VMware vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO) – how does it work?
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on November 8, 2017
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VMware has recently released VMware vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO), a handy document that highlights the VAIO I/O Filtering technology operational principles. Here, we shed light on them briefly and discuss how VAIO can be implemented in a production environment.

VAIO is a technology and an API providing the direct access to the virtual machines’ guest OS I/O Stream. VAIO is already employed in partner products for maintaining various tasks (i.e., caching write-back and write-through). VAIO is based on the Storage Policy Based Management framework, dedicated to managing virtual machines storages and set the storage rules.

VAIO filter driver installed on a VMware ESXi host as a VIB package

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What is Veeam Powered Network (VeeamPN) and why you need it?
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on September 28, 2017
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This spring, during VeeamON 2017, Veeam Software presented Veeam Powered Network (VeeamPN), their first solution in the field of enterprise networking.

Veeam PN is a simple tool for establishing VPN between all parts of a distributed infrastructure: the headquarters, remote and branch offices, employees working remotely, etc. This solution is based on the OpenVPN technology. It serves as a virtual machine, running in Microsoft Azure (Veeam PN Server) or client’s private cloud, with the components on customer’s sites (Veeam PN Gateway):

Veeam Powered Network for Azure

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Setting statistics collection levels for the VMware vCenter Server and estimating the size of its database
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on July 3, 2017
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Very often, VMware vSphere administrators have to find the reasons of performance issues by analyzing the historical data of various metrics on the VMware vCenter Server. However, sometimes the default set of metrics is not enough if you view performance data for the previous night or the end of the past week – in this case, you need to change the level of collected metrics and, possibly, the frequency of their collection and retention.

In the VMware vCenter Server settings, you can set the data collection levels, different collection intervals and the time period that the data will be stored on the Server. In addition, you can set an approximate size of the virtual infrastructure in the host servers and virtual machines, which will allow to roughly estimate the size of the vCenter database. Let’s take a closer look at these settings.

vCenter Server Settings Statistics

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What’s new in VMware Horizon 7.1 for VDI infrastructure users?
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on March 31, 2017
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VMware has recently released an update to its main platform for enterprise virtual and physical desktops infrastructure management – VMware Horizon 7.1. More than six months has passed since the release of the previous Horizon 7.0.2 version, and a whole year since the release of the major Horizon 7.

During this time, VMware managed to carry out a lot of interesting and useful developments, such as Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP) and Instant Clones technology improvements, so let’s take a look at the list of the main new Horizon 7.1 capabilities, which can come in handy in your enterprise VDI infrastructure:

Horizon 7.1 New Platform Features

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What is Smart Policies and how it works in VMware Horizon 7 infrastructure
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on February 21, 2017
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As administrators of VMs infrastructure based on VMware Horizon 7 well know, the last version of VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 (UEM) solution provides an interesting feature – Smart Policies. This functionality allows customization of user environment on a virtual desktop, depending on various conditions, such as the location from which the user logs in.

VMware User Environment Manager Management Console

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Encryption of VMware vSphere 6.5 virtual machines and vMotion migrations. And their performance
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on January 26, 2017
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As many admins of virtual infrastructures know, for the first time ever, VMware vSphere 6.5 received the long awaited encryption feature of both virtual disks content and vMotion hot migrations.

The VMs encryption works based on AES-NI algorithm, and the key management is carried out based on KMIP 1.1 standard. When I/O operation comes to the disk of the virtual machine, it is immediately encrypted on-the-fly, which provides complete security against data security attack.

Virtual machine Encryption How it works

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3 useful tricks with VMware vCenter Server Appliance
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on December 29, 2016
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As is well-known, VMware has released a new version of virtual VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 in the new version of vSphere 6.5 platform. Now vCSA is Photon OS-based. It works faster; it is provided with built-in high availability tools and has a ready-to-use vCenter Update Manager (VUM).

Due to the numerous changes, many familiar features don’t work anymore, and the information below will help you to get back to the normal use of vCSA.

  1. How to turn on Bash Shell and use WinSCP for vCSA

If you try to access vCSA server with WinSCP to download or upload files there, you won’t be able to do that:

vCSA server with WinSCP

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Recent news for VMware Tools packages for VMware vSphere 6.5
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on November 29, 2016
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Starting from VMware Tools 10.0 version, VMware has done these packages downloadable separately from VMware ESXi distributions. They are available here. To see the active VMware Tools version installed in your VM, simply look at VM properties in vSphere Client:

VM properties in vSphere Client

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VMworld Europe 2016 main announcements – all you need to know about new versions of VMware products in just one article
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on November 1, 2016
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Just recently one of the main virtualization conferences VMworld Europe 2016 has finished. Traditionally, it has been held a while after the main VMworld in the USA. While in the USA VMware was speaking about the new technologies and the future of datacenters, in Europe much more attention was paid to the new features of updated VMware products. The main of them is, of course, VMware vSphere 6.5 server virtualization platform. We’ll start our overview with it.

vSphere 6.5 introducing

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VMware Horizon FLEX. The architecture and the key features
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on October 20, 2016
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As far back as 2 years ago at VMworld Europe 2014 conference VMware announced the release of the VMware Horizon FLEX solution. It is a virtualization platform for desktops, which allows running virtual machines locally on users’ computers, both on Mac and with Windows, while connection to the company’s datacenter isn’t available. At the same time, the virtual machine utilized by the user can be Windows-based or have guest OS Linux inside.

Many virtual infrastructures administrators still remember that before VMware had VMware ACE and VMware View Local Mode products, which passed long ago and now have been replaced with FLEX technology. Since VMware Horizon FLEX 1.9 version, as well as the new versions of Workstation and Fusion desktop platforms, has been released just recently, let’s look closer at the FLEX solution and consider its key features.

VMware Horizon FLEX isn’t a standalone product, but a mixed technology based on three solutions:

three solutions of VMware Horizon FLEX

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