Saturday, May 11, 2019

NSX 9 free VMware NSX eBooks!

VMware Press NSX Guides are authored and technically reviewed by VMware subject-matter experts and cover networking and security essentials.

Below you will find a description of the current books in our library along with a downloadable PDF link

New Release: VMware NSX Automation Fundamentals Guide

VMware NSX Automation Fundamentals delivers the roadmap to understanding networking and security automation challenges in today’s data centers.  It explains the fundamental nature of VMware NSX Data Center architecture while detailing integrated solutions for both VMware and third party offerings (such as VMware vRealize Automation, OpenStack, Puppet, Chef, PowerNSX) that assist in creating networking and security components on-demand.

New Release: VMware NSX Network Virtualization Fundamentals

During their digital transformation process, many IT organizations still struggle with traditional networking methods and security approaches. By successfully addressing these challenges in thousands of real-world implementations, VMware NSX Data Center has established itself as the leading network virtualization platform, revolutionizing the way data center networks are designed and operated. In this book, Gustavo Santana examines the specific circumstances that created such challenges and explains how NSX Data Center overcomes them.

New Release: VMware NSX Multi-site Solutions and Cross-vCenter NSX Design: Day 1 Guide

In this Day 1 Guide, the authors walk through multi-site and its traditional challenges, and discuss some of the short-comings of traditional multi-site solutions, compare different multi-site solutions provided by VMware NSX Data Center, discuss the advantages of NSX and how it can be used for different use-cases, and go into detail on Cross-vCenter NSX for multi-site solutions.

New Release : VMware NSX for Disaster Recovery : Day 1 Guide

VMware NSX for Disaster Recovery: Day 1 offers the knowledge and guidance for planning, designing, and implementing a disaster recovery architecture for your software-defined data center. VMware NSX Data Center simplifies the DR planning and testing that is required for a resilient infrastructure and drastically reduces the time it takes to recover from an event. It enables true workload portability between data centers, private clouds, or public clouds. NSX Data Center has helped enterprises recover from natural disasters and outages as well as simplified the mergers and acquisitions of organizations and their networks. Follow Brad on Twitter! or Follow Sean on Twitter

NSX GuidesBuilding VMware NSX Powered Clouds and Data Centers for Small and Medium Businesses details how the NSX Data Center platform will allow you to redesign your data center and build and run private clouds. NSX DC also serves as the integration point between the private and public clouds with offerings such as VMware Cloud on AWS. Shahzad Ali gives readers the tools and techniques required to transform legacy architecture into a software-defined cloud based architecture.

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation : Day 1 Guide 

NSX GuidesVMware NSX Micro-segmentation: Day 1 provides insights and recommendations proven to move an organization from a perimeter-centric security posture to a micro-segmented architecture with enhanced security and visibility. NSX DC enables granular firewalling and security policy enforcement for each workload, independent of network topology and complexity. Wade Holmes explains how to effectively plan, design, and implement a data center security strategy based around micro-segmentation.

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation: Day 2 Guide

NSX GuidesAs a follow-up to Wade’s Day 1 Guide, Geoff Wilmington published this day 2 operations guide. Geoff provides the knowledge needed to begin building scalable methodology and planning for the applications you are going to secure. With step-by-step processes for using tools and products including VMware Log Insight, Application Rule Manager, and vRealize Network Insight, you will be armed with practical information so that planning micro-segmentation for thousands of applications is no longer an overwhelming task.

Operationalizing VMware NSX
NSX GuidesOperationalizing VMware NSX offers insight into optimizing the ongoing operations of NSX DC. Kevin Lees covers both tactical optimizations – such as tooling for monitoring and troubleshooting, and strategic organization – including team structure, culture, roles, responsibilities, and skillsets. NSX has helped over a thousand organizations improve their software-defined data center by fundamentally changing the way they approach network and security architecture. You will find proven recommendations to enhance the way you organize and operate your environment, unlocking its full potential to provide the flexibility and agility your business requires.

NSX Guides
PowerNSX is a PowerShell module that abstracts VMware NSX for vSphere API to a set of easily used PowerShell functions. This Guide will teach you what PowerNSX is, as well as the flexibility and control that it brings. It will also provide an overview of PowerNSX architecture and functionality, then cover PowerNSX usage.
With contributions from fellow Aussies Dale Coghlan and Nick Bradford.

I will share the update information shortly. I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

What’s New in vRealize Operations 7.5?

VMware vRealize Operations 7.5, which will continue to refine the foundational “self-driving operations” vision established in the last two releases.

The vision of Self-Driving Operations is to automate and simplify operations management by delivering on four primary tenets:

Use Cases 

  • Intent-driven continuous performance optimization
  • Efficient capacity management
  • Intelligent remediation
  • (NEW!) Integrated compliance

Use Cases Unlocked by vRealize Operations 7.5

Self-driving operations has been the fundamental idea behind vRealize Operations for over a year now, and 7.5 is packed with new features and improvements that will continue to make your self-driving datacenter a reality. Additions and improvements in performance, capacity, remediation and compliance have made vRealize Operations 7.5 the version that unlocks some really powerful use cases for managing your private, hybrid-, or multi-cloud environment:

UPDATED: Private cloud operational efficiency
UPDATED: Hyper-converged infrastructure operations
UPDATED: Hybrid/multi-cloud operations
NEW! Application operations for packaged apps
NEW! Configuration and compliance

I will share the update information shortly. I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

VSAN ready node Advantages

Most of the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) requires computing resources that have been traditionally offloaded to dedicated storage arrays. Nearly all other HCI solutions require the deployment of storage virtual appliances to some or all hosts in the cluster. These appliances provide storage services to each host. Storage virtual appliances typically require dedicated CPU and/or memory to avoid resource contention with other virtual machines.

Running a storage virtual appliance on every host in the cluster reduces the overall amount of computing resources available to run regular virtual machine workloads. Consolidation ratios are the lower and total cost of ownership rises when these storage virtual appliances are present and competing for the same resources as regular virtual machine workloads.

Storage virtual appliances can also introduce additional latency, which negatively affects performance. This is due to the number of steps required to handle and replicate write operations as shown in the figure explained.

Storage Controller Virtual Appliance HCI solution : 

vSAN is Native in the vSphere Hypervisor

vSAN does not require the deployment of storage virtual appliances or the installation of a vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB) on every host in the cluster. vSAN is native in the vSphere hypervisor and typically consumes less than 10% of the computing resources on each host. vSAN does not compete with other virtual machines for resources and the I/O path is shorter. 

A shorter I/O path and the absence of resource-intensive storage virtual appliances enables vSAN to provide excellent performance with minimal overhead. Higher virtual machine consolidation ratios translate into lower total costs of ownership.

vSAN Cluster Types

vSAN Runs on standard x86 servers from more than 15 OEMs. Deployment options include over 500 vSAN ReadyNode choices, integrated systems such as Dell EMC VxRail or , Dell EMC VxRack SDDC systems, and build-your-own using validated hardware on the VMware Compatibility List. A great fit for large and small deployments with options ranging from a 2-node cluster for small implementations to multiple clusters each with as many as 64 nodes—all centrally managed by vCenter Server. 

vSAN support Standard Cluster with 3 nodes, 2 node cluster for remote office  and Stretched Cluster solution.

Standard Cluster

A standard vSAN cluster consists of a minimum of three physical nodes and can be scaled to 64 nodes.All the hosts in a standard cluster are commonly located at a single location and are well-connected on the same Layer-2 network. 10Gb network connections are required for all-flash configurations and highly recommended for hybrid configurations.

2 Node Cluster

A 2-node cluster consists of two physical nodes in the same location. These hosts are usually connected to the same network switch or are directly connected. Direct connections between hosts eliminate the need to procure and manage an expensive network switch for a 2-node cluster, which lowers costs especially in scenarios such as remote office deployments. While 10Gbps connections may be directly connected, 1Gbps connections will require a crossover cable.

A third “vSAN Witness Host” is required for a 2-node configuration to avoid “split-brain” issues when network connectivity is lost between the two physical nodes. We will discuss the vSAN Witness Host in more detail shortly

Stretched Cluster

A vSAN Stretched Cluster provides resiliency against the loss of an entire site. The hosts in a Stretched Cluster are distributed evenly across two sites. The two sites are well-connected from a network perspective with a round trip time (RTT) latency of no more than five milliseconds (5ms). A vSAN Witness Host is placed at a third site to avoid “split-brain” issues if connectivity is lost between the two Stretched Cluster sites. A vSAN Stretched Cluster may have a maximum of 30 hosts in the cluster and can be distributed proportionally or disproportionately. In cases where there is a need for more hosts across sites, additional vSAN Stretched Clusters may be used.

vSAN Witness Host

While not a cluster type, it is important to understand the use of a vSAN Witness Host in 2 Node and Stretched Cluster vSAN deployments. This “Witness” stores metadata commonly called “witness components” for vSAN objects. Virtual machine data such as virtual disks and virtual machine configuration files are not stored on the vSAN Witness Host. The purpose of the vSAN Witness Host is to serve as a “tie-breaker” in cases where sites are network isolated or disconnected.

A vSAN Witness Host may be a physical vSphere host, or a VMware provided virtual appliance, which can be easily deployed from an OVA. When using a physical host as a vSAN Witness Host, additional licensing is required, and the host must meet some general configuration requirements. When using a vSAN Witness Appliance as the vSAN Witness Host, it can easily reside on other/existing vSphere infrastructure, with no additional need for licensing.

When using 2 Node clusters for deployments such as remote office branch office (ROBO) locations, it is a common practice for vSAN Witness Appliances to reside at a primary datacenter. They may be run at the same ROBO site but would require additional infrastructure at the ROBO site.

vSAN Witness Hosts providing quorum for Stretched Clusters may only be located in a tertiary site that is independent of the Preferred and Secondary Stretched Cluster sites.

One vSAN Witness Host is required for each 2 Node or Stretched Cluster vSAN deployment. Bandwidth requirements to the vSAN Witness Host are determined by the number of vSAN components on a cluster. During failover scenarios, ownership of vSAN components must be moved to the surviving site over a five second (5s) window. The rule of thumb is 2Mbps for every 1000 vSAN components. Maximum latency requirements to/from the vSAN Witness Host depend on the number of hosts in the cluster. 2 Node configurations are allowed up to five hundred milliseconds (500ms) and Stretched Clusters are allowed two hundred milliseconds (200ms) or one hundred milliseconds (100ms) depending on the number of hosts in the Stretched Cluster.

Using the VMware provided vSAN Witness Appliance is generally recommended as a better option for the vSAN Witness Host than using a physical vSphere host. The utilization of a vSAN Witness Appliance is relatively low during normal operations. It is not until a failover process occurs that a vSAN Witness Host will have any significant utilization. Because of this, especially in large 2 Node deployments to ROBO sites, multiple vSAN Witness Appliances may be run on the same shared vSphere infrastructure. VMware supports running the vSAN Witness Appliance on any vSphere 5.5 or higher infrastructure, which can include a standalone ESXi host, a typical vSphere infrastructure, in OVH (the service formally known as vCloud Air), any vCloud Air Network Partner, or any Service Provider/Shared/Co-Location where vSphere is used.

When using a vSAN Witness Appliance, it is patched in the same fashion as any other ESXi host. It is the last host updated when performing 2 Node and Stretched Cluster upgrades and should not be backed up.

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

What is VMware vSAN ?

SAN is a storage solution from VMware, released as a beta version back in 2013, made generally available to the public in March 2014, and reached version 6.7 in October 2018. vSAN is fully integrated with vSphere. It is an object-based storage system and a platform for Virtual Machine Storage Policies that aims to simplify Virtual Machine storage placement decisions for vSphere administrators. It fully supports and is integrated with core vSphere features such as vSphere High Availability (HA), vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and vMotion.

VMware vSAN extends the hypervisor to pool and abstract server-based storage resources, much the way vSphere pools and abstracts compute resources. It is designed to be much simpler and more cost-effective than traditional external storage arrays. Users of vSphere should be able to learn vSAN and become productive quickly.

vSAN is fully integrated with vSphere, and supports almost all popular vSphere functionality: DRS, HA, vMotion and more. vSAN is also integrated with the vRealize suite.

Key points :
  • Software-defined storage, fully integrated with vSphere
  • Uses internal server components to create a shared storage pool across a single cluster
  • Uses storage policies to provide per-VM storage services
Technical characteristics:

  • Highly-resilient scale-out storage cluster, dynamically expandable and reconfigurable
  • Very resource efficient: more performance, more consolidation
  • Hybrid configurations use flash as cache, magnetic disks for capacity
  • All-flash configurations use flash for both cache and capacity
  • Scales to 62TB VMDKs, 64 nodes, 35 capacity devices per node, 200 VMs per node.
  • Up to 7m read-only 4K IOPS in a single 64-node clusters (that's a lot!)
I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Monday, January 21, 2019

VMware PKS 1.3 Now Generally Available with Azure Support

VMware PKS 1.3 Now Generally Available with Azure Support and Enhanced Networking, Security, and Management Features.

VMware PKS 1.3 adds rich features that enhance multi-cloud support, networking and security, management and operations. This release also includes support for Kubernetes 1.12.

VMware PKS 1.3 delivers a production-grade, enterprise-ready Kubernetes solution that offers expanded IaaS support, enhanced network and security functionality, and more efficient cluster management and operations. In addition, with the inclusion of Kubernetes 1.12, VMware PKS 1.3 brings an array of the latest stable Kubernetes features to developers.

Microsoft Azure Support

VMware PKS 1.3 introduces support for Microsoft Azure adding breadth to its currently supported IaaSes including VMware vSphere, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon EC2.

VMware PKS enables self-service provisioning of Kubernetes across multiple clouds with a common user interface. It also optimizes the Kubernetes clusters for the IaaS they are provisioned into – making workloads and operational tasks portable on any supported cloud while enabling enterprises with operational efficiencies around provisioning and day-2 operations.

Support for Kubernetes 1.12 and Other New Features

VMware PKS 1.3 supports Kubernetes 1.12 with the best and latest stable Kubernetes features. As an inherent part of the development flow of VMware PKS, we validate Kubernetes for enterprise readiness by confirming that it has fully passed all Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Kubernetes conformance tests. The conformance testing is designed to ensure workload compatibility and portability.

VMware PKS 1.3 clusters can also share volumes between containers within a single pod. Scenarios such as creating an application that accesses a database while another reads database metrics are now possible. Mount propagation in Kubernetes 1.12 allows similar private, rshared, and rslave Linux primitives between containers.

VMware PKS 1.3 lets you deploy NSX-T and other IaaS control plane elements such as VMware vCenter behind an authenticated HTTP proxy, thereby restricting access to the IaaS control plane to improve your security posture.

VMware PKS Hands-on Labs

HOL-1931-01-CNA - VMware Pivotal Container Service and Kubernetes - Getting Started

Covered Build, deploy, and manage container-based applications with Kubernetes running on VMware vSphere. Also learn how to operationalize production Kubernetes using VMware Pivotal Container Service.

you can find the new information about VMWare PKS 1.3

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Upgrading to VMware vSphere 6.7 eBook

VMware vSphere eBook Upgrading to VMware vSphere 6.7, authored by Nigel Hickey and David Stamen.

This is a free resource to assist customers upgrading to vSphere 6.7. The eBook further builds on the foundational guide Upgrading to VMware vSphere 6.5 by Emad Younis which has been widely adopted when preparing an upgrade to vSphere 6.5. 

Upgrading to VMware vSphere 6.7 eBook follows a 3 phase process to get you acquainted with how to plan and execute an upgrade to vSphere 6.7.

Phase 1: Pre-Upgrade – Information to use prior to upgrading. Links to resources that will assist in the planning of a successful upgrade.
Phase 2: Upgrade – Information on the correct process to upgrade and sample scenarios to guide you through the upgrade process.
Phase 3: Post-Upgrade – Information on day 2 operations once your upgrade is complete such as vCenter HA, Converge Tool and File-Based Backup and Restore.

We hope this resource will be able to assist you with successfully planning and executing a successful upgrade to vSphere 6.7. The eBook can be downloaded here.

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

vSphere Upgrade on vSphere Central

vSphere Central has always been a great resource to find content, but it has previously been grouped by product such as vCenter Server, Security, ESXi and Virtual Machine, and other categories.

When trying to share content on vSphere Upgrade it overlaps all of these categories. We have created a new consolidated vSphere Upgrade section that will walk you through your upgrade. We cover the following content.

Pre-Upgrade Considerations
Platform Services / vCenter Server Upgrade
ESXi Host Upgrade
VMware Tools and VM Compatibility Upgrade
VMFS Upgrade
Virtual Distributed Switch Upgrade
Post-Upgrade Considerations

You can find the new vSphere Upgrade section on vSphere Central here

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

NSX 9 free VMware NSX eBooks!

VMware Press NSX Guides are authored and technically reviewed by VMware subject-matter experts and cover networking and security essenti...