VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 released

Creative Cloud Provider Pod

Great news, VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 has been released on January 31, 2019. Now the new release include a more recent versions of VMware Cloud Provider stack as below:

  • vSphere 6.7u1
  • vSAN 6.7u1
  • NSX 6.4.4
  • vCloud Director 9.5.0.1
  • vCloud Director Extender 1.1.0.2
  • vRealize Orchestrator 7.5
  • vRealize Operations 7.0, including Multi-Tenant App 2.0
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager – Cloud Pod Management Pack
  • vRealize Log Insight 4.7
  • vRealize Network Insight 4.0
  • Usage Meter 3.6.1

You can download the VMware Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 at: Download Landing Page

For more information you can check the release notes at: Release Notes,  documentation link at: Documentation and the following blog post: https://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2019/01/cloud-provider-pod-1-1-is-out-now.html… Read More

VMware Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 is RELEASED

VMware Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 is Released with a good amount of enhancements and bug fixes. It is highly recommended to apply Usage Meter 3.6.1 HotPatch 2. Below is a summary of the main fixes and improvement included in HotPatch 2.

What’s new:

  • Bugfixes for Auto reporting or manual generation of reports in vCloud Usage Meter fails
  • Bugfixes for vCenter Server consumption data collection fails
  • Bugfixes for vCloud Usage Meter 3.6.1 Hot Patch 1 does not meter vSAN
  • Performance improvements for report generation, now customers will be able to generate reports where it was not possible before.
  • TLS fix
  • Defined scalability and performance limits for reports

UM 3.6.1 HotPatch 2 can be downloaded at: Download link

For more information, please check the release notes at: Release notesRead More

vCD External Networks Creation fail: Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition

I have a Cloud Provider involving me lately, as they kept getting the error below every time they tried to create an External Network in vCloud Director 9.5.

“Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition”

Gateway cannot be equal to the network definition

It was an interesting error message especially in my customer case, where they were confident of providing the right information.  It was a very small mistake that can be easily missed by others. When the above error happened, they were not using the correct Network CIDR. My customer was using 192.168.1.0/24 where he should have been using 192.168.1.1/24. Changing the CIDR to the correct one as below fixed the issue! As it was one of those simple things that others can miss, I thought I will share!

vCD Network CIDR to fix External Network ErrorRead More

vCenter 6.7 Appliance fails after the first reboot

I have been getting few requests lately of vCenter 6.7 Appliance installation fails after the first reboot. It sounds like a common theme mostly in lab environments. Below is one of the quite few similar errors that I have received.

“A problem occurred during setup. Services might not be working as expected – Starting VMware Component Manager ….”

vCenter Server Fails upon first reboot

Unfortunately, the error is not very perspective. Checking on the cause of this issue for couple of friends, and it end up being caused by a time difference between their ESXi hosts, and the being deployed vCenter Appliance. While most take care of NTP configuration religiously in production environment, that seems to often being skipped into lab environments. As vCenter 6.7 & higher time sync is becoming more crucial than ever, which in turn can cause your installation to fail. KB56124 is covering this particular issue, and provide more details on what error to expect in the log file in such situation.

In both cases that I have helped my friends with, they have inserted an NTP server to sync the vCenter appliance with but forgot to do the same for their ESXi host. The way to setup NTP on your ESXi host is as follow:

  1. Login to your host using the vSphere Web Client
  2. Go to Host => Manage => System => Time & Date
  3. Hit Edit Settings
  4. Configure the NTP Server as in the below screenshot & Save
  5. Start the NTP Service Client on the ESXi host, by going to Actions=>NTP Service => Start

Configure NTP client on ESXi 6.7 hostRead More

vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 is here!

The vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.5 has been made available today! 

vCAv C2C 1.5 has come with a number of great enhancements highlighted below:

vCloud Availability C2C 1.5

  • An improved user interface that can be embedded into vCloud Director and allows tenant and service provider users to perform DR operations and monitor DR environments from within vCloud Director.
  • Service providers can enable or disable incoming and outgoing replications for one or multiple vCloud Director organizations in source and destination sites.
  • Policies that allow service provider administrators to limit the following system attributes: a) the number of replications at the vCloud Director organization level, b) the minimum recovery point objective, c) the number of retained snapshots per VM replication, and d) the total number of VM replications.
  • A public API that enables the automation of user session management, vApp replication management and monitoring, as well as system monitoring.
  • A storage consumption report and an enhanced usage metering report.
  • Increased scale and performance.
  • vRealize Orchestrator Integration
  • vRealize Operations Day 2 Monitoring Pack
  • Integration with the VMware Analytics Cloud for the collection of telemetry via the CEIP program.
  • Added support for vCloud Director 9.5

For more information, you can find the release notes at: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR/1.5/rn/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR-15-Release-Notes.html

Product Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vCloud-Availability-for-Cloud-to-Cloud-DR/index.htmlRead More

VMware Usage Meter Support!

If you are a service provider that is a part of VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) which formerly known as vCAN, then you had to use VMware Usage Meter to report usage. At certain time you might need help either with failure during setting up VMware Usage Meter or you need help troubleshooting an issue with Usage Meter. Service providers seem to often ask how to get support with Usage Meter. Usage Meter is like any other VMware product, it is supported by VMware Support Organization (GSS). VMware Support organization (GSS) had been trained on VMware Usage Meter, and to approach the right support channel, please follow the steps below:

To log a technical ticket with our GSS teams, please follow these steps:  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2006985

  1. In your myVMware portal select Support in the upper right hand corner
  2. Under Select an Issue choose System Management in the Technical support pull down menu
  3. Scroll down to VMware vCloud Usage Meter under supported products and click on the version of UM that you require support on
  4. Enter support request information

I hope this help!… Read More

vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR capabilities is here!

Today, VMware has announced the long waited  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR 1.0. This is a thrilling news to many of our VCPP service providers partners who wanted a VMware native Cloud to Cloud DR/migration solution for vCloud Director based clouds.

vCloud Availability C2C

Below is few highlights of the newly introduced  vCloud Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud DR.

Simple Deployment:  vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR is delivered as a single Photon-based appliance with a full GUI driven installation. During the beta phase, service providers were able to get it operational in less than an hour! This is a game changer if you compare it to the previous more complex stretched cluster solution, that required specialized hardware.

Hardware Independant:  As the replication is completed in software, there is no hardware dependancy and the service provider can utilize the storage of their choice.

Self-Service: Self-service protection, failover, and failback workflows per virtual machine (VM)/vAPP is provided out of the box.

Modern Interface:  Simplified and easy to use modern HTML-5 interface. Further, it offers a Single, unified portal for both tenant and service provider users.

Multi-Tenant Support: vCloud Availability Cloud to Cloud DR 1.0 is fully multi-tenant aware which integrate very well with the strong multi-tenanacy of vCloud Director

Symmetrical replication flow that can be started from either the source or the recovery vCloud Director site.The… Read More

vCD 9.1 Just Went GA with Great New Features

Although vCloud Director 9.1 is released less than 6 months after vCloud Director 9.0, it is packed with tons of enhancements and new features. It is hard to believe it is just a minor release. Below is a recap of the top feature of the vCD 9.0 release:

HTML 5 Tenant Portal Enhancement.

While in vCD 9.0 the well received HTML 5 Tenant Portal was introduced, in vCloud Director 9.1 it got enhanced to include enchanced monitoring dashboard, vAPP, and Catalog deployment and management. These enhancemed to the HTML 5 interface has gotten it much closer to parity with the Flex interface and will make it ready for prime time.

vcd 9.1 new html 5 dashboard

HTML5 Administration Portal

VMware vCloud Director 9.1 includes a dedicated HTML 5 provider portal where administrators of the IaaS environment can manage all the system resources and configurations of vCloud Director from an easy to access web portal. The Flex portal will still be available for more advance and indepth configuration while the HTML5 interface get in parity with the Flex interface.

Standalone VMRC & OVF/OVA Upload

Previous verions of vCloud Director has required a web browser plugin called vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin to be installed to Upload OFV/OVA as well to access VMRC.… Read More

vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin is not working

I have been asked repeatedly lately on how to get the vCloud Director Client Integration Plugin (CIP) working. I wanted to put this post out there to help you getting it working in no time. It is important to note that, the Client Integration Plugin (CIP) is only needed in vCD to carry out import and export of templates and media images.

To improve system security in vCD 8.20 and higher, the vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-In (CIP) is no longer bundled with the vCloud Director server installation. It must be downloaded from vmware.com. When you initiate any operation that requires this plug-in, the vCloud Director Web Console verifies that an appropriate version of the plug-in is installed in your browser, and prompts you to download and install a newer version if necessary.

vCD Download the Client Integration Plug-in

Ok, first step first, before panicing and starting with the troubleshooting steps below, please start by ensuring you are using a supported browser. If you are using a browser that is not on the supported browsers list,  then you need to shift to a supported one before trying anything else. Remember we have these support matrix for a reason.  Below is a list of vCD 9.0 supported browsers:

The vCloud Director Client Integration Plug-in is compatible with recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.… Read More

VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 what’s new

vCloud Availability 2.0 is available for download today here. vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 delivers the following key enhancements:

    • vSphere 6.5 Support: Added support for vSphere 6.5 on the service provider side. This was missing in the previous release and many service providers were looking for it. The supported vSphere versions on the tenant side remain unchanged. For more interoperability and compatibility information about vCloud Availability for vCloud Director, see the Interoperability Pages for vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0. Here is a screenshot of what the interoperability matrix look like.

vCloud Availability for vCloud Director Interop Matrix

    • 5-minutes Recovery Point Objective (RPO): vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0 delivers an enhanced RPO support of 5-minutes compared to the previously supported RPO of 15 minutes.
    • Enhancements to vCloud Availability for vCloud Director Service Manager Portal: The Service Manager Portal, introduced in the vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 1.0.1.2 release, allows service providers to monitor and manage their DR environments. The current release includes usability and performance enhancements to improve the response time on the Inventory page and a new Tenant Impersonation feature. The new feature allows service providers to act as tenant users. Using the Tenant Impersonation feature, service providers can filter tenant organizations and perform DR operations using a tenant role, the same way a tenant user would.
Read More

vCloud Director 9.0 is Ready for Download

vCloud Director 9.0 has been announced at VMworld with some exciting enhancements. I am positive most of our VCPP (VMware Cloud Partner Program) partners will be looking forward to many of these features. Just in case you have missed it, VCPP (VMware Cloud Partner Program) is the new name for the VCAN(vCloud Air Network) Program. In this post, I will be covering few of the spotlight features of vCD 9.0.

Before I start, I want to highlight that’s while many vCD releases in the past few years were more progressive, this one is more on revolutionary side. I would highly recommend service providers to start evaluating vCD 9.0, as soon it released out not to be left being none competitive with those who upgrade. The difference this time is not hidden in the API, but include major changes in the UI interface as well. Read below for more details, and download the bits at vCloud Director 9.0 Download Link to start testing it out in your labs.

  • Modernized HTML5 interface. vCloud Director 9.0 comes with a new much slicker and smoother graphical interface for the tenant portal based on HTML5 which is an evolution from the previous Flex graphical interface. While this one might not be in parity with the Flex version in version 9.0,
Read More

VMware Cloud Availability 1.0.1.2 Compatibility Matrix

VMware Cloud Availability (vCAv) is a solution provided by VMware to Service Providers to offer DRaaS with VMware Cloud Director(vCD) as a target.

VMware Cloud Availability vCAv

Two features that makes VMware vCloud Availability valuable to service providers are:

  • It support multi-tenancy out of the box: This means the Service Provider will not have to acquire a separate hardware and setup an isolated vSphere environment per client, which end up improving the TCO and ROI for both the Service Provider and their customers.
  • The vCenter/vSphere versions do not have to match between the service Provider and the Tenant. This is big as the service provider will have the liberty to board customers running a different version of vSphere and vCenter without having to impact the version they run on premise.

A question I am often asked lately when talking about VMware Cloud Availability is: Does the on premise environment of vSphere/vCenter have to match the versions used by the service provider and if not what versions are compatible? The short answer is no, for more info on the supported versions, look below.

Provider Versions

While vCD 8.20 and vSphere/vCenter 6.5 is recommended below is the different versions supported for the Service provider.

  • vCD 8.10, 8.10.1
Read More

vROPS Tenant App for VCD 1.0 is GA

The announcement of vROPS Tenant App for vCloud Director  1.0 is a great news to our vCloud Air Network Partners. vRealize Operations Tenant App for vCloud Director 1.0 is GA as of August 23, 2017! Now you can provide your customers with a better self-service monitoring solution that they were asking you for. This will provide a new monetizing opportunity for our vCAN Partners as well enhance their customers experience.

vRealize Operations Manager Tenant App for vCloud Director
It is a tenant facing application which provides a tenant administrator visibility to their vCloud Director environment. Service provider admin can enable access to the application to any tenant. It solves monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning use cases for a tenant. This is available only to service providers.

vRealize Operations management pack for vCloud Director

Highlights of what vROPS Tenant App for VCD 1.0 offers:

  • Extends vRealize Operations Manager to include vCloud Director constructs
  • Leverages vRealize Operations advanced analytics
  • Tenant specific monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning
  • Tenant Admin specific views to enable Operations Management solving monitoring, troubleshooting and capacity planning use cases
  • Provider Admin can pick and choose the tenants to whom access it to be provided. It can be provided as an extra addon.
  • Photon OS based Virtual appliance (OVA) for easier installation
  • H5 Client based on VMWare Clarity

 

Please note vROPS Tenant App for vCloud Director  1.0… Read More

vRealize Automation 7.3 what’s new?

vRealize Automation 7.3 has been released today with tons of new capabilities and features (>20 Spotlight Features). In this post, I will highlight several of these new enhancements to introduce you to what you can get by upgrading to vRA 7.3. I hope this will help you find out if the features you are looking for is a part of this release. I know many on my list and my customers lists have been addressed, but there is always room for more.

Below is few important links to check to learn more about vRealize Automation 7.3:

vRealize Automation 7.3 new features:

Parameterized Blueprints to Enhance Reusability and Reduce Sprawl​

  • Introduced component profiles for defining both size and image attributes, enabling “T-shirt sizing” as a request item
    • Component profiles provided for image and virtual machine size including CPU, memory, and storage size
  • Efficiently manage blueprints by leveraging abstracted component profiles
  • Increase reusability while significantly reducing blueprint sprawl
  • Trigger approval policies on size or image conditions
  • Import or export of component profiles using vRealize CloudClient
  • Automatically substitute component profile values

In the past, I have seen the request for VMs “t-shirt sizing” coming up often.… Read More

How to combat WannaCry Ransomware attack with VMware NSX

If you have not heard about the WannaCry Ransomware attacks lately, you need to get your head out of the sand for a bit longer. It sounds like this new Ransomware which take over the victom machine and encrypt their files and ask for a Bitcoin payment to give control back over their machine is taking the world by a storm. It is unbelievable how fast it has spread and how many machines it had took over in no time. It has even took over high profile organizations like Telefónica, Hitachi, Fedex,  National Health Service hospitals in England and Scotland, and many others.

ransomware wannacry compat with VMware NSX

While there has been  patches released by Microsoft to help mitigate the risk of this ransomware that uses a Windows vulnerability for Windows 7 and higher, there is currently no patches for earlier releases of Windows such as Windows XP.

While backup,  patching and keeping both your windows and security/antivirus software up to date is your first line of defense in such a situation, solutions such as VMware NSX can help you defend as well better contain such an attack. I have one of my colleagues “Angel Villar Garea (NSX Specialist SE in Spain)” has created a great video (see below), explaining how NSX can help to contain WannaCry in case a VM gets infected.… Read More