Here’s my five highlights (each) of some of the sessions I attended today (Tuesday) at VMworld Europe. Full videos of most of the sessions will be online shortly, but this is a taster.
- VMworld is not just about VMware, it’s an Industry-wide event
- Yesterday’s Dell EMC announcement does not mean a lot of changes for VMware, and they “Will continue to partner with the vast ecosystem”
- The Unified Hybrid Cloud was a theme that cut through all the speakers, the ability to migrate live VMs from on-premises to off-premises (and not just vCloud Air, even Microsoft Azure) and view all the clouds as a big collection of resources for your applications. Applications have ubiquitous access to the environment.
- Integrating container based development into the VMware ecosystem through Photon OS and the Photon Platform- without disrupting how the Devs work.
- Build out a Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC), for example by using EVO-RACK designs and then it can be carved up into private cloud instances, optimised “Workload Domains”- for example for VDI, IaaS etc.
STO4572 Conducting a Successful Virtual SAN Proof of Concept
- Test. Test. Test. When you get your POC up and running, pull cables, pull disks (and wait 61 minutes), make sure the system is right. Check 1 thing at a time though.
- It’s recommended that you have a minimum of three uniformly configured hosts, but four is better- with 3 the maximum tolerated failure is 1 server, so if a host is lost or down for maintenance the whole system enters a risk state.
- Use the Health Check tools that come included with vSphere 6 Update 1, and use the proactive tests before going into production.
- Make sure you’ve worked out your procedures, what to do when a disk fails, what to do when the system needs scaling etc
- If you have an existing infrastructure to migrate, use the design and sizing planning tool to analyse it and get a recommendation on VSAN design and size.
STO5877 What’s new in Virtual SAN
- As of 6.1, released a month ago at VMworld US, you can have a 2-node cluster for Remote Office/Branch Office situations
- Two types, hybrid (SSD+HDD) and All Flash. In Hybrid the writes go to the SSD caching tier, simultaneously to multiple nodes and cold data is offboarded to the capacity tier. In All Flash, reads go direct to the capacity tier.
- You can do it on a 1GB network, but 10GB is better
- VSAN is great for VDI solutions as you can predictably scale based on the user count.
- Stretched cluster allows for an active-active pair of sites up to 100km apart (<5ms latency and >10Gbps required)
NET5541 Introduction to VMware NSX
- Network Virtualisation is key to the SDDC Approach
- The physical network hardware doesn’t go away, but it does become a resource that NSX sits on top of and consumes
- The security and network configuration of a VM- the firewall, VLAN, load balancing etc stays with the VM, even when it is migrated between physical hosts
- Network packets are encapsulated before being transmitted across the physical network.
- It’s possible to spin up an entire dev/test network using the same IP addresses as production without the two conflicting with each other.
Here’s my five highlights (each) of some of the sessions I attended on the Wednesday at VMworld Europe 2015. Full videos of most of the sessions will be online shortly, but this is a taster. There was so much info that I struggled to get it down to five points, so I’d definitely recommend watching the replay if you have time and anything here perks your interest.
- There’s a growing push to achieve both Consumer Simplicity and Enterprise Security
- VMware is now the leader in the VDI space according to IDC
- NSX provides the ability for every individual VM to be firewalled, isolated, and segmented
- Today a third of web traffic is from mobile devices and by the end of the decade half the planet will have a persistent internet connection.
- Innovate like a startup, deliver like an enterprise – Pat Gelsinger, CEO VMware
Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEO, VMworld Europe 2015
STO5571 What’s New In Virtual Volumes
- Virtual Volumes look to address 3 Challenges in Storage- Silo’s, Rigid Infrastructure, and Complex Provisioning Processes.
- Volumes are provisioned on a per-VM basis based on a Storage Policy, no manual LUN creation and no shared datastores.
- This is included in vSphere, no additional licensing cost.
- Uses traditional storage (e.g. iSCSI) and talks directly to the storage. Virtual Disks are represented natively on the array.
- Benefits include speed (per VM performance), cost and capacity (no LUN overhead, less overprovisioning).
What’s New In Virtual Volumes
OPT5361 Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the SDDC
- To become a proper Service Provider, IT needs to be able to offer SLA’s
- A common problem seen in IT is operational practices are lacking, incomplete, or based on legacy IT.
- Transformation should not be just from the technology perspective, but SDDC can be the enabler.
- Sequential Processes need to become iterative. Start with something small that works and build on it.
- Individual Work-streams should be integrated- silo’d IT must become collaborative to succeed.
VMworld Europe Entrance
EUC4517 VMware Workspace Environment Management
- This is all about enabling Business Mobility with Horizon Desktop, Airwatch Mobile, and Identity Manager
- Provision apps via Remote Desktop Services, Virtual Desktops, or Packaged ThinApps
- On a single desktop the experience can be unique for each user based on login, not just in the background and profile but also in the available applications
- Users can be given a writable volume, enabling them to install their own apps without infringing on other users of the service.
- Use contextual policies to give a different user experience not just on credentials but also based on things like the client OS, location, client IP range etc.
INF5211 Automating Everything with PowerCLI Deep Dive
- PowerCLI 6.0 R2 is now released with over 500 cmdlets, but support back to ESX 5.0U3
- “The best script you’ll ever write is one you’ve stolen”- don’t reinvent the wheel if there is already code you can use or build on out there on the web.
- New cmdlets include Get-VMHostHardware and Get-VMHostPCIDevice – great for getting a fuller report on the state of your infrastructure
- Integration now in place for vCloud AIR, vRealize OpManager and VASA/NFS/VAIO storage
- Check out the websites of the speakers Alan Renouf, Luc Dekens, and the PowerCLI blog for more info
INF5211 session at VMworld
And to wrap up the daily summaries, here’s my top-five takeaways from the sessions I attended on the Thursday of VMworld Europe 2015. As with the other days, there’s a lot, lot more to all of these sessions so if anything here looks interesting I’d recommend looking up the session recordings.
EUC5052 Beyond the Marketing: Horizon 6 Technical Deep Dive
- Horizon 6.2 is now out, and for a dot-release this has a lot of new features
- Use View Composer to provision VMs with linked clones. This uses less disk space, which is very important when working with premium SSDs
- Hosted RDS applications can now be 3D accelerated as well as the Horizon VDI desktops.
- There’s now 4K multi-monitor support for Windows 7 Virtual Desktops (with Aero disabled)
- Check out the VMware End-User Computing YouTube Channel.
A really nice picture of a Yak.
STO4820 Virtual SAN Hardware Guidance and Sizing
- In the 18 months since VSAN version 1 went GA it has accumulated over 2000 customers.
- VSAN Ready Nodes are pre-validated, certified OEM platforms with vSphere and Virtual SAN. They can be dropped into your environment giving predictable performance and scale.
- EVO-Rail is still there though, providing the less flexible “appliance” route to hyperconvergence.
- Some Ready Nodes are available preconfigured with FIPS compliant encryption or self-encrypting drives.
- A Virtual SAN assessment tool is available (although it seems to be for sales and partners only?) which runs for 7 days on an existing workload and predicts what the VSAN should look like. It answers the question How cache friendly is my workload?
STO5022 vSphere Replication
- vSphere Replication is per-VM Hypervisor based replication with potential for data protection and data recovery tasks.
- It’s FREE. (Included with Essentials Plus and higher SKUs).
- Now offers end-to-end Network compression to reduce bandwidth requirements.
- New to the latest version is Linux File-system quiescing (previously only available on Windows VMs).
- Best Practise Tip- set the RPO as high as possible. Whilst you can wind it down to 5 minutes (on VSAN platforms, otherwise 15 minutes) if this isn’t necessary in the environment make it longer. Just because you can doesn’t mean you necessarily should.
INF5803 Deploy Hundreds on VMs Instantly via Forking
- The big use case for this is VDI- desktops can be provisioned using a Just-In-Time model rather than setting up hundreds in advance.
- It works using an Instant Clone- copy instantly and bring up fast. The disk and memory of the “parent” are shared by the Child VMs
- Because the memory is shared, when the child is Powered-On it comes up really fast, it’s already booted in the Parent before the snapshot.
- There’s a Fling to enable PowerCLI control over this
- I think the term “forking” was only chosen so lots of Forking jokes could be made.
Deploy Hundreds of VMs Instantly via Forking
And with that, it’s Adios Barcelona, I’m no longer a New-V.