VMware vExpert

VMware vExpert 2020

VMware just announced the list of 2020 vExperts and I am honored to be nominated for the third time!

For 2020, VMware awarded this title to over 1700 persons from over 40 countries. I’m glad that my country, Romania, has 3 more friends on this list: Razvan Ionescu, Aylin Sali and Michael Stoica. I feel that more of the people involved in the VMware community from Romania should set a target for themselves to be nominated next year (some of them should start with a Twitter account, hint!). If you need more information about the program, feel free to send me a message. For my Romanian friends: you may find more details about being a vExpert from a presentation I did for Romanian VMUG some time ago (first video recording from VMUG Romania October Meeting Report starting around the 6th minute).

For those still unfamiliar with the benefits of the program, I will list the ones that strike me as most important:

  • recognition both from VMware and from community to personal “significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others”
  • access to vExpert Slack channel – I would say this is a treasure judging by the persons around and the quality of their posts. Think at this as a personal Twitter on steroids 🙂
  • VMware software licenses for home labs – virtually all VMware products can be tried with 1 year licenses with enough capacity for a decent home lab
  • exclusive opportunities for vExperts – webinars, VMworld events, access to beta programs
  • not for resale licenses from other vendors from VMware environment

For the comprehensive list of 2020 vExperts, you can visit the dedicated directory at vexpert.vmware.com/directory.

Congratulations to all new and renew vExperts!

VMUG Romania February 11 2020

VMUG Romania Report – GPU, AI, and VMware News

On February 11, 2020, at PointHub in the usual location, about 50 technology enthusiasts attended the first VMUG Romania meeting in 2020. We managed to start the year in force with two special guests, VCDX certified: Niels Hagoort (VMware) and Johan van Amersfoort (ITQ).

The winter edition of the VMUG Romania meeting was sponsored by:

  • VMware – Program Sponsor
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise – Platinum Sponsor
  • Commvault – Gold Sponsor
  • Pure Storage – Gold Sponsor
  • Veeam – Silver Sponsor

Fighting Cancer with VMware Technology, GPUs, and ML – Niels Hagoort and Johan van Amersfoort

Niels Hagoort (VCDX # 212 and Technical Marketing Architect at VMware’s Cloud Platform Business Unit) together with Johan van Amersfoort (VCDX # 238, EUC Architect and Tech Marketing Manager at ITQ Consultancy) introduced us to a special world, that of the GPU devices. Johan started with a brief history of video games and the influence of GPUs. We listened stories about Doom (the Game) and Toy Story (the Movie), GeForce and Voodoo (the GPU cards), then switched to GPUs used for High Performance Computing (HPC), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL).

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11 February 2020

VMUG Romania Meeting – 11 February 2020

VMUG Romania invites you to the next meeting held in Bucharest on 11th February 2020 in the same cool location, PointHub. I thought it will be interesting to have an informal name for each edition, so this will be “the 2 VCDX edition”.

This edition will be sponsored by:

  • VMware – Program Sponsor
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise – Platinum Sponsor
  • Commvault – GoldSponsor
  • PureStorage – Gold Sponsor
  • Veeam – Silver Sponsor

The opening keynote will be held by Niels Hagoort and Johan von Amersfoort.

Keynote: Fighting Cancer with VMware Technology, GPUs, and ML

We will go into details about a medical research institution customer case that realized a way to discover and detect cancer cells in an early stage using photo analyses. We will demo how vSphere technology running a machine learning application utilizing GPUs helped to make this possible. In this session, we will explain the details about GPU architecture and elaborate on how VMware vSphere ESXi supports the usage of GPUs. Learn how you can benefit from GPU compute power when using machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) workloads.

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VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 3b

VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 3b

VMware released a new vCenter Server version: 6.7 Update 3b, 6.7.0.42000, build 15132721. In this article I will cover the resolved issues and I will show how easy is to update from a previous version of vCenter Server 6.7 to VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 3b.

In case you are looking for a plain installation of vCenter Server 6.7, you can check my other article: How to Install VCSA 6.7 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance).

Resolved Issues

This release of vCenter Server 6.7 Update 3b delivers the following patches:

  • Security Patch for VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 3b (applicable for vCenter Server for Windows, Platform Services Controller for Windows, and vSphere Update Manager.; updates JRE version to 1.8.0_221)
  • Full Patch for VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 Update 3b (Product Patch for vCenter Server Appliance containing VMware software fixes, security fixes, and Third Party Product fixes)
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VMware Security Advisory

VMware ESXi and Horizon DaaS Security Updates – VMSA-2019-0022

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2019-0022 (VMware ESXi and Horizon DaaS updates address OpenSLP remote code execution vulnerability). Patches and workarounds are available to address this vulnerability in affected VMware products.

This advisory documents the remediation of one issue, rated with a severity of critical. VMware ESXi and Horizon DaaS use an OpenSLP version which has a heap overwrite issue. Successful exploitation of this issue may allow attackers with network access to port 427 on an ESXI host or on any Horizon DaaS management appliance to overwrite the heap of the OpenSLP service resulting in remote code execution.

The identifier CVE-2019-5544 was assigned to this vulnerability.

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VMUG Romania

VMUG Romania 2019 Review

As one of the leaders of VMUG Romania, I thought it’s a good idea to have a sort of year review coming from the VMUG leaders, so here it it. For Romanian version, you can click here.

We are delighted that we managed to keep pace with 3 annual meetings and the fact that we managed to engage with more speakers from abroad: Joe Baguley (vice president and CTO EMEA VMware), Aylin Sali (CTO and founder of Runecast), Maciej Lelusz (CEO Inleo), Jacint Juhasz (VMware, ex-Alef / Netapp), Cormac Hogan (chief technologist VMware) and Todor Tsankov (Site Reliability Engineer at VMware). At the same time, we had a record number of participants in our activities, which honors us and for which we thank you!

February 12, 2019 – Spring VMUG

The first action of the year 2019 was the meeting on February 12 held at the Journey Pub in Bucharest. The sponsors of the event were DellEMC and Bitdefender. From the sponsors we had presentations covering hyper-converged solutions (The Power of Hyper-Converged – Cristian Stan, Dell EMC) and multi-cloud operations (Security automation, performance, and response across multiple VMware clouds – Gabriel Mazarache, Bitdefender). Cristian Radu, VMware, presented us a deep-dive session on NSX-V.

From the community side, the year was started in force, with 4 sessions: a new session from Victor Homocea dedicated to vSAN, a presentation on the management operations of vRealize Operations – Bogdan Mitu, Adobe, a scenario of ESXi servers migration presented by Corneliu Lefter, Neverfail, and finally a practical session of DCLI usage held by our colleague Mihai Huica, Orange. The event ended with a tasting of craft beer.

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VMware vForum Romania 2019

VMware vForum Romania 2019

Wednesday 27 November 2019, Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel from Bucharest will host the biggest yearly VMware event from Romania, vForum Romania 2019.

The event will start with few global sessions:

  • Quo Vadis VMware, Colin Bannister, vice-president EMEA VMware
  • A story about yesterday & tomorrow – a glimpse on how technology will change the world, Valentina Frangu, Dell Technologies Romania
  • Build a secure and scalable Hybrid Cloud with HPE Synergy and VMware Cloud Foundation, Alexandru Vilcu, HPE Romania
  • Accelerating your cloud migration with VMware Cloud on AWS, Dragos Madarasan, AWS

Even better than last year, after the general sessions we will split in no less than tree tracks: Any Cloud, Any Application, Any Device; Software Defined Datacenter; and Hybrid Cloud.

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VMware Security Advisory

VMware ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion Security Updates – VMSA-2019-0019

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2019-0019 (VMware ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion updates address a denial-of-service vulnerability).

This advisory documents the remediation of one issue, rated with a severity of moderate. VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion contain a denial-of-service vulnerability in the shader functionality. Successful exploitation of this issue may allow attackers with normal user privileges to create a denial-of-service condition on their own VMs.

Exploitation of this issue require an attacker to have access to a virtual machine with 3D graphics enabled. By default, this functionality is not enabled on ESXi and is enabled on Workstation and Fusion.

The identifier CVE-2019-5536 was assigned to this vulnerability.

Affected products and resolutions:

  • ESXi 6.7 – apply patch ESXi670-201908101-SG
  • ESXi 6.5 – apply patch ESXi650-201910401-SG
  • Workstation 15.x – update to 15.5.0
  • Fusion 11.x – update to 11.5.0

The workaround for this issue involves disabling the 3D-acceleration feature.

Disable 3D-acceleration on ESXi

  • With Host Client or vCenter, go to the individual VM > Edit Settings > Virtual hardware > Video card.
  • If the “3D Graphics” is checked then 3D-acceleration feature is enabled.

Disable 3D-acceleration on Workstation

  • Select virtual machine and select VM > Settings.
  • On the Hardware tab, select Display.
  • If the “Accelerate 3D graphics” is checked then 3D-acceleration feature is enabled.

Disable 3D-acceleration on Fusion

  • From the VMware Fusion menu bar, select Window > Virtual Machine Library.
  • Select a virtual machine and click Settings.
  • In the Settings Window > select Display.
  • If the “Accelerate 3D graphics” is checked then 3D-acceleration feature is enabled.

You can check reports on other VMware vulnerabilities in my page dedicated to Security Advisories.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance Security Update - Backup and Restore Vulnerability

VMware vCenter Server Appliance – Backup and Restore Vulnerability

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2019-0018 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance updates address sensitive information disclosure vulnerability in backup and restore functions).

This advisory documents the remediation of one issue, rated with a severity of moderate. Sensitive information disclosure vulnerabilities resulting from a lack of certificate validation during the File-Based Backup and Restore operations of VMware vCenter Server Appliance may allow a malicious actor to intercept sensitive data in transit over FTPS, HTTPS, or SCP.

A man-in-the-middle positioned between vCenter Server Appliance and a backup target may be able to intercept data in transit during File-Based Backup and Restore operations.

The identifiers CVE-2019-5537 (data interception over FTPS and HTTPS) and CVE-2019-5538 (data interception over SCP) were assigned to this vulnerability.

Affected products and resolutions:

  • vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 – update to 6.7 Update 3a
  • vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 – update to 6.5 Update 3d

Remediation of CVE-2019-5537 and CVE-2019-5538 is not enabled by default. After upgrading vCenter Server Appliance, follow the steps in KB75156 (Enabling secure backup and restore in the vCenter Server Appliance) to enforce strict certificate validation.

You can check reports on other VMware vulnerabilities in my page dedicated to Security Advisories.

VMUG Romania February Meeting

Joe Baguley – Keynote Speaker at VMUG Romania July 2019

Next meeting from VMUG Romania marks again some unexplored avenues: Joe Baguley, Vice-President and CTO EMEA at VMware, will be the keynote speaker of the event. Two more speakers from the international VMware community will attend the meeting.

Save the date announcement was already sent to the VMUG community, for a full day event on 18th July 2019 at Point Hub, Bucharest. You can already register on the event page.

Joe Baguley
Joe Baguley

The day will start at about 10:00 in the morning with the keynote speech from Joe Baguley. Joe will talk about the latest trends in application and infrastructure evolution. He will also talk about VMware directions in research and development area. Joe is a fantastic speaker, don’t lose the opportunity to meet him face to face in Bucharest! If you never listen to Joe before, you can head to VMware Carpool Tech Talk post and check last two episodes: Joe Baguley and Rory Choudhuri discuss their early years in IT and how times have changed; they then talk about electric cars (check their verdict!).

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