Northtech Consulting

Innovative solutions to move your business forward

August 30, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

VMware Cloud Foundation

With the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), VMware laid out the vision for the architecture of the hybrid cloud. SDDC redefines the architecture and operational model of the data center, enabling IT to complete the transition to hybrid cloud and maximize its benefits. In an SDDC, compute, storage, and networking services are decoupled from underlying hardware infrastructure and abstracted into logical pools of resources that can be more flexibly provisioned and managed.



To accelerate the customer journey to SDDC, VMware has introduced VMware Cloud Foundation™, a new unified SDDC platform for the private and public cloud. Cloud Foundation brings together VMware’s compute, storage, and network virtualisation into a natively integrated stack that can be deployed on premises or run as a service from the public cloud.
Cloud Foundation enables organisations to achieve greater business agility and scalability to support the next generation of applications.

While public cloud services can be a good fit for many applications, company-owned data centers continue to play a critical role especially for those mission-critical applications that require greater control and security. As a result, organisations are looking to shift to a more agile, service-oriented IT model that leverages both private and public clouds. Cloud Foundation allows CIOs to enable their business to achieve the operational and cost efficiency of web-scale cloud service providers.

The white paper can be download VMware Cloud Foundation 

July 25, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere Availability and Recovery Options

Running Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere offers many options for database availability and disaster recovery utilizing the best features from both VMware and Microsoft. For example, VMware vSphere vMotion and VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) can help to reduce planned downtime and balance workloads dynamically, and VMware vSphere High Availability (HA) can help to recover SQL Server databases in the case of host failure.

At the application level, all SQL Server features and techniques are supported on vSphere, including AlwaysOn Availability Groups, AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances, database mirroring, and log shipping. SQL Server availability features can be used inside of a virtual machine just as you would on a physical server, and combined with vSphere features to support flexible availability and recovery
scenarios, applying the most efficient and appropriate tools for different use cases.



AlwaysOn is a collection of high availability and disaster recovery features introduced in SQL Server 2012 that minimize Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and maximize availability of databases. SQL Server AlwaysOn branding encompasses both FCIs and AGs. The following table lists SQL Server availability options and their ability to meet RTOs and RPOs. Before choosing any option, evaluate your business requirements to determine which ones best meet your specific needs.

Download this new technical white paper Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere Availability and Recovery Options

May 31, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Deduplication, Compression, and Erasure Coding

Hyper-Converged solutions featuring all-flash storage are the future as they continue to decrease in cost and offer dramatically better performance when compared to magnetic disks. Virtual SAN is optimized for modern all-flash storage with efficient near-line deduplication, compression, and erasure coding capabilities that lower TCO.

Deduplication and compression enable considerable capacity savings across the entire Virtual SAN cluster — especially in environments where standard OS builds (templates and clones) are used and where there is abundant data commonality such as file shares. RAID-5/6 erasure coding reduces capacity consumption by as much as 50% versus RAID-1 (mirroring) with the same levels of availability for FTT=1 and FTT=2 Virtual SAN rule sets.

Find more information in this white paper: VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Space Efficiency Technologies

May 31, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

VMware Logon Monitor

vmloginVMware Logon Monitor monitors Windows user logons and reports a wide variety of performance metrics intended to help administrators, support staff, and developers troubleshoot slow logon performance. Metrics include, but are not limited to, logon time, CPU/memory usage, and network connection speed. VMware Logon Monitor also receives metrics from other VMware products which provide even more clues about what is happening during the logon flow.

While other VMware products are not required to benefit from VMware Logon Monitor, some VMware products may be active during user logon. The Horizon Agent, Horizon Persona Management, and App Volumes are examples and will soon report additional metrics which may further enhance the value of VMware Logon Monitor’s logs.

Please see the VMware Logon Monitor Metrics PDF for more information.

March 22, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

Azure IP address


Have you ever wondered what this IP address is?  Well is a virtual public IP address that is used to facilitate a communication channel to internal platform resources for the bring-your-own IP Virtual Network scenario.  Because the Azure platform allow customers to define any private or customer address space, this resource must be a unique public IP address.  It cannot be a private IP address as the address cannot be a duplicate of address space the customer defines.  This virtual public IP address facilitates the following things:

  • Enables the VM Agent to communicating with the platform to signal it is in a “Ready” state
  • Enables communication with the DNS virtual server to provide filtered name resolution to customers that do not define custom DNS servers.  This filtering ensures that customers can only resolve the hostnames of their deployment.
  • Enables monitoring probes from the load balancer to determine health state for VMs in a load balanced set
  • Enables PaaS role Guest Agent heartbeat messages

The virtual public IP address is used in all regions and will not change.  Therefore, it is recommended that this IP be allowed in any local firewall policies.  It should not be considered a security risk as only the internal Azure platform can source a message from that address.  Not doing so will result unexpected behavior in a variety of scenarios.

Additionally, traffic from virtual public IP address that is communicating to the endpoint configured for a load balanced set monitor probe should not be considered attack traffic.  In a non-virtual network scenario, the monitor probe is sourced from a private IP.


Source: David Goddard

February 7, 2016
by Yendis Lambert

VMware vExpert 2016

The vExpert 2016 Announcement has been made by VMware and I’m honoured and pleased to say I have been awarded the accolade for the fourth year running.


I would like the thank Cory (@vCommunityGuy) and the team at VMware for all their hard work vetting the individuals that apply.

Looking forward to working with many vExperts and attending the many VMware events throughout 2016.

December 19, 2015
by Yendis Lambert

Installing ESXi Using PXE – VMware vSphere 6.0

vmwareYou can use the preboot execution environment (PXE) to boot a host. Starting with vSphere 6.0, you can PXE boot the ESXi installer from a network interface on hosts with legacy BIOS or using UEFI.

ESXi is distributed in an ISO format that is designed to install to flash memory or to a local hard drive. You can extract the files and boot by using PXE.


PXE uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) to boot an operating system over a network. PXE booting requires some network infrastructure and a machine with a PXE-capable network adapter. Most machines that can run ESXi have network adapters that can PXE boot.

The Installing ESXi Using PXE technical note explains how you can PXE boot hosts with ESXi. The technical note explains how to boot using TFTP or using a Web Server, and discusses both legacy BIOS and UEFI.

December 17, 2015
by Yendis Lambert

Implementation Considerations for VMware App Volumes in a Citrix XenDesktop Environment

App Volumes works well with both Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp, either individually or in a combined XenDesktop and XenApp implementation. The same AppStacks that attach to XenDesktop virtual desktops to deliver applications to users can also attach to XenApp servers to deliver applications.


To learn more about using App Volumes in a XenApp environment, read Implementation Considerations for VMware App Volumes in a Citrix XenApp Environment. This paper focuses only on App Volumes in a XenDesktop environment

December 16, 2015
by Yendis Lambert

Oracle Real Application Clusters on VMware Virtual SAN

This solution addresses the common business challenges discussed in the previous section that CIOs face today in an online transaction processing (OLTP) environment that requires availability, reliability, scalability, predictability and cost-effective storage, which helps customers design and implement optimal configurations specifically for Oracle RAC Database on Virtual SAN.


Key Results

The following highlights validate that Virtual SAN is an enterprise-class storage solution suitable for Oracle RAC Database:

  • Predictable and highly available Oracle RAC OLTP performance on Virtual SAN
  • Simple design methodology that eliminates operational and maintenance complexity of traditional SAN
  • Sustainable solution for enterprise Tier-1 Database Management System (DBMS) application platform
  • Validated architecture that reduces implementation and operational risks
  • Integrated technologies to provide unparalleled availability, business continuity (BC), and disaster recovery (DR)
  • Efficient backup and recovery solution using Oracle RMAN

November 15, 2015
by Yendis Lambert

VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 Stretched Cluster Bandwidth Sizing Guidance

The purpose of this document is to explain how to size bandwidth requirements for Virtual SAN in Stretched Cluster configurations. This document only covers the Virtual SAN network bandwidth requirements. In Stretched Cluster configurations, two data fault domains have one or more hosts, and the third fault domain contains a witness host or witness appliance. In this document each data fault domain will be referred to as a site.vmware-vsan-stretchedVirtual SAN Stretched Cluster configurations can be spread across distances, provided bandwidth and latency requirements are met.

The bandwidth requirement between the main sites is highly dependant on the workload to be run on Virtual SAN, amount of data, and handling and failure scenarios.

Under normal operating conditions, the basic bandwidth requirements are: