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vRealize Suite with App Monitoring Clarification

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Recently got into a requirement from a customer that a need for using vRealize Operations as a centralized monitoring and pulling in the metrics from other apps.  This would need to cover physical and VMware virtual environment.

The first thing that came to my mind was to use vSphere Enterprise Plus and utilize the old vRealize Operations Insight which comprises of vRealize Operations and Log Insight.  However, this bundle has EOA as stated here.

That was a bummer.  As cost is a big issue, we cannot just quote vCloud Suite (vCS) Enterprise where vRealize Operations Enterprise is provided and App Monitoring will be covered.  However, there are many components in it which my customer will not be using and cost does not justify it (though it would be nice for me :) but bad for my customer's pocket).

Just for those who ain't aware vCloud Suite just consists of vRealize Suite + vSphere Enterprise Plus.  The editions of vCloud Suite is in line with vRealize Suite.

So I took a look a…

vSAN Witness Licensing

With vSAN 6.2, the support for ROBO site been introduced.  There have been lots of questions regarding how do we license the witness in a more effective manner.  Some of the thought in using vSphere ROBO licenses, vSphere Essentials licenses, and even free ESXi hypervisor.

Here this article is to explain the do-able methods that have not been very clear.  Before we start, check out the vSAN 6.5 Licensing Guide.

First of all the common way to place the vSAN Witness are normally in a vSphere cluster.  So this cluster is already licensed.  It doesn't matter if its the lowest Essential Edition to Enterprise Plus Edition.  So if you like to run this even using a vSphere ROBO license, this can be done since ROBO is meant for a small site, not more than 25 VMs.  Do take note that, using vSphere ROBO, you will not be able to power on more than 25 VMs (assuming your license is 25VMs pack and has not been divided).  You cannot combine the license.  Even if you have a lot of hosts, you still…

vExpert 2017 Round 2 with vExpert NSX and vSAN

The 2nd round of applying to be a vExpert 2017 starts now.  Sign it now and awarded for your personal contribution to the VMware community.

Recently there is a separate specific NSX and vSAN vExpert. So if you are focusing on vSAN or NSX, do sign them up here respectively; vSAN and NSX.

If you are unsure whether you meet to be accredited with vExpert, there is no harm trying.  The details of the area you can be in are all listed in the vExpert 2017 sign up page above.


While you are reading this, the top vBlog 2017 voting has started.  Do help do your part and vote.  If you find my blog useful spare some time and look at number 88.

Once again thank you and good luck for your application.

Understand Your OEM Support

Previously I have talked about the difference between an Open and OEM licensing here.   Why OEM license are cheaper in general since they are provided by OEM vendor instead of direct from the Principle.  This applies not to just software but also hardware although I used software as a subject in writing.

Following on the different support structure contact point between Open and OEM licensing here. Support are typically directly from OEM rather than from the original Principle vendor of the hardware of software.

Question why would OEM support cost cheaper than Principle support or why Principle support is more expensive than OEM support?  Is it because the Principle owns the product (software/hardware) that makes it more expensive?

There are several reasons why OEM is less expensive if you do a study.  Below is what I have observed:

1) Principle vendor owns the product, in such, it cost more.  OEM vendors use their own support and only to a certain level will they have support from Pr…

New Certification Release: VMware VCP 6.5-DCV

Few months back, I wrote on how you can enrol to help in contributing VMware certification exams. If you are interested do just head over and sign up.

Now, VMware has announce the availability of VCP 6.5 for Data Center Virtualization.  This include the full exam with foundations and the delta exam.

It was lots of effort to get this exam going live and been part of developing the exam, hope that what we ask for are the required knowledge based on the product and your experience.

To those taking or renewing your certification, all the best.  Follow the blueprint as always and understand what you need to know and understand what you need to improve on.

Good Luck!

VMware Discontinuation of 3rd Party vSwitch Program for vSphere

Starting from vSphere 6.5 Update 1 and next major release, VMware will discontinue 3rd party vSwitch Program.  A kb that has stated this is found here.

3rd party vSwitches including Cisco Nexus 1000V, Cisco VM-FEX, Cisco AVS, HPE 5900v and IBM DVS 5000v.

VMware has release a migration tool which can be found here.

A blog post of what is the strategy forward in terms of virtual switch on vSphere is mentioned here which include virtual Standard Switch (vSS) and virtual Distributed Switch (vDS) and Open Virtual Switch (OVS).

For customer who are on 3rd party virtual switch, you might have to change back with your vendor for your support in future vSphere version.  Understand Cisco has mention to their customer that they will continue to support the use of Nexus 1000V.

The Death of vSphere Data Protection

VMware today announce the end availability of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) here.  vSphere 6.5 will be the last version of VDP provided.

Abit of history, VDP was included since vSphere 5.0 to replace VMware Data Recovery (VDR).

For existing VDP deployment, please check the respective version end of general support here.  Customer can continue to use any backup solution that utilize vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection framework (VADP).

Since VDP is an OEM from Dell-EMC Avamar, the closest product is Avamar Virtual Edition. Customers are recommended to take advantage of a Dell-EMC special migration offer to transition VDP VM protection to Dell-EMC Avamar Virtual Addition.  Check this with your local Dell-EMC team and read about it here.

VMware Threat Exploit Found During Pwn2Own Event

The threat was first discovered on Workstation during Pwn2Own hacking event.  With further investigation, it is now found possible on ESXi 6.0U1 and above.

Do check out the VMware Security Advisories here.  The patches are all available currently.

Read about the how this was found during Pwn2Own event on the blog post here.

VMware Certification Exam Price Increase

If you have been following the exam news that has been release, starting from 1st April, the price of the exams for all level starting from Foundation, Associate, Professional, Advanced Professional and Expert have all increased.  You can read up the official post here.

I will skip the Foundation and Associate exam since these are just entry level exams.

Looking at Professional (VCP), Advanced Professional (VCAP) and Expert (VCDX), each has increased from $225 to $250, $400 to $450 and $300 + $900 to $995 + $3,000 respectively.  If you look at it its a gradually increase in tier except for the Expert level which one would think twice attempting with an increase over 130%.  With this increased, this exam will be a company sponsored exam moving forward and not meant for one to self sponsor himself at close to $5,000.  Though these prices are affecting the developed countries.

Not sure why the move but it seems like VMware it controlling the number of people attaining VCDX and keeping th…

VMware vSphere 6.5 Security Questions

Been to many customers and have many questions on how our vSphere 6.5 Security enhancement does and how different is it from others.

So to clear some of the questions and also the articles that are available below will provide more details.

A good place to start is read up this VMware blog post by Mike Foley.  This post detail the new UEFI for ESXi and for VMs and on VM Encryption.  Let us break down some questions that are asked often or unclear:

1) Does all OSes support UEFI?
Modern versions of OS like Microsoft Windows 2012, RedHat 5 and Suse Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 and above .  Unless we are talking about older OS that are dependent on BIOS.

2) Who provide the UEFI firmware?
The hardware server vendors that allows OS or hypervisor to be installed on to be boot from.  Hypervisor or virtualization software vendor that allows running of virtual machine to boot from.

3) How can we prevent BIOs, hypervisor and OS been compromise?
The use of UEFI is to ensure digital signature are in pl…

VMware vExpert 2017 Announced!

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Congrats to all vExpert 2017 announced earlier today here.  This year we have 1471 of vExperts.  This is growing year after year.  As stated, for those who signed up for it but was not granted this title, you may email vexpert@vmware.com to seek guidance what you are missing.

As for those who have missed the application, you can watched out for it between May and June 2017.

Am grad am still staying this accreditation since I started in 2012.  This marked my 6th year.  So for those who are just starting, good work.  For those who are retaining, there isn't much effort needed, all you got to do is pen down their knowledge for sharing or even just sharing it with a simple text in twitter or share a post.



VMware VCIX Certification Clarification

I got lot of ask and question regarding the new VCIX certification from VMware.

So how do I get qualified?
What do I need to do?
Do I need to upgrade VCP first?
I am confused which VCAP to take as I have already had one?

The proper way to get to VCIX certification is stated here.
The scenarios for VCP certification is stated here.

So in the past, passing a VCAP allows you to upgrade your VCP.  However, with the expiry program and VCP certification article above on inheritance, only the expiry of existing VCP will be extended. No inheritance of VCP when passing a VCAP of the same track.

Example:
Hold VCP5-DCV, passing VCAP6-DCV Design, does not upgrade VCP5-DCV to VCP6-DCV.  Only VCP5-DCV expiry period is further extended.


In order to attempt VCDX of any track, you will need to attain VCIX for that track.  Below is how you can attain your VCIX using Data Center Virtualization track as a scenario.
Scenarios:
For one who has valid VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCV Deploy (work the other way around with …