vArchitect Newsletter 032

Fling Updates

As usual, the VMware Flings saw some updates in January. Here is the rundown of new or updated flings since last time:

New Releases

Notable new releases from February.

  • VMware Cloud on AWS
    • Site Recovery connectivity checker
    • Support for fan-in and other multi-site topologies
    • Storage Auto Scale up
    • Custom CPU Core Count
    • Native support for Microsoft SQL Server Clustering
    • Release notes
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 3.5.1
    • Multi-Cluster NSX-T Support
    • Custom ISO Support for Lifecyle Management
    • Release notes
  • VMware AppDefense Plug-In 2.1.0
  • VMware ThinApp 5.2.5
    • Support for Windows 10 1809
    • Support for Windows Server 2019
    • Release notes
  • PKS 1.3.3
    • Deployment to Azure!
    • Bosh Backup and Restore for single-master cluster
    • Scaling down worker nodes
    • Release notes

Here is a teaser for the upcoming NSX-T 2.4 release, which is huge and should bring tons of new features, new looks, and new integrations. It’s not GA as of this writing, only announced.

VMware Security Advisory

VMware product updates resolve vulnerability in runC container runtime. Successful exploitation could allow a malicious container to overwrite the contents of a host's runC binary and execute arbitrary code.  Detailed information here.

Product Version Running on Patched version
VIO-K 5.x Any Patch Pending
PKS 1.3.x Any 1.3.3
PKS 1.2.x Any 1.2.10
CSE 1.x Any 1.2.7
VIC 1.x Any 1.5.1

Folks, this is an extremely serious security vulnerability which can lead to a worst-case “container break-out” similar to the much-feared VM-breakout. Regardless if you’re running any of these VMware products, if you are running containers in production in any shape or form that is CRI-compliant, update immediately.

VMware Certificate Change

VMware has removed the recertification requirements for their VCP certifications.  If you were unlucky enough to recertify within the last six months of the change, VMware is providing a free one-year license to the VMware Learning Zone.  Some older certifications will become active again and you can upgrade without additional training.  More information can be found on the official blog post here and on the FAQs here. Overall, this is a welcome change and should eliminate the forced scramble imposed by the previous expirations.

VMware EMPOWER

For all the VMware Technical Partners out there, remember to sign up for EMPOWER 2019 taking place in Atlanta April 15th to 18th.  Lots of reasons to attend like a free certification exam, great technical tracks, focus on team building and great technical content.  Feel free to contact us for a $100 discount code on the 4-day Technical pass.

External PSC

VMware announced a while ago that in a future release (not an update release) there will not be an option to deploy an external PSC.  We welcomed the change and really there is no reason to deploy an external PSC since support was added for enhanced linked mode in vSphere 6.7 and 6.5 U2.  Using an embedded PSC also simplifies the architecture and management overhead with no more load balancers and fewer nodes.

VMware Essentials PKS

VMware announced the release of Essential PKS, a platform to build out custom deployments of Kubernetes, but also having access to expert support represented through the Heptio model.  If you have SMEs in your organization and feel up for the challenge to install, configure and maintain you own K8s clusters, then you can do so with the assistance of VMware who provide the latest, stable version of upstream Kubernetes, expert support, reference architectures to validate design decisions, and lastly technologies like ContourSonobuoy and Bolero.
Information available here and the blog post announcing this here.

Rubrik Andes 5.0 release

We know lots of you use Rubrik, and the latest OS Andes 5.0 is now GA.  The key advancements within this release are listed below. Please review the official blog release for additional information here. The O365 support looks to be very helpful if you subscribe to that service.

  • Oracle - Live mount support for large Oracle database environments.
  • NAS Direct Archive - Global search and data discovery for massive datasets.
  • SAP HAHA - Certificated integration with SAP HANA.
  • EPIC EMR - Simplified protection for InterSystems Caché databases.
  • Office 365 support.

Dell EMC release IDPA 2.3

Following the train of new data protection releases, DellEMC’s latest IDPA release delivers faster access and restore and enchantments for IDPAs.  The highlights for the release are listed below. You can read more about the release here, but release notes do require a login.

  • Faster data restores and install/upgrade times.
  • More features and functionality added to the HTML5 UI.

Building Your Own Virtual Appliance

Here’s a series of articles by William Lam that may be very useful to you as this sort of thing continues to come up over time. If you have ever tried to build your own OVF/OVA to deploy pre-packaged apps like VMware does with their products, William has a really good walk-through on that beginning here. Nice thing about his illustration is that you don’t need VMware Studio, which previously was what you had to use.

Zerto Data Consistency Patch for 6.5

Last data protection related piece of news, folks, and any time we hear of data consistency issues with products with a large install base, we want to let you all know. Zerto 6.5 U3 was just released that brings support for vCD 9.5 (service providers, rejoice) but it mainly fixes a data consistency bug that was identified. If you’re a custom using any form of 6.5, you need to get this update to stay safe. More details can be found on the page here.

PowervRA 3.5

If you’re using vRA, then you should really check out the PowervRA project on GitHub. For those who don’t know, it’s series of PowerShell cmdlets for all the various vRA functions, and version 3.5 was just released which brings support for custom forms. Check out the releases on their page here.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more updates in March.