From the editors Virtual Desk
Hi everyone and welcome to February 2012. January has been such a jam packed month for news and I have been so busy that it has just flown by. We have had some massive launches in January such as one of my favorites vCenter Operations Manager 5.0.

As we head into february I will be ramping up my learning for the VCAP and hope to attend the vSphere 5 Design Course as well very soon if time permits as this I believe will be great preparation for taking the VCAP-DCD. I also hope to attend a few other courses over the coming months which I think will be very helpful as well including vCloud Director 1.5 and SRM 5.

Have you seen the VMware Resolution Path KB articles. I have posted an article about them and think they will be very useful as part of your support and troubleshooting toolkit.

As many of you know I am the custodian of the VMware TAM blog which is located at blogs.vmware.com/tam, I encourage you to not only visit this blog as I try and get a new blog post up each month but also to let me know what sort of blog posting you might be interested in and I will try and get this done for you.

So onwards to this weeks newsletter.

Warm Wishes
Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor and VMware TAM Blog Custodian)
Queensland Technical Account Manager
TWITTER: @VMWARETAM
BLOG: blogs.vmware.com/tam
Newsletter Archive: communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmwaretam

FEATURED ARTICLE
Preserving Multi-Cloud Choice and Flexibility with Cloud Foundry “Open PaaS”
Posted by Steve Herrod
Chief Technology Officer
It has been nine months since we launched Cloud FoundryTM - the industry’s first open platform as a service (aka PaaS).  Cloud Foundry debuted with both the CloudFoundry.com service and as an open source project via CloudFoundry.org and we have seen a rich ecosystem of technology providers and service providers emerge around Cloud Foundry.  Offering a choice of clouds, developer frameworks and application services, Cloud Foundry, currently available in beta, makes it faster and easier to build, deploy and scale applications.
We have made great progress delivering a choice of frameworks and application services to developers and now want to highlight the choice of both public and private clouds Cloud Foundry provides today.
Multi-Cloud - “Write Once, Cloud Anywhere”
As PaaS gains momentum, there will be more choices of cloud destinations. Some developers might want to keep the entire development and deployment within their organization’s firewall; others may want to build internally and deploy via a hosted service, or vice versa.
As you make choices about cloud technology, one critical factor is whether you have a choice of clouds from which to deploy your applications. Ultimately, what many software developers want is an open PaaS environment with a choice of public, private and hybrid clouds for deployment.
When you build and deploy applications using Cloud Foundry’s open architecture and open source availability you don’t have to worry about being locked into a single cloud.

continue reading at: http://blogs.vmware.com/console/2012/01/preserving-multi-cloud-choice-and-flexibility-with-cloud-foundry-open-paas.html

VMWARE USER GROUP (VMUG)
http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vmug
The VMware User Group is an independent, global, customer-led organization, which maximizes members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

VMUG Advantage is a new, exclusive offering for VMUG members around the world.
Save over $1700 USD while increasing your knowledge and network. Be the first to experience this great offer.

VMWARE EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION
New Book - The Official VCP5 Certification Guide
This is the first and only official guide to VMware's new VCP510 (VCP 5) exam. Organized to follow VMware's newest exam blueprint, it's also designed from the ground up to be both engaging and enjoyable. Author Bill Ferguson acts like a "study buddy," encouraging virtualization professionals, anticipating their questions, and helping them gain both mastery and confidence.

VMware vSphere Blog: vCloud Director Certification
Recently, the question came up if VMware was planning to develop a certification around vCloud Director.
Yes, we are indeed!
As there is still a fair amount of work being done on this front, it would be a bit pre-mature to go into details now.  For those of you who are attending VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2012 on February 13th -16th in Las Vegas, you will be among the first to get more details on this exciting development.

VCP 5 Promo
Be among the first to earn the newest VMware certification - VCP5
The launch of vSphere 5 comes with nearly 200 new and enhanced capabilities, and will continue to set the standard in virtualization and cloud computing, delivering better application performance and availability for all business-critical applications. Therefore it is important for you and your organization to be equipped with the latest knowledge and skills needed to operate your virtual environment.

 

Contact your TAM for more information.

Live Online Learning
VMware live online learning is the perfect solution for professionals who want to attend VMware training but would prefer not to travel. Through this delivery method, our expert instructors deliver the same high-quality courses and hands-on experiences as in our traditional classroom courses – minus the travel. Learn more.

VMware Beta Classes
Be among the first to take new courses designed and delivered by VMware Training by participating in our beta classes. They cost less, count for full credit and give you the chance to contribute to the final course content. Learn more.

VMWARE OFFICIAL BLOGS AND NEWS
VMware Support Insider: Resolution Path KB articles - the best thing since sliced bread
You're all familiar with the VMware Knowledgebase, but do you know what a Resolution Path KB is?  Well, it's a very special kind of KB article, and we've incorporated Mind Maps into them too, but more on that in a minute.
Resolution Path KBs are collections of modular steps that can be used to solve tech support issues. Being modular, they can be re-used in other resolution paths. A good example is using the ping command to test network connectivity. This step is used in all kinds of troubleshooting procedures. Put a number of these steps together, and you can create sets of very methodical troubleshooting steps.

VMware vSphere Blog: What could be writing to a VMFS when no Virtual Machines are running?
This was an interesting question that came my way recently. One of our storage partners wanted to ensure that a VMFS volume was completely quiesced (no activity) and was interested to know what could possibly be the cause of writes to the VMFS volume when all Virtual Machines were powered off.

VMware Austria Blog: VMworld Europe 2012
VMworld Europe 2012 in Barcelona - Pre Registration is open - don´t miss it.....
http://www.vmwareemeablog.com/uk/save-the-date-vmworld-europe-2012-9th-11th-october-barcelona

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: SQL plug-in comes on the stage to leverage basic database operations
Are you still excited about SAOP and Rest plug-ins? Another powerful plug-in has already come on the stage! The VMware vCenter Orchestrator SQL plug-in provides fast and straightforward way to perform basic database operations like insert, select, update and delete of table records.
Let's learn more about its core features.
Packaged workflows

VMware vSphere Blog: Cloud Security Standards, Are they coming to a cloud near you?
I was recently reading an article about cloud security standards and found it quite interesting of the struggles service providers are going through right now without official security standards.  Standards are on the way from several industry groups including vendor back groups to help. But what is happening in the meantime is what I found interesting.

VMware Global Alliances Blog: Less Data, More Information
VMware recently launched the 5.0 version of the VMware vCenter Operations Management™ Suitewhich represents one of VMware’s 3 management product suites. To get a comprehensive overview of the operations management suite, I recommend reviewing the blogs from our product experts:Martin Klaus and Rob Smoot.
One of the many benefits of VMware’s management suite is that it offers clearer and greater visibility into the entire data center via new dashboards.  To help depict the value of these dashboards, let’s take a look at the data I may want to capture as part of my triathlon training:
Health (current state) – Heart rate taking into account variables such as weather, fatigue, etc.
Risk (proactive warning) – Am I at risk for an IT band injury and how can I prevent it?
Efficiency (resource utilization) – What are my average splits and where a

Business Critical Applications: Facts about Virtualizing Oracle (part 2 of 2: Oracle Licensing)
Many Oracle products, including the database, are licensed by physical processor. This licensing model works well in a physical world, in which customers typically run one application per host and physical processors are easy to track. But this model is not well-adapted to a virtual world. VMware vSphere® enables you to consolidate multiple workloads in the form of virtual machines on a single host. Additionally, VMware enables you to move these virtual machines across hosts with VMware vMotion®, VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and High Availability (HA). When running products that are licensed by physical processor on vSphere, customers should ensure the following:

VMware vSphere Blog: Something I didn't known about VMFS sub-blocks
Well, there is probably quite a lot I don't know about VMFS sub-blocks to be honest, but I recently learnt something new about sub-blocks on VMFS which I thought I already understood, but clearly didn't.
Sub-blocks are small allocations on a VMFS volume, and they are used to back small files. This saves space as you do not have to use a full file block to back a very small file (and on VMFS-3, this file block could be as large as 8MB).

VMware vSphere Blog: Configuration Settings for ALUA Devices
If you've got an ALUA array, you've probably wondered what all those obscure configration settings mean in the esxcli device listing. I certainly have.
Let me show you what I mean.

vSphere PowerCLI Blog: Checking the Pay-As-You-Go MHz Issue
Whilst sitting in a vCD Deep Dive presentation by Aidan Dalgliesh and David Hill last week at the London VMUG they explained an issue which has been reported on multiple occasions, they have seen this more than once on customer deployments and the issue had been reported on the internet both by Massimo Re Ferre and Kendrick Coleman.

VMware Global Alliances Blog: Five Stars for New VMware Solution Exchange
That’s the rating I give to our newly launched VMware® Solution Exchange (VSX).  Why? Because it’s an on-ramp that gives you the opportunity to discover, evaluate and expedite the buying process for virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions—all in one convenient place.
Want to know what others think about a product that you’d like to try? Use VSX to check out user-generated star ratings and real-world reviews.

VMware vCloud Blog: The Cloud Vendor Landscape – The VMware Advantage According to the Taneja Group
In a recent evaluation of ten of the leading cloud solution vendors (including Microsoft, Red Hat, Amazon, Rackspace and others), the Taneja Group determined that VMware stands out as the clear cloud leader due to its broad portfolio of virtualization and cloud management solutions, service provider ecosystem, and cross-cloud enabling tools and interfaces.

VMware vSphere Blog: Troubleshooting Auto Deploy Rules
A common problem I come across when helping customers implement Auto Deploy is they PXE boot their hosts and instead of seeing the Auto Deploy server install ESXi  they get an error complaining that the server was unable to find a valid image profile:

VMware vSphere Blog: Having a performance problem hard to resolve? – Have you checked your host BIOS lately…
Power Saving turned on in the server BIOS has been the cause of many performance issues reported in vSphere 4.1. In fact it has been the #1 resolution to performance problems reported in the past few months.  It has masked itself as performance issues with CPU, memory, network, and even storage.  Certain applications are also very sensitive to processing speed latencies may show less than expected performance when processor power management features are enabled.  Before spending many hours trying to identify performance issues check to make sure that power saving is turned off in the server BIOS and then check to see if the problem still persists.  If the problem still exists then you it would be worth it to troubleshoot the problem.

SPRINGSOURCE AND CLOUD FOUNDRY BLOG
ThemaTweets – Visualizing the french elections buzz on Cloud Foundry
As the platform matures, we see many cool applications being built on top of Cloud Foundry. This is the first in a series of guest blog posts by application developers explaining what their application does, how it is architected, what they like in Cloud Foundry and what needs to be improved.
Guest blog post by Eric Bottard
ThemaTweets2012 allows you to visualize what people say about the french elections candidates on Twitter, how these candidates relate to key themes of this 2012 event and analyze information under several angles.



VMWARE TV BLOG
VMwareTV: VMware Cloud Management Dashboard
Does your Cloud Management Dashboard look more like a '72 Buick, or a Formula One race car? More importantly, does it provide you with the real, actionable data you need to win the race? vCenter Operations Management Suite let's you know exactly what's going on in your virtual and cloud infrastructure, AND gives you the power to drill into the details if something goes wrong. Cloud Management from VMware -- It just works. Start your free trial of vCenter Operations Management Suite today: bit.ly

EXTERNAL VMWARE RELATED BLOGS (vExperts/Guest Bloggers)
Virtual Infrastructure Navigator with vSphere Web Client HA
A little while ago I posted an article outlining a design that provides a solution for Scalability and High Availability for the vSphere Web Client in vSphere 5 for enterprise environments. Many of these enterprise environments that might want scalability for the vSphere Web Client may also be deploying the new vCenter Operations Manager 5 Suite, Enterprise Edition (or above), which includes Virtual Infrastructure Navigator. I’m pleased to report that so far my testing seems to suggest that both will integrate successfully. When I deployed VIN I needed to ensure it was on the same network as vCenter, else the asset wouldn’t appear in vCenter License section and I couldn’t apply the license or start the discoveries. If you haven’t seen or heard about vCenter Operations Manager 5 Suite yet I would encourage you to check it out.

Creating an IP-Pool for VC Ops
I was importing the VC Ops virtual appliance and during the import I got a question around IP addresses. So I figured I would enter two IP addresses and that would be it. As soon as I powered on the VM I received the following error:

New EMC + vSphere Techbooks–get em while they’re hot!
The EMC VNX and VMware vSphere Techbook (this the reference text for any customers/partners/EMCers who use EMC VNX arrays with vSphere – which translates to a LOT of people) has been updated! It is downloadable – so click the link...

PCoIP: Troubleshooting
This is the first part of the PCoIP Trilogy that I will be working on over the coming weeks. In this part I am looking at how to troubleshoot PCoIP issues using the new PCoIP Log Viewer. I'll take you step-by-step through the PCoIP log information, explaining what each counter means. I have also added a small case study which I'm hoping will help you inturprut the data a little better, allowing you to diagnose PCoIP issues on your own environment.

PCoIP Log Viewer 2.0
This is a tool I've been using almost daily in my current project and for the past few months. Now It's finally been released to the public! The tool has been created by Chuck Hirtsius – one of the EUC Specialist's within VMware.
The release you see here today is the first release of the tool that provides log file visualization as well as real-time monitoring of the PCoIP WMI counters.

VMware Thin Disks on EMC Virtual Provisioning
Even before I left VMware for EMC I was being asked to comment on “thin on thin”: the use of VMware thin VMDKs on virtually/thin provisioned storage.  As a VMware employee I recommended VMware’s thin provisioning but referred to storage vendors for their own best practices.
Now, as a member of the storage vendor community, I will answer for EMC. I will do so with detailed text from an outstanding TechBook I recently discovered on EMC’s Powerlink. This paper, Using Symmetrix Storage in VMware vSphere Environments (Version 7), provides incredible detail on the relationship between VMware thin disks and Symmetrix virtual provisioning. Its guidance is clear and simple.

Video - Configure ESXi host swapping to a solid-state disk
vSphere 5.0 can be confgured to enable VMware ESXi host swapping to a solid-state disk (SSD). In the low host memory–available states (high memory usage), where guest ballooning, transparent page sharing (TPS) and memory compression have not been sufcient to reclaim the needed host memory, hypervisor swapping is used as the last resort to reclaim memory from the virtual machines. vSphere employs three methods to address limitations of hypervisor swapping to improve hypervisor swapping performance.

VMware Project Onyx for vSphere 5
Onyx is a standalone application that serves as a proxy between the vSphere Client and the vCenter Server. It monitors the network communication between them and translates it into an executable PowerShell code. Later, this code could be modified and saved into a reusable function or script.
http://labs.vmware.com/flings/onyx

Technical Papers - SAP and VMware
VMware has released several technical white papers and reports regarding hosting a SAP enviroment on vSphere.
SAP HA on SLES on VMware
This paper describes how SAP NetWeaver running in a Linux environment on VMware vSphere 4 can be protected. It provides good details on the key capabilities of SUSE Linux and VMware vSphere as it pertains to protecting a Tier 1 business critical application.

vSphere 5 and VMFS 5 FAQ
VMware VMFS 5 new features VMware vSphere VMFS 5
vSphere 5 brought new filesystem VMFS 5 – your questions about it?
Yesterday I took the VCP 510 exam. I passed fine, and I updated the post - Resources to prepare your VCP exam – VCP 510 – with my own experience there. And sure, there has been questions about the new VMFS 5 – new version of VMware Filesystem. I can’t tell your what exactly those questions were about, but instead I will point you to VMware KB article which discuss some interesting questions from users like you and me concerning the new file system.

vCenter Operations Management 5 Suite from VMware has been released
VMware has released vCenter Operations Management 5
The product has been announced and released already few days ago, but I was quite busy with my VCP preparation and studies, so I haven’t been able to cover this release yet. Now when I passed my VCP 510 (you can read my experience on this post: Ressources to prepare your VCP exam – VCP 510) , I’m able to take look at the release and the different versions, pricing and packaging…

Exploring vCloud Director Interface – as a customer
Director vCloud director from the user's perspective
Exploring my private datacenter through vCD.
Recently I has been offered a full private datacenter at Stratogen. You can read the post here.
I must tell you that I’m new to vCloud Director, I haven’t tested this product in my lab yet. But will do.  So as for now even the exploration of the interface from the “client’s” side will be new for me and I think that it can be a good read for those of you that you’re in my situation and want to see “the look and feel”.

VMWARE VCAP CERTIFICATION
[APAC] BrownBag Follow-Up – VCAP-DCD Study Group
The APAC BrownBags kicked off last night with a VCAP-DCD study group.
The Video

VCAP Study Group in Asia in February
In the past couple of years the industry recognized that a single VMware certification–the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) –was not sufficient to encompass the wide range of competencies customers’ VMware teams require. The introduction of the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX)recognized the pinnacle of VMware design knowledge. But a wide chasm remained between VCP and VCDX.
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=16658&ui=www_cert
Upon accomplishing VMware Certified Professional on VMware vSphere 4 (VCP4) you are eligible to pursue our intermediate level certification: VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP). Available in Datacenter Administration and/or Datacenter Design, this program is appropriate for VCP4s that are ready to further enhance their skills with the virtual infrastructure and add new, industry recognized credentials to their list of accomplishments

VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere 4 – Datacenter Design
The VCAP-DCD is directed toward IT Architects and Consulting Architects who are capable of designing VMware solutions in a multi-site, large enterprise environment.  They have a deep understanding both of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking, and also of datacenter design methodologies. They also possess knowledge of applications and physical infrastructure, as well as their relationship to the virtual infrastructure.

VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V4.x]
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/courses.cfm?ui=www_cert&a=one&id_subject=13754

DRBC Design - Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Fundamentals
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=20313

VMWARE KB ARTICLES
VMware Knowledge Base Weekly Digest: New Articles Published for Week Ending 1/28/12
VMware ESX
High disk latency observed on Dell MD3000i storage array (2004576)
VMware Tools using approximately 15% CPU after upgrading to ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 2 (2010732)
Attempting to add a host to the switch fails with an error: “Cannot complete a vnetwork distributed switch operation for one or more host members” (2010965)
Configuring LSI® WarpDrive™ SLP-300 Acceleration Card and Deploying with VMware® ESX/ESXi 4.1 (Partner Verified and Support) (2012308)
How to change all paths to FIXED or Round Robin from the command line (2010034)
VMware ESXi
Adding a USB device to the virtual machine fails with the error: Error connecting to arbitrator socket: No such file or directory (2011947)
Enabling Jumbo Frames on the Solaris guest operating system (2012445)
ESXi 5.0 Host Profile Plug-in Support for Dell EqualLogic (2012546)
VMware Tools installation in non-US-English 32-bit Windows rolls back and fails with MSI error status 1603 (2012665)
Upgrading ESXi 4.0 may fail on SmartArray P410/i RAID controllers (2008876)
When binding a vmkernel port to access the iscsi storage we are getting an error on the CLI "Error: Unknown command or namespace swiscsi nic add" (2006047)
VMware Fusion
Minimizing virtual machines in Fusion 4.1 (2009933)
VMware Service Manager
Feedback added when rating a Knowledge Base article in Service Manager is not tracked under History (2012251)
VMware vCenter CapacityIQ
CapacityIQ does not collect datastore information (2007459)
VMware vCenter CapacityIQ product update (2012306)
VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise
vCenter Operations Manager 5:0: Scripts for database upgrade integrity check (2010144)
VMware vCenter Operations Standard
vCenter Operations does not show in vSphere Client after a vCenter Server reinstall (2005004)
VMware vCenter Server
ESX/ESXi hosts intermittently disconnect and reconnect in vCenter Server (2004457)
Best practices for joining vCenter Servers in Linked Mode (2005481)
Determining which user account initiated a task in vCenter Server 4.x (2009075)
Adding a host to Cisco Nexus 1000v vSphere Distributed Switch fails with the error: Download failed for url: http://<ip_address>/index.xml (2011367)
Enabling debug logging for the vSphere 5.0 Web Client Server (2011485)
Upgrading from vCenter Server 4.1 to 5.0 fails with the Error: Exception Thrown while executing SQL script (2011533)
The vCenter Server Hardware Status tab reports an Unknown status for the power supply of the VMware certified server (2011953)
Configuring HA fails with the error: Operation Timed out (2011974)
Host Profile compliance check fails with an error for the Update Manager ruleset (2012027)
vCenter Server 4.1 Hardware Status tab does not refresh automatically (2004233)
Performance Chart not working on Windows 7 64-bit with Internet Explorer 9 (2004310)
vCenter Service Status page alerts: Unable to retrieve health status (2008664)
VMware vCloud Director
Changes in vCenter Server are not reflected in vCloud Director (2003679)
When trying to create a vCloud Network Resource in vCloud Director and vShield Edge you receive the error: Cannot create network (2004892)
Cannot delete a user in vCloud Director with the error: Unable to delete a user who owns vApp Templates or media (2005261)
Unable to access datastore in vCloud Director 1.0 after resignaturing LUNs (2003600)
Virtual machine fails to power on in vCloud Director when copied from vCloud Connector using the Deploy in target cloud option (2004017)
VMware View Manager
Upgrading VMware View Agent to 4.6 or later fails with the error: VMware SCSI Controller driver (vmscsi.sys) failed to install correctly. (2006287)
A Wyse P20 zero client cannot connect to a Windows 7 desktop in View 5.0 (2008274)
Persistent and disposable disks are missing after rebooting Windows XP linked clones (2011205)
View Desktop logon credentials screen takes 60 seconds to appear (2011702)
Installing View Composer fails with the error: Error 28011. An error occurred during installation of the VMware View Composer database (2011938)
Users cannot authenticate and connect to a desktop on one domain (1036325)
Connecting to the View ADAM Database (2012377)
View Manager dashboard shows one of the Connection Servers as not available (2012292)
VMware VirtualCenter
Remote console screen of virtual screen is blank (2003854)
VMware vShield Edge
VMware vShield Edge 1.0 VPN connection fails in Phase 1 (2004066)
VMware vShield Endpoint
vShield Data Security does not retain hostname settings (2009519)
VMware vSphere Storage Appliance
VMware vSphere Storage Appliance does not support memory overcommit (2008050)