What is vSAN?
This is a first post in a series on vSAN, VMware’s software-defined-storage offering. vSAN uses disks within the ESXi hosts to create a resilient scalable shared storage platform for the virtual infrastructure providing many of the features of SAN/NAS shared storage without the need for additional hardware. There are also operational, performance, and scaling benefits associated with integrating the storage into the hypervisor’s control.
Unlike some other software-defined-storage solutions, vSAN is not a separate appliance but instead is baked into the ESXi hypervisor. In fact there is no separate install; installation (which I’ll cover in a future post) is simply a case of applying a license and configuring the cluster through vCenter.
vSAN dates back to 2013, with a General-Availability launch in March 2014 (the first was version 5.5 which was part of ESXi 5.5U1) and has evolved to the current version- v6.6 at the point this post was written.
This post contains resources to accompany my Devs4Ops talk from the January 2018 London VMUG. It’s a list of links to things I mentioned (or intended to mention but forgot to) in the presentation.
Examples of Coding in Action
Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ends in January 2020– just two years from the date of this post. Four years ago I put up a script to find XP and 2003 VMs, and I’ve modified this to search a vSphere environment for powered on VMs running Server 2008 as a Guest OS:
.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn" -and
.Guest -like "*Server 2008*")} |
MyVM1 Microsoft Windows Server 2008
MyVM2 Microsoft Windows Server 2008
MyVM3 Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-
MyVM4 Microsoft Windows Server 2008
When setting up a new vRealize Operations 6.6 environment (using the vRealize Operations Manager Initial Setup wizard) the password is not accepted despite apparently meeting the complexity requirements.
The criteria stated are that passwords must:
- Be at least eight characters long
- Be different from your username
- Contain lowercase, uppercase, numeric, and non-alphanumeric characters
It appears that full stop and question mark do not count as the “non-alphanumeric” characters required.
Choose another password which includes a different, acceptable, non-alphanumeric character such as the exclamation mark.
This evening I was amongst a group of vExperts attending a webinar briefing from Runecast. The company is relatively new on the scene at only a couple of years old, but the product has created a stir in the VMware community. In this briefing CEO Stanimir Markov gave an overview of the product before Senior Engineer Ivaylo Ivanov dived into a walkthrough of the vRealize Operations integration they have developed.
Runecast Analyzer is a platform which takes the VMware knowledge base,along with some expertise, best practises, and regulations (for example the DISA STIGs used by US Federal Agencies) and runs an analysis to determine which of these advisories or best practises apply to the target virtual infrastructure. This produces a report of findings – perhaps there’s a missing patch, or a configuration issue which has been flagged as a potential trouble-spot – which exposes existing issues and enables the admin to keep their infrastructure running smoother. Runecast also scour social media, blog articles, and online forums to pick up on potential issues sometimes before they have been officially recognised by VMware and made it into the Knowledge Base.