VMworld Barcelona: Keynote mentioned Beta and early access programs link list

In the keynote sessions there are/where several Beta and early access programs mentioned for the VMware innovations.Beta’s are excellent if you have access to a lab, and some are available as a hosted beta program if you happen to miss resources or such. Get an early look, play, try and break. But do also comment, discuss and return feedback.

So where are those Beta’s? I have tried to put up a list of the mentioned Beta program URL’s for your convenience (okay started for my own reference, but I can share ;-)).

vSphere 6.0


VSAN 2.0

vCloud Air

vRealize Air

VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)

Please join in the fun and participate in these beta (and off course also others) programs.

Have I misted one or more (that could be true but I call sleep deprivation as my witness), please let me know.  

Sources: vmware.com.


Hey come out and play. Join the vSphere Beta Program

At June the 30th VMware announced the launch of the latest vSphere Beta Program. This program is now open for anyone to register and participate in the beta program. The Beta program used to be for just a select group, but with VSAN Beta VMware started to allow a wider group of participants. In my opinion this is good as the group of software testing participants is larger and the amount of feedback, learned lessons and experience will be greater. The community and it’s testers will make the product and it’s features even better. Hopefully more Beta’s will also be open to a larger group of participants.

A larger group will make it harder to keep information within the group and not publicly shared on for example the big bad Intarweb. As this Beta program seems open to everyone, it is still bound to NDA rules. Details are in the VMware Master Software Beta Test Agreement (MSBTA) and the program rules which you are required to accept before joining. After that share your comments, feedback and information in the private community that is offered with the program.

What can you expect from the vSphere Beta program?

When you register with a my VMware account, the participant can expect to download, install, and test vSphere Beta software for his or hers environment. The vSphere Beta Program has no established end date. VMware strongly encourages participation and feedback in the first 4-6 weeks of the program (starting on June 30 2014). What are you waiting for? 

Some of the reasons to participate in the vSphere Beta Program are:

  • Receive access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Gain knowledge of and visibility into product roadmap before others.
  • Interact with the VMware vSphere Beta team, a chance to interact with engineers and such.
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configuration, usability, and performance.
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learned lessons of your own.

What is expected from the participants?

Provide VMware with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases, enabling VMware to better align the products with business needs.


Sign up and join the vSphere Beta Program today at: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta.

– Go ahead, come out and play. Join the vSphere Beta program now!

Source: vmware.com

Evaluations – VSAN Beta – The what and installation

I finally received my new company notebook. I use my notebook as my demo and evaluation lab. Before I was extremely lagging in my labs due to minimal RAM (6GB) and a magnetic none performance HDD. I still can’t believe how patienced I was (cause I normally am not even near patience). But now with a SSD and 16GB RAM (and a supporting virtualization, another plus) I can finally do some VSAN evaluating. So here goes!

What is VSAN?

VMware Virtual SAN or VSAN in short (all capitals for this one), is a new software-defined storage tier. It is simple shared storage specifically designed for virtual machines. By simple it is self tuning, easy provisioning, simple managed and dynamically scalaleble. It works at the cluster layer and presents a single datastore distributed across multiple hosts in a vSphere cluster (that is where VSAN is enabled).



So what are the VSAN components? A model:


A VSAN Cluster is made out of at least three vSphere 5.5 hosts. A VSAN is activated when a host cluster is created or VSAN is enabled on existing clusters. When enabled, VSAN aggregates all local storage disks available on the hosts into a single datastore (VSAN Clustered Datastore) shared by all hosts (that is, when set to automatic). You can later expand the datastore by adding storage devices or hosts to the cluster. Local storage is at least one empty (that is not formatted with VMFS or other file system) SSD and one HDD (SAS or SATA).

VSAN requires a private 1Gb network, a VMkernel port enabled for VSAN service is added to the vSphere configuration. As a best practice, use 10Gb network and Jumbo frames (end to end). You can add multiple NIC’s for redundancy.

When you use VSAN, you’ll define a virtual machine storage policy, for requirements such as performance and availability. The policy requirements are in place at the VSAN layer when a virtual machine is being created. The virtual machines virtual disk(s) is distributed across the VSAN datastore to meet the policy requirements.


And now for the fun part. VSAN is available as a public beta (personally I find public beta is better then invite only beta’s so hopefully VMware will stay on this road). Want to participate, go to this link: http://www.vmware.com/vsan-beta-register.

My VSAN lab is made of three nested ESXi 5.5 hosts (nested in VMware Workstation 10). These hosts have several networksThe hosts are configured with their required networks with one management VMkernel port, one vMotion and one VSAN. (with several nics in appropriate VSS). The hosts have two virtual disks configured, one standard so SSD is marked (as my notebook has SSD) and one IDE so this is not SSD marked. The three hosts are managed by a vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.


The hosts are added to a data center. There I have added a new cluster that is DRS, HA and VSAN enabled (This is not the correct order. You actually have to setup VSAN prior to enabling HA). I have set VSAN to automatically claim storage. I added the beta VSAN license to the cluster (that’s were this one goes).


So host are added, and storage is automatically added. You should see a VSAN datastore setup. You can verify the existing vsandatastore at your datastore view.



Next one of the important things, setting up the storage policies. You first have to think about your policies. What are your storage requirement scenario’s.  If you just want to try out in a proof of concept, or defaults are good enough, there are also default policies.

Unlike storage profiles that work at the datastore level, storage policies are linked to virtual machine objects. There are applied to one or more virtual machines. Storage  Policies  can  be  found  in  Home  >  Rules  &  Profiles.


I’m adding a policy to tolerate one failure.It finds my VSAN datastore as a matching provider (fortunately for me).

When creating a VM I can select the storage policy and see my VSANdatastore shows up as compatible. My other VMFS are not (as they are already VMFS provisioned and therefor not part of VSAN).


I can place a VM on my VSAN.

This concludes the initial setup of VSAN.

One final note; currently VSAN is experimental in vSphere 5.5. VSAN therefor is not for production.

– Enjoy VSAN’ning across the VMware universe!