vBrain.info http://www.vbrain.info Austrian Virtualization Power Tue, 28 May 2019 08:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 http://www.vbrain.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/buysellad_icon-150x150.jpg vBrain.info http://www.vbrain.info 32 32 50840897 VeeamOn 2019 – Day 2 http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/28/veeamon-2019-day-2/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/28/veeamon-2019-day-2/#respond Tue, 28 May 2019 08:00:18 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4640 Some weeks befor VeeamON, Brian Knudtson was asking about some #vCommunity events happing at VeeamOn. I jumped onto this and included Shane Williford in this Tweet and suggested #vBreakfast. Thanks to Shane he found...

The post VeeamOn 2019 – Day 2 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
Some weeks befor VeeamON, Brian Knudtson was asking about some #vCommunity events happing at VeeamOn. I jumped onto this and included Shane Williford in this Tweet and suggested #vBreakfast. Thanks to Shane he found some great place called The Tavern which wasn’t too far from the venue.

So VeeamOn day 2 started with #vBreakfast which some of you already know from VMworld. Unfortunately I was little bit late because of the kids but I made it just with 20min delay. Other people I met there were Shane Williford, Brian Knudtson, Florian Raack, Falko Banaszak, Calvin Zito, Sebastian Talmon, Nathan Oldfield, Adrian Moser and again Vanny Vanguard. I think this bird is stalking me. I sat next to Sebastian and Adrian and all 3 of us didn’t know that we were german speaker until Adrian mentioned that he is from Switzerland! 🙂 Vanny took also the opportunity to make a picture with our awesome server.

VeeamOn Day 2

Breakout session 1 – Top 7 Worst Practices when Using Veeam Backup & Replication

Day 1 began with an awesome session about worst practices in the field presented by Edwin Weijdema. Some of this practices I already encountered at customers but some of them were also very useful (Security) to know so you can help your customers not making the same mistakes. One personal highlight after the session was that I ran into Richard Arnold. I looks like we only meet every 3 years at a Veeam event. Hopefully the next meet-up is not 2022. 🙂

General Session Day 2

Jason Buffington, VP of Solutions Strategy at Veeam, introduced for this session Nancy Giordano (founder of playbiginc.com) who is a strategic futurist with a drive to help enterprise organizations and visionary leaders transform to meet the escalating expectations ahead. I really didn’t know what to expected from this session. During the talk Nancy mentioned that we are producing 2.5 quintillion bytes (2500 petabyte/2.5exabyte) per day which is way above my imagination but she has also for that an example. This amount of data is approx. 10M blu-rays which is stacked 4 Eiffel towers. I can’t really describe this session but you can watch similar talks from Nancy here and here.
In the end Ratmir summarized the general sessions and messages and revealed the date and location for the next VeeamOn.
VeeamOn 2020 will take place in Las Vegas from May 4th-6th 2020 at the Aria hotel.

Breakout session 2 – Secrets to Design an Availability Infrastructure for 25.000 VMs

After attending Edwins session about Top 7 worst practices, it was time to see how to size an environment for 25.000 VMs. Edwin walked us through the process and the requirements and from my point this session was invaluable. I hope this session was recorded so every attendee can watch it afterwards.

Expo Hall

Before the next breakout session starts I took the opportunity to visit the Expo where a lot of Veeam technology partners showing their integration with Veeam. But the Expo wasn’t solely for technology partners but also for service provides who offer their customers a BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service) solution with Veeam. Unfortunately I was familiar with most of the vendors and integrations like Netapp and HPE but there was also one new I didn’t know before which was Quest QoreStor.

Breakout session 3 – Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows: Tips, Tricks and What NOT to do

Tom Sightler, Principal Architect at Veeam, showed us tips and tricks and what not to do when implementing and configuring Veeam Agent for Windows. Some of these were obvious but some were new to me. Unfortunately my attention was drawn to something else which is the reason I can’t tell you some of the details! 🙂

Breakout session 4 – Ransomware Resiliency Tips from Veeam and the Veeam Vanguards

The last session of the day and of VeeamOn was a special session lead by Rick Vanover. Rick was talking about Ransomware and how to avoid it. He also asked the audience how many of them were victims of a ransomware attack and to my surprise a lot of hands were going up. That was really a shock to me that still so many user fall for these attacks. Looks like I need to do a session for my customers to create awareness for such attacks. The best of this session was that tips and tricks from current Veeam Vanguards like Shane Williford, Al Rasheed, Jim Jones, Matt Crape and more were included. I love the idea to include Vanguards/people of the community to share their experience and learnings from their own ransomware situations.

Summary

After 2 packed days VeeamOn was already over. Here are some statistical information about the conference:

  • Over 2050 attendees
  • Over 60 breakout sessions
  • Over 45 sponsors
  • 3 general sessions and 8 live demos

My favorite session of the day was the “Top 7 Worst Practices when Using Veeam Backup & Replication“. Use these session to define your best practices without making these mistakes. Overall VeeamOn was a great conference with great technical content. The only drawback I see is the duration. A 3 day conference where there is only 2 days of real content is for people based in Europe a little bit of a challenge. If you combine it with the pre-conference training it is a great deal but if you only attend the conference than the 10h+ flight back and forth is maybe not worth it. For me it was a great timing because I was on a 3 week vacation with the family and my wife was so kind to entertain the kids during my absent. For me conferences are a great way to meet friend and make new friend and I achieved both of it.
Finally I hope that most of the sessions will be available in the near future so I can check out sessions I wasn’t able to attend.

The post VeeamOn 2019 – Day 2 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/28/veeamon-2019-day-2/feed/ 0 4640
VeeamOn 2019 – Day 1 http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/23/veeamon-2019-day-1/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/23/veeamon-2019-day-1/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 08:00:06 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4600 It all started with a joke to my wife when I said in November “He honey VeeamOn is right before your birthday in Miami. I think I will go there.” If looks could kill...

The post VeeamOn 2019 – Day 1 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
It all started with a joke to my wife when I said in November “He honey VeeamOn is right before your birthday in Miami. I think I will go there.” If looks could kill I would have been a dead man after I said that. But thanks god this look lasts only for 5 seconds and then my wife proposed a family vacation (3 weeks long) where I can attend VeeamOn during our stay in Miami. Well that went very well for me.

Anyway let’s jump right into VeeamOn and what happened during the 3 days. I have never attended a VeeamON before so I was curious about what to expect. Although the conference is scheduled for 3 days there are only 2 days of technical content in form of breakout sessions, each 45min long, as you know it from other conferences like VMworld. The first day started at 4pm and was just for registration and for the Veeam Welcome Reception in the Expo Lounge. I met there a lot of people I see only once or twice a year like Shane Williford, Al Rasheed, Val Carvalho, Jim Jones, Brian Knudtson, Christopher Glémot, Joe Houghes and many more. But I also had the opportunity to meet with people for the first time face to face like Florian Raack, Falko Banaszak, Luciano Patrão, Craig Rodgers and of course Vanny Vanguard. I also met the only other Austrian guy, Werner Steinegger, whom I know from my very first VMCE training. We had all great conversation and I’m happy I met all of you guys.

Day 1

Day 1 starts with the obligatory General Session where Veeam co-founder Ratmir Timashev talked about Veeam’s momentum, customer testimonials and key focus on Microsoft. Veeam became a one billion dollar company and has 350k customers worldwide. Ratmir showed also the innovations Veeam delivered through the last years as well as a new program called “with Veeam”. Also Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2 was announced.

The General session overall was good and only 1 hour long so the rest of the day was packed with breakout sessions.

Breakout session 1: The Dark Side of the Synthetic Backup

When I read the title for the first time I thought that doing synthetic backups are bad and they will show us why but the session turned out to be completely different. In summary the session was about how synthetic backups in Veeam works, how the internal file structure of such backups look likes and what tools I can use if something goes wrong. It was one of the deepest deep dives I have ever attended at a conference but it was cool content. I hope a recording or the presentation will be available afterwards. The only thing which could be improved is that the first presenter (unfortunately I forgot his name) should make eye contact with the audience more often.

Breakout session 2: From the Architect’s Desk: Sizing of Veeam Backup and Replication, Proxies and repositories

This session was delivered by Tim Smith (Solutions Architect at Veeam) in the General session room. I was really impressed that his session was there and that a lot of people showed up. The session was based on a customer example for backing up 2000 VMs. Tim walked us through the process on how to size all the components like Management Server, Proxies, Repositories, Database Server and Enterprise Manager correctly. He also mentioned that not only the sizing of the components should be done correctly but also the supporting hardware needs be be sized correctly. Also keep the laws of physics in mind. You can’t squeeze hundreds of TB in a reasonable amount of time through just 1Gbit.

Breakout session 3: Let’s manage Agents

This session was held by Dmitrii Popov (Product Manager, R&D) who gives us best practices on how to manage, implement and deploy Veeam Agents in our environments.

Technical General Session

The technical General Session was all about demos and the Product Strategy team around Rick Vanover showed us new products that were released at VeeamOn like

  • Veeam Availability Orchestrator v2
  • Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v3
  • Availability Console v3

But there were not only demos about new products but also demos about the future release of Veeam Backup and Replication v10 which was announced at VeeamOn. The 4 key features of the new version includes:

  • Cloud Tier
  • NAS Backup
  • Direct Restore to VMware (Agent backup)
  • Data Integrations

The audience got also a brief sneak preview of a new product Veeam is currently developing which is Veeam Backup and Replication for Microsoft Azure.

Beside the new cool technical features there were also 2 cool other things during this session.

  1. Michael Cade was wearing a Vanny Vanguard t-shirt!
  2. Rick Vanover dumped his laptop into water to demonstrate “Direct Restore to VMware”

Summary

Day 1 was from my personal view an awesome start for a great conference. I got so much technical information that can help me with my customers. Also the General Sessions gave an good overview where the company is going to and in which ways the products will evolve. My personal favorite was the session from Tim Smith about designing the Veeam infrastructure components. I hope this session was recorded and will be available after VeeamOn.

The post VeeamOn 2019 – Day 1 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/23/veeamon-2019-day-1/feed/ 0 4600
HomeLab Part 9: Gigabyte BRIX s – A new challenger (in 2017) http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/09/homelab-part-9-gigabyte-brix-s-a-new-challenger-in-2017/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/09/homelab-part-9-gigabyte-brix-s-a-new-challenger-in-2017/#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 07:00:33 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=3344 I have this post now more than two years in my drafts and it will be really outdated after publishing but still I had to release it! My homelab needed some extension in form...

The post HomeLab Part 9: Gigabyte BRIX s – A new challenger (in 2017) appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
BRIX sI have this post now more than two years in my drafts and it will be really outdated after publishing but still I had to release it! My homelab needed some extension in form of vSAN All-Flash and I don’t wanted to do a nested environment. The main use case for this decision was that I wanted to play with vSAN but also have some physical hardware where I can run some stuff. I went through all the possibilities like using Intel NUC or SuperMicro E200/E300. In the end I decided to use the Gigabyte BRIX s boxes. I never saw such boxes in other homelab configurations and compared to the Intel NUC they have 1 major benefit. They have already a second NIC onboard. So there is no need to buy an external USB3/Thunderbolt NIC and hope that all drivers will work.

Hardware

In more detail I decided to use the GB-BSi3HAL-6100 version of the Gigabyte BRIX s. In the following table you can see a comparison between the i3/i5 version of this BRIX s as well as the Intel NUC which are using (nearly) the same i3/i5 6th generation processor.

 Gigabyte GB-BSi3HAL-6100Gigabyte GB-BSi5HAL-6200Intel NUC6i3SYHNUC6i5SYH
Dimension
H x W x D
46.8 x 112.6 x 119.4 (mm)46.8 x 112.6 x 119.4 (mm)48 x 111 x 115 (mm)48 x 111 x 115 (mm)
ArchitectureSkylake (14nm)Skylake (14nm)Skylake (14nm)Skylake (14nm)
CPUIntel Core i3-6100UIntel Core i5-6200UIntel Core i3-6100UIntel Core i5-6260U
CPU Frequency (GHz)
(Base / TurboBoost)
2.3 2.3 / 2.82.31.9 / 2.8
Cores / HT2 / 4
TDP15W
Memory2x 260-pin 1.2V DDR4 2133 MHz SO-DIMM
Max Memory32GB
LANIntel Gigabit I219LM
Intel Gigabit I210AT
Intel Gigabit I219LM
Intel Gigabit I210AT
Intel Gigabit I219VIntel Gigabit I219V
Wireless LANIntel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 + BT 4.2Intel Wireless-AC 8260 + BT 4.2
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 520Intel® Iris Graphics 540
AudioRealtek ALC255Realtek ALC283
Front I/O1 x USB 3.1 type C
1 x USB3.1
1 x head phone jack with MIC
2x USB 3.0
1x head phone jack
1x infrared sensor
Rear I/O1 x HDMI (1.4a)
1 x Mini DisplayPort (1.2)
2 x USB 3.0
1 x RJ45
1 x DC-In
1 x Kensington lock slot
1 x HDMI (1.4b)
1 x Mini DisplayPort (1.2)
2 x USB 3.0
1 x RJ45
1 x DC-In
Side I/O1x Intel i210AT1x SDXC slot (UHS-I support)
1 x Kensington lock slot
Price (Dec. 2017)335€429€321€371€
Source: www.gigabyte.com, www.intel.com

CPU

From a CPU perspective the only differences between the 3 CPUs is that the i5 processors have TurboBoost and the NUC i5 processor has more L3/4 cache. From a performance (PassMark) perspective you need to evaluate if the slightly better performance is worth the additional money. For the BRIX s boxes it’s about roughly 100€ more.

 Intel Core i3-6100UIntel Core i5-6200UIntel Core i5-6260U
CPU features
ArchitectureSkylake (14nm)
Frequency (MHz)23001800
Turbo Frequency (Mhz)2800
2700
2900
2700
Passmark357140094374
L1 Cache64KB (Code)
64KB (data)
L2 Cache512KB
L3 Cache3MB4MB
L4 Cache--64MB
TDP (Watt)15
Cores2
Threads4
Instruction set extensions
AES+
AMD64 / EM64T+
AVX+
AVX 2.0+
F16C+
FMA3+
MMX+
SSE+
SSE2+
SSE3+
SSE4.1+
SSE4.2+
SSSE3+
TSX+
Supported technologies
Hyper-Threading+
PowerNow! / Enhanced SpeedStep+
Turbo Boost-+
Virtualization+
Virus Protection / NX bit+
Source: www.cpu-world.com

Network card

 i219-LMi219-Vi210-ATi210-AS
Code NameJacksonvilleSpringville
Launch DateQ2/15Q4/12
# of Ports1
Speed1Gbps
Jumbo Frames supportedYes
1000Base-TYes-
SGMII InterfaceNoYes
SERDES InterfaceNoYes
Supported under vProYesNo
Source: www.intel.com, for more information see here.

VMware HCL

From a VMware HCL perspective this small unit is of course not supported nor certified to run ESXi, but parts of the BRIX are supported with ESXi 6.x. When searching for the VID and DID auf the I219 (8086:156f) and I210 (8086:1533) network card you will find that these cards are supported. In the past it was always a lottery if the barebone NICs are working or not but with an entry in the HCL the chances are good that it will work.

I219

I210

Summary

Unfortunately this post will be irrelevant for most homelabs nowadays because you can’t get this sort of Gigabyte BRIX anymore. All newer versions like the 7th or 8th Gen versions only have one NIC now. I’m running a 3 node cluster now for more than 2 years and I had only 2 problems so far:

  1. vSAN Memory consumption according to KB2113954. In my case this is approx. 10GB (using 250GB SSD cache) and with only 32GB per host memory is running out very quick.
  2. Used USB sticks dies quickly (after 1 year).

For the second problem my solution was to backup the ESXi configuration with a PowerCLI cmdlet which can be found in KB2042141. You can create a Powershell script which runs every day to backup the most recent version of the configuration. In case one of the USB drives fail you can reinstall the ESXi host and restore the saved configuration.

The post HomeLab Part 9: Gigabyte BRIX s – A new challenger (in 2017) appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/09/homelab-part-9-gigabyte-brix-s-a-new-challenger-in-2017/feed/ 0 3344
Backup Interoperability Matrix Major Update 2019-04 http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/04/backup-interoperability-matrix-major-update-2019-04/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/04/backup-interoperability-matrix-major-update-2019-04/#respond Sat, 04 May 2019 07:00:54 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4557 It’s been some time that I have updated the Backup Interoperability Matrix because of some personal and work related responsibilities. In the April 2019 update the following backup software was updated: VMware vSphere Data Protection...

The post Backup Interoperability Matrix Major Update 2019-04 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
It’s been some time that I have updated the Backup Interoperability Matrix because of some personal and work related responsibilities. In the April 2019 update the following backup software was updated:

  • VMware vSphere Data Protection 6.1.11
  • Veritas BackupExec 20.3
  • Veritas NetBackup 8.1.2
  • IBM Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments 8.1.7
  • Micro Focus Data Protector 2019.02 (10.30)
  • EMC Avamar 18.2
  • EMC Networker 18.2
  • CommVault Simpana 11.0 SP15
  • Hitachi Data Protection Suite 11.0 SP15
  • Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 Update 4a
  • Quest vRanger 7.7.1
  • Nakivo Backup and Replication 8.1
  • Unitrends Enterprise Backup 10.3.4
  • Acronis Backup Advanced for VMware/Hyper-V 12.5 Update 4 Build 13160
  • Arcserve Backup 18.0
  • Arcserve UDP 7.0
  • Micro Focus VM Explorer 7.1.001
  • Altaro VMBackup 8.4
  • Vembu VMBackup 4.0.1

You can find the latest backup matrix update for VMware here and for Hyper-V here. In this update I removed the vSAN columns from the vSphere matrix because I try to create a vSAN only matrix. I also moved all deprecated software to an extra matrix which will come shortly. I extended the existing vSphere columns with minor updates columns (U1, U2) because some backup vendors also have support matrices for this minor updates.

The post Backup Interoperability Matrix Major Update 2019-04 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/05/04/backup-interoperability-matrix-major-update-2019-04/feed/ 0 4557
vSphere Upgrade process – WHY? http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/06/vsphere-upgrade-process-why/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/06/vsphere-upgrade-process-why/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 17:29:01 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4549 IT infrastructure is nowadays crucial for every business. So if parts of the infrastruture are not running or the whole infrastructure is down, companies will not only lose money but also reputation. I was...

The post vSphere Upgrade process – WHY? appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
IT infrastructure is nowadays crucial for every business. So if parts of the infrastruture are not running or the whole infrastructure is down, companies will not only lose money but also reputation. I was talking to a customer in my early days and we ask him “How long can you survive without your Exchange server“. The customers quick answer was 1 week. We already knew that the customer wasn’t aware about how many systems were using this server or which departments are heavily rely on a working e-Mail system and after a short conversion we were down to 1 hours maximum. Many customers don’t even know which systems are interacting with each other.

That makes the following question even more important before I even think about an upgrade. And this is independent of whatever needs to be upgraded in your environment.

The question is “WHY do I need to upgrade my environment?”

Hardware lifecycle

Let’s assume you are currently running HPE Gen8/DELL Rx20 servers and vSphere 6.0 U2. Now you need to expand an existing cluster. The only possibility is to buy actual server hardware ( HPE Gen10/DELL Rx40). But both of them are only supported with vSphere 6.0 U3 and higher. So you need to either upgrade the existing cluster to 6.0 U3 or build a new cluster with 6.0 U3 or higher.

Software lifecycle

When using VMware products there is a lifecycle matrix for every product which can be found here. In this matrix you find important dates like end of general support and end of technical guidance. Not only lifecycle but also compatibility between certain products is important. I will demonstrate this with an example.

A customer is currently running VMware View 5.3.4 and vSphere 5.5 U1. He want’s to upgrade to vSphere 6.7 U1 because vSphere 5.5 is already end of general support. Here are the steps he needs to take to get there.

  1. Upgrade to View 5.3.7 (latest maintenance release, which is required to upgrade to newer Horizon View versions, according to documentation)
  2. Upgrade to View 6.2.7/7.0.3 (latest Horizon View release which supports vSphere 5.5 U1)
  3. Upgrade to vCenter 6.0 U3 (latest vSphere version which supports View 6.2.7/7.0.3)
  4. Upgrade to ESXi 6.0 U3
  5. Upgrade to View 7.7
  6. Upgrade to vCenter 6.7 U1
  7. Upgrade to ESXi 6.7 U1

As you can see going from a really old version to a newer one can include multiple tasked. Not to mention that every single task also includes several other subtasks like upgrading Horizon agents etc. As you can see staying on a real old version can make you a lot of headache in the future. So plan your software lifecycle accordingly.

Operating Systems

If you have to use newer operating system versions like Ubuntu 18.04/Debian 9/Windows 2019 Server you also need to upgrade because these are only supported on vSphere 6.5 and higher. You can check the operating system compatibility list here.

New Features

With every new version of vSphere new features are introduced which makes your life as an virtualization administrator easier. If you have a requirement for e.g. HTML5 Client, PerVM-EVC, SMP-FT, VCSA improvements etc. you also have to upgrade to the newest version or to a version which supports your requirements.

Compliance Requirements

If you are working in the financial sector and produce payment cards you are liable to the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). In version 3.2 of this standard SSL/TLS 1.0 is not allowed. So you would need to upgrade to a vSphere version that supports TLS 1.1/1.2 to stay compliant with this standard.

Security

The last but one of the most important reasons to upgrade your environment are security related issues. This includes Meltdown/Spectre/Spectre-NG/L1TF and all the other ones which will arise in the future.

Now that we know WHY we would need to upgrade an environments let’s go and gather all the required information we need.

My next blog post will cover how to gather important hardware information.

The post vSphere Upgrade process – WHY? appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/06/vsphere-upgrade-process-why/feed/ 0 4549
vSphere Upgrade process – Introduction http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/04/vsphere-upgrade-process-introduction/ http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/04/vsphere-upgrade-process-introduction/#respond Mon, 04 Mar 2019 09:00:32 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4332 Disclaimer: I’m working for VMware’s Professional Service Organization (PSO) as Technical Account Manager. I’m planning already on or have finished upgrading my customers to vSphere 6.5/6.7. Before VMware I worked as Consultant for different...

The post vSphere Upgrade process – Introduction appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
Disclaimer: I’m working for VMware’s Professional Service Organization (PSO) as Technical Account Manager. I’m planning already on or have finished upgrading my customers to vSphere 6.5/6.7. Before VMware I worked as Consultant for different VMware partners in Austria. I have done a lot of upgrades in the past (4.x/5.x/6.x) and I could say I have some experience with it. This is my personal view on the topic “vSphere Upgrade”.

In my professional life I meet a variety of IT people. Not all of them were as professional or good as they should be and some of them were really a risk to the business. During my time as a consultant I discovered that there are 4 categories of IT admins/professionals/peers you name it who are responsible for infrastructure and therefor for upgrades.

  1. Day 0 upgrader
  2. Superficial knowledge admin
  3. vSphere only upgrader
  4. Allround planner
  5. (special) Beta production runners
Day 0 upgrader

Everybody knows this type of admin. They are waiting eagerly for the next software release and scratching their nails into the table the closer the date of GA comes. This category is one of the riskier one to your business. The reason for that is that they will install the newest piece of software into your production environment without checking all the dependencies and risks that is accompanied with such big release change. Also this type of people don’t care about processes, the only thing that counts is to be the first on the newest version.

Superficial knowledge admin

Just like the “Day 0 upgrade” the “superficial knowledge admin” is a risk to the environment and therefor for the business. The reason is obvious. Such person don’t understand or know the whole picture of a product. Or much worse they think they know everything about a product which is in most of the cases not true. If you have to deal with such person you need always concrete evidence in form of KB, guides or documentation to debunk a false statement he/she made. As you can image, working with such people is very time consuming and costs you a lot of mental energy. Normally they believe that everything they say is correct and without the right evidence it’s hard to prove them wrong.

vSphere only upgrade

I’m in the virtualization space since 2007 and over time I learned that not only virtualization knowledge is important but also knowledge about surrounding systems (e.g. storage, network, backup etc.) and stuff you’re running in your environment (e.g. operating system, applications etc.). Unfortunately there are still a lot of people who are just looking at their part of the environment without having knowledge about the rest. They are really good when it comes to planning their upgrade for their own part of the infrastructure but they forget about the rest of the infrastructure which can also lead to some serious desaster if they are not interacting with the other departments.

Allround planner

This category of people I love to work with because they have a general overview over the whole environment and know how certain pieces are working together. They are also good in engaging other departments, so that everybody knows which are the dependencies are in their infrastructure. During planning and implementation they follow the company processes (Change Management etc.) so that it is easy comprehensible after the upgrade is done.

Beta production runners

This type of professionals are running beta software in their production environment. The reason for doing this is always different. Some want to test the beta software with real workload, some don’t even know they are running beta code. The just took an ISO of the software laying around and installed it. Thankfully I encountered this type only once in the wild and this is already more than 10 years ago.

In the next blog posts I will cover the following areas you need to consider when planning for an upgrade.

  1. What is the reason for an upgrade
  2. What do I need to know from a hardware perspective
  3. What do I need to know from a software perspective
  4. General architecture changes (e.g. vCenter)

I won’t cover an actual scenario e.g. how to upgrade from  one version to another. It’s more like what do I need to know beforehand so my upgrade went as smooth as possible.

The post vSphere Upgrade process – Introduction appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2019/03/04/vsphere-upgrade-process-introduction/feed/ 0 4332
VMworld EMEA 2018 – #vBreakfast 2018 edition http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/14/vmworld-emea-2018-vbreakfast-2018-edition/ http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/14/vmworld-emea-2018-vbreakfast-2018-edition/#respond Sun, 14 Oct 2018 08:00:19 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4493 Please join Abdullah Abdullah and many more vNerds and vGeeks for the #vBreakfast 2018 edition. Unfortunately myself and Andreas couldn’t make it to VMworld EMEA this year but Abdullah will take care of all...

The post VMworld EMEA 2018 – #vBreakfast 2018 edition appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>

Please join Abdullah Abdullah and many more vNerds and vGeeks for the #vBreakfast 2018 edition. Unfortunately myself and Andreas couldn’t make it to VMworld EMEA this year but Abdullah will take care of all of you, even when it’s 7am morning. I think he also knows how to deal with the #GrumpyWaiter As I heard last years #vBreakfast was really awesome with more attendees than the year before. We had more than 25 people who joined us very early in the morning to get some coffee, snacks and great talks. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures from last year but I hope you guys make a ton of picture this year so I can share it for my next year blog post! 🙂

For this year’s #vBreakfast I hope the attendance is similar or even bigger than the year before. Would be really great to start the day with a massive virtualization overpower before the VMworld General Session. #vBreakfast 2018 edition will be held at the same location as last year which is really close to the Fira:

Restaurant La Vid
Carrer del Foc 44-54

Maps

I have also created an Eventbrite event to have an overview how many people will attend #vBreakfast 2018 edition. Registration for the event will be open from Oct. 15th 10am until Nov. 5th.

There is no better way to get to know the community than with breakfast. Join Abdullah and many others in this growing yearly tradition of carbo-loading for an action-packed day on Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:30. After that we have plenty of time getting to the General Session. So follow #vBreakfast on Twitter to get the latest information about the event.

As every year I hope to get a sponsor for this awesome event. Last year we were very fortunate to have RuneCast as our sponsor.

Update 28.10.2017

I’m happy and thrilled to announced that this year Runecast will sponsor #vBreakfast again. Here is also my personal “THANK YOU” to the whole Runecast team for their support on such vCommunity event. You guys ROCK.

 

The post VMworld EMEA 2018 – #vBreakfast 2018 edition appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/14/vmworld-emea-2018-vbreakfast-2018-edition/feed/ 0 4493
VMworld EMEA 2018 – Parties, Gatherings, Events and more http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/09/vmworld-emea-2018-parties-gatherings-events-and-more/ http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/09/vmworld-emea-2018-parties-gatherings-events-and-more/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 07:30:47 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4491 I created a small list of VMworld EMEA 2018 parties, gathering and events because attending VMworld is not only attending an IT conference it is also a big networking event where you can talk...

The post VMworld EMEA 2018 – Parties, Gatherings, Events and more appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>

I created a small list of VMworld EMEA 2018 parties, gathering and events because attending VMworld is not only attending an IT conference it is also a big networking event where you can talk to vendors, tweeps or bloggers. What will be better for socialising than parties and gatherings at VMworld. Unfortunately I won’t attend the EMEA conference because I was at the US version. VMworld full conference or guest pass is required for some parties and for others you need to register because space is limited.

If you are a vendor or somebody arranging a party or gathering at VMworld US please contact me on Twitter (@Fred_vBrain) or by e-mail (fred (at) vbrain (dot) info) so I can add your party/gathering/event to the list.

EventWhenTimeWhereRegistration
Welcome ReceptionNovember 6th, Tuesday17:30-19:30Solutions ExchangeFull Conference Pass
or Guest Pass
VMworld FestNovember 7th, Wednesday19:00-22:00General Session roomFull Conference Pass
or Guest Pass
Hall CrawlNovember 7th, Wednesday17:00-19:00Solutions ExchangeFull Conference Pass
or Guest Pass
#vRockstar PartyNovember 4th, Sunday20:00 - 00:00Obama English Pub
603 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes
08007 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
Wave 1: SOLD OUT
Wave 2: SOLD OUT
#Spousetivities
VMworld 2018 EMEA Day 1
November 5th, Monday08:00 - 18:00Fira Barcelona Gran Via
(Conference Center)
Hall 6 Carrer del Foc 10
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
#Spousetivities
VMworld 2018 EMEA Day 2
November 6th, Tuesday08:00 - 18:00Fira Barcelona Gran Via
(Conference Center)
Hall 6 Carrer del Foc 10
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
#Spousetivities
VMworld 2018 EMEA Day 3
November 7th, Wednesday08:00 - 18:00Fira Barcelona Gran Via
(Conference Center)
Hall 6 Carrer del Foc 10
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
#Spousetivities
VMworld 2018 EMEA Day 4
November 8th, Thursday08:00 - 18:00Fira Barcelona Gran Via
(Conference Center)
Hall 6 Carrer del Foc 10
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
#vBreakfastNovember 6th, Tuesday07:00 - 08:30Restaurant La Vid
Carrer del Foc 44-54
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
#VCDX WorkshopNovember 5th, Monday07:30 - 13:00Hotel Porta Fira
Plaça d'Europa, 45
(Maps)
Link
IGEL Certified Engineer TrainingNovember 5th, Monday12:00 - 18:00H10 Itaca
22 Avinguda de Roma
08015 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
CANCELED
Veeam PartyNovember 6th, Tuesday20:00 - 01:00Sala Apolo
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113
08004 Barcelona
(Maps)
INVITATION ONLY
(currently)
VMware {Code} HackathonNovember 5th, Monday18:30 - 24:00Esferic
Plaça de Dante
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)
Link
Rubrik Cocktail PartyNovember 5th, Monday20:00 - 24:00CAFE OCAÑA
Plaça Reial 13-15
(Maps)
SOLD OUT
Pre-VMworld VMUG - DELL/EMC
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
VMware on AWS
November 5th, Monday11:00 - 14:25Porta Fira Hotel
Plaça d'Europa, 45
(Maps)
Link
NSX-T Technical WorkshopNovember 5th, Monday13:00 - 17:00"Fira Barcelona Gran Via
(Conference Center)
64 Avinguda Joan Carles I
Room 403
08038 Barcelona
(Maps)"
Link
vSphere 6.7 Clustering Deep Dive Book SigningNovember 6th, Tuesday16:00 - 17:00Rubrik Booth #P305Link
vExpert PartyNovember 6th, Tuesday19:00 - 22:00CAFE OCAÑA
Plaça Reial 13-15
(Maps)
INVITE ONLY
Cohesity Party in BarcelonaNovember 6th, Tuesday19:30 - ??Poble Espanyol
Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 13
Barcelona, CT 08038
(Maps)
Link
Headshot Studio@VMworld
by Christian Mohn
November 6th, Tuesday14:30 - 15:30Social Hub
(near Blogger area, vBrownbag stage)
first come, first served
More Information
Headshot Studio@VMworld
by Christian Mohn
November 7th, Wednesday14:30 - 15:30Social Hub
(near Blogger area, vBrownbag stage)
first come, first served
More Information
Headshot Studio@VMworld
by Christian Mohn
November 8th, Thursday14:30 - 15:30Social Hub
(near Blogger area, vBrownbag stage)
first come, first served
More Information
#NSXRovingReporter by
Joep Piscaer and Ather Beg
November 6th, Tuesday10:00 - 16:00Social Hub
(near Blogger area, vBrownbag stage)
Get there and do a 5 minutes interview about their networking, VMworld or career story!
#NSXRovingReporter by
Joep Piscaer and Ather Beg
November 7th, Wednesday10:00 - 16:00Social Hub
(near Blogger area, vBrownbag stage)
Get there and do a 5 minutes interview about their networking, VMworld or career story!

Andreas Lesslhumer over www.running-system.com will maintain a list of parties and events for VMworld 2018 in Barcelona too. So check it out! Maybe he knows from a party that is missing here.

The post VMworld EMEA 2018 – Parties, Gatherings, Events and more appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2018/10/09/vmworld-emea-2018-parties-gatherings-events-and-more/feed/ 0 4491
VMworld 2018 US – VMworld has come http://www.vbrain.info/2018/08/27/vmworld-2018-us-vmworld-has-come/ http://www.vbrain.info/2018/08/27/vmworld-2018-us-vmworld-has-come/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 00:21:33 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4472 It is again this time of the year where a lot of people gather in Las Vegas for one of the biggest conferences, VMworld 2018. So to say it in Game of Thrones terms:...

The post VMworld 2018 US – VMworld has come appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
It is again this time of the year where a lot of people gather in Las Vegas for one of the biggest conferences, VMworld 2018. So to say it in Game of Thrones terms: VMworld has come. This year I’m really thankful that I could make it to this awesome conference. A big thank you goes to my wife for making this possible to me and taking care of our 2 kids during my absense. In the past I have only attended one VMworld US which was in 2012 in San Francisco. There I was sheer overwhelmed about the size and the people you can meet there. VMworld Barcelona is also big but the US conference is even bigger. Thanks god it’s not my first time in Vegas. I was there during my vacation in 2012 and during internal VMware events so I know what I have to expect.

Saturday

Unfortunately it is already Sunday and I didn’t finished this post in time. I met up with Ather Beg and we explored possible path to the venue so we won’t get lost the next day. After that we went for dinner and at 9pm I was already so damn tired that I needed to get to bed.

Sunday

Sunday really started early because I woke up at 5am and was surprisingly refreshed. I made myself ready and went to the registration. I really didn’t expect so many people at the registration at 7am and it looked like that there was some problems printing the badges because I waited nearly 25min to get mine. Others got their badges in less then a minute.

After finishing the registration I cought up with Shane Williford who is running the #vBreakfast US. At the breakfast I met few other people who I didn’t met face to face in the past like Mark Crawford, James Green, Ken Nelbone, Joe Houghes and Richard Kenyan to name a few.

After breakfast I made my way to the VCDX Workshop (again, 3rd time). This is the type of workshop which should remind me that there is still a goal on my bucket list I need to accomplish. After a short break I attended the vSphere Upgrade Workshop led by David Stamen and Nigel Hickey. This gave me the last inspiration how to run such workshop for my customers in Austria and also gave me some additional input to my VMTN community session on Wednesday (VMTN5534U – vSphere Upgrade Process – 2018 Edition). In the evening I have planned to attend the VMworld Welcome Reception and the VMunderground party. I hope to see a lot of you guys there. Just if you know me and obviously want to chat with me come by and say hello. I can assure you I won’t remember your name so hopefully you will wear your VMworld badge.

Monday

Monday is really relaxing from an appointment perspective. I will watch the General Session from the VM village and hope to get in touch with new and old friends from the #vCommunity. During the day I will spend my time in the blogger area or at the VMTN theater. I also looking forward to the following sessions:

Ariel Sanchez – vSphere and Ansible: From zero to useful [CODE5551U]

Russell Hamker – vDeploy – PowerCLI only method to fully deploy a VM [VMTN5513U]

Thom Greene – Automating Troubleshooting with vSphere Operations Manager [VMTN5522U]

From 5pm to 6pm there will be also a book signing session for “Clustering Deep Dive” at the Rubrik booth (#1334). You can meet and chat with the authors (Duncan Epping, Niels Hagoort and Frank Denneman) there .

At about 6:30pm the real fun for this day will happen. The VMworld hackathon. I have not attended the previous one because I didn’t fell useful for a specific team, but that is not the intention for the hackathon. The intention is that there are team who can learn and create something which is cool and even if you’re thinking that you can’t contribute anything you will get a great learning experience out of that.

Tuesday

On Tuesday I will watch the General Session from VMvillage and I’m really looking forward to the talk of Noble peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai. To be honest I haven’t heard about her before but after reading her history and what she is doing I was really impressed and inspired by her.

From 10:30am to 11:30am there will be a book signing session at the Runecast booth (#2835) for “IT Architect Series: Foundation In the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects” written by John Arrasjid, Mark Gabryjelski and Chris McCain. All the authors will be there to sign the book.

In the afternoon I will be most of the time at the blogger area or VMTN theater. I have also the following community sessions on my list for attending.

Jake Blecha – A better way to see PowerCLI data [CODE5549U]

Sean Massey – Upgrading Your VDI Environment to Windows 10 [VMTN5976U]

In the evening I’m registered for the #vExpert party and the legendary Veeam party. Let’s see how I can split myself to attend both. Looking mainly forward the the #vExpert one because there is a bigger chance to chat with fellow vExperts.

Wednesday

Wednesday is a more busy day at VMworld for me. I have a session on the list to attend but as an employee you’re not allowed to pre-register for a session so I will show up there and see if there is any place left. The session I’m talking about is from Katarina Wagnerova and Mark Brookfield about “Designing for the Unexpected: Delivering IT on a Boat with VMware Horizon [VIN2650BU]”.

From 11:00am to 11:30am I will be part of the “vExpert Daily“. Not sure what to expect now but Im really looking forward to this stuff because this is something which is putting me outside my comfort zone.

At 12:15pm I will meet up with all the #vBeards at VMworld to do an awesome vBeards photo.

The rest of the afternoon I will usally stay at the VMTN space, because I have a session there at 3:30pm for the topic “vSphere Upgrade Process – 2018 Edition [VMTN5534U]”. Currently the session is FULL which really makes me happy but I think there is still standing space available and I assume not everybody will show up. Other sessions I will attend will be:

Thom Greene – Creating a Blog with Hugo [VMTN5527U]

Matthew Allford / Tim Carman – Documenting Your Virtual Infrastructure with PowerShell and PowerCLI [VIN3327BU]

In the evening you will find me at the VMworld FEST.

Thursday

As Thursday is the last day at VMworld and everybody will be tired and exhausted I have no specific plans. As always you can find my around VMTN or at the Solutions Exchange.

Final Thoughts

VMworld will be busy and exhausting like every year but I really do like the show and the people who are attending. It’s a great place to be and to meet old and new friend and I won’t miss that for a minute. Also if you’re still don’t know which party to attend check out my party list post.

Also if you find any spelling error, you can keep it! 🙂

The post VMworld 2018 US – VMworld has come appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
http://www.vbrain.info/2018/08/27/vmworld-2018-us-vmworld-has-come/feed/ 0 4472
Spectre-NG – CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640 http://www.vbrain.info/2018/07/04/spectre-ng/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 07:00:20 +0000 http://www.vbrain.info/?p=4402 As you might already have heard via other sources, two new variants of the Spectre Attack have been made public in May. Spectre Variante 3a Rogue System Register Read CVE-2018-3640 Spectre Variante 4 Speculative...

The post Spectre-NG – CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
As you might already have heard via other sources, two new variants of the Spectre Attack have been made public in May.

Spectre Variante 3a Rogue System Register Read CVE-2018-3640
Spectre Variante 4 Speculative Store Bypass CVE-2018-3639

Q2 2018 Speculative Execution Side Channel Update

CPU-Sicherheitslücken Spectre-NG: Updates rollen an (German)

From a VMware perspective updates for both were released last week. Here are the corresponding Security Advisory (VMSA-2018-0012.1) and KB article (KB54951).

vSphere 6.7
vCenter 6.7b http://kb.vmware.com/kb/55726 Download
ESXi 6.7
ESXi670-201806001 https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55917 Download
ESXi670-201806401-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55920
ESXi670-201806402-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55921
ESXi670-201806403-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/56334
vSphere 6.5
vCenter 6.5 U2b http://kb.vmware.com/kb/54875 Download
ESXi 6.5
ESXi650-201806001 https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55912 Download
ESXi650-201806401-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55915
ESXi650-201806402-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55916
vSphere 6.0
vCenter 6.0 U3f http://kb.vmware.com/kb/55725 Download
ESXi 6.0
ESXi600-201805001 https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55907 Download
ESXi600-201806401-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55910
ESXi600-201806402-BG https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55911

I created the above list to get access to the corresponding KB article more quickly as well as to the downloads. Normally you would update your ESXi hosts through VUM (VMware Update Manager) and your vCenter through the VAMI interface. Sometimes there is a requirement (e.g. environment without internet access) where you need to download the mentioned offline bundles respectively the vCenter patch ISOs.

For everybody running already vSphere 6.5 in their environment they would need to update to 6.5 U2.

Because there is still a backup problematic going on and only a handful of backup vendors support 6.5 U2 currently, I strongly recommend to NOT update to 6.5 U2 yet.

For more information, please refer to the KBs listed below.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

VMSA-2018-0012

VMware vSphere, Workstation and Fusion updates enable Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigations for Speculative Store Bypass issue.

https://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2018-0012.html

VMware Response to Speculative Execution security issues, CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640 (54951)

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/54951

CVE-2018-3639 (Speculative Store Bypass)

Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigations

VMware updates that enable Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigations for CVE-2018-3639 are documented in VMSA-2018-0012. This mitigation requires Intel microcode updates which, at the time of this article’s publication, are not yet available. The combination of Intel microcode and VMSA-2018-0012 updates will expose the Speculative-Store-Bypass-Disable (SSBD) control bit to guest operating systems. Detailed instructions on enabling Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigations for CVE-2018-3639 are found in KB55111.

Operating System-Specific Mitigations

VMware has investigated the impact that CVE-2018-3639 may have on VMware Virtual Appliances, and while investigations are ongoing we have not found any evidence that VMware Virtual Appliances are affected by this issue.

VMware recommends contacting your operating system vendor to determine whether or not SSBD is recommended. At the time of this article’s publication, multiple OS vendors have decided that SSBD will be disabled by default in their OSes as they have classified the overall risk of CVE-2018-3639 as low and the performance impact imposed will be non-trivial.

CVE-2018-3640 (Rogue System Register Read)

Microcode Mitigations

CVE-2018-3640 is resolved by a microcode update. ESXi will include the mitigating microcode updates for supported CPUs as a convenience, after they have been provided to us and tested by VMware. Alternatively, you should also be able to obtain the microcode update for your CPU as part of a firmware/BIOS update from your hardware system vendor. Code changes are not required for any VMware products to mitigate CVE-2018-3640. Included microcode will be documented in ESXi release notes.

Note: If newer microcode is already present on your system because of a firmware/BIOS update, ESXi will not replace it with older microcode shipped as part of an ESXi patch/update.

For the latest information on how mitigations for the aforementioned issues may affect performance, see KB55210.

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigation for CVE-2018-3639 (Speculative Store Bypass) (55111)

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55111

Mitigation of CVE-2018-3639 within a VM or native OS is greatly assisted by a new speculative-execution control bit known as Speculative-Store-Bypass-Disable (SSBD).  In order to use this hardware feature within virtual machines, new Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigations must be enabled to pass this control bit to the Guest OSes.

For each virtual machine, enable Hypervisor-Assisted Guest Mitigation for CVE-2018-3639 via the following steps:

  1. Apply all applicable security patches for your Guest OS which have been made available from the OS vendor.
  2. Ensure that your VMs are using Virtual Hardware Version 9 or higher. See KB1010675 for details on Virtual Hardware versions and requirements. For best performance, Virtual Hardware Version 11 or higher is recommended. Virtual Hardware Version 11 enables PCID/INVPCID.
  3. Power Off and then Power On the virtual machine (Restart is insufficient).

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

The post Spectre-NG – CVE-2018-3639 and CVE-2018-3640 appeared first on vBrain.info.

]]>
4402