VMware Newsletter

From the editors Virtual Desk

Hi everyone, the newsletter is back after a  week hiatus. I have just returned from our company kick off in the US which was awesome. Of course we had an awesome time but I also got to meet many of my colleagues from other regions which is always good.

The big announcement this week is the launch of the VMware Horizon Suite of End User Computing solutions. This is a very exciting time for VMware and the industry as we transform the EUC landscape as we did with datacenters over the last decade.

This is going to be a huge focus for me this year and I also plan on doing my VMware desktop certification to ensure that I am better able to support my customers.

Enjoy the newsletter, it is a big one and there is definitely something for everyone. There are also some new bloggers that I have added this week and will continue to add.

Best Wishes

Neil Isserow (Newsletter Editor)

Queensland Technical Account Manager

Newsletter Archive: communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmwaretam

HOT-NEWS

- Horizon Suite Launch

- New Security announcements

- Patches and updates

- vSphere with Ops Management

FEATURED-ARTICLE

VMware Unveils VMware Horizon Suite, Industry’s Most Comprehensive Platform for Workforce Mobility

VMware® Horizon Workspace™, VMware Horizon View™ and VMware Horizon Mirage™ Deliver the Virtual Workspace to Simplify End-User Computing in the Multi-Device Era

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today unveiled the VMware® Horizon Suite™, a comprehensive platform for workforce mobility that will connect end users to their data, applications and desktops on any device without sacrificing IT security and control. With updates to VMware Horizon View™ and VMware Horizon Mirage™, as well as a new product, VMware Horizon Workspace™, the VMware Horizon Suite will enable IT organizations to empower users with a secure, easy-to-manage virtual workspace that delivers a consistent, compelling experience across devices.

PARTNER

VMware Partner Exchange 2013 – Know Before You Go

Partner Exchange 2013 is just a few short days away. As you pack for Vegas and put together your final arrangements for your schedule, we’d like to highlight a few items you should know before you go to the event.

Congratulations to the Regional 2013 Partner Network Award Winners

Below are the regional winners of the 2013 VMware Partner Network Awards. These awards recognize our top partners in a variety of categories that demonstrate excellence in helping customers evolve to a software-defined data center with VMware solutions.  Join us in congratulating all the winners.

Stay Connected at Partner Exchange 2013

Partner Exchange 2013 is a week away and we want you to make the most of the event by providing you with information on how you can connect with the VMware Partner Network Community on social media.

Selling to SMBs is Simple with VMware

So why partner with VMware to sell into the SMB?  The answer is simple – the opportunity is large, advantage+ makes it profitable, and our new “Sales BYTES” program makes it easy. Did you know that 80% of SMBs haven’t yet virtualized, virtualization is a top IT initiative for SMBs with 3 out of 4 planning projects, and when companies decide to virtualize they overwhelmingly choose VMware?  The minimum advantage+ deal size has recently been decreased to $6,000 so that it can apply to more SMB customers. There is also a limited time 5% up-front ad+ accelerator to drive sales of  vSphere with Operations Management SKUs.

VMware Introduces VMware vSphere with Operations Management and VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced

As we gear up for VMware Partner Exchange, we want to share a recent VMware announcement to help you capitalize on the opportunities offered by virtualization and cloud.

Develop Your 2013 Marketing Plan at VMware Partner Exchange

VMware Partner Exchange is designed to deliver content specific to your job role and business needs.  To support this overall goal, the VMware Partner Marketing team is offering two comprehensive sessions to assist your demand generation efforts.  These sessions have been designed to work together – leveraging our programs and tools – so partners of all skill levels can leave with a new marketing plan that ultimately drives more revenue.

Hands-On Labs – Not to Be Missed at Partner Exchange

With less than 3 weeks left until VMware Partner Exchange, there is no better time to talk about one of the event’s highlights: Hands-on Labs.  Each year Hands-On Labs provide an opportunity to experience the latest and greatest in VMware technology.  This year we’re continuing the tradition by offering over 20 unique labs in fields such as End-User Computing, Infrastructure, and Operations.

SECURITY-ADVISORIES

February 07, 2013 VMSA-2013-0002.1

VMSA-2013-0002.1

VMware ESX, Workstation, Fusion, and View VMCI privilege escalation vulnerability

[more]

February 07, 2013 VMSA-2013-0001.1

VMSA-2013-0001.1

VMware vSphere security updates for the authentication service and third party libraries

[more]

PRESS-RELEASES

TRAINING-SCHEDULE

VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.1]

11-15 March

http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=165201

VMware vSphere: What's New [V5.1]

14-15 march

http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=152063

VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.1]

15-19 April

http://mylearn.vmware.com/register.cfm?ui=www_edu&course=160743

WEBCASTS

http://tinyurl.com/293vuyg

The Software-Defined Datacenter: Driving the Next Level of IT Innovation in Federal Environments

TV

VMwareTV: VMware Horizon Workspace Overview

VMwareTV: VMware Horizon View Overview

VMwareTV: Scaling & Updating Spring Contact App & vPostgres with vFabric Application Director

VMwareTV: Part IIa - Scaling & Updating Spring Contact App & vPostgres with vFabric Application Director

VMwareTV: Part II - Deploying Spring Contact App & vPostgres with vFabric Application Director

VMwareTV: Putting Virtualization to Work for Your Business

VMwareTV: Gain Control and Visibility into Your IT Environment with VMware Solutions

VMwareTV: The Software-Defined Datacenter: the Future of IT

VFABRIC

Dynamic Memory Management of vFabric Postgres

In a nutshell, dynamic memory management in vFabric Postgres is conceptually like Elastic Memory for Java (EM4J), but for a virtualized, enterprise-class, open source database instead of an application server.

Choosing Your Messaging Protocol: AMQP, MQTT, or STOMP

One of the most common questions I’m asked to cover when I discuss software architecture topics is the difference between the various application messaging protocols that exist today—issues like how and why the protocols came about, and which one should be used in a particular application.

5 Characteristics of a Modern Mainframe Cloud App – Avoid Tornado IT

Yet, the pace of information technology often forces IT executives to do that.

In today’s world, mainframe-to-cloud decisions need solid thinking or we risk a technology tornado. This article outlines some key lessons learned at the front-line of IT decision-making.

3 Key Performance and Scale Improvements with VMware vFabric Postgres 9.2

Recently, vFabric Postgres 9.2 launched with additional cloud computing capabilities like elastic memory management. Some of the most compelling new features are performance-related and take linear scaling to new levels.

Run DBaaS Metering & Chargebacks w/Data Director, then add Hyperic

“We have so many databases—the cost is so significant and hard to track. If we could just measure and charge groups based on usage, we could better manage this and cut down on license costs.”

Build Your First Mobile App in the Cloud in 45 Minutes (Tutorial)

Two of the hottest topics in technology today are “mobile” and “cloud.” They are at the top of most CTOs list of objectives, yet they also seem to be the ones most shrouded in mystery. So where do you start?

VCLOUD

Device Management With Puppet

In Puppet 2.7, one of the new features added was device management. In this initial release, only a small number of Cisco switches were supported. Overall the capabilities weren’t really significant, however the concept shifted people’s perception of the boundaries for configuration management. All of sudden Puppet didn’t end at the operating system, and extended to black boxes that were previously thought to be a bridge too far.

Maximize Visibility of VMware Data with the vCloud Usage Meter 3.0.2

As a vCloud Service Provider, it’s important to always monitor your VMware product consumption. The vCloud Usage Meter, available as a free virtual appliance to all Service Provider Partners who are reporting on the vCloud Service Provider Bundles, automates the collection of VMware product usage data and makes it simple for Service Providers to gather data and generate reports to support the VSPP billing process.

VMware vCenter vs. vCloud Director

Confused about the difference between vCenter and vCloud Director? You’re not alone. Sure, if you are a vSphere admin at a large enterprise you already know what vCloud Director is and are likely either evaluating it or have implemented it. However, there are many IT pros out there who work at small businesses who are still trying to understand why they need virtualization or, if they are already using vSphere, why they need vCenter. There are many other IT pros at medium-sized companies who already use vCenter but don’t really understand what vCloud Director is or why they need it on top of vCenter.

Customize vCloud Director 5.1 Login Style and Logo

In the long trip to getting a “cloud” up and running, customers I’ve worked with at some point reach the moment where customization of the portal is needed, and of course the first step is using the company logo on the login page.

Backup and Restore of vCloud Director Consumer Workloads

Backup and restore (of consumer workloads) in a vCloud Director environment is a hot topic. When you deal with Pets (Vs. Cattle) it is important that you take care of your little lovely friends workloads. Part of the effort of taking care of them includes backing them up regularly and, more importantly,  restoring them when needed.

Getting Started With vCloud – Intro to vCloud Connector and Other Resources

I’ve been playing around with vCloud Connector 2.0 for a few weeks and I’d like to pass along some of the lessons I’ve learned and provide some tips for getting started.

First, I should explain what vCloud Connector is – vCloud Connector  is a virtual appliance that allows you to move workloads and virtual machines between clouds. These clouds could be private, public, or hybrid (a combination of the two). Private clouds need to run vSphere and vCenter Server, and public clouds need to run vCloud Director.

SECURITY

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide **DRAFT** now available

A brief intro for those that don’t know me and my new role. My name is Mike Foley. I’m a Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, working for Charu Chaubal in VMware’s Technical Marketing group. My primary role is that of technical marketing support for security of the core vSphere platform. I come from RSA, where I was their virtualization evangelist/go-to guy for many years. My personal blog is at http://yelof.com and I’m on Twitter as @mikefoley.

VMware CP&C releases VMware vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide Dec 2012 (v1.2) Compliance toolkit in VCM!

The VMware Center for Policy & Compliance (CP&C) is pleased to announce the release of VMware vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide Dec 2012 (v1.2) Compliance toolkit in VMware vCenter Configuration Manager (VCM), a key component in the VMware vCenter Operations Suite. (vC Ops).

CIS and DISA CP&C toolkit update

The VMware Center for Policy & Compliance (CP&C) is pleased to announce the availability of latest Center for Internet Security (CIS) and Defense Information Security Agency (DISA) Compliance toolkit packages for VMware vCenter Configuration Manager (VCM).

EUC

The Rise of the Multi-Device Workspace

The IT world never stands still. External forces are always conspiring to ensure that change is the only constant for IT organizations.

It seems like just yesterday that IT spent most of its time focusing on only managing – employees. IT supported desktops that were owned by the company and were running company owned software. Those desktops traversed company-owned networks to company-developed applications, running on a company-owned server in a datacenter owned and operated at the company. It was in this more centralized world where IT often had to implement unwieldy tools that were predicated on control and management through ownership. But departments, end users and many use cases were often underserved. (See blog: What Rogue Users and Cloud Services Can Teach IT)

Transforming Windows Desktops Into a Centralized Service

Yes, the pun is intended <groan>.  Today, VMware is happy to announce the launch of the latest edition of our two most popular enterprise End-User Computing products: VMware Horizon View 5.2 and VMware Horizon Mirage 4.0.  You can look forward to further announcements regarding general availability of these product versions soon.

VSPHERE

Clarification on (Zero-Down Time) VMware Tools Upgrade in vSphere 5.1

There have been some recent questions about upgrading to the latest version of VMware Tools in vSphere 5.1 and the benefits it may bring with future upgrades of VMware Tools. Historically, VMware Tools upgrades has always required an operating system reboot as new device drivers and kernel modules will not go into effect until the next reboot. For Windows operating systems, you could “suppress” a reboot by specifying an advanced installer option. For UNIX/Linux operating systems, the new device drivers and kernel modules will be staged when you upgrade VMware Tools, but will only be activated upon the next reboot. In both case, you can continue to run your virtual machine in a partially upgraded state for a limited amount of time until your next maintenance window, but it is recommended that you reboot as soon as possible.

New NFS Best Practices Whitepaper available

A new NFS best practices white paper is now available. The paper looks at all aspects of using NFS in a vSphere environment. The paper was created with the assistance of our partners from EMC (Isilon), HDS & NetApp, and tries to find common agreement as to what are the best practices. It discusses networking configuration options, interoperability with other vSphere components and advanced settings. You can download the white paper from the VMware Technical Resources site here.

Linked mode with SSO for SRM

With the introduction of Single Sign On in vCenter 5.1, it poses a change in behaviour for those of you using linked mode.   This post will outline some of the considerations for why or why not to use linked mode with SSO and SRM in 5.1, and how to install SSO in multi-site mode in order to take advantage of linked mode.

VSA Licensing Explained

There have been a number of queries recently in relation to licensing of the VSA with the 5.1 release. The VSA has a number of different licensing models depending on how it was obtained. In many cases, if you check your vSphere licenses via the vCenter License Administration view, you might observe that the VSA asset is reported as not licensed, in evaluation or expired.

Using Storage Profiles with vCloud Director

VMware vCloud Director can now take advantage of Storage Profiles. This may not be new to you any more, but if you’ve had any trouble configuring them in order to have vCloud Director consume Storage Profiles, please read on. By default, the “*(Any)” Storage Profile is created and used, but what if you want to start doing some storage tiering within your Provider Virtual Datacenter (PvDC)? I’m going to walk you through how to configure and use the storage profiles from beginning to end. Yes, this includes from vCenter all the way through to placing a vApp on that Storage Profile within vCloud Director.

vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide **DRAFT** now available

For those of you that don’t follow the security blog but do have questions on how to better secure your VMware infrastructure, on 11th of Feb 2013 we posted a draft copy of the new vSphere V5.1 Hardening Guide. There is some good discussion on what bits and pieces should be added going on over in that Community. I would encourage you to head on over there, review the guide and provide comments.

vCenter Single Sign-On – Part 2: Deployment Options

Now you understand what vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO) provides, as you start to design or upgrade to your vSphere 5.1 environment, particular attention needs to be given in the planning stages around the placement and configuration of the SSO server. This will always be the first component to be installed; regardless of fresh install or upgrading from a previous version. The SSO server can be deployed in a number of configurations and I will explain these options and too why you may use each option.

Managing Virtual Hardware Versions During a vSphere Upgrade

In my last blog I talked about how the extended VMware Tools support provided by VMware helps facilitate vSphere upgrades.  In this blog I want to discuss how the extended virtual hardware support also helps with upgrades and call your attention to an important distinction between the two.

QLogic HBA Firmware Versions

A question that I used to get quite regularly popped up again in the past week. It was basically a query about the version of firmware on QLogic 24xx & 25xx HBAs, and should customers flash/upgrade the firmware to newer/later versions?

VMware Announces VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a backup and recovery solution that was introduced with vSphere 5.1. VDP leverages mature, proven technology from EMC Avamar to provide reliable, space-efficient, disk-based data protection for VMware virtual machines (VMs). VDP is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. One of the real beauties of VDP is its ease of deployment and management which explains why thousands of VMware customers have already downloaded VDP since it was introduced just a few short months ago. Today, VMware announced VDP Advancedwhich further extends the capabilities of VDP. Here are the highlights of the new functionality found in VDP Advanced:

Is a VMware Tools Upgrade Required When Upgrading vSphere?

I’m often asked if it is necessary to upgrade to the latest version of VMware Tools following an upgrade to the latest vSphere release.  The short answer is no, in most cases a VMware Tools upgrade is optional.   However, that is not to say you should not upgrade as it is always recommended that you run the latest version of VMware Tools.  So what’s the benefit of making the tools upgrade optional if it’s always going to be recommended?  Let me explain…

The PowerCLI & vSphere Web Client SDK Hands On Lab Is Now Available!

The PowerCLI & vSphere Web Client SDK lab (HOL-INF-10) is now available on VMware HOL Online . If you were not able to attend VMworld 2012 last year or did not get a chance to check out this lab and are interested in either (or both) PowerCLI and the vSphere Web SDK, here is your chance now! You can find this lab under the Cloud Infrastructure category on the left hand side. If you currently do not have an VMware HOL online account, you can register for free here.

vSphere 5.1 – VDS Feature Enhancements – Port Mirroring – Part 3

The remote mirroring capability on VDS helps you send traffic from a virtual machine running on one host to a virtual machine on another host for debugging or monitoring purposes. As shown in the diagram below, traffic from a monitored VM on Host 1 is sent through multiple physical switches to an Analyzer VM on Host 2. For this setup to work, you have to perform configuration at various levels as shown by the numbered red circles in the diagram.

Configuring syslog servers and logging in vCloud Networking and Security 5.1

I received multiple requests about setting up syslog servers and logging in vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 App Firewall and Edge Gateway. In this blog, I am going to show how to setup syslog servers and enable logging in vCloud Networking Security 5.1 Manager, App Firewall and Edge Gateway.

Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores

Today the question was asked if VMware supports migrating a virtual machine with Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores.

The Performance Cost of SMP – The Reason for Rightsizing

Rightsizing is an important operational process that does affect performance.  VMware recognizes this and recommends the use of vCenter Operations to assist in identifying under/oversized workloads within your infrastructures.  The value of rightsizing helps to ensure maximum performance of your workloads and the efficient use of your underlying hardware.  It is very easy today to add resources to a virtual machine when required so we need to get away from our habit of over provisioning.

vSphere 5.1 – VDS Feature Enhancements – Port Mirroring – Part 2

In the last post I covered the configuration of one of the port mirroring session type, Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN) on a host. SPAN is a simple configuration on VDS that allows users to quickly replicate traffic to another virtual machine on the same host. However, SPAN on VDS has following limitations

LABS

Makyo
February 20, 2013

Makyo lets you copy virtual machines and vApps from one vCenter Server to another using a wizard in the vSphere Web Client.

EDUCATION

New VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit 3.1 Available

The new release of the popular VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit 3.1 (vCAT 3.1) includes updates to topics such as:

  • vCloud Connector and Chargeback
  • Operating a Cloud
  • vShield to Networking and Security including VXLAN

VCP-Cloud Exam Released

Today we released the VCP-Cloud exam, which gives you two ways to earn your VCP-Cloud certification depending on where you are in your career.

FREE Instructional Videos Detail How to Transition to VMware ESXi 5.1

VMware Certified Instructor, Brian Watrous details how to transition to VMware ESXi 5.1, instruction targeted for administrators managing VMware ESX 4.x hosts wanting to leverage the advanced features and functionality of VMware ESXi 5.1.  Topics include:

FREE Instructional Videos Detail How to Transition to VMware ESXi 5.1

VMware Certified Instructor, Brian Watrous details how to transition to VMware ESXi 5.1, instruction targeted for administrators managing VMware ESX 4.x hosts wanting to leverage the advanced features and functionality of VMware ESXi 5.1.  Topics include:

SUPPORT - VMWARE SUPPORT INSIDER

Some Tips for Host Profiles

Host Profiles allow you to take an existing host configuration and overlay it onto your ESX/i servers. They also allow you to determine if a host has changed from its original design and help to ensure that all your hosts are identically configured.

Troubleshooting Network Teaming Problems in ESX/ESXi

Perhaps one of the most common types of problems we encounter here at VMware Technical Support is relating to loss of network connectivity to one or more virtual machines on a host. As vague and simple as that description is, it may not always be clear where to even start looking for a solution.

Improving VMware Converter Standalone Performance

We have a new video tutorial available which might be of interest to anyone who uses our  vCenter Converter Standaloneproduct regularly.

Working with packet filters in vCenter Heartbeat

vCenter Heartbeat provides rapid failover and failback on both physical and virtual platforms. It does this by monitoring VMware vCenter Server using the concept of active and passive server with same IP (Public IP) on both the servers.

VMware vCloud Suite – What you need to know

Customers beginning their journey to the Cloud all start in the same place, and that is by asking:

The Inside Scoop: Common configuration pitfalls and issues our vCenter Server users are encountering

Good morning folks.

Fresh off the press, here is the first edition of our new blog series The Inside Scoop. See the introductory post for this series for some additional background information.

vCenter Heartbeat Installation and Validation

We have a new video for you today which should be special interest for anyone looking to try out, evaluate or install vCenter Server Heartbeat.

OFFICIAL-BLOGS

VMware Accelerate: Virtual Desktops…A Dead-end Solution? (Part 2)

In my previous blog post, I stated my opinion that a virtual desktop system was not an ideal future computing environment:

VMware Technical Communications Video Blog: Working with VXLAN Virtual Wires

R&D Manager Sachin Thakkar discusses how to connect your VXLAN virtual wire to a vShield Edge, connect virtual machines to the VXLAN virtual wire and deploy network services on the VXLAN virtual wire.

Office of the CTO Blogs: VMware guiding telecom industry on journey towards network function virtualization and software-defined networking

A dramatic evolution is currently taking place within the telecommunications industry. Mobile, fixed and broadband network operators and service providers worldwide are fundamentally challenged with proprietary and expensive legacy telecom network infrastructure. The increasing number and diversity of mobile devices accessing their networks for not only voice, but also multimedia data, causes traffic to surge while voice ARPU (average revenue per user) is flat or declining. Coupled with the reality that telecom networks have been built with myriad complex, closed, inflexible application and content-specific hardware appliances, and the need to support more and more enterprises, operators and their network equipment provider (NEP) suppliers must move from the traditional, closed, proprietary, and costly service development model to a framework that is open, lower-cost, faster, developer-friendly, consumer-centric and enterprise cloud-ready.

VMware for Small-Medium Business Blog: From the Bloggers Bench: Do More with Less – High VM Density

As a Systems Engineer working in the mid-market and small business space, I have the privilege of talking to people with 0 to 2000 virtual machines.  A very common theme I hear is “We have a new mission in IT.  ‘Do more with less.’”  Ever heard that one?  You might be hearing the knives sharpening, getting ready to take a slice from your budget.

VMware Accelerate: Virtual Desktops…A Dead-end Solution? (Part 1)

While giving a presentation on VMware end user computing at a client last week, I was challenged by the CIO who stated: “I don’t believe that virtual desktops are a viable solution for more than 20 percent of my workforce.” Frankly, I couldn’t agree more!

VMware Accelerate: Is Your Organization Ready for the Software-Defined Data Center?

Infographics are great for providing clarity. As the one below illustrates, the role of IT workers is rapidly transforming — and IT executives are keen on building the optimum IT organizational structure for the software-defined data center (SDDC).

VMware ThinApp Blog: ThinApp project folder cleaning up best practices

I’m often asked about best practices when it comes to cleaning up the project folder. This is not a simple subject because it varies greatly depending on the application you captured. I’ve been discussing with myself how to best attack this task. I ended up deciding for a blog post but this one will have the comments functionality turned on. This way I hope you, the readers, will help me make this post better by adding your own experience. I will now and then merge comments into the original post for ease of consumption.

Office of the CTO Blogs: VXLAN, STT, and looking beyond the wire format

Some months ago, we wrote a post over on Network Heresy explaining the relationship between various tunneling protocols that are used in support of network virtualization. Because this issue of the encapsulation used for network virtualization seems to keep on causing confusion, we’re providing an updated version of the post here.

VMware vSphere Blog: vCenter Single Sign-On – Part 2: Deployment Options

Now you understand what vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO) provides, as you start to design or upgrade to your vSphere 5.1 environment, particular attention needs to be given in the planning stages around the placement and configuration of the SSO server. This will always be the first component to be installed; regardless of fresh install or upgrading from a previous version. The SSO server can be deployed in a number of configurations and I will explain these options and too why you may use each option.

VROOM!: Exploring Generational Differences in Performance and Energy Efficiency Using VMware VMmark 2.5

Each new generation of servers brings advances in hardware components. For IT professionals purchasing or managing new generations of hardware, it’s vital to understand how these incremental hardware improvements translate into real-world gains in the datacenter. Using the VMware VMmark 2.5 virtualization benchmark, we compared performance and energy efficiency of two different generations of servers in four-node clusters.

Virtual Reality: vSphere with Operations Management – Raising the Bar for Integrated Cloud Management

With the announcement of vCenter with Operation Management this week, it is truly exciting to not only see the advancements of management being tied so closely to the vSphere platform, but also ring our customers closer to the vision of the Software Defined Data Center.  As we see both the vSphere platform mature along with our customers’ use of it, we also see an evolution of VMware operations management accelerating and leveraging the value of the platform in our customers’ environments.

vSphere PowerCLI Blog: PowerCLI 5.1 Release 2 Now Available

PowerCLI 5.1 Release 2 has now been released and can be downloaded here.  As always you will find some great new features, bug fixes and enhancements which make PowerCLI even better than before… I know its hard to believe but its true.

Office of the CTO Blogs: Bringing Together vSphere and Operations Management

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the need for operations management and vSphere to be closely coupled as customers were realizing the value of the two operating hand-in-hand. VMware responded to this customer need and announced today a new vSphere offering – vSphere with Operations Management, or vSOM. The bundle couples vSphere together with the vCenter Operations Management Suite (vC Ops for short). It’s a great addition that fills a gap in our portfolio, but I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s take a step back to understand the value of this new offering.

VMware ThinApp Blog: ThinApp Microsoft Visio and Project 2010 while locally installed Microsoft Office 2010

While many are virtualizing Microsoft Office 2010 during a Proof Of Concept (POC) most companies decide to install Microsoft Office natively rather than virtualizing it. Both packaging method are valid but many times it’s easier and more efficient to have Office locally installed. That said, virtualizing Microsoft Visio and Project is a whole different ballgame. Virtualizing Visio/Project makes very much sense in many designs. There are quite a few KB articles and blog posts out there covering Office 2010 and it’s components. But so far I’ve yet to see a complete list of what is needed in order to build a Visio/Project package and have it coexist and to a certain degree integrate with native Office. So I started to collect all data I found on Internet. I ended up adding a couple thinks myself as well.

EXTERNAL-BLOGS

VMware vCloud Suite Overview-Downloadable PDF Poster

The VMware vCloud Suite has many individual components which interact with each other in various ways to form the overall vCloud Suite.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clear summary of these suite products/components and how they each play their part within the suite.  As you’ve no doubt guessed by now (and the fact there is a graphic entitled “VMware Cloud Suite” below) there is a pdf based poster which provides such an overview.  Useful stuff indeed if your IT infrastructure is looking an implementing some, or all, of these VMware components in a move towards a vCloud centric virtual infrastructure.  Although the poster does say “Software-Defined Data Center” (SDDC) there are a few other parts that would be needed to achieve this in the true sense of the word, eg: Software-Defined-Storage, though we should bear in mind that this is a very high level overview and some aspects of the SDDC are still being baked.

Top Virtualization Blogs of 2013: Vote Now!

The annual vSphere-land (Eric Siebert’s top virtualization bloggers survey is now up – please vote! This is considered the definitive voice, and something people all strive for the recognition. My plea here is less for me per se, but to...

Horizon Mirage 4.0 released – New application layer, W8 and Server 2012 support

The mirage product is part of the Horizon Workspace Suite which has been detailed in my post. The Horizon Mirage 4.0 is a major evolution of the Mirage product from the previous release, which has been tested in my lab. Read here: VMware Mirage Lab Installation (Step by step Serie of 3 posts). Horizon Mirage [...]

Free e-learning course - Virtualizing Microsoft SharePoint with VMware vSphere 5

This self paced course discusses why organizations need to consider virtualization of Microsoft SharePoint. This course focuses on the SharePoint design prerequisites and general guidelines for designing, sizing, and implementing SharePoint on vSphere. The course consists of three modules:

View Storage Accelerator and View Storage Tiering [NOW Supported]

Important!

Some things are worth fighting for… specially when they help customers.

Back in November 2012 I blogged about an unsupported combination of VMware View features (View Storage Acceleratorand View Storage Tiering). The question had originally been raised by a colleague, pointing to an article published on the End-User Computing Blog http://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2012/05/view-storage-accelerator-in-practice.html that clearly states “Use of View Storage Accelerator is not supported when View Replica Tiering is enabled”.

New Technical White Paper - Best Practices for Running VMware vSphere on Network-Attached Storage (NAS)

The significant presence of network-attached storage (NAS) in the datacenter today has enabled many people to deploy virtualization environments with NAS-based shared storage resources. For clarity, both Network File  Systems (NFS) and NAS refer to the same type of storage protocol and are used interchangeably throughout  this paper.

vCenter Automated Install

So how long does it take you to install vCenter, not using the VCSA, but the Windows package? How many manual steps does it require you to perform? Have you actually ever counted? It is quite a lot.

What’s New in VMware View 5.2 – HTML 5 Access, Sparse Disks, vSGA, W8 Support …

After the yesterday’s announce of the VMware Horizon Workspace Suite, I’ll focus today on the improvements and major features introduced in VMware View 5.2 which is part of the Horizon Workspace. What’s new in VMware View 5.2? VMware View is major release, even if the version number goes from 5.1 to 5.2 only. But there [...]

vCloud disk space thresholds crossed

Oh those little things in life that sometimes cost you a whole day before you figured out that you we’re doing it all wrong. This was one of those days where I got alerted by some colleagues about vCloud Director reporting “Disk space red threshold crossed.”

A Review of Horizon View 5.2 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 Horizon View 5.2.

As an administrator or architect you should always make sure that your design sizing’s are within the product’s Maximums and Limits in order to be entitled to VMware Support.

VMware Horizon View 5.2 HTML5 Video

Probably bloggers out there have been writing about the new VMware Horizon Workspace and Horizon View futures – and there are many. I thought  I would make it short for those avoiding long readings. Here is a video of HTML5 access to a virtual desktop via Horizon View.

What’s New in VMware Horizon View 5.2 (Beyond Marketing)

VMware has just announced VMware Horizon View 5.2 and has also lifted the NDA. Despite being a .2 release the VMware View and Horizon Suite teams added a significant number of features that improve View performance, scalability and user experience.

Introduction to the new VMware Horizon Suite

In the past we used to have a device that was given to us by the company we worked for; it was called the desktop. Literally, this device was on our desk and we would get the work done while at it. But as we all know a number of new devices and applications have entered organizations in the past few years.

VMware Horizon Architecture – Deep Dive

The presentation I was able to assist, on the VMware Horizon Workspace you could already read quite a lot of informations on the different parts of the suite and different technologies integrated into that suite. If not, read the article here – VMware Horizon Workspace announced. While this was a detailed look at the individual [...]

VMware VCDX Bootcamp Slide Deck Available

In January 2013 John Arrasjid (@vcdx001) and I ran a series of VCDX Bootcamps in New Zealand to educate candidates on the process and help prepare candidates for the defence. There have also been subsequent bootcamps in other cities, such as the VCDX Bootcamp that I presented at the Melbourne VMUG, and many presented by others around the world. John and I said at the time we’d get the slide deck posted online so that you could all use it as part of your preparations. Today I’m pleased to say the slide deck is now available on the VMware VCDX Certificate site.

VMware VDP logs – locate and troubleshoot

When you need to troubleshoot backups in error state, you need to go to see the logs. VMware VDP logs are simple to access and locate. To find the VDP logs, just login to the VDP appliance by going to:https://IP_OF_VDP:8543/vdp-configure/ And from there you can download the logs to your workstation or from where [...]

SRM vs Stretched Cluster solution /cc @sakacc

I was reading this article by Chad Sakac on vSphere DR / HA, or in other words SRM versus Stretched (vMSC) solutions. I have presented on vSphere Metro Storage Cluster solutions at VMworld together with Lee Dilworth and also wrote a white paper on this topic a while back and various blog posts since. I agree with Chad that there are too many people misinformed about the benefits of both solutions. I have been on calls with customers where indeed people were saying SRM is a legacy solution and the next big thing is “Active / Active”. Funny thing is that in a way I agree when they say SRM has been around for a long time and the world is slowly changing, I do not agree with the term “legacy” though.

Free e-learning course - VMware vShield

This free eLearning course demonstrates how to install VMware vShield Edge and how to configure vShield Edge to provide common gateway services such as DHCP, NAT, VPN, firewall and load balancing.

Storage and WiFi are the Overlooked Keys to VDI

Virtual desktop designs tend to overlook two key infrastructure components: Storage responsiveness and wireless network availability and performance. Yet without these two ingredients, VDI is doomed!

How to use VMware Converter to Synchronize changes when V2V

VMware Converter is a great tool to convert Physical systems to virtual. Usually used for that purposes, in some scenarios, it can be used as poor man’s DR plan. I’ll show you how to use VMware Converter to synchronize changes when V2V, and so actually keep another copy of that VM on another (Free) ESXi [...]

An UnOfficial VCAP-DCA 5 Study Guide Now Available for Download

Out on those interwebs there are a lot of VCAP-DCA Study guides out there, all with varying levels of completeness. In factChris Wahl has a list of several of them here. A few of those are completed or very close to completion.

vSphere HA 5.x restart attempt

I wrote about how vSphere HA 5.x restart attempt timing works a long time ago but there appears still to be some confusion about this. I figured I would clarify this a bit more, I don’t think I can make it more simple than this:

VMware View Stretched Cluster

The last few days I have been considering the best way to stretch a cluster of VMware View resources. After digging and talking to people smarter than me I figured out there is a lot of things to consider and that means lots of ways to solve this. In this first post I want to highlight the first overall solution that was inspired by an actual customer. This design came from one of the fine EMC SE’s and it inspired me to share further. I stole his picture. It is very storage centric (imagine that) so most of what I share will give some detail to the VDI and VMware portion.

Free e-learning course - Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server with VMware vSphere 5

This self paced course facilitates the avoidance of the pitfalls commonly encountered when experienced VMware vSphere professionals cross the chasm of Tier-1 SQL Server virtualization.

Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Deep-Dive – Part 4

In this post, I want to look at some fail-over and load balancing specific to ALUA (Asymmetric Logical Unit Access) arrays. InPSA part 3, we took a look at the different Path Selection Plugins (PSP), but for the most part these were discussed in the context of Active/Active arrays (where the LUN is available on all paths to the array) and Active/Passive arrays (where the LUN is owned by one controller on the array, and is only visible on the paths to that controller). ALUA provides a standard way for discovering and managing multiple paths to LUNs. Prior to ALUA, hosts need to use array vendor-specific ways to inquiry target port state. ALUA Provides a standard way to allow devices to report the states of its ports to hosts. The state of ports can be used by hosts to prioritize paths and make fail-over/load balancing decisions.

Safe and Legit Storage Design

In my previous posting I created a fictitious company who requires you as the VMware Architect to design them a vSphere 5.0 environment to meet all their requirements whilst keeping within their constraints and mitigating risks. Now I didn’t list the constraints or the risks as I felt this was something that is very important to learn how to define in preparation for the VCAP5-DCD and vSphere designs in real life practice.

VMware Mirage Architecture and Use Cases

Whenever I talk to customers it seems to me that there is a large number of people that either have never heard of VMware Mirage, or are not familiar with what the technology does for organizations and users. So, despite the title of this post I will also cover some of the VMware Mirage use cases.

vCloud Suite equals a Software Defined Datacenter

I was on the VMTN podcast this week with Frank Denneman and Rawlinson Rivera, hosted by John Troyer. One of the discussions we had was around the Software Defined Datacenter and the vCloud Suite. Often people make a direct connection between a Software Defined Datacenter and the vCloud Suite and I can understand why. I have heard some people comment that because some components are not fully integrated yet; the vCloud Suite does not allow you to build a full Software Defined Datacenter.

vSphere DR/HA: Stretched Cluster or SRM–which is better/simpler/cheaper?

Sigh. This remains one of those frustrating things me. Inevitably, someone binary says “SRM!”, or “vMSC!”. Often (not always), it happens to coincide with: the only thing they sell. the only thing they know. I don’t want to blow it...

Video - vCenter Heartbeat Installation and Validation

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat delivers high availability for VMware vCenter Server, protecting virtual infrastructure from application, configuration, operating system, network and hardware-related problems. Protect VMware vCenter Server and its database against all types of planned and unplanned downtime with seamless, rapid failover and failback on both physical and virtual platforms. Proactively monitor VMware vCenter Server and ensure seamless failover and failback of for in local and remote locations

vSphere Metro Storage Cluster storage latency requirements

I received some questions today around the storage latency requirements for vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) solutions. In the past the support limits were strict:

  • 5ms RTT for vMotion for Enterprise license and lower, 10ms RTT for vMotion for Enterprise plus
  • 5ms RTT for storage replication

Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Deep-Dive – Part 2

As I highlighted in the PSA part 1 post, NMP, short for Native Multipath Plugin, is the default Multipath Plugin shipped with ESXi hosts. Once the PSA has associated the NMP with particular paths, it uses a number of sub-plugins to handle load balancing and path fail-over. In this post, I will look at the NMP in more detail. I will pay specific attention to the activity of the Storage Array Type Plugin (SATP) which is responsible for handling path fail-over for a given storage array and also the Path Selection Plugin (PSP), which determines which physical path is used to issue an I/O request (load balancing) to a storage device.

Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Deep-Dive – Part 1

In this next series of blog articles, I am going to take a look at VMware’s Pluggable Storage Architecture, more commonly referred to as the PSA. The PSA was first introduced with ESX 4.0 and can be thought of as a set of APIs that allows third-party code to be inserted directly into the storage I/O path.

Interesting VMware vSwitch Advanced Setting

In recent weeks I have been working on configuring a workload as a virtual machine and I ran into a scenario where it required a specific vSwitch advanced setting to be used.  I will describe the basic setup then the resolution to the issue.  Below is a basic diagram of the setup for any vSphere virtual switch we have all seen before along with a simple workload in a port group.

KB-ARTICLES

Please consider checking - http://blogs.vmware.com/kbdigest/ regularly for new and updated KB Articles.

Socialcast

Ignoring signatures and legal disclaimers that are sent to Socialcast via email (2045020)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware ESX
Performance degradation on block sizes above 64 KB when using Emulex CNA cards with ESXi/ESX (2038638)
Date Published: 2/14/2013
Mouse might fail to work on CentOS 6.0 or CentOS 6.1 after you install OSPs for VMware Tools (2044741)
Date Published: 2/11/2013
Installation or restart of Ubuntu 10.04.2 or Ubuntu 10.04.3 32-bit operating system might fail on servers running ESX 4.1 with AMD processors (2044776)
Date Published: 2/11/2013

VMware ESXi
VMware Tools related values are displayed under incorrect headings in Windows Performance Monitor on a virtual machine (2039248)
Date Published: 2/11/2013
ESXi 5.1 host stops responding and displays a purple diagnostic screen when NetFlow monitoring is enabled on a dvPortGroup (2042370)
Date Published: 2/12/2013
Upgrading to ESX 4.1 Update 1 fails when a version of IBM Management Agent earlier than 6.2 runs on the host (2044544)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware Mirage
Installing a device driver in Windows 7 fails with the error: Exit status: FAILURE(0x000005b4) (2044992)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware Service Manager
Countdown timer for First Call Back (FCB) shows a negative value (2030317)
Date Published: 2/12/2013
Logged out of Service Manager when clicking Advanced Search in the CMDB Search screen (2043622)
Date Published: 2/15/2013
Customer Approval tasks in Service Manager are not forwarded to the recipient defined in the preceding conditional branching task (2044733)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager
Captcha prompt is repeatedly displayed when logging in to vCenter Chargeback Manager as the admin user (2044843)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
Converting a virtual machine using vCenter Converter Standalone fails at 1% with the error: Convert: converter.fault.HelperVmFailedToObtainIpFault (2033203)
Date Published: 2/12/2013

VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vApp)
Unable to log in to the vSphere UI after registering a new vCenter Server to vCenter Operations Manager (2045029)
Date Published: 2/15/2013
vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 license status fails to update after applying license (2042698)
Date Published: 2/11/2013

VMware vCenter Server
Multiple migration tasks for the same virtual machine in a DRS cluster appear and a message is diplayed: The operation is not allowed in the current state (2045265)
Date Published: 2/14/2013
Performance history for Past Year contains only 30 days of information in vCenter Server 5.1 (2042009)
Date Published: 2/15/2013
vCenter Server fails to start when Symantec Endpoint Protection is installed (2035057)
Date Published: 2/12/2013
vSphere Web Client 5.1 fails to display the Advanced performance view of a virtual machine (2042770)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware vCloud Connector
Generating a 24-bit encryption key for a Certificate Signing Request (2045278)
Date Published: 2/14/2013
Installing CA Root Certificate in Trusted Keystore for vCloud Connector (2045007)
Date Published: 2/15/2013

VMware vCloud Integration Manager
Configuring VMware vCloud Integration Manager 1.x during set-up fails with error: ERROR com.vmware.vcloud.vcaf.client.VcdClientIgnoreCertErrors$ – GET api/admin/extension/networkPoolReferences returned 406 No valid API version can be selected (2045112)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware vCloud Usage Meter
vCloud Usage Meter collections fail after an upgrade (2044841)
Date Published: 2/13/2013

VMware vFabric Hyperic Server
Installing vFabric Hyperic Server 5.0 using RPM package fails when a previous version was installed (2043392)
Date Published: 2/12/2013
When running vFabric Hyperic Server with the evaluation database, the bootstrap.log file reports the error: Cannot change transaction isolation level in the middle of a transaction (2044221)
Date Published: 2/12/2013

VMware vSphere Data Protection
vSphere Data Protection backup jobs fail intermittently (2044821)
Date Published: 2/14/2013
vSphere Data Protection connects to vCenter Server over port 443 even if vCenter Server is configured use a different port (2044826)
Date Published: 2/15/2013

VMware vSphere Web Services SDK
Scope of the sparse2GB property in the vSphere API (2044714)
Date Published: 2/11/2013

Zimbra Collaboration Server
After upgrading Zimbra Collaboration Server (ZCS), you see the error: Table upgrade required. Please do “REPAIR TABLE <table>” (2045019)
Date Published: 2/11/2013
Adding a mail profile in Windows using the Zimbra Outlook Connector fails with the error: Failed to establish a secure connection to server ‘<server>’ because its security certificate is defective (2044455)
Date Published: 2/11/2013