VMworld 2014 – Storage News Part 2

VVolsI guess the next big tech preview at this year’s VMworld was around Virtual Volumes. Yes, we’ve done this before, but this year there were so many vendors showing demos of their VVol implementation, and so many presentations/sessions on the topic that I believe folks are beginning to realize that we are very close indeed to finally having this feature ready. It’s hard to believe that this was first discussed at VMworld 2011, and I alluded to this when I presented a VVol session that I co-delivered with the folks from Nimble Storage at this year’s VMworld.

This topic is going to be huge, and it is going to change the way storage is designed for virtualization environments. And I think almost every storage partner I spoke to at the show is on-board. In fact, “The Register” asked the question last month if there was ANY storage vendor that wasn’t doing a VVol implementation?

I’m not going to get into any technical details of Virtual Volumes in this post – there will be lots of time for this later. Instead, I’m going to share how we believe VVols will now enable Software Defined Storage (SDS) for SAN & NAS arrays, similar to how we have achieved this already with VSAN.

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VMworld 2014 – Storage News Part 1

vmworld-2014-active-banner-v4Yesterday was my first day at VMworld 2014. As usual with this event, there are simply so many interesting announcements that it is hard to keep track. However, for me, there were a few things which stood out in the storage space worth calling out. These are specifically VMware focused products and features. I know that many of our partners have also made announcements in the storage space, but for today I concentrated solely on VMware. There are the two that really caught my attention.

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DR of vCenter Operations – Method 2 (IP Customization)

Earlier this week I spoke about our efforts to failover vCenter Operations Manager (vCops) between two sites. In that article I stated that we used vApp containers at DR site, and added vApp variables to the Analytics and UI VMs at the recovery site. While this was painstaking to set up initially, it did provide us with the ability to failover vCops seamlessly to the DR site, with the vApp VMs inheriting their network settings via the vApp construct. At the end of that post, I mentioned a KB article, 2031891, which discusses the DR of vCops using IP Customization via SRM Recovery Plans. This also used a Resource Pool to hold the vCops VMs rather than a vApp. I will cover our experiences with that approach in this post.

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Disaster/Recovery (DR) of vCenter Operations Manager

I just spent a very useful week looking at how our customers might be able to protect vCenter Operations Manager (vCops) with VMware’s vSphere Replication (vR) and Site Recovery Manager (SRM) products. It was quite tricky to get this to work, if I’m perfectly honest, but that was the whole point of the exercise. What we learnt is being fed back to the various business units within VMware, to see if we can make this more intuitive and less complex to achieve, but if you are interested in knowing how to configure your DR infrastructure to protect vCops, please read on.

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Storage Vendors to check out at #VMworld 2014 (SFO)

Last year I published a list of storage vendors and partners that I was planning to check out at VMworld 2013. This year is no different, with a number of new arrivals on the storage scene, as well as some super new cool products from many of VMware’s partners. Whilst this is no means a definitive list of what’s on show, these are the ones that I am particularly interested in checking out this year.

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#EssentialVirtualSAN e-book winners

essential-vsan-bookA week or so ago, Duncan & I were given 4 e-book vouchers each from VMware Press for the Essential VSAN book. We decided that the easiest thing to do was to hold a competition to give-away the vouchers. We asked via twitter to give us a reason why you deserved the e-book, using the #essentialvirtualsan hash-tag. The best 8 tweets (and the ones which made us laugh) would get the e-book. These are the ones we selected:

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VSAN Part 28 – RVC login difficulties

It’s interesting how a number of conversations tend to pop up around the same issue in a short space of time. I read a very interesting thread from one of our support guys recently about trying to select the correct administrator credentials for the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC). RVC is a command line utility to manage various aspects of vSphere and has been extended to include VSAN functionality. The following day, I saw a thread on the VSAN forums for exactly the same thing – a customer experiencing difficultly logging into RVC on a remote vCenter server as administrator. The bottom line is that the RVC credentials are directly related to the default domain setting in SSO (Single Sign-On). Continue reading