With the release of vSphere 6.5 there is really no reason anymore to stick with the old school Windows vCenter; finally the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) has become a first class citizen and the preferred implementation solution for the most important vSphere infrastructure compnent. This was already made clear by VMware when in 2016 they released a tool to easily migrate a Windows vCenter 5.5 to VCSA 6.0 U2 and with vSphere 6.5 the migration from an older Windows vCenter server is one of the officially supported upgrade paths.

Although not new – it was inherited from v 6.0 – one of the best features of the VCSA 6.5 is it’s ease of upgrade. I tested it myself in the homelab taking advantage of the first maintenance release (6.5a) which was released last week bringing support to NSX 6.3.

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When it was launched, vRealize Operations Manager was immediately perceived by its user base as a complete rework of its predecessor, vCenter Operations Manager. Changes were introduced not only in terms of features and capabilities, but also in the product’s architecture. Having hit version 6.2 and incorporating even some functionalities inherited by Hyperic, vROps is now definitely a mature product, which makes it an essential and indispensable component of any modern VMware virtualization infrastructure.

In this article I will try to cover most of the design considerations that need to be made when facing a vROps implementation scenario; I don’t mean to cover all the facets of the “vROps Design Dilemma”, neither will I go too much in depth analyzing all the possible design considerations. Nevertheless I hope to give you enough food for thought to succeed with your vROps implementation.

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Today it is my pleasure to review a book, specifically “vSphere Design Best Practices”, recently published by PACKT Publishing and written by Brian Bolander and Christopher Kusek (the latter well known as @cxi in the virtualization community).

I consider myself a seasoned VMware infrastructures administrator, now aiming at becoming a better designer and – as part of this evolutionary process – I am looking for good material to study for the VCAP-DCD certification. So, when I had the opportunity to put my hands on this new book I made sure not to miss it.

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ds713_smallI have recently purchased a Synology DS713+ unit as I needed a reliable storage solution for my new “all physical” vSphere Home Lab. Synology has a great reputation for quality, features and performances and it is one of the manufacturers of choice among home labbers. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that the DS7123+ comes with full VAAI capabilities at a reasonable price (I was able to find it for less than 400 Euros without disks).

I will spare you all the fancy stuff about the unboxing, the initial configuration and the detailed (and indeed impressive) features list and I will go straight to the point: I will show you how I managed to correctly set up a fully VAAI backed iSCSI DataStore for my ESXi 5.5 U1 hosts, after some trial and error: unfortunately the Synology documentation is a bit lacking on this topic and it took me a few attempts before I succeeded to do it correctly.

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For my current job I work a lot with NexentaOS (an OpenSolaris based distribution) VMs. Today I had to validate the procedure to upgrade VMware Tools on such VMs for a customer and came across some interesting issues.

Follow me…
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This post should hopefully be the first one in a series revolving around my new vSphere homelab. I have been running vSphere nested labs for quite a while, self-built or using the mighty Autolab, but recently I had both the need and the opportunity to put together a small “all-physical” lab. I will publish a post in the coming weeks with more details about its architecture and setup (hey! I’m still building it!) but I decided to pull the trigger and document a little inconvenience I managed to overcome quite easily. I hope you might find this info useful!

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07. June 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Technology · Tags: , , ,

In the last few years virtualization technologies have changed dramatically and irreversibly the way modern Data Centers are designed, implemented and managed. In modern DCs, virtual to physical ratios are growing constantly, due to the commonly accepted evidence that every workload is now a candidate for successful virtualization: cases where 100% of the systems are virtual are not uncommon anymore.

This clearly requires a different approach to many – if not all – the tasks that fall into the Operations area. Backup and Replication are probably the two tasks that more than any other have changed as a consequence of the opportunities that virtualization has presented to infrastructure designers, engineers and administrators.

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