Time to check your HP Smart Array Controller driver versions.
HP has issued an advisory for ESXi 5.x with a number of Smart Array Controllers that can cause an out of memory condition which could lead to a PSOD if you are running the hpsa driver version 5.x.0.58-1. VMware also has a KB explaining the issue.
You can now avoid this without having to downgrade the driver but upgrade to the 5.x.0.60-1 version so that’s HP Smart Array Controller Driver (hpsa) Version 126.96.36.199-1 (ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1) or Version 188.8.131.52-1 (ESXi 5.5).
You can download the new driver in various formats and update your hosts using a VIB file, the HP software depot or grab the latest offline bundle.
HP has updated its new all singing all dancing management appliance, OneView to 1.1
This is now available for download after being announced at HP Discover last month.
HP OneView will be the ultimate replacement for HP Systems Insight Manager (HP SIM), HP Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM), HP Insight Control and HP Intelligent Provisioning. It is delivered as a virtual appliance running on a hypervisor.
HP is putting a lot of effort into OneView and really trying to reimagine server management. I was never a fan of HPSIM as I felt it was unnecessarily cumbersome, HP has specifically said one of the goals of OneView is to make server management far easier and quicker with a lighter touch. In fact they are not rushing to add functionality to OneView but taking a pragmatic approach and only adding what is absolutely needed. HPs answer to Vblock is its Converged Systems which are built, configured and managed by OneView so HP has skin in the management game. Converged infrastructure is not just connecting hardware together but requires converged management which OneView aims to deliver.
Moving over to OneView is going to be a long process however as OneView has been designed to manage only Gen8 and future servers with just a little bit of management available for G7 servers. Far more complicated though is there is no migration path from Virtual Connect to OneView, you need to delete your virtual connect domains and recreate them in OneView which means shutting down every blade in your domain (up to 4 chassis) and starting from scratch. HP calls this a transition, not a migration. Not all current Virtual Connect functionality is available in OneView so you may not even be able to configure your newly purchased chassis in OneView depending on your required network config.
Saying that, OneView is going to be the future of server management so you should be thinking in that direction for your future plans. One of the stumblers may be licensing, you need to purchase or upgrade existing management software licenses to use OneView.
What’s new with 1.1?
Now available as a Hyper-V appliance along with ESXi
You can now provision and manage 3PAR storage, integrating the configuration into server profiles.
Added support for the new 20/40 FlexFabric Modules
Virtual Connect support for untagged traffic and VLAN tunnelling (OneView was pretty hampered by this before).
BIOS settings as part of server profiles (nice one!)
Inventory views of Cisco Nexus 5000 switches and HP FEX module which will be very useful.
Server Profiles for Gen8 rack mount servers to update firmware and BIOS settings for DL360/DL380
HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server is now HP OneView for VMware vCenter
HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center is now HP OneView for Microsoft System Center
HP Insight Control for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is now HP OneView for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
Here’s all the documentation and another link with some of the others guides (HP, may be worth putting them all in one place).
There was meant to be a blogger Coffee Talk this morning from HP Software but I was the only one to attend. The HP Software division isn’t in my normal area of interest so was an opportunity to find out what its all about. Instead of having a group blogger chat, I spent an interesting hour with Paul Muller, VP of Strategic Marketing & Chief Evangelist who is a passionate, blunt, straight talking Aussie (the best kind!). If like me you are not aware of HPs software portfolio, it encompasses tools for Business Service Management, Network Management and Automation, Application Lifecycle Management, Quality and Performance Validation, Security, Automation and Cloud Management, Information Optimization, Big Data Analytics, IT Service Management and Mobile Application Development.
That’s quite a broad portfolio. Products within these group I had heard of were LoadRunner, Fortify, TippingPoint, Arcsight, Cloud Service Automation, Autonomy but there are so many more. Paul explained how some integrate such as security with Big Data analysis so you can search all information leaving your company network and find out whether any sensitive information is escaping, not just looking for a “confidential” tag on a doc but deep inspection along with machine learning that can correlate patterns across multiple information sources.
VMware has very surprisingly and suddenly stopped selling vCenter Server Heartbeat from 2nd June 2014. If you have already purchased vCenter Server Heartbeat you will still get support until 2018 so no panic that the whole carpet has been pulled from under your feet but it does beg the question, what to do going forward to make your vCenter installation more highlight available if you need it?
In the EOL announcement, VMware suggests first of all making your vCenter a VM to be able to take advantage of HA to provide high availability. If you cannot for some reason (and you really need to ask yourself why) run vCenter as a VM and it is/needs to be physical then the only solution is to use a backup solution to be able to restore vCenter if it fails.
HP has released a very serious customer advisory saying that some Broadcom Nics which are used in G2-G6 servers and blades could be killed by a firmware update component in their HP Service Pack for Proliant 2014.02.
Using HPSUM, HP SPP or Smart Components for VMware to update the “Comprehensive Configuration Management” (CCM) firmware version to 7.8.21 can kill the nics which would require a hardware swap out to fix!
I would suggest immediately removing the update from HPSUM or the SPP.
If you absolutely need to update the firmware, you can run the component manually and chose not to update CCM.
Any HP ProLiant server with any of the following Broadcom Nics:
HP NC373T PCIe Multifunction Gig Server Adapter
HP NC373F PCIe Multifunction Gig Server Adapter
HP NC373i Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC374m PCIe Multifunction Adapter
HP NC373m Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC324i PCIe Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC326i PCIe Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC326m PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC325m PCIe Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC320i PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC320m PCI Express Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC382i DP Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC382T PCIe DP Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
HP NC382m DP 1GbE Multifunction BL-c Adapter
HP NC105i PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter
HP SPP Components
CP018941.scexe and CP018942.scexe – v2.9.21
CP021160.scexe and CP021161.scexe – v2.9.24
CP021536.scexe and CP021537.scexe – v2.9.26
CP021068.scexe and CP021069.scexe – v2.10.15
CP023112.scexe and CP023113.scexe – v2.10.16
cp018467.exe and cp018468.exe – v184.108.40.206
cp021534.exe and cp021535.exe – v220.127.116.11 (B)
cp021547.exe and cp021547.exe – v 18.104.22.168
CP019762.scexe – v1.0.21
CP021532.scexe – v22.214.171.124
CP021849.scexe – v1.1.10
Wow, that’s a big one, I thought the days of terrible Broadcom firmware updates were beyond us, I guess not!
VMware has announced the latest version of their End User Computing product Horizon View.
There have been 5 major changes to Horizon View:
RDS Hosted Apps
Application Catalog Enhancements
Cloud Pod Architecture
Virtual SAN Support
vCOPS for View 6
RDS Hosted Apps
RDS Hosted apps will allow Horizon View clients to access applications and full desktops running on Windows Remote Desktop Services Hosts. This is big news as it gives VMware a competing product to Citrix XenApp.
For people who know about VDI, what is the difference? Well, VDI delivers an entire desktop to a particular user. This desktop is a whole virtual machine with an OS and applications. RDS (Remote Desktop Services) means using the capabilities of Microsoft RDS (previously Terminal Services) to allow multiple users to connect to a single OS but have separate private desktop instances and applications (the server doesn’t even have to be virtual but you’d be daft not to). With RDS you can display a full desktop but can also display just an application seamlessly without all the desktop stuff around it. You don’t need as many OS instances which means better resource utilisation as well as fewer Microsoft licenses.
With VMware recently turning 15 and with their US and EU VMworld 2013 conferences titled Defy Convention we will be discussing technology past, present and future.
We will all be live on the Hangout and would love you to join us tomorrow, Thursday 26th September at 14:30 BST / 15:30 CEST, on VMware EMEA’s Google+ page.
To join in, visit the Google+ page at this time and click on the video to start watching. You don’t need a Google account. If you’re not able to join live, the video will be available on VMware EMEA’s YouTube channel and on the VMware EMEA blog once the Hangout is over.
If you have any questions you want me to ask around IT innovation and the future of technology, leave a comment or get in touch via Twitter and I’ll try and include them.
VMworld’s final day started a little later than the previous days to give everyone a little lie in after last night’s VMworld party at AT&T Park which was brilliant.
Today’s General Session isn’t the usual VMware announcement session but named Makers and Shakers featuring three innovators unlocking new ways to create and build.
Jay Silver was up first. Jay is a crazy innovator who is founder and director of JoyLabz and Maker Research Scientist at Intel Labs. His idea is the whole world can be made meaningfully interactive. He adds electricity to everyday objects to make fun stuff. There is absolutely no way this can be explained in text so here is Jay doing a similar talk at TED.
Next up was Keller Rinaudo who is CEO of Romotive, these are the guys that make Tomo, a cheap $150 personal robot which uses a smart phone for its processing. Romo showed some new software. Again, he’s done a TED talk so you can see what he does.
Last up was Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot who is a inventor, builder and open source guru. He was the guy who built MakerBot’s 3D printers and is keen on what he calls personal manufacturing. He shoed all number of home 3D printed things that can be made including amazing prosthetic robotic hands, architectural models
The Solutions Exchange wasn’t open today. I appreciate vendors and attendees are by now suffering from conference fatigue but this is also the time when people have been to their preferred sessions and labs and have some time to reflect on everything they’ve learned and can then look through the Solutions Exchange a little wiser than at the beginning of the week. I think it would be useful to still keep it open, maybe that’s something that will be looked at for future years.
VMworldTV has been out and about:
VMworld TV Exclusive Interview with VMware R&Ds Susan Gudenkauf
VMworld TV Meets VMware CTO Global Field Paul Strong
VMworldTV Checks out the Software-Defined Data Center at VMworld 2013
That’s all Folks!
Wow, what an amazing week! To attend a gathering of such interesting, passionate and engaged people is really inspiring. Sure, there are cynical people, jaded and bored by what they do. What I can see however is how IT can really be a force of change and good in the world. Sure, I appreciate that sounds wishy-washy and could easily be a quote from a politicians campaign speech but IT really is one of life’s great enablers, being able to bring real, tangible solutions to pressing problems all over the world. I’m super excited by NSX and VSAN.
Yes, we may get fed up of vendor FUD, cloud-washing, overzealous marketing people, know-it-all architects, internal company politics and rubbish procedures holding back progress but stepping back and seeing what is possible when we all get together and share is truly inspiring.
Even though we work with technology, remember, this is still very much a people business, putting together IT solutions to help people with things.
I’ve met and reconnected with an incredible bunch of people this week, too many people to mention but a whole bunch of engaging, caring, interesting and interested people so willing so share their expertise for us all to learn. Thanks to those who worked out who I was and came over to say hi. The community is truly alive!
Well, that’s the end of VMworld for me in San Francisco. Way too much to see, do and experience in way too little time but what a week!
I’m off on two weeks holiday so hopefully time to reflect and rest! See you all soon!
Christopher started by saying he doesn’t like load generation tools as they don’t represent reality. Vendors talk about IOPS with massive, seemingly impressive 1,000,000 IOPS figures but that doesn’t represent workloads in the real world.
All VDI decisions have implications for storage, using automated or manual pools, floating or dedicated user assignments, linked clones, full clones, NetApp VSC clones along with all the user profile and workloads data. All these ways to create VMs and handle user data have an impact on storage and these need to factored into sizing and performance decisions. Cloning can hurt you if you don’t understand what is happening. hypervisor clones (snapshots) are the least efficient as it is 2 reads for every request as you need to read from two files and for writes, it is three writes including the metadata. All this lands up being a lot of writes and reads, 10 guest IOPS = 28 IOPS to storage. This must be considered for linked clones, its not a 1 to 1 relationship between guest IO and storage. More efficient to not copy any data and provision with storage VAAI.
Most IOPS generated are often actually user workloads and user profiles rather than the VDI image itself.
View Storage Accelerator from VMware is a host based memory cache for all types of desktops and is works transparently to the users and applications.
Christopher then went on to talk about the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier which alleviates boot and login storms. This uses a hardware Flash Cache or Flash Pools for platforms that don’t support Flash Cache.
NetApp suggest using separate volumes or Storage Virtual Machines (SVM) to separate the storage for VMs, corporate apps and user data. Use different storage capabilities and possibly disk types for each, such as not de-duping temporary data. All these SVMs for separate IOPS, capacity and availability can be managed under Cluster ONTAP.
Assessments and sizing are important for Horizon View, PoCs may not scale linearly. An example is the unexpected “lunch storm” which is when users start doing personal things during lunch and watching YouTube videos which isn’t likely captured during a PoC or with standard load testing tools. NetApp does partner with Liquidware Labs for a sizing tool.
Chris Wells then talked about User Data in Horizon Workspace. He said NetApp is a good fit for user data as it allows more users than competitors storage due to de-dupe, non disruptive operations and backup and recovery which all fits very well with Horizon Data.
NetApp will shortly have a beta coming out for SnapCreator for Horizon Workspace. I was hoping for more information about how Horizon Data integrated with NetApp for backups, recoveries & DR so will need to do some reading to work this out. Horizon Data runs as a virtual appliance which stores its data on local VM disks so it is going to be interesting to work out how this VM disk file can be managed but in a way to recover file level data.