VCP

Home Lab Gen IV – Part III: Best ESXi White box Mobo yet?

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It’s been a while since I posted about the Gen IV home lab but what can I say I’ve been a bit busy. Initially, when I decided to start this refresh I planned to wipe just the software, add InfiniBand, and keep most of the hardware. However, as I started to get into this transformation I decided it was time for a hardware refresh too. About that time is when I found, what could be, a nearly perfect ESXi white box mobo.

In this post, I wanted to write a bit about this new mobo and why I think it’s a great choice for a home lab. The past workhorse of my home lab has been my trusty MSI Z68MS-G45(B3) Rev 3.0 (AKA MSI-7676). I started using them in 2012 and I had 3 of these mobos. This mobo has been a solid performer and they treated me very well. However, they were starting to age a bit and I sold them off to a good buddy of mine. I used those recourses to help fund 3 new mobo’s, DDR4 and CPU.

My new workhorse –

Items kept from Home Lab Gen III:

  • 3 x Antec Sonata Gen I and III each with 500W PS by Antec: I’ve had one of these cases since 2003, now that is some serious return on investment
  • Each Server: 2 x SATAIIII 2TB HDD, 1 x SATAIII 60GB or 90GB SSD, 1 x 60GB HDD (Boot)
  • Each Server: 1 x SYBA SY-PEX24028 Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter

New Items:

  • 3 x Gigabyte MX31-BS0 – So feature rich, I found them for $139 each, and this is partly why I feel it’s the best ESXi white box mobo
  • 3 x Intel Xeon E3-1230 v5 – I bought the one without the GPU and saved some $$
  • 3 x 32GB DDR4 RAM – Nothing special here, just 2133Mhz DDR4 RAM
  • 3 x Mellanox Connectx InfiniBand cards (More to come on this soon)

Why I chose the Gigabyte MX31-BS0 –

Likes:

  • Headless environment: This Mobo comes with an AST2400 headless chipset environment. This means I no longer am tied to my KVM. With a java enabled browser, I can view the host screen, reboot, go into BIOS, BIOS updates, view hardware, and make adjustments as if I was physically at the box
  • Virtual Media: I now can virtually mount ISOs to the ESXi host without directly being at the console (Still to test ESXi install)
  • Onboard 2D Video: No VGA card needed, the onboard video controller takes care of it all. Why is this important? You can save money by choosing a CPU that doesn’t have the integrated GPU, the onboard video does this for you
  • vSphere HCL Support: Really? Yep, most of the components on this mobo are on the HCL and Gigabyte lists ESXi 6 as a supported OS, its not 100% HCL but for a white box its darn close
  • Full 16x PCIe Socket: Goes right into the CPU
  • Full 8x PCIe Socket: Goes into the C232
  • M.2 Socket: Supporting 10Gb/s for SSD cards
  • 4 x SATA III ports (white)
  • 2 x SATA III can be used for Satadom ports (orange) with onboard power connectors
  • 2 x Intel i210 1Gbe (HCL supported) NICs
  • E3 v5 Xeon Support
  • 64GB RAM Support (ECC or Non-ECC Support
  • 1 x Onboard USB 2.0 Port

Dislikes: (Very little)

  • Manual is terrible
  • Mobo Power connector is horizontal with the mobo, this made it a bit tight for a common case
  • 4 x SATA III Ports (White) are horizontal too, again hard to seat and maintain
  • No Audio (Really not needed, but would be nice)
  • For some installs, it could be a bit limited on PCIe Ports

Some PICS :

The pic directly below shows 2 windows: Window 1 has the large Gigabyte logo, this is the headless environmental controls. From here you can control your host and launch the video viewer (window 2). The video viewer allows you to control your host just as if you were physically there. In windows 2 I’m in the BIOS settings for the ESXi host.

This is a stock photo of the MX31-BSO. It’s a bit limited on the PCIe ports, however, I don’t need many ports as soon I’ll have 20Gb/s InfiniBand running on this board but that is another post soon to come!

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

Passed VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Delta Exam 2V0-621D

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I passed my VCP 6 – DCV Delta Exam today! Here are some of my notes around it.

  • The test was 65 Questions and you have 75 Minutes to complete it, I had about 30 Mins left.
  • I did get several configuration maximum questions. The questions were more around applying the known maximums vs. just memorizing the data points.
  • I did get some Virtual SAN , vROPS, and LOTS of questions around Lockdown mode
  • Know your licensing Models and what features belong to what.
  • Lots of questions around iSCSI, FCoE, APD, Path loss, PSP Modes
  • Know all about SSO, Authentication types, and don’t forget those newer features like Content Library
  • Make sure you review vSphere Replication and those always fun resource pools
  • Know your command line tools – esxcli and the like
  • In general, questions seem to be straight to the point vs. lengthy paragraphs
  • I followed the blueprint, read my documents, and made sure I read every ‘Note’ section
  • For more information about this test click here

Free vSphere 6 Webinar Series!

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VMware has a great webinar series coming up, see the chart below for dates and times.

These sessions would be a great primer before going to VMworld!

Date

Webcast Topic

vSphere Expert

Registration / Replay

June 2

vCenter ServerWhat’s new in vCenter Server including differences between Windows install and the virtual appliance.

Mohan Potheri

Replay

June 16

vSphere SecuritySecurity at the top of mind?  Learn about security in vSphere 6 including considerations for Platform Services Controller.

Mike Foley

Register

June 30

Business Continuity
Business continuity equals business productivity.  Learn how vSphere 6 minimizes downtime for applications and maximizes productivity for businesses.  Availability and data protection aspects of vSphere 6 will be covered.

Matt Meyer

Register

July 7

PowerCLIIncrease data center efficiency through automation.  Learn what’s new with PowerCLI including some tips and tricks that may surprise you.

Brian Graf

Register

July 14

vSphere Web ClientThe Web Client is one of the most improved areas of vSphere 6.  Streamlined design, improved responsiveness, and better overall usability are just a sampling of what makes the Web Client cool.  Learn what else the vSphere 6 Web Client has to offer.

Dennis Lu

Register

July 21

vSphere 6 PerformanceLearn about all the new performance improvements that vSphere 6 has to offer.  With the time you save, you may have time for an additional coffee break.

Mark Achtemichuk

Register

July 28

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based ManagementvSphere 6 has transformed storage for virtual machines.  Learn how Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based Management redefines how you should think about storage.

Rawlinson Rivera

Register

August 11

vCenter Server AvailabilityFor some vCenter Server has become mission critical.  Learn how to provide high availability for vCenter Server.  Also covered with be Platform Services Controller.

Johnny Ferguson

Register

 

More information here — http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2015/05/vsphere-6-webcast-series.html

 

Passed VCP 5 Delta Test

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I passed my VCP 5 Delta test today. Here are some of my notes around it…

  • Test was 65 Questions and you have 75 Minutes to complete it, I had about 15 Mins left.
  • I passed my VCP5 in January of 2012 and I don’t believe there was one repeat question from that test
  • I didn’t get any min max questions
  • Lot of Virtual SAN Questions
  • Know your licensing Models and what features belong to what
  • Don’t skip studying around vDP or vSphere Replication
  • Really know vRealize Operations (aka vCOPS) badges and how they are calculated (I got at least 3 questions on this)
  • The questions seem to be longer in length and more multiple choice / select all correct << Not my favorite type
  • I would say I passed for two reasons
    • It was open book, how nice was that! So have your best documents and guides ready
    • I followed the blue print, read my documents, and made sure I read every ‘Note’ section
      • Here is an example of the Notes section. I’ve found that some questions on the test that usually come from this sections like this.

More information around the test can be found here > https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=51919&ui=www_cert

Quick Excerpt from this link –

VCP5-DCV Delta Recertification Exam

 

        

On October 1st, we released a new delta exam to qualify recertification candidates for the VCP5-DCV Certification.

The exam is offered to current VCP5-DCVs who need to renew their VCP5-DCV credential. The exam will be available through November 30, 2014 and offers some key advantages:

  • Based on new material between the vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams – you save hours of prep time
  • Available online – you can take it from any location
  • Far less expensive – you save money

If you hold a VCP5-DCV certification, this is the quickest route to recertification.

This limited time opportunity – the exam will only be offered until November 30, 2014.


 

VSAN – The Migration from FreeNAS

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Well folks it’s my long awaited blog post around moving my Homelab from FreeNAS to VMware VSAN.

Here are the steps I took to migrate my Home Lab GEN II with FreeNAS to Home Lab GEN III with VSAN.

Note –

  • I am not putting a focus on ESXi setup as I want to focus on the steps to setup VSAN.
  • My home lab is in no way on the VMware HCL, if you are building something like this for production you should use the VSAN HCL as your reference

The Plan –

  • Meet the Requirements
  • Backup VM’s
  • Update and Prepare Hardware
  • Distribute Existing hardware to VSAN ESXi Hosts
  • Install ESXi on all Hosts
  • Setup VSAN

The Steps –

Meet the Requirements – Detailed list here

  • Minimum of three hosts
  • Each host has a minimum of one SSD and one HDD
  • The host must be managed by vCenter Server 5.5 and configured as a Virtual SAN cluster
  • Min 6GB RAM
  • Each host has a Pass-thru RAID controller as specified in the HCL. The RAID controller must be able to present disks directly to the host without a RAID configuration.
  • 1GB NIC, I’ll be running 2 x 1Gbs NICs. However 10GB and Jumbo frames are recommended
  • VSAN VMkernel port configured on every host participating in the cluster.
  • All disks that VSAN will be allocated to should be clear of any data.

Backup Existing VMs

  • No secret here around backups. I just used vCenter Server OVF Export to a local disk to backup all my critical VM’s
  • More Information Here

Update and Prepare Hardware

  • Update all Motherboard (Mobo) BIOS and disk Firmware
  • Remove all HDD’s / SDD’s from FreeNAS SAN
  • Remove any Data from HDD/SDD’s . Either of these tools do the job

Distribute Existing hardware to VSAN ESXi Hosts

  • Current Lab – 1 x VMware Workstation PC, 2 x ESXi Hosts boot to USB (Host 1 and 2), 1 x FreeNAS SAN
  • Desired Lab – 3 x ESXi hosts with VSAN and 1 x Workstation PC
  • End Results after moves
    • All Hosts ESXi 5.5U1 with VSAN enabled
    • Host 1 – MSI 7676, i7-3770, 24GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 60GB SSD SATA III), 5 xpNICs
    • Host 2 – MSI 7676, i7-2600, 32 GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 90 GB SSD SATA III), 5 x pNICs
    • Host 3 – MSI 7676, i7-2600, 32 GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 90 GB SSD SATA III), 5 x pNICs
    • Note – I have ditched my Gigabyte z68xp-UD3 Mobo and bought another MSI 7676 board. I started this VSAN conversion with it and it started to give me fits again similar to the past. There are many web posts with bugs around this board. I am simply done with it and will move to a more reliable Mobo that is working well for me.

Install ESXi on all Hosts

  • Starting with Host 1
    • Prior to Install ensure all data has been removed and all disk show up in BIOS in AHCI Mode
    • Install ESXi to Local Boot HD
    • Setup ESXi base IP address via direct Console, DNS, disable IP 6, enable shell and SSH
    • Using the VI Client setup the basic ESXi networking and vSwitch
    • Using VI Client I restored the vCSA and my AD server from OVF and powered them on
    • Once booted I logged into the vCSA via the web client
    • I built out Datacenter and add host 1
    • Create a cluster but only enabled EVC to support my different Intel CPU’s
    • Cleaned up any old DNS settings and ensure all ESXi Hosts are correct
    • From the Web client Validate that 2 x HDD and 1 x SDD are present in Host
    • Installed ESXi Host 2 / 3, followed most of these steps, and added them to the cluster

Setup VSAN

  • Logon to the Webclient
    • Ensure on all the hosts
      • Networking is setup and all functions are working
      • NTP is working
      • All expected HDD’s for VSAN are reporting in to ESXi
    • Create a vSwitch for VSAN and attach networking to it
      • I attached 2 x 1Gbs NICs for my load that should be enough
    • Assign the VSAN License Key
      • Click on the Cluster > Manage > Settings > Virtual SAN Licensing > Assign License Key

  • Enable VSAN
    • Under Virtual SAN click on General then Edit
    • Choose ‘Turn on Virtual SAN’
    • Set ‘Add disks to storage’ to Manual
    • Note – for a system on the HCL, chances are the Automatic setting will work without issue. However my system is not on the any VMware HCL and I want to control the drives to add to my Disk Group.

       

  • Add Disks to VSAN
    • Under Virtual SAN click on ‘Disk Management’
    • Choose the ICON with the Check boxes on it
    • Finally add the disks you want in your disk group

  • Allow VSAN to complete its tasks, you can check on its progress by going to ‘Tasks’

  • Once complete ensure all disks report in as healthy.

  • Ensure VSAN General tab is coming up correct
    • 3 Hosts
    • 3 of 3 SSD’s
    • 6 of 6 Data disks

  • Check to see if the data store is online

 

Summary –

Migrating from FreeNAS to VSAN was relatively a simple process. I simply moved, prepared, and installed and the product came right up. My only issue was working with a faulty Gigabyte Mobo which I resolved by replacing it. I’ll post up more as I continue to work with VSAN. If you are interested in more detail around VSAN I would recommend the following book.

Turning a ‘No you cannot attend’ to a ‘Yes’ for VMworld

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I’ve been lucky enough to make it to every VMworld since 2008 and 2014 will be my 7th. time in a row. In this blog post I wanted to share with you a breakdown of some of the tips and tricks I’ve used to get to these events. Being the former Phoenix VMUG leader I’ve shared these tips with fellow VMUG users and now I’m sharing them with all of you. Users would tell me cost is the number one reason why they don’t go – “My Company sees value in this event but will not pay for it”. This breaks down to Food, Hotel, Travel, and the infamous golden ticket, aka the VMworld pass. So how do users overcome the cost to attend? This is what this blog post is all about…

Working with your employer –

Having your employer pick up the tab not only benefits them as a company but yourself too. As you know VMworld is full of great content and the socialization aspects are second to none. Chances are you’ll be asked to put together a total cost to attend and this cost can be quite high for some companies on a tight budget. My suggestion is if you are getting the big ‘No’ then work with your boss around the total costs. First find out why it’s a ‘No’ and look for opportunities to overcome this. Maybe your company will pay for some of the items. Example – They might be able to cover airfare, but the rest is on you. Don’t forget if your company has a VMware TAM (Technical Account Manager) reach out them. Even if you are not directly working with the TAM they are your best resource not only for VMware Technology but also for getting you to VMworld. They don’t have passes but they usually know the community very well and can assist.

Sometimes I hear “My employer will not allow me to accept gifts”. True your company may have a policy around the type of gifts you can receive and by all means follow this policy. However, keep in mind you may be able to take vacation time and represent yourself at this event not your employer. Then there is a possibility gifts could be accepted but on the premises you don’t represent your company. Some companies are okay with this but just make sure they are. If you are able to do this I would suggest you represent it as ‘personal development’.

How do I get a free VMworld Pass?

This can be your biggest challenge. However here are some ways to get your hands on one.

  • Give-a-ways
    • I can’t tell you how many vendors have giveaways contests right now — hit them early and enter as many contests as you can find
    • Tips-
      • When you enter, find out who your local vendor contact is and let them know you entered. Then stay in contact with them.
      • Keep in mind not all contests are the same, some are based on random drawing and others are not. This is why I say keep in contact with the vendor.
      • How do I find give-a-ways >> Google ‘VMworld getting there for free’
  • Get the word out
    • Tell your boss, workmates, vendors, and partners.  Post on Twitter, Linked-In, etc. and Repeat again and again. By doing this you let others know about your strong interest in getting there, in turn they might get a lead for you.
    • Most importantly, reach out to your local VMUG leader and ask them for tips in your area. They are usually well connected and might have a lead for you as well.
    • Follow Twitter and Linked-In – You never know who is going to post up “I have a pass and need to give it to someone”. Yes that is right, before the event you can transfer a pass to someone.
      • New to Twitter, need contacts? It’s a pretty simple to get started.  Simply find the #VMworld hastag, see who is posting to it and start following them. Then look at all their contacts and follow them too, soon you’ll have a gaggle of folks.
    • This sound like work.  Why do all this? Simple, distributed coverage model. The more people know the more likely they are to help and in turn the more likely you’ll succeed
  • Don’t forgo an Expo-Only or Solutions Exchange Pass
    • If you get offered this pass take it. I can’t tell you how many vendors have these passes and have trouble giving them away, seriously this is gold but folks don’t know how to leverage them.
    • First off this pass has great value, there is a TON of value here.
    • Second this pass can get you on to the Solutions Exchange floor where all the vendors and partners are.
      • Once there start talking to all the vendors, fellow attendee, all those folks you meet on Twitter, etc. as you never know who has a full pass they couldn’t get rid of, take it and upgrade yours.
    • Third, while you are there with an Expo Pass use Twitter and the VMworld hash tags to let folks know you’re here and you are looking for a full pass.
    • Stop by the VMUG booth on the Expo floor, you never know who will be there and you never know if users there might be able to help you.
  • Vendors and Partners
    • Find out who is sponsoring VMworld this year, and then…
      • Start calling the ones you know well, ask them for support getting there.
      • Don’t forget to call the ones you don’t know so well too.
      • If you have an upcoming deal on the table with a vendor, inquire if they will throw in passes, travel, etc.

What about Food, Hotel, and Travel Costs?

  • Food
    • There will be free food everywhere, in-fact feel free to give some to the homeless I usually do.
    • If you get a pass then lunch and usually breakfast are included.
    • For dinner, find out where the nightly events are as they usually have food.
    • Talk with Vendors as they might take you out, you never know.
  • Hotel
    • Ask a Vendor to pay for just the room or ask them to gift hotel points to you.
    • Room Share with someone at the event << Think about it, you won’t be in the room that often and chances are from 7AM till 10PM you’ll be out of your room.
    • Use travel sites to cut down the cost.
      • Secret Hotels: Best Western Carriage Inn and The Mosser. Good if you’re on a budget but chances are they are full this year (2014).
    • Use your hotel or other travel points to book the hotel for free.
    • Get a low cost hotel away from the event, but watch your travel costs.
  • Travel
    • Airfare
      • Ask a vendor to pay for just the airfare, or maybe they have points they can gift you.
      • Use your own travel points to pay for this.
    • Rideshare to the event
      • See if one of your connections are driving to the event, offer to split fuel costs.
      • You drive someone to the event, and they pick up the hotel or vise versa.
    • Local Travel
      • Use the following –
        • VMworld Shuttle
        • Bus
        • Uber
        • BART
      • Once again hit up those vendors, they might have a way to get you around for free

Finally here is a breakdown of how I got to so many events and how/who paid for it….

Year Pass Travel Food Hotel
2008 VMworld Vendor Sponsor – Full Pass Employer Paid Vendor / Event Employer Paid
2009 VMworld VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles Vendor / Event Employer Paid
2010 VMworld VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles Vendor / Event Vendor Sponsored
2011 VMworld Vendor Sponsor – Expo Pass but I got an upgrade to Full by asking others I drove two others and I paid for the fuel Vendor / Event Travel Companion paid for room
2012 VMworld Employee Labs Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid
2013 VMworld Employee TAM Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid
2014 VMworld Employee TAM Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid

Summing it up…

My take is this, if you REALLY want to go you’ll get there but sometimes it takes effort to do so and if you do it right it might not cost you a thing. Don’t let anything stop you and find your way there.

Finally, after you’ve been to the event don’t forget about the folks who got you there and say ‘Thank you’. Then over the next year continue to build this relationship, as you never know if you’ll need help again, or you want to help someone else get there.

Free Training for VMware Products

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This comprehensive list of training links came my way the other day and it was too good I just had to share it.

It’s the work of the former Omaha VMUG leader turned VMware TAM Jodi S (Twitter @rytalws)

 

Foundational Topics

URL

DataCenter

  

VMware DataCenter Virtualization Fundamentals

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=47866

Introduction to Virtualization and VMware Hypervisor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvXn2QiL3gs

VMware vSphere Strategy: The Foundation of Your DataCenter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIB8DUPRbgA

An overview of vCloud Suite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKlFRCNVCbU&list=PL9MeVsU0uG67FCDj0U_V-4WIQ2vbgQbJB

ESXI Foundation

  

Featured VMware Documentation Sets

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/

vSphere Hypervisor – Installation & Configuration

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor

vSphere Hypervisor -vSphere Client Installation

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor

vSphere Hypervisor – Configuring VM Hardware

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor

VMware vSphere: What’s New Fundamentals [V5.5]

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=51301

VMware vSphere 5.5 What’s New!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-_PPJnPllo

VMware vSphere: VM Management – Web Client Overview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCVqq1dRwNA

VMware vSphere: VM Management – Cloning/Templates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eN5iiQSCBw

VMware vSphere: VM Management – Migration vMotion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH0he0nz8Mg

VMware vSphere: VM Management – HA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPm8Fmhxasc

VMware vSphere: VM Management – DRS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US0bGHtiISc

VMware vSphere: VM Management – Storage Profiles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mawQTuTw4I

Local Management Tools Overview

http://vmwarelearning.com/9ti/local-management-tools-overview/

How to Install and Configure VMware ESXI 5.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVv5K8RItYc

VMware vSphere: Installation – ESXI 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-VsThbQyXw&list=PLGey3gSYvwCBkH01wSlg8wd4Aye9f58HT

vSphere 5.5 Installation, Administration and Training course

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYt7OntyPqA

Build your own VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 Datacenter, starting with one PC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQfTuAdLfYw

HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1310 – vSphere and vSOM 101

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

Networking

  

VMware Virtual Networking Concepts

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/virtual_networking_concepts.pdf

vSphere Networking

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/features-network

vSphere Distributed Switch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fxdz2aoVOw&list=PLGey3gSYvwCBkH01wSlg8wd4Aye9f58HT

VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=52533

Network I/O Control

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7utuL4uAsdc

VMware vCloud Networking and Security

http://vmwarelearning.com/vcloud_net_sec/

VMware NSX Product Page

http://www.vmware.com/products/nsx/

VMware NSX Blog

http://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/

HOL-SDC-1302 – vSphere Distributed Switch A to Z

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1303 – VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

Storage

  

Introduction to Storage

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/index.jsp#com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-F602EB17-8D24-400A-9B05-196CEA66464F.html

VMware vSphere: Storage – Thick & Thin Provisioning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8FoEl6CeYo

VMware Storage Virtualization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Bpuwx5BbY

Enable vSphere HA and Storage DRS for VMware vSphere

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQJZNwuq15Y

VMware Storage Profiles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mawQTuTw4I

VMware Storage I/O Control

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKdKhmP5KE

VMWorld Session: STO1545-Architecting Storage DRS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPN5H8iwYpk

How to identify and Solve Storage I/O Latency Issues

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5T44OVDoms

vSphere 5 Storage DRS IO Load Balancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhaaNCC-GeY

VMware Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55p3ZD9l54o

HOL-SDC-1308-Virtual SAN (vSAN) and Virtual Storage Solutions

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

Security

  

Security of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmw-wp-secrty-vsphr-hyprvsr-uslet-101.pdf

VMware Security Development Lifecycle

http://www.vmware.com/security/sdl.html

VMware Security Response Center

http://www.vmware.com/security/vsrc.html

VMware Security Advisories

http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/

VMware Hardening Guides

http://www.vmware.com/security/hardening-guides.html

Operations Management

  

VMware vCenter Operations Manager Documentation

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vcops-pubs.html

VMware vCenter Operations – Introduction Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-DJuTiqKag

VMware vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals [V5.6]

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=42954

VMware vCenter Operations Training Videos

http://vmwarelearning.com/vcenter/

HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations

http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

Certification –

  

Certification – VMware Cloud Fundamentals

http://www.vmware.com/certification

Certification – VMware DataCenter Virtualization – VCP5-DCV – Blueprint

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=45082&ui=www_cert

VMware VCP-DCV 5.1 Exam Preparation

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=46281

 

It’s my easy button for you this week.  You all probably already have something but I didn’t… 

In addition, here is a 5.5 Feature URL listing which provides information on each 5.5 feature.. Enjoy!

 

vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements

URL

 

Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.vm_admin.doc_50%2FGUID-285BB774-CE69-4477-9011-598FEF1E9ACB.html

Support for Reliable Memory Technology

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMW-WP-vSPHR-5.5-PLTFRM.pdf

Enhancements for CPU C-States

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMW-WP-vSPHR-5.5-PLTFRM.pdf

Virtual Machine Enhancements

   

Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi 5.5

   

Expanded vGPU Support

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-Platform-Whats-New.pdf

Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-Platform-Whats-New.pdf

VMware vCenter Server Enhancements

   

VMware vCenter Single Sign-On

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2034918

VMware vSphere Web Client

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/11/which-vsphere-client-should-i-use-and-when.html

VMware vCenter Server Appliance

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/index.jsp#com.vmware.vsphere.vcenterhost.doc/GUID-0B9988FF-5FB6-4656-9C58-EE3617B57E90.html?resultof=%2522%2576%2543%2565%256e%2574%2565%2572%2522%2520%2522%2576%2563%2565%256e%2574%2565%2572%2522%2520%2522%2553%2565%2572%2576%2565%2572%2522%2520%2522%2573%2565%2572%2576%2565%2572%2522%2520%2522%2541%2570%2570%256c%2569%2561%256e%2563%2565%2522%2520%2522%2561%2570%2570%256c%2569%2561%256e%2563%2522%2520

vSphere App HA

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/appha-pubs.html

vSphere HA and VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (vSphere DRS)

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-55-availability-guide.pdf

Virtual Machine–Virtual Machine Affinity Rules Enhancements

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/09/04/vsphere-5-5-nuggets-high-availability-enhancement/

vSphere Big Data Extensions

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-big-data-extensions-pubs.html

vSphere Storage Enhancements

   

Support for 62TB VMDK

   

MSCS Updates

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2052238

16GB E2E support

   

PDL AutoRemove

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-big-data-extensions-pubs.html

vSphere Replication Interoperability

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=2005776&sliceId=1&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&dialogID=235212479&stateId=1%200%20235220597

vSphere Replication Multi-Point-in-Time Snapshot Retention

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-replication-55-admin.pdf

vSphere Flash Read Cache

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vSphere_55_Flash_Read_Cache_Whats_New_WP.pdf

vSphere Networking Enhancements

   

Link Aggregation Control Protocol Enhancements

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2034277

Traffic Filtering

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.networking.doc/GUID-DC14D8EE-110B-4321-8BF6-51C259971CF1.html

Quality of Service Tagging

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMware-Whats-New-in-VMware-vSphere-Networking.pdf

Quality of Service Tagging

http://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2013/10/30/how-to-vsphere-5-5-network-qos.aspx

SR-IOV Enhancements

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMware-Whats-New-in-VMware-vSphere-Networking.pdf

Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMware-Whats-New-in-VMware-vSphere-Networking.pdf

40GB NIC support

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMware-Whats-New-in-VMware-vSphere-Networking.pdf

 

vSphere 5.5 Product Guide 02-2014 is Released!

Posted on Updated on

Folks this is a must read document packed with all kinds of detailed information around VMware products and how they relate to licensing.

Fair warning – This is document is very detailed, but once you start getting into it lots of gold nuggets can be found.

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vmware-product-guide.pdf

Enjoy!

Free Instructional Video: vCloud Director Concepts and Architecture

Posted on Updated on

The following URL will take you to 13 recorded sessions. They deliver an overview of VMware vCloud Director concepts and architecture, installation, creating Provider Resources, creating Organizations, creating and populating Catalogs, building a vApp, creating vShield Edge Firewall Rules, creating site-to-site VPNs, and more. Enjoy!

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=36740&ui=www_edu

 

 

 

vExpert 2012 – Four years in a row!

Posted on Updated on

I was fortunate enough these past weeks to be elected as a vExpert for 2012 based on my blogging, virtualization community involvement, and leading the Advanced Technology Network Groups (ATNG).

Thank you very much to Alex Maier, John Troyer, and the internal vExpert staff for doing a fine job with this program. I’m proud and flatter to be part of this great program as it has so many prodigious virtualization folk as members.

Looking forward to 2012-2013:

Blog —

Recently (06/2011) my role has changed from end-user to employee at VMware and blogging material has become a bit more narrowed. I can’t exactly blog about my customers, that is strictly taboo and I have too much respect for them to do so. Finding good content to blog has proven to be a bit more of a challenge. However I still strive to keep an open mind and I know I will find my ultimate niche eventually.

ATNG —

ATNG has been a great group and it has been a blast running it. The foundation members have changed since the original charter and we’re finding it a bit harder to meet, but still there is a desire to be a group that meets regularly and talk technology not sales… (More info – www.atngroups.com)

This Year what will I be up to? —

I am asking myself what will next year bring for me in the way of sustaining a vExpert into 2013? I do know this… I will keep my blog up, I will keep ATNG growing, I will organize a give back event in Phoenix, and I’m always glad to help out Phoenix VMUG (if they need me). If this qualifies me as a vExpert for next 2013 then great, if not no worries I know I’ve done my part J

 

Thanks for reading… Feel free to comment as I always enjoy reading your feedback and suggestions!

PS – If you want to know more about the vExpert program, check it out here > http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-18314