Friday, March 14, 2014

vCenter Standard and Foundation Enforcement on vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus

This brought to my attention thanks to my colleague, Tessa Davis.

Previously I mentioned on the different editions of vCenter here.  I did mentioned about the limitation of vCenter Standard and Foundation used to manage Essential and Essential is not possible due to End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).  However starting from vCenter 5.0 Update 1, this EULA enforcement is also a programmatic enforcement.  If you refer to vCenter 5.0 Update 1 release notes here, you will see the below:

vCenter now enforces restrictions on which vSphere editions can be managed by vCenter
With this feature, vCenter Standard and Foundation is disallowed from managing vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus host editions. This is disallowed per the EULA already, but was not programmatically enforced until now. The exception to this rule is the ‘Essentials for ROBO’ edition. This is still allowed per the EULA and as per the programmatic enforcement. Furthermore, it is also enforced that vCenter Essentials can only manage Essentials and Essentials Plus hosts.

For users who violate EULA using a vCenter Standard to manage vSphere Essential or Essential Plus will no longer be able to do so with this programmatic enforce.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

VMware Recertification Policy for VCP

Starting from today, 10th March 2014, the recertification agreement and policy takes into effect as stated here.  What this means from this policy, any VCP certification be it VCP-DV, VCP-DT or VCP-Cloud earned prior to 10th March 2013, would be affected by this policy.

What this means in short, anyone who has a VCP-x earned prior to 10th March 2013, will need to do another VCP-x or a VCAP certification by 10th March 2015 to be recertified (extended to 8th May 2015).

Those who have earned a VCP after 10th March 2013, will have 2 years to recertified any VCP or above to renewed another 2 years from last date of passing.

This process is not a painful process as this encourage professionals to be up to date with their skills and validiate their knowledge.

Taking e.g. of myself, who did VCP-DV back in Oct 2012, by this year it would be almost 2 years.  If a professional like myself who earned the VCP but hardly apply this knowledge, it is as good as gone.  Doing another VCP will not just add more value to your credential but also illustrate your knowledge in this space.  For a professional who are in the field applying such knowledge, doing another VCP on another track or doing a VCAP of current track would in fact add further credibility to one self.

On one hand, we are trying to make sure that VMware professional are staying up to date with knowledge to ensure the value of VMware certified professionals.  I see many see this a hassle but do note with an aged certification on the market and people who achieved such certification without applying their knowledge after earning it, will dismay our creditability if they are not shown to have been staying up to date and proven of their knowledge in some ways.

Personally I felt this is a good move to update once knowledge and encouraging to move to another level of skills.  Of cause I do agree there are some cost involved taking such certification, just watch out for Partner Exchange or vForum in your region or other VMware events where promotion codes will be release to take advantage of.  You can also check back regularly from VMware Education Promotion site here.

The bad of it is the revoke portion mentioned is rather hash to those who are already certified to lose everything under their arm.  Upon expired, one have to go through the full process with a approved course and exam to be certified once again.

Update 14th Mar 2014
Apparently this is going to benefit those who are on a older VCP e.g. VCP3.  This recertification has no prerequisites.  As long you are a former VCP, you are allowed to take the latest VCP5 and be certified up to date without having to take up the certification workshop and exam all over again.  This is going to benefit a lot of VCPs who are still at VCP3 who needs a 5 days course and VCP4 who would need at least a What's New course before taking the exam.

Update 4th Mar 2015
VMware Education has started sending off reminders to all VCPs on their certificate 3 months before expiry.  I have just received mine.  If I do not recertify, I will lose these certificates under my credential.  The revoke is for real.  Interestingly if you notice, only VCP get expiry but not the higher certification like VCAP.

Update 12th Mar 2015
Recertification has been extended to 8th May 2015 and a 65% discount for VCP6 migration exam will be granted.  Read more about it here.

Update 21st Mar 2015
I took my VCP6 in Network Virtualization yesterday and glad I managed to pass.  Today I received all my certifications that are to be expired in 4th Jun 2015 as shown from my last update.  Here there are now all renewed via an email to me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Exclusive Event by SolidFire with a Token

There are many benefits for just been a VMware vExpert.  As previously posted on some of the benefits for vExpert 2013, here is another one provided by SolidFire.  SolidFire will be conducting a exclusive event for the vExpert community on a technical discussion and a demo of their product.

A little summary of SolidFire, they are a not a new player since started in 2009 which specialize in Scale-Out all flash array storage.  With support from big databases to VDI workloads as well as Cloud virtualization including VMware and Openstack.

While the vExpert 2014 is still in the midst of finalising, those who are vExpert 2013 will be able to register for this event using their registered email ID.  On top of that as a token of appreciation, all vExperts that register and attend the session will receive a free Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player.

So what are you waiting for, login using your ID here and register for the event here.

Detail of the event:

Title: Hypervisor & Storage QoS; Two great tastes that taste great together
Time: Thursday, April 17th at 9am PST - Invites will be send via email
Presenter: Adam Carter, Director of Product Management, SolidFire
Abstract: Implementing a storage QoS mechanism at the hypervisor, without similar enforcement at the storage level, does not completely address the challenges imposed in a multi-application infrastructure. In this deep dive with the vExpert community, the SolidFire team will discuss the key attributes of their scale-out block storage architecture that allow administrators to achieve volume-level QoS regardless of operating condition across their shared storage infrastructure. As part of this discussion, SolidFire will preview ongoing development efforts intended to create a tighter API-based integration between the hypervisor and storage systems through advanced SIOC integration and the VVOLs API program.
For those like me who is in Asia, the time will be somewhere near midnight.  Those in Singapore the time for this event will be on 18th April 12am.

Friday, March 7, 2014

VSAN Officially Announced!

Yes the official announcement for VSAN has been made.  I was not able to catch as it was 2am Singapore time.  However you can watch the launch recorded video here.  

You can read about the release notes here. Do note of a known error which some might encounter when enable VSAN without any disk group and after removal the error message remain persistent.  I admit many like myself so not read release notes.
Error Message:
"vsan datastore datastore1 in cluster **** in datacenter **** does not have capacity"

Cormac Hogan has also did a summary of the launched which is pretty lots of supported feature beyond what was release in beta.  E.g. from 8 nodes to 32 nodes and from 120,000 IOPS to 2 Million IOPS.  Vicardo has done upa nice table here on comparison.  David Hill has a very long table of limit for Public Beta here which I made some correction in my table below:

Public Beta
Minimum nodes
Minimum SSD
Minimum MD
Maximum number of disk stripes
Maximum number of failures tolerated
No of VSAN hosts per Cluster
Max number of IOPS
Max number of Parallel vMotion per VSAN cluster
Max number of Parallel SvMotion per VSAN cluster
Max number of VMs per host
Max number of VMs per (evenly distributed) VSAN cluster
3200 (2048 protected by HA)*
Max number of disk groups per host
Max number of hard disks per disk group
Max VSAN Size
1.1 PB
4.4 PB
Max components per node
Max size per component

*Duncan has a post on the HA limit per datastore mentioned of why 2048 VMs are protected here.

Note: You would need vSphere 5.5. Update 1 to use VSAN.

The VSAN sizing guide is also been release here.  During pubic beta the recommend sizing was 1:10 between SSD and MD.  On GA, based VSAN sizing guide, its now 10% of total utilized space.

The Register has also wrote on the launch with its view here.   Though the official GA where it is available for download would be on 10th Mar (US date), the pricelist is suppose to release next week but seems like there are lots of sources by The Register here.

VMware have also release the hardware compatibility list here with more vendors support other than Dell in the public beta only.

This will be very exciting moving forward.

Update 7th Mar 2014
Public Beta and GA table and sizing guide.

Update 10th Mar 2014
Refer to Section 1.4.5 page 8 of sizing guide.
  • Use SD, USB, or hard disk devices as the installation media whenever ESXi hosts are configured with as much as 512GB memory. 
  • Use a separate magnetic disk or solid-state disk as the installation device whenever ESXi hosts are configured with more than 512GB memory.
Update 12th Mar 2014
  • VSAN What's New Technical White Paper here.
  • VSAN Quick Monitoring and Reference Guide here.
  • POC Guide for VSAN here.
  • VSAN GA binary is now publicly available.  You can find it here with ESXi 5.5 Update 1 and vCenter 5.5 Update 1 as well as Horizon View 5.3.1 which is a maintenance update to support VSAN which would need vSphere 5.5. Update 1.
Update 13th Mar 2014
  • Advanced setting requirement to all hosts for VSAN node exceeding 16.  Refer to KB2073930.  William Lum from VMware has document this why it is needed on his blog.
  • VSAN Ready nodes will be ready in the next 30 days time as stated here. Currently you will only see Dell.  IBM, Cisco, Fujitsu and Supermicro will on board next.
Update 19th Mar 2014
  • Added in release notes which a known error on VSAN commonly encountered.
  • AHCI is currently not supported at GA though it was supported for a short period of time during the beta refresh. This was documented during the public beta here, which refer to a live document which was last updated after a beta refresh here, however AHCI is remove of support at GA build which you can check back at HCL site to be updated of support or wait for a release notes in next release.

Monday, March 3, 2014

vSphere Web Client Setup Quick Overview

Constantly even myself, we found difficult to setup the vSphere web client.  Often I always forgot what to do again and again from vSphere 5.0, 5.1 and now 5.5.  I decide to just document this down so that the web client can work as a breeze.
The first thing after setting up your vCenter 5.5, you would need to:
  • Log into the web client using the SSO administrator:
  • Change the password for the SSO administrator account (administrator@vsphere.local)
  • Change the password expiry to from the default 90 days to your requirement (Note: '0' will not work although the message state so when you click on the textbox, instead do a 9999 if you require no expiry. Refer to KB)
  • Add your domain into the Identity Sources under Administration>Single-Sign-On>Configuration
  • Set it to Default Domain by clicking on the Global Icon
  • Add your accounts or groups to be SSO administrator going to Administrators under Groups in Administration>Single-Sign-On>Users and Groups
  •  Add permission for user or group to have access to vCenter by going to vCenter (your vCenter) > Manage > Permissions (Thanks to Lorenzo). Remember to assign the right role, default is No Acess. (Note DO NOT use Build-in Group, only Groups that are Build-in can be used.)

Hope this clarify for many like myself on setting this up for access and domain integration.

vSphere Assessment Tool (vSAT)

If you are not aware, there is a new tool announced during VMworld US 2019. That is the vSphere Assessment Tool (vSAT). To access the sit...