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.
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.
As we know, VMware‘s first attempt in the field of hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL, was a good quality software product set, which nevertheless failed because of the licensing policy. Specifically, it demanded that buyers acquire new vSphere licences, with no exception for existing vSphere users who liked the idea of adopting hyperconverged infrastructure.
When time comes to deciding whether to go with vSphere Distributed Switch or Cisco Nexus 1000v it is hard to tell which product is superior and you find many different and quite contradictory opinions.
While quite often it is the political decision based on the answer to the question “Who is going to manage the virtual networking?” there are many other aspects you, as an infrastructure designer, should be aware of.
Recently VMware announced End of Sale of Nexus 1000v which caused some confusion amongst clients. I know customers who were pretty sure Cisco discontinued Nexus 1000v, but rest assured, Cisco is still fully committed to continue development of virtual networking and to support Nexus 1000v in the latest and future versions of vSphere.
Many of you know that VMware has a technology called vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC). It involves launch of Docker (and others) virtualized containers in small virtual machines with a lightweight operating system based on Linux distribution.
This operating system is VMware Photon OS 1.0, which has been finally released just recently. This is the first release version of this operating system from VMware, but in the long view it can become the main platform for virtual appliances by replacing the everlasting SUSE Linux.
You may know that memory page deduplication technology Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) becomes useless with large memory pages (it’s even disabled in the latest versions of VMware vSphere). However, this doesn’t mean that TPS goes into the trash bin, because when lacking resources on the host-server, ESXi may break large pages into small ones and deduplicate them afterwards. In the process, the large pages are prepared for deduplication beforehand: in case the memory workload grows up to a certain limit the large pages a broken into small ones and then, when the workload peaks, forced deduplication cycle is activated.
Many of you have heard of Virtual Volumes (VVols) storage technology, which allows essential increasing of storage I/O performance within VMware vSphere environment by using logical volumes for certain virtual machines components and transferring of some storage operations to disk arrays.
Snapshots in VMware vSphere often cause various problems with configurations and performance, unless they are properly used – for live backup of virtual machines and temporary keeping VM configuration before the update.
However, using them in large infrastructures is unavoidable. At some point you may need to delete/consolidate virtual machine snapshots (Delete All button in Snapshot Manager), which is quite time-consuming and demanding in terms of storage performance. Thus it would be a good thing to know in advance how much time it takes.