VMware Open Source Project Lightwave, Project Photon

Written by Mo Elamin. Posted in Blog, VMWare

PHOTON VMware announced the introduction of two new Open Source projects, Project Lightwave and Project Photon, both are intended to improve scalability and integration between cloud apps and existing enterprise infrastructure.

Project Lightwave – An Identity and Access Management (IAM) tool which ties in to existing VMware authentication products. It allows increased control over container-based cloud apps by implementing access control over container-based apps for both developers and customers. Key capabilities in Project Lightwave are centralized identity management and multi-tenant support, key components for service providers and application hosts.

Project Photon – A stripped down lightweight implementation of Linux built specifically for running application containers. This is targeted primarily at environments running VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Air, Project Photon is designed to allow users to run both virtual machines and containers natively within a single lightweight environment. Project Photon supports container applications from Docker, rkt, and Garden/Pivotal.

Besides supporting Lightwave’s containers and security mechanisms, Photon will support both Red Hat’s RPM for image-based system versioning, and SUSE’s yum-compatible, package-based life-cycle management system

Photon is available on GitHub as a technology preview today. To compile it, you’ll need Ubuntu 14.04 or later. While there is also a GitHub respository for Lightwave, there’s no code at this time there.

This opens up more choice and offerings for customers wishing to invest in containers.

Latest vSphere Replication 6.0

Written by Mo Elamin. Posted in Blog, VMWare

One of the coolest features of vSphere 5.1 & 5.5 is vSphere Replication in my opinion. So I was excited with Advancements to this feature in the Vsphere  6.0 release.

vSphere Replication 6.0 What’s New?

 End to End compression – It’s possible to enable traffic compression to get reduced replication times and reduce the consumed bandwidth

Typical compression ratios are 1.6:1 to 1.8:1. For example, a virtual machine containing 37.5GB of data took 52 minutes to replicate with compression off (default setting). With compression enabled, that same 37.5GB of replicated data was compressed to 20.2GB and took only 29 minutes to replicate.


Isolate replication traffic from management traffic – VR 6.0 allows segregation of replication traffic which improves performance and security. NIOC can be used to manage the replication traffic.

Full Synchronization Performance Improvements – allocation information is requested from the underlying storage and checksum comparisons are done only where necessary (compared to previous release where it was done globally).

Microsoft VSS support – VSS for Windows file systems are now supported.

Quiescing Linux File system – there are “freeze” and “thaw” scripts and VMware tools to quiesce Linux FS. Quiescing improves reliability, but by default is disabled.

Storage vMotion and Storage DRS support – No need to do a full synchronization after a replica VM was moved to different location, like in previous release.


vSphere Replication 6.0 Details:

10 VR appliances per vCenter – When deploying vSphere Replication, you can deploy up to 10 vSphere Replication appliances per vCenter server.

2 VMDKs – vSphere Replication appliance is configured with two VMDKs with 18Gb in size

4 Gb of vRAM – the VR appliances are configured with 4Gb of RAM each

Ability to configure multiple recovery points. To recover a VM there are two options:

• Synchronize recent changes – allows to get the latest changes synchronized (the source VM needs to be powered off)

• Use latest available data – latest replica is used to recover the VM (some data will be lost – as less as 15 min if RPO 15 min was configured)

vSphere Replication can utilize Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) for Windows file systems and VSS-aware applications. Support for quiescing Linux file systems has been added to vSphere Replication 6.0.

The quiescing method involves the use of “freeze” and “thaw” scripts and VMware Tools to quiesce a Linux file system just before replication occurs. VSS and Linux file system quiescing improves the reliability of virtual machines recovered with vSphere Replication. Quiescing is disabled by default.

Another improvement is support for Storage vMotion and Storage DRS at the target location. Previous versions of vSphere Replication required a full synchronization whenever a replica was moved from one datastore to another. That is no longer the case with vSphere Replication 6.0.

VMware vSphere 6 is now available

Written by Mo Elamin. Posted in Blog, VMWare

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