Ohh it has been a while again since the last time I got to writing. Being busy with maintenance work is not really something that makes for great blog articles.
But last week I got to attend VMworld 2020! This year due to the situation world wide it was a virtual setting so for me it was two days in the home office watching a lot of great content on Kubernetes, NSX, vSAN and much more.
So many great things we announced. But the thing that struck me first was the acquisition of SaltStack. This is a major move to actually incorporate a configuration management system into the VMware portfolio and will certainly strengthen vRealize Automation in the future and hopefully also other parts of the ecosystem!
Another very huge announcement was Project Monterey. Although I’m still trying to wrap my head around the use cases and oppertunities this presents I do like the idea very much! Being able to offload vSAN and NFV workloads to the a SmartNIC is a great idea and I hope to see it evolve in the future.
This week also saw some the GA release of several new versions of the core products from VMware. These were announced previously but I was not aware that they would be releasing so soon – but that is just the cherry on top!
First up is the release of vSphere 7 U1! Biggest new feature has got to be the ability to run vSphere with Tanzu as well as new scalability maximums for VMs.
Along with vSphere 7 U1 there is of course also a vSAN 7 U1 release! Here features like HCI mesh allowing you to share the vsanDatastore natively between vSAN pods is one of my top features. Improvements to the fileservices of vSAN also landed as well as the option to only run compression on vSAN and not both compression and deduplication. Great features! For those running 2-node clusters or stretched clusters requiring witness a huge improvement has also landed allowing a witness server to be shared by up to 64 clusters! Very nice!
Another feature also seems to have crept in as detailed by John Nicholson. It is the option to run the iSCSI feature on stretched clusters. Again a very nice feature to have included for those needing it.
Last bit of GA material that I wanted to comment on aswell is the release of vRealize Automation 8.2. There are much needed improvements to the multi-tenancy of vRA as well as improvements to Infrastructure-as-code workflows and Kubernetes.
It can be a daunting task to keep up with all the releases from VMware but their ability to push new releases and features never ceases to amaze me!
Simply download the zip attached. Unpack the vmoapp file. Login to the vRO control-center on https://<FQDNorIP>:8283/vco-controlcenter/ and select “Manage Plug-ins”. Here under “Install plug-in” click browse and select the vmoapp file and upload. Accept EULA and install. After about 2 minutes the vRO will have restarted and the plugin updated.
I have for a while wanted to write a bit about vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) or, if you haven’t heard, as it will be rebranded vRealize Automation (vRA). My organization upgraded to vCloud Suite Standard licenses 2 years ago during the promo so we have access to the Standard edition of vCAC.
So what would it be able to do for us? We have been looking at providing some kind of private cloud solution to users but the form and shape of this has yet to be defined. So for the moment I am just testing out what I can do, how it is done, how to configure access and the likes. So far I am impressed but still a bit confused between tenants, fabric and business groups, reservations, entitlements, catalogs etc etc etc.
What I have learned so far from fooling around are:
Native AD support is only available on the default “vsphere.local” tenant for some reason. Meaning if you want to use a different tenant for your AD you need to define each domain in your AD forest to be able to use users from all domains. A bit impractical.
Renaming a cluster under vCenter that has been added as a compute resource in vCAC causes odd problems. Suddenly my tests were giving: Failed “CloneVM: Object reference is not set to an instance of an object”. I was unable to find anything else. Thinking my template had moved I started data collection on the compute resouce again. This failed with no error message to be found. Then I remembered that I had renamed the cluster. Solution was to remove reservations and then the cluster from the Fabric Group and then add the new name, recreate the reservation and then I was able to go again 🙂
Adding users to a business group as users don’t give access to the actual resources. You need to entitle them which to me seems a bit redundant. Perhaps I have not yet seen the light on why this is smart.
I wil hopefully write more at a later time about this. My next goal is to get vCO running as an endpoint but due to some odd login problems with vCO 184.108.40.206 I can’t use my vCO at the moment!