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Category: VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF)

VMware Cloud Foundation makes it easy to deploy and run a hybrid cloud. VMware Cloud Foundation provides integrated cloud infrastructure (compute, storage, networking, and security) and cloud management services to run enterprise applications in both private and public environments.

Dell EMC VxRail NSX-T Considerations

Currently, I have been involved in a Dell EMC VxRail design & deployment with VMware Cloud Foundation on Dell EMC VxRail. There were some noticeable items that you need to consider when using the Dell EMC VxRail as your hardware layer in combination with VMware NSX-T as a network overlay. So it was time to write down the items that I have learned so far surrounding the VxRail NSX-T considerations.

This blog post is focused on the NSX design considerations that are related to the physical level when using the Dell EMC VxRail hardware.

At first, I am going to talk about VMware NSX-V because a lot of customers are already running Dell EMC VxRail in combination with NSX-V and need to move to NSX-T in some time.

VMware NSX-V

In case you are already using Dell EMC VxRail with VMware NSX-V. Your physical NIC configuration would in most cases look like one of the following:

  • Scenario 01: Dual port physical NIC – 10 Gbit
  • Scenario 02: Dual port physical NIC – 25 Gbit

The default configuration that I see in the field at this moment is based on a single dual-port card with either 10 Gbit or 25 Gbit. This is for fine for VMware NSX-V but not for his replacement…



VMware NSX-T

When using Dell EMC VxRail with VMware NSX-T you are required to use four physical NICs! This is because of the limitation surrounding the Dell EMC VxRail software that makes a “PowerEdge server” a “VxRail server”.

The first official Dell EMC statement from there VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail Architecture Guide: “NSX-T based VI WLD will require additional uplinks, whatever uplinks were used to deploy the VxRail vDS cannot be used or the NSX-T N-VDS“.

The second official Dell EMC statement from there VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail Architecture Guide: “Note: NSX-T will use the next two available vmnics that are both the same speed for every node in the cluster“.

So this leaves us with three scenarios provided by Dell EMC for the VxRail nodes:

  • Scenario 01: Quad-port physical NIC
  • Scenario 02: Quad-port physical NIC (two ports used) with dual-port physical NIC
  • Scenario 03: Dual-port physical NIC with dual-port physical NIC.


Advise

Dell EMC VxRail is the only hardware platform currently on the market that requires four physical NICs to operate with NSX-T. This means you have to make sure your hardware and datacenter are capable of supporting this requirement. You need to make some choices surrounding the physical network cards, network capacity and datacenter rack space.

So let’s start with my list of VxRail NSX-T considerations!

Physical Network Card

When you are at a point of buying the Dell EMC VxRail solution, buy at least a quad-port NIC configuration. Personally, I prefer the double dual-port NIC setup. As shown here below:

I prefer this hardware setup because of the hardware redundancy created by two cards with there separate chips and PCIe slots. This reduces the change of losing all your network connections when a physical NIC dies.

Another recommendation should be to buy physical NICs that support 25 Gbit. It is a minimum price difference and will make the setup more future proof.

Top of Rack (TOR)

As discussed in the last paragraph: when you move to VMware NSX-T you are forced to use four physical NICs in each VxRail node. After installing the card you need to make sure you have enough physical ports in your Top of Rack switches/Leaf switches.

At the customer where I am currently working, they are forced to increase there Top of Rack switches capacity from two ports per server with NSX-V to four ports per server with NSX-T. This meant a full redesign of there datacenter rack topology and network topology. The spine switches were also not able to connect with that amount of leaf switches.

Keep in mind: This is only required of course when you are running a decent amount of servers per rack. In the customer case, they are running 32 VxRail nodes per rack. This means they require at least 128 physical switch ports per rack without uplink ports counted.

Here is an overview of the scenarios as just described, the first is the NSX-V scenario and the second the NSX-T scenario.

Near future

I know that VMware & Dell EMC are currently working on a solution for the VxRail hardware but time will tell. At this point keep your eyes open when moving from NSX-V to NSX-T with Dell EMC VxRail. Customers how are deploying greenfield also need to be aware that they need additional network capacity.

So that wraps up my VxRail NSX-T Considerations blog post. Thanks for reading my blog post and see you next time!

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VMworld 2018 EU Announcements

This year VMworld 2018 Europe is held in Barcelona Spain from 5 November until 8 November. This has been the location for some time now. Only the date shifted a couple months backward compared to last year (September > November). This page will be updated multiple time in the coming days. I will add additional information and announcements multiple times a day.

I was able to attend myself in person thanks to my employer ITQ. This year we traveled with 33 ITQ colleagues to VMworld 2018 Europe. In total 12000 people attended VMworld 2018 Europe in Barcelona.

VMworld 2018 EU Logo

VMworld 2018 EU – Product Announcements

On VMworld 2018 in Europe, the following products and/or services were announced.


VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.5

In the opening keynote VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.5 has been released.

VMware Cloud Foundation is an automated release of the Software-Defined Datacenter with vSphere, NSX, and vSAN in the core. On top VMware is using there vRealize Suite for creating an entire Cloud Management Platform.

The VCF 3.5 release includes the following new features:

  • Clarity UI as for all VMware products.
  • More intuitive end-to-end UI driven workflows
  • Improved UI responsiveness and performance
  • Dashboard with widgets to more easily surface important SDDC information
  • Updated navigation and consistency between workflows
  • Extendable platform to ensure that we can incorporate new releases and functionality (ex. New workflow wizards, dashboard widgets)
  • Updated for vSphere 6.7 U1
  • NSX-T Workload domain
  • NFS Workload domain – use cases that requires NFS
  • Composable Infrastructure Support

Source: Announcing VMware Cloud Foundation 3.5


VMware Horizon 7 on VMC

Not my area of expertise (EUC) but VMware Horizon 7 will be available on VMware Cloud on AWS because of the overwhelming interest from the customers. The information can be found in the source below.

Source: What’s New with Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS


VMware Horizon 7.7

On the second day of VMworld 2018 in Europe, VMware Horizon 7.7 is announced. No information is yet available on the new features.

Source: What’s New with Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS


VMware App Volumes 2.15

On the second day of VMworld 2018 in Europe, VMware App Volumes 2.15 has been announced. No information is yet available on the new features.

Source: What’s New with Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS


vRealize Network Insight 4.0 (vRNI)

The new release of vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) is focussed on hybrid cloud visibility and analytics.

  • Support for application migration planning to public clouds
  • Support for Hybrid Cloud Troubleshooting
  • It provides NSX-T topology visualization and correlated troubleshooting for NSX-T events.
  • Users can also get P-P flow visibility through slow support in addition to Netflow and visibility into Cisco ACI underlay and Cisco ASA firewall

Source: vRealize Network Insight 4.0: Hybrid Cloud Visibility & Analytics



VMware vCloud Suite 2018 Platinum

On the first day, vCloud Suite 2018 Platinum was announced. It is a combination of vSphere Platinum and the vRealize Suite 2018 combined.

vSphere Platinum was announced in VMworld 2018 US and is available since last week. vSphere Platinum combines VMware vSphere with VMware AppDefense.

Source: Introducing VMware vCloud Suite 2018 Platinum!


VMware Cloud on AWS Region Expansion

On the first day of VMworld 2018 Europe, Pat Gelsinger announced a Region Expansion for VMware Cloud on AWS. There will be new regions in Europe and the US.

The new regions announced are the following:

  • Europe (Ireland)
  • US West (North California)
  • US East (Ohio)

Source: VMware Cloud on AWS expands across Europe and the U.S.


Amazon Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) 

In the VMworld 2018 Europe first day keynote, the following relational database services were announced:

  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle

Source: Not yet available


VMware accuires Heptio

On the VMworld 2018 Europe keynote, Pat Gelsinger announced that VMware acquired Heptio as of today.

Heptio was founded by two creators of the Kubernetes project to support and advance the open Kubernetes ecosystem.

https://heptio.com/about/

Source: Breaking: VMware Announces Intent to Acquire Heptio to Drive Kubernetes Across Multiple Clouds


VMware Cloud PKS

On the VMworld 2018 Europe keynote, Pat Gelsinger announced VMware Cloud PKS. To run Kubernetes on their VMware Cloud on AWS.

Source: Try VMware Cloud PKS (Formerly VKE) today and the first $150 is on us!


VMworld 2018 EU – Photo’s

I have created a gallery with some photo’s I have taken the last couple of days on VMworld 2018 Europe.


VMworld 2018 EU – Personal Highlights

To summarize my personal highlights that I encountered on VMworld 2018 Europe.

  • Meeting with the guys behind the VMware Validated Designs (VVD) and VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) (Forbes Guthrie and Daniel Koeck).
  • The VMware Private Hands-On Lab (HOL) Tour provided for the VMware vExperts.
  • Connecting with the vCommunity.
  • Connecting with old colleagues and customers.
  • Connecting with the people that maintain and support the VMware Hands-On Labs (Cody de Arkland / Gavin Lees).
  • My colleague Ruurd Keizer that was called on stage to talk about his experience with PKS (Pivotal Container Service) and share that with other VMware Partners.

VMworld 2018 EU – Keynotes

Here are the recordings of the VMworld 2018 Europe Keynotes and live streams for the coming days:



VMworld 2018 EU – Blogs & Recordings

In this section, I have listed some interesting blogs and recordings from VMworld 2018 Europe. The people listed below are mostly people I work with or are vCommunity friends:


VMworld 2018 EU –  Session Recordings

Just like every year, William Lam from the website virtuallyGhetto creates a GIT repository with all the VMworld sessions. For each session, a recording and presentation is provided on his Git Repository. It will probably be a couple of days till weeks until all sessions become available:

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