Monday 28 December 2015

vRealize Automation Installation Part 2

As we discussed about the installation prerequisites and components of vRealize Automation in last blog post of vRA series vRealize Automation Installation Part 1.

Here we will be focussing on the deployment of vRA and IaaS and will go through various options which are available during the installation.

The installation and configuration of the vRA appliance needs configuration of various related components.

1) Deploy vRA Appliance (Deploying OVF on supported vSphere Environment)

2) Configure vRA time settings at http://vRealize_Automation_appliance_FQDN:5480/

3) Configure CAFE (Cloud Automation Framework for Extensibility)Name

4) Configuration of vRA (Host Configuration)

5) SSL Certificates (Can be imported, Generated and used Existing)

6) SSO Settings (SSO host, Port, Default tenant)

7) License Key (A valid License key is required)

Once the above settings are configured it's time to go ahead and deploy the IaaS components, to download the IaaS installer refer (http://vRealize_Automation_appliance_FQDN:5480/installer page).

Below screenshots will help you understand the options which are available during the IaaS installation.

1) Welcome Screen 

 2 Accepting the EULA

Use Root user name and the password that configured during the deployment of vRA Appliance.

Chose the installation type complete install (configures all components in local machine), custom install select the components you wish to install on local machine, choose this option for distributed enviornment.

5 Prerequisites checker will ensure that all the server configuration and environment setting are correct.

6 Specify the credentials for user which has administrative privileges on machine and SQL server database installation information

7 Confirm the name for DEM worker and DEM orchestrator

8 Configure and test SSO login and the IaaS host name.

9 Proceeding further with the installation by clicking install.

10 Installation Completes

 11 Click Finish to close the installation wizard

For more information on vRA installation and configuration kindly refer.

Thursday 24 December 2015

vRealize Automation Installation Part 1

While going through the installation of VMware vRealize Automation 6.2 (vRA) today, i captured some of the screenshots and find some prerequisites required before the installation of vRA and also what are the components in it, so thought of sharing the same in my blogpost.

It's definitely a long list of steps which i followed and that's why i thought of dividing this post into two parts.

Part 1 talks about vRA in general, prerequisites and components while part 2 series of this article will deal with the installation.

Before we talk about the installation of vRA let's spend time understanding how this products is beneficial for us or what it does?. What are the components? 

vRealize Automation

VMware vRealize Automation is a cloud management platform and delivers Infrastructure as a service (IasS), Anything as a service (Xaas), Platform as a service and has following capabilities.

  • Self Service Provisioning
  • Multi Platform Provisioning
  • Policy Based Governance
  • Automate IT service Delivery
  • Single Solution for application release automation

vRA supports multivendor infrastructure and IT services can be delivered across Virtual, Physical and cloud platforms.It also helps in automating the deployment and delivery of multi-tier applications.

Now when we know what is vRA ,let's have a look how to install it and what are the prerequisites that need to be taken care before installing vRA and what are the components.

vRA Components.

  • Single sign-on (SSO) server (This can be your existing VMware vCenter 5.5 update 1 or later SSO server or can be an identity appliance).
  • vRealize Automation Appliance
  • VMware Infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS) Server.
  • Distributed Exchange Management (DEMs)

Prerequisites before Installation 

  • DNS Settings
  • Database requirements 
  • Hardware requirements 
  • IaaS requirements 
  • Network requirements 
  • User Accounts 
  • Certificates
  • Time Settings

Compute Requirements

Component          CPUs        Memory        Storage

Identity Appliance 1                  2 GB       2.5 GB

vRAappliance       2                  8 GB       30 GB

IaaS server           2                4 GB        30 GB

vRB                        2               4 GB      16 GB

Application Director 2              4 GB      16 GB

For more information on vRA overview,components, prerequisites kindly refer below link.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Virtual Printing

Another key feature which always fascinates me is Virtual Printing maybe because of my roots attached to printing.

Virtual Printing technology which is licensed by Cortado ( ( and available as 
one of the feature in VMware Horizon View that provides driver free printing.

Virtual Printing uses a Client Server architecture the server component is installed on desktops with the installation of View Agent and the client is installed on Horizon Client system when horizon client software is installed.

Virtual Printing components on Virtual Desktop Side includes (TPOG - Printer Driver for Virtualizing Printer for Windows Hosts,TPOGPS - Printer Drivers for Virtualizing printers on Linux or Mac Hosts) and on the client system side includes (TPInVM and TPCIntRDP -Redirects .Print Server commands from the virtual desktops to client).

Virtual Printing options on the virtual desktops controls the overall consumption of bandwidth and helps to convert the print data from the application to a common data format.

Wherein the Virtual Printing options which are installed on Horizon Client Machine receivesthe print data decompresses/decrypt and cover the data format into the format which local printer can understand.

Virtual printing automatically discovers, connects and print from any virtual desktop to any local or network printer which is visible at the client.

To Search for the printers follow the steps below
  1. Remove all printers by entering C:\ProgramFiles\VMware\VMwareTools\TPAutoConnect –d. 
  2. Stop the connection service by entering net stop TPAutoConnSvc. 
  3. Restart the connection service by entering net start TPAutoConnSvc

Once the printer is added on the local computer view adds that printer to the list of all the available  printers on the View Desktop.

For each printer which is available through this feature we can set preferences for print quality, colour, double side printing and other options.

Virtual Printing do support both the offline and online desktops but the way the data is exchanged may vary, PC-o-IP ( or RDP channel is used for online desktops. 

Where in Virtual Serial Port is used for the exchange of data between an offline desktop and client machine.

For further information kindly refer.

Monday 14 December 2015

PCoIP Remote Display Protocol

While working with VMware Horizon View (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) by VMware for quite a long time now, thought of sharing an article about one of the intellectual concept of PCOIP (PC-over-IP) which is used as a recommended protocol for Horizon View Deployments.

What's PCoIP ?

  • PC-over-IP (PCoIP) is a proprietary remote display protocol developed by Teradici.
  • PC-over-IP (PCoIP) is a UDP based protocol.
  • VMware and Teradici codeveloped PCOIP for Horizon View.
  • Secure Protocol that uses Encryption and compression.
  • PC-over-IP (PCoIP) can be used with LAN's and WAN's.
  • Provides automatic display scaling and dynamically resizing.

Characteristics of PCoIP

One of the major characteristics of PCoIP is its progressive build operation, means the image quality visible to user on system improves progressively.

With the help of progressive build it automatically reduces image quality in case of congested networks, moreover it maintains the responsiveness by further reducing the screen update latency.

One of the screenshot which I was able to fetch from web shows three different images.

1) Initial Image : Low B/W and Latency

2) Perceptually Lossless: High Quality Picture, Lossless Text.

3) Lossless :  Lossless Image 

PC-o-IP available as both software in Horizon Client and View Agents and also as a Teradici host card to be used in Physical desktop which you have planned to be used as View Desktop.

Refer link for more information.

Friday 11 December 2015

Maximum RDM's to a Virtual Machine?

While working on community got a question how many RDM's can be connected to a virtual machine?

Tried searching various references to find the answer for the same but didn't worked well, finally I came across one of the blog post from 2012 by Cormac Hogan which talks about how much storage can be presented to a virtual machine. 

Thanks to his blogpost which helped me to find the answer, so thought of sharing the same.

It's more of a mathematical calculation that we will be dealing with, considering a VM can have 4 SCSI controllers and 15 devices per controller (Any combination of disk or VMDirectPath SCSI target).

VMDK (Virtual Machine Disks) approach. 

VMDKs have a maximum size of 62TB – 512 bytes. Maximum amount of storage that can be assigned to a VM using VMDKs is as follows: 4 controllers x 15 disks each x 62TB (-512 bytes) = ~3.72PB.

Virtual (non pass-thru) RDMs approach. 

vRDMs also have a maximum size of 62TB – 512 bytes (same as VMDK). Therefore, the maximum amount of storage that can be assigned to a VM using vRDMs is as follows: 4 controllers x 15 disks each x (62TB – 512bytes) = ~3.72PB

Physical (pass-thru) RDMs approach. 

The maximum size of a pRDM since vSphere 5.0 is ~64TB. Hence, the maximum amount of storage that can be assigned to a VM using pRDMs (assuming vSphere 5.0) is as follows: 4 controllers x 15 disks each x 64TB = ~3.75PB

Note: The above calculation is more of theoretical and may vary based on vSphere configuration and maximums. 

For further information refer 

Wednesday 9 December 2015

VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI)

What is VAAI?

  • VAAI is a set of VMware vStorage API and SCSI commands designed to provide and efficient communication between ESXi hosts and storage arrays which implements specific T10 storage standards.
  • The APIs define a set of “storage primitives” that enable the ESXi host to offload certain storage operations to the array.
  • It reduces resource overhead on the ESXi hosts and can significantly improve performance for storage-intensive operations such as storage cloning, zeroing. 
  • The goal of VAAI is to help storage vendors provide hardware assistance to speed up VMware I/O operations that are more efficiently accomplished in the storage hardware.
  • Without the use of VAAI, cloning or migration of virtual machines by the vSphere VMkernel Data Mover involves software data movement
  • The Data Mover issues I/O to read and write blocks to and from the source and destination datastore. 
  • With VAAI, the Data Mover can use the API primitives to offload operations to the array if possible.
  • VAAI provides  Atomic Test & Set (ATS) during creation and locking of files on the VMFS volume.
  • VAAI Provides Clone Blocks/Full Copy/XCOPY, which is used to copy or migrate data within the same physical array.
  • Operations Like ATS/Clone Blocks/Full Copy/XCOPY can be controlled with the help of advanced parameters like HardwareAcceleratedLocking, HardwareAcceleratedMove.