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Friday, June 17, 2016

VMware NSX 6.2.3 for vShield Endpoint

VMware announced the release of NSX 6.2.3 with the release notes.  So what is unusual of this release you might ask.  Well other than feature and functions or bug fixes, this also something on licensing.

So what on licensing you might ask other than the previous announcement on having Standard, Advanced and Enterprise editions of NSX.

Finally moving forward, vCNS Manager which has always been the key function for vShield Endpoint for AV offloading function is been replaced by NSX in this release.

Looking the release notes:
"Change in default license & evaluation key distribution: default license upon install is "NSX for vShield Endpoint", which enables use of NSX for deploying and managing vShield Endpoint for anti-virus offload capability only. Evaluation license keys can be requested through VMware sales."

This means default installation of NSX will be enabled with vShield Endpoint function just like vCNS Manager which is ending its support soon.

So are you entitled?  Well all existing vSphere customer will be entitled to use NSX moving forward.  If you head to the download site, you will no longer see vCNS Manager but NSX 6.2.3 in this case.


So if you are thinking that you are able to use NSX for routing and switches you will be disappointed, by default the NSX license does not enable any routing switching ability unless you have applied a evaluation license based on the editions accordingly.  This is also stated in the document center.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Release of VMware NSX Editions

If you have been following, VMware release NSX from acquisition of Nicira over the last two years.  The concept of overlay was new to the market and change many from looking at Network Virtualization.  It also introduced the first micro-segmentation concept into the virtualization world where it is not possibly done.

NSX was released with the capability from distributed firewall (DFW), Routing and Switching, VPN as well as Load Balancing in the virtual network environment.

Many have viewed NSX as an expensive solution however many wasn't aware what NSX really provide.  A majority of NSX deployment were attracted by the micro-segmentation ability which at today context the only way to do so is to place a firewall behind every single physical server.  That however still does not provide protection on all the VMs that can be running on one physical server which DFW has the ability to do so.

Looking at just the above example, the cost of implementing micro-segmentation would be way out of the picture for any company even with a deep pocket as manageability will be a nightmare.  With NSX is not just providing the same security ability but also provide an ease of operations by working of rules based on policy.  On top of this, it also provide other functions of routing switching without stepping into the data center, VPN and Load Balancing capabilities.

With all these, does it still sound pricy to you?  The next questions many will answer is I do not use all the functions.  With NSX licensing the in past, it is regardless which function you use you just license the same.

That make VMware to start implementing Editions into NSX.  This strategy is to help also Small Medium Business and Enterprise (SMB/SME) to be able to adapt NSX based on their requirement.

For the routing and switching function, customer can now look at NSX Standard Edition while for Micro-segmentation, Advanced Edition can be considered.  And lastly a mutli-site with cross vCenter  Servers requirement will consider Enterprise Edition.

This makes NSX more easy affordable to adopt especially for customers looking at cost perspective.  You can now pay for what you need.

You can check out the editions comparison here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

RIP vSphere Client for Windows (C# Client)

Today marks the announcement from VMware to end the availability in future release of vSphere Client for Windows also known as the C# Client by many.  The last version and will be vSphere Client 6.0.  Any version of vSphere alongside with support will still be released.

With this, there will only be one client moving forward in the next release of vSphere (lightly announced in Aug 2016 during VMworld as usual).  As also stated there will be two edition of Web Client in next release namely: Flex and HTML5.

There will be plugins from other vendors that will not work since the time to create support for HTML5 will take times, so it makes sense for those who are dependent on those plugin to utilize the Flex.  For users who are not using any Flex dependent plugin, you can fully utilize the HTML5 based web client completely and enjoy the requirement of using Flash and away from the security vulnerability that comes with it.

Currently there is a Fling of the HTML5 client for testing released.  If you are curious feel free to test it out.

Catch more updates of the future vCenter from here as well.  One of the mentioned is vCenter HA which will be look into.  Let's hope something like vCenter Heartbeat replacement can be seen soon.

While some users find that the vSphere Web Client is slower than the vSphere Client.  This is true and will remain in no matter how much VMware put into R&D.  This is because this is a web based client in such it can never be as fast as been on a Windows based GUI.  We do have to understand there will be loading and refresh requirement by moving to web based and giving independency of end point OS.

Nevertheless let's take a minute to pray for our beloved vSphere Client a last bit goodbye.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What's New for VMware vCenter Server

This has been something which was announced here but many customers are not aware. Yes vRealize Log Insight (vR LI) is now bundle into every vCenter Edition.

Yes you hear it right. Don't be too contented. Nothing is for free unless there is a catch. And yes it does. The catch here is it only cover 25 OSI (OS Instance).
It does come with many content packs to work with vR Log Insight.
  • Horizon View
  • NSX
  • OpenStack
  • vCenter Operations Manager (5.x)
  • vCloud Automation Center (6.0)
  • vCloud Director
  • vCNS
  • Virtual SAN
  • vRealize Automation (6.1, 6.2)
  • vRealize Operations Manager (6.x)
  • vSphere
If you find vR LI is something useful, you can always add more 25 OSI Packs or you can license them by per CPU model via vRealize Suite/vCloud Suite. If you do the latter, I would recommend you to use the free 25 OSI pack for external device.

This has been made unaware by many and like to repeat this is only for vCenter edition from vSphere Standard and above (if there is any edition in future not for now) and for Desktop edition as stated here.

Hope this clarify for all.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Top 2016 vBlog Voting Starts

The time of the year again for the voting for the top 12 vBlogs that you have find useful and you have been following.  These bloggers have put in effort to share what they know and contribute their own time outside work and using their personal time to contribute back to the bigger community.

It only takes less than 5 mins to complete the voting.  Just head over here to vote for the top 12 vBlogs that you felt meaning to you in one way or the other.  If you do not have exact 12, include those you felt have put in effort in doing so.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Upgrading vCenter Appliance 6.0 Experience

I used to perform upgrade easily for vCenter on Windows.  That been said, with the introduction of vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), it has also been easy as well using the admin portal via https://:port 5480 with the .pak file.

Wasn't was I aware after doing some research to find out VCSA in version 6.0 does not have admin portal to do the upgrade.  Instead I need to upload the update file from here (you got to login to your account).

I followed this guide from this user.

Apparently after upgrade form baseline 6.0, the admin portal for the appliance is been returned.  Glad that is an one time experience.

Why was the admin 5480 been left out in the first place?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

VMware Simplify Exam Registration Process

How many times you find it difficult to schedule a VMware exam having to navigate between VMware and Pearson VUE site?
You have to first seek authorization first before you can make any booking of a Professional or Advanced exam both require different authorization.  A post I did 2 years ago on the new system.
As of 5th March 2016, these will no longer be needed.  You will no longer need multiple accounts; VMware myLearn and Pearson VUE.  All you need to do is just VMware myLearn account to register and you will be directed to Pearson VUE site and make your exam appointment.  No more exam authorization needed anymore!
That what I call simplicity.  Finally!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

VMware 2016 SDDC Pricing and Packaging Changes

Coming a new year VMware started to have some new changes to either pricing or bundling changes to existing Suites or Bundle.

The most changes and introduction of some new bundling was last year where vRealize Suite was introduced with vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) and upgrade with vRealize Operation LogInsight (vROI) add on.

This year there are some streamlining of the bundle and pricing changes.  I will leave the price aside as this can be found easily or from your partners.  I will go through the changes starting from vSphere to vSOM to vROI to vCloud Suite and vRealize Suite.  Also new packaging for Virtual SAN (VSAN).

All changes is starting from 1st March 2016.


vCenter
  • Bundle with vRealize Log Insight for logging to 25 devices (vCenter server and/or hosts logs only)


vSphere 6.x
  • End of Availability for vSphere Enterprise edition.
  • All editions namely; Essential Plus, Standard and Enterprise Plus.


vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) 6.2
  • With the EOA of vSphere Enterprise Edition, this leads to EOA vSOM Enterprise edition.
  • EOA of vSOM Standard  Leaving only vSOM Enterprise Plus.  
  • For vSphere Standard edition customer, they can still purchase vSphere Standard and vRealize Operations Standard (vR Ops) by per CPU licensing only available for customer with existing vSOM Standard customers with valid Support and Subscription.
  • You can now purchase vRealize Operations (vR Ops) Application Monitoring in vR Ops Standard/Advanced.


vROI
  • EOA of vROI.


vCloud Suite 7.0
  • Is not comprises of vSphere Enterprise Plus with vRealize Standard/Advanced/Enterprise Suite to make out the editions.
  • vRealize Suite in vCloud Suite allows use of Portable License Units (PLU).
  • vCloud Suite comes with three editions; Standard, Advanced and Enterprise.
  • vRealize Automation Standard (vRA) is removed from vCloud Suite Standard.
  • vRealize Configuration Manager is removed in all vCloud Suite and sold separately.
  • Site Recovery Manager is removed from vCloud Suite Enterprise and sold separately.


vRealize Suite 7.0
  • No vRealize Standard in vRealize Suite Standard.
  • vRealize Log Insight (vR LI) is now included in all vRealize Suite Edition.
  • Allow conversion of one CPU license of vRealize Suite to Portable License Units (PLU) to 15 OSIs for use in a Hybrid Cloud environment e.g. third party hypervisor or public cloud.


VSAN 6.2
  • Comes in Standard/Advanced/Enterprise
  • The hybrid model is now know as VSAN Standard.
  • All-Flash now comes in Advanced with deduplication feature.
  • Erasure-code is only available in Advanced and above editions.
  • Stretched Cluster and IO control is only available in Enterprise edition.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

VMware Virtual SAN from 5.5 to 6.2

Virtual SAN (VSAN) has come a long way starting initial release in vSphere 5.5 known as VSAN 5.5 which was primary targeted at VDI workload and other not so critical workloads.

Remember in Feb 2013, VMware acquire Virsto a block storage optimizing software company and liquidise in it Jan 2014.  This was nice piece of technology which took everyone by shock that it's no longer offered as a product.  How good can it be to serialize data on a block storage system when it was written in random.

With VSAN 6.0 release, a part of Virsto was present in its file system and with it's native snapshot. Yes it is not using the traditional snapshot offered through vSphere which is still done on any other storage.  Now it is more applicable for Business critical apps as it also offer All-Flash VSAN model.

In VSAN 6.1 release, it allows stretch VSAN cluster.  It also extend vSphere Replication with VSAN to have a RPO time of 5 minutes.  It also comes with support of Oracle RAC and WSFC.  Not forgetting SMB customers, it also comes with a ROBO offering with a two nodes setup.  Deduplication was added as a tech preview in VSAN 6.1.

What was missing in the previous versions which many competitors who offer their SDS solution would mention would be deduplication, code erasure, compression and encryption.

With VSAN 6.2 release, it has become a true enterprise ready software defined storage (SDS).  With this release, not only does the tech preview for deduplication comes live, it also added compression.  Also many have debated on the space requirement for VSAN is almost a one to one due to a "Raid 1" policy available.  Now it has erasure coding (RAID 5/6) included as well.  This not only save on storage space but it also requires a minimum nodes to satisfy (2N+1/2N+2 respectively).  As for encryption, it is working with Hytrust to provide that level of security (also blog by Cormac Hogan).

Other small features not generally mentioned is Client Cache where you can allocate up to 1GB of memory per host for read ahead cache.  Data Locality will be applicable here.  For Horizon View, this will work inline with Content-Based Read Cache (CBRC).  I am going to see hell lots of improvement for Horizon on VSAN in areas of "storms".

Another small advanced option not enabled by default is Sparse Swap.  This allows memory swap file to be thin provision instead of the traditional upfront provisioned.  E.g. VM created with 4GB memory will have a memory swap file of 4GB place on the disk.  Imagine how much storage is required if every host has 512GB of memory utilized by 50% of memory by VMs in a 64 hosts cluster?  With that advanced setting enabled, all swap file will be thin provisioned and allocated when consumed.

With the announcement made, the binary isn't ready till March 2016.  So let's wait and see.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Singapore VMUG Singapore Conference Second Time Running!

If you attended last year VMUG User Conference, it was the first in Singapore.  In fact we have so many sessions running from partner, VMware and also special guests from different part of the world.

This year, the VMUG User Conference is coming again for second year running.  Head over and register for it and find out more on the Agenda.  There are even more attractive vendors, speakers and partners.  If you have been attending many VMware events over the years, you will have met some great speakers like Scott Drummonds, Michael Webster, Chris Wahl, John Arrasjid, and many more.  We even have Cormac Hogan this time for the first time in Singapore.  If you do not know who he is, he own his own blog and specialize on storage and he is one of the Guru in this field from vVols, VSAN and vSphere Storage definitely.

Even VMware executive, Sanjay Mirchandani will be there to during the key notes.

What are you waiting for?  Join us in this big event!