Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Windows 2016 Core Licensing FAQ

A very busy month for me and also traveling to take a break from work. Finally to sit down and compose which got confused by many of my co-workers.

It came across to me many people are confused over the windows 2016 licensing. I have previously explained how it is licensed here.

However, there are cases where customer like to know what will be the break-even point if they are running on Windows 2016 Standard licensing instead of Windows 2016 Datacenter edition.

Someone has also done up some scenario to explain the cost and break-even point here. Basically, the 13th Windows VM that you run on a physical server will make more sense to run Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license. That is if your consolidation is high which is subject to your server specifications as well as VM workload.

Just to give you the explanation from my post previously, whether it is a standard edition or datacenter edition, the way you license in cores doesn't change. But in the standard edition, you are only limited to run two OSIs in every box with every Windows 2016 Standard edition license you use on all cores. What question comes next is how do I run more than 2 OSI? Well, you have to license another set that will allow you to run 4 OSIs. So two Windows 2016 Standard edition license used on one physical server will allow you to run 4 OSIs. The caveat, you need to license all the cores and minimum still applies.

Here is the example:

Windows Server 2016 Standard License, Two-Core Pack: $111.00

Minimum per server:

  • A server with two CPUs on 16 cores each. There will be 32 cores in total.
  • Minimum to license is 8 cores per socket and 16 cores per servers. (not to worry unless you still have 8 cores per processor CPU or you running one CPU server with a total of less than 16 cores)
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard edition license, Two-Core Pack: $111.00 x 16 packs = $1,776.00, you will incur $1776. 

This allows you to run two OSIs for licensing all the cores. To run more OSIs in increment of 2, you will need to license the core again. Such as 4 OSIs, you will incur $1,776 x 2 = $3,552.

Monday, October 29, 2018

vForum 2018 Online

Missed the vForum locally in your country especially the one in Singapore? No worries, there is still a chance to attend some of the tracks and win some gifts for yourself.

Check out the events that are coming up this week here. Don't miss out and chat with the expert and get your questions answered.

Still not sure whether you can make it? Register first, and attend the sessions you are available to join.

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

vExpert Pro What is it?

Something new just starts out from VMware Palo Alto. There is a new twitter handler, VMware vExpert Pro. It just posted something a few hours ago.

We know what is a vExpert program. If you do not do check out here. The vExpert came a long way from a general vExpert to now another three more tracks namely: vSAN NSX, Cloud and now Pro.

So what is really vExpert Pro? This is someone volunteered in the individual country as a vExpert recruiter. So how is the person been selected? A short requirement is as below:

A current vExpert who excels in their local region, adding value to the program and giving back to the community. This person has a strong relationship with the local IT community in general, and works as an advocate to the vExpert program, recruiting, mentoring and training people.

I am fortunate to be selected out of the many vExperts in Singapore. Not because I am an employee in VMware (initially information was sent to my personal email and the program team from VMware wasn't aware I am working in VMware) but because of my contribution thus far.

Check out the announcement here.

For those in Singapore, if you are interested in becoming a vExpert, do not hesitate to contact me. I can guide you through. With commitment and effort, you will eventually be rewarded.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

VMware New Updated Certifications Release

There is three certifications release before VMworld 2018 announced here. Namely VCAP-DCV 2018 Deploy, VCAP-CMA Deploy 2018 and VCP7-DTM 2018.

Here is something new is the naming convention. The certification is no longer tied to the version of the product. Though this is also mentioned in the article as well as in the certification page.

This is a long awaiting certification since vSphere 6.5 was released more than a year ago and the Design exam was available since last year and Deploy was not till now. This applies the same for Cloud Automation exam too.

For VCP-DTM, this is more of an update to match Horizon 7.5.

I do welcome the naming convention as it also allows testers to know when they last took their exam especially VCP is valid for two years.

As mentioned in my last blog on VCAP6.5-DCV Design, the difference between VCP and VCAP testing of capabilities is different. The way Design and Deploy testing criteria is also different for the different audience between an architect and a administrator per-se.

As I am fortunate to be involved in the contribution for both VCAP6.5 in Design and Deploy exam, it really took lots of time and debate between all the SMEs to have the exam created. It is a great opportunity to met up many expertise in the field around.

If you have taken of the exam, do provide some feedback good or bad so VMware Certification team can take that into future development.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

VMware vForum 2018 Singapore: vWarrior Championship!

The yearly VMware vForum 2018 Singapore is announced to be on 4th Oct and can be registered here just as when VMworld 2018 is running. You will be expecting some content from VMworld for sure.

What's New?
One new program that is coming out from vForum this year in Singapore, will be vWarrior Championship. This is going to be one of it's kind.

This is going to be a Hands-on Lab competition and teams will be competing in completing tasks in the correct manner. Of course, there will an introduction session beforehand for those who ain't familiar. We don't expect everyone to know everything that is for sure to be fair.

Here are the details:

Grand Prize: Go Pro Hero 6 Black per member
Runner Up Prize: Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Gen per member

Short description: Showcase your technical capabilities in our Hands-on Lab environment across the VMware portfolio of solutions in Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) and End-User Computing (EUC). 

Compete through a group stage and knockout rounds to be crowned the grand prize winner!

  • Each round will cover a different solution
  • Form a team of 1 – 3 members and register via this link
  • Briefing and training will be held on 13th and 20th September, each session covers a different set of solutions related to the competition < Recommended to attend
  • Registration ends 3rd September

What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for? Quickly sign up. Did I mention, each participant will be given away a vWarrior Varsity Jacket?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Validated and Compliance Versus Certified and Approved

As a technical professional, it is always very ignoring to see honesty been bridge using marketing words. How many times have you seen creative words been used to justify for something which is not true? Or when they claim they are and they are not?

That comes to the topic in my subject. Have you come across products stating that they are validated and compliance instead of Certified and Approved? And you have to explain the meaning behind this.

There is a lot of confusion created due to the use of words and to clarify this, we will use an example with sources you can testify what is really Certified and Approved instead of following Validated guidelines or Compliance to follow certain requirements.

Let's use VMware products as a discussion. You can find out that VMware vSphere, NSX and vSAN is an Approved DISA STIG solution. If you head over to STIG Viewer, you can see the guidelines given to all the approved solution. You find VMware vCenter, NSX, and ESXi as an approved list. VMware vSAN is part of VMware ESXi, in such, it is also updated and stated in the STIG which you can read more from the public post which links to the STIG guideline.

To be part of a solution used in DoD, it has to have DISA STIG approval. However by just following a guideline from DISA STIG only get a solution compliance and not approved. An approved solution needs to be done only by the governance body.

So Compliance is NOT equal to Approved.

Do not get this confused. Anyone can be in compliance by following a guideline but it does not equal to be approved.

Next, let's talk about Compliance. Let's take FIPS140-2 which is govern by NIST. To know if a solution vendor is certified by NIST for FIPS on their Crypto Module, you can head over to here and search the vendor is listed. When a solution or product claims it is compliance/validated on FIPS, this does not equate to be certified as many thought. The word "Validated" is been misused many a time. To find out the truth, use the search in NIST and key in the Vendor name to be sure.

If you enter VMware, you will see that VMware Cryptography Module is listed this is because vSphere is FIPS certified and uses this module. You can also try other solution such as Redhat, Oracle, Citrix, Nutanix, Microsoft and you will find different results.

Note that FIPS140-2 has also two levels. Where level 1 is applicable only for software and level 2 is applicable only for hardware.

Validated is NOT Certified.

Be very careful when you need a FIPS solution and its claimed to be Validated and not really Validated or even Certified. What do you need as a compliance in your environment stated by your security policy, Is it Validated enough or Certified? Make sure you are certain of it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Assumed Support from Third Party Solutions

While I was doing some presentation slides for one workshop, I happen to look for 3rd party virtual switches support on vSphere.

This is the KB that is from VMware. Just for those who are not aware, VMware has announced the end of support for third-party virtual switches on vSphere and vSphere 6.5 Update 1 will be the last release to support these switches with vSwitch APIs.

While reading through the pointers I came across one point that caught my attention:

What about Cisco AVS, which is part of the Cisco ACI solution? Are you also discontinuing support for AVS? 
VMware has never supported Cisco AVS from its initial release.

This might come as a surprise but there are customers who have implemented the above without knowing that VMware does not support.

Just by using the above for discussion. there are many solutions currently on the market that claims or market to support certain hardware or software. However, with further research, this has been a one-sided claim support. And was never two ways.

Using the above example from Cisco (hope Cisco don't hate me for that), when you hit an issue running Cisco AVS thinking that VMware supported it. When you raise a support case with VMware and needed something to be changed, or an API to be tweak, or a driver to be created/modified, you will get nothing out of it as it is unsupported in the first place.

Imagine if this is running in your production environment, you just got your environment not supported. Logging a case with Cisco might not going to solve your problem if it requires something from VMware to help support Cisco AVS.

Now to bring to attention. There are many solutions that are currently claiming to support some hardware and software. So when selecting a solution make sure to check that support comes in both ways and not just by one-sided claims. Imagine running a software and require certain support from both party where it is not supported, you are as good as hitting a dead end.

When planning for a solution, do check out both ways supportability from the vendors you are using. This avoids coming to a stop when you need the help most.

Windows 2016 Core Licensing FAQ

A very busy month for me and also traveling to take a break from work. Finally to sit down and compose which got confused by many of my co-w...