VMware vExpert PRO

VMware just announced the launch of the new VMware vExpert Sub-Program called “vExpert PRO”. I am happy to be selected out of the many vExperts in APJ.

Who are the vExpert Pros?

A vExpert Pro is a current vExpert who excels in their local region, adding value to the program and giving back to the community. This person has a strong relationship with the local IT community in general, and works as an advocate for the vExpert program, recruiting, mentoring and training people.

https://blogs.vmware.com/vexpert/2018/10/10/vmware-vexpert-pro-program-launch/

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What’s New in VMware vRealize Operations 6.7

The vRealize Operations 6.7 focuses on continuous performance optimization,
predictive capacity management and planning, and providing application monitoring
capabilities. It also provides several usability improvements, analytics advancements,
content enhancements, and better integration.

Below are the key features and capabilities:

  • Pre-Upgrade Assessment Tool.
  • Analytics Advancements.
  • Platform Improvements.
  • Refreshed vSAN support.
  • Automated Agent Lifecycle Management to Enable Application Monitoring in
    Wavefront.
  • User Experience Improvements.
  • Content Enhancements.

The Quick Start dashboard guides you through the following use cases:

  • Optimize Performance.
  • Optimize Capacity.
  • Troubleshoot.
  • Manage Configuration.

The additional links guide you to important internal and external information, including:

  • Management Packs in the VMware Solution Exchange.
  • Training videos and additional resources.
  • vRealize Operations Manager Assessment tools.

Capacity Allocation Overview Dashboard

Here we can find information on allocation ratios for virtual machines, vCPUs, and
memory for a specific data center or cluster. It even has some recommendations based
on performance requirements. Scroll down to see the current allocation percentages for
individual clusters.

vSphere Optimization Assessment

The vSphere Optimization Assessment has been completely revamped in 6.7. It added the following improvements:

  • Easier to use with one-click report generation.
  • Revamped and expanded reports with easy to understand content.
  • Highlights vRealize Operations new capabilities and features.

The Sample of Assessment Report

Deploy Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance 2.2

When we finished the racking of DP4400 and the cables connection, you can manually start it up. Press the power button on the right control panel at the front of the chassis to power on the system. When the system has started-up, launch the Appliance Configuration Manager using our service laptop.

First we make a list of IP addresses you will use with the various IDPA components. We must validate the host names and IP addresses to avoid network conflicts when installing the IDPA components. All network conflicts must be resolved before you can successfully deploy IDPA.

Connect to the Appliance Configuration Manager (ACM), the default IP is https://192.168.100.100:8543.

Input the network configuration, ​​​​​​​ACM creates the network configuration. This might take several minutes to complete.

When the network configuration completes, you are then redirected to log in to ACM with the newly configured ACM IP address. With a successful login, the IDPA DP4400 main configuration window appears.

Then we start the IDPA configuration, eg. licenses, IDPA vCenter, IDPA Prodection Storage, IDPA Backup Server, IDPA System Manager, IDPA Reporting and Analytics, and IPDA Seach etc.

Each component is configured with the licensing, and network information you entered. The configuration can take some time before it completes. When all components configuration reaches 100%, installation is complete.

When IDPA configuration is complete the ACM Home tab is displayed.

The Backup Server panel displays the component IP address, and Avamar version. The panel also displays total and available backup metadata storage, and the license status of the backup server node. It shows whether the installation of agents is in progress. Here, you see that backup agents are currently installing.

The Protection Storage panel displays the DD OS version, component IP address, total and available backup storage, the file system and license status of the Protection Storage node, and any alerts requiring user action. To access extra functionality of the component, click the Protection Storage system manager link.

The Virtualization Settings panel displays basic settings for your VMware vCenter server. To access the web interface to manage the vCenter server, click vCenter Web UI.

The IDPA System Manager panel displays the IDPA System Manager version and component IP address. To load the IDPA System Manager Web UI , click the link, and refer to the User Accounts tab for the IDPA System Manager login credentials. Move the cursor over Services to view status information for IDPA System Manager services.

We can see the IDPA dashboard.

Deploy the Avamar proxy “Avamar Proxy Deployment” on each vCenter datacenter cluster that you intend to protect.

Simple Installation

DP4400 How-to configure backup policies

Overview of Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA) DP4400

Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA) DP4400 fully integrates the components of other IDPA models into a single 2U node and is faster to deploy than previous data protection systems. IDPA allows you to protect a broad ecosystem of apps, VMs, and databases. We can self-manage and maintain all internal feature upgrades and replaceable hardware units eliminating the need for costly on-site service.

The supported usable capacity starts at 24 TB and can grow to 96 TB in 12 TB increments using software licenses. No additional hardware is required because the appliance comes fully implemented. Access to extra storage is managed through licensing.
The DP4400 also includes component software for managing, reporting, and searching for backups.

We can extend to the Cloud with two available cloud storage options: Data Domain Cloud Tier and Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR) features. Both of these options allow you to pay for incremental amounts of Cloud storage. Data Domain Cloud Tier and Cloud Disaster Recovery each require their own separate license.

Features:

  • A fully integrated, customer installable data protection appliance
  • A single node fits in a 2U rackspace installable in customer racks
  • Protect all applications
  • Grow capacity in-place from 24 TB to 96 TB in 12 TB increments
  • Integrated search and reporting
  • Managed through a centralized System Manager
  • Efficient Data Domain Cloud Tier and Cloud Disaster Recovery (CDR)
  • Multisite scalable

After initial configuration, software is deployed and configured on the DP4400. Review this table to see the purpose of each component that comprises IDPA.

Component Description
IDPA System Manager Data Protection Central provides a single point of control to manage enterprise data protection. It is the user management interface to the IDPA
Protection Storage Data Domain Virtual Edition manages and runs the IDPA datastore.
Backup server Avamar is the system managing backups and restores. IDPA includes both Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) and Avamar Proxy VM.
Search Search is a detailed search function for IDPA administration.
The components that comprise Search are the index master node host VM and the DPSearch index VM.
Reporting and Analytics Data Protection Advisor (DPA) supplies monitoring, analysis, and reporting across the data protection infrastructure
Configuration Management Appliance Configuration Manager (ACM) is used to simplify installs and improve IDPA configuration management.
Cloud Storage Data Domain Cloud Tier feature or Cloud Disaster Recovery virtual appliance can be added to increase overall storage capacity. Data Domain Cloud Tier and Cloud Disaster Recovery each require their own separate license.

A typical use case for IDPA allows a single integrated approach. It solves the requirements that protect databases, email servers, file servers, and enterprise applications and virtual environments and backs up VMs and vApps.

Application administrators can use native data protection functionality. DBAs can work within their own interfaces and workflows.

Dell EMC Data Domain Boost for Enterprise Applications (DDBEA) are application direct modules to back up SAP HANA, SAP with Oracle, Oracle (RMAN), Microsoft SQL, and IBM DB2 directly to the Data Domain within IDPA.

Note: DDBEA is Data Domain Boost for Enterprise Applications.

Introduction

What is VMware Per-VM EVC ?

Cluster-level EVC ensures CPU compatibility between hosts in a cluster, so that you can seamlessly migrate virtual machines within the EVC cluster. In vSphere 6.7, you can also enable, disable, or change the EVC mode at the virtual machine level. The per-VM EVC feature facilitates the migration of the virtual machine beyond the cluster and across vCenter Server systems and datacenters that have different processors.

The EVC mode of a virtual machine is independent from the EVC mode defined at the cluster level. The cluster-based EVC mode limits the CPU features a host exposes to virtual machines. The per-VM EVC mode determines the set of host CPU features that a virtual machine requires in order to power on and migrate.

By default, when you power on a newly created virtual machine, it inherits the feature set of its parent EVC cluster or host. However, you can change the EVC mode for each virtual machine separately. You can raise or lower the EVC mode of a virtual machine. Lowering the EVC mode increases the CPU compatibility of the virtual machine. You can also use the API calls to customize the EVC mode further.

Cluster-based EVC and Per-VM EVC

There are several differences between the way the EVC feature works at the host cluster level and at the virtual machine level.

  • Unlike cluster-based EVC, you can change the per-VM EVC mode only when the virtual machine is powered off.

  • With cluster-based EVC, when you migrate a virtual machine out of the EVC cluster, a power cycle resets the EVC mode that the virtual machine has. With Per-VM EVC, the EVC mode becomes an attribute of the virtual machine. A power cycle does not affect the compatibility of the virtual machine with different processors.

  • When you configure EVC at the virtual machine level, the per-VM EVC mode overrides cluster-based EVC. If you do not configure per-VM EVC, when you power on the virtual machine, it inherits the EVC mode of its parent EVC cluster or host.

  • If a virtual machine is in an EVC cluster and the per-VM EVC is also enabled, the EVC mode of the virtual machine cannot exceed the EVC mode of the EVC cluster in which the virtual machine runs. The baseline feature set that you configure for the virtual machine cannot contain more CPU features than the baseline feature set applied to the hosts in the EVC cluster. For example, if you configure a cluster with the Intel “Merom” Generation EVC mode, you should not configure a virtual machine with any other Intel baseline feature set. All other sets contain more CPU features than the Intel “Merom” Generation feature set and as a result of such configuration, the virtual machine fails to power on.

Compatibility and Requirements

The Per-VM EVC feature has the following requirements.

Enable the Per-VM EVC

Select the VM > Configure > VMware EVC > Enable.

VMware vRealize Log Insight with vSAN 6.7

VMware vRealize Log Insight is a log aggregation, management, and analytics solution
that gives the data center administrator an easy way to see context, correlation, and meaning behind otherwise obfuscated log content. Log Insight paired with vSAN is an easy way to gain a level of visibility and operational intelligence not only to vSAN, but to your entire environment.

Assume that vRealize Log Insight integrates with the vSAN cluster, we can see the events of all vSAN nodes in Dashboards when login into vRealize Log Insight.

Go to Interactive Analytics, type vsan (and notice that there are thousands of results associated with this keyword). We can see that it found the events which is related to vSAN configuration issue exists in this vSAN cluster.

We can also Create Alert from Query.

1. We can provide a Name for our Alert as well as an optional Description and Recommendation.
2. We can send Alerts via Email or Webhook.
3. We can specify additional logic for how to handle the Alert, clicks Save.

Using Log Insight in this example helped us identify not only that there was a
configuration problem but also identified the exact date/time this change was
made and furthermore enabled us to create an Email Alert if we so chose.

vSAN Dashboards can provides “Host State Information“, “Diskgroup Failures“, “Networking“, “Object Configurations” and “Health“, etc.

NOTE: Log Insight still uses the content pack framework from previous editions, but vSAN dashboards are now included at the time of installation, making it easy to deploy and use in a vSAN powered environment.

Enabling vRealize Operations within vCenter and vSAN 6.7

vSAN 6.7 introduces exciting new ways to monitor the Health, Capacity and Performance of your Cluster via vRealize Operations within vCenter, all within the same User Interface that VI Administrators use today.

Now I show you the configuration. When we login into vCenter, go to vRealize Operations on the Menu.

Note that we have the option to Install a new instance of vRealize Operations or
Configure an existing instance. In this Lab, vRealize Operations has already been
installed. Click Configure Existing Instance.

Input the instance details, then click Next.

Input the vCenter details and test connection, then click Next.

Clicks Configure. Configuration will take several minutes in this Lab. While we wait, let’s examine vSAN Health and vCenter Capacity & Performance Monitoring before utilizing vRealize Operations for vCenter.

When the configuration is completed, you can select some monitor dashboards for vSAN on Quick Links menu,

We also can redirect to vRealize Operation Manager directly and monitor all vSAN Operations & Perforance dashboards.

We can go to Dashboards, view the vSAN Operations Overview.

Enabling VMware vSAN 6.7

In this lab environment, vSAN is currently Turned Off. In this post we will show you how to enable or turn on vSAN in a few steps.

Select your ESXi Cluster, Configure and vSAN > Services. Then Configure.

Select which type of vSAN Cluster, we can configure “Single site cluster“, “Two host vSAN cluster“, and “Stretched cluster“. In this configuration, we will configure “Single site cluster”. Then click Next.

When using an All-Flash configuration, you have the option to enable Deduplication and Compression.

Selecting Allow Reduced Redundancy, vSAN will be able to reduce the protection level of your VMs, if needed, during operations of enabling Deduplication and Compression. This option is only usable if your setup is at the limit of the protection level, configured by
the Storage Policy of a Specific VM.

Configure the cache tier and capacity tier of vSAN cluster. Then click Next.

Create fault domains, then click Next.

Review and verify your selection. Build the vSAN cluster when click Finish.

Once the configuration process is complete. You can see the Health Service is Enabled.

Vembu offers support for vSphere 6.7 with Enterprise-level features

The first thought that strikes while talking about Virtualization is of course VMware. So, obviously the “most spoken about” topic in the recent times is about VMware’s latest release vSphere 6.7. This release has come after about a year from VMware which is why the buzz about it has not reduced even a bit yet.

vSphere 6.7 focuses on :

  • Simple and Efficient Management at Scale
  • Comprehensive Built-in Security
  • Universal Application Platform
  • Seamless Hybrid Cloud Experience

Now the release has happened, this paves the way for next question.

That is, which vendor supports backup for vSphere 6.7?

We haven’t heard much from the other major backup players regarding the support for the latest release of VMware vSphere. On the other hand, we, at Vembu, have already released an update to support backup for vSphere 6.7.

This year had been a very special year for Vembu with back to back releases, the first one being the Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 which came up features that provide significant advancements in terms of Storage, Security, and Data Restoration.

Following the release of v3.9.0, we came up with the next major update v3.9.1 with the launch of Standard Edition being the focus. Thus bringing Vembu BDR Suite closer to all kinds of businesses irrespective of their size, which certainly caught the attention of many.

And now, here we are, with our latest offering of backup support for VMware 6.7 in less than 60 days after the official release, pulled off in style.

Naturally, people wanted to run their VMs on 6.7, which meant they needed to protect the VMs running on 6.7. Vembu is proud to announce the release of Vembu BDR Suite 3.9.1 Update 1, the latest flagship offering from Vembu. You can now protect your VMs running on vSphere 6.7 with enterprise-level functionalities like Agentless Backup and Replication offering near Continuous Data Protection, Application Aware Backups along with multiple recovery options like Quick VM Recovery, Instant File/Folder recovery, Granular Application Recovery. Thus, Vembu BDR offers an RTO and RPO of 15 mins to avail Business Continuity to Data Centers.

Users can now experience the latest advancements in their VMware hypervisor with vSphere 6.7 while ensuring the protection of their virtual environment with Vembu 3.9.1.

The Vembu BDR Suite 3.9.1 Update 1 is now generally available(GA) and ready for download.

Register now for the exclusive Webinar by our experts to know how Vembu offers support for vSphere 6.7 with enterprise-level features.

Follow their Twitter and Facebook feeds for new releases, updates, insightful posts and more.

To know more about the topics, kindly follow the links below.

Introducing Vembu BDR Essentials for Small Businesses
https://www.vembu.com/blog/introducing-vembu-bdr-essentials-for-small-businesses/

BDR Essentials for your virtual machines
https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-essentials/

Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.1 GA Release and its benefits for Small Businesses
https://www.vembu.com/blog/vembu-bdr-suite-v3-9-1-ga-release-and-its-benefits-for-small-businesses/

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