Tag Archives: vmworld2018

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vSAN Scalable File Services

One of the new developments that caught my eye at VMworld this year was the introduction of file services to the VMware vSAN software-defined storage platform. vSAN already offers VMDK storage to vSphere and the ability to host iSCSI volumes, but this feature will allow NFS and SMB file-shares to be hosted directly on the cluster without the need for a separate Windows Server or NFS provider.

What

Yanbing Lee and Duncan Epping discuss vSAN at VMworld Europe 2018

Yanbing Lee and Duncan Epping discuss vSAN at VMworld Europe 2018

vSAN Scalable File Services is a layer that sits on top of vSAN to provide SMB, NFS (and others in future) file shares. It’s comprised of a vSAN Distributed File System (vDFS) which provides the underlying scalable filesystem by aggregating vSAN objects, a Storage Services Platform which provides resilient file server end points, and a control plane for deployment and management.

File shares are created using the vCenter GUI or via API calls from an automation platform, and the demos at VMworld included all the functionality you’d expect with permissions, quotas and so on.

An interesting point is that all the file shares are integrated into the existing vSAN Storage Policy Based Management, and on a per-share basis. Therefore FTT, encryption,  thin provisioning, and so on can all be defined at a pretty granular level. So if only one of your file-shares has an encryption requirement that’s just a case of setting the policy in a drop down list, or likewise if a particular file-share must be configured to be site-failure resilient across a stretched cluster.

Why

Why would you want to do this? Well, a couple of use cases immediately sprang to mind. Firstly, the small office/ remote office/ branch office scenario. A company wants to host both virtual machines and file services in a compact environment- currently the choice would be to have a NAS plus compute hosts, or possibly go hyper-converged but run a VM within this serving the file data from a VMDK. vSAN file services simplifies this by providing that NFS/SMB provision from within the hypervisor- and this also means that all the benefits of resilience, deduplication, compression, and encryption can be provided to the file services.

The second case was for a SAN replacement- a traditional SAN is basically an expandable cluster of x86 servers loaded with disks running some file+disk management software. vSAN is the same thing, but can also run VM workloads. It would be an interesting price/feature comparison exercise to compare the two methodologies.

When

This offering is currently in Public Beta – details at the bottom of this article. NFS 4.1 with AD Authentication is expected at release, with SMB, OpenLDAP, vSAN Data Protection and other functionality to follow. Obviously this is all subject to change as VMware are still at the Beta stage, and a release date has not yet been confirmed.

Further Information

  • HCI3041BE – VMworld Europe 2018 session: Introducing Scalable File Storage on vSAN with Native File Services (Video and Slides)
  • HCI3728KE – VMworld Europe 2018 session:  Innovating Beyond HCI: How VMware is Driving the Next Data Center Revolution (Video)
  • www.vmware.com/go/vsan-beta – Sign up for the Beta. Phase 2 includes the ability to test vSAN File Services in your own lab environment.

VMworld Europe 2018

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VMworld 2018: Dev 4 The Ops Team

A recording of my VMworld 2018 talk, thanks to the vBrownbag team.

I believe every IT Ops person, SysAdmin, and vSphere administrator should do some coding, and this session will explain how to get started. This session will cover the core concepts required along with some PowerShell/ PowerCLI examples. The session is aimed at vSphere admins with little coding experience and they should come away understanding that coding isn’t something to be fearful of.

The additional resources mentioned at the end of the video can be found here: Devs4Ops Resources

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VMworld Europe 2018 Sunday

VMworld Europe 2018 officially started today (4th November) with registration opening this afternoon. The IT world has descended again upon Barcelona and you can’t go far in the airport or on the streets or metro without overhearing talk of virtualisation and VMware.

pyrreneesAfter flying in over the snow-capped Pyrenees (yay for November!) the Sunday offers a chance to get settled in, collect your conference badge, and find your bearings before the doors fully open tomorrow,

Delegates visiting the Fira Gran Via conference centre this afternoon got a glimpse of what is in store this week. The Hands on Labs area is adjacent to the main entrance in Hall 6.0 again, with the VMware Store opposite. Further down the hall are the VMTN, vCommunity, and {code} areas, and the VMware Education lounge. These areas are currently off limits to us regular delegates, but doors open bright and early tomorrow.

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After registering there’s the option to collect your VMworld 2018 bag or –in a new scheme this year- donate the equivalent money to a charity. And don’t worry if you can’t register today- the desks are open all week.

Top tips for registration:

  • Remember your passport (or other “Government issued ID”- you’ll need it to collect your badge.
  • Install the VMworld App (and login to it) before you get to the venue- this makes badge pickup really quick.
  • Swing by the information desk and ask for your complimentary 10-trip Metro ticket.

vRockstarSponsorsThe vCommunity is out in full force as usual and I’ve already caught up with several familiar faces. Tonight I’ll be attending the annual vRockstar gathering where I’ll be looking to meet up with even more friends from previous years and make some new ones too.

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VMworld Session Full- DON’T PANIC

If you’re planning your schedule for the upcoming VMworld Europe event, you’ll no doubt find that some sessions are at capacity. Don’t panic- there’s still options open for you.

1- Is the session being duplicated? Some sessions are available at multiple times- for example vSphere Clustering Deep Dive, Part 1: vSphere HA and DRS has a second showing added on Thursday morning.

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2- Turn up in advance of the session. If you arrive in plenty of time there is usually a wait queue outside the hall- this queue is for people who haven’t signed up in advance and the conference staff start to let these delegates in a few minutes before the session started. From personal experience the past few years at the Barcelona event I haven’t had a problem getting in by this route.

I’d suggest using the star-shaped “favourite” button in the Schedule Builder- this pops it in your calendar as a reminder.

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3- If you really can’t fit a session into your timetable, most sessions are recorded and you can catch up online after the event. The conference is only a few days long so a certain level of prioritisation is always required. I’d suggest considering which sessions you’re going to benefit the most from seeing live and having the opportunity to talk with your peers (and possibly the presenters themselves) about whilst at VMworld.

A couple more related points of note: The VMworld app is being launched tomorrow (23rd October 2018) which will allow you to work with your schedule on your phone, plus the “Agenda Export” feature of the Schedule Builder will be available from the 30th October which means you can export your timetable straight from the website to your calendar of choice.

Get planning! The event kicks off in less than two weeks- see you there.