NetApp VSC and VASA 5.0 for VMware vSphere

NetApp
NetApp released Virtual Storage Console (VSC) version 5.0 last April. NetApp VSC for VMware vSphere is a tool that enables you to monitor, manage and provision your NetApp storage back-end from within VMware vCenter. The VSC 5.0 release only integrates with the vSphere web client, luckily so. If you still want to be able to use VSC with the desktop vSphere client, you are bound to VSC version 4.2.1.

By installing VSC, some predefined roles are implemented within vCenter. Utilizing VMware’s RBAC capabilities makes it possible to grant your vCenter administrators access rights to perform some basic storage tasks. By doing so, it relieves your storage team by not having to perform these administrative duties.

These basic storage tasks include:

  • Provision datastores
  • Clone virtual machines
  • Check and perform virtual machine alignment
  • Migrate virtual machines individually or in groups to a new or existing datastore
  • Backup and restore virtual machines*
*Additional license required. Note that SFR (Single File Restore) is no longer supported.

Next to the tasks above, VSC can also be used to configure vSphere hosts with the recommended NFS settings and to deploy the VAAI plugin.

VASA

Another nice new feature is the VASA (VMware APIs for Storage Awareness) appliance with support for Clustered Data ONTAP. The VASA appliance will be the foundation for the much awaited virtual Volumes (vVOL). The VASA integration with vCenter depends on the VSC plugin, so make sure VSC is installed before you deploy and configure VASA.
(more…)

Read More

DMVPN Single-Hub Configuration

As I’m currently preparing for Cisco CCIE R&S Written exam I’d like to share some information on the subject of DMVPN (Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network) as this is one of the new topics added to the Cisco CCIE R&S blueprint (on the written and lab exams). You only have to know about the single-hub toplogy, but it’s also not very difficult to do a dual-hub dual-cloud topology.

What is DMVPN?

DMVPN is a VPN which uses dynamic tunnels, this means that on the hub only 1 tunnel is needed to connect all the different spokes to the hub (so no more configuring an IPSEC-tunnel for each site you want to connect). It even automatically forms spoke-to-spoke tunnels on demand, so spoke-to-spoke traffic does not need traverse the hub. Another advantage in my opinion that it is very easy to setup and a very stable solution.

DMVPN is based on:

  • mGRE (Multipoint Generic Routing Encapsulation)
  • NHRP (Next Hop Resolution Protocol)
  • a Dynamic Routing Protocol (EIGRP, OSPF, BGP)
  • IPSEC (optional)

(more…)

Read More

VMware vSphere 6 wish list

UPDATE: VMware announced the public beta for their new vSphere version!! Sign-up here: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta

 

With the release of the latest vSphere 5.5 version (update 1) in March 2014, VMware once again took a major step in the development of it’s hypervisor and the supplementary software and tools. Finally the vCenter appliance took over from the Windows installed version as the primary choice for vCenter deployment. The Windows installed version now officially supports Windows Server 2012 R2.
In the first 5.5 release various improvements were made; SSO  is enhanced, support for 62TB VMDK, 16Gb FC support to name a few. And of course VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is now included in the update 1 version!!

VMware-vSphere6

There are some features however still missing. I, for one, would very much like to see these missing features in the next major release of vSphere. Having said that, I don’t expect VMware to announce the release of vSphere 6 this year. I think the coming period will be used by VMware to further engage customers to adopt VSAN and NSX. It will be very interesting to see on what scale these technologies will thrive! !

When thinking of what I would like to see in the vSphere 6 line-up, I came up with the stuff listed below:

  • Multi vCPU FT
  • VUM appliance
  • vSwitch LACP support
  • vCenter built-in autodeploy GUI (like the Fling thing)
  • Linked mode vCSA
  • MSSQL support for external database use with vCSA

Let’s walk through my wish list…

(more…)

Read More

Backing up the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA)

vcsa

<update 13 november 2014>

VMware does not support backing up the individual components and restoring them to a newly deployed appliance. Use of image-based backup and restore is the only solution supported for performing a full, secondary appliance restore (KB2034505).

Thank you, Feidhlim O’Leary (VMware), for pointing this out in the comments.

</update 13 november 2014>

 
Last week I was upgrading an old ESX 4.1 environment to ESXi 5.5 and the vCenter server needed to be replaced by the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). The new limitations on the 5.5 release should suffice for a lot of environments, the only downsides being no Heartbeat, Linked Mode, VUM and IPv6.

After deploying and configuring the appliance, I soon realized there wasn’t a single article that listed all the necessary post-installation backup tasks. Someone not as smart as you will eventually break your appliance, so make sure to perform all following tasks.

1. Back up vPostgres database
Reference: KB2034505
(more…)

Read More