Log Insight is VMware’s product for log management and analysis, introduced in June and quickly updated in the following months in order to be competitive on this market that sees Splunk among its leaders.
This week VMware released a video (thanks to Eric Sloof for reporting), through VMware Learning YouTube channel, where Manuel Duron does a quick demo showing the key capabilities of the product and explains its key benefits.
From the video description:
Manuel Duron, Senior Systems Engineer, discusses and demonstrates VMware vCenter Log Insight and the challenges it solves, including changing business needs while focusing on maintaining service levels, efficient “root-cause analysis” for troubleshooting issues, and managing overwhelming amount of machine-generated log data.
Microsoft has made available for download a new free eBook titled:"Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller". The book which contains 104 pages provides an introduction to implementing and managing hybrid computing solutions using App Controller as part of the System Center suite of products from Microsoft. It describes the basic concepts, processes, and operations involved in connecting, consuming, and managing resources that are deployed both on and off premises. Each chapter provides a concise, self-contained walkthrough for a specific aspect of managing private, public, and hybrid clouds using App Controller.
Labels: Book, Microsoft
Citrix has released a Technical Preview of a new connector for XenDesktop. This connector will enable customers to use System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) to deploy application to a XenDesktop Server OS Farm ensuring that if you are using PVS or MCS for provisioning that clones do not get caught in install/reboot issues and that the master VM of the PVS/MCS catalog get correctly updated. The connector does not support XenDesktop Client OS scenario’s (VDI).
Once the application is deployed ConfigMgr can then be used to publish the application in Citrix StoreFront where it can be selected for use by users on any device that has Receiver installed (iPad, Android, Mac, PC, Windows Phone etc). Its also possible to selectively deploy an applications as an App-V, MSI OR XenDesktop Published Application to Managed PCs
The following scenario’s are supported in this Tech Preview:
- Use a single System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager Site to manage a XenDesktop Site
- Use a single System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Site to manage a XenDesktop Site
- Deploy MSI or App-V apps to XenDesktop 7.1 Server OS Instances (workers)
- Deploy apps to PVS managed Server OS catalogs
- Enable SCCM to deploy XenApp Deployment Type to Managed Clients
Citrix also already provides a XenApp Connector for ConfigMgr as well, the XenApp 6.5 connector SP1 was released in September this year, as reported by virtualization.info
Labels: Citrix, Microsoft
In august this year, VMware announced the first public beta of Virtual SAN. Today VMware announced a new version of the beta being available. Virtual SAN is a software-defined storage tier embedded directly within vSphere 5.5 hypervisor (but licensed separately) and constitutes (with NSX) one of the key components of VMware’s vision of a Software-Defined DataCenter (SDDC). Customers currently in the beta program of Virtual SAN are advised to update to this new version, which contains:
- A fix for the AHCI controller issue encountered in the beta testing
- New Ruby Virtual Console commands
- A new PowerCLI fling
- Changes to certain VSAN limits; a disk group may now contain a single SSD and up to seven HDDs so that all disk slots on a server can be utilized.
Red Hat has released version 6.5. of its Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Linux-based Operating System. The OS is released in server versions for x86, x86-64, Itanium, PowerPC and IBM System z. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 was forked from Fedora 12 and contains many backported features from Fedora 13 and 14.
New functionality includes:
- Centralized certificate trust store
- Tools that meet OpenSCAP 2.1 and SCAP 1.2 standards
- Support for sub-microsecond clock accuracy over the LAN using the Precision Time Protocol (PTP)
- More comprehensive view of network activity allowing inspection of IGMP data
- Ability to dynamically enable or disable virtual CPUs in active guests
- Support for up to 4TB of memory on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) Hypervisor
- KVM integration with the GlusterFS volumes
- Updated guest drivers for running RHEL 6.5 as a guest on supported third-party hypervisors
- Ability to deploy application images in containers created using Docker
- Support for NVM Express based SSDs
- Support for more than 255 LUNs connected to a single iSCSI target
- Enhancements in control and recovery from SAN for iSCSI and Fibre Channel
- Ability to create debug files on systems configured with very large memory using updates to the kexec/kdump mechanism
- Support for remote access to Windows Clients and servers using a newer version of the RDP protocol including Windows 7 and Windows 8 and also Windows Server 2012 R2
Labels: Red Hat, Release
VMware today released version 5.3 of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product Horizon View. With this release, VMware also updated the View clients to version 2.2.
Version 3.5 was announced during VMworld Europe in October last year, together with vCloud Automation Center 6.0, vCloud Operations Management Suite 5.8, vCenter Log Insight 1.5, IT Business Management Suite 8.0 and Horizon Mirage 4.3.
Version 5.3 provides the following new features and support as detailed in the release notes:
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support, interesting for companies who want to provide DaaS under the SPLA licensing terms from Microsoft.
- Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
- Use VMware Horizon Mirage to manage View desktops
- Virtual SAN Datastore Support
- Memory Recommendation messages
- Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) support
- Linked-Clone Desktop Pool Storage Overcommit Feature Enhancements
- View Persona Management Supportability Improvements
- Ability to add the Administrators group to redirected folders
- View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in
- View Composer Array Integration Support
- Support for up to 350 connections in the Blast Secure Gateway
More information about the 2.2. versions of the View clients can be found here: VMware Horizon View Clients Documentation
Labels: Release, VDI, VMware
Pivotal CF is the commercially supported hybrid Platfor-as-a-Service (PaaS) based on Cloud Foundry, technology launched by VMware in 2011 and moved to Pivotal in this April as part of the merge of cloud application and big data assets from both VMware and EMC.
This week Pivotal made the platform generally available as a standalone product that runs on vSphere and consists in two main components: Pivotal CF Elastic Runtime Service, the actual runtime environment and Pivotal CF Operations Manager, its management platform with IaaS integration.
Labels: PaaS, Pivotal, Pivotal CF
Just a week after releasing a free version of their security product for Microsoft Hyper-V called Security for Microsoft Hyper-V with built in Security and Compliance scanner, 5nine released version 3.7 of their Security Standard product. Security Standard provides an agentless anti-virus and anti-malware protection solutions for Hyper-V hosts and VMs running on top of Hyper-V. Version 3.7 adds an Active Protection feature allowing for monitoring and protecting files, virtual disks and memory of VMs and hosts in real time. For this to work an Agent, called the VM Active Protection Agent must be installed though. Customers can choose between VIPRE or Sophos as their anti-malware engines.
Besides Standard, 5nine also has an Datacenter edition which provides a Virtual Firewall running in the kernel and is also available as a plugin to Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager, more information about all editions can be found in this product comparison.
Labels: 5nine, Release
Catbird is a well-known security player in the virtualization market with its vSecurity product able to proactively secure the virtual network and guest operating systems by analyzing and responding to network events and attack, and enforcing correct VM configuration automatically mapping to industry-standard compliance frameworks such PCI, HIPAA, FISMA and COBIT.
vSecurity for Microsoft Hyper-V, whose release is planned for December 2013, will support Hyper-V Server 2012, SP1 and R2 and promises the same functionalities now provided to VMware vSphere and ESX users.
The solution will be delivered with two components: a web management console, providing policy definition, visualization and workflow on a logical zone basis, called Catbird Control Center and a virtual machine appliance to be deployed for each virtual switch or hypervisor.
These VMAs will provide:
- Firewall management (not yet implemented)
- Network access Control (NaC)
- Intrusion Detection and Protection (IDs/IPs)
- Net Flow
- Vulnerability monitoring
- Virtual Infrastructure Monitoring integrated with hypervisor APIs for network configuration, access control, auditing, monitoring and PCI Dss policy enforcement.
all the details could be found in the press release.
Labels: Catbird, Compliance, Hyper-V
5nine has released a free version of its 5nine Security product, called 5nine Security for Microsoft Hyper-V with built-in Security and Compliance Scanner v1.0. 5nine Security for Hyper-V Free provides a host-based / agent-less security solution for virtual machines running on top of Hyper-V. The product is also availble in paid versions (Standard and Datacenter editions) which ofcourse provide more functionality, as detailed in this product comparison.
The solution provides anti-virus and anti-mailware scanning for hosts and virtual machines, a virtual firewall, and control over each VM – which are controlled using a centralized management console, via PowerShell of via WCF APIs. The built-in Security and Compliance Scanner will help you to investigate present and potential security problems on your server. It also performs an aggressive anti-malware scan on a server during the overall scanning process. Upon scan completion Security and Compliance Scanner provides detailed reports on each identified security issue.
On the website of 5nine the company states the following about its agentless approach:”Thanks to its innovative agentless design, which installs nothing on the virtual machine itself aside from a VM Active Protection Agent”. Whether this means that an agent (the VM Active Protection Agent) needs to be installed within the VM is unclear, especially since 5Nine states that this a agentless solution. A slide in a white paper actually explains that the installation of an agent is optional in case you need it.
Update: 5nine explained that the Free 5nine Security for Microsoft Hyper-V with built-in Security and Compliance Scanner does not have a possibility to put a VM Active Protection Agent in. It only performs completely agentless full system anti-virus scans. VM Active Protection Agent is currently only available in the paid version of 5nine Security for Hyper-V Standard and is expected to become available for the Datacenter edition in December this year.
Labels: 5nine, Release
vCenter Orchestrator plug-in for vCloud Director 5.5 allows access to vCloud Director’s functionalities and API to be used in vCenter Orchestrator, VMware’s workflow automation platform.
This new release has its main purpose in the complete support for vCloud Director 5.5 but also introduces new features such the enhanced performances of the object finder methods, the possibility to configure the cache timeout through the plug-in settings, the ability for Cloud administrators to automate the management of vApp and VM snapshots through the scripting objects of the plug-in and a couple of bug fixes.
A list of the resolved issues and of the known issues of this version can be found in the release notes.
Labels: Release, vCenter, vCloud Suite, VMware
Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced at their 2013 re:Invent summit the company will start a Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas) offering. Amazon WorkSpaces as the service is called is a fully managed Windows 7 experience which will be available in four different bundles named Standard, Standard Plus, Performance and Performance Plus.
The Standard bundle offers 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB of memory, and 50 GB of persistent user storage. All of the bundles include Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9, and 7-Zip, among other utilities. The Plus bundles also offer Microsoft Office.
Pricing starts at $ 35 per month for Standard to $ 75 per month for the Performance Plus bundle. The service is currently available as a Limited Preview. Amazon did not provide information on a general availability date.
Labels: Amazon, Cloud Computing, DaaS
Veeam has released an update for version 7 of its Backup & Replication product for VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V which was released in August this year. The product is therefore the first backup product to support both vSphere 5.5. and Hyper-V 2012 R2.
The update, which Veeam versions as R2 provides the following new features:
- Support for VMware vSphere 5.5
- Support for vCloud Director 5.5
- Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 including support for Generation 2 VMs
- Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest VMs
- Support for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager
- Support for installing the Backup & Replication product components on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1
Labels: Release, Veeam
Last month Gartner released a paper titled:"How to Choose between Hyper-V and vSphere". The paper written by Thomas J. Bittman, is made available for free viewing by Microsoft, which actually tells something about the outcome of the paper already.
The paper covers acquisition costs, ease of management including operational complexity and cost and also covers functionality richness of both the VMware and Microsoft virtualization platform solutions.
Microsoft has improved its server virtualization products to the point that IT leaders should assess their VMware investments and consider whether Microsoft makes sense. Compare acquisition costs, ease of management and functionality for the two vendors and take advantage of their competitiveness.
Labels: Microsoft, Paper, VMware
Microsoft has released another free eBook titled:"Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager", this book covers the design, deployment, and troubleshooting some of the most complex and mission critical aspects of key System Center capabilities.
The book covers the following topics:
- Troubleshooting common Configuration Manager tasks such as software distribution, software updates, and deployment.
- Understanding how the various components of Configuration Manager on both the server and client side work together when such tasks are performed.
- Dealing with the enormous number of log files that are generated on both the server and client side of Configuration Manager.
Microsoft earlier last month already released another fee eBook book about System Center Configuration Manager, titled: "Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Field Experience"
Labels: Book, Microsoft
Software defined storage (SDS) is hot. Today Maxta came out of stealth mode and presented the world their software defined storage solution for VMware vSphere which looks like a perfect mix of VMware Virtual SAN and Nutanix capabilities. No SAN or NAS needed but resilient local storage for caching (consumergrade SDD) and persistent storage (HDD). Through its software-only solution, Maxta turns standard servers into a converged compute and storage solution
While the Maxta Storage Platform has been running for over a year in production now at an undisclosed number of customer sites, untill today the company did not do a lot of marketing. The current version of Maxta Storage Platform or MxSP is 2.2.3.
This skepticism about SDS was part of the reason why Maxta has kept under the radar since its 2009 start. Maxta decided not to announce the company until it had technology validation, and market validation.
The software is installed as a virtual machine running on each hypervisor (vSphere 5.0 Update 1 and higher). This virtual appliance aggregates local storage and presents it over NFS to the hypervisor. Hyper-V and KVM support is currently in Limited Availability)
Because it is a very cost-effective solution and is VM-centric (cost based on raw storage capacity) Maxta Storage Platform can be used for remote offices/branch offices instead of traditional storage solutions like Dell EqualLogic, Lefthand, HP StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array, VMware Virtual Storage Appliance, VMware Virtual SAN.
Other use cases are VDI, Disaster Recovery and Test/dev.
Quite a few software defined storage solutions are based on ‘converged storage and compute’ or ‘datacenter in a box’. It means that storage for virtual machines is located in the same enclosure as compute (cpu+memory). The raw local storage in multiple servers is aggregated, replicated and made available to the server nodes in a resilient way. Storage is presented and managed either in kernel or by a software appliance running on the host. This architecture has many advantages over traditional SAN/NAS solutions.
VMware Virtual SAN or VSAN is a software defined storage solution currently in open beta. It gets a lot of attention from VMware customers as it reduces costs while enhancing performance & agility and simplifying management of storage compared to using traditional SAN/NAS solotions.
Nutanix has a packaged software and proprietry hardware solution which gets a lot of attention as well. Other players delivering Datacenter in a Box solutions are SimpliVity and Scale Computing.
At November 12 Maxta showed the world their software defined storage solution which is a hypervisor agnostic, highly resilient, scalable, VM-centric storage platform.
Marcel van den Berg of virtualization and cloudcomputing website UP2V.nl has written a comprehensive blogpost on Maxta MxSP. The post will introduce Maxta as a company and will provide all the technical details about their solution. Subjects discussed in the post are:
- The features
- The architecture
- Storage features
Labels: SDS, Software Defined Storage, VMware
The launch of NSX by VMware drove a lot of attentions on network virtualization one of the key elements to achieve the SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) goal.
Cumulus Networks announced today that its Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) has been formally accepted by the Open Compute Prject (OCP) outlining an approach to the integration of hardware and software (in this case the OS) on network appliances, on a different side, but complementary to VMware.
Of course ONIE is not a network virtualization technology, and Cumulus Networks is a VMware partner that supports NSX, but the company is working on a different front than other vendors who are also facing virtualization’s incursion in the network world.
The ONIE open source project, endorsed from several names in networking industry like Agema, Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Edge-Core Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Penguin Computing and Quanta, provides a boot loader for installing software on bare metal ODM network switches as well as the upcoming OCP Network Switch design specification, the objective is to allow customers to freely choose a combination of compatible hardware and network operating system.
How ONIE Works
ONIE is the combination of a boot loader and a small Linux operating system for bare metal network switches that provides an environment for automated software download, installation and provisioning. As a component of the open hardware switch platform, ONIE will contribute to and advance standards that define the hardware/software interface. ONIE allows end-users and channel partners to install the target network OS as part of data center provisioning, in the fashion that servers are provisioned.
- Combines a boot loader with a modern Linux kernel
- Provides an environment for installing and removing any network OS
- Eliminates lock-in from pre-installed network OS
- Aids in the automation of large scale data center switch provisioning
Labels: Cumulus Networks, ONIE
Jouni Heikniemi has created a poster giving an overview of the different Windows Azure application types available. The poster covers the Application Types (Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services and Virtual Machines), the Building blocks, the Foundations, the Network and the on-premise structure.
Labels: IaaS, Tech
VMware has made available for download a poster providing a network diagram and reference sheet for Horizon View 5.2.
The network diagram provides an overview of which ports are used between components in the internal, DMZ and external network and shows how the different components communicate with each other. The Reference Sheet provides an overview of source and target including ports and protocol being used.
Thanks to Marcel van den Berg for providing the news.
Labels: Tech, VDI, VMware
Microsoft has updated its Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 R2. The Performance Tuning Guidelines provides a set of guidelines that you can use to tune the server settings in Windows Server 2012 R2 and obtain incremental performance or energy efficiency gains, especially when the nature of the workload varies little over time.
The Guideline describes important tuning considerations and settings that can result in improved performance or energy efficiency. It also describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, performance, and energy usage goals.
Labels: Microsoft, Tech