September 13th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Creating a new VM, easy right?  Except when you consider that via the vSphere client it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 mouse clicks.  Log into your EVO:RAIL UI or VMware Hands-On lab at http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1503

evo-rail-login

Once logged in, familiarize your self with the UI.

evo-nav

 

Now that you have the basics, its time to create a VM.

  • Click the Create VM button (1) and enter the VM name in the “Create VM called” text box.  Now click (2) the Upload Image button.  Alternatively you could use a previously uploaded ISO or mount a network share where these are located.

evo-rail-create-vm

  • The left side of the above menu will change, click the Choose File (3) button.  Double click (4,5) your ISO and click the Uplaod Image button (6).
  • Once the image uplaods, click (7) the guest OS pull down, select (8) the appropriate OS and click (9) the continue button.
  • Select your VM size (10) and click (11) the Select VM size button

evo-rail-select-vm-size

 

  • Click the check box (11) next to the network you wish to connect to and then click (12) the Select Networks button.  You can select multiple port groups here if you wish.
  • The EVO:RAIL ui allows you to select a security profile based on the vSphere 5.5 Security Hardening Guide (nice feature add!).  Select a policy and click (13) the Create and Start a new VM.

evo-rail-vm-security

 

  • You’ll be to monitor the progress of the new VM being created from the window you are currently in, or return to the dashboard and see that you have a new task running in the EVO:RAIL ui.

evo-rail-new-vm-monitor

or

evo-rail-new-vm-monitor2

  • Once completed you will see a message that the new VM has been created and is powering on.  Click on the VMS button in the EVO:RAIL UI to see your VM.  You rename, clone, pause, power off and can even launch the VMRC right from the EVO:RAIL UI (Or EVO:X for EVO Experience – create name Matt Brender!)

evo-rail-ui-nav-vm

That’s it….13 clicks.  Can’t argue with the numbers; creating a VM in the EVO:RAIL really is simple!

Creating a new VM with EVO:RAIL

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September 11th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

It looks as though the VMware Hands-On Labs from VMworld are starting to roll out.  Short of having a physical EVO:RAIL to work on, I decided to do the next best thing and get some experience with it via the VMware Hands-On labs..  If you want to get some hands on yourself, head over to http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1503.

The HOL starts with the assumption that you have a working network and IP scheme, your top-of-rack switch is configured and your EVO:RAIL is connected and powered on (likely also assumes you have NTP and DNS working since those are critical to any environment and should never be skipped).

  •  Open a browser and navigate to the EVO:RAIL home page.  Click the Yes, Let’s Go! button and accept the EULA by clicking the Yes, I do button

evo-rail-start

 

 

  • Click the Customize Me! button to enter your specific IP addresses, hostnames etc.  There is a “Just Go!” button which uses standard configuration options.
  • On the next page, you configure host names to use for your ESXi hosts buy entering a prefix so that all hosts start with the same name, an optional separator if you like those in your host name and your iterator.  You also name your vCenter server hostname.  I prefer short names so I’m likely to go with something like vc01.  So with the settings below  you would have a host name of esxi-node01, esxi-node02 etc.  Once finished setting these options, click on the Networking tab.

evo-rail-config1

  • Once you click on the Networking menu, you will have a sub-menu to configure IP pools and VLANs for your management network, vMotion and VSAN networks.  The VLAN option was not available, not sure if that is an HOL thing or they assume connectivity on a default VLAN.  You will also provide your vCenter server networking information and create port groups for VM traffic.  There is an Add a VM Network so you can create as many as you wish.

evo-rail-config2

  • Next, click on the Passwords menu.  Here you set the ESXi host root password and vCenter Server admin password (assuming that is [email protected]?).  You can also configure AD authentication as well.  Id like to see an option for different passwords here but without that you can use my ESXi password change PowerCLI script to handle that for you.
  • The Globals menu allows you to set time/NTP, DNS and logging settings.  You can chose either a general syslog server or vCenter Log Insight.
  • Finally, click on the Validation menu, or the Validate button to ensure you have a valid EVO:RAIL configuration.  Once validated, click the Build Appliance button.

evo-rail-validate

 

  • With the EVO:RAIL configuration complete, make note of the IP address and click the Take me to it button to monitor the setup of your EVO:RAIL appliance

evo-rail-building

 

  • Once its finished, HOORAY!  Click the link to go to the EVO:RAIL log in

evo-rail-hooray

 

  • Log into your EVO:RAIL and start managing!

evo-ui

 

From the EVO:RAIL UI you can do basic tasks such as create VMs and monitor the health of your environment as well as current/recent tasks.  You can also launch vCenter from this US to perform more advanced vSphere tasks that you cannot (currently?) do in the EVO:RAIL UI.

evo-nav

It will be interesting to see the differentiation between various EVO:RAIL partners such as EMC and Dell.  As Chad Sakac mentioned at VMworld the EMC EVO:RAIL will have the ability to connect to EMC support and should come with RecoverPoint for VMs (EMC page | my coverage).  Sincere thanks to the VMware HOL team, having these resources available for the community to use on demand, whenever they are free is a great for the community.

Hands on (lab) with EVO:RAIL

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September 5th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

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August 27th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

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August 25th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

**Disclaimer:  Infinio is a sponsor of virtxpert.com – I was not asked to write this article, I am simply sharing the news about the new features from a great product**

While at VMworld I learned that Infinio has announced a new version of Infinio Accelerator which now supports block storage protocols (iSCSI, FC, and FCoE) as well as NAS (NFS).  Infinio came out of beta last year at VMworld with their RAM based read cache solution for NAS storage.  Now companies who need to accelerate traditional block are also able to do so with the easy to install Infinio Accelerator.

how-infinio-works

From the press release:

In addition to support for the NFS storage protocol, v2.0 will also include full support for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE, and environments with multiple protocols. No matter which storage protocol customers choose, the Infinio user experience remains the same, including wizard-driven installation, zero operational impact, and instant access to advanced reporting.

In addition to block storage support, Infinio also announced application level reporting and a sizing adviser to help you determine how much memory to allocate to cache.  You can sign up to be notified when the beta of version two will be available at here: http://www.infinio.com/infinio-accelerator-20.  If you are at VMworld this week, swing by booth 623 for a demo.

Infinio-VMworld14-booth-623-map

Infinio Accelerator v2 announced at #VMworld – Now with iSCSI and FC support

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