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HTML5 Client – the new way of managing vSphere environment?

HTML5 Client – the new way of managing vSphere environment?

Since vSphere 6.5, VMware killed standard Windows vSphere Client. However, it was promised so we should not be suprised (anyway I am still shocked ;)).

Fortunatelly, every cloud has a silver lining. I reckon that VMware is aware that the current Web Client is not a perfect solution. That’s why they released completely new HTML5 vSphere Client which seems to be quite useful, intuitive and what’s the most important – it works as it should in therms of response times. Some of Administrators claims it reminds the old GSX console.

The darker side of the new Client is that it’s constrained in terms of functionality and it will not let you perform all of the administrative tasks. But do not worry it’s the first release and I hope VMware will expand the functionality quickly.

The HTML5 Client could be accessed by energing the FQDN or IP address of our vCenter in the Web browser, then you will see two possible options – classic Web Client and the new one. You will also notice that there is a caution saying that it has only partial functionality.

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The list of non supported functionalities you will find here.

After you sign in to the new administration interface you will see quite grey and simple but in my opinion still good looking interface.

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The whole structure of it is designed to be intuitive expecially for those Admins which are still using mostly just the standard vSphere client. In my option the design combines the best things from Web and Windows Client in one interface. The problem is just the lask of functionality. I decided to try it and start with configuring iSCSI in my new nested LAB. However, I was quickly brought to the heel – there was not an option to add software SCSI adapter. This suddenly ended my adventure with new HTML5 Client 🙂

To sum up, it would be a handy tool in the future, it just need to be completed in terms of functionality.  Unfortunatelly, for those who want to migrate to vSphere 6.5 there will be still a need to use Web Client.

Another free eBook from VMware!

Another free eBook from VMware!

After Network Virtualization for Dummies, VMware published today another book from the series – Cloud Management for Dummies.

It can be downloaded at this VMware site. The one thing you need  to do is to sign in and download.

Download this book to learn how to meet these cloud-driven challenges, including:

  • Lifecycle management – from deployment to maintenance
  • Hybrid landscape – manage local and remote services
  • Quality of service – improve uptime and performance
  • Cost containment – capture and communicate usage

 

Network virtualization for Dummies – from VMware

Network virtualization for Dummies – from VMware

VMware shared a free ebook – Network Virtualization for Dummies. It’s the next book from seriers “for Dummies”. The main goal of the series is to describe technical aspects in the most clear and easy way as possible. I haven’t read this one yet but “Virtualization for Dummies” was quite good in my opinion.

If you are keen on network virtualization topic, I strongly encourage you to download it here.

 

 

vSphere 6.5 Security Enhancements  

vSphere 6.5 Security Enhancements  

 

In this article I will try to point most important security enhancements in recently released vSphere 6.5 platform.  As we can hear from “pre GA” sneak peek information VMware will build security in 3 areas:

  • Secure access – logs monitoring and audit
  • Secure infrastructure – hypervisor with minimal footprint = minimal attack surface and cryptographic option to provide SecureBoot
  • Secure data – hypervisor-level encryption for VM data

Let’s go deeper  into the  technology – below is a list of implemented security features / technology in vSphere 6.5 that we will discuss in details:

  • Enhanced Logging
  • VM Encryption
  • Backup and Restore encrypted VMs
  • Encrypted vMotion
  • Secure Boot – ESXi and VMs

 

I’ll provide links to the features above in the near feature. Please, stay tuned 🙂

 

vSphere 6.5 Installation – Part 1 – External PSC

vSphere 6.5 Installation – Part 1 – External PSC

This is the first part of the series describing the different options to install, restore and upgrade vSphere 6.5, especially the vCenter server.

In this part we will describe the process of External PSC deployment.

1.The first step is to download the vCSA ISO image and mount it for instance to your desktop. Inside the ISO image go to D:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 and run the installer.exe.

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2. Then we choose the Install option, as you can see there are also available such option as Upgrade, Migrate and Rocever. All of them will be described further in next part of the series.

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3. In vSphere 6.5 the process of deployment is divided into two phases, or more correctly stages. The first stage contains the deployment of the appliance where it is deployed in our infrastructure. The second stage will let you configure the PSC and creating SSO domain, etc. It’s nothing to do on this step, simply click Next.

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4. Accept the End User License Agreement and click Next.

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5. Choose the deployment type. In my case I’m going to use external PSC and this is my first node, mark Platform Service Controller and click Next.

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6. In this step you have to provide the information about the host or vCenter where the appliance will be deployed. I’d like to emphasiss the option with vCenter which is new and in my opinion very helpful. It’s also the recommended option, of course if you already have a vCenter in place. That’s because if you connect directly to an ESXi host and it is in a DRS cluster, DRS initiated vMotions may occur during deployment process. To prevent this, you can either connect to vCenter managing the ESXi host or ensure the cluster where this ESXi host resides is not set to Fully Automated DRS for the duration of the deployment. You also need to provide the credentials to vCenter or ESXi host for an user that have the privileges do deploy and configure virtual appliances.

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7. Verify and confirm the Certificate warning.

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8. In case you have choosen the vCenter to connect tom, you can indicate a specific folder for the appliance. Click Next.,

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9. Choose the correct ESXi host to deploy it and click Next.

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10. Specify the Virtual Machine name, root password and click Next.

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11. Choose the datastore you want to use. There is also an option to configure the appliance this in thin provisioning mode. If you prefer so, simply mark the checkbox “Enable Thin Disk Mode” and click Next.

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12. This steps requires the network configuration. You are supposed to provide port group from the available list of port groups configured on ESXi host/vCenter you choosed before. There is also a place for system name which is optional (in case you don’t provide it, IP address will be used instead)

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13. Last step in stage one – confirmation. If all settings are correct click Finish to start the deployment process.

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14. During the dpeloyment process you can observe the progress via installer, or vSphere Client/Web Client.

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15. After the deployment is done you have to option to continue and move to stage two via the installer window. If you do not want to perform this stage at he moment, you can close the installer and do it later from the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface ( it’s available at https://your_PSC_FQND_or_IP:5480) We will go through this proces at once.

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16. The welcome screan informs you that this is the stage 2. Click Next.

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17. Provide the IP address of NTP Server, mark the enable SSH checkbox and click Next.

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18. Here you have two option – create a new SSO domain or join the esixting one. This is my first PSC in the environment so I will create new SSO domain. Be aware that it is not an Active Directory! It’s a separate domain for VMware and I suggest to choose a different name than you AD domain. The domain name must conform the RFC 1035 standards. Site name could be helpful in case you have two datacenters and in both of them you are going to deploy the PSC infrastructure. It will let you distinguish these sites. The siete name could be connected with datacenter name or the city in which it’s located. It’s up to you, just remember that the name should include alphanumeric characters or the symbol dash (-). They should not exceed 63 characters and include high-ASCII/non-ASCII characters. After all, click Next.

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19. Choose the option to join or not to join the VMware’s Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and click Next.

 

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20. Review all the configured options and values and click Finish.

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21. You will need to confirm the warning that you are completely sure about your choice.

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22. Again as in the stage 1 you can monitor the progress untill it’s finished.

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23. After the deployment is done, you can access the PSC Client at https://psc_FQDN_or_IP:443/psc

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Now you can make the initial configuration of you SSO domain. I would start from adding the appliance do AD domain. To do it you have to log to the 5480 port ( VAMI interface) using root account with password you specified during instalation.

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When you are logged in go to Configuration -> Manage -> Active Directory Join and provide the required information. After that you have to manually reboot the PSC node.

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After the PSC node is back you can verify that the domain is listed in Manage tab.

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Then you can log into PSC client (https://psc_FQDN_or_IP:443/psc) using administrator account and password in domain you created during installation ( in my case it’s vv.cloud so so the user will be administrator@vv.cloud). Next you can add the new identity source using Windows Integrated Authentication. To perform this action move to Configuration -> Identity Sources -> Add.

 

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You can also indicate this identity source as Default Domain using globe icon.

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It’s done, your PSC is up and ready. You can continue the configuration or deploy the vCenter Server and connect it to this SSO domain.

I’ll show the process in next part of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vSphere 6.5 GA is now available to download!

vSphere 6.5 GA is now available to download!

That’s the day most of us ( or at least me :)) were waiting for. It’s officialy available to download vSphere 6.5 GA.

It can be downloaded directly from this page.

Documentation can be found here.

The most important features are:

  • HTML 5 vSphere Client
  • ProactiveHA
  • Network-Aware DRS
  • vCenter Backup and Restore
  • Auto Deploy integraded with Web Client
  • vSphere Update Manager built-in vCenter Server Appliance.
  • General Storage, NFS and Network enhancements

I guess that there aren’t many of you who will install it in the production environments. I won’t too, however ESXi and vCenter ISOs are already downloaded, lab is also up and ready so it’s high time to test it. I’ll share my findings here as soon as possible, so please stay tuned.

Mystery VCP7-CMA Beta Exam…

Mystery VCP7-CMA Beta Exam…

Today VMware announced the GA version of two VCAP Deployment exams (it’s high time after 1,5 year of VCP6 on the market..)

The first one – VCAP 6 – Datacenter Virtualization Deployment and VCAP 6 – Network Virtualization Deployment.

That’s mean that all VCAP 6 exams are now available in GA version for everyone. However there is an inconvenience for some countries if you live for example in Poland. Unfortunately there is no Pearson Vue test Center in Poland where you can take the exam..Anyway I believe that VMware/Pearson Vue will change it soon.

 

But what about the VCP7-CMA ?

It’s a really funny story, because it  you try to find anything about it searching the Internet you will not! There was no announcement on VMware site, any information at VMware Education blog, etc.

So, what exacly am I talking about? Due to my frequent verification of Pearson Vue site to check if the deployment exams are already available I discovered VCP7 exam recently.

As I said, it’s quite strange that there is no information about it but as you can see below it does not seem to be a bug.

VCP7-CMA_2

The conclusion is simple, it’s high time to start the study of vRA 7.x 🙂