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).

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VMware vSphere 6 – Manually upgrading vSphere 6.0 to vSphere 6.0 Update 2 with ease

You have read all the announcements about vSphere 6.0 Update 2 being released and now you want to upgrade.  Maybe you haven’t tried out the embedded web ui and are tired on needing to use the thick client when your VC goes down.  Whatever the reason applying the update is pretty easy and straight forward.

Updating vCenter Appliance

First things first we need to upgrade vCenter to Update 2.  To do this manually you will first need to download the vSphere patch iso VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.0.0.20000-3634791-patch-FP.iso from myvmware.  Once you have downloaded the iso simply follow these steps to apply the update:

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VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.1.3 is released.

This release of vCenter Orchestrator fixes a number of issue from the previous release.  Mainly a maintenance release, so when you can find the time I would recommend getting it installed and putting some of these issues in the past.  If for no other reason you will want to get this installed to resolve the issue where nested workflow don’t resume properly when rebooting the vCO server. Issues resolved in this release:

 

Active Directory account gets locked when connecting to Microsoft SQL database
If you set up a connection to a Microsoft SQL database with a Windows Active Directory account, the account gets locked from the domain.

vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client
If there is an outage of the connectivity to vCenter Server, the vCenter Server inventory disappears from the Orchestrator client and cannot be accessed until you restart the vCenter Orchestrator server.

Purging operations might cause a Microsoft SQL database deadlock
Orchestrator’s purging operations for events might cause a deadlock in a Microsoft SQL database.

VcAuthorizationRole.roleId does not provide the correct role ID and always returns 0
When you use the vCenter Server plug-in VcAuthorizationRole.roleId attribute, the correct role ID is not provided. Instead, the role ID of every object is displayed as 0.

Nested workflows not resuming properly when rebooting
If there are nested workflows still running when you reboot an Orchestrator server, the nested workflows do not resume from the last workflow element that was running at the time of reboot. After the Orchestrator server starts again, the nested workflows resume from the begining.

Import Package dialog responding slowly
The Import Package dialog might respond slowly when importing a package with content that is already available in Orchestrator.

Problematic releasing of locks
If you create a lock with LockingSystem.lockAndWait(lockName,””) and try to release it by running the Release all locks workflow, the LockingSystem.unlockAll() method does not release all locks.

Release Notes can be found here.

Download can be found here.

vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 – Custom Property Toolkit for vCO

For those of you who have not seen this yet, it is a must have for anyone writing vCO workflows for vCAC.  VMware’s own Dan Linsey build a set of pre-built workflows to help aid you in your own development efforts.  The toolkit includes workflows for performing Create, Read, Update, & Delete Operations for vCAC custom properties for more than just virtual machine objects.  IT includes support for the following:

 

  • Blueprints
  • Build Profiles
  • Business Groups
  • Endpoints
  • Property Dictionary
  • Virtual Machines
  • and more

Top check out this incredibly useful toolkit head over to the VMware Communities and download it.

The MoaC Lab

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I have been received a number of questions about the MoaC Lab so I decided to put together an article to cover what the MoaC is.  The MoaC or Mother of all Clouds lab is a project Tom Bonanno and myself (Sid Smith) started to help with sharing information.  The goal is to build a lab that will allow us to build the use cases that everyone wants to learn about.  It’s not about building a lab that has a huge number of resources, but a lab that has a huge number of integrations.  Integrations that that we can document and share with the world.

The MoaC Lab consists of two site.  Site 1 is located in my basement in Harrisburg, PA and Site 2 is located in Tom’s Basement near Atlantic City, NJ.  The two site are currently connected using an IPSec VPN run over NSX.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 – Creating a vSphere Clone Blueprint

In this article we are going to be creating a vSphere Clone Blueprint. To do this we need to have a few things in place before we begin. Within the blueprint configuration there is a template picker that will allow you to pick form the available templates in your environment. In order for templates to show up in the template picker there are some items that need to be configured in the vCAC environment. You will need to have the following already configured:

  1. vSphere Credential
  2. vSphere EndPoint
  3. Fabric Group (with the vSphere resources assigned)
  4. vSphere Reservation

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vCloud Automation Center vCAC 6.0 – Using Linux Kickstart to Provision to Physical HP Server over iLo

That big ole title pretty much says it all. In this article I’m going to walk through how to deploy RHEL (Centos) Linux onto a Physical HP Server over the iLo interface using Kickstart. When provisioning to Physical servers such as an HP Proliant DL360 there are two methods built into vCAC. One is the use of PXE boot, and the other is via the iLo interface.

There are pro and cons to both PXE and remote mounting an ISO over the iLo interface. PXE has the obvious cons of the network requirements, having a PXE server available and if you want true flexibility you will need to do a little custom work. ISO mount over iLo tend to be a bit slower due to the over head of remote mounting a ISO and the speed of the iLo interface. In this article I will be covering remote mounting an ISO over iLo, but I will be covering PXE is a later article.

What do we need

To start we need the Physical HP server to be racked and cabled up. It’s iLo interface should be configured and licensed, the network interfaces should be cabled in and the switches should be configured for the appropriate Vlans etc. The drives in the server should also be initialized. vCAC will not create any raid groups etc for you, you must do this manually. My examples also requires a web server that can be utilized to store the needed files on the network.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 Creating a Physical HP Blueprint

Physical blueprints are a bit different than Virtual Blueprints because you can’t give users the ability to define the exact makeup of the machine they want. They can’t decide they want to add additional storage to a physical machine like they can a virtual. They also can’t select which network they want the machine placed on (without customization) like a virtual machine.

What they can do however is tell you how many CPU’s and how much RAM they would like in the physical machine they are requesting. I know what do you mean they can tell me what they want? vCAC can’t magically add CPU’s or memory, but what it can do is look for a match, or the closest match to what they user needs. You have the ability to set a maximum and minimum number of CPU’s and amount of RAM a user can request from the blueprint. You can also determine how you want to allocate for each of them. You can have vCAC look for an exact match to the request, or look for an “At Least” match to find a server that meets the needs of the request.

* This tutorial is meant to show you the basics of creating a Physical HP server blueprint. I will be publishing a number of more complete physical provisioning tutorials and this article will be utilized as a reference.

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vCloud Automation Center – vCAC 6.0 Creating a VCHS Reservation

VCHS reservations are very similar to creating a vSphere reservation as you may expect. You are going to assign it to a Tenant and business group, you are going to reserve memory and storage, and determine what networks are available just like you would do when creating a vSphere reservation. There is really on one minor difference. You don’t have to manage and maintain the underlying hardware. In my mind that is a huge plus.

Creating a VCHS reservation

  1. Start by going to Infrastructure -> Reservations -> Reservations and from the “New Reservations” menu select Cloud and then vApp(vCloud Director).
  2. vcac601vchsres-0
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