From the editors Virtual Desk
I hope everyone is well as we head towards the final month of Q1. I have had a fantastic week which ended with a fantastic presentation on PowerCLI for my TAM customers in Brisbane. The session was presented by a customer of mine as well which made it even better as he explained some of the actual use cases that he had for PowerCLI rather than just the technical aspects of using it. A very valuable and worthwhile session.

This week I am lucky enough to be attending the vSphere 5 Design Workshop along with some of my customers. I am really excited about this, not only has it been a while since I have done any training but I am also very keen as you know to obtain my VCAP DCD this year. This is my goal for the year and this is the first step towards this goal. I am really looking forward to the discussions with my fellow colleagues on this workshop that will significantly enhance my understanding of vSphere design and enable me to assist my customers with their upcoming projects.

Next week I will be explaining a bit more on the newsletter and the different sections and how the newsletter might be evolving so stand by for more info.

Well onto the newsletter which is another fairly large one. I have the vExpert again as the featured article, please check this out and nominate.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope you enjoy this week’s 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
VMTN Blog: Invite your colleagues to apply for vExpert 2012
The vExpert 2012 applications are open, and I am glad to say that we are getting a steady stream of applications in. Hundreds of people who are helping others be successful with VMware technology are applying, with contributions ranging from blogs to books, from speaking gigs to slides, and from tutorials to free tools.
This year is a little different from the past, because we are also inviting contributors who may have been sharing their knowledge and expertise away from the public limelight, namely our customers and partners, as well as VMware employees, to apply as well. If you have been following the announcements, you already know that the two new paths to become a vExpert still lead to the single title, and once qualified and selected by the judges, all vExperts are entitled to full participation in all of the exclusive offerings of the program.
I am sure many of you have a colleague or two who would make a great vExpert, but who may not have qualified last year due to the requirement that all contributions be public. This year, let your brilliant colleagues know you value them, and invite them to apply and be recognized for all the great work they do helping their customers or internal organizations succeed with VMware.

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.

VMWARE EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION
VCP5 BrownBag Playlist
This week being a bi-week for the BrownBags to give y’all a chance to cram for the fast approaching 29th deadline, I’ve taken the time to put the VCP5 BrownBags into order around the blueprint objectives. Special Thanks again to Damian Karlson for making these happen.

New Training Course - VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage the VMware Cloud
VMware will release a new training course next month. It’s called VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage the VMware Cloud. This course demonstrates to technical personnel how to deploy VMware vCloud for a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment and manage the on-going operation of the deployment. The course focuses on the private and public vCloud solutions but also includes information on how this approach supports a hybrid solution.The training course will contain the following Course Objectives. After completing this course, you should understand the features and operation of vCloud and be able to do the following:

VMware Certified Professional 5 - Desktop (http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=28343&ui=www_cert)
The 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 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.

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 vSphere Blog: Understanding ESXi Patches – Manually Adding Patches to Update Manager
In my previous post I went over the steps to manually download ESXi host patches.  In this post I will go over the steps to manually add the downloaded patches into Update Manger.  Normally, Update Manager is configured to automatically download patches as they become available, but if your security policy doesn’t allow Update Manager to access the Internet you will need to manually download and add the patches.  Let’s go over the steps to do this.

VMware vSphere Blog: Help VMware understand what UI client plugins are being used
VMware is looking for customer feedback on the which VMware and third party plugins are commonly used within the virtual infrastructure client. We have compiled a short 6 question survey asking for your feedback on which plugins you use. Please complete the survey so that your input can help make VMware products better.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y3TR2CB

VMware vSphere Blog: Help us understand customer usage of the vCenter Databases
VMware is looking for feedback on your usage and the use cases with the vCenter database(s) We have compiled a short 10 question survey to ask for your feedback on your usage with the vCenter databases. Please take five minutes to complete this survey and help us make our products better.
http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?E0C4A8B2E8A6B0BAE1

vCO Team: vCloud Director Custom Deploy vApp Workflow
The overall goal of the Custom Deploy vApp workflow is to provide a single call workflow that is capable of instantiating a vApp Template from vCloud Director (vCD) and performing a number of operations on the resulting vApp before actually deploying and powering it on. The workflow is intended to be an example and starting point for deployments that require any or all of these features. It can also be called via 3rd party connectors using the vCenter Orchestrator SOAP API.

VMware vCloud Blog: For VMware Service Providers - Usage Meter v2.3 is Now Available
Today we announced to VMware service providers the availability of the new version 2.3 of the vCloud Usage Meter. For background, the Usage Meter is an important operational tool in the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) that enables VMware Virtualized and vCloud Service Providers to accurately measure and report on service usage of vRAM by customers consuming a VMware based Infrastructure as a Service offering.

VMware vSphere Blog: Thin Provisioning - What's the scoop?
This is a discussion that comes up regularly, going way back to vSphere 4.0 when we first introduced some serious features around thin provisioning storage for Virtual Machines. The objective of this post is to take a look at what options are available to you to do over-commitment/over-allocation of storage, as well as avoiding stranded storage scenarios. The whole point of thin provisioning, whether done on the array or at the hypervisor layer, is to allow a VM to run with just the storage it needs, and to avoid giving a VM storage that it might use sometime in the future. After all, you're paying for this storage, so the last thing you want is to be paying for something you might never use.

VMware vSphere Blog: Two new Technical Marketing white papers
We have just published two new white papers. Below you can find the details. We are hoping you will enjoy them!
Source - VMware vCloud Director Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study

vCenter Orchestrator Blog: Getting up to speed on VMware vCenter Orchestrator: Cody Bunch book just released!
One question we get over and over again from vCenter Orchestrator users is "how do I get up to speed on vCO?"  The answer to that question can vary significantly because it really depends on a user's skill-set, how much he/she plans to automate with vCO, and whether that user prefers learning on their own or by attending a class.
Well, that question just got significantly easier to answer today thanks to the release of Cody Bunch's new book from VMware Press: Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator

VMware vSphere Blog: ESXCLI Partner Extensiblity
Many vSphere administrators are familiar with the ESXCLI command-line utility that helps manage and configure settings on their ESX and ESXi hosts. With the release of vSphere 5.0, ESXCLI now includes a total of 250 commands that span across various namespaces.

Business Critical Applications: Your Guide to Virtualizing Exchange 2010 on vSphere (Part 1)
For a few years now we've been providing guidance on virtualizing Exchange on vSphere. Although not fully supported at the time, customers were looking for guidance to virtualizing Exchange 2003 and 2007 and so we created best practices guides and performance studies. Today we continue to provide best practices, design and sizing, and availability guides for Exchange 2010 on vSphere. With all of those resources out there one could ask, "What else is there to cover?" In this first posting of two I wanted to take a step back and look at some of the pre-requisites for designing an Exchange environment on vSphere. In Part 2 of this series I'll jump forward to some design considerations to keep in mind when virtualizing Exchange on vSphere. What about the technical details in between pre-reqs and design considerations? We've got those well covered and I'll provide links at the end of this article.

VMware End User Computing: What Is the Business Case for Desktop Virtualization?
All of the hoopla about the cloud—does it apply to your organization? Can you trust your data and applications to the cloud? How can you take the first step and give the cloud a try?

VMware vSphere Blog: Quickest Way to Patch an ESX/ESXi Using the Command-line
As you know, when it comes to automating patch management for your vSphere infrastructure, we highly recommend leveraging our vSphere Update Manager (VUM) which is part of the vSphere vCenter Suite to help simplify the update process. Though not all environments have the luxury of running vCenter Server to manage their ESX(i) hosts. An example of this could be 1-2 hosts running at a ROBO (remote office/branch office) site or single test/dev host in a home or office lab where VUM is not available.

VMware vSphere Blog: Storage Protocol Comparison - A vSphere Perspective
On many occasions I’ve been asked for an opinion on the best storage protocol to use with vSphere. And my response is normally something along the lines of ‘VMware supports many storage protocols, with no preferences really given to any one protocol over another’. To which the reply is usually ‘well, that doesn’t really help me make a decision on which protocol to choose, does it?’

VMware vSphere Blog: Answering some Storage vMotion questions
VMware Blogs 28/02/12 12:24 AM
By Duncan Epping, Principal Architect, VMware.
I received some questions about Storage vMotion a while back. I think these are interesting enough to share with the rest of the world. I want to thank the SvMotion engineering team for the quick response.
Q)  Suppose that a SvMotion is ongoing and the host on which the SvMotion is running crashes. The SvMotion is interrupted, but will the copy of the files (on the destination datastore) be cleaned up? And if so, who initiates this?

vSphere PowerCLI Blog: Using PowerCLI for Intra-VM Affinity rules in Storage DRS
Recently Frank Denneman posted an excellent article on Storage DRS and particularly the impact of Intra-VM affinity rules on storage DRS, if you are using Storage DRS or thinking about implementing it or even just like to keep up with the latest vSphere 5 features I strongly suggest reading his article here.

VMWARE TV BLOG
VMwareTV: The Rise of Security and Compliance in the Middle Ages
Do your IT security and compliance policies seem positively medieval? Watch this painstakingly researched overview of the Rise of Security and Compliance to find out why... then be thankful that we live in a time with VMware security and compliance solutions for the Cloud.

VMwareTV: Welcome to the Office of the CTO Web Site
Steve Herrod invites you to join the conversation at the Office of the CTO web site. Visit the site at communities.vmware.com

VMwareTV: Paul Maritz, VMware CEO, Business Transformation through IT Transformation
bit.ly -- Hear Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware, discuss business transformation through IT transformation. See more from Paul and other VMware executives at bit.ly

VMwareTV: Install Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VMware Workstation 8
bit.ly -- Follow these simple steps to install the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a VMware Workstation 8 VM. If you do not have Workstation 8, download a free 30 day trial: bit.ly

SPRINGSOURCE
Introducing Spring Hadoop
I am happy to announce that the first milestone release (1.0.0.M1) for Spring Hadoop project is available and talk about some of the work we have been doing over the last few months. Part of the Spring Data umbrella, Spring Hadoop provides support for developing applications based on Hadoop technologies by leveraging the capabilities of Read more...

EXTERNAL VMWARE RELATED BLOGS (vExperts/Guest Bloggers)
Verify Security Hardening of vSphere 5
At the moment there is no security hardening guide for vSphere 5, and the vSphere Compliance Checker is also not compatible with vSphere 5. Both will eventually be updated, but until then what can you do to ensure that your hardening configuration has been applied correctly? The answer is running the VMware vSphere Security Hardening Report Check Script that was developed by William Lam. However to make it work with vSphere 5 there is a slight modification that is  necessary.

The Achilles Heel of the VMware Distributed Switch
A little while ago Duncan Epping posted a great article titled Distributed vSwitches and vCenter Outage What’s the Deal, which generated some good debate. A few people that commented on the article including myself have experienced situations where after a failure the host nukes the VM VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS) networking on the ESXi Host and does not allow VM’s to connect to the network. This complicated the recovery quite a lot as you can imagine. The reason VM’s couldn’t connect to the network in the cases mentioned in the post comments after the failures is due to a little known problem, which is currently the Achilles Heel of the vNetwork Distributed Switch networking. Fortunately there is an easy solution.

How to smoothly migrate a VM from one vDS to another
If you are using virtual Distributed Switches (vDS) in your environment you may have stumbled in a situation where you wanted to migrate a VM from one cluster to another using different vDS and couldn't do it: VMotion is not possible in this scenario. Even if the source and target host are CPU-compatible and both have access to the VM's storage, vCenter will deny a live migration whenever the

vSphere 5 HA Complete Failure Experience
vSphere HA is one of the great features that simplifies high availability protection for any supported Guest OS running in a VMware environment. If a vSphere Host fails HA will kick in and restart any VM’s that were running on another available host. HA has gone through a continual evolution and cycle of enhancemnts over the years and in vSphere 5 was greatly enhanced. But some of you may be wondering exactly what is going to happen when your clusters fail for real, and you have a total outage. Well I have experienced a complete outage a couple of times now for real. So I’d like to share with you the experience with HA in vSphere 5, and how that compares to vSphere 4.x.

vCenter Operations Management 5 Suite Promo Video
VMware starts to promote vCenter Operations Management 5 suite with some 3D videos.
vCenter Operations Management 5 Suite from VMware has been released some time ago and I reported on that in my article here. The vOperations suite it’s a nice looking product with great features. Nicely build with green, yellow or red colors showing which VM performs badly or which part of your virtual infrastructure needs attention.

vCO Book – Kindle Edition Is Now Shipping
Well, honestly I’m not sure if shipping is the right word for an electronic book, but nevertheless, the electronic editions of vCO Book are now shipping.
Kindle

Auto Deploy GUI – a new VMware Labs fling
On the VMware Labs pages you’ll find a number of great Lab projects, so called “Flings”. These are unsupported projects by VMware employees you can download and use. One of the latest VMware Lab Flings is the “Auto Deploy GUI”  created by Massimiliano Daneri which makes auto deploy of your ESXi hosts a breeze.

Resource pool shares don’t make sense with vCloud Director?
I’ve had multiple discussions around Resource Pool level shares in vCloud Director over the last 2 years so I figured I would write an article about it. A lot easier to point people to the article instead, and it also allows me to gather feedback on this topic. If you feel I am completely off, please comment… I am going to quote a question which was raised recently.

vCloud Director Video - Add a Firewall Rule to a vApp Network
The virtual machines in a vApp can connect to vApp networks (isolated or routed) and organization networks (direct or fenced). You can add networks of different types to a vApp to address multiple networking scenarios. Select the Networking tab in a vApp and select the Show networking details check box to view a list of the networks that are available to the vApp. Virtual machines in the vApp can connect to these networks. If you want to connect a virtual machine to a different network, you must first add it to the vApp.

Sysprep Limitations – drive letters changes and others
Be aware of those Sysprep limitations – drive letters changes and others
When using sysprep in your organisation, you might be interested in Syprep Limitations. Yes, there are some

Oracle RAC on Windows on vSphere
A while ago I wrote three of Oracle on vSphere articles that have proved very popular. Most of the background behind the articles was based on my experience implementing Oracle DB, including Oracle RAC on Linux on vSphere in large enterprise environments. I’ve recently had the question post if this also works when using Windows, and I have some good news.

Samples Snippets from the SRM 5.0 Book
It looks like VMware Press are releasing sample snippets from my newly minted SRM 5.0 book. To be honest I didn’t know they were going to do this – but I think its a great way for them to dice-and-slice the book. Of course, the intention is teasing you into buying a copy, but in my book (if you forgive the pun) free content is something that is always handy. My hope is they will carry on with this process to cover other aspects of using SRM 5.0.

Cool tool: vBenchmark fling
Today I decided to start testing the vBenchmark fling. It sounded like a cool tool so I installed it in my lab. You can find the fling here for those wanting to test it themselves. So what doe the tool do? The VMware Labs website summarizes it in a good way:

Cloud Infrastructure Architecture Case Study – vSphere + vShield App
A white paper which I have worked on extensively has just been published. The case study takes a design / architecture approach and lists design considerations, requirements and assumptions throughout the document. I want to thank the people who worked with me on this document: Aidan Dalgleish, Frank Denneman, Matthew Northam, Venky Deshpande and Cormac Hogan. Below you can find more details… don’t forget to download it! I made sure it was available in various formats so each and everyone of you can read it on its favorite device.

How-to change default SSH port on ESXi 5 and make the change persistent after reboot
How-to change default SSH port on ESXi 5 and make it persistent after reboots.
If you want to keep SSH to your ESXi hosts, but want to change the default SSH port (22) to non default port, there is a way to do it. For example you don’t wan to have SSH on 22 but on 2222.

Using Auto Deploy GUI to inject vCloud Director Agent into image
When installing vCloud Director in my homelab, I ran into an issue where the vCloud Director Agent cannot be installed into the ESXi host since the host is ran using VMware Auto Deploy. Installing that agent is useless because after a reboot, the ESXi host would be clean again. In vCloud Director you’ll be presented with an error during install: “The vCloud Director Agent version 1.5.0.453916 is required to be part of the boot image in order to prepare the host”.

Technical Paper - Cloud Infrastructure Architecture Case Study
The VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite (CIS) consists of five technologies that together expand the capabilities and value that customers can realize from a virtualized infrastructure. CIS is designed to help organizations build more intelligent virtual infrastructures. It does so by enabling highly virtualized environments with the automation, self-service and security capabilities that customers require to deploy business-critical applications, respond to business demands more quickly and move to a secure cloud model. The CIS is based on the VMware vSphere platform as its foundation in pursuing any type of cloud infrastructure. In addition to vSphere, the CIS also includes VMware vShield App, VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server (SRM Server), VMware vCloud Director, and VMware vCenter Operations Manager.

vCloud Fencing
VMware vCloud Director has several use cases. One of them is to use vCloud director for “lab management” purposes. For instance you can run several vApps simultaneous with the same IP and MAC addresses completely isolated or “fenced” We are currently building our own vApps for VMware training purposes. The ability to build one vApp for one student – add it to the catalog and then deploy it X amount of times is essential in our environment.

Scale out building block style, or should I say (yellow) brick style!
I attended VMware PEX a couple of weeks back and during some of the sessions and discussions I had after the sessions I realized that many customers out there still design using legacy concepts. Funny thing is that this mainly applies to server virtualization projects and to a certain extend to cloud environments.It appears that designing in building blocks is something that EUC side of this world has embraced a long time ago.

VMWARE VCAP CERTIFICATION
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 [V5.x]
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=det&id_course=112589
The goal of this course is to equip consulting professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve competence in designing a VMware vSphere® 5 virtual infrastructure. Given an organization’s constraints and requirements, the infrastructure should be available, scalable, manageable, and secure while meeting the organization’s business objectives. The course is based on VMware ESXi™ and VMware vCenter™ Server 5.
This course discusses the benefits and risks of available design alternatives and provides information to support making sound design decisions. This course also provides an opportunity to practice your design skills by working with peers on a design project.

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 2/25/12
Shavlik SCUPdates
Publishing Apple Application Support (AAS) with vCenter Protect Update Catalog or SCUPdates (2013913)
VMware ACE
Unable to access the administrator mode on a Kiosk ACE virtual machine (2013725)
Packaging the ACE virtual machine fails with the error: Could not create the preview deployment (2010576)
VMware ESX
Cannot configure NPIV on a virtual machine (2008780)
Changing the boot order of a virtual machine using vmx options (2011654)
The vmware.log file of a virtual machine reports <<< Log Throttled >>> and then stops logging (2012441)
Eject failure of CD/DVD device during ESX 4.x installation (2014162)
Alert message  for PCI devices is displayed on the console after the installation of ESX or ESXi 4.1 U2 (2014170)
VMware ESXi
Changing the port used by SSH on an ESXi 5.0 host (2011818)
Activating a VMXNET3 nic in Oracle Solaris 10 (2009199)
The remote CD-ROM device connected to a virtual machine stops working with the error: Error communicating with remote client (2010471)
Powering on a virtual machine fails with the error: Failed to initialize swap file '/Datastorepath/swapfilename.vswp' : reason (2013834)
VMware Service Manager
Service Manager incoming email received from a non-existing email ID creates a new customer record with system generated user ID (2010812)
Service Manager calls logged from Event Management do not update their priority based on the IPK Priority Matrix (2013916)
VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager
Integrating vCloud Director Appliance with vCenter Chargeback Manager (2013681)
VMware vCenter Operations Enterprise
Configuring the data retention metrics for FSDB in vCenter Operations (2008223)
VMware vCenter Operations Manager (Standalone)
Auto-discovered resources in vCenter Operations Manager always use the All Attributes attribute package (2013910)
VMware vCenter Protect Update Catalog
Publishing an update in SCUP using data from vCenter Protect Update Catalog or SCUPdates fails with the error: Hash verification failed on content for update (2013914)
VMware vCenter Server
Upgrading vCenter Server 4.1 installed with vCenter Heartbeat 6.4 to vCenter Server 5.0 (2007455)
vCenter Server is slow or unresponsive after an upgrade to vCenter Server 5.0 on Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine (2010948)
Cloning a virtual machine fails with the error: Invalid configuration for device '0' (1026545)
After migrating the vCenter Server database to a new host, the VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices service does not function correctly (2010958)
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
Uninstalling VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.4 (2014202)
Replacing the SSL Certificate in vCenter Server Heartbeat with a new certificate (2014205)
Preventing unauthorized management of vCenter Server Heartbeat using vSphere Client (2014212)
Recovering from the PlanExecutionFailedEvent error (2014214)
Windows events generated by vCenter Server Heartbeat during normal operations (2014200)
Reconfiguring the VMware Update Manager patch store name/IP after a switchover or failover (2014209)
VMware vFabric Hyperic Agent
JBoss 4.2 monitoring fails after upgrading vFabric Hyperic Agent from 4.4.x to 4.5.x or 4.6.x (2014043)
VMware vFabric tc Server
Enabling the YourKit Profiler with vFabric tc Server (2000743)
Installing the vFabric tc Server license (2014000)
VMware View Manager
Customizing desktops with sysprep fails with the error: a specified parameter was not correct: \nspec.identity.userData.computerName (2009820)
View Connection Server reports the error: [ws_TomcatService] STDOUT: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space (2009877)
View desktops do not inherit the client time zone setting when using the PCoIP Security Gateway (2013795)
Printers are not redirected to View Terminal Services desktops (2013417)
Cannot install View Composer Agent and Virtual Printing features when installing VMware View Agent (2014083)
Connecting to a View Connection Server that has SmartCard authentication enabled fails with the error: Smart Card or Certificate authentication is required  (2013044)