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)