Singtel Delivers Robust Hybrid Cloud Services Through Partnership with VMware and Adoption of the VMware Cloud Provider Platform

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (Singtel) is the largest telecommunications provider in Singapore, with business operations in Asian, African, and Australian markets. Today, businesses in 21 countries rely on Singtel and its portfolio of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and services to do business in a competitive digital world. To support these customers, Singtel undertook a company wide digital transformation initiative in 2013 to increase its market share in data and digital services. In 2018, Singtel’s digital and ICT business made up about one quarter of its total revenue.

An important driver of this digital and ICT business has been Singtel’s development of a robust cloud services offering for both enterprise and government customers. Singtel’s private cloud services have grown in recent years as its customers have sought to increase their IT agility and operate more cost effectively while also supporting business expansion.

Singtel has been a strategic partner in the VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) and deployed various VMware technologies that form the VMware Cloud Provider Platform,namely, NSX, vSAN, vCloud Director and vRealize to run and support these cloud services.

Singtel’s customers have begun focusing on hybrid cloud solutions that allow them to leverage both private and public cloud capabilities. Singtel has worked to develop a robust and highly functional suite of hybrid cloud services to address this demand. The hybrid cloud service offering is intended to provide the security and flexibility customers require to support application mobility, disaster recovery, and ease of migration between different cloud environments.

In line with these efforts, Singtel and VMware announced an expanded partnership in 2018 to build a Digital Transformation Foundry in Singapore on VMware technologies.

Want to know more about how Singtel is realizing financial benefits, even as it benefits from significant internal IT operational and cost efficiencies through its partnership with VMware?

Please read here.

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Meet AVA: VMware Launches Beta of a Virtual Assistant

By Steve Liang, AVA Project Lead Today we’re excited to introduce a beta of AVA, VMware’s Automated Virtual Assistant. We designed Ava to help users of VMware Docs find answers to common product questions. Using natural language processing, Ava is trained to understand key VMware concepts and recommend further reading that will answer your questions.

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New KB articles published for the week ending 9th February,2019

VMware vSphere ESXi Storage Center systems with Front End SAS connectivity show lun capacity 0MB Date Published: 2/5/2019 VMware Horizon Installation of Horizon View Agent 7.7 or newer on Windows 2008 R2 Server may fail Date Published: 2/5/2019 Issues when Horizon View Connection Server / Security Server when deployed with dissimilar FIPS mode configurations Date

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New KB articles published for the week ending 2nd February,2018

VMware vSphere ESXi NFS warning entries displayed in vmkernel logs for NFS version 4.1 and ESXi 6.7 Date Published: 1/28/2019 VM deployed from template shows the original Network adapter in Summary tab incorrectly after powering VM on Date Published: 1/28/2019 ESXi host is disconnected from vCenterServer and it is in an unresponsive state Date Published:

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Changed advanced setting VSAN.ClomRepairDelay and upgrading to 6.7 u1? Read this…

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If you changed the advanced setting VSAN.ClomRepairDelay to anything else than the default 60 minutes there’s a caveat during the upgrade to 6.7 U1 you need to be aware of. When you do this upgrade the default is reset, meaning the value is configured once again to 60 minutes.  It was reported on twitter by “Justin Bias” this week, and I tested in the lab and indeed experience the same behavior. I set my value to 90 and after an upgrade from 6.7 to 6.7 U1 the below was the result.

Why did this happen? Well, in vSAN 6.7 U1 we introduced a new global cluster-wide setting. On a cluster level under “Configure >> vSAN >> Services” you now have the option to set the “Object Repair Time” for the full cluster, instead of doing this on a host by host basis. Hopefully this will make your life a bit easier.

The post Changed advanced setting VSAN.ClomRepairDelay and upgrading to 6.7 u1? Read this… appeared first on Yellow Bricks.

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Welcome to our vCommunity Slack Workspace – VMware Cloud Providers!

Within the VMware Cloud Provider Solutions Engineering team, we are always looking for new ways to collaborate with our Cloud Service Providers. One of the recent additions is a Slack workspace called VMware Cloud Providers.

slack

Intent and Goals

The intent of this Slack workspace is further our field collaboration with Cloud Service Providers. Many of the Solutions Engineers are working closely with many of you and this is a great way of expanding this level of communication. Moreover, this provides everyone an additional forum to discuss specific VMware technologies as it relates to VCPP.

This Slack community is supported by a few of the VCPP Solutions Engineers, like myself. We try to be prompt with any responses, but please note this is something we are supporting when possible.

Overall Goals:

  1. Establish a venue for constructive conversation around technical topics in VCPP
  2. Ability to chat and connect with VCPP Solutions Engineers
  3. Have technical discussions with other peers in the service provider industry
  4. Information and questions on upcoming additions to VCPP from a technical point of view

All providers are welcome to join, but the focus will be technical conversations. Please note this channel is for professionals and will be moderated as such. Last of all, this is not a substitute/shortcut for the typical support and operations channels such as GSS or VCPP Operations team.

We want to leverage this channel to discuss new services, developments, and constructive conversations that evolve around VCPP.

Channels

Currently, we have the following channels available:

  • #euc
  • #hcx
  • #nsx
  • #storage
  • #usagemeter
  • #vcd
  • #vcf
  • #vrops

Always looking for ways to expand this also.

Join us!

If you’re looking to join, please click on this link to signup and join our VMware Cloud Partners Slack workspace. 

VMware Cloud Providers Slack workspace

From there, you will receive a verification email. If you have any questions, please free to reach out. Thanks!

-Daniel

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HA Admission Control Policy: Dedicated Failover Hosts

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This week I received some questions on the topic of HA Admission Control. There was a customer that had a cluster configured with the dedicated failover host admission control policy and they had no clue why. This cluster had been around for a while and it was configured by a different admin, who had left the company. As they upgraded the environment they noticed that it was configured with an admission control policy they never used anywhere else, but why? Well, of course, the design was documented, but no one documented the design decision so that didn’t really help. So they came to me and asked what it exactly did and why you would use it.

Let’s start with that last question, why would you use it? Well normally you would not, you should not. Forget about it, well unless you have a specific use case and I will discuss that later. What does it do?

When you designate hosts as failover hosts, they will not participate in DRS and you will not be able to run VMs on these hosts! Not even in a two-host cluster when placing one of the two in maintenance. These hosts are literally reserved for failover situations. HA will attempt to use these hosts first to failover the VMs. If, for whatever reason, this is unsuccessful, it will attempt a failover on any of the other hosts in the cluster. For example, in a when two hosts would fail, including the hosts designated as failover hosts, HA will still try to restart the impacted VMs on the host that is left. Although this host was not a designated failover host, HA will use it to limit downtime.

As can be seen above, you select the correct admission control policy and then add the hosts. As mentioned earlier, the hosts added to this list will not be considered by DRS at all. This means that the resources go wasted unless there’s a failure. So why would you use it?

  • If you need to know where a VM runs all the time, this admission control policy dictates where the restart happens.
  • There is no resource fragmentation, as a full host (or multiple) worth of resources will be available to restart VMs on, instead of 1 host worth of resources across multiple hosts.

In some cases, the above may be very useful, for instance knowing where a VM is all the time could be required for regulatory compliance, or could be needed for licensing reasons when you run Oracle for instance.

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Usage Meter 3.5 End of General Support

VMware Usage Meter 3.5 End of General Support

VMware Usage Meter 3.5 has set end of general support (EoGS) for March 31, 2019. Users of Usage Meter 3.5, or earlier, will be required to upgrade to version 3.6.1. This update needs  to be completed prior to March 31 to ensure the new appliance is reporting for the month of April. Upgrading ensures continued support and brings new features and fixes including support for all recent product versions.  Providers who chose not to update not only lose support for their version of Usage Meter but are also subject to a compliance review. 

Other benefits of upgrading…

One of the biggest benefits of migrating to 3.6.1 is VMware Usage Insight. VMware Usage Insight is a centralized service that automatically aggregates data from all Usage Meter instances in an organization. Aggregated data is then populated in the business portal. An added benefit of Usage Insight is a centralize repository for historical records and reporting. For users who are migrating from 3.5 and aren’t ready for a fully automated system, Usage Insight offers a trial mode.  Trial Mode still allows for the aggregation of the Usage Meter instances but does not populate the information in the business portal. Check out this blog post for additional information on trial mode.  

Another feature of 3.6.1 is notifications. It is important to be notified when there are failures in collections. Timely notifications are important to be able to rectify the root cause so that metering may resume. Check out the blog on Usage Meter requirements for SMTP 

Conclusion

Usage Meter 3.6.1 will require a new appliance to be deployed. During the deployment, users will have the opportunity to migrate the data from their existing Usage Meter appliance to the new appliance. If you choose not to migrate the data during the deployment, it will be necessary to keep the existing appliance for three years to ensure compliance.  

For additional information on Usage Meter and Usage Insight, please review the following resources:
Usage Meter/Usage Insight Product page
Migration Guide

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Integrating SD-WAN with vCD

Integrating SD-WAN with vCD (vCloud Director)

Introduction

SD-WAN is a highly-available, well-established, carrier class solution that facilitates on-demand, seamless and secure connectivity between any two points in a network. It is typically sold as a service with centralized, cloud-hosted orchestration and life-cycle management with zero touch deployment for rapid expansion of service footprint. SD-WAN is a disruptive technology that has the power to transform more than just branch connectivity. This article explains the overall architecture and benefits of integrating SD-WAN solutions into a vCD (vCloud Director) environment from both a provider and consumer perspective. Please see “why SD-WAN for hybrid cloud” for more information on the benefits of SD-WAN for enabling hybrid / multi-cloud.

Architecture overview

VMware SD-WAN from VeloCloud has three main components, an orchestrator, gateways and edges / hubs. Orchestrator is a centralized, multi-tenant, cloud-hosted platform that provides roles-based access to a single pane of glass for deployment, configuration, life-cycle management and transparency in SD-WAN network operations. The gateway is also multi-tenant and can be deployed and hosted in the cloud and optionally on-premise data centers. It is the primary component of the control plane and facilitates route exchanges for the SD-WAN network. The gateway also allows connectivity to legacy data-centers that support traditional site-to-site IPSec VPN’s. The third component is a software defined edge that is deployed on dedicated, pre-qualified hardware at the branch site or as software on existing compute / storage resources. The VeloCloud edge (VCE) is not multi-tenant and deployed one per branch, establishes secure management plane connectivity to the orchestrator and control plane connectivity to the gateway. It builds on-demand, secure tunnels to other branches and hubs, enforces business policies and is the primary component of the data plane in the SD-WAN network.

In the diagram above, there is one VCE per organization VDC. The VCE terminates tunnels from remote branches and allows secure access to services / assets within the VDC. Remote branches could be other private data-centers or public cloud instances such as EC2 on AWS or Azure. The VCE is deployed and managed by the provider / partner north of the org-vdc and does not count against tenant quota. SD-WAN is sold as a managed service to the tenants.

Why do it?

SD-WAN is the underlying technology that allows the tenant Org-VDC in a publicly hosted VCD environment (VCPP partners) to become part of the customers digital transformation journey to hybrid / multi-cloud.

What’s in it for the provider / partner?

  • Extend service footprint to remote branches at a reduced cost
    • Build customer loyalty
    • Workload migration
  • Additional revenue stream from existing customer base
    • Branch connectivity and hybrid cloud as a service
    • New service insertion at the branch like cloud security, L2/L3 VPN’s
  • Invest in your customers’ business outcomes
    • Offer services that are relevant to customer business
  • Seamless integration with public cloud
    • Help customers take advantage of public cloud
    • Seasonal elasticity / backup / disaster recovery
  • Single pane of glass for network management, branch deployment and policy
    • Centralized policy configuration with immediate enforcement at branch sites
    • Rapid zero touch deployment of new sites (matter of hours)

What’s in it for the tenant?

  • Single partner owns both data center and branch connectivity
    • Partner owns both ends of the SLA
    • Single point of contact – no finger pointing
    • Flexibility to migrate workloads to cloud provider or public cloud
  • Network and services are more relevant to their business outcome
    • Appropriate services inserted at the branch
    • Application awareness and prioritization
    • Consistent Security policy for both public SaaS and hosted applications
  • Reduced cost for remote connectivity
    • MPLS only used for backup or when SLA’s violated
    • Multiple broadband links for greater bandwidth
  • Better service assurance and availability (Application performance)
    • Brownout detection for service degradation
    • Automatic reroute of service requests based on monitoring KPI’s
    • Improved performance of SaaS applications (VoIP / Video calling)

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Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 is out now!

Ah the sweet smell of a cloud refresh 😌 Your Cloud Provider Pod can now deploy the latest and greatest of VMware technologies – including vSphere 6.7, and vCloud Director 9.5!

 

 

If you haven’t heard of the Cloud Provider Pod or haven’t had a chance to use it: the Pod is a cloud design and deployment automation tool purpose-built for Cloud Providers. The Pod accelerates a Cloud Provider’s time-to-service-delivery, allows the cloud admin to forget about infrastructure complexity and instead focus on delivering value to their customer.

 

Custom Cloud Design | 1-Click Deployment | Seamless Operations

The Cloud Provider Pod allows granular design of a cloud environment, and deployment of that environment with a single click. What’s more – the deployed stack is thoroughly tested for interoperability, scale, and performance to suit demanding cloud provider environments and workloads. This is achieved through adherence to the VMware Validated Designs for Cloud Providers (also refreshed!), and detailed setup and operations guidance.

 

1 click away from a swank new cloud environment

Cloud Provider Pod 1.1 deploys the following components –

vSphere 6.7u1

vSAN 6.7u1

NSX 6.4.4

vCloud Director 9.5.0.1

vCloud Director Extender 1.1.0.2

vRealize Orchestrator 7.5

vRealize Operations 7.0, including Multi-Tenant App 2.0

VMware vRealize Operations Manager – Cloud Pod Management Pack

vRealize Log Insight 4.7

vRealize Network Insight 4.0

Usage Meter 3.6.1

 

Try it Out!

Find out more on https://www.vmware.com/products/cloud-provider-pod.html, and give it a spin here! You can also check out demos, keynotes and other Pod-related media here.

We have case studies, customer testimonials, economic impact studies and lots more coming soon!

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