PHD Virtual Backup has been updated to 6.5 and with this upgrade comes a few very important new features. If you have seen any of my previous reviews of this product you’ll note that I’m using it to backup and protect VMware vSphere virtual machines. This version supports vSphere 5.1 and comes in an easy to install and configure virtual appliance. I will not get into the step of deploying the virtual appliance since I’ve done this before and it’s a really simple thing to do now a days if your familiar with VMware vSphere.
vCloud Director and V-Commander are both solutions that are designed to help companies move pass plain ole virtualization. With the latest release of vSphere 5.1 those licensed with vSphere Enterprise Plus have to the option for a limited time to get a free upgrade to the new vCloud Suite Standard which includes vCloud Director 5.1. Having already used V-Commander I asked myself should I start looking at vCloud Director? Both products brings the promise of self service automated provisioning of VMware vSphere virtual machines templates but is one better than the other? Here is what I have found out by some spending time with both product.
If you haven’t heard by now VMware announced a new license model for VMware vSphere 5.x. Say it with me “NO vRAM”! That’s right the vRAM licensing model is gone. But it doesn’t just stop their, VMware has odiously heard the cries of it’s customers and has gone even further. In addition to there being no vRAM requirements, there are also no processor core limits as well which were seen in the vSphere 4.x licensing model.
Went to a VMworld session “VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) for Multiprocessor Virtual Machines—Technical Preview and Best Practices (INF-BCO2655) which was a great session by the way. VMware release FT awhile back but it’s current version has many short comings, one of which is no support for SMP virtual machines. FT to me so far has stood for Failed Technology because there were no workloads that warranted using it for me. I’m sure there are use causes but single processor virtual machines with a single point of failure on the storage side just wasn’t something that lived up to the name.
I just wanted to show some simple testing results from using ioTurbine. The environment consists of a HP BL460G7 blades which has a 320GB IO Accelerator from FusionIO.
Microsoft is making claims that Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 is the best virtualization platform for Windows. I have to say that they have caught my interest with Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V version 3 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. So I have been hard at work getting deep into the products, first by updating all my lab systems. Unfortunately Windows Server 2012 is not in general release yet so all my setup and testing is being done with the release candidate and/or technical preview software. In saying this, you can’t really compare the software solutions to the current release versions of VMware vSphere, vCenter Server, etc as I may tend to do.27.782337-82.697412
I wanted to give some insight into how Avamar protects VMware virtual machines. I have been using Avamar 6.0.x and most of the management and configuration from a Mac. Since the operating systems running on the Avamar servers and proxies are linux, having a terminal comes in handy. Plus the management using Avamar Administrator uses Java so it can be used on Windows, Mac or Linux. If your on a Windows system the Avamar Administrator console is a bit more attractive but offers the same functionality.
Some years back I noticed this Embotics and its software at VMworld. Back then they also had a monitoring and reporting software called V-Scout that is now no more. The product has way to much in the way of features to get into all of them here. Check out the product page here for more information. After that VMworld I got in touch with Embotics for a demo because I though the software would my needs with managing multiple Virtual Center servers, as they were called at the time. We installed the product in the lab and while I did like the software it wasn’t the right time, the stars didn’t align or for whatever reason nothing materialized. Fortunately sales persons like to keep in touch every so often to see whats going on and ask whether the time is right for another go round.
VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 gets a face lift and some new features. If you haven’t use this product yet in any form your really missing out on a tool that provides great information. If you have used the previous version then get prepared for some better data visualization changes (eye candy) as well as new features that were not in the previous version.
Virtualization may be the best direction to go for your company, but like any good thing, there are always exceptions. Whether or not to virtualize tier-one applications is a question every company must carefully review. Virtualizing IO or throughput-intensive SQL database servers that support tier-one applications is no cake walk, especially those that focus on real-time data. This is not to say it cannot be done, but rather it’s a question of practicality.