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Edmonton VMUG October Update

Good afternoon everyone. I figured I’d collect some of the notes and updates I have for things new in October from the VMware community, as well as some Edmonton VMUG news.

First the news:

· Nov Meeting – we’re still working on lining up Chad Sakac and EMC to come out and talk. Our first date didn’t work out, but we’re very close to a new date that will work. Understandably, Mr. Sakac is pretty busy, and it takes some work to get things lined up just right. Looks like it might be Nov 20 at this point.

For those who aren’t aware of Chad Sakac, he is EMC’s SVP of Global Systems Engineering. So the local SE’s we know and love (Jordan Heine) are ultimately part of Chad’s team. I’ve seen Chad speak, and above all I think one of the best things about him is his ability to not always be “All EMC, All the time”, but to really speak about the industry as a whole, pros and cons. A great speaker, with a ton of knowledge.

· Dec – likely won’t have any activity, I’m sure we’re all busy enough with the holidays and end of year.

· Jan Meeting – at the Edmonton VMware Forum, we were able to get Nimble and Brocade lined up to come out. Dates aren’t yet hammered out.

· After a meeting with Pure Storage about their all flash based SAN’s, and a quick discussion about VMUG and Chad Sakac came up, they asked if they’d be welcome to present and if we’d be interested in having Vaughn Stewart present. Vaughn would be Chad’s counterpart, previously of NetApp, but having recently moved over to Pure Storage. We’re really excited for this possibility, as both of these guys are really cut from a similar cloth, and are industry evangelists. Having both in a year, would be amazing for the Edmonton VMUG. As his schedule will vary more than ours, we’re working on a time and date next year that will work.

Again, and as always, we’re here for the local community. If you have a topic or vendor or VMware related speaker you’d like to have come out – let us know. We’ll do our part and try to make it happen and find a vendor to assist. That’s what we’re here for. If you have a topic you have an interest in, want to do a technical deep dive, work with a group on a white boarding session – that’s what we want too. Just let us know! With that in mind, please also let your vendor contacts know if you want them more involved in the Edmonton VMUG and let them know to reach out to us at Edmonton@vmug.com, and we’re happy to work with the local reps. Especially if YOU, as the user, want to speak about a success story…

Next, some industry updates:

VMware VCA Certifications:

VMware recently announced the VMware Certified Associate certifications, which don’t require the VCP or its associated course. I’ve blogged about this at https://vnetwise.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/free-vmware-vca-certifications/ but the big news is that the 50% off until the end of 2013 exams are now also “the OTHER 50% off” for the month of October. This is a good way to get an introduction to certification quickly, easily, and cheap. Reach out to me if you want some study assistance, I’d be glad to help if I can.

Cisco CCNA Data Center Exams:

http://wahlnetwork.com/2013/09/22/ccna-data-center-exams-experience/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WahlNetwork+%28Wahl+Network%29 Chris Wahl recently blogged on his experience with the exams. If anyone else is looking at these in the next 6 months, let me know – I’d be interested in a study partner. Especially if they have more Cisco experience than I.  (What can I say, I’m a user too, I have needs and wants too! :))

VMware Hardware v10 and Free ESXi 5.5:

http://www.ivobeerens.nl/2013/10/01/watch-out-with-hardware-version-10-in-vmware-esxi-5-5/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+VirtualIef+%28Virtual+Ief%29 some folks, mostly home-labbers, are finding out that there is a catch-22 gotcha with ESXi v5.5. v5.5 introduces VMware Hardware v10 – which can only be _modified_ by the vSphere Web Client. As Free ESXi does not come with vCenter, users of Free ESXi do not have a means to EDIT VM hardware v10 hardware. You can still power it up, reboot it, etc., but you cannot modify disks, change NIC’s, etc. Something to be aware of if you go to deploy on Free ESXi. I’d recommend you either a) get familiar with editing VMX files, b) deploy the free vCenter VA, or c) look into vSphere Essentials Kit for ~$600 and have a full blown vCenter/vSphere installation – which gives you such features as Cloning, Templates, etc.

vSphere 5.5 Upgrade Sequence:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2057795 – keep this link handy for your upgrades. This will help you determine which pieces should be upgraded when. Remember that the typical rule is “largest” to “smallest” – so vCenter Server, then Hosts, then VMware Tools, then VMware Hardware, for a basic vSphere installation. If you’re using other VMware products such as vCloud Suite, vCNS, vCAC, View, SRM, etc, there are some additional caveats to handle first. Also don’t forget your 3rd party apps – Backup (eg: Backup Exec, vRanger, Veeam, etc), vCenter Integration (typically SAN’s – NetApp/EMC/Dell/etc/etc), monitoring applications (eg: SolarWinds, vCOPS, Veeam ONE, etc), these are usually the ones that slow you down – in my experience, it’s usually backup that seems to be last.

Also remember – this is all Virtual. Before upgrading and risking your production environment, TEST what you can. Make a virtual lab with :

· A copy of a DC

· A copy of your vCenter Server

· A copy of your DB for vCenter, if it isn’t MSDE and/or on the same vCenter host

· Any other application that might integrate – eg: your backup server, your vCenter intergration apps (eg: NetApp VSC, Dell vCenter Plug In), etc.

· Make a virtual ESXi v5.1 box and test your upgrade

This isn’t just to test the upgrade process – it’s to be able to give you a place to get some experience under your belt. Don’t let your first upgrade, be in production!

vSphere v5.5 with a Windows 2012 AD on a Windows 2012 DC:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2060901 – if you’re cutting edge and all up to date like good girls and boys, you may have an issue. Turns out there is a problem with vSphere v5.5 SSO when your Domain/Forest is 2012 level and on 2012 DC’s (which should be a given). Something to be aware of, keep an eye on it.

Customized vSphere v5.5 ISO’s:

If you’re working with Dell/HP/IBM/Cisco, you’re going to want to use the “Vendor Customized ISO’s”. Some links to help you out:

HP: https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.5.0-GA-19SEP2013&productId=353

Dell: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/ca/en/calca1/DriverDetails/Product/poweredge-r620?driverId=20VNP&osCode=XI55&fileId=3286357299&languageCode=EN&categoryId=EC

I haven’t been able to locate an IBM or Cisco customized ISO yet. Likely you can just upgrade using VUM with the upgrade ISO, then install the custom VIB’s as Host Extensions.

 

That’s about it folks. I’ll try to post these more often, and do what we can to keep the community as active as possible!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

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