VMworld 2015 key announcements summary

Now that the dust has settled I thought it would be useful to review the key announcements: Virtual SAN 6.1, key enhancements include support for: Stretched Clustering with Zero RPO 2 node ROBO configurations vSphere Replication with a 5 minute RPO (exclusive to Virtual SAN) Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT) Intel NVMe and Diablo Ultra Dimm The Stretched Clustering feature will require the Advanced licence, which also includes support for All-Flash. The beta of the next release was also announced – this will include some hugely important enhancements: Disk Group based de-duplication (All-Flash only) Erasure coding (RAID 5 or RAID 6) End-to-end checksums with a background scrubber I have written quite a bit about Virtual SAN, it always felt to me that it was very early generation Continue reading

Are VMware VSAN, VVOLs and EVO:RAIL Software-Defined Storage and does it really matter?

Most IT vendors like to jump on the “latest bandwagon” to showcase their solutions, they then use key IT buzzwords to highlight their product as being cutting-edge. One of the most prevalent in today’s technology world is Software-Defined, but there is significant ambiguity with regard to exactly what it means. So what is my definition of a Software-Defined solution? You purchase software and hardware independently, more often than not from different vendors, and most importantly you can change the hardware without incurring additional licence fees – examples include VMware vSphere, Veeam Backup and Replication, and CommVault Simpana. So what is my definition of a non-Software-Defined solution? You purchase a hardware appliance that combines software and hardware into a single solution (you cannot move the Continue reading

Exploring Long-Distance vMotion in more detail

One of the major new features of vSphere 6 is the ability to vMotion over very long distances. With previous releases of vSphere the maximum network Round Trip Time (RTT) was 10 ms which equates to a distance of almost 400 miles. With Long-Distance vMotion the RTT has been increased to a whopping 100 ms which increases the distance to 4,000 miles – far enough to move a VM from London to New York. Of course you do still require a L2 stretched network (L2 adjacency) which is where technologies like vSphere NSX come in, but what about the storage? vSphere 5.1 introduced Enhanced vMotion which combined vMotion and Storage vMotion into a single operation so that shared storage was no longer required Continue reading

VMware Software-Defined Data Center Introduction Video now available on YouTube

VMware may well be about to change the world again, with the final pieces of the Software-Defined Data Centre falling into place. Until recently – SDDC looked like vapourware, however – with the release of Virtual SAN, EVO:RAIL, Flash Read Cache and the much anticipated arrival of NSX networking, it is finally a reality. To get you up to speed, we’ve provided a short introductory video on VMware SDDC – It’s less than 10 mins and should allow you to get a good idea of what this latest development offers your organisation. Of course – if you want more information on any of the subjects covered – then give us a call, drop us an email to info@snsltd.co.uk, or drill Continue reading

An introduction to VMware NSX Software-Defined Networking technology

Over the past decade VMware has changed the way IT is provisioned through the use of Virtual Machines, but if we want a truly Software-Defined Data Centre we also need to virtualise the storage and the network. For storage virtualisation VMware has introduced Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes (expected to be available in 2015), and for network virtualisation NSX. In this, the third of a three part series, we will take a look at NSX. The problem with networks today is that they are just too complex, if a Virtual Machine has a particular networking requirement then this would typically require that a change request goes to another team, who then have to make changes at the network hardware level – this is not Continue reading