VMware vSphere Predictive DRS

It’s no secret that this is a feature that I’m very excited about.  This feature although very useful on it’s own is going to open up the door for many new exciting capabilities with out VMware products in the future.

Predictive DRS

Resource contention is one of the most critical issues in any virtualized environment.  When contention occurs, applications slow down and your users are affected.  Up until now two different methodologies have been employed to mitigate the risk of contention, with varied results.  But now I want to introduce you to the new “game changing” method available from VMware: Predictive DRS!  But first a bit of a history lesson on the original two methods.

REACTIVE METHOD

The first of these is the Reactive Method which focuses on resolving unexpected resource demand.  The most widely used example of a reactive solution is VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler, or DRS. As the day progresses, workloads may need more resources, which can lead to contention on the host.  The reactive method moves VMs around to ensure all workloads get the resources they need and applications remain healthy. Note this method needs only a minimal amount of VMs to be moved in order to be effective, which means minimal overhead. The reactive method only moves VMs when contention approaches, so it’s possible (however remote) for users to feel some effects of the contention before it’s resolved.

Learn more about the other methods available with predictive DRS in the original article on VMware Cloud Management blog site.

 

VMware vSphere 6.5 and NSX, customer running NSX don’t upgrade to vSphere 6.5 just yet

Loving the list of new features in vSPjere 6.5?  Thinking about digging in and upgrading your lab or other environment?  Well if that environment is running NSX you will want to wait just a little longer.  vSphere 6.5 is currently not compatible with NSX including 6.1.x and 6.2.x.  See KB 2147548 for more details.

Now I have nothing official to say on this, but as you might expect I’m sure this will be resolved once a new version of NSX drops.  We have all been there before where we just got the GA announcement of vSphere and rushed to upgrade our virtual labs and oh wait crap, NSX is not supported.  This is nothing new this has been the case for last few releases if you recall.  You may remember reading this article about vSPhere 6.

Release Announcement – VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0.0

GA Date: November 15, 2016

 

What’s New?

  • General
    • vSphere 6.5 compatibility.
    • System notification enhancements.
    • Support for custom SSL certificates in the vCenter Server edition.
    • Support for Spanish locale(ES).
  • UI Features
    • New overall User Interface based on the VMware Clarity standard.
    • New speedometer-like Gauge Chart type for event count visualizations.
    • New Admin Alert Management tool and UI to view and manage all user alerts.
    • New filter called Does Not Exist to find events that do not contain some specified field.
    • Support for Datastore Device ID-to-name aliasing in event queries and results.
    • New “blur” on session timeout.
  • Server Features
    • Support for Syslog octet-framing over TCP.
    • Defined REST APIs for installing Log Insight servers and clusters.
    • Support for time ranges with Event Type alert queries.
  • Agent and Importer Features
    • SLES 11 SP3 and SLES 12 SP1 are supported for Linux agents.
    • The dateext (daily extension) option of logrotate is now supported.
    • SSL for the vRealize Log Insight agent is now enabled by default.
  • Content Pack Features
    • Users can now subscribe to content pack alerts that allow automated updates inline with the associated content pack.
  • Changed Behavior
    • New Agent installations have SSL enabled by default. Previously, Agent installs defaulted to SSL off. Upgrading does not affect current SSL settings.
    • New event forwarder destinations now default to verifying SSL certificates. Previously, SSL certificates were not verified by default. Upgrading does not affect current settings.
    • vRealize Log Insight for vCenter now allows you to change SSL settings.
    • For content pack alerts instantiated in 4.0, content pack updates now automatically update alert definitions. If needed, you can preserve customizations by exporting them and then importing them back into the user profile after the update is applied.
Download Landing Page https://my.vmware.com/en/group/vmware/get-download?downloadGroup=VRLI-400&productId=598&rPId=12336
Documentation Landing https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/log-insight-pubs.html
Release Notes http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/LogInsight/40/log-insight-40-release-notes.html

Release Announcement – VMware vSphere 6.5 has been released

This is super exciting news.  There are two features in particular that I am very excited to see in vSphere 6.5.

vSphere Integrated Containers – Run docker containers natively (well almost) on top of vSphere.  VIC as it has been coined allows you to use the Docker API to spin up Docker containers inside a vSphere VM container.  The vSphere VM container runs a super small version of PhotonOS that allows the container to run inside the VM container.  This now allows you to run Docker containers with all the benefits of vSphere VM’s with the exception of NSX at the moment.  However your containersa can take advantage of another new much anticipated feature.

vSphere Predictive DRS – Predictive DRS is a game-changing new technology that leverages self-learning and predictive analytics provided by vRealize Operations.  It learns your environment and based on usage patterns, preemptively rebalances your workloads in advance of upcoming demands and spikes.  This ensures your applications remain performant and your workloads get all the resources they need.

These aren’t the only exciting new features, but they are certainly two of my favorites.  Among the other new features are:

  • Scale Enhancements – New configuration maximums to support even the largest app environments
  • VMware vCenter Server® Appliance – The single control center and core building block for vSphere
  • vCenter Server® High Availability – Native vCenter Server high availability solution
  • vCenter Server Backup and Restore – Native vCenter Server Backup and Restore
  • vCenter Server Appliance Tool – Single step migration and upgrade of existing vCenter Server to vCenter Server Appliance
  • REST APIs – Simple, modern developer-friendly APIs
  • vSphere Client – HTML5-based GUI that ensures fast performance and cross-platform compatibility
  • Security-at-Scale – Policy-driven security that makes securing infrastructure operationally simple
  • Encryption – VM-level encryption protects unauthorized data access both at-rest and in-motion
  • Audit-quality logging – Enhanced logging that provides forensic information about user actions
  • Secure Boot – Protection for both the hypervisor and guest operating system by ensuring images have not been tampered with and preventing loading of unauthorized components
  • Cross-Cloud vMotion® –Live migrate workloads between VMware based clouds ( Handy feature for the new Amazon and VMware partnership)
  • Virtual Volumes™ Replication – Native array virtual volumes replication

Release Notes:

http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vsphere/65/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-65-release-notes.html

Download Page:

https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/info?slug=datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/6_5

Product Documentation:

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-6-pubs.html

Product Page and Blog:

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere.html

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/10/introducing-vsphere-6-5.html

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/11/vmware-announces-general-availability-vsphere-6-5.html

Things are certainly getting exciting

 

Release Announcement – VMware vSphere Replication 6.5

GA Date:  November 15, 2016

What is vSphere Replication?

vSphere Replication is VMware’s proprietary hypervisor-based replication engine designed to protect running virtual machines from partial or complete site failures by replicating their VMDK disk files.  It provides simple and cost-efficient replication to a distant failover site or between local hosts within a single site.  Used standalone or in conjunction with Site Recovery Manager, it offers customers an alternative to traditional storage array-based replication technologies.  vSphere Replication is also the engine powering the vCloud Air Disaster Recovery service and the vCloud Availability for vCloud Director offering targeted for vCAN Service Providers.

What’s New in this release:

  • 5-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) support for additional data store types. This version of vSphere Replication extends support for the 5 minute RPO setting to the following new data stores: VMFS 5, VMFS 6, NFS 4.1, NFS 3, VVOL and VSAN 6.5. This allows customers to replicate virtual machine workloads with an RPO setting as low as 5-minutes between these various data store options.
  • Spanish locale for the product user interface and documentation. This version of vSphere Replication adds support for Spanish language localization of the UI and delivers product documentation in Spanish.
  • Integration with VMware Analytics Cloud (VAC).  vSphere Replication is now participating in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

[Read more…]

Release Announcement – vRealize Business 7.2

vRealize Business 7.2 – What’s New

OOTB Reporting Enhancements
  • New OOTB Cloud Business Analysis Report (VOA) – Gives you a complete view into your environment within minutes of setting up the product
  • Daily Price Report
  • Reconciliation via VM Usage report
  • Time-base granular reporting
  • New easy to find reports under the reporting menu
SDDC Suite Readiness
  • Disaster Recovery Improvements – vSphere Replication and Disaster Recovery with Site Recovery Manager
  • API Improvements You can now Install vRBC via API
  • API available for Import/Export of configuration
  • vSphere 6.5 Support while staying backwards compatible with 5.0 / 5.5.
  • Support for vSphere Tags

[Read more…]

Release Announcement – VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.5

GA Date:  November 15, 2016

What is VMware Site Recovery Manager?

VMware Site Recovery Manager is an industry-leading DR solution that enables application availability and mobility across sites for vSphere-based private cloud environments.  Site Recovery Manager is an automation software that integrates with an underlying replication technology to provide automated orchestration of recovery plans and non-disruptive testing.

 

What’s New in this release?

  • Integration with vRealize Operations Manager through a new management pack – the vRealize Operations Management Pack for Site Recovery Manager 6.5.
  • Support for vSphere Virtual Volumes through vSphere Replication.
  • Support for silent installation, upgrade, and uninstallation.
  • Introducing enhancements to Site Recovery Manager 6.5 Public API.
  • Support for the vCenter Server HA feature.  Site Recovery Manager works normally in the event that vCenter Server HA fails over to another vCenter Server node.
  • Support for migration of a vCenter Server installation on Windows to a vCenter Server Appliance installation during upgrade.
  • Support for the Virtual Machine Encryption feature with Storage Policy Protection Groups (SPPGs).
  • Support for Test Recovery operation when the protected and recovery sites are disconnected.
  • Integration with VMware Analytics Cloud (VAC).  Site Recovery Manager is now participating in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

[Read more…]

Release Announcement – vRealize Operations 6.4

Today November 15, 2016 Vmware announced the GA release of vRealize Operations 6.4.  The release features the following new features and improvements:

  • Faster Root Cause Analysis
    • 1 click Alert Grouping – Sift through alerts to quickly identify noisy ones or the critical ones
    • Business context – Map VMs to vCenter folders (Application groups) to prioritize troubleshooting by impacted applications
  • Improved Workflows
    • KPI-driven Object Detail Page – Consolidated view: known issues + key metrics of self & infra
    • 1 click KPI Graphing – Correlated in seconds, Reduce the need to know complex metrics
  • Collaborate Better via ready to share OOTB dashboards for NOC, Storage, Network teams
    • Operations & Capacity Overview, VM Usage, Troubleshooting dashboards

[Read more…]

Amazon and VMware better together….

I’m sure you have all heard the news about the VMware and Amazon partnership.  I’ve been getting loads of questions from people and it seems that their are misconceptions on what exactly this means short term.  Here is some of what I have heard and some clarification as to what it really is.

The offering will be VMware’s hypervisor running nested on top of AWS. – False

The offering is actually the vSphere hypervisor running on bear metal running inside Amazon’s data center.

I want AWS features, not just vSphere in another datacenter.  I don’t see any AWS value or features with this offering – False

The machines running on vSphere in the AWS datacenter can take advantage of lots of AWS offerings such as storage, database offerings, security, analytics, and from what I understand 70 other services.  While it’s not the ability to use the AWS API to provision workloads this is still huge.  This of projects you may have that utilize AWS services interacting with workloads running in your own physical data center and the what you have to do you secure those interactions.  Now you have the ability to run the workloads inside the same data center as those services greatly reducing the complexities of securing those communications.

It’s great but what about NSX?

In the offering vSphere, NSX, and vSAN are all available.  I can’t speak to how the cost and licensing works with regards to these, but they are all available.

When will this be generally available?

It is expected to be available sometime late H2 2017.

As more and more info becomes available it will become even more apparent how much value this will add to the enterprise datacenter.  Most organizations today have a disconnect when it comes to their on-prem and off-prem workloads.  Having a standardizes infrastructure, standardized process, and standardized integrations can only lead to less complex and more manageable infrastructure.  As more information becomes available that can be shared I will certainly be focusing more on this area and once possible I will certainly be providing some insight and sneak peaks into this great new partnership.

Hackers, Phishers, Malware and more…..a virtual cancer

Many of you may have noticed over the last few weeks that Dailyhypervisor has had some ongoing issues.  It all started around the same time my 2 year old son went into the hospital I had gotten an message from a friend letting me know that google had flagged dailyhypervisor.com as a malware site.  Sure enough it had been flagged and malware was indeed present.  With no time to properly resolve the issue I did the only I could do to prevent anyone from coming to my site from being impacted by the malware.  I took the site down.

For me it was a quick temporary fix until I could find the time and focus to get it back up and fixed.  Of course it wasn’t until 11 days later when my son was finally released from the hospital that I got to fixing the site.  My fix was to perform a complete restore from a known good backup.  Luckily I do subscribe to a cloud based backup solution that takes nightly backups and I was able to determine when was the best time to restore the site to.  However I knew this wasn’t going to need to be the only step I took.

After the restore was completed I then needed to try and figure out how they got in and try to lock it down to prevent further incidents.  After hours spend reviewing the security I already had in place, file permissions, firewall rules, and updating all components of the site I got to a point where I felt I had done all the things I needed to and everything should be ok.  Well I recently just found out that was not the case.  These lechers of the internet that exploit any sites they can with vulnerability’s in order to turn them into petri dishes for spreading malware and other malicious code once again gained access to dailyhypervisor.

After doing yet another restore and and exhaustive review of the site again I decided to dig deeper into the plugins that I was using on the site.  I believe the download manager plugin to be the culprit but also discovered other plugins I was running that haven’t seemed to be maintained in a long time.  I ended up removing all the plugins that I felt were insecure, outdated and posed a security risk to the site and my readers.  With the removal of my download manager I will have go to through the entire site and update all the links to all the downloads to point them to the external sources where our downloads are located.  In the meantime if you need to download any of the packages we have shared you can find them on github or VMware Sample Exchange.

I would however like to take this time to apologize to all of my readers for the ignorance of these hackers that hide behind their keyboards in the darkness  and prey on those of us trying to be productive and helpful.  The craziest part is in the last year my blog has probably been the most secure it has been since I started it in 2009 and I’ve never had these issues before in the past.  The good news is they have not hacked or gotten access to the database, just the file system of the site.

I would like to ask all of you that if you see something, please say something.  Please send me a tweet to @vmmeup if you notice anything off.  I have up’d my game a little I now have a solution that monitors all my files and notifies me of any changes, but this isn’t bullet proof and I can’t look out for it ever minute of every day, so please if you notice anything strange with the site moving forward please let me know.  Thank you all for your patience and I resolved this issue and for being loyal readers.

Sid Smith