Do You vRealize What’s in a vName?

VMworld is upon us, a joyous time of year of new product announcements, new features, networking with friends, indulging in delicious cuisine and of course… product re-branding.

The biggest area of re-branding, VMware’s Cloud Management Product portfolio, previously known as the VMware vCloud Operations Management Suite. The new name for this product family, vRealize.

The rationale behind this change is to align better with the capabilities of their CMP. Realize means to bring into existence; accomplish; be fully aware. To “realize assets” is to monetize – tells a business story. It will convey awareness and accomplishment.

So, how does this look on paper?

From To
vCenter Operations Management Suite

  • vCenter Operations Manager
  • vCenter Configuration Manager
  • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator
  • vCenter Hyperic

vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon

vRealize Operations

  • vRealize Operations Manager
  • vRealize Configuration Manager
  • vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
  • vRealize Hyperic

vRealize Operations for Horizon

vCenter Operations Management Pack for XYZ vRealize Operations Management Pack for XYZ
vCloud Automation Center

  • vCloud Application Services

vCloud Automation Center Desktop
vCloud Automation Center Development Kit

vRealize Automation

  • vRealize Application Services

vRealize Automation Desktop
vRealize Automation Development Kit

IT Business Management Suite vRealize Business
IT Benchmarking
IT Benchmarking Starter Kit
vRealize IT Benchmarking
vRealize IT Benchmarking Starter Kit
vCenter Log Insight
vCenter Log Insight Content Pack for XYZ
vRealize Log Insight
vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for XYZ
vCenter Orchestrator vRealize Orchestrator


The other big name change announcement which I covered last Thursday was that VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will now be known as VMware vCloud Air. The term Air is a brand suffix which could attach to a family (vCloud) or existing product to denote “as-a-Service” delivery.

Another term which would be a brand suffix is OnDemand, this attaches to cloud services that are metered and delivered as a ‘pay-as-you-go’ consumption model. Examples of products that could include this would be VMware vCloud Air OnDemand and VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand.

Other vCloud Air service names would include vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud, vCloud Air Dedicated Cloud and vCloud Air Disaster Recover. Finally, VMware’s strategic network of service provider partners will also adopt the new brand of VMware vCloud Air Network.

A couple other cool names coming out of VMworld are the official product names for Project Marvin, which has been the hype of the summer. We now official see these as VMware EVO: Rail and VMware EVO: Rack.

OpenStack fans, take a look at VMware Integrated OpenStack, which I believe (as of this writing) would be how VMware integrates into OpenStack via Neutron (NSX) and Nova (ESXi) – as well as through vRealize Automation.

VMware View went through a naming change a while back when the entire portfolio suite became VMware Horizon. But look for brand suffixes to come to Horizon like VMware Horizon Air Desktop and VMware Horizon Air Apps which would both be Horizon offerings made available through vCloud Air. We may even see others like vRealize Operations Air and vRealize Automation Air coming as well.

All in all, I like the change to vCloud Air (from vCHS) as in my opinion offers much more opportunity than just being a Hybrid Service.  vRealize will take some time getting accustomed with, but the reasoning behind it makes sense.

Created on August 25, 2014 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Cloud, Monitoring, View, VMware, VMworld, vSphere.

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vSphere 5 Video Series – VMware vSphere 5.0 Auto Deploy

Happy Holidays! This video is a continuation of my vSphere 5 Video Series, in this video I cover how to properly leverage VMware vSphere 5.0 Auto Deploy to automatically deploy ESXi hosts in your infrastructure. Auto Deploy is a new feature found in the Enterprise Plus edition of vSphere 5, it allows administrators to deploy stateless images that are deployed via gPXE directly to the RAM of the host. That’s right, ESXi hosts do not require a local HDD/USB/SDCARD to operate as they can simply download their image and configuration (via Host Profile) into RAM and automatically be placed in their correct vCenter Server datacenter/cluster or folder.

As shown above, PowerCLI is used to create an ESXi Image Profile, this image includes the base ESXi installation as well as any additional drivers, third-party integration or plug-in that you would like to include. That Image Profile is then attached to a Deployment Rule that is also created within PowerCLI. The deployment rule dictates what Image Profile is to be used, what host(s) are tied to the deployment rule and some other configuration specifics such as, which Host Profile to attach after the host has been added to vCenter as well as which vCenter DC/Cluster/Folder to add the host to. For example, you can leverage the same Image Profile but have different Deployment Rules based on DRS Cluster.

For those of you that would like to know a little more about how Auto Deploy functions under the covers, there are basically five core components when it comes to Auto Deploy. There is the actual Auto Deploy server (1) which is essentially a web server that pushes an ESXi Image Profile to the server, this is driven by the Rules Engine (2) which is accessed/configured via PowerCLI along with the Image Builder. There is a requirement for a TFTP Server (3) which will store the gPXE bootloader (4) and push it to potential ESXi hosts that are led to it by a DHCP Server (5). Once gPXE is booted it is notified to grab the ESXi Image and Configuration from the Auto Deploy server.

In the video I cover everything that is needed for Auto Deploy to work, including to installation of vCenter Server and the associated Auto Deploy service as well as PowerCLI and creation of the Image Profile and Deployment Rule. By the end of the video you should have a firm understanding of how to leverage Auto Deploy in your environment to its full potential. I even include steps on how to slipstream third party vendor packages into your ESXi Image Profile, including; EMC PowerPath/VE, the VMware vCloud Director agent and the VMware Fault Domain Manager agent (vmware-fdm) which is required for VMware HA to properly function.

For reference, the EMC PowerPath/VE 5.7 vibs can be downloaded from EMC Powerlink, the VMware vCloud Director agent can be copied from your vCloud Director server from the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/agent folder and the vmware-fdm agent can be grabbed directly from the vCenter Server by adding http://<vcenter-server>/vSphere-HA-depot as an esxsoftwaredepot in PowerCLI.

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Created on December 27, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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vSphere 5 Video Series – Install vCenter 5.0 in Around 5 Minutes

In this video we’re going to cover the installation, configuration and usage of the VMware vCenter 5.0 Server Appliance (vCSA). The vCSA is a brand new production ready Virtual Appliance that allows you to stand up vCenter Server in literally a few minutes. Once you watch the video you’re going to be like, “Hey Rick, that was more than 5 minutes!”.  For that I do apologize, but when you do watch it you will realize we’re doing a lot more than just installing vCenter 5.0.

First a little disclaimer. vCSA is not for everyone, but in my opinion it should definitely be looked at and should be leveraged wherever it can. vCSA is obviously the direction of where the vCenter Server product is going and hopefully relatively soon it should be at par with its Windows based big brother.

So, why isn’t it for everyone?

As of right now it does not have support for integration with VMware Update Manager (VUM), VMware vCenter Linked-Mode, VMware vSphere Storage Appliance (vSA), VMware vCenter Heartbeat and VMware View Composer. Another concern you may have is that it’s embedded database option (based on DB2) is limited to 5 Hosts and 50 Virtual Machines. Think of the embedded option to be similar to the SQL Express Option in vCenter Server for Windows, great for POC, Demo, Test and extremely small SMB situations, but not practical for production. The final nail in the coffin might be that it only supports Oracle to offer external DB functionality.

Some of those constraints are not going to be avoidable, for example if you require more than 1,000 hosts or 10,000 powered on virtual machines you’re obviously going to need Linked-Mode and the Windows based vCenter Server. If you’re looking to deploy a VDI solution based on VMware View, you’re going to need the Windows based vCenter Server as well. But, if you’re like the majority of VMware vSphere customers, have less than 1,000 hosts, are confident in VMware DRS and HA to protect your vCSA and are OK with the fact that you need Oracle for the external database (which you can virtualize as well)….the vCSA might be for you!

One last thing I wanted to comment on was VMware Update Manager, in my opinion the lack of VUM support for the vCSA might not be that big of an issue, and here’s why; With the introduction of vSphere 5.0, VMware also introduced a few new features, Auto Deploy and Image Builder. These features tied together with Host Profiles truly enable the concept of stateless ESXi. My thought is, if you need to update your ESXi host, simply update the Auto Deploy rule and reboot the machine. Upon the next boot it will automatically be updated and configured properly.  Obviously VUM does a lot more than just ESXi patching, but again, for the majority of vSphere customers they’d be just fine with Auto Deploy.

So have a view of this video to see just how easy it is. I have sped up some portions of the video, specifically the loading of the vSphere Client as well as the deployment of the vCSA OVF template. Also, I suggest watching the video in full-screen mode by clicking the icon on the bottom right of the video. If for whatever reason the video isn’t displaying, you can also use the following link to view;

Created on October 13, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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EMC Webcasts in June

Wow, this year is flying by and before you know it VMworld will be here! Until then, and all of the great things EMC has planned to show you, you should definitely check out these upcoming webcasts, including Chad’s Choice which is guaranteed to be jam-packed with great things all focused on virtualization.

Click here to register now!

Performance and Provisioning for Virtualized Oracle
Thursday, June 9, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Hear from EMC and VMware Solutions Architects on how to leverage server and storage virtualization to greatly improve Oracle performance as well as accelerate and simplify provisioning of new Oracle environments.
Hosts: Sam Lucido, Solutions Architect, EMC and Vas Mitra, Solutions Architect, VMware

Accelerate Your Journey to a Virtualized Data Center
Thursday, June 16, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Learn how EMC’s Ionix Unified Infrastructure Management, a leading cloud infrastructure management solution for Vblock, can help you deliver IT services 5 times faster and 80% more efficiently with full compliance across your virtualized infrastructure.
Host: Tom Hayes, Senior Manager, Ionix Marketing, EMC

Automate Virtual Machine Recovery in VNX-based Vblock Environments
Thursday, June 23, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Discover how EMC RecoverPoint, integrated with VNX in Vblock configurations, delivers comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery for virtual data center deployments.
Host: Rick Walsworth, Director, Product Marketing, EMC

Chad’s Choice – Virtually Any Virtualization Topic!
Thursday, June 30, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Find out the latest virtualization topics from Chad Sakac, VP VMware Technology Alliance, EMC. Get key updates on new technologies, hear honest answers to your most demanding questions, and see intriguing technical demos.
Host: Chad Sakac, VP VMware Technology Alliance, EMC

Click here to register now!

Created on June 6, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under EMC, Good Reading.

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EMC Webcasts in May

Tomorrow starts another great series of VMware Focused webcasts from EMC. This month we cover everything from Virtualizing Oracle to Simplified Management, these weekly webcasts should not be missed. Be sure to register for them today!

Next week we’ll be hosting EMC World live from Las Vegas, if you’re not attending live be sure to check out all of the great content we’ll be releasing online. Some have described the announcements we’ll be releasing as face melting and mind blowing. Don’t miss out!

Register Now for these great EMC Webcasts!

To Virtualize or not to Virtualize Oracle; Converting Skeptics to Supporters
Thursday, May 5, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 15:00 GMT
Hosts: David Welch, CTO, House of Brick Technologies and Jason Kotsaftis, Director, Strategic Alliances, EMC
Building a business case to virtualize Oracle? Hear from David Welch, CTO, House of Brick Technologies, on how to successfully architect and deploy Oracle databases on the EMC and VMware platform.

Cloud Meets Big Data at EMC World 2011
May 9-12, 2011 – Las Vegas, Nevada
We have freed up this week’s webcast schedule, so you can focus on EMC World. From advanced technical training to meet ups with some of the industry’s most influential thought leaders, EMC World is where it’s happening.

The Value of VMware Integration
Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 15:00 GMT
Host: Dave Henry, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, EMC/VMware Affinity Team, EMC
Learn about the benefits of tight VMware integration, and find out how EMC’s 70+ points of integration with VMware enhance the performance, scalability, security, and ease-of-management of virtual environments.

Simplify Management for Virtualized Applications with EMC Unisphere
Thursday, May 26, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 15:00 GMT
Hosts: Bob Abraham, Product Manager, EMC and Bruce Wolfeld, Principle Product Manager, Virtualization Solutions, EMC
EMC Unisphere redefines simplicity. See how the integration between Unisphere and VMware vCenter provides administrators easier access to data and reports. Learn more about EMC Unisphere’s fresh approach to managing storage.

Created on May 4, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under EMC, Good Reading.

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VMware vCenter XVP Manager

vmware Labs has released vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, their first stab into management of non-VMware virtualized environments. vCenter XVP Manager allows you to use the vSphere Client to manage Hyper-V Server 2008 hosts and their associated virtual machines, it also allows you to easily migrate those Hyper-V based virtual machines into VMware virtual machines.

The installation is pretty simple, you first install a server piece that could very well be installed on your vCenter Server, then you install a XVP Manager Plug-in into your vSphere Client which is done via the vSphere Client Plug-in Manager.

This product is currently only listed as a vmware Labs Fling, which means that it is not guaranteed that it will continue beyond it’s 1.0 Technical Preview status, but if people like it and push vmware for this type of functionality we may very well see it embedded within the core vCenter Server product.

For more information and to download vmware vCenter XVP Manager check out the vmware Labs website.

Created on February 26, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Hyper-V, vCenter.

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VMware vSphere 4.1 U1 Released

Yesterday, February 10th, VMware made available for general consumption U1 to their vSphere 4.1 product line. This update includes all prior patches as well as a number of new enhancements to the vSphere product suite.

This release provides the following improvements, I’ve included some notes along with the high-level updates:


  • Support for up to 160 logical processors
    • Prepared for the release of the Westmere-EX processor
  • Inclusion of additional drivers
    • 3ware and Neterion drives are now included
  • Enablement of Intel Trusted Execution Technology (ESXi only)
    • More information on this can be found in KB 1033811 
  • Additional guest operating system support
    • Provides support for RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9 guest operating systems
  • Bug and security fixes

VMware vCenter

  • Additional guest operating system customization support
    • Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, RHEL 6, RHEL5.5
  • Additional vCenter Server database support
    • SQL 2008 R2, SQL 2005 SP3, Oracle 11g R2, DB2 9.7.2
  • Bug and security fixes

VMware vCenter Update Manager

  • The VMware vCenter Update Manager Utility to help users reconfigure the setup of Update Manager.
  • Bug and security fixes.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator

  • Bug Fixes

For additional details regarding the new fixes and improvements, please refer to the following release notes:
VMware ESX
VMware ESXi
VMware vCenter

VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1 is available for download from the VMware website as well as through VMware Update Manager (for your ESX and ESXi hosts). Keep in mind, the only way you can switch from ESX to ESXi is to do a fresh install. I’d highly recommend using Host Profiles to make this migration quicker and easier.

Jason Boche has already noted one potential issue with using VMware Update Manager (VUM) to upgrade from 4.1 to 4.1 U1, check that out here.

Created on February 11, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

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EMC Webcasts in February

It’s the beginning of the month and you should know what that means…. new EMC virtualization focused webcasts! These awesome webcasts run every Thursday and offer some great content on what new and exciting things EMC is working on in terms of VMware integration as well as just their general efforts on cloud computing.

This month there is even a special treat! I will be running a webcast on EMC+VMware Integration highlighting the EMC vCenter plug-ins. Be sure to register for my session now!

Install & Run the EMC Celerra Virtual Storage Appliance
Thursday, February 3, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Find out how to deploy and run the EMC Celerra Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) in a VMware vSphere lab environment. This webcast will also offer a comprehensive overview of the EMC Celerra.

VMware vCenter Plug-ins from EMC – Join me for my session!
Thursday, February 10, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Learn how EMC plug-ins for VMware vCenter deliver the visibility, provisioning, and management of EMC storage from the vCenter interface – giving you more integration and capabilities than any other storage vendor.

EMC Proven Solutions for VMware View 4.5
Thursday, February 17, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Discover the cost savings and flexibility offered by a virtual desktop environment with EMC Proven Solutions for VMware View 4.5.

Secure the VCE Vblock and Virtual Data Center
Thursday, February 24, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Explore how the RSA Solution for Cloud Security and Compliance including the RSA enVision® platform work together to secure the virtual data center with VCE Vblock.”>

Register now >>

Created on February 1, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under EMC, Good Reading.

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VMware vSphere 4.1 is Available!

Just about an hour ago VMware lifted the NDA on VMware vSphere 4.1 and made available all of the information on this latest release as well as the bits for download available to the public.

I will be covering a more in-depth review on this latest release really soon but I did want my readers to know that the bits are available for download from the VMware website.

The upgrade to ESX(i) 4.1 should be relatively easy by using traditional update methods such as VMware Update Manager (VUM).  However, the upgrade to vCenter Server 4.1 is more of a migration since it will only support a full 64-bit environment. Still don’t fret, a vCenter server migration is pretty simple just make sure you have a FULL backup of your vCenter Server database.

Also a little FYI….rumor has it that this will be the final build containing a full ESX install (Service Console). Today might be a good day to start planning that migration to ESXi.

Created on July 13, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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VMware vCenter Server 4.0 Update 2

VMware has just dropped the second major update bundle (Update 2) for their flagship virtualization management product, VMware vCenter server.  This update addresses a number of issues found since the release of Update 1 as well as a number of improvements, such as:

Guest Operating System Customization Improvements: vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional SP2 (x64) serviced by Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • SLES 11 (x32 and x64)
  • SLES 10 SP3 (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 5.5 Server Platform (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 5.4 Server Platform (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 4.8 Server Platform (x32 and 64)
  • Debian 5.0 (x32 and x64)
  • Debian 5.0 R1 (x32 and x64)
  • Debian 5.0 R2 (x32 and x64)

Here are some of the key issues that are resolved in this update;

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Created on June 10, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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