1. New Book - Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere -
    Thousands of organizations are virtualizing large-scale Oracle database systems. But, until now, reliable best practices have been hard to find, and database and virtualization professionals have often brought differing and incompatible perspectives to the challenge.

    Now, there's a comprehensive best practice guide reflecting deep understanding of both Oracle and vSphere, and supported by extensive in-the-field experience with the full spectrum of applications and environments.

    Combining theory and practice, Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere integrates up-to-date knowledge for the entire lifecycle, including architecture, performance, design, sizing, and high availability.

    It focuses on current versions of Oracle and vSphere, while highlighting differences in esx3.5, 4.x and 5.x where relevant. Both a detailed reference and a practical cookbook, it provides reliable answers for:
    • Anticipating issues associated with virtualizing Oracle databases on vSphere
    • Architecting, deploying, and operating virtualized Oracle databases
    • Virtualizing high database workloads
    • Achieving planned and unplanned high availability
    • Characterizing workloads and sizing systems
    • Understanding Oracle VMware licensingManaging, monitoring, and optimizing performance
    • Provisioning and automation
    • Backup, recovery, and business continuity
    • Utilizing official support mechanisms, and more
    Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere
  2. DevOps for VMware Administrators available for pre-order -
    DevOps represents a powerful new approach to delivering IT services, where software developers and IT operations teams work closely together to deploy projects far more often and more reliably.

    As pioneers like Google, Amazon, and Netflix have discovered, DevOps can improve efficiency, accelerate delivery, and reduce costs. However, most discussions of DevOps focus on theory rather than implementation, and DevOps raises unique issues in virtualized environments.

    DevOps for VMware Administrators addresses these issues, offering realistic insights both for implementing DevOps and for applying new tools to maximize its value. The authors also offer extensive hands-on practice with solving realistic problems and improving IT efficiency by utilizing these four tools:
    • Puppet IT automation software for managing infrastructure across its lifecycle, including provisioning, configuration, orchestration, and reporting
    • Chef configuration management tool for writing system configuration "recipes" that streamline server configuration and maintenance and can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Rackspace and Amazon EC2 to automate provisioning 
    • Ansible, the flexible open source toolkit for automating configuration management and orchestration in Unix and Unix-style environments 
    • Windows PowerShell for automating tasks and configuration management in Windows environments
  3. Free e-learning course - vCloud Air Fundamentals -
    This eLearning course on vCloud Air will provide you a fundamental understanding of vCloud Air and how customers can move or extend their on-premises data center to vCloud Air.

    The course provides an overview of vCloud Air, the common challenges with public cloud offerings, common barriers to public cloud adoption, and how vCloud Air helps overcome these barriers.

    The course then examines the vCloud Air service offerings and features, security and compliance standards, and networking concepts and services associated with vCloud Air. You will evaluate some use cases to understand how customers can get started with vCloud Air.

    Finally, you will identify the various management tools that can be used to manage your vCloud Air environment with your on-premises virtual infrastructure.

    At the end of this course, you should be able to:
    • Explain how vCloud Air helps customers employ a hybrid cloud solution.
    • Explain vCloud Air networking concepts.
    • Explain the use of vCloud Air management tools.
    Via Marc Huppert 

  4. Running CoreOS on VMware -

    CoreOS is a new Linux distribution that has been rearchitected to provide features needed to run modern infrastructure stacks.

    The strategies and architectures that influence CoreOS allow companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to run their services at scale with high resilience.

    CoreOS is currently in heavy development and actively being tested. These instructions will walk you through running CoreOS on VMware Fusion or ESXi. If you are familiar with another VMware product you can use them as a starting point.

    Download CoreOS OVA

    CoreOS Quick Start

  5. New Book: VMware vRealize Operations Performance and Capacity Management -
    his book is for VMware professionals. This can be a VMware administrator, architect, consultant, engineer, or technical support. You may be working for VMware customers, partners, or VMware itself. You may be an individual contributor or a technical leader.

    This book is an intermediate-level book. It assumes you have hands-on experience of vSphere 5.5 and vRealize Operations 6.0, and you are capable of performing some level of performance troubleshooting. You also have good overall knowledge of vCloud Suite, Virtual SAN, Horizon View, and NSX. You should also have some level of knowledge of operating systems, storage, network, disaster recovery, and data center.

    This book is also for IT professionals who deal with VMware professionals. As such, there is a wide range of roles, as virtualization and VMware covers many aspects of IT. Depending on your role, certain chapters will be more useful to you.

    VMware vRealize Operations Performance and Capacity Management
  6. Latest Fling from VMware Labs - vMaxGuide -
    vMaxGuide is an Android application which provides the maximum supported configurations of the following vSphere versions:
    • vSphere 5.5
    • vSphere 5.1
    • vSphere 5.0
    vMaxGuide also provides a comparative view of components across the three versions of vSphere along with the comparison of virtual Hardware versions of Virtual Machines.

    Users can swipe between the different platforms displayed and select the component of interest. The app also provides a message to the user on certain components, marked by [*], which requires certain condition to reach the maximum supported configuration.
  7. VMware Exam Preparation Workshop: Network Virtualization Certified Professional (VCP-NV) - This 4 hour training course focuses on preparing a candidate to take the VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization exam.

    The workshop includes an overview of the certification program, tips for preparing for the exam, an in-depth review of each of the objectives on the exam and sample questions broken down in video segments by a VMware Certified Instructor.

    By the end of the course, you should be prepared to answer questions based on the following exam objectives:
    • Describe and differentiate VMware NSX technology and architecture
    • Explain VMware NSX physical infrastructure requirements and prepare a physical deployment for NSX
    • Configure and administer vSphere networking components
    • Install and upgrade VMware NSX
    • Configure and manage VMware NSX virtual networks
    • Configure and manage VMware NSX network services
    • Configure and administer network security
    • Perform operations tasks in a VMware NSX environment
    • Troubleshoot a VMware network virtualization implementation
    Register here 
  8. Cool Tool - Relax-and-Recover -
    Relax-and-Recover is a setup-and-forget Linux bare metal disaster recovery solution. It is easy to set up and requires no maintenance so there is no excuse for not using it. Recovery on VMware vSphere is supported so this tool can be used as a P2V migration solution.

    Go to the Relax-and-Recover website
  9. Get your 365-day License Keys for 9 VMware products -
    To enable IT professionals to explore VMware technology, VMware User Group (VMUG) and VMware announced today that they are partnering with Kivuto Solutions to provide current and new VMUG Advantage Subscribers with a new EVALExperience offering for selected products. 

    EVALExperience is an extended product evaluation offering for select products and is exclusively available to VMUG members with a new or current VMUG Advantage Subscription. This member benefit is available at $200 annually as part of the VMUG Advantage Subscription fee.

    Go to the EVALExperience
  10. Free e-learning course - vRealize Operations Manager 6 What's New -
    This free e-Learning course highlights the new features and enhancements in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. It also presents use cases that describe how the new features align with customer needs.

    At the end of this course, you should be able to:
    • Describe the VMware Cloud Management platform. 
    • Explain the new and enhanced features of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
    • Explain the architecture of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
    • Describe the vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 management packs. 
    • Explain common use cases for vRealize Operations.
    Register here: vRealize Operations Manager What's New [V6.0] Fundamentals
  11. Free e-learning course - VMware vRealize Operations Manager Fundamentals [V6.0] - This free eLearning course provides an overview of the high-level architecture, UI changes, and key features and functionalities of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. The course also introduces the various management packs that can be used with vRealize Operations Manager 6.0. 

    At the end of this course, you should be able to:
    • Describe the key features and benefits of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
    • Explain the important functional and architectural changes in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
    • Identify the key functionalities of vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.
    • Describe the vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 management packs.
  12. Monitoring VMware Virtual SAN with Virtual SAN Observer -
    The VMware Virtual SAN Observer is designed to capture performance statistics for a VMware Virtual SAN Cluster and provide access via a web browser and capture the statistics for customer use or for VMware Technical Support.

    For any vSphere, Virtual SAN, and storage administrator wanting to dig deeper and analyze performance issues, the virtual SAN observer is a valuable tool.
    It provides an in-depth snapshot of IOPS, latencies at different layers of Virtual SAN, read cache hits and misses, outstanding I/Os, congestion, etc. This information is provided at different layers in the Virtual SAN stack to help troubleshoot storage performance.

    The Virtual SAN Observer is packaged with vSphere 5.5U1 vCenter Server. The Virtual SAN observer is part of the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC), an interactive command line shell for vSphere management that is part of both Windows and Linux vCenter Server in vSphere 5.5U1.

    Initially Virtual SAN engineering team exclusively used the Virtual SAN Observer for early internal Virtual SAN troubleshooting, but the utility is now available to all VMware customers using the new vSphere 5.5U1.

    Monitoring VMware Virtual SAN with Virtual SAN Observer
  13. VMware Virtual SAN Sizing Tool -
    The Virtual SAN Sizing Tool provides assistance for design considerations and automates storage sizing calculations for Virtual SAN infrastructures.

    The purpose of this tool is to help determine the hardware specifications for hosts in a Virtual SAN cluster required to run a set of virtual machines defined by a set of input characteristics. These important assumptions should be understood before using this tool:
    • All hosts in the cluster are assumed to have an identical hardware profile, i.e. numbers of hard drives and flash devices, amount of physical RAM, and number of CPU cores
    • All virtual machines are assumed to be identical in storage characteristics, i.e. number of VMDKs, size of VMDKs (assumed identical for all disks), number of snapshots, and virtual memory size
    • All virtual machines are assumed to have the same Virtual SAN policy, i.e. number of failures to tolerate and number of disk stripes per object

    The tool is designed so that you can easily vary inputs to see the impact on the sizing output, thus allowing you to iterate manually for more sophisticated analyses.

    VMware Virtual SAN Sizing Tool 

  14. VMware Virtual SAN Quick Monitoring & Troubleshooting Reference Guide -
    The VMware Virtual SAN Quick Monitoring and Troubleshooting Reference Guide provide troubleshooting guidance for issues encountered during the configuration and monitoring of VMware Virtual SAN. This document identifies the most common issues that can be encounter and how to quickly resolve them.

    Aside  from  the vSphere Web Client, the  vCenter  Server  and  vSphere Hypervisor provide a set of monitoring and troubleshooting tools that are bundled with the software and can be used to monitor and troubleshoot VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN).
    • vSphere Web Client
    • ESXCLI
    • Ruby vSphere Console (RVC)
    • VSAN Observer
  15. New Training Course - VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.1] - BETA - This comprehensive, fast-paced training course focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware NSX.

    This course covers NSX as a part of the software-defined data center platform, implementation use cases along with features of NSX, and functionality operating at Layer 2 through Layer 7 of the OSI model.

    Lecture and hands-on lab activities support the student’s understanding of NSX features, functionality, and on-going management and control. 
    • Describe the software-defined data center
    • Describe how NSX is the next step in the evolution of the software-defined data center
    • Describe features and benefits of NSX network virtualization
    • Identify prerequisites for NSX
    • Configure and deploy NSX management, control, and data plane components
    • Configure, deploy, and use logical switch networks
    • Configure and deploy NSX distributed router to optimize East-West data center traffic flows
    • Configure and deploy VMware NSX Edge™ services gateway appliances
    • Configure and use all the main features of the NSX Edge services gateway
    • Configure and use NSX virtual private networks
    • Configure and use logical load balancing
    • Configure NSX Edge firewall and Distributed Firewall policy rules
    • Configure service composer security groups and policies
    • Use role-based access to control user account privileges
    • Use activity monitoring to validate and create security policies
    • Describe how VMware vCloud® Automation Center™ and NSX enable automated provisioning of IT services and networks
    VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.1] - BETA
  16. VMware Mirage 5.0 Reviewer's Guide -
    VMware Mirage is a unified image management solution for physical desktops, virtual desktops, and mobile devices. Mirage is available as a standalone product and as an integral part of VMware Horizon 6. This reviewer’s guide enables you to evaluate VMware Mirage.

    The VMware Mirage Reviewer’s Guide introduces you to Mirage and its features and gives you hands-on exercises to evaluate the product. Topics addressed include:
    • What is VMware Mirage?
    • Key features
    • Packaging and licensing
    • Components and architecture
    • Installation and configuration
    • Hands-on evaluation exercises
  17. New Book: VMware vSphere Security Cookbook - This book covers implementing specific security features of the vSphere 5.5 virtualization platform in a step-by-step format. Each topic contains a high-level overview to give context to the cookbook recipes.

    This book is not intended to provide reference architectures or theories behind specific security topics implemented by vSphere.

    VMware vSphere Security Cookbook
  18. Register for VMware's Online Launch Event - This event is so BIG that VMware is offering broadcasts around the globe the entire week of February 2…and continuing the excitement throughout February.

    All event registrants will automatically receive access to additional content, engagement, and activities via our online event platform.

  19. New Training Course - VMware vRealize Business: Costing and Implementation -
    VMware vRealize Business (formerly VMware IT Business Management Suite) provides transparency and control over the costs and quality of IT services, enabling the CIO to align IT with the business and accelerate IT transformation.

    This four-day training course discusses IT costing as well as configuring and managing vRealize Business. This course will give you an understanding of the concepts and functionality of IT finance management with vRealize Business.

    The objectives are:
    • Understand the vRealize Business system components
    • Understand, create, and manage cost models, hierarchies, allocations, and dimensions
    • Use prebuilt contents to analyze IT costs
    • Read data from various sources into the system
    • Manipulate data and perform calculations to get bottom-line results 
    • Create various types of reports, dimensional reports, and dashboards 
    • Use dimensions to manage your organization’s structures 
    • Create and manage Web forms, reports, security, and permissions in the vRealize Business environment
  20. VSAN hardware calculator - Herco van Brug; Solution Architect and Consultant PQR says "Often, VMware VSAN is regarded as the new way of doing storage. And with NO storage management at all, it probably is. But to state that it's much cheaper than traditional arrays may be a bit bold." 

    The calculator (created by Herco) takes an average industry standard server and adds the cost of the disks and SSD's needed for the required amount of net storage space.

    Adding all those disks to servers add up quite quickly; more quickly than most people expect. This calculator intends to show the cost of VSAN hardware, taking into account the limits of disk groups and disk sizes. 


About the Author