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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Virtual SAN delivers Enterprise Level Availability

Install App Volumes Agent Software in a VM - Part 4

Now after the installation of App Volumes Manager and Initial Configuration of App Volumes Manager next task is to Install App Volumes Agent Software in a VM that will be used to provision App Stacks.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

1. Trigger the Installation of App Volumes Agent  and Click on Next


2. Accept the License Agreement and click on Next


3. Select Install App Volumes Agent and Click on Install


4. Click on Next at Installation Wizard


5. Provide App volumes manager address and port number. Click on Next


6. Click on Install


 7. Wait for the installation to be completed


8. Click on Finish


9.   Verify that the machine name where you installed the agent the agent is listed in the app volumes manager


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Initial Configuration of App Volumes Manager - Part 3

After the installation of app volumes manager and before creating the app stacks and writable volumes you need to configure startup parameters of app volumes manager.
For Part1 and Part 2

1. Double click on App Volumes Manager Desktop shortcut to launch the web interface

2.  Click on Get Started Button


3. Click on Edit button to upload new license key


4. Click on browse to select the license file and then click on upload


5. Review the License Details and click on next


6. Provide the Active directory information as this is needed to assign application to users, groups and OUs


7. Click on search to search AD groups and select and right group from drop down and then click on next


8. Configure the machine manager like vCenter Server i configured in this example and click on next


9. Verify the details of your machine manager and click on next


10.  Select the datastore and storage path for the app stacks and writable volumes and click on next.


11. Click on Set Defaults


12. Provide your esxi host details who can access the datastores selected in the above steps, it is needed to convert these volumes in to the thin format and click on upload.


13. Confirm Upload and finally click on the upload button


 14. Review the summary and click on next.


Monday, 20 June 2016

VMware App Volumes Manager Server Installation - Part 2

Click here for Part 1
1. Run the Setup.exe and Click on Next in the Installation Wizard


2. Accept the License Agreement and Click on Next


3. Select the Install App Volumes Manager Option and click on Next


4. It will start preparing the installation wizard


5. Click on Next


6. Select the option relevant to your environment for the database installation and click on Next


7. It will take few minutes to install the database


8. Configure the database settings and click on Next


9. Configure the Network ports if needed and click on Next


10. Configure the destination location and click on Next


  11. Click on Install


12. Wait for Few Minutes


13. Click on Finish once the installation is completed


VMware App Volumes - Part 1

VMware App Volumes is a solution that delivers applications to View virtual desktops.
Applications installed on multi-user AppStacks or user-specific writable volumes attach instantly to a desktopat user login. The App Volumes user experience closely resembles that of applications natively installed on the desktop.
Graphic thanks to VMware
Benefits of App Volumes:-
1. VM Independent Applications
Applications become VM independent and can be moved across data centers or to the cloud easily. It can be shared with thousands of VMs
2. Real time App delivery
Delivers and upgrades the apps in just seconds. Apps can be dynamically delivered without interrupting the users in seconds.
3. Lower Cost
It can optimized the app delivery to drive down the compute, storage and network cost.
4. Seamless User Experience
Allows to customize desktops and install their own apps as well

How it Works?
It users agent, server,database architecture
agent is installed in vdi desktops, server is centralized management servers configured to connect vdi.Major components are listed in this figure
Graphic thanks to VMware

1. AppStacks
AppStacks are read-only volumes containing applications that can be assigned to Active Directory (AD) user accounts, groups or organizational units (OUs), or computer accounts to enable delivery of applications to end users.
Administrators can combine core applications into a single AppStack, making the AppStack easy to assign tousers through AD object assignment. Administrators can make application updates available immediately or on next login or reboot.
This can be shared with all the VMs in the datacenter


2. Writable Volumes
It's the per-user volume, where the per user centric data is stored. Example is Application Settings, Licensing settings, configuration files, user-installed apps.
This cannot be shared with multiple users

3. Other Components
Image taken from VMware Docs. Thanks to VMware
Click here for Part 2
Source:-
VMware App Volumes Reference Architecture

Thursday, 16 June 2016

40Gbps Adapter Support in VSAN 6.2

Question:- Can i use 40Gbps Adapter for VSAN Traffic?
Answer: Yes, it is Fully Supported

VMware VSAN (Virtual SAN) Assessment - How it works?

The VMware Virtual SAN Assessment uses a free SaaS-based VMware Infrastructure Planner (VIP) tool to run a free comprehensive analysis of your vSphere storage environment (i.e., I/O patterns). In just one week, the Virtual SAN Assessment uses the analysis to provide the following technical and business recommendations:

• Which VMs are a suitable candidate for Virtual SAN – Hybrid or All Flash

• Sizing and hardware recommendations (i.e., number of servers, SSD, HDD)

• TCO analysis compared to storage arrays

See Value in as Little as Seven Days with Customized Reports
This assessment provides TCO analysis, hardware guidance and sizing recommendations that prepopulate the Virtual SAN Sizing & TCO Calculator. You can export and share these reports to show the benefits of Virtual SAN and create a business case within your organization.

Technical Overview of VSAN Assessment
https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2016/01/21/vmware-vsan-assessment-properly-designed-hci-deployments-in-a-snap/


VSAN Assessment Customer Benefits:-
https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2015/11/02/get-your-free-virtual-san-assessment-today-to-validate-virtual-sans-benefits-for-your-organization/
 
For Requesting free Assessment:-
http://info.vmware.com/content/34741_VSAN_Assessment_Reg?cid=70134000001M9H7&touch=2

For More Info:-
https://vip.vmware.com

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Disk format version 4.0 (update to 2 suggested) warning message in vsan cluster

Issue:-
When i was checking my vsan disk format version it was showing 4.0 (Update to 2.0 is suggested) and due to this i was not able to assign vsan 6.2 license key.
Reason:-
This is a known issue, usually happens when not all hosts are on 6.0 Update 2, of vCenter is not on 6.0 U2 while the hosts are. Make sure all hosts and vCenter are 6.0 U2.

Resolution:-
In my case issue was with the vCenter Version, it was not using the right update. I upgraded my vCenter to right version and issue got fixed.

Monday, 13 June 2016

All-Flash disk group only supported features in VSAN 6.2

VMware VSAN 6.2 came with alot of new features and some of these features are only available with All-Flash disk groups. These features are for storage space efficient utilization.

1. RAID5/6 Erasure Coding
2. De-duplication and Compression
3. Sparse VM Swap Object


Saturday, 11 June 2016

VSAN 6.2 Licensing Editions Features Comparison Chart

Here is the feature comparison chart of VSAN 6.2 Licensing Editions:-
Source:-
VSAN 6.2 Licensing Guide

Sparse VM Swap Object in VSAN 6.2

Those of you who have a good understanding of VSAN at this stage will know that a virtual machine deployed on the VSAN datastore is deployed as a set of objects, and not a set of files, which is how a VM is deployed on traditional datastores. Those objects include the
  • VM Home Namespace, 
  • VMDKs 
  • Snapshot Delta's
  • vmem 
  • and of course VM Swap.

VM Swap is interesting, in that it only exists when the VM is powered on, but on VSAN it has always been provisioned with 100% Object Space Reservation in the past.

This has some drawbacks, since it tended to consume a lot of capacity. For example, if I deployed 100 VMs, each with 4 GB of memory, then there is 400 GB of disk provisioned for the VM swap.

This is reserved space that I may never even use if the VM never experiences resource issues.

Here is the example of VM Provisioned with 64MB RAM in vsan datastore. As soon as it is powered on it starts consuming 140MB disk space from the datastore as Sparse VM Swap Object is disabled

1. When i started VM this object exists:-


2. When i powered off my vm this object doesn't exist anymore


3. Now i want to enable it to save the space of my vsan datastore
Putty to your esxi host where ever this vm is running (recommendation is to enable it on all the esxi hosts those are the part of vsan cluster
Command to query the status of this feature:-

esxcfg-advcfg -g /VSAN/SwapThickProvisionDisabled

Command to enable this feature:-
esxcfg-advcfg -s 1 /VSAN/SwapThickProvisionDisabled


4. Now i powered on the vm again and checked the status and it's size is just 12MB



VSAN Cache Layer

Either it is VSAN or SAN Cache layer is always needed for read caching and write buffering as this is one of the factor that can enhance the performance. Now question is what percentage of cache layer is used for read caching and write buffering? So the answer is in the diagram given below:-


VSAN 6.2 Configuration Maximums

1. Number of ESXi Host Required
Minimum = 2 (With Remote Witness Appliance), 3 (Without Witness Appliance)
Maximum = 64 (Refer KB 2110081)

2. Maximum number of VMs allowed
Per ESXi = 200 VMs
Per Cluster = 6400 VMs

3. Maximum number of VMs protected by vSphere HA
Maximum = 6400 VMs

4. Disks, disk group and flash device maximums
Capacity Disks = 35 Maximum, 1 Minimum
Cache Disks = 5 Maximum, 1 Minimum
Disk Groups = 5 Maximum, 1 Minimum

5. Component Maximums
45000

6. Maximum Size of each component
255 GB
For objects greater than 255GB in size, VSAN divide them in mulitple components

7. VM Storage Policy Maximums



Minimum
Maximum
Default
Number of disk stripes per object                                     
1
12
1
Number of failures to tolerate                                           
0 3 1
Object Space Reservation
0%
100%
0%
Flash Read Cache Reservation (Only with Hybrid Disk Groups)                 
0% 100% 0%
IOPS Limit for object
N/A
2147483647
No Limit
Failure Tolerance Method
RAID5/6 or RAID-1(Default is RAID-1)
Disable Object Checksum
Yes/No
Force Provisioning
Yes/No (Default is No)

8. Maximum VMDK Size
62TB

Source:-
VSAN 6.2 Design and Sizing Guide

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

How Many Customers Using VSAN and NSX?


Mostly i have to answer this question that how many customers are using VSAN and NSX? So the answer is Approx 3500+ customers are using VSAN and Approx 1400+ Customers are using NSX. Read the article links given below for more info.

Source of this Info:-
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2016/04/21/virtual-san-3500-customers-reached/
https://www.channele2e.com/2016/04/20/vmware-nsx-vsan-sales-acclerate-ahead-of-partner-program-updates/

Monday, 6 June 2016

VMware Horizon View 7 What's New

A lot of enhancements are there in this release, this post summarize only what's new in VMware Horizon View 7
1. Instant Clones
2. Cloud-Pod Architecture Improvements
3. Smart Policies
4. VMware Blast Extreme
5. True SSO
6. Access Point 2.5 Integration
7. URL Content Redirection for Windows Horizon Clients
8. Flash Redirection for Windows Horizon Clients (Tech Preview)
9. Windows Server 2016 Support (Tech Preview)
10. Horizon 7 For Linux Desktops

For Complete List of Enhancements refer VMware Release Notes

Active Directory Integration with Directories Management through VMware vRA 7 vIDM

In VMware vRA 7 at the time of tenant creation it is not possible to assign the tenant admin and infra admin roles to Domain Users, you can only assign these roles to local users those can be created while creating the tenant. Then after that you need to login as tenant administrator in that tenant url and integrate the active directory to assign these roles to domain users.You must use the Directories Management feature to configure a link to Active Directory to support user authentication for all tenants and select users and groups to sync with the Directories Management directory.
There are two Active Directory connection options: Active Directory over LDAP, and Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication). An Active Directory over LDAP connection supports DNS Service Location lookup by default. With Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication), you configure the domain to join.

Prerequisites
■ Connector installed and the activation code activated.
■ Select the required default attributes and add additional attributes on the User Attributes page.
■ List of the Active Directory groups and users to sync from Active Directory.
■ For Active Directory over LDAP, information required includes the Base DN, Bind DN, and Bind DN password.
■ For Active Directory Integrated Windows Authentication, the information required includes the domain's Bind user UPN address and password
■ If Active Directory is accessed over SSL, a copy of the SSL certificate is required.
■ For Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication), when you have multi-forest Active Directory configured and the Domain Local group contains members from domains in different forests, make sure that the Bind user is added to the Administrators group of the domain in which the Domain Local group resides. If this is not done, these members will be missing from the Domain Local group.
■ Log in to the vRealize Automation console as a tenant administrator.

Step by Step of Active Directory Integration with Directories Management through VMware vRA 7 vIDM

1. Login as Tenant Administrator Role User > Administration Tab > Directories Management > Directories > Add Directory > Provide the required details as needed in your environment > Click on Save and Next


2. Verify domain name is selected or not (it must be selected) > Click on Next



3. Verify users attributes are mapped to the correct active directory attributes or not. If not, you can map it correctly > Click on Next


4. Add Group DNs to Search > Click on Find Groups


5. Click on Select to add the users those are searched through DNs


6. Select the appropriate groups > click on save


7. Click on Next


8. Enter the User DNs to Search > Click on Save


9. Review the changes like users/groups those will be added or removed or updated > Click on Sync Directory.
Note:- If you want to modify sync interval you can click on Edit Option


10. Sync has been started. Once completed you can use these users and groups to assign various roles in vRA.


Now i can use these users and groups to assign various roles in VMware vRA 7.

Some Useful Links for vIDM:-
http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2016/02/identity-management-vrealize-automation-7.html
VMware Documentation