DellEMC World 2017 Wrap Up

I attended DellEMC World 2017 this past week in Las Vegas courtesy of the DellEMC Elect program; but all thoughts below, short of any quotes, are my own for better or worse.

One of the highlights for me, as with many conferences, was the community aspect. From vBeers Sunday night, being invited to Howard Marks’ traditional Lotus of Siam meal on Tuesday, or the various official and unofficial get togethers put on during the week the opportunities to network were plentiful. And it was great to meet those coming into the DellEMC Elect program from the EMC side.
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vBrainstorm At DellEMC World 2017

DellEMC World 2017 in Las Vegas is only a mere seven days away, and I’ll be there representing vBrainstorm and the DellEMC Elect. Continuing the theme of seven, this will be my seventh time to attend this event and second since the merger. While the early Dell World events had a distinct sale/marketing/C-level orientation, there has been a much welcomed shift toward greater technical focus and this year looks to continue the trend. A look through the session catalog shows a nice collection of storage, IoT, Big Data and (pleasant surprise) networking breakouts, along with the more managerial and sales tracks.

Expecting to see the usual updates of hardware specs across the entire product spectrum, and hoping there are a couple surprises to be unveiled. The XPS15 release in 2013 and FX2 in 2014 were both launches that caused attendees to stop and take notice, will there be anything similar this year? Perhaps the acquisition of Aerohive to end payments to HPE everytime a W-Series wireless deployment is done?

On the networking front I’m particularly excited to see all the sessions on the new OS10 and -ON platforms. When OS10 was first announced it caught my interest, a modular *nix based switch OS that can also support running compute workloads allowing services to be pushed closer to the network edge. But after the flurry of press following the initial announcement, it seemingly disappeared from view. When asked about it in an analyst Q&A session at DellEMC World in Austin last October, Michael Dell mistook the question to be about Windows 10; not exactly a good sign. So I’m hoping the number of sessions can be taken as a sign of renewed focus on OS10 and the former Force10 equipment.

Register Storage Providers for Virtual Volumes? Why VVOL’S?

One of the main reasons I wanted to upgrade my lab to vSphere 6.5 was to play with VVOL’s or Virtual Volumes.

Why VVOL’s? Good Question. Lets Look at what is new in Virtual Volumes.

 


 

See What’s New: vSphere Virtual Volumes

Source http://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/products/virtualvolumes/vmware-whats-new-vsphere-virtual-volumes.pdf

 

“By transitioning from the legacy storage model to Software-Defined Storage with Virtual Volumes, customers will gain the following benefits:

 

  • Automation of storage “class-of-service” at scale: Provision virtual machines quickly across data center using a common control plane (SPBM) for automation.
  • Self-Service capabilities: Empower application administrators with cloud automation tool integration (vRealize Automation, PowerCLI, OpenStack).
  •  Simple change management using policies: Eliminate change management overhead and use policies to drive infrastructure changes.
  • Finer control of storage class of service: Match VM storage requirements exactly as needed with class of service delivered per VM.
  • Effective monitoring/troubleshooting with per VM visibility: Gain visibility on individual VM performance and storage consumption.
  • Non-disruptive transition: Use existing protocols (Fiber channel, ISCSI, NFS) across heterogeneous storage devices.
  • Safeguard existing investment: Use existing resources more efficiently with an operational model that eliminates inefficient static and rigid storage constructs.

Sounds good, Since I have a Solidfire in my lab that supports it, and it’s enabled. Whats first?

 


 

The first step is to Register the Storage Provider.

 

“Your Virtual Volumes environment must include storage providers, also called VASA providers. Typically, third-party vendors develop storage providers through the VMware APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA). Storage providers facilitate communication between vSphere and the storage side. You must register the storage provider in vCenter Server to be able to work with Virtual Volumes.

After registration, the Virtual Volumes provider communicates with vCenter Server. The provider reports characteristics of underlying storage and data services, such as replication, that the storage system provides. The characteristics appear in the VM Storage Policies interface and can be used to create a VM storage policy compatible with the Virtual Volumes datastore. After you apply this storage policy to a virtual machine, the policy is pushed to Virtual Volumes storage. The policy enforces optimal placement of the virtual machine within Virtual Volumes storage and guarantees that storage can satisfy virtual machine requirements. If your storage provides extra services, such as caching or replication, the policy enables these services for the virtual machine.

Verify that an appropriate version of the Virtual Volumes storage provider is installed on the storage side. Obtain credentials of the storage provider.

1

Browse to vCenter Server in the vSphere Web Client navigator.

2

Click the Configure tab, and click Storage Providers.

3

Click the Register a new storage provider icon ().

4

Type connection information for the storage provider, including the name, URL, and credentials.

5

Specify the security method.

Action

Description

Direct vCenter Server to the storage provider certificate

Select the Use storage provider certificate option and specify the certificate’s location.

Use a thumbprint of the storage provider certificate

If you do not direct vCenter Server to the provider certificate, the certificate thumbprint is displayed. You can check the thumbprint and approve it. vCenter Server adds the certificate to the truststore and proceeds with the connection.

The storage provider adds the vCenter Server certificate to its truststore when vCenter Server first connects to the provider.

6

To complete the registration, click OK.

vCenter Server discovers and registers the Virtual Volumes storage provider.

Next up. Making a Datastore within it.

Roger L

Resetting VMware Update Manager Database on a vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (2147284)

I ran into a need to reset the VMware Update Manger Database after a Upgrade from 6 to 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance. I thought I would share the KB.

This does remove all baselines, and all uploaded patches. Thus, document what you have. I had to do this because have the upgrade from vCenter Server Appliance 6 to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 ; when I would scan a host, it would fail instantly.

 

Below is the KB.

 

KB: 2147284
Updated: Feb 1, 2017
Languages:
English
Product(s):
VMware vCenter Server Appliance
Product Version(s):
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.x

Resetting VMware Update Manager Database on a vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (2147284)

https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2147284

 

Purpose

The following article outlines how to reset the VMware Update Manager Database and Patch Store on a vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.

Starting with vCenter Server Appliance 6.5, the VMware Update Manager is embedded into the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.

Resolution

Cautions:The following is a destructive task. Ensure you have working backups and/or snapshots of the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 before proceeding.

 

  1. Connect to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 via SSH
  2. Run the shell command to switch to the BASH Shell:shell
  3. Stop the VMware Update Manager Service:service-control –stop vmware-updatemgr
  4. Run the following command to reset the VMware Update Manager Database:/usr/lib/vmware-updatemgr/bin/updatemgr-util reset-db
  5. Run the following Command to delete the contents of the VMware Update Manager Patch Store:rm -rf /storage/updatemgr/patch-store/*
  6. Start the VMware Update Manager Service:service-control –start vmware-updatemgr
Note: You may need to log out and log back into any instances of the vSphere Web Client.
Roger L

Press Release – Blue Medora Expands SelectStar to Support Microsoft Azure, Azure SQL

I received this today, and thought the press release was worth sharing. Source touchdownpr.com

 

Today Blue Medora, an IT enterprise cloud and datacenter management company, announced a new management plug-in to support Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL. The new Blue Medora SelectStar product helps DBAs have the cost and availability of multi-cloud environments while maintaining the visibility of single-stack solutions.

 

SelectStar is the first cross-platform database performance software to include infrastructure insights from the two largest public cloud providers in a single view. This performance platform delivers a normalized view of more than 95 percent of production cloud-native or on-premises databases and their underlying cloud or virtualized infrastructure, which is ideal for organizations migrating their SQL stack to the cloud to save costs, and for those who support DevOps teams that depend on cloud-native databases to deploy new applications faster.

 

The full release is copied below for reference.

 

Blue Medora Expands SelectStar to Support Microsoft Azure, Azure SQL

 

SelectStar is the first cross-platform database performance software to include infrastructure insights from the two largest public cloud providers in a single view

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI– April 27, 2017 – Blue Medora, a leading innovator in IT operational analytics (ITOA) for enterprise cloud, database and infrastructure management, today expanded its SelectStar SaaS database performance solution to support Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL databases. SelectStar for Azure provides metric-based and deep-dive monitoring for Azure native database workloads, enabling users to see query-level metrics on their Azure SQL databases.

 

Organizations are migrating production databases to the cloud for efficiency, cost and scale, but application performance and availability requirements often dictate a hybrid cloud, multi-DBMS environment. SelectStar for Azure offers a unique advantage over individualized cloud-native or on-premises proprietary solutions by enabling database administrators (DBAs) to track and optimize critical database performance and availability issues in these heterogenous environments with the same ease as a proprietary, on-prem stack.

 

The SelectStar performance platform delivers a normalized view of more than 95 percent of production cloud-native or on-premises databases and their underlying cloud or virtualized infrastructure. The platform is ideal for organizations migrating their SQL stack to the cloud to save costs, and for those who support DevOps teams that depend on cloud-native databases to deploy new applications faster.

 

“We’ve seen rapid growth in the Azure Cloud due to the increasing adoption of a multi-cloud strategy fueled by major outages and the rise of cloud-based data warehouses that were once on-prem SQL deployments” said Mike Kelly, CTO of Blue Medora and GM of SelectStar. “SelectStar’s Azure integration offers the best of both worlds, allowing DBAs to enjoy the cost and availability of multi-cloud environments while maintaining the visibility of single-stack solutions.”

 

Key benefits of SelectStar Microsoft Azure Monitoring include:

  • Query Deep Dive Dashboard: Individual query analysis in context with other database query times for benchmarking, faster troubleshooting.
  • Relationship Scaling: Key metrics about the underlying Azure infrastructure, like DTU and Elastic Pool usage to prevent throttling and oversubscription.
  • Expert Recommendations: Embedded expertise for “accidental DBAs,” built-in recommendations to proactively repair Azure SQL performance and availability issues before the system triggers an alert.
  • Dynamic Database Dashboard: A comprehensive overview of every database in an organization’s environment, including prioritized alerts and recommendations as well as current database health in one view.
  • Advanced Analytics Dashboard: Report on query by name, average wait time, current wait time and lock time, executions, warnings and errors for an individual Azure SQL instance.

 

The new SelectStar services for Azure and Azure SQL are available immediately from Blue Medora. For more information, visit www.selectstar.io/integrations/cloud.

 

Additional resources:

SelectStar Product Page on Cloud

Video: 5 Steps for Better Azure SQL Performance (for Devs and accidental DBAs)

Blog: 5 Steps to Better Azure SQL Performance

 

Source touchdownpr.com

My vSphere 6.5 Upgrade Checklist – painful : Repost

I ran across this post when reviewing VMware vSphere 6.5 upgrade best practices via google.

I like to read about others and what they experience while upgrading prior to running through a upgrade myself.

 

by Michael White

https://notesfrommwhite.net/2017/01/29/my-vsphere-6-5-upgrade-checklist-painful/

 

“Yes, this has taken me a while to get too. And it took me a while to do as well. Now that I work at Veeam, and while I have used Veeam products for many years, now I need to work my lab like a Veeam customer. vSphere 6.5 is a big deal for me, and it has a lot of new stuff in it that I am looking forward to so I have been waiting anxiously for Update 1 for Veeam that supports 6.5. It is here now but there is still one more tool of mine that is not 6.5 capable but I am tired of waiting for it. It is the VMware Infrastructure Navigator (VIN) and I find it most useful. BTW, I do this article, and then with it as a plan I do the upgrade. After that I update the article with anything I learned and then finally I publish. I will keep in this article the problems I had in case it helps someone.”

I thought it was worth the time to read.

Roger L

 

Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 (2147686)

Prior to upgrading vCenter to 6.5, make sure to review the best practices from VMware.

 

 

 

Best practices for upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 (2147686)

KB: 2147686
Updated: Mar 24, 2017
Languages:
English
Product(s):
VMware vCenter Server
VMware vCenter Server Appliance
Product Version(s):
VMware vCenter Server 6.5.x
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.x

Purpose

This article provides pre-upgrade information for vCenter Server 6.5 and related components.

Resolution

Caution:

  • Though different upgrade paths are possible and may complete successfully, VMware does not recommend some of the resulting topologies.
  • If your services are distributed across multiple machines, the upgrades must be done sequentially, not concurrently.

Deployment Models

To determine the deployment model that you want to upgrade to, see Supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 (2147672).  It is recommended to migrate off of a deprecated support topology before upgrading to vSphere 6.5.  For more information, see the Moving from a Deprecated to a Supported vCenter Server Deployment Topology Before Upgrade or Migration section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
Caution: Repointing vCenter Server between Sites in a vSphere Domain is no longer supported in vSphere 6.5.

Staged upgrade across multiple maintenance Windows

If you have a complex vSphere 5.x or 6.0 environment, you may prefer to upgrade your vSphere environment over the course of several maintenance windows. It is possible to upgrade the vSphere environment in stages.
These are the general order of the upgrades:
  1. Upgrade each vCenter Single Sign-On or Platform Services Controller one at a time.

    Note: For 5.5, only if vCenter Single Sign-On is installed on a separate machine than vCenter Server.

  2. Upgrade each vCenter Server one at a time.
  3. Upgrade each ESXi host one at a time.

For more information about each transition step including diagrams, see the Upgrade or Migration Order and Mixed-Version Transitional Behavior for Multiple vCenter Server Instance Deployments section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

vCenter Server for Windows requirements

To install vCenter Server on a Windows virtual machine or physical server, your system must meet specific hardware and software requirements.

For more information, see:

vCenter Server Appliance requirements

Before upgrading to vSphere 6.0, ensure to review the important information in these sections:

Migrating from vCenter Server for Windows to the vCenter Server Appliance

It is possible to migrate a vCenter Server installation on Windows to a vCenter Server Appliance installation while upgrading to version 6.5.
For more information, see:
  • System Requirements for Migrating vCenter Server Deployments to vCenter Server Appliance Deployments section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Prerequisites for Migrating vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign-On, and Platform Services Controller section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
  • Known Limitations section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
Notes:
  • The vSphere Web Client 6.5 requires Adobe Flash Player 16 or later. For more information, see the vSphere Web Client Software Requirement section in the vSphere Installation and Setup Guide.

Additional Information

Roger Lund

Tips For Surviving DellEMC World in Vegas

So you’ve got the good fortune of attending DellEMC World 2017 in Las Vegas. Here’s some tips to make your visit to the desert oasis a little more pleasant so you gain the most out of the conference.

When deciding what to pack, keep in mind that Vegas can be slightly cool (50-60F) in the mornings, but quickly heats up to the 90-100F range once the Daystar is overhead. Bring a light jacket and wear light colored, moisture wicking clothes.

Hydration is key; the heat will make you sweat and the dry, smokey, casino air will leave you feeling parched. Highly recommend investing in a double-walled vacuum insulated water bottle from HydroFlask or similar. Dehydration combined with the plentiful and free alcohol will make for a less than pleasant conference experience.

Get yourself some lozenges to keep your mouth moist, it’ll help with all the talking with vendors and other attendees. You may still end up hoarse by Thursday, but give your throat a fighting chance. I’m a fan of Fisherman’s Friend, all natural, low calorie and they work very well. They’re also not sweet and candy like, nor bulky in the mouth like most lozenges.

Wear comfortable shoes and think about adding padded insoles. You’ll be on your feet walking a lot, and Vegas isn’t known for it’s soft green spaces.

Pace yourself; it’s a long week with a lot to see and do. Don’t try to fill every hour of every day with meetings, sessions, gatherings, etc. Take some time, even just 10-15 minutes, to step away from the crowds and relax.

Got any tips you’d suggest? Leave them in the comments below.

DellEMC Elect 2017 Announcement

With the merging of Dell and EMC came a combining of the EMC Elect and Dell TechCenter Rockstar advocacy programs to form the DellEMC Elect. After several months of planning and judging, and 600 great nominations, a class of 153 for 2017 has been announced. These individuals were chosen for their combination of technical knowledge of DellEMC enterprise products, a willing eagerness to help others, and objective independence. The full list of the 2017 DellEMC Elect can be viewed here.

It has been a great honor to have been involved as a founder and judge of this new combined program, and I look forward to seeing y’all at DellEMC World in Las Vegas this May.

DellEMC Elect Call for Nominations

Today is the day that’s been teased about for the last few weeks, and marks the culmination of months of planning. The former Dell TechCenter Rockstars and EMC Elect are joining forces and will henceforth be known as the DellEMC Elect.

Being selected to be part of the DellEMC Elect community is a recognition of efforts over the past year by an individual to promote the products and services of DellEMC, while also providing feedback to improve products.

What’s in it for those selected aside from a hearty thank-you and recognition? That’s to be announced later, but word has it the much loved Elect Lounge will be returning to a conference near you.

If you, or an associate, have the passion for and knowledge of DellEMC’s products along with an interest in helping the greater community the time to apply for 2017 is now. Go to http://dell.to/dellemcelectnominate to nominate yourself or others you feel worthy today.

Find us on twitter and elsewhere under the #DellEMCElect hashtag

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