Preparing for the Metaverse with NVIDIA Omniverse and Dell Technologies
Thu, 14 Apr 2022 20:01:45 -0000|
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Initially published on March 21, 2022 at: https://infohub.delltechnologies.com/p/preparing-for-the-metaverse-with-nvidia-omniverse-and-dell-technologies/
As technology evolves, it can sometimes seem like creativity leads to complexity. In the case of 3D graphics creation, teams with a broad range of skills must come together. Each of the team members — from artists, designers, and animators to engineers and project managers — typically have a special skill set requiring their own tools, systems, and work environment.
But the technical issues do not stop there. As existing technologies mature and new ones enter the scene, the number of specialized 3D design and content creation tools rapidly increases. Many of them lack compatibility or interoperability with other tools. And across the 3D graphics ecosystem, hybrid workforces require a “physical workstation” experience wherever they may be.
It is no small task to provide compute-power access to a geographically distributed team in a way that enables collaboration without compromising security. But to remain competitive and retain top talent, companies must provide the necessary tools to the remote workforce.
Solutions for remote, collaborative, and secure 3D graphics creation
The new Dell Validated Design for VDI with NVIDIA Omniverse makes it possible for 3D graphics creation teams to work together from anywhere in real-time using multiple applications within shared virtual 3D worlds. NVIDIA® Omniverse users can access the resources and compute power they need through a virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI), without the need for a local physical workstation.
By running NVIDIA Omniverse on Dell PowerEdge NVIDIA‑Certified Systems™, companies can enable 3D graphics teams to connect with major design tools, assets, and projects to collaborate and iterate seamlessly from early-stage ideation through to finished creation.
Designs for NVIDIA Omniverse rely on Dell PowerEdge NVIDIA‑Certified Systems and leverage a VxRail‑based virtual workstation environment with NVIDIA A40 GPUs. VMware® Horizon® can provide workload virtualization. The designs were validated with Autodesk® Maya® 3D animation and visual effects software.
The flexible solution supports the varying needs of different industries. Within media and entertainment, for example, the goal might be to create virtual worlds for films or games. Those in architecture, engineering, and construction might want to see their innovative building designs come to life within a 3D reality. Manufacturers might look to collaborate on interactive and physically accurate visualizations of potential future products or create realistic simulations of factory floors.
For all organizations, the benefits are significant:
- Empower the workforce–Enhance 3D interactive user collaboration and productivity for remote and distributed teams.
- Boost efficiency–Streamline deployment, management and support with engineering‑validated designs created in close collaboration with NVIDIA.
- Collaborate securely–Protect data against cyberthreats from the data center to the endpoint with built‑in security features.
Transforming 3D graphics production
At Dell Technologies, we are excited about NVIDIA Omniverse and its ability to enable collaboration for designers, engineers, and other innovators leveraging Dell PowerEdge servers. Dell Validated Design for VDI with NVIDIA Omniverse solutions have the potential to transform every stage of 3D production, a crucial step forward toward the metaverse. According to the Marvel® database, “The Omniverse is every version of reality and existence imaginable and unimaginable” and brings together our physical and digital lives with augmented reality, extended reality and virtual reality in our physical world like the Oasis in Ready Player One.
An open platform built for virtual collaboration and real‑time simulation, NVIDIA Omniverse streamlines and accelerates even the most complex 3D workflows by enabling remote workers to collaborate using multiple apps simultaneously. Dell Technologies is committed to offering innovative solutions to help customers manage their collaborative and performance-intensive workflows.
Learn more about Dell Validated Design for VDI with NVIDIA Omniverse.
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New Year’s Resolutions Fulfilled: Cloud Foundation on VxRail
Fri, 28 Jan 2022 14:43:21 -0000|
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New Year’s Resolutions Fulfilled: VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves with each turn of the calendar. We hope everyone is still on track!
The Cloud Foundation on VxRail team wanted to establish our own resolutions too. And with that, Dell Technologies and VMware have come together to fulfill our resolution of continuing to innovate by making operating and securing cloud platforms easier for our customers while helping them unlock the power of their data.
And as a result, we are happy to announce the availability of our first release of the new year: VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on Dell VxRail 7.0.320! This release includes Cloud Foundation and VxRail software component version updates that include patches to some recent widely known security vulnerabilities. It also adds support for Dell ObjectScale on the vSAN Data Persistence Platform (vDPp), support for additional 15th generation VxRail platforms, new security hardening features, lifecycle management improvements, new Nvidia GPU workload support, and more. Phew! So be resolute and read on for the details.
VCF on VxRail Storage Enhancements
Support for vSAN Data Persistence Platform and Dell ObjectScale Modern Stateful Object Storage Services
Initially introduced in vSphere 7.0 U1, the vSAN Data Persistence Platform (vDPp) is now supported as part of in VCF 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320. Check out this great VMware blog post to learn more about vDPp.
Beginning in this release, support for running the new Dell ObjectScale data service on top of vDPp is also available. This new next-gen cloud native software defined object storage service is geared toward those IT teams who are looking to extend their cloud platform to run Kubernetes native stateful modern application data services. To learn more about ObjectScale please refer to this blog post. Note: VCF on VxRail currently supports using vDPp in a vSAN “Shared Nothing Architecture Mode” only.
The following figure illustrates the high-level architecture of vDPp.
Figure 1 – vDPp and ObjectScale
As a result of this new capability, VCF on VxRail customers can further extend the storage flexibility the platform can support with S3 compatible object storage delivered as part of the turnkey cloud infrastructure management/operations experience.
Giving customers more storage flexibility resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Lifecycle Management Enhancements
Improved SDDC Manager LCM Prechecks
This release brings even more intelligence that is embedded into the SDDC Manager LCM precheck workflow. When performing an upgrade, the SDDC Manager needs to communicate to various components to complete various actions as well as requiring that certain system resources be configured correctly and are available.
To avoid any potential issues during LCM activities, VCF administrators can run SDDC Manager prechecks to weed any issues out before any LCM operation is executed. In this latest release SDDC Manager now adds six additional checks. These include:
- Password validity (including expired passwords)
- File system permissions
- File system capacity
- CPU reservation for NSX-T Managers
- Hosts in maintenance mode
- DRS configuration mode
All these checks apply to ESXi, vCenter, NSX-T, NSX-T Edge VMs, VxRail Manager, and vRealize Suite components in the VCF on VxRail environment. Figure 2 below illustrates some examples of what these prechecks look like from the SDDC Manager UI.
Figure 2 – New SDDC Manager Prechecks
Giving customers enhanced LCM improvements resolution: Check!
vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager Flexible Upgrades
VCF 4.4 has been enhanced to allow vRealize suite products to be updated independently without having to upgrade the VCF SDDC stack.
Figure 3 – vRSLCM Flexible Upgrades
This means that from VCF 4.4 on, administrators will use vRSLCM to manage vRealize Suite update bundles and orchestrate and apply those upgrades to vRealize Suite products (vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight, Workspace ONE Access, and more) independently from the core VCF version upgrade to help better align with an organization’s business requirements. It also helps decouple VCF infrastructure team updates from DevOps team updates enabling teams to consume new vRealize features quickly. And finally, it enables an independent update cadence between VCF and vRealize versions which boosts and improves interoperability flexibility. And who doesn’t like flexibility? Am I right?
One last note with this enhancement: SDDC Manager will no longer be used to manage vRealize Suite component update bundles and orchestrate vRealize Suite component LCM updates. With this change, future versions of VCF will not include vRealize Suite components as part of its software components. vRSLCM will still be a part of VCF software components validated for compatibility for each VCF release since that will continue to be deployed and updated using SDDC Manager. As such, SDDC Manager continues to manage vRSLCM install and update bundles just as it has done up to this point.
Giving customers enhanced LCM flexibility resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Hardware Platform Enhancements
Support For New 15th Generation Intel-Based VxRail Dynamic Node Platforms
VxRail 7.0.320 includes support for the latest 15th Generation VxRail dynamic nodes for the E, P, and V series models. These can be used when deploying VMFS on FC Principal storage VxRail VI Workload Domain clusters. Figure 4 below highlights details for each model.
Figure 4 – New 15th Generation VxRail dynamic node models
Also, as it relates to using VxRail dynamic nodes when deploying VMFS on FC Principal storage, support for using NVMe over FC configurations has also been introduced since it is a part of the VxRail 7.0.320 release that VCF on VxRail customers can just inherit from VxRail. It’s like finding a fifth chicken nugget in the bag after ordering the four-piece meal! Wait, it is New Year’s—I should have used a healthier food example. Oops!
Support For New 15th Generation Intel-Based VxRail With vSAN Platforms (S670 and E660N)
In addition to new 15th generation dynamic nodes, this release introduces support for two new 15th generation VxRail node types, the S670 and E660N. The S670 is our 2U storage density optimized hybrid platform based on the PowerEdge R750 while the E660N is our 1U “everything” all NVMe platform based on the PowerEdge R650.
Giving customers more hardware platform choices resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Developer and AI-Ready Enterprise Platform Enhancements
NVIDIA GPU Options for AI and ML Workload Use Cases
As AI and ML applications are becoming more critical within organizations, IT teams are looking at the best approaches to run them within their own data centers to ensure ease of manageability and scale, improved security, and maintaining governance.
As a follow on to the innovative and collaborative partnerships between Dell Technologies, VMware, and NVIDIA that were first introduced at VMworld 2021, we are happy to announce, with this VCF on VxRail release, the ability to run GPUs within VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320 to deliver an end-to-end AI-Ready enterprise platform that is simple to deploy and operate.
Figure 5 – VCF with Tanzu on VxRail + NVIDIA AI-Ready Enterprise Platform
VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, when used together with NVIDIA certified systems like VxRail and NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite software, deliver an end-to-end AI / ML enterprise platform. And with VxRail being the first and only HCI Integrated System certified with NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite and its supported GPUs, IT teams can deliver and provision GPU resources quickly in a variety of ways, while also allowing data scientists to easily consume and scale GPU resources quickly when they need it.
While getting into all the details on getting this set up is beyond the scope of this blog post, you can find more information on using NVIDIA GPUs with VxRail and NVIDIA AI Enterprise Software Suite using the link at the end of this post. VMware has additional information about this new support in a blog post that you can check out using the link at the bottom of this page.
Giving customers a simple path to unlock the power of their data resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Operations Enhancements
Configure DNS/NTP From SDDC Manager UI
This new feature simplifies and streamlines DNS and NTP Day 2 management operations for cloud administrators. In previous releases, all DNS and NTP configuration was included in the VCF Bring Up Parameter file that was used by Cloud Builder at the time of VCF on VxRail installation. But there was no straightforward way to make updates or changes to these settings once VCF on VxRail has been deployed. Now, if additional modifications are needed to these configurations, they can be performed within the SDDC Manager UI as a simple Day 2 operation. This feature integrates SDDC Manager with native VxRail APIs to automate VxRail cluster DNS/NTP settings. The figure below shows what this looks like.
Figure 6 – DNS/NTP Day 2 Configuration From SDDC Manager UI
Giving customers a simpler and more flexible day 2 operations experience resolution: Check!
VCF on VxRail Security Enhancements
Activity Logging For VCF REST API Call-Driven Actions
Administrators can now ensure audit tracking for activity that takes place using the VCF REST API. In this release, SDDC Manager logs capture SDDC Manager API activity from SDDC Manager UI and other sources with user context. This can be used to ensure audit tracking of VCF activity and making analyzing logs easier to understand. Figure 5 below illustrates this activity. The log entries include the following data points:
- Client IP
- User agent
- API called
- API method
Figure 7 – SDDC Manager REST API Activity Logging
Each of the SDDC Manager core services has a dedicated activity log. These logs are in the respective /var/log/vmware/vcf/*service*/ service directories on the SDDC Manager VM.
Giving customers enhanced security logging resolution – Check!
Enhanced Access Security Hardening
This release disables the SSH service on ESXi hosts by default, following the vSphere security configuration guide recommendation.
This applies to new and upgraded VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320 deployments.
Giving customers enhanced default platform security hardening resolution: Check!
Log4j and Apache HTTP Server Fixes
No security conversation is complete without addressing the headache that has been the talk of the technology world recently and that is the Log4j and Apache HTTP Server vulnerability discoveries. VCF on VxRail customers can be rest assured that as a part of this release fixes for these vulnerabilities are included.
Kicking Log4j and Apache HTTP bugs to the curb resolution: Check!
To wrap up…
Well, that about covers it for this new batch of updates. For the full list of new features, please refer to the release notes listed below. There are additional resource links at the bottom of this post. We hope to continue making good on our VCF on VxRail platform resolutions throughout the year! Hopefully, we all can say the same for ourselves in other areas of our lives. Now, where is that treadmill...?
Author: Jason Marques
VxRail Tech Field Day – A technical relay race for the athletically challenged
Fri, 03 Sep 2021 16:58:07 -0000|
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Earlier this summer we announced key advancements to VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) hardware and software, including major updates to help customers simplify their infrastructure, scale when and where they need to, and address more workloads while adopting next generation technologies. We recently discussed the technical know-how behind those new and exciting innovations at a special Dell Technologies Tech Field Day event.
Tech Field Day offers an opportunity for companies like Dell to share, learn, and interact with a small group of independent technical influencers in a series of focused technical sessions. Channel your elementary school-aged self, and imagine a day dedicated to a tug-of-workloads, hybrid cloud water balloon toss, and a flexible storage balancing act. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you’ll find these sessions beneficial. They were originally livestreamed, uncensored conversations that highlighted how VxRail drives value for our customers across four key areas:
- Optimizing operations and automating as much as possible to allow customers to focus resources on strategic IT initiatives rather than on maintaining the infrastructure
- Embracing hybrid cloud to rapidly deploy on-demand services and scale without limits
- Optimizing workloads and modern apps to drive business innovation
- And finally, by unlocking business value at the edge
These themes were carried throughout the full-day event and we covered a lot of ground on the unique capabilities and differentiators for our products – like how we’ve added even more flexibility to our HCI portfolio with VxRail dynamic nodes, the ways we’re helping customers accelerate adoption of Kubernetes with Tanzu on VxRail, and how we’re partnering with NVIDIA to deliver superior performance for AI workloads. We also heard New Belgium Brewing discuss how they cut their data center costs by about 80% with VxRail, demonstrating significant savings while boosting IT agility and efficiency.
Each session highlighted not only the passion our technologists, customers, and partners have for VxRail, but also excitement from our audience of technical influencers who had many “aha moments” throughout. The influencers were thrilled to have an opportunity to dive into our latest advancements and ask all their burning questions to our technologists directly.
Ready, set, go! Watch Tech Field Day on-demand
I invite you to check out the individual sessions on our Dell Technologies Youtube Channel where we went ahead and curated a dedicated playlist. It features:
- Modern Infrastructure for the data era - Dell EMC Storage and HCI Portfolio Overview
- Intro to The VxRail Advantage
- The VxRail Advantage - VxRail LCM and vLCM better together
- The VxRail Advantage - Configuration & Deployment
- The VxRail Advantage - Management Overview
- Brewing World-class Beer with VxRail
- VxRail dynamic nodes - flexibility for the future
- What does "seamless technology integration" mean for VxRail?
- NVIDIA-Certified Dell EMC VxRail for GPU-Intensive Workloads
- VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu on VxRail – simple path to modern apps and the hybrid cloud
- Get the most out of your Kubernetes with Tanzu on Dell EMC VxRail
Our growing list of VxRail technical videos.