New storage features in vSphere 5.1

With the announcement of vSphere 5.1 at VMworld yesterday some more detailed information is becoming available around the new storage features included in vSphere 5.1.There are some really great stuff on this list that has not gotten much notice yet. I really like that many of these features are now supported in both View and vCloud director.

  1. VMFS file sharing limits – The previous limit for number of hosts that could share a single file was 8 for block storage, in 5.0 it was raised to 32 hosts for NFS datastores. In vSphere 5.1 the limit for block storage or VMFS datastore has been raised to 32 hosts also. This is compatible with both VMware View and vCloud director, the primary use for this is linked clones.
  2. VAAI updates – The use of VAAI NAS based snapshots for vCloud director is now available, this was previously available to only View in vSphere 5.0. This allows hardware based snapshots for faster provisioning of linked clones in both products.
  3. Larger MSCS clusters – The previous limit of 2 node MSCS clusters has been raised to allow for up to 5 node MSCS clusters with vSphere 5.1
  4. All Paths Down update – The timing out I/O on devices that enter into an APD state has been updated to address hostd from being tied up.
  5. Storage Protocol enhancements – The ability to boot from software FCOE was added to vSphere 5.1.  Jumbo frame support has been added for all iSCSI adapters with UI support. Full support for 16Gb Fibre Channel HBA adapters that can run at full speed. In vSphere 5.0 16GB adapters could be used but had to run at 8Gb speeds.
  6. Storage IO control (SIOC) updates – SIOC will not figure out the best latency setting for your datastore as opposed to the manual setting in vSphere 5.0. By default SIOC is not turned in a Stats only mode so that it wont take any action but will be collecting stats for your before you configure  settings.
  7. Storage DRS (SDRS) enhancements – vCloud director can now use SDRS for initial placement of Fast provisioning linked clones for managing free space and IO utilization. This is an update from the previous free space method that vCloud 1.5 used and had no support for SDRS.
  8. Storage vMotion enhancements – Storage vMotion performs up to 4 parallel disk migrations per Storage vMotion operation.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware now includes vSphere Replication for free

Tucked in the back pocket with all the other big announcements today at VMworld is the availability of vSphere Replication as a standalone option. It is no longer tied to SRM 5.0 as it was originally made available. This is probably to line up with the FUD that Microsoft has been pushing with their Hyper-V replica being free.

What this means is that small shops will have a way to protect their virtual servers on a per VM basis rather than on a entire datastore/LUN basis. This does not offer in of the fancy logic and auto recovery options that SRM gives you but if you need some base level replication and you don’t have any array based options. Then this should make you pretty happy. Bellow is the announcement from VMware.

vSphere Replication was introduced with SRM 5.0 as a means of protecting VM data using our in-hypervisor software based replication.  It was part of SRM 5.0, and continues to be, carrying forward, but now we are offering the ability to use this technology in a new fashion.

Today’s announcement about vSphere Replication is a big one:  We have decoupled it from SRM and released it as an available feature of every vSphere license from Essentials Plus through Enterprise Plus.

Every customer can now protect their environment, using vSphere Replication as a fundamental feature of the protection of your environment, just like HA.

VR does not include all the orchestration, testing, reporting and enterprise-class DR functions of SRM, but allows for individual VM protection and recovery within or across clusters.  For many customers this type of protection is critical and has been difficult to attain short of buying into a full multisite DR solution with SRM.  Now most of our customers can take advantage of virtual machine protection and recovery with vSphere Replication.

Check out an introduction to vSphere Replication at http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/Introduction-to-vSphere-Replication.pdf

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMworld 2011 Las Vegas Day 1

I’ll be writing about some of the sessions and activities that I experience through the week. Since it’s my first VMworld I am trying to get down the routine and enjoy the sessions.

First thing this morning I grabbed breakfast in the massive dinning hall for VMworld. The hall is a seeming endless sea of tables. It reminded me of being directed to a parking spot at a sporting event, the wait staff was there to guide attendees to available food tables.

My first session started a 8am sharp as was VSP1682 VMware vSphere Cluster Q&A presented by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman. The session was one hour long and was an open Q&A session about all things HA, Cluster, DRS and Storage DRS. There was a wide range of question from people stating they don’t use HA to people with advanced designs wondering how the new features will affect them.

One of the other sessions that I attended was the ESXi Quiz Show (VSP1956). This was more of a fun session than a deep technical lecture session. The idea of the session is that 2 separate of teams competed against each other with the winner moving on to battle against a team of VMware employees. The questions were mostly ESXi related with a few general VMware questions. The session was high energy and they did a good job of getting people excited and involved.

I took sometime to experience the Hands On Labs (HOL) just to see what was happening there. Most of the topics available as labs are things that I am doing on a regular basis or do not pertain to my job at this time. So there was really not anything that I needed to take a lab for but just wanted to so I can know how they stack up when talking with others. I elected to take the ESXi Auto Deploy lab which was the most appealing to me. The lab was about 70-80 minutes in length and the instructions and slides that guide you along the process were very well written and easy to follow. The only thing I would maybe improve is some of the install parts were a bit slow and could have probably already been done for the participants to speed things up.

So far one thing that I noticed and heard from several others is that most of the sessions are very high level. These are great for customers and management but do not offer enough deep content for partners. It is causing me to revisit the sessions that I have signed up for and will be spending a good deal of my time talking with vendors in the solutions exchange.

VMworld Keynote

It was now time for the keynote and with this being my first VMworld I was not sure what to expect from this large presentation. The room was huge and must have easily held 10,000+ people. It was a top notch event and the presentation was perfect, except for the boom camera guy accidentally got in the way of the other camera once.

The keynote opened with some thundering music and great visuals on the large screens on both sides of the main stage. The visuals were almost Tron like in some parts and the image below shows how they took videos from users that submitted them and the audio and incorporated this into the intro.

First up on stage was Rick Jackson who presented the agenda for the Keynote. Rick also gave an attendee count of over 19,000 people for this conference. He mentioned that VMworld 2012 will be back in San Francisco and will be August 27-30. Then he spoke about how they originally created the Hands On Labs cloud in 2009 as an internal cloud. Then in 2010 the HOL cloud because a Hybrid Cloud and the 2011 HOL Cloud is not a Public cloud with 3 separate data centers in different geographical regions. A goal for the labs this year is to deploy more that 200,000 VMs in the 4 days of the conference. This will be a tall task even with the number last of 140,000 VMs.

Then it was time for Paul Maritz to come out and speak. I think Paul usually does a good job and it helps to have some exciting technology to talk about. I will cover more of the specifics of the Keynote shortly but I have to say that a large part of the keynote content was focused on application platforms which are very important but the audience that was there is largely VMware admins and infrastructure people and they were just not that interested. I saw a steady stream of people leaving the keynote after the halfway point.

In Paul’s presentation he talked about creating the Cloud Suite and getting all version numbers in alignment. He stated that he expects that by next VMworld they will be announcing version 5.1 of each product within the Cloud Suite. This would continue the aggressive pace that VMware has been on over the last few years by announcing a major update to their base hypervisor offering.

Some fun facts that he spoke about during the keynote are listed below.

  • About 800,000 VMware admins globaly
  • There are now about 68,000 VCP’s from 146 countries
  • A new VM is created every 6 seconds, more thamn 20 Millions VMs around the globe exist
  • A 5.5 vMotions every second, there are more VMs in flight than plains

It was announced that View 5 is expected in the future. This is a product that I am heavily involved with and would like to find out any new details possible. Below are a few bullet points that were mentioned.

  • Bandwidth improvements
  • View clients will be available for almost every device you can think of
  • VOIP / Unified Communications

Paul did talk briefly about the mobile phone virtualization offering that they are working on. This seems like it would be pretty cool and once they figure out how to perfect it and phone technology is powerful enough to support I can see this catching on.

 

 The remaining parts of the show were all vFabric and application platform discussions. I’m not going to write about this because it’s not a focus for me or this blog at this time and someone else can probably do a much better job at it. I do think these products are important but not in my area.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware vExpert meeting at VMworld 2011 Las Vegas

I was very lucky to be awarded the vExpert award for 2011. This is an award that is presented to community members for helping to evangelize VMware and help others with VMware related issues. There are many different ways to earn this award. A few things that people do is write books, blog, write scripts or tools, lead a VMUG or be very active in the VMware forums. There are other ways also but these are some of the common things that gain people status within the VMware world.

For 2011 there are 332 vExperts in the program. This is a global program so it’s a big honor to be part of such an elite and small group. I hope to be able to continue to be productive and earn the award in future years.

On the day prior to VMware 2011 a meeting was held for the current crop of vExperts. The meeting was lead by John Troyer the main man over at VMworld social media. The session offered an overview of the expanding features of the vExpert program.

As part the meeting a couple of people from the VMware Product Marketing team came to give use some futures and NDA info. There was a lot of talk about the Virtual Data Center (VDC) and how things might have changed from it’s announcement back at VMworld 2008. The people in attendance had a bunch of questions and while it gut pulled down in the trenches for awhile it was good to hear various takes on the challenges of watching Cloud technologies mature into a product.

There was talk about what people thought would be the driving factors for companies to move workloads into a Cloud model. Many thought that similar factors that first drove the move to Virtualization would be a factor in this. So those are things like cost savings and some of the first things to move would be Test and Dev workloads. Also there was a lot of talk about the difference between how an enterprise and an SMB would adopt cloud.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMworld Europe 2011 heading back to Copenhagen

The word is out and it looks like VMworld Europe 2011 is heading back to Copenhagen. I think that most that attended last year would agree that the show was great and had decent growth in size from the previous years. Sure most would probably like to have it in a more traveled place like London, but Copenhagen seems to be home for the European show for now. VMworld

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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More VMware iPad app goodness at VMworld Copenhagen 2010

Some people were hoping to hear that the VMware iPad app for vSphere Management would be released at VMworld Copenhagen but that was not the case. We did get another look at the applications and a glimpse at a new VMware product that works nicely with the iPad also.

In the first section of the video we get another peek at the VMware vSphere management iPad app. There are some improvements that were made since we first say it at VMworld San Francisco. In the video he mentions that they hope to release a Beta version in a few weeks and then the final version late 2010 as a VMware Labs Fling. We get to see how you can now power cycle or restart a VM, get a look at home much CPU and Memory it’s consuming and some other details.

The next part of the video shows us the VMware View Client for iPad. We see a demo of it logging into the View portal at VMware corporate and connecting to a Windows 7 VDI machine. He then showcases the virtual Touch Pad that we had heard about in the last video from San Fran. The improvements that were made to the virtual keyboard are pretty cool. I like how they have added the Windows function keys and other standard keys that will make using a Windows VDI on an Apple iPad easier. VMware is definitely stepping up the level for portable VDI with this application.

In the final part of the video we get to see the web interface for the newly announced vCloud Request Manager from the iPad. This allows for requests to be made inside of vCloud Director that will require a managers approval. You are able to view all of your prior requests and see what is pending, approved or denied. This looks really cool and will go a long way for improving the mobility for people working with VMware and vCloud.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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