Archives for August 2015

VMworld 2015: vCSA Best Practices

INF4528, William Lam, VMware

  • VCSA is on parity with Windows server in terms of scale and performance
  • VUM still requires a Windows server (future version will not)
  • FULL VUM capabilities in vSphere web client in 6.0 U1
  • Deployment types: Embedded (PSC and VC), or PSC as external
  • Multiple vCenters can point to one or more PSCs
  • PSCs can sit behind a load balancer for HA
  • The focus going forward for the vCenter is the VCSA platform
  • 6.0 U1 will allow you to repoint an embedded vCenter to an external PSC
  • VCSA installation is guided by a GUI or can be fully scripted.
  • vSphere 6.0 U1 will support both vCenter server and ESXi (greenfield) as deployment targets.
  • Ensure DNS is reachable from both client desktop and VCSA .
  • Ensure NTP/time is properly configured and in sync
  • “U” releases are now in-place upgrades.
  • Ensure SSL certificates match both hostname and IP address
  • VCSA upgrade: may want to consider pruning vCenter historical stats

VCSA Configuration

  • VCSA configuration via web client under “system configuration” tab
  • VAMI UI has returned in vSphere 6.0 U1 and is HTML5
  • PSC UI in vSphere 6.0 U1 in HTML5
  • Open browser to https//vc/psc
  • Authenticated via SSO
  • DCUI-type interface at VCSA console
  • Full command line is available
  • New to vSphere 6.0 U1 is a more scriptable appliancesh interface

VCSA Operations

  • Increase memory/CPU resources
  • Dynamic memory resize support
  • No longer require JVM tweaks
  • At boot time VCSA re-allocated memory
  • Increase disk capacity on live system.
  • VCSA has 11 VMDKs for different uses
  • Run a simple command line to expand within VCSA to use additional storage space
  • Patching and updates – Pulls updates from the internet. NEW: URL based patching is back.
  • Password expiration: VAMI UI or CLI. Root ages at 365 days.

VCSA Troubleshooting

  • Installation settings are stored in /etc/vmware/install-defaults
  • Native syslog support. Configurable in vSphere web client
  • Can forward vCenter logs via syslog
  • VIMTOP is like ESX top for vCenter
  • Support bundles  – can pull logs via GUI or CLI

VCSA Migration

  • Fling released for migration of Windows vCenter 5.5 to VCSA 5.5
  • Tech preview of an updated product to support 6.0. No ETA mentioned.


VMworld 2015: Hot topics in VMware R&D

  • Moore’s Law: Old faithful + rising tide
  • In the future Moore’s law will be less predictable
  • Moore’s law may end around 2020 or 2022
  • Silicon lattice will be a limiting factor in how small transistors can go
  • Past 40 years the industry has marched towards homogeneous (x86, ARM, CMOS, etc.)
  • Happening now: swing back towards heterogeneous tech base
  • Current uses for increased transistor budget: more thread or cores.
  • Future uses for transistors: specialized scenarios such as GPUs, crypto, image DSP, etc.
  • Emergent compute fabric: constellation of specialized compute units
  • Compound challenges: Distributed resources, concurrency, heterogeneity
  • What is needed: revised OS abstraction/stack layers, revised role for compilers, reduced role of programmers
  • System software is living in the past: OSes built for CPU+disk+network world
  • OS thinks accelerators are I/O devices – Not good
  • Coming soon: Creativity + algorithms
  • Big data: can’t read it all efficiently. Big distributed systems: can’t know exactly what’s going on at every single moment
  • Main tools: randomization: If you don’t know something for sure, make a guess
  • Load balancing can work with hashing, but it does not scale effectively.
  • Power of two: Pick two random bins, and place the data in the least loaded bin.
  • Consistency: Past – Error prone transactions to ACID and strong consistency.
  • Consistency future: weak consistency and massive scale.
  • Transactional journey: DBMS (SQL) to NoSQL (Cassandra) to NewSQL (ZooKeeper, MongoDB)
  • Today’s data technology inefficiency: a complex software stack
  • VMware developed Corfu and it’s open source in GitHub
  • Internet of things: Link the physical and virtual worlds
  • Past 40 years: batch computing moving to interactive
  • Coming soon: interactive moving to proactive computing
  • Systems that anticipate our needs and act on our behalf

VMworld 2015: What’s new in SRM

  • Application  uptime is key for businesses
  • 40% of companies still use tape for DR purposes
  • Legacy DR solutions can lead to extended periods of downtime
  • Announcing SRM 6.1 and site recovery manager air
  • From private cloud to public cloud – the hybrid cloud
  • SRM automates every workflow of DR orchestration
  • Non-disruptive testing, automated failback, automated failover, planned migrations
  • Introduced in 2008

What’s new in SRM 6.1

  • Policy-based management – New protection groups using vSphere policies & vRA integration
  • Integration with VMware NSX – Automated network mapping
  • zero-downtime application mobility – Orchestrated cross-vCenter vMotion using recovery plans

Policy Based DR

  • Association of new datastores with SPPG (storage-profile protection group)
  • Protection of VMs on replicated datastores within SPPG
  • Removal of VMs from SPPG when datastore is removed

NSX Integration

  • Network virtualization reduces OpEx and accelerate recovery
  • SRM 6.1 supports NSX 6.2 cross-vCenter logical switches
  • Automatic mapping of networks
  • Federated NSX security rules on recovered VMs
  • Faster recovery time by 40%

SRM support for Active-Active Datacenters

  • New support!
  • Production apps at both sites
  • Zero downtime for planned events
  • Typically limited to metro distances
  • Uses cross-vCenter vMotion for planned events
  • Day 0 support for EMC VPLEX, IBM SVC, HDS VSP
  • Can enable zero RTO/RPO

SRM Family enables hybrid cloud availability and mobility

  • DRaaS
  • Cloud on-ramp
  • Fast time-to-market
  • Site Recovery Manager air automates vCloud air disaster recovery
  • Deployed and managed as DRaaS
  • Not available today, but coming in the future
  • Provides detailed reports of recovery execution plans
  • Demos SRM air

VMworld 2015: Monday Keynote

VMware President Carl Eschenbach

  • Record attendance at VMworld. More than 23,000
  • 20 people have been to all 20 VMworlds (21 including Carl)
  • Theme: Ready for Any
  • Challenges: Innovation, productivity, security, cost, agility
  • Run – Run a true hybrid cloud platform
  • Built – Build and embrace containers
  • Deliver – Any app on any device with industry leading EUC
  • Secure – Ready to accelerate from datacenter to device
  • One Cloud – Seamless integration between private and public cloud(s)
  • Unified hybrid cloud – Value to IT and customer. Automate delivery of apps.
  • Any time anywhere any device for your apps
  • VMware brings on DirecTV CIO on stage to talk about their hybrid cloud
  • DirecTV uses NSX for network virtualization


  • Disaster Recovery
  • SRM will be a cloud offering
  • Deploying mobile apps can be complicated
  • Mobile back end as a service
  • Rapid evolution in how you deploy applications (hybrid apps)

Raghu Raghuram

  • The rise of the hybrid application (cloud + on-prem)
  • Unified hybrid cloud is the way of the future
  • Areas of investment: Simplify the hybrid cloud with the SDDC; Reach millions of users

Yanbing Li

  • Announcing: EVO SDDC
  • Built on a scale out architecture
  • Zero to SDDC in 2 hours
  • vRealize Suite, NSX 6.2, VSAN 6.1
  • Scale out: 1K VMs, 2K VDI, 2M IOPS per rack
  • New concept: workload domain
  • VMware announces hybrid network services
  • Demos vMotion from on-prem to vCloud air with zero downtime

Virtustream CEO comes on stage

  • Enterprise cloud service
  • Micro VM is 200 MHz, 768MB RAM, 40 IOPS, 2 Mb/s bandwidth
  • Performance, automation, security

Ray O’Ferrel and Kit Colbert

  • Why containers?
  • Challenges with containers: IT has partial visibility into containers and limited security
  • vSphere integrated containers announcement
  • Shows a demo
  • Uses resource pools under the covers
  • Shows all containers in the vSphere web client
  • One container per VM. Photon OS: 25MB footprint, instant clone, jeVM
  • VMware photon platform: API first, DevOps type of design. Built and optimized for cloud native apps.


VMworld 2015: vCenter Appliance as First Choice

Session: INF5975

Transforming software delivery with software appliances

  • Accelerat
  • e time to value
  • Simplify software management
  • Performance
  • Security
  • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO)


  • Security hardened Suse OS (SLES 11 SP3)
  • vCenter server and vPostgreSQL DB in a single VM
  • Appliance shell and UI support for appliance configuration
  • vCenter 6.0 appliance is ‘enterprise ready’
  • Same scalability as Windows vCenter deployment
  • Full support for linked mode

Windows and appliance are nearly at same performance at medium and large inventories

vCSA Deployment Configurations

  • Embedded and external PSC deployment modes
  • PSC abstracts common services such as SSO, licensing, certs, etc.
  • Convert from embedded to external PSC mode in 6.0 U1 (repointing)
  • vCenter Windows to vCSA migration tool is available as a fling
  • Can upgrade from vCSA 5.1 and 5.5 to 6.0 (U1)

vCSA Configuration

  • Network settings – DNS, hostname, IP, etc.
  • Time zone and NTP
  • Enable/disable services
  • Security considerations: SSH, password expiration, AD domain, firewall, log files, SNMP, etc.
  • Do NOT install third party agents on vCSA


  • Backup both embedded PSC and external PSC configurations
  • Works with VADP
  • Supports third party backups like NetBackup and CommVault

High Availability

  • Use VMware HA – Time tested. Protects against host and hardware failure.
  • vCenter Server watchdog
  • Attempts to restart processes, and will restart the service or VM
  • Ensures application level availability


  • vCenter Server Appliance Management
  • Appliance GUI in 6.0 U1
  • Generate support bundles
  • Monitor appliance resources and vCenter services
  • Receive SNMP trap notifications

vCenter server appliance management – security

  • Manage SSO users and groups
  • Password policies and management
  • Built-in certificate store and out of box certificate management


  • Easily apply product and third party patches (OS, Postgres, JRE)
  • Connect directly to VMware update repository or create custom repository

Nutanix Acropolis is Citrix Ready

Just over two months ago Nutanix took the covers off our Acropolis hypervisor at our .Next Conference in Miami. Even prior to that announcement, Nutanix has been working behind the scenes with a number of close partners for ecosystem support. I’m very proud to announce that today that Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp customers can use the Acropolis Hypervisor as it was Certified as Citrix Ready! The hypervisor itself is free, and can be run on any Nutanix platform.

CitrixReadyCosts are always closely scrutinized when deploying VDI, so taking the hypervisor cost out of the equation is always a plus. Nutanix has a number of VDI features like shadow clones which really make hosting desktops a rock solid solution. Plus you can linearly scale out one node at time, as your VDI population increases.

With today’s announcement, if you are customer and want to run XenDesktop or XenApp hosted VDI on Nutanix both you can have the confidence of Citrix Ready certification. This partnership will roll out in phases, and this is just the first phase. Nutanix is all about uncompromising simplicity. Nutanix will provide automation scripts to ease the process of deploying your VMs. Expect future developments in this area (and others) to make the integration and mutual support even tighter.

This great partnership brings together the best in the VDI world: Citrix XD/XA and the Nutanix platform. You can’t get a better VDI stack anywhere else.

You can read the Business Wire press release here, and the Nutanix press release here.