From the editors Virtual Desk
I received my Cloud Foundry invite this week. I can’t tell you how excited I was and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was presenting vShield I would have spent the rest of the week on this. Luckily for me it is a long weekend and I have 5 days to play with this awesome new tech so stay tuned for next week when I give you some of my initial impressions of this technology.
As this is a long weekend there is less news than usual but I have still tried to give you a good view of what is going on in the industry.
For those of you that are interested VMware released it’s quarterly results and boy were they impressive. Of course I am biased being an employee of one of the coolest companies in the world but I am still shocked at how well w manage to perform as a company in what are still considered pretty interesting if not difficult times that we are still going through since the gfc, luckily I am not a financial analyst but just a humble techie so all I and most of my colleagues focus on is providing our customers with the best tech in the world.
I am leaving last week’s focus on Cloud Foundry in still as we focus on this amazing solution as it evolves.
Finally don’t forget to check out the ESX to ESXi section provided.
As most will be reading this after Easter I will still like to wish everyone a Happy Easter which is why I am sending this week’s newsletter a few days early.
Take care until next time
Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)
Understanding what Cloud Foundry is all about : CHOICE
Being an Open Platform as a Service is about having the ability to make the choices that best fit you as a developer:
Choice of Developer Frameworks (The Top of the Triangle)
Today (In the initial release) Cloud Foundry Supports Spring for Java, Rails andSinatra for Ruby, and Node.js. There is also support for Grails on Groovy and other JVM-based frameworks baked into Cloud Foundry. It is important to realize that this is only the beginning; there will be support for other frameworks (and languages) as Cloud Foundry matures.
Choice of Application Services (The Left Side of the Triangle)
Application Services allow Developers to take advantage of data, messaging, and web services as building blocks for their applications. Cloud Foundry currently offers support for MySQL, MongoDBand Redis with other service integrations underway. Examples of additional service integrations will include VMware’s vFabric application services.
Choice of Clouds (The Right Side of the Triangle)
Public, Private, VMware based and non-VMware based it up to the developer and organization as to where they want to run Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry can be run on Public and Private clouds because it can run on top of vSphere and vCloud Infrastructure. Cloud Foundry also runs on other platforms as RightScale demonstrated at the launch when they deployed Cloud Foundry on top of Amazon Web Services.
Choice of Usage (It’s Open Source)
Cloud Foundry’s code is open sourced at Cloud Foundry.org under the Apache 2 License making it easy for anyone to adopt and use the technology in virtually any way they want. This is one of the best ways to avoid the risk of lock-in and foster additional innovation.
It is Time to migrate from ESX to ESXi
ESXi is VMware’s next-generation bare metal hypervisor that delivers industry-leading performance and scalability while setting a new bar for reliability, security and management efficiency
VMware ESXi the thinnest, most advanced hypervisor architecture. It is the only hypervisor purpose-built for virtualization that runs independently from a general purpose operating system like Linux or Windows
By migrating existing ESX deployments to ESXi, customers will drastically improve the reliability, security and efficiency of their virtual environments while continuing to take advantage of the full power of vSphere
Improved Reliability and Security – with fewer lines of code and independence from general purpose OS, ESXi drastically reduces the risk of bugs or security vulnerabilities and makes it easier to secure your hypervisor layer
Streamlined Deployment and Configuration - ESXi has far fewer configuration items than ESX, greatly simplifying deployment and configuration and making it easier to maintain consistency.
Higher Management Efficiency - The API-based partner integration model of ESXi eliminates the need to install and manage third party management agents. You can automate routine tasks by leveraging remote command line scripting environments such as vCLI or PowerCLI.
Simplified Hypervisor Patching and Updating - Due to its smaller size and fewer components, ESXi requires far fewer patches than ESX, shortening service windows and reducing security vulnerabilities.
Complete set of management capabilities – With vSphere 4.1, VMware added significant enhancements to ESXi and the core tools used to manage it. Most notably: AD integration, support offor scripted and PXE installations, support for boot from SAN, Tech Support Mode for host troubleshooting and diagnostic and many others. These features make ESXi an even more complete, robust and powerful foundation for virtual environments and cloud computing
Great news for all VMware customers: the VMware Education Services team has just made available a new, FREE elearning course dedicated to ESXi , “Transition to ESXi Essentials”. The course is a self-paced three-hour online training that provides the knowledge necessary to make fundamental design decisions to successfully add VMware ESXi to a vSphere environment and to take advantage of all of the new features included in ESXi 4.1. The training is ideal for system administrators, consultants and engineers responsible for managing and supporting a vSphere environment.
But it doesn’t end here! By completing the Transition to ESXi Essentials course and the short survey that follows at the end, you will also receive a FREE ebook copy of “VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security” authored by Dave Mishchenko and edited by VMware technical experts. Dave’s book is truly a phenomenal resource for all VMware users to learn everything there is to know about ESXi. While the Transition to ESXi Essentials course will remain available for free in the VMware Education Services portal, we’ll be able to also offer Dave’s book for free only while supplies last. So, hurry up, complete the training and turn in your survey as soon as possible!
For those of you who want to get a more direct hands-on experience on ESXi, VMware Education Services continues to offer an in-depth instructor-led two day course (in this case for a fee). Here is the link to class schedule and registration.
As you all know very well by now, 4.1 is the last release for ESX. Future releases of vSphere – starting with the next one – will only be based on the ESXi hypervisor architecture. Needless to say, now is the time to ramp up your expertise about ESXi and how to take advantage of its unique capabilities. The training options discussed above are just a couple of the several resources you can leverage to learn about ESXi. Others that are strongly recommended to help you become the ultimate ESXi expert are:
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VMware vSphere page on Facebook
Latest news and reviews
Check the compliance of your IT infrastructure against specific standards and best practices that are applicable for the environment. The Compliance Checker is a free, downloadable, fully-functional product for checking compliance of your environment to help you ensure that it remains secure and compliant.
VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere lets you:
• Check compliance for multiple VMware ESX and ESXi servers concurrently - Run compliance check on up to 5 ESX or ESXi servers at a time and produce reports.
Yes you can of course use UDA or EDA but in my environments that is not an option. I was scavenging the internet to find an article that explained how to build your own UDA/EDA appliance and found something very close to home. This article was written by Tom Arentsen who is a freelance consultant in the Benelux region. Coiincidentally I have worked with him on several projects and I knew he was one smart cookie.
Tom created a solution that uses the Microsoft Windows Deployment Service. Through a simple host list he pulls down the correct bits and pieces needed to install and configure the host. This is probably the missing link some of you were looking for. I have had this question multiple times in the past and figured I would have to document it at some point. I am glad Tom already did this as it saves me and many others a lot of work.
DBAs are being challenged to provide 24x7 database services to application owners with the flexibility and autonomy they expect while keeping the infrastructure as simple and economical as possible. Traditional databases running on fixed physical hardware are often over-sized, under-utilized, protected by complex, expensive clustering solutions, and require rigorous processes for version control and continued application compatibility. Meanwhile, organizations are increasingly virtualizing their enterprise applications in production and with a robust platform like VMware, mission-critical databases are no exception.
If knowledge is power, then knowing the capabilities of the underlying intelligent virtual infrastructure is certainly powerful for the DBA. Experienced Database Administrators (DBAs) recognize that virtualization unlocks capabilities that were impossible in physical environments.
Most importantly, the value of virtualization goes far beyond basic consolidation. Virtualizing database applications on vSphere can improve application Quality of Services (QoS), and accelerate application lifecycles while significantly reducing application costs. In this brand newDBA Guide to Databases on VMware, we discuss database performance on VMware, examine the general tasks for DBAs, and introduce VMware technologies and tools that assist DBAs in design, implement, test, operate, and maintain databases in a virtual environment.
The following topics are covered in detail in this guide:
DBA's roles and responsibilities
Understanding VMware performance
Design, Develop and Test databases on VMware
Migrating existing databases to VMware
Securing and running databases on VMware
Monitor and Troubleshoot database performance
Frequently asked questions from SQL and Oracle DBA's
By David Elliott, Technical Director at StratoGen
Last week I had an interesting meeting with a software development company looking to move their products to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. It’s a common scenario these days and one which lends itself very well to VMware and in particular the vCloud Director cloud hosting platform.
One of the features they loved was the vCloud API which gives them the ability to deploy pre-configured virtual machines from a ‘master template’ on the fly.
I just wanted to point to this article on the ESXi Chronicles blog about a free training and free book on ESXi. I actually wrote an article about the book a while back and it is most definitely worth the effort of doing the training and survey!
This post is going to deep-dive into vSphere’s vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) Changed Block Tracking on restore – something not yet widely used (though when you see the results, you’ll likely agree that over time, everyone is going to need to leverage it).
The context? Today – Avamar 6.0 was released. It’s a huge release. HUGE. The core value proposition is amped up – save more, backup and restore faster, flexible restore (in place, with the industries best VMware integration when it comes to backup – and still no agent or client-based cost.
Episode 4 is up! Guest appearances, great EMC/VMware/Cisco partners – demonstration of new products, and sneak peak at products around the corner… Filled with goodness (and lots of stupid stunts) like always!
The new product is EMC Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) Provisioning Center v2.1. There’s a ton of new stuff, but the biggies are full Vblock family support, vCenter integration (with a single click – everything to provision a vSphere clsuter is done and you’re ready to go in vCenter).
The “sneak peek” is of something we’ll be doing very soon – which is UIM Operations Center. It’s a cool, cool idea. (and if you look back at VMworld 2009 at this link, you can see it’s something we’ve been working on for a while).
This announcement post is a guest contribution by the developers of the Neo4j team that worked closely with SpringSource's Spring Data team to provide the Spring Data Graph integration library. For a friendly introduction to Spring Data Graph we’re hosting a free webinar with VMware presented by Neo Technology’s CEO Emil Eifrem on April 20 [...]
In my previous post, I showed you how easy it is to deploy a Grails application to Cloud Foundry using the corresponding plugin. Hopefully that whetted your appetite and you are ready to look at a more complex Grails application that demonstrates the power of the GORM plugins and stretches the Cloud Foundry services. If [...]
This one isn’t so much a long winded explanation post as the last one. Rather this one highlights the usefulness of vCenter Orchestrator and it’s built in workflows for facilitating the mass migration of virtual resources.
This guy comes in… and if you’ve seen the movie, you’re hearing it in his voice too:
“Ummm, we’re going to need you to come in on Saturday. We’ve recently had to let go of some folks so we’re all putting in some extra effort to get migrated into our new vSphere cluster and awesome array from $vendor… mmm kay?”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trying to work on that whole work/life balance thing, and well, this is not going to fly. Not at all.
With all due respect to the PowerCLI folks, I know it can be done there and is highlighted as one of the many, many wonderful things you can put together using the “VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference”. In fact, it may be the subject of a future post. vCO however makes this point and click simple… as you’ll see.
vCenter Orchestrator to the Rescue
I have taken a long hiatus from blogging of late and am jumping back into the fold with a simple but important addition to the blogosphere. A few weeks ago Chad Sakac announced a new videoshowing the awesome vCenter plugin, the Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI). In this case the VSI was being used to demonstrate the capabilities of EMC’s new VNX array.
Last Friday I attended a seminar hosted by Arista Networks and XTG in Gouda where Frederik Vos delivered a real cool demo of the vEOS virtual appliance which is available for free at Artista’s website.
VMware Labs present its latest fling, the Ruby vSphere Console - RVC is an open source project. Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is a console UI for vSphere, built on the RbVmomi bindings to the vSphere API. RVC is a console UI for VMware ESX and vCenter. The vSphere object graph is presented as a virtual filesystem, allowing you to navigate and run commands against managed entities using familiar shell syntax.
VMware Certified Associate 4, Desktop Exam LIVE. No pre-reqs, but skills required. Get certified! VMware offers world-class Desktop certifications designed to validate and recognize individuals with the technical capabilities and real-world experience needed to increase efficiency, reliability, and availability when delivering desktops from the datacenter as a managed service.
How far can you go when creating the perfect base image for your VDI deployment? I haven’t stopped searching for the Holy Grail, however I have recently figured out that a very critical step in the base image creation was missing, forgotten or had not been discussed yet or enough.
However, before I give you the cooking recipe let’s dig into the semantics of the problem.
During tests with the Linked Cloning technology on VMware View 4.6 (although the example below applies to any version) I noticed that the Replica disks and Linked Clones were using more storage space than they should, or had been provisioned with.
This post covers the Cloud Foundry vmc CLI interface and how it interacts with Cloud Foundry. There will be another post covering what Cloud Foundry does on the back-end when clients (such as vmc or STS) connect to it coming soon.
Targeting Cloud Foundry
Step 1 : vmc target api.cloudfoundry.com
When you first install vmc and are ready to start controlling Cloud Foundry, you will need to first select it as a target. Why do you need to select api.cloudfoundry.com ? Because vmc is capable of connecting to any Cloud Foundry instance whether it be at cloudfoundry.com or elsewhere. Selecting a target also allows you to use the same CLI to interface with multiple Cloud Foundry Clouds in the same way.
You are probably wondering about how Cloud Foundry actually works, hopefully these details will clear things up for you about how Cloud Foundry the OSS project works, why it works, and how you can use it.
VMware Data Recovery