Attending VMworld And Interested In vSphere 6.5 Security? Try My “vSphere 6.5 Security – Getting Started” Lab!

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.

Public Facing – Hands On Labs Site:  labs.hol.vmware.com

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.
  • (HOL-1811-04-SDC) vSphere 6.5 Security – Getting Started:
    • 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!

 

 

 

New Content – vSphere 6.5 Upgrade/Migration & VMware Posters Links!

New Content – vSphere 6.5

Upgrade/Migration & VMware Posters Links!

 

 

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 1 which 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

 

Click here to go to the Useful Links tab within my website!

vSphere 6.5 U1 Added Benefit – vCenter Foundation Supports (4) Hosts Now!

vSphere 6.5 U1 Added Benefit – vCenter

Foundation Supports (4) Hosts Now!

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!

Key Features:

  • 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.

Key Capabilities:

  • Management service
  • Database server
  • Inventory service
  • VMware vSphere Clients
  • VMware vCenter APIs and .NET
  • vCenter Single Sign-On

 

vRealize Log Insight 4.5 is Now Live!

vRealize Log Insight 4.5 is Now Live!

 

On June 13th, 2017, VMware released vRealize Log Insight 4.5! vRealize Log lnsight delivers heterogeneous and highly scalable log management with intuitive, actionable dashboards, sophisticated analytics and broad third-party extensibility. It provides deep operational visibility and faster troubleshooting across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Below, you can fins a list of what’s new in this release of vRealize Log Insight 4.5!

Whats New?
This release of VMware vRealize Log Insight delivers product improvements and updates to the previous release, including these features:

Server Features

  • Added API to query alert execution and notification history
  • Added ability to specify basic authentication for webhooks
  • New product configuration APIs added
  • The source field is maintained when forwarding from vRealize Log Insight forwarder to a vRealize Log Insight server
  • Hosts on the /admin/hosts page can now be exported
  • Support for external load balancers has been deprecated
  • VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) is recommended for vRealize Log Insight. Native AD support is now deprecated. See the following Knowledge Base article for migration information: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2148976

General User Interface Items

  • Dashboard legend mouse-over in one widget now highlights corresponding chart items across widgets
  • Added ability to show a given time across all dashboard chart widgets simultaneously
  • Separate options are available for descriptions and recommendations for user alerts.
  • User alert history for aggregation queries now includes count

Agent Items

  • Added ability to send unaltered raw syslog to destination server
  • Added ability for agent syslog parser to parse structured data (SD), PRI, PROCID, and MSGID syslog fields
  • Added auto-update checkbox option on MSI user interface
  • Added support for sending logs to multiple destinations
  • Added directory wildcard support
  • Added support for Photon OS
  • Support for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS has been deprecated

Content Packs

  • Updated General and vSphere content packs
  • VSAN and vROps content packs included out of the box

 

vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 Now Live!

vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 Now Live!

 

On June 13th, 2017, VMware released its updated vRealize Operation Manager 6.6 solution! VMware vRealize Operations integrated with vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Business for Cloud helps plan, manage and scale SDDC and multi-cloud environments with unified monitoring, automated performance management, cloud planning and capacity optimization. Check out the below list of enhancements that have been made to the vRealize Operations Manager solution!

Whats New?

vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 focuses on enhancing product usability, accelerating time to value and improving troubleshooting capabilities.

  • Simplified usability and faster time to value capabilities:
    • New HTML5 user interface provides an easier and consistent experience.
    • The Getting Started dashboard allows for quick navigation.
    • Persona based dashboards provides for answers in one place. Dashboards are separated into categories such as Operations, Capacity and Utilization, Performance Troubleshooting, Workload Balance, and Configuration and Compliance.
    • Out of the box integration with vSAN and vRealize Automation provides quick time to value.
  • Watch videos related to the new dashboards that are introduced with vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 here.
  • Added Native vSAN management capabilities:
    • Allows for centralized management across stretched clusters.
    • Ability for complete vSAN management, which includes administering performance, capacity, logs, and configuration and health.
  • Fully Automated Workload Balancing:
    • Ensures performance across the datacenter’s with fully automated workload balancing, across clusters and across data stores.
    • Ensures DRS Configurations and provides the option to set DRSautomation level for individual objects.
    • Predictive DRS takes action to preempt resource contention.
    • Utilizes operations analytics to optimize initial placement of workloads through vRealize Automation.
  • Watch this video for a demo about automatic workload placement.
  • Additional out-of-the-box compliance capabilities: 
    • Ability to tackle compliance problems through the new vSphere hardening dashboard
    • Extends compliance through PCI & HIPAA compliance for vSphere.
    • Ensures business configurations through new cluster, host, and VM configuration dashboards
Documentation and Links:

Useful VMware Reference Posters! (NSX/VCSA 6.5/PowerCLI 6.5/PSC Toplogy Tree)

Useful VMware Reference Posters!

(NSX/VCSA 6.5/PowerCLI 6.5/PSC Toplogy Tree)

 

For all those VMware techies out there that work with VMware solutions on a daily basis, it’s hard to remember everything we need to know related to the many solutions we manage. So VMware has created several VMware Reference Posters to help us out when we need a little reminder as far as a command-line argument, configuration option, etc.

At the VMware provided website, they have provided us with (3) reference posters for working with PowerCLI 6.5 R1, vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), and Platform Services Controllers (PSC) Topology Decision Tree. Click on the below link to go to the VMware Reference Poster site and download your copy of these great tools!

VMware Reference Posters Link:   https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/posters

Although not listed in the above site, there is also a NSX Reference Poster that is also available! So for those that are managing VMware NSX, I highly recommend you download this poster and keep it handy, I am sure you will need to use it at some point in time while managing NSX.

The dimensions for the NSX posters are designed to be printed in a high-resolution A3 size (no lower than 300 dpi). 

  • In inches: 11.7 x 16.5
  • In mm: 297 x 420

NSX Reference Poster (Printable Version):  Click Here to Download!

NSX Reference Poster:  Click Here to Download!

 

vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) 3.4 Now GA!!

vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) 3.4 Now GA!!

 

On June 1st, 2017, VMware released a new version of their vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) solution, version 3.4! VMware vRealize Network Insight delivers intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security. It helps to optimize network performance and availability with visibility and analytics across virtual and physical networks. It provides planning and recommendations for implementing micro-segmentation security, plus operational views to quickly and confidently manage and scale VMware NSX deployment.

What’s New in vRealize Network Insight 3.4?

The new and enhanced features in this release are as follows:

  • AWS Public Cloud Support – vRealize Network Insight now provides visibility into native AWS constructs such as VPC, VM, Security Group, and Firewall rules. Traffic flows are also analyzed to provide security and micro-segmentation view of cloud workloads (Enterprise edition only).
  • Configurable Data Retention – vRealize Network Insight provides ability to modify the data retention periods for problem events, configuration changes, and metrics (Enterprise edition only).
  • Support for Physical Devices in Application Modeling  – vRealize Network Insight now allows the inclusion of physical servers in application tier definition and micro-segmentation planning.
  • New NSX Operation Events – Additional NSX operations alerts have been introduced in this release.
  • Customization of Alerts  – The customization is done through global macro settings as well as at individual alerts level.
  • Support of vCenter Tags and Annotations  – It is an additional way to group virtual machines into security and application groups.
  • Visibility of Physical Layer-2 Network  – From this release onwards, the layer-2 networks are visible in the VM-to-VM path dashboard.
  • Addition of Syslog Messages – vRealize Network Insight supports syslog messages for sending the events generated by the system to external log management products (including Log Insight).

For more information on vRealize Network Insight 3.4, see the below links…