From the editors Virtual Desk


Last week I mentioned in my newsletter that I had created a vCenter Operations Enterprise VM for use at my TAM customers for proof of concepts. Well since then a lot of people have asked me for more information on this and how it is working out so I decided to share the details with all of you.


Please be aware of the following however. The VM is totally unsupported by VMware in this configuration and of course you will need a full version of vCenter Operations to do this. The system is also not very scalable and is really just a single purpose POC VM. The other components however are all available and fairly easy to obtain. Here is a summary of what I have done, this does not include all steps so please be aware that there are items that will potentially be missing.


Download and install Fedora Desktop (I am not comfortable in command line only). I have chosen Fedora 14 still as this was something I knew worked with the next component. This is a simple install in VMware (Fusion/Workstation/ESX), just create a new VM and give it an appropriate amount of CPU and Memory and Disk (I used 16GB which is easy to extend if required later on) and chose Redhat Enterprise 5 64 as the VM type, and boot from the live CD. Once up and running click the Install on the desktop.


Once completed I then downloaded and installed Oracle Express 10 which is what I would use as the database. This was a bit tricky to get installed but there are some good guides on doing this on the web which are easily obtained with a search. I then installed VMware tools. Again search the web there are excellent guides on this.


The final piece was to install VC Operations Enterprise 1.0.1. Once this was complete I then installed the VMware vCenter adapter as this was the adapter that I would be using primarily in my accounts for the POC however there are many other available and I will be testing a few others which I will give you info on in future newsletters.


So that really is it, I now have a working VM all ready to drop into my customers environment.


Next week I will give you some info on the setup of the VM and over the following weeks how I am using this at customers.


If you require any more info on this or anything else in the newsletter please just let me know


Take care until next time.


Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland Technical Account Manager




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vSphere Licensing Advisor 1.0

VMware vSphere Licensing Advisor allows users with vSphere 4.1, vSphere 4.0 and Virtual Infrastructure 3.5 environments to calculate and understand their vRAM usage and vRAM capacity as if they upgraded to vSphere 5.0.

vSphere 5 Useful Links

vSphere 5.0 Licensing, Pricing and Packaging Whitepaper -

vSphere License Validator -

vSphere 5.0 Licensing Model Video -

vSphere 5.0 Licensing Webcast -

Watch the vSphere demo -



ESXi Chronicles: ESXi and Lopsided Bootbanks

VMware Blogs 13/08/11 2:51 AM

While working on a white paper that discusses everything you ever wanted to know about upgrading to ESXi 5.0 I ran across this interesting quote in the vSphere 5.0 Upgrade Guide:

For most ESXi 4.x hosts, the partition table is not rewritten in the upgrade to ESXi 5.0. The partition table is rewritten for systems that have lopsided bootbanks. Lopsided boot banks can occur in systems that are upgraded from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 4.x, and then upgraded directly to ESXi 5.0.

I really like the term “lopsided bootbanks” because it just sounds cool.  However, besides trying to figure out if the correct term is “bootbanks” or “boot banks” this also made me curious about what exactly are lopsided boot banks, how do I know if I suffer from this condition, and what is the implication of having lopsided boot banks?  I did some research and here’s the scoop on lopsided boot banks.


VMware vSphere Blog: Exactly how big can I make a single-extent VMFS-5 datastore?

VMware Blogs 12/08/11 9:21 PM

This discussion came up recently with some friends in the communities, and it had quiet an interesting outcome. The discussion was around exactly how large can you make the largest VMFS-5 single-extent volume in vSphere 5.0. Well, we are stating 64TB in our docs, but exactly how big is 64TB? We decided to find out.

As a test, three LUNs of different sizes were created. The first was 63TB, the next was 64TB and the final one was 65TB. The following is what was observed when a VMFS-5 volume was created on these LUNs:


VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) - Installed & Configured in under 10 minutes

VMware Blogs 11/08/11 11:23 PM

This is a nice short video which I created recently for the VMware KBTV site. It will take you through a complete installation and configuration of the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) in under 10 minutes (and that is pretty much in real-time). It will also try to show you what is happening behind the scenes, from a network configuration and a storage configuration perspective. The primary objective is to show you how simple it is to install and configure the new vSphere Storage Appliance that we are launching with vSphere 5.0.


VROOM!: First SAP SD Benchmark on vSphere 5 Shows Performance within 6% of Native

VMware Blogs 11/08/11 5:32 AM

The first SAP sales and distribution (SD) benchmark on vSphere 5 has beenpublished. It takes advantage of the new larger VM support in vSphere 5 to reach 4,600 SD Users and 25,150 SAPs with a 24-vCPU VM running on a Fujitsu Primergy server. This is the largest SAP 2-tier benchmark on vSphere as of today.

Fujitsu took the extra step of using the same server and test configuration to publish a non-virtualized result. Comparing the two tests shows that virtual is only 6% lower than native. This is a result of the hard work that was put into vSphere 5 to optimize its performance and shows that large 24 vCPU VMs can have performance very close to native.

A more detailed technical paper is being worked on by Fujitsu and VMware and will be released soon.

Some details of the SAP configuration used in the tests – SAP ECC 6.0 with EHP 4 on Fujitsu Primergy RX300 S6 with 2 x Intel Xeon X5690 processors and 96 GB RAM. The OS used was SuSE Enterprise Linux 11 SP1 and MaxDB 7.8 for the database. SAP certificates are 2011027 and 2011028.


VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere 5.0 Storage Features Part 8 - Handling the All Paths Down (APD) condition

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 11:21 PM

All Paths Down (APD) is an issue which has come up time and time again, and has impacted a number of our customers. Let's start with a brief description about what All Paths Down (APD) actually is & how it occurs, & what impact it has on the host. Then we'll get into how we have improved the behaviour in 5.0.


VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere 5.0 Storage Features Part 7 - VMFS-5 & GPT

VMware Blogs 8/08/11 10:19 PM

In order to accommodate much larger VMFS-5 single extent (~60TB) filesystems, VMware needed to implement a new partition table standard in vSphere 5.0. Historically, VMware used the MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table, but this limited the size of the partition to 2TB approx. GPT, the GUID Partition Table, overcomes this limitation.

It should be noted that VMFS-3 filesystems built on previous versions of vSphere which are subsequently upgraded to VMFS5 will continue to use MBR while their size remains below 2TB. Once the filesystem is grown above 2TB, the partition table will automatically & seamlessly be switched to GPT, even if it has running VMs (which is kind of cool).


VMTN Blog: Next Generation Development Tools

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 3:58 AM

Development methodologies and tools never stand still, and have been evolving since the dawn of the computer industry. And the more sophisticated our web applications begome, the larger our datasets grow, and the more need there is for cross-application communication, the more we need powerful and efficient programming tools, models and design patterns.


VMware vSphere Blog: 2TB VMDKs on Upgraded VMFS-3 to VMFS-5. Really?

VMware Blogs 5/08/11 7:08 PM

Yes! :-)

I've had this query a number of times now, so I decided to do a quick note about it. There seems to be some uncertainty around whether or not you can create larger (2TB - 512 byte) VMDKs on VMFS-3 filesystems that have been upgraded to VMFS-5. The answer is "yes you can". I think this uncertainty is arising because the upgraded VMFS-5 continues to use the previously defined file block size of the VMFS-3, and that block size had a bearing on the size of the VMDK that you could create, i.e.

1MB file block size - max file size is 256GB

2MB file block size - max file size is 512GB

4MB file block size - max file size is 1TB

8MB file block size - max file size is 2TB

And I guess folks are thinking that because we maintain this original file block size in the upgraded VMFS-5, this still has relevance to the maximum size of the VMDK. But this is not true. Let's run through a scenario:


VMware Cloud Application Platform at VMworld 2011 - US

Cloud Foundry 10/08/11 4:04 AM

VMworld attendees, come learn about the best platform for running application on vSphere infrastructure.  We have over 20 sessions, labs and panels where you can learn about PaaS, BigData/NoSQL, Cloud Databases, High Performance Computing, Application Management, Cloud Messaging and much more.

Free copy of Micro Cloud Foundry for the first 200 attendees that register for the Cloud Application Platform sessions - register to the sessions now to get yours!


RabbitMQ + Cloud Foundry: Cloud Messaging that Just Works

Cloud Foundry 10/08/11 11:15 AM amqp, spring, rails, sinatra, rabbitmq cloud foundry messaging message broker ruby node.js

Cloud Foundry™ is the industry’s first open platform as a service. Providing a choice of developer frameworks, application services and deployment clouds, Cloud Foundry simplifies application development and makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications. Cloud Foundry already supports multiple application services including MySQL, MongoDB and Redis. And we are working to add more.



VMwareTV: What's New in VMware vShield 5.0 - Trust Your Cloud

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 7:59 AM


What's New in VMware vShield 5.0 - Trust Your Cloud -- VMware Product Mgr for Security Products, Ravi Kumar, introduces and discusses VMware vShield 5.0 for security and compliance.


VMwareTV: What's New in VMware vSphere 5 and vCenter Heartbeat 6.4

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 7:53 AM


What's New in VMware vSphere 5 and vCenter Heartbeat 6.4 -- A recap of VMware vSphere 5 and vCenter Heartbeat 6.4.


VMwareTV: VMware vSphere Storage Appliance - How does it work?

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 7:53 AM


VMware vSphere Storage Appliance - How does it work? -- Watch this video for a overview of the vSphere Storage Appliance and how it works. Learn about "Shared Storage for Everyone"


VMwareTV: What's New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 7:46 AM


What's New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5 -- VMware Director of Enterprise Cloud Product Marketing, discusses what's new in VMware vCloud Director. Learn about building an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud with the VMware vCloud Solution.


VMwareTV: VMware Cloud Infrastructure Launch - VMware vSphere 5

VMware Blogs 10/08/11 7:46 AM


VMware Cloud Infrastructure Launch - VMware vSphere 5 -- VMware CEO, Paul Maritz and VMware CTO, Steve Herrod introduce VMware vSphere 5 and the new cloud infrastructure suite.


VMwareTV: VMware vFabric GemFire Risk & Pricing (Billion $ Case Study)

VMware Blogs 8/08/11 7:32 PM


VMware vFabric GemFire Risk & Pricing (Billion $ Case Study)

Listen to how this bank achieved a billion dollar profit in a situation where the new agility and accurate timely decisions were made possible with VMware vFabric GemFire. Learn more:


VMwareTV: VMware vFabric GemFire Online Retail Trading Case Study

VMware Blogs 8/08/11 7:31 PM


VMware vFabric GemFire Online Retail Trading Case Study

VMware vFabric GemFire Online Retail Case Study with David Brown. Learn more about vFabric Gemfire:



vSphere 5 – Installing VUM – VMware Update Manager

ESX Virtualization 12/08/11 4:00 PM Vladan SEGET Videos VMware update manager vSphere 5 update manager vSphere 5 Video VUM

VUM – VMware Update Manager installation Video from my Lab.

In this video you’ll see an installation of VMware Update Manager, which is integrated solution for patching ESX(i) hosts and VMs. Part of the installation is the upgrade process from vSphere 4.1, where you got the choice of deleting the old files (or not).


vSphere 5 Auto Deploy PXE booting through Cisco ASA firewall

Gabes Virtual World


In response to my blog post on “vSphere 5 – How to run ESXi stateless with vSphere Auto Deploy“, I received a comment from Rob Ellison, who ran into issues when PXE booting through a Cisco ASA firewall. In a second comment he explained how he solved the issue. Turned out there was an issue with the frame size of the gPXE client. Below is his solution to this issue. Should you have any questions on this specific issue, feel free to contact Rob. Thank you Rob for this solution.


vSphere 5 Storage Appliance Installation and Configuration Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 6/08/11 10:04 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

In vSphere 5.0, VMware releases a new software storage appliance called the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA). This appliance provides an alternative storage solution for customers who lack the in-house technical resources or budget for shared VI storage using a SAN or NAS array so that customers can exploit the unique features available in vSphere, such as vSphere HA, vMotion and vSphere DRS. This demo shows the installation and configuration of VSA and 2 scenarios that demonstrate resilience capability. For more information click here.


vSphere 5 Auto Deploy Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 7/08/11 10:07 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

This demo will show how vSphere Auto Deploy enables dynamic provisioning of new hosts to a vSphere 5.0 cluster. For more information click here.


vSphere 5 Profile-Driven Storage Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 8/08/11 9:55 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

This demo shows vSphere Profile-Driven Storage, a feature in vSphere that allows rapid and intelligent provisioning of applications, while ensuring application service levels match the available storage. For more information click here.


vSphere 5 Web Client Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 9/08/11 4:48 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

The demo will show how easy the new vSphere web client is to access as well as highlight the simplicity of navigating the new interface for common day-to-day tasks of virtualization administrators. For more information click here.


vSphere 5 Storage Appliance Resilience Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 10/08/11 4:25 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

The vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) Resilience demo will show you how the VSA cluster can survive an appliance failure & an ESXi failure, so that the VMs running on a VSA datastore are not impacted in any way when a node in the cluster fails. For more information click here.


vSphere 5 Storage DRS Demo

NTPRO.NL - Eric Sloof 11/08/11 4:52 PM (Eric Sloof) Online Training

Storage DRS is an I/O and space load balancing mechanism that determines the best place for a given virtual machine's data to live when it is created and then used over time. For more information click here.


Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5

Pivot Point 7/08/11 3:19 PM drummonds Uncategorized osx srm vasa vcloud director vshield vsphere

I was recently re-watching the classic cultural assessment of our friends down under,Bart vs. Australia. Among the other completely accurate portrayals of our Aussie friends, you will see MPs slopping pigs, the Prime Minister drinking beer from an inner-tube on a lake, and of course The Boot. All of this got me thinking of the Melbourne stop in EMC’s five-city Pre-sales Conference Roadshow that finished a week ago. VMware partially sponsored this event and its fantastic SE and one of my good friends, Pete Marfatia, gave an electrifying presentation on the top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 5.

In this entry I want to share with you VMware’s top 10 list that Pete presented with Tim Hartman. I have provided a PDF version of their presentation on my blog in case you want more detail. Feel free to contact me, your local VMware SE, or a vSpecialist if you want more information. Now, on to the top 10!


VMware ESXi 5 Scripted Install to USB Flash

VCritical 10/08/11 2:48 PM Eric Gray Virtualizationism Hyper-V installation PXE USB flash

One of the great features of VMware vSphere is the capability to boot VMware ESXi from USB flash — eliminating local storage and array controllers can reduce the acquisition and operational costs for hypervisor hosts.


How do you protect vCenter?

vFAIL.NET 10/08/11 10:12 PM Sean Crookston VCAP-DCD VCDX VMware Design vcenter vcenter heartbeat vsphere

vCenter is more and more becoming a critical piece to remain online at all time. By no means am I saying that it wasn’t always nice or a good idea to protect vCenter, but more and more products outside of vSphere or advanced features such as the distributed virtual switch and VMware View have a greater reliance on vCenter then just the hosts themselves. While the above mentioned will continue to run as is, any updates to networking or recomposition of desktops would not happen.


Check vCenter Services

Virtu-Al 9/08/11 8:20 AM Virtu-Al PowerCLI vmware powershell

A quick function which allows you to check the VMware services on your vCenter server by hooking into windows and looking at the service status, this is useful and something I have been using as part of my vCheck script for a long time but recently became useful for a colleague.


vCloud Director Hard coded MAC

2vcps and a Truck 7/08/11 2:48 AM Jon Owings vmware

If you are like me and build and destroy things constantly or just like doing things in ways you probably are not supposed to here is a quick tip.

I was destroying a vCD environment the other day but I wanted to save some templates I created with vCD. Instead of exporting and re-importing or using some intelligent method. I used vCenter to clone the VM to another place. While I was using this machine I cloned it off a few times for some tests.


A Deeper Look at VASA 12/08/11 10:00 PM slowe Storage Virtualization VMware vSphere

Much has been said and written about VASA (the vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness), a key part of vSphere 5 and the “magic” behind the new profile-driven storage functionality. I recently had the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into VASA, and discovered some information that I felt was important to share with the virtualization community. This post probably won’t earn me any brownie points at VMware, but at least we’ll all have a better idea of what VASA can and cannot do.


SDRS and Auto-Tiering solutions – The Injector

Yellow Bricks 5/08/11 10:38 PM Duncan Epping Server Storage 5 5.0 sdrs storage drs vSphere vstorage

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about Storage DRS (hereafter SDRS) interoperability and I mentioned that using SDRS with Auto-Tiering solutions should work… Now the truth is slightly different, however as I noticed some people  started throwing huge exclamation marks around SDRS I wanted to make a statement. Many have discussed this and made comments around why SDRS would not be supported with auto-tiering solutions and I noticed the common idea is that SDRS would not be supported with them as it could initiate a migration to a different datastore and as such “reset” the tiered VM back to default. Although this is correct there is a different reason why VMware recommends to follow the guidelines provided by the Storage Vendor. The guideline by the way is to use Space Balancing but not enable I/O metric. Those who were part of the beta or have read the documentation, or our book might recall this when creating datastore clusters select datastores which have similar performance characteristics. In other words do not mix an SSD backed datastore with a SATA backed datastore, however mixing SATA with SAS is okay. Before we will explain why lets repeat the basics around SDRS:


VM with disks in multiple datastore clusters?

Yellow Bricks 10/08/11 12:10 AM Duncan Epping Server 5 5.0 Storage storage drs vSphere vstorage

This week I received a question about Storage DRS. The question was if it was possible to have a VM with multiple disks in different datastore clusters? It’s not uncommon to have set ups like these so I figured it would be smart to document it. The answer is yes that is supported. You can create a virtual machine with a system disk on a raid-5 backed datastore cluster and a data disk on a raid-10 backed datastore cluster. If Storage DRS sees the need to migrate either of the disks to a different datastore it will make the recommendation to do so.


vSphere 5.0 HA: Application Monitoring intro

Yellow Bricks 11/08/11 7:23 PM Duncan Epping Server 5 5.0 app monitoring applicationHA ha vm monitoring vSphere

I don’t think anyone has blogged about App Monitoring yet so I figured I would do a “what’s new / intro” to App Monitoring in vSphere 5.0. Prior to vSphere 5 App Monitoring could only be leveraged by partners which had access to the SDK/APIs. A handful of partners leveraged those of which probably Symantec’s ApplicationHA is the best example. The “problem” with that though is that you would still need to buy a piece of software while you might have in-house development who could easily bake this into their application… well with vSphere 5 you can. I grabbed one of the latest code drops and started playing around. Note that I am not going to do an extensive article on this. Just showing what you have after installing the package. In my case I installed it on a Windows VM.


Partitioned Cluster with HA vSphere 5, who owns what?

Yellow Bricks 12/08/11 10:59 PM Duncan Epping BC-DR Server Storage 5 5.0 ha vSphere

I received a question today about a partitioned clusters (in vSphere 5.0) with HA. The question was which Master would own which VMs when a partition exists and how is determined which master can own which VM? I have already briefly explained the difference between an isolation and a partition. Now it is good to realize that when a partition exists the new master may take responsibility for VMs. I used “may” intentionally as there is no guarantee it will own any VMs at that point, so why is this and how does it take ownership of VMs?



VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for Week Ending 8/6/11

VMware Blogs

Apache Tomcat 7
Generating a self-signed SSL certificate using the Java keytool command (2004193)
VMware ESX
Migrating virtual machine swap (.vswp) files from one datastore to another (2003956)
All of the IP addresses assigned to a network adapter are not visible (2004301)
SNMP configuration steps for VI3 and vSphere 4.0/4.1 (2003845)
VMware ESXi
After migrating the host from ESX Classic to ESXi, ESXi reports the warning: Migrate: 456: Invalid message type for new connection: 542393671. Expecting message of type INIT (0) (2002969)
Troubleshooting LUN connectivity issues due to IBM DS3500 using an incorrect multipathing policy (1031630)
Adding hot memory to a virtual machine fails (2003525)
VMware Fusion
Installing or uninstalling application in Windows fails with the Windows Installer error: Error 1601 (2004136)
VMware Service Manager
VMware Service Manager emails are truncated when sending Knowledge Base articles and Change Management (2003867)
Call Report fails to display e-mail properly in vCenter Service Manager (2004312)
Opening a VMware Service Manager call fails with the error: EnableDisableCustomFields function fail (2003581)
VMware Service Manager Service Window is accessible even after removing the permissions in the IPK role (2003644)
Unable to remove an image added to the VMware Service Manager service record (2003649)
Configuring MAPI Mail Server in VMware Service Manager 9.x Rolling Patch 09 or later (2004071)
VMware Service Manager event log reports the warning: SELECT SU_ADMIN_AUDIT_DATA took xx milliseconds to execute (2004212)
Service Manager group members in a partition do not receive emails when a call in another partition is forwarded to them (2004282)
VMware vCenter CapacityIQ
Disabling weak ciphers for the CapacityIQ virtual appliance (2004031)
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
SSRS reports do not display in the vCenter Configuration Manager console (2002231)
A vCenter Configuration Manager collection succeeds but is empty (2002994)
VCM database heartbeat job fails with error 4121 (2003452)
Troubleshooting ESX host collections (2003508)
Installing or applying a license generates an error: Problem with license file, Failed to get License Interface (2003710)
Collection jobs are not removed from the running jobs list after finishing (2003992)
vCenter Configuration Manager fails to run custom reports with the error: subscript_out_of_range (2004081)
VMware vCenter Server
vCenter Server shows gaps in performance data for some ESX/ESXi hosts (2004196)
Enabling debug logging for the VMware Web Services log file (2004234)
VMware vCloud Director
vCloud Director cannot deploy sysprep package (2004364)
Configure vCloud director servers and database to be in the same timezone (2003985)
VMware View Manager
Moving detached persistent disks into the desktop virtual machine folder after creating desktops from persistent disk (2003123)
Installing the VMware View agent on a physical machine using the command line (2003129)
Differences between QuickPrep and Sysprep (2003797)
VMware VirtualCenter
Slow vCenter Server performance after increasing the performance data statistics collection level to more than 2 (2003885)