See you at VMworld 2016

vmworld-2016-hero-usI’m thrilled to have had a session accepted at this year’s VMworld. I’m also going to be a co-speaker on another session. As you might have guessed, both presentations are on Virtual SAN (VSAN), and I am co-presenting both sessions with my buddy Paudie O’Riordan.

In the first session, we will be talking about how to conduct a successful proof of concept (PoC) on VSAN, which will cover how to prepare, how to test, and what gotchas you need to be aware of when going through a PoC with VSAN.

In the other session, which covers day #2 operations, we will cover items like upgrades, troubleshooting, remediation, and monitoring of VSAN, and all those other things that you need to care about when you have VSAN in production.

If you have any thoughts on what you would like to see covered during the session, please leave a comment. We’re still putting together the content, and we are wide open to suggestions.

Hope to see you at one of the sessions.

Joint Virtual SAN/Rubrik White Paper

Logo_Rubrik_400x400I’m delighted to announce the availability of a joint Rubrik and VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) white paper. Both Rubrik and Virtual SAN epitomize many of the features and characteristics of Software Defined Storage, in particular simplifying storage and backup/restore for vSphere Administrators. Other features include abstracting the underlying storage into one large pool, and consuming/utilizing that underlying storage through policies, whether these are for virtual machine deployment or backup. If you are completely new to VSAN and/or Rubrik, this paper gives a good explanation of both technologies. The paper also explains how Rubrik and VSAN work seamlessly together to back up and restore virtual machines deployed on VSAN.

I should also mention that my co-author was none other than the one and only Chris Wahl, and as always, it was a pleasure to work with him on this paper.

I’d like to thank Chris, Julia and Sara of Rubrik for their attention to detail on this paper. I think it has turned out extremely well, and we hope you get a lot of good information from it.

You can get the paper by clicking here.

docker-machine driver plugin for Photon Controller

docker-machineIn previous posts we have looked at using a “cluster”  for deploying docker swarm on top of photon controller. Of course, deploying docker swarm via the cluster management construct may not be what some customers wish to do, so now we have full support for “docker-machine” on photon controller as well. This will allow you to create your own docker swarm clusters using instructions provided by Docker. In this post, we will look at getting you started with building the docker-machine driver plugin, setting up Photon Controller, and then the setup needed to allow the deploying of docker-machine on Photon Controller.

You can find the software and additional information on github.

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Photon OS 1.0 Release is here

PHOTON_square140VMware has just officially announced Photon OS 1.0. This follows on from the RC (Release Candidate) announcement back in late April.  For those of you who are not familiar with Photon OS, this is a minimal Linux container host (in the form of a Virtual Machine), optimized to run on VMware products such as ESXi. It can run containers which adhere to  Docker, rkt, and the Pivotal Garden container specifications.

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Deploying Kubernetes using kube-up/down on Photon Controller

kubernetesIn some earlier post, I provided instructions on how one could deploy Kubernetes (K8S) on Photon Controller using the built-in photon controller CLI. In this next post, I want to show you how Kubernetes can be deployed natively, using kube-up and kube-down, on Photon Controller v0.9.

In this example I am using Photon OS, a minimal Linux container host, optimized to run on vSphere (and other VMware products). Now in order to deploy K8S, a number of additional tooling needs to be added to Photon OS. The requirements are highlighted in this earlier blog post. Once all the necessary components are in place, we are ready to deploy Kubernetes.

*** Please note that at the time of writing, Photon Controller is still not GA ***

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Docker Volume Driver for vSphere on Virtual SAN

dockerI took another opportunity this week to look at our new Docker Volume Driver for vSphere which is currently in tech preview. This time I wanted to see how it behaved on Virtual SAN (VSAN). What I wanted to do is query the layout of the VMDK storage object on VSAN, and how an administrator can query its layout from vCenter server, but also from RVC, the Ruby vSphere Console. There might be a situation where you need to to query this information.

My colleague, Wiliam Lam, has already added some information about how you can deploy volumes with different policies on VSAN in his excellent blog post here. As I said, I wanted to expand on this now, and see what is happening under the covers on VSAN.

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Preparing Photon OS for deploying frameworks on Photon Controller

PHOTON_square140With the release of Photon Controller v0.9, there were a lot of nice new features. My colleague Sarge has a good bit of detail on the new features in his blog post. One of the interesting additions, in my opinion, is the introduction of support for kube-up and kube-down for deploying Kubernetes frameworks (I will have a blog post on this ready to go shortly). If you are a regular reader, you might remember that we had another, more photon controller-centric way of rolling out K8S on Photon Controller that I wrote about here. That was using the “cluster” concept in Photon Controller. This new functionality is natively built into K8S, so if you’ve deployed K8S in the past, then the user experience should now be pretty identical when deploying the framework on Photon Controller. Anyhow, as I said I will write more about this shortly. The purpose of this post is to tell you about the additional tooling that you might need if you wish to drive this deployment of K8S on Photon Controller via Photon OS. Of course, you can do this from other OS releases too since we support photon controller CLI on various distros, but I thought I would try to do all of this via VMware’s own Photon OS, and highlight what you need to achieve it.

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