my previous post on how to do this here
  2. SSH into your box using an ssh client, I used terminal within MacOSX so naturally had to specify the root@ username
  3. run the command esxcfg-nas -l to list the volumes it thinks it has currently mounted (why these results do not filter up to the GUI astounds me)
  4. now to add a temporary entry into the hosts file,   vi /etc/hosts and add <ip address of NFS Server> <hostname>
  5. Save and exit vi
  6. esxcfg-nas -d <stale_NFS_mount>
  7. Delete the temporary entry that you added to the /etc/hosts file in Step 4 using vi
  8. You should now be able to add the NFS volume through the vSphere client
  9. Turn off SSH access

Simple solution, but one for a problem that seems more or less broken in the software stack.

3PAR EVA HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module vCenter Plug-in 7.2.3

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module for vCenter is plug-in for vCenter Server that allows HP storage arrays to be managed from a single pane of glass that is integrated into the vSphere client.

Available at no cost from HP, the plug-in can be installed once for the entire vCenter environment using a single, all-inclusive installer.

Let’s take a look at the storage component of this plugin, some of the key features as part of this component are:

  • Monitoring the status and health of HP storage arrays
  • Automated provisioning of datastores and VMs– Adding, removing, and expanding datastores on the fly
  • Creating VM from templates on new datastores
  • Using array-based snapshot and snap clone technologies to clone VMs, tapping into VAAI primitives essentially which speeds up operational tasks
  • Common provisioning and removal tasks.
  • Datastore mapping information

And yes, its supported with VMware vSphere 5.1 and from a storage stand point the following HP arrays:

  • HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage
  • HP MSA Storage
  • HP StoreVirtual Storage including the Virtual SAN Appliance
  • HP EVA Storage
  • HP XP Storage
  • HP StoreOnce Backup appliance

So what it gives you is true and fruitful information on your server farm. I was going to add some screenshots of the GUI here but my lab has temporarily taken a holiday so unable to run it up right now.

The good thing is, these two modules (server and storage) is bundled in one installation package and is very easy to install,  for customers running HP BladeSystem and any of our major storage arrays (3PAR, StoreVirtual VSA/Appliance, MSA, EVA and XP) .

Available @ https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=HPICE

HP Servers VMWare

vSphere 5.5 is live – HP custom ISO is now available

VMware has just released version 5.5 of their ever popular Hypervisor, to coincide with this release, HP has also provided the customised image of this release prepared for HP Proliant servers running ESXi environments, put simply – this image provides customised drivers, features that Proliant Servers can leverage.  I run this on my home lab comprising of two HP Proliant servers.

The HP custom ISO is available at the following URL:

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.5.0-GA-19SEP2013&productId=353

Enjoy!

Cloud Virtualization VMWare

vCloud Director 5.1 Documentation

The vCloud Suite is a complex combination of vSphere,  vCloud Networking and Security (vShield), vCenter Operations  with vCloud Director automating the show with all products now aligned at version 5.1.

 

VMware has also released an updated vCloud Architecture Toolkit  (vCAT) for vCloud Director.  The vCAT provides modular components so that you can design a vCloud reference architecture that supports your cloud use case. It includes design considerations and design patterns to support architects, operators, and consumers of a cloud computing solution based on VMware technologies. Attached here are some useful vCloud Documentation links..

 

Architecture

·         VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit 3.0 PDF package (~24Mb)

 

Installation & Upgrade

·         Installing vCloud Director 5.1 best practices (2034092)

·         Upgrading to vCloud Director 5.1 best practices (2034980)

·         Installing vShield 5.1 best practices (2034173)

·         Upgrading to vShield 5.1 best practices (2034699)

·         Network port requirements for vCloud Director 5.1 (2034426)

·         Supported web browsers in vCloud Director 5.1 (2034554)

·         Installing and configuring a vCloud Director 5.1 database (2034540)

·         Supported guest operating systems in vCloud Director 5.1 (2034491)

·         Accessing and using the vShield 5.1 REST API (2034410)

·         Hardening vShield 5.1 virtual appliances (2034358)

·         Upgrade paths from vSphere editions to VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 (2032390)

 

Troubleshooting

·         Cannot upload the upgrade bundle while upgrading from vShield Manager 5.0 to 5.1 (2034804)

·         Stopping a vApp in vCloud Director fails with the error: InternalServerErrorException: Failed to purge object (2034802)

·         VXLAN support in vShield Manager (2034749)

·         Duplicate packets or packet loss when using using LACP (2034807)

·         Audit logging of vShield Edge does not work correctly in vShield Manager 5.1 (2034801)

·         Unable to remove a host from the vCenter Server inventory belonging to a VXLAN prepared cluster (2034808)

·         After upgrading to vSphere 5.1 vShield Endpoint stops functioning (2031655)

3PAR Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage Module 7.2.1/7.2.2 and VMWare vCenter

Uh oh!! a bug in HP Insight Control 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 Storage Plugins with 3PAR environments.

Confirmed with both IC4VC 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 storage plugins with 3PAR 3.1.2 MU2

If using the plugin to perform a “New Datastore” action at the Cluster level, when the volume is presented to all hosts in a cluster in one go, Inserv will take the WWNs of the other hosts in the cluster and strip them from that host entry and apply them to the first host entry in the cluster.

This results in an immediate halt of any VMs running on the subsequent members of the cluster and the ESXi hypervisor itself, assuming boot-from-san, having its rug pulled out from under it – PSODing.

This will be fixed with 7.2.3 of the plugin,due out very soon

Update:

7.2.3 available now!

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do%3FproductNumber%3DHPVPR

Cloud Conference HP Personal Virtualization VMWare

Back from Holiday “Vacation” and VMworld

Finally back from an epic time in the US of A,  VMworld next week.  I was intending on doing a post on the leadup to VMworld including a timetable of events I will be attending.  For those who are going, get in touch – would be great to catch up/meet some of you..  HP are a platinum sponsor and will be at booth #1405, ready to show you our newest developments such as:

  • HP Virtual System that lets you transform your IT environments and maximize the advantages of virtualisation and cloud.
  • Cloud Management solutions for heterogeneous clouds.
  • Mobility solutions make it easy for your users to work on any device anywhere.
  • Networking technology that lets you offload the networking tasks from the host, while also monitoring and securing VM-VM traffic.
  • Advances in storage that ensure fast, secure retrieval of the data you need.

HP also have a space devoted to the Software-Defined Zone in Booth #2235.

And don’t miss the opportunity to learn best practices from the experts in the following HP sessions: (US Time)

  • Monday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Capacity Jail Break: vSphere 5 Space Reclamation Nuts and Bolts (STO4907)
  • Tuesday, 11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
    OpenStack for the Enterprise (VSVC6656)
  • Tuesday, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    The Top 10 Things You MUST Know About Storage for vSphere (STO5545)
  • Wednesday, 11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
    Implementing a Scalable and Highly Available Desktop and Application Architecture with a VMware AlwaysOn Solution (EUC5672)
  • Wednesday, 2:30 p.m – “3:30 p.m.
    Storage – The Next Frontier of Virtualization – How VMware Technologies Can Enable and Accelerate Software Defined Storage (STO5787)

Be sure to stop by to see our exciting in-booth theater sessions providing detailed information on cloud, virtualization, mobility, end-user computing, and more. Also an HP Slate 7 Tablet will be given away at each in-booth theater session.

For the social bunnies, please check out this list of all the gathering/events/parties/tweet-meets that is happening. http://www.vmworld.com/community/gatherings#!

For now, Jet-lag is killing me,  and I have a bunch of work to do. Such is life, great to be back.

3PAR Best Practices HP Performance Storage Virtualization VMWare

Technical White Paper – HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices – June 2013, Rev.3 released


Quick note – The latest revision of this technical white paper has been released – although a minor release I still recommend  if you are running VMware vSphere 5 on a 3PAR StoreServ array – do yourself a favour a take a read!  And please if you havr any feedback, contact me so I can look at including in the next release.

You can download this whitepaper at the following link http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA4-3286ENW.pdf

 

About the Technical White Paper 

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.  This white paper outlines best practices on how to set up HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage with VMware vSphere 5.1 as well as how to take advantage of HP 3PAR StoreServ’s unique features such as vSphere integration, HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning technologies, Dynamic and Adaptive Optimization, and Recovery Manager for VMware to create a world class virtualized IT and application infrastructure

 

Best Practices HP Servers Virtualization VMWare

VMware ESXi 5.1 U1 Release and HP Custom ESXi Image

VMware released ESXi 5.1 U1 in April earlier this year,  HP also released a custom image of this release that incorporates customised HP drivers and management software saving you time to download and install the software yourself. A good point to make is that by using the customised HP Proliant ESXi image – this is a step towards keeping consistency in the software/driver level in your VMware environment. This is best practices in my opinion.

The custom image is available on the VMware site.

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.1.0U1-GA-25APR2013&productId=285

 

VMware from HP ProLiant Server VMware Support Matrix

Not all server’s are created equal! For compatible HP Proliants, always check compatibility on the following website:

http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/505363-0-0-0-121.html

Now here’s where it gets cool – You can build your own HP Custom image of the ESXi image! Just head over to http://vibsdepot.hp.com/ allowing you to add comptabile HP bundles for VMware Image Builder, Update Manager and ESXCLI etc.

 

UPDATE

For those who have upgraded to 5.1 U1 (Custom and Non-custom image) please be aware of the following:

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2050941 – Cannot log in to vCenter Server using the domain username/password credentials via the vSphere Web Client/vSphere Client after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 Update 1 (2050941)

 

 

 

Trending Virtualization VMWare

VMware Horizon Mobile and Switch

About a month ago, VMware announced two new “VMware Ready” devices for their VMware Horizon Mobile software,  although Apple iPhones are still yet to make an appearance in this list – this is still something I am very excited about. Firstly, because its an area where I am still technically upskilling  and secondly because I see mobility as an area which is on the verge of exploding.

Switch to VMware with VMware Switch

Put simply, VMware Switch (not to be confused with a VMware vSwitch 🙂 allows multiple personalities or persona to exist on the same mobile hardware device.

Now think back to my post on the trends in storage and cloud computing for 2013, I noted at the time that VMware Horizon was opening up new doors to the mobile user, EUC as we know it is changing tremendously.

The possibilities could be endless.

Think segregation, think defined work schedules, think BYOD – Now as an avid user of BYOD myself (Apple Fanboy here) I truely am excited to see VMware extend their  virtualization technology to mobile devices. Technology is fuelled by innovation, and to me this is innovation. Almost every IT/Technologist/Enthuiast has at least one mobile device.  I sat on the tram the other day and was astonished (but not surprised) at at least 90% of the fellow passengers glued to their mobile device – Facebooking, tweeting, reading news, email etc  All thirsty for information and social interaction.

Our mobiles no longer just serve the purpose of being able to phone and speak to someone, we make decisions on buying these mobile devices on other capabilities such as SMS, web browsing, email capabilities and social media access. Exciting times!!!

Cloud Personal Trending Virtualization VMWare

vExpert 2013 award

vexpert_logo

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, VMware announced this years awardees with the prestigious  vExpert 2013 title, an award that has been around since 2009 to recognise individuals on their contributions to the global virtualization and cloud community.  The list is put together by VMware and in particular John Troyer (@JohnTroyer) and the VMware Social Media & Community Team- No easy task in my mind as there are a lot of great VMware practitioners and Evangelists out there.

 

Announcement link (Just in case you dont believe me 🙂 

http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2013/05/vexpert-2013-awardees-announced.html

 

For me, this is my very first year being recognised in this category, and I am very humbled and honoured to be recognised among some of the great evangelists in this field – some who are personal friends of mine which makes it even more special.

 

Does it mean you’re now an expert?

No, not necessarily.  The title is not based on what you know or how much you know.  A great extract from the announcement page shows what it takes (and doesnt take) to be recognised:

“A vExpert not a technical certification or even a general measure of VMware expertise. The judges selected people who were particularly engaged with their community and who had developed a substantial personal platform of influence in those communities. There were a lot of very smart, very accomplished people, even VCDXs, that weren’t named as vExpert this year” (Retrieved from http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2013/05/vexpert-2013-awardees-announced.html)

 

Lastly, I would also like to extend my congratulations out to all of the other vExperts for 2013. Looking forward to meeting some of you over the next year.

 

 

3PAR DR HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP 3PAR peer persistence v1: peering into the persisting world of 3PAR

 

Time for a technical deep dive – As you may or may not know, HP 3PAR boasts a sexy array-based software feature set. You’ve probably heard me rave on about it in other posts and podcasts I have done.  I’ve worn this fan-boy cap for a while now and spoken about our leading thin suite.

 

Some 3PAR software features perhaps don’t get as much limelight as our thinning capability or wide striping but they are extremely supportive and tell a great benefit story, especially in the area of High Availability (HA) or Business Continuity (BC). These features are array based and are called peer persistence, peer motion, persistent ports and persistent cache.

 

The names appear similar but they mean different solutions so let’s take a look at some of these concepts and how they work particularly with the vSphere platform—starting with peer persistence.

 

Spotlight on HP 3PAR Peer Persistence

Another way to look at peer persistence is to tie it back to something that has been around for a while in the virtual world – VMware vMotion technology.

 

So what vMotion does for local site workloads, peer persistence does for geographically disparate data centres, meaning it offers transparent site switchover without the application knowing it has happened. It provides a HA configuration between these sites in a metro-cluster configuration.

 

Peer persistence allows you to extend this coverage across two sites, enabling use of your environment and load balancing your virtual machines (VMs) across disparate arrays. Truly a new way to think of a federated data center in this context IMO.  Note, this implies an active\active configuration at the array level but not at the volume level, which is active\passive which infers hosts paths to the primary volume and secondary volume

 

Transparent switchover and Zero RPO/RTO

What does it mean to offer “transparent site failover”? In the context of 3PAR peer persistence, it simply means that workloads residing in a VMware cluster can shift from site 1 to  site 2 without downtime. This makes aggressive RPO\RTOs an achievable reality.

This is particular fit for mission-critical applications or services that may have this RTO/RPO of 0.

PeerPersistenceSetup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: I mention VMware for this as this particular technology only currently supports VMware hosts (vSphere 5.0+) and not vMSC.

 

How does it do it?

Peer persistence leverages HP 3PAR remote copy synchronous to manage the transfer of the remote from local site to remote site and gain acknowledgement back to the host operating system (vSphere in this instance). Today the switchover is a manual process executed via the 3PAR CLI (the automated process is coming later this year).

 

Working with VMware vSphere, this allows your ESXi cluster to virtually span across data centers. So in the above figure VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage A and other VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage B  but all are existing in the same VMware data center.  Moving VMs between sites would typically need a reset, but peer persistence removes this limitation by continuous copying or shadowing the VM on the remote volume via RC and switching over the volumes logically.

 

I’ll write the high level process with the above figure 1 in mind without any pretty pictures:

 

  • Host can logically see both HP StoreServ Storage arrays by means of stretch fabric.
  • VM resides in Site 1, on Volume A. Volume A’s partner (Volume B) is being presented to Host B in Site 2 and can be considered active but not primary.
  • The primary and secondary volumes are exported using different Target Port Groups supported by persona 11 (VMware).

 

This presentation is possible via Asymmetric Logical Unit Access or ALUA allowing a SCSI device (Volume A in this instance) to be masked with same traits (Source WWN).

 

Provided this configuration exists, the process is:

  1. Controlled switchover is initiated by user manually via CLI on primary array. Using ‘setrcopygroup switchover <groupname>’
  2. IO from the host to the primary array is blocked and in flight IO is allowed to drain.
  3. The remote copy group is stopped and snapshots are taken on the primary array.
  4. The primary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  5. The primary array sends a remote failover request to the secondary array.
  6. The secondary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  7. The secondary array takes a recovery point snapshot.
  8. The secondary array remote copy group changes state to become primary-reversed (pri-rev).  At this point the secondary volume will become read/write.
  9. The secondary target port group is changed to active state.
  10. The secondary array returns a failover complete message to the primary array.
  11. From here, The primary array target port group is changed to standby state and any blocked IO is returned to the host with the following sense error: “NOT READY, LOGICAL UNIT NOT ACCESSIBLE, TARGET PORT IN STANDBY STATE”
  12. The host will perform SCSI inquiry requests to detect what target port groups have changed and which paths are now active.  Getting your host multipathing configuration is very important here!
  13. Volume B is now marked primary and hosts continues to access the volume via the same WWN as before. Host IO will now be serviced on the active path to the secondary array without the host application even knowing what happened!

 

What you need

Here’s your list:

  • A WAN link between your two data centers should not have more than 2.6ms latency. This is important as remote copy synchronous needs to be able to send the write and wait for an acknowledgement within a given time frame.
  • One thing to note is that previously, vMotion used to be supported only on networks with round-trip (RTT) time latencies of up to 5 ms but with VMware vSphere 5 introduced a new latency-aware Metro vMotion feature that increases the round-trip latency limit for vMotion networks from 5 ms to 10ms.  The requirement for 5ms seems to be a thing of the past moving forward allowance cool things like spanned virtual data centres in this regard.
  • The ESXi hosts must be configured using 3PAR host Persona 11.
  • Host timeouts need to be less than 30 seconds. This time does not include the subsequent recover and reverse operations so leave some headroom.
  • The WWNs of the volumes being replicated have to be the same. Therefore, ALUA is also a requirement
  • From a 3PAR-licensing point of view, you need 3PAR remote copy synchronous, and Peer persistence of course which is licensed on a per array basis as well.

 

Peer persistence supportability

For now, HP 3PAR Peer persistence is only available for VMware clusters:  vSphere 5.x and up. More platforms to be supported in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Closing

So Peer Persistency is a HA solution that removes barriers traditionally found in physical data centers .  This is not the single entity defining a virtual data centres, but simply acting as just one of the pillars supporting it allowing virtualization and storage to not be constrained by physical elements anymore like in the past.  To this end, achieving a more aggressive BC plan is becoming more realistic.

 

For more on Peer persistence, please check out this service brief: HP 3PAR Peer Persistence—Achieve high availability in your multisite federated environment

HP Virtualization VMWare

VMware has released vSphere 5.1 Update 1

Quick update – This new patch release boasts new features such as SQL Server 2012 support as well as updated guest operating system support.

The official VMware release notes on this patch are available at:

You can find the HP customized image release notes here as well the updated HP VMware Utilities User Guide here

Thats all, VMware PEX this coming week in Sydney – Should be interesting

 

Cloud Conference Virtualization VMWare

VMware Partner Exchange 1-2 May Australian Technology Park

 

 

This year  VMware Partner Exchange will be held at the Australian Technology Park South Sydney between 1st May – 2nd May. This event takes place every year in different regions all around the world giving VMware partners and associates a glimpse on  next-generation VMware products and programs so they are better prepared to talk to their customers.

Who should attend?

Whether you’re an executive, technology buff, or sales beagle, there is usually something for everyone – I usually try to mix it up a bit with attending a balance of business themed sessions, with technical deep dives and some labs on the side.  This year, will be lab focused for me.

So Technology Alliance Partners, System Integrators, OEM partners and VMware Service Providers are all eligible to attend, and I highly recommend it. A highlight this year will be Carl Eschenbark (VMware COO) who is flying out for the event which is quite exciting as well as Raghu Raghuram, who is the Executive Vice President of Cloud Infrastructure and Management

There will be a networking session on the thursday evening as well as unofficial social media themed events organised by the virtual community.

Registration & Agenda;  http://info.vmware.com/content/APAC_ANZ_PEX_Agenda?src=em_13Q1VMW_APAC_ANZ_PEX2013_Sales1&xyz=&elq=

 

See you there!

3PAR HP Virtualization VMWare

VMware vVol and HP 3PAR

Last year,  Calvin Zito did a good overview on VMware Virtual Volumes or vVols.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKVui0W3NT0

 

This is game changing in my opinion, this essentially means the virtual machines will be able to leverage the 3PAR for ANY operation – when you throw an ASIC in the mix and our wide striping and you will have a solution that will simply leave the competition for dead in my opinion. Cloud Computing and time to market to provision or to complete day-to-day tasks will become unreal.

At the moment, this is still in development mode so I am limited to what I am allowed to share, but stay tuned folks – seriously this is going to rock.

NOTE:  This is a techology preview and doesn’t represent a commitment from VMware nor HP to deliver anything shown in this video

 

Cloud Conference Virtualization VMWare

Guest podcast spot on Calvin’s ‘Around the Storage Block’ blog. (VMware VMUG, VMware PEX)

Recently, Calvin Zito , Craig Waters and myself jumped on a call to discuss a range of topics around VMware – more specifically Craig’s involvement in Melbourne VMUG and what the recently VMUG meeting in Melbourne had in store. We also discussed the upcoming VMware PEX which Calvin will be going along to.

Unfortunately, there is also a part which I am forced to discuss the All Blacks losing to the English – Was hoping Calvin would cut that part from the final reel!  🙂

Head over to Calvin’s site and have a listen!

http://t.co/0gIgbDKDem

 

 

3PAR Best Practices HP Storage VMWare

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices whitepaper

 

When supported with the correct underlying storage platform, server virtualization delivers greater consolidation, administrative efficiency, business continuity and cost savings. As a result, server virtualization is not only transforming the data center, but also the businesses that those data centers fuel. However, these transformative results depend on enterprise class storage to deliver the performance, availability, and flexibility to keep up with the dynamic and consolidated nature of virtualized server environments.

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage is the next generation of federated Tier 1 storage and was built from the ground up to exceed the economic and operational requirements of virtual data centers and cloud computing environments by providing the SAN performance, scalability, availability and simplified management that clients need. It does this through an innovative system architecture that offers storage federation, secure multi-tenancy, built-in thin processing capabilities, and autonomic management and storage tiering features that are unique in the industry.

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.

 

Download here

 

Feedback welcome

 

Cloud HP Storage Thin Virtualization VMWare

Introducing the new kids on the block… HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, at HP Discover in Frankfurt, we announced a new line of HP 3PAR storage systems boasting smarter architecture, higher storage capacity and greater performance for customers.

Built for converged infrastructure, cloud and virtual environments

Without being bias, I believe the HP 3PAR architecture holds a cutting edge story like no other. With full mesh architecture and the ability to scale as your virtual environment grows, 3PAR simply rocks. OK, that does make me sound like I have drunk the cool aid a tad, but a lot of customers like converged infrastructure models -that’s why 3PAR is in synch with our server stack and VMware technologies through management plugins.

 

Take a read why I think 3PAR architecture is a great platform for VMware environments and also read about our VirtualSystem offering in this space. And also Learn about other HP converged storage announcements in HP Discover in Frankfurt this week.

 

So without further ado, lets introduce these new kids:

 

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200

The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 series is the entry level 7000 series model in the family. This model offers a 2-node architecture, and up to 144 drives (SSD, SAS , NL) with a maximum capacity of 250TB raw. Perfect for the home offices of small to medium size businesses.

On the connectivity side of things, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 offers up to 12 8GB FC ports and up to 4 x 10Gb ISCSI host ports with an additional 2 built-in ports dedicated for HP 3PAR remote copy replication use.

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400

Need more grunt than the 7200 model? Enter the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 model. This model offers up to 4-node architecture with up to 480 drives (SSD, SAS, NL) for simply awesome tiering capability through the use of our Dynamic Optimisation and Adaptive Optimisation automated tiering functionality. With a maximum capacity of 864TB of raw space, this puppy won’t see you running out of space anytime soon.

For connectivity, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 offers up to 24 8GB FC ports and up to 8 x 10Gb ISCSI host ports with an additional 4 built-in ports dedicated for HP 3PAR remote copy replication use.
Stay tuned for SPC-1 benchmark results on this model.

 

What is the difference between the two 7000 series models?

Technically speaking, the number of drives supported, maximum capacity and port counts are the major differences, with the 7400 model offering more than the 7200 model across all accounts.

Both support RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 6 giving you the flexibility to choose, and not locking you into just one.

Take a look at the back of one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good thing to remember is that both models have support for our HP 3PAR software packages, which means that you can get the most out of your environment.

 

Still the same cool architecture and guarantees you’ve known from before…

 

System wide striping for greater performance – Everything touches everything, full mesh performance, write-cache mirroring, smart I/O processing for mixed workloads.

Gen4 ASIC for hardware based thinning – Good for those Eager-zero thick VMDKs and removing the excess “fat” from thick LUNs .

But wait there’s more, these bad boys also support HP 3PAR Dynamic and Adaptive Optimisation – policy-based autonomic LUN and sub-LUN meaning it will put your virtual machines on the right storage tier at the right time resulting in a cost-effective way to store your data.

 

Double VM density – guaranteed!

With the unique system wide striping, and support for mixed workloads (whether virtual or not), we can guarantee you twice the density of VM’s over legacy arrays. We have such tight support with VAAI primitives such as atomic test and set that we can offer HW-assisted locking on VMFS volumes as well as superior performance through Adaptive optimization.

 

Learn more about HP 3PAR Get Virtual Guarantee Program

 

50% less capacity – guaranteed

The key is in the magic sauce – GEN4 ASIC offering Silicon-level integration with VMware VAAI primitives such as Write Same for thin conversion/detection and Space Reclamation to keep virtual environments thin!

Support for VMware stuff?

You bet! These new models have Remote Copy Integration for VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and Peer Persistence Integration with VMware MetroCluster.

HP 3PAR Management Plugin for vCenter

Given the recent announcements and developments released in vSphere 5.1 (read my post here on these), the plugin will be available via new Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter.   This will be the one stop management plug-in for all HP Storage and HP Servers. Calvin Zito did a really good overview on this plugin and its capabilities, be sure to take a read.

The HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter v.7.1 is available free from the HP Software depot – download it here

 

Technical Specifications

Supportability

The HP 3PAR StoreServ models are supported on the following hosts:

  • Citrix XenServer
  • HP-UX
  • IBM AIX
  • Microsoft Windows Server, including Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Oracle Linux (UEK and RHEL compatible kernels)
  • Oracle Solaris
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise
  • VMware vSphere

Need a hand? Sure!

HP Technology Services can assist in getting you up and running as well as any migration services you may require. Get in touch with myself or check out these pre-canned services.

 

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 Storage Installation and Startup Service:

This carepack service can help you plan and deploy the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 into operation with up to two hosts connected to the virtual volumes

A final oriental session ensures you are comfortable with the new platform.

 

HP 3PAR Best practices whitepaper for VMware vSphere 5.x

In closing, HP 3PAR is optimally built for virtual environments, if you have a VMware farm and looking to get more out of your environment –  take a look at the official BP document.

 

Download this whitepaper here.  Or get in contact with myself, as I am always happy to answer questions.

 

Virtualization VMWare

FYI: VMware EOA for ESX 4 (not ESXi)

   

VMware Announces End of Availability Date for VMware vSphere® ESX hypervisor 4.x and VMware Management Assistant Versions 1 and 4

 

On November 28, 2012, VMware is notifying customers of an End of Availability (“EoA”) date for VMware vSphere® ESX hypervisor 4.x and for VMware Management Assistant (“vMA”) versions 1 and 4. The end of availability date is August 15, 2013. This is a follow-on communication to the general announcement made in July 2011 in connection with the launch of vSphere 5.0.

 

This notification has NO IMPACT on existing vSphere ESXi 4.x environments, and your customers are NOT required to take any action. However, it is recommended that customers make a backup or keep an archived copy of these binaries and generate any necessary license keys in order to maintain or expand a vSphere ESX hypervisor version 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 environment. These steps should be completed prior to August 15, 2013. VMware will not provide any binaries or license keys for vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 after August 15, 2013.

Please note:

  • vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.X and vMA support lifecycle
    The end of support life (“EOSL”) date remains May 21, 2014. Learn more about VMware’s support lifecycle.
  • Customer’s ability to use the binaries of vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x or vMA versions 1 and 4 past August 15, 2013
    Customers retain the ability to use licensed binaries past the EoA or EOSL dates. However, they will not be able to download binaries or generate new license keys after the EoA date or obtain technical support and subscription after the EOSL date.
  • vSphere ESXi 4.X availability and support – There is NO impact
  • vMA 4.1, 5, or 5.1 availability and support for all versions – There is NO impact

Contact the Partner Support Center if you have any questions or require assistance. Beginning November 28, 2012, your customers can access an FAQ and learn more about these changes by visitingvmware.com.

Hyper-V Virtualization VMWare

Release of VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0

What is it?

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager is a component that enables support for managing heterogeneous hypervisors when used in conjunction with VMware vCenter Server v5.1 and vSphere Client 5.1.

It is not available for the vSphere Web Client, with this in mind I am not sure what the roadmap for this will be post 5.1 seeing as they are EOL the desktop client.

 

Supported Hypervisors

·         Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008

·         Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

 

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0 Release Notes

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0 Admin Guide

 

Conference HP VMWare

VMDownUnderground and the lead up to VMware vForum 2012, Sydney Australia

VMware vForum is an annual tech conference that has been adapted from the ever-popular VMworld, which is why it is sometimes dubbed the mini VMworld, it never fails to disappoint as it is always full of quality presenters and content.

This year, the conference is being held in the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th November 20122 from 8am to 6pm both days, Visit to be able to gain access to over 75 Sessions and Hands-On Labs available across the two day event. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to hear and collaborate with VMware executives, subject matter experts and industry thought leaders on the very latest technology and trends.

Tickets to attend main sessions, including the keynotes, Exhibitor Hall and Labs are FREE of charge.

Make sure you register for vForum here

 

VMDownUnderground

The ever popular , join other VMware technologist type individuals over a beer to discuss everything physical, virtual, cloud and more.

More details can be found at http://vmdownunderground2012.eventbrite.com/  – This is now sold out!

All proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to Bear Cottage to help them to care for children who have a life-limiting illness.

 

HP @ VMware vForum

Here is a look at the sort of demo’s that HP will be exhibiting at vForum, I will be there and to promote our “Get Virtual Guarantee” and of course available to talk everything 3PAR and VMware.

HP EG Demos: Wed 14 Nov10:35 – 10:45am

HP Booth

Wed 14 Nov12:30 – 12:40pm

HP Booth

Wed 14 Nov3:35 – 3:45pm

HP Booth

Thurs 15 Nov10:35 – 10:45am

HP Booth

Thurs 15 Nov12:30 – 12:40pm

HP Booth

Key Demos title and summary: Be the Master of your VM universe Customers will see how easy it is to provision and managevolumes and data stores; plus create and view snapshots for rapid onlinerecovery of files, directories, entire VM’s or data stores, all from within the

VMware vCenter console.

 

HP Data Protector Integration into VMware vCloud Director Customers will learn how Data Protector provides advancedand integrated data protection for vCloud Director. Shhh…. Secret tips to dealing with Firmware Customers will learn how with HP’s integration with vCenter, they can quickly and easily perform Firmware updates and patches. Stop giving IT away… HP will show customers how they can start charging for their IT resources. Managing your network from a single pane of glass Customers will learn how HP Networking Intelligent Management Centre and VMwarevCenter integration provides a complete, end-to-end view of their physicaland virtual network environment.

If you are at vForum or VMDownUnderground, please come up and introduce yourself at the HP Booth.
See you there!

Storage VMWare

APAC Virtualization Podcast – Episode 62 – VSA

Join Craig Waters (@cswaters1), Chris Trioni – (vArchitect, VCE), John Martin (Principal Technologist, NetApp), Cormac Hogan (Senior Marketing Architect for Storage, VMware) and myself (Solutions Architect, HP) where we will discuss the recently announced Software Defined Datacentre (SDD) and where storage fits into the whole story.

Start Time (GMT+11): 17/10/12 9:00 PM Sydney time (EDT)

 

More information can be found here:

http://apacvirtual.com/2012/10/12/episode-62-virtual-storage-appliance-vsa/

 

Follow the guys on twitter:

@andrecarpenter – Andre Carpenter

@cswaters1 – Craig Waters

@life_no_borders – John Martin

@christroiani – Chris Troiani

@VMwareStorage – Cormac Hogan

Virtualization VMWare

run VMware View?? read this!!

Following the announcement of VMware vSphere 5.1, I came across this interesting KB article

http://bit.ly/PksIcy

In a nutshell:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is important as VMware View runs on the vSphere platform, so if you are looking to upgrade the hypervisor to 5.1 then you may run into some support problems should you be running VMware View as well..  Dont sweat, sources tell me this is a temporary obstacle and will be cleared up in the near future, for now my advice is to hold off the upgrade or run separate clusters for your view environment if you absolutely need the vSphere 5.1 features sets.

Storage Virtualization VMWare

My first VMworld 2012 – A wrap

VMworld 2012 was held in San Francisco, USA  in August this year.  This was to be my first (and hopefully not last) VMworld conference,  I have a lot of memorable moments from the whole trip – probably too many to list here but nonetheless it was a very memorable trip.  The flight over and back was full, not cool for a relatively tall fella like myself.

I met some brilliant minds in the industry, and got to go to my first NFL game ever (Thanks @vStewed!) as well as doing a podcast with a good colleague of mine Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy), you can listen to the podcast at this link.

 

Some of my favourite sessions:

STO1430: Tracking Down Storage Performance Issues: A Customer’s Perspective http://goo.gl/uTtH8

Speaker Keith Aasen, NetApp, Scott Elliott, Christie Digital

 

STO2980: vSphere 5 Storage Best Practices @ http://goo.gl/pbP0g

Speakers: Chad Sakac, EMC Corporation, Vaughn Stewart, NetApp

 

VSP1800: vSphere Performance Best Practices http://goo.gl/I6lPc

Speaker: Peter Boone, VMware

 

Over 300+ sessions available for download @

http://www.vmworld.com/community/sessions/2012/

 

Now, onto some of the major new announcements that are worth a mention:

 

vRam goes vByeBye

Probably the biggest announcement made at VMworld 2012 was that VMWare has decided to drop the vRAM memory model that came out last year with vSphere 5.0.

This meant each edition of the vSphere tool had a virtual memory cap for each license, and if you needed more virtual memory for your ESXi host, you had to buy enough licenses to cover the total virtual memory in use by your VMs. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of it as I liked the simpler per socket approach as did a lot of VMware customers.

 

Monster VM’s now with more monster!!

The new release of ESXi has a bigger, faster, stronger CPU virtualization method, VMware refer to this method as ” virtualized hardware virtualization” or “VHV” for short, which  offers guest operating systems running inside of the VM “near native access to the physical CPU.”

New specs offered with this release of vSphere include 64 vCPU, up to 1TB RAM, 1 million IOPs out of a single VM.  All of this whilst still keeping the efficiencies we have all come to love with vSphere.

 

Shared Storage? Doesn’t matter!

Another important announcement is the capability to perform a virtual machine live migration between two separate physical servers  without the need of those physical hosts being attached to the same storage. Traditionally this requirement has been around since vMotion came out with ESX Server, but now VMware has redesigned it so that the memory state and files with the metadata describing a powered on VM can be transferred between hosts using their DAS.

 

No more desktop client…. 

vSphere 5.1 now comes with a new Web-based client that you can use instead of the Windows-based application that or the Linux-based virtualized console . This new web console snaps into vCloud Director, the cloud orchestration tool sold by VMware. Pity for IOS users as this new web client requires Adobe flash 🙁

I am curious as to how VCP certification will change given that the questions revolve heavily around the desktop client GUI.

 

Storage vMotion goes parallel!

Storage vMotion now supports up to four parallel disk copies per VM. Nuff said.

See What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Storage for more.

 

vCenter Single-Sign-On (SSO) 

vCenter Single Sign-on is a new feature in 5.1 that means you no longer log directly into vCenter Server but with a security domain defined in your vSphere environment.

Previous versions of vSphere meant you needed to log into vCenter Server directly, you were authenticated with the provided username and password against the Active Directory configured for vCenter Server

A point to note is that vCenter SSO is an additional component in the vSphere suite, but is required before any other vSphere 5.1 component (not ESXi) is installed or upgraded to 5.1.  The idea is that it will run as an additional service on top of vCenter service so there is no need to start re-architecting or working out the impact that it may have to your virtual environment

 

In closing.

VMworld 2012 was simply outstanding, the quality of the sessions and the solutions exchange were remarkable. You can find a link ,  I look forward to the next one I have the opportunity to go to and especially to meeting more people and catching up with in the industry we have come to love.

For a quick overview on Whats new content, please visit this link,

 

HP VMWare

HP Get Virtual Guarantee Whitepaper for VMware environments

Further to my earlier post on what is VM density, I mentioned HP’s ‘Get Virtual Guarantee” programme.

Here is a link to the whitepaper on this, have a read and consider.  Virtual environments are a lot more fun when they are performing optimally.

 

Ping me if you have any questions @andrecarpenter or andre.carpenter@hp.com

VMWare

vCloud Networking Poster

This is an excellent in any virtualisation processional’s toolkit.. A good friend of mine wrote the following about this poster here so I will quote from his post.

“The poster is a reference to all things related to vSphere Standard Switch (VSS), vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS), and Virtual Extensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) technology. It provides you information on the different components, terminologies and parameters of VSS, VDS, and VXLAN. It also explains the advanced features of VDS and discusses some best practices.”

Download the PDF from here