automation

2018: The Year of Automation & Anti-innovation

2018 is the year of automation and anti-innovation. You might be thinking something along the lines of, “How can both of these things be true?”

Before the onset of the Industrial Revolution, many people made a living building products by …


  

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Transforming Finance Reporting Using ShareFile & Podio Workflows

This post originally appeared on the Podio Blog.

My name is Brett Morrone, a Customer Success Engineer in Citrix Cloud Adoption Services, helping our customers improve and automate how they work. Recently, I have been working with CRH, a …


  

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Managing the Healthcare Cloud

A Cloud Standards Consumer Council paper titled, &#rsquo;Impact of Cloud Computing on Health Care&#rdquo; states, &#rsquo;There is substantial growth in demand for health care services because of aging populations, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and comorbidities. Concurrently, there are cost pressures stemming from the need to do more and higher quality work with fewer and more costly resources and also reduced revenue.&#rdquo; Cloud providers, both internal and public, must be abstracted from a user perspective. Deploying and managing the cost and operations across providers becomes the primary concern for enterprise health care IT.

 

It all starts with deployment of resources

Health care is unique in our method of deploying and consuming applications. While many health care organizations are developing applications, nearly all applications deployed by health care IT are commercial, off the shelf (COTS) products. This often leads to the mistaken belief that automation is not necessary in health care. When deploying a new health care application, especially when it is an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) major version, much of the deployment time is spent creating the environment, including compute, storage, and networking.

 

Efficiencies in application deployments are not limited to internal private cloud. Leveraging the Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs) provided by public cloud providers, vRealize Automation can deploy across multiple public and private clouds. Test and development environments may be provisioned in public cloud resources for short term projects, while longer term production workloads may be deployed within the private datacenter, spanning multiple public and private clouds, all with a single request for resources.

 

Cost as a user metric

Health care IT is often considered a cost center, something needed, but challenging to fund. Projects often fund infrastructure, but have limited means of tracking the actual value they are receiving from the acquisition. When an application shares infrastructure and needs additional resources mid lifecycle, reallocation is often required. This creates significant problems with right-sizing the environment during project planning.

 

VMware&#rsquo;s vRealize Business enables health care IT to provide actual cost to project teams. Costs can be gleaned from existing environments to forecast new projects. For applications which can be deployed on public clouds, cost comparison can happen in real time with forecasting to determine the lowest cost provider meeting the requirements. This also provides real time costing on migrating applications and resource reclamation as that becomes an option. Application owners are presented with the cost they could avoid, by shifting unused resources to new projects.

 

Automating operations

When automating bad process, the speed of bad process increases exponentially. One of the most often overlooked challenges in health care IT is the need for a better operational process. Deploying applications and looking at cost is beneficial, but a majority of the operational cost and struggle occurs in the shift from design and deploy to operate and maintain. Runbooks and instructions are helpful, but many of the operational tasks are repetitive, and tedious.

 

Adding resources, predictive performance monitoring, and capacity management can be easily automated using VMware&#rsquo;s vRealize Operations with Log Insight. Many functions can become self-documenting as lower level functions are abstracted. Fewer operational staff are then required to manage the system; enabling more focus on projects and less &#rsquo;keeping the lights on&#rdquo;, providing greater value back to the organization and, most importantly, to the patient.

 

Managing the health care cloud is a challenging proposition, made all the more difficult by the changes in reimbursement models, changing technology, and technical debt. Automation is one of the best ways to solve many of these problems but it must be treated as a complete solution, and one which accounts for future expansion and changes to technology. By building out a solution with complete lifecycle management, cost, and operational efficiencies, Health care IT can provide a superior provider and patient experience, while continuing to remain relevant in an ever changing world.

 

The post Managing the Healthcare Cloud appeared first on VMware for Healthcare IT.

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Scaling a vRA 7.3 Environment (Part 1)

Let&#rsquo;s say you&#rsquo;re the kind of person that doesn&#rsquo;t like wasting resources – you use public transportation, electric if possible (here in Eastern Europewe love EVs), you separate your trash, buy new mountaineering equipment only when necessary, always turn off the lights in the bathroom and you really like the scaling features of virtual infrastructures. Even if you&#rsquo;re only a fan of the &#rsquo;grow on demand&#rdquo; concept it&#rsquo;s all right – this blog is for you. On a side note – you should really consider using public transportation and separating your trash if you don&#rsquo;t do it already.

Many of the vRA deployments are the so-called &#rsquo;Distributed&#rdquo; deployments – mostly because of HA considerations. However, while meeting redundancy requirements, those environments waste too many resources, because they rarely hit a performance issue. In addition,if you&#rsquo;ve ever built vRAat any point in time you know that it requires just too much of Windowsvirtual machines, kaiju appliances and external databases. So, if you don&#rsquo;t have any requirements for HA, because, let&#rsquo;s say your DR scenario pretty much covers all of the HA aspects or you&#rsquo;re just building a PoC, you can safely start with what I call a &#rsquo;single-node distributed environment.&#rdquo; Here&#rsquo;s an over-simplified diagram of the Large configuration found in thevRA Reference Architecture:

As you can see, we have only one node for each role (the Manager server, DEM and proxy agent are even combined into a single server, but you can separate them if you want) and at the same time we&#rsquo;re using separate load balanced FQDNs.

When scaling the environment, this is what we are trying to achieve:

I have split this blog into three different parts:

  1. Installing a single-node distributed environment.
  2. Scaling the environment with vra-command.
  3. Scaling the environment with the Config REST API.

Let&#rsquo;s begin with the installation, which not only is very easy, but also requires a lot less preparation – only 3 virtual machines. So, we begin with the preparation:

  • Certificates – we need three certificates. The certificate for the web server needs to be a SAN certificate containing the FQDNs of the load balancing endpoint and the IaaS web server itself:
  • Load Balancing Endpoints – or the pompous way of saying &#rsquo;CNAME records&#rdquo; in this case. Why would you need to waste three VIPs in your load balancer when you could just point to the one and only node you have? Remember, we stop the water when soaping.
  • Service Account – Use an Active Directory service account with the minimum set of permissions and a tough password.
  • Prepare your SQL Server machine – for security, availability and licensing reasons keep your database on a separate server.

Here is a guide to installing this type of environment covering the most crucial parts:

  1. Choose an Enterprise deployment and check &#rsquo;Install Infrastructure as a Service&#rdquo; (duh!):

See how there&#rsquo;s a nice picture on the right of what we want to achieve. Pretty neat!

2. Install the Management agents:

3. On thevRealize Automation Hostpage selectEnter Hostand type the load balancing FQDN you created as a prerequisite.

4. On theIaaS Hostpage type the load balancing FQDNs of the IaaS Web service and the Manager Service.

5. TheLoad Balancerspage sums up our little setup. Just make sure all the info here is correct.

6. Go ahead – validate, create snapshots (absolutely mandatory, I wouldn&#rsquo;t even say it&#rsquo;s recommended) and click Install.

Great, you have your distributed vRA environment now!

Next post – how to scale this environment by using the embedded command line tool vra-command.

You may want to check thenew features in vRA 7.3in the meantime!

The post Scaling a vRA 7.3 Environment (Part 1) appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Networking Challenges in OpenStack Clouds

Did you decided that is time to implement OpenStack to build your Cloud? Have you tested in the lab? Evaluated many distributions available and hired specialized OpenStack resources? However, when the environment goes into production, Neutron is not integrating with the physical network?

If the above story closely resembles what you have faced, this post will unconceal the many challenges of Networking with any OpenStack distribution and how VMware NSX is the missing piece for your Cloud.

Networking and Security Challenges with OpenStack

Since its creation, the biggest challenges of OpenStack Clouds implementations are automation, integration and orchestration of the required networking and security components at the physical infrastructure layer. The main difficulty is that these environments are extremely heterogeneous and most of the devices do not have an open and programmable interface for configuration and, thus, the initial way of running OpenStack was to pre-provisioning the network manually and only use basics functionalities when implementing security services.

With the rise of Network Virtualization solutions and evolution of Open vSwitch, some of these challenges were solved, making it possible to create an abstraction layer from the physical elements of infrastructure and automate the virtual network through the programmable interface of Network Virtualization solutions.

However, the Neutron project (responsible for managing all OpenStack Cloud Security and Network services) has been undergoing constant modifications, especially regarding the need for more advanced functionalities, such as dynamic routing, VPN , firewall functionality and others. With those constant changes, maturity, consistency and resilience were eventually undermined.

If you are interested in how VMware is currently contributing to OpenStack community, please read Scott Lowe‘s post - Making OpenStack Neutron Better for Everyone - on our VMware OpenStack Blog.

The table below, extracted from the 2017 OpenStack Foundation User Survey, exemplifies which features of Neutron that are being used the most or currently required in the majority of OpenStack Clouds.

Growth without planning has brought major challenges to the Neutron project. What is most debated today is whether the architecture of this project needs to be reworked, in order to simplify its use and improve its integration with Network Virtualization Solutions.

VMware NSX Integration with OpenStack

Few companies today are using OpenStack in production without a networkvirtualization platform, and those that are not, usually face major challenges like the ones mentioned above.

The benefits that VMware NSX brings to Neutron can be listed below:

  • Agility: Create Networks at the same speed as the applications;
  • Mobility: Provision and mobility of instances;
  • Security: Micro-segmentation and chaining of partner services for advanced features;
  • Multi-tenant: Possibility of using shared infrastructure among multiple tenants;
  • Simplified Operations: Centralized control and single monitoring;

As mentioned, the challenges with Neutron can be addressed with NSX as follows:

  • Simplified implementation of Neutron services;
  • Stability, scalability and high availability;
  • Continuous development of new functionalities;
  • Higher performance due to distributed NSX architecture;
  • Management, Day 2 Operations, and native Troubleshooting Tools in NSX;

To perform integration with Neutron, VMware NSX has an open plugin available on the GitHub page that can be used by any OpenStack distribution or implementation.

This plugin translates the Neutron APIs calls into NSX APIs calls at the NSX Manager and thus builds the network and security services. The figure below exemplifies and shows an example of what can be deployed using this approach:

VMware NSX supports OpenStack environments regardless of the underlying hypervisors and has plug-ins available for any OpenStack distribution to use its benefits.

Meet some of our customers who are benefiting not only from NSX, but also from VMware Integrated OpenStack at the links below:

  • HedgeServ - https://youtu.be/NFcIa314X5k
  • Rakuten - https://youtu.be/11ew7zEPOso
  • Charter - https://youtu.be/mw6fdkpvzoY
  • Amadeus - https://youtu.be/HmdqPDK-cLY
  • IBM - https://youtu.be/4a3EeROQTxI

On the Road

If you would like to understand more about this topic, I will be delivering sessions regarding Networking and Security Challenges in the following events:

VMworld’17 - Las Vegas - USA

August 27 - 31, 2017

Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV - 89119 - USA

My session will be Tuesday, 29th August at 4pm.

To know more about VMworld’17 click here.

OpenStack Day 2017 - São Paulo - Brazil

Saturday, July 15, 2017, 08:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Gamaro Theater
Doctor Almeida Lima, 1176 - Mooca
São Paulo, SP - 03164-000 - Brazil

My session will be at 2:40pm at the main stage.

To know more about OpenStack Day São Paulo click here.

If you have the opportunity to be in any of these events, don’t hesitate to reach me!

I hope you have enjoyed this post and contact me if you have any questions.

 

The post Networking Challenges in OpenStack Clouds appeared first on Network Virtualization.

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Download Free vRealize ROI Report

VMware is pleased to announce the availability of a new vRealize Suite ROI calculator. Download your free report today.
Many VMware customers like you are also modernizing data centers and integrating public clouds to address their digital transformation agenda. VMware&#rsquo;s vRealize Suite, the market&#rsquo;s leading enterprise-ready Cloud Management Platform, can help you reach your IT goals. But how can you justify a Cloud Management Platform investment?

vRealize Suite ROI Calculator

The vRealize Suite ROI calculator can help you learn more about the key cost and benefit drivers that help to make the business case for a Cloud Management Platform. Just select the type of use case you are trying to address and adjust a few default numbers about your virtual environment. And voila! The calculator will immediately give you an estimate in terms of the potential ROI, payback period, and net benefits. You can even download a free report that you can share with your colleagues. Click here to get your free vRealize ROI report today.

Cloud Management Challenges

Like you, many VMware customers find managing today&#rsquo;s app environments is becoming more complex from increased scale, more dynamic workloads, and adoption of multi-cloud computing. Many also aspire to build and operate a private cloud that is efficient, delivers resources on a time scale appropriate for the business. And it provides a user experience that meets the expectations of Lines of Business (LOBs). Others need to manage both private and multiple public clouds in a way that allows IT to exercise an appropriate level of control without inserting intrusive governance. It should not negatively impact developer and LOB efficiency or their satisfaction with the delivered services.

Learn More

To learn more about how VMware Cloud Management Platform solutions can help you with such challenges, visit us online at VMware vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite. See how you can jump start your Modernize Data Centers initiative or Integrate Public Clouds initiative with VMware.

Additional Resources:

  • Cloud Management Platform Brochure
  • Cloud Management Platform for Dummies
  • VMware vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite: Licensing, Pricing, and Packaging Whitepaper

The post Download Free vRealize ROI Report appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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White Board Presentations on new vSphere and PowerCLI capabilities

We have released a new set of videos to help customers understand in greater depth some of the new capabilities of vSphere 6.5 and PowerCLI 6.5. These videos use an innovative format known as the Light Board, which allows a presenter to white board their session while still speaking to the camera. The result is more engaging and easier to follow way of learning about a topic in more detail.

Security

The first set of videos cover the new security features of vSphere 6.5. In this one, Mike Foley goes into VM encryption and vMotion encryption.

Mike goes over Secure Boot for ESXi in this next one:

vCenter Server

In the next set, Emad Younis and Adam Eckerle dig a little deeper into various vCenter Server Topics. First, Adam covers the new vCenter High Availability feature (VCHA):

Next, Emad goes over some topology considerations for vCenter Server deployment

Finally, Emad talks about some factors involved when planning upgrade of vCenter Server and migration to the VCSA.

PowerCLI

And lastly, Kyle Ruddy compares API access methods available in PowerCLI.

We hope you enjoy diving deeper into these topics using this format. If you have any suggestions for future Light Boards, please let us know in the comments. You can also find the full vSphere 6.5 playlist on the vSphere Channel on YouTube. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

The post White Board Presentations on new vSphere and PowerCLI capabilities appeared first on VMware vSphere Blog.

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March 15th: Getting Started with IT Automation and Self Service Provisioning

On Wednesday March 15th, we will be hosting another &#rsquo;Getting More out of VMware&#rdquo; webinar. Continuing on our theme of automating the SDDC, we will show you how to get started with with IT automation and self service provisioning using vRealize Automation 7.2.
Register below, or read for more details!

 

This webinar is for the practitioners involved in managing IT infrastructure and virtual environments who need to be able to understand how to automate IT service provisioning requests, or provide an Automated Self Service Catalog to their end users.

Presenters:
Ryan Kelly, Staff Systems Engineer, VMware

During this session we will show you how to get vRealize Automation installed, configured and up and running so you can begin to publish and provision blueprints.

vRealize Automation Overview and Installation

We will star by providing a brief overview of the product, and the architectures. We will also show an overview of the Wizard based installer, and will go over a number of environmental settings and best practices for specific use cases.

 

Demonstration of vRealize Automation base setup

We will demonstrate the steps required to configure vRealize Automation after the wizard based installer finishes so you can begin to build reservations and blueprints.

 

 

We will also spend some time demonstrating how to create, publish, entitle and provision your first blueprint. There will be helpful tips along the way for troubleshooting as well as some helpful links to brand and personalize your service catalog.

At the end of the session, my colleagues and I will run a special Q&A session, so come prepared with your questions! Looking forward to see you at the webinar.

 

 

Live Q&A in the End: Bring your Questions!

The webinar will conclude with an open live Q&A with our specialists who will be on hand to answer your questions through chat.

The post March 15th: Getting Started with IT Automation and Self Service Provisioning appeared first on VMware Cloud Management.

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Hot Off The Press: NSX Light Board Videos

Read full post . . . or http://www.go-que.com/hot-off-the-press-nsx-light-board-videos

At the start of 2016 we begana seriesof VMware NSX light board videos.The goal has been to highlight the use cases and capabilities driving the adoption of network virtualization today. Through the use of a light board, these NSX experts quicklysketch outthe technology and business drivers around network virtualization with NSX.

At the end of this year, the team published 20 additional light board videos across these NSX topics: SecurityandIT Automationas well asFeatures and Capabilities and OpenStack. And for 2017, more coming soon!

Here are the recently published videos:

NewFeatures and Capabilitiesvideos
  • How NSX Uses VXLAN
  • Network and Security Operations
  • Next Generation NetOps and SecOps Platform
  • NSX - How do I know if I need it or not?
  • NSX and Asymmetric Routing
  • NSX and Service Composer intro
  • NSX is a Services Fabric
  • NSX Troubleshooting 101 - Do my physical skills translate in a virtual world?
  • Virtualization Eats Everything
New Securityvideos
  • NSX and Micro-segmentation
  • Using NSX to create a Virtualized DMZ
  • Using NSX to make a Virtualized DMZ
  • NSX Security Partner Integration
  • Automated Policy Detection and Enforcement
  • NSX and Compliance
NewIT Automationvideos
  • Automation Isn&#rsquo;t On Your Radar, And It Should Be
  • NSX Multi-Tenancy
NewOpenStackvideos
  • Neutron in the Enterprise
  • Service Chaining in OpenStack with NSX
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack Grouping Constructs

Subscribe to the VMware NSX YouTube Channel for the latest videos on customers, use cases, capabilities and more!

The post Hot Off The Press: NSX Light Board Videos appeared first on The Network Virtualization Blog.

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Hot Off The Press: NSX Light Board Videos

At the start of 2016 we begana seriesof VMware NSX light board videos.The goal has been to highlight the use cases and capabilities driving the adoption of network virtualization today. Through the use of a light board, these NSX experts quicklysketch outthe technology and business drivers around network virtualization with NSX.

At the end of this year, the team published 20 additional light board videos across these NSX topics: SecurityandIT Automationas well asFeatures and Capabilities and OpenStack. And for 2017, more coming soon!

Here are the recently published videos:

NewFeatures and Capabilitiesvideos
  • How NSX Uses VXLAN
  • Network and Security Operations
  • Next Generation NetOps and SecOps Platform
  • NSX - How do I know if I need it or not?
  • NSX and Asymmetric Routing
  • NSX and Service Composer intro
  • NSX is a Services Fabric
  • NSX Troubleshooting 101 - Do my physical skills translate in a virtual world?
  • Virtualization Eats Everything
New Securityvideos
  • NSX and Micro-segmentation
  • Using NSX to create a Virtualized DMZ
  • Using NSX to make a Virtualized DMZ
  • NSX Security Partner Integration
  • Automated Policy Detection and Enforcement
  • NSX and Compliance
NewIT Automationvideos
  • Automation Isn&#rsquo;t On Your Radar, And It Should Be
  • NSX Multi-Tenancy
NewOpenStackvideos
  • Neutron in the Enterprise
  • Service Chaining in OpenStack with NSX
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack Grouping Constructs

Subscribe to the VMware NSX YouTube Channel for the latest videos on customers, use cases, capabilities and more!

The post Hot Off The Press: NSX Light Board Videos appeared first on The Network Virtualization Blog.

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