TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VMworld Day 2 Recap

VMworld day 2 is always a good one for me personally as it’s the day you get the tech really spoken about and shown that has been announced at the show. If you missed my blog postings around some of the big announcements from day 1 then have a look below:

My day started with the keynote and again i watched it from the VMVillage in the bloggers area which I always enjoy as you can watch the keynote over the big screens but also sit with fellow vExpert bloggers. If you missed the keynote from either of the days then you can re-watch them here. One of the big announcements from the keynote was Pivotal Container Service, I was fortunate enough to be on a early access program where they went over the solution. It looks to be a really great solution and certainly has made me think I need to learn Kubernetes as I can see some amazing use cases for my customers.

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After the keynote I went and watched a bit of a vBrownbag session. The vBrownbag of which I am one of the team have been doing TechTalks all week and record the sessions as well as stream it live. I will certainly be watching these after the conference as there has been some amazing content and now that the sessions are in the content catalog we have been getting solid crowds all week with some being three people deep standing and watching due to all the seats being gone.

 

Next I attended VMware Cloud on AWS: An Architectural and Operational Deep Dive [LHC3174BU]-the session was really interesting although i was slightly disappointed that the session was more a walk through of how to build your SDDC rather than anything around architecture design which i found disappointing seeing as this was meant to be a deep dive.Also he stated he was engineer so there’s no demo it’s all screenshots. I took some notes from the session

  • Covered what AWSonVMC offers.
  • What organisations are and how these map across all VMware Cloud Services.
  • Covered the real requirement of ensuring you choose the correct CIDR block as this cannot be changed
  • vCenter permissions and the lock down required to ensure there were essentially a VMware owned Admin and a customer owned admin.

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  • Showed what the architecture is and what it uses from AWS to allow VMC
  • Hybrid linked mode explained

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  • Covered at a high level what provision management, remediation/troubleshooting, release coordination, auto-scaler, configuration management, telemetry and alerting service do

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  • Broke down the networking concepts – recommended watching/attending Ray Budavari’s session to learn much much more.
  • Walked through the flow of a failure of a host- covered all the players if what is required for VMware to fix the issues in an automated fashion.

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  • Covered how there is an SRE team to ensure the SaaS service works as it should (copy steps from picture)

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All these sessions make me feel you need to really learn AWS to a certain level so you understand what VPC’s are etc as a fair amount of people in the VMC sessions I’ve been to seem to struggle to understand the AWS side of the service.

Next I attended AWS Native Services Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS: Technical Deep Dive [LHC3376BUS]. – this sessions was really good and the live demo and technical depth was what i was hoping for from the previous session, Again I wrote down a bunch of notes from the session below and would highly recommend watching this session after the show

  • Nice to hear from the AWS side and what their side of the partnership is.
  • Integrations to things like S3, EC2, RDS, IAM,ACM,ELB, Route53, CloudFront,WAF, AWS Shield/Shield Advanced, Athena , QuickSight, Lambda, CodeDeploy
  • Covered the base topology

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  • Recommended reporting services like cloudwatch and cloudtrail, VMware are using these as well for part of their monitoring for you
  • Gave a use case and how to deliver the services for the fake company ACME distribution
  • Did a demo of building and running all the components required by ACME utilising VMC and AWS services.

After this I participated in a design studio UX session where we went through vRealize Lifecycle manager and gave feedback on what I liked and didn’t like and what i expected. I really enjoyed this as it was just me and the engineer and seeing as I’ve done vRA,vRO etc I was able to give some solid feedback from someone who knows the products and how to install them outside the usage of lifecycle manager. The engineer was very grateful which i always nice to be able to help.

Gregg

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VMworld Day 1 recap

VMworld kicked off formally today and there were whole bunch of announcements and some awesome sessions and demo’s I was able to attend and blog about but firstly I would like to recap Saturday and Sunday’s activities so if you just want to hear about today then skip the paragraphs below and go straight to the Monday/Today heading.

Saturday:

I purposely flew in on Friday fro the UK so that i could attend the VCDX workshop and then the VCDX Town hall afterwards. The VCDX workshop and town hall were hosted at the cosmopolitan hotel and the workshop started off early at 7:30 am with some breakfast/desert seeing as it was coffee and donuts. If you don;t know what the VCDX workshop is it is a workshop for those thinking of going for the VCDX soon and is aimed to give those aiming for it valuable information and advice around the whole process, what to do and not to do in your preparations and during the defence and also to clear up some possible misconceptions and ideally show that obtaining the VCDX is achievable with hard work and dedication. I’ve blogged about this achievability as well as my personal opinion of doing it for the “right” reasons here https://thesaffageek.co.uk/2017/02/17/why-do-you-want-the-vcdx-accreditation/ . It was really great to see that a very large amount of the people attending the workshop felt it was something they wanted to attempt and felt it was more of a realistic target after the workshop.

After this was the VCDX town hall which is for current VCDX to speak with the VCDX certification team, have a chance to hear from Pat Gelsigner the CEO of VMware and three of the VMware CTO’s before some food and drinks. The town hall was really good and there were some very tough questions asked of the certification team around the direction of the program, how we could get the certification known more widely and aid those looking to obtain it. Chris Colotti wrote a really pointed but accurate posting around a fair few of the topics brought up by the existing VCDX as despite what many might think current VCDX do want more people to join the ranks. We then had the honour of Pat Gelsigner speaking to us and answering some of out questions. It was greatly appreciated that Pat would take time out of his very busy schedule to spend time with us and as always you could see his passion for technology shining through. Next was the CTO panel with Chris Wolf, Guido Appenzeller and Ray O’Farrell. The panel was brilliant and again the three CTO’s were extremely interested to hear for the VCDX crowd and be open and honest with their future plans. Lastly was the drinks and food where we got to socialise which was really nice to chat and joke with fellow VCDX and learn what they are up to and doing.

Sunday:

Sunday is customarily when Partner exchange happened and this year was no different. Even though I work for a partner in Dell EMC I decided to instead attend and support the VMunderground and vBrownbag opening acts. The opening acts are a community event where a number of panels are run discussing various topics by the community for the community. I was very honoured to have been asked to be part of the second of the three panels of the day around How Failing Made Me Better. The panel was very enjoyable to be on and the advice given from all of the people on the panel seemed to be well taken by the crowd. As always the opening acts allowed me to also chat with others from the community some who i have known for years and others i have only met recently. It certainly helped that it was hosted at the beerhaus.

Media preview

After opening acts I wandered off to the solutions exchange to talk to some vendors as well as grab some food and drinks that were on offer. The solutions exchange was buzzing as you would expect and I managed to get over to the Datrium booth and collect my vExpert gift of an arbuboy. I then made my way back to the new york new york hotel for the VMunderground party which was happening at the beerhaus where I got to chat to loads of the community and meet up with some old friends. The VMUnderground party is always one of my favourites due to it always being in a location where you can chat to people without it being too dark or too loud (yes i realise i sound like an old man). After VMUnderground i made my way back to my hotel due to my need to be on a work conference call this morning.

Monday/Today

The day started off with me ensuring all my scheduled blogs had posted as the NDA for a number of the announcements was 5am this morning. I then made my way to the convention centre and decided to watch the keynote from the VMVillage bloggers tables as I had a session straight after the keynote and I wanted to make sure I made it in adequate time. There were a number of announcements in the keynote but the ones that I feel were the best coincided with the ones i blogged about which were:

After the keynote I attended a VMware Design Studio UX design session around VMware Cloud on AWS. The feedback around the UX seemed to be really helpful to the team and one portion I found really great was the number of woman that were part of the various team from VMware which is brilliant and certainly inspiring for my daughters futures if they decide to pursue technology as a career.

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Next I attended a session on VMware Cloud on AWS: Storage Deep Dive which was highly informative and gave some great overviews of not just VMC’s usage of vSAN in the current offering but also some possible future plans around Disaster Recovery, usage of various storage providers technologies, options for backup via partners like Dell EMC and growth abilities of the solution both outwards and upwards. When the recordings of the sessions come out I highly recommend watching this one. I really like the way VMC is heading and I think it will be a brilliant offering and product.

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After this I attended an invite only demo of VMware Cloud on AWS. The demo was highly informative and again I was left feeling really excited and enthused by the direction the offering is taking and the possibilities of it. When the partnership was first announced i was very unsure of how it would work and fit but I can certainly see the use cases and potential and now with VMware Cloud Services having been announced it means that you will be able to mange not just VMC but also Google Cloud Platform, Azure and your traditional vSphere environment in VMware Cloud Foundation.

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The announcements have been really good and with today’s now released GA of Pivotal Container Service there are very exciting things coming from VMworld from VMware and their eco-system of partners.

Gregg


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VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC)

The most exciting announcement from VMworld US in my opinion has to be VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) brings VMware’s enterprise class Software-Defined Data Center software to the AWS Cloud Infrastructure, and enables customers to run production applications across vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments. Delivered, sold and supported by VMware as an on-demand service, customers can immediately capture the benefits of cloud, without going through the painful and costly migration process so often associated with hybrid cloud models. With AWS’s breadth of cloud services (e.g. storage, databases, analytics, etc.) readily accessible to applications running within VMC, customers get the best of both worlds, an environment perfectly suited for running existing VMware based applications, as well as an environment flexible enough to grow and support new cloud-native based applications. Furthermore, as more SDDC components are adopted, the value derived by customers becomes exponential. VMC itself becomes a catalyst for the adoption of NSX, VSAN, SRM, and the vRealize Suite.

I have already blogged about some of the announcements due around NSX and VMC integration and VMware Cloud Services and their ability to provide a way of homogenising the cloud and providing a mechanism for you to consume all the cloud providers and one of these being  VMC.

Importance of VMware Cloud on AWS

Jointly engineered solution delivers the best of VMware and AWS for customers

  • VMware
    • Leading compute,storage and network virtualisation capabilities
    • Support for broad range of workloads
    • De-facto standard for the enterprise DC
  • AWS
    • Flexible consumption economics
    • Broadest set of cloud services
    • Global scale and reach

The Solution: VMware Cloud on AWS

  • VMware SSDC stack running on AWS
    • Compute (vSphere) , Storage (VSAN) and networking (NSX)
    • Direct access to vCenter, including full API/CLI support
    • Delivered as-a-service (VMware lifecycle fully managed)
  • Consistent operational model enables Hybrid Cloud
    • Full support for existing and new applications
    • Existing management tooling layers on top
    • Hybrid and Cloud-only deployment options
  • Leverage cloud economics, aligning capacity and demand
    • Single bill for VMware software +AWS infrastructure
    • Possible discounts for those with large existing VMware licence counts
    • Consume elastically scalable SDDC clusters
    • On-demand or subscription
    • Leverage global AWS footprint

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I personally am planning to attend quite a substantial amount of the VMware Cloud on AWS sessions and Hands On Labs and will be blogging about the portions of this so instead of having amassive blog posting here I will be doing multiple, the sessions i am attending at VMworld US are:

  • VMware Cloud on AWS: Storage Deep Dive:
    28 Aug, 13:00 – 14:00
    Oceanside B, Level 2
  • VMware Cloud on AWS Hybrid Cloud Architectural Deep Dive: Networking and Storage Best Practices:
    28 Aug, 17:30 – 18:30
    Lagoon H, Level 2
  • VMware Cloud on AWS: An Architectural and Operational Deep Dive:
    29 Aug, 12:30 – 13:30
    Oceanside C, Level 2
  • AWS Native Services Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS: Technical Deep Dive:
    29 Aug, 14:00 – 15:00
    Mandalay Bay Ballroom E, Level 2
  • Using VMware NSX for Enhanced Networking and Security for AWS Native Workloads: Part 2:
    29 Aug, 17:00 – 18:00
    Oceanside G, Level 2
  • Work Load Mobility & Resiliency for the New VMware Cloud on AWS :
    30 Aug, 08:00 – 09:00
    Islander H, Lower Level
  • Using vRealize with VMware Cloud on AWS:
    30 Aug, 09:30 – 10:30
    Oceanside C, Level 2
  • VMware Cloud on AWS Ready: Preparing Your Environment for the Best VMware Cloud on AWS Experience!:
    30 Aug, 11:00 – 12:00
    Reef E, Level 2
  • VMware NSXaaS – Secure Native Workloads in AWS Workshop:
    30 Aug, 15:00 – 16:30
    South Pacific Ballroom, Lower Level, HOL 3
  • NSX and VMware Cloud on AWS: Deep Dive:
    31 Aug, 10:30 – 11:30
    Breakers E, Level 2
  • VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started Workshop:
    31 Aug, 12:00 – 13:30
    South Pacific Ballroom, Lower Level, HOL 6

I’m really looking forward to learning more about the technologies and as promised i will be blogging about it fairly substantially over the coming week and months.

Gregg


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VMware Cloud Services

Customers aren’t just running their workloads in their vSphere datacenters but are also now running more and more workloads natively in the public cloud providers and this can be a challenge for businesses who might not have the current skillset or mechanisms to monitor and manage these public workloads. VMware have now announced a way of homogenising the cloud and providing a mechanism for you to consume all the cloud providers and manage across these various providers where you can manage, provision and migrate workloads easily between you on premises environment to the public cloud providers.

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VMware did a survey recently and the amount of their customers who are using or evaluating a public cloud provider has now almost reached 100 percent with the feedback being 97% and an increase of 11% since 2016.

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The amount of workloads these surveyed customers have running in these public clouds however are still very small although most see it where being on multiple public cloud providers is the ideal end state but this brings two major problems:

Operational Complexity

  • Application and management tool sprawl
  • Inefficient cost management across multiple clouds
  • Compliance gaps due to different architectures

Increased Risk Exposure

  • Inconsistent security architectures and policies
  • Lack of visibility into and across multiple clouds
  • Lack of expertise on specific platforms

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For  VMware Cloud Services there are mainly five different services that are being announced at todays VMworld and they are:

Discovery: Holistic View of All Cloud Resources

  • Visibility into apps and resources they consumer
  • Analyse usage and utilisation across clouds
  • Public and private cloud inventory and metrics collection in minutes
  • AWS and Azure inventory collection using cloud user credentials and APIs
  • Private cloud inventory collection using a lightweight VMware vCenter data-collector
  • Central repository for all public and private cloud inventory
  • Inventory search based on cloud resource attributes
  • Expose native cloud tags and group cloud resources to simplify reporting, operations and actions across other VMware Cloud Services
  • Single place to add public and private cloud account credentials
  • Secure management of cloud credentials and account owners
  • Shared configurations of Clouds Accounts for data collections across multiple VMware Cloud Services

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Cost Insight

  • Accounting and cost optimisation for multiple clouds
  • Track and analyse your costs and trends
  • Estimate total cloud spend across public and private clouds
  • Compare spend by cloud providers, regions, accounts or other groups
  • Analyse costs and drill deeper to identify key cost drivers
  • Track cloud costs over time and project future costs based on historical data
  • Compare actual spend with assigned budgets
  • Share cloud costs and budget comparisons with application teams
  • Identify powered off virtual machines
  • Identify unused cloud storage resources
  • Customise threshold limits for identifying unused resources

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VMware NSX Cloud

  • Secure networks with micro-segmentation
  • Create private networks with or across clouds
  • Network abstraction through overlays
  • Segmentation control independent of cloud
  • Stamp out consistent overlay networks
  • Ops consistency and improved visibility
  • Improved IT efficiency and lower OpEx

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Network Insight

  • Operational visibility, control and compliance across clouds.
  • Optimise performance, health and availability
  • Understand application dependencies by analysing traffic flow patterns between VMs
  • accelerate micro-segmentation planning and use firewall rule recommendations to improve cloud security
  • Continuously monitor, troubleshoot and audit cloud security posture over time
  • Discover AWS,VMW and physical network infrastructure resources including AWS VPCs, security groups and cloud tags
  • Troubleshoot network connectivity issues between VMs with visibility into virtual and physical data center network layers
  • Rapidly identify issues through pro-active events and alerts
  • Scale across large NSX deployments with powerful visualisations for topology and health
  • Avoid configuration issues with NSX deployments based on health checklists
  • Quickly pinpoint issues for resolution with the help of intuitive UI and search

Wavefront

  • Metrics-driven monitoring and real-time analytics
  • Real time metrics monitoring at scale
  • “First pane of glass” visibility
  • Shared Model of application/system for both developers and ops

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If you are interested in any of the solutions above then I would recommend getting to the VMware booth at VMworld US if attendign the conference or speak to your VMware sales executive if you aren’t attending to get a demo setup

Gregg


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#NSX Announcements at #VMworld US

At todays VMworld US there are a number of NSX announcements as NSX grows it’s capabilities and features and raises the bar for SDN. Some of of the announcements at todays VMworld US conference in Las Vegas will be around a new version of NSX-T called NSX-T 2.0, VMware Cloud on AWS which provides a service that delivers a seamless extension for vSphere customers into AWS and NSX Secure Networking and the the ability for network virtualisation and security for native AWS workloads.

Firstly if you don’t know what NSX-T is then I would recommend you read the overview of it here or register for session NET1510BU . For version 2.0 there are a number of announcements, the high level  such as:

  • Cloud-Native App Frameworks
    • VMs and Containers
    • CNI Plugin Integration for Kubernetes (K8s) /Pivotal Cloud Foundry
    • NSX-T PaaS /CaaS Integration
      • NSX integration with Kubernetes
      • NSX Container Plugin (NCP) for integration with PaaS with NSX Manager
      • Native Container Networking:
        • IP address per container / POD
        • Container Network integration with DC network via routing and BGP
        • Micro-segmentation – inter project and intra project isolation
        • Network and Security Automation – created as part of app deployment
        • Multi-tenant network topologies
        • Multiple Containers (PODs for K8s) in a VM (Container Host)
        • Support for vSphere and KVM

For VMware cloud on AWS there is an extensive amount of announcements and features about the service but for NSX in particular it is about centralised management, comprehensive visibility and enterprise-class security

  • Discovery
    • Visibility into apps and resources they consume
    • Analyse usage and utilisation across clouds
    • Possible with AWS (Native), Azure (Compute) and Private Cloud (vSphere)
  • Cost Insight
    • Accounting and cost optimisation for multiple clouds
    • Track and analyse your costs and trends
    • Possible with AWS (Native), Azure (Compute) and Private Cloud (vSphere)
  • Network Insight
    • Operational visibility, control and compliance across clouds
    • Optimise performance, health and availability
    • Possible with AWS (Native) and Private Cloud (vSphere)
  • Secure Networking
    • Secure networks with micro-segmentation
    • Create private networks within or across clouds
    • Possible with AWS (Native)

For NSX Secure Networking

  • On-Prem Automation and Networking & Security
    • Multi-domain networking
    • Automation with OpenStack
    • Micro-segmentation
    • Consistent and scalable micro segmentation security – unified policy management across multiple public clouds
    • Precise control over cloud networking topologies, traffic flows, IP addressing and protocols
    • Standard network data works with existing Day 2 operations tools and processes

If you are looking for some top sessions around these announcements then the following top 10 networking and security sessions should be a great fit:

  • Transforming networking and security for the digital era – TS7003KU –Tuesday August 29,12:30pm – 13:30 pm
  • Use virtualization to secure application infrastructure – SAI3237SU – Monday August 28,11am – 12pm
  • Why networking is at the heart of digital transformation – NET3235SU – Monday August 28,1pm – 2pm
  • NSX everywhere: The network bridge for on premises, private, and native public clouds – NET3236SU – Monday August 28,4pm – 5pm
  • Introduction to VMware NSX – NET1152BU – Monday August 28,4pm – 5pm
  • Application security reviews made easy with VMware latest security solution – SAI2895BU – Tuesday August 29,4pm – 5pm
  • The NSX practical path – NET3282BU – Monday August 28,2:30pm – 3:30pm
  • When clouds collide, lightning strikes – NET3282BU – Wednesday August 30, 1pm – 2pm
  • The future of networking and security with NSX-T – NET1821BU – Tuesday August 29, 11:30am –12:30pm
  • Container networking with NSX-T overview – NET1521GU – Monday August 28, 1pm – 2pm

Gregg


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VMware AppDefense Announced at #VMworld US

At todays VMworld US there are a number of announcements coming out but one of the big ones in my opinion is the announcement of VMware AppDefense.

AppDefense provides an number of features, notably:

  • Application Control: Comprehensive view/grouping of VMs in the datacenter, their intended state and allowed behaviour
  • Runtime anomaly detection and response: Monitor the real time state of the OS and user applications – alert and control process, network, and kernel events
  • Process Analysis: Built-in process analysis engine gives overall process maliciousness as well as specific traits that are potentially suspicious
  • Orchestrate Remediation: Our infrastructure reach provides a more effective way to orchestrate remediation during a security incident

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Application Scope

  • Security Team View of Intended Application State
  • Security-team owned viewpoint of application infrastructure
  • Provides a lens to evaluate runtime behaviour against known good
  • An abstraction to validate and audit the placement of security policy

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Attesting Runtime Behaviour

  • Writing Rules to Inspect Validate Endpoint Processes and Network Connectivity
  • Enforce behaviour by blocking activity or audit/alerting
  • Evaluate a number of endpoint events from a trusted location:
    • Process network activity (inbound/outbound)
    • Process activity
    • OS Kernel
    • Virtual Enclave

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Built-In Process Analysis

  • Deep Level In-Memory Analysis of Process Capability to Provide Detail on Anomalies
  • Evaluate the in-memory state of a process before/after anomalies are recognized
  • Does not rely on signatures or hashes at all
  • Provides overall risk score and individual traits within the process

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Orchestrating Remediation

  • Blocking Behaviour or Responding on Alarms Through Virtual Infrastructure
  • Each rule can be associated with a recommended remediation workflow
  • Alerts integrate with standard SIEM tools and other notification methods
  • Enforcement can be automated or manual
  • Leverages the mutability of the virtual infrastructure (ESX layer and NSX security policy)

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AppDefense Architecture

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I’m really looking forward to learning more about AppDefense and seeing how it can fit my customers needs.

Gregg


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#VCDX Design Scenario “Tips”

Yesterday I ran some face to face mocks at Dell EMC’s offices in Brentford UK and during part of those at the end we discussed the design scenario and what i recommend people practice. I have partly mentioned some of it already in a posting i did after the last face to face mocks here. Additional to that I was showing those people that were going to defend this coming week the plan I had around the things I wanted to ensure I asked and also what I felt I needed to keep in mind during the design scenario. Now i have to make it clear I am not a panellist nor have i seen nor know the rubric the scenario is scored on but what worked for me at least are the following:

Question any information that doesn’t make sense!!!!

Compute

1. NUMA aware applications/OS’s?

2. If not how wide is the VM that is not NUMA aware?

3. Amount of growth?

4. Total vCPUs? Divide that by 5

5. Peak GHz for CPU?

6. Peak RAM for Memory?

7. PCIE connected hardware or USB dongles?

8. Rack or Blade? If blade are they half or full and logical diagram spreading across chassis. FDM mention

9. What kinds of applications are on these servers?

10. Scale up or scale out? N+ value

11. Right size VM’s after conversion

12. Add N+ value

 

Storage

1. FC,FCoE,iSCSI,NFS,VSAN,vFRC

2. Existing Tiers of Storage?

3. Amount of Free space? Is this dedicated to the project? How long is the support for this?

4. PEAK IOPS

5. Average IO size

6. Read/write ratios

7. SP speeds? Active passive,active active, ALUA?

8. Standard access switch and core setup?

9. Speed of existing FC switches if applicable?

10. Existing HBA’s? speeds of these HBA’s?

11. Software or hardware initiators?

12. CHAP?

13. IOPS, Amount of required storage?

14. Amount of growth?

 

Network

1. Traditional or CLOS?

2. North/south or East/West traffic?

3. vSS,vDS on N1KV?

4. Hybrid or vDS only?

5. 1GbE or 10GbE?

6. Converged Network Adapter or 10GbE?

7. Peak network throughput required?

8. Speeds of Network Switches

9. MTU for Jumbo frames 9000

 

VIM

1. HA and DRS? (limit 32 hosts and 3000 VM’s)

2. Dedicated management cluster?

3. Virtual vCenter or VCSA?

4. Linked Mode?

5. vCenter heartbeat

6. VUM and UMDS?

7. BC/DR?

8. vCenter design to separate vCenter from DB

 

I also did a second prep list that is very much alike to the one above but some slight addtional parts and for the cenceptual were the questions i had made a sentence out of to remember to ask them as i felt they gave me a good start and it was what i asked myself during each practice of the design scenario so when i did it in the defence it just felt like another practice and so calmed my nerves

 

Conceptual

  • Pick out the main objective of the project (design a cluster for the migrated workloads)
  • Write down all other requirements ,assumptions ,risks and constraints
  • Availability Requirements? <- if over 99.9 then warn of additional costs
  • N+ requirements
  • If existing hardware then how old? Is it dedicated to the project? What speeds and free space does it have? Processor family? NIC speeds? Room for growth? Anything missing that is required (HBA cards or 10GB NICS)
  • Consolidation and containment seem to always come up so ask about the steps for migrating the servers to vm’s and minimizing the risk of server sprawl….
  • Licencing?
  • Budget?
  • BC/DR? <- How soon is the requirement for the failover site and is the site even built? Distances and latency if already built

 

Compute

  • Total number of CPU’s <- Question/highlight if really high or low
  • Are applications/OS’s NUMA aware? What is the largest non numa aware vm?
  • Calculate number of required hosts
  • Very quick mention that could work it out with Peak CPU and Peak RAM also but DON’T DO THIS CALC
  • Add N+ to the total number and make sure the cluster doesn’t go over 32 or 3k vm’s (This was applicable to my vSphere 5.0 design where the limit was 32)
  • Right size VM’s after conversion

 

Storage

  • Peak Storage ,Peak IOPS,Average IO,Read/write? <- Question/highlight if really high or low
  • Storage Protocol?
  • Active/Active, Active/Passive,ALUA?
  • Different workloads require different tiers of storage?
  • Allocate RAID levels to different tiers

 

Network

  • Traditional Core access switch setup?
  • Total Peak throughput <- Question/highlight if really high or low
  • North/south and east/west
  • 1GB or 10GB
  • CNA or 10GB
  • vSS,Hybrid or VDS based on licencing question and on amount of required throughput and storage protocol

 

VIM

  • HA and DRS with the N+1 portion from earlier included
  • If avail was high and they keep to it then vCenter heartbeat
  • Dedicated Management Cluster
  • Separation of database and vCenter for resiliency
  • vSphere licences from conceptual questions