Monthly Archives: December 2018

Top Posts 2018

2018 is done and dusted and looking back on the blog over the last twelve months I’ve not been happy with my output compared to previous years…i’ve found it a little harder to churn out content. Compared to 2017 where I managed 90 posts (including this one) this year I was down to 83. My goal has always been to put out at least two quality posts a week, however again travel comes into play and this impacts my productivity and tinkering time, which is where a lot of the content comes from…that said, I am drawing closer to the 500th blog post on Virtualization is Life! since going live in 2012.

Looking back through the statistics generated via JetPack, I’ve listed the Top 10 Blog Posts from the last 12 months. This year the VCSA, NSX, vCenter Upgrades/Migrations and Homelab posts dominating the top ten. As I posted about last year the common 503 error for the VCSA is still a trending search topic.

  1. Quick Fix: VCSA 503 Service Unavailable Error
  2. Quick Look – vSphere 6.5 Storage Space Reclamation
  3. Upgrading Windows vCenter 5.5 to 6.0 In-Place: Issues and Fixes
  4. ESXi 6.5 Storage Performance Issues and Fix
  5. Quick Fix: OVF package with compressed disks is currently not supported
  6. NSX Bytes: Updated – NSX Edge Feature and Performance Matrix
  7. HomeLab – SuperMicro 5028D-TNT4 Storage Driver Performance Issues and Fix
  8. NSX Bytes: NSX-v 6.3 Host Preparation Fails with Agent VIB module not installed
  9. Public Cloud and Infrastructure as Code…The Good and the Bad all in One Day!
  10. Released: vCloud Director 9.1 – New HTML5 Features, vCD-CLI and more!

In terms of the Top 10 new posts created in 2018, the list looks representative of my Veeam content with vCloud Director posts featuring as well as

  1. NSX Bytes: Updated – NSX Edge Feature and Performance Matrix
  2. Public Cloud and Infrastructure as Code…The Good and the Bad all in One Day!
  3. Released: vCloud Director 9.1 – New HTML5 Features, vCD-CLI and more!
  4. vSphere 6.7 Update 1 – Top New Features and Platform Supportability
  5. Configuring Service Provider Self Service Recovery with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  6. Released: vCloud Director 9.5 – Full HTML5 Tenant UI, NSX-T Thoughts and More!
  7. Setting up vSAN iSCSI and using it as a Veeam Repository
  8. NSX-v 6.4.0 Released! What’s in it for Service Providers
  9. VMworld 2018 Recap Part 1 – Major Announcement Breakdown!
  10. Creating a Single Host SDDC for VMware Cloud on AWS

Again while I found it difficult to keep up the pace with previous years I fully intend to keep on pushing this blog by keeping it strong to it’s roots of vCloud Director and core VMware technologies like NSX and vSAN however I have started to branch out and talk more about automation and orchestration topics. There will be a lot of Veeam posts around product deep dives, release info and I’ll continue to generate content around what I am passionate about…and that includes all things hosting, cloud and availability!

I hope you can join me in 2019!

#LongLivevCD

2018 Year of Travel – A Few Interesting Stats

This year was my second full year working for Veeam and my role being global, requires me to travel to locations and events where my team presents content and engages with technical and social communities. We also travel to various Veeam related training and enablement events throughout the year as well as customer and partner meetings where and when required. This time around, I knew what to expect of a travel year and like 2017, I found this year to be just right in terms of time away working verses being at home working and also being with the family.

There where lots of highlights this year but the one that stands out was Michael Cade and myself presenting at VMworld for the second year in a row. The big difference this year was that we presented around the automating and orchestration of Veeam on VMware Cloud on AWS…to have the live demo work flawlessly after months of work was extremely satisfying. Other highlights include presenting at VeeamON and the regional VeeamOn Forums and Tours and two trips to Prague to visit our new R&D headquarters and be part of the Veeam Vanguard Summit for 2018.

So…what does all that travel look like?

Being homed in Perth, Western Australia I’m pretty much in the most isolated capital city in the world, meaning any flight is going to be significant. Even just flying to Sydney takes four to five hours…the same time it takes me to fly to Singapore. I love looking at stats and there are a number of tools out there that manage flight info. I use Tripit to keep track of all my tips, and there are now a number of sites and mobile application that let you import your flight data to analyse.

With that my raw stats for 2018 are shown below:

2017/2018
Trips 17/17
Days 104/102
Distance 262,769/291,866 km
Cities 24/20
Countries 9/10

Amazingly the numbers where very similar to 2017 however I covered a lot more kilo meters. 102 days away equates to 27.9% travel which is very manageable. Of those days I spent nearly 17 days total fly time in the air which when you think about it is amazing in it’s self. I took 68 flights with 27 domestic and 41 international.

I made it, 7.4x around the Earth, 0.77x to the moon and 0.00199 to the sun.

A new app I discovered this year was App In The Air. It’s the best i’ve used and provides some interesting stats and also helps compile the travel year video embedded above. The summary below gives me great insight into the travel year.

So that’s a quick round up of what my year looked like living the life of a Global Technologist at Veeam. Let’s see how 2019 shapes up!

 

Released: NSX-v 6.4.4 Edges in HTML5 and Fixes

Last week VMware released NSX-v 6.4.4 (Build 11197766) that contains a some new features and addresses a number of resolved issues from previous releases. In recent times a lot of the focus has been on NSX-T as Kubernetes and Containers start to become more commonly discussed at the networking level and the fact that VMware Cloud on AWS is rolling out NSX-T under the surface across all regions…however it’s important to continue to highlight releases for NSX-v as this is still the NSX platform of choice out in the wild and for service providers.

This is more of a bug fix release however there are a few incremental enhancements to the NSX User Interface with additional components added to the HTML5 vSphere Client. These revolve around some Edge management being ported across to the vSphere Client…which is fine…but I do find it a little interesting that this isn’t done all in one bang so as to not frustrate administrators who still need to go back and forward depending on what they want to configure.

Though the list of unsupported functionality is shrinking with every release.

Other New Enhancements and Resolved Issues:

The only other noted enhancement also related to Edges and the amount of static routes that can be added…this increases from 2048 to 10,240 static routes for Quad Large and X-Large ESGs. Apart from that there is a smaller than usual list of Resolved issues however the majority again lie with fixes to the NSX Edges, so for those service providers that offer vCloud Director with NSX Edges, it’s worth a read.

In terms of interoperability with vCenter, ESXi and vCloud Director, there appears to be no issues with NSX-v 6.4.4 being used with the latest platform versions.

Those with the correct entitlements can download NSX-v 6.4.4 here.

References:

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-Data-Center-for-vSphere/6.4/rn/releasenotes_nsx_vsphere_644.html

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-Data-Center-for-vSphere/6.4/rn/nsx-vsphere-client-65-functionality-support.html#unsupportedFunct

Top vBlog 2018 – Last few Days to Vote!

While I had resisted the temptation to put out a blog on this years Top vBlog voting I thought with the voting coming to an end it was worth giving it a shout just in case there are some of you who hadn’t had the chance to vote or didn’t know about the Top vBlog vLaunchPad list created and maintained by Eric Siebert of vShere-Land.

As Eric mentions the vBlog voting should be based on blog content based around longevity, length, frequency and quality of the posts. There is an amazing amount of great content that gets created daily by this community and all things aside, this Top vBlog vote goes someway to recognizing the hard work most bloggers put into the creation of content for the community.

Good luck to all those who are listed and for those who haven’t voted yet click on the link below to cast your vote. Even though i’ve slowed down a little this year, if you feel inclined and enjoy my content around Veeam, vCloud Director, Availability, NSX, vSAN and Cloud and Hosting in general…It would be an honour to have you consider anthonyspiteri.net in your Top 12

https://topvblog.questionpro.com/

Thanks again to Eric Siebert.

References:

http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-top-vblog-2018.html 

AWS Outposts and VMware…Hybridity Defined!

Now that AWS re:Invent 2018 has well and truly passed…the biggest industry shift to come out of the event from my point of view was the fact that AWS are going full guns blazing into the on-premises world. With the announcement of AWS Outposts the long held belief that the public cloud is the panacea of all things became blurred. No one company has pushed such a hard cloud only message as AWS…no one company had the power to change the definition of what it is to run cloud services…AWS did that last week at re:Invent.

Yes, Microsoft have had the Azure Stack concept for a number of years now, however they have not executed on the promise of that yet. Azure Stack is seen by many as a white elephant even though it’s now in the wild and (depending on who you talk to) doing relatively well in certain verticals. The point though is that even Microsoft did not have the power to make people truely believe that a combination of a public cloud and on premises platform was the path to hybridity.

AWS is a Juggernaut and it’s my belief that they now have reached an inflection point in mindshare and can now dictate trends in our industry. They had enough power for VMware to partner with them so VMware could keep vSphere relevant in the cloud world. This resulted in VMware Cloud on AWS. It seems like AWS have realised that with this partnership in place, they can muscle their way into the on-premises/enterprise world that VMware have and still dominate…at this stage.

Outposts as a Product Name is no Accident

Like many, I like the product name Outposts. It’s catchy and straight away you can make sense of what it is…however, I decided to look up the offical meaning of the word…and it makes for some interesting reading:

  • An isolated or remote branch
  • A remote part of a country or empire
  • A small military camp or position at some distance from the main army, used especially as a guard against surprise attack

The first definition as per the Oxford Dictionary fits the overall idea of AWS Outposts. Putting a compute platform in an isolated or remote branch office that is seperate to AWS regions while also offering the ability to consume that compute platform like it was an AWS region. This represents a legitimate use case for Outposts and can be seen as AWS fulling a gap in the market that is being craved for by shifting IT sentiment.

The second definition is an interesting one when taken in the context of AWS and Amazon as a whole. They are big enough to be their own country and have certainly built up an empire over the last decade. All empires eventually crumble, however AWS is not going anywhere fast. This move does however indicate a shift in tactics and means that AWS can penetrate the on-premises market quicker to extend their empire.

The third definition is also pertinent in context to what AWS are looking to achieve with Outposts. They are setting up camp and positioning themselves a long way from their traditional stronghold. However my feeling is that they are not guarding against an attack…they are the attack!

Where does VMware fit in all this?

Given my thoughts above…where does VMware fit into all this? At first when the announcement was made on stage I was confused. With Pat Gelsinger on stage next to Andy Jessy my first impression was that VMware had given in. Here was AWS announcing a direct competitive platform to on-premises vSphere installations. Not only that, but VMware had announced Project Dimension at VMworld a few months earlier which looked to be their own on-premises managed service offering…though the wording around that was for edge rather than on-premises.

With the initial dust settled and after reading this blog post from William Lam, I came to understand the VMware play here.

VMware and Amazon are expanding their partnership to deliver a new, as-a-service, on-premises offering that will include the full VMware SDDC stack (vSphere, NSX, vSAN) running on AWS Outposts, a fully managed and configurable server and network installation built with AWS-designed hardware. VMware Cloud in AWS Outposts is VMware’s new As-a-Service offering in partnership with AWS to run on AWS Outposts – it will leverage the innovations we’ve developed with Project Dimension and apply them on top of AWS Outposts. VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts will be a subscription-based service and will support existing VMware payment options.

The reality is that on-premises environments are not going away any time soon but customers like the operating model of the cloud. More and more they don’t care about where infrastructure lives as long as a services outcome is achieved. Customers are after simplicity and cost efficiency. Outposts delivers all this by enabling convenience and choice…the choice to run VMware for traditional workloads using the familiar VMware SDDC stack all while having access to native AWS services.

A Managed Service Offering means a Mind shift

The big shift here from VMware that began with VMware Cloud on AWS is a shift towards managed services. A fundamental change in the mindset of the customer in the way in which they consume their infrastructure. Without needing to worry about the underlying platform, IT can focus on the applications and the availability of those applications. For VMware this means from the VM up…for AWS, this means from the platform up.

VMware Cloud on AWS is a great example of this new managed services world, with VMware managing most of the traditional stack. VMware can now extend VMware Cloud on AWS to Outposts to boomerang the management of on-premises as well. Overall Outposts is a win win for both AWS and VMware…however proof will be in the execution and uptake. We won’t know how it all pans out until the product becomes available…apparently in the later half of 2019.

IT admins have some contemplating to do as well…what does a shift to managed platforms mean for them? This is going to be an interesting ride as it pans out over the next twelve months!

References:

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts: Cloud Managed SDDC for your Data Center

AWS re:Invent 2018 – Veeam and N2WS Recap and Thoughts

There was so much to take away from AWS re:Invent last week. In my opinion, having attended a lot of industry events over the past ten or so years, this years re:Invent has left the industry with a lot to think about it! AWS vigorously defended their position as the number one Public Cloud destination (in their eyes) while trying to lay a path for future growth by expanding into the true enterprise space. Also, with the announcement of Outposts set a path to try and dominate the hybrid world with an on-premises offering.

Instead of writing down my extended thoughts it’s more consumable to hear Rick Vanover and myself talk about the event from a Veeam perspective in the short embedded video below. I’ve also embedded a video with David Hill and Sebastian Straub covering things from an N2WS perspective, as well as talk about the N2WS related announcements at re:Invent 2018.

I’ve also posted the Veeam session video here:

AWS re:Invent 2018 Recap – Times…they a̶r̶e̶ have a̶ Changi̶n̶g̶ed!

I wrote this sitting in the Qantas Lounge in Melbourne waiting for the last leg back to Perth after spending the week in Las Vegas at AWS re:Invent 2018. I had fifteen hours on the LAX to MEL leg and before that flight took off, I struck up a conversation (something I never usually do on flights) with a guy in the seat next to me. He noticed my 2017 AWS re:Invent jumper (which is 100x better than the 2018 version) and asked me if had attended re:Invent.

It ended up that he worked for a San Francisco based company that wrote middleware integration for Salesforce. After a little bit of small talk, we got into some deep technical discussions about the announcements and around what we did in our day to day roles. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, just as I had never heard of his company, he had never heard of Veeam…ironically he was from Russia and now working in Melbourne.

The fact he hadn’t heard of Veeam in its self wasn’t the most surprising part…it was the fact that he claimed to be a DevOps engineer. But had never touched any piece of VMware software or virtualisation infrastructure. His day to day was exclusively working with AWS web technologies. He wasn’t young…maybe early 40s…this to me seemed strange in itself.

He worked exclusively around APIs using AWS API Gateway, CloudFormations and other technologies but also used Nginx for reverse proxy purposes. That got me thinking that the web application developers of today are far far different to those that I used to work with in the early 2000’s and 2010’s. I come from the world of LAMP and .NET applications platforms…I stopped working on web and hosting technologies around the time Nginx was becoming popular.

I can still hold a conversion (and we did have a great exchange around how he DevOp’ed his applications) around the base frameworks of applications and components that go into making a web application work…but they are very very different from the web applications I used to architect and support on Windows and Linux.

All In on AWS!

The other interesting thing from the conversation was that his Technical Director commands the exclusive use of AWS services. Nothing outside of the service catalog on the AWS Console. That to me was amazing in itself. I started to talk to him about automation and orchestration tools and I mentioned that i’d been using Terraform of late…he had never used it himself. He asked me about it and in this case I was the one telling him how it worked! That at least made me feel somewhat not totally dated and past it!

My takeaway from the conversation plus what I experienced at re:Invent was that there is a strong, established sector of the IT industry that AWS has created, nurtured and is now helping to flourish. This isn’t a change or die message…this is simply my own realisation that the times have changed and as a technologist in the the industry I owe it to myself to make sure I am aware of how AWS has shifted web and application development from what I (and from my assumption the majority of those reading this post) perceive to be mainstream.

That said, just like the fact that a hybrid approach to infrastructure has solidified as the accepted hosting model for applications, so to the fact that in the application world there will still be a combination of the old and new. The biggest difference is that more than ever…these worlds are colliding…and that is something that shouldn’t be ignored!

Veeam’s AWS re:Invent 2018 Session Posted

This week, myself and David Hill presented at AWS re:Invent 2018 around what at Veeam is offering by way of providing data protection and availability for native AWS workloads, VMware Cloud on AWS workloads and how we are leveraging AWS technologies to offer new features in the upcoming Update 4 release of Backup & Replication 9.5.

For those that where not at AWS re:Invent this week or for those who could not attend the session on Wednesday, the video recording has been posted on the offical AWS YouTube page.

We had some audio issues at the start which made for some interesting banter between David and myself…but once we got into it we talked about the following:

  • The N2WS 2.4 Release
  • Veeam VTL and AWS Storage Gateway
  • Update 4 Cloud Tier
  • Update 4 Cloud Mobility
  • Data Protection for VMware Cloud on AWS

I wanted to highlight the Cloud Tier section where I give an overview and quick deepdive into the smarts behind the new repository feature coming in Update 4. The live demo of me using our Patented Instant VM Recovery feature to bring up a VM with data residing in Amazon S3 is a great example of the power of this upcoming feature. Not only does it allow storage efficiencies locally but offloading old data to Object Storage for long term retention, but is also is intelligent enough to recover quickly and efficiently with its Intelligent Block Recovery.