Lately I’ve been hitting some strange issues in vSphere and vCloud installations. First it was things around SSO not being able to connect and then it was the VMRC console in vCloud that started giving weird “invalid ticket” errors that resulted in vCloud VMRC console being accesible .. or not!
Both issues seemed unrelated, but the solution was the same : incorrect time settings on one of the vSphere / vCloud components.
So from a troubleshooting perspective we can add another check to the default checklist:
1. Check firewall.
2. Check time (NTP) settings!!!
It maybe a simple solution, but something to keep in mind while troubleshooting. It can save you a lot of frustation.
Some resource with regards to time and vSphere / vCloud :
“If you can create it with physical devices, you can build it in your own vCloud”. That’s something I always tell my customers when advising on VMware vCloud. Same goes for VMware vCloud Network and Security, which in my opinion hasn’t shown its full potential to customer yet. Thankfully Shubha Bheemarao and Ranga Maddipudi have created an excellent whitepaper on implementing vCloud Network and Security for a DMZ zone. This paper demonstrates how securing a virtual DMZ environment using VMware vCloud Networking and
Summary of the paper:
This paper highlights how securing a virtual DMZ environment using vCloud Networking and Security can be a strategic enabler to your organization as it helps you to reduce your capital expenditure and increase agility, while building a cloud ready, secure and scalable environment for business applications. The paper also highlights the different design approaches to securing business critical applications and enables you to make the choice that is most suited to your organization in the cloud journey. Further, it gives prescriptive configuration guidance to help you get started with the deployment of your preferred approach.
For more information on vCloud Networking and Security follow @vCloudNetSec on Twitter.
VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) is the highest level of VMware certification, achieved by dedicated professionals who have demonstrated exceptional skill in VMware enterprise deployments. To earn a VCDX, professionals must create a complete enterprise VMware design and undergo an arduous defense at the hands of some of the world’s most sophisticated VMware experts.
Now, for the first time, there’s a comprehensive guide to VCDX defense: VCDX Boot Camp. Based on the legendary standing-room-only boot camps led by VCDX co-creator John Arrasjid, this guide captures the unsurpassed personal experience of three pioneering VCDX certification holders, program developers, and defense panelists.
Backup is hot topic when discussing your vCloud Director architecture setup. Until recently there was no real integration with vCloud Director and most backup vendors. Most of them could backup vCloud vApps, but did so without the metadata that is required to restore the vApp in the vCloud (i.e. which organization, which organizational vDC, etc.)
Over the last period several vendors have come up with an vCD 5.1 integrated solution, which is of course great for everybody running vCloud Director.
More information on backing up vApps for vCD Tenants can be found in the VMware whitepaper here.
Most backup products use vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP). VADP uses snapshots to create backups of running virtual machines in a vApp. This is were it becomes challenging. vCloud Director 5.1 will only support one snapshot (see here for more info).
So what happens when VADP takes a snapshot?
The snapshot action by VADP will commit the already existing snapshot of the virtual machine. This results in a single VMDK being backed up to the backup solution. In the event of a restore the backup solution will restore the consolidated virtual machine. The last state known, but without the snapshot.
Take this into account when designing your vCloud Director backup solution. Ask your backup solution provider what the backup solution does in the event that it recognises a snapshot. For now it would be better to skip / create a warning in the event of snapshot detection within vCD.
Apache Hadoop provides a platform for building distributed systems for massive data storage and analysis using a large cluster of standard x86-based servers. It uses data replication across hosts and racks of hosts to protect against individual disk, host, and even rack failures. A job scheduler can be used to run multiple jobs of different sizes simultaneously, which helps to maintain a high level of resource utilization. Given the built-in reliability and workload consolidation features of Hadoop it might appear there is little need to virtualize it.
However there are a lot of benefits on virtualizing the Hadoop workload on top of VMware vSphere. VMware has written a whitepaper with performance best practices for Hadoop on vSphere 5.1. Read the full paper for detailed results and to learn about performance best practices for deploying Hadoop on vSphere.
Automation will become key in the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). VMware recently invested in Puppet Labs.
Now a new plugin is released for managing vSphere and vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) within the virtual infrastructure.
This again is a great step in the direction enabling customer to create the SDDC. As I already said automation will become key when designing and operating the SDDC. Puppet Labs really helps in automation key parts of the virtual infrastructure. Plugins like this make things easier to implement and in the end easier to operate by just a few simple clicks.
For more information see the blog post by Nan Liu over here.