From the editors Virtual Desk
Hi everyone, well I am back in Australia after a few weeks away. I am very pleased to be back and looking forward to getting back to business and working with my TAM customers again on all of their projects.
A key update for this week is the release of View 5.1, if you are a View customer or are considering View please take a look at the update and considerations for updating to this version including the benefits which are as usual numerous and the update recommended, however I do suggest you discuss this as always with your TAM or VMware representative.
This weeks featured article is aimed at clearing up the press around the cost of ownership of VMware.
Unfortunately the KB Digest was not available at the time of publishing this week;s newsletter but please check regularly and discuss with your TAM any potential issues - http://blogs.vmware.com/kbdigest/.
Enjoy the newsletter everyone and I look forward to speaking to you again next week.
Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor and VMware TAM Blog Custodian)
Queensland Technical Account Manager
Newsletter Archive: communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmwaretam
VMware: vSphere cheaper than Hyper-V
Beats Microsoft in time, cost in independent test.
VMware will unleash new data to counteract what it describes as Microsoft's "wildly exaggerated claims" about server virtualisation costs.
VMware this week cited recent test results from research firm Principled Technologies which show that the combination of vSphere and vCentre Site Recovery Manager is cheaper to operate than Hyper-V and System Centre, in terms of the time admins must spend to keep it up and running.
In its side-by-side comparison using the latest versions of VMware and Microsoft's products, Principled Technologies measured the time required to perform five common admin tasks: provisioning new hosts; moving virtual machines off a host for physical maintenance; adding storage volumes and moving virtual disk files onto them; isolating storage intensive VMs; and performing disaster recovery failover tests.
In all cases, vSphere performed these tasks between 78 percent and 97 percent faster, according to Eric Horschman, director of marketing at VMware. He chalked up this advantage to the automation of labour and scripting intensive tasks that VMware has built into vCentre and vSphere.
"vSphere technology lets you do multiple concurrent migrations, and also live migrate faster than Microsoft products, which are limited to a single live migration," Horschman told CRN. "Systems admins are not spending as much time waiting for tasks to complete, which means they can do more physical maintenance."
Principled Technologies also put a dollar figure on the cost savings, by estimating the number of times each of the tasks would be repeated over a two-year period in a data centre with 1,000 VMs, and then multiplying that cumulative time by the US national average salary for system admins. By this measure, vSphere's operational costs are 91 percent less than Microsoft Hyper-V and System Centre, Horschman said.
VMware calculates its costs by the number of virtual machines that need to be hosted and the number of physical hosts they will require, along with storage, networking hardware, software and data centre costs. VMware users need less hosts, less data centre space, less power and cooling and less storage, according to Horschman.
"When you do that complete infrastructure cost comparison, the difference between VMware and Microsoft is negligible when you assume the same number of VMs per host," he said. "But when you factor in a relatively VM density advantage for VMware, we come in significantly lower."
VMware has long grumbled about the methodology Microsoft uses to support its argument that VMware is more expensive, and Horschman echoed these concerns.
"Microsoft's cost comparison looks primarily at the software side of things, ignoring differences in VM density, which is not realistic," he said. "Microsoft is also including all of our products, including cloud management and vCentre Operations, which provide functionality that goes way beyond what Microsoft can deliver."
Horschman said Microsoft also uses discounted volume licensing pricing in calculating the cost of its own server virtualisation lineup.
"Our customers recognise that VMware is providing better value, and we're trying to make the market aware of the same thing," he added. "We recognise that Microsoft can do a lot of marketing, but we want to get our side of the story out there."
VMWARE USER GROUP (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
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 BRISBANE TRAINING SCHEDULE
|VMware vSphere: What's New [V5.0]||28 May - 29 May||http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=121623|
|VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V5.0]||18 Jun - 22 Jun||http://mylearn.vmware.com/gateway/?course=124687&user=0&ui=www_edu|
|VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]||04 Jun - 08 Jun||http://mylearn.vmware.com/gateway/?course=122755&user=0&ui=www_edu&credits=1|
|VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]||21 May - 25 May||http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=121633|
|VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0]||14 May - 18 May||http://mylearn.vmware.com/gateway/?course=122749&user=0&ui=www_edu&credits=1|
|VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V5.0]||30 May - 01 Jun||http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=122092|
|VMware vCenter Orchestrator: Develop Workflows [V4.1]||21 May - 23 May||http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=127145|
Registration is now open for the VCAP5-DCD Exam
VCAP5-DCD is designed for IT architects who design and integrate VMware solutions in multi-site, large enterprise, virtualized environments. Successful candidates possess a deep understanding of datacenter design principles and methodologies, as well as VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking. Successful candidates also have broad knowledge of applications and infrastructure services, and how they relate and integrate with the virtual infrastructure.
Achieving a VCAP5-DCD certification validates your ability to:
Create a vSphere conceptual design.
Create a vSphere logical design from an existing conceptual design.
Create a vSphere physical design from an existing logical design.
Create and execute an implementation plan.
Sign up today!
VCAP-DCA & DCD Resources Page Updated
Just a very quick posting to alert people that I have now updated my VCAP-DCA and DCD resources page. 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 still on-going).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.
VMWARE OFFICIAL BLOGS AND NEWS
VMware vSphere Blog: Attaching an unreplicated VMDK after SRM failover using scripts
I've run into a few scenarios where it's been beneficial to not replicate a particular disk attached to a VM when using vSphere Replication, yet in order to recover the VM correctly it's necessary to have even a really stale copy of it there as a placeholder.
VROOM!: View 5.1 Performance
In addition to the numerous enhancements detailed here, View 5.1 debuts a number of significant enhancements and optimizations to the PCoIP protocol. In this blog, we detail some of the most beneficial:
VMware vSphere Blog: Resize & Hot-Add/Extend Virtual Machine Disks using vCloud API
In vCloud Director today, users can not modify or resize a virtual disk for a Virtual Machine (VM) using the vCloud UI, even if the VM is powered off. Though not ideal, this operation can still be accomplished in vCloud Director by leveraging the vCloud API or vCenter Orchestrator (vCO). In this article, I will demonstrate how you can easily resize a virtual disk for a VM in vCloud Director as well as hot-add and hot-extend a virtual disk for a running VM using the vCloud API.
VMware End User Computing: Customize the View Portal for Client Download with VMware View 5.1
Did you know that in VMware View 5.1 you can customize the View Portal that users see when they log in to the View Connection Server to begin using their virtual desktop?
vSphere PowerCLI Blog: Retrieving License keys from Multiple vCenters
A question I receive all the time is:
How can I list all license keys I have for all of my Virtual Centers in my Infrastructure ?
Luckily PowerCLI enables us to work with multiple vCenters all at one, we can connect to many vCenters or hosts and pull back information on all of these at the same time, to do this you need to set the PowerCLI Configuration to work in multiple mode and then you can connect to more than one vCenter at the same time, to do this see the following example:
VMware vFabric Blog: 4 Ways VMware transforms Postgres for the Cloud
In a nutshell, relational databases weren’t built for the cloud. With vFabric Postgres, VMware customers can get a proven, enterprise database integrated with VMware virtualization and ready for cloud computing.
VMware End User Computing: VMware View Storage Accelerator - The next step towards more reliable, more cost-effective storage for VDI environments
By Matt Eccleston, chief architect - VMware View, VMware
VDI with VMware View has brought many benefits to customers over the years, including business agility, improved control and security and end-user flexibility. However, a vexing problem as our customers scale up the size of their deployments has been how to achieve cost-effective storage designs for VDI environments while maintaining an excellent quality of service for their end users. The “VDI storage problem” fundamentally stems from the different economics of traditional desktop storage (a local SATA drive), and datacenter-class storage. Datacenter storage is almost always more expensive on a $ per GB, or $ per I/O throughput basis. However, at the same time, datacenter storage offers significant opportunities for pooling resources, securing, consolidating and centralizing the data of the desktop.
VMware End User Computing: New View Clients Optimized for VMware View 5.1 Now Available on Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad and Android!
The View Clients team is excited to release our latest clients for Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad and Android. The new client releases are optimized to deliver the best possible experience when combined with VMware View 5.1.
Virtual Reality: Sorry Microsoft; Not Only Does vSphere Cost Less to Buy, It Also Costs Less to Operate.
Microsoft’s wildly exaggerated claims of providing a less expensive virtualization platform than VMware vSphere have been hard to miss if you’ve spent any time on the web lately. We’ve previously pointed out the flaws in their math and our public Cost Per Application Calculator clearly shows how deploying a virtual infrastructure built with vSphere will cost about the same as one built using Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center (or even much less when vSphere’s proven VM density advantage over Hyper-V is factored in.) Now we’re pleased to share recent independent test results that show how vSphere also delivers dramatically lower operational costs compared to Microsoft.
VMware Global Alliances Blog: Validation with SAP Signals Strong Support for Virtualization & Cloud Infrastructure
In a post last week, Elliot Fliesler alluded to some exiting news that we would soon share around our SAP partnership. And where better to finally unveil that news than at Sapphire Now 2012 and here on our alliances blog? It’s now official: SAP has validated its Sybase High Performance OLTP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) Database on VMware cloud infrastructure.
Federal Center of Excellence (CoE) Blog: Connecting Clouds
For those organizations on the journey of transforming their datacenters to meet the demand of a modern IT consumption model, it’s easy to envision what cloud euphoria could/should look like. That’s mostly because vision is quite cheap – all it takes is a little imagination (maybe), a few Google queries, several visits by your favorite vendor(s), and perhaps a top-down mandate or two. The problem is execution can break the bank if the vision is not in line with the organization’s core objectives. It’s easy to get carried away in the planning stages with all the options, gizmos and cloudy widgets out there – often delaying the project and creating budget shortfalls. Cloud:Fail. But this journey doesn’t have to be difficult (or horrendously expensive). Finding the right solution is half the battle…just don’t go gluing several disparate products together that were never intended to comingle and burn time and money trying to integrate them. Sure you might eventually achieve something that resembles a cloud, but you’re guaranteed to hit several unnecessary pain points on the way.
VMware End User Computing: Overcoming the VDI IOPS Challenge
Correct IO sizing can be a challenge for customers adopting VDI. Storage can represent between 20 and 70% of the total desktop cost in VDI infrastructure. Get it right and the project is successful – users accept it and desktop cost is low. Get it wrong and the desktop costs can rise, and the team may not get to scale beyond the first implementation – or the desktop is inexpensive and users reject it for performance reasons.
VMware vSphere Blog: Software Defined Data Center: From Best Effort to 99%
We live in interesting times socially, economically, and technologically. It is pretty clear that “best effort” just isn’t good enough anymore as the drive for efficiency shifts into ever higher gears. In IT we have seen some fantastic examples of this transformation unfold in the last couple of years.
VMware vSphere Blog: Poweron file?
I had a question this week around what the "poweron" file is and does as someone spotted it on one of their datastores. The "poweron" file is a file that is located on the designated heartbeat data stores. The file contains the set of powered on virtual machines, this allows the master to track the state of the virtual machines, may anything occur to one of your hosts. It should be noted that the master also created a "poweron" file as the state of the virtual machines it is running will also need to be tracked. Tracking virtual machine power-on state is not the only thing the “poweron” file is used for. This file is also used by the slaves to inform the master that it is isolated from the network: the top line of the file will either contain a 0 or a 1. A 0 means not-isolated and a 1 means isolated. If a host is isolated the master will then inform vCenter about the isolation of the host.
VMware Support Insider: Announcing VMware’s first ever GSS Virtual Customer Support Day!
On June 7th, VMware will host its first online GSS Customer Support Day event. This event is a unique opportunity for you to get answers to your questions directly from our Global Support Services technical experts. You told us that you’d like to see an online version of the popular live events that we’ve hosted in various locations throughout the world. We listened, and now anyone, anywhere can tap in to the advanced technical expertise of our Global Support Services team in this dynamic, interactive forum.
Great resource for adding ssl certificates to VMware products
A while ago I decided to purchase an official wildcard ssl certificate to use in my VMware demo/lab environment. Purchasing the certificate turned out to be the easy part. The next step was installing the certificate on different VMware products, like vCenter (which includes Update Manager and some web services nowadays), View connection servers, vCenter operations, and Zimbra.
LUN connectivity issues with Storage vMotion on EMC VNX when using VAAI (Updated)
The last few weeks I have been working on some serious issues in an environment where we used vSphere 5 with an EMC VNX storage array. All seemed to run fine, but whenever we started a Storage vMotion, we noticed all kinds of strange errors we where not expecting at all.
We saw messages regarding write-quiesced VMFS volumes, we lost paths. and in some cases, the Storage vMotions did not complete at all.
Update Manager broken after import Cisco VEM extension
Today I was working on upgrading some hosts in a vSphere 5 environment that is using Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switches. I imported the extension bundle in Update Manager, created a baseline, and scanned the hosts. After a couple of seconds , I got a message in vCenter telling me the scan failed:
VMWARE TV BLOG
How to open a command or shell prompt
Today we have a new video for you which discusses and demonstrates how to open a command or shell prompt on a Windows-based system, a Linux-based system or a Mac OS-based system as well showing you how to connect to a system using a Secure Shell or SSH connection.
The process of opening a command or shell prompt is a required step in many of our KB articles. We realize this is very basic stuff for many of you, but many others have asked for this, and we're happy to oblige.
For additional details relating to this process check out VMware Knowledge Base article Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892).
The Console: Introducing the vFabric Suite 5.1 and vFabric SQLFire
In 2009, VMware acquired SpringSource because we saw a fundamental change in the way our customers were building and running their applications. More than ever, our customers were using technology to build new applications to improve their business, respond to competition, and get closer to their customers. These new applications were built for mobile, used social networks and leveraged enormous volumes of real-time data to make better decisions. The underlying frameworks and technologies powering these applications needed to be lightweight and cloud-ready so they could be developed, deployed, and scaled out in rapid succession.
VMware vFabric Blog: Introducing VMware vFabric Suite 5.1: Automated Deployment, New Components, and Open Source Support
Today, VMware announced the release of VMware vFabric Suite 5.1, an integrated family of components that streamline how companies build, run and manage Java Spring applications whether on-premise or in the cloud. At VMware, we understand that smart, agile and cost-effective cloud infrastructure services are important. But ultimately, it’s about the applications that run atop that cloud infrastructure.
Spring MVC 3.2 Preview: Chat Sample
My last blog post was based on a Spring AMQP stocks sample that involved reacting to external events. This blog post continues that theme with a chat sample where the external events are not AMQP messages but rather HTTP POST requests. Later on I'll switch to a distributed chat where the events will be Redis Read more...
Building a Real Time Activity Stream on Cloud Foundry with Node.js, Redis and MongoDB – Part I
Cloud Foundry provides developers with several choices of frameworks, application infrastructure services and deployment clouds. This approach to providing a platform as a service enables the fast creation of useful cloud applications that take advantage of polyglot programming and multiple data services. As an example of how this enables us to be more productive, I was able to use Node.js, Redis, and MongoDB to create an Activity Streams application in a short time, despite the fact that I mainly develop Web Applications in Ruby. Based on the developer interest after a demo of this application at NodeSummit 2012 and MongoSF 2012, I was inspired to do a 3 part blog series that fully details the creation, deployment, and scaling of this application on CloudFoundry.com.
EXTERNAL VMWARE RELATED BLOGS (vExperts/Guest Bloggers)
VMware Released vCenter Operations Manager for View
VMware vCenter Operations Manager for View provides end-to-end visibility into the health, performance and efficiency of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It enables desktop administrators to proactively ensure the best end-user experience, avert incidents and eliminate bottlenecks. Designed for VMware View, this optimized version of vCenter Operations Manager improves IT productivity and lowers the cost of owning and operating VDI environments.
KB article about SvMotion / VDS / HA problem republished with script to mitigate!
Just a second ago the GSS/KB team republished the KB article that explain the vSphere 5.0 problem around SvMotion / vDS / HA. I wrote about this problem various times and would like to refer to that for more details. What I want to point out here though is that the KB article now has a script attached which will help preventing problems until a full fixed is released. This script is basically the script that William Lam wrote, but it has been fully tested and vetted by VMware. For those running vSphere 5.0 and using SvMotion on VMs attached to distributed switches I urge you to use the script. I expect that the PowerCLI version will also be attached soon.
Why is my pathing policy limited to “fixed” or “MRU” with things like MSCS cluster?
Yesterday I received an email from someone. He wanted to know why he was limited to using either the “fixed” or “MRU” pathing policy for the LUNs attached to his MSCS cluster. In his environment they used round-robin for everything and not being able to configure all of them with the same policy was against their internal policy. The thing is that if round-robin would be used and the path would switch (by default every 1000 I/Os) the SCSI-2 reservation would need to be re-acquired on this LUN. (MSCS uses SCSI-2 reservations for their cluster devices) As you can imagine that could cause a lot of stress on your array and could lead to all sorts of problems. So please do not ignore this recommendation! Some extra details can be found in the following KB articles:
Optimized PowerShell performance with Cisco UCS PowerTool
In the last post I gave a quick overview of one of the many cool features of the Cisco UCS PowerTool PowerShell Module, I showed how they had made it easy for the admin to pick up their toolkit and use it, how navigation over 1000+ cmdlets could be made easier, if you didn’t read it then you can find the post here.
PowerCLI 101 – Test DPM
DPM or Distributed Power Management is the power saving function of VMware’s DRS. I’ll not go into too much on configuring it here, as that’s quite thoroughly covered elsewhere (Those are 3 different links). I will show you, however, quickly how to test it. Why? Well, there are a few times when you’d want to do this, say: before adding a new host to a cluster, creating a DPM cluster from scratch, or say, taking a VMware exam.
When RamDisks Get Full
I thought it might be worth sharing the outcome of some troubleshooting of some ESXi 5 servers running off SD cards, in case anyone else encounters similar issues.
When vSphere 4 proved capable of booting ESXi from a 4Gb SD card or USB stick it became a tempting option for saving money on storage with new deployments. The HP Proliant G6s even came with an onboard SD card slot to make it easy to leave those disk slots empty.
VMware View Evaluator's Guide
The purpose of this document is to support a self-guided, hands-on review of VMware View 5. The content is intended to show how easily you can set up a VMware View 5 environment so you can evaluate both new and important capabilities. These capabilities include creating and managing virtualized desktops, and validating the suggested use cases.
VMware Released View 5.1 and Launched Horizon Application Manager 1.5
Now available: VMware View 5.1, VMware Horizon Application Manager 1.5 and a public beta program for the Project Octopus cloud data synchronization and collaboration service.
VMware Released New View 5.1 Clients for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux, iPad, and Android
VMware View Clients for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux, iPad, and Android allow you to connect to your VMware View virtual desktop from your device of choice giving you on-the-go access from any location.
VMware View VDI Flash Calculator v2.8 Released
I have just uploaded a new release of the online VMware View VDI Flash Calculator supporting new VMware View 5.1 features. View 5.1 is not available for download just yet, however many VMware partners and customers are already designing and sizing their VDI infrastructures with View 5.1 in mind. For this reason I am publishing this release of the calculator a little bit before View 5.1 goes public (GA).
The VDI calculator can be found at http://myvirtualcloud.net/?page_id=1076. Alternatively, go to my blog homepage and select VDI Calculator on the top bar.
VMware View automation with vCenter Orchestrator
In many organizations automation is a key component that allow IT to spend cycles where the business need them – perhaps innovation. Many VMware products have their own API’s and SDK that help organizations to automate process. VMware View doesn’t have publically available API’s that can be used in the automation process. However, VMware View does expose PowerShell cmdlets that can be used in the construction of a automated process via PowerShell scripts or via the construction of vCenter Orchestrator Workflows.
A Review of VMware View 5.1 Limits and Maximums
Giving continuity to my VMware View Limits and Maximums series (VMware View 4.0 | VMware View 5.0) I am now releasing an updated version for VMware View 5.1.
As an administrator or architect you should always make sure that your sizing’s are within VMware View Maximums and Limits in order to be entitled to VMware Support.
VMWARE KB ARTICLES
Not available at time of publishing - http://blogs.vmware.com/kbdigest/