What’s new in Virtual SAN 6.5

I know that there will be a lot of information coming your way from various sources on this exact topic. Obviously, I would urge you to check out the latest and greatest documentation from our technical marketing guys for deeper detail and “how-to” guides. However, I did want to provide a brief overview of what new VSAN features are available in vSphere 6.5. Note that we also refer to this version of VSAN as 6.5.

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What’s new in vSphere 6.5 Core Storage

Hello from VMworld EMEA in Barcelona. Well, we can finally talk about vSphere 6.5 today. In this post, I want to highlight a number of new and enhanced features that you will find in vSphere 6.5 related to core storage. I am not going to discuss Virtual SAN (VSAN), Virtual Volumes (VVols) or I/O Filter enhancements (VAIO) specifically in this post, although you will no doubt see some new features tie directly into the latter. Instead, I want to talk about those features that are specific to core storage.

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Some nice enhancements to Docker Volume Driver for vSphere v0.7

dockerThis week I am over at our VMware HQ in Palo Alto. I caught up with the guys in our storage team who are working on our docker volume driver for vSphere to find out what enhancements they have made with version 0.7. They have added some cool new enhancements which I think you will like.

First, this has been designed specifically for docker version 1.12. So the first thing you will have to do is to make sure that your docker is at this latest version. For most distros, this is quite a simple thing to do. But since I predominantly use our Photon OS distro, which ships with docker version 1.11 currently, there are a few additional steps to consider. To update the version of docker on Photon OS, you can use the following steps:

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Docker Volume Driver for vSphere using policies on VSAN (short video)

This is a short demo (< 5 minutes) which highlights how one can use storage policies to manage the creation of a docker volume when that volume is being deployed on Virtual SAN. This does not cover the installation of the components required, as these have been covered here and there is another short video covering those steps here. Also, my good buddy William Lam has great step by step instructions on how to use VSAN policies for container volumes in his blog post here. This video just takes a very quick look at how the docker volume driver for vSphere can leverage policy settings when creating a volume on VSAN.

Using vSphere docker volume driver to run Project Harbor on VSAN

harborProject Harbor is another VMware initiative in the Cloud Native Apps space. In a nutshell, it allows you to store and distributes Docker images locally from within your own infrastructure. While Project Harbor provides security, identity and management of images, it also offers better performance by having the registry closer to the build and run environment for image transfers. Harbor also supports multiple deployments so that you can have images replicated between them for high availability. You can get more information (including the necessary components) about Project Harbor on github.

In this post, we will deploy Project Harbor in Photon OS, and then create some docker volumes on Virtual SAN using the docker volume driver for vSphere. This will provide an additional layer of availability for your registry and images, because if one of the physical hosts in your infrastructure hosting Project Harbor fails, there is still a full copy of the data available. Special thanks to Haining Henry Zhang of our Cloud Apps team for helping me understand this process.

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Container Networks in VIC 0.4.0

docker networksThis is part of a series of articles describing how to use the new features of vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) v0.4.0. In previous posts, we have looked at deploying your first VCH (Virtual Container Hosts) and container using the docker API. I also showed you how to create some volumes to provide consistent storage for containers. In this post, we shall take a closer look at networking, and what commands are available to do container networking. I will also highlight some areas where there is still work to be done.

Also, please note that VIC is still not production ready. The aim of these posts is to get you started with VIC, and help you to familiarize yourself with some of the features. Many of the commands and options which work for v0.4.0 may not work in future releases, especially the GA version.

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Getting started with vSphere Integrated Containers (short video)

I decided to put together a very short video on VIC – vSphere Integrated Containers v0.4.0. In the video, I show you how to create your very first VCH (Virtual Container Host) and then I show you how you can create a very simple container using a docker API endpoint. I also show you how this is reflected in vSphere. Of course, VIC v0.4.0 is still a tech preview, and is not ready for production. Also note that a number of things may change before the VIC becomes generally available (GA). However, hopefully this is of interest to those of you who wish to get started with v0.4.0.

For more information on VIC v0.4.0, visit us on github.