Welcome to Summer

Welcome to Summer! Disaster season in North America is upon us once again and VMsources is here to help make sure you are prepared for any and all foreseeable and unforeseeable events:

  • Hurricanes and tornadoes
  • Blackouts
  • Fires
  • Data Center migration
  • Internet outage
  • Hardware refresh
  • Earthquakes
  • Political situations
  • Moving offices
  • Much, much more…..

VMsources Private DRaaS Cloud

VMsources Private Cloud is ready to take on your DRaaS workloads right now, before Hurricane Season gets going. We can have your entire environment protected in as little as a week from the time you say GO.

The difference between VMsources Private DRaaS Cloud and other providers is that we provision all of your resources in advance, and those resources are dedicated to you for the life of your DRaaS contract, so you accurately test and plan for anticipated events and disaster. Most importantly of all, VMsources will help you with the intricacies of Active Directory and networking for DR; we’ll help you hand-in-hand to run and document your first DR test so you can accurately tell any interested parties that you have a DRaaS Solution that is tested and actually works.

  • “One-touch” DR plan executable from anywhere on the planet using a dedicated secure portal!
  • Run a DR Domain Controller 24 X 7 X 365 on our resources for no extra cost
    • VMsources DRaaS consultants will help you promote and configure your DR Domain controller for optimum security and response during actual disasters.
  • Unlimited DR Networks for no extra cost
    • VMsources specializes in DR networking and we’ll help you pre-configure all of the networks/VLANs you need and make sure your NAT and VPNs are pre-configured and ready to use.
  • All IP Addresses are dedicated and pre-assigned
    • We pre-assign all of the IP addresses you need, so you know in advance. We do this so you can register in advance with security-sensitive services like Bloomberg and Mimecast. Your IP addresses are yours for as long as you have DRaaS with VMsources.

VMware vSphere 6.7 is ready for Prime Time!

After the bumpy road users experienced following the release of vSphere 6.0 and 6.5, VMsources has taken a wait-and-see attitude with regard to vSphere 6.7. To quote the Gipper: “Trust, but verify.”

VMsources began testing vSphere 6.7 the day it was released, but didn’t qualify the platform for production use until after ‘update 1’ was released on October 2018. We didn’t see any actual production demand for vSphere 6.7 until early this year, when several new installations and quite a few upgrades.

Upgrade Path:

You can watch our YouTube on upgrading to vSphere 6.7 here before upgrading, or call VMsources for a fully-managed upgrade performed by one of our VCP Certified team members.

  1. All customers with valid VMware vSphere SnS should upgrade/migrate their vCenter Server to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.7, even if your ESXi Hosts will remain at 6.0 or 6.5. This is true because VCSA 6.7 has finally been ported to VMware’s own Photon Linux OS which is a much more stable and RHEL-like OS than the Suse Linux Enterprise Server used for previous versions. Moreover, reboot times are improved by hundreds of percent, and the response of the API to external services like Veeam is much better as well.
    • Faster boot/reboot
    • More familiar Linux OS
    • Compatible with ESXi Hosts as far back as ESXi 5.5
  2. IF your ESXi Hosts are on the compatibility list for ESXi 6.7, use the fully-embedded vSphere Update Manager to perform an Orchestrated Upgrade to ESXi 6.7
    • ESXi 6.7 supports more efficient Side-Channel-Aware Scheduler (SCAv2) leaving more resources for COMPUTE
  3. If your hosts are not on the compatibility list for ESXi 6.7, use the fully-embedded vSphere Update Manager to apply both the “Critical” and “non-Critical” baselines to make your ESXi Hosts as secure as possible.
    • ESXi 6.0 and 6.5 support less-efficient Side-Channel-Aware Scheduler (SCAv1)
  4. Apply remediation for L1 Terminal Fault Speculative-Execution vulnerability
  5. You are done!

VMsources is available to assist with or perform updates/upgrades in your environment. Please schedule an appointment as soon as possible as we get booked about a month out. (866)644-7764

Time is really, really important on VMware vSphere

I’ve been harping about this for years, but a couple of recent customer situations have emphasized the importance of correct time/NTP configuration for all of your vSphere components.

In one situation, incorrect time configuration almost completely broke a Nutanix Storage cluster! There was no problem with Nutanix or VMware, but rather networking challenges prevented the correct use of NTP by both vSphere and Nutanix CVM, and the situation required the complete shutdown of the cluster to correct.

In another situation, incorrect time on ESXi Hosts prevented VMware Fault Tolerance (VMware FT – now supporting up to 8 vCPU & 128GB vRAM per FT protected Virtual Machine (Enterprise Plus)) from working at all. It seems that a small difference in time on the ESXi Hosts from the datastore time stamp would prevent FT failover.

Lastly, the default properties of VMware Tools will make the ESXi Host of the Virtual Machine the authoritative time server for that VM! The current time on an ESXi Host will take precedence over Active Directory, NTP or any other configurations unless you take specific steps to prevent VMware Tools Time Synchronization. That means, if you have DRS enabled or use vMotion, time will jump around on your VMs and cause disconnections from transactional systems such as Email and Database.

Incorrect use or configuration of time in a vSphere Environment is probably one of the most common things I find when exposed to a new environment, so I have outlined the steps you need to take to avoid problems.

  1. Start by disabling VMware Tools time synchronization for your Domain Controllers and other NTP Server Daemons. This will let those VMs accurately synchronize time with NTP Servers you have specified.
    1. Here are the instructions from VMware: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1189
  2. Accurately set NTP servers for your ESXi Hosts. Use either Stratum 1/2 NTP servers or a Network Time Server like the Sonoma CDMA Network Time Server
  3. Test your ESXi time configuration. An ESXi Host will not create an error if you specify an invalid time source, if the time source is not reachable on the network, or if port 123 is blocked on the Firewall. In other words, you don’t know if NTP is working unless you test it! TO test NTP, open a SSH console to each ESXi Host and run the command: ntpq -p Your results should look like this:

Columns you should be aware of are:

column Explanation
st Stratum of NTP server you are actually connecting to. Stratum 1 &2 are considered ideal.
t Type of NTP, most commonly (u) Unicast
when The (when) column should normally be less than the (poll) interval. (when) may occasionally exceed (poll) due to availability or network issues, however if (when) exceeds (poll) for all time servers it means that the NTP servers were resolvable by DNS, but not contactable on NTP Port 123
poll How often
jitter Jitter represents difference in milliseconds between samples. High (jitter) NTP servers should be replaced. Overall high (jitter) means that NTP is struggling with other time synchronization methods, such as a Linux VM using VMware Tools time synchronization and also having NTP servers specified. – Use only one form of time synchronization at a time.

VMsources is available to assist with or NTP remediation in your environment. Please schedule an appointment as soon as possible as we get booked about a month out. (866)644-7764

VMsources offering VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS!

VMsources is now offering dedicated VMware vSphere clusters on Cisco UCS, hosted at CoreSite locations on the East and West Coast. You own the servers, we manage them! We build each VMware vSphere cluster to our own exacting standards on Cisco UCS hardware, and then provision matching resources at a paired CoreSite location for Disaster Recovery.

Get out of the hardware business once and for all by moving to ‘The Cloud’ and never have to worry about servers, security, internet, power, or upgrades ever again! If your cluster is aging and you are considering hardware refresh, you may want to consider moving to one of our dedicated clusters.

‘The Cloud’ has become a buzzword for executives and investors alike. Our dedicated VMware vSphere Clusters on Cisco UCS are truly Private Cloud Computing in every sense. Migrating to one of our Dedicated Clusters can satisfy auditors, managers and investors, without sacrificing one iota of control or compromising security!

VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS Small SMB 1 SMB 2 Enterprise 1 Enterprise 2
VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus Included Included Included Included Included
Dedicated VMware vCenter VCSA Included Included Included Included Included
VMware vSAN Advanced Included Included Included Included Included
VMware vRealize Operations Manager Included Included Included Included Included
VMsources White Glove MSP for:

  • VMware vSphere
  • Dedicated DR
  • Backup
Included Included Included Included Included
Production Site / Active Capacity
Recommended Virtual Machines[1] 1-10 up to 72 up to 96 up to 144 up to 252
Number of CPU Sockets 2 6 8 12 12
Number of pCPU (cores) 20 48 64 96 168
Recommended vCPU[2] 120 288 384 576 1,008
RAM Memory 256GB 576GB 768GB 1.1TB 2.3TB
Usable SSD Storage 7TB 15TB 20TB 30TB 45TB
Disaster Recovery Included / Passive Site Capacity
Number of CPU Sockets 2 6 8 12 12
Number of pCPU (cores) 16 48 64 96 120
Recommended vCPU 92 288 384 576 720
RAM Memory 256GB 576GB 768GB 1.1TB 2.3TB
Usable SSD Storage 7TB 15TB 20TB 30TB 45TB
Bandwidth
DDoS Protected Internet Bandwidth 1Gbps 1Gbps 1.5Gbps 1.5Gbps 2Gbps
Backup and Replication
Redundant HDD storage 12TB 22TB 27TB 45TB 68TB
Included Backup and Replication licenses, per VM 10 50 75 100 150
Optional/Additional Items
Description Cost / Month
Additional USABLE SSD Storage (1TB = 1TB for Production Site and 1TB for DR Site) $50
Additional HDD Backup storage $15
Additional Backup and Replication licenses, per VM $10.00
Additional 1Gbps DDoS Protected Internet Bandwidth $900
Additional VLAN FREE
Additional IPv 4 - Per IP / Month $4
Additional IPv 6 FREE
Version 6.1.2019 | All costs/prices are in US Dollars Pricing: subject to change. | Copyright © 2019 – VMsources Group Inc.

VMsources Hosting Customers, and may NOT resell the IaaS service to any other interim users (i.e. additional service providers or resellers).

Use Case for Private Cloud on Cisco UCS:

  • Migrate to “The Cloud!”!
  • Hardware Refresh
    • Replace aging Servers, SANs and Networking equipment then NEVER have to worry about hardware or maintenance contracts EVER AGAIN!
  • Reclaim datacenter space
    • Server “closets,” entire rooms, and even full datacenters can be decommissioned.
  • Solve power issues completely
    • Fully redundant Data Center power systems with guaranteed “five nines” (99.999%) uptime.
  • Eliminate separate HVAC Equipment
    • Servers need their own air conditioning, usually maintained at a separate and additional cost.
  • Increase Internet bandwidth for a fraction of what it costs at your site.
    • Even the smallest Dedicated Cluster we offer comes with 1Gbps of DDoS protected bandwidth on redundant Backbone providers.
  • Eliminate VMware licensing and costly renewals
  • Direct access to cage and equipment

Solutions starting as low as $5,000/month[3]

Small VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS

Our Small VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS is perfect for the organization with a limited number of Virtual Machines and no need for advanced features like VMware vSphere DRS (load balancing) looking to migrate to The Cloud and away from on-premises servers and storage.

  • Ideal for 1-10 Server VMs

Small VMware Private Cloud includes a single active ESXi Server with a dedicated failover host (HA) running in your choice of CoreSite Locations: Manhattan (NY), Secaucus (NJ), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara.

Small VMware Private Cloud also includes a single passive remote ESXi Server located at the CoreSite Data Center paired to your choice of primary location: Manhattan-Secaucus or San Jose-Santa Clara

SMB 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS

Our SMB 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS is the entry-level replacement for organizations looking to migrate from smaller on-premises VMware vSphere installations to The Cloud.

  • Perfect Private Cloud replacement for most on-premises three-host vSphere Clusters

SMB 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS include a full three-host active VMware vSphere Cluster in your choice of CoreSite Locations: Manhattan (NY), Secaucus (NJ), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara (CA). Additionally, SMB 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes an additional three-hosts of identical capacity for Disaster Recovery, located at a paired CoreSite location: Manhattan-Secaucus or San Jose-Santa Clara

SMB 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS

Our SMB 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS is the mid-level replacement for organizations looking to migrate from medium sized on-premises VMware vSphere to The Cloud.

  • Mid-level Private Cloud replacement for on-premises vSphere
  • Supports VDI (VMware Horizon View – Citrix)
  • Supports all VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus features

SMB 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes a four-host active VMware vSphere Cluster in your choice of CoreSite Locations: Manhattan (NY), Secaucus (NJ), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara (CA). Additionally, SMB 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes an additional four-hosts of identical capacity for Disaster Recovery, located at a paired CoreSite location: Manhattan-Secaucus or San Jose-Santa Clara

Enterprise 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS

Our Enterprise 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS is the large replacement for organizations looking to migrate from larger on-premises VMware vSphere installations and migrate to The Cloud.

  • Private Cloud replacement for larger on-premises VMware vSphere Clusters
  • Mixed-use VDI and Server workloads

Enterprise 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes a six-host active VMware vSphere Cluster in your choice of CoreSite Locations: Manhattan (NY), Secaucus (NJ), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara (CA). Additionally, Enterprise 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes an additional six-hosts of identical capacity for Disaster Recovery, located at a paired CoreSite location: Manhattan-Secaucus or San Jose-Santa Clara

Enterprise 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS

Our Enterprise 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS is the large replacement for organizations looking to migrate from resource-intensive on-premises VMware vSphere and/or VDI (VMware Horizon View – Citrix) installations and migrate to The Cloud.

  • Perfect Private Cloud replacement for resource-intensive environments

Enterprise 2 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes a six-host active VMware vSphere Cluster with enhanced RAM and CPU capacity. The cluster can be in your choice of CoreSite Locations: Manhattan (NY), Secaucus (NJ), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara (CA). Additionally, Enterprise 1 VMware Private Cloud on Cisco UCS includes an additional six-hosts of identical capacity for Disaster Recovery, located at a paired CoreSite location: Manhattan-Secaucus or San Jose.

Sincerely,

John Borhek

Lead Solutions Architect

VMsources Group Inc.

john@vmsources.com

215-764-6442 X1001

  1. At four (4) vCPU/VM
  2. Based on a standard 6:1 consolidation ratio
  3. Based on a 36-month commitment. Leasing rates vary based on creditworthiness.