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The upgrade path to vSphere 5.1 is quite similar to the upgrade path to vSphere 5.0 and is well described in the specific guide (vSphere Upgrade Guide).

In some cases an in-place upgrade can be applied with the advantage to require less time and to keep all (or most) of the settings and configurations. For example, a vCenter Server 4.1 can be directly updated to the 5.1 version (the requirements of the two versions are quite the same) or an old ESXi can be updated to ESXi 5.

But in most cases, also when the in-place upgrade is possible, could be interesting considering a full reinstallation, that give the advantage of the new clean situation. Also it can require more time (and more effort), but can give less downtime, because for example you can build a new vCenter Server, configure it and then simple re-connect the hosts to this new one.

Anyway, some points are quite common for each major vSphere upgrade:

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Veeam has recently announced a new product cloud oriented: Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition. It includes several features, like:

  • Supports 15 cloud vendors, including Amazon and Azure
  • No cloud API’s to learn
  • No re-design of local backup processes
  • Encryption on the fly or at rest (configurable encryption up to AES 256-bit)
  • Control bandwidth in real time and schedule limits to ensure bandwidth during working hours

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For the new SRM 5.1 a new EqualLogic SRA is required (version 2.2) and it’s available both on EqualLogic site (in the support section) and VMware site (in the SRM download page).

The upgrade procedure is simple and it’s described in the previous post. You have simple to run the installation. But there is now a new interesting option on how storage replication (note that are used asynchronous replication) are handled:

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As usual the upgrade path is explained in the official guide, in this case in the SRM Install and Config guide (page 23). You have also to check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes to find how is compatible with other VMware components. Usually you need to upgrade secondary products, like SRM or View before upgrade the core part (vSphere).

For for SRM there is also a special note: you have to upgrade versions of SRM earlier than 5.0 to SRM 5.0 or 5.0.1 before you upgrade to 5.1 or 5.0.1!

Note that upgrading vCenter Server directly from 4.1.x to 5.1 is a supported upgrade path. However, upgrading SRM directly from 4.1.x to 5.1 is not a supported upgrade path. When upgrading a vCenter Server 4.1.x instance that includes an SRM installation, you must upgrade vCenter Server to version 5.0 or 5.0 u1 before you upgrade SRM to 5.0 or 5.0.1. If you upgrade vCenter Server from 4.1.x to 5.1 directly, when you attempt to upgrade SRM from 4.1.x to 5.0 or 5.0.1, the SRM upgrade fails. SRM 5.0.x cannot connect to a vCenter Server 5.1 instance.

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I’ve already describe the upgrade path to VMware View 5.1, but things change and there are additional patches for this View version (that is currently in version 5.1.2). Of course also HCL may change (with more support) and, for example, recent version of View 5.1 are fully compatible with recent version of vSphere 5.1.

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Liquidware Labs has recently released the ProfileUnity FlexApp™ version 5.5: this new version includes several big updates for ProfileUnity such as FlexApp Department Installed Applications, a fresh new Admin Interface, automated setup with Microsoft Active Directory, and numerous other significant new features:

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GlobalKnowledge as realize a new list of top paying certification (see 15 Top Paying Certifications for 2013 and also Top paying IT Certifications for 2012 for previous year).

Unfortunately, as written in the post, certain certifications (that pay more) are not represented due to their exclusive nature. These include CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert and VCDX: VMware Certified Design Expert, and mainly all the Top IT Certifications.

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Interesting European IT events:

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The first VMUG IT User Conference has been finally announced!

A User Conference is not your regular VMUG meeting, it’s a full blown conference, with separate tracks and prominent guest speakers (there will be some interesting announce about them!). A good opportunity to learn more, share experiences, and make networking.

And note that some session will also be in english, so this is not only for Italian people, but for all VMUG members!

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VMware Partner Exchange is a big event, like VMworld, but dedicated to the VMware partners (like the international Microsoft WPC or other similar events). This year will be held at Las Vegas from 25 to 28 February.

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In a View environment the PCoIP is usually the right choice and on a LAN works really well (see also the previous post about PCoIP and RDP differences). But on a wide-area networks (WANs)you have to consider some aspects to have a reasonable reactivity or to maximize the number of remote clients: you must consider bandwidth constraints and latency issues. The PCoIP display protocol provided by VMware adapts to varying latency and bandwidth conditions, but some optimization may be needed.

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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.

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