Network virtualization is by no means a new concept for VMware. Think about it for a moment — wherever vSphere (or any other VMware T1 or T2 hypervisor) has been implemented, a virtual switch exists and connects guest VMs to the physical world. That’s more than 500,000 customers globally, millions of vSphere hosts, and many more millions of virtual network ports backed by a standard (vSwitch) or distributed virtual switch (dvSwitch). In fact, if you count the network ports provisioned by vSphere and logically assigned to VM nics, one can argue that VMware is one of the top datalink providers on earth. Okay, perhaps that’s a stretch, but you get my point! VMware virtual networks have existed just about as long as VMware itself. And since the very beginning, there has been no shortage of innovation. The vSwitch has evolved in many ways, leading to new technologies, increased scope and scale, distributed architectures, open protocol support, ecosystem integration, and massive adoption. Over the years VMware has continued to introduce new networking technologies through organic maturity and strategic acquisition — ESXi platform security, dvSwitch (and associated services), vShield, vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS), etc. — and leveraged 3rd party integration into partner solutions, such as Cisco’s Nexus 1000v (a solution brought to market by tight collaboration between VMware and Cisco).…
Thanks to all who have shown interest in this event. I was expecting 50 RSVP’s…currently at 128! That just about guarantees this will be a fun (and informative) event. I have put together the following agenda based on feedback from the sign up survey.
The primary objective is to install, configure, and demonstrate vRA 6.2 from scratch. For this, I will follow the install and configure workflow I previously covered in my vCAC 6.0 POC and Detailed Implementation Guide. Although vRA 6.2 provides additional capabilities and a more streamlined installation, many of the concepts are the same.…
Update 04/22/15: After further investigation around the effectiveness of these optimization tips on a vRA 6.2.1 environment, I am convinced that several of the tweaks do in fact provide some level of perceived IaaS UI performance improvements. I’m very interested in hearing your feedback on these findings (i.e. give it a try and let me know!).
Update 12/10/14: I have been advised that the optimization tweaks highlighted in this article will not provide any added benefits to vCAC/vRA 6.1 or 6.2. This is due to the way the IaaS interface is now presented back to the user (via the vCAC appliance vs. directly to the user session). The good news is VMware dev’s are hard at work at baking optimization right into the products, starting with a significant boost in the recently released vRA 6.2.
VMware’s vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) can transform how an enterprise delivers IT. It’s out-of-the-box functionality will help IT deliver Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) along with X-as-a-Service (XaaS / Everything-a-a-S) in a matter of clicks. Once extended into the datacenter’s ecosystem with vCAC’s extensibility engine, it will help integrate, orchestrate, and automate native and 3rd-party tools, services, and infrastructure, thrusting the enterprise into a new level of self-serviced IT efficiency.…
VMware’s Network Virtualization Platform, NSX, is an immensely powerful technology that can transform a datacenter’s infrastructure and streamline network service delivery across the enterprise. NSX’s scope, scale, and capability will easily impress techies, CCIE’s, and IT stakeholders alike. NSX changes the topology of a traditional hardware-bound network by eliminating the dependency on all that “intelligence” baked into proprietary hardware. Instead, the logic and associated services are delivered through a software control plane. Separating the control and data planes effectively reduces the physical network to a glorified IP packet forwarder.
With that said, it is also important to understand that NSX is not a re-write of your network and the fundamental concepts it is built upon. The abstraction of the logic from the physical underpinnings is a modern approach to designing, building, and servicing network architectures, but the fundamentals — the protocols, tools, concepts, etc. — are still at play. And for that reason, i’m often baffled when I enter into a debate with a “traditional” network engineer about the ins-and-outs of physical vs. virtual networking technologies like NSX. What I quickly realize is they are not defending the concepts or technology, they are defending their skill set. It’s a fear or reluctance of straying from what they know best.…
VMware vCloud Automation Center uses Active Directory service accounts to run several internal services and processes. In many environments it is required to reset the passwords for these service accounts at various intervals. As you can imagine, resetting the password for a given service account will cause the associated services to stop functioning until they are updated with the new password. A customer recently pointed out that there is no official documentation that provides guidance for updating the services used by vCAC to prevent a service outage. So, naturally, I figured I’d put this out there until such documentation is provided…
Before proceeding, determine exactly which service accounts are mapped to which services to prevent a misconfiguration. Follow these steps after changing the service account password and during a maintenance window…. …
In keeping up with my extracurricular doc-building activities, I am happy to release the latest iteration of my vCAC implementation guide for the deployment and configuration of vCAC 6.0. This unofficial Proof of Concept and Detailed Implementation guide is provided, with no guarantees (or support), to assist with the end-to-end implementation of vCloud Automation Center 6.0 in a pre-configured vSphere 5.x environment.
The guide walks through – in plenty of detail – vCAC 6.0’s deployment, concepts, technologies, and features as they would be used in a real-world implementation. This document can also double as an unofficial hands-on training guide which covers:
– New Features in vCAC 6.0
– Deployment Architecture
– Implementation on VMware platforms (vSphere)
– IaaS and XaaS Configuration
– Usage and Navigation
– Advanced Concepts and Use Cases…
I recently had the opportunity to brief several dozen VMware Public Sector (US-Fed / SLED) partners in anticipation of the vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0 GA release. While most of the day focused on vCAC, I spent about an hour or so delivering an updated version of my SDDC Whiteboard brief to help set the stage for vCAC.
The whiteboard provides an overview of VMware’s SDDC / vCloud vision — starting from the foundation (i.e. vSphere) and capped off by the cloud automation layer (vCAC)…and all the loveliness in between.
This is a presentation I do often, but no two are the same. If you’ve got 45ish minutes to spare, please do and feel free to provide some feedback!
vCloud Automation Center 6.0’s “XaaS” feature will allow our customers to utilize any prepackaged, new, or existing vCenter Orchestrator workflow and deliver it as a Self-Serviced, Entitled, Governed, and Lifecycle-managed service. VMware will be shipping a more integrated View/vCAC DaaS integration in Q1’2014. Until then we have to improvise to come up with a “DaaS-like” solution that will help fill in the gap until the products are natively integrated.
vCAC’s Advanced Service Designer (ASD) provides a quick-fix for this needed capability using rather unsophisticated means. This use case guide will walk you on building a Desktop Request service using the ASD and vCenter Orchestrator’s Active Directory Plug-in.
DaaS Use Case Objectives:
- Allow cloud users to request a Horizon View Desktop machine from vCAC’s Service Catalog and add Self-Service, Governance, and Entitlement to existing View Environments
- Use vCAC’s Advanced Service Designer to create a Custom Service to deliver DaaS
- Configure a Governance (Approval) policy for VDI Desktop Requests
- Utilize vCO’s built-in Active Directory plug-in and a simple workflow to do the magic
DaaS Solution Summary:
- Horizon View is configured with 2 Desktop Pools:
- Floating Desktop Pool: DaaS-Engineering
- Dedicated Desktop Pool: DaaS-Operations
- DaaS-Engineering -> “DaaS-Eng”
- DaaS-Development-> “DaaS-Ops”
assumes you have good working knowledge of vCloud Automation Center 6.0
and Horizon View 5.x, as well as familiarity with vCAC’s UI and