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VMworld EMEA Announcements: VMware Cloud on AWS

WOW! I think we just witnessed one of the biggest VMware-announcements we will remember for a long time this year at VMworld 2016. VMware is going to run a full vSphere SDDC-stack (vSphere / VSAN / NSX) bare-metal on AWS. Let me emphasize on this: It’s running BARE-METAL, so NO nested hypervisor. AWS will be running your workloads on the same vSphere-bits with the same feature sets, you learned to love on purpose-made, dedicated hardware available from all of their AZ’s (Availability Zones).

On-Premises DC expanded to AWS

It gives you a easy way to extend your private on-premises DC to the AWS cloud and have uniform central management plane, leveraging vCenter Enhanced Linked Mode across all your (public & private) vCenter-servers. One of the coolest things which we witnessed was now really moving a VM from your on-premises and totally moving it to AWS with XvMotion-technologies

  x-vMotion to AWS (more…)

Robert Verdam
My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

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VMworld EMEA Announcements : VSAN 6.5

Besides bumping their virtualization-platform to version 6.5, VMware also added some new features to the SDS-solution in the new version of VSAN it announced. This quick article talks about the main new features which stood out according to us.

VSAN Version History

To give a idea what the main new features were in the previous releases of VSAN here, a short overview:

VersionTimeframeAdded features
VSAN (1.0) 5.5March 2014Inital Version
VSAN 6.0March 2015All-flash
64 Node cluster
2x Hybrid Speed
VSAN 6.1September 2015Stretched Cluster
Replication RPO of 5 minutes
2-node ROBO
VSAN 6.2March 2016Deduplication
Compression
QoS

We really enjoy the pace in which this product is being developed and in such a incredible pace. Keep it going guys!

The main new features for this 6.5 release which is announced during VMworld EMEA 2016 (Oktober 2016) according to us among others are:

  • iSCSI-Access
  • Direct Connect for ROBO

(more…)

Robert Verdam
My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

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VMworld EMEA Announcements : vSphere 6.5

Today VMware announced it’s latest version of the vSphere and vCenter platform, version 6.5.  This article talks about some of the latest features VMware added to their virtualisation-platform.

vCenter Server (Appliance) 6.5

VMware is dramatically simplifying the experience using the vSphere-platform which is primarily based on the announcement of vCenter Server Applicance 6.5 and it’s new capabilities which are exclusive to the vCenter Server Appliance.

VCSA 6.5 only features

The VCSA-only features which are new to 6.5 are:

  • Native High Availability
    Active/Passive HA solution with a witness for resolving split-brain situations. The setup requires 2 separate networks (Private vs. Public). The private network is used for HA (routed)-traffic between the both VSCA which consists of (sync) DB and (async) file-replication. This gives us a easy way to set-up a high available vCenter server.
  • (Integrated) VMware Update Manager
    VMware Update Manager is now finally integral part of VCSA, so no more managing a seperate Windows VM for using VMware Update Manager.
  • Improved Appliance Management
    Increased insight into how the appliance is doing CPU-, Memory-, Network- and databasewise. This reduces having to rely on the CLI for simple monitoring task on the VCSA and allows do this via the UI (VAMI). A thingy called vMon enhances the watchdog functionality which is also used for determing which host is active and which is passive when using VCSA in a HA-setup.
  • Native Backup & Restore
    Native file-based backup & restore capabilities built-in to the VCSA, which allows backing up via HTTP(s)/FTP(s)/SCP protocols and restoring the state of a VCSA to a (fresh) appliance.  All this happens from within the VAMI (Virtual Appliance Management Interface). It evens allows for restoring the configuration when installing the VCSA via ISO.

(more…)

Robert Verdam
My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

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AWS direct connect – Connectivity matters!

I had some discussion about AWS (Amazon Web Services) and how to connect to their services, especifically when you run production workloads on virtual machines in AWS. Bringing workloads to public clouds, means that your business and/or your customers are more depended on their (internet) connectivity to be able to reach the workloads running on public cloud environment.

Connectivity matters

There are a multiple solutions out there to make your internet facing connections highly available. Bandwidth-wise there aren’t really any challenges, aside from the costs… in the Netherlands at least. It is easy to get a 1GbE or better connection from your datacenter or office location(s).

The thing we were discussing about, is the latency between you and your public cloud services. Even though it’s strongly depending on what workloads you are planning to run in AWS, you want a decent user experience. Thus a lowest possible network latency towards that workload. That brings us to www.cloudping.info. A nifty web tool to give you an idea on what your latency is to the regions from where AWS offers their services. It’s output looks like this:

awscloudping

Since I’m in the Netherlands, the EU Frankfurt site in Germany is the closest AWS site for me. So an average ping time of 23ms… Note: This number is depending strongly on how your internet provider or your datacenter is connected to AWS via peering on various Internet Exchanges or via transits.

(more…)

Niels Hagoort
I am a virtualization enthusiast with a love for virtual datacenters! About 15 years of experience in IT. VMware VCDX #212. Working at HIC (Hagoort ICT Consultancy) as fully independent consultant/architect!

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Interview Series: Daniel Zuthof

Meet our next participant in the Cloudfix Interview Series! Enjoy the read, feedback is always welcome!!


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Full Name:Daniel Zuthof
Company:Equinix
 Certifications: VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP3,4,5-DCV, VCP-Cloud, MCSE NT4,2000,2003, MCITP EA 2008, MCSA 2012, MCTS Exchange 2007, MCTS SQL Server 2000,2005, Brocade BCNE, NetApp NCDA 7-mode,cDot Novell CNE 3,4,5,6, Oracle 11g OCA, ITIL, Prince2
Twitter:@DanielZuthof
LinkedIn:https://nl.linkedin.com/in/daniël-zuthof-0b9ab5110/en

Questions

Who is Daniel Zuthof?

I am an IT enthusiast living in Enschede with my wife and 2 young kids. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family, friends, ride my motorcycle and road bike as often as possible.

After finishing school at age 20 I started working at several employers of which all are in IT. The first was at a local IT firm in the city I lived in at the time. Afterwards I worked at several larger businesses in the Arnhem and Utrecht area. Before starting at Equinix, I worked in the IT department of the hospital in Enschede as senior systems engineer.


Can you tell us something about your employer/company?

I work at the Managed Services department at Equinix. Equinix is the world largest suppliers of carrier neutral datacenters and operates 145+ datacenters across 5 continents in 40 metro areas. In The Netherlands, Equinix operates 10 datacenters of which 1 is currently being build.

The main business consists of housing, inter rack connections, inter metro area connections, inter country connections, direct public cloud connections (Equinix Cloud Exchange) and internet connections.

The Managed Services department designs, builds, operates and supports IaaS and PaaS platforms for customers inside our own datacenters. Besides building dedicated platforms according to customers specifications we also operate our own Equinix Business Cloud (EBC) IaaS platform, which is located in 3 datacenters across The Netherlands. Other products we sell are security & storage solutions and back-up &  replication services.

Can you describe your IT infrastructure in short?

(more…)

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Quick review : Runecast Analyzer

Recently we came into contact with a company called Runecast to review their product called Runecast Analyzer. We quickly decided to do a quick review of the product and keep you updated how this product develops even further! We will also be paying them a visit on VMworld Barcelona to get some more details from the guys/girls themselves. So we will keep you updated!

Runecast Custom Logo

Features

VMware KB Scan

Runecast analyzer is able to scan your vSphere environment for known issues described in KB articles from the VMware knowledgebase (kb.vmware.com), displays them in a table (sorted by severity) and allows you to copy this information or export this information easily for use in custom reports you might want to build from this information (note: in the version i’m using the PDF-export is showing a cut off PDF, but i’m sure this will be fixed in a feature release). The table allows you to dive deeper into the details of the KB and on which objects (vSphere Server, ESXi-host or VM) are affected by this issue.

Runecast VMware KB Scan

(more…)

Robert Verdam
My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

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Lab test: vSphere Fault Tolerance performance impact

Triggered by some feedback on the VMware reddit channel, I was wondering what is holding us back in adopting the vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) feature. Comments on Reddit stated that although the increased availability is desirable, the performance impact is holding them back to actually use it in production environments.

Use cases for FT could be, according to the vSphere 6 documentation center:

  • Applications that need to be available at all times, especially those that have long-lasting client connections that users want to maintain during hardware failure.
  • Custom applications that have no other way of doing clustering or other forms of application resiliency.
  • Cases where high availability might be provided through custom clustering solutions, which are too complicated to configure and maintain.

However, the stated use cases only focus on availability and do not seem to incorporate a performance impact when enabling FT. Is there a sweet-spot for applications that do need high resiliency, but do not require immense performance and could coop with a latency impact due to FT? It really depends on the application workload. A SQL server typically generates more FT traffic then for instance a webserver that primarily transmits. So the impact of enabling FT will impact some workloads more then other.

Requirements

Since the introduction of vSphere 6: Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT), the requirements for FT are a bit more flexible. The compute maximums for a FT enabled VM are 4 vCPUs and 64GB memory. The use of eager zero thick disks is no longer a requirement. So thin, lazy zeroed thick and eager zero thick provisioned disks are all supported in SMP-FT!
(more…)

Niels Hagoort
I am a virtualization enthusiast with a love for virtual datacenters! About 15 years of experience in IT. VMware VCDX #212. Working at HIC (Hagoort ICT Consultancy) as fully independent consultant/architect!

Website

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Our VMworld 2016 session (#8430)

Oh how do I look forward to VMworld 2016!! Once more I’m able to visit both VMworld US in Las Vegas and VMworld EMEA in Barcelona. This year it’s not all about listening and peering though as I am presenting together with the one and only Frank Denneman!

Next to the fact that presenting at VMworld will be an awesome experience, it’ll also be good to already convey some thoughts & content from our upcoming book in our VMworld session!!

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Our VMworld session

It is difficult to get a VMworld session accepted. If I remember correctly, there were 1550+ abstracts submitted and only 611 made it into the catalog.  Setting up a good abstract is critical, so I figured it might help to share our submitted abstract. Still, I’m pretty sure even very good abstracts/sessions were rejected which is a shame. I sincerely hope we still get to see this content at your local VMUG or in a vBrownBag TechTalk at VMworld US or EMEA.

Our submitted abstract:
(more…)

Niels Hagoort
I am a virtualization enthusiast with a love for virtual datacenters! About 15 years of experience in IT. VMware VCDX #212. Working at HIC (Hagoort ICT Consultancy) as fully independent consultant/architect!

Website

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My VMCE v9 experience

As I am currently working on an Veeam implementation in a large Hyper-V environment, I decided to update my knowledge by following the Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) Certification v9 training (Link) and subsequently take the exam to become certified. I also hoped to especially learn more about Veeam on Hyper-V, because my experience with that is very little in comparison with Veeam on VMware.

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This short article gives a short overview of my VMCE experience, some tips on great information to pass the exam and some ramblings about what I think could be improved.

(more…)

Robert Verdam
My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

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Interview Series: Rutger Vossebeld

Meet our next participant in the Cloudfix Interview Series! Enjoy the read, feedback is always welcome!!


rutgervossebeld

Full Name:Rutger Vossebeld
Company:Sioux-CCM
Twitter:@rutgervossebeld
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/rutgervossebeld

 

 


Questions

Who is Rutger Vossebeld?

I have started my IT career in 1995 configuring and building Novell 2.x, 3.x and 4.x networks, for a company in Boxtel with customers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. After 2 years I decided to switch jobs and started at Sioux-CCM in Nuenen with a project to migrate the Novel 3.12 servers to a Windows NT4 environment.

Between 1997 and 2015 I have implemented several Microsoft server applications, VMware, Citrix, Juniper and Checkpoint solutions in our network infrastructure. In addition to server side applications I manage a PDM application Team center that maintains CAD data for the Siemens NX application which is used in at Sioux-CCM.


Can you tell us something about your employer/company?

CCM is a company founded in 1969 by Professor Alexandre Horowitz, and specialized in developing high tech mechatronic products and production systems for our customers. We are facilitated to complete an entire project, including design, realization and integration. This is done with about 100 employees in a village called Nuenen nearby Eindhoven.

CCM is since 2014 part of the Sioux Group.

Can you describe your IT infrastructure in short?

(more…)

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