Browsing Posts published by Andrea Mauro

AtlantisComputing

Atlantis Computing has announced a new product: Atlantis ILIO for Virtual SAN, that mainly combined Atlantis ILIO with VMware Virtual SAN and VMware Horizon 6 with the declared intention to build a ultimate hyper-converged platform for VDI.

Atlantis ILIO will insert a transparent software layer between the virtual machine and the underlying storage infrastructure. The joint solution leverages pooled local solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disks (HDDs) created by VSAN with Atlantis ILIO to optimize the resultant storage pool improving storage performance and increasing the available storage capacity provided to the application.

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Veeam-Logo-2014

As written, Veeam Availability Suite v8 will be the new suite that will replaces Veeam Backup Management Suite (remaining at same price, same editions, of course with new features of v8). The launch is declared in Q3 of 2014, but there are several announces, week by week, about new features.

On the storage side, there was a announce of a new Snapshot Storage integration (for Veeam Explorer), this time with NetApp. But there is a new announce about a new storage integration: this time not at source level (or proxy level), but at target level.

EMC Data Domain Boost will be integrating with backup jobs in Veeam Availability Suite v8.

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Seems that VMware is cleaning its products portfolio. After the End of Availability of VSA, now VMware is announcing the End of Availability (EoA) of all VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat versions effective June 2, 2014. As a result, all versions of vCenter Server Heartbeat will be removed from the VMware price list on June 2, 2014. After this date, you will no longer be able to purchase these products.

All support and maintenance for the removed versions will be unaffected and will continue on per VMware Life Cycle policy through the published support period until September 19, 2018.

This will have significant impact on the design option for a High Availability vCenter configuration. As written in a previous post, there are few options to increase the availability of vCenter Server:

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E2EVC

The 2014 spring (EMEA) edition of E2EVC is now over and it’s time to archive it and take some considerations.

E2EVCE2EVC Virtualization Conference is an independent, non-commercial, virtualization community event build from experts to experts.

The 22th edition (counting also to past LAX edition) was from May 30 to June 1, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, as usually starting from Friday until mid Sunday.

This was my second time (I’ve attend also at the E2EVC XX Rome event) and I can confirm the reason to attend at this kind of event (see E2EVC 2014 Brussels: Why attend).

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Calendar

Interesting European IT events:

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Using Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 with VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere 5.x According with KB 2006859 (Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Operating System does not boot or install on ESXi or ESX) Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 VMs are fully supported for ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.1 U1, ESXi 5.0 U1 and ESXi 5.0 U2. Note: For Windows Server 2012, you must install the patch ESXi500-201209001(Patch 04) on ESXi 5.0 U1. For more information, see VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch Release ESXi500-201209001 (2032584). Also Hyper-V could be run in a VM. For more information see how to enable nested hypervisor on vSphere 5.1. With the last patches release, starting from vSphere 5.1U1 vCenter ...

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Storage Best Practices: Vendor vs. VMware

A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. But, as well described by Frank Denneman in his post, best practices are never absolute, they depends on your specific case. One good example is in the storage part of a virtualization solution: VMware guides (but also other virtualization vendor) define some good practices, but storage vendors may define other more specific. In this case, usually, you must follow the practices ...

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EqualLogic Replica aborted because the group was too busy processing a max-keep value change

Recently I've got a strange issue with an Dell EqualLogic environment and I've not found any useful info about the related error message: Subsystem: MgmtExec Event ID: 8.3.48 Schedule Replica oraria aborted because the group was too busy processing a max-keep value change to create the operation scheduled for time ... The detail does not help and also the EqualLogic reference guide does not report this error message. This issue happen after a member (to be honest was a group) upgrade and probably the replication sets was damaged during this event. The resolution is really simple (it does not fix itself, also after some days): delete ...

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What's happen to the virtualization ecosystem?

In the last years, in the virtualization ecosystem, there where three big trends: one is the shifting from a single hypervisor to a multi-hypervisors (originally was mainly a VMware ecosystem, now is a virtualization ecosystem) the second is the reduction of the number of players, at least in some fields like backup e monitoring, due to some acquisitions (for example Quest has bought VizionCore and VKernel... Novell has bought Platespin...) the third is that the big vendors are directly involved and in competition: for example VMware is working on some solutions, like VDR for backup (although is a limited solution) or vCenter Operations ...

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Storage for VDI: local or shared?

In my interview with Sakthi Chandra (NexentaVSA for View Director), during the last Open Storage Summit EMEA, we have talk about the Nexenta approach of the storage for a VDI environment. Their product has been developed from a collaboration with VMware and some aspects sound familiar: for example the overview of the VSA deployment and design seems similar to the VMware VSA, except the scalability limit (that is limited to max 3 host for the VMware solution). But I don't want talk about the product, yet (I prefer dedicate it a post, when I will be able to make some ...

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Virtualization is not cloud computing

In the previous posts I've described the different types of virtualization and the different types of cloud computing. Due to the fact that usually IaaS provide VMs you can think that there is a direct correlation between virtualization (in this case system virtualization) and cloud. But this correlation could exists or also not! Virtualization is stricly related to the technologies and the infrastructure aspect. Cloud more on high-level aspects, like type of services, services level, ... Cloud imply virtualization? Virtualization it's just an infrastructure layer that could be used in a cloud infrastructure, but is not strictly mandatory! Of course, for IaaS probably a virtualization ...

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Recovering a lost partition table with a VMFS datastore

There are different reason where you can you loose or corrupt your partition table of your VMFS volumes: resignature from another system (for example the backup server, if connected in SAN mode), a human mistake (datastore / delete), or maybe some storage issues. In this case usually the VMFS partition is still there and also the related data: you have "only" to rebuild the right partition table. But this could really simple if you follow the recommended practice to have only one VMFS partition on each disk. In this case you have only to build the configuration for a single partition ...

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Fix vCenter Plugins list: Remove Enterprise Converter

One possible issue after a vSphere 5 upgrade using an in-place upgrade of vCenter Server could appear when you forget to remove the Converter Enterprise plugin (and/or the Guided Consolidation plugin). As you know some products has been removed from vSphere 5, and their plugins may remain in a "orphan" state. The result of this issue is that you will have a "broken" plugins list (with some plugins that are no more available) and also a wrong vCenter health status, due to some services that are no more existing: The well-documented procedure to remove old or wrong plugins is described in the KB1025360 ...

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How startup and shutdown a vSphere based infrastructure

As written in a previous post, starting from vSphere 5.0U1 in a HA cluster the VM Startup & Shutdown ESXi host properties is disabled. Anyway wasn't supported, because according with the vSphere Avalability Guide and also the KB 850 (Automating the process of starting and stopping virtual machines on VMware ESX): The Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown (automatic startup) feature is disabled for all virtual machines residing on hosts that are in (or moved into) a vSphere HA cluster. Automatic startup is not supported when used with vSphere HA. So, how it's possible handle a correct poweron and shutdown sequence of your infrastructure? The ...

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The “IT divide” problem

This was a guest post on vDestination. Usually (especially in Country like mine) we common talk about the Digital divide that bring not equity, or at least not same opportunity, between different group. But this is mainly focused on the connectivity aspects and how accessing to broadband networks could be different and limited for somebody. But this it’s only one aspect and there are also others that must be considered! The first one that I want to describe it’s the Country divide, mainly related and intended to the geographic position. Partially it could also be related to the previous Digital divide (because broadband ...

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Supported means that works well?

In the previous post I've consider the cases and scenarios of a "non supported" configurations. But what's happen with "supported" configurations? Are they always working and always in the best way? A supported configuration means that it can work well, but in specific situations, cases, scenarios. Usually a good rule could be make a good analysis and a good virtual design before choose the single pieces. A supported configuration does not mean that also meets requirements like availability, scalability and performance. For example there are a lot of entry storage that are VMware certified, but they does not meet any of ...

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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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Copy/Paste in a VMware View session

Probably you have already notice that copy & paste operation in a VMware View session are limited for security reasons and is discussed in the View admin guide: Configure clipboard redirection Determines the direction in which clipboard redirection is allowed. You can select one of these values: Enabled client to server only  (That is, allow  copy and paste only from the client system to the View desktop.) Disabled in both directions Enabled in both directions Enabled server to client only (That is, allow  copy and paste only from the View desktop to the client system.) Clipboard  redirection is implemented as a virtual channel. If virtual channels  are disabled, ...

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How to verify other IT Certifications

In the previous post I've define some ways to verify a VMware certification, to avoid frauds and wrong usage of false credential. Note that VUE give also a way to authenticate a Score Report. For other certifications there are different ways and, in some cases, could also be simplest: Microsoft: for all this kind of certification there is a specific portal (Validate MCP Transcript) where you can put the MCP ID (each certified people has a unique ID and this does not depends on the certification type) and a password (defined by the certified guy) and get the entire transcript of all Microsoft certifications. ...

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Is VTL dead?

One curios thing of both ExaGrid and Dell DR4000 solutions (but also other solutions) is that they lack of a Virtual Tape Library (VTL) feature and only work as a network share (with CIFS or NFS). In both cases the reason was not technical (but I think that the main reason is still just a way to reduce cost and complexity) but marketing/strategy (customers just don't ask at this feature). But moving from a backup to tape (B2T) to a backup to disk (B2D) solution does not necessary mean move to backup to file (over a share) solution. All backup applications ...

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Virtual CPU and Virtual Cores

In a physical environment usually the term CPU is used to refer to the physical package (or socket). The real processing unit inside this package are called cores (and not that each core can have inside more ALU and can be seen as more logical cores with hyper-threading feature). More CPU usually define a SMP system, more cores a multi-core CPU, more CPU each with more cores a complex system (usually the NUMA architecture is used in this case). In a virtual enviroment the term vCPU is used to refer to a core assigned to a VM. More vCPU define a ...

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E2EVC

After the E2EVC XX Rome event, the next European one will be in Brussels:

Next event will take place in Brussels, Belgium May 30 – June 1, 2014 in Hotel Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire

E2EVC Virtualization Conference is an independent, non-commercial, virtualization community event build from experts to experts. Started in 2003 with just 4 people and after 20 successful events grown to awell-recognized event with over 120 attendees. Those conferences has taken place in cities such as Munich, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris, Nice, Lisbon, Hamburg, Vienna and Rome.

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VMware Logo

VMware vSphere Storage Appliance was a software-based shared storage solution that enables high availability and automation in vSphere without shared storage hardware (for more information see this post). VMware has announced the End of Availability of all vSphere Storage Appliance versions, effective April 1, 2014. After this date you will no longer be able to purchase this product.

All support and maintenance for vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5 will be unaffected and will continue to follow the Enterprise Infrastructure Support Policy. The End of General Support life date for customers with vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5 remains September 19, 2018.

According to the related FAQ, there isn’t a direct replacement for vSphere Storage Appliance, customers who meet the hardware requirements can choose to upgrade to VMware Virtual VSAN. A vSphere Storage Appliance to Virtual SAN upgrade SKU will be available.

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VMware Virtual SAN (or sometimes called also VSAN) is a powerful solution to implement an hyperconverged storage solution available, as a separated product, for vSphere 5.5 U1 environments.

Actually, although it is a 1.0 version, is almost promising, but some UI pieces is (in my opinion) still missing: the vSphere Web Client is the management tool, but the VSAN dashboard is really limited an several other information (most could be obtained from the performance monitor) could be added to provide, for example detailed usage information.

To be honest there is an experimental feature called VSAN Observer that could give you most of those data in a dashboard oriented way. I suppose also that there could be a future version of VMware vCenter Operations Manager with detailed VSAN information.

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Using Linux as a guest OS in a VMware vSphere environment it’s, of course, well supported and more distributions are officially supported in vSphere 5 making more easy deploy Linux VM or Linux based virtual appliances.

For the remote management a good option it’s usually use the SSH protocol, for the initial installation (or other special cases) you will need to use vSphere Console.

Using the client from a Linux box could be difficult but with the new vSphere Web Client not so much, for more information see the KB 1006095 (Availability of vSphere Client for Linux systems) or see also Access VM Consoles From Linux.

Then there are a couple of notes if you need a GUI or a text console.

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Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is the management tool for virtual environment based on Microsoft Hyper-V (but note that it can also manage XenServer and vSphere infrastructures). It provide also management functionality for other “fabric” components (like storage or network).

It’s not mandatory (compared to VMware vCenter that is needed to implement most of the cluster features, you can manage an Hyper-V environment with the Windows MMC snap-in or via PowerShell), but could be useful to manage the entire infrastructure from a single pane. And also it provide some new features, like library management (in order to use template), P2V and V2V functionalities, cloud (IaaS) abstraction, self-provisioning, …

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VMware vCenter Standalone Converter is usually updated with new version of vSphere, although it is no more included with the vSphere suite itself (the Enterprise edition of Converter was dropped with vSphere 5.0).

But there are a few issues that you can have with VMware Converter and vSphere 5.x that you have to know and take care.

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