New VMware certifications announced at VMworld 2012

As part of all the new product announcements at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco VMware has quietly released a few new certifications.I am pretty excited about some of these new certs and question one of them. But this clearly is showing that being an expert in all of these areas is going to be a very hard task as VMware continues to expand their product offerings and certifications. Just trying to take all these tests will be a serious undertaking.

The first change is the VCP that everyone has known for years is now renamed as VCP-DV for datacenter virtualization.

Cloud

To go along with the recently announced VCP-IaaS cert that VMware announced this summer is the new VCP-Cloud. This seems to be a step about the VCP-IaaS cert, but also seems very redundant in content. Would like to see more clarity from VMware on what the real difference is between the two.

Next up is VCAP-CID (Cloud Infrastructure Design) is the latest in the series of advanced certifications. This one will focus on the design of the various parts that make up a vCloud design.

Desktop

The newest cert in the desktop track is the VCAP-DTD (Desktop Design) and it focuses on the architecture and design functions around a virtual desktop environment.

VMware Certification Roadmap

You can see from the image below that VMware is working on expanding the 3 levels of certification to their 3 main tracks, datacenter, cloud and desktops. There will be specialty certs at all levels in these tracks someday soon.

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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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

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PHD Virtual Monitoring application review – Sponsored Post

I was contact by PHD to test and review their monitoring application. In all honesty I have never really paid much attention to PHD in the past. I had never come across their product in any customers so the need had never come up. But I had seen their ads and hear others discuss them so I was interested when asked. I will not attempt to sell you on the product or convince you otherwise, what I will try to do is give you an honest review of what I thought of the product and let you make your own choice.

The testing for this product was done in my home lab on a couple of hosts. So you might have a difference experience in your environment.

Product pitch:

 PHD Virtual Monitor is a comprehensive virtualization monitoring solution that gives you complete visibility across your entire virtual IT infrastructure at all levels including virtual, physical and application. Only with a complete view can you effectively ensure application availability.

I’m skipping the setup of the product, did not want to focus on that part. The image below shows the dashboard view of all the hosts, VMs and datastores that are being monitored. I think the dashboard was probably one of the things that I like most of the product. Now a dashboard view is not unique to this product, as most products these days offer one. I think PHD has provided a pretty simple to interpret display that lets me know the health of my environment. I can click on the icons for each item to drill down deeper. The information is organized into sections for hosts, virtual machines, storage and networking. I did not setup anything for storage or networking.

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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How to create an Elastic vDC in VMware vCloud director

Something that was slipped into vCloud 1.5 that did not get much press was the idea on an elastic vDC. This gives the ability to add extra capacity to the underlying provider vDC in vCloud. If you have worked with vCloud before you might be saying wait I could always do this by expanding the size of my cluster or pool that was providing the resources. And this was certainly one option for adding more capacity. But what if you had larger clusters that could not be expanded or if you were using linked clones (Fast Provisioning) and you reached the 8 host maximum for your cluster. You would have to create a new provider vDC and present this capacity as a new Org vDC to your cloud consumer.

The idea of an elastic vDC allows you to add another resource pool to a provider vDC which in turn presents this capacity up to the Org vDC. Now today this option is only available for Org vDCs that are setup for the Pay as You Go allocation model. What it allows you to do is add in the resources from additional vCenter resource pools to a provider vDC. Thus allowing you to grow the resources that are presented up to any Org vDCs using the proper allocation model.

You can see from the image at the bottom of this post that the first resource pool presented is marked as the primary and is what would be used to provide resources to Org vDCs that are using the Allocated or Reserved allocation models.

To add another resource pool you must navigate to the provider vDC that you wish to add the resources to and select the resource pool tab. Then simple click the green plus icon to add the resources by selecting from the vCenter that you choose. Below is a summary of the VMware KB that describes the features and limitations as they stand today.

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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How to upgrade to VMFS 5 on VMware and VMFS 5 facts

I wrote this last year but never published, working on clearing out some old posts. Along with the long list of other features added to vSphere 5, VMware has included a new version of VMFS. The upgrade in VMFS brings us to version 5 of the file system.

The main focus of VMware while creating VMFS seems to be making it easier to manage storage in virtual environments. In VMFS-5 the number of storage related objects that need to be managed by an VMware administrator are far less. For example you can now use larger and fewer datastores, because the scaling limits of VMFS-5 have been increased.

 

VMFS-5 New Features

  • Unified 1MB File Block Size. Past versions of VMFS used 1,2,4 or 8MB file blocks. The larger block sizes would allow you to create files larger than 256GB. There is now just one block size in VMFS-5 allowing you to create up to 2TB VMDK files using the 1MB file blocks.
  • Larger Datastores. In previous versions of VMFS, the largest datastore size without extents was 2TB-512 bytes. With VMFS-5 this limit has been increased to 64TB.
  • Smaller Sub-Block. VMFS-5 introduces a smaller sub-block. The new size is now 8KB rather than the old 64KB size from previous versions. Now a small file less than 8KB but larger than 1KB in size will only consume 8KB rather than 64KB. This will reduce the disk space being consumed by these small files.
  • Small File Support. Support for files less than or equal to 1KB, now use the file descriptor location in the metadata for storage rather than file blocks. If they grow above 1KB, these files will then start to use the new 8KB sub blocks. The net result is a reduction in space consumed by small files.
  • Increased File Count. VMFS-5 now allows support for more than 100,000 files. In VMFS-3 the limit was 30,000 files.
  • ATS Enhancement. ATS is now used all through VMFS-5 for file locking. ATS (Atomic Test & Set) is a Hardware Acceleration primitive, and is part of the VAAI (vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration). This improves the file locking performance over previous versions of VMFS.

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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