Virtual Updates 2021-03-22

VMware has quite a few new releases
I go into them below….

The Cloud is Just Someone Else’s Computer / Datacenter
March 9th, OVH (a cloud provider), had a fire in one of its Datacenter locations, affecting a few of the AZs (Availability Zones) in that region.
their message to their users was quick….
“….time to activate your business continuity / Disaster Recover Plans….”
I’ve just heard too many stories of people moving to cloud, and not building in a BC/DR plan as part of that, thinking that the cloud is always on.
This just gets back to good architecture of you environment, expecting things to fail, and making sure the design accounts and deals with those situations.
I found the story here, but by the time you read this, I’m sure many more updates will exist.
Here is the Twitter Thread, from OVH.
….add to that an Azure outage in mid-March….too bad there is no way I am aware of to have an on-prem version of Office 365 running in case Azure goes offline….

VMware – GuestStore
I ran across this feature that I was not aware of…GuestStore
In short, making files, that are local to an ESXi host, available to the VM.
This is done via the latest VMware Tools 11.2.5.
I get how this could be used, but for me …. the primary use case might be upgrading VMware Tools….but that is already easily done via PowerCLI or GUI.
VMware Documentation on GuestStore is here.

vSphere 7.0.2 (Update 2) released
Quite a few features and enhancements….released on 2021-03-09
Pulled by VMware on 2021-03-12, due to failing upgrades…..
DO NOT UPGRADE Yet…per VMware KBs….
“Cannot download VIB” and Failed to load crypto64.efi
…that being said….
I’ve used this to teach a workshop from 3/10-3/12, and it worked well enough.
vMotion gets some performance improvements, per Niels Hagoort
I’m not so sure about the “suspend VMs for QuickBoot” feature of Update Manager (sorry…LifeCycle Manager), but I’m sure someone is happy somewhere….Duncan Epping has a two-minute video demoing this.
Bootstrapping a single node vSAN Cluster with a vCenter Deployment.
NSX-T vDS to vSphere vDS migration during upgrade (automagically).
Confidential Pods (memory encrypted Kubernetes Pods).
I am a bit…unsure?….of why a Native vSphere Key Provider is such a good thing.
I might be a bit concerned that consumers of this might not look at the dependencies they might create, a catch-22 scenario, but we’ll see.
Duncan Epping has a 2-minute video covering the Native vSphere Key Provider.
VMware Blog post is here.
ESXi Release Notes are here.
vCenter Release Notes are here.

vSAN 7.0.2 (Update 2 released
I broke this out separately (even though it is part of vSphere).
Quite a few enhancements….streched vSAN file services, improvements in durable writes and sharing vSAN datastore with other clusters, & support of vSphere Proactive HA.
Duncan Epping has an 18-minute video going over new features.
Duncan has a 2-minute video showing the updated vSAN Skyline Health
Duncan has a 2-minute video showing the new Performance Metrics for vSAN
Duncan has a 4-minute video showing the Compute Only HCI Mesh
Duncan has a 4-minute video showing the Durability Components
Check,….now with History!
Christian Mohn covers new features in his blog post.
Release Notes are here.

SRM (Site Recovery Manager 8.4 released
Some bug fixes and functionality.
I find the vSphere Replication (originally only available for SRM customers back in the 4.x days, but included with vCenter license for the past 6 or 7 years) optimized Re-Protect feature to be among the best parts of this new release.
VMware Blog post is here.
SRM Release Notes are here.
vSphere Replication Release Notes are here.

vRealize Suite – 8.4 announced
Expecting to see this available very early April 2021.
A new name (new to me), vRealize Cloud Universal (vCU)
vROPs, vRLI, vRA (with SaltStack), vRNI, and vRLCM are all getting an update in April 2021, so there will be lots of information available in a couple of weeks.
Until then, we just get the announcement post, with a few highlights.
VMware Blog post is here.

VMware Bitfusion 3.0 released
The update focuses on usability improvements.
Remember, that Bitfusion is all about AI/ML workloads on GPUs being hosted on vSphere Infrastructure.
VMware Blog post is here.

vROPs Management Pack for Kubernetes
I assume that this will be built into one of the upcoming releases of vROPs, but for now, you have to download and install the Management Pack.
Came across this post covering the install and showing a few examples of what this Management Pack does.
Product Documentation is here.

Nested ESXi Appliances
William Lam has been providing this for 6 or 7 years.
For those looking for an easy way to deploy a nested ESXi server, this post is for you.
Subscribe to his Content Library (vCenter required), or just download the OVA.
Check out his updated post here.

VMware to acquire Mesh7
Right from the blog post…
Mesh7’s contextual API behavior security solution with Tanzu Service Mesh will enable VMware to deliver high fidelity understanding of which applications components are talking to which using APIs. 
VMware Blog post is here.
Mesh7 Blog post is here.

Nutanix Era – DBA benefits
Nutanix Era is to DBAs what server virtualization has been to server / infrastructure admins for the past 20 years….
Michael Webster has a short post on how Era can make things simple if you need to clone production DBs for any reason, and some of the backend benefits.

Nutanix X-Ray 3.10.2 released
This open source tool orchestrates workloads & test scenarios against a virtualization platform (ESXi and AHV supported).
Open source means you can review existing workloads, modify the workflow, or build your own.
Josh Odgers goes through a few scenarios here.

Nutanix Community Edition – Install on vSphere 7
Derek Seaman has written a great walkthrough for those who want to load up Nutanix CE (Community Edition) as a set of VMs on their vSphere 7 environment.
Given that vSphere 7.x has been out for nearly 1 year, that should be an easy requirement (yes it works on 6.7, though this post is written for 7).

Continuing Education – a list of resources that come with references
A Cloud Guru
HashiCorp Learn
Nutanix University
VMware Customer Connect Learning (old VMware Learning Zone)
VMware Hands On Labs