SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite 6

In the wake of VMware’s vSphere 6 announcements, I’ve had multiple clients ask me about SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite. For quick background, SDN (Software Defined Networking) in vCloud Suite 5.x and earlier consisted of vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS). vCNS is a bundle of virtual networking appliances to provide …

… virtual firewall, virtual private network (VPN), load balancing, NAT, DHCP and VXLAN-extended networks.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, in vCloud Suite 6, vCNS is no longer included. Well, mostly. If you’re a VMware Service Provider partner (VMware IaaS Powered Services), vCNS is still part of the Premier and Premier Plus bundles. Continue reading SDN Solutions for vCloud Suite 6

Long Distance vMotion License


While presenting vSphere 6 changes this week, I was asked what vSphere Edition was required to get a Long Distance vMotion License. I hadn’t thought about it before, and stated that I thought it was part of the basic vMotion licensing. During a break, some colleagues told me they thought it was part of Enterprise Plus. That had me floored. How could vSphere check for a Long Distance vMotion license as opposed to a normal one? Is there some network check of the round trip time? What exactly is being licensed? Continue reading Long Distance vMotion License

Replicating to vCloud Air DR

Can you choose which disks are replicating to vCloud Air DR? I don't know.
The truth is, I just don’t know. Yet.

I was asked an interesting question last week which I’ve yet to get an answer on: Can users choose which disks are replicating to vCloud Air DR? Sometimes there are entire disks worth of data that aren’t core to the job of the workload in a DR situation. Not only could a customer potentially save money by not paying for unneeded storage, it’s operationally better to not replicate data that wouldn’t be used or missed in a DR situation. Like what? Well, installation package downloads, non-critical ISOs, data extractions which could be re-created from other replicated data, etc. In fact, if customers know this is a possibility, they might create a disk specifically for all the info that they don’t care to have replicated for DR. So is it possible?

Update: No. You have to replicate all disks associated with the guest (details at the bottom) 

Continue reading Replicating to vCloud Air DR

Reclaim Thin Provisioned Space – Punchzero

Thin provisioning of virtual disks has been a quiet benefit to IT administrators working in virtual environments.  In the recent past of thick provisioned storage as the only option (still common in non-virtualized, local storage environments), administrators made educated guesses about the amount of disk space their systems would need.  Only in the 2008 Server family did Microsoft even include operating system tools to expand disk partitions, an incentive to over-provision storage. Continue reading Reclaim Thin Provisioned Space – Punchzero

Enabling and Accessing ESXi Shell

The ESXi Shell (formerly known as “Tech Support Mode”) is a Busybox embedded Linux environment which vSphere administrators can use as a direct command line administrative interface for the vSphere host. Everything one might want to do with the CLI (“run common system administration commands against ESX/ESXi systems”) can be done in the ESXi Shell for the local system. In addition, there are some commands and options that can only be run in the ESXi Shell. There’s also the added advantage of not needing to install the CLI package on a machine with network access to the vSphere host. It’s also where you’d run utility scripts like ghettoVCB for backup. Continue reading Enabling and Accessing ESXi Shell

Link Aggregation Misconceptions

Think you’ll be able to use Link Aggregation Groups (LAG) to turn your four Gigabit links into a single 4 Gigabit link? Well, Link Aggregation might not do the job you think it will do. Listen, I get it. There are a ton of topics that you have to know about to be an effective Virtualization solution designer, and network intricacies might seem pretty far down the list. So here’s the deal.

Continue reading Link Aggregation Misconceptions

Clarity on Enhanced vMotion in Essentials Plus

I was at Spiceworld 2012 Austin on the 11th and 12th of October and got some clarity on the issue of vSphere 5.1 Enhanced vMotion in Essentials Plus (which doesn’t have Storage vMotion). Mike Fegan, a VMware SE, explained that on Essentials Plus, we have the option to do a standard vMotion, if we are using shared storage, or a run state plus Storage vMotion, but not a pure Storage vMotion. He later re-stated that on Spiceworks. Thanks again, Mike.

vSphere 5.1 Announcement Annoyances

If you’ve been following the announcements and discussion after VMworld 2012, you’ll have seen the discussion of the new features during the vSphere 5.1 announcement.

I’ve been confused by the description of enhanced or share-nothing vMotion (what should you call it [internet archive wayback machine]?). Continue reading vSphere 5.1 Announcement Annoyances