VCP-NV exam experience

Ending the year on a high!! Today Rutger and I passed the VMware Certificed Professional – Network Virtualization (VCP-NV) exam!! Robert will surely follow soon. ūüôā
We had a rather small time frame to successfully pass VCP-NV because as of January 2015 we want full focus on VCDX-DCV. So it had to happen in 2014.

Although we didn’t have a great deal of hands-on experience (yet) with VMware NSX, we were able to pass the exam after a steep learning curve following our NSX deepdive session at VMware along with some really good documentation and blogposts on the matter… not to mention the VMware’s HOL labs!

vcpNV

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Review: Zerto Replication for VMware

Recently we’ve visited the Storage Expo (http://www.storage-expo.nl/), to get the latest news on storage and related products. There we visited the stand of Zerto and got a demo of Zerto’s Virtual Replication for VMware product, which looked very promising, but of course we had to test that for ourself in our Cloudfix labs.

This article gives a short overview of the installation and configuration process and what you can do with the product once the replications are set-up.

 

Topology

Topology Cloudfix Zerto

Zerto Virtual Replication needs a routed connection between both sites which isn’t NAT’ed, so we created a OpenVPN connection between two of our lab sites (Lab Verdam & Lab Hagoort). To be exact, we’ve created two tunnels, one from Lab Verdam to a OpenVPN server running on a machine hosted on a DigitalOcean droplet (as a VPN concentrator) and one from Lab Hagoort to this same VPN concentrator.

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VMworld 2014 EMEA recap

It’s been a week since VMworld 2014 EMEA kicked off. We had a blast at VMworld; Attended some very good sessions, met up with some good people, drank too much at parties, had fun!!
Most of all it became clear that visiting VMworld is a no-brainer, a must-visit! A word of thanks to our ‘sponsors’; YaWorks provided me (Niels Hagoort) with the opportunity to attend VMworld, Valid did the same for Robert Verdam.

Having said that, the EMEA version¬†did disappoint a little bit on the major announcements…¬†The¬†most significant announcements in our humble opinion were:

  • EVO:RAIL partners extended; Hitachi and HP also delivering an EVO appliance.
  • EVO:RAIL will include vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery Service
  • VMware partners with Palo Alto to deliver VM-1000-HV for NSX.
  • CloudVolumes will be adopted as VMware App Volumes.
  • VMware vCloud Air will also be served from a Germany based DC for European customers.
  • VMware vRealize Suite introductions

But that is all on the ‘negative’ side. We like to share some of our experiences on VMworld 2014 EMEA in this post. Please don’t mind the bad quality photos included… I/We suck at taking photos. ūüôā

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DataGravity

Let DataGravity shed some light on your data

By now you’ve probably heard of Paula Long’s new startup, DataGravity. You may know her from that other storage company she co-founded, EqualLogic.

One of EqualLogic’s goals was to put a storage administrator in every box, you shouldn’t have to pay¬†extra for management tools. DataGravity is taking it further by saying you bought the storage, you should know what’s in it, all for the price of primary storage.

DataGravity array

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Affinity

VMware HA & DRS affinity rules

Last week I was studying for the VCAP5-DCA exam and I came across an advanced DRS setting, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around:¬†ForceAffinePoweron.¬†I’m hoping one of our readers (yes, that’s you) can help me understand.

VMware recommends you configure this option when you are using Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) in combination with DRS.

To ensure that affinity and anti-affinity rules are strictly applied, set an advanced option for vSphere DRS. Setting the advanced option ForceAffinePoweron to 1 will enable strict enforcement of the affinity and anti-affinity rules that you created.
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SDN: VMware NSX (Part 1)

In June 2014 me and my cloudfix co-bloggers attended a seminar about network virtualisation in general and VMware NSX specifically. The seminar also contained a deep-dive into the details of VMware NSX. This deep-dive triggered us to do a blog post series on network virtualisation in general and VMware NSX in detail.

This first article in the series will talk about the VMware NSX globally after which the following will start deep-diving into the specifics about this solutions. I hope you find the series useful in understanding what the VMware NSX solution can do for your organization.

vmware_nsx_logo

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Part 2: My take on PernixData FVP 2.0

In the blog post¬†Part 1: My take on PernixData FVP¬†I mentioned the release date on FVP version 2.0 to be very soon. Well… PernixData went GA status with¬†FVP 2.0 on the 1st of October.

pernixdata

I liked the announcement e-mail from Jeff  Aaron (VP Marketing at PernixData) in which he first looks back at the release of version FVP 1.0 before he mentions the new features within FVP 2.0:


FVP version 1.0 took the world by storm a year ago with the following unique features:

  • Read and write acceleration with fault tolerance
  • Clustered platform, whereby any VM can remotely access data on any host
  • 100% seamless deployment inside the hypervisor using public APIs certified by VMware.

Now FVP version 2.0 raises the bar even higher with the following groundbreaking capabilities:

  • Distributed Fault Tolerant Memory (DFTM) – Listen to PernixData Co-founder and CTO, Satyam Vaghani, describe how we turn RAM into an enterprise class medium for storage acceleration in this recent VMUG webcast
  • Optimize any storage device (file, block or direct attached)
  • User defined fault domains
  • Adaptive network compression

 

We will take a look at PernixData FVP 2.0, how to upgrade from version 1.5 and¬†explore the newly introduced features…

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Part 1: My take on PernixData FVP

Having posted an article on Software Defined Storage a short while ago, I want to follow up with some posts on vendors/products I mentioned.

pernixdata

First of all¬†we’ll have a closer look at PernixData.¬†Their product FVP, stands for¬†Flash Virtualization Platform, is a flash virtualization layer which enables read and write caching using serverside SSD or PCIe flash device(s). Almost sounds like other caching products which are out there, don’t it… Well, PernixData FVP has features which are really¬†distinctive advantages over other vendors/products. With a new (2.0) version of FVP¬†coming up I decided to do a dual post. Version 2.0 should be released very soon.

What will FVP do for you? PernixData states:

Decouple storage performance from capacity

So what does that mean? Well, it means we no longer must try to fulfill storage performance requirements by offering more spindles in order to reach the much demanded IOPS. Next to that we must try to keep a low as possible latency. Doing so, what better place for flash to reside on the server! Keeping the I/O path as short as possible is key!!
When storage performance is no longer an issue, capacity requirements are easily met.

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VMworld, here we come!

The moment is getting closer and closer, Niels & Robert are attending VMworld Barcelona 2014 (13-16 oct.)! We’re really looking forward to meeting all you vRockstars in person and learn everything there is to know about the new features vendors like PernixData, Nutanix, Cisco and ofcourse VMware ¬†are presenting on VMworld Europe and provide you with this information on our blog.

vmworld2014

In this article we’ll give a short overview of sessions we think everybody should attend and why.

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