Azure New isolated VM sizes now available

Microsoft
Microsoft are pleased to announce two new Virtual Machine (VM) sizes, E64i_v3 and E64is_v3, which are isolated to hardware and dedicated to a single customer. These VMs are best suited for workloads that require a high degree of isolation from other customers for compliance and regulatory requirements. You can also choose to further subdivide the resources by using Azure support for nested VMs. The E64i_v3 and E64is_v3 will have the exact same performance and pricing structure as their cousins E64_v3 and E64s_v3. These size additions will be available in each of the regions where E64_v3 and E64s_v3 are available today. The small letter ‘i’ in the VM name denotes that they are isolated sizes. Unlike the E64_v3 and E64s_v3, the two new sizes E64i_v3 and E64is_v3 are hardware bound sizes. They…
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Azure backup and restore improvements

Microsoft
Today, Microsoft announced the support for backup of large disk VMs and set of improvements aimed at reducing the time taken for backup and restore. These set of improvements and large disk support is based on a new VM backup stack and are available for both managed and unmanaged disks. You can seamlessly upgrade to this new stack without any impact to your on-going backup jobs and there is no change to how you setup backup or restore. This announcement combines multiple feature improvements: Large disk support – Now you can backup VMs with disk sizes up to 4TB(4095GB), both managed and unmanaged. Instant recovery point – A recovery point is available as soon as the snapshot is done as part of the backup job. This eliminates the need to wait to trigger restore…
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Azure Just-in-Time VM Access

Microsoft
Azure Security Center provides several threat prevention mechanisms to help you reduce surface areas susceptible to attack. One of those mechanisms is Just-in-Time (JIT) VM Access. Today Microsoft announced the general availability of Just-in-Time VM Access, which reduces your exposure to network volumetric attacks by enabling you to deny persistent access while providing controlled access to VMs when needed. When you enable JIT for your VMs, you can create a policy that determines the ports to be protected, how long ports remain open, and approved IP addresses from where these ports can be accessed. The policy helps you stay in control of what users can do when they request access. Requests are logged in the Azure Activity Log, so you can easily monitor and audit access. The policy will also…
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VMware vExpert 2018

Misc
The vExpert announcement was released overnight by VMware and I’m honoured and pleased to say I have been awarded the accolade for the sixth 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 2018.
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RVTools version 3.10 is now available for download

Tools, VMware
RVTools is a windows .NET 4.6.1 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual environments. Interacting with VirtualCenter ESX Server 6.5.       RVTools is able to list information about VMs, CPU, Memory, Disks, Partitions, Network, Floppy drives, CD drives, Snapshots, VMware tools, Resource pools, Clusters, ESX hosts, HBAs, Nics, Switches, Ports, Distributed Switches, Distributed Ports, Service consoles, VM Kernels, Datastores, multipath info, license info and health checks. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and update the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine to the latest version.
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VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Deep Dive – Free ebook

VMware
The VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive is a guide to building consistent high-performing ESXi hosts. A book that people can’t put down. Written for administrators, architects, consultants, aspiring VCDX-es and people eager to learn more about the elements that control the behaviour of CPU, memory, storage and network resources. This book shows that we can fundamentally and materially improve the systems we’re building. We can make the currently running ones consistently faster by deeply understanding and optimising our systems. The reality is that specifics of the infrastructure matter. Details matter. Especially for distributed platforms which abstract resource layers, such as NSX and vSAN. Knowing your systems inside and out is the only way to be sure you’ve properly handled those details. It’s about having a passion for these…
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VMware Labs – DRS Dump Insight

VMware
DRS Dump Insight is a service portal where users can upload drmdump files and it provides a summary of the DRS run, with a breakup of all the possible moves along with the changes in ESX hosts resource consumption before and after DRS run. Users can get answers to questions like: Why did DRS make a certain recommendation? Why is DRS not making any recommendations to balance my cluster? What recommendations did DRS drop due to cost/benefit analysis? Can I get all the recommendations made by DRS? Once the drmdump file is uploaded, the portal provides a summary of all the possible vMotion choices DRS went through before coming up with the final recommendations. The portal also enables users to do What-If analysis on their DRS clusters with options like:…
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New VMware vSphere 6.5 performance

VMware
Underlying each release of VMware vSphere are many performance and scalability improvements. The VMware vSphere 6.5 platform continues to provide industry-leading performance and features to ensure the successful virtualization and management of your entire software-defined datacenter. This paper describes new performance enhancements and features included in vSphere 6.5.  Based on these performance, scalability, and feature improvements in vSphere 6.5, VMware continues to demonstrate industry-leading performance
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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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