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 .