But you likely know that and probably have your reasons and you didn’t come here for a lecture, you came here for an answer! Can I deploy the OVA to vCenter 6.0? Is it supported?
Let’s first clarify a few things. There are two different things when it comes to vCenter support with the collector. What it can be deployed TO and what it can collect FROM.
Let’s start off with what versions of vCenter it can collect from. We support collecting back to vCenter 5.5. The ESXi host versions that we support for collection in that vCenter lines up with whatever versions of ESXi that that particular vCenter supports. We support collection from versions up to the latest release of vCenter at the time of this writing–vCenter 6.7 U3. So collection support is from 5.5-6.7.x. As new vSphere releases come out we will add those at that time.
This was only deploying the OVA, not configuring it. Once deployed, you need to (or might want to):
Change the default password
Test phone home
Wouldn’t it be nice to do that all from PowerShell instead of SSH or the VM console? Of course it would! So I got to work on it! I have now updated my cmdlet Deploy-PfaAppliance to be able to reset the default password upon deployment and added a new cmdlet called Get-PfaAppliance to retrieve appliances and then configure them.
Another quarter, another vSphere Plugin release from Pure! This is the release I have been really looking forward to as it sets the stage for a lot of the future work I want to build into the plugin. To recap:
4.0.0 was our initial release of our plugin that only had the basic configuration support and VMFS management.
4.1.0 was the 2nd release that added vVol support back into the plugin.
4.2.0 enhances the plugin to add more vVol stuff into it as well as Pure1 Integration! So we are finally to the point where we are adding features into it that were never in the previous flash plugin. Yay!
I’ve been on a few podcasts in the past couple of years, though pretty much all of them have been very tech-focused (shocking, right?). vSpeaking a few times, Pure Report, PowerScripting. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to do a guest spot on a different type of podcast hosted by my friend Dale Ferrario. Dale is “retired” now (I use quotes because he is busier in retirement than most people I know who are in the height of their careers). He used to be a VP at VMware–in a variety of roles, most recently on the VVD team then GSS until retirement. Interestingly, my connection to him is not VMware believe it or not. His son, Anthony Lai-Ferrario is my wife’s sister’s husband. Anthony is also currently a Product Manager at Pure Storage (he manages things like vVols, PSO, and other Purity features).
All of us spend a great deal of time together (dinners, weekend trips, holidays), so suffice to say this interview with Dale was not the first time we spoke.
It’s that time of the year again…again! Pure Storage is back at VMworld in Barcelona.
Before we get into what’s happening at Barcelona, let’s recap a bit what happened in the US conference. As the best way to look to the future sometimes is to analyze the past.
Also check out this panel session I did with Rubrik on VMworld US.
VMware Cloud on AWS was once again a major topic–this is increasingly getting more attention and something we are paying a close eye on. The most important step around this for Pure is our new offering that is now fully GA, called Cloud Block Store. Our FlashArray software (Purity) now fully running AWS. See my posts here and here on that.
VMware Cloud Foundations. This is the basis for pretty much all automated VMware stacks–SDDC manager allows you to deploy vCenter, NSX, vRealize (etc. etc.) and of course their lifecycles. SDDC Manager (the management point of vCF) provides the ability to create on “management” domain–this is where all of the VMware services are deployed, and also one or more “workload” domains. Workloads domains are basically a new vCenter server–which gets hooked in via ELM. When deploying a workload domain the storage options used to be only be vSAN or NFS. You could then add block after the fact. In the 126.96.36.199 release, you can now choose Fibre Channel storage as the option. Check out our KB here on it. I expect to hear more about this in Barcelona.
Containers, K8s, and more containers. VMware’s work since the Heptio acquisition has not slowed down. I would be fairly comfortable saying that the announcement of Project Pacific and Project Tanzu were the talk of the town during and certainly after VMworld. I have no doubt this will bubble up more in Barcelona. The use case around First Class Disks and vVols I think is particularly intriguing.
vRealize Automation Cloud and vRealize 8.0. vRealize Automation 8.0 is now GA. There are two major things here to unpack. First VMware Cloud Automation Services was renamed to vRealize Automation Cloud. This in and of itself doesn’t mean anything (VMware loves to name things) but what is actually important about that is the “traditional” vRealize Automation set. vRealize Automation 8 is now entirely based on the features/design/architecture of vRealize Automation Cloud. Meaning that what vRAC offers is what vRA on-premises offers (same tools, integrations, features). This makes choosing between the two easier (one question to ask, do I want to host it, or do I want VMware to?). I expect details on this to be expanded in Barcelona.
vVols. Did you think I wouldn’t bring this up?! Of course I would. vVols is coming back in a big way, and in no small part due to VMware’s renewed push on vVols in their products and with their partners. The automation, integration, and benefits of vVols are making more and more sense these days. VMware gets that, and so do the storage partners. A major topic around vVols is Site Recovery Manager support. Expect to see more vendors talking about that as they furiously work on vVol replication support.
Hear ye, hear ye! The VM Analytics Collector now comes in a new flavor! And OVA! Yay! I understand this is more of a “about time, why didn’t you have this in the first place?” kind of a thing, and fair enough, but here we are.
Now the current OVA is somewhat a shadow of what we expect it to be, a lot of the work that went into this was to build the ground work to use this for many other things. So certainly expect this to be developed and offered in more advanced and flexible ways. But for now, it is an OVA that is locked down that contains one thing: the collector.
No, not that collector. The vCenter collector for our VM Analytics tool.
A few months back I published a new PowerShell cmdlet for installing the Pure Storage vSphere Client Plugin. Get-PfavSpherePlugin and Install-PfavSpherePlugin. This works quite well and we’ve had a fair amount of use of it so far, but another place we are certainly investing in right now is vRealize Orchestrator and continuing to enhance our plugin. Filling in any gaps around workflows and actions, especially on initializing an environment is important.
One of those gaps was installing the vSphere Plugin. One common use case we have seen around vRO is day 0 config, but day 2 stuff is done in vCenter (deploying VMs, datastores, etc). So the vSphere Plugin comes in handy here. So how do I install it from vRO?
Anyways. In general I am not a fan of using in-guest iSCSI for VMware environments (or really any virtualized environment), but the question does come up. And I find a surprising amount of customers using it in secret. So what of it? Why do I hate it? Why should one use it? Are there reasons to?
So let me preface this post with, is in-guest iSCSI inherently evil? No, of course not. Are there situations where it makes sense? Yes, and I go into that. The post is focused on this use case: I need to provision storage from the FlashArray to my VMware VMs. What is the best method? I expect this to be a living document. So please let me know if there are more downsides or upsides and I will add them in.