Video – What’s new in VMware Data Recovery 2.0

With VMware Data Recovery 2.0, VMware has extended the ability to quickly and simply protect and restore virtual machines. Fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server, VMware Data Recovery gives central management of backup and restore operations, and the inherent deduplication of data saves significant disk space and provides flexible options for storage. VMware Data Recovery 2.0 has introduced a number of improvements including performance enhancements, speed, and reliability improvements, as well as capabilities to enhance management with the ability to email reports and schedule maintenance windows.

Several fixes have been included that rectify issues found in VMware Data Recovery 1.2.1. Issues that have been resolved include:

• CIFS target handling and resilience
• Incremental RDM backup
• Backups failing with “not enough disk space” errors
• Backups failing with “disk full” error despite free space being available

VMware ESXCLI 5.0 Reference Poster

vSphere supports several command?line interfaces for managing your virtual infrastructure including the vSphere Command?Line Interface (vCLI), a set of ESXi Shell commands, and PowerCLI. You can choose the CLI set best suited for your needs, and write scripts to automate your CLI tasks.

The vCLI command set includes vicfg- commands and ESXCLI commands. The ESXCLI commands included in the vCLI package are equivalent to the ESXCLI commands available on the ESXi Shell. The vicfgcommand set is similar to the deprecated esxcfg- command set in the ESXi Shell.

You can manage many aspects of an ESXi host with the ESXCLI command set. You can run ESXCLI commands as vCLI commands or run them in the ESXi Shell in troubleshooting situations. You can also run ESXCLI commands from the PowerCLI shell by using the Get-EsxCli cmdlet. See the vSphere PowerCLI Administration Guide and the vSphere PowerCLI Reference. The set of ESXCLI commands available on a host depends on the host configuration. The vSphere Command?Line Interface Reference lists help information for all ESXCLI commands. Run esxcli --server <MyESXi> --help before you run a command on a host to verify that the command is defined on the host you are targeting.

You can use this link to get your copy of the VMware ESXi 5.0 Reference Poster.

Video – Metro vMotion in vSphere 5.0

vSphere 5 introduces a new latency-aware Metro vMotion feature that not only provides better performance over long latency networks but also increases the round-trip latency limit for vMotion networks from 5 milliseconds to 10 milliseconds. Previously, vMotion was supported only on networks with round-trip latencies of up to 5 milliseconds. In vSphere 4.1, vMotion is supported only when the latency between the source and destination ESXi/ESX hosts is less than 5 ms RTT (round-trip time). For higher latencies, not all workloads are guaranteed to converge. With Metro vMotion in vSphere 5.0, vMotion can be used to move a running virtual machine when the source and destination ESX hosts have a latency of more than 5ms RTT. The maximum supported round trip time latency between the two hosts is now 10ms. Metro vMotion is only available with vSphere Enterprise Plus license.

Related Video – Carter Shanklin’s WANatronic 10001

vSphere 5.0 finally available for download – Go get it

After days of waiting it’s finally here. The GA version of vSphere 5.0. It’s available for download at this link “Download VMware Sphere 5 ESXi”. Here’s the direct download link to vCenter 5. Visit the vSphere 5.0 Documentation Center to learn more about the product.

ESXi and vCenter Server 5.0 Documentation
vSphere 5 Command Line Documentation
vSphere Update Manager 5.0 Documentation
vCenter Orchestrator 4.2 Documentation
VMware Data Recovery 2.0 Documentation
vSphere API/SDK Documentation
vSphere 5 Additional Resources
PDF and E-book Product Documentation

I’m about to kick of the first VMware vSphere 5 What’s New training for a full class.  If you’re interested in attending this training there are more slots available here. I can assure you it’s two days of awesomeness. This hands-on training course explores new features in VMware vCenter Server 5.0 and VMware ESXi 5.0. Topics include VMware vSphere 5 installation and how to upgrade from vSphere 4.x to vSphere 5.0. vSphere 5.0 is the first version of vSphere to include only the ESXi hypervisor.

After this course, you should be able to do the following:

 - List and describe key enhancements in vSphere 5.0.
 - Upgrade a VMware deployment from vSphere 4.1 to vSphere 5.0.
 - Use the vSphere Web Client to manage a version 8 virtual machine.
 - Upgrade and manage a VMware vSphere VMFS-5 datastore.
 - Understand and configure profile-driven storage.
 - Create a datastore cluster and configure Storage DRS.
 - Monitor VMware vSphere High Availability.
 - Use the Linux-based VMware vCenter Server™ Appliance.
 - Use Image Builder to modify and export an image profile.
 - Use VMware vSphere Auto Deploy to install a stateless ESXi host.
 - List and describe key networking enhancements, including the VMware ESXi firewall and new features in distributed virtual switches.

If you don’t have that much experience there’s also a 5 days vSphere 5.0 Install Configure and Manage training course available. I’ve also recorded a lot of video tutorials while vSphere 5 was still in beta. Here’s a list with all my vSphere 5 articles and videos. Have fun with it!

vSphere 5 Video - Direct Console User Interface Access through SSH
Video - vSphere 5 User Defined Network Resource Pools
Video - Enabling NetFlow on vSphere 5 Distributed Switches
Video - How to setup a vSphere 5 Port Mirror
Video - vSphere Storage Appliance - How does it work?
Video - What's New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5
Video - What's New in vSphere 5 and vCenter Heartbeat 6.4
Video - What's New in VMware vShield 5.0 - Trust Your Cloud
vSphere 5 Video - ESXi Firewall Configuration
vSphere 5 Video - iSCSI User Interface support
vSphere 5 Video – The vSphere Web Client
What's New in VMware vSphere 5 - Technical Whitepapers
vSphere 5 Video - Storage DRS
What's New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5
vSphere 5 – New Training Courses: What's New [V5.0] and VCP5
vSphere 5 video - Migrating from ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.0
What's New in VMware vShield 5
vSphere 5 Video - EFI the Extensible Firmware Interface
vSphere 5 What's New - Profile Driven Storage
vSphere 5 What's New - High Availability (HA)
vSphere 5 What's New - Image Builder and Auto Deploy
vSphere 5 What's New - Storage Appliance (VSA)
vSphere 5 What's New - Storage DRS
New Book - VMware vSphere 5.0 Clustering Technical Deepdive (video)
What's New in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5

vSphere 5 Video – Direct Console User Interface Access through SSH

This video will show you an new vSphere 5 feature which enables you to get access to the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) through SSH instead of the ESXi physical console. Only users that are assigned the Administrator role can log in to the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI). To allow access to the direct console, add the user to the local administrators group. Enabling or disabling lockdown mode affects which types of users are authorized to access host services, but it does not affect the availability of those services. In other words, if the ESXi Shell, SSH, or Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) services are enabled, they will continue to run whether or not the host is in lockdown mode.

Configure Lockdown Mode

To increase the security of your ESXi hosts, you can put them in lockdown mode. When you enable lockdown mode, no users other than vpxuser have authentication permissions, nor can they perform operations against the host directly. Lockdown mode forces all operations to be performed through vCenter Server.

When a host is in lockdown mode, you cannot run vSphere CLI commands from an administration server,vfrom a script, or from vMA against the host. External software or management tools might not be able to retrieve or modify information from the ESXi host.

The root user is still authorized to log in to the direct console user interface when lockdown mode is enabled. Enabling or disabling lockdown mode affects which types of users are authorized to access host services, but it does not affect the availability of those services. In other words, if the ESXi Shell, SSH, or Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) services are enabled, they will continue to run whether or not the host is in lockdown mode.

vSphere 5 Video – ESXi Firewall Configuration

ESXi includes a firewall between the management interface and the network. To ensure the integrity of the host, VMware has reduced the number of firewall ports that are open by default. The ESXi firewall is enabled by default. At installation time, the firewall is configured to block incoming and outgoing traffic, except traffic for the default services. The firewall also allows Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) pings and communication with DHCP and DNS (UDP only) clients.

From the host Security Profile panel, you can configure firewall properties for this host. The Secuirty Profile panel lists the incoming and outgoing connections for the firewall and the port each service uses. The panel also displays the IP addresses that are allowed to connect for each service. You can modify the list of services and the allowed IP addresses for each service.

You can add supported services and management agents that are required to operate the host by adding ruleset files to the ESXi firewall configuration file directory /etc/vmware/firewall/. You open or close ports for these services by enabling or disabling the service on the host's security profile in the vSphere Client.

vSphere 5 Video – The vSphere Web Client

The vSphere Web Client, the Next-generation browser-based vSphere Client. A browser-based, fully-extensible, platform-independent implementation of the vSphere Client based on Adobe Flex. The vSphere 5.0 release includes both the new browser-based client and the Windows-based client available in prior releases. In this release, the browser-based client includes a subset of the functionality available in the Windows-based client, primarily related to inventory display and virtual machine deployment and configuration.

In this video I’ll show you how to log in to vCenter Server using the vSphere Web Client and manage your vSphere inventory. Before you can start to use the Web Client you first have to verify that the vCenter Server system is registered with the client. Just open a Web browser and enter the URL for the vSphere Web Client: http://server_name:8443/vsphere-client

The vSphere Web Client has improved immense comparing to the old Web Access interface and is completely rewritten in Adobe’s Flex. It’s supported on the following browsers:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 8
- Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6

To deploy virtual machines in the vCenter Server inventory, you can create a virtual machine or clone an existing virtual machine. It’s also possible to deploy a Virtual Machine from a Template with the vSphere Web Client. Deploying a virtual machine from a template creates a virtual machine that is a copy of the template. The new virtual machine has the virtual hardware, installed software, and other properties that are configured for the template.

USB devices attached to the client computer running the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere Client can be connected to a virtual machine and accessed within it.

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5 – Technical Whitepapers

 What's New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Storage

This paper focuses on the storage-specific features and enhancements that are available in vSphere 5.0 and provides an overview of how they optimize storage utilization, ease monitoring, and increase operational efficiency. Wherever possible, VMware will also provide use cases and requirements that might apply to these new functions.

 What's New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Performance

VMware vSphere 5.0, the best VMware solution for building cloud infrastructures, pushes further ahead in performance and scalability. vSphere 5.0 enables higher consolidation ratios with unequaled performance. It supports the build-out of private and hybrid clouds at even lower operational costs than before. This paper outlines many of these performance enhancements.

 What's New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Networking

With the release of VMware vSphere 5.0, VMware brings a number of powerful new features and enhancements to the networking capabilities of the vSphere platform. These new network capabilities enable customers to run business-critical applications with confidence and provide the flexibility to enable customers to respond to business needs more rapidly. All the networking capabilities discussed in this document are available only with the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch.

 What's New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Availability

VMware provides several features that can be leveraged to increase the availability of a virtualized environment. This paper presents these features as they apply to availability of the applications, the infrastructure, and the management platform.

 What's New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5 Technical Whitepaper

VMware vCloud Director is a software solution that enables enterprises and service providers to build clouds delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), giving end users the agility they demand, and giving IT the efficiency they require. Only VMware vCloud Director offers the cloud without compromise—the ability to run an efficient cloud securely within a datacenter, and the option to bridge to an ecosystem of over 3,000 service-provider partners.

 What's New in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.0 Technical Whitepaper

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager is the premier tool to enable you to build, manage and execute reliable disaster recovery plans for your virtual environment. Taking full advantage of the encapsulation and isolation of virtual machines, Site Recovery Manager enables simplified automation of disaster recovery. It helps meet recovery time objectives, reduces costs traditionally associated with business continuance plans and achieves low-risk and predictable results for recovery of a virtual environment. In this paper, we will provide an overview of the new capabilities of Site Recovery Manager 5.0.

 What's New in VMware Data Recovery 2.0 Technical Whitepaper

VMware Data Recovery 2.0 is the premier tool to enable quick and simple backup, storage, and recovery of virtual machines and files within the virtual environment. With the release of version 2.0, VMware has expanded the capabilities of VMware Data Recovery in the virtual environment to attain quicker and more reliable backups with better levels of integration with VMware vCenter Server and new manageability options. This paper presents an overview of the new capabilities of VMware Data Recovery 2.0.

 VMware vSphere Storage Appliance Technical Whitepaper

In VMware vSphere 5.0, VMware is releasing a new software storage appliance to the market called the vSphere Storage Appliance. This appliance provides an alternative shared storage solution for small-to-medium business customers who might not be in a position to purchase a SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure. Without shared storage configured in a vSphere environment, customers have not been able to exploit the unique features available in vSphere 5.0, such as vSphere High Availability, vSphere vMotion, and vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler. The VSA is designed to provide shared storage for everyone. This paper presents an overview of the VSA architecture, deployment of a VSA storage cluster, and basic monitoring and managing.

 What's New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Platform

VMware vSphere 5.0 introduces many improvements and new features to extend the benefits and capabilities of vSphere 4.1. These advancements build on the core capacities in vSphere to provide improved scalability; better performance; and easier provisioning, monitoring and troubleshooting. This paper focuses on the these new features and enhancements.

vSphere 5 Video – Storage DRS

So what’s the fuzz about this new vSphere 5 Storage DRS feature? This feature delivers the DRS benefits of resource aggregation, automated initial placement, and bottleneck avoidance to storage. You can group and manage similar datastores as a single load-balanced storage resource called a datastore cluster. Storage DRS makes VMDK placement and migration recommendations to avoid I/O and space utilization bottlenecks on the datastores in the cluster. Storage DRS takes care of the initial placement of virtual machines and VMDK files. This placement is based on Space and I/O capacity. Storage DRS will select the best datastore to place this virtual machine or virtual disk in the selected Datastore Cluster. When Storage DRS is set to fully automatic, it will do automated load balancing actions. Of course this can be configured as manual as well and that is actually the default today. Load balancing again is based on space and I/O capacity. If and when required Storage DRS will make recommendations based space and I/O capacity. It will however only do this when a specific threshold is reached. I’ve recorded a video which will show you how to:

- Configure a Datastore Cluster
- Set Storage DRS Automation Level
- Set Storage DRS Runtime Rules
- Create a Storage DRS Scheduled Task
- Using Storage DRS Rules
- Edit Virtual Machine Settings for a Datastore Cluster
- Apply Storage DRS Recommendations
- Add Storage to a Datastore Cluster

A datastore cluster is a collection of datastores aggregated into a single unit of consumption for an administrators. When a datastore cluster is created, Storage DRS can manage the storage resources comparable to how DRS manages compute resources in a cluster.  As with a cluster of hosts, a datastore clusters is used to aggregate storage resources, enabling smart and rapid placement of new virtual machines and virtual disk drives and load balancing of existing workloads. When you create a VM you will be able to select a Datastore Cluster as opposed to individual datastores. Storage DRS provides initial placement recommendations to datastores in a Storage DRS-enabled datastore cluster based on I/O and space capacity.

During the provisioning of a virtual machine, a datastore cluster can be selected as the target destination for this virtual machine or virtual machine disk after which a recommendation for initial placement is done based on I/O and space capacity. Initial Placement in a manual provisioning process has proven to be very complex in most environments and as such important provisioning factors like current I/O load or space utilization are often ignored. Storage DRS ensures initial placement recommendations are made in accordance with space constraints and with respect to the goals of space and I/O load balancing. Although people are really excited about automated load balancing, it is Initial Placement where most people will start off with and where most people will benefit from the most as it will reduce operational overhead associated with the provisioning of virtual machines.

Ongoing balancing recommendations are made when one or more datastores in a datastore cluster exceeds the user-configurable space utilization or I/O latency thresholds. These thresholds are typically defined during the configuration of the datastore cluster.  Storage DRS utilizes vCenter Server’s datastore utilization reporting mechanism to make recommendations whenever the configured utilized space threshold is exceeded. I/O load is evaluated by default every 8 hours currently with a default latency threshold of 15ms.  Only when this I/O latency threshold is exceeded Storage DRS will calculate all possible moves to balance the load accordingly while considering the cost and the benefit of the migration. If the benefit doesn’t last for at least 24 hours, Storage DRS will not make the recommendation.

vSphere 5 video – Migrating from ESX 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

This video will show you how to install ESXi 5.0 on a drive with an existing ESX 4.1 installation and VMFS datastore present. ESXi 5.0 uses the same installer for fresh installations and upgrades. If the installer finds an existing ESX 4.x or ESXi 4.x installation, it allows you to performs an upgrade.

During this upgrade, the ESXi installer will offer several options for preserving or discarding existing ESX host settings and VMFS datastores. If an earlier version of ESX and VMFS was found by the installer, it will show you the selected storage device contains an installation of ESX and a VMFS datastore. You can choose whether to upgrade or install and overwrite the existing installation. You can also choose whether to preserve or overwrite the existing VMFS datastore. After upgrading from ESX  4.1 to ESXi 5.0, only the relevant settings will be migrated.