New fling AND a pass for VMworld 2014?

Perhaps you are already using a fling from VMware, for example the View pool manager or the Autodeploy GUI. But it isn’t enough. You want more. You have the need to automate some manual task and there just isn’t a tool for it right now.

Well, here’s your chance. VMware invites you to share ideas for new VMware Flings from August 26 to November 15, 2013. The submitter of the winning Fling idea, as chosen by the VMware judging panel, will be awarded a Free Pass to VMworld 2014. Even more exciting is that VMware will build and release a new Fling based on the winning idea.

For example: You have a VMware Horizon View setup with multiple vCenter Servers and equal Update Managers. You now have to manage multiple Update Managers servers and multiple dashboards to check for the compliancy of your environment. But there is nothing different between the Update Manager servers, except that they are configured for a different vCenter server.

If only there was a tool that could manage multiple Update Manager servers and pull the compliancy information into a single dashboard.

Well, that is just the thing that you would enter at the fling contest.

For this specific example I already entered a suggestion at https://flingcontest.vmware.com/ideas/vmware-update-manager-manager, but perhaps you need another tool.

Just go ahead and enter it at https://flingcontest.vmware.com and perhaps we will see you at VMworld 2014.

VMworld TV presents: SLOOFISMS

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Explore the unique world of superstar blogger Eric Sloof with this compilation of his one-of-a-kind vocabulary, known as ‘Sloofisms’.

VMworld TV: Wrap up VMworld Europe 2013 day 2

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VMworld TV gives you a wrap up of all of VMworld Europe 2013 in Barcelona.
If you want to know what happened in Barcelona check out the video below.

VMworld: Innovation at the Solutions Exchange

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If you wandered through the halls of the congress complex you’ve probably also seen the Solutions Exchange.

At the Solutions Exchange more than 125 exhibitors are showing their products or vision for the future. Some of these exhibitors are the ones you probably already know, like VMware, EMC, Cisco, Dell. HP. These exhibitors have a lot to show you. There is a lot of innovation going on right now.

There are however exhibitors that aren’t that well-known. Most of their booths are smaller and are place at the far edge of the Solutions Exchange. They too have a lot of innovation going on, but it is easy to miss.

When you visited the Solutions Exchange already and didn’t visit these exhibitors, I think it would be a good idea to make second trip to the Solutions Exchange, but this time visit these smaller booths. Talk to the people and get a demo of their products, but a lot of ideas and innovation has come (and will come I think) from these people.

If you didn’t visit the Solutions Exchange yet, I strongly advice you to go and meet the vendors behind the products you might be using already and start your visit with the booths at the far end of the hall.

The Solutions Exchange is open from 10.30 till 16.00.

VMworld Europe 2013 – keynote speech

This post is a recollection of the general session at Tuesday. If you missed the VMworld Europe 2013 general session you can watch it later at VMware Now, http://www.vmware.com/now

Maurizio Carli, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA, opened the general session with history about the company and some figures:

More than 8.500 attendees this year at VMworld Europe 2013
2008: first VMworld Europe (Cannes, France)
Maurizio talked about the journey we are in right now.

After Marizion Pat Gelsinger takes the stage:

First we were in the mainframe age, central computing, central processing. After that we were in the client-server era.
Now it is the challenge to liberate resources from the client-server world.

Today a large portion of the total IT budget is spent on ‘keeping the lights on’. Less than 30% is spent on IT innovation
The infrastructure is brittle, management is hard

Luckily amongst VMware customers this percentage is somewhat better: 40% of the IT budget is spent on innovation
The goal is at least 50/50 for IT as a Service. When more money is being spent on innovation business can be more agile and competitive.

There are millions of apps, each with their own, unique, requirements.

Who will lead the mobile-cloud Era? You
A lot of comparisons were made between IT admins and: Gods, ninjas, full fighters, but eventually we see ourselves as champions. We conquer challenges on a daily basis.
And let’s not forget who the people are for we do it all: The end users, IT’s most demanding customers.

Next Sanjay Poonen is invited on stage. Sanjay is the Executive vice president & General Manager End-user Computing at VMware.
Sanjay makes a remark to the ‘cult-like following’ of the people working with VMware products.

The thing we all want is a virtual workspace, any place, any time, any device. The challenge is, as always, the end user freedom vs IT control.

What the enduser wants is:
consistent access
personal vs work data
choice
eventually ‘work and life balanced’

What IT wants is:
fully automated
policy driven
centrally managed

Sanjay makes a short comment about the VMware Horizon View 5.3 announcement.

Breakthrough innovations:
performance
management
cost reduction
OpEx Predictability

One of the most important quests the coming year is to make the cost of VDI the same or lower than the cost of a laptop.
VMware bought a company Desktone, which delivers a Desktop-as-a-Service platform.
from the press release:
“Desktone is a leader in desktop-as-a-service and has a complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to deliver DaaS,” said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “By bringing Desktone’s innovative platform in house, VMware can accelerate the delivery of DaaS through its network of over 11,000 VMware service provider partners while helping to shape and lead the future of the industry.”

Check the press release for more information: http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-euc-daas-10-15-13

VMware focusses on three areas:

  • Software Defined DataCenter
  • end-user computing
  • hybrid cloud

The software defined datacenter is built on four components:

  • compute
  • network
  • storage
  • management

3 imperatives for IT infra:

1: virtualization extends to ALL of IT

2: it management gives way to automation

3 compatible hybrid cloud is ubiquitous

Things to do to virtualize ALL of IT:

  • expand virtual compute to all apps
  • transform storage by aligning it with app demands
  • virtualize the network for speed and efficiency
  • management tools give way to automation
    (Next up: virtualization of networking, transforming the next layer of the datacenter)

The infrastructure is for traditional apps as well as next-gen apps

  • vSphere as computing platform
  • Extending the platform to be programmable + policy based

Next Thierry Breton, Atos, was invited on-stage.

Thierry told about the internal eradication of e-mail and replacing it by social media solutions.
In the end it isn’t about the technology, but about changing companies to invent the future

Pat gave us some extra things about vSphere 5.5

  • expanding virtualing compute to all apps – taking advantage of virtualization
  • mission critical apps -> 2x
  • app-aware high availability
  • big data extensions ‘ physical hadoop no more’

Now Apps (heart) VMware

Clound Foundry:

  • developer agility on reliable infrastruture
  • the leading hybrid PaaS
  • early access program available now
  • GA before end of the week

now even more apps (heart) VMware

Some storage related items:

  • simplified operating model for storage
  • policy driven control plane
  • application-centric data service like de-dupe, snaps, replication , caching, bck-up, encryption
  • virtual dataplane
  • converged infrastructure pool -> announcing vmware virtual san
  • extends the hypervisor to the storage
  • use case, vdi, branch offices

Other announcements:
data protection advanced 5.5, with 1/4 storage space need, restore 6x faster
vSAN GA 1st half 2014 (now in public beta)
virtual volumes (vVol): tech preview, partner demos
vSphere flash read cache, already in vSphere 5.5
Virtsto write cache, data svcs, now available

According to Pat the most important topic for today is to virtualize the network for speed and efficiency.

Pat introduces  Martin Casado – Chief Technology Officer Networking at VMware

The challenges with networking from a virtualization perspective

  • provisioning is slow
  • hardware dependent
  • operationally intensive

The solution: Networking Virtualization
VMware NSX is the networking virtualization platform. It will change the model and flexibility of the networking.

To put it in a nutshell: What VMware ESX is to server virtualization what VMware NSX is to network virtualization. NSX does the same things as ESX, like rapid deployment, snapshotting, etc. without physical space, recabling.

why now? In 2010 the crossover between VM and physical servers happened. More virtual servers were commissioned than physical servers.
Last year the total number of virtual network ports exceeded that of the number of physical ports, so again an important crossover.

A number of large companies are already busy with NSX, like Citi, eBay and GE.

The VMware NSX Platform is GA as we speak.

 

Some announcements from the automation/management front:

Cloud Automomation: vCloud Automation Center 6.0
Cloud operations: VMware vCenter Operations Management 5.8, vCenter Log Insight 1.5
Cloud business: IT business 8.0 suite, IT business management suite 1.0

three monitoring pillars:

  • storage analytics (out of the box storage analytics from vCenter Operations)
  • log analytics
  • application health monitor

VMware is fully committed to managing heterogeneous environments, from physical workloads, vSphere and cloud providers
IDC named VMware #1 in cloud management

Pat sets the definition from a VMware perspective for the hybrid cloud: seamless extension of your on-premise IT infrastructure
existing & new apps with common management, common networking and common support

After all the announcements Bill Fathers,senior VP & general manager vCloud Hybrid Service, takes the stage.
Bill showed some big customers for the vCloud Hybrid service that can extend your on-premise platform to the cloud when you need it.
One of them was Harley-Davidson Dealer Systems. Because of the vCloud Hybrid Service they shaved of couple of months of their project timeline for implementation of a new web frontend for the dealers.

Bill also gave some Europe specific announcements for the vCloud Hybrid Service, since Europe has specific demands on legal and privacy .

  • First location in Europe -> UK
  • beta program in november in Europe
  • Desktop-as-a-Service beta in november
  • application marketplace now available

Pat ends the general session with:

you are poised to rewire the world…. again

Can’t make it to Barcelona?

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I know that not everybody can make it to Barcelona. Too much work, unable to persuade your manager, etc.etc.

Fear not! The keynote session for VMworld Europe 2013 is streamed live. Add this to your calendar as a reminder (ICS).

Watch the live stream on 15 October at http://vmware.com/go/now

  • 9:00am Central European Time
  • 3:00am Eastern Time
  • 12:00am Pacific Time

Replay will be posted after the event.

Ah, you don’t know what VMworld is?

From VMworld.com:

 

VMworld is back in sunny Barcelona! Don’t miss the opportunity to network with more than 8,000 IT professionals and over 100 sponsors while you gain key insights into the value of virtualizing across the entire data center.

This must-attend event provides the education you need to stay on top of the latest IT trends and best practices. With over 200 breakout sessions you will learn more about cutting-edge topics like the software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, cloud management, mobility and so much more.

So, enjoy the live stream tomorrow and we’ll hope to see you next year at VMworld.

VMworld Europe 2013: vRockstar 2013

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The kick-off for Vmworld Europe 2013 has been given. For those who missed it, last year vRockstar was held at the Hard Rock cafe in Barcelona. This year it was even bigger. Patrick Redknap, Marco Broeken, Robert Payne & Hans De Leenheer again did a great job starting VMworld Europe 2013 in style.

Guys, thank you for doing a great job. Also thanks to the sponsors (PHD Virtual, Cisco, SanDisk, Simplivity, NimbleStorage, VMTurbo & Purestorage) for making it to a success.

We’ll see what next year brings.

But first: Have fun at VMworld Europe 2013.

 

Review: Thecus N4520 – Part 1

ThecusLogo.pngLast year Edwin did a review of the Thecus TopTower N8850, a beautiful enterprise grade NAS with a lot of features. So when the friendly people at Thecus send us the Thecus N4520 to review it was my turn.

Thecus positions the N4520 as “the ultimate home and SMB NAS for any user who manges daily data backups, personal cloud to multimedia playback purposes”. Next to storing your data the N4520 is also able to play your video content on an HDMI device.

“The integration of the new Intel® Atom™ processor CE5315 and Thecus® award-winning NAS is truly a revolution. We are proud to be the initial storage manufacture to embed Intel’s first SoC storage dedicated chip, said Florence Shih, General Manager of Thecus®. This pairing is phenomenal because it offers a new energy efficient, multimedia powerhouse and performance driven NAS solution to the storage industry.”

If you see the list of features that Thecus put into this product it isn’t hard to image they are proud.

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Deep Security 8.0 SP2 released

Trend Micro released Deep Security 8.0 Service Pack 2 on January 21, 2013.LogoTrendMicroTP

Next to a couple of bugfixes this version supports even more Operating Systems. With this release Trend Micro Deep Security supports Windows 8 and Windows 2012 (agent) and VMware vSphere 5.1 (DSVA).

Click more for a complete list of supported operating systems.

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vKernel did it again: vOPS Server Explorer 6.3

VKernel, now under the Dell flag, just released version 6.3 of the vOPS Server Explorer freeware suite.Next to the already present tools Environment Explorer, SearchMyVM Explorer, and vScope Explorer  they added two new utilities: Storage Explorer and Change Explorer.

Using the same analytics and advisory engine from the paid vOPS Server Standard product, all five of these utilities provide virtual administrators with a rapid assessment of the state of their environment, for free!

So what is Storage Explorer?

Storage Explorer assesses storage performance and capacity views across datastores and VMs that helps VM admins to get better visibility of their storage environment.

It has the following features:

  • Identify critical datastore issues such as overcommitment, low capacity, high latency, VMFS version mismatch.
    Storage Explorer collects inventory and performance data from datastores and apply rules based on best practices to highlight if any critical conditions are found. Such examples includes overcommitment, low capacity and high latency. Other useful information includes VMFS version, storage path policy and number of VMs.
  • Identify critical VM issues such as low available disk space, high latency and throughput
    Storage Explorer collects inventory and performance data from VMs and apply rules based on best practices to highlight if any critical conditions are found. Examples includes low available disk space, high latency and throughput.

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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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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.

Trend Micro Deep Security 9 on its way

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

During VMworld 2012 in San Fransisco Trend Micro announced the next version of their hypervisor based security product. They announced a lot of new and cool features and improvements which are probably gonna make into the final product.

I just got a demo at the Trend Micro booth here at VMworld in Barcelona and it look very promising.

(Please remember that the product is not released yet. Things may change before it is generally available.)

vSphere and Cloud support
Deep Security 9 supports vSphere 5.1 and vCloud Networking and Security 5.1. Next to the support for vSphere 5.1 there is also support and integration for vCloud Director and Amazon cloud services.

De-cluttering of the interface

I’m not sure if you would classify this as a new feature, but in my opinion it should be high on the list. Trend Micro redesigned the interface a bit. Now the system configuration and tweaking no longer is a two day trip through al configuration tabs. I didn’t count them, but in the demo today I saw less tabs.

 

Multi-tenancy

VMworld Europe 2012 – General Session

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

(This article reflects the general session of Tuesday. It isn’t a literal transcript)

Before the first keynote starts the General session was opened with a spectacular show with dancers and music, etc.

First on stage is VMware’s Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackson.

  • It’s 11 degrees centigrade in Copenhagen. ‘We’ve made the right choice’ (It’s about 26 degrees centigrade in Barcelona right now)
  • 8,000 attendees;
  • VMUG – 75.000 members worldwide, Europe has 45 regional chapters.

Wednesday the general session will be about “Empowering the workforce of tomorrow, that’s here today” by Steve Harrod.

Rick introduces Pat Gelsinger

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How to deliver Services powered by VMware vCloud (PAR1519)

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

The first day of VMworld Europe was, as always, reserved for partners. During this day a lot of partner specific sessions are presented. In the session “How to deliver Services Powered by VMware vCloud (PAR1519)” by Bart Schneider (VSSP manager VMware EMEA).

Some statistics: there are vCloud Powered datacenters in 29 countries and 196 cities. There are more than 150 vClouds with a growth of 169%

In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Services four of the five built their cloud proposition on VMware vCloud. The only exception is Amazon. According to Gartner there are only two worthy cloud ecosystems growing in the world right now: Amazon and VMware. We’ll see if VMware is satisfied with a second place.

Use cases for vCloud solutions are:

  • Rapid deployment
  • Development/test environments
  • Tier 1 production applications
  • global access
  • Elastic Capacity

Trend Micro Deep Security 8.0 SP1 released

Last Friday Trend Micro released Deep Security 8.0 Service Pack 1. 

The most significant changes in SP1 are:

  • On Demand scan agent based anti-malware on Linux. Supported versions are Red Hat Linux 5, 6 (64 bit only), Suse Linux 10, 11 (32 and 64bit)
  • Protecting ESX 4.1/ESXi 4.1 hosts with Deep Security 8.Deep Security can now provide protection for virtual machines running on ESX/ESXi 4.1 and 5.0. You can use the same Deep Security Virtual Appliance in combination with the proper version of the Filter Driver.
  • Improved anti-malware scan exclusions.Exclusions were only possible for files. Now directories, files and file extensions are supported for the anti-malware scan, either by listing them specifically or through the use of wildcards.
  • More Localization. The manager is now also available in Japanese and Simplified Chinese. The agent and notifier are also localized in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

When you have installed Deep Security 8.0 it will automatically warn you that an update is available. Since it was only released a couple of days ago there is little  information available about the update. As with all updates, test it on a small scale before deploying it to your full environment.

Updated: Build numbers database

VMguruIt is time for an updated version of our build numbers database.
Besides adding the new build numbers I also ‘repaired’ some errors.

If you think you’re missing products or  build numbers, please leave a comment below. I’ll do my best to add them to the list.

Installing the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance

One of the things that has been on my to do list for a very long time was to check out the vCenter Appliance. I finally found the time to install the vCenter appliance in my own lab and fool around with it.

This post is a mix between my findings and some kind of installation instruction.

But first of all, what’s the VMware vCenter virtual appliance and what are the pro’s, cons and limitations.

The VMware vCenter virtual appliance is a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 running VMware vCenter on a internal embedded DB2 database or an external Oracle database. The appliance is available for download on the VMware website and is configured with 2 vCPUs, 8GB RAM, LSI Logic SCSI controller, VMXNET 3 network interface and the VMware Tools.

The advantages over a traditional vCenter implementations are:

  • Lower TCO by eliminating Windows licenses;
  • Simple and rapid deployment;
  • Reduce operational costs – vCSA is easy to upgrade – deploy a new appliance, connect it to the external Oracle database or import configuration data from the previous installation.
The disadvantages are the same as the limitations.The vCenter Server virtual appliance has the same features as the Windows vCenter Server but does not support the following: