Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Upgrade or Migrate VMware Certification from 5 to 6

VMware has announced a proper migration/upgrade path many of us might be still wondering after VMware announced the version 6 certification roadmap awhile ago.  All these currently do not require a class.

I read through a few times to make out how the migrates works.  Before we start with the example, let's understand some of the acronyms for the track.

VCP-DCV = Data Center Virtualization
VCP-DTA = Desktop & Mobility (formerly VCP-DT = Desktop)
VCP-CMA = Cloud Management & Automation (formerly VCP-Cloud = Cloud)
VCP-NV = Network Virtualization

For existing VCP5-DCV, you can upgrade this without a class via a VCP6-DCV Delta exam (this is yet to release) similar to VCP5.5-DCV Delta exam.

For new users trying to get certified, you will be taking the VCP6-DCV inclusive of a class as usual.

Since there are already new some version 6 exams: VCP6-DT and VCP6-Cloud, already released (Check here).  These certification will be automatic upgrade to VCP6-DTA and VCP6-CMA respectively without taking another exam.

Do note that this does not renew any of your VCA if you own any.  VCA is just an accreditation for individual in the business function to prove they understanding the VMware solution they acquired.

The main jest of it is here upgrading to VCIX6.  Reminder VCIX6 contains two exams: Design & Administration similar for all three tracks: DCV, DTM, CMA.

For existing single VCAP5 either in Design or Administration, you will need to take the other of what you do not have in VCIX6 exam.  E.g. if you hold VCAP5-DCD, you will need to take VCIX6 administration exam and vice versus.  This applies similar to all tracks.

For existing dual VCAP5 for a single track (Design & Administration), you can choose to take either VCIX6 exams; design or administration.

For existing VCIX-NV, you will be upgraded automatically to VCIX6-NV.

So to take VCAP design or administration first, before doing one of the other exam of VCIX is an option or is it better to head directly to VCIX by taking both design and administration exams is subjective.  One give you a VCAP certification upon passing while the other needs both exams to be VCIX.

One thing to note, each exam in VCAP is 4 hours each for design or administration while each exam in VCIX is 2 hours, taking both adds up to 4 hours to achieve VCIX.

An incentive, while passing VCIX, it will automatically renew your VCP6.

For VCDX5, this applies the same.  They are only required to take VCIX6 design exam portion for the tracks they are on.  This also renew your VCP6.

Friday, March 13, 2015

VMware 6 GA!

Following the announcement on 2nd Feb 2015 on the new vSphere 6 which is part of vSphere with Operations Management and vCloud Suite 6, today is the general availability (GA) for the binary.

These includes but not limited to vSphere 6 (vCenter Server 6, ESXi 6), vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) 6, VMware Data Protection (VDP) 6, vSphere Replication (vR) 6, Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6, Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6, vRealize Automation (vRA) 6.2.1, vRealize Business (vRB) 6.1.0 and also not new in today release vRealize Operations (vROps) 6.0.1.

Head over to the vCloud Suite download site to get those bits.

Also do check out the product documentation site on the changes from release notes.

In conjuction, the release of Horizon 6.1 also announced and made available.  In this release, Horizon 6 Enterprise now includes App Volumes.

Get the binary here and product document here.  Also refer to the vSphere Update Center for more information on upgrading.

Need some help from community, head over to the vSphere Product Community.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Virtual Machine Automatic Shutdown

Like to share this incident which I encounter twice.  Once was during our ASEAN demo lab and the next is one incident that was reported by one user in our VMUG-ASEAN Group in Facebook.

VMs started shutting down after 1 hour by itself automatically and on vCenter you start to see memory status changes.
Source: VMUG-ASEAN group in Facebook

From the above, you see that memory state changes.  The first thing most people thought was there must be some issue or misconfiguration on the vSphere portion.

Further checks and view, the host and VM seems to be healthy and this is affecting a majority of VMs.  Further isolation, all these were running Microsoft Windows.

The first thing I wanted to confirm was to run a VM that is non-windows to make sure this is not due to OS issue.  Instead of installing one, you can use a tiny VM version small and won't take up much resource from here.

The VM runs normal and nothing happens.  This confirmed is not a vSphere issue but more of a OS related problem.  So a check on the license activation is required.  And indeed confirmed license has expired and not activated.

We experience this in our ASEAN demo lab with our Active Directory shutting down and similar problem and this is all mentioned in Microsoft knowledge base.  For Windows 2008 R2 & Windows 7 refer to this KB for Windows 2012 refer to this KB.  From the field, the reported time for Windows 7 & Windows 8 automatic restart within 1 hour while Windows 2012 is 30 minutes.

Side Thoughts.
If this happens on a physical server, we would likely not suspect a hardware failure since it was able to run normally.  Instead we will be troubleshooting in the OS.  So why in virtualized environment we start to investigate on the virtualization layer when all was good?

We start to forget the main place to start.  With or without virtualization, we should always find out more from one area and isolate it rather of jumping straight to an area that hasn't done any harm but showing your more information.

This do not change very much and I hope this give everyone a clearer picture that something things happen just very near to us but we have jump to conclusion too far away.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vote for the Top vBlog 2015

The annual vBlog 2015 voting is now on.  It's my first time getting my blog listed; Plain Virtualization (Wee Kiong Tan).  Vote for your favourite blogs to give bloggers the credit to keep them going.  Vote for my blog if you think is worth you following too :)

All the blogs are listed here.

For those voting the first time (like myself), you must vote for 10 blogs and the rest of the sections are up to you discretion and the last section you will arrange the 10 blogs that you have selected.  The "Next" button is right at the bottom of the page to start the voting.


Cast your votes NOW!

Update 1st Apr 2015
The full results of all the 411 blogs are out!  And thank you all for your support.  Tt was my first time listing and am ranked 253.

VCS to VCSA Converter

Many are not aware that VMware has a site dedicated to tools developed for public use to make our life better called Flings under VMware Labs.

You will find several tools developed by engineers to help in making life much easier for adminstrator or engineers alike.  Some tools provide things like a GUI front for some of the common PowerCLI commands while some are load generator for a VDI POC or Test.  Of course since this is a tool created by an engineer and not by a company, it is not a supported tool.  It will be your own risk using them and supporting them.

A new tool was release on 2nd Mar named VCS to VCSA Converter.  The name already tells it all.  VCS is our vCenter Server while VCSA is vCenter Server Appliance.  With each release of vSphere, there have been more and more improvement for the VCSA to match what VCS can do.  With the recent announcement of vSphere 6, VCSA has already catched up if not all the features of VCS.

With this tool, you will be able to to move your VCS which is on Windows to a VCSA.  Why would you want to do that you might ask?  Well the reason is simple, cost and manageability.  In terms of cost, you will save on your external database and Windows OS cost.  In terms of manageability, it much easier to handle a vApp than to handle a Windows OS and a Databases separately (or as one depending how you deploy it).

Before going into too much joy, there are a few things that this tools migrate and not everything (almost all); vCenter database, roles, permissions, privileges, certificates and inventory service.  You will see that metrics data is not part of the migration which means that need to be collected over time.
source: VMware, Inc.

I would love to see this becoming a VMware Standalone Converter to be supported by VMware eventually.  As of now, it helps to migrate than having nothing at all.

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