From the editors Virtual Desk
Hi everyone, well a few things this week. Firstly yes I have spent some time with my new Cloud Foundry account. I did not get the opportunity to test the Springsource Tool Suite (STS) with Cloud Foundry which from what I have read is extremely simple however I did take the opportunity to test NodeJS with Cloud Foundry. Firstly I used the instructions on how to deploy to Cloud Foundry with vmc. Next I used the KB article on how to architect and push using vmc a NodeJS application including npm packages. I found this to be fairly simple to do and my elaborate and extremely complicated “hello world” application deployed and ran flawlessly. Current impressions are that VMware are definitely onto something here and with all of the activity on this already I think there will be great things for this open PAAS.
Regular readers will know that I produce and send out this newsletter every week rain or shine however for the first time in around two and a half years I will be taking a break as I am on annual leave for the month of May, returning to my newsletter and other VMware duties the first week of June. There will therefore be no newsletters until June again.
Thanks to everyone for their support over the past two and a half years, I am certainly looking forward to my short vacation but will also bring you all of the VMware news again when I return.
Take care until next time
Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)
Understanding what Cloud Foundry is all about : CHOICE
Being an Open Platform as a Service is about having the ability to make the choices that best fit you as a developer:
Choice of Developer Frameworks (The Top of the Triangle)
Today (In the initial release) Cloud Foundry Supports Spring for Java, Rails andSinatra for Ruby, and Node.js. There is also support for Grails on Groovy and other JVM-based frameworks baked into Cloud Foundry. It is important to realize that this is only the beginning; there will be support for other frameworks (and languages) as Cloud Foundry matures.
Choice of Application Services (The Left Side of the Triangle)
Application Services allow Developers to take advantage of data, messaging, and web services as building blocks for their applications. Cloud Foundry currently offers support for MySQL, MongoDBand Redis with other service integrations underway. Examples of additional service integrations will include VMware’s vFabric application services.
Choice of Clouds (The Right Side of the Triangle)
Public, Private, VMware based and non-VMware based it up to the developer and organization as to where they want to run Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry can be run on Public and Private clouds because it can run on top of vSphere and vCloud Infrastructure. Cloud Foundry also runs on other platforms as RightScale demonstrated at the launch when they deployed Cloud Foundry on top of Amazon Web Services.
Choice of Usage (It’s Open Source)
Cloud Foundry’s code is open sourced at Cloud Foundry.org under the Apache 2 License making it easy for anyone to adopt and use the technology in virtually any way they want. This is one of the best ways to avoid the risk of lock-in and foster additional innovation.
It is Time to migrate from ESX to ESXi
VMware vSphere 4.1 is the last release to support both the ESX and ESXi hypervisor architectures. Future vSphere releases will only support the ESXi architecture. VMware recommends that:
- New deployments of vSphere 4.x are done on ESXi
- Existing ESX deployments of vSphere 4.x or older are migrated to the ESXi
ESXi is VMware’s next-generation bare metal hypervisor that delivers industry-leading performance and scalability while setting a new bar for reliability, security and management efficiency
Like its predecessor ESX, ESXi is a “bare-metal” hypervisor, meaning it installs directly on top of the physical server and partitions it into multiple virtual machines that can run simultaneously, sharing the physical resources of the underlying server. VMware introduced ESXi in 2007 to continue delivering the industry-leading performance and scalability of ESX while setting a new bar for reliability, security and hypervisor management efficiency. ESXi is available with any edition of VMware vSphere and supports all vSphere features and use cases. ESXi is VMware’s recommended deployment option for installations of vSphere 4.x.
VMware ESXi the thinnest, most advanced hypervisor architecture. It is the only hypervisor purpose-built for virtualization that runs independently from a general purpose operating system like Linux or Windows
With the ESXi hypervisor architecture VMware eliminated the Service Console, a management partition based on a Linux OS that is part of ESX and is used to perform local management tasks such as executing scripts or installing third party agents. This means that the ESXi architecture is reduced to just the core virtualization kernel, aka. VMkernel, making its code base extremely compact and small ESX (less than 100MB vs. ESX 2GB). The ESXi hypervisor is installed or upgraded as an image – like a BIOS or firmware – providing administrators with a thoroughly-tested bundle that can be effortlessly rolled back to a previous version if necessary. All the management functionalities that in ESX required the use of the Service Console, with ESXi can still be implemented in more efficient way through built-in services, APIs and remote management tools.
By migrating existing ESX deployments to ESXi, customers will drastically improve the reliability, security and efficiency of their virtual environments while continuing to take advantage of the full power of vSphere
Thanks to its ultra thin architecture with less than 100MB of code base disk footprint, ESXi delivers the industry-leading performance and scalability of ESX with the several additional benefits:
Improved Reliability and Security – with fewer lines of code and independence from general purpose OS, ESXi drastically reduces the risk of bugs or security vulnerabilities and makes it easier to secure your hypervisor layer
Streamlined Deployment and Configuration - ESXi has far fewer configuration items than ESX, greatly simplifying deployment and configuration and making it easier to maintain consistency.
Higher Management Efficiency - The API-based partner integration model of ESXi eliminates the need to install and manage third party management agents. You can automate routine tasks by leveraging remote command line scripting environments such as vCLI or PowerCLI.
Simplified Hypervisor Patching and Updating - Due to its smaller size and fewer components, ESXi requires far fewer patches than ESX, shortening service windows and reducing security vulnerabilities.
Complete set of management capabilities – With vSphere 4.1, VMware added significant enhancements to ESXi and the core tools used to manage it. Most notably: AD integration, support offor scripted and PXE installations, support for boot from SAN, Tech Support Mode for host troubleshooting and diagnostic and many others. These features make ESXi an even more complete, robust and powerful foundation for virtual environments and cloud computing
Great news for all VMware customers: the VMware Education Services team has just made available a new, FREE elearning course dedicated to ESXi , “Transition to ESXi Essentials”. The course is a self-paced three-hour online training that provides the knowledge necessary to make fundamental design decisions to successfully add VMware ESXi to a vSphere environment and to take advantage of all of the new features included in ESXi 4.1. The training is ideal for system administrators, consultants and engineers responsible for managing and supporting a vSphere environment.
But it doesn’t end here! By completing the Transition to ESXi Essentials course and the short survey that follows at the end, you will also receive a FREE ebook copy of “VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security” authored by Dave Mishchenko and edited by VMware technical experts. Dave’s book is truly a phenomenal resource for all VMware users to learn everything there is to know about ESXi. While the Transition to ESXi Essentials course will remain available for free in the VMware Education Services portal, we’ll be able to also offer Dave’s book for free only while supplies last. So, hurry up, complete the training and turn in your survey as soon as possible!
For those of you who want to get a more direct hands-on experience on ESXi, VMware Education Services continues to offer an in-depth instructor-led two day course (in this case for a fee). Here is the link to class schedule and registration.
As you all know very well by now, 4.1 is the last release for ESX. Future releases of vSphere – starting with the next one – will only be based on the ESXi hypervisor architecture. Needless to say, now is the time to ramp up your expertise about ESXi and how to take advantage of its unique capabilities. The training options discussed above are just a couple of the several resources you can leverage to learn about ESXi. Others that are strongly recommended to help you become the ultimate ESXi expert are:
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Latest news and reviews
Cloud computing is the most impactful advance in information technology in years, and VMware’s contributions to this field have been defined by innovations affecting almost every aspect of our technology interactions. From changing the way that IT looks at servers and the datacenter, to delivering the next generation open application platform, to redefining the role of the desktop, VMware innovation has led the charge. But we’re just getting started…
If you ask 10 different people for their definition of Cloud computing, you’ll likely get 10 different answers, not to mention the occasional wise remark about an open-air or floating datacenter. While all response details will vary, each answer is guaranteed to include two fundamental concepts: “self-service” and some “behind-the-scene magic to fulfill my request (right now, please… as I’m in a hurry)”.
From a cloud consumer perspective, the instant gratification is what makes the cloud magic so attractive. For a CIO or CFO, it’s the short-term promise of greatly reduced capital AND operational expenditures.
For the public and private cloud providers (the IT Infrastructure and Operations groups), that magic is more often associated with a downright terrifying set of expectations and realities:
It seemed like the Chaos Monkey had struck again when Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers suffered major disruption yesterday, caused by a failure cascade that began with a network outage and rapdily spread to storage and compute resources. The twitterverse and blogosphere lit up as the blame game began.
Some blamed AWS, some blamed the network, some blamed AWS' customers and some blamed it on the boogie. That doesn't seem very helpful, but it does highlight the issue of the trade-off between cloud diversity and complexity.
By following the examples below, it is possible to add 'Right Click' functionality, or Shell Extensions, to your ThinApp packages. In this way you can use Windows Explorer to send paths and file names as arguments to ThinApp executables before they launch.
In order to add these functions, I will be leveraging the Windows Installer deployment method. We do this because the relevant keys will need to be created physically in order for Windows Explorer to be able to use them.
Did you have trouble getting things "just right" in our previous tutorial "Create your own vCloud Director vApp hot clone in less than one hour"? No worries, we've just added our solution video to YouTube!!
This year VMware View Client for iPad has been selected as a Best of Interop Finalist! I just the joined End User Computing team this past week and was greeted by this news. This job is going to be exciting. Positive feedback for the View Client keeps pouring in. I’m glad that the Interop judging committee (InformationWeek Analytics editors and analysts) also recognizes the value of the View Client.
With the VMware View Client for iPad, you can securely and seamlessly access your business desktop on one of the coolest devices out there. It uses the PC-over-IP protocol to create a highly responsive interface. Your user experience is enhanced with the on screen track pad, keyboard dock support, and connectivity to an external monitor. If you haven’t tried it yourself, I highly recommend it.
VMware recently released a View Client for iPad, which currently can be downloaded from Apple's App Store for free.
Support for VMware View Client for iPad is included in Basic and Production Support contracts sold with VMware View. If you are using View Client for iPad and encounter a technical issue, only Support Administrators listed on a Basic or Production Support contract for VMware View may log a service ticket with VMware Technical Support. If you are an individual user of View Client for iPad and need support, you should contact your internal IT help desk, or you can access View Client for iPad resources for assistance, including KB article #1035937 and the Community Forum athttp://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/entdesk/view/vmware_view_for_ipad.
We have become aware of a number of customers reporting various seemingly random behaviors on their ESXi hosts, specifically on hardware in which OEM CIM providers have been installed.
You may not be able to power on certain virtual machines. Other virtual machines may enter an invalid state randomly. You might also encounter failed vMotion migrations at 82%.
Microsoft Clustering Services is a topic we get many questions on. Specifically, we spend time talking about the configurations that are possible when deploying MSCS on vSphere and what is and isn't supported. After talking to many customers it became apparent that there was a good amount of confusion as to what was supported by VMware.
To try and clear things up we decided it would be best to lay out, as clearly as possible, the configurations that are supported by VMware. KB 1037959 provides clear guidelines and vSphere support status for running various Microsoft clustering solutions and configurations.
Hi Everyone, Rob Babb here. Yes there are 2 Rob’s on VMware’s security specialist team, but aside from name it’s very difficult to get us confused in person! At any rate, I wanted to take an opportunity to discuss a new report from one of our security vendor partners, IBM. The report I’m talking about is X-Force’s 2010 Trend and Risk Report, which was released on April 1st 2011. In the spirit of full disclosure, prior to coming to VMware in 2008, I was with ISS and IBM in various roles both pre and post acquisition and, much of the report was done by some good friends and former co-workers. In the report they go through all of the information they’ve collected for the previous year on all of the disclosed vulnerabilities in the computing industry. The 2010 mid-year report was the first time they brought up the virtualization layer, and now in the full-year report they’ve expanded on that a little bit more.
Sapien have just released some great PowerShell tools, if you have not tried their tools before I suggest you head over to their site and make use of their free trials before making your mind up for yourself, i for one could not be without the form editor.
They have recently released the 2011 versions of:
Primal Script Editor
vmware has recently released a patch for their vSphere 4.0 product line, which affects both ESX and ESXi.
Details from vmware;
We are pleased to inform you that a new VMware ESX 4.0 Patch is available as of April 28, 2011.
Improvements included in this patch:
An update for the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) to revoke an RSA key that HP uses for code signing certain software components
Remediation of a denial of service possibility. By sending malicious network traffic an attacker could exhaust the available sockets which would prevent further connections to the host
Refinements in handling of shared folders
Detailed information regarding resolved and known issues and enhancements can be found at ESX 4.0 Patch Release Notes
In a post yesterday, I wrote about Dropbox and the lack of privacy their cloud storage service extends to its users. Rather than simply point out a problem and let it stand, I thought it would be helpful to discuss some ways that you can safely use cloud storage services without compromising your data.
The use of any third party service carries some risk. For the purposes of this post, we’ll take vendors at their word and assume that you don’t work for the CIA, and can therefore accept a practical level of security.
Add a Second Layer of Encryption
Yesterday I was answering some question in the VMTN Forums when I noticed that someone referred to my article about Hybrid vs full Distributed vSwitch Architectures. This article is almost two years old and definitely in desperate need of a revision. Back in 2009 when Distributed vSwitches where just introduced my conclusion in this discussion was:
If vCenter fails there’s no way to manage your vDS. For me personally this is the main reason why I would most like not recommend running your Service Console/VMkernel portgroups on a dvSwitch. In other words: Hybrid is the way to go…
It is finally released… PXE Manager for vCenter. My former Cloud colleague Max Daneri of VMTSfame has worked very very hard on this and actually demoed it at VMworld in 2009. I know Max is already working on the next release which of course will work with the upcoming vSphere version as well. So if you’ve tested it and have feedback don’t forget to leave a comment on labs.vmware.com.
PXE Manager for vCenter enables ESXi host state (firmware) management and provisioning. Specifically, it allows:
Automated provisioning of new ESXi hosts stateless and stateful (no ESX)
ESXi host state (firmware) backup, restore, and archiving with retention
ESXi builds repository management (stateless and statefull)
ESXi Patch management
Multi vCenter support
Multi network support with agents (Linux CentOS virtual appliance will be available later)
Wake on Lan
Deploy directly to VMware Cloud Director
Deploy to Cisco UCS blades
Syndication Server 4.1 esxi large pages memory VMware vSphere
This question has come up several times over the last couple of weeks so I figured it was time to dedicate an article to it. People have always been used to monitoring memory usage in a specific way. This always worked fine until ESX(i) 3.5 introduced the aggressive usage of Large Pages. In the 3.5 timeframe that only worked for AMD processors that supported RVI and with vSphere 4.0 support for Intel’s EPT was added. As in every architectural change there is an impact. The impact, as known and experienced by many of you, is the fact that TPS does not collapse these so called large pages. (Discussed in-depth here.) This unfortunately resulted in many people having the feeling that there was no real benefit of these large pages, or even worse the perception that large pages are the root of all evil.
As new applications take advantage of the scalability benefits of message brokers like RabbitMQ and cloud-scale datastores like Riak, it's inevitable that the two should become fast friends (the kind who actually talk to each other in person rather than the kind whose only contact is through Facebook). So many of the applications we find [...]
In my last blog post I introduced the basic feature set of Spring Data JPA. In this post I'd like to dive into some more features and how they can help you simplify data access layer implementation even further. The Spring Data repository abstraction consists of an interface based programming model, some factory classes and [...]
Data Access Java Open Source Spring Data
One of the drivers behind the popularity of NoSQL solutions is performance (especially) under heavy loads. Due to their data model, key value stores lead the pack, providing lightweight yet flexible means of working with data. In this entry, I am going to quickly showcase what it takes to work with a key value store [...]
Amazon posted my 4 star review of Ed Haletky’s (@Texiwill) updated VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise.
Let me start with saying I’ve read the first edition of this book and Ed’s Security book and found both to be excellent.
As this book was a second edition, I focused my reading on those updated areas and there were a few. As always Ed provided a good balance between detail and real world examples/implementations that carry the weight of his experience with VMware on the whole.
I’d recommend this book for those getting into their first few ESX/ESXi implementations, and to supplement the official VMware courseware with real world examples.
SlideRocket was founded in 2007 with the vision of building a better presentation experience, one that provides for every part of the presentation lifecycle and helps you make great presentations. SlideRocket is committed to providing the best presentation experience to individuals and businesses around the world through innovative and compelling software-as-a-service.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that SlideRocket has been acquired by VMware, marking a dramatic acceleration in SlideRocket’s mission to reinvent presentations and change the way businesses and individuals communicate. VMware and SlideRocket share an affinity for seizing big opportunities to reinvent how people work, and we are aligned in our vision for the future of cloud applications – it’s a future where work becomes collaborative, social, mobile, and even fun!
Windows PowerShell is Microsoft’s command line shell and scripting language. PowerShell is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework and helps in system administration. By providing full access to COM (Component Object Model) and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), PowerShell enables administrators to perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.
Stephane Lalonde has been a Senior SE at VMware for 4 years. In previous roles he has worked for Citrix for over 4 years and have done extensive work on their SSL VPN solution. Stephane has also worked at one of Cisco's largest VARs where he implemented various solutions.
Stephane has created a presentation called "Networking From Physical to Virtual", the goal of this presentation is to cover networking in a VMware environment and showing the transition from a fully physical datacenter to a virtualized datacenter from a networking perspective. The talking points are all in the speakers notes and all slides are screen captures or images to help describe the networking environment.
Operations Management disciplines are converging in the cloud. Performance, capacity and configuration management are becoming inseparable due to the dynamic nature of converged infrastructure. Traditional tools and processes designed for silo-ed, static physical infrastructures don’t provide the automation and control needed to effectively manage highly virtualized and private cloud environments. This guide will walk you through some key use cases for VMware vCenter Operations Standard to help you conduct a successful product evaluation. The content includes an overview, installation and configuration, and key use cases of VMware vCenter Operations Standard to demonstrate how to diagnose and correct performance problems in the virtual infrastructure.
New version of VMware Compatibility guide has been released by VMware.
The Online Searching tool is still in preview, but the possibilities are numerous. You can check whether your existing parts of your virtual infrastructure are compatible with different versions of VMware vSphere or ESX 3 or ESX 3.5….
The tool presents itself as a webpage where you can enter a search criteria, most likely the same way that you usually do by using the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatibility list). tool version 1.0 and about which I blogged here.
Well this time you have got the possibility to use a button which collapses the whole searching form. It hides the search options away, while leaving place for the results. Quite cool and ingenious.
ESXi 4.1 does not store log files locally.
It’s recommended to configure syslog and get the log files persistent. You have to configure ESXi to send the logs somewhere, because they are not stored locally. Because if you need to reboot your ESXi host, the logs are just lost. I’ll show you that by using vMA (VMware Management Assistant) has a built in syslog server which helps you to store logs locally.
I won’t detail here how to setup vMA as I suppose that you’re already using vMA or it’s already in place. If not, download the vMA from here. Import and configure it using the steps in the vSphere Management Assistant Guide
Now our configuration steps. At first you’ll need to stop the rsyslog daemon:
Installing and upgrading VMware Tools fails with the error: An error occurred while trying to access image file /usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/linux.iso (1037405)
Viewing performance data from vSphere Client fails with a HostCtl Exception (1037671)
The Windows virtual machine with VMware Tools reports Event ID 105 in the Event Viewer tab (1037755)
Powering on a virtual machine from a suspend state or reverting to a snapshot fails (1038218)
Powering on the Linux virtual machine fails and displays GRUB _ in the screen (1032792)
Windows Performance Utility might contain incorrect minimum values for Limit in MHz or Memory Limit in MB data counters when they are set to Unlimited (1036102)
Windows performance utility might contain Incorrect minimum Value for the Limit in MHz Data Counter (1036111)
Windows Performance Utility does not show explanation texts for the VM processor and VM Memory counters (1036114)
Scanning an ESXi 4.1 Update 1 host fails with error: The host returns esxupdate error codes: 10.. (1037190)
Investigating Host Disk Errors in Mac OS (1037720)
Installing VMware Tools fails with the error: Error 1935: An error occurred during the installation of assembly (1037872)
VMware Service Manager
Unable to close incidents in VMware Service Manager (1037142)
When Avast Antivirus is running, applications captured by Thinapp do not run (1036913)
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
P2V conversion of a Linux virtual machine fails with the error: mkdir: cannot create directory (1037350)
VMware vCenter Lab Manager
When using IE 8, the datastore context view in Lab Manager appears blank (1033727)
VMware vCenter Operations Standard
Username and password guidelines and restrictions in vCenter Operations Standard 1.0.x and vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0.x VMware Adapter (1037850)
VMware vCenter Server
Duplicate vSphere Client sessions appear in vCenter Server Sessions list (1031635)
vCenter Server database operations take a long time to complete or fail intermittently (1031907)
Hardware status tab is blank when upgrading from vCenter Server 4.0 to 4.1 (1029916)
Performing vMotion between ESX/ESXi hosts fails with the error: VMotion is not licensed on this host (1030498)
Starting the VMware VirtualCenter Server Service fails with the error: Database version id '410' is incompatible with this release of VirtualCenter (1031719)
SNMP alert is not sent when the disk usage status returns to Green (1038064)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
IP Customization of SUSE Linux virtual machines with vCenter Site Recovery Manager times out (1036310)
Verifying connectivity between the primary and the recovery site in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (1036433)
Operating system compatibility for Storage Replication Adapter installation (1037429)
Verifying that VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager is installed and that the scripts\SAN sub-folder exists (1037431)
Storage Replication Adapter version compatibility (1037433)
Troubleshooting Storage Replication Adapter installation or upgrade failure (1037436)
Verifying ODBC connectivity to the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager database (1037438)
Verifying if the SRM vCenter Server account has been modified (1037439)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager service fails to start after an installation or upgrade (1037444)
Verifying the SRM vCenter Server extension registration (1037446)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager plug-in cannot connect to SRM or to the vCenter Server instance (1037448)
Ensuring that a protection group involved in a failover is valid (1037457)
Configuring the array manager fails with the error: "Array script not found" or "XML document is empty" (1037458)
Installing and upgrading VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager fails (1037583)
Troubleshooting pairing issues between primary and secondary sites in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (1037682)
Virtual machines show a yellow triangle and cannot be protected with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (1037881)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager plug-in installation or upgrade fail to complete (1037447)
VMware vCloud Connector
Copying a virtual machine template using the vCloud Connector plugin fails with the error: Error in exporting <vmname> caused by <hostname deleted> (1037992)
VMware View Manager
Installing View Connection server on Windows 2008 fails with the error: There was an error creating a MS Direct Service Instance (1038001)
Displaying the size of all tables on MS SQL server (1030182)
VMware vSphere Management Assistant
Gathering ESX/ESXi or vCenter Server logs stored on a vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) appliance (1035911)
Parallel Ports on a PCI card do not work (1037704)