Recap of the latest VMware vSphere 6.7 releases

vSphere 6.7

Oh boy, what a week! Some say that winter is now finally gone, nice and warm weather, not wearing winter jackets anymore. But hey, i’m not a weatherman. When you’re sitting in the office i think it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing outside. Just kidding… Let’s get back to business.

There was some rumor about the next upcoming version. Will it be version 7? Or something just above 6.5? VMware did release several new products versions! And it’s all with version number 6.7. What a list! It’s one of those email notifications that I usually like to scroll down, a little more, and more and more, to get all the news soaked up like a sponge. I’d like to dive in right now and provide you a recap of this weeks VMware releases. And as i said, it’s quite a list. I’ll pick out just some new key features. You can find the full release news on the VMware Blogs (links provided here).

New product versions

vSphere 6.7

  • several new APIs that improve the efficiency and experience to deploy vCenter, to deploy multiple vCenters based on a template, to make management of vCenter Server Appliance significantly easier, as well as for backup and restore
  • significantly simplifies the vCenter Server topology through vCenter with embedded platform services controller in enhanced linked mode
  • 2X faster performance in vCenter operations per second
  • 3X reduction in memory usage
  • 3X faster DRS-related operations (e.g. power-on virtual machine)
  • vSphere 6.7 improves efficiency when updating ESXi hosts, significantly reducing maintenance time by eliminating one of two reboots normally required for major version upgrades (Single Reboot). In addition to that, vSphere Quick Boot is a new innovation that restarts the ESXi hypervisor without rebooting the physical host, skipping time-consuming hardware initialization
  • The HTML5-based vSphere Client provides a modern user interface experience that is both responsive and easy to use, and it’s now including other key functionality like managing NSX, vSAN, VUM as well as third-party components.
  • enabling encrypted vMotion across different vCenter instances
  • enhancements to Nvidia GRID vGPU
  • vSphere 6.7 introduces vCenter Server Hybrid Linked Mode, which makes it easy and simple for customers to have unified visibility and manageability across an on-premises vSphere environment running on one version and a vSphere-based public cloud environment, such as VMware Cloud on AWS, running on a different version of vSphere.
  • vSphere 6.7 also introduces Cross-Cloud Cold and Hot Migration
  • Delivers a new capability that is key for the hybrid cloud, called Per-VM EVC

More information here: Introducing VMware vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs

vSAN 6.7

  • vSAN 6.7 provides intuitive operations that align with other VMware products from a UI and workflow perspective to provide a “one team, one tool” experience
  • Iintroduces a new HTML5 UI based on the “Clarity” framework as seen in other VMware products (All products in the VMware portfolio are moving toward this UI framework)
  • A new feature known as “vRealize Operations within vCenter” provides an easy way for customers to see vRealize intelligence directly in the vSphere Client
  • vSAN 6.7 now expands the flexibility of the vSAN iSCSI service to support Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC)
  • vSAN 6.7 introduces an all-new Adaptive Resync feature to ensure a fair-share of resources are available for VM I/Os and Resync I/Os during dynamic changes in load on the system
  • Optimizes the de-staging mechanism, resulting in data that “drains” more quickly from the write buffer to the capacity tier.  The ability to de-stage this data quickly allows the cache tier to accept new I/O, which reduces or eliminates periods of congestion
  • New health checks include:
    • Maintenance mode verification ensures proper decommission state
    • Consistent configuration verification for advanced settings
    • vSAN and vMotion network connectivity checks improved
    • Improved vSAN Health service installation check
    • Improved physical disk health check combines multiple checks (software, physical, metadata) into a single notification
    • Firmware check is independent from driver check

More information here: What’s New with VMware vSAN 6.7 / VMware Blogs and also here: Extending Hybrid Cloud Leadership with vSAN 6.7

vCenter Server 6.7

  • The vSphere Client (HTML5) is full of new workflows and closer to feature parity
  • built-in file-based vCenter Server backup now includes a scheduler

Installation

  • No load balancer required for high availability and fully supports native vCenter Server High Availability.
  • SSO Site boundary removal provides flexibility of placement.
  • Supports vSphere scale maximums.
  • Allows for 15 deployments in a vSphere Single Sign-On Domain.
  • Reduces the number of nodes to manage and maintain.

Migration

  • vSphere 6.7 is also the last release to include vCenter Server for Windows, which has been deprecated.
  • migrate to the vCenter Server Appliance with the built-in Migration Tool
  • Deploy & import all data
  • Deploy & import data in the background
  • Customers will also get an estimated time of how long each option will take when migrating

Upgrading

  • vSphere 6.7. will support upgrades and migrations only from vSphere 6.0 or 6.5
  • vSphere 5.5 does not have a direct upgrade path to vSphere 6.7
  • Upgrade path: vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6.0 or 6.5, and then to vSphere 6.7
  • vCenter Server 6.0 or 6.5 managing ESXi 5.5 hosts cannot be upgraded or migrated until the hosts have been upgraded to at least ESXi 6.0
  • Reminder: end of general support for vSphere 5.5 is September 19, 2018.

Monitoring and Management

  • vSphere Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) on port 5480 has received an update to the Clarity UI
  • There is now a tab dedicated to monitoring. Here you can see CPU, memory, network, database and disk utilization.
  • Another new tab called Services is also within the VAMI, giving the option to start, stop, and restart vCenter Server services if needed
  • vSphere 6.7 also marks the final release of the vSphere Web Client (Flash). Some of the newer workflows in the updated vSphere HTML5 Client release include:
    • vSphere Update Manager
    • Content Library
    • vSAN
    • Storage Policies
    • Host Profiles
    • vDS Topology Diagram
    • Licensing

More information here: Introducing vCenter Server 6.7 / VMware Blogs

vSphere with Operations Management 6.7

  • new plugin for the vSphere Client. This plugin is available out-of-the-box and provides some great new functionality
  • When interacting with this plugin, you will be greeted with 6 vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) dashboards directly in the vSphere client
  • overview, cluster view, and alerts for both vCenter and vSAN views
  • The new Quick Start page is making it easier to get directly to the data you need to
  • four use cases: Optimize Performance, Optimize Capacity, Troubleshoot, and Manage Configuration
  • The Workload Optimization dashboard was updated. Workload Optimization takes predictive analytics and uses them in conjunction with vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) to move workloads between clusters. New with vROps 6.7, you can now fine tune the configuration for workload optimization
  • vROps 6.7 introduced a completely new capacity engine that is smarter and much faster

More information here: vSphere with Operations Management 6.7 / VMware Blogs

vSphere 6.7 Security

  • TPM 2.0 support for ESXi
  • Virtual TPM 2.0 for VMs
  • Support for Microsoft Virtualization Based Security
  • UI updates (combined all encryption functions (VM Encryption, vMotion Encryption) into one panel in VM Options)
  • Multiple SYSLOG targets
  • FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic modules – by default!

More information here: vSphere 6.7 Security / VMware Blogs

Developer and Automation Interfaces for vSphere 6.7

  • Added functionality to existing APIs in vSphere 6.7
  • Coverage of new areas
  • Appliance API updates: from prechecks to staging to installation and validation, it’s all available by API now
  • vCenter API updates: new APIs have been added to interact with the VM’s guest operating system (OS), viewing Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) policies, and managing vCenter server services
  • also a handful of new APIs to handle the deployment and lifecycle of the vCenter server
  • a handful of updates to the vSphere Web Services (SOAP) APIs as well

More information here: Developer and Automation Interfaces for vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs

Faster Lifecycle Management Operations in VMware vSphere 6.7

  • brand-new Update Manager interface which is now part of the HTML5 Client
  • Update Manager in vSphere 6.7 keeps VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.7 hosts reliable and secure
  • the new UI provides a much more streamlined remediation process, requiring just a few clicks to begin the procedure. It’s not just a port from the old Flash client
  • Hosts that are currently on ESXi 6.5 will be upgraded to 6.7 significantly faster than ever before
  • Several optimizations have been made for that upgrade path, including eliminating one of two reboots traditionally required for a host upgrade
  • Quick Boot eliminates the time-consuming hardware initialization phase by shutting down ESXi in an orderly manner and then immediately re-starting it

More information here: Faster Lifecycle Management Operations in VMware vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs

vSphere 6.7 for Enterprise Applications

  • include support for Persistent Memory (PMEM) and enhanced support for Remote Directory Memory Access (RDMA)
  • PMEM is a new layer called Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) and sits between NAND flash and DRAM, providing faster performance relative to NAND flash but also providing the non-volatility not typically found in traditional memory offerings
  • new protocol support for Remote Direct memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet, or RoCE (pronounced “rocky”) v2, a new software Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) adapter, and iSCSI Extension for RDMA (iSER)

More information here: vSphere 6.7 for Enterprise Applications / VMware Blogs

driftar.ch is now serverless

wordpress serverless

Some of you, my fellow readers, have probably noticed some downtime on my website yesterday. I migrated my blog to another hosting provider. That’s the only reason. You’re asking why? Well, I like a certain level of consistency in some areas of my interests. But in technology, especially in IT, the only consistency is constant change. So i decided to move my website (again).

How it all started…

It all began on Twitter when I joined a discussion about where to place the search bar or search field on a website:

That led us to the conclusion that a website should have no clutter and no word / tag clouds. I agree with that, since it’s not up to date anymore. But hey, that’s just my personal opinion.

And the discussion finally ended at the performance of a website.

I did some testings on my “old” website / provider and i wasn’t very sad about the results, but also not very happy. There is always room for improvements. So i did some research on the topic of using WordPress as content management system but providing static websites. Delivering static content like HTML files and images is way faster then delivering dynamic content. Even if you’re working with caching plugins and all that stuff. At least some of the content is still dynamic, thus generated when you’re accessing the website. Please don’t blame me if i’m not 100% correct, i’m not a professional web developer, but at least i know some basics here.

When you look at these tweets, you will find at least two solution which generate static content out of dynamic content, gohugo.io and jekyll. I think both solutions are great, if you know basic stuff about frameworks, programming languages and some more stuff. I tried it, i really tried it. But i failed. In my eyes both solutions are complex to setup and maintain. As i said, i’m not a pro web dev. And if you’re used to certain content management systems like WordPress, then it’s hard to switch.

I moved on with my research. As my employer is using various cloud solutions, like Amazon, i thought why not going (back) to Amazon?

Read moredriftar.ch is now serverless

Veeam Webinar – “Virtual Labs: Für Anfänger und Fortgeschrittene”

Veeam Webinar

Wir alle kennen das doch. Für das Buchhaltungsprogramm oder den Exchange Server ist ein neuer Patch erschienen. Bevor man den installiert will man ihn aber erst noch testen, damit sichergestellt werden kann, dass auch alles so funktioniert wie es sollte. Also mal schnell einen weiteren Server installiert, die Applikation eingerichtet und den Patch eingespielt. Zeitaufwand: im schlimmsten Fall mehrere Tage. Dass es für das soeben erwähnte Szenario, aber auch für den automatisierten Test von Backups oder um Sicherheits-Tests ohne Risiko durchzuführen, einen einfacheren Weg gibt, möchten wir Ihnen an unserem nächsten Veeam Webinar zeigen.

Veeam bietet mit Virtual Labs, SureBackup und SureReplica grossartige Funktionen an, um genau die eingangs durchgespielten Situationen ohne grossen Aufwand einfach abzuwickeln. Sie nutzen für diese Aktionen einfach die bestehenden Backup-Daten. Dabei spielt es keine Rolle ob Sie wöchentlich die Backups Ihres Datenbankservers prüfen möchten, oder für Ihre Helpdesk-Abteilung ein Virtual Lab für Software-Tests einrichten möchten. Das können Sie alles mit Veeam und den vorhandenen Backup-Daten machen. Gerne zeigen wir Ihnen in unserem Live Webinar wie das funktioniert.

Auch gehen wir etwas näher auf die Best Practices ein und was man machen kann, sollte es mal zu Problemen kommen. Die Best Practices sollen zeigen was sich gemäss unserer Erfahrung bewährt hat, seien das Funktionen oder Einstellungen, oder ganz allgemein das Vorgehen. Falls es unerwartet zu Problemen kommen sollte, sollen Ihnen unserer Troubleshooting-Tipps weiterhelfen, hier schnell wieder zurück aufs richtige Gleis zu kommen.

Registration / Anmeldung fürs Webinar

Folgen Sie dem unten stehenden Link und registrieren Sie sich für das Webinar:

https://www.veeam.com/de/videos/webinar-virtual-labs-backup-11287.html

Das Webinar wird aufgezeichnet. Sollte es Ihnen also nicht möglich sein daran teilzunehmen, Sie den Inhalt aber nicht verpassen möchten, dann registrieren Sie sich bitte trotzdem. In der Regel erhalten Sie innerhalb einiger Tage nach dem Webinar eine E-Mail mit dem Link zur Aufzeichnung, sodass Sie diese in aller Ruhe schauen können, wann immer Sie Zeit haben.

Vorgeschmack zum Webinar

Wenn Sie unabhängig vom Webinar etwas mehr über SureBackup erfahren möchten, dann lade ich Sie herzlich ein um noch einen Moment auf meinem Blog zu verweilen und den passenden Beitrag zu lesen: Veeam – Automatic backup tests with SureBackup. Wenn Sie SureBackup ausprobieren möchten, und es bei der Konfiguration zu Problemen kommen sollte, hilft Ihnen vielleicht dieser Blogbeitrag weiter: Veeam SureBackup – Ping-Test Troubleshooting.

Exploring new horizons

Exploring new Horizons

The last few weeks, and probably months, it was very quiet on my blog. I hadn’t much the time to investigate, test and try out and write things down. I had a more important focus the past few months. And i usually don’t bring up personal things on my blog. But with beginning with the 1st of March, I’ll explore new horizons. No, i’m not going for a long haul sail trip, nor a long holiday voyage. I’m switching my job.

The past

I worked now for nearly seven years at an IT company, started there as an IT supporter and made it up to IT system engineering through the years, with lots of learning, certification and dedication. My last employer was a value added reseller with many partnerships with various hardware and software vendors, on a very high level. The last few months i’ve spent with different customer projects, documentation work, teaching our internal service and support people and also my successor. I’m feeling confident that everything is fine and my former coworkers can get over “the loss”. Now it’s time for me to explore new horizons.

The future

It was clear for me, if the time will come and i’ll quit my job at some day, that I’ll try it at a “vendor” or at a “customer”. Finally my new workplace is at a customer.

The company which hired me is located in the industrial branch, with about 180 locations and 14’000 employees all around the world. I’ll be working in a small team and will be responsible for all VMware related things, like local vSphere environments and HCI systems at these locations and also a huge vCloud Air migration project. What a great new challenge!

It’s not easy to quit a job and start something new. Everyone who did that probably knows what i’m talking about. And the fact that my last employer and I had a good relationship didn’t make it any easier.

Thank you

The last seven years have been very interesting, instructive and challenging. I’ve met so many great people with indepth knowledge and sense for business. I was honored to support our biggest and most important customers, a task that you not just get easy, it’s like a task you deserve. I have to thank my boss for the many years and the trust he gave me. Also many thanks to my team and coworkers for all the support i received when i needed it. You did a great job folks!

It will be probably quiet some more time on my blog until I really got started in the new job. But i’ll be back. Promised. You will get that on Twitter at least.

Review – 10 most popular posts on my blog in 2017

review

Call it a review or a look back. Or a time travel if you like to. I’d like to introduce you the 10 most popular posts on my blog of 2017. And a short reflection what happend in 2016.

Very much happened last year (you don’t say?). I had the opportunity to work on many interesting customer projects. Preparing and planning a huge cloud migration for one of my customers was and still is one of my favorite projects. But there were not only projects in my company and for customers but also many personal projects. I invested much effort, time and money to build a small vSphere homelab as preparation for my VMware VCP and Veeam VMCE-ADO exams (where i failed twice VCP in 2016, dang it, and i’m still learning for it). In 2017i attended also one great event in New Orleans, VeeamON.

This event was great. Exhausting. Interesting. I met so many cool people, had interesting chats with them. All about virtualization and data protection. I would like to mention the Veeam team, especially the people behind the Veeam VVanguard program, when i had the opportunity to meet them and have a good chat. Really cool guys there at Veeam, thank you!

The year before i really started with blogging. In the meantime i really like it and i was able to publish some good articles i think. Sometimes i don’t know what to write. I’m not a fashionista, or a foodie, that puts every bit on the internet. I’d like to provide content which hopefully help people to get their job done and i’d like to help solving a problem. Most of my blog posts are based on problems which i struggled with, and a solution i found for. Bang. Put that on my website. Because mostly you’re not alone with a specific IT problem. And if you find a solution here on my blog, you’re welcome. I’m here to help. Some other blog posts are based just on my personal interest in all kinds of IT belongings. Is there a new feature in Veeam or a new version? I’ll go out and test it. Bang. Blog post done.

But now let us focus on what happened on my blog last year. What are the 10 most popular blog posts of 2017? Here they are!

Read moreReview – 10 most popular posts on my blog in 2017