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Category Archives vSphere

vSphere 5 New Networking Features – Port Mirroring

Source: VMware Blogs.

Port mirroring is the capability on a network switch to send a copy of network packets seen on a switch port to a network-monitoring device connected to another switch port. Port mirroring is also referred to as Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN) on Cisco switches. In VMware vSphere 5, a Distributed Switch provides a similar port mirroring capability that is available on a physical network switch. After a port mirror session is configured with a destination—a virtual machine, a vmknic or an uplink port—the Distributed Switch copies packets to the destination.

Port mirroring provides visibility into

• Intrahost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on the same host)

• Interhost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on different hosts)

Figure below shows different types of traffic flows that can be monitored when a virtual machine on a host acts as a destination or monitoring device. All traffic shown by the orange dotted line with arrow is mirrored traffic that is sent to the destination virtual machine.

The terms Ingress source and Egress source are with respect to the VDS. For example, when you want to monitor the traffic that is going out of a virtual machine towards the VDS, it is called Ingress Source traffic. The traffic seeks ingress to the VDS and hence the source is called Ingress. If you want to monitor traffic that is received by a virtual machine, then configure the port mirroring session with the traffic source as Egress Source as shown in the top right corner diagram of the figure below.

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Stretched Cluster and vCenter Site Recovery Manager

With the advancement of storage and Networking Technologies, we can see a huge amount of benefits in the way datacenter are being operated today, we look at some solutions like T2 Stretched Network, Storage Technologies like storage virtualization and replications between different sites to increase availability and minimize downtime.

Although we understand how both these technology operates. It has changed our understanding of how we want to provide availability & Disaster recovery to our datacenters in so many different ways and it has given us the option to have multiple choices in case of wanting to implement whatever kind of protection or high availability.

But this understanding has started to be misleading sometime where enterprises has thought for once that creating stretched datacenter with virtualization is an option that provides both choices in term of disaster recovery and high availability.

However, this idea is completely misleading and an absolute wrong due to the thinking of high availability at very high level without thinking about the software options and configuration that can be implemented.

Using VMware HA Feature has been one of the great use cases implemented by customers and has so many design consideration. I have heard people talking about vSphere HA design that tolerate server failure, Chassis Failure as well as a full rack failure. But I have not worked on designing a solution with stretched cluster to tolerate site failure with VMware HA.

When implementing stretched cluster for VMware Environment, you achieve high availability for sure. However, in case of a full site loose what does really happen.

The answer to this question is simple, all machines are going to be restarted on the other site but what kind of control as an administrator do you have. The only control you have is basically 2 options.

1-      You can control is affinity/anti-affinity rules.

2-      You can configure High availability restart priority. High, medium and low.

As per the above 2 option, I don’t see any kind of dependency mapping in case of failure for example, what about one web applications that require at least 3 different virtual machines that depend on each other being available. (Database up & Running, then Application server up and running, then finally web server up and running). I have not seen VMware vSphere options that can control restart priority in that way.

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VMware VAAI, What was there and Whats New in vSphere 5.

In this blog post I am discussing the features of VMware VAAI and how it helps customers increase the consolidation ration in their environment.

offloading tasks to storage is been some of the great features that was released in vSphere 4.1, however, with vSphere 5 lots of features have been added to help customers get more value out of the feature.


So in summary, here is a figure that i got when i searched about the matter explaining where the integration is taking place.

The Red Rectangle specifies actually where the integration is taking place and how it is possible to offload these tasks to the storage.

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logging within vSphere

Before I Start Writing about the topic i want to discuss today, I just would like to highlight the reason behind writing that.

In the past few days i have been going through multiple cases with customers related to support and uploading the logs as a requirement to understand the issue happening in their environment. these issues are

1- logs are actually based within the servers and being cleared once hosts rebooted.

2- logs are available in syslog server that is not accessible directly by the virtualization administrator and it will take them some time and procedures to retrieve this information.

So the way i would recommend this to my customer, is basically to have their own syslog server in their environment. and VMware has been very thankful in that by prviding a very useful syslog server on its own.

In this article, i would like to talk about h0w to install and configure VMware syslog collector.

so the installer is part of the vCenter installation ISO Image in the vCenter support tools Section. as shown Below.


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VMware New licensing Model And changes benifits

I have been just listening and seeing VMware Customers and Partners for the past few weeks talking about the new licensing model that VMware has initiated in its latest Cloud Infrastructure Launch. during this time, different ideas flew around and lots of questions were presented as well as complains from customers even after running the VMware vRAM Calculator and seeing that the change will not effect them, the main pain point was that people were not looking at the products new features but just at how they can procure it with the new pricing scheme.

when the revised pricing scheme came out, people has came back to appreciate VMware product and started looking at the products features and how it will benefit them. this has made blogs booming with these new features discussions along with questions and answers.

This is a good indication that VMware is really listing closely to their customers and giving them the best possible experience weather with the products, support and satisfaction.

the new change has made new possibilities for hte users on how they  would use the product, one of the Major new features of VMware vSphere which has made it so far from its competitors was the new virtual Machines limitation in term of RAM and CPU which means that at this stage of time there is no application on the planet that wouldn’t on virtual machines with even better performance capabilities than the physical environment to the scheduling mechanism in vSphere virtualization platform.

with that being said, i guess customers are now looking at the new possibilities of how they could use and implement VMware products and benefit fromn the new features more than how much they have to pay. with the set of features that VMware products provide, customers are really seeing the benefits of using the products compared to competitors solution due to the fact that VMware has been a virtualization and Cloud computing focused Company since it start in the 90’s. with this long years of experience, i guess there is no limitations to how far VMware can go and as many of you might be thinking right now on how much more can be done. to be honest, my answer is the same as you “I don’t know” but i am sure that VMware is seeing a need for something that we don’t see and it will bring it out so that it can benefit its customers all around the globe.

all we have to do is wait and see how VMware can solve our datacenter challenges the same as it has always been doing.