Monthly Archives: August 2015

#VMworld: First Look – CloudPhysics New Release

Over the past year the guys at CloudPhysics have been relatively quiet compared to the proceeding 3 years since they burst onto the Scene at VMworld 2012. The reason relative radio science has been had was that they have been busily working away on a revamp of their SaaS based Analytics platform…and the results are impressive.

The new release has the following highlights.

  • Always-on diagnostics: Continuous diagnosis of infrastructure with changes continuously captured, recorded and reflected. Unique data derivations, correlations, mashups and filters reduce “noise” and identify true hazards.
    • Configurable dashboards: Rich contextual views expose hot spots and potential risks before problems form and impact operations. Trending analysis consolidates multiple objects and views, enabling multi-dimensional correlation.
    • Groundbreaking exploration capabilities: Interactive ability to analyze changes over time through easily manipulated exploration mode, using time slices with zoom in/out capabilities to evaluate correlations and causation. Users can “correlate in context” to troubleshoot application disruptions with data drawn from VM performance/resource consumption; change/event log; configuration history; and known issues associated with operational hazards and best practices.
    • 20+ new analytics for managing health and preempting hazards, available in our extensive library of “cards.”
    • Platform innovation: Time series data is uniquely handled by the CloudPhysics platform to enable a user to analyze multiple dimensions of the infrastructure around the same time axis.

With the new features, CloudPhysics delivers unique, meaningful insights, giving vSphere teams the confidence to act boldly to reduce risk and waste without compromising safety of the virtual infrastructure or the applications it supports. Building on its ease of use, intuitive user interface and deep visibility across multiple vCenters, CloudPhysics now:

  • Reduces disruption and incidents with always-on diagnostics that surface hot spots and emerging problems, enabling admins to get ahead of nascent performance problems• Improves mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) with directed exploration, enabling admins to zero in on root cause and resolve application disruptions more quickly• Generates insights for realigning misconfigured infrastructure to prevent future performance and availability issues and improve efficiency

CloudPhysics have always been a personal favourite of mine since I first chatted to Irfan back on the Solutions Exchange floor in 2012 and I’m legitimately excited with what the team has got in store to further develop the platform into an extremely powerful analytics tool for VMware based platforms.

They have a free edition which you can tryout here: CloudPhysics Free Edition

While at VMworld, head over to Booth #2346

VMworld: #vBrownBag TechTalks

The vBrownbag Tech Talks are back on again this year at VMworld and it gives those who might have missed out on getting an official session accepted at this years event the chance to present in the Hangspace. The talks go for ten minutes are are mostly community based. There are a number of different speakers covering a number of different topics and there are also a number of panel discussions.

For a full schedule check out this link.

Last year at VMworld I was lucky enough to present a Tech Talk and I am presenting again this year at 12pm on Tuesday the 1st of September …this year I will presenting a modified version of the presentation I gave at the Melbourne User Conference titled NSX… An Unexpected Journey. If you are in the Hangspace at that time or are interested in a few insights on how our day to day jobs can pivot and take unexpected turns, feel free to rock up and have a listen.

There are also a number of other great talks in the schedule and I’d like to highlight a couple below:

Luke Brown (Zettagrid) – Dinosaurs Don’t Do DR
Irfan Ahmad (CloudPhysics) – Help! My Dashboards Suck!
Craig Waters (PureStorage) – Anatomy of an SSD

Hope to see you all there…if you are around feel free to message me via Twitter (@anthonyspiteri) and say hello!

http://professionalvmware.com/2015/08/vbrownbag-techtalks-schedule-vmworld-usa-2015/

Follow-Up: vCloud Director SP: The Need for UI Improvement!

Its been a couple of weeks since I wrote this post on the need for improvement with the vCloud Director UI and the response I’ve had to the article through the comments section, on LinkedIn and Twitter and also in the vCloud Director SP v8.0 Beta Discussion forums has been positive and supportive. With VMworld fast approaching it’s going to be interesting to see if there are any announcements around the future vCD SP and if there are indeed any movements on the need to have some form of improved UI…as shown below the Poll I conducted on that blog post reflects the reality that there are only a small percentage of vCloud Air Network Partners capable of using the new features in the vCD SP Editions.

Poll Results:

As a vCloud Powered SP, do you have in house capability to develop against the vCD API to produce a Custom Portal.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I’ve put this together from 100’s of meetings with VMware both EBCs, World, SP Councils etc. Some of it is supposition and VMware wouldn’t confirm for me… so it may not be 100% accurate but here goes. Also I’m not sure how much I can say given I’ve spoken to some pretty senior people at VMware plus I’ve been privileged to sit on their Service Provider Advisory board where there are a few things discussed that they put under NDA. So I’ll try to make a best judgement around anything that follows and I’ll try to put it in a timeline perspective…

0) vCloud was created because internally, VMware couldn’t modify vCenter fast enough to add features for cloud like adoption. So the decision was to spin out a dev team, let them go as quickly as possible and use the vCenter APIs to develop something that would allow SPs and the Enterprise (that was the real goal) to have a private cloud and stop the noise of AWS/Cloud that was humming in the market….BUT:

1) It was pretty much doomed from the start when they first released v1. It was terrible and that’s being nice. Poor vSphere integration, lacked features vCenter had. So any internal sysadmin didn’t want to go near it…remember it used to use GUIDs to identify VMs so you had to look for mappings? You couldn’t back it up or restore it… and the effort you had to (and arguably still) do to integrate it and make it work well didn’t justify the return… poor start team. Why add another 100 hours to the build of your VMware environment to get something that limits you? most decision makers saw this…it had promise… BUT:

2) They wrote it in the wrong language – Flash. They picked flash because it was quick/easy/looked nice but almost as soon as VCD 1.1/2 was released, (from my hazy memory), Adobe announced they were stopping investment. The world turned almost overnight to HTML5 and that meant a big re-write for them. Flash is horrible, zero mobile support (remember Steve Jobs), Flash is terrible, we all know it, just accept it. But they couldn’t justify the rewrite cost (and time delay) because…

3) Most customers weren’t deploying it. Sure there are some big installations around the world, mostly larger customers that had internal development shops and multiple business units, but the trouble was the only real adoption they were getting was with the service providers and they were getting it for free through the VSPP. At this time, VMware was trying to match up the SP’s and Solution providers and they needed the SP’s to have a standard platform with APIs etc… They were also backing a number of Telcos (remember vCloud Data Center partners) to try and lift them up to the emerging AWS, MS, (looming Google) threat of public cloud. So giving it away for free was a good adoption strategy. But unfortunately the vCloud Data Center program failed… I cannot go into why… Also for enterprises, Dev shops weren’t adopting it even though Lab Manager was dead because VCD didn’t have all the features of Lab Manager…

4) It was/is still a complex interface – it didn’t flow well and ultimately that’s why VMware themselves, when they launched their ‘VMware Hybrid Cloud’ trial platform in the US, didn’t use their own interface! They realised it was too clumsy and complex so they wrote something simpler for the masses. One insider told me it was at that point the interface was doomed well before it was announced… so its demise has been on the cards for years.

5) So now at this point VMware have a flash (dead) interface, very small enterprise adoption and mostly it doesn’t have the enterprise features, they aren’t even using it themselves and SPs are really the only ones using it but there’s no revenue to fund the unit because they gave it away in the VSPP. So the decision is, buy another company that has a portal (vCAC/vRealise) and shift VCD to the SP division because if we kill it all together we might lose the SPs totally, particularly the big ones that integrated it to their own portals (see next point). But at the same time, VMware realised that they could not viably get the SPs to compete with AWS/Azure so they had to do something themselves, hence vCloud Air was born. (just go look at the timing…think late 2012/early 2013)

6) So in 2013, most of the SPs using the VCD interface are those that cannot afford to develop their own or buy something – but that’s the trick, those that can afford to develop/buy, make up a significant % of the VSPP revenue. So say the top 20% of VSPP SPs represent 80% of the revenue (I don’t know the exact numbers) and of the top 20%, 80% of those SP’s have their own portal because they are telcos etc that have merged VCD APIs with existing portals or written their own. So for the VMware SP business unit that own owns a non-revenue generating platform, facing a full rewrite to shift away from flash and make it more usable again doesn’t justify the return. Also those top revenue SPs are the ones that get a voice at the highest levels in VMware and influence the strategy, not the 1000’s of SPs on 3600 plans or less commenting in forums unfortunately. So those that have the most influence, don’t need an interface (i’m generalizing a bit)… and even if they used VCD extensively, they can probably afford to license something and replace it because VDC isn’t their main line of business (telco lines, outsourcing etc is)…

7) So in 2014? VMware turn to the partners (ISVs) and suggest to the smaller SPs, go talk to some of our partners and buy their product. Flip the strategy and push it as an API layer to provide some standards to the SP community, keep very close tabs on the midlevel VSPP subscriptions and if you feel they are faltering, make sure you position vCloud Air to migrate, because if they use the vCloud APIs and connector, it should be pretty easy to get them into vCloud Air… pretty simple really…

So I’d be surprised if they resurrect it – and if they do it shows that their strategy is all over the show. Its alive, its dead, its alive etc… Just remember, SP revenue makes up less than 10% of VMware’s… so it’s a pretty small voice. As I said in my tweet last night (and I’ve made a few calls internally to VMware contacts in the last six months) there is sure to be an announcement this VMworld, but no one will say which way… they are being very tight lipped about it.

I asked Rob if I could repost this and he agreed because we share the same passion for VMware and vCloud Director and we both work for SPs with significant investments in the platform… The question has been asked of me since the original post went up about the possibility of an enhanced UI taking away the advantage SPs like Zettagrid, Datacom or iLand have by being able to develop against the vCD SP APIs but in reality a better UI that all vCloud Air Network Partners can use can only serve to strengthen the Network…and in turn that helps VMware compete against the likes of AWS, Azure and other IaaS Providers.

There is a strong group of vCD Supporters who hope the news coming out of VMworld next week is positive…time will tell!

#LongLivevCD

NSX Bytes: NSX 6.2 GA and NSX Manager Upgrade

NSX for vSphere version 6.2 was made Generally Available earlier today and there has been some significant updates and improvements to the Network Virtualization Platform from the 6.1.x releases. Most of the improvements revolve around the cross vCenter functionality and enhances to the Distributed features and dynamic routing. There are also a number of operational and troubleshooting enhancements.

For a detailed look at the new features and improvement have a look at the release notes here, or check out Anthony Burke’s post here. For me the cross vCenter functionality opens up a lot of possibilities to connect multiple vCloud Director Availability Zones and offer true geographically dispersed service offerings at the lower networking layers while for the pure networking guys there seems to be a number of enhancements to the BGP functionality which is one of the best features of the NSX Edge’s.

Upgrading NSX Manager from 6.1.4 to 6.2:

There is nothing too different in the steps to upgrade NSX from the previous versions however there are a few steps to be aware of that have been introduced with NSX-v 6.2. From an overall component point of view components must be upgraded in the following order:

  1. NSX Manager
  2. NSX controller
  3. Clusters and Logical Switches
  4. NSX Edge and Guest Introspection

NSX Manager Upgrade:

  • Take a backup of the NSX Manager VM
  • Snapshot the NSX Manager VM
  • Take a backup of the config from the NSX Manager Web GUI
  • Shutdown the NSX Manager

Here is where things change with 6.2. The following is contained in the release notes:

The memory and CPU requirements for installing or upgrading NSX Manager have increased. NSX Manager 6.2.x requires at least 16 GB of memory. Before upgrading NSX Manager, raise the NSX Manager virtual appliance’s reserved memory to 16 GB, or, for large-scale installations, raise it to 24 GB. For large scale installations, VMware recommends allocating 8 CPUs for NSX Manager.

If any of the following thresholds are crossed, the deployment is considered to be large:

100 hypervisors , 100 NSX Edges or 1,000 global distributed firewall rules

The requirements for large installations is now a fairly hefty 8vCPU and 24GB or vRAM for the NSX Manager which double the resources from the previous NSX and VSM versions.

Once the NSX Manager VM has been modified and powered back on…upgrade the Manager with the new build package.

 

The upgrade process, as with previous versions can take up to 20 minutes and once done you can log back into the NSX Manager GUI and view the build number to confirm the upgrade has been successful.

If you didn’t upgrade the vRAM of the VM prior to upgrade you will receive the following message upon logging in telling you to upgrade to at least 16GB of vRAM.

We are now running Version 6.2.0 Build 2986609. You will also notice the new Universal Sync Service in the NSX Manager Component management section…which is used for cross vCenter deployments.

The final step of the upgrade process is to restart the vCenter Web Client services to ensure any lingering previous version data doesn’t remain in the system. The Upgrade Guide specifies how do do this for the version 5 and 6 VCSA. Once that’s done you can login and under the Networking & Security section you should see the Upgrade Avaliable option appears under the Controller Cluster Status.

From here you can go through the usual upgrade steps which are listed in my previous NSX Upgrade series. I would also recommend reading through the online documentation which goes through the process in greater detail.

With that done, I’ll be keen to test out all the new functionality which will hopefully generate some more NSX related content.

References:

https://www.vmware.com/support/nsx/doc/releasenotes_nsx_vsphere_620.html

http://pubs.vmware.com/NSX-62/index.jsp#com.vmware.nsx.upgrade.doc/GUID-9B2AC925-4626-481B-BD6D-2F5998C41752.html 

http://networkinferno.net/release-nsx-6-2-is-now-live

 

Rubrik – Converged Data Management 2.0 Announcement

Rubrik is a company a lot of IT Professionals have been keeping an eye since release of their v1.0 Appliance back in May. Their industry DNA is extremely impressive and with an equally impressive technical team they are set to shake up the B&R industry. I was thoroughly impressed with the Virtualization Field Day presentation (and the Chris Wahl coup) so it’s no surprise that they have come out big before VMworld 2015 with the release of v2.0 of their Converged Data Management Platform as well as unleashing a new Hybrid Cloud Appliance.

For those who where looking to compare the v1.0 version with existing Backup technology players in the market there was certainly a few shortcomings in the platform (mostly around general usability and reporting)…but for the most those have been addressed in v2.0 and I feel now with features like detailed reporting and capacity planning to go along with stronger application aware backup processing and an enhanced user experience through their UI that sits on top of their awesome hardware accelerated backup platform they have reached a point where a lot more potential clients will start to take serious notice of the benefits Rubrik brings to backups and replication.

Rubrik are dead set on creating a product that adheres to all the modern tech methodologies shown above…with that they offer a truly next generation approach to a part of the industry that is still somewhat stuck in the dark ages of tape and legacy backup management…and they have a very slick UI!

I’m looking forward to diving a little more into what Rubrik has to offer and get my hands dirty with some hands on experience…also looking forward to catching up with Rubrik at VMworld.

Release Notes:

Rubrik Converged Data Management introduced the industry’s first data protection and instant recovery, while eliminating backup software. The release of version 2.0 packs replication and disaster recovery into the same, scale-out fabric.

  • Unlimited, non-disruptive replication – Asynchronous, deduplicated, WAN efficient, multi-way, and master-master native replication with zero impact on production.
  • Integrated policy engine – Complete data protection, including off-site replication and cloud archival, by selecting desired RPOs and retention within a single integrated policy engine.
  • Disaster recovery with near-zero RTO and elastic RPO – Failover and failback with complete data management among multiple sites. Mount your data directly on Rubrik for instant off-site recovery.
  • Compliance-readiness with action-oriented reporting – Replication policy compliance, including notifications on areas to troubleshoot. Rubrik r348 Hybrid Cloud Appliance
  • Rubrik extends its r300 Series by introducing the r348 Hybrid Cloud Appliance, which is optimized for larger environments or those requiring longer data retention. The r348 is a 2U unit with four x86 nodes that protects up to 300+ TB of data and comes pre-configured with Rubrik

VMworld Session:

Ohh, if you want a chance at winning the Lego shown in the picture below, make sure you attend Chris’s session STO6287-SPO …I’m trying to work out how I’m going to fit all that in the suitcase 🙂

Platform9 – GA of Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere

Today, Platform9 have announced the General Availability of their Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere environments which adds to Platform9’s ability to manage KVM based environments with the SaaS based OpenStack Platform. They have also announced a new round of funding:

Today Platform9 also announced that it has raised $10 million in Series B funding from Menlo and Redpoint Ventures

Both announcements come in the lead up to VMworld 2015 ensuring that there will lots of interest in the Platform9 team to build on the success they had last year. It was at VMworld last year that I was first introduced to the product and I’ve been testing both the KVM and more recently the VMware Platforms over the last couple of months. The VMware Management has particular interest to me and I can see massive benefits in extending an existing VMware Based environment to be managed by Platform9’s OpenStack.

I’ve put together an initial install and configure video showing how easy it is to get Platform9 managing an existing vCenter.

Key Benefits for VMware Customers
  • Self-Service Automation. Empowering developers is a key CIO priority in the enterprise. With multi-tenancy, quotas, leases and policy controls on resource configurations for workloads, Platform9 Managed OpenStack makes it easy for IT to implement self-service for developers and accelerate their workflows.
  • 100% Interoperability with VMware vSphere. Customers can perform any choice of operations via Platform9 Managed OpenStack or via VMware vSphere: therefore, all existing processes, vSphere based API automation and 3rd party products are compatible and supported.
  • Orchestration using Open, Industry Standard APIs. OpenStack APIs are supported by a wide range of automation tools, development libraries, storage and network systems and application-level orchestration frameworks. By orchestrating their infrastructure using OpenStack APIs, organizations not only reduce reliance on proprietary ecosystems, but also accelerate API driven infrastructure automation and leverage existing open source integrations.
  • Single Pane Across Virtualization Platforms. Platform9 now supports both KVM and VMware vSphere virtualization and Docker support is expected in future. Customers can now decouple their private cloud platform from the virtualization platform, and retain the flexibility to deploy new platforms over time while maintaining a consistent workflow and management interface.
  • Compatibility with all vSphere Compatible Datastores and Networks. Customers can onboard Platform9 with any storage and network implementation that is compatible with VMware vSphere. The solution is fully compatible with both legacy VLAN based networks as well as software-defined-networks.
  • Production Grade SLA for OpenStack. Platform9 takes care of monitoring, troubleshooting and upgrading the OpenStack framework, so customers can rely on a production grade SLA and focus on innovation enabled by the OpenStack cloud platform.

For an introduction to Platform9 see my previous blog post here:

Well done to the Platform9 team for the GA and the Series B!

http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=1212828
http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=1212827

NSX Bytes: Unable to Remove Logical Switch: Resources are still in use

I came across an situation today where I was doing a clean up of Logical Switches in my NSX Lab where I was unable to remove a logical switch due to it apparently still being in use.

Not a very helpful error however this was due to the fact I had provisioned a few NSX Edges and vShield Edges for use with vCloud Director Virtual Datacenters I needed a way to work out what resource was still hooked up to this Logical Switch.

Heading to the NSX Manager via SSH I followed the Manager Log and tried to remove the logical switch again:

Taking a look through the log output the important information is contained in this line:

So, lets search for this PortGroup via PowerCLI:

In my case the PortGroup in question was part of a vCD OrgvDC Network that still had a VM connected to it. Once I removed the VM, took sharing off and deleted the Direct Network from vCD I was able to go back into the Web Client and successfully remove the Logical Switch.

Of course…there is an easier way than that to see which resources where attached to the Logical Switch…By taking note of the Logical Switch Segment ID you should be able to search through vCenter for the PortGroup that has that Segment ID number in the name and trace back by that…

 

But where is the fun in that? 🙂

VMware Labs: Top 5 Flings

For those that are not aware, VMware has had their Lab Flings going for a number of years now and on the back of the latest release (ESXi Embedded Host Client) I spent some time looking through all the flings and I thought it be useful to produce a list of my Top 5 Flings. The list below represents the Flings i’ve found most useful since I was first introduced to them…they reflect my love of NestedESXi and operations around vCloud…however there are a lot more that others will find useful.

Before the list…What are VMware Flings?

Our engineers work on tons of pet projects in their spare time, and are always looking to get feedback on their projects (or “flings”). Why flings? A fling is a short-term thing, not a serious relationship but a fun one. Likewise, the tools that are offered here are intended to be played with and explored. None of them are guaranteed to become part of any future product offering and there is no support for them. They are, however, totally free for you to download and play around with them!

There are 57 Flings available for download at the time of writing this post and they range across most of VMware’s Product stack…most of them have been created out of some requirement or function that was/is lacking in the current toolset for their respective products. Most of them solve usability issues or look to resolve performance bottlenecks and look to optimize product experience…some of them end up being productised themselves.

Fling Number 5 – Storage Profile Updater

This Fling is a simple tool that enables the migration of vCloud Director virtual machines and templates from the default any storage profile to a specific storage profile. The tool can be run from the command-line with the help of a configuration file, and it allows you to change storage profiles in a batch style of processing.

For those that upgraded vCloud Director from 1.5 to 5.x you would know about the Any profile issue…this fling allows you to migrate all VMs from that default storage policy to any new one you might have configured in your Provider vDC.

Fling Number 4 – vCMA

VMware vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) is a fully configured and ready to run virtual appliance that is required to manage your datacenter from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets (iPad). Using either a mobile browser or the native iPad application, administrators can now perform various troubleshooting and remediation activities in their VMware environments from anywhere in the world.

Back before the Web Client was introduced in vSphere 5.0 this was one of the best ways to access your vCenter Hosts and VMs to perform actions remotely from you mobile phone or device. It is was an easy install and did the job…this evolved into the current vSphere Mobile Watchlist.

Fling Number 3 – PowerCLI Extensions

VMware PowerCLI is one of the most successful command line tools for managing your VMware products. With the many existing cmdlets designed for the system administrator or vSphere Admin, PowerCLI is the easiest and most powerful tool for managing your environment.

PowerCLI Extensions gives PowerCLI users access to early access functionality by extending the core PowerCLI cmdlets to include new experimental features and gives PowerCLI customers the ability to provide early feedback.

For anyone using PowerCLI to manage and automate their vSphere environments the PowerCLI Extensions have been a valuable tool to have at your disposal. Over the last couple of weeks the Fling has become even cooler by allowing access to the VMFork Instant Clone Technology APIs which up to this point have been hidden from general consumption in vSphere/ESXi 6.0

Fling Number 2 – VMware Tools for Nested ESXi

This VIB package provides a VMware Tools service (vmtoolsd) for running inside a nested ESXi virtual machine. The following capabilities are exposed through VMware Tools:

Provides guest OS information of the nested ESXi Hypervisor (eg. IP address, configured hostname, etc.).
Allows the nested ESXi VM to be cleanly shut down or restarted when performing power operations with the vSphere Web/C# Client or vSphere APIs.
Executes scripts that help automate ESXi guest OS operations when the guest’s power state changes.
Supports the Guest Operations API (formally known as the VIX API).

The release of this Fling was met with a lot of thankyou’s from those who had battled with NestedESXi Hosts not having VMTools available. If anything, the ability to cleanly shutdown or restart the ESXi Guest was welcomed. With the release of ESXi 6.0 the Tools are included in the OS by default…but for those running 5.x Nested Hosts its a must have.

Fling Number 1 – ESXi Mac Learning dvFilter

MAC learning functionality solves performance problems for use cases like nested ESX.  This ESX extension adds functionality to ESX to support MAC-learning on vswitch ports. For most ESX use cases, MAC learning is not required as ESX knows exactly which MAC address will be used by a VM. However, for applications like running nested ESX, i.e. ESX as a guest-VM on ESX, the situation is different. As an ESX VM may emit packets for a multitude of different MAC addresses, it currently requires the vswitch port to be put in “promiscuous mode”. That however will lead to too many packets delivered into the ESX VM, as it leads to all packets on the vswitch being seen by all ESX VMs. When running several ESX VMs, this can lead to very significant CPU overhead and noticeable degradation in network throughput. Combining MAC learning with “promiscuous mode” solves this problem.

This Fling is close to my heart as I learnt at VMworld 2014 that it was born out of a blog post I did on Promiscuous Mode that triggered William Lam to approach Christian Dickmann with the issues and look for a way to solve the issue. As you can see from my followup post it works as designed and is the single must have Fling for those who run Nested ESXi labs.

For a full list of the Flings available for download, head to this link

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/page/4?cat=1&orderby=comment_count 

 

Quick Tip: Re-IP VNX5300 …or any VNX

Our Operations Team where faced with an unfamiliar situation a few weeks back where we needed to re-ip an EMC VNX5300 that had it’s warranty extended and was relocated to a new Availability Zone. Generally once warranty terms and finance expire old SANs like this get returned to sender to be replaced by a newer model or new storage of some description.

As a change of topic on this blog I thought it would be good to document the process as there isn’t a lot of info out there on what needs to be done apart from the official EMC VNX Documentation locked away behind the EMC Client Portal.

In the example below we are initially concerned with the Control Station and Storage Processors of the VNX and we will change their IPs via SSH and not via Serial as suggested in the EMC guides. I would still suggest doing this via Serial if you have easy physical access to the SAN however in my case it was at the other side of the country. Networking wise I had a dual homed VM which had Network Adapters in each VLAN/PortGroup to allow the change from old to new.

 Component IP Address Values  Existing IP  New IP
Control Station 0 IPv4 IP Address:
IPv4 Subnet:
IP4v Gateway:
10.1.4.5
255.255.255.0
10.1.4.1
10.2.5.50
255.255.255.0
10.2.5.1
Control Station 1 IPv4 IP Address:
IPv4 Subnet:
IP4v Gateway:
10.1.4.6
255.255.255.0
10.1.4.1
10.2.5.51
255.255.255.0
10.2.5.1
Storage Processor A IPv4 IP Address:
IPv4 Subnet:
10.1.4.6
255.255.255.0
10.2.5.6
255.255.255.0
Storage Processor B IPv4 IP Address:
IPv4 Subnet:
10.1.4.7
255.255.255.0
10.2.5.7
255.255.255.0

Change IP Address of Primary Control Station:

  • SSH to CS0
  • Change CS0 IP to the new value

Change IP Address of Secondary Control Station:

  • Failover CS0 to force CS1 as Primary

  • This Operation can take about 15 minutes to complete and can be monitored on CS1 by running the command below

  • During the failover you will see the status of slot_0 and slot_1 swap over while slot_0 goes offline
  • Once slot_0 comes back online SSH into the new IP to confirm access of CS0
  • SSH to CS1
  • Change CS1 IP to the new value

  • Failover CS1 to force CS0 as Primary

  • After another 15 minutes both CS IPs have changed and CS0 is again Primary

Change IP Address of Storage Processor A and B from CS0:

  • The script below will do all the work and the output given is extremely useful as it goes along.
  • Once that’s finished, check the status of the Storage Processors

From here you can access Unisphere from the new SP IP Addresses and go on to reconfigure the rest of the VNXs settings.

References:

https://community.emc.com/thread/166558

vCloud Director SP: The Need for UI Improvement!

The vCloud Director 8 SP Beta program has been going for a couple of months now and there has been decent activity in the Discussion Forums and also a good number of Feature Requests submitted online in the program portal showing that there is strong in interest in the next version of vCD.

After talking to a few beta participants and having a couple of comments posted on my kick off blog post here…what has become abundantly clear is that VMware and the vCD Product Team need to seriously consider updating the current web interface or revamping it completely and rewriting it as a modern interface…

Disclaimer: I am lucky enough to work for a Service Provider that has been able to develop a custom portal using both vSphere and vCloud APIs…The opinions below are based on what i’ve heard in the vCD Community and based on what I believe to be a missed opportunity for VMware to make vCD truly great.

API Only Features:

All new features released since the 5.6.x SP Branch have only been made available via the API…this is well and good for partners that have in house development teams, but out of the 300 odd vCloud Powered SPs around the world the majority I have talked to or heard about don’t have this capability. There is very real frustration in that the new features being released are not accessible and can’t be unlocked for SPs to use to improve their service offerings.

Flash Poll:

As a vCloud Powered SP, do you have in house capability to develop against the vCD API to produce a Custom Portal.

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3rd Party UIs:

The clear direction from the vCD product team at the kick off meeting for the v8 Beta was that if partners did not have in house capabilities to develop against the API to seek out their ISV partners (of which there are very few) and look to integrate their 3rd party solutions into SPO offerings. The guys from OnApp and AirVM have got some great portals but from what I have heard they are pricey and reduce an SPs ability to differentiate service offerings due to the ridged nature of the portal requirements. That could be said for any portal (VMware built or not) but these portals generally come with provisioning and billing engines which only add to the cost…some comments also point out that there are behind in certain features.

The added cost is the biggest issue i’ve heard from SPs here though there is an argument to be had that if those SPs where to source in house capabilities it would cost a lot more to hire and develop their own custom portals…Many SPs believe that VMware should continue to offer an updated GUI without question.

Current UI Status

The last point to make here is that while other competitors in the private and public cloud space are coming out with updated, functional and ascetically pleasing, modern UIs VMware continue to lag seriously behind across the majority of their product set when it comes to decent UIs. The vCloud Director UI has always had its detractors though i’ve always felt it stacked up well after you spend some time getting to know it..if ever there was a reason for VMware to upgrade the release of the new API features (including those in 5.6.x SP) being not taken up be existing partners surly should make VMware rethink their position.

I’m not going to assume to fully understand the reasons why the decision was taken to not continue development of the UI but from my conversations with people in the know the decision to move to an SP only version of vCD and the ramifications that brought into play where not well received within certain areas of VMware. The only thing I really know is that current (and potential) SPs lament the lack of a truly modern, functional UI for vCD SP and that does and will hurt the continued uptake of vCD as a IaaS platform…That in it’s self is a shame as there are many fans of vCD and lots who understand that it’s one of most mature IaaS platforms going around and the way in which is abstracts vSphere resources is unique and adds clear differentiation to Per VM Instance based Public Clouds.

What will be interesting is to see where VMware take vCD SP over the next 12 to 18 months on the back of vCloud Air Platform development and if that flow of IP contains any improvements to the UI…it’s desperately needed in my opinion.

 


 

Just to finish off this post I’ve highlighted a few of the vCloud Director Portals ISV Partners and SP Partners have been able to produce…as well as an example of the UI from Rubrik which to me screams the simple functionality modern UIs require and also examples of the Azure Portal and Platform9 (OpenStack) Portal.

AirVM:

OnApp:

ZettaGrid:

iLand Cloud:

Rubrik:

Azure:

Platform9:


#LongLivevCD