VMware products have featured very high on my to-do list so far this year, with new hosting and DR solutions either completed or well underway. The simplicity, resilience and strength of vSphere never gets old!
I have also had the privilege to attend several London VMUG meetings all of which have been excellent! They have been superb opportunities to meet new people, put faces to Twitter names and learn more about current and forthcoming technologies orientated around visualization. If you have not had chance to get to one yet, do try, they are really worthwhile!
Also I was able to attend my very first #vBeers in Bath! (we really need to have another soon)
As a customer of VMware it's been interesting to see the launch of the Horizon suite (formally Project Octopus) of which Workspace is of great interest. It's solutions like this that really make sense to me especially with the arrival (like it or not) of BYOD. Other products such as View are also on my to-do list but one thing at a time!
As some of you know I was fortunate enough to win the recent V.I.T Competition so I shall be joining many others at VMworld in Barcelona in October. This will be a first for me and frankly I cannot wait! So expect me to be tweeting like a maniac with pictures of the event and me trying not to look too maniacally happy!
In recent weeks I have been wondering what is next for VMware concerning vSphere, I have heard very little save for rumors and speculation (vSphere 5.5 or 6.0? etc etc) traditionally they announce such things at VMworld so by the end of August we should have a better idea! I am sincerely hoping for significant improvements to the web client.. especially if they stick to their guns about retiring the .NET client.
I presently use VeeamOne and Veeam B&R both of which are incredible value for money. I recently sat in on a Veeam B&R v7 presentation (due out in August 2013) and wow.. these guys just keep making it better and I am convinced this is at least in part to their excellent attitude towards customer feedback either directly face-to-face or via their forums. Other vendors need to really take note, as from a customer point of view nothing gets your attention more than seeing your suggestions/queries taken seriously and responded to in a quick and timely fashion.
There is no question my two favorite words this year so far are VMware and Veeam. (some of my colleagues will testify to that with a distinct groan hah!)
Yesterday I attended my second ever #LonVMUG and did my first ever VMUG presentation! Generally it was a great day, with loads of really good sessions and some really cool community and vendor content.
As ever it was great day for socialising and networking with people who you interact with on twitter. For me one of the major benefits of the VMUG is learning from other people’s experience. Twitter was alive with the hastag #LonVMUG and it definitely adds something to the day to be active
The VM estate that I manage is large: there are more than 20 different clusters and over 300 hosts of varying ages and hardware levels – as a consequence there are various different versions of ESX and ESXi running. Upgrading the hosts is somewhat akin to painting the Forth Bridge, a never-ending task. So keeping the thousands of VMs at the correct hardware and VMtools versions can be a bit of a losing battle.
What if I want a report showing me all the VM names, Hardware Version, VMtools Status, Tools Version Status and Tools Version – how do I go about finding that?
With the release of vCenter Log Insight Public Beta (http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vcenter/vcenter-log-insight) I thought I’d strike while the iron is hot and run through the installation and configuration.
Deploying the OVF
This is such a bread and butter task that it doesn’t require more than a few words – it’s definitely worth looking at the Sizing PDF before you deploy (VMware-vCenter-Log-Insight-1.0-Beta-Virtual-Appliance-Sizing.pdf) as it’s not small even for a test installation. If you’re using less than the recommended 8GB RAM there are additional steps to change the heap size for performance.
The vSphere UMDS provides a way to download patches for VMware servers that have an air-gap, or for some reason aren’t allowed to go out to the internet themselves – in my case a security policy prevented a DMZ vCenter Server from connecting to the internet directly. The solution is to use UMDS to download the updates to a 2nd server that was hosted in the DMZ and then update the vCenter Server from there. It also can save on bandwidth if you’re running multiple vCenter Servers, which again was the case (though bandwidth isn’t really a constraint).
If you work in company with strict password compliance rules, for example under SOX, you might well have to change administrator passwords every month. Doing this on any more than a few hosts is tedious work – even on two hosts it seems like a waste of time logging on the host via SSH (or even enabling it first) before changing the password. Then we also need to audit the change, there’s no point making it for compliance reasons if we can’t then prove we did it!
I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I've been awarded vExpert 2013 - it's such an honour to be listed among these others and hopefully I can continue to contribute throughout the year. I am looking forward to getting stuck in to the vExpert programme.
The vExpert announcement is here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2013/05/vexpert-2013-awardees-announced.html
In other news, one of DefinIT's contributing authors @SimonEady is a finalist for the VMware V.I.T. Competition and needs your votes!y I can continue making a contribution to the VMware community for the coming year. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to the programme!
Please head on over to the voting page and vote for Simon!
It's no secret that installing certificates from an internal CA is a pain in the...vCenter, but having just gone through the process of updating 3 vCenter installations with the 5-7 certificates required for each server I was asked "just why is it we need to do this again?"
Why does it require multiple certificates for my vCenter server?
In short, each service requires a certificate because it could feasibly be on a server (or servers) of it's own - take this hypothetical design - each role is hosted on it's own VM, and there are 7 certificates required - SSO, Inventory Service, vCenter Server, Orchestrator, Web Client, Log Browser and Update Manager. If you install all these services on one server you still have to create certificates for those individual services.
A problem reared it's head over the weekend with one of our hosts' Fibre Channel HBAs negotiating it's way down to 2GB, and consequently introducing massive latency for the LUNs behind it. Analysis showed that the drivers for the HBA were over a year out of date so the suggested fix from VMware was to update the drivers. This is fine to do manually for a few hosts, but would be a real pain for the 300+ hosts in the environment I manage.
Enter VMware Update Manager - we already use it to patch and upgrade our hosts, but it can also apply host extensions - driver packages as well.
So then! of late my attention has been drawn to Cloud Credibility which is a fantastic place to help validate your own and others cloud expertise by completing various tasks.
Among other things it encourages you to read up on white papers, carry out lab work (Hands-on-labs), watch training and informational materials and thus rewarding you with points for you and your team. What is also great is points really do mean prizes!
I have recently become apart of a Team (Team - DefinIT) with the following well known Virtualisation bloggers and vExperts.
Barry Coombs - Virtualised Reality
Michael Poore - vSpecialist
Sam McGeown - DefinIT
This presents another great aspect to Cloud Credibility as it encourages team work with tasks and social/technical interactions.
If you haven't signed up I would strongly recommend you do so!