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Showing posts from 2016

Credit to VMware Certification

If you are not aware do read this blog by Ken Thacker.  This is going to be for the first time, VMware Education is opening up to the public, internationally to help craft its technical certification.

You get to be recognized though earning a badge like this.

I was lucky to be part of one of the Exam Items Workshop for VCP6.5-DCV.  It was an eye opener and also great commitment required.  For anyone who is keen on the above let me share with you what I went through in a short summary.

Exam Items Writing is a 5 days WebEx and phone call happening at night in Singapore time (for me) over 8 hours.  It starts from 9PM to 4AM my time.  It requires at least 6 people to start the process at any one time.  If anyone could not make it and need to fall out and the number in the team is less than 6, the work cannot carry on.

For the first night, it was introduction and briefing how to start and we break off from the call to start writing the questions after assigned the sections we are responsib…

VMware VCAP6-DCV Design Beta Rescore

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Have been a long and hectic week for me.  Doing WebEx and call over 5 hours each time in the middle of the night.  Will talk about that in a later post.

Took the VCAP6-DCV Design beta exam back in 16th Feb 2016 this year.  Results was a fail for me.

However received an email from VMware Certification in Nov 2016 give me some hope.

Seems that the marking system has some errors that need to be check on and through this the exam score might change.  It can be better or worse.  On 20th Nov, did a check and see that my status is still a fail.
Just this week, I got this!

A quick check in my VMware Certification Manager, is a Pass!



I am glad I passed this time round.  But the purpose of this post was not about if I managed to pass or fail.

What VMware could have done, they can well, keep quiet and let those who fail to remain failing so they will attempt the full VCAP6-DCV Design exam at a full cost (Beta is discounted as more questions with less time).  This can help them increased their ce…

VMware Horizon Licensing

Many of the times, many of us get really confused by the different channels of communication of licensing.  In this case for VMware Horizon.

The most confusing part is always Named and Concurrent user license.  In my previously article on Horizon Suite, which is the current Horizon bundle, this has not change.

To keep things simple, I am going to put down the sources and wordings in case any of the sources ever get removed.

From VMware Product Guide, page 56 for Horizon Enterprise:

Active Connection: any connections to Powered On Desktop Virtual Machines, Terminal Services Sessions and physical computers.
Concurrent Users: the total number of users accessing or using the Software at any given time to maintain an Active Connection to their desktop through an endpoint device.
Named User: Your single designated employee or Third Party Agents who have been authorized by You to use the Software in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.


The confusion comes when the VMware Product Guide f…

VMware and AWS Partnership a Win-Win

Over the last few weeks of new over the announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS partnership.  This brings lots of attention to the IT market where two of the domain giant come together to make it bigger.

Why is this a Win-Win?  Let's take a look.

AWS

With the partnership, VMware will definitely lease the data centres spaces from AWS irregardless AWS doing well or not they got another constant revenue.It make more sense to use AWS services e.g. S3 storage, etc. as your workload can be directly accessing it within AWS's Data Centre.With VMware's partnership, it adds another valid reason for AWS's customer or VMware's customers to consider AWS external services and this brings business opportunities for AWS tapping into VMware's customers base.


VMware

Leverage on AWS's Data Centres, VMware can now achieve more public cloud offering around the world in terms of locations.Able to leverage on AWS presence, VMware will allows customers to achieve the hybrid cloud vision m…

Is Network Virtualization to stay?

Network Virtualization (NV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) has been a hype over the last 2 years through media and lots of news publicity.

The adoption for many is still new.  In fact, most customers around the world has either yet to start, or just starting, or have a setup just running not at full scale.

Over the last two years, we see lots of solutions ranging from NS from VMware NSX via software to SDN from Cisco ACI via hardware.  This then also started up many new comers from companies like Nuage Networks to vArmour.

Having meeting many customers from different industry and verticals the questions often been asked are like the below:
why this and not that?
what the different from your competitors?
isn't going to SDN or NV makes visibility more complex?
how secure is logical compare to physical?

While some of the questions and more cannot be explained in details, from a personal point of view it often drive down to a few factors:

1) Will the company be around in the next …

VMware vCenter Desktop and vCenter Standard Licensing

Awhile a go I wrote an article about how the different vSphere Desktop licensing is for and the entitlement.

Having meeting many customer with big and small environment, projects or used cases for certain requirements.  There were some question revolving around vCenter licensing especially for the desktop related.

Here is an article of the FAQ on vSphere Desktop licensing.  One of the question in this article states:

Q. Do I need a separate vCenter Server for my VDI hosts? 
A. Yes, like Horizon 7 deployments on vSphere 5.x, you will need a separate VMware vCenter Server® for your VDI hosts. vCenter is not included in vSphere Desktop. 

Let me further explain the above.  If you are running a 3rd party VDI solution riding on vSphere Desktop licensing, vCenter is not included.  You would need to purchase vCenter Standard to manage that environment.

However if you are a Horizon customer, the bundle include vCenter Desktop use to manage a vSphere Desktop environment.

You now will asked, what …

VMware Cloud Foundation

During the first day of VMworld 2016, VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) was announced.  Some of us who are following what VMware has in its portfolio might be really confused.  I am just one of the few.

So what is VMware Cloud Foundation?  Basically remember we used to have a platform known as EVO?  EVO Rail and EVO Rack.  EVO Rail has been deprecated and was only leaving the EVO Rack which was later rebrand as EVO SDDC.  VMware Cloud Foundation is the replacement for EVO SDDC.

As of 1st Sept today, EVO SDDC is no longer available as stated here.  You can read more of VMware Cloud Foundation here.  The FAQ that clearly describe here.

In a simple summary, EVO SDDC is been replaced by VMware Cloud Foundation and VCF is no longer limited to the few (actual 4) vendors exclusively, in fact customer can choose to use even a VSAN Ready Nodes with VCF and use the supported switches from Cisco or Arista making sure TOR and Spine are from the same vendor.

On a personal view, VMware has just created…

VMware vSphere 6.5 What's New

In most announcement in VMworld, often there will be a release every other time for vSphere.  This time round, there isn't any announcement or a given date.  However, there are session on vSphere 6.5 and also on VM encryption feature which will be introduced in the next version.  This year it was announced at VMworld Barcelona 2016.

There ain't major features but some great enhancement and requests that customer has been asking for.  So here is a breakdown of some of the important features enhancements or addition to this release:
vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) VMware has already introduce this back in version 5.0.  And at 6.0, it has already been in par with the Windows version.  In this release, there will be no update to vSphere Client and Update Manager is now part of vCSA.  API is also provided for automation.
vCenter Migration, a new feature to help existing Windows vCenter Server customers to move to the vCSA.  This tool will also migrate the database to the embedded Pos…

VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 Exam GA!

If you head to VMware Certification site, you will be able now to book the following VCAP6 exams at USD400 each and USD100 for the beta exam:

Data Center Virtualization
VCAP6-DCV Design (GA)
VCAP6-DCV Deploy

Network Virtualization
VCAP6-NV Design (pending release)
VCAP6-NV Deploy

Cloud Management and Automation
VCAP6-CMA Design (GA)
VCAP6-CMA Deploy

Desktop and Mobility
VCAP6-DTM Design
VCAP6-DTM Deploy

Apparently only VCAP6- NV Design is not yet release.   During this period, passing VCAP6-NV Deploy will give you direct access to be VCIX6 waving the two VCAPs requirement.  So if you are keen, do be fast.   This is also stated here.

As for the rest of the track, well you will need both VCAPs in Design and Deploy to be VCIX unless you are upgrading our certification from VCAP5.  Read more about it in my previous post.


Update
One of our VMUG SG Member pointed this out.  Apparently only the VCAP6-DCV Design and VCAP6-CMA Design has GA.  The rest are in better.  It is announced here.  Whichever you t…

VMware Certification for VCAP6 Deploy Beta Exam is OUT!

VMware has release the public beta exam for VCAP6 Deploy in Data Center Virtualization, Cloud Management Automation and Network Virtualization tracks.  For Desktop Mobility, this has been run the last time.  You can read about the announcement here.

This time the beta is extended to North America, Middle East, Europe and Africa.  This will give VMware Education a good statistic of the certification level and attempts around the world.

This is also running on a new interface like the VMware Hands-on Labs.

Hurry down to make your booking and provide valuable feedback to the exam to have it be GA later on.

Head over here and register for the beta.  Do note that exam centers are limited as this is beta exam and the dates as well since there are always limited sets that can utilized for each session of exam.

vBlog 2016 Results Release!

Every year multiple bloggers around the world get to be listed into the ranking of vBlog.  Without fail, this year the results has been release here.

I like to take this chance to thank all followers and supporters.  I would not have made it thus far without feedback and suggestions to come out with new articles.
In the chinese culture "8" is a lucky number and my blog got ranked 88.  This comes with double joy and indeed is so as I have also moved into my new place with my wife.
Deeply appreciate all the votes from everyone.  Please support me in future so I can do more and better.  Share my articles whenever you find it useful to you am sure it will for others.

VMware NSX 6.2.3 for vShield Endpoint

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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 entitle…

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 ou…

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…

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 ViewNSXOpenStackvCenter Operations Manager (5.x)vCloud Automation Center (6.0)vCloud DirectorvCNSVirtual SANvRealize 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 De…

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.

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?

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!

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…

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 …

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!

Workspace One and Horizon 7 Release and What's New and What's Not

With the recent announcement release of Workspace One and Horizon 7, this makes more of some repackaging for Workspace One and new version or Horizon View.

What's New?
Workspace One
Repackaging of Workspace Suite Blue/Yellow.Integration of vIDM with Airwatch.Comes in on-premise or Cloud Hosted.Come in three editions: Standard, Advanced, Enterprise. Refer to comparison and pricing guide.