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Vmware products dictionary

So the last couple of days have all been about VMworld, with the keynotes being fullpacked regarding to updates and new stuff that are coming. The list is long with updates and rebranding of different products and new suites that are available. A funny story thou is that VMware releasted today a Workspace Suite (Which looks exactly like the suite that Citrix is selling, “the market guys should really learn how to use Google”)

The one thing that I find annoying with Vmware is the ability to actually describe what a product does. On their website its not common to find a good describtion of their long list of products, so I decided to make one for you instead, hopefully this comes handy for some Smilefjes

and note this is super short.

vSphere: This is VMware’s hypervisor

vCenter: This is their management software to manage vSphere servers.

vCenter Site Recovery Manager: Replication and recovery/failover to S2S

vCenter Orchestrator: Workflow and process automation software.

vCenter Log Insight: Log analysis tool

vCenter Operations Manager: Monitoring software against the virtual layer and hardware

vCenter Hyperic: Agent based monitoring software against operatingsystem and application and services.

vCenter Converter: P2V utility

vCenter Configuration Manager: Configuration and Compliance management.

NSX: Network virtualization and security platform.

vSphere Data Protection Manager: Backup software

vCloud Air:  A Hybrid Cloud solution, allows customers to extend their datacenter to VMware’s datacenters.

vCloud Director: A private cloud IaaS solution

vCloud Connector: Connects private cloud and the public cloud within a single management

vCloud Automation Center: Self-service catalog with the ability to create service templates

VSAN: Virtualised Software-defined Storage

VVOL: The ability to move much of the managmeent capabilities frmo the SAN to the VM level

vRealize Air Automation: The ability to provision and manage infrastructure and services across public/private clouds

Horizon: End user platform to deliver VDI/RDS solutions.

Now VMware has also created some new bundles.

Workspace Suite: Contains Horizon, AirWatch and WorkSpace Portal

EVO RAIL:  A Prebuilt architecture which is going to be prebundled from specific OEM vendors. Which contains vSphere, vCenter, VSAN, Log insight.

Veeam Management pack for Hyper-V and Vmware walktrough

Yesterday, Veeam released their new management pack which for the first time includes support for both Vmware and Hyper-V. Now I have gotten a lot of questions regarding (Why have Hyper-V monitoring if Microsoft has it ?) well Veeam’s pack has alot more features included, such as capacity planning, heat maps and so on.

The management pack can be downloaded as an free trial from veeam’s website here –> http://www.veeam.com/system-center-management-pack-vmware-hyperv.html

Now as for the architecture of the functionality here it’s quite simple

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First of there are two components.

* Veeam Virtualization Extesions (Service and UI) it manages connections to VMware systems and the Veeam Collector(s), controling licensing, load balancing, and high availability

* Veeam Collector component gathers data from VMware and injects its information into the Ops Agent.

It is possible to install all of these components on the management server itself. You can also install the collector service on other servers which have the Opsmgr agent installed. The virtualization extension service must be installed on the management server.

In my case I wanted to install this on the mangement server itself, since I have a small enviroment. Before I started the installation I needed to make sure that the management server was operating in proxy mode.

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Next I started the installation on the management server. Now as with all of Veeams setup it can automatically configure all prerequisites and is pretty straight forward. (Note it will automatically import all required management packs into SCOM1

If you have a large enviroment it is recommended to split ut collectors into different hosts and create a resource pool (There is an online calculator which can help you find out how many collectors you need) http://www.veeam.com/support/mp_deployment.html

You can also define if collector roles should be automatically deployed

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After the installation is complete (using the default ports) you will find the extensions shortcut on the desktop

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By default this opens a website on the localhost (using port 4430) from here we need to enter the connection information to Vmware (Hyper-V hosts are discovered automatically when they have the agent installed) Same with Veeam Backup servers as well.

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After you have entered the connection info you will also get a header saying the recommended number of collector hosts.

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After this is finished setup you can open the OpsMgr console. From here there is one final task that is needed. Which is to Configure the Health Service, this can be dome from tasks under _All_active_Alerts under VMware monitoring pane.

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After this is done you need to expect atleast 15 min before data is populated into your OpsMgr servers, depending on the load. You can also view the events logs on the Opsmgr servers to see that data is correctly imported.

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and after a while, voila!

I can for instance view info about storage usage

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Vm information

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Now I could show grafs and statistics all day but one of the cool stuff in this release, is the cloud capacity planning reports.

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They allow it to see for instance how many virtual machines I would need in Azure (and what type) to move them there.

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Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0

So this is such a great update I have to blog about it, I have been in many projects involving migrating from VMware to Hyper-V and there of course many options to choose from there. Alas Microsoft had its own Virtual Machine Converter but didn’t have support for the latest version.

Microsoft today released a new version of Virtual MAchine Converter which contains the following updates:

With the release today, you will be able to access many updated features including:

  • Added support for vCenter & ESX(i) 5.5
  • VMware virtual hardware version 4 – 10 support
  • Linux Guest OS migration support including CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE enterprise and Ubuntu.

We have also added two great new features:

  • On-Premises VM to Azure VM conversion: You can now migrate your VMware virtual machines straight to Azure. Ease your migration process and take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure with a simple wizard driven experience.
  • PowerShell interface for scripting and automation support: Automate your migration via workflow tools including System Center Orchestrator and more. Hook MVMC 2.0 into greater processes including candidate identification and migration activities.

 

So alot of great new features which should make it even easier to convert Virtual Machines. Also another important factor here is this.

At this time, we are also announcing the expected availability of MVMC 3.0 in fall of 2014. In that release we will be providing physical to virtual (P2V) machine conversion for supported versions of Windows.

Since Microsoft removed this option from SCVMM in R2 release its great that it is coming back. You can download the tool from here –> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

Cross platform monitoring System Center Operations Manager

First of, this is a looong post Smilefjes

This is a subject that actually I presented at the NIC conferance in Norway in january.
How we can use Operations Manager to monitor other worksloads other then Microsoft / Windows. Since in most enterprises they have a lot of different platforms such as:
Linux, Vmware, Citrix, Cisco, Microsoft and of course many are looking at towards cloud solutions such as Amazon and Azure.

So im going to show short on each topic how we can use operations manager to monitor all of these solutions.

Now by itself Operations Manager has a good extensive list of monitoring options against Microsoft workloads such as

* Exchange
* SharePoint
* System Center
* Lync
* Active Directory

You can see here for a comprehensive list of Management Packs available for Operations Manager –> http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/16174.microsoft-management-packs.aspx

And of course there is support for Network devices and some Unix/Linux distroes.

The list of supported Network Devices is here –> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=26831 Note that operations manager uses SNMP and ICMP for monitoring Network devices.

For UNIX/LINUX based devices you have a newly added managmenet pack –> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29696
It supports CentOS, SUSE Linux, Red Hat, Solaris and Ubuntu and so on.

Now all of the options i’ve list so far is built-in capabilities. Operations Manager works with using agents (Except for Network devices) you have an agent installed, you import a management pack which contains the logic such as rules and alerts, views and reports and you start getting notifications.

So when monitoring for instance Hyper-V we need an agent installed on our Hyper-V agents and the Hyper-V management pack.  There is also an VMM management pack which gives us a more detailed overovew of our Hyper-V / Cloud infrastructure
Hyper-V

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VMM

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Monitoring Citrix Netscaler

For Network devices, we need to have the SNMP service installed on our management server. This can be done using Server Manager or the PowerShell command.

Install-Windowsfeature SNMP-service

After that is done we define the service to allow SNMP packets from hosts.

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After this is done we have to do some changes to the network device. If we for instance want to monitor Citrix Netscaler we first need to download Netscaler management pack from Citrix. If we have a Netscaler running in our enviroment we have a download pane in the GUI

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And download the management pack

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Then import the management pack to SCOM. Which can be done under administation –> management packs –> import.

Then we have to add some SNMP configuration to Netscaler to allow it to communicate with SCOM. This can be done using the CLI command

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Community string is used for authentication against the SCOM server.  Next we need to run a network discovery rule

Make sure that the default account here has the same credentials as the community string we entered on the Netscaler

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Then under Devices, enter IP address and choose SNMP version 1 / 2 and bind the run account

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After we ran the discovery we have the Netscaler device appear in our infrastructure under network devices.

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Monitoring XenDesktop

Monitoring XenDesktop 7.x requires a Managment Pack from a Citrix partner called ComTrade. They make Management Packs for most of the Citrix products. The setup is pretty basic and install the agent that they come with on the XenDesktop Controller and on the Management Server and add an license

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Import the management Packs for XenDesktop.We also have to define the agent installed on the XenDesktop Delivery Controller as an Proxy, this allows it to fetch data outside of its object.

And voila we have a custom view for XenDesktop which gives us a good overview of the Site and can also view how many sessions on the site.

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As a part of the transition to the Cloud many are looking at a hybrid cloud solution where we have a combined on-premise and a public cloud provider, but one of the problems that appear is monitoring cloud services on the cloud provider.

Monitoring XenServer

Again, since this is a Citrix product it requires a management pack from ComTrade. XenServer is using a custom built FreeBSD so we cannot use the regular Unix/linux management pack to monitor it. On theo ther hand using the Management Pack from ComTrade gives us the total overview.

In order to monitor a XenServer we need a regular server running as an proxy agent. This server will be running as an Xenserver management proxy, so this will connect to the XenServer pool and gather data and report back to Management Server.

First we need again to enter a connection to the pool from the proxy agent

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Then enter a license (or else the agent will not forward any information at all)

and voila!
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Monitoring Azure

Monitoring services in Azure is not as easy as It seems, we can use S2S VPN and have an agent installed on all VMs running there, or setup a gateway server but this only covers the virtual machines and does not cover the other roles there.

Microsoft luckily created a managmenet pack that we can use to monitor Azure services directly from Operations Manager. You can find it here –> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38414

After importing the management pack we will get a new pane under Administration called Windows Azure, here we have to setup Operations Manager against an Azure account we wish to monitor.

Here we have to enter a subscription ID and a Management Certificate against our account

After we are done here, we acn go to authoring and setup  Azure monitoring. Since it by default does not start to monitor objects in Azure, we have to define which objets it should monitor.

Here we can monitor our Cloud Services, Subscription, Virtual Machines and Storage Containers. So after we have configured what we want it to monitor it will start generating alerts.

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Monitoring Amazon Web Services

Amazon has done a good job when creating its Management Pack for Web Services. (Which can be downloaded from here –> https://aws.amazon.com/windows/system-center/

It contains good information and gives a good overview of most of your infrastructure running in Amazon.

To setup monitoring, import the management pack. Go into Authoring pane and run the Amazon Web Services under Management Pack objects. Here we need to define a watcher node (which will be used to communicate with Amazon as define a run as account.
The run as account should be in form of an Access Key ID and the Secret Access ID using Basic Authentication.

After we have that setup it will start gathering info and start monitoring objects as they appear.

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Monitoring Unix/Linux agents

Monitoring Unix/Linux requires that we import the management pack for monitoring Unix/Linux, which can be found here –> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29696

Now in my case I want to monitor ubuntu, then I need to use the Universal Linux MP. Since ubuntu does not have its own management pack. After I’ve imported that I have to setup two accounts under Adminsitration –> Unix/Linux accounts

ONe for agent maintance and one for monitoring.  Both of these have to be bound to a profile. (You can see more about accounts which need to be defined here –> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh287150.aspx)

After that we have to setup a discovery (note the linux server needs to be entered with a DNS name)

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Monitoring VMware

Monitoring VMware from operations manager, requires an Management pack from Veeam.
The management pack requires that we have some extra components installed on a server which has an Operations manager agent installed. This server is used to communicate with vCenter and get info from the Vmware enviroment.

These components are web services which allow communication flow

•Veeam Vmware Collector

•Veeam Virtualization Extensions Services

•Veeam Virtualization Extensions UI

(These components can be installed on the same server)

After these components has been installed we have to setup connection to vCenter from the Extensions Services web gui.

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After this is done we will start to get information into Operations Manager.

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Now there are also some other Management Packs which are on Microsoft Pinpoint which shows other third party products which we can monitor from Operations Manager.
Many third party vendors do not have their management pack available on Pinpoint to contact your vendor in case you are unsure if they have a management pack.  Important to note that this is just to show the possbilities we have with Operations Manager, important to many management packs will in many cases slow down your setup and requires alot of tuning before it works as you want it to Smilefjes

Veeam under panseret

I dag finnes det et hav av muligheter når det gjelder backup, fokuset har skiftet I stor grad fra å kunne ta backup av kun fysiske maskiner til å kunne backup av fysiske, virtuelle og applikasjoner som ligger på maskinene (som SQL, Mail, Intraweb, fagapplikasjoner) Løsningene har fått høyere krav på seg I forhold til å håndtere store mengder data, samtidig som den skal være enkel i bruk og være kjapp til å kunne tilbakeføre data.

Det finnes mange forskjellige leverandører av backup programvare på markedet, for å nevne noen:
Altoro http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/
Acronis http://www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/enterprise.html#agents-windows
Microsoft DPM http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh758173.aspx
Dell Appasure http://www.appassure.com/
Symantec Backup Exec 2012 http://www.symantec.com/products/data-backup-software
IBM TSM http://www-142.ibm.com/software/products/us/en/tivostormana/

Så har man Veeam:
Forskjellen med Veeam I forhold til de andre produsentene er at de fokuserer kun på det virtuelle laget, dermed vil man få en skreddersydd løsning som kun er rettet mot virtuell infrastruktur.
Veeam har også nylig lansert en ny utgave av sitt hovedprodukt Backup and Replication i versjon 6.5 som introduserer en del ny funksjonalitet og støtte for nye produkter, de har blant annet kommet med støtte for Windows Server 2012 og VMware vSphere 5.1, som gjør at de var først ute med støtte for disse nye produktene.  For de som ikke kjenner så godt til Veeam, så kan man lese litt mer om dem her –> http://www.veeam.com/company/about.html?ad=menu

Veeam har følgende programvare i sin portefølje:

Veeam Backup and Replication (Som er hovedproduktet til Veeam, brukes til backup og replikering av virtuelle maskiner (støtte for VMware og Hyper-V) pluss mye mer. Den har også egne verktøy for backup og gjenoppretting mot
Exchange,AD og SQL) Hørest ut som et vanlig backup produkt, men den har en del funksjonalitet som gjør den unik I forhold til konkurrentene Jeg kommer inn på det senere. Du kan lese mer om produktet her  http://bit.ly/SdvvAF

Veeam ONE (Som er et komplett overvåkningsverktøy for overvåkning av Hyper-V og Vmware, den har også innebygget rapporteringsverktøy)
Du kan lese mer om det her  http://bit.ly/TuYqU8

Veeam Management Pack (Som er et tilleggsprodukt (Management Pack) til System Center Operations Manager gir deg full overvåkning av din VMware infrastruktur i Operations Manager)
Tidligere også kalt nWorks Management Pack. Du kan lese mer om det her  http://bit.ly/Rtb5Gk

I tillegg har de også noen andre produkter:

Veeam Backup Free Edition (
Som er en minimal utgave av Backup and Replication som er mest brukt til å ta kopi av virtuelle maskiner og komprimere dem via VeeamZIP)

Veeam One Free Edition (Er en minimal utgave av Veeam One og har en del restriksjoner i forhold til hvor lenge den kan lagre data)

I løpet av de neste dagene vil jeg skrive mer om hvordan Veeam Backup and Replication fungerer under «panseret»
Hvordan man setter det opp mot sin infrastruktur. Hva de forskjellige tjenestene er for noe og hvordan de ulike komponentene fungerer sammen.
Stay tuned! Smile

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Vsphere 5.1

A lot of fuzz is going on regarding virtualization these days, and the primary topic is Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere.
And of course there going to be some arguments regarding which one is better, and which of them has the more features and who is the most enterprise ready so on and so forth.
Just last week VMware released version 5.1 of vSphere which included some new functionality and improvements in  scalability, and Windows Server 2012 was released the 4th of September. So therefore like many before me I’m going to compare the two of them. I have read many blogs lately where people claim that one of the products are better then the other, and a lot of them compare features in the wrong way (For instance if Product 1 has feature 1 and Product 2 has feature 2 even thou they do the same the use different names and therefore aren’t compared). I’m not here to write down a conclusion of which one is better, I’m just going to lay down the facts so you can decide what you think is the better option.  And I’m not going to debate vCenter and System Center comparison, because that is another different story Smile

Windows and virtualization:
Microsoft first came out with its hyper-v virtualization platform in 2008 (With Windows Server 2008) Before that Microsoft has a product which was named Virtual Server, many people claim that Microsoft is pretty fresh in the server virtualization marked but actually Microsoft has been in the marked since 2004 (When the first release of Virtual Server was released) But was again later superseded by Hyper-V. Now the latest version of Hyper is called V 3.0 comes with Windows Server 2012.
You also have the free version of Hyper-V which is called Hyper-V server 2012. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/hyper-v-server/ (This product only contains the hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover clustering but does not contain the rest of the features and roles in Windows Server. Therefore you get a small footprint on the host. But other then that the versions of Server 2012 that contains Hyper-V is Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter.
The difference licensing between the two is the following.

Standard edition = allows you to run 2 virtual machines $882 for a 2 physical CPU server
Datacenter edition = allows you to run unlimited virtual machines $4,809 for a 2 physical CPU server

Some examples;
1 server: 2 CPU and 4 virtual machines = You could either have 2 standard edition licenses or 1 datacenter edition license
1 server: 6 CPU and 8 virtual machines= You could either have 4 standard edition licensers or 3 datacenter edition licenses.
And in both scenarios you wouldn’t need a license for the VM because the license is for physical hosts!

In Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V 3.0 Windows has the following workloads and the following features.

Host max
Logical processors on hardware 320
Physical memory  4 TB
Virtual processors per host 2,048

Virtual machine max
Virtual processors per virtual machine 64
Memory per virtual machine  1 TB
Active virtual machines per server 1,024

Cluster max
Nodes 32
Virtual machines 4,000

Network
Quality of Service (QoS)
SR-IOV
Network Virtualization (Using GRE or IP rewrite) Link to the IEEE draft =
http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-sridharan-virtualization-nvgre-00
PVLAN support
Dynamic Virtual Machine Queue (D-VMQ) (allows the host’s network adapter to pass DMA packets directly into individual virtual machine memory stacks)
Receive Side Scaling (RSS spreads monitoring interrupts over multiple processors, so a single processor isn’t required to handle all I/O interrupts,)
Receive Segment Coalescing (RSC improves the scalability of the servers by reducing the overhead for processing a large amount of network I/O traffic.)
DHCP Guard (DHCP guard drops server messages from unauthorized virtual machines that are acting as DHCP servers.)
Router Guard (Router guard drops router advertisement and redirection messages from unauthorized virtual machines that are acting as routers.)
Port mirroring (not promiscuous mode, does a forward of all the packet to a VM to another destination)
Virtual Port ACLs
Trunk mode using 802.1q
IPsec Task offload
Integrated Network Adapter Teaming
Hyper-V Extensible Switch
Data Center Bridging (DCB)
Resource metering (Measure usage of CPU, Memory, Network and disk for a virtual machine)
NIC Teaming (Allows for LACP in the native OS, before this needed to be done by a third party product like Broadcom)

Management
PowerShell
SCVMM 2012 SP1 (You can use CTP release for Windows Server 2012 but official support comes with Service Pack 1 which is in Beta now)
Server Manager
Cluster Manager
Hyper-V Manager
Cluster Aware updating
IPAM

Storage
New Virtual Disk format (VHDX supports up to 64 TB Virtual Disks)
Offloaded Data Transfer – ODX (Is a feature of a SAN, allows the file transfer/copying between hosts on the SAN to be done by the SAN instead of the regular network transfer)
Live merging of VHDs and Snapshots
RDMA (IS a direct memory access from the memory of one computer into another without involving either’s OS.
SMB 3.0 (Allows to use regular network fileservers instead of expensive SAN solution)
Native 4 KB sector disks support (But for compability sake it allows for an 512-byte emulation called 512e )
Data De-duplication
Virtual Fibre Channel inside the Virtual Machines
VM boot from SAN
Storage Spaces (Software like RAID solution)
New File system ReFS (Luckily most of the system filters which a written for NTFS will work for ReFS, and it has improvements to resilience, reliability)
Bitlocker on CSV (Allows you to encrypt an CSV volume)
SMI-S (Is a storage standard by the SNIA which allows for management functions via HTTP)
Encrypt VHD files with Bitlocker Network Boot(Gives you an ability to encrypt an VHD file, so if it reboot it will contact a wds server and get the decryption keys and continue to boot)

Migration
Improved Live Migration
Unlimited Simultaneous live migrations
Live Storage Migration
Shared-Nothing Live Migration
Hyper-V Replica
Failover Prioritization

VMware and virtualization:
VMware started its life with VMware workstation which was released in 1999 (Yes its really that old!) And has since then been living on virtualization technology, the first release of vSphere came in 2001. They have also created an VDI product called VMware View, and in 2010 they acquired the open-source groupware solution Zimbra from Yahoo.  So they are expanding their horizon when relating to software products but their primary focus has always been virtualization. Now last week (
VMware released their newest version of vSphere, version 5.1 http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsphere/vmware-what-is-new-vsphere51.pdf and VMware has also just recently killed of the vRAM memory tax, in order to compete with Windows.

VMware pricing and editions:

VMware vSphere 5.1 is licensed on a per- physical processor basis

Standard edition = $1144 (Is a bit more stripped version of the hypervisor)
Enterprise edition = $3308 (Is also a bit stripped version of the full version)
Enterprise plus edition = $4024 (Contains all of the features and has the full workload)
NOTE:These prices are fetched from VMware’s site which is usually listed as EURO not US$

Some examples;
1 Server = 1 CPU 4 Virtual Machines (IF you want all the features you need 1 Enterprise plus licenses)
1 Server = 2 CPU 4 Virtual Machines (IF you want all the features you need 2 Enterprise plus licenses)
So in both cases you would need a WS2012 Datacenter License in addition to the Vmware license (IF you wish to use Windows Server 2012 VM’s on that host)

VMware and vSphere 5.1 has the following workloads and the following features.(Enterprice plus edition)

Host max
Logical processors on hardware 256
Physical memory  2TB
Virtual CPU per host 2,048


Virtual machine max

Virtual processors per virtual machine 64
Memory per virtual machine  1 TB
Active virtual machines per server 1,024

Network
Netflow 10 (IPFIX)
Port Mirroring (RSPAN and ERSPAN)
LLDP
QOS (Network I/O)
SRV-IO
VXLAN
PVLAN
DCB (Data Center Bridging) refers to a set of enhancements to Ethernet local area networks for use in data center environments.
Receive Side Scaling (RSS spreads monitoring interrupts over multiple processors, so a single processor isn’t required to handle all I/O interrupts,)
TCP Segment Offload
Distributed Virtual Switch
LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol)

Management
vSphere webclient
Powershell via PowerCLI
vCenter
vCloud
SCVMM (Eventually will come with support, with SP1 you have support for up to vSphere 5.0)

Storage
vMotion enchancements ( similar to shared-nothing live migration)
Boot from Software FCoE
16Gb HBA Support
iSCSI jumbo frames
SSD Monitoring
VMFS-5 enchancements

So there is  a lot happening in both camps nowadays.
For higher workloads Windows seems to be the good option ,and you don’t think that anyone is actually going to max out those numbers? I’ve actually spoken to a service provider in the US which was a bit annoyed with the max VM per cluster since each server can hold 1,024 virtual machines and in a cluster with 32 nodes you can “only” have 4,000 virtual machines.  But another question, how is the performance ? There is no use having a 150HK engine if another car with 110HK can go right past you.
VMware actually has a performance document stating that each VM was performing about 18,9% on VMware 5. (This document is 2008R2 Hyper-v vs. VMware) http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-vs-Hyper-V.pdf
Again this is for the old version, it is going to be interesting too see how the performance is going to impact with WS2012.

Microsoft is working hard these days with SP1 for System Center, since for enterprise deployment you are going to need SCVMM (Since full support for Server 2012 comes with SP1). VMware already has the management solution for its new hypervisor available so Microsoft better hurry up Smile
And Microsoft is also working with Service Provider foundation. For hosters that wish to deliver IaaS this is going to be big news! V1 of this is going to be avaliable with SP1 for System Center, if you don’t want to use this
Citrix has a Control Panel solution which integrates to SCVMM to deliver IaaS, Paas & SaaS called Cloudportal Services Manager (which does not use the Service Provieder Foundation API)
ExtendASP which also is a control panel solution for hosters have full support for Windows Server 2012, so it allows for hosters to easy deploy solutions for their customers.
VMware already has their IaaS solution in place with vCloud director so its going to be interesting to see how they compete in functionality and features.

Links:
(VMware comparison set of Hyper-V VS VMware) http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/getthefacts/vmw-vSphere-5-vs-Hyper-V-3-Beta.pdf
(Microsoft comparison set of Hyper-V VS VMware)http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/A/0/5A0AAE2E-EB20-4E20-829D-131A768717D2/Competitive%20Advantages%20of%20Windows%20Server%202012%20RC%20Hyper-V%20over%20VMware%20vSphere%205%200%20V1%200.pdf
Vmware vSphere 5.1 http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere5/r51/vsphere-51-configuration-maximums.pdf 
What’s new in vSphere 5.1 Networking http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/09/whats-new-in-vsphere-5-1-networking.html
What’s new in vsPhere 5.1 Storage http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/Whats-New-VMware-vSphere-51-Storage-Technical-Whitepaper.pdf
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/Whats-New-VMware-vSphere-51-Performance-Technical-Whitepaper.pdf

vSphere 5.1 Pricing

when regarding to the newly released vSphere 5.1 and pricing. Vmware has just announced the death of vRAM pricing (and now you can have unlimited vRAM at no extra cost) , and here are the new prices for vSphere 5.1
-> https://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/pricing.html

Remember the prices here are at PER CPU basis. So for instance if you wish to have a server with 2 x CPU you need 2x Licenses.
Here are the different versions and the feature sets –> https://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/compare-editions.html

vSphere 5.1 announced

Vmware has just announced vSphere 5.1 and it has alots of new features.

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1?

•    Larger virtual machines – Virtual machines can grow two
times larger than in any previous release to support even the
most advanced applications. Virtual machines can now have
up to 64 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and 1TB of virtual RAM (vRAM).

•    New virtual machine format – New features in the
virtual machine format (version 9) in vSphere 5.1 include
support for larger virtual machines, CPU performance
counters and virtual shared graphics acceleration designed
for enhanced performance.
Storage

•    Flexible, space-efficient storage for virtual
desktop infrastructure (VDI) – A new disk format
enables the correct balance between space efficiency and I/O
throughput for the virtual desktop.
Network

•    vSphere Distributed Switch – Enhancements such as
Network Health Check, Configuration Backup and Restore,
Roll Back and Recovery, and Link Aggregation Control
Protocol support and deliver more enterprise-class networking
functionality and a more robust foundation for cloud computing.

•    Single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) support
– Support for SR-IOV optimizes performance for sophisticated
applications.
Availability

•    vSphere vMotion® – Leverage the advantages of vMotion
(zero-downtime migration) without the need for shared
storage configurations. This new vMotion capability applies
to the entire network.

•    vSphere Data Protection – Simple and cost effective
backup and recovery for virtual machines. vSphere Data
Protection is a newly architected solution based EMC
Avamar technology that allows admins to back up virtual
machine data to disk without the need of agents and with
built-in deduplication. This feature replaces the vSphere
Data Recovery product available with previous releases
of vSphere.

•    vSphere Replication – vSphere Replication enables efficient
array-agnostic replication of virtual machine data over the LAN
or WAN.  vSphere Replication simplifies management enabling
replication at the virtual machine level and enables RPOs as low
as 15 minutes.

•    Zero-downtime upgrade for VMware Tools – After
you upgrade to the VMware Tools available with version 5.1, no
reboots will be required for subsequent VMware Tools upgrades.
Security

•    VMware vShield Endpoint™ – Delivers a proven endpoint
security solution to any workload with an approach that is
simplified, efficient, and cloud-aware. vShield Endpoint enables
3rd party endpoint security solutions to eliminate the agent
footprint from the virtual machines, offload intelligence to a
security virtual appliance, and run scans with minimal impact.
Automation

•    vSphere Storage DRS™ and Profile-Driven Storage
– New integration with VMware vCloud® Director™ enables
further storage efficiencies and automation in a private cloud
environment.

•    vSphere Auto Deploy™ – Two new methods for deploying
new vSphere hosts to an environment make the Auto Deploy
process more highly available then ever before.
Management (with vCenter Server)
•    vSphere Web Client –The vSphere Web Client is now the
core administrative interface for vSphere. This new flexible,
robust interface simplifies vSphere control through shortcut
navigation, custom tagging, enhanced scalability, and the
ability to manage from anywhere with Internet Explorer or
Firefox-enabled devices.

•    vCenter Single Sign-On – Dramatically simplify vSphere
admin- istration by allowing users to log in once to access all
instances or layers of vCenter without the need for further
authentication.

•    vCenter Orchestrator – Orchestrator simplifies installation
and configuration of the powerful workflow engine in vCenter
Server. Newly designed workflows enhance ease of use, and
can also be launched directly from the new vSphere Web Client.

Again the gap between VMware and Windows is close, they share much of the same features and limits for instance vCPU & vRAM.
Some features like SRV-IO and I can also see that vmware also has upgraded vMotion to have “shared-nothing-migration” as Windows has, still it remains to see how the pricing is going to be Smile

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