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Hi everyone, I hope that you have had a successful week. Over the past few weeks I have been running a number of our tech briefing sessions which have become very popular. These are well attended and always attract many questions and queries. Each week we pick a different topic and from now on in the newsletter I will feature the upcoming session’s product. This past week we had a session on vCloud Director and vCloud Request Manager. Next week we will be doing a session on VMware Application Discover Manager. See below for more info on this technology and if you are in Brisbane feel free to register for the session (details at the end of the newsletter).

 

I would also like to wish my readers in Japan all the best after such a tragic event in your region.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor), Paul James

Queensland TAM Team

 

Featured Product

VMware vCenter Application Discovery Manager

GET A FAST AND ACCURATE VIEW OF YOUR DATACENTER

 

Quickly and accurately map your application dependencies to accelerate datacenter moves, precisely plan infrastructure consolidations and confidently virtualize your business critical applications.

Fast and low-impact deployment through unique agentless technology

Guaranteed visibility into all application interactions across both physical and virtual machines via network-based approach

Discovery of unknown, unwanted and unexpected application behaviors

 

Automated Application Dependency Mapping

VMware vCenter Application Discovery Manager (formerly EMC Ionix Application Discovery Manager) provides the automated, real-time application discovery and dependency mapping capability you need for effective, dependency-driven change, configuration, incident and problem management across physical and virtual environments.

 

Map Applications Quickly, Accurately via Agentless Discovery

Through Application Discovery Manager's agentless, continuous dependency mapping - across physical and virtual application infrastructures - you can quickly gain an understanding of your service dependencies with unparalleled accuracy and efficiency. Whether you are moving a data center, virtualizing applications, building a site recovery plan or moving a service to the cloud, an accurate application dependency map is an essential first step.

 

 

Virtualize Business Critical Applications with Confidence

Application Fingerprints™ uniquely identify common packages and applications. In addition, Application Discovery Manager’s heuristic fingerprinting recognizes common n-tier application interactions and automatically groups and maps these applications, which allows enterprises to quickly classify their applications. A user can also specify a grouping of hosts that make up an application and then discover all instances of that application and related hosts in the environment. Alternatively, deep-packet inspection can discover patterns within the discovery process—such as URLs and database table names—to allow the creation of new fingerprints around these patterns for ongoing discovery of application instances.

 

 

Eliminate Reliance on Tribal Knowledge

Application Discovery Manager provides a real-time, automated dependency mapping solution that allows enterprises to drive quick and accurate application virtualization and datacenter blueprinting projects. It eliminates reliance on "tribal knowledge" and guesswork, helps IT teams avoid change-induced service outages, degradations and failures and populates third-party or homegrown CMDBs or CMSs. Enterprises can detect, log and report on software and hardware configuration changes and compare configurations server to server. External database reporting capabilities provide the ability to create customized reports based on the data in Application Discovery Manager’s repository. Operations teams can quickly determine what changed and track down the truth behind the all-too-common statement: "I didn't change anything."

 

Latest news and reviews

 

VMware View: VMware View Client for iPad #1 Free Business App – #Awesome App

Less than 12 hours after launch of the View Client for iPad we’re proud to say that we’re already number one on the App Store for Business Apps.  We’d like to thank all of those who have downloaded and reviewed the app so far and look forward to hearing your feedback.  We’ve also been getting some great coverage across the net on the various media outlets.  Here’s a list of a few of them:
iPad goes enterprise, VMware says (first look at its new “View” app)

VMware View brings virtual desktops to iPad with touchscreen-friendly controls (video)

VMware brings out View client for iPad

VMWare View Lets iPad Users Access Corporate Desktops

VMware Community Podcast now: VMware Education/Certification & View iPad Client

VMware View client for iPad released

Apple iPad Means Business for Healthcare With VMware View™ Virtual Desktops

VMware offering View app on iPad for remote computer control

Short-Take: Windows 7 for iPad, Free

If you don't already have a copy of the View Client for iPad you can get it here.

This is just the start of good things to come.  Be sure to check back to the View Blog often and follow@vmwareview on Twitter for product updates.

 

VMware vCloud Blog: Interview with Steve Jin on vSphere API, State of the Cloud

Recently at VMware Partner Exchange 2011, I had the honor of meeting VMware's Steve Jin. If you have read the vCloud blog at all in the past, likely you have read a post from Steve or visited his blog DoubleCloud.org.

I sat down with Steve, learned a lot about him, and learned what makes him so successful.

 

VROOM!: Exploring Generational Scaling with VMmark 2.1

The steady march of technological improvements is nothing new.  As companies either expand or refresh their datacenters it often becomes a non-trivial task to quantify the returns on hardware investments.  This difficulty can be further compounded when it’s no longer sufficient to answer how well one new server will perform in relation to its predecessor, but rather how well the new cluster will perform in comparison to the previous one.  With this in mind, we set off to explore the generational scaling performance of two clusters made up of very similar hardware using the newly released VMmark 2.1.  VMmark 2.1 is a next-generation, multi-host virtualization benchmark that models not only application performance but also the effects of common infrastructure operations.  For more general information on VMmark 2.1, including the application and infrastructure workload details, take a look at the expanded overview in one of my previous blog posts.

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map for VMware Hosted Products

VMware products that enable virtualization within a hosted OS form a class by themselves. These products currently include VMware ACE, Player, Server, and Workstation. (Fusion fits the bill as well, and there’s a lot of crossover between the products, but we tend to handle documentation and such separately.) GSX Server used to be part of this group, but we no longer support it (migrate to Server or Workstation already!), and you'll still see it tagged on some articles. The Resolution Pathsfor VMware's hosted products have been newly revised, to keep up with new product and OS versions.

 

VMware ThinApp Blog: The power of AppLink

One great benefit of ThinApp’s bubble-to-bubble communication feature, called AppLink, is that you can have application dependencies assigned either static or dynamic. This will allow you some great flexibility but can just as easily make your design quite complex. As always, just because we support a feature or a usage of a feature doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it. In this blog post will I tell you about some of the functionalities of AppLink and then leave it up to you to decide how you’ll implement it...

 

VMwareTV: Demo of VMware View Client for iPad

bit.ly - Read about the release of the VMware View client app for the iPad and watch this demo video.

 

VMwareTV: Children's Hospital on the VMware View Client for iPad

bit.ly - Children's Hospital of Central California has deployed VMware View to provide secure, "Follow-me Desktops," that move from room-to-room with clinicians and staff as they treat their patients and plans to deploy VMware View Client for iPad.

 

Business Critical Applications: Monitor SQL Server Performance on VMware

Virtualization adds new software layers and new types of interactions between SQL Server and the hardware components. While the general methodology for monitoring and troubleshooting SQL Server performance does not change, VMware provides additional tools for monitoring and troubleshooting at the physical host level. This is the first of a series of Monitoring and Troubleshooting SQL Server performance on VMware blogs. In this blog, I'd like to discuss how to effectively monitor SQL Server performance on VMware.

 

VMware Support Insider: Migrating User data Between VMware View Desktops

VMware View Administrators will be interested in this blog post from Hasan Mahmood, a TSE in our Burlington offices. Dealing with user data in a View environment has a couple of caveats Hasan explores below.

During the life cycle of a View pool you may find that you need to move a user's data from one desktop to another. This may be to recover from a failure or due to operational needs.

Depending on the type of pool, your user's data might be located on a separate disk or on the same disk as the OS in installed. In the case of Linked clones with persistent / User Data disks, we can use the procedure described in Knowledge Base Article:

 

Business Critical Applications: Enterprise Java Applications on vSphere Best Practices

Many of our customers have run critical enterprise Java applications on vSphere successfully.  The best practices guide is often referred to by our customers when embarking on running Java applications on vSphere.

December last year version 2 of the best practices paper was released here:http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1087,

The paper covers quite few best practices and definitely recommended for anyone doing deployments of Java applications on vSphere, however it is worthwhile to note that the top 3 most sought after best practices from this paper are as follows and based on customer interaction:

 

ESXi Chronicles: Ops changes part 5 - Scratch partition

When implementing ESXi the first noticeable difference in the architecture is the partition layout.With ESX classic you always had the ability to customize your partition layout and many used the obvious "Linux" partition scheme with a /tmp, /opt, /var and /home. This however as changed with ESXi and there isn't actually much left to discuss... well except for the Scratch Partition that is.

The question of course is what is it used for and when is it created and can I modify it?

The Scratch Partition is used for a couple of things:

 

Enabling VMware View 4.6 PCoIP with dynamic IP address

Don’t we all run those Enterprise products in our own home lab just to play with, get acquainted with, use them to prepare for exams and use them to think of new concepts? In my lab I use VMware View...

 

VDI Flash Calculator v2.1 Released

I have just uploaded a new release of the online VDI Flash Calculator.

This new release offers full support to VMware View 4.6 architecture. This release also introduce the support to CPU/Core speed calculation. Based on a given average MHz for each individual VM the flash calculator will provide the amount of GHz required to support the workload per CPU/Core.

 

Addressing Self-Service Password Reset with VMware View 4.6

A common request from my customers is the ability to leverage password self-service from 3rd party tools. The idea behind such tools is to allow users to change and/or reset account passwords without having to ring the helpdesk.

VMware View Client supports the requirement to change password during logon time if the user account password is expired. However, if the user account is locked out for any reason VMware View will not let the user to login because it will not be able to validate user credentials.

 

VDI Display Protocol Calculator v1.1 w/ New Features

I am making available an updated release of my online Display Protocol Calculator. This new release implements a number of features to better size protocol bandwidth utilization, VMware View 4.6 with PCoIP Gateway support, and also an experimental (!) feature to calculate the bandwidth offset when multiple simultaneous sessions.

 

Video – Using the vCloud Connector

Director

The VMware vCloud Connector, a free plug-in that will allow all VMware vSphere administrators to immediately begin deploying and managing virtual machines (VMs) across VMware vCloud Powered cloud services from within the VMware vSphere Client. In this video I’ll show you how to configure both the vCenter server and the vCloud Director and how to upload a virtual machine to the vCloud Director.

 

vCenter Operations – Your Future Performance Dashboard

VMware has released a great new product which is able to diagnose and analyse vSphere performance metrics. vCenter Operations Standard is for vCenter administrators who want to better understand the performance of their virtual infrastructure, and to diagnose and correct performance problems easily and quickly.

 

vCenter Operations Standard collects performance data from each object at every level of your virtual infrastructure, from individual virtual machines and disk drives to entire clusters and datacenters. It stores and analyses the data, and uses that analysis to provide you with real-time information about problems, or potential problems, in your enterprise. vCenter Operations Standard presents the data in graphical interface pages that display different views of your virtual infrastructure.

 

Video - VMware View Client for iPad

VMware View Client for iPad makes it easy to access your Windows virtual desktop from your iPad with the best possible user experience on the Local Area Network (LAN) or across a Wide Area Network (WAN).I’ve created a short demo video which unveils some cool features of the VMware View Client for iPad.

 

Video - VMware vCenter Operations - Troubleshooting Workflow

This week was awesome and it isn’t even over yet. We had two new product launches and can expect some more fireworks in the coming days. Last Tuesday VMware has released vCenter Operations Standard, it’s a great new product which enables you to diagnose and analyse vSphere performance metrics. I’ve already blogged about it and also recorded a short demo videoimmediately after the release. VMware's Kit Colbert, lead engineer on vCenter Operations also recorded two great videos which will give you an in-depth overview of the vCenter Operations Standard edition and will learn you all about to the Troubleshooting Workflow.

 

Performance Troubleshooting Guide Update

My old friends in VMware’s performance team updated the hugely popular performance troubleshooting guide for vSphere with a vSphere 4.1 version. The previous version of this document has been viewed nearly 30,000 times to date, making it the most popular document ever produced by performance engineering. The vSphere 4.1 version has already been seen over 9,000 times which suggests its early popularity with a large audience.

 

Start and Manage a VM Without Using vSphere Client

You’re familiar with features in VMware vSphere that can help bring up critical virtual infrastructure after a widespread datacenter outage — planned or otherwise — but did you also know that it’s possible to power on a virtual machine and even determine the dynamic IP address of a guest OS using a simple command-line utility?  This could be handy after a disaster or if you normally rely on a Windows virtual machine to run the vSphere Client and don’t feel like firing up Fusion for one quick task.

 

PowerCLI Book Preview

If you follow any of my co-authors blogs you will know that our PowerCLI book “Vmware vSphere PowerCLI Reference” is due out imminently, around the end of this month, you of course do not have to wait this long, you can already pre-order the book from any of the sites listed below:

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Sybex

We also started a website which you can keep up to date and download the latest examples from the book or ask questions about scripts in the book, visit it here: PowerCLIBook.com

But what I thought might be nice is a little taster so you know what to find in the book.

Recently when attending the Dutch VMUG, Luc and I gave a presentation, in this presentation we showed more about the book and what to find in it, we even gave some nice video examples of the scripts which you can find in the book, please see below for the slide deck and the videos from our presentation…

 

Change VM Video Memory

I was contacted by a colleague asking if there was an easy way to set the video memory for a number of virtual machines, he had been working with a customer who had received an error when a virtual machine was being Vmotioned, the Vmotion completes successfully but the following error is received:

Insufficient video RAM. The maximum resolution of the virtual machine will be limited to 1176x885 at 16 bits per pixel. To use the configured maximum resolution of 2360x1770 at 16 bits per pixel, increase the amount of video RAM allocated to this virtual machine by setting svga.vramSize="16708800" in the virtual machine's configuration file.

 

No one likes queues

Well depending on what type of queues we are talking about of course, but in general no one likes queues. We are however confronted with queues on a daily basis, especially in compute environments. I was having a discussing with an engineer around storage queues and he sent me the following which I thought was worth sharing as it gives a good overview of how traffic flows from queue to queue with the default limits on the VMware side:

From top to bottom:

 

Talking about face melting stuff

Yes not only Chad Sakac deals with face melting ultra uber geeky cool stuff I do as well (those on twitter know what I am referring to), but unfortunately I cannot share the details on some of the stuff I am working on. I can however provide you a link which contains the papers written by  the engineers on some of the stuff that might be coming up in the future. Note the “might”, there is no guarantee it will ever make it into the VMware products, but nevertheless still cool to read:

 

 

Thin provisioned disks and VMFS fragmentation, do I really need to worry?

I’ve seen this myth floating around from time to time and as I never publicly wrote about it I figured it was time to write an article to debunk this myth. The question that is often posed is if thin disks will hurt performance due to fragmentation of the blocks allocated on the VMFS volume. I guess we need to rehash (do a search on VMFS for more info)  some basics first around Think Disks and VMFS volumes…

 

 

Security Updates

NEW: March 7, 2011 VMSA-2011-0004 - VMware ESX/ESXi SLPD denial of service vulnerability and ESX third party updates for Service Console packages bind, pam, and rpm.

UPDATED: February 10, 2011 VMSA-2011-0003.1 - Third party component updates for VMware vCenter Server, vCenter Update Manager, ESXi and ESX

UPDATED: December 7, 2010 VMSA-2010-0019.2 - VMware ESX third party updates for Service Console

UPDATED: August 31, 2010 VMSA-2010-0013.3 - VMware ESX third party updates for Service Console

UPDATED: April 1, 2010 VMSA-2010-0006.1 - ESX Service Console updates for samba and acpid

 

Common Criteria:

Common Criteria (CC) is an international standard (ISO15408) set of guidelines for the evaluation of IT products. It was born out of the unification of pre-existing standards from the governments of Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the U.S.

 

There are seven certification levels called Evaluation Assurance Levels (EAL), increasing levels are more stringent. Levels EAL2 and EAL4 are most common and EAL4+ is the highest assurance level that is recognized globally by all signatories (currently 26 countries) under the Common Criteria Recognition Agreement (CCRA). 

 

VMware completed the first Common Criteria certification for a virtualization product on x86 hardware in March 2006 with the certification of ESX® Server 2.5 and VirtualCenter 1.2. To date vSphere 4.0 & 4.1, ESX 3.5/VirtualCenter 2.5, ESX 3.0.2/VirtualCenter 2.0.2 have earned certification at EAL4+ level.

 

You can find further details at http://www.vmware.com/security/certifications/ or the Common Criteria portal: http://www.commoncriteriaportal.org/’

 

In the News:

Imprivata and Teradici Announce Strategic Partnership to Provide Strong Authentication on PC-over-IP Zero Clients for VMware View™

http://www.imprivata.com/teradici_release_

 

RSA, EMC and VMWare advise on defending against advanced persistent threats

http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2011/02/17/245475/RSA-2011-RSA-EMC-and-VMWare-advise-on-defending-against-advanced-persistent.htm

 

Kaspersky Labs announces support of vShield Endpoint:

http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=626817&Itemid=28

 

HP Tipping Point IPS integrating with vShield and vCloud Director:

http://www.wwpi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9665:hp-vmware-to-develop-market-security-technology-for-cloud-environments&catid=230:cloud-computing&Itemid=2701186

 

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for week ending 3/5/11

 

VMware Alive Enterprise
Setting multiple FSDB locations in VMware Alive (1034899)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Connecting to the VMware Alive Enterprise SCOM adapter using Windows Authentication (1035184)
Date Published: 3/3/2011

VMware Data Recovery
More than 0 virtual machines were selected. A maximum of 0 virtual machines can be backed up by one Data Recovery appliance (1033813)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
VMware Data Recovery File Level Restore: Installing FUSE on a Debian-based Linux 64bit OS (1035231)
Date Published: 3/3/2011

VMware ESX
vMotion fails with the error: Migrate_SetFailure: Failed waiting for data. Error bad0004. Busy (1031636)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
ESX or ESXi hosts might fail when you update the CPU microcode manually (1033694)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Enabling VMware High Availability and VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler in a cluster (1034280)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Booting the ESX host fails with this message in the console: Restoring S/W iSCSI volumes (1022071)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Gathering esxtop performance data at specific times using crontab (1033346)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Upgrading VMware Tools fails with the error: No module BusLogic found for kernel x.x.xx-xx, aborting (1033819)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
VMware Tools on ESX 4.0 hosts fail to start due to SELinux default setting (1024209)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Installing ESX 4.0 Update 2 fails with the error: could not find packageData.pkl file under file:///mnt/source/VMware/RPMS/ (1029784)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Upgrading the host to ESX 4.1 Update 1 fails with the error: The uploaded upgrade package is not a valid upgrade package (1035176)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Virtual machine network connectivity fails with the error: Peer not allowed to change address, blocking port (1035424)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
IBM x3850/x3950 reports alert for component OEM System Integrator defined 1 SEL Fullness (1032334)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
LeftHand P4000 series performance is much lower than in physical (1032833)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
The hostd.log file reports CIM monitoring messages repeatedly (1033921)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Understanding iterative redolog consolidations during online snapshot deletion in VMware ESX (1034364)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Running the su command on the service console fails with the error: incorrect password (1034974)
Date Published: 2/28/2011

VMware ESXi
Creating a scratch partition using a USB stick/Memory Card (1033696)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Enabling esxupdate logging on ESXi 4.x (1034329)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Deleting a large file on the NFS datastore with ESX succeeds, but reports the error: Error caused by file /vmfs/volumes/<datastore-uuid>/<filename> (1035332)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
The GuestInfo variables set for the virtual machine do not persist after the virtual machine is rebooted (1034826)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Custom quiescing scripts do not get called during VMware Consolidated Backup of Linux-based operating systems (1035452)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Generating the vm-support bundle from ESXi 4.x fails to gather the vmkernel core and PSOD dump (1033261)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Virtual Machine powers off while creating or deleting snapshots with error: Failed to lock the file (1033571)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
ESX/ESXi reports in Task & Events: User root@127.0.0.1 logged in (1031578)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Logging in to the ESX/ESX 4.0 Update 1 host using the vSphere Client fails with the error: Error parsing the server <server ip> “clients.xml” file (1033550)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Disabling simultaneous write protection provided by VMFS using the multi-writer flag (1034165)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Why does my vSphere Client on French Operating System display in English when I connect to vCenter 4.0 (1032674)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
ESXi host displays an error and fails to boot when two ESXi installations are on the same system (1035107)
Date Published: 3/2/2011

VMware Player
Installing VMware Tools in VMware Player (1035392)
Date Published: 3/2/2011

VMware Service Manager
Is VMware Service Manager compatible with Internet Explorer 9? (1035148)
Date Published: 2/28/2011

VMware vCenter AppSpeed
Logging in to the vCenter Appspeed interface fails with the error: Permission Denied (1033431)
Date Published: 3/1/2011

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ
CapacityIQ upgrade fails with status error for data migration (1035426)
Date Published: 3/2/2011

VMware vCenter Converter
Converting a Linux virtual machine fails at 99% with the error: Unable to reconfigure the destination virtual machine (1034984)
Date Published: 2/28/2011

VMware vCenter Lab Manager
Exporting a Lab Manager configuration fails with the error: The file specified is not a virtual disk (1034946)
Date Published: 2/28/2011

VMware vCenter Server
vCenter Service Status reports the error: Cannot store license usage in the vCenter Server database (1029495)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
The Annotation field in the Summary page of a virtual machine fails to update (1035329)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Performance Charts are not displayed and the Storage Service is not initialized when clicking on Storage Views (1021022)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
vCenter Server 4.x times out when connected to an Oracle instance (1030273)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Transient IP Allocation Policy fails to assign IPs to virtual machines (1031476)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Storage view tab not displaying Multipathing Status (1033442)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Host profile cannot handle more than one vmk# ports that are enabled with different services in the same dvs portgroup (1035431)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Viewing performance charts fails with the error: This program cannot display the webpage (1029664)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
vCenter Storage Monitoring plug-in does not get enabled when vSphere Client 4.1 is connected to vCenter Server 4.0 (1029885)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Upgrading the ESX/ESXi host using vCenter Update Manager fails with error: Unknown Error (1030744)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
SSPI Timeout when logging in to vCenter using Windows session credentials (1032641)
Date Published: 3/4/2011
Cisco HBA does not handle aborted commands correctly in Cisco UCS blades (1033409)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
When executing a SQL statement VirtualCenter Server service stops with the error ORA-01010: invalid OCI operation (1034312)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Clicking the Hardware Status tab for an ESX host reports the warning: No new host data available. Data will be updated in 5 minutes (1035457)
Date Published: 3/4/2011

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
vCenter Server Heartbeat console shows SQLServer messages (1031530)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Installing vCenter Server Heartbeat using Broadcom NICs or HP NICs with Broadcom chipset capable teaming on Windows Server 2008 and later (1035398)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
vCenter Server Heartbeat console shows SQLServer messages (1035402)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Locating the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Executables and Icons (1035414)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
vCenter Server Heartbeat console log displays the message: System: Error creating counter Server Work Queues\Queue Length (1035415)
Date Published: 3/1/2011
Locating the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat executables and icons (1030677)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Data Rollback disabled in the vCenter Server Heartbeat Console (1035410)
Date Published: 3/1/2011

VMware vCenter Update Manager
Scanning the ESX host using VMware Update Manager fails with the error: request failed because the remote server xxx.xxx.xxx.xx took too long to respond (1029364)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Installing Update Manager fails with the error: Error 25085 : Setup failed to register VMware vCenter when trying to install update manager (1035543)
Date Published: 3/4/2011

VMware vCloud Connector
vCloud Connector does not support top-level domains (TLDs) with more than 4 characters (1035488)
Date Published: 3/2/2011

VMware View Manager
Connecting to the VMware View desktop fails with the error: No desktop resource available (1025790)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Physical Machines with Teradici Host card not working with PCoIP (1033823)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Checking out a linked clone desktop fails with the error: This desktop cannot be checked out (1034948)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Frequent disconnects when using Thin Client for connecting to VMware View desktops (1034986)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Unable to take snapshot of persistent disks on linked clone View desktops (1035019)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Removing a replica VMware View Connection Server from the Administrator page (1035520)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Provisioning a desktop pool fails with the error: VcFault:VMware.Sim.Fault.VcObjectNotFoundFault (1019581)
Date Published: 2/28/2011
Windows in View Desktop appear as outlines when connecting from Wyse V10L Thin Client (1022515)
Date Published: 3/3/2011
Download page does not list VMware View Composer (1035324)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Creating a linked clone pool fails with the error: Only ESX 4.0 hosts or homogeneous clusters of hosts running ESX 4.0 can be selected (1028489)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Security servers switch to only listening over HTTP after upgrading to VMware View 4.6 (1035349)
Date Published: 3/2/2011
Pool deployment fails when Windows volume licence does not activate in pool desktop (1035519)
Date Published: 3/3/2011

VMware VirtualCenter
Using the Move VMs to Directories option causes virtual machines to disappear from the inventory (1029769)
Date Published: 3/4/2011

Well from my calculations we have now passed 100 newsletters over the past 2 or so years. I am very proud of that achievement and hope that I have at least informed you of some of the activities in the world of VMware which as you all know if something I am very passionate about.

 

This week I am removing some of the content that I have kept in for a while to streamline the newsletter back for a week or two but of course these are always archived on my blog every week around Friday’s which is 5 days after I send this newsletter to you. The blog is accessed at http://communities.vmware.com/blog/vmwaretam, not all newsletters are there but at least the last 50 or so should you need to find anything. With the older newslettters being PDF and DOC’s they are harder to search but as we have now moved to HTML this is made much easier.

 

Of course as usual I have loads of news for you this week with all of the announcements, conferences and so on going on around the world it is really a privilege to be able to bring this newsletter to you with the effort really being driven by the wonderful VMware bloggers out there. If I haven’t mentioned this enough I want to re-iterate that it is the amazing work done by these individuals that gives me a newsletter I can produce and send to you each week. I often wonder what sort of newsletter I would have without them but luckily for me the world of VMware just gets more and more interesting and there is an ever increasing number of bloggers out there ready to share their views and news with us.

 

This week I would like to draw your attention to something that seemingly went unnoticed at least for me anyway, maybe I am just too busy but just in case I thought I would share it with everyone. More info in the newsletter but VMware released a small plugin called the VMware vCloud Connector which I think will be the beginning of a big impact for all.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor), Paul James

Queensland TAM Team

 

Featured Product

VMware vCloud Request Manager

ENHANCE COMPLIANCE AND CONTROL FOR VCLOUD DIRECTOR PRIVATE CLOUDS

Enhance compliance and control in VMware vCloud Director based private clouds by adding sophisticated approval workflows to provisioning requests and automatically tracking software license usage. Enforce standardized settings for better cloud governance and asset management:

Improve private cloud policy control by enforcing business policies and procedures on your private cloud infrastructure to avoid virtual sprawl

Maximize efficiency and service delivery through intelligent process automation

Simplify user experience for cloud consumers with a simple cross-browser compatible portal

Minimize deployment costs and speed with minimal configuration

 

More info: https://www.vmware.com/products/vcloud-request-manager/

 

VMware vCloud Connector

VMware vCloud Connector enables customers to use their vSphere Client as a single pane of glass view across hybrid clouds. Customers can use vCloud Connector to view, power on and off and copy VMs, vApps and templates across vSphere and vCloud Director-based private or public clouds.

 

Download: http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/vccp/ZHcqYnRkZXdiZCpldw==

 

VMware View 4.6

While View 4.6 is considered a minor update, I am actually very excited about the new capabilities we have baked in to this version of our award winning desktop virtualization solution. Among the minor bug fixes and USB updates, View 4.6 delivers enhancements to View Security Server.  VMware View 4,6 now provides support for external end-users connecting to their View desktop via PCoIP across the WAN. This new support provides for a simple, secure remote connection and authentication as users connect to their desktops outside of the firewall. 

With this new native support, View Security Server provides an end-to-end PCoIP protocol session, and also removes the requirement for enterprise-class SSL VPNs (you can still use them with View and PCoIP if that’s what you have in your environment). For businesses this means reduced desktop virtualization infrastructure cost and configuration issues along with lower ongoing support costs. The result is a tightly-integrated and cost-effective desktop virtualization deployment that provides for easy authentication for those of us who work remotely. We think you will agree – it provides a vastly improved remote user experience.  

More details about what we're delivering with the PCoIP/Security Server integration can be found in this post from Mark Benson, View Architect from our CTO office.

Mark also pulled together this great video, which goes deeper into the technical specifics of the PCoIP/Security Server enhancements in View 4.6.

 

 

VMware View 4.6 PCoIP Remote Access from Mark Benson on Vimeo.

And as if Mark hasn't been busy enough, he pulled togehter this great blog post on Setting up PCoIP Remote Access with View 4.6.

You’ll also find a write up here from Scott Davis, CTO for End-User Computing.

The View 4.6 bits can be downloaded here.

 

Latest news and reviews

 

Uptime: New Book: Professional vSphere 4: Implementation and Management

I'm always on the lookout for new technical books with a VMware focus.  It looks like Cody Bunch and Patrick Ancillotti are working on a new one called "Professional vSphere 4: Implementation and Management".  It is expected to be released later this year (May 18th acording to Amazon.com).  From the standard description:

"VMware vSphere, is VMware's first cloud operating system, able to manage large pools of virtualized computing infrastructure, including software and hardware. Building on the power of VMware? Infrastructure, VMware vSphere dramatically reduces capital and operating costs, and increases control over IT infrastructures while preserving the flexibility to choose any OS, application and hardware. This book provides vSphere administrators with essential guidance in implementing and managing VMware's vSphere product suite. This guidance has been battle tested in virtual environments big and small. It also provides actionable advice for the day to day operational maintenance and common pitfalls to avoid for first time vSphere administrators. Best of all, the book includes an introductory version of Train Signal's vSphere training DVD that provides additional hours of vSphere training."

 

VMware Support Insider: Hardware Monitoring in ESXi

Today we have a guest post from Arun Pandey, a Tech Support Engineer in Bangalore, India office. Arun explains below how hardware monitoring can be accomplished in ESXi using vCenter.

Most of us are aware by now that future major releases of VMware vSphere will only include the VMware ESXi architecture. ESX, with its console is being phased out.

In ESX classic the VMware agents (hostd, vpxa), virtual machine monitor and the various 3rd party agents run in the service console.  In ESXi, they run natively within VMkernel. This architecture does not allow for installing any arbitrary code on your ESXi system (hence improving security and stability of the product). How then, can we plug in a monitoring solution?

 

vCO Team: vCloud Connector and other delights on VMware Communities Roundtable

No worries if you missed the live broadcast. It is available below. We had a very active session for just under an hour. Hope you enjoy(ed) the show

For the vCO portion of the discussion, we had Burke Azbill and John Stanford from VMware's Cloud Services team!

VMware Communities Roundtable

Title:#130 - vCloud Connector and other delights

 

Business Critical Applications: Introducing an updated VMware Compatibility Guide!

Did you notice the new user interface for the VMware Compatibility Guide? We are happy to announce that recently, we updated our customer-facing compatibility search for all compatibility items. Included in this is a revised and improved guest operating system search. You can search as before, but in addition you can now also search by attributes including Networking, Storage, Virtual Hardware and VMware Tools for OSes supported on ESX. Other benefits include an attractive UI, a significant increase in speed, and easy navigation to OS support details.

 

VMware Support Insider: How to configure Port Binding in Software/Hardware iSCSI initiators

Another guest post from Venkat Krishnamurthy, today's dealing with how to configure port binding for your iSCSI initiators.

Port binding is a method of configuring multipathing with Software/Hardware iSCSI initiators.

A brief outline of the steps involved:

Create a vmkernel port for each physical NIC. If there are n physical NICs, you can create n vSwitches and define vmkernel ports to map each of those physical NICs. Else a single vSwitch can be created and each vmkernel port could be mapped to one active NIC. This step could be easily performed from the vSphere client.

 

Business Critical Applications: High Availability for Exchange 2010 without DAG

With the release of Exchange 2010 the native clustering feature (Database Availability Group) is a significant improvement over what was available with all previous versions. Be that as it may, there will still be customers that simply don't want to cluster. Typically, not clustering the application would mean no high availability. VMware changed that with the introduction of VMware HA. By simply enabling this feature (which is literally a check box) all virtual machines, regardless of operating system or application, would be provided protection from an ESX host failure. To take it a step further you could enable VM Monitoring to protect against guest OS failures by monitoring VMware Tools running within the virtual machine. Agnostic protection of the guest OS and application is great, but the question that was consistently asked by our customers was "…what if my application fails?" vSphere 4.1 helps answer that.

 

VMwareTV: VMware View PCoIP Remote Access in View 4.6

VMware View 4.6 now provides support for external end-users connecting to their View desktop via PCoIP across the WAN. VMware ThinApp 4.6.1packages applications into single executables that run completely isolated from each other and the operating system, now with improved packaging for Microsoft Office 2010.

 

VMware Support Insider: A Beginner's Guide to Memory Reclamation in ESX/ESXi

Today we have a guest post to the blog from Venkatramani Krishnamurthy, a Tech Support Engineer in our India offices. Venkat (for short) gives us an introduction to some of the different ways ESX and ESXi manipulate memory.

 

There are four different methods by which ESX reclaims virtual machine memory. They are:

Transparent Page sharing

Ballooning

Hypervisor swapping

Memory compression

 

Uptime: Fault Tolerance and Isolation Response

Most of us are familiar with how the HA Isolation Response works.  If a host in a cluster loses connectivity with all the other nodes in the cluster it is deemed as isolated.  When this happens the cluster “Isolation Response” dictates how the host will react.  
The options are: 
(1)    Leave powered on
(2)    Power off
(3)    Shut down

 

ESXi Chronicles: Ops changes part 4 - Injecting or installing drivers

Two weeks ago I was presented with a problem regarding the use of drivers that were not part of the standard ESXi ISO. I started looking into it and discovered there are two main solutions for a problem like this.

Installing drivers during the installation

Injecting drivers into the ISO

 

vCO Team: VMware KB TV - How to install and configure VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for vCloud Director

We are proud to announce that vCO Team members and VMware KB TV have released the "How to install and configure VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for vCloud Director" video. This video is published on the excellent VMware KB blog and VMware KB channel on youtube . We definitely recommend you to subscribe to these and to follow VMware KB on twitter.

 

vCO Team: VMware released the vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for vCloud Director

Today VMware released the most complete automation solution for vCloud Director as a free download !

This is a plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator allowing to orchestrate vCloud Director (and not the other way around, vCD 1.01 does not have the ability to start an external process).

 

Tiny Core Linux and Operational Readiness

When installing, configuring, or managing VMware virtual infrastructure, one of the steps which should be performed before releasing a host (back) to production is to perform operational readiness tests.  One test which is quite critical is that of testing virtual infrastructure networking.  After all, what good is a running VM if it has no connectivity to the rest of the network?  Each ESX or ESXi host pNIC should be individually tested for internal and upstream connectivity, VLAN tagging functionality if in use (quite often it is), in addition to proper failover and fail back, and jumbo frames at the guest level if used.

There are several types of VMs or appliances which can be used to generate basic network traffic for operational readiness testing.  One that I’ve been using recently (introduced to me by a colleague) is Tiny Core Linux.  To summarize:

 

Two books about ESX/ESXi in the entreprise

ESXi is the product to deploy, how? Those 2 books might help you with that.

In no particular order, I’ll start with the first one. Dave Mishchenko the author of this book.

VMware ESXi is the easiest way to get started with virtualization — and it’s free. It allows administrators to consolidate their applications onto fewer servers and start saving money through reduced hardware, power, cooling, and administration costs. VMware ESXi has been optimized and tested to run even their most resource-intensive applications and databases with minimal performance overhead. “VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security” covers the key features critical to successfully planning for and implementing VMware’s ESXi.

The book is perfect for current VMware VI3 and vSphere administrators who may be planning their migration to vSphere ESXi. These users may have some experience with ESXi but not yet have it deployed within their production environment. This book provides the guidance to implement ESXi in their environment, ensuring a smooth transition from their current deployment of ESX.

 

Floating Pools are the way to go….

I mostly see the use of Persistent Pools at organisations I visit here in Asia Pacific region. Perhaps this is different for other regions of the planet (I doubt!), but I can tell you what I see here.

When I ask administrators for the reason why persistent pools have been adopted as the default solution for their virtual desktop infrastructure I repeatedly get the same responses:

Our users need to connect to the same environment 
- Our users need to be able to retain the look and feel 
- Our users must maintain their data every time they connect to the virtual machines 
- We need the Persistent Disk (old User Data Disk) 
- Not sure…

 

FlexPod for VMware Deployment Model CVD Now Available

Customers are moving away from silos of information and moving toward shared infrastructures to virtualized environments and eventually to the cloud to increase agility and reduce costs. As a means to accelerate customers move toward a shard cloud platform Cisco, NetApp, and VMware released FlexPod™; a preconfigured and validated cloud architecture built on the Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (UCS), Cisco Nexus® data center switches, NetApp® FAS storage components, and a range of software partners.

Today Cisco & NetApp published our latest Cisco Validated Design (CVD) titled the FlexPod for VMware Deployment Model. This document describes the basic architecture of FlexPod for VMware as well as the general procedures for deploying a base FlexPod for VMware configuration. This document is intended for engineers who want to deploy a FlexPod for VMware architecture.

 

Yeah - The VMware FastTrack training courses are back

VMware vSphere: Automation FastTrack

This fast-paced, extended-hour training course includes the content of the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage and VMware vSphere: Automation with vSphere PowerCLI courses. This hands-on course explores installation, configuration, and management of VMware vSphere™ using the VMware vSphere Client and VMware vSphere PowerCLI. vSphere PowerCLI automation can reduce your IT costs while improving efficiency, availability, flexibility, and manageability. The course is based on VMware ESX™/ESXi 4.1 and VMware vCenter™ Server 4.1 and includes a prepaid voucher for the VMware Certified Professional 4 examination.

VMware vSphere: Advanced FastTrack

This fast-paced, extended-hour, lab-intensive course includes the content of the VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance and VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting courses. This course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to make fundamental design decisions that enhance performance and meet performance goals in a deployed VMware vSphere™ installation. This course also provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve competence in troubleshooting the vSphere virtual infrastructure. This course includes a prepaid voucher for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 – Datacenter Administrator examination.

 

VMware View: Desktop FastTrack

This fast-paced, extended-hour training course includes the content of the following courses: VMware View: Install, Configure, Manage Application Virtualization with VMware ThinApp VMware View: Design Best Practices This hands-on training course builds your skills in the VMware View™ suite of products: VMware View Manager, VMware View Composer, and VMware® ThinApp™. It will provide applicationsoriented administrators with the knowledge and skills to virtualize Windows applications with ThinApp and to choose the best deployment and updating processes for their environment. The course will also present a methodology for analyzing and designing a View solution for the VMware vSphere™ infrastructure. The course is based on View 4.5 and ThinApp 4.5 and 4.6. It includes a prepaid voucher for the VMware Certified Associate 4 Desktop examination.

http://www.vmware.com/education

 

Video – Deploying the vCloud Connector

In this video I’ll show how to deploy the vCloud Connector virtual appliance and connect it to a vCenter server instance.  vCloud Connector (vCC) allows the vSphere Administrators to use their familiar vSphere Client as a single pane-of-glass view across hybrid clouds. It’s also a great tool when you have to transfer virtual machines between multiple vCenter servers.

New Article – Configuring Storage Pools on a CLARiiON

penguinpunk.net 3/03/11 8:27 AM dan CLARiiON EMC Storage Unisphere cx4 emc flare howto san storage pools unisphere

 

I’ve added another 16 page pdf that states the obvious, in a visual way, about how to configure storage pools on the CLARiiON. Check out my other articles while you’re here.

 

Virtual Network Best Practices Aggregation

This week a colleague of mine asked me to help out with a customer’s network design in his VMware environment.  I have long possessed the kind of socratic wisdom that allows me to recognize my ignorance.  And I have either the confidence of the foolishness to boldly announce here that I am a networking ignoramus.  But the journey to enlightenment starts with one step.

 

Virtualisation 102 – SRM

This article builds on the previous 101 overview of VMware’s Site Recovery Manager and covers the deployment process at a high level.  For detailed instructions on how to roll out SRM please refer to the documentation linked to in the previous article.

Preparation Phase

DR projects are notorious for soaking up engineer resource, requiring multiple tests and lots of beard-stroking to achieve a workable solution, so it’s vital to have a business sponsor to drive the project to completion.  Any half-hearted attempt at building a DR platform will fail.

 

 

VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance Course Experience

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the VMware vSphere: Manage For Performance course. I did the lab related to this course at VMworld Europe last year and in my now increasing preparations for the VCAP-DCA exam I knew I needed to strengthen my troubleshooting skills and more importantly fine tuning my ESXTOP/RESXTOP skills. Quite a few people commented that they really liked my VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Security Course Experience posting so I thought i would try do the same for this one for anyone interested or thinking about booking the course.

 

More on Oracle and VMware–including other must-see resources.

The blog post on EMC’s own journey on virtualizing Oracle (we saved $5M vs. our old configuration, and got 20x more performance) has gotten a lot of feedback (thank you all!)

There was one piece of feedback I wanted to call out in particular before we get to more resources.   Phil Jaenke does a spirited defense of RISC-based approaches to Oracle here.   His main point (IMO) is that people with aging RISC/large-endian systems should consider refreshing those rather than the alternative I presented (replatforming to x86 and virtualizing).

There will be a time to do a point by point discussion with Phil on the topic.   His main point was around Oracle licensing.   He noted that our low CPU utilization number means that we could have saved more by either having less UCS hosts and/or VMs, or by keeping it on RISC and using RISC-based virtualization/partitioning approaches.

But, while we will do the point-by-point (Phil – shall we do it at VMworld?), I actually AGREE with Phil more than you would think.

As I noted in the article (these are points that Phil points out also):

 

EMC Webcasts in March

EMC Webcasts are in full effect! Over 20,000 viewers have registered for these webcasts, why haven’t you!? Every Thursday we cover the hottest topics hitting the virtualization scene, and this month isn’t going to be any different!

We have five hot topics for you this month, everything from Virtualizing Oracle to Delivering IT as a Service! And for a special treat we have Chad’s Choice at the end of the month where VMware Technology Alliance Vice President, Chad Sakac, delivers the hottest topics flowing around the virtualization ecosphere…this is one webcast you do not want to miss!

Want to hear them all? Register for the entire series and never miss an episode!

Converting Open Virtualization Format (OVF) -Virtual Machines to VMware Fusion

Yellow Bricks 26/02/11 11:59 PM repping Desktop Various fusion ovf tips

I needed to run an appliance inside VMware Fusion on my Mac, the appliance was in OVF format. VMware Fusion currently does not support this format and requires you to convert the image with a tool called ovftool which can be downloaded at the following location: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere/automationtools/ovf

Conversion is as simple as:

./ovftool "source.ovf" "target"

 

PowerCLI reference book

I blogged about this almost two months ago and just on Luc’s blog that the release date has been set and the cover art was released. I wanted to remind all of you the book that is one of a kind, VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere.

Release date: 28th of March
Authors: Luc Dekens, Alan Renouf, Glen Sizemore, Arnim van Lieshout, Jonathan Medd
ISB: 0470890797

 

Managing availability through vCenter Alarms

Last week a customer asked me a question about how to respond to for instance a partial failure in their SAN environment. A while back I had a similar question from one of my other customers so I more or less knew where to look, and I actually already blogged about this over a year ago when I was showing some of the new vSphere features. Although this is fairly obvious I hardly ever see people using this and hence the reason I wanted to document one of the obvious things that you can implement…. Alarms

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