Nested Virtualization in Azure

Microsoft
Today Microsoft announced that you can now enable nested virtualisation using the Dv3 and Ev3 VM sizes. Microsoft will continue to expand support to more VM sizes in the coming months. For software and hardware prerequisites, configuration steps and limitations for nested virtualisation please see the document here. In this blog Microsoft discuss a couple of interesting use cases and provide a short video demo for enabling a nested VM. Now not only you can create a Hyper-V container with Docker (see instructions here), but also by running nested virtualisation, you can create a VM inside a VM. Such nested environment provides great flexibility in supporting your needs in various areas such as development, testing, customer training, demo, etc. For example, suppose you have a testing team using Hyper-V hosts on-prem today.…
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Azure VPN Gateways New SKU

Microsoft
A VPN gateway is a type of virtual network gateway that sends encrypted traffic across a public connection to an on-premises location. You can also use VPN gateways to send encrypted traffic between Azure virtual networks over the Microsoft network.  To send encrypted network traffic between your Azure virtual network and your on-premises site, you must create a VPN gateway for your virtual network. Microsoft have recently released a new set of gateway SKU's which provides an increase in aggregate throughput, you can see the increase in throughput and new SKU below. If you haven't got the luxury of Express Route then you'll be jumping for joy knowing that you can go beyond the old restriction of 200MB (High Performance SKU), but hang on for a second there are some…
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Azure ASR for IaaS virtual machines

Microsoft
Microsoft this week announced the public preview of disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs) using Azure Site Recovery (ASR). You can now easily replicate and protect IaaS based applications running on Azure to a different Azure region of your choice within a geographical cluster without deploying any additional infrastructure components or software appliances in your subscription. This new capability, along with Azure Backup for IaaS virtual machines, allows you to create a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy for all your IaaS based applications running on Azure. As you move production applications to the cloud, Azure natively provides you the high availability and reliability that your mission critical workloads need. However, compliance requirements such as ISO 27001 still require that you have a provable disaster recovery solution…
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Azure IaaS Virtual Machines Temporary Drives

Microsoft
I’ve seen many posts on forums asking for more detail on the temporary disks assigned to Azure IaaS Windows and Linux VMs so here is a quick post explaining what they are. When you create a VM either in the portal or command line utilities (i.e. PowerShell) you automatically receive an additional drive or mount point which is available for you to use at no additional cost for storage or transactions.  The primarily use case is to provide faster storage (IOPS and Latency) but although this sounds great it isn’t to be used for any data that you wish to keep. You typically store temporary data on these drives like Windows page files and Linux Swap files or even SQL TempDBs.  As you can see from the images below it…
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VMware vExpert 2017

VMware
The vExpert 2017 Announcement has been made by VMware and I’m honoured and pleased to say I have been awarded the accolade for the fifth 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 2017.
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vSphere 6.5 Storage

VMware
This technical white paper describes the various features of the new vSphere 6.5 Core Storage in detail Storage Limit Improvements Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Improvements VMFS-6 UNMAP Storage I/O Control vSphere VM Encryption New Virtual Storage Hardware NFS ISCSI Improvements
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What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.5

VMware
VMware vSphere® 6.5 is the next-generation infrastructure for next-generation applications. It provides a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for business agility that accelerates the digital transformation to cloud computing and promotes success in the digital economy. vSphere 6.5 supports both existing and next-generation apps through its 1) simplified customer experience for automation and management at scale; 2) comprehensive built-in security for protecting data, infrastructure, and access; and 3) universal application platform for running any app anywhere. With vSphere 6.5, customers can now run, manage, connect, and secure their applications in a common operating environment, across clouds and devices. This paper will discuss the new and enhanced features in vSphere 6.5 across various areas of technology. Download Here
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VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware
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…
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Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere Availability and Recovery Options

VMware
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…
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VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Deduplication, Compression, and Erasure Coding

VMware
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. [embed]https://youtu.be/DJ_8KyGCUAo[/embed] 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
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