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Disaster Recovery with VMware SRM and vSphere Replication

I gave this presentation on Disaster Recovery (DR) with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication in the Rackspace booth at VMworld USA 2016.

Audience:  anyone who is interested in building a DR solution based on VMware technologies, including VMware NSX, which can be used to provide networks for non-disruptive DR testing.

You can use VMware vSphere®, Site Recovery Manager™ (SRM) and vSphere Replication™ to build a reliable disaster recovery (DR) solution for your data center. Join John Davis to learn how to include technologies such as storage array replication and database replication in your DR solution. We’ll discuss how to leverage VMware NSX® and deploy VMware vRealize Automation across protected networks and other components necessary to facilitate non-disruptive, DR testing that includes application functionality.


vRealize Automation: Use Cases

I gave this presentation on use cases for vRealize Automation in the Rackspace booth at VMworld USA 2016.

Audience:  anyone who is interested on learning what vRealize Automation is and potential use cases.

You can use vRealize™ Automation™ (vRA) to automate IT processes throughout your virtual machine lifecycle, such as those supporting provisioning, management and retirement, and those requiring interaction with multiple systems, including ticketing systems, change management databases (CMDB), and IP management systems. Learn how vRA can be applied to many use cases, from virtual machine (server or desktop) end-to-end lifecycle management to self-service deployment for DevOps, and multi-tier application management. See how you can integrate vRA with VMware NSX® to empower your IT to automate — and thereby accelerate — the implementation of logical networks, firewall protection, and routing and to secure and control your applications.


VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam – Preparation

Here is my advice for preparing to take the VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam.

Whether you are already preparing for the VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam or you are preparing for VCP6-DCV Exam, you may wish to review this free 135 page VCAP6-DCV Deployment Study Guide.


It contains details for each objective in the VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam, which has similar coverage to the VCP6-DCV Exam, but is hands-on rather than multiple choice.  If you are preparing for VCP6-DCV, you should consider using the  VCP6-DCV Official Cert Guide (VMware Press) as your main preparation tool, but also review the VCAP6-DCV Deployment Exam Study Guide at least once and practice hands-on any of its items that are related to the VCP6-DCV objectives.  If you do this, then upon passing the VCP6-DCV Exam, you could immediately begin preparing for VCAP6-DCV Deployment and likely schedule to take it within weeks.

If you already VCP6-DCV, then you are ready to roll with the VCAP6-DCV Deployment Study Guide.






VCP6-DCV Exam Preparation

For those of you who may be ready to address the next step in your your career goals and achieve VCP6-DCV certification, you should give serious consideration to taking advantage of VMworld discounts.  If you attend VMworld, you have opportunities for great discounts on live training, self paced training and certification exams, including the VCP6-DCV exam.   Details at VMworld Training and Exams.

Whether or not you attend VMworld, you may be interested in resources to help you prepare and pass the VCP6-DCV exam.  Naturally, as the lead author of the VCP6-DCV: Official Cert Guide (VMware Press), I certainly recommend that you consider it.  It covers each exam objective, in depth, in order, and includes study tools, such as questions and memory tables.  The premium edition, includes 4 practice exams.   But, many of you may prefer a free tool, so here are a couple that are popular in the community:

Also, here is a popular VCP6-DCV Exam practice test (not a brain dump, but just some sample, potential questions).

If you are looking for some general advice, take a look at this VCP6-DCV Deep Dive Interview where Doug Denny  (@dhdenny) from Rackspace speaks with myself and a fellow Racker (Josh Williams @jcw366), who passed the VCP6-DCV exam.  In this, we share specific VCP6-DCV exam preparation information and advice as well as advice to apply on the day of the exam.

If you are at VMworld in Vegas and obtain a copy of our book, you can catch Owen Thomas, Steve Baca (@scbaca1) and me at the VMworld store on Wednesday August 31 at 3:30 PM.  We would love to sign your book!!    Or catch me at the Rackspace booth on Monday at noon for another book signing!








VMware Host Client 1.0 and vSphere HTML Client Fling

vSphere 5.x provided a web-based client user interface, the vSphere Web Client, for connecting to the vCenter Server and managing you vSphere environment; however, it did not provide a web-based client for connecting directly to an ESXi host.  Instead, whenever you needed to manage an ESXi host directly, you had to use another tool, such as the vSphere Client (the thick client).

VMware recently announced that beginning with vSphere 6.0 Update 2, a new HTML 5 based ESXi host client is shipped that can be used to connect directly to and manage an ESXi host.  The client is embedded into ESXi.  Immediately following the installation of ESXi 6.0 U2, you should be able to use a supported web browser to browse to the host’s management IP address (or https://host-ip-address/ui/#/host) and logon using the root account.  The client will allow you manage the ESXi host and virtual machines with a feature set similar to what you would expect using the vSphere Client to manage a host directly in vSphere 5.  Because you are connected directly to a specific ESXi host, you should not expect to be able to perform functions that require vCenter Server, such as vMotion operations.

To gain familiarity with this tool in vSphere version prior to 6.0 Update 2, you can experiment with this Host Client VMware Fling.  Don’t forget that Flings should not be used in production environments.

Another useful and interesting Fling is vSphere HTM5 Web Client which is effectively a new version of the vSphere Web Client, but uses HTML5 instead of Adobe Flash.  Apparently, this will eventually evolve and become part of the actual product, but for now the Fling is available for non-production use.  It gives you the opportunity to gain familiarity now and provide feedback.  The Fling does not contain the full feature set that the eventual product will contain, but it does provide these features:

  • ability to connect to vCenter Server
  • VM Power Operations (common cases)
  • VM Edit Settings (simple CPU, Memory, Disk changes)
  • VM Console
  • VM and Host Summary pages
  • VM Migration (only to a Host)
  • Clone to Template/VM
  • Create VM on a Host (limited)
  • Additional monitoring views (Performance charts, Tasks, Events)
  • Global Views (Recent tasks, Alarms–view only)


vLoreBlog 2016

Now that I am well settled into my new role at Rackspace and have completed writing the drafts for my chapters of the upcoming Official VCP6-DCV Cert Guide (VMware Press, Pearson), I have a clear idea on information that I want to share within the virtualization and cloud community.  Beginning now I plan to aggressively post on the following topics.

  • VMware technical tidbits:  Information that I encountered as I engage in design projects and professional services engagements that I expect you will find useful.
  • VMware certification:  Specific advice on obtaining VMware Certification, plus details on various topics covered by the exams.

To get the ball rolling, today I published a page on vSphere 6 Page Sharing, Salting, and Memory States.  This information may be useful to you as you analyze the behavior of your environment and explore means to increase the impact of page sharing.  It may also be useful to you as you prepare for the VCP6-DCV exam.

My VMworld Presentations

I plan to deliver the following three presentations at VMworld next week in the Rackspace Booth.

Upgrade to vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.0 and vSphere Replication 6.0:  Four Keys to Success.

Date / Time: Monday – August 31 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)


You currently rely on a successfully implemented disaster recovery (DR) solution built upon vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.5 and vSphere Replication 5.5; but, due to its complexity and the perceived risks, you avoided upgrading to version 5.8.  Now, version 6.0 is available with features you want.   How do you successfully upgrade your DR solution, while minimizing risk and disruption?

Engage with a Senior Integration Consultant from Rackspace to learn the 4 Keys to success for upgrading SRM and vSphere Replication, such as avoiding common pitfalls, selecting the best upgrade path, establishing a rollback plan and implementing new features.

How to Design a Reliable Disaster Recovery Solution: The Keys to Success

Date / Time: Tuesday  – September 1 –  3:30 PM (Pacific Time)


You are finally ready to design a new disaster recovery (DR) solution, but you do not know where to start.  Everyone tells you that they have the solution that can provide DR for your vSphere environment, where most of your applications run, but which solution is right for you?

Join with a Senior Integration Consultant from Rackspace to learn how to design a reliable DR solution that is not focused on a product, but focused on your unique requirements.   Learn the keys for a successful design:  Simple design methodology,  resiliency /manageability,  application details, recovery plans., success criteria and non-disruptive testing.

VMware vRealize Operations:  Using Out-of-the-box Actions and the vRO Solution and Workflow Package

Date / Time:  Wednesday  – September 2 –  1:30 PM (Pacific Time)


VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) 6.0 uses the concept of symptoms, recommendations, and actions to enable you to monitor, analyze, and remediate issues in your vSphere environment.  Out of the box, it provides powerful functionality that helps reduce the mean time for identification and resolution of problems.  In this session, you will see how to customize alerts and recommendations in vROps by assigning built-in actions, such as deleting snapshots, powering off virtual machines, and changing resource usage to address common issues.  Additionally, you will see how easily you can extend the power of automating remediation by implementing the vRealize Orchestration (vRO) Solution and Workflow Package for vROps, which includes popular actions such as decommissioning hosts, migrating virtual machines, and upgrading VMware Tools.