Thursday, 9 February 2017

Top 5 reasons to choose Vembu BDR Suite

In our last post about Vembu BDR we have seen a detailed product review about Vembu BDR suite which couldn’t have been possible without product development / marketing team of Vembu Technologies in case you missed it here is the link for your reference

Dedicated this articles to talk about top 5 features of Vembu BDR suite which makes it a complete fit for small,medium and large infrastructure.
  • 1) User Friendly Installation/Configuration - When it comes to installation and configuration Vembu provides simple installation and configuration of Vembu backup and disaster recovery suite, where in the simple executable file will download Mongo Database, MySQL RDBMS and MySQL connector and is supported for Windows Server 2008 R2, Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 and Vembu also alternatively allows PostgreSQL as a single prerequisite software.

  • As far as the configuration goes we simple provide the details about the vCenter Server or standalone ESXi, Stand alone Hyper-V host or SMB host which uses Server message block protocol (network file sharing protocol) and works with Vembu Storage Management Service which is pushed to each SMB host to perform change block tracking mechanism for Virtual Machines Disks or we can also configure physical machines by downloading Vembu ImageBackup Client Installer on our machine for backup physical server/ desktops as an image, and as far as applications like exchange,share point, outlook which are running on physical machines are concerned that has also been taken care by Vembu NetworkBackup Client installer which can be installed in our physical machines for easy file level backup.
  • 2) Instant Virtual Machine Recovery- is one of the most important feature which always fascinate me not because it allows us to recover our Virtual Machine instantly but also it provides us the capability to restore our mission critical virtual machines irrespective of the fact what underline Hypervisors has been used (ESXi hosts, Hyper-v,KVM) this has been made possible because of the capabilities of Vembu that reads the backup data from storage target and accordingly creates different disks types like VMDK, VHD, VHDX and IMG disks virtually without making use of physical storage on Vembu BDR backup server machine.

  • 3) Cost Affective - When considering backup and disaster recovery solutions in today’s competitive environment we often look for cost affective solutions which can give us more features and functionalities with a better performance and Vembu BDR solution has been upto the mark as it provides us agent less VMware vSphere  VMBackup & Microsoft Hyper-V Backups with as low as $360 MSRP Per Cpu Socket Per annum for VMware VM’s and $240 MSRP per Cpu Socket per annum for VMbackup for Hyper-v, if in case you are planning about image level backup for your environment Vembu Image backup is a considerable choice as it available with very low cost of $180 MSRP per server/annum per server also if we are looking for backup solutions for your desktops/laptops it’s available as free.
  • 4) Another layer of protection - Long gone those days when we use to have tape backup solutions for keeping our data on third site apart from production and backup data site and when it comes to moving backup data offsite it’s something that we all need to do to protect us against any disaster happened which might have failed both the production and backup sites.Vembu’s OffsiteDR add-on product to Vembu VMBackup offers us another extra layer of data protection with the help of which users can replicate data to offsite to another data center from their primary backup server. This helps the user to restore data directly from the OffsiteDR server which is similar to restoring it from a backup server with lesser amount of downtime and the user gets various options to recover wherein we can do a live restore to ESXi server, Booting a live VM.
  • 5) Intelligent File System -   VembuHIVE is patented file system by Vembu which help Vembu Backup and Disaster recovery solutions stand out from the crowd, Hive was designed keeping in mind the current cloud infrastructure solutions by perfuming smart metadata management.VembuHIVE exposes every incremental backup as a virtual full backup. i.e.when it comes to restoration of a backup we can do the restore with any time stamp.Also restoration of a backup will not require a merging of all the changes to a previous full backup these backup versions can be instantly booted or mounted.VembuHIVE also supports built in error correction by creating an additional parity file and the information in this additional partity file help fixing errors in any event of data corruption.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

vCenter Server 6.5 Installation - Step by Step Guide

As we are aware that VMware announced General Availability of VMware vSphere 6.5 on November 15 2016 and it provides a lot of cool features and functionalities that has been enhanced in this release, have dedicated couple of articles talking about the new features in vCenter Server 6.5 10 Things we need to know about vCenter Server 6.5 and also discussed about the various clients  The Respective Clients we can make use of in VMware vSphere 6.5 to connect directly to our ESXi host and to connect to vCenter Server.

Dedicated this article to provide step by step guide to install vCenter Server 6.5 appliance to proceed further we need you the VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0.iso available which can be downloaded from the VMware product download page and mount it on our machine and browse the content to looking for vcsa-ui-installer where we would be able to find three different folders lin64, mac and win32 which has been made available in vSphere 6.5 as part of vCenter Server 6.5 native UI installer for linux, mac and windows and has no dependency on browser.

** In my Home Lab environment proceeded further with win32 by executing installer.exe.

1)  We can deploy vCenter Server with Platform Services Controller as a single appliance (embedded) or we can proceed further with the external installation wherein the Platform Services controller is deployed and then external vCenter Server appliance is connected to the platform services controller. 

2) Starting from VMware vSphere 6.5 vCenter Server appliance is deployed in two stages i.e Stage 1)Deployment In which we specify details about the deployment type embedded or external installation as shown above and we also specify 

3) Once we have provided the details about the deployment type we need to provide the details about the ESXi host with username and password or we can also provide the details of the vCenter Server and then from the inventory loaded we can select the ESXi host on which we want the appliance to be deployed.

4) It's time to specify the name of the vCenter Server appliance along with root password

5) Next option in the list is to select the deployment size which can be selected based on the inventory size in this scenario i went ahead with tiny.

6) Specify the networking details  (IP address Static/DHCP, Default Gateway , Subnet Mask for this Virtual Machine (vCenter Server appliance)

7) As we can see Stage 1 is completed where we have provided all the configuration details for the appliance it's time to configure the vCenter Server appliance in stage 2.

 8) Stage 2 includes the SSO configuration details including the SSO domain Name username i.e administrator and the password.

 9) Configure CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) which provides VMware with information that helps VMware to improve products and services. 

10) Last step as part of the installation is the quick summary of the complete settings we configured and we are good to go.

Monday, 30 January 2017

VMware vSphere 6.5 "The Respective Client's"

As we are aware that VMware announced General Availability of VMware vSphere 6.5 on November 15 2016 and it provides a lot of cool features and functionalities that has been enhanced, I decided to dedicate this article to talk about various client options which are available to us for managing ESXi host and vCenter Server.

Let's discuss about few important things we need to know about VMware host client HTML5 based (available since vSphere 6.0 update 2), vSphere Client HTML5 based (released in vSphere 6.5) and VMware vSphere Web Client (Adobe Flex based) which will help us think why exaclty they are called "The respective clients" because these clients and the development team at VMware deserves all those respect which it needs by proving us all the new and improved features and functionalities.

VMware Host Client
  • VMware host client is an embedded HTML 5  based client used to connect and manage single ESXi host by providing the IP/Hostname of your ESXi host and specifying the username and password.
  • We can make use of Host Client to perform basic administration and troubleshooting tasks  and advanced administration for our ESXi hosts.
  • When we start comparing with some of the key difference in legacy C## client and host client we can easily interpret the features difference between these two as configuration options/security profile/ services options and also the advance settings options look and feel has been changed.
  • Another feature that can be seen in the hardware tab apart from the management of PCI devices is power management wherein we can make use of power management features provided by ESXi host to adjust the balance between the available power and efficiency of ESXi host, by default it uses Balanced Power management policy and try to reduce the energy consumption with minimal performance compromise, other policy to choose from includes High Performance which do not use any power management features and provides more absolute performance but a lower efficiency whereas Low Power policy provides less absolute performance but at higher efficiency and custom policy which gives us the advance configurations options to choose from.
  • Feature which i liked the most is the autostart option where in we can configure a Virtual Machine to start before other virtual machines running on that host, to configure this option we need to enable the auto start configuration on the host as shown and then by right clicking the Virtual Machine we can increase/decrease the Virtual Machine start priority.
  • Under the host management tab we have another option of security and users which has lot of new sub options to choose from including - 1 Acceptance level for VIB's where we can specify the type of accepted VIB's (Partner,VMware Certified,VMware Accepted and Community) 2 - Authentication - Active directory and Smart Card Authentication 3) Certificates 4) Users 5) Roles - has a new row which talks about a new role NO Cryptography Administrator which supports all administrator privileges except for the cryptographic operations privileges (encrypting/decrypting Virtual Machines)

vSphere Web Client
  • vSphere web client provides us a complete set of functionalities needed to manage vCenter Server appliance through web browser accessible over https://vcenterserverappliance/vSphereclient.
  • vSphere web client architecture comprises of three layers 1) User Interface Layer - UI layer consist of adobe flex which is open source application framework for building web applications that can be deployed consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and devices and contains user interface elements, data portlets and commands, one can navigate through these flex elements to interact with vSphere objects and make necessary changes to the vSphere environment. UI layer provides all the necessary components including the core and 3rd party plugins which are required to exchange information from 2) Service Layer which is a collection of java services running in a framework on the application server known as virgo server. The java service running in service layer is responsible for communicating and collecting data from vCenter Server and other remote sources which is then displayed to us in web client with the help of flex based UI layer. 3) Data Source Layer - is the final layer which has vCenter Server or other backend data sources from where the data is being fetched and displayed we can find the link for the Architectural diagram of vSphere web client made available at vSphere 6.5 Documentation
  • When it comes to the vSphere web client in vSphere 6.5 there are some changes which has been made to client integration plugin also which was one of the important plugin required in vSphere 6.0 because of the various features set it provides including datastore file upload/download ovf import/export, content library import/export and windows session authentication is now no longer required for above functionalities except for windows session authentication for which we need to install the enhanced authentication plugin which provides integrated windows session authentication and windows smart card functionality and can be downloaded by opening the URL of web client by disabling the protected mode and enabling the pop-up in our browser.
vSphere Client

  • vSphere client is also HTML5 based web application that we can use for connect to our vCenter Server systems and managing ESXi hosts and its associated Virtual Machines.
  • Likewise the vSphere Web client vSphere client architecture also comprises of 3 Layers including 1) User Interface layer which consists of an HTML platform which provides a plug-in architecture for the extensions displayed in a Web browser. The HTML application provides us with all user interface elements with which we can interact, including menus, commands. We can make use of the user interface elements to view information about an object in the vSphere environment, send a command, and make changes to our vSphere infrastructure.
  • Layer 2 Java Service Layer and Layer 3 Backend Layer is same as we discussed in the vSphere Web client however an additional spring framework that can be used to establish communication between service and user interface layer.
* When working with vSphere Client there are few workflow functionality which are available in the vSphere web client but are not yet available in vSphere client refer the link to check the details about these updated functionalityFunctionality Updates for the vSphere Client