From the editors Virtual Desk

Ensuring that you are managing capacity and performance in your data center has increasingly become one of the major challenges for organisations. With many organisations now having a “Virtualization First” policy in place ensuring that these high levels of performance as well as capacity demand are met have become even more important. In a push to virtualise and create your own cloud within your data center that you are able to provide commoditised service levels you will need to be able to constantly maintain these service levels or else providing them will become meaningless. VMware has a number of solutions to help you with this, firstly we have Capacit IQ an extremely efficient and elegant solution to managing capacity demand for your virtual environment. In march we also released VC Operations (see featured product) which goes hand in hand with Capacity IQ by using a patented analytics engine to identify the health of your virtual and also physical environment. Take a look at these solutions which I believe will greatly enhance your capabilities of providing ITAAS.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor), Paul James

Queensland TAM

 

Featured Product

VMware vCenter TM Operations

AUTOMATED OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT FOR VIRTUAL AND CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE

Proactively ensure service levels, optimum resource usage and configuration compliance in dynamic virtual and cloud environments with VMware vCenter Operations. Through automated operations management and patented analytics, you benefit from an integrated approach to performance, capacity and configuration management. You'll gain the intelligence and visibility needed to

Get actionable intelligence to automate manual operations processes

Gain visibility across infrastructure and applications for rapid problem resolution

Proactively ensure optimal resource utilization and virtual/cloud infrastructure performance

Get 'at-a-glance' views of operational and regulatory compliance across physical and virtual infrastructure.

 

Integrate Performance, Capacity and Configuration Management

 

 

 

Performance, capacity and configuration management are becoming inseparable due to the dynamic nature of converged infrastructure. Traditional tools and processes designed for siloed, static physical infrastructures don’t provide the automation and control you need to effectively manage highly virtualized and private cloud environments. VMware vCenter Operations is tightly integrated with VMware vSphere and designed for dynamic environments to dramatically simplify and automate Operations Management. Our integrated approach uses patented analytics to provide the intelligence and visibility needed to proactively ensure service levels in virtual and cloud environments.

Eliminate Manual Effort for Automated Operations Management

Gain maximum efficiency and agility with analytics and a policy-based approach to automate performance, capacity and configuration management. Eliminate the finger pointing. Reduce manual problem solving efforts by as much as 40% with automated root cause analysis.

Proactively Manage Virtual Infrastructure Performance

Get proactive warning of performance issues before problems affect end users. Real-time performance dashboards let you meet SLAs by pinpointing building performance issues before end users notice.

Ensure Operational and Regulatory Compliance

Manage compliance automatically with a policy-based approach and out-of-the-box configuration templates. Ensure compliance with policy control across both virtual and physical aspects of your datacenter infrastructure.

Optimal Resource Utilization

Ensure right-sized virtual/cloud infrastructure through comprehensive capacity management. Users typically achieve 15% to 80% utilization improvements and run 3-5 times more VMs on the same hardware by reclaiming over-provisioned capacity.

 

Latest news and reviews

VMware Support Insider: When the Knowledge Base is not enough: Desktop edition

It might sound strange coming from the VMware Knowledge Management Team, but the VMware Knowledge Base should not be your only stop for self-help. In fact, as a veteran Support Insider, I’d like to tell you about a few other places you should be checking in your quest for information. (In keeping with the Support Insider theme, this is actually adapted from an email I sent to the rest of my support team a few weeks ago!)

Check the Help menu!

Your first stop, when you have a question about the product or how it works, should be the product’s own Help menu.

Yes, I know that’s hard to believe – I can’t believe I’m saying it! I’ve struggled with plenty of products’ help systems that just have next to nothing in them. Luckily, VMware help is usually better than that. I’ll give some specific examples:

 

RabbitMQ Blog: Very fast and scalable topic routing - part 2

In our previous blog post we talked about a few approaches to topic routing optimization and described the two more important of these in brief. In this post, we will talk about a few things we tried when implementing the DFA, as well as some performance benchmarking we have done on the trie and the DFA.

Implementing the DFA

In order to be able to build the DFA, we first need to build the NFA from the patterns. The main difference between the DFA and the NFA is that, in the DFA, at any point, you don’t have to choose (backtrack); you only get one precise route that you follow down the graph. For example, here is how we would turn patterns “a.b” and “*.b” into a DFA:

 

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: Welcome to the vCenter Orchestrator Blog!

VMware vCenter Orchestrator is a powerful orchestration engine packaged with VMware vCenter Server to enable automation of routine administrative tasks using workflows. This blog will provide you insights into vCenter Orchestrator, including product information, news, related product announcements, cool customer stories, technical tips and tricks and best practices.

vCenter Orchestrator is becoming increasingly important to accelerate and dramatically reduce the cost of delivering IT services as customers seek to achieve the agility and economics of cloud computing. The good thing is that every vSphere customer already has vCenter Orchestrator and there is no additional purchase to use it.  It already has several out-of-the-box workflows that can help you automate existing manual tasks, without any need for complex scripting. Through an open and flexible plug-in architecture, vCenter Orchestrator also enables integration with both VMware and third-party applications, such as service desks, change management and asset management systems.

 

VMware Support Insider: Using The PCoIP Secure Gateway to extend PCoIP Connections

by Hasan Mahmood

In VMware View 4.5 and earlier, PCoIP connections were restricted to internal connections or connections through VPN as a direct connection was required between the Client and the View Desktops. Starting with VMware View 4.6 we have the ability to use PCoIP connections from outside the firewall. This version allows us to connect to the View Desktops on the 4172 port through the server that is running the PCoIP Secure Gateway. Who says we don’t listen to our customers!

 

ESXi Chronicles: The missing link for scripted installs, adding your ESXi host to vCenter

It was bound to happen at some point and this morning William Lam published a script which enables you to add a host to your vCenter server during the scripted install. Now I have seen many cool scripts from William passing by over the last year or two but I feel that although this was probably not the most difficult one to write is is a brilliant piece of work. I tried this myself 18 months ago during a project and got stuck and decided the time needed did not weigh up against the costs associated. Thanks William for getting the job done.

Here's an exerpt from William's post, head over to his blog for the script!

 

VMware vCloud Blog: Automation in vCloud Datacenter: Rabid, Rapid Provisioning

By John Ellis, Chief vCloud Architect at BlueLock

I must admit, I'm one of those guys who can't stop checking the shipping status of my online orders. When order five hundred pounds of rare earth magnets from my favorite online retailer I want them delivered to my front door in record time.

That same impatience is what has driven my reliance on cloud computing. When I want a server I don't want to wait for a pallet to hit the loading dock. I want a server racked and ready to go now. If I need
twenty servers because Oprah is going to demo my site tomorrow I simply can't wait for something to be assembled, tested, shipped and mounted.

 

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for Cisco UCS Manager is GA

We are extremely pleased to announce the General Availability of the VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for Cisco UCS Manager.

The UCS Manager Plug-In plays an important role in enabling organizations to automate and simplify the management of their cloud infrastructure by extending vCO's reach to the UCS platform.  What's more, it's also a significant step in proving that vCO enables orchestration of the broader VMware cloud ecosystem, and not simply VMware applications.

 

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map - Troubleshooting vSphere Management Issues

Here is a brand new document guaranteed to be popular—Our Mind Map for vSphere Management issues!

We have featured Mind Maps before in this blog and gotten fabulous feedback on them, so we are continuing to develop these using the latest interactive PDF document technology. These new, Flash-embedded PDFs are clickable so that you can expand sections and drill down to the problem you may be experiencing. We’re also trying to make them a little easier on the eyes.  Let us know what you think of the new look.

Today’s Mind Map details out Resolution Paths for vSphere Management issues. If you recall, a Resolution Path is a collection of KB articles sequenced in a specific order to resolve a specific issue. Since many steps are repeated for different problems, we create separate articles for those steps and reuse them as needed.

 

The Console: vCenter Operations

At VMware we understand it’s not enough just to build a dynamic, virtualized infrastructure – you also need to manage it. So we’ve been hard at work simplifying and transforming infrastructure management by building functionality such as dynamic workload balancing and high availability into the VMware vSphere platform. On March 8th, we took another big step on our journey to be the leading provider of infrastructure and management solutions for dynamic virtualized and cloud environments. We announced a new management product and strategy to help customers on the journey to the hybrid cloud – VMware vCenter Operations.

This launch is proof that VMware is delivering on its commitment to being the leader in the virtualization and cloud management space. And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding -- I’m happy to report that the response from the press and industry analysts has been overwhelmingly positive. According to IDC, vCenter Operations addresses “… a critical set of functionality that is required for effective operation of highly virtualized datacenter environments.” SiliconAngle wrote that it “…proactively ensures service levels in dynamic cloud environments, getting to the root cause of performance problems faster, optimizes deployments in ‘real-time’ to enable self-service provisioning, and maintains compliance in the face of constant change.”

So what was the thinking behind the vCenter Ops launch?

 

VMwareTV: Cloud City and VMware

Cloud City and VMware

To see Steve Herrod interview other tech giants check out - vmware.com VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced a new partnership with Cloud City to help deploy a robust set of on-demand, IT services for its citizens. Cloud City has long been a visionary in the use of virtualization and is now extending that advantage to fully realize the benefits of cloud computing, "We are thrilled to be Cloud City's partner in meeting the changing needs of their citizens. The Cloud City public wants secure and consistent access to a variety of services. Furthermore, they want to access these services from a variety of devices. We are proud to help make this vision a reality.", said Dr. Steve Herrod, CTO and Senior Vice President of R&D, VMware.

 

VMware vCloud Blog: Middle Management in the Cloud

A cloud based infrastructure can save an organization a great deal of time and effort in building servers and provisioning new resources. While this can be fantastic for the build-out phase of a project, how can a virtual datacenter make maintenance easier? We may perform deployments a couple times a year, but deployments and configuration tweaks may occur much more often.

We have seen how vCloud API can expose more of our data center infrastructure, not only by interacting with the vCloud API directly but with third-party application frameworks as well. This same exposure can help us manage running vApps and keep them up-to-date.

 

Uptime: Addressing Server Based Licensing with DRS VM-Host Affinity Rules

It is frustrating to have your virtualization goals hampered by restrictive licensing policies based on the old physical server paradigm.   Back in the day when a cluster was a pair of identical servers dedicated to hosting a single application a server based license model made sense.  However, when I move these apps into VMs running in a consolidated architecture on large HA/DRS clusters, having to pay to license each physical server not only makes things prohibitively expensive it just doesn’t make sense.

 

ALUA and the useANO setting

Disclaimer: Now, lets make this very clear. Don’t touch “useANO” unless you are specifically instructed to do so, this article is just for educational purposes.

I had some issues in my lab with an ALUA array. (If you have no clue what ALUA is, read this post.) As you hopefully know with an ALUA array you typically have 4 paths. Two of these paths are marked within vCenter as “Active (I/O)” and the remaining two are marked as “Active”. The command-line interface describes this slightly better in my opinion as it says “Active” and “Active unoptimized”. So lets assume for you a second you would use Round Robin, vSphere is smart enough to only use the paths marked in vCenter as “Active (I/O)”.

 

VMware Tools ISO for Linux Guests

The RPM version of the VMware tools installer for Linux guests seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur. In addition, the tools ISO for Linux has been provided as it’s own download, that is hidden away on the ESX or ESXi download pages, rather than the “Tools and Drivers” page.

 

VMware Security Advisory:- VMSA-2011-0006

Only one advisory today and this relates to the hosted platform and even more rare it is Linux only, So you enterprise and Windows boys can rest easy for once.

Synopsis:

VMware vmrun utility local privilege escalation

Issue date:

11-03-29

Updated on:

2011-03-29 (initial release of advisory)

CVE numbers:

CVE-2011-1126

 

VMware Security Advisory:- VMSA-2011-0006.1

Now this is interesting they only released this yesterday and it has been updated already.  nice of VMware to use Security advisories as product releases.  Updated because of the release of VIX 1.10.3

Synopsis:

VMware vmrun utility local privilege escalation

Issue date:

2011-03-29

Updated on:

2011-03-30

CVE numbers:

CVE-2011-1126

 

Debunking the myth of Using Private VLANs to prevent VLAN exhaustion

Using Private VLANs doesn’t consolidate the number of VLANs used or does it? If you want to add security between virtual machines on the same subnet without exhausting VLAN number space, VMware advises to use Private VLANs. Private VLANs are an excellent way to provide layer 2 network isolation between servers in the same subnet. In this video you will learn that using Community Private VLANS doesn’t consolidate the number of VLANs used. On the other hand, when using Isolated Private VLANs you won’t exhaust the number of available VLAN IDs.

 

Moving an existing cluser in vSphere using PowerCLI

In this demo from Train Signal's VMware vSphere PowerCLI course, Hal Rottenberg shows how to use PowerCLI to get a VM host that is in maintenance mode and move it to an existing cluster. He'll then go into detail about cluster settings and how to make changes to them using PowerCLI. You can use these and other High Availability tasks in your own environment to minimize downtime in case of a host or virtual machine outage.

 

Ericom HTML5 Client for VMware View

Instant access to VMware View virtual desktops possible from any web browser supporting HTML5 - no software installation required on the end-user device. HTML5 technology enables development of rich, highly interactive browser-based applications. Ericom has developed a fully functional, high-performance HTML5 client that enables seamless access to VMware View virtual desktops. Running wholly within the browser, the client runs on devices with an HTML5 compatible browser and requires no additional software installation on the end-user device.

 

VMware View Security Hardening and Anti-Virus Practices White Papers

VMware has recently released two new updated white papers for it’s VMware View VDI platform.

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions. (Wikipedia)

VMware View Security Hardening Practices Draft (version 3)

 

Printing Architectures for VDI

Printing discussions have been a constant during my customer engagements, and generally speaking I noticed that there are misconceptions about printing capabilities delivered with VMware View, ThinPrint and Active Directory Group Policies. In addition to that, there are always those questions from the field about how printing should be handled in a VDI environment. What to do with print queues? Should print drivers be deployed to virtual desktops?

I am writing a small series of printing articles, just like I did some time ago with storage, where I will discuss the architectures available, deployment, troubleshooting, printing over WAN etc. This is the part one.

 

Mware Go Pro new version supports patching of 3rd party applications

There was an update toVMware Go Pro and introduction 2 new Features.

Few weeks ago there was an update to the VMware Online Tool called VMware Go™. VMware Go™ is a free service which helps you to create your hypervisors while being OnLine and then create and manage your VMs. In fact, as you can read in the press release on VMware vSphere blog, 3 main features were introduced in the Pro (paid) version of VMware Go™:

 

VMware Workstation 7.1.4 released

New Update of VMware Workstation has been released – it’s the version 7.1.4 and it adds W7 SP1 and Ubuntu 10.10 support.

The new VMware Workstation 7.1.4 is available.  This is a maintenance release only that fix known issues.

The new features and fixes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for week ending 3/26/11

VMware ESX
High Availability fails to configure with error: HA agent on xxxxxx in cluster xxxxx in xxxxxxx has an error: error while running health check script (1021173)
How to set up sudo with active directory accounts (1027766)
When using NetXen 1G NX3031 or multiple 10G NX2031 devices, ESX hosts fail to boot with the error: Out of interrupt vectors error during bootup (1033299)
After upgrading to ESX/ESXi 4.1, the default pathing policy for LUNs that are used with MSCS is set to Round Robin (1033678)
Hot adding a network adapter to a virtual machine fails with the error: Communication with the virtual machine may have been interrupted (1035232)
Synchronizing ESX/ESXi time with a Microsoft Domain Controller (1035833)
Cannot mount an USB or a disk device media to the ESX/ESXi host (1036340)
Using Antivirus and Malware Detection software in VMware ESX/ESXi (1036544)
The VMware Tools version to install when building a virtual appliance for OVF deployment (1022056)
Upgrading from ESX 3.5 to ESX 4.0/4.1 using VMware Update Manager fails with the error: cannot upgrade GRUB configurations (1031204)
VMware ESXi
vCenter Server 4.1 Agent Pre-upgrade Check fails on ESXi 3.5 hosts with the error: Insufficient Available Memory (1029433)
After upgrading to ESXi 4.1, syslog continuously reports the error: Authentication exit /lib/libsfcBasicAuthentication.so not found (1030818)
Changing a LUN to use a different Path Selection Policy (PSP) (1036189)
VMware Player
Cannot use USB device in a virtual machine on a RHEL 4 x64 host (1036506)
VMware Service Manager
Federated CMDB is not using the audit trail functionality (1036037)
VMware vCenter Chargeback
Troubleshooting vCenter Server connectivity issues in vCenter Chargeback (1030758)
VMware vCenter Operations Standard
Expanding the data disk of the vCenter Operations Standard virtual appliance (1035655)
VMware vCenter Server
Accessing Performance and Hardware Status tabs in vCenter Server fails with the HTTP Status 500 error (1029647)
After upgrading from vCenter Server 4.0 to 4.1, deploying a template with guest customization fails (1036224)
Performance Charts in the VI Client fail to load fully (1036409)
Installing vCenter Server 4.1 fails with the error: Please make sure SQL Server Agent service is running on the database server (1036518)
Analyzing physical machines using VMware Guided Consolidation fails with the error: Bad credentials or insufficient privileges (1031721)
Configuring Windows Server 2008 to allow a smaller range of ports for Linked Mode communications (1036180)
Backing up the vCenter Server 4.x bundle using the Data Migration tool fails with the error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object (1036228)
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
Implementing vCenter Server Heartbeat on a single subnet using dual NICs (1036355)
Additional vCenter Server Heartbeat configurations for protecting a local NetApp Virtual Storage Console (1036507)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
Configuring array managers in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager fails with the error: mismatched tag (1035765)
VMware vCenter Update Manager
Update Manager fails to scan or remediate the ESX host with the error: VMware Update Manager had a failure (1020407)
VMware View Manager
Configuring PCoIP Secure Gateway in VMware View 4.6 (1036208)
Unable to connect to the PCoIP Secure Gateway when using Microsoft NLB Clustering (1036376)
Smart card authentication works with RDP but not with PCoIP (1036512)
VMware vShield Manager
I cannot log in to the vShield Manager web user interface by using default credentials after initial import from OVF (1032712)
VMware Workstation
Activating VMware Workstation fails with the error: Invalid serial number (1036178)
After installing Windows 7 SP1, VMware Workstation reports the error: Not enough physical memory is available to power this virtual machine (1036185)