VSAN 6.2 GA, plus other stuff..

Blink, and you might have missed the announcements doing the rounds on Social Media about a minor release for some of VMware’s products.

Of the minor releases, the biggest one has to be vSphere 6.0 update 2 which packages Virtual SAN 6.2. Now you can get all the goodness of Dedupe & Compression, Erasure Coding (RAID 5 & 6), QoS, Sparse Swap Files, etc……

I’ve written a brief article on VSAN 6.2 for SearchVMware.com, so pop over there if you want to check out what was announced in Feburary’s Digital Enterprise event.

For more in-depth information on VSAN 6.2, point your browsers to Duncan Epping (Yellow-Bricks) and Cormac Hogan! These guys and their blogs have taught me everything I know about VSAN! =)

So without further ado, here’s what was released yesterday (and some from earlier in the month):

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VMware – Enabling the Digital Enterprise – Hybrid Cloud

Part 2 of my review of VMware’s Digital Enterprise online event at the beginning of February has just gone up on SearchVMware.com:

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/Changes-and-new-features-come-with-VSAN-62-and-vRealize-Suite-7

This covers the announcements made on the 2nd day which was focused on Hybrid Cloud, Hyper-Converged Software and vRealize Suite.

Enjoy! =)

New Licensing for vSphere and vSOM

So one of the advantages of being a partner is getting hold of information about product launches, promotions and license restructures a few weeks before the official public announcement.

Anyways, now that it’s been announced it’s interesting what VMware have done with vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management.

  • VMware have dropped the Enterprise License from vSphere
  • VMware have dropped both Standard and Enterprise from vSOM
  • vSphere Standard now comes with APIs for Array Integration and Multipathing. But in order to get DRS and DPM customers are now forced to buy Enterprise Plus! (All previously available with Enterprise)
  • vCenter Server Standard will come with 25x OSI licenses for vRealize Log Insight
  • Price increase of vSOM Enterprise Plus from $4,245 per CPU to $4,395.
  • Price increase of vCenter Server Standard from $4,995 per instance to $5,995

Interesting times……

With the dropping of vSOM Std and vROps only packaged with Ent Plus, does that mean they now consider Operations Management as an ‘Enterprise Play’?

And whilst there’s a promotion for 50% discount on upgrades, a lot of customers are going to be pretty peeved at this change in licensing!

I’m not going to say more on this topic as I’ve been asked to write an article for SearchVMware on these price and license changes so stay tuned for that article…. =)

 

Upgrading vRealize Operations to 6.2

Now that vRealize Ops 6.2 has been released, it’s time to upgrade your Ops Manager virtual appliance. So how do you do that? Well, it’s pretty simple actually!

Nearly all of VMware’s virtual appliances have a simple upgrade process where you download an upgrade PAK file and upload it to the admin page of the appliance – and once uploaded it’s just a simple “click and install”….!

  1. First up, download the 6.2 upgrade PAK file from the My VMware Portal. You will required TWO upgrade PAK files, one to upgrade the vApps OS, the other to upgrade the vROps product.
    vrop01
    For an OS upgrade, the file is: vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-OS-xxx.pak
    For the product upgrade of virtual appliance clusters, the file is: vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-xxx.pak
  2. Before starting the upgrade it’s probably best to either take a backup or a snapshot of your entire vRealize Operations cluster as a precaution.
    Note: The cluster can be online or offline when running the upgrade.
    Log into the master node administrator interface via your web browser:
    https://<master-node-FQDN-or-IP-address>/admin
  3. On the left navigation menu, click Software Update. Note the version that vROps is currently at (for me it was 6.1). Click Install a Software Update.
    vrop02
  4. Firstly perform the OS upgrade. This updates the OS on the virtual appliance and restarts each virtual machine. Follow the wizard to locate and install the OS PAK file.
    vrop04
    Note: If you have customised the content that vROps provides – such as alerts, symptoms, recommendations, and policies – and you want to install content updates, a best practice is to clone the content before performing the upgrade. You can then select the option to reset out-of-the-box content when you install the software update, and the update will provide new content without overwriting any customised content.
    vrop03
  5. Click Upload to stage the upgrade files.
    vrop05
  6. Once upload has completed, a summary of what the PAK file contains is listed. Click Next and accept the EULA, then click Finish to start the upgrade process.
    vrop06
  7. Once the upgrade is complete, vROps will restart and you need to log back into the admin page. Navigate to Software Update and you will see a message stating what previous software update was installed.
    vrop07
  8. Now repeat the upload and installation process for the Product upgrade PAK file.
    vrop08
  9. Once again, vROps will reboot after the Product upgrade PAK file has been installed. Log back in and navigate to Software Update, you should now see that vROps has been upgraded.
    vrop09

 

There you go… nice and simple!

If you encounter any issues, then head over to the vROps 6.2 Release Notes: http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vrops/62/vrops-62-release-notes.html

vSphere 6.0 update 1 and Virtual SAN 6.1 released (plus other goodies)

…. and so just a week after VMworld 2015 US, VMware have released vSphere 6.0 update 1 and a number of other product updates….. without ANY fanfare….. it was such a silent release that the first I heard about it was when all the community bloggers started posting up announcements!

Anyways, here are the products released today:

vSphere ESXi & vCenter Server 6.0 update 1 Download
vSphere ESXi 6.0 update 1 Release Notes
vCenter Server 6.0 update 1 Release Notes

Note: There has already been a KB released regarding the upgrade:
https://blogs.vmware.com/kb/2015/09/alert-important-information-before-upgrading-to-vsphere-6-0-update-1.html

In addition to vSphere and vCenter Server, all the other components of vSphere/vCenter received an update:
vSphere Update Manager 6.0 update 1
vSphere Replication 6.1

vSphere Data Protection 6.1
vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 6.0.3

The good news is that VUM is now integrated into the Web Client!! =)

SRM got an update as well:
Site Recovery Manager 6.1 Download
Site Recovery Manager 6.1 Release Notes

This brings some cool stuff to SRM like:

  • Policy-based management – offering New protection groups using vSphere storage policies for protection of VMs.
  • Support for Auto-mapping of stretched NSX networks (using Universal Logical Switches).
  • Support for stretched storage (like EMC VPLEX), that now includes the ability to use vMotion to move VMs from Site A to Site B.

Although no news on whether Site Recovery Manager Air (for vCloud Air DR) has been launched yet….. =(

Most importantly is the launch of Virtual SAN 6.1:
Virtual SAN 6.1 Download
Virtual SAN 6.1 Release Notes

This new update now:

  • Supports stretched VSAN clusters that span two geographic locations to protect data from site failures or loss of network connection (using the feature of Fault Domains).
  • Support for 2 node ROBO configurations.
  • Enhanced Replication (RPO of 5mins with vSphere Replication)
  • Support for SMP-FT
  • New hardware options (such as support for the new flash devices: Intel NVMe, Diablo UltraDIMM)

Also loads of updates to the vRealize Suite of products:
vRealize Operations Manager 6.1.0 Download
vRealize Operations Manager 6.1.0 Release Notes
vRealize Log Insight 3.0 Download
vRealize Log Insight 3.0 Release Notes
vRealize Automation 6.2.3 Download
vRealize Automation 6.2.3 Release Notes
vRealize Code Stream 1.2.0 Download
vRealize Code Stream 1.2.0 Release Notes
vRealize Business Standard 6.2.3 & vRealize Business Advanced/Enterprise 8.2.3 Download
vRealize Business 6.2.3 Release Notes
vRealize Business Advanced/Enterprise 8.2.3 Release Notes

In addition, the new version of vCloud Director was released for Service Providers (no long available for end-users) which offers vSphere 6.0 and NSX 6.1.4 support, there are also some minor Org vDC template and vApp Enhancements.
VMware vCloud Director 8.0 for Service Providers Download
VMware vCloud Director 8.0 Release Notes

Horizon also got a minor update earlier this month:
Horizon 6 version 6.2 Download
Horizon 6 version 6.2 Release Notes

VMware Online Technology Forum on Now!

VMware Online Technology Forum has started…. are you attending?

Live presentations on all the new goodies from VMware – vSphere 6, vRealize Automation/Operations, virtual SAN 6, App Volumes, vCloud Air, EVO:Rail…….

If you can’t attend today, then the content will be made available on demand from tomorrow (16th April):

MTI Webinar Series – VMworld Update Session

As you all know, VMworld took place in Barcelona last month. During this event, VMware made a series of announcements regarding its three strategic initiatives – software defined datacentre (SDDC), hybrid cloud, and end-user computing (EUC).

My company is currently holding a series of webinars in November covering VMware and complementary parter offerings, and I’ve been asked to kick-start the series with a VMworld update session on SDDC and Hybrid Cloud.

The first webinar, The software-defined datacentre & hybrid cloud, will take place on Tuesday 25th November 2014 at 11am. During this session, I will be discussing what’s new in vSphere 6.0, Virtual Volumes (vVol), EVO:Rail, vRealize Suite and vCloud Air.

If you wish to attend the webinar then feel free to register here:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1836954438946370306

…. I ask that if you do join not to heckle….. =P

(The other webinars this month will cover VMware’s EUC offering; discussing agentless security for the software-defined datacentre with Trend Micro; and EMC’s portfolio around data protection and availability – specifically RecoverPoint for VM and VPLEX virtual edition)

Tech Radar Pro Article and MTI VMware Partner Status

So the article I wrote a few months ago for MTI Times/MTI Bytes was shorten and submitted by our marketing team to Tech Radar Pro as part of an agreement to submit several articles regarding MTI’s insight of the IT Industry….. after what has seem like several months, my article has finally been published on their website! Yay…. ^_^
Funny thing is during the time between me submitting the article and TRP publishing it online VMware have rebranded vCenter Operations Manager as vRealize Operations… lol… =P
So the article is now a bit out-of-date…. =)

Anyways, you can find it here: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/business-software/what-next-for-virtualisation-in-midmarket-companies–1270546

Suffice to say that this is my only claim to fame within my IT career (so far)! =)

On another note, MTI have been invited to become a Premier Partner with VMware, which is a great honour as there are only a select few companies in the UK who have the highest Solution Provider partner status with VMware!
Interesting to see small-little MTI listed alongside the big-hitters like CC, SCC, Softcat, Kelway, Insight, etc….
To be honest, there are quite a number of bigger companies in the UK who are only Enterprise Partners, so it goes to show how much exposure within VMware we have gained in order to be bestowed with a Premier status!

I guess it’s just rewards for the amount of effort myself and my team have put into driving the VMware message to our customers and driving up our VMware business!

Although the downside to all this is that as Premier Partners we need to hold more VMware competencies, which means more training and certifications to do! >_<”
At last count MTI has achieved 6 out of 9 VMware competencies which is pretty good going!

Finally MTI’s VMworld update session will be held on Thursday 20th November 2014, our marketing team is just finalising the central London venue as I post this entry!
Hope to see you there!

Project MARVIN morphs into VMware EVO: RAIL – VMworld updates

EVO: RAIL?? Really…. Ok, someone really needs to fire the marketing guys!! =P

VMware EVO: RAIL announced.

In a nutshell, VMware and ‘a-n-other’ partner to produce a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance.
As I previously mentioned VMware are NOT going to start manufacturing and shifting tin!

So far the partners listed are Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net One and Supermicro – these partners will be offering the ‘physical’ hardware for the appliance (a 2U-4 nodes hardware platform) with possibly the following specs:

  • Two Intel E5-2620 v2 six-core CPUs
  • 192GB of memory
  • One SLC SATADOM or SAS HDD as the ESXi boot device
  • Three SAS 10K RPM 1.2TB HDD for the VMware Virtual SAN datastore
  • One 400GB MLC enterprise-grade SSD for read/write cache
  • One Virtual SAN-certified pass-through disk controller
  • Two 10GbE NIC ports (configured for either 10GBase-T or SFP connections)
  • One 1GbE IPMI port for remote (out-of-band) management

VMware will be pairing the physical appliance with vSphere, vSAN, vCenter Log Insight and a new product called the EVO:RAIL engine.

VMware whitepaper: Introduction to VMware EVO: RAIL

This new appliance is supposed to be super-simple to configure and manage. Scalable to 16 nodes with new nodes automatically discovered when integrated into the rig. It even hooks up to vCloud Air (vCHS) to allow end-users the ability to utilise a hybrid approach to their environment!

Target audience – mid-market and branch office environments.

As you can imagine, EMC are not really a server manufacturer – nor are they looking at starting to produce servers…… according to Chad Sakac they could be throwing in the Phoenix platform into the EVO: RAIL appliance.

http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2014/08/vmworld-2014-evorail-and-emcs-approach.html

Availability has been punted as being the “second half of 2014”, but given we’re halfway through Q3 already, I doubt we’ll see anything till Nov/Dec time or even Q1 2015!

For more information, pop along to the VMware blogs of Duncan Epping (he of the awesome Yellow Bricks blog) and Chris Wolf (CTO):

http://blogs.vmware.com/tribalknowledge/2014/08/vmworld-2014-vmware-evorail-building-block-software-defined-data-center.html
http://cto.vmware.com/introducing-vmware-evo-hyper-converged-infrastructure-solutions/

And in case you’re wondering, (according to Duncan) the EVO represents a new family of “Evolutionary” Hyper-Converged Infrastructure offerings from VMware, and RAIL represents the “rail mount” attached to the 2U/4-node server platform. One RAIL represents the smallest unit of compute/network/storage that you can purchase within the EVO family.

Other significant news to filter out of the 1st day of VMworld:

  • VMware looks like it’s jumping on the OpenStack bandwagon by releasing it’s own version called VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIOS).
  • VMware releasing vRealize Suite which will be a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that essentially helps you manage and deploy applications across your cloud platform (private, hybrid, public). They will be rebranding vCAC to vRealize Automation, vCOPs to vRealize Operations and ITBM to vRealize Business.
    VMware rebrands vCloud Hybrid Service as vCloud Air and announces a larger uptake of the product (and greater coverage across the globe)

As always, Derek Seaman’s blog has a great rundown of the keynote and 1st day….. http://www.derekseaman.com/