From the editors Virtual Desk

 

Hi everyone, this week’s newsletter comes to you from Las Vegas where I am attending a VMware employee conference. Of course it is also great that this conference is being held in Las Vegas. There are a number of new additions to the newsletter which I will be bringing you starting next week. With the help of my TAM colleague Paul and some of the wonderful folk at VMware who are always sending us useful information we have included much of this in the newsletter this week. Of course we have only included news that is of public interest but due to the source of this we feel that it is a great addition to our newsletter and we will try and include this type of information as often as possible.

 

To all of my TAM customers I look forward to seeing all of you next week when I am back and hopefully talking to you about some of the exciting new technologies that we will be bringing to the world of virtualization in the near future.

 

Have a fantastic week everyone.

 

Best Wishes

The VMware Queensland TAM Team

 

Neil Isserow - VMware TAM (Editor)

and

Paul James - VMware TAM

 

Blogs and latest news articles from around the web

 

Jumbo Frames Comparison Testing with IP Storage and vMotion

boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist 25/01/11 12:03 AM jason Virtualization Hardware Networking VMotion VMware vSphere

Are you thinking about implementing jumbo frames with your IP storage based vSphere infrastructure?  Have you asked yourself why or thought about the guaranteed benefits? Various credible sources discuss it (here’s a primer).  Some will highlight jumbo frames as a best practice but the majority of what I’ve seen and heard talk about the potential advantages of jumbo frames and what the technology might do to make your infrastructure more efficient.  But be careful to not interpret that as an order of magnitude increase in performance for IP based storage.  In almost all cases, that’s not what is being conveyed, or at least, that shouldn’t be the intent.  Think beyond SPEED NOM NOM NOM.  Think efficiency and reduced resource utilization which lends itself to driving down overall latency.  There are a few stakeholders when considering jumbo frames.  In no particular order:

 

VESI and PowerGUI going to merge

ESX Virtualization 24/01/11 10:35 PM Vladan SEGET Free Stuff PowerGui scripting VMware VMware Power Pack

 

Vesi and PowerGUI will become one tool. In fact the efforts are made to maintain unique platform only and merge those 2 projects.

What now? Many vSphere administrators now still have the possibility to use PowerGUI which is another graphical user interface which can be used to run, create and test new scripts. Very popular VMware Power Pack can be used with PowerGUI. Dimitry Sotnikov who is the person in charge of PowerGui, and I already reported about this tool here and here, has informed about why the process of merging those 2 projects.

It’s an unique free tool which is helpful not only for vSphere environments, but there are also PowerPacks for Hyper-V, Active Directory, Exchange Server and others…. See how the PowerGUI can help you with daily tasks of maintenance, reporting etc….

 

Large Pages, Transparent Page Sharing and how they influence the consolidation ratio

Gabes Virtual World 25/01/11 5:00 PM Gabrie van Zanten VMware blocks environments ESX esxi free memory guest os job large pages mainstream memory Memory compression memory contention memory management memory pressure memory usage physical memory production environment ram tps transparent page sharing vm vms

Everybody talks about the benefits of Transparent Page Sharing in vSphere environments and how they reduce the amount of memory needed in your vSphere host. Thanks to Transparent Page Sharing memory...

 

Rob de Veij has released RVTools version 3.0

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 23/01/11 12:38 AM nospam@example.com (Eric Sloof) Tools

RVTools is a windows .NET 2.0 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual machines and ESX hosts. Interacting with VirtualCenter 2.5, ESX 3.5, ESX3i, ESX4i and vSphere 4 RVTools is able to list information about cpu, memory, disks, nics, cd-rom, floppy drives, snapshots, VMware tools, ESX hosts, nics, datastores, service console, VM Kernel, switches, ports and health checks. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and RVTools is able to list the current version of the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine. and update them to the latest version.

 

New VCP4 Store - Merchandise for VMware Certified Professionals

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 26/01/11 7:01 AM nospam@example.com (Eric Sloof) VMware

Sign in to the new VCP private portal to enter the VCP4 Store, where you can get VCP4 logo wear and take pride in the accomplishment of your certification! Purchase a professional quality shirt that will distinguish you as a VMware Certified Professional.

 

http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?course=85823

 

Top 20 vCenter Performance Metrics to Care About

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 26/01/11 6:31 PM nospam@example.com (Eric Sloof) Online Training

With virtualization come management challenges. Now that applications compete for shared, dynamic infrastructure resources such as storage, memory, and CPU, an inevitable resource allocation problem arises, that if not addressed will impact the performance of both VMs and their associated applications. This presentation discusses the 20 metrics that truly matter in vCenter to evaluate and manage this situation.

 

VMware – Installing APC PowerChute Network Shutdown

penguinpunk.net 24/01/11 8:30 PM dan ESX ESXi VMware apc PCNS PowerChute virtualisation

 

I’ll admit I haven’t had to install APC’s PowerChute Network Shutdown product on my ESX(i) hosts lately, as the kind of DCs I’m hosting stuff in doesn’t cater for the UPS in a rack scenario. That said, I’ve had the (mis)fortune to have to install and configure this software in years gone by. As luck would have it, VMware published a KB articlerecently that points to APC’s support website for information on the how and what. There are two PDF files on the APC support page – one for ESX and one for ESXi. So, if you’re into that kind of thing, then you should find this useful.

 

Revisiting Snapshots from ESXi (TSM) Tech Support Mode

Professional VMware 26/01/11 2:42 AM bunchc Troubleshooting esxi snapshots ESX

 

We’ve covered snapshots here a few separate times in past. However most of these were focused on ESX classic or preforming the work using one API or another. As VMware is making the shift to ESXi, it makes sense that you will need a way to deal with snapshots from the ESXi console (aka TSM/Tech Support Mode).

 

The Future of SRM – Part Deux

RTFM Education 27/01/11 1:23 AM Mike Laverick SRM

This little missive concerns other functionality of SRM which we may see in the future… It’s much more general than the 1st part which focused on VMware’s HBR (Host Based Replication) technology. You can see some tantalizing hints at the future direction of SRM such as being a tool facilatate site migrations, perhaps even been used as engine to move VMs into the cloud. I also take a peek at some of improvements in re-IPing virtual machines, and VM Groups.

 

Uptime: New Hardware Can Affect TPS

VMware Blogs 24/01/11 11:45 PM

I recently deployed some new hardware in my lab and to my surprise discovered that after moving several VMs to the new hosts their memory utilization went up.  I also noticed that Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) wasn’t working on these hosts.  This didn’t make sense so naturally I did some digging and I want to share with you what I’ve learned as I know I’m not the only one upgrading hardware and many of you will likely stumble onto this same issue.

 

VMware vCloud Blog: Cloud Architecture Patterns: VM Template

VMware Blogs 25/01/11 3:14 AM

By Steve Jin, VMware R&D

Intent

Standardize new virtual machine provisioning with templates

Category:

Creational pattern

Problem

It’s been a pain to create new virtual machines with the right software installed and configured properly. You can always use tools like KickStart to automatically install the operating system and then install other software as needed. But configuring such an environment is not trivial, and it takes a long time from start to finish.

With the rise of virtualization, more virtual machines are provisioned (and decommissioned) than ever before. Installing each new virtual machine from scratch is not the ideal solution.

Solution

While virtualization highlights the provisioning problem, it also offers an easy solution. It’s called a virtual machine template. You can pick and configure every piece of software you will need into a template, and clone it to new instances whenever needed. It’s not only easier but also much faster.

 

ESXi Chronicles: Adopting ESXi, now is the time!

VMware Blogs 25/01/11 3:47 AM

Within the virtualization community we have been seeing more and more people adopting ESXi. Not only adopting it but also actively evangelizing the use of ESXi over ESX classic. The main argument being of course the reduction in operational effort involved with maintaining the platform. Last week two excellent articles were published. The first article was by Bob Plankers of LoneSysAdmin.net fame. Bob wrote an excellent article countering all often heard complaints about ESXi.

 

VMwareTV: VMware vFabric™ GemFire™ HTTP Session Management Module Demonstration

VMware Blogs 27/01/11 7:12 AM

 

VMware vFabric™ GemFire™ HTTP Session Management Module Demonstration

This video highlights how easy it is to use VMware vFabric GemFire to manage session data for VMware vFabric tc Server or Tomcat servers. Keep your application server stateless for high performance and scale-out by leveraging GemFire.

 

VMwareTV: Hyperic for Developers of Web Applications

VMware Blogs 27/01/11 7:15 AM

 

Hyperic for Developers of Web Applications

A demonstration of Hyperic and how it enables application developers to see the impact of load tests on application performance.

VMwareTV: Hyperic for Sysadmins & Production Ops

VMware Blogs 27/01/11 7:16 AM

 

Hyperic for Sysadmins & Production Ops

A demonstration of Hyperic and how it enables sysadmins to manage large environments, both in terms of giving them visibility into app infrastructure performance, as well as easing the amount of pain that it takes to install a conventional monitoring system and keep it up-to-date.

 

VMwareTV: Hyperic for VI Admins

VMware Blogs 27/01/11 7:19 AM

 

Hyperic for VI Admins

A demonstration of Hyperic and how it enables Virtual Infrastructure Administrators to better manage and monitor the virtual machines in their datacenters.

 

Presentation on VMware vSphere 4.1 Storage Features

blog.scottlowe.org 30/01/11 3:58 AM slowe Storage Virtualization VMware vSphere

I had the privilege this past week of speaking at the Triad VMUG meeting in Greensboro, NC, along with fellow blogger, podcaster (is that a real word?), and speaker Rich Brambley. In the event you were unable to attend (there was quite a crowd attending), here’s the presentation I gave at the meeting.

 

Announcing VMware vSphere Design

blog.scottlowe.org 1/02/11 12:00 AM slowe Collaboration Virtualization VMware vSphere Writing

This is a joint post of three prominent writers in the virtualization community: Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe, and Maish Saidel-Keesing.

For the past 6 months we have been working on a joint project. It has actually been kept pretty quiet, and it is now time to make this public.

Previous VMware vSphere books have focused on how to master the technology, deep-diving into certain elements and giving tips & tricks that help you manage your virtual infrastructure.

But we felt there was something missing in all these books. What was missing was how to design an infrastructure, accounting for all the elements that you need to consider. For example:

 

Failed to activate the software license workaround #VMware #View

vFAIL.NET 27/01/11 10:19 PM Sean Crookston VMware view KMS MAK VMware View

 

 

 

Recently I was setting up a VMware View in my home lab and came across this error, which I had seen before. The error occurs because a KMS server is not properly setup to activate the Windows 7 linked clones. As result I could not access any of the linked clones I created .

I don’t need these machines for any reason other then to play around with different options for linked clone pools so I began looking for a work around to this issue and found one here. In the base image you created, you would have installed the VMware View Agent. On that system you will find two registry keys of interest that you may want to modify. As stated, this is not supported by VMware but may be good for proof of concept or demo purposes as getting a KMS server can sometimes be difficult to get set up in certain

 

How long does it take to become a VCDX?

vFAIL.NET 1/02/11 4:00 AM Sean Crookston VCAP-DCA VCAP-DCD VCDX VMware vcp

 

 

I recently have received a couple of questions regarding how long it takes to get the VCAP-DCA and a while back someone even asked how long the whole process to become a VCDX might take.

The purpose of this blog entry is not to answer the question but to discuss what it takes for each step, although I will try and explain what time I have taken on the steps I have completed thus far.  I have an idea in my mind when I would like to do certain parts of the path but the true answer will depend on when I feel I am ready. For purposes of simplicity and the fact the VCDX3 has only one last defense possibility(I believe), this will focus strictly on those who are not a VCDX 3 already and are pursuing the VCDX 4. As I have only gotten as far as getting my VCAP-DCA, I hope to update the latter part of this entry with more of my experiences.

 

VMware PEX – time running out….

Virtual Geek 1/02/11 3:45 AM Chad Sakac

Folks – if you haven’t registered yet, and you’re a VMware, EMC or Cisco partner – you’re going to miss out.

Working furiously on the EMC boot camp (Tuesday, starts at 9am) and I hope to make it epic.  In my section I’ll be:

 

Feb VMware/EMC webcasts are doozies…

Virtual Geek 1/02/11 10:54 PM Chad Sakac

Feb is a solid calendar of webcasts.   As always, I try to reinforce, these are not for marketing, but for solid technical content, from solid technical folks.  You come to a webcast to get something out of it – not to watch a commercial, and we know your time is valuable.

Same bat time, same bat channel – every Thursday starting at 8am PT / 11am ET.

 

VCDX 4

Yellow Bricks 1/02/11 1:30 AM Duncan Epping Server

It took a while, but finally here it is the VCDX 4 program. Now some of us who were fortunate enough to complete the VCDX 3 certification and managed to pass VCAP-DCD are already a VCDX 4, but for those of you who just started the journey now is the time to start digging!

In general the process hasn’t really changed all that much:

 

Calling all virtual appliance vendors!

Yellow Bricks 2/02/11 1:49 AM Duncan Epping Various ovf virtual appliance

Lately I have been playing around in my Lab a lot. I tried many virtual appliances as I wanted to use a variety of workloads. I downloaded many appliances and hoped to have all of them up and running in a bare minimum amount of time. Apparently I miscalculated / underestimated the amount of work to get a virtual appliance up and running. Yes of course there are a whole bunch that will work out of the box, and all of these have one thing in common:

OVF

 

VMware vSphere Blog: VMware Go™ Pro Releases A New Version Containing Two New Features to Make Your vSphere Hypervisor Experience Even Easier

VMware Blogs 27/01/11 11:05 PM

A new version of VMware's Go Pro (VMware's web-based service to guide users of any expertise level through the installation and configuration of VMware vSphere Hypervisor) is now generally available, so we wanted to highlight a couple of the new features in the release as well as its 3rd party patching capabilities.

 

VMware Support Insider: SUSE Linux Enterprise for VMware – How is it Supported?

VMware Blogs 28/01/11 2:39 AM

Today we have a guest post from Support Engineer Mark Quinn, who works on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware team in our Burlington office in Canada. Mark has pioneered our expansion into SUSE support, adding a Certified Linux Administrator, Certified Linux Professional, Certified Linux Engineer, Data Center Technical Specialist, and Data Center Advanced Technical Specialist to his long list of accreditations.

Mark wanted to bring some key information to our attention, so without further ado-

 

Uptime: Tuning the DRS Migration Threshold

VMware Blogs 1/02/11 1:58 AM

I often get asked for advice on tuning the DRS migration threshold, and my standard answer is to stick with the default.  However, I can appreciate that when you provide a nice looking slide bar with five possible settings there is a natural tendency to want to change things, and trying to convince people to resist this urge requires a bit more than a simple “stick with the default”.  So let me explain why, in most situations, keeping the default migration really makes sense.

 

Uptime: PSODs and VMware HA

VMware Blogs 1/02/11 9:22 AM

Despite our best efforts here at VMware, there are occasions where a PSOD may occur.  PSODs can occur for a wide range of reasons, including out of memory and hung CPU conditions.  In a HA protected environment, if a PSOD does occur you would expect that the VMs that were running on the host that encountered the PSOD would be failed over to another host.  There does exist a corner case where this may not be the case.  Let me explain why: