Attending VMworld And Interested In vSphere 6.5 Security?
Try My “vSphere 6.5 Security – Getting Started” Lab!
If you are attending VMworld US 2017 from August 27-31st in Las Vegas, NV and you are interested in the new vSphere 6.5 Security feature sets, then I have a lab for you! I am a lab captain for the Hands On Labs and have two labs that I created for this years VMworld sessions.
These new labs as well as the many other will only be available at the VMworld US and Europe conferences initially. After both conferences are over, we slowly release most of the new labs to the public-facing Hands On Labs environment that anyone can get to with an internet connection. You will see some labs to start showing up on the public side right after VMworld and then the rest typically will be released within or month or so. No guarantee on what labs will make it to the public site and when they will show up though, that is just what I’ve typically seen over the past few years.
This is my first time as a lab captain and creating labs, so I would love to see some HUGE numbers of people taking my labs! It would make me feel good knowing that people learned something by taking my labs. If you end up taking either lab at VMworld or even after they have been released to the public-facing HOL site, let me know what you think! You can reach out to me on my social media outlets, the links to them are on the right side of the page.
Below are the labs that I have built and a summary of each of them:
(HOL-1811-01-SDC) vSphere 6.5 –What’s New:
Description: Explore some of the new features of vSphere 6.5 including VM Encryption, vCenter High Availability, and the new HTML5 vSphere Client. You will also learn about the improved vCenter Server Appliance and how to migrate from a Windows-based vCenter Server installation.
Description: Experience new security features of vSphere 6.5, including VM Encryption, Audit Quality Logging, Encrypted vMotion, Key. We also use our vRealize Log Insight solution to look at the enhanced logging of the vCenter server logs. Add Key Management Servers (KMS) to the vCenter server and create a trust between them. Then we use PowerCLI commands to encrypt/decrypt virtual machines as well as other encryption related tasks.
Don’t forget to stop into the Hands On Labs at VMworld and take some labs…see you there!
Many VMware customers tend to wait to upgrade to the next version for several reasons. Some of these are no time to do the upgrade, scared of issues that may arise during the upgrade process especially from vSphere 5.x versions, or wanting to wait until the first update is out so that all the fixes have been addressed. These are all valid concerns in which I can appreciate due to my operation experience and background supporting vSphere environments!
On July 21, 2017, VMware released vSphere 6.5 Update 1which has many enhancements. Once of the enhancements that most are excited about is the fact that the new HTML5-based vSphere Web Client is now at approximately 90% feature parity to the old Java-based vSphere Web Client which was know for being slow and clunky. Hopefully, by the next update of vSphere, the HTML5 client will be at full feature parity. At which time, VMware will retire the old Java-based client.
The HTML5 client enhancements are just one of numerous reasons why you should consider updating to vSphere 6.5. Another primary reason is that there are many new featured within the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) like embedded Backup/Restore Tool, vSphere Update Manager is embedded, and the new vCenter Server Appliance High Availability (HA) configuration option. So there are some great enhancements that should encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of vSphere and vCenter server!
VMware has created a Migration Assistance Tool to help migrate your vSphere 5.5/6.x environments to the new vSphere 6.5. Even if you are currently running a Windows based version of vCenter in the older version, the tool can migrate the vCenter database, performance data and metrics, etc. to the new vCenter Server Appliance 6.5. There are several supported migration options based on your vCenter server, Single-Sign-On (SSO), or Platform Service Controller (PSC) architectures you may be currently running.
So take a look at my Useful Links page on this site to see the links to below resources that can help you migrate to the new vSphere 6.5!
Top Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 6.5 Infographic
vSphere 6.5 Upgrade Considerations – Part 1
vSphere 6.5 Upgrade Considerations – Part 2
Announcing the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool
vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Migration Walkthrough
VMware Doc’s – Migration Assistance Tool
vSphere 6.5 – Upgrade Guide
VMware vCenter Server Appliance Poster
Platform Services Controller Topology Decision Tree Poster
VMware vCenter Server Foundation provides powerful management tools for smaller environments looking to rapidly provision, monitors, and control virtual machines. Previously, vCenter Server Foundation only support managing up to (3) hosts much like the vSphere Essentials Kits. With the release of vSphere 6.5 U1, VMware has changed the licensing to now support up to (4) hosts!
Analyze and remediate issues quickly with visibility into vSphere virtual infrastructure.
Deliver the security and availability of vSphere through automated proactive management features such as automated load balancing and out-of-the-box automation workflows.
The release of vSphere 6.5 in November 2016 introduced many new features and enhancements. These include the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) now becoming the default deployment. vCenter Server native high availability, which protects vCenter Server from application failure. Built-in File-Based backup and restore allows customers the ability to backup their vCenter Server from the VAMI or by API. The VSCA restore can simply be done by mounting the original ISO used to deploy the VCSA and selecting the restore option. These features and more are exclusive only to the vCenter Server Appliance. The new HTML5 vSphere Client is making its first official product debut with vSphere 6.5.
Did someone say security? We now have better visibility of vSphere changes with actionable logging. VM Encryption allows the encryption of a virtual machine, including disks and snapshots. Secure Boot for ESXi ensures that only digitally signed code runs on the hypervisor. Secure Boot for VM’s is as simple as checking a box. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of all the new vSphere 6.5 features.
As you start preparing for your vSphere 6.5 upgrade, a checklist will be the run book used to ensure its success. The upgrade process can be divided into three phases:
Phase 1: Pre-upgrade – all the upfront work that should be done before starting an upgrade.
Phase 2: Upgrade – mapping the steps of each component that will upgraded.
Phase 3: Post-upgrade – validation to ensure everything went according to plan.
The first part of any successful upgrade is determining the benefits of the new features and the value add they will provide to your business. Next is getting familiar with these new features and how they will be implemented in your environment. The following list will get you started learning each of the new vSphere 6.5 features and their benefits.
Another consideration to getting familiar with the new features and upgrade process is the hands on approach in a lab environment. If you have a lab environment at your disposal, try building it as close to your production environment as possible to simulate both the upgrade process and new feature implementation. If a lab environment is not available, there are options like VMware’s Workstation or Fusion if you have the resources to run them. Last, but not least, there is also the Hands on Labs that do not require any resources and provide a guided approach. No matter which option you select, the key is getting familiar and comfortable with the upgrade process.
Have you ever wondered about the FREE version of vSphere and what limitations there are? I have created the below summary of limitations that are associated to the free version. For those using it for a home or test lab, the free version may do the trick for you. But even if using it for those situations, you still need to understand the limitations you have. One aspect to keep in mind especially is that the free version DOES NOT come with any type of technical support for it which is critical to understand!
Because of the below list of limitations and there not being any technical support for it, I highly recommend it not be used in corporate environments even in their Test/Dev labs! Instead, if you are trying to reduce the costs associated to vSphere licensing and have a limited budget, I would recommend that you look at the vSphere Essentials Kits which are very reasonably priced and offer two editions (Essentials & Essentials Plus). These offer you the ability to get support for them so if using in a production environment, you can be assured to get support from VMware to help keep your environment up and running at all times!
Missed The Latest VMware Announcements In The Past Month?
Check Out This Summary!
Have you been busy lately and haven’t keep up to date with the latest VMware announcements over the last month or two? If so, you have missed quite a bit! So I thought I would make it easy on you and pull together all the recent announcements related to product updates, acquisitions, promotions, partnerships, VMworld, Wanna Cry Ransomeware, etc. This summary has a lot of great information that you want to be aware. I highly recommend that you read through the full list of announcements to be sure you are aware of them.
One link I would like to draw your attention to specifically is under “Security” which takes you to a VMware blog about the “WannaCry Ransomeware” attack that swept the world on May 12th, 2017 in over 150+ countries worldwide. The article discusses how VMware’s NSX solution and its “Zero Trust” model could have helped those that were attacked mitigate this attack. This just proves how important it is that businesses consider using VMware’s NSX solution to help protect their environments from attacks in ways that other solutions can’t.
New Promotion – User Environment Manager (UEM) 9.2
Updated Promotion- vRealize 25% Upgrade Promotions Extended to July 29, 2017
WannaCry Ransomware attack that attacks Microsoft operating systems swept the world on May 12th in over 150+ countries. Below is VMware’s response on how the NSX Zero-Trust model could have helped mitigate this attack using NSX. This is a great opportunity for you to drive how critical it is to use NSX and where other solutions couldn’t provide the same protection that we can from these types of attacks.
When one of my colleagues pointed out this promotion to me, I was blown away. Read the original post at The NSX Mindset. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a hidden cost; The details do matter, so here they are. VMware is running this promotion in conjunction with the VMUG Advantage program. The individual needs to:
Join VMUG (that initial step as a “Member” is free)