Some useful NSX Troubleshooting Tips

nsx-logoI’ve been working on some Disaster Recovery (DR) scenarios recently with my good pal Paudie. Last month we looked at how we might be able to protect vCenter Operation Manager, by using a vApp construct and also using IP customization. After VMworld, we turned our attention to NSX, and how we might be able to implement a DR solution for NSX. This is still a work in progress, but we did learn some very useful NSX troubleshooting commands that I thought would be worth sharing with you.

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PowerCLI 5.8 Release 1 – new SPBM cmdlets

powercli58Yesterday saw the release of vCloud Suite 5.8. While there are quite a few new enhancements to the VMware product line in this release, what really jumped out at me were the new PowerCLI cmdlets for Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM). SPBM is a critical component of VIrtual SAN (VSAN), and will play a major role in the Virtual Volumes (VVols) feature which has been tech previewed at VMworld 2014. VVols will enable our storage array partners to implement out Software Defined Storage vision –  you can read more about there. So what are the new cmdlets for PowerCLI in the 5.8 release?

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vSphere 5.x, NFS, VAAI-NAS & IPv6 Support

ipv6A short note to clarify something that has come up a number of times in recent weeks here at VMware. There have been a number of discussions about whether or not we support NFS over IPv6 on vSphere 5.x,  and again, on whether or not we support the VAAI-NAS primitives in the same context.

VAAI is an API for offloading tasks to the storage array, but for offloading tasks to NAS arrays, storage vendors need to create  their own plugins for the ESXi hosts to achieve this. You can learn more about VAAI-NAS by clicking here. So what about IPv6 support and NFS? And VAAI-NAS?

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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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