In episode #44, Simon and David chat with Emad Younis of EmadYounis.com and VMware fame to learn what’s new in vSphere 6.5, specifically related to vCenter and vSphere Management. Emad is an expert in vCenter and the entire upgrade process from vSphere 5.x and 6.x to 6.5 and offers a lot of good tips and resources. The vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) is production and ready for the mainstream and the vSphere C# client is no longer being shipped. Watch this episode to find out what you need to know about vSphere 6.5 from a VMware expert!

In the podcast, Emad talks about …

vChat is a regular virtualization video chat covering VMware vSphere, Cloud Computing, Virtualization News, and maybe some geeky humor. Regular contributors are 3 vExperts – Simon Seagrave (TechHead.co), Eric Siebert (vSphere-Land.com), and David Davis (VMwareVideos.com).

You can now SUBSCRIBE TO VCHAT on iTunes!

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At VMware HQ, I had the honor of interviewing Priya Shivakumar, Group Manager for Product Marketing on VMware’s vSAN team, to get an update on vSAN.

Shivakumar tells us that 2016 was a great year for vSAN, helping VMware reach 7,000 vSAN customers, which puts the company in the number one spot amongst its competitors. But what has made vSAN number one in its category? Shivakumar explains that there are two key things that have helped VMware grow its vSAN customer base so quickly.

The first thing that makes vSAN so appealing, and what has helped drive this rapid adoption, is the native integration with vSphere. Shivakumar explains that for customers who already have vSphere and the vSAN compatible hardware in place, enabling vSAN is just a click of a button away. vSAN is natively integrated into the kernel, says Shivakumar, which offers a lot of performance advantages.

Another thing that has helped vSAN expand so quickly is the wide choice of hardware that’s compatible with vSAN, Shivakumar told us. VMware has partnered up with 15 silver vendors giving customers the choice of over 160 qualified ready nodes. This means vSAN customers can continue to use their preferred hardware vendors and vSAN will work seamlessly for them, says Shivakumar.

So what’s next for vSAN? Shivakumar discusses the latest features and capabilities and what vSAN customers can expect in 2017. Shivakumar tell us that the next vSAN update will be the biggest launch in terms of the number of new features.

Watch the video to learn more and visit vmware.com/products/virtual-san.html to learn more about VMware’s vSAN.

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Getting Started with Vembu Backup for vSphere

by David Davis on March 7, 2017

If you haven’t read my previous post about the Vembu’s big free forever announcement, make sure you check it out! For small businesses or lab environments, having an option for forever free backup software is really cool. For medium and large enterprises, I’m sure that, if they try Vembu (like I did below), they will see that it’s easy to use, offers some great enterprise-grade features, and is a solid option for enterprise data protection (then purchase license with support).

In this blog, I wanted to go through my personal experience installing Vembu into my vSphere lab so you can see see the installation, backup, and recovery process for yourself. I’ve added all the screenshots I took to a slide show below but I’ve also inserted a few of the most important screenshots below (outside of the slideshow).

An easy Windows Installation
Ensure that you meet the prerequisites
Use the included databases MySQL and MongoDB
Installation Complete! Now start the Vembu Backup Server and Web Console
Log into the Vembu Web Console using the default credentials
Set the timezone
Enter a unique ID for your vembu instance
Specify the type of backup you will perform
In the case of VMware vSphere, you'll add your vCenter Server
Add vCenter servers and ESXi hosts by hostname or IP address
Select the virtual machine or host that you wish to backup
Select the frequency of the backup
Select the backup retention and application aware options
Enter the backup job name and opt to run it immediately
Monitor backup job progress
Once backed-up, test a restore by selecting the restore date
Select the VM you'd like to restore
Optionally, perform a Quick VM recovery
Review restore configurations
Monitor restore progresss
Optionally, monitor the VM being restored over in the vSphere Web Client
Restore complete!
Restored VM up and running in the vSphere Web Client!
Download your Free Forever Vembu Backup Here!

Vembu Overview

First you need to know that, despite the title of this post, Vembu isn’t just for backup of VMware vSphere. Vembu can backup physical servers, Hyper-V, individual files (or groups of files), as well as vSphere virtual machines (show in the screenshot below)-

In my case, I primarily wanted to test the vSphere backup/recovery functionality so that’s what I’ve tested and documented in this post.

Vembu also offers enterprise-grade features such as:

  • CBT enabled incremental data transfer using VMware VADP
  • Host level VMware Replication to offsite datacenters or Vembu cloud
  • VMware Hot-Add and SAN transport mode for LAN free data transfer
  • Instant file recovery
  • Quick VM recovery
  • DR failover and failback
  • Application explorers for Exchange, Active Directory, SQL, and Sharepoint
  • VM converter for V2V, P2V, V2P and cross-hypervisor conversion

Sound good, huh? So how do you use it?

Installation and Backup Job Configuration with Vembu

I’m sure that a lot of you will want to give Vembu a try in your own vSphere (or Hyper-V infrastructure). Here’s how easy it is to do…

Since Vembu is a Windows application, you just need a Windows machine to deploy it (I used Windows Server 2012 R2 because I already had a VM available with that). It’s an easy download and no different than other Windows app installation (as you can see from the slideshow above).

Once installed, you’ll automatically start the Vembu server and web console. When you go to that web console, you’ll be prompted to login. Credentials? Don’t worry, until they are reset they are right there on the screen-

  • username – admin
  • password – admin

Once logged in, you’ll see the Vembu home dashboard where you can select what type of backup you want to perform – vSphere, Hyper-V, physical, or file-level (shown in the screenshot above).

In our case, we selected vSphere, added our vCenter Server, and selected the VMs that we wanted to backup (as you see below)-

From there we started the backup and monitored the backup.

The backup didn’t take long and, once complete, any good infrastructure admin will, next, test a restore.

Recovering vSphere Virtual Machines with Vembu

There are multiple ways to get your data back from a Vembu backup. You could-

  • perform a full VM recovery
  • perform a quick recovery
  • perform a file-level recovery
  • or use one of the explorers to pull data out of an Exchange, SQL, AD, or Sharepoint VM backup

In my case, I performed a quick VM recovery. You can see all the screenshots in the slideshow above but the most important part is that the restore / recovery completed successfully and, yes, the VM worked fine!

Summary

Prior to writing this post and trying our Vembu for myself, I had never heard of them (to be totally candid). Once I learned more I was impressed with their enterprise-grade features and I was pleased at how easy it was to install, backup, and recover. I’ll be using the free forever version in my lab and plan to write more about Vembu in the future.

You can download Vembu and try it for yourself, here

 

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On my recent ActualTechMedia #RoadCast2017 Silicon Valley trip, I interviewed Vivek Saraswat, Sr. Product Manager for Docker Datacenter, to learn more about the latest release of Docker Datacenter (DDC), the company’s enterprise-level container management solution. As Saraswat explains in our #RoadCast2017 video interview, the newest release is all about security – keeping Docker deployments safe and ensuring there are no vulnerabilities.

One exciting, new feature Saraswat told us about is Docker On-Premises Security Scanning, which allows enterprises to scan through their Docker applications to obtain key information, like locating all of the packages that are in an application and matching them against known vulnerabilities so you can determine what types of vulnerabilities you might be dealing with for each individual application. Because the security scans are being performed on a continual basis, IT teams are able to quickly and easily spot any possible vulnerabilities in their deployment that already have or could potentially be exploited. The feature essentially allows IT to take preventative actions, offering continuous vulnerability monitoring and protection for your cluster as new vulnerabilities are discovered.

Another security feature that’s new to Docker Datacenter is Secrets Management, which allows organizations to add passwords, config data and other sensitive information to a container without exposing the information to other containers in the cluster. As Saraswat explains, Secrets Management lets Docker Datacenter users store confidential data in the cluster and inject it into a running service whenever it’s needed. Combined with the access control features in Docker Datacenter, this becomes a powerful feature for managing and monitoring the use of privileged information.

In addition to the new security features, Docker Datacenter also has several networking features including HTTP routing mesh, which allows users to rout host names to a specific application, according to Saraswat. It also allows organizations to do very complicated routing, which was only available as an experimental feature before.

Visit docker.com to learn more about the latest release of Docker Datacenter and to get your free trial.

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Free Forever vSphere Backup from Vembu

by David Davis on February 20, 2017

I’m a big fan of free vSphere tools and every vSphere infrastructure needs to protect their VMs with reliable backup & recovery (I can’t say that enough). For those reasons, I was excited to hear that Vembu, announced a new release of their datacenter backup solution – Vembu BDR Suite 3.7.0 – and with the latest release, it will be available in 2 different versions – Free Forever and Paid. You get a 30 day evaluation of all the paid version features and, after that, if you choose not to license it and use their paid features, the product will still work, with the exception of some enterprise-grade functionality (you can compare free vs paid editions here). The cool thing about the free edition is that there is no limit to number of sockets, VMs and servers. If at some point you want to go to the paid edition, you can always do that by applying a license (and keep all your backup jobs, backup data, and history).

Introduction to Vembu

For those who have never heard of Vembu, you might be wondering who they are is and what their data protection solution offers. Vembu has been around since 2002 and has over 4,000 partners. Their primary product is their BDR suite – which is very comprehensive. Vembu BDR offers:

  • VMBackup – VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V Backup
  • ImageBackup – Image-level backup for phyiscal servers, desktops, and laptops
  • NetworkBackup – for offsite backups of file servers, application servers and endpoints
  • OnlineBackup – for data protection to the Vembu cloud
  • SaaSBackup – backup for protection of MS Office365, Google Apps (now G Suite) data

Optionally, you can add on to the BDR Suite:

  • Offsite DR – for disaster recovery protection
  • CloudDR – for disaster recovery replication to the Vembu cloud
  • BDR360 – a centralized monitoring tool for all types of data protection

I’ll be blogging more about my personal experience with Vembu in my lab but, until that blog is ready, here’s a nice overview video of how Vembu can help to make data protection easier in the datacenter..


How to Download Free Forever Data Protection

I can tell you from personal experience, I downloaded Vembu AND installed it in my vSphere infrastructure in about 10 minutes. Here’s a screenshot of my Vembu VMBackup console, right after I initiated my first backup with Vembu…

To try out the latest Vembu BDR Suite in your own lab, you can download it here –

FREE FOREVER DATA PROTECTION

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In episode #43, David talks with Wes Higbee of WesHigbee.com to discuss containers vs virtual machines. Wes is an author  of 12+ Pluralsight.com courses, he’s a great speaker, educator, and very knowledgeable developer. For those reasons, this vChat turned out especially great (which you’ll see for yourself)! Watch this vChat to get the real truth about containers!

WATCH NOW to see the full episode!

In the podcast, Wes talks about …

vChat is a regular virtualization video chat covering VMware vSphere, Cloud Computing, Virtualization News, and maybe some geeky humor. Regular contributors are 3 vExperts – Simon Seagrave (TechHead.co), Eric Siebert (vSphere-Land.com), and David Davis (VMwareVideos.com).

You can now SUBSCRIBE TO VCHAT on iTunes!

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