Whats new in vSphere 5.5

With all the crazy media traffic going on this week with VMworld this post will probably get little attention. But I wanted to put something together that summarizes the updates in vSphere 5.5

I’m not going into in depth coverage of each of these you can find that at the link to the VMware PDF at the end of the post. I have offered my commentary on the items that I think are the most interesting.

vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements

  • Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices
  • Support for Reliable Memory Technology
  • Enhancements for CPU C-States

Virtual Machine Enhancements

  • Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi™ 5.5
  • Expanded vGPU Support (Now support GPUs from Intel and AMD, good to see the hardware list expand this will only help in adoption)
  • Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests

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

Read More

vCenter Operations Management – vC Ops Foundation now free with vSphere

It was mentioned on Twitter last night that VMware is now offering vC Ops Foundation for free with your Paid vSphere licensing. This was news to me, not sure if this is new along with the vSOM announcement yesterday also. This is a pretty cool thing, now shops have access to the base performance analytics that VMware vC Ops offers. Sure you are not going to get the advanced reporting, capacity planning, right sizing or custom options. But this will give you much more visibility into the performance of your environment than you are getting with vCenter stats.

I definitely recommend that all shops should look into purchasing the higher vC Ops licensing level but if you have nothing you will benefit from running Foundation product. You can view the different licensing levels for vC Ops here. So I recommend that you find out how to get access to this and get it installed and collecting data.

Below is a copy of the text from VMware’s site here.

vCenter Operations Manager Foundation

Get started with this new, entry-level edition of the vCenter Operations Management Suite. Gain deep operational insights and visibility to improve the performance and health of your vSphere environment. vCenter Operations Manager Foundation is included with every vSphere edition free of charge.

 

 

 

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

Read More

Say hello to vSOM or vSphere with Operations Management

Continuing on its recent path of creating Software Suites out of its popular products, VMware has announced the creations of vSOM. vSOM is the marriage of vSphere and vCenter Operations Management Standard edition. I think these seems like a pretty good idea, it will allow customers to purchase vC Ops and license it per socket much like in the vCloud Suite. But vSOM will allow customers not ready for vCloud to take advantage of Suite pricing.

Pricing and Availability
VMware vSphere with Operations Management is expected to be available in Q1 2013, and will be offered in three editions: Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.  Pricing starts at $1,745 per processor with no core, vRAM or number of VM limits. Go to VMware vSphere Pricing/Buy page. For a limited time, existing VMware vSphere edition customers will be able to upgrade to VMware vSphere with Operations Management editions or Acceleration Kits at 15 percent off the list price. New customers will be able to purchase VMware vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kits at 15 percent off the list price.

Based on the above paragraph it seems that VMware will offer three versions of vSOM. They seem to mirror the 3 upper versions of vSphere being sold. What is not clear at this point is if the version of vC Ops also follows the same pattern or will vC Ops Standard be part of each level of vSOM with only the vSphere level changing.

You can review the versions of vC Ops available and their features here.

VSOM

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

What tools should a VMware team have to monitor their environment

I have worked with a bunch of customers over the last couple of years and there has been a very common theme. The overwhelming majority of IT shops have not invested in any tools to help them manage and monitor their VMware environments. Sure they have vCenter and you can get some great info out of it, but unless something is going really wrong or has already you might not have a clue. You are essentially driving blind.

This guy does not monitor his vCenter server

This guy does not monitor his vCenter server

VMware event monitoring

To me the first thing that I think shops should invest in if they don’t already have a tool capable of doing this is, get something that can properly monitor your VMware environment. To be clear of what I mean by this is a tool that will scrape logs and watch for events in your environment and notify you about issues. How it notifies you can vary, whether you want a ticket created or simply an email.

Without something actively monitoring your hosts and vCenter you could be missing some very serious issues. I’ve seen customers that had paths down and did not know about them. You could also be exceeding some threshold that could be pointing to something more serious. Basically there are a ton of small and large issues that you could discover with proper monitoring.

There are products from several companies like Veeam, Quest software. One of the tools that has impressed me a few times was the SCOM plugin called Veeam Management Pack. This is a very powerful tool that can be used by Windows shops that already have SCOM deployed and are monitoring. The plugin contains a ton of items that it monitors for and maybe the most extensive set of items that I have see out of any tool so far.

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

Read More
Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »
%d bloggers like this: