Tuesday, May 22, 2018

vMotion Between CPUs

With the release of vSphere 6.7, and the ability to have EVC on a per VM level instead of a per cluster level raise some questions.

Before we start here is an article on how to check what level of EVC to use here.

One of the questions often asked, does vMotion works across newer CPUs in the same generation without an EVC cluster?

If you follow this KB, in the last paragraph:

Once the virtual machine is power cycled:
  • They are only able to move to other ESX/ESXi hosts that are at the same CPU generation or newer.

What this state means if you have a new server with a new CPU generation, technically you can perform a vMotion without having the VM in an EVC cluster.

However, there are cases where vMotion will fail even the CPU is of the same generation due to an older version of VM hardware which has a more stringent check. As stated here, due to the destination host with a newer CPU with ISA extension not found on the source host.

In the above case, vMotion will still fail without having the VM in an EVC cluster unless the VM is upgraded with a newer version of VM hardware.

In a good practice, when upgrading your vSphere environment, upgrade your VMware Tools and VM hardware as much as possible. Often than not, I have seen many environments with old VMware Tools and VM hardware but of a newer version vSphere environment.

In any of which, both upgrading of VM hardware and placing a cluster or a VM (in vSphere 6.7) in an EVC mode, require a power cycle (note the difference, not a restart).

Saturday, May 5, 2018

VMUG Singapore by VMware and HPE

If you are in Singapore, do remember to register for VMUG Singapore event sponsored by VMware and HPE.

Look for the event details here.

This is not going to be the usual evening session but going to start at 2pm coming Friday, 11th May. There will be several sessions on the updated release from VMware and HPE and a networking session, vBeer to interact with fellow professionals as well as a chance for you to find out more what VMware and HPE are cooking.

We will also have our special guest Don Sullivan, author of Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere.

So don't look further, if you are in town, Join Us!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New in Software Defined Compute in vSphere 6.7

Today marks the release of the next iteration of vSphere. Most changes are the improvement of existing features and that includes what is embedded together with ESXi which is vSAN.

First, vCenter Appliance will support Single Sign On domain with embedded PSC with Hybrid Linked mode. During this release, support for the upgrade with older vCenter Server with External PSC will not be possible at release. External PSC setup is still supported. There is a Hybrid Linked Mode which will support on prem vCenter Server 6.7 with VMware Cloud on AWS vCenter Server 6.5. Lastly, this is also the last release support for vCenter Windows Server as mentioned in the last release.

There will be a backup tool and can be scheduled to help manage vCenter recovery process.
In terms of migration to vCSA, the migration tool allows asynchronize background process to reduce the amount of downtime.

The HTML5 Client (Clarity UI) has not feature priority up to 95%, up from version 6.5. You can now operate almost everything not limited to Content Library, Storage Policies, and vDS Topology Diagram to name a few. VM encryption also has more granular control to allow further customization. TLS 1.2 will be default used.

Update Manager is completely using Clarity UI.

For ESXi, the biggest change here is a new feature, "Quick Boot". This removes the need to reboot the server to the hardware boot screen but only reboot at the hypervisor level. This definitely save lots of time. Don't you hate the point to keep waiting for every single hardware device test to be done before you even reach the hypervisor or OS. To enjoy this, you need to be at least on 6.5 and upgrade to 6.7.

In terms of security, TPM is used to ensure hardware root trust with Secure Boot (in vSphere 6.5) validate boot loader and VMkernel. With the support of Windows 10 and Server 2016, VBS and Credential Guard is also supported. vTPM is also support for VM. However, do note that this requires the upgrade to the newer vHardware.

vSphere will also support Nvidia GRID for normal server VM. Suspend and resume is 
Instant clone is another big feature

One big enhancement is on EVC. From a per cluster level, you are now able to do it on a Per VM. That really make life really much easier if you do use EVC.

Check out the details here.

Update 19th Apr
Fault Tolerance now supports per VM 8vCPU and 128GB of memory. Check out https://configmax.vmware.com/home new site for configure maximum.

VVOLs now support SCSI-3 persistent reservations which can now support WSFC. Which also means you can leverage on vSphere Replication to replicate a WSFC VM without using RDM! Check it out.

What So New in vSAN 6.7

With the release announcement of vSphere 6.7 it comes with his in-kernel vSAN 6.7 upgraded together.

With the big move to HTML5 client (Clarity UI), vSAN 6.7 will support Clarity and with much of its functions and management done in Clarity. That definitely better than using vSphere Web Client.

Together with this release, a new assessment tool for HCI is introduced. This will work not just on vSphere but also Hyper-V and physical server. The best part is that this assessment tool is free.

The long awaited support for WFSC is not possible with iSCSI target. Bigger improvement on destaging and data placement and failure handling.

Check out the post here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

VMware vCenter Server Virtual Machine Name Character Limit

Recently I got asked how many characters can a VM name character support and any special character can be used?

Been doing vSphere since version 3.x, it has never encountered to me there was a limit in that space.

Having said that, there is a case where a customer would need this. Example, to have the VM name similar to the FQDN especially true in a multi-domain or tenant environment where VM name could be the same and only the domain or tenant is the differentiator.

So doing a quick check here is the below KBs that state the limit:

  • As of vCenter Server 4.1, the number of characters support is 80. KB
  • Display names for any objects e.g. VM Name, Datastore Name, etc. should not contain special characters like %, &, *, $, #, @, !, \, /, :, *, ?, ", <, >, |, ;, ' etc are contained in names of vSphere entities such as virtual machine name, cluster name, and datastore/folder/file name. However, '-' and '.' is apparently supported. KB

Here are the test results:


To be inline I did a check on Microsoft Active Directory DNS, 64 characters are the maximum allowed for a DNS name and 255 characters for a FQDN as stated here.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

VMware vExpert 2018 Announcement

Just back from my company's Tech Summit and waiting for the announcement to be made.

The very next day an email came in and the announcement was made here. Did a quick check on the list of candidates, there was a total of 1525 who made it this year.

Congrats to everyone who made it this year.

Am glad to be part of this community for the 7th year running since I started paying forward this blog, discussion group, videos, etc.

For those who didn't make it or have not apply for it, do attempt it you never know when you are actually making your effort rewarded.


Update 19th Mar 2018
The number is still increasing to 1533 as there is some pending application that got approved.
You can follow the stats here with breakdown https://vexpert.vmware.com/directory/stats.

VMware License Key Error

Recently encounter valid license key but not accepted by the system. This was done on vRealize Operations as shown below. Was adding the license key for vRealize Operations for Horizon Adapter.


A license gotcha here, it seems that VMware has a fixed format for all the license key. It should come in 5 segments instead of 4, each with 5 digits.


Sometimes simple things like this might just slip our eyes.

vMotion Between CPUs

With the release of vSphere 6.7, and the ability to have EVC on a per VM level instead of a per cluster level raise some questions. Before...