Dell N-Par issues

So the other day I discovered a client were having issues with their Dell blades where connection was being dropped between a vCenter Server (virtualised) and the ESXi host it was residing on….

It looks like traffic gets dropped if the VC and the Mgmt port of the ESXi host uses a N-Par on the same physical LOM.

From the only article I’ve found online, it seems it’s due to how ARP works…. (broadcast to all ports apart from itself)

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/341266?start=0&tstart=0

 

I wonder if this is because N-Par gets configured in the server BIOS and so gets presented out to the PowerConnects as 8 MACs over 1 physical port?!?

I don’t ever remember encountering this issue with HP Flex10 or FlexFabric…… and I believe this could be because the NIC partitioning happens on the Virtual Connect modules rather than on the actual blades itself……

 

Anyways, if anyone out there has a solution (me being non-network savvy) feel free to drop a reply!

VMware Partner Exchange on Tour 2013 – Reading

Wow…. it’s exactly a month since I last posted on my blog! Not good signs….. =P

TBH, I’ve been some-what busy with work, exams, training courses, webinars…… plus the last thing I’ve wanted to do after a long day at work is to log on and blog (which can be read “I’ve been lazy!”).

It’s been a busy month – finally got round to taking and passing the HP0-S35: Implementing HP BladeSystem Solutions exam for the course that I took last November (… procrastination…), so finally have my HP ATP – BladeSystem Solutions Integrator certification! Although I can’t actually check because my HP SmartPortal access has been revoked as HP have killed off anyone with access linked with 2e2! So I can’t even check my HP certs now! ¬_¬”

Also been busy trying to complete the training and certifications required to enable MTI to achieve the VMware competencies! Currently working my way through the Management Competency as I already have a few clients in place that we can submit as case studies (this will be MTI’s 4th competency out of the 6 key ones! Although we’re also eligible for Cloud IaaS).

Did quite a lot of delivery work the past month…. upgrading VMware environments to the latest and greatest…. showing clients the pitfalls of SSO and informing them to ‘get use’ to the new web-client.

Been also busy hosting a MTI Webinar on vCenter Operations Manager – what it is and what it can do to your business! Went well, loads of new leads and quite a number of clients are trialing the product. Should be hosting a technical webinar soon to ‘deep-dive’ into vCOPs! =)

Finally I’ve been very busy deploying several versions of SRM…… VMware SRM and EMC SRM….. =)

VMware SRM = Site Recovery Manager (http://www.vmware.com/products/site-recovery-manager)

EMC SRM = Storage Resource Management (http://uk.emc.com/data-center-management/storage-resource-management.htm)

What I don’t understand is why choose the same acronyms?!? Coming from a VMware background, I always think SRM is going to be Site Recovery Manager – and so will pretty much most of the market!! So why EMC had to call their new management suite SRM is beyond me!!

Anyways, it’s quite a powerful suite of products – consists of:

  • ProSphere (great for discovering end-to-end topology of your whole infrastructure…. as long as you set it up correctly! Twas a painful process),
  • Watch4Net (great dashboard which allows you to create custom reports with a ton of solution packs allowing you to connect to NetApp & EMC storage, Cisco MDS/Nexus, Brocade, VMware, etc…..)
  • Storage Configuration Advisor (great for compliancy – checking aginst EMC best practice as well as setting up other baselines that you can use to check your environment against)

The only issue is it’s really really expensive!! And not to mention a pain to setup and configure….. it would be much better when they finally put it all into one product! Also did I mention it is Stupidly expensive? I mean you’re looking at 5-6 figures!! When you consider products like EMC Storage Analytics or even VNX Monitoring & Reporting give you great functionality for monitoring and managing your EMC Storage for a couple hundred dollars, you really have to think twice when breaking open the chequebook for SRM! Anyways, EMC are trying to push us into selling this product…. but it’s just not priced for SMBs/Mid-markets…..!

Moving swiftly on….. today was VMware’s Partner Exchange on Tour 2013 @ Reading (http://www.partnerexchangeontour2013.com/reading), held at the Madjeski Stadium…… home to the recently relegated Reading FC! I thought it was ironic that the venue was the home of the Royals and that the theme of PEX was “Take Charge”….. Couldn’t help but think the theme came too late for Reading! No one really took charge of keeping them in the premiership last season! Lol….. =P

As always, some good sessions…… especially the keynote speech by Joe Baguley, describing the Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) to be like ‘chicken farming’….. =)

TBH, the keynote was pretty similar to what was heard at VMware Forum 2013, although more cats/chickens in the story this time round…. plus a large african snail!

I found it interesting that VMware have now focused their strategy into 3 key areas:

  • Software Defined Data Centre
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • PC->Mobility

I vaguely remember that a year ago this who area was very wishy-washy with the terms End-User Computing, Application Transformation and Infrastructure Transformation….. tbh, those terms could mean anything!! Glad that they’ve now got some good headlines (and some focus) that us partners can build on!

At least this year the venue was decent….. last year it poured with rain and we all had to park on the grass at Wokefield Park….. suffice to say there was a lot of damage to the grass at the end of the day when people tried to drive off in their cars! (Like the huge skid marks I left trying to get my 3-series going – 19″ rims don’t offer much grip on soggy grass!!)

Over the past year at both 2e2 and MTI, I’ve been trying to push home my own thoughts at how a customer’s journey to the cloud should look like:

  • Adoption – starting the virtualisation journey.
  • Evolution/Optimisation – virtualising business critical apps, look into managing the virtual environment, SRM, vCOPs.
  • Revolution – private cloud.

It was nice to see a keynote slide that detailed a similar path that VMware see as the journey from server virtualisation to SDDC!

  1. Virtual Servers
  2. vSphere Operations Management (vCOPs)
  3. Software Defined Storage and Availability (SRM, VAAI/VASA, VDP)
  4. Virtual Networking and Security (VCNS, Nicira)
  5. Cloud Service Provisioning (vCD, vCAC)
  6. SDDC

Ok, so my idea was pretty much squashed into 3 steps and had fluffy marketing spin on the names, but my thought process was pretty similar…. quite chuffed that I was heading in the right direction as the bods at VMware.

Anyways, enough of an update…… roll on VMworld 2013…..!

Oh, and before I sign off….. I’ve finally succumbed and registered myself on Twitter….. my handle is @anthony_poh (https://twitter.com/anthony_poh)……. no idea what I’ll be tweeting….. I’m hoping it will be IT related, but it may end up descending into tweets of my random thoughts and moans! =P