Tag: VMware

VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Run your VMware natively on Azure with Azure VMware Solutions

Today the Microsoft Azure team announced the Azure VMware Solutions, which allow you to run VMware natively on Azure. VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple is a fully managed service that lets you run the VMware platform in Azure. This solution includes vSphere, vCenter, vSAN, NSX-T, and similar tools. VMware environment runs natively on Azure Bare Metal infrastructure, on Azure cloud locations. The service includes all the features required to consume the VMware platforms efficiently and securely. The solution is delivered by Microsoft, verified by VMware, and run on Azure infrastructure.

This allows you to move or extend your on-premises VMware environment to Microsoft Azure. You can seamlessly move VMware workloads to Azure and integrate with your VMware management environment, using the same and existing management tools. This gives you time to modernize your workloads with native Azure services. This extends the Microsoft hybrid cloud offerings for products like Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI, and more.

VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple

VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Features

  • On-demand self-service provisioning of VMware cloud environments. Ability to add and remove capacity on demand
  • VMware platform deployment, upgrade, management plane backup, health/capacity monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting, and remediation.
  • Underlay networking services required to enable VMware, including L2/L3 services and firewall rule management.
  • Edge-type networking services, including VPN, Public IP, and Internet Gateways. These edge services run on Azure and carry the corresponding security and DDoS protection of Azure.
  • Capacity reservation to lower costs.
  • High-speed, low-latency connectivity to Azure and on-premises.
  • Solution architectures for customers to consume Azure services in an integrated fashion, take advantage of this unique “VMware cloud in a public cloud” architecture. These Azure services include Azure AD, storage,
  • application gateways, and others.
  • Infrastructure is fully dedicated to you and is physically isolated from the infrastructure of other customers.
  • Management features such as activity management, usage, billing/metering, and user management.
  • 24×7 customer support.

(Source Microsoft Docs)

This will open a couple of crucial scenarios for our customers.

  • Data Center retirement or migration – If you need to retire your datacenter and you need a fast and straightforward way to move your existing VMware workloads, Azure is a great place to host these workloads without rearchitecting them. This will give you time to modernize your applications in the mid and long term
  • Expansion on demand – If you are running your VMware environment and you need more capacity on demand, you can extend it to Azure.
  • Disaster Recovery – You can use Azure as your recovery site for your on-premises VMware workloads
  • Virtual Desktops – If you are running a VDI solution on top of VMware, you are also able to host the infrastructure in Azure.
  • Hosting High-Performance Applications – The CloudSimple solution provides a hyper-converged architecture designed to run high-performance workloads
  • Hybrid Cloud – It opens up scenarios for companies to run hybrid cloud scenarios, without the need to switch all your tools and to rearchitect your workloads

If you want to know more about VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple, you can check out the Microsoft docs.

Integration into Azure

Create VM in the Azure Portal

The VMware solutions on Azure, are not just isolated from the rest of your Azure environment. VMware on Azure by CloudSimple is integrated into Azure, which means it allows you to leverage Azure Express Route and even the Azure Resource Manager to deploy virtual machines on your VMware host running in Azure. This will enable you to create new virtual machines from your VMware administration tools like vCenter, but also within the Azure Portal or using Azure Resource Manager templates.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, you will be paying per VMware node in Azure, and you will get charged by Microsoft for it. You can use your existing Azure Enterprise Agreement precommitments for it.

We have two different instances available depending on the size you need, the CS28 and the larger CS36 nodes. These include CPU cores, RAM, NVME Cache, and useable all-flash storage. The minimum of nodes you will need is three instances per cluster. You can also make use of the Reserved options for 1 or 3 years to save up to 50%. You can also use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to use your existing Windows Server licenses, and you can also make use of the Extended Security Update options for Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2.

Azure CloudSimple Pricing

The storage pricing is the useable storage in vSAN. If you want to know more about pricing, check out the Azure pricing page for Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple.

What are your thoughts about these announcements? Let me know in the comments!



VMware Switch

Microsoft’s new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft just announced a new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016. In a nutshell: If you switch from VMware to Hyper-V from during September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, you can get free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance. That ultimately means customers only pay for Software Assurance.

Microsoft also released a new TCO calculator to compare VMware and Hyper-V, which you can find here: VMware Shift

There are also a lot of great technical reasons to switch from VMware to Hyper-V. Check out my blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to get an overview about new features.

To get started just follow these steps:

To be eligible for the VMware migration offer, customers must follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Engage your account executive or sales rep to begin the process.
  • Step 2: Identify virtualized workloads to migrate and specify the Windows Server Datacenter cores required.
  • Step 3: Provide your account executive proof of eligibility. (Offer applicable to customers migrating from VMware to Microsoft).
  • Step 4: Engage your partner to start the migration process.
  • Step 5: Receive free Windows Server Datacenter licenses with Software Assurance and pay only the cost of Software Assurance to kick start your migration.

Feel free to contact us to help you switch!



sysprep.exe vm mode

Windows Sysprep for Virtual Machines

For using the same system image for different virtual machines or physical computer, Microsoft created a tool called sysprep.exe. This blog post covers Most people should be already familiar with that tool. If not here is the description:

Sysprep prepares a Windows installation (Windows client and Windows Server) for imaging, allowing you to capture a customized installation. Sysprep removes PC-specific information from a Windows installation, “generalizing” the installation so it can be reused on different PCs. With Sysprep you can configre the PC to boot to audit mode, where you can make additional changes or updates to your image. Or, you can configure Windows to boot to the Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE).

This is great so you can sysprep a virtual machine copy the VHD or VHDX file and use it for the first boot of different VMs. In Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, Microsoft added an addition to sysprep called the mode switch “/mode:vm”. The mode:vm switch allows you to identify the Windows as a Virtual Machine and sysprep.exe will generalize a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD or VHDX) so that you can deploy the VHD as a VHD on the same Virtual Machine (VM) or hypervisor. You must deploy the VHD on a Virtual Machine (VM) or hypervisor with the same hardware profile. For example, if you created VHD in Microsoft Hyper-V, you can only deploy your VHD to Microsoft Hyper-V VMs with a matching hardware profile, and you can only run VM mode from inside a VM.

This will boost the performance and time for the virtual machine for the first startup and installation. This also work of course with virtual machines running on other hypervisors such as VMware or Xen.

Run the following command inside the Virtual Machine (You find sysprep.exe in the  C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep folder):

Now you can copy the VHD or VHDX file from that virtual machine and use it for other VMs. Also check out my post about automating VM creation using an unattend.xml file.



Veeam Vanguard

Veeam Vanguard 2016

Today I had some great news in my inbox. I got awarded with my second Veeam Vanguard award in a row. I was one of the first Veeam Vanguards in 2015 and now I am proud to receive the Veeam Vanguard Award for 2016.

A Veeam Vanguard represents the Veeam brand to the highest level in many of the different technology communities in which Veeam engages. These individuals are chosen for their acumen, engagement and style in their activities on and offline.

Veeam Vanguard 2015



VMware ESXi 6.0 Enable SSH Service

Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 6.0 via vSphere Client

In another blog post I wrote how you can enable SSH on a VMware ESXi 6.0 host directly on the host it self. In this blog post I show you how you can enable SSH on your VMware ESXi 6.0 host via the VMware vSphere Client.

Open the VMware vSphere client and connected to your ESXi server and open the Configurations tab.

VMware ESXi 6.0 Configuration

On the Configurations tab choose Security Profile.

VMware ESXi 6.0 Security Profile

Open the Properties tab so you cen see the Security Profile properties and the Remote Access services. Here you can enable the SSH Server on the VMware ESXi host.

VMware ESXi 6.0 Enable SSH Service

If you have some issues check the firewall settings on your VMware ESXi host.

VMware ESXi 6.0 Firewall SSH Port

If you want to enable SSH on directly on your VMware ESXi host check out the following post: Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 6.0

If you are running Windows, you should also check out my blog post about how to install SSH on Windows 10 or SSH on Windows Server. I also blogged about how you can use SSH with PowerShell.



VMware Esxi 6.0 Enable SSH

Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 6.0

 

I already wrote some blog posts how you can enable SSH access for older VMware ESXi versions such as VMware ESXi 4.1, VMware ESXi 5.0, VMware ESXi 5.1 and VMware ESXi 5.5. This post now shows you how you can enable SSH on the VMware ESXi 6.0 host. As in the other versions this is pretty simple. By enabling SSH allows you to remote troubleshoot your VMware ESXi host and also coping files on your server.

On the Login screen of your VMware ESXi host press “F2”

VMware ESXi Logon Screen

It will ask you about username and password to login to the VMware ESXi server:

VMware ESXi 6.0 Login

After the login go to the Troubleshooting Options on the System Customization page.

VMware ESXi 6.0 Troubleshooting Options

You can now enable SSH on your VMware ESXi 6.0 host. After you have enabled SSH you can connect to the ESXi host via your favorite SSH client.

VMware Esxi 6.0 Enable SSH

If you want to enable SSH on your VMware ESXi host directly from the VMware vSphere Client you should have a look at the following post: Enable SSH on VMware ESXi 6.0 via VMware vSphere Client

If you are running Windows, you should also check out my blog post about how to install SSH on Windows 10 or SSH on Windows Server. I also blogged about how you can use SSH with PowerShell.



Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery

Nearly a year ago Microsoft released a Disaster Recovery solution called Hyper-V Recovery Manager. This was basically a hosted orchestration engine in Microsoft Azure which allowed you to orchestrate datacenter failovers using the in Hyper-V build in feature called Hyper-V Replica.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

In 2014 Microsoft invested a lot of work and time to improve this service and in January 2014 HRM changed the name to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • In January 2014 Microsoft announced GA of the Azure Site Recovery service which allowed you to use it for DR Orchestration between on-premises Hyper-V sites using Hyper-V Replica
  • In July 2014 Microsoft acquired a company called InMage and integrated DR Orchestration between on-premises VMware sites using the InMage solution.
  • In October 2014 Microsoft announced the GA for Azure Site Recovery DR Orchestration between Hyper-V on-premises and Microsoft Azure.

At TechEd Europe, Microsoft announced some new stuff coming in the next couple of months.

  • In November 2014 Microsoft will offer a public preview for Azure Site Recovery using SAN Replication. This allows you to use your existing SAN replication and orchestrate your DR with Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
  • In 2015 Microsoft will allow you to use Azure Site Recovery to replicate your VMware and physical servers to Microsoft Azure.
  • With Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack, Microsoft integrated Azure Site Recovery as a plan or Add-on property for VM clouds. This allows service providers to offer Azure Site Recovery to customers as an option of a VM Cloud plan or Add-On.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

This is just a quick overview about the possibilities you have with Azure Site Recovery. I will cover some advanced scenarios in with a series of blog posts in the next couple of weeks. Until then I would recommend you to watch the session with Michel Lüscher and me at System Center Universe Europe where we talked about the Azure Site Recovery solutions before the TechEd announcements.