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2011

The subject of partition alignment comes up in the communities on a fairly regular basis.  VMware's "Recommendations for Aligning VMFS Partitions" performance study is the classic reference for this topic, but it is also stated in this document that "Aligning the boot disk in the virtual machine is neither recommended nor required. Align only the data disks in the virtual machine."  The logic here historically was around the idea that OS partitions would not have high IO demands and the hassle of creating an aligned OS volume in Windows XP or 2003 was a frustrating process involving usually GParted or other 3rd party utilities.  With Windows 7 and Windows 2008, this is no longer an issue, as the partitions are all aligned by default.  For those still running older versions of Windows, the easiest solution for aligning the OS volumes is to use the newly released public BETA of VMware Converter 5.0.  The latest release of VMware Converter offers optimized disk and partition alignment and cluster size change as options.

 

To test these new features, I started with a plain vanilla Windows XP install in VMware Workstation.  In the screenshot below, notice that the value for "Partition Starting Offset" is 32,256.  This is clearly a volume that is not aligned.

xp-original.jpg

After a quick V2V using VMware Converter 5.0, notice that the value for "Partition Starting  Offset" is now 1,048,576.  This is a volume that is aligned on a 1 MB boundary.

xp-v2vw-offset.jpg

In comparison to the other methods I have seen for accomplishing this task, it just doesn't get much easier than this!

 

Thanks for reading,

Brian

vSphere 4.0 introduced virtual hardware version 7, which added hot plug support for virtual devices and hot add support for memory and virtual CPUs.  Finding the operating systems that could be used with hot add was a somewhat difficult process, and there wasn't a readily available "official" resource that could be used for reference.  With the release of v 2.0 of the VMware Compatibility Guide, finding this information just got a lot easier.  So, what operating systems can be used with hot add memory and vCPU?

 

Memory

 

vCPU

 

There are many!  Rather than posting large tables that would require constant updating, I posted the direct link to the VMware Compatibility Guide.  This way the results shown will always be current.

 

Thanks for reading.

Brian

With Apple's OS X Lion announcement yesterday, I was quickly reminded of a situation that plays out in the forums at least a few times a year. With each and every new OS release from any company, the forums quickly fill up with the inevitable "When will VMware support my new OS" discussions. In the table below, 7 Ubuntu releases are shown with their respective release dates and when the OS was supported in both VMware ESX(i) and VMware Workstation. The Ubuntu release dates were obtained from https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases and the VMware support information was obtained from the VMware HCL.

 

Version
Release DateWorkstation Support - Guest
Workstation Support - HostESX(i) SupportDays Wait
Ubuntu 10.1010/10/201003/29/2011 (7.1.4)N/A11/15/2010 (4.1)37, 171
Ubuntu 9.1010/29/200901/29/2010 (7.0.1)01/29/2010 (7.0.1)11/18/2009 (4.0 U1)21, 93
Ubuntu 9.0404/23/200908/20/2009 (6.5.3)10/26/2009 (7.0)06/30/2009 (3.5 U4)69, 120, 187
Ubuntu 8.1010/30/200803/31/2009 (6.5.2)10/26/2009 (7.0)03/30/2009 (3.5 U4)152,153,362
Ubuntu 8.0404/24/200809/23/2008 (6.5)09/23/2008 (6.5)08/08/2008 (3.0.3)107, 153
Ubuntu 7.1010/18/200703/14/2008 (6.0.3)09/23/2008 (6.5)04/10/2008 (3.5 U1)149, 176, 194
Ubuntu 7.0404/19/200709/19/2007 (6.0.1)05/09/2007 (6.0)07/31/2007 (3.0.2)21, 104, 154

 

As you can see, the wait for support varies anywhere from 21 to 362 days.  This averages out to approximately 135 days.  There are obviously quite a few variables involved here, especially when you consider VMware's own product launches and their timing.  When you think about everything that has to go into the development, testing, training, documentation, etc involved to support an OS, it is staggering.  The bottom line is that there will almost always certainly be a wait involved for the latest guest operating systems to be supported. As for the duration of the wait, the often used phrase "it depends" definitely applies here.

 

Thanks for reading!

Brian