Monday, December 28, 2015

VMware Product Walkthroughs

NSX.. EVO:RAIL.. Virtual SAN.. ever wish you could have a simple one-stop-shop for learning about the latest virtualization technologies? A place to answer the questions of "Why does this exist" and "How can this help me" or "If I were interested, what would this cost me?"

Enter Product Walkthroughs.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 7.27.29 AM

VMware's Product Walkthroughs site is a publicly available resource for answering those questions. The best part is the site not only covers basic product overview, but it drills down into feature sets too. Try utilizing the Search bar or browse the Trending topics to see additional topics like understanding vROPs Forecasting Capacity, or Restoring a virtual machine with vSphere Data Protection, or learning more about the ESXi Firewall.

Remember to share with your friends! Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

New Release Menu Dec 21st

FmGZuSwnChristmas has come early! Buckle up.. because there's been a host of new releases from VMware over the past two weeks.

Below you'll find their release date and links to release notes for each release. I hope you find this helpful!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
- Ryan


vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for SRM 6.1 6.1.0a (Dec. 18th)
vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for SRM 6.0 (Dec 18th)
vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.2.0 (Dec. 8th)
vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.2.0 (Dec. 8th)
vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps 1.0 (Dec. 8th)
vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for VR-A 7.0.0 (Dec. 17th)
VMware vRealize Business Adv/Ent 8.2.4 (Dec. 17th)
VMware vRealize Business Standard 7.0.0 (Dec. 17th)
VMware vRealize Orchestrator 7.0.0 (Dec. 17th)
VMware vRealize Automation 7.0.0 (Dec. 17th)
VMware Software manager - Download Service 1.3 (Dec. 8th)
VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions 2.3.0 (Dec. 8th)

VMware Fusion 8.1.0 EUC (Dec. 8th)
VMware Workstation 12.1 EUC (Dec. 8th)
VMware Mirage 5.6 EUC (Dec. 8th)
VMware FLEX 1.7 EUC (Dec. 8th)
VMware Horizon View 6.2.1 EUC (Dec. 8th)
VMware Horizon for Linux 6.2.1 EUC (Dec. 8th)

VMware Continuent for Clustering 5.0 (Dec. 9th)
VMware Continuent for Replication 5.0 (Dec. 9th)
VMware Continuent for Analytics and Big Data 5.0 (Dec. 9th)
VMware Continuent for Disaster Recovery 5.0 (Dec. 9th)

Infra / Core
vCloud Director for Service Providers 5.6.5 (Dec. 10th)
VMware Integrated OpenStack 2.0.1 (Dec. 10th)
VMware NSX for vSphere 6.2.1 (Dec. 17th)
VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5.0 P07 Infrastructure (Dec. 8th)
VMware vCenter Server 5.5.0 u3b Infrastructure (Dec. 8th)

Friday, December 4, 2015

New Release Menu Dec 4th

FmGZuSwnIt's that time again, the bi-weekly New Release Menu covering VMware's publicly new and recent releases over the past two weeks.

Below you'll find the product and its version, a link to its Release Notes, and the date it was released.


App Volumes 2.10 (Nov 24)
VMware Tools 10.0.5 (Nov 24)
ESXi 6.0 EP4 (Nov 26)
vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager 1.0 U1 (Nov 26)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Release Menu Nov 23rd

FmGZuSwnIt's that time again, the bi-weekly New Release Menu covering VMware's publicly new and recent releases over the past two weeks. Today's edition delivers 2 Infrastructure releases and 4 EUC releases.

Below you'll find the product and it's version, a link to its Release Notes, and the date it was released. Enjoy!

vSphere Data Protection 6.1.1 [Infrastructure] (Nov 10)
vSphere Data Protection 6.0.3 [Infrastructure] (Nov 10)
Fusion 7.1.3 [EUC/OSX] Nov 12
Workstation Pro/Player 11.1.3 [EUC] Nov 12
VMware Identity Manager 2.4.1 [EUC] (Nov 17)
ThinApp 5.2.0 [EUC] (Nov 19)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Authentication Chaining in vIDM 2.4.1

keysVMware Identity Manager 2.4.1 was dropped today with a single publicly documented new feature: Authentication Chaining.

For most, this feature alone probably isn't reason enough to upgrade from 2.4.0, but it does offer some pretty granular control over user authentication.

So what is Authentication Chaining?

Authentication Chaining allows you to enable 2-factor authentication from within Identity Manager, or with another Identity Provider (IdP). For example, you could have joe-user first authenticate with an RSA token, and then require joe-user to enter his password after providing the RSA token. If successful, joe-user has double-verfied his identity and can now access Identity Manager, or his entitled application.

The cool thing is you can still have authentication fallback configured so that if joe-user fails to authenticate with the configured authentication chain, there can be a fallback authentication method (let's say RADIUS) to give poor joe-user one last chance.
Where is this configured?

As you might have guessed, this is configured in the Access Policies section of the Identity & Access Management tab in the Admin Portal. You can simply Edit the default_access_policy_set to include the auth chain, or configure a new policy altogether.

For more info on Identity Manager 2.4.1, check out the Release Notes here. Furthermore, there is additional information regarding Authentication Chaining in the Administration Guide and on this blog post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Release Menu Nov 10

FmGZuSwnVMware is constantly pushing new and updated software which can be a time consuming task to keep track of every new release. And there are lots of products to keep track of. In converstations with customers I often hear, "Oh when did that come out?" Or, "I heard about that version but don't know anything about it."

In the spirit of being helpful, I'm starting a new category called New Release Menu which I hope to publish every 2 - 3 weeks. Below you'll find a short compilation of VMware's New Releases over the past few weeks and links to their respective Release Notes. I will have each post titled with that day's date. Enjoy!

vSphere Data Protection 6.1.1 and 6.0.3 (Nov 10th)

vCenter Site Recovery Manager Infrastructure (Oct. 29th)

vSphere Replication Infrastructure (Oct. 29th)

Fusion 8.0.2 Consumer Desktop (Oct. 29th)

Workstation Pro/Player 12.0.1 Consumer Desktop (Oct. 29th)

Integrated OpenStack 1.0.3 Virtual Team (Oct. 23rd)

vCloud Director 5.5.5 vCloud (Oct. 22nd)


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Why VMware Premier Services?

VMware, not unlike most IT companies, offers multiple tiers of support. Two of which fall under the umbrella of Premier Services. These are the highest tiers available and are currently broken into what's known as Business Critical Support and Mission Critical Support.

Both offerings are all about the "white-glove" treatment. But which one is right for you? Let's break it down:


Business Critical Support (BCS)

Personalized support delivered by a designated team

Add-on to Production Support - this means BCS cannot exist without a valid Production Support Agreement. Generally speaking, these times will usually compliment one another so that you aren't left without a current support agreement - but it's certainly something to be aware of!

Designated Senior TSE for 6 Customer Contacts -  Each BCS customer is assigned a Senior Technical Support Engineer. This engineer is their dedicated point of contact into the Support Organization and is responsible for holding regular cadence meetings with the 6 Support Administrators (customer contacts entitled for BCS).

Technical Relationship - Your dedicated TSE is considered an extension of your IT team. With regular meetings in place and a deep knowledge of your VMware Infrastructure, your assigned TSE builds a invaluable rapport with the designated Support Administrators.

Mission Critical Support (MCS)

Priority access to senior-level engineers and proactive account management

Add-on to Production Support - Same situation as BCS above.

Designated Account Manager - MCS requires TAM services and many MCS customers utilize an MCS TAM that helps drive support success, as well as drive projects and regular environment reviews.

Senior TSE Team Routing for Unlimited Customer Contacts - The 6 "Support Administrator" limitation (like with BCS) is gone and an unlimited amount of contacts are entitled to MCS support.

Enhanced SR and Phone Response - All other support offerings have a Severity 1, 2, 3, and 4 level for SRs with response times of 30 min, 4 hours, 8 hours, and 12 hours, respectively. MCS, however, has 30 min, 2 hours, 4 hours, and 8 hour response times, respectively.

Onsite Support - In extreme situations when the customer would benefit from an onsite support presence, MCS will offer to send one if its Senior Resources who specializes in the subject matter at hand to help drive the current challenges to resolution.

All in all, VMware Premier Service's goal is to ensure the customer is nothing but delighted with the level of support they're paying for. For more information on the differences between the support offerings, check out the comparisons on VMware's website.

Speak with your TAM or VMware Sales Team if you have questions about VMware Premier Services.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Upgrading vRealize Operations

vRealize Operations (formerly known as vCenter Operations Manager) is an indispensable tool for monitoring a VMware environment. The upgrade process between recent versions is riddled with pitfalls, however. Here, I will cover the process and make notes of all the gotchas so that you can have as smooth of an experience as possible.

The upgrade process goes from 5.x -> 5.8.1+ -> 6.0.x -> 6.2.

Upgrading from 5.x to 5.8.5

Prerequisites and Common Pitfalls:

  • You should change your admin password before attempting the upgrade. New security policies that come with this upgrade will expire older passwords for admin. It must be a complex password that you have not used before.

  • You should ensure that you have a good amount of free disk space on the UI and Analytics VMs. You can check this with “df -h” on the command line.

    • Appliances that were originally deployed as 5.6 and earlier had a smaller root partition that may get filled by the update. If you run into any issues caused by this, you can follow

    • If the /data partition is >85% full on either VM, you should add a disk and reboot. Boot-time scripts will handle data volume expansion onto new disks for you.

Steps to Upgrade:

  1. Take a snapshot of both VMs.

  2. Follow the instructions in the release notes for the upgrade at

  3. After ensuring that you can get in to the UI, delete the snapshots.

Migrating data from 5.8.1+ to 6.0.x

Prerequisites and Common Pitfalls:

  • You must be migrating from version 5.8.1 or higher. The data migration will be more reliable with version 5.8.5, but is known to work with all versions from 5.8.1+.

  • You must have forward and reverse DNS entries in place for your source 5.8.1+ VMs, as well as for every node in your new 6.0.x cluster.

  • Please size your nodes appropriately per the handy Excel spreadsheet attached to the bottom of

  • When naming and addressing your version 6 nodes, please note:

    • Node and host names can not have underscores

    • The roles of a node are subject to change, so naming a node according to a role may get confusing in the future.

    • Node names are extremely difficult to change, and attempting to do so is quite likely to break things.

  • All nodes of a vROps 6 cluster (with the exception of remote collectors) must be on the same physical LAN (>1MS latency will cause problems) and must not be separated by a firewall.

  • You should change your admin password on 5.8.1+ before attempting the migration. An expired password is common, sometimes difficult to identify, and will cause vague errors. It must be a complex password that you have not used before.

  • If you suspect that performance may be an issue, stopping DT calculation and new data collection on the 5.8.1+ appliance will improve the speed of the data migration greatly.

  • Although it is not supposed to be an issue anymore, there are some cases where DNS resolution does not work properly and this KB may still be necessary:

Steps to upgrade:

  1. Install the latest version of 6.0.x per the documentation at

  2. After you bring your cluster online, you will be presented with a wizard. Don’t select the option for importing data or enter a license key when it asks you. Even though you are going to import data and probably have a license key, it is more reliable to do these things after the setup wizard completes in my experience.

  3. Go to Administration>Solutions and select the tab called “Import Data”

  4. Follow the prompts for importing data.

  5. Once the import is complete, you can run the old 5.8 instance in parallel with 6.0 until you are comfortable with the results, then delete the 5.8 instance when you are ready.

Upgrading from 6.x to 6.2

Prerequisites and Common Pitfalls:

  • Because the upgrade process will convert two of the databases to another type and not delete the source data sets (in case of issues), you must plan for this extra disk space to be consumed.

    • To calculate how much extra space will be consumed by the database conversion, you can log in to the shell of each data/master/replica node and run:
      $  du -sch $STORAGE/db/vcops/*xdb* | tail -n1
      You should add around 10% to this value to be safe, which is in addition to the 15% total free space you ought to maintain on /storage/db for general stability.

    • To check how much total free space is available on the system, run:
      $ df -h $STORAGE/db

  • If you have nodes that are separated by slow, latent, or unreliable links, the update may time out when the master node pushes the update out to them. This will be apparent if the upgrade fails without presenting you with an EULA. You can pre-stage the update pak files to work around this:

  • There are a few instances where upgrading to 6.2 or 6.2a will take an indefinite amount of time to complete. If your upgrade takes more than 24 hours to complete, please contact VMware support. They will be able to help finish the upgrade.
    This is fixed in 6.2.1.

  • These should no longer be necessary, but I'll leaving them here for reference:

Steps to upgrade:

  1. Take a snapshot of all your nodes.

  2. Install the OS Update pak file. (This step is very important and must be done before the application update.)

  3. Install the Application Update pak file.

    1. Ensure that you check both the boxes so that the “Reset out of the box content” option is selected. If you do not do this, some parts of the system may not be upgraded. This will not affect custom dashboards or other user-created content. Only the content that ships with the system that you ought not to have changed will be affected. If you do have customizations to the built-in content, you can clone them to preserve your changes.

  4. Log in to the product UI as admin and ensure that your dashboards, adapter instances, and other data are present and working as expected.

    1. If it makes you go through the first run setup wizard again: don’t panic, its probably fine. Just choose evaluation mode and complete the wizard. Everything should be there when it’s complete.

    2. If you end up with vCenter adapter instances that cannot be configured, missing dashboards or licenses, or end up loosing historical data, you should revert your snapshot and tell VMware about it immediately. If you don’t have a support contract, then make some noise on the communities site. VMware pays attention to this stuff and wants to prevent it from happening.

  5. Once you’re sure that everything is running OK, delete the snapshots.


Although the upgrade process is a bit of an ordeal that can consume a good chunk of time, the features, stability, and performance of a successful upgrade really are worth it. VMware is working hard to make it better, and does listen to the things that are said on the communities site should you have any issues.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Horizon Collector for Mac now on VMware Flings

hc_iconI'm happy to announce that my little project to automate collecting Horizon View Client logs for Mac OS X has been published to VMware Flings!
Why Horizon Collector for Mac?

Currently, the Horizon Client for Windows has a built-in log collection feature. Even the Linux Client has a script that's provided by VMware to collect the necessary files. There is, however, no automated process provided by VMware to collect client logs for Mac OS X, leaving admins and end-users on their own to navigate through system files and manually set log collection levels and manually upload to support.
Here is what Horizon Collector does

  • Automates collection of Horizon Client Application logs, as well as PCoIP, RTAV, USB, and Printing logs

  • Easily enables full DEBUG logging if requested by Admins or VMware Support (and turns DEBUG off when you're done)

  • Puts complete log bundle in a single .zip on your desktop

  • Automates FTP upload to VMware Support (if applicable)

You can download the tool over at VMware Flings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Upgrading Workspace Portal to VMware Identity Manager (vIDM)

In this post, we'll be upgrading an HA Cluster of Workspace Portal 2.1.1 to vIDM 2.4 per the official documentation instructions. Some technical knowledge of pgAdmin and other tools is assumed in the official guide, so hopefully this post can help fill the gaps.
Step 1: Break the HA configuration

Upgrading requires us to temporarily revert to a single-node configuration which is a little daunting to hear, but fortunately it's much easier than reverting all the steps it took to create the cluster in the first place. If you don't have Workspace setup in HA mode, then you can move on to Step 2.

  1. Verify you see more than 1 node listed when running curl -XGET 'http://localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true' // This means there are multiple nodes in the cluster, just like you configured it to be.

  2. Launch pgAdmin and connect to the primary node

  3. Expand Databases > saas > Schemas > saas > Tables

  4. Find the Table called ServiceInstance and right click > View Data > View Top 100 Rows

  5. Your nodes should all be listed here. Go ahead and delete all rows except for the master node

  6. Perform the same steps for the FailoverConfiguration Table, but make sure to delete all rows

  7. Run curl -XGET 'http://localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true' again and ensure only 1 node is returned

  8. Now we need to update the Load Balancer in place to only use the master node. This will likely be different for most people since not everyone uses the same LB. In my case, I'm using NGINX as a Reverse Proxy. Consult your Load Balancer's documentation to achieve this step.

Step 2: Perform an Online Upgrade

  1. Verify the prereqs. There are actually quite a few but the big ones are:

    1. Verify there is at least 2.5GB of space on root available

    2. Take a snapshot of the Workspace vApp

    3. Take a snapshot of the Workspace Database (if on an external DB server)

    4. Verify you can reach (where the update will be downloaded from)

    5. In the Map User Attributes page, make distinguishedName a required attribute, if you plan to sync Citrix-published resources (XenApp) to vIDM.

    6. Unjoin the master node from the Domain (Required if if coming from Workspace 2.1.0 and if planning on configuring HA cluster... Workspace 2.1.1 does not require this).

  2. On the Appliance Console, run the following commands to verify vIDM 2.4 shows available:
    /usr/local/horizon/update/updatemgr.hzn updateinstaller
    /usr/local/horizon/update/updatemgr.hzn check

  3. Run /usr/local/horizon/update/updatemgr.hzn update to update the appliance

  4. If it completes successfully, you should be prompted to reboot the VM
    Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.02.15 PM

Congratulations! Workspace has now been upgraded to vIDM! You should be able to confirm this in the blue console window.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 9.13.55 PM
Reconfigure the HA Cluster

If you would like to reconfigure the HA cluster, follow the below steps:

  1. In the vSphere console, clone the master node. It may save time if you power down the master node before cloning.

  2. Name the clone whatever you want, and we'll configure it's FQDN after.

  3. Once the clone operation is complete, edit the vAPP properties of the VM to configure it's FQDN (Hostname) and IP. These must be unique values (as in, different than the master node).

  4. Click ok and power on (first power on the master node before powering on the clone if need be).

  5. The initial boot will check for a new hostname and IP and if they're different than the master, it will pass as a clone, then get autoconfigured as necessary. Once the boot is complete and the blue console screen is visible, login as root and type the following commands to ensure you see all the nodes in the cluster (in this case, 2 nodes)
    curl -XGET 'http://localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true'

    rabbitmqctl cluster_status

  6. Now add the clone back into your Load Balancer's configuration. Once again, you must consult your LB's documentation in order to complete this step.

  7. You can perform this cloning operation as many times as needed to build out your HA cluster. You can also perform these steps at any time - the HA cluster does not have to be built out right away.

What about my old slave-nodes from 2.1.1?  -- These can be deleted or stored for backup/reference use. The new vIDM cluster will not be referencing or using them in any way.

Post-Upgrade Configuration

The official post-upgrade steps can be found here, but here are some additional things to check:

  • Ensure admin users and end-user accounts can both login to the portal. If you have trouble using one of the domain users to log in, then in an upgraded environment, append /SAAS/login/0 to the login URL using the local admin account. For example, if your login URL is, you would change it to

  • Re-join the domain if you had left it prior the upgrade

  • Verify apps and desktops launch as expected (a View sync may be a good idea at this point - Keep in mind View Sync should only be enabled on 1 node)

  • Upgrade end-user's Desktop Clients to version 2.4. Be sure to uninstall the current Workspace Desktop Client, then install the 2.4 client.

I hope you've found this post helpful in upgrading your Workspace Portal deployment to vIDM! Let me know in the comments how it went!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Today's new releases from VMware

VMware released a lot of updated software today. For simplicity, I've compiled the new releases and links to their Release Notes below. Enjoy!

VMware vSphere 6.0 U1

  • Customer Experience Improvement Program: The Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) provides VMware with information that enables VMware to improve the VMware products and services and to fix problems. When you choose to participate in CEIP, VMware will collect technical information listed below about your use of the VMware products and services in CEIP reports on a regular basis. This information does not personally identify you. For more details, see the vSphere Documentation Center.

  • Feature Enhancement: Suite UI is now enabled by default for the vSphere Web Client.

  • Support for SSLv3: Support for SSLv3 has been disabled by default.

  • vCSA Authentication for Active Directory: VMware vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) has been modified to only support AES256-CTS/AES128-CTS/RC4-HMAC encryption for Kerberos authentication between vCSA and Active Directory.

  • Installation and Upgrade using HTML 5 installer: The following installation and upgrade scenarios are supported for vCenter Server using HTML 5 installer:

    • Installation using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is supported

    • Upgrade using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is not supported

    • Upgrade using command line and target as vCenter Server is supported

VMware Integrated Stack 2.0
VMware Integrated OpenStack enables the rapid deployment of OpenStack on a VMware vSphere virtual platform. This release provides the following new features and enhancements.

VMware vSphere Update Manager 6.0 U1

  • The Update Manager Web client is now available with full set of capabilities, that is required to perform both patch and version management for your vSphere inventory.

  • The libxml that is bundled with Update Manager 6.0 Update 1 is upgraded to version 2.9.2.

  • VMware vSphere Update Manager Database re-initializer option is available in Update Manager Utility under Database Settings.

  • Additional database support: The Update Manager 6.0 Update 1 server and the UMDS 6.0 Update 1 are compatible with:

    • Microsoft SQL 2008 R2-SP3

    • Microsoft SQL 2012 SP2 (Standalone and Clustered)

    • Microsoft SQL 2014(Clustered)

  • The Microsoft XML used by Update Manager is upgraded to version MSXML6.dll.

  • The Oracle (Sun) JRE package is updated to 1.7.0_80. The update addresses multiple security issues that exist in the earlier releases of Oracle (Sun) JRE.

  • OpenSSL is updated to 1.0.1m to resolve multiple security issues. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the names CVE-2015-0286, CVE-2015-0287, CVE-2015-0289, CVE-2015-0293, CVE-2015-0209, and CVE-2015-0288 to these issues.

  • Support for SSLv3 is disabled in Update Manager 6.0 Update 1 by default.

VMware Horizon (with View) 5.3.5
VMware Horizon View 5.3.5 is a maintenance release that resolves some known issues in the previous releases. For information about the issues that are resolved in this release, see Resolved Issues.

To improve security, Horizon View 5.3.5 does not support weak ciphers such as RC4 by default. On Windows XP machines, you must:

  • Upgrade Horizon Client to version 3.2.1.

  • Use Firefox or Chrome to access View Administrator or connect to desktops using HTML Access.

Care Systems Analytics for EPIC 1.0.4
VMware Care Systems Analytics for Epic 1.0.4 updates cover all major areas of the product including installation, migration, configuration, alerting, dashboards, and widgets.

This release adds support for vRealize Operations Manager version 6.0.3 and 6.1.0 and Epic System Pulse edition 2015.

VMware vRealize Automation (VRA) 6.2.3
This release of vRealize Automation contains the following enhancements:

  • Added support for the Change Reservation operation to vCloud vApps to enable administrators to change the business group of a provisioned vApp.

  • Added the ability to disable snapshot options for all users, including the business group manager and support user, if snapshot is not enabled on the blueprint.

  • Added support for vCloud Government Service and Amazon Web Services GovCloud.

  • Updated version support for the following endpoints:

    • OpenStack Juno

    • vCloud Director 5.5.3

    • vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.3

    • vSphere 5.5 Update 3

    • vSphere 6.0 Update 1

  • Added support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP2.

  • Improved error logging for the Windows version of the guest agent.

  • Enabled the Customer Experience Improvement Program by default.

For information about what's new in vRealize Orchestrator Plug-In, see the VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center 6.2 Release Notes.

VMware vRealize Business Adv/Ent 8.2.3
vRealize Business Advanced and Enterprise 8.2.3 is a maintenance release with the following enhancements:

  • Upgraded Apache POI to 3.12
    Apache POI is upgraded to 3.12 in this release.

  • Upgraded JRE to 1.8.0_51
    JRE package is upgraded to 1.8.0_51 in this release.

VMware vRealize Business Standard 6.2.3
This release of vRealize Business Standard contains following enhancements:

  • Enables to view deleted virtual machine information. You can view the price or charge details of deleted virtual machines for the current month under Consumers List.

  • Support for business unit mapping. Even if your vRealize Business Standard is categorized based on vRealize Automation, you can map the business units to Tenant Administrator and Business Management Controller users in a manner similar to vCloud Director or vCenter Server categorization.

  • Upgraded JRE to 1.7 update 85. JRE has been upgraded to 1.7.0_85 in this release.

  • Uses latest build of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP3. vRealize Business Standard uses the latest build of SLES11 SP3.

  • Upgraded Pivotal tc Server from 2.9.8 to 3.1.0. vRealize Business Standard server runs on Pivotal tc server 3.1.0 version.

VMware vRealize Code Stream 1.2.0
vRealize Code Stream is a release automation product that enables an organization to deliver quality software while leveraging existing tools in the build, development, test, provisioning, and monitoring environments.

VMware vRealize Log Insight 3.0.0
VMware vRealize Log Insight 3.0 delivers the best real-time log management for VMware environments. Machine learning-based Intelligent Grouping and high performance search enables faster troubleshooting across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. vRealize Log Insight can analyze terabytes of logs, discover structure in unstructured data, and deliver enterprise-wide visibility using a modern Web interface.

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.3
vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.3 updates cover all major areas of the product including installation, migration, configuration, licensing, alerting, dashboards, reports, and policies. There are no new features in this release.

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.1
vRealize Operations Manager 6.1 is the latest release of VMware's integrated operations suite. Updates cover all major areas of the product including installation, configuration, licensing, alerting, dashboards, reports, and policies. This release introduces the following enhancements.

VMware vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.3
vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.3 is a patch release that introduces a number of improvements and bug fixes.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for VRA 6.2.3
This release of the vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center introduces the following new functionality:

  • vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCloud Automation Center 6.2.3 works with vRealize Automation 6.2, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, and 6.2.3 and vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, and 6.0.3.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6.1
VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1 provides the following new features:

  • Support for VMware vSphere 6.0 update 1.

  • Storage policy based protection of virtual machines.

  • Support for stretched storage when using storage policy protection groups in enhanced linked mode.

  • Support for auto-mapping of stretched NSX networks.

  • Enhancements to mappings for test networks.

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1
Virtual SAN 6.1 introduces the following new features and enhancements:

  • Stretched clusters: Virtual SAN 6.1 supports stretched clusters that span two geographic locations to protect data from site failures or loss of network connection.

  • The VMware Virtual SAN Witness Appliance 6.1 is a virtual witness host packaged as a virtual appliance. It functions as an ESXi host configured as a witness host for a Virtual SAN stretched cluster. You can download the Virtual SAN Witness Appliance 6.1 OVA from the VMware Virtual SAN download Web site.

  • New on-disk format. Virtual SAN 6.1 supports upgrades to new on-disk virtual file format 2.0 through the vSphere Web Client. This log-based file system, based on Virsto technology, provides highly scalable snapshot and clone management support per Virtual SAN cluster.

  • Hybrid and all-flash configurations. Virtual SAN 6.1 supports both hybrid and all-flash clusters. To configure an all-flash cluster, click Create a new disk group under Virtual SAN Disk Management (Manage > Settings), and select Flash as the Capacity type. When claiming disk groups, you can select flash devices for both capacity and cache.

  • Improved upgrade process. Upgrade supports direct upgrades from Virtual SAN 5.5 and 6.0 to Virtual SAN 6.1.

  • Virtual SAN 6.1 includes an integrated Health Service that monitors the cluster health and enables you to diagnose and fix issues with the Virtual SAN cluster. The Virtual SAN Health Service provides several checks on hardware compatibility, networking configuration and operations, advanced configuration options, storage device health, and Virtual SAN object health. If the Health Service detects any health issues, it triggers vCenter events and alarms. To view the health checks for a Virtual SAN cluster, click Monitor > Virtual SAN > Health.

  • Virtual SAN monitors solid state drive and magnetic disk drive health and proactively isolates unhealthy devices by unmounting them. It detects gradual failure of a Virtual SAN disk and isolates the device before congestion builds up within the affected host and the entire Virtual SAN cluster. An alarm is generated from each host whenever an unhealthy device is detected and an event is generated if an unhealthy device is automatically unmounted.

VMware vSphere Replication 6.1
The following features are new for this release:

  • 5 minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for replication between Virtual SAN data stores – This version of vSphere Replication allows customers to replicate virtual machine workloads with an RPO setting as low as 5 minutes between Virtual SAN data stores.

  • Support for NFS v 4.1 – This release introduces support for NFS v 4.1 data stores. It allows customers to protect and recover virtual machines that are provisioned onto NFS v 4.1 environments using vSphere Replication.

  • UI Enhancements - the RPO settings in the Configure Replication wizard are simplified and provide more granular options of predefined RPO settings.

vRealize Orchestrator Plug-in for vSphere Replication 6.1
The VMware vRealize Orchestrator plug-in for vSphere Replication allows VMware administrators to simplify the management of their vSphere Replication infrastructure by leveraging the robust workflow automation platform of vRealize Orchestrator. The vRealize Orchestrator plug-in for vSphere Replication extends automation capabilities for certain vSphere Replication operations by including them in vRealize Orchestrator workflows.
The plug-in also delivers pre-built out-of-the-box building blocks and complete workflows that cover certain existing vSphere Replication actions.

vCloud Director 8.0 for Service Providers

  • vSphere 6.0 support: vCloud Director for Service Providers 8.0 adds support for vSphere 6.0 in backward compatibility mode.

  • NSX support: vCloud Director for Service Providers 8.0 adds support for NSX 6.1.4 in backward compatibility mode. This means that tenants' consumption capability is unchanged and remains at the vCloud Networking and Security feature level of vCloud Director 5.6.

  • Organization virtual data center templates: Allows system administrators to create organization virtual data center templates, including resource delegation, that organization users can deploy to create new organization virtual data centers.

  • vApp enhancements: Enhancements to vApp functionality, including the ability to reconfigure virtual machines within a vApp, and network connectivity and virtual machine capability during vApp instantiation.

  • OAuth support for identity sources: Support added for OAuth2 tokens.

  • Tenant throttling: : Prevents a single tenant from consuming all of the resources for a single instance of vCloud Director and ensures fairness of execution and scheduling among tenants.

vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 6.1

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Installing the all new VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) 2.4

VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) is the exciting next evolution of Workspace Portal, a critical piece within the Horizon Suite providing application provisioning, self-service catalog, conditional access controls and Single Sign-On (SSO) for SaaS, web, cloud and native mobile applications. Playing a central role in the One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device initiative, you're going to start hearing a lot more about vIDM in the coming weeks and months. To find out more about this new release, check out my vIDM announcement post.
Installing vIDM using the vSphere Web Client

NOTE: I used a beta build throughout this post so some screenshots may reference WorkspacePortal where your deployment says Identity Manager


  • Static IP

  • Pre-configured DNS entry

  • Active Directory

  • User Authentication Methods (AD, Kerberos, RSA, etc etc)

  • 2 vCPU / 6GB RAM / 24 GB Disk space (minimum)

  • Port 443 must be open in Firewalls for external access

  • Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, IE 10/11, Safari, Microsoft Edge (use latest available version unelss specified)

  1. Deploy the downloaded OVA

    1. In the vSphere Web Client, right click your cluster and choose Deploy OVF Template

    2. Select your OVA file, Review the file details, and accept the EULA

    3. Choose your desired storage and network, then customize the deployment with the following items
      NOTE: You can enter these values in the vApp properties post-deployment if you don't want to enter them now. If you do this, be sure to UNcheck Power On After Deployment

      1. FQDN (make sure DNS forward and reverse entries exist)

      2. Default Gateway

      3. DNS Server

      4. IP Address

      5. Netmask

    4. Review all the deployment info and click Finish

  2. Once deployment is completed, you can now power on the vApp - it will take longer during the first boot.
    NOTE: if you skipped entering the network details earlier, edit these in the vApp Properties before powering on.

  3. When booting is complete, you should see a screen similar to the one below. If you see errors or the boot doesn't seem to complete, you may need to delete from disk, and attempt re-deploy.

  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to navigate to https://<fqdn>:8443

  5. Here we'll see a new yet familiar Setup Wizard

  6. Click Next and set your passwords (make sure you document these passwords!!)

  7. Select your Database - Internal will use an embedded PostgreSQL DB

  8. Wait for the appliance to configure the DB and ensure there are no errors

  9. When setup is complete, you're instructed to login to the administration console with the admin credentials you just setup

  10. Clicking the administration console link brings you to the login page where you'll enter the admin username and password previously configured

  11. Congratulations, you've now done the initial configuration of the vIDM appliance!


Brand New: VMware Identity Manager now available! (vIDM)

Today VMware released the next evolution of the Workspace Portal (FKA Horizon Workspace) which is now introducing itself as VMware Identity Manager, or vIDM for short. vIDM is offered as both an on-premises solution as well as a hosted solution on vCloud Air. If you're a current Workspace Portal OP user licensed through Horizon Advanced/Enterprise you will be eligible for upgrade to the new vIDM OP solution.
What's New in vIDM 2.4

  • HTML Access support for Horizon View Applications

  • vIDM brings an all-new Access Management Admin UI. Most of the identity management can now be done using the main workspace admin UI!

  • SQL Server 2014 and Oracle 11g are both supported databases for use with vIDM

  • RADIUS server can now be used as one of the authentication methods

  • vIDM introduces support for certificate and smart-card authentication.

So about my upgrade...

  • Existing Workspace Portal customers upgrading to v2.4 will be able to upgrade from 2.1.x or migrate from 2.0

  • Workspace Portal 2.x will become EOA on December 31, 2015

  • Workspace isn't dying.. it's rebranded!


  • vIDM 2.4 is compatible with at least vSphere 5.0 U2 and newer

  • Horizon View 5.2, 5.3.5, 6.0.2, 6.1.1

  • ThinApp 4.7.3, 5.0.1 and 5.1

  • Chrome, Safari, IE 10/11, Firefox, Microsoft Edge

  • Active Directory 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2

vIDM Bookmarks:


Friday, September 4, 2015

VMworld 2015 comes to an end

What an exciting week it's been for VMware, its partners and customers. VMware showed the industry that it's Ready for Any through its strong technology offerings, leading IT into tomorrow. As VMworld San Francisco concludes, check out the overall impact this amazing conference achieved:

  • 23,700 registered attendees, with thousands more tuning in online 

  • 240 leading companies represented 

  • 12,470+ attendees signed up for our 80 DevOps sessions (a new audience for this year) 

  • 740 DevOps workshop participants 

  • 450+ breakout sessions 

  • 9,000+ hands-on labs completed 

  • 658 customer and partner briefings 

  • 480+ influencers on site (media, industry and financial analysts) 

  • 450+ articles published to date (original and syndicated) 

  • 57,338 VMworld posts on social media with a total reach of 276,291,128

Be sure to check our other posts summarizing each day's announcements. See you at VMworld 2016!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Horizon View Client for Mac Log Collector [Updated]

VMware has a nice KB for collecting diagnostic data for View Products, but the Mac section is a little lacking. As a result, I've often times had to work with Admins and their end-users to try and schedule times we were all available just to collect a simple log bundle.

In order to minimize the need for such a web-ex session, I've written a quick and dirtscript to pull the necessary logs and put them into a nice .zip file ready for uploading to your View Administrator or VMware Support. The idea is for the script to flow as much like an application as possible, making it dead simple for the end-user.
Introducing Horizon Collector

Some things to note about this script:

  • This works for Horizon View (not legacy 'VMware View')

  • This has only been tested in OSX Yosemite (10.10.5)

  • To gather USB Arbitrator logs (for USB related issues) you must run the script as root (sudo)

  • The script allows you to seamlessly upload your logs to a VMware Support Request if desired

  • DEBUG logging options are available if requested by your administrator or VMware Support - just follow the prompts.

You can download the script >>> on Github <<< if you'd like to get your fork on.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.48.33 PM

Usage and tips

To run the script, launch Terminal (Applications > Terminal) and execute the shell script:
sudo ./

For the Terminal boycotters

To initiate the script by double-clicking instead of invoking via Terminal, change the extension from .sh to .command, then simply double click the file. However, best practice is to run it with sudo like the example above.

It's a very simple script to perform a very simple task, but hopefully this can help save some time and headaches for those who are intimidated by the instructions laid out in the VMware KB!

Future versions of the script will be available on Github and included on Updates to this post.
Special thanks to Jeremy McCoy!

The latest version and changelog will always be available on my Github page

Let me know in the comments if you benefited from the script and what else you'd like to see it do. Thanks!

VMworld 2015 Day 3 Recap and Announcements

Key Highlights

  • Over 9,000 hands-on labs (HOL) completed to date - allowing attendees to explore topics such as SDDC, enterprise mobility and VMware's unified hybrid cloud in real time.

  • 658 customer and partner meetings at the VMworld Briefing Center

  • 120 VMUG leaders met in an open Q&A with Pat Gelsinger, Rahgu Raghuram and Kit Colbert to discuss hot topics such as IT transformation, training and education and Cloud-Native Apps.

Developer Day

September 2nd marked the inaugural Developer Day @ VMworld. Taking place in the buoyant Hang Space this day-long event included a live Hackathon, guest speakers and developer sessions.

This year's conference also brought a focus on emerging audience for VMware: DevOps. Throughout VMworkd, over 80 special sessions were designated to the DevOps community who are key influencers in today's IT organizations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

VMworld 2015 Day 2 Recap and Announcements

Once again, big shout out to Doug Davis for compiling the data

Technology Preview: “Project A2” - Today at VMworld 2015, VMware introduced Project A2, a technology preview showcasing the ability to re-define Windows management and pioneer an approach that is unique in the industry, shifting from a focus on endpoint management to a focus on application management.

Windows 10 will drive a major industry shift due to its mobile-cloud focus. Businesses upgrading to the new operating system will need to embrace a new mobile-centric approach to delivering and managing applications, as pioneered by AirWatch by VMware. Project A2 can accelerate the adoption of Windows 10 by eliminating the costly and complex process of managing and upgrading Windows PCs and applications by using AirWatch enterprise mobile management (EMM) coupled with new VMware App Volumes application delivery technology.

Project A2 will make applications lightweight and easy to deliver, enabling IT organizations to seamlessly move existing physical Windows applications into the new Windows 10 mobile-cloud platform and apply an EMM approach across all applications (universal and classic Windows applications). This new technology will offer IT teams a uniform management experience for their entire fleet of Windows 10 desktop devices along with employee and business owned mobile devices. Moreover, it will deliver a consistent end-user mobile workspace that provides access to all of users applications including Windows, SaaS and mobile, to any device.

For more information on Project A2 and VMware’s Windows 10 strategy, visit the VMware End-User Computing product blog.

VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition - VMware Identity Manager is the industry's first identity as a service (IDaaS) offering integrated with a leading, enterprise mobility management and security solution. Initially available as part of the AirWatch Blue and Yellow Management Suites, VMware Identity Manager™ Advanced Edition will be available as a standalone IDaaS solution through the browser on any Chrome, Mac or Windows device. For more information, click here.

VMware Horizon® 6.2 and VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux - Continued innovation in application and desktop delivery will introduce several key advancements in VMware Horizon, including:

  • Expanded support for applications at-scale that will deliver a rich user experience to global, multi-site deployment of virtual environments;

  • An enriched user experience with support for Skype for Business and NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ (virtual graphics processing unit);

  • New VMware Virtual SAN storage optimizations that will include all-flash options delivering much lower costs and incredible performance;

  • Enhanced security capabilities including support for biometric fingerprint authentication;

  • Federal government readiness including FIPS 140-2 compliance.

In addition, VMware announced VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux. Designed for customers that require specialized security or high-end workstations, the solution will offer expanded support for NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ and shared graphics acceleration (vSGA). Along with existing virtual dedicated graphics acceleration (vDGA) support, VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux will offer a complete spectrum of 3D graphics delivery for any worker or any use case.

For more information on VMware Horizon enhancements and updates to VMware Project Enzo, Project Fargo and Project Meteor, click here.

“Applications play a critical role in how we do business so we focus on working with organizations and technologies that help our end-users work smarter and more effectively," said Craig Fletcher, chief technology officer, CH2M. “VMware End-User Computing solutions enable us to seamlessly deliver any application our end users need on any device, whether it’s a graphic intensive application for a high-end design engineer at a workstation or a mobile application for a knowledge worker to access information on the go. With that agility and flexibility, we’re able to better serve our customers.”

VMware Validated Designs - VMware Validated Designs are architectures created and validated by VMware experts, encompassing the entire product stack used in VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center. These designs provide standardized and streamlined architectures for each deployment scenario and broad use-case, for example: Datacenter Foundation, Single-region & Dual-region IT Automation, QE / Demo Cloud and more. These designs are being made available to you via customer facing documentation, VMware Professional Services (PSO) delivery kits and certified partner architectures.

So why spend the time and investment in this type of initiative when we already have reference architectures and whitepapers for each product release? While these assets are a great resource; they typically take into account only that product and that version. The VMware Validated Design process takes into account the entire SDDC stack ensuring product version compatibility, continued testing with product releases, upgrade testing and validation to ensure what you deploy today can be upgraded to the next version. In other words the VMware Validated Design:

Is Designed by Experts, Used by You

Each design for a specific deployment scenario has been created by a team of VMware experts. The design has been improved based on live feedback from customers like you.

Is Continuously Validated

Each design is continuously validated by VMware through automated testing. To ensure that once a design has been validated, it stays valid, every new build of any component of the design drops into an automated deployment of the design.

Is a Comprehensive Design

Each Design includes everything needed for a fully functional SDDC covering a set of use cases – yet remains hardware-agnostic. VMware Validated Designs create reference architectures, deployment walkthroughs, deployment guides, operations guides…and more.

Results in Quicker Time to Value

With a quicker deployment of your SDDC you will ensure faster fulfillment of your business needs.

Instills Confidence in your SDDC

Build your SDDC using a design validated by experts—including recommended Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2 / ongoing operations. This helps reduce the errors in deploying and operating your SDDC.

Today we are announcing a number of resources being made available to you, our customer. These include two reference architectures and two sets of deployment walkthroughs. The first reference architecture, Data Center Foundation, serves as the foundation for the SDDC, all SDDC architectures build off of the foundation architecture.

The second reference architecture, the Single-Region IT Automation Cloud, focuses on enabling IT to rapidly respond to business requirements through automating the SDDC. In addition to the reference architecture there is an accompanying deployment walkthrough for foundation and single-region IT automation detailing how to build out the reference architecture.

We have also launched an early access community under My VMware where you can get access to new documents, provide direct feedback and help influence future designs.

Get started by downloading the Data Center Foundation and Single-Region IT Automation Cloud reference architecture white papers and taking time to step through the deployment walkthroughs. We think you’re really going to like the simplified approach to the SDDC the VMware Validated Designs bring.

Other News from VMworld 2015

Project Capstone Shows Monster VM Performance - Project Capstone was put together a few weeks before VMworld 2015 with the goal of being able to show what is possible with Monster VMs today. VMware worked with HP and IBM to put together an impressive setup using vSphere 6.0, HP Superdome X and an IBM FlashSystem array that was able to support running four 120 vCPU VMs simultaneously. Putting these massive Virtual Machines under load we found that performance was excellent with great scalability and a high amount of throughput achieved.

vSphere 6 was launched earlier this year and includes support for virtual machines with up to 128 virtual CPUs which is a big increase from the 64 vCPUs supported in vSphere 5.5. “Monster” virtual machines have a new upper limit and it allows for customers to virtualize even the largest of systems with very hungry CPU needs.

The HP Superdome X used for the testing is an impressive system. It has 16 Intel Xeon E7-2890v2 2.8 GHz processors. Each processor has 15 cores and 30 logical threads when Hyper Threading is enabled. In total this is 240 cores / 480 threads.

An IBM FlashSystem array with 20TB of superfast low latency storage was used for the project Capstone configuration. It provided extremely low latency throughout all testing and provided such great performance that storage was never a concern or issue. The FlashSystem was extremely easy to setup and use. Within 24 hours of it arriving in the lab, we were actively running four 120 vCPU VMs with sub millisecond latency.

Large Oracle 12c database virtual machines running on Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.5 were created and configured with 256GB of RAM, pvSCSI virtual disk adapters, and vmxnet3 virtual NICs. The number of VMs and the number of vCPUs for each VM was varied across the tests.

The workload used for the testing was DVD Store 3 ( DVD Store simulates a real online store with customers logging onto the site, browsing products and product reviews, rating products, and ultimately purchasing those products. The benchmark is measured in Orders Per Minute, with each order representing a complete login, browsing, and purchasing process that includes many individual SQL operations against the database.

This large system with 240 cores / 480 threads, an extremely fast and large storage system, and vSphere 6 showed that even with many monster VMs excellent performance and scalability is possible. Each configuration was first stressed by increasing the DVD Store workload until maximum throughput was achieved for a single virtual machine. In all cases this was found to be at near CPU saturation. The number of VM was then increased so that the entire system was fully committed. A whitepaper to be published soon will have the full set of test results, but here we show the results for four 120 vCPU VMs and sixteen 30 vCPU VMs:


In both cases the performance of the system when fully loaded with either 4 or 16 virtual machines achieves about 90% of perfect linear scalability when compared to the performance of a single virtual machine.

In order to be able to drive the CPU usage to such high levels all disk IO must be very fast so that the system is not waiting for a response. The IBM FlashSystem provided .3 ms average disk latency across all tests. Total disk IO was minimized for these tests to maximize CPU usage and throughput by configuring the database cache size to be equal to the database size. Total disk IO per second (IOPS) peaked at about 50k and averaged 20k while maintaining the extremely low latency during tests.

These test results show that it is possible to use vSphere 6 to successfully virtualize even the largest systems with excellent performance.

New VMware NSX SDN OEM, Nvidia Virtual Graphics Partnership - Hewlett-Packard took another step to deepen its 15-year relationship with VMware today at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco.

HP announced a plan to extend its software-defined networking capabilities through a new OEM and reseller agreement with VMware. Since HP now has the ability to sell VMware, this move could allow customers to deploy applications faster, simplify their data center network fabric and improve security.

HP plans to federate VMware’s NSX software-defined networking, or SDN, technology with HP’s FlexFabric networking technology to assist customers as they gradually migrate toward software-defined data centers.

The HP FlexFabric 5930 direct certification with VMware NSX and SDN federated certification will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

HP also shared details about its partnership with Nvidia to combine the VMware Horizon (v6.1) virtual desktop solution, the Nvidia Grid technology for graphics-accelerated virtual desktop and HP’s OneView management software to give customers the ability to virtualize graphics processing in virtual desktop environments. This will also be available in the fourth quarter of 2015. Nvidia had earlier announced the launch of Grid 2.0, its latest offering in virtual desktop technology.

These end-user computing services can support up to 3,500 users and are tested to run desktop-virtualization applications at optimal performance, helping customers reduce provisioning time, cost, setup and installation errors, according to HP.

During this week’s VMworld conference, HP also introduced the Converged Architecture 700, which is a new program that provides reference architecture for enterprise-class workloads, including Microsoft Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and SQL, along with HP’s Helion cloud and both Citrix and VMware virtual desktop infrastructure offerings.

These new products and services are the latest in a series of recent innovations optimized for VMware vSphere, including new hyper-converged and all-flash storage systems, which were announced earlier this month.

VMware Selects Nexenta Open Software-Defined Storage Platform for VMware Virtual SAN File Services – Nexenta, in partnership with VMware, today announced that any validated VMware Virtual SAN customer could receive an exclusive promotion of NexentaConnect to achieve file services. NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN provides file services for VMware Virtual SAN environments by adding NFS and SMB access on top of an existing Virtual SAN to complete the software hyper-convergence model.

Additionally during VMworld 2015 (link is external), Nexenta will showcase this combined solution within VMware’s Hands-on Lab (HOL). This much-anticipated participation in VMware’s Virtual SAN A-to-Z HOL session will provide event attendees with the opportunity to discover NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN ™. This is the only file services offering for VMware Virtual SAN in the HOL. In 45 minutes, HOL guests will experience everything from initial installation and configuration to storage policy management and data recovery via snapshots. This training will also be available after VMworld here.

“Of all the solutions we evaluated, NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN was the most mature, the easiest to implement and use, and delivered the best performance. If you’ve got a VMware Virtual SAN set up already, implementing NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN takes about ten minutes,” said Phil Bedard, Principal Network Design Engineer for Cox Communications. “Full integration into our infrastructure was easy, too. My team and the network designers we serve, don’t want to become storage experts. Our real job is testing. While I have experience with storage, I was looking for a product that would be easy for my network experts to manage.”

“We are thrilled to select Nexenta as our file services component of VMware Virtual SAN,” said Gaetan Castelein, Sr. Director Product Management at VMware. “Nexenta’s disruptive OpenSDS solutions, combined with VMware’s SDDC vision is empowering users with agile, scalable and sustainable architectures, and the booth demos, joint promotion and HOL will provide attendees with first-hand experience of what our partnership is all about.”

“Now, more than ever, as storage requirements grow, end-users demand their data centers are built on a simplified infrastructure, reducing costs and achieving automated scalability,” said Tarkan Maner, Chairman and CEO at Nexenta. "Nexenta and VMware are changing the industry with our full featured Software-Defined Storage solutions that can deliver flexibility, simplicity and lower total cost of ownership for the SDDC.”

SanDisk® Introduces New All-Flash Reference Architectures – SanDisk unveiled three new reference architectures for VMWare Virtual SAN™ 6 utilizing solid state drives (SSD) and Fusion ioMemory™ PCIe application accelerators. When coupled with VMware Virtual SAN 6, SanDisk’s PCIe and SSD-based solutions allow customers to deploy business critical applications, databases, virtual desktops and other IT workloads with less effort, while gaining exceptional performance on VMware’s hyper-converged and cost-effective VMware Virtual SAN software-defined storage infrastructure.

The new reference architectures utilizing SanDisk SATA, SAS and PCIe application accelerator solutions with VMware Virtual SAN to be demonstrated at VMworld® 2015 include:

Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) Solution with All-Flash Virtual SAN

This new 4-node reference architecture utilizes SanDisk’s 4TB Optimus MAX™ - the industry’s highest capacity SSD that is certified for Virtual SAN 67 - on a Lenovo System x3650 M5 server platform. In a performance test conducted by SanDisk, Lenovo, VMware, and Avago, all-flash 4-node configuration delivered 3.08 million New Orders per Minute (NOPMs) and 14.1 million transactions per minute (TPMs) using eight virtual machines executing Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition. The HammerDB performance tuning and benchmarking tool was used to run a 5000 Warehouse TPC-C like workload.

VMware Horizon® Virtual Desktop and Applications Solution with All-Flash Virtual SAN

SanDisk co-led the development of this virtual desktop infrastructure reference architecture utilizing SanDisk’s Lightning® Gen. II SSDs and Dell R730 G13 servers. This solution was tested to run 800 Horizon 6 Desktops on a starter 4-node cluster with VMware, Avago and Brocade. The solution fuels VMware Horizon® 6 virtual desktops and applications at a significantly lower TCO when compared to traditional HDD-based storage solutions. Similarly, when tested, a starter 4-node configuration deployed 24 desktops per minute in a boot storm situation, bringing up 850 desktops in 35 minutes. This is the industry’s first 800 virtual desktop solution running on an end-to-end 12G all-flash VSAN Cluster.

Horizon Virtual Desktop Solution with Hybrid VMware Virtual SAN

This is a reference architecture tested in conjunction with HP and VMware, utilizing HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9 servers and SanDisk’s high performance Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators for caching in a hybrid VMware Virtual SAN cluster. In a performance test conducted using VMware Horizon 6.1, the View Planner benchmarking and workload generator with a 3-node cluster, the solution delivered fast application performance and response times to support the maximum number of virtual desktops with all responses under the recommended performance thresholds.

Atlantis USXTM 3.0 - the only SDS or hyper-converged solution that is certified for VVOL - Atlantis Computing today announced its third generation SDS platform and factory-integration of its Atlantis HyperScale appliances available on Cisco, HP, Lenovo and SuperMicro server platforms. The new Atlantis solutions deliver data mobility to make the entire data center more agile, provide all-flash performance to all users and applications and create efficiency that cuts data center costs in half.

VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOL) certified – Atlantis USX is the only SDS or hyper-converged solution that is certified for VVOL, enabling VVOL to manage all existing storage in the data center. The VVOL integration with Atlantis USX improves performance and increases the storage efficiency of provisioning, snapshots, clones, and storage vMotion.

EMC VVOL support schedule released


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

VMworld 2015 Day 1 Recap and Announcements

HUGE thanks to Doug Davis, Senior Technical Account Manager with VMware for compiling the data!

Photon Platform - Introducing the Photon Platform: Purpose-Built for Running Cloud-Native Applications

For DevOps and software as a service (SaaS) organizations, running cloud-native applications at scale requires a container-optimized platform developed for high churn workloads and an API-first model. VMware will today demonstrate the VMware Photon Platform, which is purpose-built to meet this emerging need and features "just the right level of functionality" to run cloud-native applications at scale. Showcased as a technology preview, the VMware Photon Platform is designed for DevOps teams planning to build out large pools of commodity computing capacity that solely run cloud-native applications. DevOps teams will have a choice of open container orchestration frameworks including Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Mesos and Cloud Foundry to run on the platform. The technology -- components of which will be open sourced -- will also support dynamic continuous integration environments, platform as a service (PaaS) or SaaS deployments, and sizable data analytics clusters running Hadoop or Spark.

The VMware Photon Platform, which will include future integrations with VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN and VMware vRealize Suite, features the following technologies:

VMware Photon Controller - A multi-tenant, API-driven control plane optimized for scale, churn and high-availability. Automation-savvy DevOps teams will be able to speed the creation of thousands of new containers per minute and support hundreds of thousands of total simultaneous workloads. The controller will be released as an open source project to help encourage broad input, testing and adoption from customers, partners and the community at large. The technology will also incorporate Project Lightwave, which provides enterprise-grade trust and security for containers.

VMware Photon Machine - This technology will include a new ESX Microvisor based on the proven core of VMware ESXi. It also includes Project Photon OS, a lightweight Linux operating system for containerized applications and optimized for VMware environments.

VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Services:

Disaster Recovery OnDemand™: VMware will add a pay-for-what-you-consume pricing option to VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. Customers will pay a flat fee for each VM protected and the amount of storage consumed by the VMs. When a DR test is run or a DR event occurs, customers will only pay for the compute consumed when VMs are running.

Site Recovery Manager Air™: Site Recovery Manager Air is a software as a service offering that will provide VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery customers with a comprehensive management solution for designing, testing, executing and orchestrating centralized business continuity and disaster recovery plans. VMware Site Recovery Manager Air will enable fast, reliable and orchestrated recovery of multi-VM applications and data centers protected in VMware vCloud Air.

VMware vCloud Air Object Storage: VMware vCloud Air Object Storage is a portfolio of highly scalable, reliable and cost effective storage services for unstructured data. VMware vCloud Air Object Storage powered by Google Cloud Platform is based on Google Cloud Storage and integrated into vCloud Air OnDemand. VMware vCloud Air Object Storage powered by EMC is based on EMC ViPR, offered by EMC Cloud Services and integrated into vCloud Air OnDemand. VMware vCloud Air Object Storage will be easy to setup and exceptionally durable and available, and will reduce the need for data protection with built-in redundancy. It will support global access use cases with easy access from any device, anywhere, anytime.

VMware vCloud Air SQL - VMware vCloud Air SQL is a new database as a service offering that will provide easy access to scalable, cloud-hosted relational databases. Delivered in a cost-efficient pay-as-you-go model, and built on the trusted foundation of vSphere, vCloud Air SQL will support hybrid data solutions that seamlessly and securely extend on-premises databases to the cloud. VMware vCloud Air SQL will support Microsoft SQL Server, with a variety of memory, compute and storage options, and plans to support other relational databases in the future.

VMware NSX™ 6.2 - VMware NSX 6.2 enables organizations to achieve application continuity through disaster recovery and metro-pooling for more efficient use of resources throughout a single data center and across data centers. With VMware NSX, customers can reduce recovery time objectives by as much as 80 percent1. VMware NSX 6.2 also adds better integration with physical infrastructure, enabling simplified and consistent operations for the entire data center network and the extension of micro-segmentation to physical servers. Finally, new capabilities such as Traceflow and Central CLI further simplify operations and visibility. Read this blog to learn more about VMware NSX 6.2.

VMware vRealize™ Operations™ 6.1 - VMware vRealize Operations 6.1 will deliver a consistent management framework as organizations evolve from the private cloud and adopt technologies for the hybrid cloud. With the new Intelligent Workload Placement capability, VMware vRealize Operations will match the workload to a customer's specific IT and business needs, and recommend the best placement location. Proactive Rebalancing enables customers to continually meet those needs. Operating system and application monitoring will be available natively in VMware vRealize Operations and predictive analytics help IT proactively identify and avoid potential issues across infrastructure and application stacks from a unified self-learning management solution. For more information, read VMworld 2015: Intelligent Workload Management with vRealize Operations 6.1.

vRealize Log Insight™ 3 - New features in vRealize Log Insight 3 will include double the scale and performance to 15,000 messages per second, improvements in fault tolerance around clustering, analytics improvements with new charting options and query snapshots, improved integration with vRealize Operations, and improvements in Big Data style query execution.

VMware Integrated OpenStack 2 - VMware Integrated OpenStack 2 will be based on OpenStack Kilo, making it current with upstream OpenStack code, and will include an industry-first seamless upgrade capability that will address one of the largest deployment and operational challenges for OpenStack clouds. VMware Integrated OpenStack will also include enhancements such as load-balancing as a service, Ceilometer and Heat Auto Scaling to make VMware-based OpenStack clouds more scalable, performant and resilient. VMware also announced VMware Integrated OpenStack will be available to service providers through the VMware vCloud Air Network program.

VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1 - VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1 will integrate with VMware NSX 6.2, enabling IT to use network virtualization to simplify disaster recovery management and accelerate recovery in the software-defined data center. VMware Site Recovery Manager will orchestrate the live migration of VMs at scale between sites by automating cross-vCenter vMotion operations, enabling zero downtime disaster avoidance and data center migrations. VMware Site Recovery Manager will interoperate with VMware vSphere Storage Policy-Based Management to enable automatic, policy-based disaster protection for VMs. VMware Site Recovery Manager will now add support for stretched cluster solutions including EMC VPLEX, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform and IBM San Volume Controller.

VMware vSphere APIs for IO Filtering - VMware vSphere APIs for IO Filtering will enable ecosystem partners including Asigra, EMC, Infinio, PrimaryIO, Samsung, SanDisk and StorageCraft to offer third party software-based data services such as replication and caching. These data services will be fully integrated in vSphere and managed through vSphere Storage Policy-Based Management, which is the same framework used to manage all the software-defined storage services in vSphere.

Technology Preview - Project Skyscraper - Today at VMworld 2015, VMware revealed a technology preview of Project Skyscraper, a new set of innovative hybrid cloud capabilities for vSphere. These new capabilities will enable customers to extend their data center to the public cloud and seamlessly operate across boundaries while providing enterprise-level security and business continuity. At VMworld, the company will demonstrate live workload migration through Cross-Cloud vMotion and Content Sync across a private cloud and vCloud Air.

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers: Unveiled today as a technology preview, VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable IT teams to support any application, including containerized applications, on a common infrastructure.

The technology can accelerate container initiatives by enabling IT teams to take advantage of their existing investments in VMware infrastructure, people, processes and management tools. The solution will also empower developers with the flexibility, portability and speed containers deliver. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will easily integrate with other container ecosystem solutions including CoreOS Tectonic, Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere's Data Center Operating System and Cloud Foundry.

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers represents a complementary set of cloud-native technologies featuring Project Bonneville, Project Photon OS (formerly Project Photon), and VMware's Instant Clone technology (a feature of VMware vSphere 6) that will bring together the best of VMware vSphere with containers. With VMware vSphere at its foundation, the new offering will help IT operations team meet the following enterprise requirements for containers:

Security and Isolation - Assuring the integrity and authenticity of containers and their underlying infrastructure, Project Bonneville, a technology preview, isolates and starts up each container in a virtual machine with minimal overhead using the Instant Clone feature of VMware vSphere 6.

Storage and Data Persistence - While many container services are stateless today, customers have the desire to enable stateful services to support cloud-native databases. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable provisioning of persistent data volumes for containers in VMware vSphere environments. This will enable IT operations and development teams to take advantage of the speed and portability of containerized applications in conjunction with highly resilient VMware vSphere storage, including VMware Virtual SAN™ and VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes™-enabled external storage.

Networking - VMware NSX™ supports production container deployments today. With VMware NSX, IT can apply fine-grained network micro-segmentation and policy-based security to cloud-native applications. Additionally, VMware NSX provides IT with greater visibility into the behavior of containers. Finally, with VMware NSX, containers can be integrated with the rest of the data center, and can be connected to quarantine, forensics and/or monitoring networks for additional monitoring and troubleshooting.

Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) – IT teams will be able to assure service-level agreements for container workloads with Vmware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler as well as reduce planned and unplanned downtime with Vmware vSphere High Availability and Vmware vSphere vMotion®.

Management - Administrators will be able to use VMware vCenter Server™ to view and manage their containers without the need for new tools or additional training through Project Bonneville, which will enable the seamless integration of containers into VMware vSphere. Customers can further achieve consistent management and configuration compliance across private and public clouds using the VMware vRealize™ Suite.

By bringing together all the necessary capabilities into a single solution to run enterprise-class containers in production, VMware will help IT organizations to accelerate time to value, reduce risk and enable long-term viability for their container initiatives. Additionally, IT teams will have tremendous choice and flexibility over the hardware, operating systems and third-party software certified for VMware vSphere.

VMware EVO SDDC - Previously code named VMware EVO: RACK™, VMware EVO SDDC will be a fully automated software suite for delivering the software-defined data center as an integrated system. Enterprises and service providers will be able to use VMware EVO SDDC to deploy a software-defined data center at scale. With VMware EVO SDDC, IT organizations can meet key data center scale initiatives, ranging from application and infrastructure delivery automation to business mobility to high availability and resilient infrastructure, without compromising security, control or choice.

"Organizations have adopted the software-defined data center architecture to become more agile, responsive and profitable," said John Gilmartin, vice president and general manager, Integrated Systems Business Unit, VMware. "VMware EVO SDDC will bring to bear the entirety of our innovations across our software-defined data center portfolio in a comprehensive and integrated system that will be easy to deploy, operate and scale."

VMware EVO SDDC will include VMware EVO SDDC Manager™, a new intelligent automation engine that will simplify and significantly reduce the time required for power-up, provisioning and monitoring of virtual and physical resources, including software, servers, top-of-rack and spine switches. The EVO SDDC Manager will pool resources across multiple racks as a single "virtual rack" and can dynamically carve out workload domain capacity based on availability and performance requirements. VMware EVO SDDC Manager will provide automated lifecycle management of the entire hardware and VMware integrated software stack, including:

Compute - VMware vSphere, the industry-defining virtualization solution, delivers a highly available, resilient, on-demand cloud infrastructure to run, protect and manage any application from business-critical to cloud-native applications.

Storage - VMware Virtual SAN is the ideal storage platform for virtual machines, including business-critical applications. A 64-node VMware Virtual SAN cluster exceeds eight petabytes of storage capacity while delivering up to seven million input/output operations per second (IOPS) with nearly perfect linear scalability.

Networking - VMware NSX is helping hundreds of customers realize the full potential of a software-defined data center. Integrated within VMware EVO SDDC, VMware NSX reduces the time to provision multi-tier networking and security services from weeks to seconds, abstracting virtual networks from the underlying physical network. VMware NSX also brings security inside the data center through micro-segmentation and automated fine-grained policies tied to the virtual machines.

Cloud Management - VMware vRealize™ Operations™ provides intelligent operations management across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures using predictive analytics and policy-based automation. The combination of VMware vRealize Operations and VMware vRealize Log Insight™ enables IT teams to combine and analyze structured and unstructured data for end-to-end operations management to help them improve overall performance and avert disruptions.

VMware EVO SDDC will also include Hardware Management Services to abstract the characteristics of heterogeneous switching, server and power distribution unit (PDU) hardware. Hardware Management Services will be responsible for executing hardware management tasks. VMware intends to offer this solution as open source code, enabling the company to work with a broad ecosystem of partners to drive ongoing development leading to broad hardware compatibility and improved technology.

VMware EVO SDDC customers will be able to easily add VMware Horizon® virtual desktops and VMware vRealize Automation™ to enable infrastructure as a service. In addition, VMware is exploring future integration between VMware EVO SDDC and VMware vCloud Director® and VMware Integrated OpenStack to support service provider environments.

Rack-scale offerings built and managed with VMware EVO SDDC will scale in capacity starting from one-third rack to multiple racks and thousands of nodes at single server increments. Each fully populated rack will support more than 1,000 infrastructure as a service virtual machines or more than 2,000 desktop virtual machines, delivering a highly efficient and scalable infrastructure for cloud and virtual desktop deployments.

Initially, the solution will be available via branded, integrated system offerings direct from partners Dell, QCT (Quanta Cloud Technology) and VCE. Over time, customers will also have the option to purchase the software direct from VMware, and then work with a pre-qualified partner to integrate the software onto hardware.

VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 - VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 will increase data protection options for business-critical environments with the new Stretched Cluster Feature and enhanced VMware vSphere Replication™ providing five-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Additionally, the latest release enables new advanced management and monitoring through deep integration with VMware vRealize Operations and a new Health Check Plug-In for performance monitoring, root cause analysis and capacity planning.

VMware Virtual SAN is designed to be the optimal storage solution for VMware vSphere virtual machines. The software will enable core storage services for virtualized production environments, with greater performance, scalability, flexibility, and lower latency and cost. VMware Virtual SAN is ideal for a range of use cases including business-critical applications, virtual desktop infrastructure, remote IT, and test / development.

In 15 months since its initial release, more than 2,000 customers have adopted VMware's industry-leading hyper-converged infrastructure stack globally. Featuring storage policy-based management, VMware Virtual SAN shifts the management model for storage from the device to the application, enabling administrators to provision storage for applications in minutes.

"Customers have adopted VMware Virtual SAN because of the simple, high-performance storage it offers for VMware vSphere virtual machines," said Charles Fan, senior vice president and general manager, Storage and Availability Business Unit, VMware. "The enhanced enterprise availability and data protection, new flash hardware device support, and advanced management and troubleshooting capabilities of VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 are examples of the rapid evolution of the storage software to meet the needs of enterprise customers."

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