Friday, 31 March 2017

VMware Horizon 7.1 + NVIDIA GRID vGPU = Awesomeness

I Always feel honoured and privilege being part of communities like (VMware vExperts and NVIDIA GRID COMMUNITY ADVISOR ) where I get chance to hear it from industries great speakerstechnologist, who all bring in their great experience and knowledge sharing capabilities and helping community to grow in terms of technical knowledge.

Thanks to all the community members, NVIDIA, and VMware for giving me a chance to be part of this awesome communities, Which helps me to write contents on my blog and wide spreading knowledge to the global Virtualization community.

I have dedicated couple of article which talks about features available with VMware Horizon like Virtual Printing and also discussed about the some of the protocol used like PCOIP which is Teradici proprietary UDP based protocol.

Apart from the above articles we have also seen lot of articles talking about NVIDIA GRID vGPU like 10 things we need to know about NVIDIA GRID vGPU where we discussed about various software editions like NVIDIA GRID Virtual Applications (For Organization deploying Xen App and other RDSH Solutions) , NVIDIA GRID Virtual PC (For users who want Virtual Desktops with Great user Experience) and NVIDIA GRID Virtual Workstation (For users who want  to use remote professional graphics applications with full performance on any device, anywhere.

Also talked about Grid Virtual PC, Virtual Workstation and Virtual Apps are available on a per concurrent user (CCU) model and CCU license is required for each user irrespective of the fact an active session exists or not to the Virtual Desktop.

In our last post related to NVIDIA GRID vGPU Series i.e Climb the GPU ladder with NVIDIA GRID vGPU we talked about the architecture of NVIDIA GRID vGPU and seen how GRID vGPU are assigned to Virtual Machines similar to physical GPU because each vGPU has a fixed amount of Frame Buffer (Portion of RAM containing a bitmap that is used to refresh a video display from a memory buffer) which is allocated at the time when vGPU's are created

Dedicated this article to talk about some new few features which has been made available with VMware Horizon 7.1 released by VMware on 16th March 2017 in context with NVIDIA GRID vGPU.But before we being to talk about features that has been introduced, would like to focus on three important concepts of cloning which are available to us and how one differs from the other.

Full clone is a complete independent copy of a Virtual Machine and shares nothing with the Master VM, i.e every-time we create a full clone it's would be operated separately from the Master VM from which it has been created.

Linked clones also known as composer linked clones helps us to create VM's with less storage space consumption because the accessing of software is been taken care with the help of shared Virtual disks, to create a composer linked clone we create a Master VM and take the snapshot of this Master VM, further cloning process will create a Replica VM (Full Clone) which will be sharing the disks with the Linked Clones.

Image Source - VMware

While creating automated Desktop pools View Composer uses Parent/Master Virtual machine often called as Base Image for the creation of new linked clone which has their own OS disks which is a snapshot delta disks for the operating system and could also have optional disks i.e Persistent Disks (Helps users to preserve data in case of shutdown/logout) and Disposable Disks (Holds Temp Folder and Paging File and is deleted when the Linked Clone is Powered Off).

Instant clones also shares the Virtual disks with Replica Virtual Machine however the process of creation of Instant Clones differs from Linked Clones, at the time of cloning a Parent VM is created from the Replica Virtual Machine and at the time of creation of Instant Clone they share the memory of running Virtual Machine from which they are created.

When an instant clone is created from a running parent Virtual Machine, any reads of unchanged information come from the already existing running parent VM. However, any changes made to the instant clone are written to a delta disk, not to the running parent VM. 
Image Source - VMware

Now that we are aware about the various cloning options available to us with VMware horizon we can proceed further and discuss about What's New with VMware Horizon 7.1.

Instant Clones support of vGPU allows us to provision vGPU desktops using Instant Clones, before creating pool we need to ensure we have created a Master VM and then we can proceed further with adding NVIDIA GRID vGPU Device and then we need to select the GPU Configuration for our Master VM, we can select the profile required which is as of now limited to one profile per cluster and is compatible with NVIDIA GRID M Series.

With this VMware Horizon 7.1 release we no longer need to choose between either having high-end, hardware-accelerated graphics support or Instant Clones. We can now enjoy the best of both worlds: the ability to create a pool of Instant Clones which is backed by NVIDIA GRID vGPU.

Being an administrator now we have the power of delivering 100 of desktops to end user's using instant clones with NVIDIA GRID vGPU support, this is definitely going to make difference from management and administration perspective. 

Based on the recent Scale Testing of Instant Clones with vGPU conducted by VMware + NVIDIA by testing 500 VM running with below configuration, it only 44 minutes to create the pool of fully customized and powered on Instant Clones. That is 4.8 seconds per clone on average
  • Horizon 7.1, Horizon Client 4.4, vSphere / ESXi 6.5 EP1
  • 5 HP Proliant DL 380 servers with Xeon CPU with a total of 96 cores across the servers, 2 M10 GRID vGPU cards per server
  • Master VM: 2 vCPU, 2GB RAM, M10-0B profile, Win 7 SP1 x64b
We can also perform maintenance on instant-clone Virtual Machines by using vSphere Web Client and putting the ESXi hosts into maintenance mode which will automatically deletes the parent VMs from that ESXi host.

Another important feature that I would like to highlight is VMware Blast extreme which is included in VMware Horizon 7 which uses the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) by default, but can also use the User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

VMware Blast Extreme in VMware Horizon 7 works best with NVIDIA GRID  to offload the encode/decode process off the CPU to dedicated H.264 engines on NVIDIA GPUs to provide us a great user experience by reducing the overall latency and bandwidth

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What’s New- Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Part2

We have already dedicated couple of articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 wherein we have seen the architectural components and also talked about new features available in Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 here is a link for your quick reference Demystifying Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1

W also discussed about Backup/Recovery of Active Directory Objects with Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 in case you missed it here is the link for your quick reference Backup/Recover Active Directory Objects with Nakivo

Apart from testing the backup and recovery related functionalities using Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 we also had a detailed discussion on Replicating Virtual Machines here is the link for your reference Replicate VM's with Nakivo Backup & Replication

We also talked about working with Nakivo Backup and replication appliance and what's new withNakivo Backup and replication 6.2 which was announced by NAKIVO on october 13th 2016 which help us by providing backupreplication, and recovery of paid EC2 instances sold through AWS Marketplace.

In our last post related to Nakivo Series we discussed about What's New - Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Beta wherein we have seen some highlights about Hyper-v support which has been added for Hyper-v 2016 and 2012 with Nakivo v7.
Dedicated this article to talk about some more features which would be released with Nakvio Backup and Replication v7 by end of March 2017, so let’s have a look.

Nakivo Backup and Replication v7-VMware vSphere 6.5

With the latest release of VMware vSphere 6.5 there are lot of new features that has been introduced and VM encryption is one of those feature wherein we can encrypt the I/O’s written to the virtual disk and to keep in pace with all these features available with VMware vSphere 6.5, Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 supports Backup, Replication and Restore of VMware vSphere 6.5 Virtual Machines.

Swap Files and Partitions

Another important feature which would be available with Nakvio backup and Replication v7 is automatically skip Swap Files and Partitions at the time of Backup helping us to further speed up the data transfer and saving storage space, which can be enabled by going to system settings.

Microsoft Active Directory Integration

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7 will helps us to integrate Active Directory so now will be able to map Active Directory groups to NAKIVO Backup & Replication user roles, further allowing users to log in to NAKVIO Backup & Replication using their domain credentials.

Download your free trial here Download Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Beta

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Top Backup Software for VMware/Hyper-V Infrastructure

While delivering VMware vSphere class globally I often get chance to talk about various Backup solutions which my participants are using and in their current VMware infrastructure and some of them which i have heard/worked on and how these Backup softwares are saving their life as an admin by providing advance features and functionalities.

So thought of dedicating few articles and providing a quick overview about some of the Top Backup Software to choose from for your Virtual Infrastructure let's get started. 

** Note : The below list doesn't show any preferences about which solution has been listed first second and so on, it's purely my own selection when choosing the Top Backup Software.

  • Available with various deployment options - Preconfigured virtual appliance (which contains all components of NAKIVO Backup & Replication including DirectorTransporter, and Backup Repository)Windows based installation, Linux Based installation, Installer for NAS and Preconfigured Image for our AWS EC2 Environment.
  • Cloud Integration - Nakivo Backup and Replication can be integrated with Amazon EC2 wherein by Selecting Nakivo backup and replication Free edition from AWS Market place we are suppose to pay for our EC2 instance running in AWS which may vary depending on the EC2 Instance type we selected during the launch process. We can also perform VM backup directly to public clouds including Azure, Google, IBM, Rackspace and perform backup for VMware vCloud Director vApps Virtual Machines. 
  • Instant Object Recovery for Microsoft ExchangeMicrosoft Active Directory, Full Recovery for Virtual Machines and individual files within VM (VMware,Hyper-V).
  • Licensing - Per Physical CPU Socket
  • Vembu BDR suite is installed using simple executable file which downloads 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.
  • Instant VM recovery options helps us to instantly launch the backed up images of Virtual Machines as ready state on ESXi host or Hyper-V or any other hypervisor. Disk level recovery can be performed wherein we can restore Virtual Machines backups at disk level.
  • Cloud Integration - Added layer of protection helping us to transfer data to Vembu's Cloud including File Backup, Server Backup, Application backup for Microsoft Exchange​,Microsoft SQL​​​, Microsoft SharePoint & Microsoft ActiveDirectory​ with Granular restores.
  • Vembu Hive file system by Vembu exposes every incremental backup as a virtual full backup(Vembu Virtual Drive) which will virtually create VMDK, VHD, VHDX and IMG image files for every backed up Virtual Machines that can be used to instantly boot the Virtual Machines on VMware, Hyper-V, and KVM.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.
  • Licensing - Per Physical CPU Socket
Veeam Backup and Replication 
  • Veeam Backup and Replication provides full Virtual Machine BackupIndividual Files,Tape Backups and application items including ExchangeActive Directory, Oracle.
  • With Veeam latest backup and replication 9.5 there has been quite improvements  with agent less item recovery and eDiscovery for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Active Directory.

  • With their existing storage snapshot integration i.e taking backups from storage snapshots by retrieving Virtual Machine Data for (HPE, Netapp and Dell EMC) Veeam Backup and Replication v9.5 has now extended direct storage snapshot support to Nimble.
  • Extended Support for VMware vCloud Director which allows the tenants to create, execute backup jobs and restore for their application items, guest files, full Virtual Machine and Full vApp restores.
** In today's competitive market there are wide variety of options to choose from when considering your backup and recovery software and it's not a complete list because we have only seen 3 Top Vendors Backup Software, I would be dedicating few more posts in covering some other vendors which are in my mind and as i mentioned earlier these are my views and doesn't talk about anything related to who is on top of the list or bottom of the list.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

vRealize Operations Manager 6.5 - What's New

I have already dedicated an article about vROPS earlier which talks about 10 Things we need to know about vROPS which talks about how vRealize Operations Manager helps us in troubleshooting by collecting performance data from each object from the inventory and provides us with real time information about Health, Risk and Efficiency.

Dedicated this article to talk about what's new with vROPS 6.5 which was announced by VMware on 02 March 2017 and there has been significant improvements which has further enhanced scalability limits and troubleshooting capabilities.

vRealize operations manager is available as Virtual Appliance or RHEL installation package can also be used for the deployment, means no more windows based installation vROPS 6.4 was the final version which supports it. 

Additional monitoring capabilities in vRealize Operations Manager 6.5 helps us to monitor large environments with same footprint also the new Endpoint Operations Agent upgrade bundle allows you to automatically upgrade the agent through the vRealize Operations Manager user interface.

vROPS6.5 also understand the Private Cloud costs and Public Cloud spends by accessing vRealize Business for Cloud from within vRealize Operations Manager.

For Sizing your vROPS 6.5 VMware offers Extra Small 2vCPU 8GB Memory ,Small 4vCPU 16GB Memory, Medium 8vCPU 32 GB Memory, Large 16vCPU 48GB Memory, and Extra Large 24vCPU 128 GB Memory configurations during installation for detailed information about sizing refer KB article vRealize Operations Manager Sizing Guidelines (2093783).

While upgrading from an older version of vRealize Operations Manager i.e 6.0.x or 6.1 we must follow a two step upgrade i.e first upgrading it to vROPS 6.3 and then finally upgrading it to vROPS 6.5, moreover if we are using vROPS 6.4,6.3,6.2,6.2.1 we can straightaway upgrade it to vROPS6.5 also existing operating system instance (OSI) based licensing remains unchanged however vRealize operations Standard Edition is also available on a per CPU basis.