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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

VMware CPU Compatibility for EVC

Quite sometime back, I did wrote about how to use the compatibility site on VMware HCL page here.  Recently I saw that there was and additional page there was added just for CPU.

It might be a little too much work to clicking through for one model and another just to check what are the Enhanced vMotion (EVC) modes supported.

So here VMware just release one for CPU just to have a ease of check here.  Of cause you can still check out the KB to understand more on CPU class.

Here is a video to illustrate how you can use the new section.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

VMware vExpert 2015 Kicks Off!

Updating my first blog post this month by the new of the vExpert 2015 kick off while I am busy with vForum Singapore.

There are so many great news today.  First the news on VMware by ZDNet as the most important IT vendor.

Back to the main subject.  Hurry yourself now head to the blog post to sign up and be accredited vExpert yourself by proving your contribution to the communities.

I have previously shared my experience why I started all this sharing.  Do your part, so this community can be leverage on to help you and me and everyone else.

Hope to see more vExpert in 2015!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New and Re-brand with vRealize

With both the VMworld 2014 in San Francisco and Barcelona, there are many new bundles and re-branding starting with vRealize.

To many there are many questions and confusion on what is really in all these bundles?  Here I am just to clarify the confusion which I, myself got confused with and have cleared it up.

We know that VMware has vCenter Operations Management Suite (Standard/Advanced/Enterprise).  In this suite, there were 4 components namely: vC Ops Manager, vCenter Infrastructure Navigator, vCenter Chargeback (EOA), vCenter Configuration Manager.  With the new re-branding, this is now call vRealize Operations 6 (Standard/Advanced/Enterprise).

The powerful vCloud Automation Center (formerly DynamicOps), is now rename to vRealize Automation.

IT Business Management (ITBM) which provide a transparency of cost and services across your whole infrastructure is now known as vRealize Business.

VMware Log Insight a log analytics tool is also renamed to vRealize Log Insight.
Something which was not announced (maybe I missed out) but was renamed, vCenter Orchestrator that comes with vCenter is not call vRealize Orchestrator.

vRealize Hyperic is the new name for vCenter Hyperic (formerly vFabric Hyperic).

New Bundle/Product
VMware vRealize Operations Insight 6 is an add-on for vSphere with Operation Management (vSOM) customers who are interested in upgrading their vCenter Operations Management Suite Standard (part of vSOM) to the Advanced edition comes with vRealize Log Insight.

A new bundle for naked vSphere customers or Openstake customers known as vRealize Suite 6 Standard/Advanced/Enterprise which consists of vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation, vRealize Business with each similar edition as described.

vRealize Code Stream an application delivery framework to streamline and automate in software delivery process.  It can be integrated out of box with jFrog Artifactory.
For vCloud Air;
For customers who are on vCloud Air, you will be able to use VMware vRealize Operations Advanced/Enterprise and vRealize Automation Advanced/Enterprise Public Cloud Extension

In summary, you are seeing that VMware is trying to align the portfolio of the solutions more specifically.  From the previous on End User Computing (EUC) solutions to brand with "Horizon", and Management solutions with "vRealize", you will be seeing a clearer picture of what solution this all contains and about.

New Formly known Description
vRealize Suite NEW vRealize Automation + vRealize Business + vRealize Operations + vRealize Log Insight
- vRealize Automation vCloud Automation Center NA
- vRealize Business IT Business Management NA
- vRealize Operations vCenter Operations Management Suite NA
vRealize Operations vCenter Operations Management NA
- vReazlize Operations Manager vCenter Operations Manager NA
- vRealize Hyperic vCenter Hyperic (vFabric Hyperic) NA
- vRealize Infrastructure Navigator vCenter Infrastructure Vanvigator NA
- vRealize Configuration Manager vCenter Configuration Manager NA
vRealize Operations Insight NEW vRealize Operations Advanced + vRealize Log Insight for vSOM customers
vRealize Orchestrator vCenter Orchestrator Free with vCenter
vRealize Application Services vFabric Application Director Part of vRealize Automation Enterprise Edition
vRealize Log Insight vCenter Log Insight NA

Update 17th Oct 2014
Added vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Hyperic, vRealize Code Stream.

Update 21st Oct 2014
Added a table for easy viewing.  More can be read from another blog

Updated 28th Oct 2014
Finally something from VMware.  Refer to this vRealize FAQ to understand all the confusion.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

VMware vSphere Desktop Licensing and Usage

I have encounter not once but several times by many including partners and customers who got confused with the vSphere Desktop licensing.

Well what is vSphere Desktop?  What edition of the normal vSphere is is different or similar?  When do we used it and what can we used it for?

VMware has vSphere Desktop licensing to be used by VMware own virtual desktop solutions it is and by third parties virtual desktop solutions.  The only different is the licensing model is different.

First and foremost, vSphere for Desktop has the same features and functions of vSphere Enterprise Plus.  Yes every single functionality is available.

Before we touch on the different licensing type, you can refer to also VMware Product Guide,  on page 16, you will see what is allowed to be hosted on vSphere Desktop in summary: 1) virtual desktop infrastructure, 2) terminal servers 3)  associated desktop management and monitoring tools.

If you are purchasing vSphere Desktop for third parties virtual desktop solutions and wants to run with vSphere, you would purchase vSphere Desktop instead of the normal vSphere.  In vSphere Desktop licensing, you are allow to have as many hosts as you need however the licensing is by per powered on virtual machine.  This is explained here

To run a vSphere environment, you need a management server, in this case vCenter.  However for third party solutions, the only options would be vCenter Server Foundation or Standard to manage this environment.  I have explained the different vCenter previously here.

The next place where you will find vSphere Desktop and also vCenter Desktop (not available for purchase but bundled in VMware Horizon bundles)  is in VMware Horizon bundling.  In all VMware Horizon bundling it is always bundled with vSphere Desktop and vCenter Desktop.  In this type of bundling, the licensing will be based on either Named User or Concurrent User.  I wrote an article on Horizon Suite which now replaced by a new bundle Horizon 6 which detailed the named and concurrent user licensing with example which still applies.

With most customers I came across who runs third party solutions are on vSphere been the fact that vSphere is much easier to use and reliable.

So now with the confusion cleared, why cost seems cheaper to run with VMware Virtual Desktop solution instead?  Reason is simple.  When comparing with third party solutions running on VMware vSphere Desktop and VMware virtual desktop solution, the cost is automatically lowered.

Let's take the popular Citrix XenDesktop for example:

Taking the cost from here.  Citrix has three editions namely: VDI Edition, Enterprise and Platinum for named user $80, $190, 300 and concurrently $165, $430, $600 respectively.  This has not include VMware vSphere Desktop and vCenter Server Standard which will cost $6,500 per 100 VMs and $4,995 respectively.

If we take VMware Horizon 6 Standard, Advanced  and Enterprise and the cost named user at NA (no named user for Horizon 6 Standard), $250, $300 and concurrent user at $250, $400, $500 respectively, you see the different.

From this example, doing some math, you will discover other than Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition with vSphere Desktop might cost slight cheaper comparing to Horizon 6 Standard edition which comes only in concurrent user licensing only, where XenDesktop Enterprise editions and above with VMware vSphere Desktop will cost much more than VMware Horizon 6.  Not to mention you now have to manage two separate technology with hiring someone with two different skillset.

Of course the cost might only be lower (in some editions it still costs more) unless you run the free hypervisor instead of VMware vSphere Desktop for third party solutions.

Hope this give you a clear picture how vSphere Desktop is been used and licensed as well as the cost involved whether to use VMware or third parties solution.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

VMware Horizon 6 Application Remoting Direct Connect

The Scenario
ABC company has a remote office and connection back to HQ is not very possible due to bandwidth.  Applications used by the users at the remote office must not have any access to the server directly for security reason and manageability.  The second requirement is the server that serves the applications is not joined to Active Directory.

With the release of Horizon View 5.2, we were able to use View Direct Connection without a Connection server or a broker with or without Active Directory.  With this we are able to meet some of the requirements above.  This is currently only possible on VMware Horizon View, Citrix XenDesktop does not have this feature.

With the release of VMware Horizon 6, it comes with Application Remoting, this not only allow a RDSH Desktop but now you can provide Application Remoting (Application Presentation similar to Citrix Xenapp).  With this add on feature and the Direct-Connection, this makes Application Remoting without any dependency on a broker requirement which Citrix XenApp requires.

To test this out I this up on my Mac using VMware Fusion Pro.

The setup was pretty easy mentioned at various post and also at VMware blog post for Horizon View 5.3.  Also a post that show how Application remoting would look like when used with a connection server but this case we are not using.

You can download the binary here.  Get the VMware Horizon client here.

The setup is as follows:
  1. Setup a virtual machine with at least 128MB video memory
  2. Install Windows Server
  3. Install VMware Tools
  4. Setup Remote Desktop Host Services
  5. Install View Agent
  6. Install View Agent Direct-Connection Plugin
  7. Install and Add applications for access
  8. Add/Create and Grant the users
However during my installation of the View Agent I was stumble over the requirement of connection server registration.  In this case, we are not using any.

This is actually documented.  After going referring to the View Agent Direct-Connection Adminsitration Guide, page 17, the below command is required to skip the broker registration.  The setup wizard will skip the connection server step.

VMware-viewagent-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /v VDM_SKIP_BROKER_REGISTRATION=1

After which everything just simply carry on as per normal.  After the View Agent Direct-Connection plugin, a user group  "View Agent Direct-Connection Users" is created and by default, all authenticated users are added to this group.  You can change otherwise.

Add the applications to be used using the RemoteApp Manager (in my case for Windows 2008 R2 SP1).  Below you will see I have added some of the default applications.

Now using my Horizon Client to connect to the server I was presented with the applications entitled (not sure why the icon for notepad is wrong).

Clicking any of them launches the application instantly.

There you go!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Security Alert: bash Code Injection Vulnerability

This morning got brought to attention by my colleague, Iwan regarding this bash Code breached.  I am no linux or unix guy but when comes to security this is not to be play with especially in industry where security and compliance is highly evaluated.

A security vulnerability was detected known as "Shell Shock" which is a bash shell commonly found in unix and linux platform.  You can refer to CVE-2014-6271, CVE-2014-7169.

VMware was fast to publish this discover as well and you can read the post here and also to follow up with this KB on what products will be impacted.  So check back the KB to see which product from VMware is impacted and how to mitigate.

Note: that ESXi are not impacted with this "Shell shock" vulnerability.

As for other platforms, you would have to look back to your respective principle to find out if it is affected and the solution to resolve.

Update 29th Sept 2014
As extracted from CSOOnline, CentOS versions 5-7, Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, and 14.04 (all LTS versions), Debian, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4-7, are all vulnerable.

Update 30th Sept 2014
VMware Products that are affected are mentioned in the KB above listed.  VMware customer portals  are NOT affected is documented in this KB.  Great news for those still running out of support vSphere 4.x, VMware will also provide update for ESX 4.x as an exception though it has been out of VMware lifecycle policies.

Also companies that utilizes linux for the intelligence/function in their products just to list a few e.g. Nutanix has also publish their support note with and advisory note, TrendMicro tech note for a list of their vulnerabilities, Symantec here, Palo Alto Network note, Cisco Systems Advisory, Oracle Security Alert, etc.

Update 1st Oct 2014
From the list of product in the VMware Security Advisory VMSA-2014-0010, VMware Log Insight is the first product to get patched.

Update 2nd Oct 2014
Shellshock Security Update:
  • vCenter Operations Manager 5.8.3
  • vCloud Automation Center 6.1
  • vCloud Automation Center
  • vCloud Automation Application Services Center 6.1
  • vCloud Application Director 6.0.1
  • vFabric Application Director 5.2
  • IT Business Management Standard 1.1.0 and 1.0.1
  • vCenter Support Assistant
  • vCenter Orchestrator 4.2.3
  • vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.2
Update 3rd Oct 2014
Shellshock Security Update:
  • vCenter Orchestrator
  • vFabric Hyperic 5.0.3
  • vFabric Hyperic 5.7.2
  • vCenter Hyperic 5.8.3
  • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 2.0.1
  • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 5.7.1
  • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 5.8.3
  • vSphere App HA 1.1.1
Xen Project seems to have a larger vulnerability due to ShellShock.  Companies that user Xen as their hypervisor include Citrix, Oracle and Huawei from what I remember.  Read up this article.

Update 4th Oct 2014
Shellshock Security Update:

  • vCloud Networking and Security &
  • NSX for vSphere 6.0.7 & 6.1.1
  • NSX for Multi-Hypervisor 4.1.4 & 4.2.1
Update 7th Oct 2014
Check back VMSA-2014-0010 for all the products as at time of writing almost all products are been patched.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

VMWare vForum 2014 Singapore Registration is now Live!

In Asia Pacific, this is what we have been waiting for the biggest event of all time at in Singapore; VMware vForum 2014!

Every year there are more than 3000 participants from customers to partners within the Asia Pacific region with our various sponsors gather at this major event bringing with the announcements from VMworld both held in San Francisco to Barcelona.

This year without fail VMware Singapore is hosting it annual biggest event in Singapore at its usual same venue Raffles City Convention Center.

If you are new to VMware or just getting started or you are already in the matured level of building your cloud, this is an event not to be missed.  Not only will you get to meet up with all the professionals on the field and get to know all the solutions available to meet your needs, you will also get to understand what on the market just for you at one single day and place!

What's different this year from other years, is it is a 2 days event.  First day with all the announcement and keynotes in an overview of all the solutions from VMware and her partners.  With the new additional of second day which cater for all the technical professional with all the technical workshops.  On both days, there will also be Hands-on Labs going on!  Check out the agenda here.  Remember to look through both the agendas for both days.  Yes clicking on Day 1 and Day 2 does show the respective day's agenda if you did not notice it!

If you can only attend one event a year, you must not miss this!  So what are you waiting for start, register for your attendance here!

Update 17th Sept 2014
Look out for special privileges for VMUG members.  If you are not yet a VMUG member, sign up here now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

VMware World 2014 SFO Day 2 What's New!

If you have not read about what was on Day 1 check out here.  There ain't much announcement on solutions here on the second day.  There are quite a lot of announcements on EUC space and that you can read it here.  There are also mentions of CloudVolumes which was recently acquired by VMware just last week, a few partnership with Google and nVidia on Chromebooks and Horizon DaaS which lightly further expansion from the acquisition done on Desktone.

Also VMware has joined as a Gold Partner in the Open Compute Project as reported by AMAX.

With VMware been the first partner of SAP with AirWatch and SAP Mobile Secure into the mobility space on security and experience stated here.

On vCloud Air, there is on demand which was previously mentioned and as well as vCloud Air  Object Storage offering.  Check out all the new announcement by Bill Fathers.

To sum it all, the second focus much on the EUC and mostly partnership betwee day 1 and 2.  If you are expecting some new launches e.g. vSphere, you will be disappointed as if you are part of or heard of the vSphere Beta program, you will know it is still in beta and lightly would only be ready next year.

Let's now wait for the VMworld 2014 Barcelona and see what's new to of it will be announced.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

VMware World 2014 SFO Day 1 What's New!

With VMware World 2014 at San Francisco there are so many great news and one of them is VMware EVO:RAIL.  A hardware appliance that comes in 2U and have up to 4 nodes and expandable to 4 appliance.  Read this article.  Also in a tech preview is EVO:RACK which you can read more about it here.

You might have thought, is VMware selling hardware?  Nope you will purchase from VMware partners and not from VMware.  This is build from bottom up tuned to fit vSphere with vCenter LogInsight and Virtual SAN.

You can take a look at the interface of how VMware EVO:RAIL interface looks like here.

Next the vRealize Suite which was announced which comprises of vCloud Automation Center, vCenter Operations Management Suite and IT Business Management which available for outside the vCloud Suite customers or non VMware customers who need a comprehensive Cloud Management Platform (CMP).

This also add to vRealize Air with beta sign up.  This enables customer on to experience vRealize as a SaaS with automation and management through vRealize with service catalog, policies and governance assignments and lifecycle management.

A container adoption with Docker, Pivotal and Google for the public and private cloud and even hybrid cloud environment.  Where applications on a common platform can be scale easily.  This will run on vCloud Air as well can be deploy via vCloud Automation Center.  Read more here.

Also the announcement of Openstack open source cloud framework support.  This comprises the use of vSphere for compute, NSX for network and vSphere Storage (for now is Virtual SAN) for storage and vCloud Automation Center with vCenter Operations Management Suite for the automation and management piece together with Open IAAS APIs to build a VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO).

With a rebranding of vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) to vCloud Air.  With beta offering for Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand where you can sign up here.

The new bundling of VMware Workspace Suite which includes Workspace Portal, Horizon 6 Enterprise, AirWatch Secure Content Locker Collaboration (SCL) and AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management.  The VMware Workspace Suite contains AirWatch Yellow Enterprise Mobility Management which you can find out what is the different between the colours edition here.  Licensing for Workspace Management Suite will be by per named user licensing with up to 3 devices applicable for the AirWatch Management Suite.

With more partners with NSX integrations and more Hybrid Cloud partnering with Application services from Dockers and Pivotal, there are just more to come on Day 2...

Update 27th Aug 2014
- Container Adoption with Docker, Pivotal and Google

Update 30th Aug 2014
- Added Workspace Suite detail on AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management
- Licensing on Workspace Suite

Friday, August 22, 2014

Virtual SAN Sizing Tool Available!

With the days getting nearer to VMworld 2014, there are so much news from VMware.  First the acquisition of CloudVolume announced on 20th August 2014, now the release of the Virtual SAN (VSAN) Sizing Tool which everyone is having a great effort trying to find one or build one.

Check out the release article on this and read about its limitation or requirement at the moment supported.

You will be able to access the tool here.

Just to note this is an initial release, so there might be one or two bugs you might encounter.  Do help by providing feedback by clicking on the feedback icon so we can have better tool by refine it further.

Bugs found on 22nd Aug
Initial test, the host count always stay at 14 irregardless of the parameters given.
Issue has been resolved on 22nd Aug.