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2011

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)

Queensland TAM

 

Featured Solution

Cloud Foundry

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.

 

ESXi Convergence

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:

  1. New deployments of vSphere 4.x are done on ESXi
  2. 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

 

ESXi Chronicles: Become a true ESXi expert with the new FREE VMware eLearning course and ebook offer!

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:

ESXi 4 and ESX 4 VMTN communities

ESXi and ESX Infocenter

VMware ESXi Chronicles and VMware vSphere blogs

VMware Knowledge Base

VMwarevSphere on Twitter

VMware vSphere page on Facebook

 

Latest news and reviews

The Console: The New Way to Work – End-user computing in the post-PC era

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…

 

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: Automate (the Cloud) or Die

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:

 

Rethink IT: Return Of The Chaos Monkey: Positive Lessons From A Cloud Failure

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.

 

VMware ThinApp Blog: Adding Shell Extensions to ThinApp Packages

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.

 

vCO Team: vCloud Director vApp hot clone in less than one hour Solution Video

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!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-_QcC353Ho

 

VMware View: VMware View Client for iPad has been selected as a Best of Interop Finalist

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 Support Insider: Need Support for View Client for iPad?

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.

 

VMware Support Insider: Various Issues seen on ESXi 4.1 with OEM CIM providers

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%.

 

Business Critical Applications: New KB: Guidelines for Supported Microsoft Clustering Configurations

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.

VMware KB: Microsoft Clustering on VMware vSphere: Guidelines for Supported Configurations

 

VMware Security Blog: 2010's Trend and Risk Report from a VMware Perspective

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.

 

New PowerShell Tools from Sapien

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

 

Patch for vmware vSphere 4.0

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

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1037260

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1037261

 

Three Options To Secure Data In The Cloud

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

 

Distributed vSwitches, go Hybrid or go Distributed?

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…

 

Fling: PXE Manager for vCenter

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

Hosts memtest

vCenter plugin

Deploy directly to VMware Cloud Director

Deploy to Cisco UCS blades

 

Which metric to use for monitoring memory?

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.

 

Eventing Data with RabbitMQ and Riak

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 [...]

 

Advanced Spring Data JPA – Specifications and Querydsl

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 [...]

 

Getting Started with Redis, Spring Data & Cloud Foundry

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 [...]

 

Book Reviews – ESXi in the Enterprise

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 has been acquired by VMware

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!

 

New Technical White Paper - PowerShell Integration with VMware View 4.5/4.6

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.

 

 

Cool SlideRocket - Networking From Physical to Virtual

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.

 

New Technical White Paper - VMware vCenter Operations Standard Evaluator’s Guide

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.

http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10178

 

VMware Compatibility Guide 2.0 – easier way to check your existing or future VI

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.

 

How to configure vMA as a destination of ESXi log files

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:

 

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for week ending 4/23/11

VMware ESX
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)
VMware ESXi
Scanning an ESXi 4.1 Update 1 host fails with error: The host returns esxupdate error codes: 10.. (1037190)
VMware Fusion
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)
VMware ThinApp
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)
VMware VirtualCenter
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)
VMware Workstation
Parallel Ports on a PCI card do not work (1037704)

 

 

From the editors Virtual Desk

I received my Cloud Foundry invite this week. I can’t tell you how excited I was and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was presenting vShield I would have spent the rest of the week on this. Luckily for me it is a long weekend and I have 5 days to play with this awesome new tech so stay tuned for next week when I give you some of my initial impressions of this technology.

 

As this is a long weekend there is less news than usual but I have still tried to give you a good view of what is going on in the industry.

 

For those of you that are interested VMware released it’s quarterly results and boy were they impressive. Of course I am biased being an employee of one of the coolest companies in the world but I am still shocked at how well w manage to perform as a company in what are still considered pretty interesting if not difficult times that we are still going through since the gfc, luckily I am not a financial analyst but just a humble techie so all I and most of my colleagues focus on is providing our customers with the best tech in the world.

 

I am leaving last week’s focus on Cloud Foundry in still as we focus on this amazing solution as it evolves.

 

Finally don’t forget to check out the ESX to ESXi section provided.

 

As most will be reading this after Easter I will still like to wish everyone a Happy Easter which is why I am sending this week’s newsletter a few days early.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland TAM

 

Featured Solution

Cloud Foundry

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.

 

ESXi Convergence

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:

  1. New deployments of vSphere 4.x are done on ESXi
  2. 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

 

ESXi Chronicles: Become a true ESXi expert with the new FREE VMware eLearning course and ebook offer!

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:

ESXi 4 and ESX 4 VMTN communities

ESXi and ESX Infocenter

VMware ESXi Chronicles and VMware vSphere blogs

VMware Knowledge Base

VMwarevSphere on Twitter

VMware vSphere page on Facebook

 

Latest news and reviews

Free Download - VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere

Check the compliance of your IT infrastructure against specific standards and best practices that are applicable for the environment. The Compliance Checker is a free, downloadable, fully-functional product for checking compliance of your environment to help you ensure that it remains secure and compliant.

This product is a robust utility providing detailed compliance checks against the VMware vSphere Hardening Guidelines. Unlike other free tools in the market, Compliance Checker for vSphere is a fully functional product. For example, you can print the reports that Compliance Checker produces, and can run compliance checks across multiple ESX and ESXi servers at once.

VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere lets you:

• Check compliance for multiple VMware ESX and ESXi servers concurrently - Run compliance check on up to 5 ESX or ESXi servers at a time and produce reports.
• Supports VMware vSphere hardening guidelines - Perform checks on VMware ESX and ESXi servers to conform with the latest VMware vSphere hardening guidelines.
• Analyze compliance assessment results - After a compliance run, you can view the assessments by ESX/ESXi hosts, plus guests.
• Save and Print assessment results -  You can save and print the compliance assessment reports to your team for review and they can be saved for archival needs.

http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere-compliance-checker/

 

ESXi Chronicles: Need to install 100s of ESXi hosts?

Yes you can of course use UDA or EDA but in my environments that is not an option. I was scavenging the internet to find an article that explained how to build your own UDA/EDA appliance and found something very close to home. This article was written by Tom Arentsen who is a freelance consultant in the Benelux region. Coiincidentally I have worked with him on several projects and I knew he was one smart cookie.

Tom created a solution that uses the Microsoft Windows Deployment Service. Through a simple host list he pulls down the correct bits and pieces needed to install and configure the host. This is probably the missing link some of you were looking for. I have had this question multiple times in the past and figured I would have to document it at some point. I am glad Tom already did this as it saves me and many others a lot of work.

 

Business Critical Applications: DBA Guide to Databases on VMware

DBAs are being challenged to provide 24x7 database services to application owners with the flexibility and autonomy they expect while keeping the infrastructure as simple and economical as possible. Traditional databases running on fixed physical hardware are often over-sized, under-utilized, protected by complex, expensive clustering solutions, and require rigorous processes for version control and continued application compatibility. Meanwhile, organizations are increasingly virtualizing their enterprise applications in production and with a robust platform like VMware, mission-critical databases are no exception.

If knowledge is power, then knowing the capabilities of the underlying intelligent virtual infrastructure is certainly powerful for the DBA. Experienced Database Administrators (DBAs) recognize that virtualization unlocks capabilities that were impossible in physical environments.

Most importantly, the value of virtualization goes far beyond basic consolidation. Virtualizing database applications on vSphere can improve application Quality of Services (QoS), and accelerate application lifecycles while significantly reducing application costs. In this brand newDBA Guide to Databases on VMware, we discuss database performance on VMware, examine the general tasks for DBAs, and introduce VMware technologies and tools that assist DBAs in design, implement, test, operate, and maintain databases in a virtual environment.

The following topics are covered in detail in this guide:

DBA's roles and responsibilities

Understanding VMware performance

Design, Develop and Test databases on VMware

Migrating existing databases to VMware

Securing and running databases on VMware

Monitor and Troubleshoot database performance

Frequently asked questions from SQL and Oracle DBA's

 

VMware vCloud Blog: VMware Hosting with PHP and The vCloud API

By David Elliott, Technical Director at StratoGen

Last week I had an interesting meeting with a software development company looking to move their products to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. It’s a common scenario these days and one which lends itself very well to VMware and in particular the vCloud Director cloud hosting platform.

One of the features they loved was the vCloud API which gives them the ability to deploy pre-configured virtual machines from a ‘master template’ on the fly.

 

Free training and book on ESXi?

I just wanted to point to this article on the ESXi Chronicles blog about a free training and free book on ESXi. I actually wrote an article about the book a while back and it is most definitely worth the effort of doing the training and survey!

 

vSphere Changed Block Tracking **on Restore**

This post is going to deep-dive into vSphere’s vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) Changed Block Tracking on restore – something not yet widely used (though when you see the results, you’ll likely agree that over time, everyone is going to need to leverage it).

The context?  Today – Avamar 6.0 was released.  It’s a huge release.  HUGE.   The core value proposition is amped up – save more, backup and restore faster, flexible restore (in place, with the industries best VMware integration when it comes to backup – and still no agent or client-based cost.

 

Chad’s World–Episode 4 (UIM v2.1 and Operations Center)

Episode 4 is up!   Guest appearances, great EMC/VMware/Cisco partners – demonstration of new products, and sneak peak at products around the corner… Filled with goodness (and lots of stupid stunts) like always!

The new product is EMC Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) Provisioning Center v2.1.  There’s a ton of new stuff, but the biggies are full Vblock family support, vCenter integration (with a single click – everything to provision a vSphere clsuter is done and you’re ready to go in vCenter).

The “sneak peek” is of something we’ll be doing very soon – which is UIM Operations Center. It’s a cool, cool idea.  (and if you look back at VMworld 2009 at this link, you can see it’s something we’ve been working on for a while).

 

Spring Data Graph 1.0 with Neo4j support released today

This announcement post is a guest contribution by the developers of the Neo4j team that worked closely with SpringSource's Spring Data team to provide the Spring Data Graph integration library. For a friendly introduction to Spring Data Graph we’re hosting a free webinar with VMware presented by Neo Technology’s CEO Emil Eifrem on April 20 [...]

 

Deeper into Grails & Cloud Foundry

In my previous post, I showed you how easy it is to deploy a Grails application to Cloud Foundry using the corresponding plugin. Hopefully that whetted your appetite and you are ready to look at a more complex Grails application that demonstrates the power of the GORM plugins and stretches the Cloud Foundry services. If [...]

 

vSphere Automation 101 – Mass Migrations (Orchestrator)

This one isn’t so much a long winded explanation post as the last one. Rather this one highlights the usefulness of vCenter Orchestrator and it’s built in workflows for facilitating the mass migration of virtual resources.

The Scenario

This guy comes in… and if you’ve seen the movie, you’re hearing it in his voice too:

“Ummm, we’re going to need you to come in on Saturday. We’ve recently had to let go of some folks so we’re all putting in some extra effort to get migrated into our new vSphere cluster and awesome array from $vendor… mmm kay?”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been trying to work on that whole work/life balance thing, and well, this is not going to fly. Not at all.

Note:

With all due respect to the PowerCLI folks, I know it can be done there and is highlighted as one of the many, many wonderful things you can put together using the “VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference”. In fact, it may be the subject of a future post. vCO however makes this point and click simple… as you’ll see.

vCenter Orchestrator to the Rescue

 

Virtual Storage Integrator Short Videos

I have taken a long hiatus from blogging of late and am jumping back into the fold with a simple but important addition to the blogosphere. A few weeks ago Chad Sakac announced a new videoshowing the awesome vCenter plugin, the Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI). In this case the VSI was being used to demonstrate the capabilities of EMC’s new VNX array.

 

An introduction to Arista’s vEOS

Last Friday I attended a seminar hosted by Arista Networks and XTG in Gouda where Frederik Vos delivered a real cool demo of the vEOS virtual appliance which is available for free at Artista’s website.
http://www.aristanetworks.com/en/products/eos/veos
vEOS is a Virtual Appliance that provides an industry-standard CLI based management interface of a VMware vNetwork distributed switch (vDS). To a network administrator, vEOS provides the management interface just like a physical switch – SSH/telnet access, industry standard CLI, and integration with SNMP management tools like HP Openview for auto-discovery of VMs. Furthermore, vEOS simplifies network administration tasks such a

 

Video - Latest fling from VMware Labs - Ruby vSphere Console

VMware Labs present its latest fling, the Ruby vSphere Console - RVC is an open source project. Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is a console UI for vSphere, built on the RbVmomi bindings to the vSphere API. RVC is a console UI for VMware ESX and vCenter. The vSphere object graph is presented as a virtual filesystem, allowing you to navigate and run commands against managed entities using familiar shell syntax.
Features:

 

VMware Certified Associate 4 – Desktop Exam Registration Now Open

VMware Certified Associate 4, Desktop Exam LIVE. No pre-reqs, but skills required. Get certified! VMware offers world-class Desktop certifications designed to validate and recognize individuals with the technical capabilities and real-world experience needed to increase efficiency, reliability, and availability when delivering desktops from the datacenter as a managed service.

VMware Education recommends the listed courses in preparation for the VCA4-DT exam but there are no course requirements in order to take the exam.

 

VDI Base Image: The Missing Step

How far can you go when creating the perfect base image for your VDI deployment? I haven’t stopped searching for the Holy Grail, however I have recently figured out that a very critical step in the base image creation was missing, forgotten or had not been discussed yet or enough.

However, before I give you the cooking recipe let’s dig into the semantics of the problem.

During tests with the Linked Cloning technology on VMware View 4.6 (although the example below applies to any version) I noticed that the Replica disks and Linked Clones were using more storage space than they should, or had been provisioned with.

 

What happens when you vmc push an application to Cloud Foundry

This post covers the Cloud Foundry vmc CLI interface and how it interacts with Cloud Foundry.  There will be another post covering what Cloud Foundry does on the back-end when clients (such as vmc or STS) connect to it coming soon.

 

Targeting Cloud Foundry

Step 1 : vmc target api.cloudfoundry.com

When you first install vmc and are ready to start controlling Cloud Foundry, you will need to first select it as a target.  Why do you need to select api.cloudfoundry.com ?  Because vmc is capable of connecting to any Cloud Foundry instance whether it be at cloudfoundry.com or elsewhere.  Selecting a target also allows you to use the same CLI to interface with multiple Cloud Foundry Clouds in the same way.

 

Cloud Foundry Open PaaS Deep Dive

You are probably wondering about how Cloud Foundry actually works, hopefully these details will clear things up for you about how Cloud Foundry the OSS project works, why it works, and how you can use it.


Cloud Foundry is on github here: https://github.com/cloudfoundry/vcap. The VCAP repo is the meaty part or what we call the “kernel” of Cloud Foundry as it is the distributed system that contains all the functionality of the PaaS.. We have released a VCAP setup script that will help you get an Ubuntu 10.04 system running a instance of Cloud Foundry including all the components of VCAP as well as a few services (mysql, redis, mongodb) up and running so you can play along at home.

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for week ending 4/16/11

VMware Data Recovery
Considerations while using CIFS Share as dedupe stores in VMware Data Recovery (1036622)
Restarting the datarecovery service on a VMware Data Recovery appliance (1036768)
Troubleshooting CIFS Shares issues for VMware Data Recovery (1037855)
Troubleshooting VMDK and RDM dedupe datastore issues in VMware Data Recovery (1037920)
Troubleshooting VMware Data Recovery connectivity (1037995)
Troubleshooting VMware Data Recovery snapshot and VSS errors (1037997)
VMware ESX
Powering off a virtual machine fails with the error: Performing disk cleanup, cannot power off (1037391)
Inflating a virtual disk fails with the error: The disk is not thin-provisioned (1037619)
During backup, snapshot creation fails if Windows 2008 has more than 30 virtual disks (1037754)
How to install VMware Tools on a Windows Server 2008 Core virtual machine (1032639)
Emplacement des fichiers journaux de l'ESX (1037341)
Troubleshooting a failed vSphere/Virtual Infrastructure Client installation (1037551)
Minimum system requirements for installing the vSphere/Virtual Infrastructure Client (1037552)
Controlling the size and number of vmkernel logs in ESX hosts (1037645)
Cloning a virtual machine in ESX 4.x fails with the error: Invalid configuration for device (1022106)
Adding the ESX host to vCenter Server inventory fails and hostd reports the backtrace: Exception: Assert Failed: : "adapterServer != __null" (1022153)
VMware ESXi
Remote query of NTP service on ESX/ESXi 4.0 (1036357)
Checking your firmware and BIOS levels to ensure compatibility with ESX/ESXi (1037257)
Microsoft Clustering on VMware vSphere: Guidelines for Supported Configurations (1037959)
VMware Service Manager
Unable to create a SQL statement with HAVING clause in the VMware Service Manager Reporting wizard (1037539)
When exporting a Service Manager report to Microsoft Excel, date fields in the spreadsheet do not have the Date data type (1037540)
Cannot sort on a Count(*) field in the Reporting Wizard of VMware Service Manager. (1037811)
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
P2V conversion using VMware Converter fails with the error: Unable to find the system volume, reconfiguration is not possible (1037507)
VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise
Licensing VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0 (1034340)
Changing debug logging settings in VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0 (1034978)
Access requirements for the Oracle Enterprise Management Adapter in vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0 (1037254)
VMware vCenter Server
Performance charts show no data and vpxd log contains SQL execution failed messages (1032908)
VMware VirtualCenter Server Service fails with the error: Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint 'PK_VPX_ALARM_REFRESH'. (1036902)
A thin provisioned virtual machine copied using vCloud Connector 1.0.x with vCenter Server 4.0 becomes thick provisioned (1037711)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
Unable to establish reciprocity between the primary and secondary site in vCenter Site Recover Manager (1037679)
VMware vCenter Update Manager
The Edit Baseline option in vCenter Update Manager is greyed out (1030988)
Minimum system requirements for installing vCenter Update Manager (1037494)
VMware View Manager
Error messages from deletion scripts are not recorded in View Connection Server logs (1036748)
View Connection Server instances should be patched with the Microsoft security update for MS10-068 (1036755)
The VMware View 4.5 Admin Web interface shows duplicate entries for vCenter Server in the system health dashboard (1037506)
Provisioning linked clones when using the French version of Windows 2008 64bit fails with the error: Selected parent VM is not accessible (1037379)
Clients time out if the PCoIP Secure Gateway is enabled but has not been installed (1037116)
View Agent fails to start after upgrading to View Agent 4.6 (1038014)
VMware Workstation
Bridging to cellular/mobile broadband (EV-DO) cards fail (1037332)

From the editors Virtual Desk

Wow, what a week it has been. Is it just me or is this just the coolest time to be in this industry. Of course I am referring to the announcement around Cloud Foundry. I have spent a lot of my career either developing application, supporting developers or just maintaining a possibly unhealthy interest (some might say obsession) with the world of application development. I am known to dabble in almost anything new and exciting to get a handle on how it will work and what it might bean for the industry and it was with much excitement that I saw the much anticipated announcement on Cloud Foundry. So being the  editor of this newsletter I have decided that I will be including a lot more on vFabric, this is what VMware refer to as the middle tier and development layer as and in keeping with the theme this week to kick things off I will start with a feature on Cloud Foundry. I hope that this news is as exciting for you and that you also feel as if we are on the brink of something great yet again in our amazing industry that never stands still for a second. Being a developer today is complicated and challenging but it is awesome to see organisations like VMware throwing their experience behind this community at such a pivotal time.

 

So rather than take up valuable space with me rambling on this week I will eave it to the newsletter to do the talking and of course please send feedback comments etc to me directly anytime.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland TAM

 

Featured Solution

Cloud Foundry

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.

 

ESXi Convergence

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:

  1. New deployments of vSphere 4.x are done on ESXi
  2. 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

 

Latest news and reviews

ESXi Chronicles: Ops changes part 8 - Logging in, Auditing and Log files

One of the things to take into considerations when planning, designing or implementing an ESXi environment is what to do with the log files, how to audit ESXi and if you should allow people to log in.

Logging

Log files are the type of files that you will rarely need, but if you need them they better be available. ESXi is no different than any other solution out their, well maybe it is slightly different. Depending on the type of device you used for the installation the log files might not be retained after a reboot. Hopefully everyone has read my article about the scratch partition and created it, if the installer hadn't done that for you.

The log file structure for ESXi when compared to ESX is slightly different. Due to the fact that there is no Service Console there is also no need to have the same collection of files. With ESXi the following log files are used:

 

VMware ThinApp Blog: ThinApp Isolation Modes explained

If you are new to ThinApp I would encourage you to start learning the concept of Isolation Modes. It is a must in order to fully master ThinApp.

I have produced a VMware KBTV broadcast that just got released. It will take 13 minutes of your life but worth every second of it.

http://blogs.vmware.com/kbtv/2011/04/understanding-isolation-modes-in-vmware-thinapp.html

Please let me know any other topics of interest, and I promise to keep the videos in original SwEnglish coming. Send me topics on Twitter @thepeb or ping me via our communityhttp://communities.vmware.com/people/pbjork

 

Uptime: vCenter Update Manager (VUM) Temporarily Disables FT

I recently discovered that when using VUM to patch my vSphere 4.0 FT clusters that things don’t exactly work as I thought.  I knew that when patching a host with an FT protected VM that VUM will temporarily disable FT during the remediation.  However, what I didn’t realize is that FT not only gets disabled for the VMs on the host being remediated, but it actually gets disabled for all the FT protected VMs in the cluster.  It doesn’t matter which host in the cluster is being patched, FT gets disabled for all VMs in the cluster.  This caught me by surprise as it’s not very intuitive that when patching Host-A that VUM will disable FT for a VM running on Host-C and Host-D.

 

VMware ThinApp Blog: What’s keeping my Sandbox locked?

Best practices packaging with ThinApp includes verifying nothing is being left running, locking the Sandbox, when the end-user shuts down the application. A simple method to verify nothing is running in the background is to try to delete the package’s Sandbox. If it is locked and you cannot delete it, something is still running.

To find out what it is I always use Sysinternals Process Explorer. This video will show you how to use Process Monitor to find out what is keeping the Sandbox opened.

 

VMware vCloud Blog

Since December, I have been updating blog readers on the evolution of Virtacore’s vCloud Express Beta. Virtacore’s beta trial ended earlier this month, and I’m happy to report that as of today, vCloud Express is now live!

vCloud Express is a public cloud offering based on VMware technology, providing virtual servers from Virtacore’s shared resource pool for a low monthly cost, following a utility computing model where you only pay for the resources and bandwidth that you use. Virtacore has also created a Unified Management Portal that allows you to control and move data to and from vCloud Express and Virtacore Private Clouds. Virtacore’s Unified Portal is a VMware-based platform that makes it easy to migrate workloads to and from public, private and corporate clouds.

 

VMTN Blog: VMware vExpert 2011 applications now open

Each year, we designate several hundred individuals from around the world as VMware vExperts and invite them to participate in our yearly program. The vExperts are people who have gone above and beyond their day jobs in their contributions to the virtualization and VMware user community.

vExperts are the bloggers, the book authors, the VMUG leaders, the tool builders and town criers, the tinkerers and speakers and thinkers who are moving us all forward as an IT industry.

 

VMwareTV: VMware vCloud Director Tutorial for Service Providers

Visit: bit.ly - The flash tutorial above outlines the benefits and key capabilities for delivering Infrastructure as a Service.

 

VMwareTV: VMware Go: The Basics

Visit: go.vmware.com - VMware Go, a free cloud-based service that guides IT administrators of any expertise level through the installation and configuration of VMware vSphere Hypervisor. VMware Go helps you create virtual machines, determine software and hardware asset inventory, scan for patches, and manage trouble tickets.

 

VMwareTV: Cloud Foundry Live Webinar - Part 5 (Node.js)

Cloud Foundry Live Webinar - Part 5 (Node.js)

Cloud Foundry and Node.js

 

VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere 4.1 Tops the InfoWorld Virtualization Shootout

I am very excited this morning to share the results of the recent virtualization shootout conducted by InfoWorld. Once again, vSphere has shown its ability to deliver the best performance performance, scale, and advanced feature set in the industry today. The tests were done using vSphere 4.1 and compared vSphere to the other players in the server virtualization market.

Complete Article

VMware vSphere Section

 

VMware Support Insider: New Toolbar Features

We have some new features to tell you about in the VMware Support Toolbar. (more background on what the Toolbar is, and what it offers here)

You can now watch KBTV videos easily right from the toolbar without having to visit YouTube and searching for our channel. Click the little TV icon in the toolbar and you can watch, comment on, and share our videos right there.

 

VMware ThinApp Blog: Making Windows XP only apps run on Windows 7

Just to clarify.. ThinApp will not magically make an application run on Windows 7 if it is not supported on Windows 7. That said, we do offer some help with ThinApp. Great examples are Internet Explorer 6, Adobe Reader 5 and Lotus Notes 6.5.6. All not running natively on Win7 but does so with the help of ThinApp. It may be tricky to find the solution and there are no guaranties. The work around is often to include older Windows XP dlls into the package and that might make the application run on Win7.

 

Uptime: Increasing SRM log retention

I have been very busy working on our next major release of SRM (and wow! is it ever going to be powerful and cool!) and as a result I have not spent as much time with our current release as I would like and that has meant less blog activities.  But I was working on something yesterday and I realized that we did not have the detail in the logs I wanted.  And I knew I was looking at a blog article!  So, in the spirit of getting better SRM support for you, like in this blog, here is a suggestion.

 

VMware Virtualization Management Blog: vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0 Released

VMware has released vCenter Operations Enterprise 1.0 (formerly known as Alive Enterprise). With this release, we have now completed the rebranding and integration of Alive into VMware portfolio.

As I stated in earlier blog post, vCenter Operations Enterprise edition offers performance, capacity and configuration management capabilities for both virtual and physical environments and includes customizable dashboards, smart alerting and application awareness. Detailed comparison between various vCenter Operations editions is available here.

 

New version of RVTools!

Rob just released a brand new version of RVTools. So what’s new?

Version 3.1 (April, 2011)

Logon form tab order rearranged

Logon form will remember your last selected host / vCenter server

On vInfo new fields Provisioned, Used and shared storage

On vInfo new fields install Boot Required, number of Virtual Disks

 

PowerCLI Reference Book, the review

I was checking Amazon during the weekend, just like I do everyday, to see if we had new reviews and how the book was selling until I noticed the reviews on the PowerCLI book. The reviews were mainly about the fact that there’s a formatting issue with the ebook which I agree with should be fixed by the publisher but rating it with a 3 / 4 stars just doesn’t cut it in my opinion. Here’s my review of the book, please note that I know the authors really well and they gave me a free copy nevertheless I have been completely honest about what I think about the book. If I would think it was crap I would let you know, before I copy/paste the review here I would like to ask the Authors to pressure their publisher to lower the price of the ebook as right now it is more expensive than the paper version which is just nonsense. Mr or Mrs Sybex, it is time to change your strategy.

Anyway, I gave the PowerCLI Reference Book 5 stars as I truly believe it is one of a kind, here’s my justification for it:

 

vMotion and Quick Resume

I was reading up on vMotion today and stumbled on this excellent article by my colleague Kyle Gleed and noticed something that hardly anyone has blogged about…. Quick Resume. Quick Resume is a feature that allows you to vMotion a virtual machine which has a high memory page change rate. Basically when the change rate of your memory pages exceeds the capabilities of your network infrastructure you could end up in a scenario where vMotioning a virtual machine would fail as the change rate would make a switch-over impossible. With Quick Resume this has changed.

 

Memory Behavior when VM Limits are Set - Revisited

Approximately 2 years ago, there was a community conversation that was kicked off from Arnim Van Lieshout's blog post on memory management.  Over 31,000 blog hits later, this topic still remains one of the most talked about subjects in VMware virtualization.  At the end of the day, it is still NOT a good scenario to have in your ESX environment, and we consistently run across the situation when talking with partners and customers simply due to lack of education on how setting a memory limit can ultimately impact performance of an entire host.

 

VMware VSS Explained

When doing image based backups with your backup software you have the option to enable Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) under backup options.

This means that the backup software request VMware tools to initiate a VSS snapshot in the Guest OS.

All registered VSS writers (run vssadmin list writers command to list all writers) in the Guest OS get the request and they prepare its application to be backed up (committing all transactions to disk).

 

Resolving Rogue Memory Limits on your Virtual Machines

Earlier I posted an article that talked about what happens on an ESX Server when a virtual machine has a memory limit set lower than the amount of memory assigned to that virtual machine.  Sound confusing?  If so, head over and read the original blog post.

The short version is that the situation is simply not good, and has major performance implications across the ESX Host, and potentially across the whole infrastructure.  Today, I want to show how you can simply identify and resolve this significant VMware Infrastructure issue using some simple PowerShell commands.

 

Thinapped vSphere Client

The VMware Labs team released a little gem of something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Taking the full install of the vSphere Client and creating a ThinApp package out of it…that’s right, the entire application in one small and easy to use executable file. The details on theflings page says it best…

 

Security FAQ: My vShield Endpoint SVM is not responding, what do I do?

Hey...Rob Randell here again.  A new feature that we will be sprinkling into the security blog is entries that will talk about some interesting or frequently asked questions that we feel deserves some more explanation to more than just the person who asked the question. 

Recently we had a question come up a few times as to the resiliency of the vShield Endpoint SVM and what happens if it fails or if the app itself stops responding.  Specifically, the question is: “What kind of availability capabilities do we have for the vShield Endpoint SVM?”

 

vSphere Smokes Competitors in InfoWorld Shoot-Out

InfoWorld just published the results of a comprehensive comparison of the four major virtualization platforms.  This Virtualization Shoot-Out looked at the latest releases from Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware.

VMware vSphere still trounces the competition.  Paul Venezia, who drove this multi-vendor effort, considered many aspects of virtualization technology and concluded:

 

TIL – Some ESXi CLI-Fu (Start/Stop/List VMs)

Following up on some of my other TIL posts and a really really bad “vMotion on a stick” experiment, I had to get down and dirty with the ESXi CLI. Without further adieu heres how to List, Start, and Stop VMs from the ESXi CLI (aka TSM):

 

vSphere Automation 101 – Check for Snapshots

This get’s to be the third post in the “vSphere Automation 101” series or so. Not sure I want to call it a series, as that denotes some kind of commitment, and well, as we’ve discussed in prior posts, I’m lazy. Before we get too deep, here are links to the first and second parts of this series:

 

Book Reviews – vSphere Design

Amazon just posted my 5 star review of VMware vSphere Design. The review:

I received this book via Kindle loan for 14 days, of which I only needed about 12 to get through it. Mind, that is not because the content was light, far from it. It was because the book did the following things:

1) Taught me a few new things.
2) Made me think about the way things are done… to question the “why’s” behind certain design decisions
3) Made me pop open Google (more than a few times) to dig in deeper about a topic.

 

How to ThinApp the VMware vSphere Client

Installing the VMware vSphere Client every time you want to use it takes time and can slow you down. What if you could run the vSphere Client from a network share or USB key. Learn how to run the vSphere Client in ThinApp mode (application virtualization) in this video by fellow vExpert David Davis. (vmwarevideos.com) (trainsignal.com)

Per-volume management features in 4.x

Last week I noticed that one of the articles that I wrote in 2008 is still very popular. This article explains the various possible combinations of the advanced settings “EnableResignature” and “DisallowSnapshotLUN”. For those who don’t know what these options do in a VI3 environment; they allow you to access a volume which is marked as “unresolved” due to the fact that the VMFS metadata doesn’t match the physical properties of the LUN. In other words, the LUN that you are trying to access could be a Snapshot of a LUN or a copy (think replication) and vSphere is denying you access.

 

Video - Getting Started With VMware Cloud Foundry

Getting Started with Cloud Foundry provides information about installing and starting VMware Cloud Foundry, the VMware Application Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. This video is intended for anyone who wants to install, configure, and use VMware Cloud Foundry.

 

Video - Latest fling from VMware Labs - Ruby vSphere Console

VMware Labs present its latest fling, the Ruby vSphere Console - RVC is an open source project. Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is a console UI for vSphere, built on the RbVmomi bindings to the vSphere API. RVC is a console UI for VMware ESX and vCenter. The vSphere object graph is presented as a virtual filesystem, allowing you to navigate and run commands against managed entities using familiar shell syntax.

Features:

 

How to read Linked Clone Storage Provisioning metrics in vCenter

Understanding storage resource utilisation by a virtual machine in vCenter Client is not difficult, especially when Thick Provisioning is in use. When the virtual machine is using Thick Provisioning all three metrics (Provisioned Storage, Not-Shared Storage and Used Storage) show exactly the same numbers.

When using Thin Provisioning the amount of provisioned storage is displayed, of course, in Provisioned Storage. The other two metrics will show the amount of Storage in Use. The Used Storage metric include swap files, log files, suspend files and any snapshots.

What about Not-Shared Storage?

 

PCoIP Secure Gateway FAQs

VMware just published a detailed document containing the Frequently Answered Questions about ‘PCoIP Secure Gateway’ (PSG). This document can be a useful guide for most of the queries related to the new VMware View 4.6 PSG feature.

 

VMware Security Advisory:-VMSA-2011-0005.1

Just a single update today,  they must all be tired after the Cloudfoundry announcement yesterday.

Synopsis:

VMware vCenter Orchestrator and Alive Enterprise remote code execution vulnerability

Issue date:

2011-03-14

Updated on:

2011-04-12

CVE numbers:

CVE-2010-1870

 

vFabric

Early Access: SpringSource Tool Suite for Eclipse Indigo (3.7)

The Eclipse Indigo (3.7) M6a packages are available for download from Eclipse since a few days, so its time for us to allow you to use the SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) on top of that milestone version. Its just an early access version of STS, but we managed to get all the pieces together for [...]

 

Routing Topologies for Performance and Scalability with RabbitMQ

Enterprise Integration Open Source Binding Patterns Decoupling Erlang Messaging performance RabbitMQ Routing Topologies Scalability

Designing a good routing topology for a highly-scalable system can be like mapping a graph. Many things need to be considered, for instance the problem, constraints of the environment, those of the messaging implementation, and performance strategies. What we often run up against is a lack of flexibility and expressivity in fitting routing to our [...]

 

The Console: Cloud Foundry -- Delivering on VMware's "Open PaaS" Strategy

Posted by Steve Herrod
Chief Technology Officer

It has been 20 months since VMware acquired SpringSource, launching our entry into the application development space and expanding our capability to “Simplify IT”.  In the development area, we are focusing on simplifying application creation, deployment, and operations via an approach we call open platform-as-a-service, or “Open PaaS”. And over the past year, we have been busily building out this offering via acquisitions and partnerships.

Today marks a major milestone in our mission with the introduction of Cloud Foundry, the industry’s first open PaaS implementation.  Cloud Foundry provides a PaaS implementation that offers developers what they need… choice:

 

Cloud Foundry for Spring Developers

By now, many of you have probably seen the Cloud Foundry webinar and Rod's blog from earlier today. I'd like to provide a quick follow-up that features a "hello-spring" sample application deployed in the cloud. Thanks to Cloud Foundry, there's practically no learning curve at all. Before we get started, let's consider three goals that [...]

 

Roo + Cloud Foundry = Productivity in the Cloud

Today marks an important day for developers, with the public beta release of Cloud Foundry, VMware’s open source Platform as a Service offering. Rod Johnson’s blog contains a lot of background details about this exciting announcement, and Mark Fisher’s post offers a first look at the service and how easily applications can move between a [...]

 

One-step deployment with Grails and Cloud Foundry

A couple of years back, the co-founder of a startup spoke at the London Groovy and Grails User Group. I remember vividly how he said he dreamed of deploying a Grails application with "just one click". With the announcement of the new Cloud Foundry service, his dream is nearly a reality for all Grails users. [...]

 

Using Cloud Foundry from STS

Foundry Tools VMware

By now you probably heard about Cloud Foundry, the open PaaS from VMware that was announced yesterday; if not make sure to check out the recording of the webcast. Eventually you have already read earlier blog posts introducing the Spring support for Cloud Foundry, the add-on for Spring Roo and the Grails plug-in. With this [...]

 

Hello World

Welcome to the Cloud Foundry blog.  You can read more about the scope of Cloud Foundry, the industry’s first open platform as a service here and here.

 

Simply put, our goal is to remove the obstacles developers face in building, deploying, running and scaling applications.  And do it in an open way so there is no lock-in to frameworks, application services or clouds.

Running WebApps at CloudFoundry.com

Here’s a little write-up regarding my experiences with creating a WebApp and uploading it to theCloudFoundry.com website. The first step is to go to the website and sign-up for an account, after signing up, you will receive an email within one business day containing a user ID and a password. Besides the username and password, the email contains some additional information including a link to the getting stared guide on the CloudFoundry.com website.

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for week ending 4/9/11

VMware ESX
Mounting NFS datastore with Storage I/O Control enabled fails with the error: Can't remove datastore (1037393)
Copying a virtual machine between vSphere and vCloud environments (1037489)
Changing the virtual machine monitor mode (1036775)
Slow virtual machine storage when using HP Smart Array P410 with ESX 3.5 (1036961)
Connecting virtual NICs to a vDS port group fails with the error: No free port is available in DVportgroup (1037531)
VMware Fusion
Certifying hardware and software with VMware (1036525)
Logging into the VMware Account Portal fails with the error: Authentication failed (1037104)
Accessing VMware Private Beta Programs (1037387)
VMware ThinApp
Troubleshooting Microsoft Office applications captured with VMware ThinApp (1037177)
Troubleshooting virtual Internet Explorer issues (1037178)
Cannot launch the ThinApp when a Sandbox resides in the network storage path (1037253)
VMware vCenter Converter
The vCenter Converter 4.2 plugin installs, but the Import Machine wizard fails to start (1036967)
VMware vCenter Operations Standard
Scalability limit for vCenter Operations Standard (1036806)
vCenter Operations Standard freezes and stops collecting data (1037065)
VMware vCenter Server
All actions on event based alarms are executed whenever one of the triggers fire (1029924)
VMware vCloud Request Manager
VMware vCloud Request Manager auditing and logging (1033141)
VMware View Manager
Installing the View Connection Server replica fails with the error: Error 28018 (1037179)

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