VMware Security Advisory: VMSA-2014-0005

This patch addresses a potential guest privilege escalation caused by an issue in VMware tools installed on Microsoft Windows 8.1, so not really much of an issues as you can count the number of people using windows 8.1 on the fingers of one hand. Smile But seriously if you are using Windows 8.1 in  your environment as a VM then seriously consider this update.

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Cisco ACI: Is It Wham! or Sam Cooke?

An odd little title, I think you will agree, but consider this: Wham! had a hit with “Freedom” and Sam Cooke sang “Chain Gang,” and I think you can now see my thought process. This post is going to investigate not the technical capabilities of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), but rather what its market placement will mean to the software-defined networking (SDN) industry.

Firstly, Cisco’s Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), the brains behind its SDN product ACI, can only run on CISCO equipment. More importantly, APIC can only run on Nexus 9000 series switches. These are:

  • Not cheap
  • Only for the biggest environments.

So, what about those who have invested in Nexus 7000s and below? Well, up until the Cisco Live US conference, you were effectively legacy. However, Cisco recently stated that the APIC will now be able to overlay application workloads to older (read Nexus-only) switches. The first switch that will be able to have these policies is the Nexus 1K; the only issue is that a Nexus 9K series switch is still needed. Not looking so inviting now, is it? What is important here is that it is an overlay.

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End of General Support for vSphere 4.x

The 21st of May 2014 was a big day in the life of vSphere 4.x as it marked the official beginning of the end.  The product and its associated pieces are no longer under general support. this means that security fixes only from now on. Therefore if you have not started your upgrade plan now is the time to do so.  You need to be looking at moving up your version.

Other products that are added to this are Lab manager 4.x, vCenter 4.x, vCenter Update manager 4.x,

The document below shows the current status of VMware products:

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/support/Product-Lifecycle-Matrix.pdf

Next Yorkshire VMUG is Locked and loaded.

Join us for the next Yorkshire VMUG meeting taking place on Thursday, 12 June 2014.
Registration is now open and available to all VMUG members. This is a great opportunity to meet with your peers to discuss virtualization trends, best practices, and the latest technology!

We will be at our usual haunt the Park Plaza Hotel from aproximately 9am.  The address and directions are below:

Park Plaza Hotel
Boar Lane
City Square
Leeds, Yorkshire LS1 5NS
United Kingdom
Click here for directions

What are we doing:

• 9:30 a.m. Registration – Coffee and Tea provided
• 10:00 a.m. Presentation: vSphere Admin – Mike Laverick
• 12:00 p.m. Break For Lunch (Bring your own – We are from Yorkshire so we do like to keep costs down)
• 1:00 p.m. Nimble Presentation: TBD
• 2:00 p.m. Presentation: VMware – Peter von Oven
• 3:00 p.m. Presentation: Capgemini UK – Tom Howarth
• 4:00 p.m. Ask The Experts: Panel consisting of TBD, Mike Laverick, Peter von Oven, & Tom Howarth
• 4:30 p.m. vBeers (Thank You to VMware)

Be sure to share this meeting information with your colleagues.

Visit the Yorkshire VMUG Workspace and subscribe to our listserv! So what are you waiting for connect with your fellow VMUG members in the forum, ask and answer questions about VMware, and get involved in your VMUG community.

For questions, please contact memberservices@vmug.com.

Will the SDDC Be the Norm in Two Years?

Come on, let’s get real here. The software-defined data center may become the norm in two years in the gilded cages of Silicon Valley, North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and the other “centers of excellence” out there. But in the real world—you know, the one where companies are still using NT4 servers to deliver real and useful work—surely this is not the case.

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News: Oracle v. Google — Why Is This Important?

On the 9th of May, 2014, something happened in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that could have massive ramifications for our fledgling cloud orchestration industry. Circuit judges with no knowledge about the software industry and how that industry works made a judgement that could pull the rug out from under the whole integration and orchestration industry. “What!” you say?

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Finding Atlantis USX—The Move to the Ocean from the Sea

Most will know Atlantis from the days of ILIO Persistent VDI and ILIO Diskless VDI. I would expect that most even consider it a niche product with the single goal of accelerating desktops. I have to admit, I was shocked to find that this is no longer the case. It is well known that I have been quite vocal in my thoughts about this company. People I know and trust have had bad things to say about its performance and stability. Admittedly, this is hearsay and also very old knowledge. But mud sticks. I also have to say I have undergone a road to Damascus moment regarding this company and its products. They have obviously improved on stability; further, the performance and functionality have gone stellar.

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Storm in a Teacup, or as Elmer FUD Would Say, “Shhh—be vewy vewy quiet; I’m hunting wabbits”

What is it about the tech world that always seems to put us at each others’ throats? FUD is thrown around like candy from a broken piñata. Notable oppositions that come to mind are EMC vs. NetApp, block vs. file, diversity vs. simplicity, an so on. Currently, we have the software-defined networking (SDN) wars: hyper-converged vs. all-flash arrays (AFA). This was going to be a rant post, but Chad Sakac does that so much better than me. If you have a spare hour or so, have a read of his latest post; it makes for very good reading, and considering his role in the hierarchy of EMC, it is remarkably unbiased.

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What Next for x86 Hardware Industry: The Death of the Blade Format?

The rise of server-based flash caching and other technologies like local performant storage pools, whether virtual storage appliances like the HP StoreVirtual VSA or VMware’s VSAN, marks a possible return to the days of the pizza box server in data centers across the world.

The pizza box server is a 1U unit that was the dominant server type before the rise of the blade format in the early nineties. Two of the drawbacks that caused its original demise were its lack of local storage capacity and its format. Then, the rise of the blade format, with the HP c7000 chassis being 10U in size and supporting sixteen half-height blades, saw an increase in density that allowed sixteen servers to serve resources in a space that previously only allowed ten. The blade format had other benefits as well, especially with the introduction of 10GbE and converged networking. Now a chassis could be serviced from just two 10GbE connections to the switching infrastructure. Taking into account remote management of the guests and chassis, an additional two Ethernet cables were required for iLO management. All are telling use cases for the blade format.

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