Sunday, May 31, 2015

What is vSphere Virtual Volumes?

Virtual Volumes is a SAN/NAS management and integration framework that exposes virtual disks as native storage objects and enables array-based operations at the virtual disk level. Virtual Volumes transforms the data plane of SAN/NAS devices by aligning storage consumptions and operations with the VM. In other words, Virtual Volumes makes SAN/NAS devices VM-aware and unlocks the ability to leverage array based data services with a VM-centric approach at the granularity of a single virtual disk.
Virtual Volumes is an industry-wide initiative that will allow customers to leverage the unique capabilities of their current storage investments and transition without disruption to a simpler and more efficient operational model optimized for virtual environments that works across all storage types.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

vSphere 6.0 Content Library

Get Simple and Effective Management of VM-Related Content for vSphere Admins

VMware vSphere® Content Library empowers vSphere Admins to effectively manage VM templates, vApps, ISO images and scripts with ease.
Store and manage content from a central location
Share content across boundaries of vCenter Servers
Deploy VM templates from Virtual Machines Library directly onto a host or cluster for usage

Once a library is created and published, content can be shared between various vCenter servers across your infrastructure. Sharing content from a single source gives IT admins the visibility and control that they need to enforce strict VM and application configuration policies within their organizations. 

On the subscriber vCenter, you can download all the contents of the published library at once or only when you need them (“On-Demand”). Once downloaded, this content will remain in sync with its source in the published library. 

Additionally, host to host bit transfer reduces load on vCenter server, while achieving high synchronization speed. Delivers operational ease at scale, reducing the effort required to re-create, import/export content in environments with multiple vCenter Servers Enables consistency in content across vCenter Servers Provides advanced controls that enable admins to control capabilities such as the synchronization window between publisher and subscriber libraries and network bandwidth allocation for synchronization operations

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance Enhancements (vSphere 6.0)

VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance (vSphere FT) provides continuous availability for applications in the event of physical server failures by creating a live shadow instance of a virtual machine that is always up to date with the primary virtual machine. In the event of a hardware outage, vSphere FT automatically triggers failover, ensuring zero downtime and preventing data loss. vSphere FT is easy to set up and configure and does not require any OS-specific or application-specific agents or configuration. It is tightly integrated with vSphere and is managed using vSphere Web Client.

Previous versions of vSphere FT supported only a single vCPU. Through the use of a completely new fast-checkpointing technology, vSphere FT now supports protection of virtual machines with up to four vCPUs and 64GB of memory. This means that the vast majority of mission-critical customer workloads can now be protected regardless of application or OS.

VMware vSphere Storage APIs – VMware vSphere Data Protection™ can now be used with virtual machines protected by vSphere FT. An in-guest agent is required to back up the previous version of vSphere FT. vSphere FT 6.0 empowers vSphere administrators to use VMware Snapshot–based tools to back up virtual machines protected by vSphere FT, enabling easier backup administration, enhanced data protection, and reduced risk.

There have also been enhancements in how vSphere FT handles storage. It now creates a complete copy of the entire virtual machine, resulting in total protection for virtual machine storage in addition to compute and memory. It also increases the options for storage by enabling the files of the primary and secondary virtual machines to be stored on shared as well as local storage. This results in increased protection, reduced risk, and improved flexibility

In addition, improvements have been made to vSphere FT virtual disk support and host compatibility requirements. Prior versions required a very specific virtual disk type: eager-zeroed thick. They also had very limiting host compatibility requirements. vSphere FT now supports all virtual disk formats: eager-zeroed thick, thick, and thin. Host compatibility for vSphere FT is now the same as for vSphere vMotion. This makes it much easier to use vSphere FT.

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vSphere High Availability Enhancements (vSphere 6.0)

vSphere HA delivers the availability required by most applications running in virtual machines, independent of the OS and application running in it. It provides uniform, cost-effective failover protection against hardware and OS outages within a virtualized IT environment. It does this by monitoring vSphere hosts and virtual machines to detect hardware and guest OS failures. It restarts virtual machines on other vSphere hosts in the cluster without manual intervention when a server outage is detected, and it reduces application downtime by automatically restarting virtual machines upon detection of an OS failure.

With the growth in size and complexity of vSphere environments, the ability to prevent and recover from storage issues is more important than ever. vSphere HA now includes Virtual Machine Component Protection (VMCP), which provides enhanced protection from All Paths Down (APD) and Permanent Device Loss (PDL) conditions for block (FC, iSCSI, FCoE) and file storage (NFS).

Prior to vSphere 6.0, vSphere HA could not detect APD conditions and had limited ability to detect and remediate PDL conditions. When those conditions occurred, applications were impacted or unavailable longer and administrators had to help resolve the issue. vSphere VMCP detects APD and PDL conditions on connected storage, generates vCenter alarms, and automatically restarts impacted virtual machines on fully functional hosts. By doing this, it greatly improves the availability of virtual machines and applications without requiring more effort from administrators. 

vSphere HA can now protect as many as 64 ESXi hosts and 8,000 virtual machines—up from 32 and 4,000— which greatly increases the scale of vSphere HA supported environments. It also is fully compatible with VMware Virtual Volumes, VMware vSphere Network I/O Control, IPv6, VMware NSX™, and cross vCenter Server vSphere vMotion. vSphere HA can now be used in more and larger environments and with less concern for feature compatibility.

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