Become a design partner for VMware Cloud on AWS

VMworld is right around the corner and the VMware Cloud on AWS User Experience team is looking for design partners at VMworld US and Europe. Not only will you get to have your voice heard and interact with the product team, we even have swag for you.

Here is where we need your help:

VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started

Get hands-on with the proposed UI design for VMC on AWS, meet with the design team to provide feedback. Help us choose among design alternatives for the best getting-started experience, creating SDDCs, and configuring networking and hybrid link mode.

VMware Cloud on AWS – Advanced Topics

Explore design alternatives and provide feedback on advanced topics to the VMware Cloud on AWS design team. Topics may include networking, workload migration, hybrid linked mode, logging, and maintenance for patch and upgrade.

The sessions will be held in the UX Design Studio at VMworld:

  • Las Vegas: Monday 8/28 – Thursday 8/31, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, 3rd Floor – Room Palm H
  • Barcelona: Monday 9/11 – Thursday 9/14, Fira Gran Via, Upper Walkway – Ancillary Meeting Room 104

If you would like to provide design input on VMware Cloud on AWS, contact us or sign up below. This is an ancillary session and an NDA will be required.

To schedule a session for

We hope to see you there!

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

Big Data Technical Breakout Sessions and Related Events at VMworld 2017

There are many interesting technical breakout sessions and other discussions on virtualizing big data being given at the VMworld events this year. To give you a time-ordered roadmap to all of these sessions, here is the list we have built along with their times and dates of delivery. Check in at the event itself for the rooms in which these will be held We will look forward to seeing you there!

VMworld USA – Mandalay Bay – Las Vegas

Sunday, 27th August 2017

[VIRT1971QU] Virtualizing Big Data: Quick Talk:  2:00-2:30pm

This short session gives an overview of the other technical sessions that will be held in the main conference on the following days.

Monday, 28th August 2017

[SER3052BU] How VMware vSphere and NVIDIA GPUs Accelerate Your Organization: 1:00-2:00pm

Big data analytics and machine learning are shown here as two workloads that can exploit the power of GPUs in the datacenter as they emerge into popular use.

[MMC3164BU] How Data Science is Transforming Operations: Introduction to Wavefront by VMware: 2:00-3:00pm

Companies are re-thinking how they monitor and manage their systems, The data science techniques that WaveFront customers like Box, Lyft, Workday and Groupon use will be explored in this talk.

[VIRT1400BU] Real-World Customer Architecture for Big Data on VMware: 2:30-3:30pm

A VMware customer speaks about the technical details of the company’s deployment of Hadoop on vSphere

[FUT2634PU] Big Data for the 99% (of Enterprises): 3:30–4:30pm

A team from VMware’s Office of the CTO shows their work in providing a “spreadsheet for big data” that gives convenience at scale, contrasting with the infrastructures that many companies look to first

[STO3192BU] Deploying Big Data on HCI Powered by VSAN : 4:00-5:00pm

Deployment scenarios, best practices and results from various tests using VSAN as the basis for big data deployments are described in this very interesting talk.

[VIRT1351BU] New Architectures for Virtualizing Spark and Big Data Workloads : 5:30-6:30pm

This talk looks into the viability of using different file systems to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and explores a set of alternative storage mechanisms for that data. These are becoming more common as big data matures on virtualization technology.

Tuesday, 29th August 2017

Lenovo Theater Presentation: 12:00 -12:15pm – at the Lenovo booth on Exhibitor Floor

[FUT2020BU] Wringing Maximum Performance from vSphere for Extremely Demanding Workloads and Customers: 12:30-1:30pm

In this Office of the CTO (VMware) session, the speakers will share details of work they have done in three extremely performance-critical situations. They will talk about tuning and configuring VMWare ESXi to run a very latency-sensitive financial application, for example.

[VIRT1997BU] Machine Learning and Deep Learning on VMware vSphere: GPUs are Invading the Software-Defined Data Center: 5:30 -6:30pm

As Graphical Processing Units spread further inside the data center, this talk examines their use for virtualizing workloads other than VDI, such as for big data and analytics – and shows how best to make your decisions about using the technologies together.

[VIRT2274GU] Group Discussion on Virtualizing Big Data and Machine Learning : 5:30-6:30pm

This session is a chance for you to bring up your hot topics, opinions and questions about big data and machine learning in a virtualization context.

Wednesday, 30th August 2017

[LDT2800PU] Harnessing the Power of Data in a Virtual World: 9:30 – 10:30am

A group of VMware’s own experts in processing data to get business value from it will speak about their experiences and lessons learned in doing so here.

[MTE4789VIRT] Meet the Experts Session : 11:15am-12:00pm – Table 7

This is an opportunity to meet with VMware’s big data people in a small group context. Booking your time-slot ahead of the meeting is advised here.

Thursday, 31st  August 2017

[VIRT1445BU] Extreme Performance Series: Fast Virtualized Hadoop and Spark on All-Flash Disks : 10:30-11:30am

Using vSphere 6.5 and the latest Intel hardware, VMware’s performance engineering lead on big data shows further evidence of the high performance and flexibility you can achieve by virtualizing your big data deployments. This is always a very popular talk at VMworld, so come early!

VMworld Europe – Gran Fira – Barcelona

Monday, 11th September 2017

[VIRT1971QE] Virtualizing Big Data: Quick Talk:  1:00-1:30pm

Gives an overview of other technical sessions that will be held in the main conference breakout sessions.

Tuesday, 12th September 2017

[VIRT1351BE] New Architectures for Virtualizing Spark and Big Data Workloads Virtualizing Big Data: Quick Talk:  2:00-3:00pm

This talk looks into the viability of using different file systems to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and explores a set of alternative storage mechanisms for that data. These are becoming more common as big data matures on virtualization technology.

[MMC3164BE] How Data Science is Transforming Operations: Introduction to Wavefront by VMware: 2:00-3:00pm

Companies are re-thinking how they monitor and manage their systems, The data science techniques that WaveFront customers like Box, Lyft, Workday and Groupon use will be explored in this talk.

Wednesday, 13th September 2017

[VIRT1445BE] Extreme Performance Series: Fast Virtualized Hadoop and Spark on All-Flash Disks: 5:00-6:00pm

Using vSphere 6.5 and the latest Intel hardware, VMware’s performance engineering lead on big data shows further evidence of the high performance and flexibility you can achieve by virtualizing your big data deployments. This is always a very popular talk at VMworld, so do sign up early for it!

Thursday, 14th September 2017

[FUT2020BE] Wringing Maximum Performance from vSphere for Extremely Demanding Workloads and Customers: 10:30-11:30am

In this Office of the CTO (VMware) session, the speakers will share details of work they have done in three extremely performance-critical situations. They will talk about tuning and configuring VMWare ESXi to run a very latency-sensitive financial application, for example.

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

vCenter Server 6.5 Light Board Videos

Today we are releasing a new set of Light Board videos in the vSphere 6.5 playlist, all dedicated to helping customers with vCenter Server 6.5 architecture and design. These videos are a bit different from the previous ones we did, since Adam and I decided to have a more conversational approach. We took a lot of the common questions that we get from customers about vCenter Server deployment, architecture, and high availability and the result is these three interactive and easy to follow along videos. Another difference with these videos is now we included the links to any content we are referencing making it very easy to access.

Deployment

This video covers vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller 6.5 deployment types. Here we address common questions such as when should embedded or external deployments be used. We also debunked some misconceptions about the embedded deployment type and enhanced linked mode.

Architecture

vCenter Server architecture is a discussion we have on a daily basis with customers. Understanding the basics is key to having successful vCenter Server deployment. In this video we have a deep dive discussion on the vSphere Sign Sign-On domain components and what role they play. We also cover terminology, decommission, and backup of these components.

Availability

Finally, now that we have our deployment in place it’s time to ensure we’ve met our SLAs and provided the right availability solution for vCenter Server. In this video we discuss high availability for the Platform Services Controller which includes how the load balancer works for this solution. Then we go into native vCenter Server high availability (VCHA) and how it can be used to protect vCenter Server when embedded and external.

We hope that these videos help guide you to a successful deployment and answer a lot of your questions around vCenter Server 6.5 and vSphere Single Sign-On Domains. Please feel free to reach out to us on social media @emad_younis or @eck79 or in the comments sections below. Happy deployment.

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

vSphere loves vExperts!

The VMware vSphere team loves vExperts!

vexpert logo

This program is VMware’s global evangelist and advocacy program. It is designed to recognize the incredible work and dedication of VMware customers, partners, and employees who tirelessly share their virtualization knowledge with each other via communities, blog posts, videos, podcasts, events, slack channels, etc.

Y’all work hard, and we really appreciate it. This year, to show our appreciation, we have swag bags for each and every vExpert, courtesy of the vSphere team. But we need your help to deliver these bags to you. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Please check your email, or visit the vExpert private blog for instructions
  • Complete those instructions by August 9.
  • Enjoy your swag bag!

Thanks again for all you do, and thanks for being on this virtualization journey with us. See you soon!

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

Announcing the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool

As part of the introduction of vSphere Central, one of the brand new assets we’ve put together is the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool. This tool aims to help customers plan and execute both upgrades to vSphere 6.5 as well as new deployments. With this initial release, the tool is focused on the most common upgrade paths and deployments of vCenter Server 6.5. Updates to the content within the tool are planned to occur over time. And, depending on feedback and value the tool has for customers, there could be other products or features added in with the aim of providing an even more complete set of assets for a given scenario. The sky’s the limit!

This tool works by asking a series of questions while providing some guidance along the way to help answer those questions eventually making some recommendations on topology and upgrade and deployment steps. This may sound somewhat familiar. This tool was inspired by the Platform Services Controller Topology Decision Tree and is really an extension of it. The questions and content are focused specifically on the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 since that is the recommended vCenter Server deployment type. Once all of the questions in a given branch are answered, you are presented with some details steps along with a diagram specific to that path you chose. There are also three groups of assets that include blogs, product documentation, KBs articles, and white papers. We plan to add videos and other content as new assets are created. This aligns with the overall theme of vSphere Central in that it is really important to us that the content is curated. Each asset serves a purpose and is typically a frequently requested item that will be instrumental in the success of your upgrade or deployment.

Another nice thing about the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool is that the collection of assets at the end can be easily emailed to yourself, a colleague, or even a group of people. There are also some basic navigational buttons and a universal search bar at the top. Below is a screenshot that shows these elements in the UI.

vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Tool

I want to make a few things clear about this tool. As I previously mentioned this tool will evolve over time. Not only will the content be updated but the platform on which the tool is built will also see improvements. We’re planning the addition of a built-in feedback tool, some structural changes to make sharing specific steps within the tool easier, and continuously improve the overall UX. For now feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, reach me on twitter via @eck79, or the various other social channels you may find this post. You’re feedback is vital to this tool continuing to improve so it is greatly appreciated!

The vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool can be found here as well as in vSphere Central.

Hopefully this tool helps with your upgrade to vSphere 6.5 Update 1! Happy upgrading!

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

Welcome to vSphere Central!

I am pleased to announce the release of a brand new technical resource center called vSphere Central.  This site brings together a variety of technical assets from VMware that helps users understand how vSphere works, how to implement various features, plan upgrades, and more.  With content in a range of formats, including text, video, and rich media tools such as walkthrough demos, the goal is to be a one-stop shop for original and curated technical content on vSphere.

A highlight of the site in this first release is the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool.  I encourage you to read more about this tool if you are planning to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 (and if you haven’t already, it’s the perfect time now that vSphere 6.5 Update 1 has been released).

We plan to add more content to this site over time, so please make sure to bookmark vspherecentral.vmware.com, and let us know what you’d like to see.

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

Second vSphere Client (HTML5) update in vSphere 6.5U1

With the release of vSphere 6.5U1, we are proud to announce the second update to the vSphere Client!

Just like last time, with vSphere 6.5.0b, those that have been using our Flings will not be surprised by the list of functionality updates for the vSphere Client. Now for well over a year a year we’ve been releasing updates to the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling on a (roughly) weekly basis, adding support for features, new user experiences, and more. As these changes have matured due to the excellent feedback we’ve received from the Fling’s users, we’re able to make further improvements and incorporate those into the vSphere Client included with 6.5.U1.

New Features

The online documentation for supported functionality has been updated to vSphere 6.5U1, available here (https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.5/rn/vsphere-client-65-html5-functionality-support.html), but for comparison sake, the bits are around Fling v3.15, give or take a few things.

This is the list of some of the additional functionality included. Same as last time, some of these features are presented in a partially complete manner (such as SPBM).  The plan is to fill out all features, but the more feedback we get from you regarding what is most important will help us deliver faster.

  • DRS/HA VM overrides
  • SDRS rules
  • Content Library – further actions
  • Roles and Global Permissions
  • Download multiple files as zip
  • Distributed Switch – further actions
  • Fault Tolerance
  • SPBM
  • VM Hardware – further items
  • Apply Customize Guest OS during Clone
  • VM Migration – further actions (compute+storage, Cross VC, batch)

Some of these flows may have had minor tweaks to make them easier to use and learn. If you have feedback about any of the new behavior, or missing portions of features, of course let us know using the integrated feedback tool by clicking on the smiley face in the upper righthand corner.

Calling for volunteers!

We would like to connect with users one-on-one to understand how much you’re using the vSphere Client either via vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling or the vSphere Client (HTML5) bundled in 6.5 (6.5 GA, 6.5.0b and now 6.5U1).  If you’re interested, please fill out this form:

https://goo.gl/forms/TiJ0lAuYtW4ZTQ063

Still need your feedback!

With this release, we believe we can cover almost all of your regular operations.  It is vitally important that we get your feedback on this release on what the remaining high-priority gaps are so that we can get them into the next quarterly release.  In particular, letting us know specific times when you find yourself jumping from the vSphere Client back to the vSphere Web Client would be extra helpful.  Provide feedback through the above link, on the Flings page, or comments below.  We have a new hashtag too!  Please use #vsphereclient wherever you have feedback.

You can sign up to receive an email every time we release a new Fling version by signing up here: http://goo.gl/forms/IqGJ5twYHf

Thank you all for your feedback so far, and thank you in advance for all the feedback to come!

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 – Under the Hood

I’m excited to announce that vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is now available and it has some great enhancements. While we have seen 5 patch releases so far, 6.5 Update 1 rolls all of those updates together as well as includes some long awaited functionality. Without further ado, let’s take a look under the hood of this highly anticipated release!

General Updates and Enhancements

First and foremost, vSphere 6.5 Update 1 allows customers who are currently on vSphere 6.0 Update 3 to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 Update 1. All of the security and bug fixes that were part of 6.0 U3 are now included in 6.5 U1 whereas before, upgrading from 6.0 U3 to 6.5 prior to U1 would have put customers in a more risky position due to the timing of the releases. That concern is a thing of the past now, though, and we anticipate even more customers will begin their upgrade journeys.

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 Upgrade Path

Speaking of upgrades, it is important to note that customers who are still on vSphere 5.5 will need to be on at least vSphere 5.5 U3b in order to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 U1. This may mean a two-step process for some customers to get to vSphere 6.5 U1 but this is necessary in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the upgrade.

Another item that has been signaled for quite some time is the removal of 3rd party switch support. This means that customers using 3rd party virtual switches such as the IBM DVS 5000v, HPE 5900v, and Cisco Nexus 1000v will need to migrate off of those switches prior to upgrading to vSphere 6.5 U1. For more information on this you can visit https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149722.

Many customers and home lab users like to use Mac hardware in order to virtualize macOS in an officially supported manner. I’m happy to announce that vSphere 6.5 Update 1 adds full support for ESXi on MacPro 6,1 hardware! So, if virtualizing macOS is your thing you can now do it on the latest hardware and without workarounds.

vCenter Server

There are some exciting enhancements to vCenter Server in this release as well. First, lets talk about scale numbers as that has been a frequent ask and challenge for some customers. In vSphere 6.5 Update 1 we’re increasing some of the maximums related to vSphere Domains (also known as SSO Domains). In this release we have a new maximums guide that can be found here: http://vmw.re/65u1max. Note that these maximums are specific to vSphere 6.5 Update 1 and are _not_ retroactive. vSphere 6.5 releases prior to Update 1 are still bound by the maximums published here: http://vmw.re/65max.

Here are some of the increased vSphere 6.5 Update 1 numbers:

  • Maximum vCenter Servers per vSphere Domain: 15 (increased from 10)
  • Maximum ESXi Hosts per vSphere Domain: 5000 (increased from 4000)
  • Maximum Powered On VMs per vSphere Domain: 50,000 (increased from 30,000)
  • Maximum Registered VMs per vSphere Domain: 70,000 (increased from 50,000)

Hopefully these new scale numbers are welcome improvements!

Another exciting improvement is full support for the vCenter Server Appliance installer on macOS Sierra (10.12). Due to the timing of the release of Sierra and vSphere 6.5, changes to Sierra’s security model were causing problems with the installer. I’m happy to say that the installer now works great on Sierra so no more workarounds required.

vSphere Client

The vSphere Client also sees a big leap forward in this release. We’ve added too much functionality to list, but we have focused more on host-centric operations. So Virtual Distributed Switch (VDS) management, datastore management, and host configuration are areas that have seen a big increase in functionality. This means that the vSphere Client now has about 90% of general workflows completed. We’re pushing hard towards 100%!

As a reminder, the vSphere Client can be accessed via https://<vcenterfqdn>/ui and it is completely built on HTML5, requires no plugins, and it lightning fast. If you’ve been following along with the Fling version, the version in vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is roughly equivalent (actually a bit newer) than the bits in v3.15 of the Fling. You can view the items that we’re still working on getting into the vSphere Client here. Dennis Lu, the Product Manager for the vSphere Client also has a blog with a few more details.

vSAN

vSAN 6.6.1 is also here and adds some exciting new capabilities involving vSAN and vSphere Update Manager (VUM). This new integration helps streamline and simplify vSphere upgrades on vSAN-enabled clusters by consulting several sources and recommending updates including firmware, drivers, and vSphere software. You can learn more about this new functionality in Pete Flecha’s blog over on the Virtual Blocks blog.

Getting Started with vSphere 6.5

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 includes some great new enhancements to an already solid release. Along with the enhancements above there are numerous bug fixes that should make your experience even better. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 then wait no longer! Please review the full release notes and I’d also recommend Emad’s blog series on upgrading to vSphere 6.5 if you need help getting started.

We also have a number of click-by-click walkthroughs that can help in the actual upgrade process. And don’t forget about the Hands On Labs if you want to kick the tires prior to your upgrade.

Happy upgrading!

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog

VMware Announces General Availability of vSphere 6.5 Update 1

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is the Update You’ve Been Looking For!

Today, VMware is excited to announce the general availability of vSphere 6.5 Update 1.  This is the first major update to the well-received vSphere 6.5 that was released in November of 2016.  With this update release, VMware builds upon the already robust industry-leading virtualization platform and further improves the IT experience for its customers.  vSphere 6.5 has now been running in production environments for over 8 months and many of the discovered issues have been fixed in patches and subsequently rolled into this release.  Many customers, including ACI Specialty Benefits, have already benefited from upgrading to vSphere 6.5 to help address the challenges of digital transformation. For customers who have yet to upgrade, vSphere 6.5 Update 1 serves as a validation milestone signaling to them product stability and that now the right time to upgrade.  For others, it will correspond with their natural upgrade cycle.  Regardless of the reason, if you are not yet on vSphere 6.5, you are missing out!

vSphere 6.5 focuses on 4 areas of innovation directly targeted at the challenges customers face as they digitally transform their businesses.

  • Simplified customer experience – Re-architected vCenter Server Appliance, streamlined HTML5-based GUI, and simple rest-based APIs for automation.
  • Comprehensive Built in Security – Policy-driven security at scale to secure data, infrastructure, and access.
  • Universal App Platform – A single platform to support any application, anywhere.
  • Proactive Data Center Management – Predictive analytics to address potential issues before they become serious problem.

A recap of key capabilities offered in vSphere 6.5 can be found here.

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 further refines vSphere 6.5 while also adding key additional support and enhancements including:

vSphere Client Now Supports 90% of General Workflows

The HTML5-based vSphere Client now can support up to 90% of general workflows.  This is welcomed news as VMware pushes towards 100% parity between the various clients.

vCenter Server Foundation Now Support 4 Hosts

In discussions with customers with smaller environments, VMware has received feedback that 3 host environments were too small in many cases.  If VMware vCenter Server Foundation could just support 1 additional host that would make all the difference.  This is why with vSphere 6.5 Update 1 VMware is now increasing the number of hosts that vCenter Server Foundation will support from 3 host to 4.

vSphere Support and Interoperability Across Ecosystems

VMware prides itself on having one of the broadest ecosystems across any industry.  As with any new product, at initial release, some partners were not ready with compatible versions of their products.  Many of these incompatibilities are now a thing of the past, as we have worked with our partners to test and ensure interoperability.  Furthermore, the ecosystem is also expanding as we forge new alliances to add vendor support for things such as Security Key Management and Proactive HA, to name a few.

vSphere 6.5 General Support Has Been Extended

VMware understands that upgrading infrastructure can be a lengthy process.   One consideration for whether or not to upgrade is how long the new product will be supported.  VMware wants to make the customer’s decision to upgrade easier by extending general support for vSphere 6.5 for a full 5 years.  This means that support for vSphere 6.5 will now end November 15, 2021.

Upgrade from vSphere 6.0 Update 3 Now Supported

Customers who are on vSphere 6.0 Update 3 now have a supported upgrade path to vSphere 6.5.

Preparing for the future

vSphere 6.5 Update 1, not only advances your IT initiatives today, but it also prepares your company for the future.  Customer interest for VMware Cloud on AWS has been soaring since it was announced just prior to VMworld EMEA.  While customers can’t use the product until it is generally available, they can take steps today to prepare their environment in anticipation for its availability.   To take full advantage of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware’s cross-cloud architecture, customers will have to have vSphere 6.5 in their on-premises environment. So, while getting ready for VMware Cloud on AWS, why not prepare your on-prem environment today?

For more details on vSphere 6.5 and its capabilities, please visit the vSphere 6.5 Blog Series .

Additional Resources

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Source: VMware vSphere Blog