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Virtual workload migration with VMware
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on March 27, 2017
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It is quite surprising how many companies migrate virtual workload nowadays. There could be different reasons – expiring contract with the service provider, move to the new office, consolidation of resources to minimize Capex and Opex, but in every case, companies need efficient and flexible V2V migration solution.

Very often people think of migration in terms of moving data from one place to another. However, migration is much more than that. For instance, you would probably want VMs to keep the same IP addresses after the migration. Which means you need to consider stretching VLANs between the source and target locations in case you cannot migrate all VMs in particular subnet in one go. You must plan a network cutover too.

Cross-vCenter vMotion

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vSphere 6.5: HA & DRS improvements. Part 2
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on March 3, 2017
5/5 (1)

In Part II we will review the remaining improvements in vSphere Availability and Resource Management brought by vSphere 6.5.

Challenge: HA Restart priorities are not flexible enough

Description

Modern applications can be very complex and may consist of more than one server. Very often multi-tier applications require specific restart order, e.g. classic scheme DB – App – Web.  For instance, if an application server powers on before the database server the application will fail to start. To make it worse, there is no guarantee that the application server will automatically recover after DB server is powered on.  Sometimes the application server will have to be rebooted to restore the service. Moreover, there could be inter-application dependencies which make the situation even more complicated.

DRS in vSphere 6.5 view

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vSphere 6.5: HA & DRS improvements. Part I
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on March 2, 2017
5/5 (3)

A number of improvements that have been introduced in vSphere HA and DRS in the last several years are impressive. vSphere 6.5 continues this tradition by bringing new features into HA Admission Control, by adding flexibility with HA Orchestrated Restart and by enabling DRS to make more intelligent balancing.

I will be trying a new format today. First, I will be explaining the challenges you might have had in previous vSphere releases and then I will show you how the new vSphere 6.5 HA & DRS features address those challenges.

vSphere admission control cluster resource percentage

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vCenter Server High Availability Review – Part 2
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on November 25, 2016
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In this second part of VCHA review I will be covering some ‘gotchas’ and configuration steps that are not covered in the VMware availability guide We will also go through all steps of Advanced Configuration.

Managment cluster

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vCenter Server High Availability Review – Part 1
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on November 24, 2016
4.83/5 (6)

VCHA overview

High Availability for vCenter Server has never been as important as today when there are so many products dependant on vCenter, e.g. VMware NSX, vSAN, Horizon View, etc.

VMware tried different approaches to bring HA to the vCenter.

There has been vSphere HA for a long time. Although it can protect vCenter Server from hardware failure it doesn’t provide protection on the Guest OS level. So, if Postgres DB in vCenter Server Appliance gets corrupted you would have to restore vCSA from a backup copy or rebuild it from the scratch.

standard topology of VCHA

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Back to basics – RAID types
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on November 8, 2016
5/5 (2)

If you ever worked in IT, you have heard the acronym RAID.  RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (some call it Inexpensive) Disks. So, it basically refers to a group of disk logically presented as one or more volumes to the external system – a server, for instance.

The main two reasons to have RAID are Performance and Redundancy.  With RAID, you can minimize the access time and increase the throughput of data. RAID also allows one or more disks in the array to fail without losing any data.

hot spare disk

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The latest updates in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on October 18, 2016
4.88/5 (8)

 

This day has come – vSphere 6.5 has been just announced. As many of you I have been waiting for the presentation of new vSphere during VMworld event in the USA, but I guess VMware preferred to use vSphere 6.5 as a treat for those who were in doubt whether to attend VMworld Europe or not after all VMworld US were made available online to everyone; or perhaps VMware hasn’t decided what features should be included into the GA release.

In this post, I will try to cover all new features of vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5, but if I missed something feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.

To be honest, there is so much to talk about and some of the new features require separate posts to be explained properly. Therefore, please don’t expect detailed review of the every single feature.. This is more ‘What’s new in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5′ overview, but in the future posts I will be talking about some of the most interesting improvements and enhancements in detail.

DB/File replication
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vSphere Auto Deploy
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on August 22, 2016
5/5 (1)

The Auto Deploy is one of the underestimated vSphere features. I have seen many vSphere Designs where using Auto Deploy was outlined as overcomplicating and manual build of ESXi servers was preferred. That is pretty frustrating as we, as IT professionals, strive to automate as much as possible in our day to day work.

Configuring Auto Deploy is definitely not as simple as VSAN for instance, but using Auto Deploy really pays off when you manage hundreds and thousands of ESXi hosts.

ESXi Offline Bundle

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Choosing ideal mini server for a home lab
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on August 11, 2016
5/5 (7)

Yesterday I saw a blog post in Homelab subreddit discussing what Intel NUC to choose. I have spent quite some time recently to choose the right server for my homelab expansion and I have considered a lot of options.

I was also looking at Intel  NUC as many other fellow IT professionals, but luckily last month I read on Tinkertry.com that Supermicro had just released new Mini-1U SuperServers – SYS-E300-8D and SYS-E200-8D.  I had some discussions with my colleagues and other people on Reddit and TinkerTry and I came to the conclusion that if you are aimed to run home lab for virtualization Intel NUC shouldn’t be considered. I believe SuperMicro is a new king on the market of mini servers for home lab.

SYS-E200-8D
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vSphere Replication traffic isolation
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on July 27, 2016
5/5 (2)

vSphere Replication has proved to be a great bonus to any paid vSphere license. It is an amazing and simple tool that provides cheap and semi-automated Disaster Recovery solution. Another great use case for vSphere Replication is migration of virtual machines.

vSphere Replication 6.x came with plenty of new useful features:

  • Network traffic compression to reduce replication time and bandwidth consumption
  • Linux guest OS quiescing
  • Increase in scalability – one VRA server can replicate up to 2000 virtual machines
  • Replication Traffic isolation – that is what we are going to talk today.

The goal of traffic separation is to enhance network performance by ensuring the replication traffic does not impact other business critical traffic. This can be done either by using VDS Network Input Output Control to set limits or shares for outgoing or incoming replication traffic. Another benefit of traffic isolation addresses security concern of mixing sensitive replication traffic with other traffic types.

the replication traffic flow
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