I’m not sure about anyone else but I’m really over hearing how big of a VM a vendor can create or the promise of 1 million IOPS. This really became annoying while sitting in a presentation about Microsoft’s latest version of Hyper-V but VMware, you also think the size of your “V” M is what really matters. So I wonder at what point does size NOT matter for the typical customer?
This past weekend I decided to dive into VMware vCloud Director 5.1. Nothing fancy, just a small setup in a lab environment for testing, learning, and just getting a feel for what all the product could do for me and/or my customers. I figured this can’t be that hard with only a “vmware-vcloud-director-5.1.0-810718.bin” file download. First thing was to read the installation documentation to get a since of how deep the water was before I dove in. As I started reading the instructions I felt a bit overwhelmed at how complicated the setup was.
If you haven’t heard by now VMware announced a new license model for VMware vSphere 5.x. Say it with me “NO vRAM”! That’s right the vRAM licensing model is gone. But it doesn’t just stop their, VMware has odiously heard the cries of it’s customers and has gone even further. In addition to there being no vRAM requirements, there are also no processor core limits as well which were seen in the vSphere 4.x licensing model.
VMware has made some changes on the virtual machine data protection side again transitioning from VMware Data Recovery (vDR). VMware Data Protection (VDP) is the name of this new incarnation backup product which has been built on EMC’s Avamar technology. As an Avamar customer I was pretty excited to hear that VMware was embracing it for it’s own data protection solution under the covers.
I just wanted to show some simple testing results from using ioTurbine. The environment consists of a HP BL460G7 blades which has a 320GB IO Accelerator from FusionIO.
Microsoft is making claims that Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 is the best virtualization platform for Windows. I have to say that they have caught my interest with Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V version 3 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. So I have been hard at work getting deep into the products, first by updating all my lab systems. Unfortunately Windows Server 2012 is not in general release yet so all my setup and testing is being done with the release candidate and/or technical preview software. In saying this, you can’t really compare the software solutions to the current release versions of VMware vSphere, vCenter Server, etc as I may tend to do.
Installing updates, extensions, and upgrading esx is very easy with vSphere Update Manager and here is one way how it can be used to install EMC PowerPath/VE. The same process can be used to install other extensions but lets stay focused. PowerPath/VE is used to optimize storage i/o and automate path failures. It aids in making your environment more robust for those business critical applications. As I write this, I’ll assume that you vSphere Update Manager and plugin has already been installed and setup.
I wanted to give some insight into how Avamar protects VMware virtual machines. I have been using Avamar 6.0.x and most of the management and configuration from a Mac. Since the operating systems running on the Avamar servers and proxies are linux, having a terminal comes in handy. Plus the management using Avamar Administrator uses Java so it can be used on Windows, Mac or Linux. If your on a Windows system the Avamar Administrator console is a bit more attractive but offers the same functionality.
So, continuing on a post I did for the PHD Virtual backup and recovery solution, which can be used to protect your VMware vSphere environment I wanted to give more detail on the replication and export features of the product. It doesn’t have to be said but backup and recovery is key in any data protection suite. Now if you can couple backup and recovery with replication and provide a means to transfer that critical backup data to a remote location for disaster recovery (DR), you’ll have a much more complete solution.
VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 gets a face lift and some new features. If you haven’t use this product yet in any form your really missing out on a tool that provides great information. If you have used the previous version then get prepared for some better data visualization changes (eye candy) as well as new features that were not in the previous version.