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2011

From the editors Virtual Desk

The news this week is that VMware will be making an announcement about the next step in Cloud Infrastructure in July. To register for this online event see below, I reckon this is a must attend event and of course I will cover the details in the newsletter after the event.

 

I have been spending my week on TAM related duties so haven’t had much of an opportunity to play this week however there are some really interesting articles and information in the newsletter that I have picked up this week.

 

Firstly I find the idea of a HTML5 view client very interesting for access to View from anywhere. One of my colleagues has been running this on his home lab and says that it is fantastic. Check the link below for this one.

 

The other interesting article for me that I would like to point out is on Cloud Foundry and using Node and MongoDB. This is something that I have dabbled with in the past and as a developer in my previous life of extreme interest and something that I will be watching and working with from a personal perspective to keep updated  with what is going on.

 

Take care until next time.

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland Technical Account Manager

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

VMware to Announce Next Step in Cloud Infrastructure

Please join VMware executives Paul Maritz, CEO and Steve Herrod, CTO for the unveiling of the next major step forward in Cloud infrastructure. Paul & Steve’s 45 minute live webcast will be followed by additional online sessions where you can learn more about the industry’s most trusted virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services. Join VMware and experience how the virtualization journey is helping transform IT and ushering in the era of Cloud Computing.

 

To register, please go to: http://bit.ly/ihnk4P

 

SPRING/CLOUD FOUNDRY NEWS

Spring 3.1 M2: Testing with @Configuration Classes and Profiles

As Jürgen Höller mentioned in his post announcing the release of Spring 3.1 M2, the Spring TestContext Framework(*) has been overhauled to provide first-class testing support for @Configuration classes and environment profiles. In this post I'll first walk you through some examples that demonstrate these new testing features. I'll then cover some of the new [...]

 

The MongoDB NoSQL Database Blog: Getting started with VMware CloudFoundry, MongoDB and Node.js

mongodb:

Following up from our previous post we’re posting up a quick how-to for using Node.JS,CloudFoundry and MongoDB together.

Our end goal here is to build a simple web app that records…

 

VMware taps Google ethos with Cloud Foundry

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/23/vmware_cloud_foundry_origins/

Structure Two years ago, VMware boss Paul Maritz recruited a pair of Google infrastructureengineers to help build what would become Cloud Foundry, the company's open source answer to "platform clouds" such as Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure. At one point, Maritz asked the pair – Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky –  how many admins Google needed to oversee its more than a million physical servers, and they estimated the ratio was about one admin for every 1,000 machines.

 

 

LATEST NEWS

vCO Team: Tutorial: Create your own Twitter Application with a vCO workflow in a few minutes

If you thought vCO was powerful, think again. The new SOAP and REST plug-in are taking it to new levels. With the following tutorial you can in little as 30 minutes and without a single line of code (yes really !) create a workflow that will update your Twitter status. If you never had a chance to do a vCO Tutorial this one is really an easy one for starting.

Why Twitter ? Because this is a really popular application offering a public REST web service and today's tutorial is about leveraging the vCO REST plug-in. Going through this article will help you to understand how to orchestrate various REST web services.

 

vCO Team: VMware released the vCenter Orchestrator Plug-in for vCenter Update Manager

VMware just released another new vCenter Orchestrator plug-in. this time it is the turn to vCenter Update Manager to be orchestrated.

The main operations supported by this plug-in are:

Creating a patch baseline: This is a patch repository containing the ESX host and VM patches attached to a vCenter. You can filter which patch to get from provider sites based on vendor, product, severity, update type, date.

Attach a baseline to a set of vCenter objects. Objects can be a VM, a VM template, a vApp or container objects such as folder, cluster, datacenter to attach the children objects.

Check for compliance: Check if the objects you have set are compliant with the baseline patches. There is also a workflow to export a compliance report in CSV, html or PDF format.

Remediate: Apply the updates. You also have the option to stage the updates: download them to the system to be patched but not applying immediately.

 

 

vCO Team: VMware released the vCenter Orchestrator SOAP and REST Plug-ins

Today a major milestone has been achieved for vCenter Orchestrator.VMware released not one but two very useful plug-ins adapter:

SOAP is a protocol used to implement a web service typically used over HTTP and in combination with a service catalog (Web Service Description Language - WSDL pronounced wisdel). Examples of applications using SOAP are vCenter, vCenter Orchestrator, Lab Manager

REST is the technology behind the World Wide Web, leveraging HTTP verbs and URI to define resources and operations with stateless connections. REST is a popular alternative to SOAP. Examples of applications using REST are vCloud Director, vShield Manager, Yahoo, Google, Facebook.

 

VMware End User Computing: Comparing View 4.6 vs. XenDesktop 5.0

People often ask, “What are advantages does VMware View have vs. competitive solutions.” While we believe that there are several, one area that often gets sited by customers is how much easier VMware View is for IT to manage and deploy at scale.  To illustrate the differences, we created a series of short videos that highlights the simplicity of managing and deploying desktops using VMware View vs. Citrix XenDesktop. The following four videos walk through common/day-to-day tasks most IT administrators work on:

 

Uptime: More on Scripting with SRM - View desktops!

I wanted to draw your attention to a very interesting blog a co-worker has written about using PowerCLI and SRM to fail desktops over in a crisis.  This is a very interesting use of both SRM and PowerCLI.  Currently SRM cannot protect View desktops but Alan has shown how it can be done with an interesting design and use of PowerCLI.

 

VMware Networking Blog: N1k Load balancing options

I have been asked a few times on what the best option is to load balance with the N1k switch. In this post I want to give an overview of some of the load balancing option that is available on the N1k solution. We will look at different configuration options and when to use which option. From a VMware ESXi host licencing perspective you do need Enterprise Plus on the ESXi hosts that you want to use the N1k vDS.

The N1k supports two types of upstream connectivity namely :

 

VMware End User Computing: VMware Horizon App Manager Feature Update – What's New for June 2011?

Wow -- just a month since the May 17th debut of VMware Horizon App Manager and we are already adding more cool new features. How is that possible? Ah, the joys of SaaS… making it easier and faster for VMware to deliver value to you all the time. Come to think of it, it’s sort of like having Christmas all year round without the fruitcake. And from your “wish list” we have all sorts of fun stuff in the bag… let’s take a peek.

 

vSphere PowerCLI Blog: Back to Basics: Part 1 - Installing PowerCLI

The “Back to Basics” (B2B) blog post series will be showing people new to PowerShell and PowerCLI how to get started, they will be an ongoing feature on the PowerCLI blog and will cover each aspect of managing your virtual infrastructure with PowerShell and PowerCLI.

To get us started we have gone back to the beginning – Installing PowerCLI.

PowerCLI is typically installed on a vSphere administrators Microsoft Windows based desktop system or anywhere where you may currently run the vSphere Client, PowerCLI will access the vSphere API in a similar way to the vSphere Client so the same ports and access rights are needed to your vCenter or vSphere host.

 

Project: Massive Array of Inexpensive Servers aka MAIS

I was part of the voting committee for VMworld and one of the sessions which I voted for unfortunately did not make it. However with over 350 submissions there are always some excellent topics that don’t make it. I did feel it was worth sharing. So here’s the outline of the session and some additional info. All credits to Richard Stinton (VMware Cloud Architect, EMEA) and his Team for coming up with the concept and allowing me to publish this!

 

das.failureinterval and das.iostatsinterval clarification

Today someone asked a question about advanced settings for VM Monitoring which is probably the most underestimated feature of VMware HA. As the Availability Guide is not really clear on this I decided it was worth sharing. Below you can find the original question that was asked on the VMTN Forum:

 

EMC VNX

I’m a few months late  to the party on this one, but the VNX VSA has been released in a single data mover and NFS/CIFS only version. It seems to run more efficiently than even the Celerra VSA did

You can download it at the linke below if you don’t already have it.

 

SearchServerMisinformation.com

Virtualizationism ESX Hyper-V memory overcommit vSphere

A recent TechTarget piece pits VMware vSphere memory management technologies against the new Microsoft Hyper-V Dynamic Memory.  While certainly an interesting topic, I was disappointed by some of the inaccurate statements propping up the Hyper-V side.  With no facility to provide comments on that article directly, I thought I’d take a moment to set the record straight.

The key claim — that Microsoft offers more control over virtual machine memory — is misinformed at best:

 

Cisco – Generate ssh key with SAN-OS from the console

We had a situation a few weeks ago where we needed to stand up some HP / Cisco 9124e switches in a hurry. Unfortunately our data centre people initialized the switches and weren’t available to tell us what point they’d gotten to. We could see the switches in Fabric Manager and Device Manager, but for some reason we couldn’t ssh to the devices. And for some other reason we couldn’t generate a key to use with the switches. SAN-OS version is 3.3(4a). So here’s what we did to generate keys on the console (accessed via the HP Onboard Administrator on the blade chassis).

 

VAAI and Deployment - a Practical Example

My former colleague and virtualization buddy Ernst Cozijnsen over at Capgemini Outsourcing has done some extensive testing on virtual machine deployments with VAAI enabaled storage. The storage he has used for the deployment tests was an EMC Symmetrix VMAX, Here are his findings:

 

A while ago a colleague of mine pointed me to a blog post which included a link to an pdf document released by EMC talking about VAAI efficiency with EMC Symmetrix VMAX arrays. The document basically covers 3 new features which have been released in the “Enginuity 5875” firmware for the VMAX also known as the “75 code” in conjunction with vSphere 4.1.

Ericom AccessNow for VMware View is now Generally Available

Ericom has released their Ericom AccessNow for VMware View version 1.0 of this first-of-a-kind product. Ericom's pure HTML5 Access to View Virtual Desktops - from any HTML5-compatible web browser including from Chromebooks. Enable users to quickly and easily connect to VMware View desktops directly from within any HTML5-compatible web browser, without requiring Flash, Java or any other software to be installed on the client.

 

New Technical Papers - vShield Edge Design Guide and vShield App Design Guide

VMware vShield is a suite of security virtual appliances built for VMware vSphere 4.1. It is a critical security component for protecting virtualized datacenters from attacks and misuse. vShield App and vShield Edge are the two products in the suite that address network security. The goal of this document is to provide details on the key security technologies implemented in the vShield App and vShield Edge products that enable administrators to build a multitenant virtualized datacenter environment that is flexible, agile, scalable and secure. The document first discusses the challenges in using physical security to protect virtual infrastructure and then describes in detail the key new technologies in vShield products that address those challenges.

 

VMware Labs present its latest fling - CloudCleaner

CloudCleaner is a handy tool that helps remove all traces of objects created on host machines by vCloud Director(vCD) like Virtual Machines, resource pools, network pools and networks. Simply put, CloudCleaner restores all your host machines running vCD to a clean state.
Some of the great features are:
• Intelligent authentication handling - if your login credentials fail, you'll be given the chance to re-auth in realtime.
• Fast! Uses up to 2000 simultaneous threads
• Auto-detects developer settings - vCenter IP and credentials.
• Safe - auto-detects inconsistencies and repairs them.
• Secured - validates vCenter server certificates and encrypts user data.
Be one of the first one to try, rate and comment - http://labs.vmware.com/flings/cloudcleaner .

 

VMware View & Fusion-io VDI appliance

The out-of-the-box VDI appliance from VMware and Fusion-io will save you time, money and manpower. VMware and Fusion-io break new ground in simplifying IT with this out-of-the-box, uniform virtual desktop infrastructure.

 

These VDI appliances allow for a quick and easy assessment of whether VDI is suitable for your company. Configuring a setup is done in three simple steps, giving you an instant view of the required hardware, software and services – and the associated investment. The low initial purchasing costs of the VDI appliance will amaze you: they are comparable to that of a new pc. It will also halve the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the VMware View desktop.

 

Thoughts on VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform

At Techfield day, VMware presented to us delegates their Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) and as expected all these geeks where very interested to see what VMware had to offer. Unfortunately the overall feeling was that the product as demonstrated to us was a bit disappointing. Of course it is still no released product, but even then there are some points to worry about, but first let’s have a look at what VMware MVP really is.

Taken from the VMware MVP website ( http://www.vmware.com/mobile):

 

Update to PXE Manager for vCenter Fling

This is a guest post by Andy Grant.

Max Daneri has released version 4.1 Update 1 of PXE Manager for vCenter.  Be sure to uninstall the old version including the client plugin prior to installing the update.

For all changes see the changelog.

A new feature that caught my eye is the “VMware ESX to ESXi converter”.  I have not had a chance to try this but it sounds like it could be an interesting way to perform ESXi migrations.

I have played around with using PXE Manager for stateless ESXi hosts and it makes it really easy to do, I am interested in hearing from you if you are using this in any of your environments.   I envision decreased risk tolerance and potential resiliency issues.  Much like vCenter itself (Heartbeat aside).

 

More Questions About Queues: LUN and HBA Queue Depth on ESX(i) Hosts

Jason Boche has posted an interesting article on the VMkernel parameterDisk.SchedNumReqOutstanding.  I confess that I have never thought much about the setting other than following VMware’s recommendation when changing HBA queue depth.

Changing the Queue Depth for QLogic and Emulex HBAs

“The recommendation is to set both Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding and the adapter queue depth to the same value.”

Both HBA and LUN (Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding) default to 32.  Changing one means changing both and this brings up some interesting questions that I think I will have to lab to find the answer.

 

Some Answers About Queues: LUN and HBA Queue Depth on ESX(i) Hosts

This article is in response to the post More Questions About Queues: LUN and HBA Queue Depth on ESX(i) Hosts.  I previously posed a few questions about the behavior of vSphere’s SIOC and (LUN) Adaptive Queue Depth algorithm and have a few observations to report.

While I don’t have a FC or iSCSI SAN in my lab, direct attached storage should behave in the same manner, albeit with different default queue depths.  For this test I setup 3 WinXP VM’s running IOMeter v1.1-RC1 on a single OCZ Vertex 2 SSD attached to an HP Smart Array P410 controller (no RAID, 512MB BBWC).  My host is running vSphere 4.1U1 build 381511.

A review of the questions I asked.

 

Using the VMware Guest Console fling in the lab.

The VMware Guest Console was released well over a year ago but never caught my interest until working in my home lab Tuesday night of last week. As a VMware admin or consultant you may or may not be responsible for making large scale changes to the guest OS landscape. If you are, read on.

As the second Tuesday of the month it was Microsoft’s monthly patch release. Being patch Tuesday wasn’t unique about my situation, but as my home lab has recently crested 20 permanent VM’s, and 10 are Windows Server guests, it has meant more administrative time to maintain things.

 

New update to Free Xangati’s product – Xangati for ESX

Xangati for ESX has been here for a while and I you were attending VMworld 2010 last year in Copenhagen like I did, you could see some Xangati in action too, since Xangati has been monitoring the health of the VDI LAB sessions and has been located in the VMware LAB area together with the VMware LAB stuff.

Xangati is further expanding it’s paid product which is Xangati’s multihost management boards for Virtual Infrastructure (VI) and Virtual Desktop infrastructure (VDI) . The benefit of it is that the free product Xangati for ESX does benefit of those enhancements as well.

 

Disclaimer:

All information in this newsletter are the property of their original owner, all blog’s and links are maintained to the original article for this purpose. Thank you to all the contributors out there in VMware blog land. Should you wish to have your blog removed from the Official VMware newsletter please contact Neil Isserow @ nisserow@vmware.com. Neil Isserow and VMware accept no responsibility for the use of any information contained in this article.

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for Week Ending 6/18/11

Apache HTTP Server
Obtaining a Web server stack trace in Linux/Unix (2000998)
Apache Tomcat
Verifying the installed version of Tomcat (2000579)
VMware ESX
Powering off a virtual machine fails with the error: Cannot power Off: Another task is already in progress (1027040)
The vem-swiscsi process fails to exit even when no Software iSCSI device is found (1035741)
Virtual machine halts during remediation when performed with remove media device option (2000110)
Application updates in guest cause SCSI reservation (2000496)
Modifying path information for ESX hosts (2000552)
Cluster level memory capacity on Resource Allocation tab is less than the sum of the memory available for virtual machines for ESX hosts in the cluster (1033443)
Preferred paths are not persistent across reboots (2000720)
Copying files to and from vSphere datastore volumes using PowerCLI (2001041)
Importing OVF Virtual Appliance in ESX 3.5.x fails (2001120)
Forcibly shutting down an ESX host remotely (2001123)
The vCenter Server Event tab reports the error: The systemId does not match the current system or the deviceId and vendorId do not match the device currently at <bus:device.function> (2001216)
Hot-adding a SCSI device to a powered on virtual machine fails with the error: Unable to open SCSI device <device> (scsiX:Y): Failed to lock the file (2001217)
Hot-adding a hard disk to a powered on virtual machine fails with the error: Unsupported and/or invalid disk type (2001218)
VMware ESXi
Cannot log in to ESXi server due to error: Authentication denied. Direct console access has been disabled by the administrator (1000424)
SRVFAIL or NXDOMAIN returned when testing DNS using nslookup (1037545)
Removing modules for VMware Tools during unattended install or upgrade (2000399)
Powering on a virtual machine fails with the error: Invalid memory reservation request (2000547)
vMotion fails at 78% with the error: Could not open change tracking file (2001004)
Using esxupdate on ESXi host fails with the error: Unable to create, write or read a file as expected (2001115)
VMware Tools fails to upgrade automatically upon bootup when configured to Upgrade At Power Cycle (2001170)
vMotioning freezes at 78% with the error: msg.snapshot.powerOff.prompt (2001239)
vSphere Client fails to access Network Adaptors with the error: Call "HostNetworkSystem.QueryNetworkHint" (2001351)
VMware Horizon App Manager Connector
Horizon Connector only accepts special characters in a Bind DN or Base DN value when you escape the special characters with a backslash (2001238)
VMware Service Manager
MMA URL in VMware Service Manager opens the HTML Only interface instead of the main application (2001049)
Knowledge indication not active on tasks of a request with an attached KB in VMware Service Manager (2000393)
Notes added within the portal are not visible when the History Private option is configured in VMware Service Manager (2000895)
Deleting a template from Screen Set fails (2000937)
Emails sent to a customer from the Service Manager call screen are attached to the call as a text file (2001141)
Service Manager shows a script error when Display Request is clicked (2001211)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
ESX collections in vCenter Configuration Manager fail and the Agent proxy dbe reports the message: BindToServer failed HRESULT 0x800706ba (1028334)
The Active Directory radio button is grayed out in the collect wizard (1035771)
Cannot deploy a Clickonce application using vCenter Configuration Manager (1038522)
Windows collections failing with error: There is a problem with the System Activity Service: status is unknown (1038798)
Unable to collect from Unix agents after upgrading the vCenter Configuration Manager Collector agent (2001033)
VMware vCenter Manager Console view fails to display any data with Windows hot fix installed for Windows Vista, 7, 2008, 2008 R2 (2001210)
Running vCenter Configuration Manager collection against Software Provisioning filters fails with the error: Failure in one or more data classes at the Agent (2001272)
The vCenter Configuration Manager CIS SUSE benchmark template - rule 7.10 fails (2001319)
VMware vCenter Server
VirtualCenter Server service fails to start after installing or upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1 with an Oracle database using an Oracle 64-bit ODBC driver (1038335)
Installing and Upgrading VMware tools on vCenter Mobile Appliance (2001191)
VirtualCenter Server service fails to start with the error: Oracle - ORA-12537 (1039228)
VMware Fault Tolerance fails to turn on in a two node cluster (2000589)
Security scans on vCenter Server fail due to the Tomcat version installed (2000954)
Performance graphs fails to display the past day performance with the error: [Oracle][ODBC][Ora]ORA-00001: unique constraint (VPXADMIN.VPX_STAT_COUNTER_U1) violated (2000997)
Data migration tool fails with the error: RESTORE cannot process database 'VIM_VCDB' because it is in use by this session. (2001184)
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
VirtualCenter Server service is degraded in vCenter Heartbeat (2001046)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
Logging in to SRM fails with the error: Failed to access encrypted credentials (2001138)
VMware vCenter Update Manager
Update Manager Download task fails with the error: The object has already been deleted or has not been completely created (2001243)
VMware vCloud Connector
Restarting the VMware vCloud Connector Service (2001206)
VMware vCloud Director
Location of vCloud Director VMRC client log files (2001071)
VMware vFabric tc Server
Verifying the current version of vFabric tc Server (2000592)
VMware View Manager
VMware View virtual machines is not accessible with status in View Admin: Already used (1000590)
Installing VMware View Manager 4.5 agent renders virtual machines as unreachable on the network (2000065)
Unexpected and incorrect expiration of checked out Local Mode Desktops (2000067)
Recomposing VMware View pool fails with error: Provisioning error occurred for Machine xxxxxx:Refit operation resync failed (2001021)
VMware View Security Server shows an "Unknown" status in the View Administrator Dashboard (2001053)
Single Sign-on fails after you disconnect and reconnect to the desktop (2001134)
Pool recompose fails with the error: View Composer agent initialization state error (4): Failed to backup profiles keys (waited 0 seconds) (2001299)
VMware View desktop fails to boot to the operating system and launches the PXE boot screen (2001345)
VMware vSphere Web Services SDK
How to import ISO images with OVFManagerImportLocalVApp sample code (2001212)
VMware Workstation
Windows SID needs to be changed after copying a virtual machine directory (1000528)

 

From the editors Virtual Desk

Hi everyone, well another fantastic week at VMware and the world of virtualization and cloud. Of course many of you like myself were probably interested in the Apple announcements. This seems to have dominated the news since the event and there is definitely some very interesting announcements there. For me one of the key announcements and the one I will be watching is iCloud. I hope that this is another case of cloud becoming more and more important in our daily lives and one that I am always looking forward to.

 

On the VMware front many of you may have heard that we have made another purchase. This time it is Digital Fuel. I have put the full announcement below for your information.

 

I have also spent the past week using our Socialcast network and I am hooked. I featured this last week in the newsletter but after just a week of use it is taking over my corporate communications as one of the most valuable tools that I have. In fact I can see this exceeding email in the future as my communication of choice with my peers on important issues that I am looking for information or support on. If you haven’t looked at this solution don’t delay, the base version is free and very functional and definitely worth a look.

 

There is also a new section this week called ANNOUNCEMENTS where I will take the opportunity to announce anything specifically that I think is of importance to the community so please take a look.

 

For those that do want to take a look at my previous newsletter I remind you that they are always archived around 5 days after I send it to you on my blog which is located at communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmwaretam.

 

Take care until next time.

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland TAM

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

vCenter Orchestrator HTTP-REST and SOAP Plug-ins Now Available

Message heard...  "We don't provision our VMs and virtual applications in a vacuum...  When are you going to help me integrate the VMware Cloud stack into my current management systems and business processes?"

Message received...  loud and clear, which is why we are very excited to announce the general availability of the VMware vCenter Orchestrator HTTP-REST and SOAP plug-ins!

These new plug-ins allow organizations to easily integrate their cloud provisioning and operations use cases with systems that offer RESTful or traditional SOAP web services.

Often-times, provisioning a VM or requesting a cloud-hosted IT service is part of a larger IT process that encompasses various management systems such as service desk, change management, IP address management, CMDB, or configuration management. Thanks to the HTTP-REST and SOAP plug-ins, organizations can now easily integrate vSphere and vCloud Director into zero-touch, automated processes that leverage 3rd party-system REST or SOAP APIs.

What's more, these plug-ins provide the ability to query a URI or import a target application's WSDL directly into the vCO workflow designer client.  This enables workflows developers to browse the WSDL and create workflows from SOAP operations in just a few clicks, hiding the complexities of the underlying protocol.

 

Defining the Future for Virtualized and Cloud Java

Posted on June 14th, 2011 by Rod Johnson in Cloud Computing, Java, Spring, SpringSource, VMware.

http://blog.springsource.com/author/rodj/

Today I am proud to announce version 5 of our VMware vFabric™ application platform defining the future of enterprise Java for cloud and virtualized execution environments. vFabric blazes the path to new and modern cloud architectures by providing a modern programming model paired with next-generation platform services. A path that is not overgrown with the cruft and complexity of prior-generation technologies. With vFabric 5, VMware is ensuring that enterprise Java is ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s demanding, data-intensive, massively scalable applications.

vFabric 5 continues to provide the best place to run your Spring applications with vFabric tc Server and the ability to monitor and manage those production solutions with incredible intelligence via vFabric Hyperic. The platform also addresses the technical challenges of cloud computing head on, supporting new approaches to data management that enable applications to scale across elastic, geographically distributed cloud architectures with our vFabric GemFire and RabbitMQtechnologies. This release introduces important new technologies that can take advantage of underlying virtualized environments to provide a new degree of flexibility and control for Java applications

 

 

FEATURED SOLUTION: DIGITAL FUEL

Rethink IT: Why VMware is Acquiring Pioneering IT Financial Management Vendor, Digital Fuel

If you’ve heard the recent news that VMware has signed a definitive letter of intent to acquire Digital Fuel you might be asking yourself a simple question: Why? After all, isn’t VMware an infrastructure company? What’s it doing in the ITFM space?

Let me give you a little background and then tell you my perspective on why I think it’s a good move for VMware and our customers (and it’s not just because I’m the VP in charge of our virtualization and cloud management strategy and offerings).

The goal of IT has always been to support the business, to align IT efforts with business priorities, and to deliver maximum business value for IT spend. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is that cloud is making it possible for the first time for IT to truly deliver on that goal. How? Well, one critical way is that cloud now provides an external benchmark for the CIO (and more importantly, his or her business counterparts) to compare the cost and value of internally provided IT services. Whether it’s comparing the cost of a unit of compute capacity for Dev/Test, the cost of provisioning a mailbox for a new employee, or the cost of a CRM solution for your entire sales force, the public cloud provides a rate card that serves as a benchmark against which CIOs are being held to account by CFOs and even CEOs.

But here’s a fun paradox – even as CIOs are increasing their level of virtualization and building out their private cloud capabilities to compete with the agility and cost of public cloud services, it’s getting more and more difficult to understand the true cost of the services they provide. Why? It has to do with the incredibly dynamic nature of virtualization and private cloud. With applications being moved from one VM to another, VMs in turn being moved from one host to another, and capacity and usage being spun up and spun down constantly, the ability to capture and showback the resources and services consumed by your LOBs is incredibly and increasingly difficult.

So how do you defend yourself and the value you deliver in comparison with an external benchmark?  You need the numbers—credible, supportable numbers. Back of the envelope calculations, out of date Excel spreadsheets, and gut feel only get you so far when facing a CFO who says “Here’s what Amazon says they can do it for. Can you do better?”

To answer this question without breaking into a cold sweat requires deep financial visibility into cost structures, the ability to monitor and deliver on SLAs, and a framework for making intelligent sourcing decisions. The fact is, today, most IT organizations I talk to have rudimentary, if any, capabilities in these areas.

This is why VMware is acquiring Digital Fuel. It’s about providing our customers with the deep visibility and the right measurement tools they need to manage IT in the right way. Specifically, I’m talking about the ability to measure the costs and SLAs associated with a particular IT service whether sourced internally through your private cloud or externally from a cloud or SaaS provider. So you can stand up and have a fact-based, numbers-driven discussion with your CFO or CEO. And the combination of VMware and Digital Fuel is a perfect fit for this. The acquisition brings together our deep insight into the dynamically changing virtual infrastructure which is the very foundation for cloud computing, as well as our growing portfolio of application and end user computing solutions that are re-defining how IT is enabling your business processes. The combination of these solutions with Digital Fuel’s pioneering capabilities gives you the unprecedented ability to manage every aspect of your services from a financial – and business – perspective.

And it’s not just about managing costs and SLAs. You have to manage your vendors as well.  As you may know, vendors account for a significant part of the average IT budget – about 30%. In the cloud era, where your company’s business processes are driven by a complex combination of in-sourced, outsourced and cloud-sourced services, the SLAs you agree with the business are themselves dependent on those you agree with your vendors. Digital Fuel’s vendor management solution lets you compare different vendors and options to make the most cost-effective business choice. Plus it provides a control mechanism for your vendor agreements – making proactive governance of contractual commitments possible, and tying financial and other penalties to non-performance when necessary.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more! It’s about tracking the overall costs of delivering your services and driving them down over time while still delivering on agreed service levels. And putting into place some financial rigor around planning, budgeting and portfolio management to ensure your organization is delivering the right services at the right cost to the business going forward.

To net it all out, it’s about having that fact-based discussion with business stakeholders on the value IT provides for the budget it gets. Digital Fuel’s solutions provide the CIO with financial visibility and control, giving him or her the ability – through non-“Geek Speak” reports – to communicate back to business stakeholders in business language (dollars, euros, yen, etc.). This is the kind of dialog IT execs have been dying to have since the early days of the mainframe.

Without financial visibility and control there’s just no way IT can fully mature as an organization, no way the CIO can start running IT like a business. At the end of the day, Digital Fuel’s solutions give our customers the ability to manage IT as a business, measuring, managing and optimizing IT resources for maximum business impact.

Here’s a link to the press release.  Stay tuned for more updates and announcements via blog.

SPRING NEWS

SpringSource Team Blog

This post focuses on what's new for Spring MVC in Spring 3.1 M2. Here are the topics: Code-based equivalent for the MVC namespace. Customizable @MVC processing. Programming model improvements. A brief reminder that the features discussed here are in action at the Greenhouse project. Code-based Configuration For Spring MVC As Chris pointed out in his [...]

 

Spring 3.1 M2: Configuration Enhancements

As Juergen mentioned in his post yesterday, and as I've mentioned in my previous posts on 3.1 M1, one of the major themes of Spring 3.1 is completing our vision for code-based configuration in Spring. We think a modern enterprise Java application should have a choice between Java and XML as first class options for [...]

 

Defining the Future for Virtualized and Cloud Java

Today I am proud to announce version 5 of our VMware vFabric™ application platform defining the future of enterprise Java for cloud and virtualized execution environments. vFabric blazes the path to new and modern cloud architectures by providing a modern programming model paired with next-generation platform services. A path that is not overgrown with the [...]

 

LATEST NEWS

VMware Networking Blog: VDS vs. Cisco N1K

I often get questions about the difference between VMware Distributed Switch (VDS) and Cisco Nexus 1000v (N1K). At a high level, VDS presents an integrated model where both network and VM deployment are managed from a single place, while N1K caters to organizations having a separate networking group trained with Cisco CLI. What I really want to talk about is the implementation architecture.

 

vCO Team: Force a VM to boot from several devices

One thing vCO users and administrators always ask for is changing the boot order for virtual machines. The bad news is: It is part of the BIOS of the virtual machine (.nvram). But based on this community discussion and the solutions in PowerShell, I decided to test it with the vCenter Orchestrator and I was surprised how easy it is!

 

vCO Team: Monitoring solution has built-in support for vCO based Remediation!

uptime software realized early on that many orchestration solutions could involve very expensive software suites and services. They chose to extend their product by plugging it into VMware’s vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) to allow for automated remediation of issues discovered by their monitoring solution.

 

VMware Networking Blog: VDS Security

From time to time, I got queries about VDS architecture, particularly about how vswitches are implemented in the kernel. Do different vswitches share the same code? What's the object lay out? A few email exchanges later, it was clear that the questioners really wanted an assessment of the security risk of VDS, and they thought they could get it from a raw description of VDS implementation architecture!

 

VMTN Blog: New community for vFabric SQLFire

This week, we have launched a new community for VMware vFabric SQLFire on VMTN.

vFabric SQLFire is a memory-oriented, shared-nothing distributed data management system designed for applications that demand high speed, scalability and availability.

SQLFire offers some of the best features usually only seen in NoSQL databases, such as horizontal scalability, shared-nothing persistence and built in fault tolerance, but does it all while providing a real SQL interface. If you're having trouble scaling your database or worried about high availability, SQLFire is a great alternative.

 

VMware End User Computing: Understanding Isolation Modes in VMware ThinApp

A recent KBTV video discusses Isolation Modes in VMware ThinApp. Isolation modes allow you to control the degree to which a virtualized application can read from and write to the local, physical PC where the virtual application resides.

ThinApp automatically configures isolation modes for directories in the file system and for registry subtrees in a ThinApp project. You can change the default isolation modes. Our video includes an overview the theory of isolation modes and how to implement them in practice.

 

VMware End User Computing: Rightsizing Your Approach to Desktop Virtualization

Chief Market Technologist, VMware End-User Computing

Over the last few weeks I’ve travelled in North America and Europe, meeting with both VMware customers and many of my new colleagues. The only thing uniting all of these is a common realization that virtualization technologies have a key role to play in the End-User Computing (EUC) journey.

No two customers are the same: each has unique requirements and each is at a different point in their own journey. This is no surprise to me, given the many thousand of discussions I’ve previously had with organizations about their EUC strategies. What has taken me aback is the occasional publicity given to the apparent “failure” of desktop virtualization projects – this is far removed from my own views and the opinions I’ve heard expressed by our customers. My curiosity drove me to look a little deeper into such stories and I reached two simple conclusions:

 

Business Critical Applications: Taking a closer look at sizing the Java process

In this blog I would like to drill down with an actual sizing example based on the information presented in a prior blog here.

Let’s take the generalized equation presented in Figure-1 below and show an actual sizing example:

 

VMware Support Insider: vSphere Licensing Mind Map

Today's mind map has articles for troubleshooting the licensing of VMware product (enterprise and desktop alike). It is slightly different from the others we've recently posted, in that most topics are single articles rather than actual Resolution Paths. This mind map lists important licensing components and articles related to licensing topics, such as support contracts and license keys. For example, the 'Product Licensing' topic has several sub-topics like ESX 3.x Licensing, vSphere Licensing, and Desktop Licensing. For each sub-topic, you will find a list of important articles related to that area.

 

VMware Networking Blog: Considerations for DMZ, iSCSI and Private vDS on same ESXi/Cluster

Before we start on this topic, a disclaimer here: This is not the only configuration that can be used for vDS switches that is used to connect to a DMZ, iSCSI and Public networks. This is merely a configuration that can be considered to be used. It has it merits and thus I am mentioning it here.The scenario that we are looking it is when a client are using iSCSI for storage (Software initiator), have a DMZ environment and also need to have a private network, all on the same ESXi and cluster infrastructure and can be used across multiple clusters. Also refer to this blog on vDS and vSwitch security.

 

VMware Security Blog: Follow-up Analysis from "2010's Trend and Risk Report from a VMware Perspective"

As promised from my blog back in April (sorry it took so long!), here is a follow-up examination to the vulnerabilities announced from 2010 as they relate to ESX and ESXi. As I mentioned before there were 106 different CVE’s that came out of the X-Force DB with the search I pulled. I tried to be as thorough as possible and only focused on vSphere’s ESX and ESXi as opposed to the entirety of our product lines. I also found that several of the items returned were actually for Workstation and were only detected because there was a combined VMware Security Announcement (VMSA) that covered multiple patches. So all of the stats have been updated to reflect the new total of 99. Of those 99, only 7 applied to VMware’s owned code and of those, only 3 applied to ESXi’s code. Another interesting stat was that 1 of those 3 applied only at version 4.1 of ESXi, and the other 2 only applied to version 4.0. Lastly, 6 of those 7 applied to ESX versions 3.0 and 3.5 and 2 of those 6 applied to ESXi version 3.5. That’s a lot of numbers, but what it tells me is that by moving to ESXi as a sole platform, we’re moving in the right direction because there are less overall patches and less patches in each subsequent version.

vCO Team: Code snippets : Get VMs that triggered vCenter Alarms

If you ever wanted to start a workflow based on a VM triggering an alarm in vCenter the solution is a few click away.

The following action get all VMs that triggered alarms from any vCenter vCO is managing with filtering on Alarms names, acknowledged state, start time, status (warning, alert).

 

sneak peek of the upcoming vSphere Clustering book

For those who are not following Frank’s blog, he just posted a sneak peek of the upcoming vSphere Clustering book. It looks really really slick in full color. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Go to Frank’s article for more details.

 

New VNX/vSphere Techbook published…

This is the authoritative EMC guide to VNX and vSphere.   Check it out here:

 

This one has updated guidance on sizing (hint: make big datastores see page 43), updated guidance on SIOC (hint: always turn it on, see page 46), updated guidance on parity (hint: use parity RAID for your “generic datastores”, and focus your efforts on specific design for the heavy-hitting mission critical apps).

Nice to see it out formally, our guidance continue to get simpler.  The general principles align with Chapter 6 (Storage)of the “Mastering vSphere 4” that Scott Lowe wrote (and I guest wrote the storage chapter).   Simple, big datastores + just get going is the right way – and knowing what to measure and react (since you can adapt non-disruptively) is the right way.  Only spend time on focused planning for VDI (IO intensive) and mission critical apps (IO intensive and SLAs).

 

Which VMs set your Slot Size ?

A previous post on my blog shows us how to get the slot size information for each cluster which has HA enabled, it also discusses what a slot size is and points to some further reading on Yellow-Bricks.

Readers of the great HA and DRS book will know exactly what a slot size is, if you are unsure then I suggest you read my previous article or the HA and DRS book, it is important information to know.

But which VMs are setting your slot size ?  This is a question which was emailed to me over a year ago, someone had issues finding the VMs which were setting their slot size and they had run out – not a good place to be.

 

VDI Flash Calculator v2.3 Released + Manual

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

This new release offers support to two key features in VMware View that had not before been covered by the calculator. The first is the support for 1-to-Many relationship between Parent VM and Desktop Pools. Now it is possible to define how many desktop pools will use the same Parent VM. Previous versions of the calculator automatically assumed a relationship one-to-one.

The second feature is the added support for calculation of Full Clones. Full Clones are calculated differently than Linked Clones and do not offer a number of operational benefits, however Full Clones are commonly used

 

VDI Flash Calculator Manual

I have been asked few times about the options and features provided by the VDI Flash Calculator. I finally decided to put together a quick reference guide that I am naming as “Manual” to help you better size your VDI solution.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

The VDI calculator can be found at http://myvirtualcloud.net/?page_id=1076. Alternatively, go to my blog homepage and select VDI Calculator on the top bar.

 

VMware ESXi Total lockdown – what’s that?

For paranoiacs? Not only.

If you really want to close down access to your ESXi servers and make your network more secure, you might missed that there is a Total Lockdown Mode available in ESXi hypervizor from VMware. But watch out, when enabled and if you loose an access to your vCenter, the only way to get access to your individual ESXi is to ….. reinstall.

It’s what I just discovered in this VMware KB which teaches you the different lockdown modes you’re certainly aware.

When the total lockdown mode is enabled, you don’t have any possibility to log on. You are not able to:

log in to the ESXi server locally.

log in to the ESXi server via SSH.

connect to the vCenter Server.

When you log in as root directly to DCUI you see this message:

Authentication denied. Direct console access has been disabled by the administrator for <your_server_hostname>.

 

Scripted Removal Of Non-present Hardware After A P2V

After converting a physical machine to a virtual machine, it is considered a best practice to remove unneeded applications, software, services, and device drivers which were tied to the physical machine but no longer applicable to the present day virtual machine.  Performing this task from time to time manually isn’t too bad but at large scale, a manual process becomes inefficient.  There are tools available which will automate the process of removing unneeded device drivers (sometimes referred to as ghost hardware).  A former colleage put together a scripted solution for Windows VMs which I’m sharing here.

 

vmware-configcheck

Detect corruption/integrity problems with your .vmx files with the following Service Console command (ESX only):

/usr/bin/vmware-configcheck | grep -v PASS

The command walks through the inventory and checks whether each virtual machine in the inventory matches the set of rules on configuration that is indicated in the rules file on the host: /etc/vmware/configrules

Why would you do this?  As stated above, the utility will detect corruption in the construct of a .vmx file.  Integrity issues in the .vmx file can cause a failed vMotion and the VM will crash.  I’ve seen it happen twice (out of tens of thousands of vMotion operations).

 

 

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for Week Ending 6/11/11

VMware Consolidated Backup
Unable to view all the virtual machine drives in the virtual machine backup directory (1039078)
VMware Data Recovery
VMware Data Recovery reclaim task does not run every day (2000801)
VMware ESX
Scanning an ESX 3.5 host using VMware Update Manager fails with the error: Failed to scan <hostname> for updates (1030798)
High amount of Kerberos and DNS traffic is noticed between the ESX/ESXi host and DNS server (1030964)
Limiting disk I/O from a specific virtual machine without using SIOC (1038241)
Sample ovftool command syntax to export, deploy, and 1-step export and deploy packages in vCenter Server (1038709)
The guest operating system is extremely slow or does not boot when connected to the host CD/DVD drive (2000382)
Removing Netapp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) 1.0 plugin from vCenter Server (1038007)
Creating and managing extents (2000643)
The esxtop utility causes high CPU load (2000829)
VMware ESXi
Adding a SCSI controller to the virtual machine (1037094)
Cisco Nexus 1000v logs contain the message: Dropping received frames from duplicate VSM saddr (0x1010000) (2000074)
Cannot license a centralized ESX/ESXi 4.x host (2000723)
VMware Fusion
Nesting Workstation inside of Workstation causes Windows 7 to fail on booting (2000348)
Using Unity and multiple displays in VMware Fusion (2000384)
Understanding the message: The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system (2000542)
VMware Service Manager
Clicking the Add New button in the Person search window of VMware Service Manager fails with an application error (2000817)
VMware Service Manager search returns results from incorrect or unselected partition (1038381)
Closing a call in VMware Service Manager displays a blank screen (2000854)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
Setting up SSL for the Collector UI and reports in VMware vCenter Configuration Manager (1025894)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager collections fails with the error: The remote procedure call failed and did not execute. (2000805)
Installing the vCenter Configuration Manager license manually (2000810)
Adding RHEL 5.6 support to VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.4 (2000927)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Remote Client fails to contact the Collector (2000955)
Deploying the vCenter Configuration Manager agent fails with the error: Unable to register one or more module CFC3_0 Components : error code 109 (2000957)
Logging in to VMware vCenter Configuration Manager fails with the error: Your ID is Disabled (2000958)
vCenter Configuration Manager Machine Data collections fail with the error: Write Operation listing a memory address and the HRESULT 0xC0000005 (2001000)
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
Unable to import the Hyper-V virtual machine using vCenter Enterprise Converter and Standalone Converter (2000352)
VMware Converter fails to proceed beyond the Destination System step (2000504)
VMware vCenter Lab Manager
In the vCenter Lab Manager environment, the Events and Tasks tab continuously reports the error: Cannot delete file (1025674)
Cannot deploy configurations to some of the hosts using Lab Manager (1025675)
Unable to prepare a host in Lab Manager when the host appears to be in the Not supported state (1039091)
Guest customization fails in vCenter Lab Manager after modifying unattend.xml file (2000518)
Resynchronizing the database object reference identifiers for Lab Manager 4.x and vCenter 4.x (2000519)
VMware vCenter Server
Best practices for uninstalling vCenter Server (1030559)
VirtualCenter Server service crashes and fails to start with the vpxd.log error: panic NOT_REACHED (2000500)
VMware VirtualCenter Server service fails to start when vCenter Server is installed on a non-default partition (2000587)
Connecting to vCenter Server using the vSphere Client fails (1031039)
Japanese role names are corrupted after vCenter Server is backed up and restored (2000174)
Verifying if the performance rollup jobs exist in the vCenter Server database running on DB2 (2000901)
Alarms triggered in vCenter Server display incorrect timestamp (2000903)
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
SRM replicated NFS share does not have same name at production and recovery site (2000947)
VMware View Manager
Installing View composer with an Oracle database fails (2000633)
VMware View Connection or Security Server fails after adding a custom certificate (2000133)

From the editors Virtual Desk

Hi everyone, well there was lots of news last week and of course I had a bit of catching up to do after my vacation which hopefully I have now managed to do. This week has been extremely busy and in Brisbane we have also been hit with some unusually cold weather. For some of my colleagues down south it probably isn’t that cold but for us where we are prepared for heat waves not really cold snaps it can seem much worse than it is.

 

I have also spent the past few days familiarizing myself with our new acquisition that is Socialcast. I have only had a few days using this system but I am already hooked. I need more time to articulate all of it’s benefits and at this stage I am only using our VMware corporate version of this, next week I will begin my experiment with setting up a company from scratch to use, but as services go this one is right up there with awesome. The one thing that I really enjoy is that is is already enabled on mobile devices as a first class citizen with an appropriate app that can be downloaded on most popular devices such as iPhone, Android, Blackberry etc. These guys obviously realised that to be social they need to enable the most popular method of internet communications and connectivity that we carry around all the time, our mobile device. So to say that I am not disappointed in any way thus far is an understatement. But of course stay tuned for more next week and check out the featured application this week which is Socialcast.

 

I have also included information from the latest Cloud Foundry newsletter. If you are not yet familiar with Cloud Foundry I have been featuring it in the newsletter for the past few editions so take a look or go to www.cloudfoundry.com.

 

Take care until next time

 

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland TAM

 

Featured Solution: Socialcast

Companies today struggle with engaging employees and increasing productivity due to communication overload and knowledge silos. Socialcast's software creates a flexible, simple, data-rich collaborative space where employees can find information from applications, systems, and people across the enterprise.

 

Deploying enterprise collaboration software at your company creates an awareness of what everyone is doing, saying, and thinking. Employees collaborate. Executives announce. Your team works together without sitting in the same room. Important communication occurs in one central hub – the engine that powers your company. All of this happens while everyone is focused on driving the company forward, and don’t have to slow down to see what’s happening around them. When employees know what’s happening from every angle, the advantage is a clear perspective that helps companies move faster.

 

Increase Efficiency:

With Socialcast, data and information move between applications and users, and from users to teams, faster than ever before. Improve information flow by opening the lines of communication, turning your company into an incubator

for collaboration.

 

Improve Productivity:

Socialcast aims to eliminate "work about work" - the unnecessary meetings, emails and calls that fail to produce results. Help employees perform their best by allowing collaboration and discussions to occur outside of time-draining activities.

 

One Central Location:

Capture the knowledge that's currently living inside your employees' heads, their inboxes, and buried deep within shared documents by creating a real-time enterprise social network that becomes a central hub for information-sharing.

 

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

Cloud Foundry News

Building Your First Application on Cloud Foundry

Have you been thinking about getting started on modern frameworks and languages, but never had enough time or energy to do so? Cloud Foundry team has published a step-by-step tutorial on writing a simple "who follows who" Twitter app. Using this tutorial, you can learn how to write and run a web application in Ruby (using the Twitter APIs) on Cloud Foundry in just a few minutes.

 

Use the links below to learn about writing apps in other languages, usi

 

Cloud Foundry: Giving Scala a Lift

Scala, the statically type JVM-based language, combining object-oriented and functional programming is now supported on Cloud Foundry. Check out the details at our blog and try running a Scala app at CloudFoundry.com.

Read more...

 

Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Apps

So you have a few apps on Cloud Foundry and want to learn how to manage them? Here's a list of vmc commands to monitor and manage your applications in Cloud Foundry:

 

'vmc apps' shows you each of your applications with its name, number of instances, health, URL, and the services bound to it.

 

'vmc instances <appname>' shows you the state of each application instance. Append an absolute (##). positive (+##), or negative (-##) number to the command and you can instantly scale your application instances up or down by that number!

 

'vmc stats <appname>' gives you even more detailed information like CPU usage, memory and disk utilization, and uptime of each instance. (The disk limit displayed is applicable for the aggregate total for your user account and cannot be changed.)

 

'vmc mem' command helps change the reserved memory limit on-the-fly.

 

'vmc logs <appname>' and 'vmc crashlogs <appname>' show you relevant logs and helps your efforts to debug the app issues, like failure to launch or crashing.

 

Latest News

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map, Resolution Path for VDR Issues

We have a new mind map and Resolution Path to round out this week, this one is for VDR issues. As you'll recall from this post, VDR is the replacement for the VCB backup system for ESX/ESXi hosts. And also of particular note: New major or minor versions of the vSphere platform beyond vSphere 4.1 will not be supported with VCB. Nudge nudge... there's your gentle reminder.

 

As before, this PDF has a click-able Flash object embedded so that you can drill down into the various topics and articles. We list the steps to take, and link to articles (or documentation) describing the steps in detail. Each main Resolution Path article has more information than we list here however, so we recommend reading the full article if you ever encounter this issue.

 

Resolution Paths for VDR Issues: Click here to open the download page

 

VMware Networking Blog: vDS config location and HA

By Hugo Strydom, Managing Consultant, Professional Services

Have you ever wondered what those .dvsData folder is on some of your datastores ? Well in this article I will give some insight to them and what they are used for.

Firstly some information around a vDS switch. Each vDS switch has a UUID in the format : "6a de 0e 50 80 32 76 68-e0 72 fd 00 c3 23 52 92" (as an example). When you look inside a datastore you will sometimes (Will explain just now on when) a .dvsData folder. If you look in there you will see 1 or more of these numbers. Each number correspond to a vDS switch that is used by the ESXi host.

 

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: Delivering VMs into vCloud Director with vCO

When starting with vCloud Director the most asked question I receive is: "How can we deploy our customized VMs into the vCloud Director?". The reason is that a VM template or vApp is used for vCloud Director.

With this example I want to show how easy it is to build a VM and deliver it to the vCloud Director using vCenter Orchestrator and it´s plug-ins.

Of course, there are several methods to automate these imports:

clone a customized VM into a VMware template for vCD import

choose and transform an existing VM into a vApp

 

VMware End User Computing: VDI Right on the Money

Guest Blog Post (Part 1 of a 3 part series)
By Raechelle Clemmons, CIO, Menlo College

“So how much did your VDI implementation cost, anyway?”

A lot of people mumble incoherently and look at the floor when asked this basic question. Not us. Here at Menlo College we are well into the rollout of our new virtual desktops based on VMware View brokering software and Unidesk virtual desktop management software, and know *exactly* what it’s costing (actually saving!) us.  We’re deploying to 300+ users at an annual cost per virtual desktop that is well under $300 -- pretty much the same as a physical PC, largely because the combination of View and Unidesk lets us create the desktops using local storage, which is much less expensive than SAN. That’s not the real news, though, because the true cost of a desktop per year -- when you factor in the all-important staff time and operating expenses -- is actually $1,120 by our estimates, while the new virtual desktops are coming in at an estimated $735 each.

 

VMware Networking Blog: Virtual Networking Observations

By Shudong Zhou, Sr. Staff Engineer, ESX Networking

This is the first of several posts about VMware virtual networking infrastructure. The goal is to help readers gain a deeper technical understanding and appreciation of the VMware offering. This is my personal view and does not represent VMware's official position.

I joined VMware in Oct. 2006, around the time when ESX 3.5 was about to be released. While VMware was growing rapidly at the time, Hyper-V was looming in the horizon. On the networking front, 10G NICs were ready to enter the market and ESX was facing resistance from enterprise networking administrators. I joined the effort to tackle the issue of network management.

 

VMware End User Computing: VMware Fusion 3.1.3 Available via Software Update

The latest update for VMware Fusion is now available and includes support for some of the latest Operating Systems: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and, for Linux fans, Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04.

We’ve also made improvements under the covers to improve video, opening files on your Mac and web browsing using Internet Explorer. This update fixes over 40 bugs, many reported by users, and is available free of charge to VMware Fusion 3 users.

 

VMware Support Insider: What is a ThinApp "Clean Machine"?

We have a guest post today from Jason Bassford, VCP, a Senior Technical Support Engineer in our Burlington Ontario office, who asks: What's the definition of a ThinApp "clean machine"?

 

First, a little bit of background on the process of capturing an application. You take a prescan, which records all of the files and registry settings of an operating system prior to installing the application. Then you install the application and take a postscan – which records all of this information again. The prescan is compared to the postscan and anything that is different is added into the project from which the virtual application is compiled.

 

VMTN Blog: A week in virtualization

Weekly virtualization news, as featured on the Community Roundtable podcast.

On Facebook, the vCloud team has shared a cool video showing how to configure firewall settings in vCloud Express, and also an interesting article in which our CEO Paul Maritz is hinting that an elite group of providers will soon offer VMware infrastructure for hybrid enterprise clouds. You can find it all at facebook.com/vmwarevcloud

Yesterday, a new public beta for the vCenter Converter 5.0 Standalone has gone live. Come check it out on VMTN community at communities.vmware.com – once there, click on “VMware Beta Programs” in the right-hand navigation. The new Converter beta is linked from there.

Early bird pricing for VMworld registration is ending on the 24th of June, so the time is running out if you want to save some cash: for yourself or for your company.

There are a bunch of cool events coming up over the next week or so.

The VMware Forum is making a stop in Houston today, and continues to Frankfurt, Brussels, Chicago, Rome, Edinburgh, and Milan.

We have a ton of webinars coming up soon, on topics ranging from Transition to vSphere ESXi, to Desktop Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Virtualization in Hospitals, and Downtime Prevention. There are more webinars listed than I have time to mention here, so go have a look atwebcasts.vmware.com

A full-day regional VMUG conference is coming up in Vancouver on the 21st of June, so if you are in the area, put this on your calendars. A regional conference is more than your usual VMUG meeting. It’s frequently a full-day conference, with a full agenda and interesting speakers. John Troyer will be speaking there, so there’s your additional motivation to go.

Additionally, the following VMUGs are meeting over the next seven days: Switzerland, Hungary, Barcelona, San Antonio, Israel, and Omaha. You can find more details and registration links for all the VMUG meetings at myvmug.org by clicking on “Events.”

 

Failover of persistent desktops using SRM and View 4.6

With View 4.6 becoming largely adopted by many businesses recently I came across an interesting use case for VMware Site Recover Manager (SRM) and View 4.6, specifically the View 4.6 PowerCLI cmdlets.

Imagine this scenario (and this is just one example of why you would do this)….

 

Number of Physical & Virtual CPU’s per host & Cluster

Recently I received a comment on an older post of mine which gave output of the number of virtual CPU’s on a host and also in a cluster, the comment asked if there was a way to export this to a text or html file which is easy enough in PowerShell.

After reading my code I was astounded at how bad it was, one thing i wish I had time for was to go back to some of my earlier code to tidy it up with the tips and tricks I have learnt over the last year and also amend it to use the new features provided to us by the PowerCLI team to make things easier.

 

VCAP-DCA&DCD Resources Page Updated

Just a quick posting to alert people that I have just updated my VCAP-DCA & DCD Study Resources page with new resources and great tips.The page is a list of resources that I have been constantly updating as I  have come across new resources and I have made my way through the  required amount of studying to be prepared (which is now in full swing).So either click the “VCAP-DCA & DCD” link at the top of the page or click here if you can’t be bothered going to the top of the page and if you know of any other great resources please do comment so that I can add them and it can benefit the whole community.

 

Spring Framework 3.1 M2 released

Spring Framework 3.1 M2 has been released this week, marking the end of the 3.1 milestone phase. We are moving on to the release candidate phase now, preparing for a feature-complete RC1 in July and a GA release in September. 3.1 M2 completes the work on several major themes started in 3.1 M1 back in [...]

 

New Article – Configuring FAST Cache on the CLARiiON

I’ve added a brief article full of pretty screenshots regarding FAST Cache on the CX4. Nothing groundbreaking – because that’s not really my style. I hope to have some more posts shortly on our real world experiences with FAST and FAST Cache. Check out some other articles here

 

Converter 5.0 public Beta program

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is a scalable solution to convert virtual and physical machines to VMware virtual machines. You can also configure existing virtual machines in your vCenter Server environment. Converter Standalone eases the exchange of virtual machines among the following products.

 

VDI and Storage De-Duplication: Good or Bad marriage?

In my opinion if you are doing VDI with Persistent Desktops using Full Clones you are rowing against the current.

I have previously stated that Floating Pools and Linked Clones (or similar technology) is the way I believe every VDI deployment should be done (either using VMware View, XenDesktop or any other broker). Persistent Desktops should be treated as exceptions to address specific user or application needs. You will find reasoning in my article Floating Pools are the way to go…

 

Content Catalog for VMworld 2011 Las Vegas is up

VMware has published the content catalog for VMworld 2011.

As you might already spotted on few other places and also on VMworld.com, this year’s VMworld 2011 will be held in Las Vegas – US event and in Copenhagen (European Event). The Las Vegas event is on August 29-September 1 and the Copenhagen’s event is October 18-20.

Both events should have the same content, but exceptions are always possible or probable. As for now the content is up for Las Vegas only and for the Copenhagen’s event the catalog should be published

Here is the link to the content catalog, where you can find all the sessions which has been approved. As usually there are quite a few categories, like Panel Sessions, Breakout Sessions or Hands or Lab…

For example there is 23 Hands On Labs, which are very cloud oriented, but not all of them… Some of them like those one below, seems very promising.

HOL10 Advanced Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning for Your Virtual Environment.

Or this one – HOL17 vSphere Features in Action: Enhancements Enabling the SMB Growth Across Their Virtualized Environment,

or this one – HOL07 Advanced Configuration and Troubleshooting: Using Virtual Distributed Switches and Network I/O Control on Your Network.

See and(or) register for one of those events at the VMworld Website here.

 

VSI Plugin: vSphere Multipathing Coolness

One of the tasks that always made me crazy when doing deployments was managing multipathing. Starting with vSphere 4.0 most of the storage platforms recommended using the Round Robin policy. At some point we all had to modify the policy for each datastore via the vCenter client. It is like stabbing yourself in the eye with a sewing needle. The other way is to use a script from the cli to change the default policy for each datastore. Much easier but there should be a better way for those that don’t have crazy script capabilities.

Imagine being able to right click on an ESX cluster. Going through a small wizard and then setting all of the policies for each datastore on each host. Also works with Powerpath VE if you have it. Awesomeness. I almost shed tears of joy.

After installing the EMC VSI plugin right click a host (or entire cluster), go to EMC à Set Multipathing Policy…

 

List of VAAI capable storage arrays?

I was browsing the VMTN community and noticed a great tip from my colleague Mostafa Khalil and I believe it is worth sharing with you. The original question was: “Does anybody have a list of which arrays support VAAI (or a certain subset of the VAAI features)?”. Mostafa updated the post a couple of days back with the following reponse which also shows the capabilities of the 2.0 version of the VMware HCL:

A new version of the Web HCL will provide search criteria specific to VAAI.

As of this date, the new interface is still in “preview” stage. You can access it by clicking the “2.0 preview” button at the top of the page which is at: http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl/

 

EMC Webcasts in June

Wow, this year is flying by and before you know it VMworld will be here! Until then, and all of the great things EMC has planned to show you, you should definitely check out these upcoming webcasts, including Chad’s Choice which is guaranteed to be jam-packed with great things all focused on virtualization.

Click here to register now!

Performance and Provisioning for Virtualized Oracle
Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Hear from EMC and VMware Solutions Architects on how to leverage server and storage virtualization to greatly improve Oracle performance as well as accelerate and simplify provisioning of new Oracle environments.
Hosts: Sam Lucido, Solutions Architect, EMC and Vas Mitra, Solutions Architect, VMware

Accelerate Your Journey to a Virtualized Data Center
Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Learn how EMC’s Ionix Unified Infrastructure Management, a leading cloud infrastructure management solution for Vblock, can help you deliver IT services 5 times faster and 80% more efficiently with full compliance across your virtualized infrastructure.
Host: Tom Hayes, Senior Manager, Ionix Marketing, EMC

Automate Virtual Machine Recovery in VNX-based Vblock Environments
Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Discover how EMC RecoverPoint, integrated with VNX in Vblock configurations, delivers comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery for virtual data center deployments.
Host: Rick Walsworth, Director, Product Marketing, EMC

Chad’s Choice - Virtually Any Virtualization Topic!
Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 BST
Find out the latest virtualization topics from Chad Sakac, VP VMware Technology Alliance, EMC. Get key updates on new technologies, hear honest answers to your most demanding questions, and see intriguing technical demos.
Host: Chad Sakac, VP VMware Technology Alliance, EMC

Click here to register now!

VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for Week Ending 6/4/11

Grails
What is the authority to export Grails and Grails plugins? (2000210)
Which Grails plugins are supported by SpringSource? (2000287)
VMware Capacity Planner
Improving Capacity Planner Consolidation Ratio (1000256)
VMware Converter
Converting a SUSE machine fails with the error: Converter.fault.HelperVmConnectionToSourceFault (1039312)
Cannot log in to a P2V converted Windows 2000 virtual machine (2000280)
VMware ESX
ESX/ESXi 4.1 host fails with a purple diagnostic screen when removing an uplink network interface from a vSwitch configured for Beacon Probing (1039177)
Creating a snapshot of a virtual machine fails with the error: Invalid virtual machine configuration (2000408)
VMware support for Pivot3 vBank Storage Virtual Appliance (VB-F2012) (2000679)
Changing vSwitch security settings with a post install script (1030932)
Unable to restore the virtual machine using the third-party backup software (1036981)
Cannot configure VMware HA when the ESX/ESXi hostname has more than 26 characters (2000073)
Adding an ESX 4.0 Update 1 host to Cisco Nexus 1000v fails with the error: Status 9bad0007 (1035221)
Powering on the virtual machine fails with the error: Unable to open SCSI device '/vmfs/devices/genscsi/<deviceName>' (scsiX:Y) (1039080)
Attaching host profile fails with the error: A specified parameter was not correct (1039148)
NUMA imbalance after vMotion of virtual machines (2000740)
VMware ESXi
ESXi 4.1 host disconnects from vCenter Server and reports the message: cpu11:4107) ALERT: Heartbeat: 575: PCPU 4 didn't have a heartbeat for 1860 seconds. *may* be locked up. (2000614)
Virtual machines fail to power on due to a suspend state from an incompatible CPU type (1000241)
Copying the /var/log/weasel.log file from a failed scripted install of an ESXi host (1036724)
Enabling Jumbo Frames for VMkernel ports in a virtual distributed switch (1038827)
High CPU and memory utilization by the vem-swiscsi process (2000072)
VMware vCenter Update Manager patch download task fails to complete (2000111)
Upgrading from ESXi 3.5 to 4.0 fails when management network uses DHCP (2000407)
VMware Service Manager
Setting the Services field as required using the Required option in the Service Manager Request Service Desk screen does not enforce the option (1038386)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
You cannot add IP address with value of 255 in any octate when addding machines manually in vCenter Configuration Manager (1033741)
Running VCM on a FIPS enabled collector (1034519)
vCenter Configuration Manager login fails with error: Your ID has either not been created in VCM, or you have no current VCM roles (1037806)
When doing a collection using vCenter Configuration Manager on any data type from an HTTP Client you receive the error: Unknown return code - aborting HRESULT 0x80090331 (1039109)
Edit wizard shows a maximum of 1000 Oracle instances in the data grid in vCenter Configuration Manager for Oracle (2000113)
HTTP agent unable to communicate with collector even when all connectivity tests succeed (2000166)
Slow collections in vCenter Configuration Manager database (2000225)
Unable to install the AIX agent (2000264)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager email alert variables fail to populate (2000586)
VMware vCenter Server
Cannot use Web Access after creating a virtual distributed switch in vCenter Server (1031427)
vCenter Server fails with the error: ASSERT d:/build/ob/bora-208111/bora/vpx/public\vpxDrmStats.h:649 (1034707)
Refreshing the datastore list in vCenter Server fails with the error: Cannot complete login due to an incorrect user name or password (2000172)
Unable to collect vCenter Server logs using vSphere Management Assistant (2000173)
Updating the database user password stored in vCenter Server (2000493)
VirtualCenter Server service fails to start after moving the database to a different server. (2000624)
VMware vCenter Update Manager
Update Manager fails to install with error: vCenter Server credentials could not be validated (2000321)
VMware vFabric Hyperic Server
Writing a great support request for vFabric/SpringSource products (1037412)
VMware View Manager
Creating or recomposing a pool fails with error: Invalid value for parameter dgid passed to view composer function (1000541)
Recomposing a View desktop pool fails with the error: View Composer Active Directory Authentication Error (1000637)
VMware View Administrator shows the virtual machine status error: Configuration Error (1039274)
Changing the name of a View Connection Server (2000357)
Recording sound through analog input devices fail in VMware View with PCoIP (2000611)
VMware VirtualCenter
VirtualCenter Server service fails shortly after starting with the error: Transaction was deadlocked on lock resources (1000455)
VMware Workstation
Virtual machine keyboard fails if anti-keylogger is installed on the host (2000143)
Deploying an ACE package fails and reports that VMware Tools is not installed (2000588)

From the editors Virtual Desk

Hi everyone, well it has been 4 weeks since my last newsletter and in that time so much has happened in the world of VMware. Of course for those of you that keep up with news you will know that have made a number very interesting strategic purchases over the past month. All of these purchases have been backed up by our CEO with information that shows our commitment to the cloud and virtualisation and software as a service which has always been our stated intention. This is a really exciting time for our industry.

 

For those that are interested I have been on my annual leave and during this time I travelled to South Africa, England and Scotland as well as Hong Kong before returning to my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. I mention this because during this break I chose to leave my trusty Macbook Air at home. This was a very hard decision for me personally because regardless of the fact that I was on holiday from work, I still feel strongly about keeping in contact and up to date with friends and family even on holiday. I decided to just take my iPhone 4 with me for this trip and see how I go, with a backup plan of purchasing an iPad 2 if things got rough as I had just recently sold my iPad 1. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical that I could achieve my goals of keeping in touch and still being fully functional however I am happy to report that my expectations were exceeded and I never felt the need to have a complete PC/Mac at any stage during the journey. In fact I used my iPhone to log my trip on a really great service called Track My Tour. Anyone interested is free to view the outcome of this at http://trackmytour.com/5114 and let me know what you think.

 

This week’s newsletter is a big one with a bit of a catchup from the last one so please take the time to browse through it as I am certain you will find something of interest. I have also tried to place the VMware Blogs (official) first followed by the VMware vExperts/Bloggers to make things easier to read. I have also tried to include all parts of a particular blog when there is more than one. There are also a number of new troubleshooting mind maps included in this edition for a number of areas which I think are worthwhile downloading and reviewing.

 

Well until next time I wish you all well. It is now winter in my part of the world and a bit colder but still beautiful clear and calm days after some of the chaos that we have endured over the past few months which I am really enjoying.

 

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
VMware Support Insider: Important Patch Information for ESX/ESXi 3.5 hosts

This is a Critical Impact Message:

To continue patching ESX/ESXi 3.5 hosts, a critical patch needs to be applied before June 1, 2011. This patch updates the secure key.

Knowledgebase Article 1030001 Critical Impact: VMware ESX 3.5, Patch ESX350-201012410-BG: Apply this patch to continue applying patches on ESX 3.5 hosts after June 2011 has been written for users of ESX.

 

VMwareTV: Your Cloud. Accelerate IT and Business with VMware

Visit vmware.com and learn how VMware ensures security and control, preserves existing investments, and avoids vendor lock-in. VMware, the trusted virtualization leader, is uniquely positioned to enable your transition to the cloud.

 

ESXi Chronicles: Migrating to ESXi part 1 - Are you ready for ESXi?

It’s been almost a full year since we first heard about ESXi convergence, have you made the move to ESXi?  Is it still on your to-do list?  Migrating to ESXi is really pretty easy and can even be done with no VM downtime.   The basic process involves (1) migrating the VMs off the host, (2) installing ESXi and (re)configuring the host, and (3) restoring the VMs.

 

ESXi Chronicles: Migrating to ESXi part 2 – Moving VMs off the ESX Host

In my last post I mentioned the requirement to upgrade vCenter in preparation for migrating  to ESXi.  In this post I will discuss the storage considerations related to an ESXi migration.

 

Before you shutdown an ESX hosts in preparation to migrate it to ESXi you need to evacuate the VMs off the host.  The steps to do this vary depending on where the VMs are stored and what their availability requirements are.  There are three places where VMs can be stored:  (1) on the boot disk, (2) on local disks, or (3) on shared storage.  Let’s discuss the considerations for each.

 

ESXi Chronicles: Migrating to ESXi part 3 – Installing ESXi and reconfiguring the host

This is the third post in my migrating to ESXi series.  In the first post I talked about the need toupgrade vCenter and provided some tips to ensure a smooth upgrade.  In the second post I talked about the need to evacuate VMs off the ESX host and called out special consideration needed for VMs running on boot disk and other local datastores.  This time I will talk about the steps to install ESXi and reconfigure the host after the ESXi migration.

 

VMware Security Blog: vShield App and View Desktops: Desktop Security Zones and the Desktop DMZ

Hi...Rob Randell here again.  In an earlier posting on the partner announcements at the RSA and HIMSS Conferences, I promised that I would go into detail on how we can leverage VMware View to provide what I like to call Desktop Security Zones and the Desktop DMZ.  In this blog I am going to illustrate this in a use case on a hospital network.

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind-map for vSphere Install & Upgrade Troubleshooting

Today the Support Insider brings you another new Mind Map we expect to be popular— vSphere Install & Upgrade Troubleshooting!

These interactive Flash-embedded PDFs are clickable so that you can expand sections and drill down to the problem you may be experiencing. The map is fairly large and covers a lot of topics. If you see a topic you’d like to explore, click the ‘+’. If you see an article you’d like to view, click the link icon.

 

VMwareTV: VMware Horizon App Manager Overview

VMware Horizon App Manager Overview

Blog: bit.ly Product info: bit.ly Video description: Noah Wasmer, Director, Advanced Development, VMware discusses VMware Horizon App Manager, an open, user-centric management service for accessing cloud applications.

 

VMware End User Computing: A New View of the Horizon

Today marks a major milestone for VMware’s End-User Computing vision with the launch of VMware Horizon App Manager, a user-centric management service for accessing cloud applications.  We are excited to bring this new service to our customers.

Over the last few years, the “tectonic plates” of IT have been shifting. In increasing numbers, organizations are moving to embrace the cloud in new, unexpected ways.  As our customers push for new workforce efficacies they are adopting a new generation of applications like WebEx, salesforce.com, Google Apps, BroadVision and/or Box.net.  Organizations are seeing value and productivity gains by having applications and data available anywhere, across different devices - and the devices are changing just as fast.

 

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: Creation of User Accounts with Active Directory Plug-in for VCO

A few days ago we announced the GA of Active Directory Plug-in for VCO. Now we want to show you an example how this plugin can be used.

Suppose you are an Active Directory administrator and you have to create a lot of new accounts for a newly created department of your company with a lot of employees. If just using the UI that your Windows 2008 server has for working with AD objects, you have to do a lot of annoying and repeating steps, but you have the VCO and the AD plug-in on your side

 

VMware End User Computing: Getting to know Horizon App Manager: 3 videos

Thanks for all the congratulations and kind words around today's Horizon App Manager launch -- we're excited as well! Here are three videos that will give you an insight into the functionality, benefits, ease of use, as well as the broader implications of VMware Horizon.

 

VMware End User Computing: The New Planning Horizon

End-user computing is undergoing its biggest transition since the wave of standardization that accompanied PC market proliferation in the mid 1990s. Most workers still depend on traditional PC applications, but these can now be made available in multiple ways and the new capabilities they use are increasingly delivered from the cloud. Devices are changing too, fragmenting into a much broader range of choice that mirrors the diversity of the individuals in our workplaces. For organizations trying to equip their workers for today and the years ahead, all of this change creates a fast moving target with many new risks and opportunities. As they navigate the complex choices now facing them, IT departments often find themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place of raised expectations: the organization’s leaders want more agility and efficiency, the users just want more liberty and function – and everyone wants it now!

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map, Resolution Path for Lab Manager issues

Here’s our latest mind map for Lab Manager issues. As before, this PDF has a clickable Flash object embedded so that you can drill down into the various topics and articles. We list the steps to take, and link to articles (or documentation) describing the steps in detail. Each main Resolution Path article has more information than we list here however, so we recommend reading the full article if you ever encounter this issue.

Today’s Mind Map details our Resolution Paths for Lab Manager Issues: Click here to open the download page

 

Business Critical Applications: Is Java both OS and Hypervisor Independent?

For those that don’t really have time to read the entire blog, I can simply answer as, yes, to the above question.  Indeed Java is independent of the underlying hypervisor such as VMware bare metal hypervisor, and the Operating System.  But for those folks that want to delve a little more into what this means, please read on.

 

VMware Networking Blog: LBT (Load Based Teaming) explained (Part 1/3)

In this first part of how LBT works we want to first explain how the stats are derived for the pNIC attached to the vDS (or vSwitch).

The vmkernel maintains tx/rx stats for each of the pNIC's that is attached to a vDS. Stats to the vmkernel is updated as soon as the packet have been send or received by the pNIC. There is no overhead on delivering the packet to the VM during the stats update process to the vmkernel.

 

VMware Networking Blog: LBT (Load Based Teaming) explained (Part 2/3)

In the first part we looked at how we collect network stats. In this part we will be looking at when and how LBT checks for load and the process of moving the VM traffic to another pNIC.

Let's first look at the detection and frequency. The vmkernel checks every 30sec the stats from the relevant pNIC's. The calculation will use the stats for the 30sec interval and get an average over the 30sec (to normalize the average and to eliminate spikes). If the bandwidth is above 75%, it will mark the pNIC as saturated.

 

VMware Networking Blog: LBT (Load Based Teaming) explained (Part 3/3)

In this part we will look at some scenarios and what will happen when a pNIC is saturated.

Scenario 1:

ESX host with 2x 1Gb pNIC's that is attached to a vDS . pNIC0 is above 75% threshold.

LBT will calculate to evaluate which vNIC traffic can be moved off pNIC0 to pNIC1

As part of the calculation LBT will also determine that if a vNIC is moved over to pNIC1 it will not saturate pNIC1

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind-map for Converter Troubleshooting

Here’s our latest mind map for VMware Converter issues. As before, this PDF has a click-able Flash object embedded so that you can drill down into the various topics and articles. We list the steps to take, and link to articles (or documentation) describing the steps in detail. Each main Resolution Path article has more information than we list here however, so we recommend reading the full article if you ever encounter this issue.

Today’s Mind Map details our Resolution Paths for Converter Issues: Click here to open the download page

 

VMware vCloud Blog: Cloud Hosting With VMware

I often get asked what’s so great about cloud hosting with VMware when there are so many different cloud hosting platforms available. The beauty of the cloud is that I can always reply with ‘try it and see’, as it’s so easy to take a free trial on a VMware cloud hosting platform for a few days.

I guess one of the key things about vCloud Powered solutions are that they are single vendor end to end – from the portal to the back end.  Many other cloud offerings have ‘home grown’ integration into the hypervisor, which works fine, but presents ongoing compatibility challenges as the differing technologies evolve.

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map, Resolution Path for OS issues

Today we have yet another mind map for OS issues. Those are issues that pertain to the guest operating system you are running in your vm.

As before, this PDF has a click-able Flash object embedded so that you can drill down into the various topics and articles. We list the steps to take, and link to articles (or documentation) describing the steps in detail. Each main Resolution Path article has more information than we list here however, so we recommend reading the full article if you ever encounter this issue.

Today’s Mind Map details our Resolution Paths for OS Issues: Click here to open the download page

 

VMware Support Insider: New Mind Map, Resolution Path for VMware Site Recovery Manager Issues

One more mind map to round out the week, this one is for VMware Site Recovery Manager issues. SRM for short.

As before, this PDF has a click-able Flash object embedded so that you can drill down into the various topics and articles. We list the steps to take, and link to articles (or documentation) describing the steps in detail. Each main Resolution Path article has more information than we list here however, so we recommend reading the full article if you ever encounter this issue.

Today’s Mind Map details our Resolution Paths for VMware Site Recovery Manager Issues: Click here to open the download page

 

The Console: The New Way to Work… Part 2

In April I introduced VMware’s acquisition of SlideRocket with a blog entry entitled, “The New Way to Work – End-User Computing in the Post-PC Era”. Today I am happy to announce the next step in this journey with our acquisition of Socialcast, a powerful “Enterprise Activity Stream Engine” that unites a company’s people, information, and applications in real-time. In this blog, I discuss this social platform and how it helps evolve the way we work.

 

VMware Virtualization Management Blog: vCenter Operations Unplugged - Understanding Workload & Health

Virtualization Admins have a tough job.  Every day they face tough questions like: Is there a performance problem in my virtual infrastructure (VI)? Is it an ESX population issue? Is it a single VM gone haywire? What VMs are being affected? If you’re a VI Admin then you know what I’m talking about when I say these are the questions that start flying when you’re pulled into a large conference room during a service outage and all the finger pointing begins.

 

Business Critical Applications: Using VMware HA, DRS and vMotion with Exchange 2010 DAGs

The wave of VMware customers looking to virtualize Exchange 2010 on vSphere continues to accelerate. While there have been customers who have chosen not to virtualize the DAG nodes, the reasons were not those we heard of in years past. Today it's not because of performance or high storage IO, in fact most customers believe that the majority of their applications can be virtualized, including their business critical applications. VMware customers who chose to postpone virtualization of their Exchange 2010 DAG nodes mostly did so for one reason: lack of support for vSphere advanced features from Microsoft. Those customers will be pleased to know that this is now a thing of the past.

 

Technology Short Take #12: Storage Edition

I’m so far behind in my technology reading that I have this massive list of blog posts and links that I would normally put into an issue of Technology Short Takes. However, people are already “complaining” that my Short Takes aren’t all that short. To keep from overwhelming people, I’m breaking Technology Short Take #12 into three editions: Virtualization, Storage, and Networking.

Here’s the “Storage Edition” of Technology Short Take #12!

 

Stretched Clustering Presentation

On May 5, I had the privilege of speaking in Charlotte, NC, at the Carolina VMware User’s Summit. I had been asked to deliver a presentation on the pros and cons of stretched clusters in VMware vSphere. Since I know that not everyone could make it to Charlotte, here’s a copy of the presentation I gave. It’s hosted via Sliderocket. Enjoy, and feel free to post any questions or suggestions in the comments to this post. Thanks!

 

Stretched Clusters, Distance vMotion and L2 Adjacency

Beth Pariseau recently published an article discussing the practical value of long-distance vMotion, partially in response to EMC’s announcement of VPLEX Geo at EMC World 2011. In that article, Beth quotes some text from a tweet I posted as well as some text from Chad Sakac’s recent post on VPLEX Geo. However, there are a couple inaccuracies from Beth’s article that I really feel need to be cleared up:

Long-distance vMotion and stretched clusters are not the same thing.

L2 adjacency for virtual machines is not the same as L2 adjacency for the vMotion interfaces.

 

Application Troubleshooting Tools and Tips for VMware ThinApp

Party Apps ThinApp VDI View VMware

Well over a year ago, I was introduced to a fantastic repository of VMware ThinApp tools, tips, and troubleshooting methods.  While some of the content may be dated (it was created nearly a year before I came across it), I suspect the bulk of it is still relevant to some degree today.  It comes to us from VMware’s ThinApp blog by a gentleman named Dean Flaming.

 

Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) Tag Team

For this blog post, I collaborated with Dawn Theirl (@KokopeIIi on Twitter) who is a Network Engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Dawn performs a  lot of hands-on work in her day to day role as a wired and wireless network guru.  We understand that CDP provides benefits for both the network and virtualization platform teams.  However, in larger or siloed environments, our two teams don’t necessarily know what the other is seeing in their dashboard.  Curiosity prevailed and here we are.  In this writing, Dawn and I will discuss CDP, its implementation, and what exactly is seen in each of our siloed roles using our respective management tools, as well as the benefits provided by both having and sharing this information..

 

Co-scheduling Visualized

I stumbled onto this time lapse video of 51 airplanes taking off (and others taxiing) at Boston’s Logan International Airport.  One thought immediately popped into my mind: co-scheduling, which is a function of The VMware vSphere CPU Scheduler.  The accelerated speed of the video really pronounced the importance of precision the scheduler is responsible for, which in this case is the air traffic controller (or controllers).

 

How Cloud Foundry works when a new Application is Deployed

Previously in this blog post, we covered how the client side does a vmc push to deploy an application onto the Cloud Foundry.com service.  In this post we are going to look at how things work from Cloud Foundry’s perspective.  This post is a detailed walk through of the inner workings of deploying an application on Cloud Foundry.

 

Cloud Foundry: Now Supporting Scala

Cloud Foundry, the open platform as a service, supports multiple frameworks, multiple application services and multiple clouds.

Cloud Foundry already supports multiple frameworks including Spring (Java), Grails (Groovy), Railsand Sinatra (Ruby) and Node.js with others on the way from the community. For each supported framework we provide an appropriate runtime (such as Java) and application server (such as Tomcat). Furthermore, we utilize each framework’s expected application structure to offer features such as auto-reconfiguration so you may deploy applications to CloudFoundry.com or to a local instance of Cloud Foundry with minimal changes.

 

VDR plugin do not connect to VDR appliance

When you can’t connect to the VDR appliance through the plugin present in vCenter.

I’m sure that you have already experienced this issue if you’re using VDR for smaller deployements. In fact without particular reason there is some kind of lost connectivity and you’re presented to with the connection window prompting you to connect to VDR again.

Well the solution which worked for me was that instead of putting hostname or FQDN of the vCenter server, I put the IP Address. And it did the trick….

 

VMware HA Slot sizes

HA Slot sizes – how do we get those numbers from vCenter?

Info: This is a guest post by Andy Grant. He lives and works in Canada. Andy was a real help recently when I tried to configure a Cisco switch. You can read about my switch adventures here.

This post is an extension of blog discussions around VMware vSphere HA slot sizing.  If you are not familiar with the topic, start with Duncan Epping’s article HA Deepdive and review the VMware HA Admission Control section of the vSphere Availability Guide.

What these documents and articles do not tell us is how this slot size translates to the Available Slots as show in the Advanced Runtime Info of vCenter 4.1.  A question that I encounter when people try and figure out their HA slot sizing is, “how come my HA slot size calculation does not equal what vCenter tells me?”

 

vMA + Splunk = Syslog Awesomeness

Managing syslog messages in nearly any size of environment can be daunting.  Aside from the effort configuring every client to send syslog messages to your target server, searching for relevant data can be just as challenging.  There are many articles online on how to use VMware’s vSphere Management Assistant for collecting your ESX/i host syslog messages and naturally, after reading such an article the first thing I did was to jump into my lab and setup vilogger.  But then what?  While it was nice to have all my logs in one location, I still had to manually search through the files using some conglomeration of cat, ls, less and grep.

 

3 new books anounced from VMware Press

VMware Press and Pearson IT Certification together created VMware Press.

The announce was done the 19th of May. You can read all the text of the announce here.

3 new books has been announced for Fall 2011. A bit long time ahead one say… but look, we’re already at the end of May!!!! The time just goes too fast. I think that vSphere 5 is in the starting blocks ready for unboxing…..

Anyway, this announce confirms officially the name of the next release of vSphere, it will be vSphere 5. Quite logical one say, but you never knows, the marketing strategists are very creative sometimes…

As for now,  the only informations we have are the following about the new books which will be released Fall 2011.  Here are the resume of informations from the detailed page at Pearson’s website.

There are 3 new books to be released. All of them will be a great read….

 

Socialcast – a new acquisition by VMware

VMware acquired Socialcast – Collaborative and Microblogging platform for entreprise.

The whole corporate activity stream can be managed by this platform which also ties into CRM and ERP systems. Features like social bookmarking, Outlook Integration are present.

Also SharePoint integrations, mobile (iPhone and Blackberry) and desktop (Air) apps, and analytics tools. The application has also discussion forum. It’s designed to make it easier for employees to find and share information.

As I could see on the Socialcast website, there are some free applications in the bundle, but also some premium features.

 

Between the free applications you can find for example the Outlook connector, Sharepoint Webpart or mobile accesibility. It looks like that it will complete the Zimbra collaborative suite in some way.

VMware has got a clear vision about the transformation of  the traditional PC desktop into mobile workforce with secure access to applications and data from any location and any device. All together with productivity increase and by using modern devices available on the consumer market.

 

Migrating distributed vSwitch to new vCenter

Customer called me to ask how they could easily migrate their existing vCenter to a new vCenter including all distributed vSwitches. They were moving from vCenter 4.0 to vCenter 4.1 and at the same time creating an AD intergrated vCenter and moving from physical to a virtual vCenter. The upgrade path would be a difficult road and they decided to just perform a fresh vCenter install. Since a dvSwitch is linked to vCenter and not the ESX host, you cannot move the dvSwitch to a new vCenter by connecting the ESX host to the new vCenter. We had to use a different path.

 

VDI USER EXPERIENCE and USER ACCEPTANCE

I have seen a number of failed VDI deployments. Some of them failed because of poor initial technical design or lack of information during initial assessments, while others failed because of factors related to the communication process utilized during the rollout.

Failures may be characterized by technical difficulties faced by users, such as low performance or missing applications. The users will always be comparing the new VDI environment against a baseline – and in this case the baseline is their old desktop or laptop computer.

Independent of the reason or root cause, the failed VDI deployment will either present low adoption or unhappy users. In any VDI deployment there are two key factors to be considered before the initial rollout: USER EXPERIENCE and USER ACCEPTANCE.

 

PCoIP Recommended Practices for Networking Devices

Display protocols for VDI are still very much a subject to be discussed, and in most environments tuned. The out-of-the-box setting from ANY of vendor will work for many situations; however every environment presents different challenges, making optimization a must.

I previous articles I have covered PCoIP optimization from a display protocol standpoint. My articleOptimising PCoIP Display & Imaging cover the basics about how to optimize settings such as display frame rate and image quality. My article PCoIP: Unleash the Throughput demonstrate how to manage PCoIP protocol in environments with high percentage of packet loss and tail drops. Yet, I published a quick guide about How to troubleshoot PCoIP performance.

 

Performance Study - VMware vSphere 4.1 Networking

While I enjoyed a holiday and was drinking my piña colada cocktail at a sunny beach in the south of France, my virtualization friend Duncan Epping over at Yellow-Bricks.com has snagged away a real cool scoop regarding the release of a new technical paper about VMware vSphere 4.1 Network performance ;-) As Duncan points out is his article it’s real interesting to know that a single virtual machine actually can saturate the bandwidth of a 10Gbps physical network card.

 

vCloud Reference Architecture Kit – Public and Private vCloud Implementation Examples

VMware has released the vCloud Reference Architecture Kit which can help you with creating Public and Private vCloud implementations.
The Service Definition for Private Cloud describes the creation of a fully virtualized, pooled compute platform for use as an Enterprise Private Cloud, or business-internal organizational cloud computing service, commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). VMware technologies including vSphere, vShield Manager, vCenter Chargeback, and vCloud Director will be used to establish this service.

 

Available for Download – Damn Small Linux on vCloud OVF

I’ve created an OVF and OVA version of the highly popular Damn Small Linux distribution. Normally you run this OS which is only 50MBs in disk size from an ISO or pen drive but I’ve seen more and more people experimenting with the vCloud Director and really need some small test VMs. Damn Small Linux is ideal for this purpose although it’s very small, it contains some great tools like a browser and shell access.

 

VMware Horizon App Manager - Retaining Control and Visibility and Ensuring Compliance

Enabling a new way to work in the cloud, VMware announced on May 17, 2011, VMware Horizon App Manager -- establishing an open, user-centric management service for accessing cloud applications and services from any device, where and when a user needs it.

 

VMware Labs present its latest fling - InventorySnapshot

VMware Labs present its latest fling InventorySnapshot. InventorySnapshot is a useful tool that allows user to "snapshot" a given vCenter inventory configuration and then reproduce it. Inventory includes datacenter folders, datacenters, clusters, resource pools, vApps, hierarchy, roles and permissions, configuration settings, and custom fields. If you have an inventory with a given set of hosts and VMs organized into a group of clusters, InventorySnapshot will reproduce the complete environment, including cluster settings and any custom roles you may have defined.

Be one of the first one to try, rate and comment - http://labs.vmware.com/flings/inventorysnapshot

 

Register for the VCP4-DT exam before September 1, 2011 and take advantage of the $50 discount

VMware Certified Professional 4 – Desktop (VCP4-DT) is directed toward Virtualization Systems Engineers who seek to demonstrate their ability to install and configure the VMware View environment and enable View Client users. Candidates must also be able to configure the vSphere environment, possess a deep understanding of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking and be proficient in datacenter design methodologies.

 

New Website Launched! - vBeers where vGeeks Come to Meet

Simon Long and Simon Seagrave have launched a new website today. The website is calledvBeers and was created to provide an opportunity for virtualization enthusiasts and professionals to meet and enjoy discussing all things virtualization and anything else in the world of tech.

 

VMware has released the vCloud Architecture Toolkit

VMware has successfully implemented dozens of cloud infrastructures. To help pass along the experience they have accumulated through these deployments, they have assembled a set of documents you may use to better understand both the principles upon which VMware’s cloud strategy is executed, and the actual mechanics of implementing your own cloud infrastructure. Review and use these assets in your own exploration of cloud technologies, and compare them with any real-world advice you may receive from other sources. VMware is confident that the more you know about our architecture and its advantages, the more likely you will be to adopt and leverage that architecture.

 

EMC – Unisphere Host Agent installation

It’s obviously been quite a while since I’ve used Windows as a platform for block connectivity, as I was unaware of the changes to the installation routine. However, for those of you who don’t cope well with change, you can still edit agent.config manually with the IP addresses of the SPs you want to talk to.

 

EMC – FAST and FAST Cache on the CX4-960

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few months – I have been nuts deep in work and holidays. I’m working on some literature around Storage Pools and FAST in general, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this nugget with you. We finally got approval to install the FAST and FAST Cache enablers on our production CX4-960s a few nights ago. We couldn’t install them on one of the arrays because we had a dead disk that prevented the NDU from going ahead. Fair enough. Two awesome things happened when we installed it on the other array. Both of which could have been avoided if I’d had my shit together. Firstly, when I got into the office the next morning at 8 am, we noticed that the Read Cache on the array was disabled. For those of you playing at home, we had the cache on the 960 set at 1000MB read and 9760MB for write. I think I read this in a whitepaper some where. But after FAST went on, we still had 9760MB allocated to Write, and 0MB available for Read. Awesome not so much. Seems that we lost 1000MB, presumably because we added another layered application. Funnily enough we didn’t observe this behaviour on our lab CX4-120s, although you could argue that they really have sweet FA of cache in the first place. So now we have 8760MB for Write, and 1000MB for Read. And I’m about to configure a few hundred GB of FAST Cache on the EFDs in any case. We’ll see how that goes.

 

Virtualisation 101 – VMotion

VMotion is arguably VMware’s “killer app” – the feature that gave VMware’s hypervisor product a USP edge over its competition.    It enables an ESX host to transfer a running virtual machine over to a different ESX host without incurring downtime.

When a VMware administrator initiates a VMotion migration the memory state of the chosen virtual machine is copied via a dedicated network link from the source host to target host;  when completed the target host registers the guest machine, attaches the virtual NICs to its own vSwitch(es) and takes control of the guest.

 

Better DSL support in Groovy-Eclipse

The Groovy language is an excellent platform for creating domain specific languages (DSLs). A good DSL can make programs more concise and expressive as well as make programmers more productive. However, until now these DSLs were not directly supported by the Groovy editor. When DSLs are used heavily, standard IDE features like content assist, search, hovers, and navigation lose their value. For a while now, it has been possible to write an Eclipse plugin to extend Groovy-Eclipse, but this is a heavy-weight approach that requires specific knowledge of the Eclipse APIs. This is no longer necessary. Groovy-Eclipse now supports DSL descriptor (DSLD) files that makes your DSL fully understood by Groovy-Eclipse.

 

A Simple Groovy DSL for building RabbitMQ AMQP Applications

Asynchronous applications can sometimes be a challenge while you're developing them since you usually need two separate components to see the full message publication and consumption lifecycle. It often happens that you write a consumer that can dump messages to System.out or your log file, just so you can make sure your publisher is doing [...]

 

Storage vMotion - A Deep-Dive

Of all the features available with vSphere - one of the greatest features I like is Storage vMotion, which is described by VMware as follows:

 

NetApp Virtual Storage Console 2.1 released

NetApp has quietly released an updated version of their Virtual Storage Console Software (you will need a NetApp Now account to access).

Here is the announcement:

The Virtual Storage Console software is a single vCenter Server plug-in that provides end-to-end virtual machine lifecycle management for VMware environments running NetApp storage. The plug-in provides the following capabilities:

 

Understanding VMware vSphere, ESXi, and Release Cycles

Last week during a customer presentation that I delivered, one of the attendees asked a surprising question:

What’s the difference between ESXi and vSphere?

While that’s an easy one for most VCritical readers to answer, there are newcomers that may benefit from a simple overview.  If you’re here seeking vSphere understanding, welcome!

VMware vSphere Demystified

 

The Secret of Ephemeral Port Groups

VMware vSphere networking is available in two variations — Standard vSwitch and Distributed Switch (vDS) — that accommodate a wide range of requirements for any environment.  Standard switches are simple to set up and understand, but the effort to manage them scales along with the number of ESXi hosts managed.  While that management can certainly be automated, e.g., through PowerCLI, there are advantages to the centrally-configured Distributed Switch.

 

vCenter Database Creation Script

It has been a while and while I plan on returning in full force soon with VCAP-DCD study notes, I thought I’d break the ice with some draft posts I created and never fully developed or released. I’ve been in the process of moving while balancing trying to complete multiple other certifications so the blog entries have been lacking as of late.

One thing I encountered a few months ago was needing to recreate the vCenter database. I felt stupid, but never realized or thought that the script to create the database must be somewhere in the media. For SQL, the script is located in the vCenter Server installation package under /vpx/dbschema/DB_and_schema_creation_scripts_MSSQL.txt file.

 

HA and DRS Audit

Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman are two of the biggest rockstars in the VMware Community, recently they wrote a fantastic book on HA and DRS, this can be downloaded for a fantastic pricefrom here, if you dont have it then you are not a VMware admin !

But wouldn't it be great if we could have our own little Duncan or Frank to carry around in our pocket and check our clusters out for HA and DRS issues and best practices – Well now you can – no I haven't created bobble headed characters, instead I have created…..

The HA and DRS Audit Script

 

VPLEX Geo = Awesomesauce.

So – VPLEX Geo is now GA.   For the first time, it’s possible to have active-active geographically dispersed storage models across Async distances (~50ms).   It’s going to take some time for this to “sink in”.

The VPLEX Geo announcement is an the GA (and literally available now) of VPLEX GeoSynchronicity 5.0 (the software) and new VPLEX hardware (bigger, faster, stronger).

So – what does this mean in a nutshell?

 

vShield App and View Desktops: Desktop Security Zones and the Desktop DMZ

Hi...Rob Randell here again.  In an earlier posting on the partner announcements at the RSA and HIMSS Conferences, I promised that I would go into detail on how we can leverage VMware View to provide what I like to call Desktop Security Zones and the Desktop DMZ.  In this blog I am going to illustrate this in a use case on a hospital network.

 

InventorySnapshot – Automatic PowerCLI code

At VMware, our engineers work on lots of pet projects in their spare time, and are always looking to get feedback on their projects, recently we started a new area of the VMware Labs site to allow them to share these with you.  We call these flings !

Why flings?

A fling is a short-term thing, not a serious relationship but a fun one. Likewise, the tools that are offered in the flings area are intended to be played with and explored. None of them are guaranteed to become part of any future product offering and there is no support for them. They are, however, totally free for you to download and play around with them!

 

Good read: VMware vSphere 4.1 Networking Performance

I just noticed that a new whitepaper was released and as the scoopmeister Eric Sloof hasn’t blogged about it yet I figured, he’s probably sleeping, I would blog about it. I just read the paper and it is a very good read and interesting to know that a single VM can actually saturate the bandwidth of a 10Gbps NIC. Also note the VM to Native comparisons!

 

New Book: Cloud Computing with VMware vCloud Director

This is one of those days that you realize how quickly things can change… 3.5 years ago I worked for a small consultancy company in the south of the Netherlands. Today I work for the number 1 virtualization/cloud company in the world, VMware, and just published my 4th book with a 5th coming later this year. What a ride, what a change, a lot of work and yes it was more than worth it.

 

Exchange and VMware HA…

I guess many people have been waiting on official statements around this. Although this was posted a couple of days ago I wanted to make sure everyone has seen it as it could be crucial for your Design / Environment.

Source
As of today, the following support scenarios are being updated, for Exchange 2010 SP1, and later:

 

New Whitepaper: VMware ESXi 4.1 Operations Guide

As part of my new role within VMware Technical Marketing I am responsible for creating collateral. Most of you have seen the series of articles about the operational differences between ESX and ESXi. After finalizing the series I transformed them into a whitepaper. I guess one thing that stood out for me while going through that process is that writing a whitepaper is substantially different than writing a blog article and even a book. I am not sure how to explain it, but a whitepaper feels less personal and more official and requires a different writing style. On top of that there are of course multiple reviews, style edits and much more. But anyway, that is not the point of this article… I just wanted to let you know that it is out there, and I hope you will enjoy reading it.

VMware ESXi Operations Guide

 

VMware documentation in epub / mobi format?

I just noticed that the Horizon documentation is offered in epub and mobi format. I have been told that this is the first of many more docs to be released in this more universal format. I am happy that VMware decided to adopt this format. It does lead to another question though. I am part of tech marketing and we produce a lot of collateral. Some documents are fairly lengthy and I always have the feeling that many people won’t read docs which are more than 50 pages. Is this any different with epub/mobi? Would you say that these formats enhance readability? If not, what would be a good way of offering documents of between 50 – 150 pages?

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