Virtual Update 2018-10-15

VMware Hands On Labs Updated
Looks like a lot of the labs that were available at VMworld have made it to the HOL offered up all year.
vSphere 6.7, Wavefront, vSAN 6.7, VMware Pivotal Container Service & Kubernetes, Machine Learning, NFV, etc

VMware CloudHealth acquisition completed
This past week, VMware finalized the acquisition of CloudHealth, a Boston based firm.
CloudHealth is a Cloud Management Platform (CMP)They focus on automating cloud governance, consumption and costs.
Sounds like it has a direct overlap with some of the vRealize Suite (vRA, vRB, and vROPs).
Might this be a new CMP for us to learn?

vSphere With Operations Management – END OF AVAILABILITY
So VMware announced on 10/8/18 that vSOM is no longer available to customers on February 1, 2019.  What happens to customers who HAVE been licensed for vSOM?
After 10/15/18, existing vSOM Enterprise Plus licenses will be split into VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, and vROPs Standard.
This will result in higher Support & Services cost at the next renewal.

AFTER 2/1/2019, your only two options to acquire vROPs are purchasing vROPs standalone, or in the vRealize/vCloud Suite.  Good news,….they are offering discounts on the upgrades.
vSphere Platinum Promotion
vROPs Promotion

ONLY for vSOM customers (as far as I know), vSphere Enterprise Plus can be upgraded to vSphere Platinum.
Platinum includes VMware AppDefense (security policy to secure applications, infrastructure, data & access).  This is being offered at 50% off, and comes with $10,000 credits to use on VMware on AWS (if you are upgrading 5 or more licenses), which is enough to run 4 nodes for a few weeks.

ONLY for vSOM customers, vROPs can be upgraded to either vROPs Advanced or vRealize Suite at a 50% discount.

The third option is if you wish to upgrade vSphere Enterprise Plus AND vROPs (as described above), you would receive 50% off for vSphere Platinum and 65% off the vROPs upgrade of your choice.

Many of our customers have vSphere Enterprise Plus with Operations Management (vSOM), so WEI will be busy making sure that this conversation is had with all customers who do have this choice to make.

VMware PowerCLI
PowerCLI version 11 was released last week.
Here’s the announcement page.
Here is the change notes.
Here’s the User Guide.
Her is the Cmdlet Reference Guide.

On Windows, updating is as simple as the following command:
Update-Module -name VMware.PowerCLI

VMware CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program)
I’ve seen this now for years when working with vSphere with customers….
Every time you/they see CEIP, they turn this off.
Most of the time, it is based on that VMware does not explicitly show what information is sent to them once CEIP is enabled.
Lots of information is available for those that go looking for it:
VirtuallyGhetto posted on this in 2014
Yellow-Bricks posted this in May 2018
VMware has a page dedicated to CEIP

Pulled right off that VMware CEIP page (in October 2018)
Configuration Data – Technical data about how your organization has configured VMware products and services and related environment information. Examples of configuration data include version information for VMware products, product environment information, product configuration settings and technical data relating to the devices accessing those products and services.
Feature Usage Data – Data about how your organization uses VMware products and services. Examples of feature usage data include details about which product features your organization uses and metrics of user interface activity.
Performance Data – Data about the performance of VMware products and services. Examples include metrics of the performance and scale of VMware products and services, response times for user interfaces and details about API calls.
Product Log Data – Product Logs that are generated by VMware products during the active deployment of the product. Typically, logs record system events and state during product operations. These logs do not contain customer workload content.

So why revisit this?
Well, having conversations with the VMware team, they were happy to show me how this information was used, from the VMware Support perspective.  They then sent me over a link to a video presented by Duncan Epping that I could share with other.

Should you enable CEIP?
That is up to you, but with all the information I have found, the better experience from a support perspective, I am re-thinking taking a neutral stance on this (allowing customers to choose to turn CEIP on or off arbitrarily during installations….which I’ve seen almost everyone turn it off), to a recommendation to turn this feature on.
I’ll even show the video during my workshops I run.
The customer still decides about CEIP on or off, but now with more/better information to make their decision.

VMware vROPs Dashboards
ESXi Performance Page
This is new and only works in vROPs 7.0.
A lot of details, and perhaps a better view than vROPs 7.0 out of the box.
Dashboards Made Easy
Another good post on how much easier it is to create dashboard in vROPs 7.0, which can then be shared.
Dashboard Sharing in vROPs 7.0
This is pretty cool, as you can now export out any dashboard, and share it (time limited, or indefinitely).

VMware Tools & VM Compatibility – Automation the Upgrade?
I saw a post about this on the VMware vSphere Blog, and it is at least interesting in concept….It covers using PowerShell, VMware Tools options, and interactively.
When talking about Hardware Compatibility scripting here is an option as well, but this requires the VM to be powered off.
I have always stated, “…why not just upgrade VM Compatibility during the next normal maintenance window?”
My logic in that is to not create work for the sake of work….if you add that process to your workflow for maintenance, it would be performed at some time…

VMware Tools (for Linux) versus open-vm-tools
Reading posts about the approaches to updating VMware Tools led me to look into both Windows and Linux VMs.
Windows seems to be pretty well covered by the community, and there are plenty of options to keep VMware Tools up to date.
Linux machines, on the other hand….there always seems to be questions on how to keep these VMs up to date (or in some cases, even getting VMware Tools installed on them).….and then I started reading into VMware Tools versus Open VM Tools.
VMware’s own documentation states that Open VM Tools is supported for a variety of Linux OSs (RHEL 7 or later, CentOS 7 or later, SUSE 12 or later, etc).  Open VM Tools is even distributed with those releases.
If you are using open-vm-tools, then you will see Guest Managed as the status when querying tools status through vCenter.So….VMware Tools or Open VM Tools.
Can’t seem to find a definitive answer, and that’s not even on VMware’s KB Support for Open VM Tools (even though you can infer VMware stating to use open-vm-tools if it available).
I’m starting to think that open-vm-tools should be added to our build sheets….

AWS RDS on VMware vSphere
A quick 2-minute read about this topic here
I believe this will have quick adoption due to the replication, archival, dr, recovery, and database management capabilities.

Microsoft Windows 10 & 2019 released
Windows Server 2019 release on 10/2/2018 (not that this is important now, but in 2029, someone will want to know)Windows 10 1809 (same release date)
.…..and then they were pulled because the update would destroy data.
We’ll see how this progresses….

Azure VM Fundamentals
vBrownBag recently did a show about Azure VM fundamentals.
Paul Cradduck was the speaker for this show.
Some of you may have met him with me at various events.
This is a one-hour recording of the webcast of this session.Topics include “basics”, Azure vs On-Prem, ARM templates, and Terraform demo.

Nutanix Acropolis 5.9 released
Nutanix released this in the past week.  Reading through the Acropolis 5.9 Release Notes shows quite a few features.
ESXi 6.7 support (not 6.7 Update 1)
NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU support
Rack Fault Tolerance, or as we have come to see it from the vSAN space, Fault Domains.
RDMA (for low latency data transfer) support for certain platforms.
Nutanix Guest Tools (NGT), the equivalent of VMware Tools, has multiple VM operations available in Prism (ability to perform an operation against multiple VMs selected)..
Those are just some of the top highlights, but this is along page of release notes.