Updated: Supported Business Applications on the VMware Platform

More and more applications are supported on the VMware Platform, with the release of VMware vSphere 5.5 the boundaries of virtual machines have been expanded even more. Often we get questions about which applications are supported on the VMware virtual platform. There is a website page where you can search for specific applications and if they are supported by the software publisher and a link to the support statement. In January 2012 there where 3490 applications support, nowadays the counter shows 5058 applications and counting.

You can search for an application by entering its title or the name of the software publisher.  Search results will display all supported software as well as applications that have already been submitted by other users.  If the application is not currently supported, you may Register/Login to vote and help VMware get the application officially supported sooner by the software publisher.

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Need a ‘Cloaked’ Private, Hybrid or Public Cloud?

Where Cloud visibility and control meets security. HyTrust Acquires HighCloud Security!

Last year I had a very nice conversation with Eric Chiu about everything in the datacenter moving into software and the risky things around that move, today HyTrust Inc., the Cloud Security Automation Company,  announced that it has acquired HighCloud Security, a leader in cloud encryption and key management software. By combining HyTrust’s powerful administrative visibility and control with HighCloud’s strengths in encryption and key management, the acquisition offers customers of both companies an unprecedented level of flexibility in addressing security, compliance and data privacy requirements in all cloud environments—private, public and hybrid.

BuckleUpHyTrust.png

The combined offering from HyTrust and HighCloud enables ‘cloaked’ private, hybrid and public clouds and helps address three of the primary security concerns in cloud environments. These are:
• The broad level of access available to privileged users with malicious intent (or those who acquire their credentials)
• Breaches and other data center disasters caused not by criminal intent but through human error or misconfiguration
• Challenges involved in maintaining the security and privacy of the data itself

While these issues don’t always get the attention they deserve, security executives are certainly aware of the concerns that stem from in-house misuse. A recent report1 from Forrester Research notes that insiders rather than extraneous criminal elements were the top source of breaches in the past 12 months, and 36% of them were caused not by malfeasance but by inadvertent misuse of data by employees.

In this environment, HyTrust and HighCloud Security offer unique and complementary strengths to the market.

Eric Chiu, president and founder of HyTrust, said: “HyTrust represents the control point for cloud management, providing automated policy-based security for private cloud environments that can enable both trusted hybrid clouds and ‘cloaked’ public clouds. HighCloud encryption, meanwhile, can be deployed in private, hybrid and public clouds, ensuring data security and privacy as organizations migrate between these environments.”

Cloud computing, and the security concerns that go with it, remain a top priority for most organizations. According to technology analyst firm Gartner Inc., nearly half of large enterprises have deployed a private cloud service and three-fourths expect to have hybrid cloud deployments by 2015.2 A full 80% of organizations intend to use cloud services in some form within the next year, while 60% plan to increase their investment in the next two to five years.3

Chiu continued: “The service also enables a unique level of ‘walk-way’ freedom by making it possible to securely change cloud providers or decommission from the cloud without having to worry about data being left behind. This also makes it easier for corporations to achieve compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and PCI.”

While the technologies can already be used together, the HighCloud solution will in the future be integrated into HyTrust to more tightly bind administrative controls with data security in cloud environments, making encryption and key management invisible to the end user. HighCloud’s engineering team will join HyTrust, continuing to provide support and maintenance to existing customers, and moving forward with the development of HighCloud’s technology roadmap.

“HighCloud and HyTrust have had many ties over the years and solve complementary problems for customers,” said Bill Hackenberger, co-founder, president and CEO of HighCloud Security. “Together, HyTrust and HighCloud give enterprises unprecedented ability to address security, compliance and data privacy requirements for all cloud environments, private, hybrid and public.”

With this move, HyTrust adds HighCloud Security’s strong data encryption and key management to its administrative visibility and control, enabling end-to-end security for cloud environments.
Together, the combined solution will offer significant benefits to enterprises and cloud service providers, including:
• Easier compliance with HIPAA, PCI and other privacy regulations
• Controlling and alerting against actions by rogue administrators, or those who gain their credentials
• Preventing catastrophic datacenter failures caused by administrative error
• Protection against data theft or accidental exposure in the public, private or hybrid cloud
• Enabling secure migration to, from and between different cloud environments

While we all move more and more to the Software Defined Data Center it is good to have controls in place like the two man rule and have software who shields sensitive data in the hybrid or even public cloud. I support the HyTrust vision of enabling automated, policy-based security for the cloud to prevent breaches and data center disasters. Data Centers can now completely be provisioned but also destroyed with the click of a mouse button!!

If you wanna know more about HyTrust and their vision and why they acquired HighCloud Security there is a live webinar on November 20th at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific

 

 

 

 

Acronis vmProtect

Acronis LogoRecently we where approached by Acronis if we would be interested in having a look at their backup and replication product called vmProtect. vmProtect is suitable for environments that have up to 100 virtual clients in a vSphere virtual infrastructure.

The installation and reviewing is based on vmProtect version 8, in the mean time however Acronis released version 9.

In this article we will have a look at some of the features and the GUI for vmProtect version 8 and I will point out some new features for version 9.

First off let’s have a look at the installation of vmProtect. Starting the installation file offers you three options:

  • Install vmProtect as a Virtual Appliance (linux based) into your existing vSphere infrastructure. At this moment hypervisor support is limited to VMware vSphere 4.0 and later.
  • Install vmProtect on the system you are currently logged on to. Installation can be done on both windows desktops as windows servers.
  • Extract the installation files for usage on a later time or other location (you will get to choose which files (OVF / MSI) and to what location you want to extract the files)

For the review I selected the first option and installed vmProtect as an appliance.

During the installation of the appliance you will need to enter the vCenter or ESX(i) server IP address or DNS name and a user name & password. The next step of the installation will ask for the:

  • Appliance name: You can use a name convention that is used within your own server infrastructure.
  • ESX(i) host: If you choose to use vCenter in the previous step, you can now select the host on which the initial deployment will be executed.
  • Network: Select the portgroup that you want to use.
  • Storage: Select the datastore that you want to use.
  • Enable vCenter integration: This enables the plugin for vCenter and allows you to manage all vmProtect jobs.
  • Automatically start the VA after a host reboot: Allow the appliance to be started automatically after the host reboots

Next you can choose for the appliance to use DHCP or enter manual IP settings. After choosing the IP settings the deployment of the appliance will commence.

When the deployment is finished you can connect to the appliance in several ways:

  • Console of the VA: This will allow you to change settings like appliance name, time zone, IP settings. Also this is the place to add more storage for the appliance to use with the backup & replication jobs. Finally you have the option to power off or reboot the appliance.
  • Web browser: Using the format https://server_name you can access the management console for vmProtect. This allows you to manage and create new jobs for backup, restore and replication actions.
  • vCenter plugin: Offers the same functionality as the web version but then from the vSphere client

The first time that you open the management console you will need to enter the licenses. Licensing is done per CPU that is present within the ESX(i) host. Also on the page you will be offered to create the first backup job.

For the creation of a backup job you only have to select the vm’s that you want to backup, when you want the backup to occur (both one time runs or repeated) and where you want the backup to be located. With additional options you can choose whether to store all backups in one file or separate files, to automatically delete older backups and you can enter a second location for the backups to be stored.

Now I can write down every single process on how to create the jobs, but creating jobs is really easy and straight forward. This isn’t only true for the creation of backup jobs but also for settings up replication and restore jobs. The screenshots below will show some of the management pages that you can expect. The interface is nice and clean and shows exactly what you need to exceed in your current goal.

So let’s focus on some of the features that are offered by vmProtect:

  • Replication of vm’s.
  • Recovery of a single file for a vm.
  • Single-pass technology adds protection for Microsoft Exchange on granular level.
  • Multiple-destination and staging of backups.
  • Run vm’s directly from backup.
  • vmFlashback decreases recovery time by skipping unchanged blocks.
  • Migrate servers (P2V or V2V) with the use of imaging technology.
  • Backup to Cloud storage.

New features added in vmProtect version 9 are:

  • Centralized Dashboard enables you to manage multiple vmProtect instances from one management console
  • Protection for Microsoft SQL, SharePoint and Active Directory on agranular level.
  • Configuration Restore enables the option to create a backup of vmProtect settings so all you tasks and settings can be restored for vmProtect itself

To me vmProtect seems like a very good candidate to be using in smaller infrastructures. The installation, configuration and management of the appliance are simple, the interface is very clear and seems like a complete backup solution. Drawbacks might be that there is no support for backup to tape, like with Veeam Back-up & Recovery. Also you won’t be able to backup physical servers and servers that are hosted on other hypervisors, like MS Hyper-V. If these drawbacks are no issue for your infrastructure or you can work around them then I would suggest you try out Acronis vmProtect.

Veeam Back-up & Replication 7 available NOW

Veeam logoVeeam has just released the new version of their award winning product, Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Back-up & Replication 7 includes a lot of enhancement and cool new features.

With these new features and enhancements Veeam Backup & Replication 7 leverages the capabilities and benefits of virtualization to deliver a powerful, easy-to use and affordable solution for protecting your virtual infrastructure.

New features

Enhanced Backup & Recovery for vCloud Director
Using the vCD API, Veeam will display the vCD infrastructure directly in Veeam Backup & Replication, backup all vApp metadata and attributes, restore vApps and virtual machines directly to vCD, and support restore of fast-provisioned VMs. The integration with vCloud Director currently includes the ability to backup and restore virtual machines managed by vCloud Director.

vSphere Web Client  integration
Monitor backups and backup infrastructure directly from vSphere, identify unprotected virtual machines, and simplify capacity planning. The vSphere Web Client plug-in will have good information such as success, warning, and failure counts for all jobs as well as some cumulative information on key backup infrastructure topics such as storage space used and available.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint
Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint provides instant visibility into SharePoint backups, advanced search capabilities, and quick recovery of individual SharePoint items. Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint introduces a single tool that can easily be used to backup, compress and deduplicate SharePoint data stores.

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New free tool Snapshot Explorer added to Foglight for Virtualization toolkit

Foglight for VirtualizationSnapshot Explorer completes Dell’s Free Utility Toolbox for Virtual Machine Administrators. Detect all snapshots, including orphaned snapshots, to avoid problems with performance and capacity with this 6th utility which got added today! Foglight for Virtualization was formerly know under the name vOPS Server Explorer from vKernel. With the latest tool Snapshot explorer you can eliminate time consuming and tedious need to track snapshots manually.

The complete Foglight for Virtualization Free Edition toolbox contains up to a total of six very helpful utilities which are handy for any Virtualization Administrator around today.

The following tools are in the toolbox:

  • Snapshot Explorer detects all snapshots, including orphaned snapshots, to avoid Problems with performance and capacity
  • Environment Explorer provides at-a-glance information about performance, efficiency and capacity
  • vScope Explorer offers immediate identification of VMs, hosts and data stores suffering performance, capacity and efficiency issues
  • SearchMyVM Explorer delivers search capabilities, similar to Google, of the virtual environment
  • Storage Explorer assesses storage performance and capacity across data stores and VMs
  • Change Explorer lists all changes that occur in a virtual environment, and provides associated risk impact!

SixGreatTools

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Veeam Back-up & Replication v7

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Today Veeam announced 2 more secret features of their new and improved version of Veeam Backup & Replication, version v7.0.

The ‘Back-up from storage snapshots’ and ‘Build-in WAN Acceleration’ features now complete the list of 9 new features.

The new version now contains the following new features, check it out:

  • Enhanced Backup & Recovery for vCloud Director;
  • vSphere Web Client  integration;
  • Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint;
  • Virtual Lab for Hyper-V;
  • Native Tape Support;
  • Enhanced 1-Click Restore;
  • Virtual Lab for Replicas (VMware Only);
  • Back-up from storage snapshots;
  • Build-in WAN acceleration.

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Do you want to attend TechEd 2013?

So you want to attend TechEd 2013?Tickets

In March, Veeam is giving away a free pass to TechEd 2013. All you have to do is register.

The winner will be selected on March 18, so you have two weeks left to win!

VeeamContest

 

 

 

 

 

VMware acquires Virsto Software

VirstoToday, VMware announced the acquisition of Virsto Software, a company which creates storage optimization software for virtual environments.

Any administrator will tell you that managing performance and data services for virtual machines can be challenging, especially in I/O-intensive environments like virtual desktops. With Virsto storage optimization software you can accelerate I/O performance for any block-based storage system and deliver data efficiency services like snapshots and clones. With these technologies it is possible to improve the performance and utilization of storage systems.

Paired with VMware vSphere, the Virsto storage hypervisor is a simple plug-in that addresses the storage problems associated with server and desktop virtualization. With Virsto enterprises can:

  • Reduce VM disk footprint by 90%
  • Unclog I/O bottlenecks and triple VM density
  • Increase VM performance up to 10x
  • Eliminate 99% of the time spent provisioning VM storage

VMware will continue to offer Virsto’s standalone virtual appliance to help accelerate storage performance and improve efficiency in VMware vSphere environments. But their main use for Virsto is to include the Virsto technology into the VMware products and improve their software defined storage solutions and therefor improving their overall software defined datacenter solution.

More information regarding the acquisition can be found here.

PCoIP Support for Microsoft RDS

PCoIP

This week Teradici, creator of the PCoIP protocol, released a technology preview of their new product named Teradici Arch. Teradici Arch is asoftware-based solution that enables the use of the PCoIP protocol for Microsoft  RDS as an alternative to Microsoft RDP.

This should provide better user experience and access to the entire PCoIP ecosystem, PCoIP thin clients, APEX accelerator cards, etc.

Teradici has been forced to delay the release of Arch due to a scalability issue but a new tech preview will still allow enterprises to familiarize themselves with the product. The final product release is expected in Q3 2013.

This solution should be an ideal solution for enterprises with mixed environment of VMware View VDI and Microsoft RDS. I wonder how many of these mixed environments exist. The only mixed PCoIP/RDP environments I have seen in my work are View environments where both protocols are used to connect to the same View desktops to use MMR instead of PCoIP acceleration.

The PCoIP protocol is now available for use with terminal services for more performance over any network type and access to the PCoIP ecosystem of products including low maintenance, ultra-secure zero clients. Teradici Arch enables customers to:

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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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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!

 

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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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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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

vFoglight Storage 2.0 released

VMworld 2012 San Francisco / Barcelona

 

 

Storage and server teams have historically had difficulty working together and often end up “finger-pointing” to each other. Today vKernel/Quest released the new vFoglight Storage 2.0 which can perform end-to-end performance monitoring across the entire data path from application to disk. Many issues originate in storage, vFoglight Storage 2.0 can connect the server data to the storage array to determine what is causing the issue.

VMware announced a move towards tighter integration into EMC storage arrays for data collection at EMCWorld 2012. vFoglight Storage 2.0 currently delivers “out-of-the-box” support for multiple storage vendors already, fulfilling on VMware’s “vision”.

The new vFoglight Storage 2.0 introduces features and integration that enables application to disk performance monitoring. This will allow server and storage teams to literally work on the same page to troubleshoot, manage and plan for VM performance.

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