Yet another “I’ve got a new job” blog post

So I think I seen someone say on Twitter its silly season as we enter the winter period with people announcing they are moving jobs etc. And given the number of tweets about new jobs and blog posts, I think they are correct.

Well I won’t drag this out.

I’m joining VMware as a Technical Account Manager in December working across the UK. Over the past few years my focus or rather enjoyment of my roles, has been around the customer and building strategies with them. So this role fits in nicely especially for a company whose products I’ve tried my best to specialise in for the past few years.

Thanks to all those who have helped me in my journey or simply just said “don’t worry, you’ll smash the interview”.

Onwards and upwards.

Image Source

 

Regards

Dean


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This blog has been rebranded

Hi All,

So after owning the vEducate.co.uk domain for a while, I’ve finally got around to re-branding the blog and even produced a basic logo.

I’ll retain educationalcentre.co.uk and redirect to the new domain, so that anyone who crops up on my older links can still find me!

I will probably write-up a post soon detailing the process of changing the domain name and what broke 😀 Thanks to those who helped me get it up and running yesterday.

 

Regards

Dean


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Upgrading VMware vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6.5 (VMUG Presentation)

Blog post born from a VMUG Presentation

Mid Feb, one of the London VMUG leaders posted on twitter, looking for someone to present on the subject of “upgrading from vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6.5”.

So I jumped at the chance, kind of, and offered to present. This blog post covers the content from that presentation.

  • vSphere 5.5 – End of Support
  • vSphere 6.5 – New features
  • OK, so let’s just upgrade then?
  • The plugin’s
  • SSO is gone!
  • Understand your topologies
  • Pre-Upgrade Tasks
  • The Upgrade, the big event
  • Gotcha’s
  • VSAN Considerations
  • vShield Manager is no more! Upgrade to NSX Manager
  • Resources

The presentation is available to download here – http://vexpert.me/London-vmug-dean (case sensitive link)

Or I’ve figured out how to embed it from Slideshare.net below (But animations don’t seem to work);

vSphere 5.5 – End of Support
  • End of General Support for vSphere 5.5 is September 19, 2018
    • Includes vCenter 5.5, ESXi 5.5, VSAN 5.5
    • KB 51491
  • In the event you are unable to upgrade before the End of General Support (EOGS) and are active on Support and Subscription, you have the option to purchase extended support in one year increments for up to two years beyond the EOGS date.
    • Expect this to be more costly than general support.
    • SLA’s are more akin to that of basic support rather than production support
    • Annual security patch. Includes catastrophic/critical security fixes only
    • Ability to create hot patches for Severity 1 issues only
  • Technical Guidance for vSphere 5.5 is available until September 19, 2020 primarily through the self-help portal.
  • During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted.
    • For example, there was no SPECTRE/Meltdown security patches released for vSphere 5.1

It’s not only the core vSphere 5.5 products that are affected, as we can see from the End-of-Support tracking page provided by virten.net. There are other VMware solutions that you have deployed that may also need upgrading.

Continue reading Upgrading VMware vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6.5 (VMUG Presentation)

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VMworld Europe 2017 – Day 1

11,000 people (the most ever), have descended upon Barcelona this week for the annual European VMware conference. This year sees the event brought forward from October to September, and only a week or so after their flagship Las Vegas Event.

Depending on your relationship with VMware, and for many, the Tuesday of VMworld is day 1. However if you are a partner it’s probably day 3, and if you are a TAM customer, day 2.

  • Partners can take part in onsite training on Sunday, to assist VSP and VTSP certifications, and on the Monday its Partner day, a keynote and dedicated sessions focused on enablement.
  • TAM Customers have their own dedicated sessions as well as a keynote as well. These are the customers closest to VMware for a variety of reasons.

The announcements

Ok, so lets summarise todays key announcements. VMware is now at the point where it is able to deliver the following;

  • Modernize Data Centers
  • Integrate Public Clouds
  • Empower the Digital Workspace
  • Transform Security

And these are the priorities in which they have been working towards in their strategy and product releases over the past few years.

  • VMware Cloud Provider Program – empowering partners to drive the innovation in technology, with customers finding it easier to deploy and utilize hybrid cloud environments.
    • VMware’s HCX technology to enable multi-cloud and multi-site application migration and portability – this is for the always on environments that have struggled to migrate in the past.

  • VMware vRealize Suite will be getting further updates, I expect more on Wednesday about this.
    • Tighter integration between the products of the vRealize stack, and VSAN.
    • Expect to see more workings with AWS and Azure now they have solutions running on them as well (VMC on AWS, Horizon on Azure).
  • VMware vSphere Integrated Containers 1.2 – the latest updates will push more robustness into the solution, and allow companies to scale further.
  • VMware Mobile Security Alliance Partners – under the digital workspace term, this is VMware’s big push and it wont stop soon. VMware is king of the DC, but they want a slice of whats outside the DC as well.
  • VMware vCloud NFV platform – there is now going to be a specific OpenStack for NFV.
    • Targeted at Communications Service Providers it will enable them to quickly and reliably deploy and upgrade OpenStack NFV environments—allowing them to accelerate service delivery, simplify management, increase agility and service security and readily develop new revenue streams.

 

You can now see the full day 1 announcements on the below YouTube link.

My sessions

I’ll be collating my sessions notes separately after the event.

Further information

Make sure you follow the hastags #vmworld and #vmworld2017 on twitter, to get an update from the community, its the best way to follow all the individual announcements and see what’s happening during session as well.

For other blogs etc around the web visit;

Accelerating Enterprise Transformation: a Perspective on VMworld 2017 Europe

https://blog.cloud.vmware.com/s/content/a1y6A000000eAvvQAE/introducing-vmwares-hcx-technology/

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First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

Following on with the setup guide of the Nimble Secondary Flash Array, I am going to go through the deployment options, and the settings needed for implementation with Veeam Backup and Replication.

What will be covered in this blog post?

  • Quick overview of the SFA
  • Deployment Options
    • Utilizing features of Veeam with the SFA
    • Using a backup repository LUN
  • Best practices to use as backup repository
    • Veeam Proxy – Direct SAN Access
    • Creating your LUN on the SFA for use as a backup repository
    • Setting up your backup repository in Veeam
    • vPower NFS Service on the mount server
    • Backup Job settings
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Backup Job – Nimble Storage Primary Snapshot – Configure Secondary destinations for this job
    • Encryption – Don’t do it in Veeam!
  • Viewing data reduction savings on the Nimble Secondary Storage
  • Summary

My test lab looks similar to the below diagram provided by Veeam (Benefits of using Nimble SFA with Veeam).

Quick overview of the SFA

The SFA is essentially the same as the previous Nimble Storage devices before it, the same hardware and software. But with one key difference, the software has been optimized against data reduction and space-saving efficiencies, rather than for performance. Which means you would purchase the Nimble CS/AF range for production workloads, with high IOP performance and low latency. And the SFA would be used for your DR environment, backup solution, providing the same low latency to allow for high-speed recovery, and long-term archival of data.

Deployment options

With the deployment of an SFA, you are looking at roughly the same deployment options as the CS/AF array for use with Veeam (This blog, Veeam Blog). However with the high dedupe expectancy, you are able to store a hell of a lot more data!

So the options are as follows;

  1. iSCSI or FC LUN to your server as a Veeam Backup Repo.
    • Instant VM Recovery
    • Backup Repository
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Virtual Labs
  2. Replication Target for an existing Nimble.
    • Utilizing Veeam Storage Integration
      • Backup VMs from Secondary Storage Snapshot
      • Control Nimble Storage Snapshot schedules and replication of volumes

If we take option one, we open up a few options directly with Veeam. You can use the high IOPs performance and low latency, for features such as Instant VM recovery, where by the Veeam Backup and Replication server hosts an NFS datastore to your virtual environment and spins up a running copy of your recovered virtual machine quickly with little fuss.

Continue reading First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

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