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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

vSAN 6.7 is here!

Today marks the release of vSAN version 6.7 along with vCenter and vSphere 6.7. The versions line up now across those three products which will make things a lot less confusing, so we are already off to a great start. There are many significant improvements to this version, and I was fortunate enough to be part of the blogger early access program to get a sneak peak at this release from the marketing team. I will go over a few things that they shared with us in this post.

HTML5 client integration for vSAN is almost at feature parity with the flex web client. vSAN workflows have been optimized for less clicks and a more efficient user experience. Support will still continue for the Flex web client, but new features going forward will only be available through the new HTML5 interface. This will be much nicer to have an interface free of the flash player, and it is very fast in comparison!




Native vROps dashboards for vSAN are now available in the vSphere Client. Quickly see the basics like health and more, or click to move to the vROps console for the full vSAN dashboard.

VMware Releases vSphere and vCenter 6.7

I was fortunate to be part of a blogger vExpert early access program and got to see the new product version before the launch. Having taken part in the vSphere beta for the past few years, I have been very much looking forward to this release. I was under embargo but can now share some of these things with you as that has been lifted as of today.


Installation

The Clarity UI is used for the installation. This is a nice new look for the installation and upgrade processes. One of the main benefits now is a browser and platform agnostic approach to the install.



Here are the supported upgrade paths, note that the path from 6.5U2 to 6.7 support is not live yet, but will be in the future. If you are currently on vSphere 5.5 you will need to upgrade to 6.0 to be able to get to 6.7. Another side note vSphere 5.5 support ends on September 19th so if you haven't already considered this now is the time! **NOTE** This is the last release for Windows based vCenter




vCenter improvements

vCSA migration now supports your current custom ports for services during the migration process if you have changed any of the default ports on your install these settings will be preserved on the new vCSA.

New and improved vCenter Appliance Management Interface (VAMI)





There is a new Monitoring screen, this screen will give much more detail

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Resync Improvements in vSAN 6.6

Having seen some of the resync times in the past on vSAN 6.0 it was welcome news to hear about vSAN 6.6's ability to weigh which route was more expensive (in terms of rebuild time/data to sync) if a host was out and came back into a cluster, but I had never seen it for myself, until today. I am in the middle of working on a vSAN upgrade and I have to update the HBA firmware for my controllers. I switched to the N2215 HBA for my vSAN and need them on the VMware VCG supported firmware. The current firmware level is 9.00.02.00 and the VMware recommended versions in the vSAN Health Hardware Check, shows either 11.00.02.00 or 13.00.02.00 are supported.




I knew this upgrade was going to take a while with various firmware versions on the host needing to be upgraded. Firmware upgrades are notoriously slow due to the critical nature of the components. Many safety checks are in place to make sure things are working. In addition to the HBA firmware I also had UEFI firmware, DSA, IMM which is IBM/Lenovo speak for an out of band server management card. vSAN resync times were top of mind as I approached this update. To remedy this I knew that I wanted to increase the default vSAN resync time, which is 60 minutes when a host is absent from the cluster. There are a few ways this can be done, either GUI or CLI and I will show both methods here. In the web client you can go to the host level and choose Advanced System Settings and edit the value for VSAN.ClomRepairDelay,

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

vExpert 2018




Hi everyone, This is just a quick post to say I am thrilled to announce that I have been accepted back in the VMware vExpert program for 2018.


This is VMware's program for community and advocacy for technologists. This has been a great opportunity for me and has created a lot of new friendships with people out in the community. It has opened up speaking at events for me and has been a really awesome experience. It shows you are dedicated to the community and it really means a lot. There is special swag at events for vExperts and the coolest thing is the licensing for VMware products for the home lab. Again I am really honored to be accepted back in for my second year this year and look forward to getting out there and meeting some of you at a VMware or VMUG event near you! Cheers!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Home Lab Series Part 2

Welcome back to my home lab series, it has been a while since I have gotten a chance to write a blog post. I have had a lot of exciting things keeping me busy in my professional and personal life. I was very fortunate to be selected as part of a home lab presentation series on vbrownbag. It came about as a discussion on twitter shortly before Cody Dearkland was a guest on our podcast the vGigacast. We had some discussions on home labs and Cody ended up reaching out to Jonathan Frappier and we were put on the schedule for the month of February. It was a very exciting opportunity and for those that would like to see it I will post it here.






Now lets get back to the home lab series. When we first left off we had discussed a lot of the various types of gear I had gone through over the last several years.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Home Lab Series Part 1

My home lab has gone through so many different variations through the years, as my needs at work have grown and changed my home lab has changed with it. I have constantly tried out new products just because I am a tinkerer and love playing around with new software and love the hunt for new parts as well. I have spent countless hours on eBay, forums and websites researching that next item I need or that next product I want to try. This series will attempt to take you through the various iterations of my lab as it has changed over the years. I will focus on what worked, what didn't, troubles I have had, other blogs, websites that have helped me over the years and it might not be 100% technical either. There may be some reminiscing as well as I try to recall the various configurations it has gone through. I hope you enjoy this series and come along with me as I discuss the home lab.



First, a little background, I have been building my own computers since 2001 when a friend encouraged me to give it a try. I had always been interested in computers and had been using them for quite a while at that point, the better part of a decade in 2001. While in High School I took every computer course I could, but I had never thought of building my own. This was to be my start tinkering with computer hardware. As my career grew, starting out on a help desk for a small ISP back in 2005, I was always intrigued by

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

vSAN 6.6 Rebalance & Resync Operations

In this post I will delve a little bit into day 2 OPS here with vSAN. Suppose you have had a maintenance window for rebooting and patching hosts, or perhaps you have a message under vSAN health saying that a proactive disk rebalance is needed on your vSAN cluster. In either scenario you will have components of VM's resyncing or in the case of a rebalance, moving on the cluster. This won't be a long post, but will give you some idea of what to expect when you encounter either disk resync or proactive rebalancing on your vSAN cluster.



First off let's define what the difference between the two operations are. A resync is replicating VM components across hosts in accordance to Storage Policy-Based Management or SPBM FTT=1, FTT=2 etc.