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)