Browsing Posts in VMware

The L1 Terminal Fault (aka Foreshadow) bug is another speculative execution side channel attack that affect Intel Core processors and Intel Xeon processors only. For VMware vSphere there are some patches available as described in this document: VMSA-2018-0020. All patches have been released on August, 14th 2018.

Two years ago, VMware has started new vExpert (sub)programs on different technologies. One of those sub-programs was the vExpert NSX and I was honored to part of the first list. After the renewal of last year (VMware vExpert NSX 2017), I found that I’ve been renewed also for this year! VMware has just announced the list of vExperts NSX 2018.

Dell EMC OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) is a complementary tool that provides a comprehensive, one-to-one systems management solution in two ways: from an integrated, web browser-based graphical user interface (GUI) and from a command line interface (CLI) through the operating system. Usually you should add it to each bare metal system, unless you are using other management tools. But also if you are using Open Manage Essential (OME) or similar, OMSA provide some unique and powerful features, like the access to the BIOS settings.

In the last Veeam Community Forums Digest newsletter there is an interesting note about possible performance issues in VMware vSphere backup based on hot-add transport mode. VMware has confirmed that the increased Hot Add times experienced by some Veeam customers who have installed Veeam Backup & Replication Update 3a and the reason is the latest Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK) 6.5 version used in U3a to support also vSphere 6.5 Update 2.

One common way to backup the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) is to manage as a common VM and use a backup solution to backup (and restore) the entire VM. But it’s approach does not always work, for example in the case of a database corruption the VM restore could be not working. Starting with vSphere 6.5 and the new VCSA 6.5 was possible to use also a native backup solution integrated with the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (VAMI). But it was a manual operation (some scripts are available to automate and schedule it).

Some months ago I’ve written a post (Is the HTML5-based vSphere Client ready to replace the vSphere Web Client?) on the limitation of the new vSphere Client, but this was before the vSphere 6.7 and vSphere 6.5U2 releases. VMware vSphere, during its history and the different versions, has got several types of Graphical User Interface (GUI) client. One of the most used (not the first, but the standard one since Virtual Infrastructure 3.0) was the vSphere Client for Windows. But on May 2016 VMware has announced that the Legacy C# Client (aka thick client, desktop […]

VM Explorer is another backup (and replication) tool with native support for virtualized platforms (vSphere and Hyper-V) with a good success in the SMB segment. Initially was build by a Swiss company (Trilead), acquired later by HP(E) and recently acquired by Microfocus. Lot of changes in the name, but not in the substance and with a good development and release cycles. Now Microfocus has released a new VM Explorer release (v7.1) compatible with the latest version of VMware vSphere 6.7.

VMware vSphere provides a different way to copy the VM data during a backup operation: those modes are called transport modes. There are at least three major transport mode: network mode (or NBD), hot-add mode (or VM proxy mode), SAN mode (of storage offload mode). Most of the backup products can use those different transport modes depending on the configured infrastructure and the requirements.

If you are using Veeam Backup & Replication with a VMware vSAN datastore you are probably following the Veeam KB 2273 (Configuration for VMware VSAN). But this guide is only limit to recommend the hot-add transport mode. So you are going to create several Veeam proxies because Veeam Backup & Replication chooses the most appropriate backup proxy to reduce the backup traffic on the VSAN cluster network. Maybe also one per host.

VMware vSphere 6.7 is in GA since April 2018 (see this post) and the know issues are quite limited. Most of the other VMware and 3rd party products have reach the compatibility this this new release. For example, recently, also Veeam Backup & Replication support for vSphere 6.7 with the new 9.5 update 3a patch.

Managing the lifecycle of a complete software stack it’s something potentially complex because to the interdependence between the different layers, the order of the update or upgrade and the multiple software piecies (but also potentially some firmware/driver updates). For VMware vSphere there is VUM that can simplify ESXi lifecycle, but for example cannot manage the vCenter/PSC upgrade/update process. For VMware vSAN, VUM has been improved to consider the proper flow of the update process.

VMware Workstation 14 it’s a great product and adds several features from ESXi 6.5 and 6.7 (like NVMe support). But drops too many CPU from its compatibility list and this means less support for old PCs or laptop. With an unsupported processor, you can create, configure, move the VMs, but when you try to power on them, you will receive an error message like this:

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