April 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Quite a few VMware solutions are affected by the OpenSSL security vulnerabilities
VMware has now updates available for those solutions.
See links here.
A roadmap for server virtualization, desktop virtualization and cloud computing by a virtualization evangelist
April 18, 2014 Leave a comment
Microsoft Azure introduces in the next months a new option for customers to have their data highly available. Zone Redundant Storage is a mix of two currently available options for data redundancy: it replicates data to other datacenters but is limited to three copies.
Currently Microsoft Azure (the cloud service formerly known as Windows Azure) offers customers two choices for keeping data highly available.
1. Locally redundant storage (LRS). Data is stored as three different copies inside the same facility. A facility is a physical datacenter in a single region. Data is replicated synchronously
2. Geo redundant storage (GRS). This is the default option when creating an Azure Storage Account. Data is stored as three different copies inside the same, primary datacenter (like LRS). Additionally, three copies of the data are also stored in a secondary datacenter located in another region. So in total data is stored six times. Replication to the secondary location is performed asynchronously. Distance between the two regions is a couple of hundred miles. In some cases the replicated data is stored in a different county. (Amsterdam-Dublin,Singapore-Hong Kong, Brasil- San Antonio, Texas)
The main purpose for replication is disaster recovery. In case a facility has a technical issue or is unavailable (fire, flooding etc), a copy of the data is available in another region. Mind that this replication is mainly an issurance for Microsoft to meet the SLA. Microsoft staff will decide to failover to the replicated data in case of issues. Customers cannot initiate a failover.
Since the first week of April 2014 Read Access Geo Redundant Storage (RA-GRS) is general available. RA-GRS allows customers to have read access to the data stored in the secondary region. Writes are not possible to this secondary region.
A new, third option for data availability named Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) will become available in the coming months. It allows data to be replicated to a secondary datacenter/facility located in the same region or to a paired region. Instead of storing 6 copies of data like GRS does, 3 copies of data are stored. So ZRS is a mix of LRS and GRS. Three copies but stored in different datacenters/facilities. I am not sure if all Azure regions have more than one datacenter. If not, the data will replicated to another region.
ZRS will be priced 37.5% lower than GRS as it becomes available.
April 18, 2014 Leave a comment
VMware Converter is a software tool used for creation of VMware virtual machines from sources like physical servers, other vendor virtual machines or disk images. It is a free to use tool.
The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.1 is an update release that fixes important issues and adds the following new features:
Release notes are here
April 17, 2014 Leave a comment
<update>VMware released KB2076392 ‘Frequent NFS APDs after upgrading ESXi to 5.5 U1 (2076392)‘
On Twitter Nick Howell, a NetApp employee , warns VMware vSphere 5.5 customers not to upgrade to ESXi 5.5 Update 1. Because of a vSphere issue NFS disconnects are likely to happen.
This issue seems to occur with any NFS storage vendor, not just NetApp.
For NetApp customers the issue seems to occur when using Data ONTAP 8.0 7-Mode. Netapp is investigating if this isuse occors on cDOT as well.
According to Nick Howell, vSphere 5.5 Update 1 is not yet added to the NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool which is a web-based utility. It enables you to search for information about the configurations for NetApp products that work with third-party products and components that meet the standards and requirements specified by NetApp.
Nothing more is known at the moment which can be shared externally. VMware and NetApp are aware of the issue.
VMware published a Knowledgebase article on this issue. The workaround is to use vSphere 5.5 GA
The error related to vSphere 5.5 Update 1 NFS shown in vCenter Server could be:
Device or filesystem with identifier <xxx> has entered the All Paths Down state.
The error is shown here.
Other bloggers reported as well on this issue.
Michael Webster: Heads Up Alert: vSphere 5.5 U1 NFS Random Disconnection Bug!
Nick Howell (who posted this alert first on Twitter) NFS Disconnects in VMware vSphere 5.5 U1
Duncan Epping Alert: vSphere 5.5 U1 and NFS issue!
some issues reported on Twitter
April 10, 2014 Leave a comment
At an online webinar attended by 20.000+ viewers VMware announced at April 9 VMware Horizon 6. Horizon 6 will support hybrid cloud and VMware VSAN. The most exciting new feature which caused a lot of buzz in the blogosphere is support for published applications/remote apps.
Until now Horizon, specificaly the View software was limited to present full blown virtual desktops to end users. Each virtual desktop was running as a virtual machine (VDI). Presenting a full desktop is not ideal for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Endusers are interested in using apps and much less in a desktop for holding shortcuts to apps and documents which takes up their complete screen.
Both Citrix (using XenApp published applications and also using XenDesktop) as well as Microsoft (using Remote Desktop Session Host RemoteApp technology) are able to present just a single or set of applications instead of a desktop. Citrix is using ICA/HDX and Microsoft RDP/RemoteFX protocol to present the display and handle input and devices.
With Horizon 6 VMware offers support for seamless applications using either VMware Blast or PCoIP protocol.PCoIP is at GA an official protocol provider available for Microsoft RDSH. VMware and Microsoft worked closely together to enable VMware as a third protocol provider.
The VMware Horizon View client is at GA able to support View VDI, RDSH desktops and RDSH RemoteApps. Microsoft RDSH servers combined with VMware Horizon 6 is enough to publish applications to a broad set of clients. Supported client operating systems are Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.A client for Linux will also be available soon.
While XenApp will have the most features for some time to go, and has good integration with appliances like Citrix NetScaler, Horizon 6 will be good enough for many scenario’s.
Horizon 6 will be available in three editions:
Horizon 6 will be general available in Q2 2014 and is licensed per named user or per concurrent user with prices starting at $250.
This is a nice 10 minutes technical overview video.
The VMware Press Release
Introducing Horizon 6 by Kit Colbert
April 9, 2014 Leave a comment
Veeam anounced one of the new features of the to be released Backup & Replication v8.
Version 8 will support NetApp storage snapshots.
With this feature Veeam extends its support for storage based snapshots. Veeam already supports HP storage snapshots using Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots. It lets you restore VMware VM data directly from native and HP StoreServ (3PAR), HP StoreVirtual (LeftHand) and HP StoreVirtual VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) snapshots.
Combining NetApp snapshots with Veeam B&R is combining the best of two worlds.
NetApp ONTAP which is the operating system of the storage offers several ways to protect data at the storage layer:
Advantage of combining Veeam B&R and NetApp snapshots
Veeam Backup & Replication will be able to directly acces the ONTAP Snapshot data and make a backup of the data included in the snapshot. Backup of virtual machines running on NetApp is a two step process now.
The advantage of an ONTAP storage snapshot is that is does not have a negative effect on the performance of virtual machines. When VMware based snapshots are used instead, there can be an impact on performance when snapshots are deleted when the backup has finished. Read about the impact on performance when using VMware snapshots here.
The reason to use Veeam B&R for backup of the NetApp snapshot is that you want your backup data to be stored on a different physical storage device. Snapshots are not backups! If your NetApp is lost (technical errors, fire) your snapshots (if not mirrored using SnapMirror) are lost as well.
Restoring data from NetApp snapshots is a bit complicated and time consuming process. When using Veeam B&R however restore is very simple and fast. Veeam is able to restore virtual machines, individual guest files but also Exchange and SharePoint items directly from ONTAP Snapshot, SnapMirror or SnapVault as a source. It is also possible to run a virtual machine from a snapshot using the Veeam Instant VM Recovery technology. There is no need for copying data from backup source to production volume. This enables a very low Recovery Time Objective.
You can learn more here http://go.veeam.com/v8-netapp.html or read Luca Dell’Oca’s post http://www.veeam.com/blog/veeam-to-offer-advanced-data-protection-with-netapp.html
There is a webinar on April 17th http://www.veeam.com/videos/veeam-netapp-integration-3999.html
Veeam Backup & Replication v8 is expected to be available in second half of 2014.
April 7, 2014 Leave a comment
After installation of Windows Server 2012 R2 Update KB2919355, backups of Hyper-V VM’s fail. The error is
Error: Client error: The system cannot find the file specified
This error is not caused by the backup software nor the storage used. It is a bug in the Microsoft update. Veeam is curently working on a workaround which is expected to be released this Tuesday.
So be carefull installing this Microsoft update.
More info on the Veeam forum.
March 17, 2014 Leave a comment
Veeam just released a beta version of Veeam Explorer for Active Directory. This nice piece of software allows a simple restore of Active Directory objects without having to restore a complete Active Directory server. Just do a file level recovery of a domain controller. The guest filesystem will be mounted locally on the backup server to C:\veeamflr folder. After that, browse into that folder with Explorer for Active Directory and open ntds.dit . Use the Explorer for Active Directory to restore objects directly into the operational AD. It is also possible to export to a LDIF file.
Supported are Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012. When restoring objects of a Windows Server 2012 domain controller make sure Veeam Explorer for Active Directory is installed on the same version OS (2012) or on Windows 8.
The info below was taken from the Veeam forum:
VEAD supports search and restore of all AD objects types, including users, groups, computer accounts and contacts. It can restore individual object’s attributes, the entire objects, and even the whole organizational units (along with the hierarchy). Of course, the deleted objects do not have to be present in the Recycle Bin, as we will obtain all the data from backup where the objects are still present in AD. More importantly, unlike many other Active Directory recovery solutions, we do not require that the tombstone of the deleted object is still present in AD. VEAD is also fully Microsoft Exchange aware, so when restoring the user account, we will restore all Exchange-related attributes and reconnect the mailbox. As you will see, this is a very comprehensive solution.
But, there is one more thing. VEAD also has the unique ability to recover passwords! Imagine accidentally deleting the entire OU with all your users. Without this feature, each user will be prompted to set the new password upon first logon, which is very disruptive and insecure. But this feature will come even more handy if you lose an OU with computer accounts! If you simply restore those back, computers will not be able to logon to the domain because of computer account password mismatch. Now, just imagine the nightmare of going to each computer, switching it into workgroup, and then joining it back into the domain… hundreds of times! This is when you will really appreciate this feature.
The beta can be downloaded here. (requires B&R 7.0)
Andrea Mauro of vinfrastructure.it wrote a great post about Veeam Explorer for Active Directory
March 16, 2014 Leave a comment
The first NLVMUG event was a big succes. Over 600 attendees enjoyed the keynote, many breakout sessions and the different vendor booths.
Recordings of the sessions are now available on YouTube. All but one sessions are in Dutch language. The presentations can also be seen via the NLVMUG YouTube channel.
sessie 1 verschillen en de overeenkomsten in de EUC van Citrix en VMware
sessie 2 Converged Infrastructure and Software-Defined Storage
sessie 3 vCAC 6.0 Unleased
sessie 4 Trend Micro Enhancing Software Defined Datacenter
sessie 11 Nutanix VDI Design for Hyper-Converged Infrastructures (english session)
Some of the presentations are available for download here. You will need a free VMUG.com account to access these files.
• Presentatie Datacenter prestaties in schoenendoos formaat
• Presentatie Flash Based Datacenters VDI and VSAN with Fusion-io
• Presentatie Drink Your Own Champagne Workspace implementation at VMware
• Presentatie VMware NSX overview – VMware
• Presentatie De verschillen en de overeenkomsten in de End User Computing van Citrix en VMware
• Presentatie Enhancing the Software Defined Datacenter – Trend Micro
• Presentatie Virtual Backup met VMware en EMC Erik Zandboer
• Presentatie Converged Infrastructure and Software-Defined Storage
• Presentatie Two of a Kind: Virtualization-safe Active Directory & DC Cloning
• Presentatie Transforming your Datacenter with Nimble Storage – Nimble Storage
March 13, 2014 Leave a comment
Enter to win a trip for 2 around the world and other exciting prizes from Veeam.Predict the location of Veeam’s 100,000th customer on the interactive map to win this trip. Or, predict the location of Veeam customers 99.994 to 99.999 to win other exciting prizes, including iPad, Google Glass or Microsoft Surface Pro.
To participate, visitors need to register and predict the location of Veeam’s 100,000th customer on the interactive map. The closer you are to the right spot, the better chance you have to win the trip around the world and other prizes.
Currently Veeam has a live pre-registration page. The main contest will start next week.
Guess the location here: http://world.veeam.com/
For more information: http://world.veeam.com/veeam_tc_2014.pdf
VMware released PowerCLI 5.5 R2. This release allows more troubleshooting, reporting and automation of vCloud Suite products by introducing easy access to vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) APIs through the core PowerCLI cmdlets.
The release notes are here
VMware blog with more info om new features here.
This release of vSphere PowerCLI introduces a number of new capabilities and expands on the existing cmdlets introducing cmdlets for vCenter Site Recovery Manager and providing further management of the VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Director products.
vSphere PowerCLI 5.5 Release 2 introduces the following new features and improvements:
VMotionPriorityparameter added to the
RelatedObjectparameter has been extended on the
Get-Datastorecmdlet to accept the
Get-Datastorecmdlet to allow filtering by cluster.
DiskStorageFormatwhen cloning a virtual machine from a template or another virtual machine.
Set-OSCustomizationSpeccmdlets have been updated to work in 64-bit mode and no longer require running in 32-bit mode.
VMGuestthat shows the version as a string.
RelatedObjectparameter of the
Get-DVSwitchcmdlets has been extended to accept virtual port groups.
Get-VMcmdlet has been updated to let you retrieve virtual machines by virtual switches.
VMware just published slidedecks of 112 breakout sessions which were presented during the recent VMware Partner Exchange in San Francisco.
These contain a wealth of information having technical, VMware partner network and sales/marketing content.
Examples of popular sessions are:
Also recordings of the two general sessions are available.
Available on VMware Partner Central for VMware partners only.
VMware VSAN 5.5 is available for download now.
In order to run Virtual SAN, you need to download vSphere 5.5 U1 (or above). There are no additional binaries required. Virtual SAN does require a separate license, and is available for free 60 days evaluation period along with vSphere. Please note if you plan to use Virtual SAN with VMware Horizon View, you’ll need to download a specific Horizon View version 5.3.1 binary that supports Virtual SAN.
At least three vSphere 5.5 ESXi nodes are required to be able to use VSAN. The maximum number of nodes in a VSAN 5.5 cluster is 32.
As you noticed, the first release of Virtual SAN is named ‘Virtual SAN 5.5′ . It will be available in two editions and one bundle (temporary offer).
Here is the official announcement on the VMware company blog about the GA of Virtual SAN 5.5. It includes pricing details listed below.
There will be some special offers for VSAN:
VSAN can be installed on self assembled hardware components which are listed on the VSAN HCL. Another option is to buy
VSAN Ready Node and VSAN Ready Block hardware configurations . A Ready Node recommended configuration is a single pre-configured
server for use with VIrtual SAN. A Ready Block recommended configuration is a pre-cofigured set of servers for use with Virtual SAN.
A list of vendors supplying those is listed here.
Download vSphere 5.5 Update 1 which includes VSAN here.
VMware release a new VSAN Design and Sizing Guide edition March 2014 which can be downloaded here.
VMware has a free Hands-on Lab (HOL)available which enables you to play and explorer with VMware VSAN. No need to have hardware, software and licenses. The HOL is running in the cloud.
This is a VSAN license calculator showing costs for vSphere, VSAN, S&S
March 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Microsoft released a set of Visio and PowerPoint icons representing objects available in Windows Azure. Examples are SQL Database, VHD data disk, autoscale etc etc. Icons are particularly usefull for documenting applications running on Azure Platform as a Service.
This package contains a set of symbols/icons to help you create visual representations of systems that use Windows Azure and related technologies.
The symbol set supports Microsoft Office Visio 2003 and Microsoft PowerPoint 97 or later. Users who don’t have either Microsoft application can use PNG files or the free downloadable Microsoft viewers.
download the Azure Symbol/Icon set here.
March 11, 2014 Leave a comment
StarWind Software released the Release Candidate of StarWind V8. The functionality and architecture of this software is similar to VMware VSAN. It can be installed on both Hyper-V and ESXi and converts local storage to a distributed shared storage.
General availability is expected in Q2 2014
Download the RC here.
It offers three products that share a common engine:
It is scalable to an unlimited number of nodes, optimized for flash as the primary storage, with its own LSFS and upgraded asynchronous replication.
StarWind SAN, the flagship product, runs on commodity servers’ hardware and converts them into high-performance, fault-tolerant SAN at a fraction of the cost and complexity associated with traditional SAN-based storage infrastructures. With its integrated VSA builder and scale-out architecture, StarWind SAN became the first solution running on Windows that creates clusters of multiple hypervisor hosts without separate physical shared storage (unlike SAS (JBOD), FC or iSCSI). With this release, StarWind supports the latest versions of both VMware and Microsoft platforms.
StarWind virtual SAN (VSAN) is a leading software defined storage for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0. The functionality and architecture of this software is similar to VMware VSAN. It runs inside parent partitions of hypervisor hosts and turns their directly attached storage (DAS) into fault-tolerant SAN. StarWind VSA follows the VMware VSA concept also, and operates inside a VM on the ESXi host, creating a fault-tolerant shared storage of the hypervisor resources.
StarWind V8 RC presents high-performance caching that allows affordable MLC SSDs to be used as level-2 flash cache and fast RAM to be used as level-1 cache. StarWind utilizes solid-state disks / flash cards as the primary storage with a dedicated flash-aware Log-Structured File System (LSFS).
Another major advantage over multiple virtual storage solutions is built-in asynchronous WAN-replication, which ensures effective disaster recovery. StarWind’s support of WAN-acceleration technologies also enables data replication over slow and cheap connections.
StarWind V8 RC includes a set of powerful experimental features including: LSFS, which eliminates the I/O blender effect; synchronous replication for clustered LSFS devices; and in-memory operation, which creates a HA cluster with one node running on RAM-disk.