VMware Horizon for View 6.0 upgrade path

VMware has announced and released Horizon for View 6.0 several months ago. I've already discussed about the news of this product (remote apps and app pools is probably one of the most evident). The upgrade procedure is almost similar with previous procedures (see upgrade to View 5.3 or View 5.2) and it's well document in the official Horizon View 6.0 upgrades guide. Remember to check first the compatibility guide (and verify with version of vSphere could be used) and finally to upgrade also the AD GPO templates. But there are some significant changes that you have to consider in your upgrade path: Starting with ...

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Veeam Endpoint Backup with Veeam repository

As you probably know, some days ago Veeam has released the RC version of their free tool Veeam Endpoint Backup (announced for the first time on Oct 2014). Veeam Endpoint Backup is a free data protection and disaster recovery solution for physical machines, both client or server, but actually limited to "recent" version of Windows (mainly from NT 6.1 release). Comparered to the beta version, this new version add a lot of new features, including: Backup directly into Veeam backup repositories Full support for Bitlocker drive encryption on backup and restore Ability to control power state of the computer after daily backup "When backup target is ...

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VMTN Community and Social Media

The original post is avilable on the VMTN Community blog: Guest post: VMTN Community and Social Media I would like to talk about how VMware Community compares with (and complements) other social networks and media. I'm a VMware Community Moderator, but I'm writing this post as a "normal" Community user. I do not consider myself a social media guru, but just a beginner. If you want to be precise, the title of this post is not exactly correct, because the Community is just another form of social network.  However, there are differences between the Community approach versus the other tools that have ...

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Virtualization ecosystem is becoming multi-hypervisor

One trend in the last year(s) is that the virtualization ecosystem is growing outside the boundary where was born: historical partner vendor of VMware now are extending their solution to other hypervisors, and also also new products are designed to managed a more complex virtual environment. This was also called "Hypervisor Agnosticism" in a VKernel post. We do not talk about interoperability across different hypervisors, but simple use same tools, especially for management, monitoring and data protection, for more type of products. Does it make sense? For a single customer maybe not... have multiple environment could be an extra cost (also if ...

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VMware vCenter 5.5 design

The design of the VMware vCenter Server and related services has several decision that you have to take, and of course some of them will change with the version number of this products (for example SSO design are different from 5.1 and 5.5). During the last Nordic VMUG User Conference I've taken a session about some the design aspects and I want to comment some of the aspects. There are also other references that you can use, like a post of Max Mortillaro (vCenter Server Design Considerations) that can add more information or other point of view. Basically the main design decisions ...

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Building a vSphere 5 lab

For people that need to make practice for the VCAP-DCA exam (and the beta of VCAP5-DCA will start soon) a good lab environment is mandatory. But it could also be useful for other reasons, like demo environment. There are several options to build one, but most used solutions are using nested hosts on one physical system with: VMware Workstation/Fusion over a host OS: common for a notebook. ESXi 5 on a server or a whitebox: common if you plan to have a always-on or fixed solution. Actually both solution could be good, but Workstation could not scale too much, expecially if you work with ...

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Virtualization types

With the term virtualization usually we are talking about System Virtualization, where a physical system is "partitioned" to permit multiple environments (using virtual machines). But virtualization is more generic and include different types: System Virtualization or Platform Virtualization: the hypervisor layer permit multiple virtual machines (VM). There are mainly two sub-types: Server Virtualization: where VMs are usually server OSes with server roles. Desktop Virtualization: where VMs are desktop OSes. There are two different approaches: Server Hosted: where VMs are running on physical server machines (usually using hypervisor for server virtualization). Also called VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or Virtual Desktop Interface). Client Hosted: where VMs are running ...

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My thoughts on VMware beta exams

The VCP5-DT beta period has already finished, so I would to update my thoughts on VMware beta exams (my first post about them was around one year ago). Beta vs. Regular exams Beta exams usually are for a small period before the run of the regular exams. Usually in the beta exams you have more time, more questions and a way to give feedback. Also the sign-up procedure could be different and is not possible to re-take a beta exam. The results of the beta exam are available not after the exam (as it is usual for most of the regular exam), but ...

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PCoIP vs. Blast

I've already write a post with the comparison between PCoIP and RDP (PCoIP vs. RDP) and some considerations on how use each protocol in a VMware View infrastructure. Other protocols, like HP RGS (Remote Graphics Software) has been removed (from View) years ago, and protocols from other solutions (like, for example, SPICE) are not included. But now there is also the HTML5 option (Blast protocol) included with the Horizon Suite or with the Feature Pack of Horizon View (see this post on how enable it). It's just a 1.0 version so this kind of protocol could not replace yet the PCoIP one: Blast protocol ...

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Issue in VM migration: MAC Address may change

Recently I got a strange issue using a cold storage migration usign the Migrate function of vCenter Server. This was the scenario: a Free Hypervisor with some VMs where a full license (Essential Plus) was added and the host was also added to a vCenter Server. For compatibility matrix reason the version 4.1 was used (although the storage can work with vSphere 5.0 but officially was not supported). Also the Free Hypervisor was build with the 4.0 version and upgraded (one year ago) to the 4.1 version. This was the issue: after a cold storage migration all the VM build when the ...

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PCoIP vs. RDP

In a VMware View environment usually PCoIP protocol is preferred to the RDP one due to several reasons. I don't want to spend too much time about the latency, throughput, reactivity, user experience different between those two protocols... in most cases PCoIP is better compared to RDP. But PCoIP protocol has some limits that your have to consider in your design and mainly are described in the View Architecture Planning guide. Client support PCoIP only client: mobile clients, such as iPad and Android, use only the PCoIP display protocol. RDP only client: actually the Technical Preview of the Windows 8 Style Client works only ...

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Manage an isolated Windows Server

There could some cases where you may have some Windows (Server) completely isolated from the Internet, for example in some appliances or storage solution. One interesting aspect that learn on Windows products during a DataCore training was that in this case you can have some delay in the user interface, both on the DataCore GUI, but also on the Windows one. This is related in driver management (and in signign verification) and is well described in a FAQ on DataCore site (DataCore Server GUI takes longer than expected to open). The solution is quite simple and consist in a simple change on the ...

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VMware vSphere 6.0 – Upgrade or not upgrade?

The new VMware vSphere 6.0 has so much interesting new features and scalability properties that make interesting for each new environment, but also for existing customers (with an active subscription, so that you can also upgrade your 5.x license keys). But like each new version you have to make some consideration first and especially before starting the upgrade procedure, so be sure to start from the vSphere Upgrade Center, the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix, the VMware Compatibility Guide, but also read the following notes. The main consideration is that each new product (does not matter that is a major or a minor release) ...

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Microsoft Virtual Labs

Some months ago I've write about the VMware Hands on Labs and how labs are important for testing and learning about a product (also for other vendor). Events like VMworld, Microsoft TechEd, Dell Storage Forum, HP Discover, ... are a good moment to have access at those kind of labs. But of course you can also build your own labs (as described in this post) but this require more effort. A good work-around is use on-line and on-demand lab. For VMware the on-line version is just in beta, but for Microsoft this kind of tools are a reality from several years ...

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Manage a storage array with System Center VMM 2012

One of the interesting features of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 is that it can handle several other objects and not only the VM (when the name will be changed to reflect this?). Of course it can handle hosts (not only Hyper-V hosts), but also networking and storage. All those resource are in the "fabric" tab. In this case we see a storage array with its LUNs: The storage integration in System Center is really similar to several storage plugins for VMware vCenter and the VASA functionality on vSphere 5 (in fact it also require a "provider"): you can manage your ...

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How to use certifications to become a virtualization expert

See the complete interview on: How To Use Certifications To Become a Virtualization Expert – with Andrea Mauro In this interview you will find: What steps you must do to become VMware Certified Design Expert? Why you should not concentrate only on a virtualization technology, but also on other technologies like networking, storage and even SQL? Do you need to work with the biggest systems in the world to become a VCDX? What other certifications are good for vEngineers? IT Certification Master: Tell us something about the beginning of your career and about your first IT certification. Andrea Mauro: I’ve started (a lot of years ago) ...

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The new Virtual SAN 6.1 has also another new features related to a specific deployment scenario: a 2-Node Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) configuration.

This configuration was possible with the previous VMware product (VSA) but was not suitable with VSAN, making space for other solutions like StorMagic SvSAN or StarWind Virtual SAN.

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VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 (formally was v2.0) was a big improvement of the VMware’s hyperconverged storage solution with some important new features like the new filesystem (with powerful snapshot implementation), the concept of fault domain (to improve data resiliency), more scalability and the full flash option.

Now VMware has announced a new release: Virtual SAN (or VSAN) 6.1, with new improvements, including enhanced usability & management, advanced troubleshooting, and several new features.

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Calendar

Interesting European IT events:

See also: continue reading…

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Several months ago VMware announce vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) as a solution to implement 3rd Party Software-Defined Data Services in vSphere 6.0. VAIO offers partners the ability to put their technology directly into the IO stream of a VM through a filter that intercepts data before it is committed to disk.

It’s a good and efficient idea to implement features like caching or replication without the need of external components (or appliance) or kernel modules like today.

But this a partner program (like the Virtual Volumes) and unless partners have not developed this kind of solutions, it is useless.

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VMware Logo

EVO:RAIL is scalable and modular architecture housed in a small form factor (2U/4N Form factor including compute, storage, network and management resources), with flexible hardware configuration (with 8 Global Qualified EVO:RAIL Partners), able to scale out up to 16 appliances (64 nodes).

In only one year of history it has grow more and more in capabilities and also in adoption. But also in version 1.2 was still based of vSphere 5.5 and VSAN 1.0, until now!

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VMworld-Logo

Like in 2012, this year I choose to attend at the US edition of VMworld. I like it in 2012, and probably I would like also this year.

Is really different from the European one and sometimes (travels are too costly for European people) deserve a visit.

This will be my second VMworld US and I’m really curious and exited! Will be also a VMworld without a new vSphere release (or I least I’ve not seen any beta)… things are changing… new products, new strategies!

I’ve already written about my expectation and I hope that will be a great and intensive week.

 

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VMware snapshots are widely used for different purpose, but the main reason why they exist in vSphere is to help backup programs: using VADP a backup can start a VM snapshot in order to have a frozen file, copy it (or copy only the changed block with CBT and virtual hardware 7 or greater) and then release the snapshot.

Other usage are to have a just in point rollback during patches or big changes, but a recommended practice is to release the snapshot as soon as possible.

Large snapshots or broken or invalid snapshots are common issues in VMware virtual environments. And monitor the snapshots size it’s a must!

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opvizor

Starting from this year, opvizor has two main products: opvizor Health analyzer (the historical SaaS product) and now also opvizor Snapwatcher.

Snapwatcher is a free product to help VMware administrators detect broken snapshots lurking in their virtual environments. The product has start as a free beta on Feb 25th 2015 and was created to address the broken or invalid snapshots issues in VMware virtual environments. The problem with these snapshots are that a single snapshot’s Delta-file is able to grow to the same size of the original file. And does not only mean a space issue, but also a potential performance issues and more snapshots are growing, more time will be needed to “delete” them (VMware use the term “delete all” with the mean of consolidate the snapshots to the current state).

Broken snapshots are a common problem and affect 81% of all VMware vSphere environments.

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VMware Logo

In July 2015 the VMware Workstation team announced the public access to the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2015 that has now officially becomed VMware Workstation 12.

There are a lot of news related to this new version, but one is about the two different editions: Workstation Pro and Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro). This split partially match the same on Fusion where there are two different editions.

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DotHill-Logo

Seagate and Dot Hill Systems have announced a definitive agreement where Seagate will acquire Dot Hill to increase their storage portfolio. Seagate has a long storage history especially in hard disks: they’ve developed the first 5.25-inch hard disk drive in 1980 (the 5-megabyte ST-506), on 2006 Seagate acquired Maxtor, on 2011 acquired the Samsung‘s HDD business.

But they have also a storage experience: in 2014 Seagate acquired Xyratex a storage systems company, used in most storage enclousure. The same year it acquired LSI’s Flash Enterprise PCIe flash and SSD controller products, and its engineering capabilities. And X-IO it’s all started in 1999 with Seagate Technologies with the idea of build a new zero touch design storage: Seagate invested over $100 million in this project, but on 2007 this technology was acquired by Xiotech (in 2007) and Intellinget Storage Element (ISE) has began is life on 2008.

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Microsoft Logo

After the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 now it’s the turn of a new build: Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 and also System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3 (confirming that there is a common and unified product strategy).

There are some interesting news in Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3:

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Tintri-Logo

Tintri, a producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, has announced the release of the Tintri VMstoreTM T5000 All-Flash series. The VMstore T5000 joins the T800 Hybrid-Flash series to create a portfolio of VM-aware storage platforms that offer enterprises and service providers their choice of storage, hypervisor and packaging to best meet their needs. Powered by the same Tintri OS and real time VM-level analytics, the new products will enable customers to easily optimize virtualized workloads across the T5000 and T800 systems.

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Kaminario-Logo

Kaminario is a company with an interesting enterprise-class all-flash array (AFA) storage solution, that deliver unparalleled cost efficiency, with an really interesting price  per GB. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with offices in Yoqneam, Israel, Silicon Valley and New York City, and backed by Sequoia, Pitango, Globespan, Tenaya, Silicon Valley Bank and others.

Now they are announcing the K2 v5.5 (generally available in Q3 2015) all-flash primary storage array that cuts the cost from $2/GB, from v5 introduced in May 2014, to less than $1/GB! With this price AFA storage could be for almost everybody.

But it’s not only a cost aspect: they product have interesting technologies.

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