Well my vegas trip is over and I am back in Brisbane after an incredibly interesting and successful trip. I am so luck to work for a company like VMware that has so much faith in it’s employees. We have such amazing leadership, vision, technology and passion for what we do. I feel privileged to be able to work with such smart and dedicated people. This week I will be kicking off a new section which will hopefully increase the newsletter’s content and usefulness for all of you. The new section will include information that is put together by a number of key internal employees, however all of this information is of course public or opinion based. I hope that you enjoy this new section.

 

Disaster Recovery:

As many of you are aware the recent floods in Queensland and now cyclones in the far north of the state have caused major damage. One of the key topics that comes up during these times is how robust is our disaster recovery strategy. While this is something that should be considered all of the time during times of catastrophe these procedures are scrutinized and often put into action during this time. As VMware customers I urge you to discuss your current DR strategy in it’s entirety with your TAM with special regard to your virtualized environment, highlighting areas of risk and concern.

 

From next week in Brisbane we will also be starting the Lunch and Learn sessions again. This is a series of very informative technical sessions which are presented by our System Engineers and Technical Specialists on a variety of topics. The newsletter will always contain details on the upcoming session at the end of the newsletter. Please note that unless otherwise indicated all sessions take place at the Brisbane VMware office.

 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead

 

Best Regards

Neil and Paul

TAM Team Queensland

 

Best of the VMware Web

 

Tips and Tricks how-to best manage Memory under VMware vSphere

There is new how-to Whitepaper from vKernel written by Jonathan Klick, which gives you some interesting ideas on the memory management in your vSphere Infrastructure. You can get the Free White Paper at this address.

This white paper provides information on the key memory metrics you should use for VM (virtual machine) memory allocation sizing and performance issue monitoring, as well as recommendations on how to make these assessments when large memory pages are in use.

 

Check alignement and Wasted Space with free tool from VirtualizePlanet

Free tool to check alignement of your VMs and also Wasted space on your VMDKs.

Ricky El-Qasem from VirtualizePlanet.com has build a nice free tool which enables you to check the alignements of your VMs in the cluster and also check wasted space in your VMDKs. It’s 2 in 1 tool. I was actually participating in the building process, since I did some beta testing for Ricky. Not only me, but also other bloggers too. It was fun.

It’s a tiny package to download (2.6 Megs) . Make sure that you have .NET installed on your system otherwise during the installation process the latest .NET will be downloaded and so the installation process can get lengthy.

How to use it? Very easy. Just check the About button on the software. You’ll see a nice page where you can see the instructions….-:). Basically just click on nice VMware Tree button on the left top side of the program, where you enter your vCenter or ESX(i) credentials, and here you go. Next thing you must do is to go to Scan Options button, where you enter your Domain credentials which might be different from your vCenter credentials.

 

APAC Virtualization Roundtable (SNIA with @Rodos) – Wed 2/2

This week megastar Rodney Haywood (@rodos) hosts the show interviewing Paul Talbut from SNIA.

SNIA lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. Hear from local SNIA general manager Paul Talbut about SNIA in Australia, what they do and what’s planned for this year.

If you interested in joining the APAC Virtualization Roundtable initiative to host or guest an episode please reach out to me or Alastair Cooke.

 

Load Balancing Health Monitoring Traffic

For the purpose of hardware sizing one of my customers asked me about the amount of bandwidth traffic that is required by Load Balancers in order to maintain a constant View health monitoring.

The most common types of health monitoring are ICMP and HTTP.

HTTP health monitors are optional in a VMware View deployment, however strongly recommended. The Load Balancer appliances issue a GET URL command to retrieve the index.html page from each connection broker in the pool.

When the Load Balancers probe a Security Server, the Security Server immediately performs a check against the Connection Server for which it is configured. This check between the Security Server and Connection Server  happens over the AJP13 (TCP 8009) connection.

The picture below (if you can read) demonstrate a WGET command issued against a connection broker – for VMware View 4.5 the index.html is 1.2K.

 

VMware vSphere Design - The only book to cover how to properly design a VMware vSphere 4 implementation

VMware vSphere is the industry’s most widely deployed virtualization solution. The current release VMware vSphere 4 is considered the most robust and sophisticated virtualization product. This book is the only one of its kind to clearly and concisely show you how to create a vSphere 4 implementation so that it is tailored to meet a company’s needs and resources. Expert authors share with you the factors that influence and shape the design of a vSphere 4 implementation. You will learn how to make the right design decisions for your company.

 

Technical Papers: SAP Solutions on VMware vSphere 4 - Best Practice Guidelines

This paper provides best practice guidelines for deploying SAP® software solutions on VMware
vSphere 4. These guidelines only provide general recommendations and do not target any specific size or type of SAP solution implementation.

VMware has created separate best practice documents for the individual areas of storage, networking and performance. (See the Resources section for a list of these publications.) SAP also has created a variety of technical notes, published in the SAP Marketplace, for more information about virtualizing SAP solutions on VMware virtual infrastructure. Reference numbers of these notes are identified in this document, and you can refer to these additional technical notes in conjunction with the information provided here.
http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10086

 

vShield, vCenter, and Management Clusters

I recently tweeted looking for VMware customers using the vShield products in production. There was very little response. It seems that vShield Edge and App are barely being used at all in production. It is possible that some rough patched need to be sanded down to polish vShield to its appropriate luster. But if you are not playing with these products now, you owe it to yourself to download the trial versions.

Our fantastic APJ vSpecialist organization has been spending with vShield. Many of us believe vShield to be one of the most exciting editions to the VMware portfolio in a long time. It is simple, elegant, and very powerful. But there is a very big danger with vShield: improper use can disable the network connection of vCenter virtual machines. Fixing this problem is not intuitive.

 

Cannot start a Virtual Machine

I was presented with an issue yesterday regarding a VM that I was not able to start

I went through KB Article 10051, step by step, until I got to:

 

VMware View Desktops: IDE or SCSI? BusLogic, LSI Logic or PVSCSI?

BusLogic IDE LSI Logic PVSCSI SCSI vdi view

I've seen and had many discussions around this topic when discussing VMware View desktop design, so I though I'd gather as much information as I could to help you decide.

From the information below, I would personally recommend using the following:

Windows XP: LSI Logic Parallel or SAS

Windows 7: LSI Logic SAS

The PVSCSI controller will be the controller of the future so you may also want to keep this in mind. Of course you can make your own decisions. Most of the points made are desktop focused, however most will apply outside of a View environment.

 

The VCAP-DCA Study Guide Lives On

I had previously stated that I would no longer be keeping up with the VCAP-DCA study guide I had created and that will still stand true, however I have found someone else to take over updating it. Damian Karlson whose blog you can find at DamianKarlson.com has stepped up and volunteered to take over keeping the guide up to date. Damian has a great knowledge of VMware and as someone who is pursuing the exam will be able to give the guide the attention it needs.

 

ESXi Chronicles: Scripted install with ESXi

I received a couple of questions around doing a scripted install with ESXi and decided to write up a script and show you the steps required. Doing a scripted install with ESXi though is fairly simple:

Boot from the ESXi CD-Rom

Press "Tab" when the "VMware VMvisor Boot Menu" is displayed

Edit the  string so that it includes the location of your script.

When including the location of your script make sure you append it after "vmkboot.gz" and before "--- vmkernel.gz" as William Lam pointed out in his blogpost. It should resemble the following screenshot.

 

VMware Support Insider: Cannot power on any VMware View virtual desktop in pool

Another in our Resolution Paths series, here is a ResPath article for those of you who use VMware View. Recall that a ResPath article outlines a step by step process to resolving an issue.

Let's start by looking at the Respath titled: Cannot power on any VMware View virtual desktop in pool

You'll be interested in the KB article if:

You cannot power on any virtual desktop in a pool, or,

You are having power on issues with your View virtual desktops

 

VMware Support Insider: VSphere Hypervisor licensing

Today we have a guest post from Ganesh Shetty, who is a Tech Support Engineer in our Bangalore office who specializes in Licensing issues. Today, he answers some very frequently asked questions about ESXi, or as it now known, vSphere Hypervisor.

If you are planning to install vSphere Hypervisor (formerly known as VMware ESXi Single Server or free ESXi) soon, here is some licensing information that may be helpful.

The free vSphere Hypervisor Serial Key that you receive can be used to license any number of standalone ESX hosts as long as they don’t exceed 100 physical servers. We get a lot of questions on this.

Another commonly asked question is what features does vSphere Hypervisor contain?

 

Extra Edition

 

Secure Remote Access with View and PCoIP

13/12/10 6:14 AM by Mark Benson

View Security Server is a component of View that is typically deployed in a DMZ to support remote access to virtual desktops. When accessing desktops from the Internet, such as by the home or mobile worker, Security Server provides the required level of security and connectivity. It ensures that the only remote desktop traffic that can enter the corporate data center is traffic on behalf of a strongly authenticated user. It also ensures that the user can only access desktop resources they are authorized to access.

VMware SRM with CLARIION SRA Gotcha

07/01/11 6:50 PM by Brian Norris

I was working on a VMware SRM with EMC CLARIION implementation when I come across another gotcha and thought id post about it.  I had to change the IP Address’s for the CLARIION management ports at the DR site and with doing so I went into SRM and edited the array manager configuration so the DR array information used the new management IP Address’s for SPA and SPB.  After performing a rescan of the storage and getting a hideous error, I went looking in the logs and found the following error.

Presentation on VMware vSphere 4.1 Storage Features

29/01/11 3:58 AM by Scott Lowe

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.

EMC - vSphere, RecoverPoint, and Business Continuity for Microsoft Exchange 2007

08/10 by EMC

This detailed whitepaper documents the testing and validation of the disaster recovery capabilities of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager with EMC RecoverPoint, and EMC Replication Manager in a Microsoft Exchange 2007 environment.  Testing included validating the performance of 4000 very heavy Exchange 2007 users when replicated to a remote site 100km away using asynchronous RecoverPoint.  Using this configuration, both Microsoft Jetstress and Microsoft Load Generator were used to validate the performance of Exchange 2007.  All Exchange performance metrics fell well within the guidelines provided by Microsoft.  Recommended reading for all customers interested in BC regardless if you are an EMC customer.

The VCE Model: Yes, it is different         

22/01/11 by Nicholas Weaver

This post comes out of a slide deck I authored last week for a partner event. I decided I was going to try and illustrate why the VCE model really is such a different approach to other datacenter and private cloud models.  Normally my blog is light on vendor specific commentary. I see myself more as a virtualization geek who just happens to work for an awesome company (EMC) than a hardcore analysis/blogger. But I have seen so much messaging lately that distorts the VCE message, I really felt the need to offer my own perspective.

 

For background, Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition is an unprecedented collaboration of three information technology (IT) industry leaders (VMware, Cisco, and EMC) focused on helping customers build a Private Cloud though a shared vision using aligned products and technologies. The coalition has been created to accelerate the customers’ ability to increase business agility through greater IT infrastructure flexibility, and lower IT, energy, and real estate costs through pervasive datacenter virtualization and a transition to private cloud infrastructures.  With the VCE strategic alliance providing reference architectures, solutions, and services, market adoption of virtual datacenter architectures can be increased with less risk and greater reward to enterprises and IT organizations. VCE also offers a joint vision, technology development roadmaps, integrated transformation services, and solutions that will reduce the time needed for a customer to realize business value. Over the last six years VMware, Cisco, and EMC have been developing this alliance through partnerships to lead the effort in the virtualization of datacenter architectures. VCE solutions, consumption types, and technology development work streams have been created specifically for this initiative, as well as reference architectures that have been defined and tested.  Check out the VMware Reference Architecture for Cisco UCS and EMC CLARiiON with VMware View 4.

Generating Load to Test DRS

03/02/11 by Duncan Epping

Every once in a while you would want to stress a VM or multiple VMs to test the working of for instance VMware DRS. There are multiple tools available but most of them only focus on CPU and are usually not multithreaded. My colleague Andres Mitchell developed a cool tool which will load a multithreaded CPU load and will generate memory load.

 

Alternatively, remember the CPU Busy script from the VMware VCP410 course – Refer http://virtualizationandstorage.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/cpubusy-vbs/.

View 4.5 - Install and Configure Article Series

15/09/10 by Paul Slager

While I was at VMworld a few weeks ago VMware announced its latest release of its virtual desktop platform, VMware View 4.5! I have been closely watching the VDI market this past year but haven’t felt compelled to start doing any thorough tests because of several issues. First there was a battle over which protocol would reign supreme. I didn’t want to jump on any technology before that issue was clearly sorted out. Second, most of our users are laptop users and the offline desktop feature now called local mode was seriously lacking some luster. Third, I was waiting to perform a Windows 7 upgrade in alignment with the Virtual Desktop Project. Finally I wasn’t sure that the cost savings were quite there yet after performing a few preliminary TCO’s.

 

I believe that VMware has sorted out the protocol issue by implementing PCOIP and RDP. PCOIP still has issues over the WAN just like any of the other protocols that have come out but it’s much more efficient then RDP. Local desktops have been vastly improved and now you can even have your linked clones go “offline”. I am currently preparing for a Windows 7 upgrade so now is as good as time as any. Hold tight because this is going to be quite a ride. A virtual desktop project is no small project. I truly think that you need to put more effort and planning into this than you did with your server virtualization project. Part 7 of the series, ” VMware View 4.5 Planning & Implementation”, will bring to light some of the key factors in your decision making process to help you plan your project.

 

This ten part series is in no way an exhaustive guide, as too many variables exist. However, if you have questions about something that I didn’t write about please ask and I will help you as best as I can.

Mind Map for VMware Update Manager Resolution Paths

24/01/11 by VMware Support Insider

We had a good response from our first Resolution Path Mind Map that we did for Fusion users so continuing with that effort we present to you the Resolution Path Mind Map for VMware Update Manager.  This Mind Map (these look great printed out LARGE by the way) will help resolve the vast majority of issues that you may encounter with VMware Update Manager..

 

Want to learn more about setting up VMware Update Manager?  Referhttp://blogs.vmware.com/kb/2011/01/mind-map-for-vmware-update-manager-resolution-paths.html

SUSE Linux Enterprise for VMware – How is it Supported?

27/01/11 by VMware Support Insider

The SUSE Linux Enterprise for VMware technical support team has been live since September 2010.  In preparation to provide the best support, the team has obtained Novell Certified Linux Professional certifications and even some Certified Linux Engineer certifications.  First things first, the landing page for SUSE Linux Enterprise for VMware can be found at: http://www.vmware.com/products/sles-for-vmware/index.html.   There you can:

 

There you can:

Learn about SLES for VMware and its benefits

Find out how to download SLES for VMware and activate your free subscription

Discover what technical support options for SLES for VMware are offered by VMware Global Support Services

Read the terms and conditions of this offer and review the list of eligible products

Chad’s World–Episode #2 (VNXe and VNX)

24/01/11 9:11 AM by Virtual Geek

Episode #2 of Chad’s World is now posted, click on the link below to watch.   Wade and I intentionally ham it up.  Yes, there’s some frommage – but we’re trying to make it punchy and fun, and there’s some awesome stuff in this one.

 

All episodes of Chad Sakac’s (EMC), Chad’s World can be found athttp://www.emc.com/community/chads-world/index.htm