Bridging the Gaps…

Let’s talk about our latest announcements that came out last week and what they would drive as “Outcomes” for our enterprises.

Most of our enterprise conversations are driven by the following :

  • Reducing technical Debt
  • Automation (self-service), Infrastructure as code
  • Speed to business : Offer services to business at their speed
  • Cloud right (right workloads on right cloud)
  • Governance and compliance across Multi-Cloud
  • Standardization of services
  • Software life-cycle for Day-2 Ops
  • Integration of existing tool chains across clouds
  • Developer productivity

Of-course, not everything is covered above but most of the common ones.What are you all seeing in your discussions,feel free to add in the comments..

Industry is leaning towards HCI, here is the IDC’s market share, if you haven’t seen it.

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS46618420

Let’s dive into “Why enterprises are adopting VxRail platform”.

It’s a joint vision across Dell technologies and VMware. VxRail is a full-stack integrated system that offloads customers from hardware and software integration work, provides automated full stack life-cycle management, and delivers a known-good state for both Day 0 and Day 2 operations.Majority of our operational challenges have been Day2 (patches,upgrades,interoperability,integrations) and making it as seamless to enterprises as a public cloud, where end-user responsibility starts from Operating systems (patching,upgrades etc).

This vision is drawn by joint engineering commitment of 400+ dedicated engineering teams across Dell technologies working to build this stack with agile release cycles, committed to 30 days , post VMware software releases and updates. This commitment propelled VxRail not just beyond niche applications into the data center for enterprise business critical workloads but a consistent foundation from edge to distributed core to cloud.

Above is the quick overview of use cases across edge,core and the cloud.

The vision substantiates Dell technologies and VMware ‘s focus to provide customers with the business outcomes through services and cloud like experience across edge,core and cloud.

There are whitepapers for all the above,here is a quick example.

https://www.dellemc.com/resources/en-us/asset/technical-guides-support-information/products/converged-infrastructure/h17317-vxrail_sap-hana-vg.pdf

Let’s tie back the recent announcements (HCI To Extremes) to business outcomes and why it matters.

Dell Technologies Cloud Platform Enhancements:

Enterprise customers are continuously looking for innovative solutions for their business to provide services which business needs.It is so imperative to enable IT with extreme simplicity, so IT can accelerate developer productivity, develop modern applications, offer extreme flexibility with an entry level cloud configuration.

Accelerating the innovation and partnership with VMware, customers can now run vSphere Kubernetes on the Dell Tech Cloud Platform, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 on VxRail 7.0.

VM’s and Containers in a single platform with a single control plane

Customers now have access to a hybrid cloud platform that supports native Kubernetes workloads and management, as well as your traditional VM-based workloads, so containers are now first-class citizens of your private cloud alongside traditional VMs.  This is now available with VCF 4 on VxRail 7.

Unique integration across the stack enables developers and operators to quickly and easily support modern application development with infrastructure managed as a single automated private cloud.

Here is snapshot of the platform services :

The platform provides IT with single control plane to offer not just IaaS but CaaS services to it’s business with no additional management overhead.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4 on VxRail 7 is a Hybrid Cloud Platform that accelerates the development of modern applications by automating the deployment and life-cycle management of complex Kubernetes environments.

It consists of two families of services – Tanzu Runtime Services and Hybrid Infrastructure Services.

·         Tanzu Runtime Services deliver core Kubernetes development services, including an up-to-date distribution of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.  

·         Hybrid Infrastructure Services include full Kubernetes and RESTful API access that spans creating and manipulating virtual machines, containers, storage, networking, and other core capabilities. 

From an Infrastructure Up perspective: IT Ops admins have complete visibility and control of global cloud infrastructure resources through VCF and the very familiar vCenter Server.

Hybrid Infrastructure Services are abstracted from virtual infrastructure and container resources into Hybrid Infrastructure Services. Let’s review what these are:

1) vSphere Pod Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the vSphere Pod Service extends Kubernetes with the ability to run pods directly on the hypervisor. When developers deploy containers using the vSphere Pod service, they get the same level of security isolation, performance guarantees and management capabilities that VMs enjoy.This is so critical for organizations that adhere to strong compliance and governance.

2) Registry Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Registry Service allows developers to store, manage and secure Docker and OCI images using Harbor. 

3) Storage Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Storage Service allows developers to manage persistent disks for use with container, Kubernetes and virtual machines. 

4) Network Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Network Service allows developers to manage Virtual Routers, Load Balancers and Firewall Rules. 

The other portion of services that make up the VMware Cloud Foundation Services include the Tanzu Runtime Services that delivers Tanzu Runtime Services directly to developers. All Services delivered self-service through Kubernetes and Restful APIs

From an Application Down perspective: Developers have friction-less access to comprehensive developer environments and infrastructure resources through VCF Services. Let’s review what these are:

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service:– Introduced as part of the Tanzu Run time Services, The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service allows developers to manage consistent, compliant, and conformant Kubernetes clusters. All VMware Cloud Foundation Services are delivered self-service through Kubernetes and Restful APIs.

The industry is focussed around providing single control plane across on-premises and off-premises for K8’s, will focus on TMC (Tanzu mission control) in the next blog.

Consolidated Architecture :

Dell Technologies Cloud Platform can now be deployed starting with 4-node consolidated configuration,lowering the cost of entry level hybrid cloud.

For something that allows customers to start smaller, VMware developed a validated VCF Consolidated Architecture option. This allows for the Management domain cluster to run both the VCF management components and a customer’s general purpose server VM workloads. Since you are just using the Management Domain infrastructure to run both your management components and user workloads, your minimum infrastructure starting point consists of the four nodes required to create your Management Domain. In this model, vSphere Resource Pools are used to logically isolate cluster resources to the respective workloads running on the cluster. A single vCenter and NSX-T instance is used for all workloads running on the Management Domain cluster. 

Enterprises looking for remote office use cases with single control plane would be a great use cases.If you have workloads running in ROBO offices,Retail chain stores with single control plane and remote management, the consolidated architecture is a great use case.

VCF consolidated architecture

For customers to get started with an entry level cloud for general purpose VM server workloads, this option provides a smaller entry point, both in terms of required infrastructure footprint as well as cost.

Let’s focus on other key announcements here.

Technical innovation to drive value at the edge:

The latest announcements continue to drive Dell technologies innovation at the edge for the business use cases which are relevant in every industry.

  • Keeping in view the dense high-power workloads, the ideal use cases of database, unstructured data, virtual desktop infrastructure and HPC workloads driving the business outcomes at the edge.Technical advancement with AMD EPYC processors offers customers a new option, with up to 64 high performance cores and support for PCIe® 4, that can be deployed at the edge or in data centers. Coupled with high-efficiency power supply, these compact 1U systems are an ideal option for customers that need high-performance computing power, in a single socket platform for edge environments.
  • For power demanding applications,such as  in-memory databases like SAP HANA and artificial intelligence/machine learning applications. AI/ML are moving out of the trend quadrant to key technologies driving business across every industry.

Why AI/ML , Here is the quick snippet from Gartner Hype Cycle for AI (2019)

https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-trends-on-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-artificial-intelligence-2019/

  • Adding to that VxRail will now support:
    • NVIDIA® Quadro RTX™ GPUs, whichcombine with NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) software to bring the power of accelerated rendering, AI, advanced graphics and compute to the data center for a wide range of workflows. With Quadro RTX and NVIDIA vGPU software, customers can deploy VxRail solutions that help end users be more productive and data centers run efficiently.
    • Intel Optane Persistent Memory maintains improved data integrity with 90% lower latency.

With latest NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 and 8000 GPUs,Designers and artists across industries can now expand the boundary of what’s possible, working with the largest and most complex graphics rendering, deep learning, and visual computing workloads.

Rugged platforms use Cases :

Enterprises looking for workloads built for a data center in extremely harsh environments — from manufacturing plants to oil rigs to submarines — in remote locations where dust is blowing or in sub-zero temps, and expect it to operate. D-series is built for the extremes — extreme heat, extreme cold, extreme altitudes — so customers can get the power and simplicity of VxRail no matter where they need it.Running CAD/CAM,CNC, SaaS applications for drilling,machining, are great use cases in extreme conditions.

The D560/D560F is a ruggedized, durable platform that delivers the full power of VxRail for workloads at the edge, in challenging environments, or for space-constrained area.

  • Resilience to extreme heat, sand, dust and vibration​ – VxRail D Series is certified to take heat up to 45C/113F and can even go up to 55C/131F for up to 8 hours, and have a certified cold start down to -15C/5F
  • Light-weight, short depth, durable form factor that allows for flexible deployment options​ — at only 20” deep, it’s our smallest form factor
  • Rugged build and rigid cover to withstand sudden shocks ​– certified to withstand 40G of operational shock and for operation at up to 15K feet of elevation.

The innovation acceleration continues to drive customer outcomes with Dell and VMware.Enterprises today have the key elements of VMware technologies, be it the software or the Ops Knowledge (People,process), the success lies for IT to blend the delivery of services, extending from IaaS to CaaS, to provide developers with the same API experience,mapping enterprise architecture to business outcomes.

Let’s keep that for another day…….

NSX-T 3.0 goes GA

Major release of our full stack Layer 2 to Layer 7 networking platform that offers virtual networking, security, load balancing, visibility, and analytics in a single platform.

As a key component of Virtual Cloud Network, innovation at it best NSX-T 3.0 also introduces 

  • Global policy consistency
  • AWS and Azure gov cloud support
  • VMware NSX® Intelligence enhancements, 
  • Layer 3 EVPN, and powerful networking and security services for vSphere with Kubernetes

Cloud-scale Network Agility

Scaling up and managing a cloud environment – whether public or private.

NSX Federation – NSX Federation in NSX-T 3.0 helps deliver a cloud-like operating model by simplifying the consumption of networking and security constructs. It introduces the NSX Global Manager, a centralized console for managing the network as a single entity while keeping configuration and operational state synchronized across multiple locations.

Support for AWS GovCloud and Azure Government – NSX-T 3.0 extends support for public clouds with VMware NSX™ Cloud support for AWS GovCloud and Azure Government.

Enhanced Multi-tenancy with VRF Lite and Layer 3 BGP EVPN – VRF Lite greatly reduces the networking infrastructure footprint by introducing complete data plane tenant isolation with separate routing table, NAT, and firewall within each VRF on NSX Edge. NSX Edge also implements Layer3 EVPN to seamlessly connect telco VNFs to the overlay network.  The Edge implements standards based BGP control plane to advertise IP Prefixes, running eBGP sessions to the VNF and MP-BGP sessions with the PE/DCGW(s). 

Dynamic Network Service Chaining – NSX service insertion is further enhanced with support for dynamic service chaining for traffic from and to VMs, containers, and bare metal workloads.  The Edge Node dynamically classifies incoming network traffic and applies a set of network services to achieve app-aware security and monitoring.

Intrinsic Security:

NSX-T 3.0 is a step further towards our goal of extending the NSX intrinsic security approach from every workload to data center, multi-cloud, and edge. 

NSX Distributed IDS/IPS : NSX Distributed IDS/IPS is an advanced threat detection engine purpose-built to detect lateral threat movement on east-west traffic across multi-cloud environments.  It eliminates security blind-spots and helps meet compliance needs.

  • L7 Edge Firewall Enhancements – The Layer 7 Edge Firewall is further enhanced in NSX-T 3.0 with the implementation of URL Analysis for URL Classification and Reputation. The Edge Firewall detects access from outside the datacenter for granular detection and categorization of in-bound and outbound URLs.
  • DFW for Windows 2016 workloads – In addition to existing support for Linux, NSX-T 3.0 adds NSX Distributed Firewall (DFW) support for Windows 2016 based physical workloads. 
  • Time-based rules and Configuration wizard – Firewall rules can be enforced based on a pre-scheduled timeline defined by the administrator. NSX-T 3.0 also simplifies the implementation of VLAN backed micro-segmentation using a new configuration wizard. 

Full-stack Networking and Security for Modern Apps

Networking for vSphere with Kubernetes – NSX-T is designed-in from the ground up as the default pod networking solution for vSphere with Kubernetes.  NSX provides a rich set of networking capabilities for vSphere with Kubernetes, including distributed switching and routing, firewalling, load balancing, NAT, IPAM, and more.

  • Prescriptive networking for vSphere Namespace isolation – NSX-T 3.0 delivers a prescriptive network design to greatly simplify the implementation of vSphere Namespaces. It automatically implements the logical segments, distributed routing and firewalling, and IPAM services required for Namespace isolation in the vSphere Supervisor Cluster.  Any workloads created in a Namespace automatically inherit the security policy applied to that Namespace, allowing developers to self-service resources into that Namespace. 
  • Integration with Cluster API in VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service – NSX-T integrates with VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service to allow developers to deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters.  NSX-T greatly simplifies the necessary networking infrastructure, including the creation of logical segments, Tier-1 Gateway, and load balancers, needed for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters.

Major enhancement on Operational Simplicity and Automation 

Converged vSphere® Distributed Switch™ – With NSX-T 3.0, admins can now deploy NSX-T directly on VMware vSphere Distributed Switch 7.0. This greatly simplifies NSX-T deployment in vSphere environments with no changes required to the existing vSphere Distributed Switch and no VM traffic disruption.
Policy Enhancements with Terraform Provider & Ansible Module – NSX-T 3.0 extends the use of Terraform Provider and Ansible Modules, two of the most widely used automation tools for config generation and deployment, beyond NSX-T installation use cases with support for the NSX-T Policy API.

Want to try hands-on, get started with a Beginner or Advanced NSX Hands-On-Lab (HOL) 

VMworld 2018, What is different…!!

With VMworld 2018 around the corner, everyone out there wants to  have a productive event.I often get asked by customers, what sessions do you recommend.

The fact is , all of our customers are at different stages of their digital transformation and approach of single size fits all doesn’t work .

Who is driving this transformation , of-course “Business needs” are driving  the outcomes for all enterprises.

Businesses are looking towards  “Speed to Market” , forcing internal IT to bridge the gap and be service provider to business , similar to a Public Cloud Provider, the approach that drives internal IT to adopt “Software Defined Data Center” and a clear Multi-Cloud Strategy.

Enterprises  while competing with Startups are creating a culture of “Startups in the enterprise”, focusing on reducing the technical debt, application modernization,creating competitive advantage with “Software”.

As Highlighted by Forrester Research,  “every company is in the software business.”

In a world that is changing at breakneck speed, the ability to identify and respond to digital innovation opportunities more quickly than your competitors will determine if your company sinks or swims.

This new paradigm shift in the world meant a change not just for Operators but Developers. For Developers , that speed is driven by Appdev transformation , Monolith to Micro-services,Cloud Native Platforms, CaaS,FaaS (Serverless) leading to not just Multi-Cloud but Multi-Platform enterprise strategies.

Every enterprise is at different levels of transformation at realm of Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform adoption.

Here is a look at their priorities over the next one to two years (Multi-Platform CF report June 2018) :

The adoption of containers and questions like “Will Containers take over VM’s” have already been answered ? They drive organizations on their cloud journey a way to test out cloud-native technologies, for example building in continuous delivery practices and refactoring applications. For example, companies using containers can orchestrate them with the much-discussed Kubernetes, which IT Decision Makers rank as the top orchestration tool, overtaking Docker Swarm for the first time  on container orchestration tools.

Let’s discuss where are containers in the eco-system of technology, from the same report

We can clearly see, broad deployments trending across containerization followed by CI/CD ,Cloud Native platforms and Serverless.

The crux is the fact that “Every Enterprise either has a Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform Strategy” or is planning one.

Rolling the discussion back to the topic, I consider this VMworld to be a differentiated one. VMworld has mostly been focused around Multi-Cloud Strategy , IT Operators but the current one surely has great technology led discussions for Developers with huge presence of Pivotal and providing them what they need to just focus on their Developer Productivity with PAS and PKS.

Here is a quick draft of sessions which you will see huge value based on the above discussion for your enterprise .

– Kubernetes On Fire (One of the Favorites) :

How do we take our Kubernetes workloads to production? Pivotal Container Service, PKS (Managed Kubernetes)  is a popular option – come learn why! Pivotal’s Sr. Director of Technology, Cornelia Davis, showcases PKS customer stories and the security, isolation, and high availability of K8s clusters.

When: Sunday, August 26, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | #CNA1780QU

The ability to #DevLikeaStartup sounds nice, but executing the seamless capabilities associated with rapid CI/CD deployment is challenging in a worldwide enterprise with strong data gravity and compliance mandates.  If you ever are the one to lose sleep over how to maintain controls while providing developers the freedom to code and use Kubernetes, this session is for you. The question enterprises would want to know how can they leverage  existing VMware investments to implement PKS.

When: Wednesday, August 29, 1:50 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Real-World Stories from PKS Customers : 

Existing customers discuss their successes, their challenges, the unique company demands and hurdles they jumped through to reach their goals. For those of you serious about bringing Kubernetes containers to your IT environment, this panel session is a must-see.

When:  Monday, August 27, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | CNA1199PU

– Automate Everything, Cars, Trains, NSX and CNA :

As we saw above, automation is key to businesses to drive innovation.This session is to discuss automation of the platform using CI pipelines with Concourse to automate NSX, PKS and Pivotal Application Services.

– Wells Fargo Discusses Security with Pivotal Cloud Foundry :

Security being Key to success of our enterprises, Leaders from Wells Fargo will offer their story how they tackle compliance while managing the daily needs of a business with speed and agility.They will discuss how PCF enables them to fend off cyber attacks that threaten their business.

Time: Wednesday, August 29, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | #CNA1464BU

– Demos & Hands-on Labs with Pivotal :

How does PRA Pivotal Ready Architecture (Framework of best of breed technologies and best practices to deploy PAS and PKS) ,concrete plan for how Kubernetes, NSX-T, vSphere, PKS and Pivotal Ready Architecture fit into your IT strategy.

Overcome the challenges with a Scalable and repetitive architecture for the enterprise, providing IT Operators the speed what business needs.

Dive into product architecture and perform LIVE demos at the booth, and offer four 5-minute talks throughout the day where you can hear about customers who have installed PRA and PKS.

VMworld also offers Hands-on Labs (HOL) which allow you to get in the driver’s seat to build ,test and deploy.

NSX Container Networking for Pivotal Application Services 

NSX is Key to Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform strategy for our customers ,this would provide great insight to container Networking.

Monday 27th Aug , Meet the Experts, Level 2 Foyer, Table , 3:15 – 4pm

Technical Deep Dive: Kubernetes Networking and Security with NSX-T on PKS

Value of NSX-T offering C2C networking ,LB’s,security framework for PKS

Tuesday 28th Aug , Breakers F, Level 2, 2-3pm 

– Architecting PKS for Production: Lessons Learned from PKS Deployments

This session is focused on lessons from the field , the speakers have been involved in drafting cookbooks for NSX-T and PKS based on their experiences with customers.Don’t miss it !

Tuesday 28th Aug , Mandalay Bay L, Level 2, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Operating and Managing Kubernetes on Day 2 w/ PKS

This session is the “know-hows”of our enterprise which lies in the success of managing Day-2 operations of the platform (Upgrades or should i say rolling upgrades, Patching).The speakers from the product management have vast experience of enterprise customer needs and what a successful platform would look like , encompassing  the current challenges of dev’s and operators.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Islander B, Lower Level, 8- 9am

– Enterprise Kubernetes: Balancing Developer Needs with Enterprise Controls

Pivotal’s Sr. Director of Technology, Cornelia Davis would discuss on  balancing developer needs keeping in view the enterprise controls,persona management with need to have a managed K8 platform.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Solutions Exchange Theater, Level 1, 1:50 – 2:10pm

– Run Stateful Apps on Kubernetes with PKS: Highlight WebLogic Server

Running Stateful apps is one of the best quantified use cases of PKS/K8 and how containers can move across with PV’s. This session would focus on this discussion.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Pwr Session Theater, VMTN Lounge,9:30 – 10am

– K8s Self-Service Deploy & Ops at Scale w/ PKS

This session will focus on ease of deployment and scale, as a K8 user or a non-user both you will find value in this session.

Wednesday 29th Aug , 12:30-1:30pm

Lastly, i see NSX becoming key to success of enterprises adopting Multi-Cloud and Multi-platform strategies , here is more on that.

Next-Generation Reference Design with NSX-T Data Center: Part 2

This would cover the ref architecture for data center design leading to deep dive use cases.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Mandalay Bay I, Level 2,11:30 – 12:30pm

– NSX Design for Cloud-native Apps with Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Niran is an expert on NSX with PAS,PKS, he would provide great insight on design criteria’s for CNA with NSX.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Islander C, Lower Level,2:30 – 3:30pm

 

This is a wrap, look forward to great VMworld 2018 with so much of content,meetings, roadmaps.

More to follow….feel free to add your Comments,feedback …!!

 

A Different Outlook on Recent VMware ANNOUNCEMENTS AT AWS RE:INVENT 2017 :

A lot has been already discussed , spoken and written  about VMware on AWS re-invent 2017 announcements , a quick look on the announcements and impact it’s already having in some of my customer discussions ….

  •  VMware Cloud™ on AWS is expanding availability from the U.S. West (Oregon) region to also include the AWS U.S. East (N. Virginia) region, and includes additional VMware capabilities and support for more AWS services, making it even easier for customers to move, run, and protect mission-critical applications at scale. Customers can now create VMware SDDCs in AWS US East (N. Virginia) region.
  • DRaaS : This use case is critical for customers , highlighting some of the use cases i see
    • Customers  already using VMware SRM (Site Recovery Manager)   and vSphere as their core technology  with all their people and process for their Business Continuity and DR.The DR site Hardware is up for maintenance and they don’ t further want to maintain the DR site.This was a perfect use case for this customer, with assessment of moving the DR to VMC , we showed the customer the value of moving the DR,keeping in view of no changes required on their people,process and methodology.
    • For some of the customers, having only single site and had been in planning phase to add DR , this announcement came at right time.
  • Seamless bi-directional application migration and hybrid networking : Why it matters  :
    • In my role, i meet diversified customers with different use cases and it feels great to provide our customers the choice.The question of mobility or should i say ” Challenge of Hybrid” for the obvious reasons of
      • Multiple Machine formats (Across on-prem and off-prem)
      • Skill-sets and tool chains
      • Networking  and security
      • Operational  Inconsistency
      • Monitoring and Reporting across the environments
    • I have been in discussion with a customer for long enough where a use case of application mobility with above technology meet the needs.Customer is into a business which seems huge spikes during festive season like Black Friday,Christmas,New year.Under such scenario, where customer shouldn’t be buying hardware just for this spike, the best approach presented was
      • The production  and dev  environment running on VMware and VxBlock (DellEMC’s Converged platform), having Compute blades and Storage.
      • Production environment needs extensive compute power and the best possible approach for this customer was to move the dev environment to VMC (VMware on AWS) as the festive season approaches .
      • This gives production environment all the compute for expansion.
      • This approach was presented to customer with a assessment report based on the outcomes,cost of running dev at VMC during the time-frame https://blogs.vmware.com/management/2017/08/vmc-assessment-with-vrbc.html VMC assessment helped customer  to identify the costs of migrating dev applications clusters / VMs from private cloud to AWS. Above screenshot provides an example of the overview on the assessment giving customer the end-state of VMC . A minimum of four hosts is required for VMware Cloud on AWS. Blue region on the hosts indicates the utilization level for the workloads to be migrated. The monthly costs for VMware Cloud on AWS are shown both in terms of utilization and total purchase costs. 1-year and 3-year subscription costs are added to the VMC assessment to help customers make informed decisions.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhCvGVtEdDc
      • Along with the VMware Cloud on AWS costs, the private cloud costs are shown with respect to actual and standard utilization. Standard utilization is based on running the infrastructure at optimal levels.
      • The above approach saved customer investment on-prem hardware expansion.
      • The above announcement made a perfect use case for this customer.

I would be further extending the use cases in the coming posts, result  of my customer interactions and discussions.

Importantly,  multiple ways to consume VMware Software  across the clouds, be it VVD (Vmware Validated Design,  Custom Cloud (BIY)  or SDDC vCF (VMware Cloud Foundation) are  playing an important role,  across on-prem and off-prem .

Private & Hybrid Cloud

  • De-Coupling Hardware and Software
  • Intelligence driven by the software
  • Engineered integration of the entire software-defined stack
  • Software lifecycle management that automates day 0 to day 2 operations
  • Time to Market
  • Automated deployment of a standardized VMware Validated Design (VVD)
  • Comes enabled out-of-the-box with vSphere encryption, vSAN encryption and NSX micro-segmentation

A recent announcement on Cloud Foundation 2.3

https://blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation/2017/12/05/introduction-vmware-cloud-foundation-2-3/

There are several deployment choices for VMware Cloud Foundation, including private cloud software deployments, engineered  systems, and subscription-based via cloud service providers.

SDDC Consumption

You would notice, the consumption models under private cloud i have highlighted are

vSAN ready nodes and engineered systems , which are different than integrated systems.

We will cover the deployment models in the next posts.

 

 

 

 

 

vRealize Automation 7.3 what’s new?

While there have been lot of blogs already focused on the vRA 7.3 announcement.let’s focus on the ones which were mostly awaited.

Parameterized Blueprints to Enhance Re-usability and Reduce Sprawl​

  • Introduced component profiles for defining both size and image attributes, enabling “T-shirt sizing” as a request item
    • Component profiles provided for image and virtual machine size including CPU, memory, and storage size
  • Efficiently manage blueprints by leveraging abstracted component profiles
  • Increase re-usability while significantly reducing blueprint sprawl
  • Trigger approval policies on size or image conditions
  • Import or export of component profiles using vRealize CloudClient
  • Automatically substitute component profile values

Policy-Based Optimization of Virtual Machine Placement

  • Maximize your infrastructure investment by optimizing placement.
  • Combine vRealize Automation governance with performance based insight to optimize placement
  • Place Virtual Machines according to performance goals, using multiple algorithms
    • Balance for maintaining maximum headroom in case of spikes
    • Consolidate to leave space for large workloads

Enhanced Control of NSX-Provisioned Load Balancers

NSX Security Group and Tag Management

  • Able to add existing NSX security groups or tags to a running application
  • Able to disassociate NSX security groups and tags from applications

High Availability Automated for NSX Edge Services

  • Edge high-availability mode in the blueprint provides high availability for all edge services to an application when it is deployed
  • Configurable per blueprint based on application availability needs
  • Use custom properties to determine high availability at request time
  • Adds high availability for load balancing, NAT, firewall, and so on

NSX Edge Size Selection

  • Able to specify deployment size for NSX Edge Services Gateway (ESG)
  • Configurable per-blueprint based on application needs or scale

Configuration Automation Framework – Puppet Integration

  • Configuration management as first-class citizen
    • Make plug-in invisible to customers and enable actions in the blueprint design canvas
    • Ability to drag-and-drop configuration management notes and dynamically assign roles on the design canvas
  • First implementation with Puppet
    • Register Puppet Master as an endpoint
    • Drag-and-drop Puppet node
    • Dynamically query Puppet Master, environment, and roles
  • Support late binding and early binding options
  • Support post-provisioning actions, such as unregister and delete

Improvements to Installation, Upgrade, Migration

  • New installation API extensions
    • Trigger initial content creation
    • Invoke self-signed certificate generation
    • Certificate replacement in vRealize Automation, IaaS web, and IaaS Microsoft SQL
  • New upgrade API extensions
    • List all available versions for upgrade
    • Get download status of upgrade packages
    • Do pre-upgrade check for the selected version
    • Get approximate upgrade time estimation
    • Get status progress of the upgrade
  • Migration
    • Automated migration from vRealize Automation 7.x to 7.3
  • Ability to a generate certificate signing request (CSR) in install wizard

REST API Improvements  (Important)

  • Use case based REST API samples using Postman for many of the commonly used vRealize Automation use cases now available on GitHub
  • New and Improved Swagger documentation for all of the vRealize Automation REST APIs available on code.vmware.com
  • Enhanced vRealize Automation Programming Guide providing information about the vRealize Automation REST APIs that is easier to use and navigate

Improvements to High Availability

  • Automated failover of PostgreSQL database
  • Automated failover of IaaS Manager Service
  • Enhanced RabbitMQ recovery
  • Support for multiple NICs in the vRealize Automation appliance

Enhanced vRealize Business for Cloud Integration – Cloud Management Platform

  • Consistent terminology across vRealize Automation and vRealize Business for Cloud
  • No derived costing in vRealize Automation – vRealize Business for Cloud is the single source of truth for all pricing information
  • Accurate pricing for fault-tolerant enabled machines and Azure blueprints
  • Pricing updated after these post-provisioning actions:
    • Reconfigure machine
    • Scale-in or scale-out
    • Import machine

Audit Logging

  • Audit logging framework object types:
    • Workflow Subscription
    • Fabric Groups
    • Endpoints (Infrastructure)
  • Send audit logs to vRealize Log Insight or syslog server using Log Insight agent
  • Configurable retention period

Syntax Highlighting for Software Life-cycle Scripts

  • Enhanced interface
    • Elegant syntax highlighting for software life-cycle scripts (app authoring)
    • Improves productivity and reduces scripting errors

Extended External IPAM Vendor Framework

  • Added support for on-demand NAT networks
  • Supports one-to-many and one-to-one static IP addresses

Endpoint Configuration Service – Streamlined Endpoint Management

  • Enhanced to support a schema-driven user interface
  • Provides greater capability, control, and a unified experience when managing endpoints in vRealize Automation
  • Allows configuration of endpoints that require inter-endpoint relationships
  • Enhanced UI controls and customer experience
    • NSX is now a separate endpoint, no longer part of the vSphere endpoint configuration
    • Endpoint configuration validation checks for valid URL, credentials, and certificates
    • Certification trust verification
    • Displays certificate details when an endpoint is using untrusted certificates
    • Ability to accept self-signed certificates

Azure Public Cloud Service Design Enhancements

  • Select, drag-and-drop software components on Azure machines in the blueprint designer
  • Specify software properties on the blueprint designer and on the request form
  • Pre-populated forms and dropdowns

vRealize Orchestrator Control Center RBAC

  • All users are able to log in, not just the root user
  • Trace execution and logs for workflow-based vRealize Automation requests, based on user role
  • Troubleshoot requests based on user role
  • Reuse and extend privileges and roles from vRealize Automation

IT Process Automation with Updated SDDC Support

  • All storage policy based objects are now accessible through API in vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation
  • New vCenter Server plug-in provided with vRealize Orchestrator
  • Updated AMQP, REST and PowerShell plug-ins

vRealize Automation and ServiceNow Enhancements

  • View and request AWS catalog items from the ServiceNow portal
  • Seamless integration with the ServiceNow governance engine
  • CMDB and post-provisioning actions support
  • Supported for vRealize Automation 7.3 and ServiceNow Helsinki and Istanbul

VMware Admiral Integration 

With the adoption of containers,Cloud-native,micro-services this enhances VMware commitment to developer community.

  • Supports collaboration between cloud administrators and development teams for traditional, containerized, and hybrid applications
  • Enables a balance between the operational control of traditional applications and the flexibility that containers offer
  • New capabilities including persistent volume support, improved container networking, and host management

VMware Announces vSAN 6.6

With the continued Success of HCI,Software defined and capabilities being driven by the software vs the hardware VMware further enhanced the features announcing vSAN 6.6.It’s a “patch” release for vSphere but a major version for vSAN.

The most significant new capabilities and updates of vSAN 6.6 include:

    • Native HCI Encryption
      vSAN offers the first native HCI encryption solution for data-at-rest, protecting critical data from unwanted access. vSAN encryption delivers lower costs and greater flexibility by being hardware agnostic and by offering simplified key management. No more requirements to deploy specific self-encrypting drives (SEDs). vSAN encryption is also built for compliance with support for 2-factor authentication (SecurID and CAC) and is the first HCI solution with a DISA-approved STIG.
    • Stretched Cluster with Local Site Protection
      New enhanced stretched clusters with local site protection provide protection against both site failures and local component failures at 50% lower cost than traditional solutions. With a comprehensive stretched cluster solution, you can extend the cost and simplicity benefits of HCI to your disaster recovery and business continuity needs.
    • vSAN Cloud Analytics
      With vSAN Cloud Analytics, you can decrease operational costs with pro-active, real-time support notifications and recommendations. The analytics tool can help provide recommendations for optimal performance and deliver custom, real-time alerts through vSAN Health Service with custom actionable insights and remediation recommendations.
    • Unicast Networking
      This one feature was so much looked by our customers.vSAN now supports unicast networking to help simplify your initial vSAN setup. You can utilize unicast for vSAN networking and there is no need to setup multicast anymore. This enables vSAN to be deployed in a wider set of on-premise and cloud environments without requiring network changes.
    • vSAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations
      The new vSAN Management Pack for VMware vRealize Operations Manager provides additional options for monitoring, managing and troubleshooting vSAN along with end-to-end infrastructure solutions. With the vSAN management pack, you can gain insights about the impact of vSAN in your infrastructure quickly, and bring your business greater efficiency in shorter time.
    • Always-On Protection with Enhanced Availability
      With new always-on protection features, vSAN keeps your applications running and available despite potential hardware challenges. New Degraded Device Handling (DDH) intelligently monitors the health of drives and proactively evacuates data before failures can happen. New smart drive rebuilds and partial rebuilds deliver faster recovery during hardware failures and decrease cluster traffic for greater performance.
    • Intelligent Operations and Lifecycle Management
      New intelligent operations and lifecycle management capabilities accelerate initial hardware setup, simplify software install, and deliver 1-click controller hardware lifecycle management for a more predictable hardware experience. You can reduce management time up to 80% for common tasks with 1-click automation.
    • Up to 50% Higher All-Flash Performance
      Optimized data services further extend vSAN’s performance advantage by delivering up to 50% more IOPS per all-flash host versus previous versions of vSAN, enabling over 150K IOPS per host. The increased performance helps accelerate mission critical applications and provides higher consolidation ratios for workloads.
    • Support of Next-Generation Workloads
      New validated architectures provide a proven path for deploying next-generation applications like Splunk, Big Data, and Citrix XenApp. In addition, vSAN for Photon is now available in Photon Platform 1.1 and a new Docker Volume Driver delivers support for multi-tenancy, policy based management, snapshots and clones.
    • Day 1 Support of New Hardware Technologies
      Customers can accelerate new hardware adoption with Day 1 support of the latest flash technologies, including solutions like the new Intel 3D XPoint NVMe SSDs. These solutions can deliver up to 250% greater performance for write-intensive applications. In addition, vSAN now offers larger caching drive options, including 1.6TB flash drives, so that customers can take advantage of the latest and larger capacity flash drives.

Look forward to more …..

What’s New -vSphere 6.5

  •  vCenter Server Appliance the fundamental building block of a vSphere 6.5 environment.
  • Capabilities such as vSphere host management (with a fully integrated vSphere Update Manager), file-based backup and recovery, native VCSA high availability.
  • API friendly eco-system – REST-based APIs for VM Management.
  • HTML5-based vSphere Client provides a modern user interface experience that is both responsive and easy to use.
  • VM-level disk encryption capability designed to protect against unauthorized data access.
  • Developers and Operations -Cohesive collaboration with Vmware Integrated Containers.
  • Secure Boot – Protection  from  both the hypervisor and guest operating system.
  • Live migrate workloads between VMware based clouds with Cross-Cloud vMotion.
  • Native Array vVol Replication.

vsphere-6-5

vsphere-6-5_p2