Monthly Archives: October 2015

#VeeamON 2015: Announced: Veeam Endpoint Backup Free…for LINUX!

Today during the VeeamOn Keynote, one of the big announcements was that Veeam would be releasing a new Endpoint Backup product that extends support to Linux based physical (or Virtual) machines. This follows up from last years announcement of the Windows version which has been downloaded approximately 200,000 times since release proving that there is a serious thirst from IT pros and their respective companies to have a simple product that backups standalone physical machines…the only thing missing was Linux support.

http://www.veeam.com/endpoint-backup-free.html

The Veeam Vanguards where given a first look at the new edition at the Vanguard Day on the Monday and we got given a exclusive run down of the new features before they where announced at this afternoons keynote.

Veeam EndPoint Backup for Linux Features and Highlights*:

  • It’s FREE and will always be FREE
  • Agent based solution
  • Uses a built in Change Block Tracking engine
  • Supports Debian and Redhat Linux distributions initially (Ubuntu/CentOS)
  • Used a Native Linux Control Widget for Configuration and Monitoring of jobs
  • Has a seperate set of CLI commands to configure/modify jobs
  • Uses SQLite

At the moment, similar to the iniital release of the Windows version it will only support the following as backup targets

  • Local (internal) storage of the protected endpoint (not recommended).
  • Direct attached storage (DAS), such as USB, eSATA or Firewire external drives. • Network Attached Storage (NAS) able to represent itself as SMB (CIFS) share.
  • Veeam Backup & Replication 9.0 or later backup repository.

No Cloud Connect support yet, but hopefully that will come along in future updates.

Veeam EndPoint Backup for Linux will be available in the first half of 2016 and there will be a limited beta release program with details here.

*  Features subject to confirmation once officially announced

 

#VeeamOn 2015: Scale-out Backup Repository Will Be Brilliant for Cloud Service Providers

[UPDATE] – This feature will not be available for Cloud Connect in the initial releases but will be supported in future updates…. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Veeam has been releasing new features for Backup & Replication v9.0 for a while now, but the recent announcement around the Scale-out Backup Repository is probably the most significant so far…especially for those running large backup repositories such as Service Providers who operate a Cloud Connect offering. Manageability of large repositories has been an ongoing challenge for Veeam administrators and many know about the pain associated with having to juggle storage to accomodate increasing backup file sizes and what’s involved in having to migrate jobs to larger repositories.

In a sentence, a scale-out repository will group multiple “simple” repositories into a single entity which will then be used as a target for any backup copy and backup job operation.

As Luca describes in his Veeam Blog Post, Veeam administrators don’t have to think too hard about how this dramatically simplifies the configuration and management of backup jobs and removes the pain of repository sprawl and optimizes storage by letting the new repository algorithms work out the best place to place a backup job based on the global Scale-Out repository namespace.

With this new capability, Service Providers will be able to:

  • Dramatically simplify backup storage and backup job management through a single, software-defined backup repository encompassing multiple heterogeneous storage devices
  • Reduce storage hardware spending by allowing existing backup storage investments to be fully leveraged, eliminating the problem of underutilized backup storage devices
  • Improve backup performance, allowing for lower RPOs and reduced risk of data loss in daily operations

Beyond the official release info…thinking about how this helps Cloud Service Providers offering Cloud Connect and Replication, the fact you can target all jobs to that single Global repository means that as storage becomes an issue all that’s required is to add a new target and let Veeam B&R do it’s job to place any new backup jobs. Perfect for those who had previously struggled with how to build into their offering a way to automatically load balance jobs based on target repository sizes.

As mentioned…a brilliant new feature of v9 and can’t wait for it to be available for Cloud Connect and Cloud Connect Replication in future v9 Updates!

References:

http://www.veeam.com/blog/introducing-scale-out-backup-repository-coming-in-availability-suite-v9.html

#VeeamOn 2015: Expectations and Top Session Recommendations

This year I am honoured to be attending VeeamOn in Las Vegas thanks to the Veeam Vanguard Program. I’m looking forward to the event for a number of reasons (not withstanding I’ve never been to Vegas) and I am going to be interested in how it compares to the other major IT conferences I have been to. Comparing it to VMworld would be unfair given VMworld’s size and maturity but my expectations around networking and community will be similar to those I take to VMworld and the content catalog is filled with sessions that look promising.

http://www.veeam.com/veeamon/agenda

The Veeam Vanguard group has a special all day session on the Monday which should be interesting and will be a great forum to talk about Veeam’s current product set, industry direction around backup and replication and business continuity. The backup and replication world is very different from when Veeam first jumped on the scene with lots of disruptors in the market challenging Veeam’s status as the best for virtualized workloads.

Apart from that I’m looking forward to the following sessions:

  • DraaS DEFINED: Capitalize on New Opportunities with Veeam Cloud Connect
    Monday, October 26 | 10:45 – 11:45
    Stay at the forefront with DraaS for the modern data center. Are you ready to build customized and right-sized DR solutions for your clients? Join us and learn more about the business opportunity around high performance, cost effective Veeam-powered DR services you can offer for your clients.
  • Backup Repository Best Practices: 2015 Edition
    Tuesday, October 27 | 3:15 – 4:15
    Backup storage is the central part of any backup strategy that can lead your efforts to either complete success or complete failure. And yet, backup storage impact is very underestimated. In this session, you’ll learn about most typical mistakes Anton has observed in the past seven years watching over 150,000 users deploying Veeam Backup & Replication, so you can avoid the same mistakes. You’ll also learn more about the incredible amount of options you have for storing your backups and how to create a massive backup repository without having to purchase a single storage device.
  • Maxing Out Performance: The Final Step to Extremely Fast Processing
    Tuesday, October 27 | 4:30 – 5:30
    Do your backup and replication jobs hardly fit into your backup window? Do you have a feeling that the processing rate is too low for available hardware resources? How can you reach maximum performance? This breakout session from Veeam Tech Support will highlight the essential principles of detecting and troubleshooting performance issues in both small- and large-scale deployments. Discover core steps to optimize data flow performance and unrevealed infrastructure configuration points and let the processing rate reach its maximum speed.
  • Cloud and DRaaS Defined: Needs, Trends and Solutions
    Tuesday, October 27 | 4:30 – 5:30
    The disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) market gets a lot of buzz, but end users say there are still some challenges. Many of the products in the market today offer a DRaaS solution in addition to, or separate from, an overall data protection strategy, often pulling the focus of IT away from their current data center investments and momentum. In this breakout session, you will hear from Dave Simpson, who leads 451 Research’s research activities for data protection and DRaaS. You will also hear from Mike Waguespack and Russ Kerscher as they outline the cloud and DRaaS needs coming from end users and the partner community and how Veeam Cloud Connect can maximize the cloud opportunity for both service providers and traditional businesses.
  • Ask the Experts: A Veeam Panel like No Other!
    Wednesday October 28 | 3:00 – 4:00
    Tom Sightler, Luca Dell’Oca and Andreas Neufert: These three guys are among the best technical Veeam experts in the world. Attend this ask-us-anything session to get your tough questions asked, This session will be moderated by Rick Vanover
  • A Closer Look at Veeam Cloud Connect Replication
    Wednesday October 28 | 4:15 – 5:15
    Demand for cloud solutions is on the rise, thanks to the need for 24/7 access to applications and data and renewed focus by IT on revenue-generating activities — and the resulting demand for managed backup and other services. The upcoming version of Veeam Cloud Connect will bring support for VM replication to cloud, enabling service providers and their customers to create and consume DRaaS solutions.

One interesting thing for me at VeeamOn is the fact this is not a VMware only event…there will be Microsoft Technologies and technical people mixing in and for me…having been so VMware focused of late it will be a change to not have the usual love in. I’m no stranger to Microsoft but I’ve always felt the MVP community was a different beast to the vExpert community…happy to be proven wrong this week!

Looking forward to a great week at the Aria Resort and Casino!

 

Released: NSX Advanced Networking

Today is a great day for Zettagrid…we have officially released our NSX Advanced Networking feature that extends the networking functionality of our vCloud Based Virtual Datacenter product. The release is as significant as our initial vCloud Director offering which was the first in the ANZ market in offering a fully automated vCloud Power IaaS offering. What makes this release significant is that apart from us being one of the first…if not the first to offer NSX Advanced Edges to act as the gateway for client VMs and services hosted on VMware’s vCloud Director Platform. This first release milestone has further cemented Zettagrid’s status in the cloud market as leaders and innovators when it comes to taking great technology and doing great things with that technology.

While compute has long been the foundation for a strong cloud computing platform that underpins IaaS, networking has always been a bit of a poorer second cousin…not in terms of importance, but in terms of ease of functionality when it comes to automation. Nicira was conceived to overlay physical networks and allow for faster and more efficient setup and configuration driven by an API first mentality…with that it was no surprise that VMware decided to acquire the technology and talent and form the NSBU which has produced NSX for VMware (NSX-v)

Zettagrid saw huge potential in being able to automate the networking deployment, configuration and management of networking to do for networking what vCloud Director had done for compute. There are very specific pain points that this release has solved for Zettagrid customers who where after more functionality and features that where available in the Basic VSE Edge Gateways that come as default with the vCloud Director platform. The alternative prior to NSX Advanced Networking was to deploy a 3rd party Networking appliance and have that connected back to the clients Virtual Datacenter via mainly manual processes which did lead to longer lead times for requests to be completed.

With NSX Advanced Networking clients now have the ability to deploy three sizes of Edge Gateways that cater for all modern Hybrid Cloud requirements. In addition to that all Edges can be deployed with the option of High Availability which offers greater service continuity. Comparing the Basic Networking option to the NSX Advanced features you get a better performing routing and firewall engine along with a significantly improved Load Balancer services that rivals much more expensive options. You also have the ability to take advantage of dynamic routing protocols such as BGP and OSPF to enable more hybrid cloud options connecting vCloud Director Datacenters to on-premises or MPLS networks.

NSX Advanced Networking is deployed from the Zettagrid MyAccount Catalog when ordering a Virtual Datacenter. Within minutes you have access to the MyAccount Portal to start configuring your network and virtual machines. The Zettagrid team worked tirelessly to develop an interface between the NSX Rest APIs and our provisioning backend and then create the MyAccount NSX Advanced Networking UI. We have already begun work on further enhancing the features of the product and will be adding more features and functionality to the MyAccount Portal in future releases.

Networking is the cornerstone of the Hybrid Cloud and with VMware NSX technology, Zettagrid has been able to take a significant first step in making the consumption and management of networking in the cloud more efficient and powerful. Well done to the Zettagrid team on this release and we look forward to our customers taking advantage of the benefits offered by NSX Advanced Networking.

NSX Edge vs vShield Edge: Part 5 – SSL VPN-PLUS

Overview:

The SSL VPN-Plus feature has been around since the VSE 5.x days and as I’ve found out was possibly the best underused feature of the VSE. Contributing to it’s lack of use was the fact that the functionality was not exposed via vCloud Director so one of the best use cases for the SSL VPN remained hidden to those that might have taken advantage of it the most.

With the SSL VPN-PLUS remote users can connect securely to private networks behind VSE and NSX Edges allowing remote users to access servers and applications in the private networks or Virtual Datacenters.

 

The graphic above is pulled from the NSX Online Documentation and shows the basic logical overview of what the SSL VPN-Plus feature enables. Windows is used in the example above but there are also clients for MacOS (Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Maverick) or Linux (TCL-TK is required for UI to work. If not present, Linux client can be used using CLI).

Configuring SSL VPN-Plus From Web Client:

As a pre-requisite the VSE or NSX Edge requires a Certificate to be available in the edge config. To see how to create a Self Signed SSL Certificate click here to view Part 4.

The steps to configure and enable the SSL VPN are listed below with each step expanded out through the rest of the post.

  • Add SSL VPN-Plus Server Settings
  • Add an IP Pool
  • Add a Private Network
  • Add Authentication
  • Add a User
  • Add Installation Package
  • Enable the SSL VPN-Plus Service

To enable the SSL VPN you need to go to Networking & Security -> NSX Edges, double click on the edge in question and go to the SSL VPN-Plus Tab and then go to Server Settings and click on Change

Select the Primary IPv4 Address and choose the SSL Certificate (for the purpose of this example the default should be ok) and click ok. Note that if you are going to be hosting SSL Enabled services off the Edge it’s probably a good idea to use a non standard HTTP Port such as 9443 so as not to have issue binding web services later on.

Head to the IP Pool Menu and add an IP Pool. The remote user is assigned a virtual IP address from the IP pool that you create.

The IP Pool should be on a different Subnet to the configured VNICs

On the Private Networks Menu Add the network that you want the remote user to be able to access.

  • Type the private network IP address.
  • Type the netmask of the private network.
  • Type a description for the network. (Optional)
  • Specify whether you want to send private network and internet traffic over the SSL VPN-Plus enabled NSX Edge or directly to the private server by bypassing the NSX Edge.
  • If you selected Send traffic over the tunnel, select Enable TCP Optimization to optimize the internet speed.
    • Conventional full-access SSL VPNs tunnel sends TCP/IP data in a second TCP/IP stack for encryption over the internet. This results in application layer data being encapsulated twice in two separate TCP streams. When packet loss occurs (which happens even under optimal internet conditions), a performance degradation effect called TCP-over-TCP meltdown occurs. In essence, two TCP instruments are correcting a single packet of IP data, undermining network throughput and causing connection timeouts. TCP Optimization eliminates this TCP-over-TCP problem, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Type the port numbers that you want to open for the remote user to access the corporate internal servers/machines like 3389 for RDP, 20/21 for FTP, and 80 for http. If you want to give unrestricted access to the user, you can leave the Ports field blank.
  • Enable the Private Network

On the Authentication Menu you have the option to add the Authentication method. Instead of a local user, you can add an external authentication server (AD, LDAP, Radius, or RSA) which is bound to the SSL gateway. For this example we will configure Local Authentication…In the Add Authentication Server select Local and configure the following options and click ok.

The installation Package is downloaded from the SSL VPN Web UI and installed on remote machine connecting up to the remote network. Go to Installation Package and here you create an installation package of the SSL VPN-Plus client for the remote user. As a default the following needs to be configured.

Go to the Users Page to create a default user account.

Head back to the Dashboard Menu and Click on the Enable Button.

The Service is now Enabled with the configuration items specified above.

To test out that the SSL VPN is enabled and accessible you can use a web browser to hit the IP Address and Port selected in the config.

Configuring SSL VPN-Plus With NSX API:

Below are the key API commands to configure and manage SSL VPN-Plus.

VMUG – The Power of Community… NIKE!

Yesterday at the long awaited reboot of the Perth VMUG here in Western Australia I chaired a vExpert/vChampion Panel that included Alex Barron, Luke Brown, Luke Dudney and Tim Williams. As a group we collectively felt the community aspect of the VMUGs was missing from the Perth meetings and we pushed hard to replicate other successful VMUGs around the world by having a Community Session as part of the VMUG Agenda.

The idea of the Panel was to try and get the crowd thinking about their own community involvement and the benefits that it can lead to both from a work and personal point of view. We each introduced ourselves, talked about what we did at our day jobs and then talked a little about our experiences on how being part of the VMware community has benefited us since deciding to become more engaged in community activities by embracing programs such as the vExpert and vChampion Programs…Collectively we each acknowledged that we are better off in our careers due to our involvement.

Apart from the technical benefits in being able to bounce ideas and problems off other technically minded people within the community the biggest takeaway I thought was that the people where able to understand that there is more out there than just the four walls of their offices. Sometimes I feel that IT people are stuck in the late 90s or early 2000s when social media was either non existent or prevalent and there was a “lets keep things close to our chest” mentality. The single biggest thing I love about the VMware Community is that there is more often than not a “share first” mentality…I’m not sure why this is so strong in the VMware community but it’s because of this mentality that there is so much content being created and so much online collaboration happening.

With the help of some prompting by @cswaters1 the audience got into the swing of things and began to participate in the panel asking questions around how we got involved with the community among other things…the discussion around blogging was particularly interesting and even a tongue in cheek comment as to my blogging frequency (and the fact I was concocting this very post in my head during the panel) didn’t detract from a key message around blogging.

In a recent vExpert Spotlight interview I did with @vCenterNerd I talked about how to get involved in community and gave this response:

What advice would you give to others involved in the VMware community who are looking at becoming a vExpert?

 

For me it’s all about contributing in a positive way towards this great community. If you haven’t started a blog but feel you have something to say then start one. Don’t worry about weather or not you feel your content is worthy of being out in the public, chances are someone, somewhere will find it interesting.

Finding time to tinker in your own home lab or wherever you have access to hardware and software is of massive benefit. Content tends to generate naturally and without effort the more you tinker and play with cool technologies.

 

 

#CreateShareContibute

The Create, Share and Contribute message was what we finished up on and after the panel was done the five of us all got great feedback on the sessions and we felt an increased sense of purpose with those who we talked to during the networking food and drinks after the meeting had finished…we even committed to starting a local Perth VMUG Slack Group to help member collaborate.

There are a number of examples where people have used community as a launching pad for their career and used it to change direction and career trajectories…and while that’s another great benefit of getting involved you might find that along the way you may develop some great friendships and become mates with a great bunch of people. So even though I am probably preaching to the converted here…retweet/repost this article and lets try and use community it’s self to get the message across!

Community? …Just to it!

Gotcha: vCloud Stops Logging After 5.5.x to 5.6.x SP Upgrade

This is something to look out for if you are upgrading from vCloud Director 5.5.x to 5.6.x SP and if you have altered the syslog settings of your cells….This little gotcha nearly caused a couple of our production vCloud Director Cells to fail due to insufficient storage on the their file systems. Prior to our alerting warning us about an low disk space alert on the cells I couldn’t remember any issues with disk space and vCD Guest Systems since I first started with vCD in 2011…as is normally the case storage space is generally consumed by logs that don’t rotate or grow unexpectedly…so I went looking in the vCD Logs directory under /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs And sure enough I found that the jmx.log had ballooned to 17GB and had not rotated since the date of the upgrade to 5.6.4

After getting a support ticket raised it was found that the vCD container debug logs where not even rolling…in fact there was no debug log activity on the cells (except for the cell.log) since the upgrade.

Looking at the log4j.properties file under /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc it looked like everything was in order and that the logs should be rotating after the file hit 20MB however it was obvious that this wasn’t happening.

Working with VMware Support we came across this section of the Install and Upgrade guide where it talks about

(Optional) Update logging properties.

After an upgrade, new logging properties are written to the file /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc/log4j.properties.rpmnew

Option

Action

If you did not change existing logging properties

Copy this file to /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc/log4j.properties.

If you changed logging properties

Merge /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc/log4j.properties.rpmnew file with the existing /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc/log4j.properties. Merging these files preserves your changes.

Sure enough our log4j.properties file had been altered to add some custom logging formats and targets and in each of the directories there was the log4j.properties.rpmnew file. That is to say there are new logging properties that come with vCD 5.6.x SP and if you had altered the file prior to upgrade those additions meant the logging broke. As suggested above all that needed to be done was to merge both files, or append the customer entries to the bottom of the .rpmnew version and save that as log4j.properties and restart the cells. Once I did this the debug logs started to flow again and the jmx.log file was rotated allowing me to shrink/delete the file consuming the storage.

 

References:

http://pubs.vmware.com/vcd-56/index.jsp#com.vmware.vcloud.install.doc_56/GUID-CEF834DA-1FF5-4819-9D24-88DE6F005C78.html?resultof=%2522%2572%2570%256d%256e%2565%2577%2522%2520

Released: Veeam Backup and Replication 8 Updated 3 – Cloud Connect Updates

Last week Veeam released Update 3 for Backup & Replication 8 taking the build number to 8.0.0.2084 and with the update, Veeam have released a couple new features and enhancements including:

  • Support for Windows 10 as guest virtual machines (VMs), including application-aware processing.
  • Support for vSphere 6.0 Update 1
  • Improved performance of certain user interface operations, such as opening Backups node in large environments.
  • Reduced load on SQL Server hosting product configuration database, while improving SQL interaction reliability in large environments. Improved performance of configuration backup in large environments.

For Service Providers running a Veeam Cloud Connect Service there were a few additional enhancements that are not listed in the KB. So some decent improvements in the way that the Cloud Connect Gateways handle load and there has also been some work done on the way he Cloud Gateways handle failover due to load or otherwise. In terms of the other fixes I’ve had a few certificate related issues come up since we launched the service and some of our clients have run into the Backup Copy Job error specified above…so an important update to apply.

Regardless of the features and enhancements if you are running Cloud Connect Service you will need to be looking at upgrading as soon as possible as issues will arise if customers are running client versions ahead of the service provider server build.

http://www.veeam.com/kb2068

NSX Bytes: NSX Edge – High Availability Status Down

In doing some testing around NSX Edge deployment scenarios I came across a small quirk in the High Availability Config for the NSX Edge Gateway where by after configuring HA from either the Web Client of through the Rest API you will see the High Availability Status as Down in the Web Client even though its Enabled and you have two Edge Appliances deployed.

If you go to the CLI of either of the deployed Edge Appliances and run the show service highavailability command you will get the response shown below:

I did a search for Highavailability Healthcheck server is stopped and didn’t get any hits…hence me putting together this post to specifically tackle that message however looking back through my earlier post on Edge Gateway HA (http://anthonyspiteri.net/nsx-edge-vs-vshield-edge-part-2-high-availability/ I did make note of the fact you need at least one vNIC configured.

So, while not so much as a quirk as more a case of by design the edge High Availability Service will only kick in once the first Internal vNIC has been added and configured. If you have enabled HA after doing the initial interface configurations you won’t have this issue as during the HA setup you are asked which vNIC to choose. If you enable HA without a vNIC configured the service won’t kick in until that vNIC is in play. Once this has been done the HA Service kicks in and configures both edges…if you run the show service command again you should now see the Highavailability Status as Running and details on the HA configuration of the NSX Edge pair.

Looking back at the Web Client you will now see the High Availability Service as Up

For more info on understanding HA and some more troubleshooting steps @gabe_rosas has a great post here:

vCloud Director 8: New Features And A New UI Addition…

Since June the vCloud Director SP Beta has been running with a lot of renewed interest in the IaaS Platform. The beta was well participated in and there was a lot of robust discussion around the future of vCD as well as questions around the lack of a decent UI for those without in house development skills to exploit the new API only features. The beta program was closed the weekend of VMworld San Francisco with v8.0 GA’ing a few weeks later.

With the v8.0 SP release the vCD team have started to incorporate enhancements from the vCloud Air vCD builds, though the original 6 month lag between VCA services coming to the SP builds seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Before diving into the new features of the 8.0 version I thought it would be a great time to highlight the release history of vCloud Director since v 1.0 was released back in August of 2010. There have been 6 major releases and 16 minor releases which backs up one of my biggest claims around platform maturity and as to why vCloud Director is the best Cloud Management Platform on the market when it comes to the abstraction of vSphere resources and presenting pools of compute, storage and networking via a true multi-tenant interface.

vCloud Director 1.0.1 Released 10 FEB 2011 | Build 356485
vCloud Director 1.0 Released 30 AUG 2010 | Build 285979
vCloud Director 1.5.2 Released 10 DEC 2012 | Build 924077
vCloud Director 1.5.1 Released 15 MAR 2012 | Build 622844
vCloud Director 1.5 Released 01 SEP 2011 | Build 464915
vCloud Director 5.1.3.1 Released 1 JUL 2014 | Build 1881640
vCloud Director 5.1.3 Released 16 JAN 2014 | Build 1489357
vCloud Director 5.1.2 Released 25 APR 2013 | Build 1068441
vCloud Director 5.1.1 Released 25 OCT 2012 | Build 868405
vCloud Director 5.1 Released 10 SEP 2012 | Build 810718
vCloud Director 5.5.4 Released 9 JUL 2015 | Build 2831206
vCloud Director 5.5.3 Released 23 MAR 2015 | Build 2578696
vCloud Director 5.5.2.1 Released 30 OCT 2014 | Build 2233543
vCloud Director 5.5.2 Released 9 SEP 2014 | Build 2000523
vCloud Director 5.5.1.2 Released 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1881717
vCloud Director 5.5.1.1 Released 20 APR 2014 | Build 1753992
vCloud Director 5.5.1 Released 11 MAR 2014 | Build 1654672
vCloud Director 5.5 Released 22 SEP 2013 | Build 1311078
vCloud Director 5.6.4.1 Released 9 APR 2015 | Build 2619597
vCloud Director 5.6.4 Released 12 FEB 2015 | Build 2496071
vCloud Director 5.6.3 Released 7 OCT 2014 | Build 2116763
vCloud Director 8.0 Released 10 SEP 2015 | Build 3017494

VMware vCloud Director 8.0 Features:

  • vSphere 6.0 Support:
    • This to me is the biggest reason to look at upgraded to the new build. Support for vSphere 6.0 is significant for Service Providers who are looking to upgrade to take advantage of all the new features and benefits and optimizations. Note that Hardware Version 11 is not supported and won’t be exposed via the Provider vDCs.
  • NSX 6.1.4 Support:
    • This is also a significant feature that allows Service Providers to have NSX-v 6.1.4 deployed and working in a supported fashion with vCloud Director. Deployment of the vShield Edges will be 5.5.4 builds and allow deployments, redeployments and manageability to be maintained.
  • Organizational virtual data center (vDC) templates:
    • System administrators can now develop organization specific virtual data center templates with pre-set resource and delegation rules. Organizations deploy these templates to quickly create new virtual data centers on a self-service basis – Without API capabilities this feature can’t be accessed…however I don’t see a great amount of value in this particular feature as in general SPs doing their own provisioning do so off workflows that take into consideration self service vDC profiles.
  • vApp enhancements:
    • System administrators can now reconfigure virtual machines within a vApp, as well as network connectivity and virtual machine capability during vApp instantiation – Again from what I’ve seen this features can’t be accessed unless you are deploying and modifying vApps/VMs from the API. I know that this perticular feature solves a problem with Zettagrid faced in creating our vCD UI where VMs needed to be created first and then only able to be modified after that was complete…this allow VM composition on the fly.
  • OAuth support for identity sources:
    • OAuth2 tokens are now supported – Probably a feature that isn’t going to be used by most Service Providers…unless I’m missing something?
  • Tenant throttling:
    • Prevents a few tenants from consuming a majority of the resources for a single instance of vCloud Director and ensures fairness of execution and scheduling among tenants – This sounds like an awesome features that gives the ability for workloads to be throttled to protect against noisy neighbors and sets more granular control of what a tenant can consume in terms of storage, compute and networking…however it’s only offering a new algorithm that ensures operations running or in queue from a “busy” tenant do not stop or slow down a request from a “sedentary” tenant. The tenant throttling feature only gives control over the number of simultaneous resource-intensive operations any tenant can run…ie this might be fairly useful in large (vCloud Air) vCD deployments, but isn’t a ground breaking feature that offers too much to the majority of SPs.

Preparation for Advanced Networking Services:

The answer to the question as to what’s Changed in the UI is…nothing…however interestingly I did spot a UI addition which had been introduced (apparently undocumented) in preparation for the still not yet in Beta Advanced Networking Service which will allow vCD to interact with a new appliance that acts as the gateway for vCD and NSX to talk advanced services.

Can’t say too much more on the Advanced Networking Service but it will be fed down to vCAN Service Providers on the back of it’s release in vCloud Air last month as part of VMware’s commitment to delayed feature parity for SPs deployments and vCloud Air…good to see some UI enhancement in any case!

Final Thoughts:

As I mentioned above for the majority as Service Providers that can’t make use of the new features the biggest feature enhancements in this release is the compatibility with vSphere 6.0 and NSX-v 6.1.4 and even for those that have the capability to develop against the API’s the vApp Enhancements around VM recomposition will allow for a more streamlined provisioning flow for VMs but the other features are a little less impressive…however I am certainly looking forward to the next release as it should deliver a lot more vCloud Air service features.

#LongLivevCD

For further detail on the new features see the what’s new document here:

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vCloud/VMw-Whats-New-vCD8-0.pdf

If you are a vCAN SP and have the right entitlements follow this link to download vCloud:

https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=VSPP_VCD800&productId=532&rPId=8836

« Older Entries