Networking and Security Extension Missing After VMware NSX Upgrade

Following a recent upgrade of VMware NSX Data Centre for vSphere from 6.4.1 to 6.4.4, the option to access NSX’s Networking and Security extension from within the vSphere Client (HTML 5) had simply disappeared. This left me scratching my head a little, more so as I’ve completed this upgrade (what seems) a million times.

Scenario-wise, I had completed the initial NSX Manager upgrade, but after logging in to the vSphere Client, I noted the Networking and Security extension failed to display.

Networking and Security Extension Missing After VMware NSX Upgrade

Continue reading → Networking and Security Extension Missing After VMware NSX Upgrade

vSphere 6.7 Update 1 and Veeam Compatibility Issues

Yesterday, Tuesday 16th October saw the much anticipated release of VMware’s vSphere 6.7 Update 1, however, shortly after the announcement a number of Veeam users decried the release due to compatibility issues with Veeam’s Backup & Replication suite. None other than Veeam’s Anton Gostev first announced the issue with the below tweet:

The very next day the Veeam team announced a workaround in the form of Veeam KB2784, as well as ‘out-of-the-box’ support being included with highly awaited (and much delayed) next release, Update 4.

Where the fault lies with such release/compatibility issues is not the goal of this post (which Twitter seems to be more focused on). However, with a high number of pros likely raising internal changes to upgrade their vCenter(s) and ESXi hosts, you’ll want to implement the Veeam workaround in-line with this upgrade, as well as a number of solid backup/restore tests.

VMworld Europe 2018

VMworld 2018 Europe – Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE)

Not only will this year mark my first ever visit to VMworld Europe, I’ll also be taking part in a Customer Panel session.

If you are interested in hearing my VMware NSX Data Center journey, how we implemented and operationalised NSX; how NSX continues to increase security and application performance, while simplifying troubleshooting and improving network provisioning time, then join me on Thursday, 8th November at 12:00-13:00 to hear more.

To register for the session, simply visit the VMworld 2018 Europe Content Catalogue – Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE).

VMworld Europe 2018

Upgrade VMware vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7

With the release of vSphere 6.7 back in April 2018, a host of new enhancements, features, and goodies had the vCommunity going wild. With enhanced feature parity between the legacy vSphere Web Client and new HTML 5 vSphere Client, as well as the vCenter Server Appliance boasting performance increases of ~2X faster performance in vCenter operations per second, ~3X reduction in memory usage, and ~3X faster DRS-related operations (e.g. power-on virtual machine); these two areas alone made most of us want to upgrade. Nice.

vSphere 6.7 also boasts the new Quick Boot feature for vSphere hosts running the ESXi 6.7 hypervisor and above. This feature allows users to a) reduce maintenance time by removing the number of reboots required during major version upgrades (Single Reboot), and b) allows users to restart the ESXi hypervisor without having to reboot the physical host (essentially skipping the time-consuming hardware initialisation). Very nice!

Continue reading → Upgrade VMware vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5 to 6.7

London VMUG - LonVMUG

London VMUG – 14th June 2018

Thursday 14th June saw the latest London VMUG take place at Tech UK, London, with the User Group marking it’s third outing for 2018 in just six months! Rarely does any event see such heavy hitters as Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, and Niels Hagoort in one place, but today, we got to see all three in attendance. Add to that line-up further awesomeness in the form of  vCommunity member, Chris Porter, and this was one truly great London VMUG indeed! I’ve been to a number of VMUGs around the UK, however, this was to be my first time joining the London gang.

London VMUG - 14th June 2018 Agenda
London VMUG 14th June 2018 Agenda

Continue reading → London VMUG – 14th June 2018

201804_Editing_Protected_VMs_in_vCenter_01

Editing Protected VMs in vSphere

By design, there are certain virtual machines and/or appliances within vSphere which are protected to prevent editing (this can include NSX Controllers, Edges, Logical Routers, etc.) In a live/production environment, you’d not normally care about editing these appliances, however, in a lab environment (especially one where resource is tight), reducing memory and/or CPU allocation can help a lot. As such, this article will cover the process of removing the lock on protected VM in vSphere, in order to enable editing.

The scenario: a customer needs to reduce the resource allocation of an NSX Controller, however, due to the VM in question being protected/locked, editing the VM’s resources is not possible via UI or PowerCLI.

The process of removing this lock is quick and easy, however, we first need to identify the virtual machine’s Managed Object Reference (moRef ID). Please note, VMware do not support or recommend this procedure in any way.  As such, this procedure should not be implemented in a production environment.

Continue reading → Editing Protected VMs in vSphere

vRealize Log Insight Logo

VMware vRealize Log Insight: Part 2 – VMware NSX Integration via Content Packs

In Part 1 of this series we covered the simple installation and configuration of VMware vRealize Log Insight. In Part 2 we will cover how we can further configure and customise Log Insight via Content Packs in order to leverage further logging capabilities.

As mentioned in Part 1, one of the caveats of utilising this ‘free’ version of Log Insight (or more aptly, the 25 OSI license available to all vCenter Server licensees), is the ability to use VMware-only Content Packs. This is far from a bad thing and, as a result, enables us to integrate with other VMware products including NSX, Horizon, SRM, etc. In this article we will focus on the former product.

Continue reading → VMware vRealize Log Insight: Part 2 – VMware NSX Integration via Content Packs

vRealize Log Insight Logo

VMware vRealize Log Insight: Part 1 – Install & Configuration

If, like most of us, you forward vCenter and ESXi host Syslog data to centralised Syslog targets (and if you don’t, then I’d advise you do), then you’ll be pleased to hear that (as long as you have a valid vCenter Server license) you’ll be able to utilise the power of VMware vRealize Log Insight to interrogate this data.

This article will be the first in a two part VMware vRealize Log Insight series, the first of which will detail the simple installation and configuration process, with the second article focusing on advanced configuration and integration with VMware NSX via vRealize Log Insight Content Packs (vRealize Log Insight add-ins enabling further integration with both VMware and 3rd party products).

Continue reading → VMware vRealize Log Insight: Part 1 – Install & Configuration

VMware NSX Presentation

2017, The Final Quarter

It’s been a busy few weeks (when does ‘busy’ stop being ‘busy’ and just become ‘BAU’?), and with the final quarter upon us, I’m working to complete the last of our projects and implementations, and there aren’t many on my list bigger than a major data centre migration.

One item from the list I’m excited about is our in-house training. Compared with other projects, technical designs, or R&D, internal training can sometimes be seen as a secondary concern, however, rather than simply handing over a solution to an operational support team, I’m a huge fan of getting every member of the team around a table to discuss, challenge, and question the solution, the designs, and the technology. Specifically, myself and colleagues within our Technical Operations team (made up of both Infrastructure and Network Architects) will regularly provide internal training and/or overview sessions to both business owners and technical teams, as well as deep dives into the technologies we either have in development or the designs and implementations we are transitioning into live service.

At this time of year, it’s nice to step back and try not to take things for granted. It’s a real privilege to be able to work with such great partners, technologies (VMware NSX, Horizon, Pure Storage), our colleagues, and being part of a team that’s so passionate about the solutions we design and deploy; ultimately enabling the business to support both our users and members. Thanks to such projects and technologies we have been able to enhance security and automation within the SDDC, provide micro segmentation of critical workloads, and deliver anything services and applications wherever the’re located.

VMware NSX Presentation

VMware NSX Guides

VMware NSX Guides

VMware NSX Guides

If you’ve somehow managed to miss these brilliant (and free) VMware NSX guides, then worry not, as here are the links in all their glory. I cannot praise these books enough. Simply brilliant (and free!)

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 1, by Wade Holmes

In Day 1, Wade Holmes details the migration away from a perimeter-orientated approach, to that of a micro-segmented architecture. VMware NSX enables organisations to utilise enhanced security functionality, whilst visualising traffic within the software-defined data centre.

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 1, by Wade HolmesVMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 1, by Wade Holmes

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 2, by Geoff Wilmington

In Day 2, Geoff Wilmington complements the first guide by delving deeper into micro-segmentation, and details the process of both building and planning an architecture best suited to your applications. Also touched on are the additional tools such as VMware Log Insight, Application Rule Manager, and vRealize Network Insight.

From a personal point of view, the process of planning the migration of applications into NSX was a little daunting during my own implementation, and this guide has been simply invaluable.

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 2, by Geoff WilmingtonVMware NSX Micro-segmentation Day 2, by Geoff Wilmington

Operationalizing VMware NSX, by Kevin Lees

In Operationalizing VMware NSX, Kevin Lees discusses how best to bring VMware NSX into ‘business as usual’. Both monitoring and troubleshooting are covered, and insights into team structures and cultures, team roles and responsibilities, etc., are provided. Unlike the ‘how-to’ style of the first two books, this third guide provides a fantastic insight into how NSX can be brought into service.

Operationalizing VMware NSX, by Kevin LeesOperationalizing VMware NSX, by Kevin Lees

Automating NSX for vSphere with PowerNSX, by Anthony Burke

Lastly, Automating NSX for vSphere with PowerNSX by Anthony Burke will be a firm favourite for all PowerShell fans wanting to get down and dirty with NSX.

Automating NSX for vSphere with PowerNSX, by Anthony BurkeAutomating NSX for vSphere with PowerNSX, by Anthony Burke