A New Year’s Gift from Veeam!

In December you may become the winner of the ultimate new year’s resolution from VeeamVeeamSanta which includes a Veeam Dream Lab and more!

Enter for a free chance to win – and WIN BIG:

  • TWO HP ProLiant ML 310e G8 Servers
  • NETGEAR ReadyNAS storage system with 4 SSDs drives
  • HP V1410-16G Ethernet switch
  • TechNet Plus subscription for 1 year
  • Online course, books and test from
    VMware Education Services or Microsoft Learning
  • …and a MICROSOFT SURFACE!

 

Enterprise Hypervisor feature comparison (RHEV added)

Back by popular demand, the Enterprise Hypervisor feature comparison.

After the release of our latest comparison I’ve received a lot of requests to include RedHat’s RHEV to the comparison. Although I’ve never encountered it in enterprise environments, I decided to add it as a service to our readers.

I based the RedHat features on their 3.1 version which is in beta right now. This is because I’ve limited knowledge of the product and I received an updated comparison from one of our readers based on this version.

I hope you find the new Enterprise Hypervisor comparison useful and feel free to contact us when you have feedback for us to improve the list.

Which virtual switch to select in vSphere 5

There are a lot of choices to be made for networking in VMware vSphere 5. We’ve got the good ol’ vSwith, vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) and finally the Nexus 1000V from Cisco. But what is the best one?

vSwitch (vSphere standard switch)

A vSphere standard switch is a virtual switch that can be created on a single host. Port groups defined on this vSwitch will be local to the host on which the port group is created. In other words: If you have multiple hosts you have make sure that the port groups are identical across all hosts, especially when you want to use vmotion. For VMotion the port group names on the source and target host have to be the same.

 

 

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UCS Central available NOW

Last Thursday Cisco released version 1.0 of their new multi-UCS-domain management tool,
UCS Central and now it is generally available.

UCS Central is a product that enables IT administrators to manage multiple UCS domains that are managed through individual UCS Managers from a single location through a single interface. UCS Central works closely with UCS Manager and provides consolidated management functionality for multi-UCS-installations. It uses a policy management framework similar to UCS Manager but provides a broader scope of these policies across multiple UCS domains.

In addition, it also provides consolidation of data such as hardware and firmware inventory, faults, ID pools. The product is deployed as a virtual machine that works with the multiple UCS managers. UCS Central manages thousands of physical blade and rack servers that are integrated with UCS fabric interconnects distributed across multiple UCS domains. UCS Central provides a intuitive web based GUI and an accompanying CLI for user access . It also provides an XML API similar to the one found in UCS Manager to provide automation and integration capabilities with higher level systems management tools.

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Scense 8 released

Scense logoLast week Scense released their latest version of their workspace management product Scense 8. In their latest release they have been working towards giving ICT management more control over workspaces that aren’t connected to the corporate network on regular basis.

One of the biggest changes they have made is moving away from the DCOM-protocol and start using the HTTP-protocol. This is now possible because Scense is now supporting Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) which enables them to run on Internet Information Services (IIS). Running on IIS will give the product more scalability and use of other protocols (see image below). With the use of the HTTP-protocol, Scense is now able to offer its services over the internet including application distribution.

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CommVault introduces Simpana IntelliSnap Recovery Manager

Veeam

Recently CommVault has launched Simpana IntelliSnap Recovery Manager, a standalone software product for automating application-aware snapshot management and recovery of various storage arrays and physical and virtual servers.

Just like Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 this solution responds to the increasing use of hardware snapshots to restore business critical applications and virtual server environments.

Simpana IntelliSnap Recovery Manager provides a interface for the management and protection of applications from a single console. The software has built-in intelligence for the fast recovery of individual files, messages and objects. IntelliSnap Recovery Manager minimizes downtime and increases productivity with consistent application data recovery.

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Upgrading your vCenter Server Appliance from version 5.0 to 5.1 – A Howto

VMGuru used to run on an “ESXi only” install with no extra management. It’s a single server in a data center in Amsterdam, so there never was a need for a vCenter Server. When the VMware Octopus Beta started in which we participated, the deployment of the Octopus appliance required a vCenter server. So, instead of installing a full blown SQL server, a Windows server  etc., we decided to use the vCenter appliance.

With the introduction of ESX 5.1, a new vCenter also was introduced. The functions in the new vCenter Server Appliance have improved much so an upgrade is the way to go. Now when I tried this in my home lab, it went south big time and I ended up throwing everything away and starting over with a brand new vCenter install. For our server in Amsterdam I decided to do the upgrade again to show that it can be done properly. Now, VMware has a how to procedure in their knowledge base, but it’s very compressed and skips a few small steps, so we decided to write it out including screenshots to make it more accessible to all the folks out there who like to upgrade their vCenter Appliance but don’t know how.

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Free Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

Veeam

Last month Veeam released version 6.5 of their Veeam Backup & Replication product.

Now they have a great opportunity that you won’t want to miss! Veeam offers you a FREE 2-socket NFR license for Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 for all vExperts, VCPs, VCIs, MVPs, MCPs and MCTS-es.

If you’re a VMware vExpert, VMware Certified Professional (VCP) or VMware Certified Instructor (VCI), get your NFR here.

If you are an MVP, MCP or MCTS, click here to get your free license.

For a recap of all the new 6.5 features, take a look at the Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 webcast .

 

New: Veeam Backup & Replication v6.5

Veeam

Last week Veeam made their newest version of Backup & Replication v6.5 available. Veeam published their latest version as having the “WOW-factor”. Let’s have a look at the new features and see if it really has the WOW-factor.

First: Veeam Backup & replication 6.5 now fully supports VMware vSphere 5.1 and Windows 2012 Hyper-V. With the support of those two platforms they are the first to be doing so.

Second: Even though Backup & replication uses no agents it is now able to restore e-mails, calendars or contacts from a user’s Exchange mailbox without restoring a entire mailbox first. With the explorer capabilities you can simply browse through your backups, select a user’s mailbox and select the item that you want to recover.

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VMware View 5.1 and vSphere 5.1 now compatible

During the last patch cycle VMware made VMware View 5.1 and vSphere 5.1 compatible with each other.
For VMware vSphere 5.1 to support View 5.1 you need to do download a patch for ESXi 5.1 or an up to date ESXi 5.1 ISO image.

To download the ISO:

  • Navigate to the vSphere Download Center.
  • Click View Download for the VMware ESXi 5.1.0 Installable for your version of ESXi.
  • On the Product Downloads tab, download VMware-VMvisor-Installer-201210001-838463.x86_64.iso.

To download the patch, download ESXi510-201210001 from the Patch Download Center.

Just like with all the other updates: Before you update, make sure all the other components are compatible as well. For example back-up solutions and anti-malware are not always compatible with the most recent versions. Check the documentation before you do the upgrade.

SmartStack by Cisco, Nimble & VMware

Last week Nimble Storage announced a new reference architecture with Cisco Systems and VMware for 1.000 simultaneous VDI users, requiring only 3U of rack space, for $43 for storage per desktop. A pre-configured, fully-integrated system – built around the reference architecture, which consists of a Nimble CS220G-X2 array, Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) B-Series Blade server platform, and VMware View 5.1 – enables customers to rapidly provision VDI, realize significant savings over deployment of physical desktops, and achieve high levels of security and central manageability.

Highlights

  • Fully validated and tested Nimble Storage, Cisco and VMware reference architecture that eliminates the complexities of configuring compute, networking and storage;
  • Nimble Storage conducted load stress tests, including tests for boot storms and software patches, that optimize the system configuration;
  • Optimized desktop storage density: $43 per desktop for 1,000 users in 3U of rack space;
  • The architecture was tested with a moderate profile steady-state workload;
  • Modular product architecture provides easy scalability and support.

Architecture

  • Cisco UCS B-Series Blade server platform including six UCS B230 M2 blades, each with dual-socketed 10-core Intel CPU and 256GB RAM;
  • Dual, redundant 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections between the Nimble Storage array and Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect;
  • Windows 7 Enterprise virtual desktops with 1.5GB vRAM and one vCPU per desktop;
  • One Nimble Storage CS220G-X2 array with twelve 1TB hard disk drives and four 160GB flash SSDs;
  • VMware View 5.1 with VMware vSphere.

VMguru.nl at new hosting

Last Friday we moved to a new co-locating party. We experienced too much drop out in performance, connectivity or even power in the datacenter of our previous hoster. Therefore we decided to move to a first class hosting party, TransIP.

As far as we can tell, our web server is loading faster all over the world. But as you might imagine, we can’t check that everywhere for real. So let us know how you experience our website’s performance. Has it improved for you? Drop us a tweet via @vmguru_nl!

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: overpromising and underdelivering

A few weeks ago Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 and with it also Hyper-V 3. Hyper-V logoThe newest release of Hyper-V has some great improvements and new features which will in some cases definitely challenge VMware. To make use of these features and to manage your entire environment you need a management tool, just like VMware vSphere uses vCenter Server.

However at the time of writing, Hyper-V has no management tooling available. Normally System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (which is part of the System Center 2012 suite) would be used to manage the Hyper-V infrastructure. But the current version of System Center can’t handle Windows Server 2012, meaning no management for Hyper-V 3 servers either. The support for Windows Server 2012 is coming with the release of SP1 for System Center 2012 which will probably be released somewhere at the end of Q4 2012 or Q1 2013.

“It’s like selling a car without a steering wheel, dangerous and unsuitable for every day use.”

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Bye VMworld, until next year?

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

It is done! VMworld 2012 in Barcelona is over and today I will fly back home. Yesterday I mainly bested by visiting suppliers and sponsors of VMguru.nl.

The things that really matter to me and jumped in my daily work directly also can use were:

• The new ExpressPod by Cisco and NetApp;
• The storage solution of Violin Memory;
• The Cisco UCS Central Manager.

So yesterday was relationsmanagement/networking time and at the end of the day I said goodbye to the rest of the VMware Community. Most of them I see probably next year again until the next VMworld.

If I will be going again or if it’s going to be a VMworld in Barcelona or San Francisco I do not know. It was another great VMworld but I’m going home with mixed feelings.

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VMworld 2012 Barcelona wrap-up with VKernel

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

A wrap-up of VMworld 2012 in Barcelona with Alex Rosemblat of VKernel/Quest/Dell.

AJ discusses VDI storage solutions

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

AJ discusses VDI storage solutions with Jonathan Klick from VKernel/Quest/Dell.

Manage multiple Cisco UCS domains with one tool

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

Today I visited the Cisco booth here at VMworld 2012 in Barcelona and got a inside view of the UCS Central. UCS Central is a tool Cisco is working on to manage multiple Cisco UCS systems/domains. At the moment it is still in beta but they expect to release it Nov/Dec 2012.


UCS Central is serves as the UCS central nervous system and integrates all UCS components across multiple UCS domains, managing server blades, VMs, storage and networking—across multiple chassis—as a single logical domain. UCS Central provides an intuitive GUI with a command-line interface (CLI) and XML API options. It enables real-time configuration and reconfiguration of resources. The built-in XML API provides an open management framework for customers, developers, system integrators and managed service providers to interoperate with Cisco Unified Computing System resources.

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A VMworld party hangover

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

Wednesday evening is traditionally the evening for the VMworld party. At VMworld we work very hard but we party harder but yesterday it got a bit too wild. This morning I woke up with a large VMGuru-logo-tattoo on my arm ;-)

There’s just no limit to my dedication to VMGuru.nl I suppose ….