8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2011 7:39 PM by wblair2

    Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July

    wblair2 Enthusiast

      I requested a lab manager session or focus for this year but it didn't materialize based upon the published agenda.

      I'm not sure how to make this happen but I would be very interested getting together with other LM people to share ideas, tricks, work-around's and frustrations. Perhaps we can pool and prioritize our wish list and slip it into Eddie's lobster claw.


      When, where, and how we get together has to be figured out...  I thick this is appropriate since this is a user group event and we're not crashing a formal marketing presentation.


      Thought or suggestions?  Any interest???


      I'll start with a brief description of our configuration.


      12 ESX hosts,  HP DL380 G5s & G6s.  48-64gb

      Two sun 7210's for NFS datastores

      vSphere Enterprise + using DVS

      LM4, 300 - 500 deployed VMs. A fenced configuration typically has 25 VM.



      I'm interested in knowing the following:

      1) How to get LM to use our DHCP/DNS in place of the IP pool for external IPs.  I would love to have it register each VM as "name.config.eng.company.com"


      2) How to query the DB for things I can't seem to get from LM or the API such as


      • List all VMs using datastore XYZZY


      • automate scraping all hosts and their external IPs from every deployed configuration


      3) How to better identify VMs in LM with VC


      • Where is that LM deployed VM in VC?  VC shows the VM ID number I have to open the properties in LM to find the VM ID.


      4) How to force the LM host spanning agent to NOT deploy into a non-cluster resource.  I have the agent going into child resources that will eventually be resource constrained.


      5) How to stop a long running operation, such as an export or consolidate, without restarting the LM service.

        • 1. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
          glynnd1 Expert

          There has typically been a birds of a feather type chat going on the in cafe, possible as good a place as any to have such a discussion.

          • 2. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
            charney Enthusiast

            I will reach out to the SE's from VMware to see if we can set up an hour to talk about Lab Manager.

            I am sure there are some knowledgeable people on the subject who will be there.

            • 3. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
              dsasser Lurker

              Please see the thread http://communities.vmware.com/thread/277018 for a script which automatically maintains DNS name to LM4 external IP mapping.

              • 4. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
                mfielder Lurker



                Are you going to attend the Atkinson Country Club VMUG event Oct 21? I manage a Lab Manager environment also and I'm always looking for others to knock around the unique problems found using the product.


                22 ESX hosts (adding 4-8 over the next 6 months)

                All currently DELL R905's 128G

                Clariion fibre channel storage

                vSphere 4 Enterprise

                LM4 w/ over 900 VMs



                If you don't have an answer to question 5 try VMware KB Article: 1004340 There are instructions and video for both ESX 4 and a link for ESXi without a service console.



                • 5. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
                  wblair2 Enthusiast

                  Yes, I will be there.

                  Sully promised to have a LM event in October but I don't see that on the agenda so I'm disappointed.

                  I look forward to talking with you.


                  What is your company/organization and where are you located?




                  Wayne Blair


                  Burlington, MA.

                  • 6. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
                    mfielder Lurker



                    I work for a company called Kronos out of Chelmsford. Just saw the conference and the keynote speaker caught my eye. I've spent some time working with Guy and wanted to ask him a few questions. It's also a good excuse to get out of the office. Not sure just how big a turn out this will bring, maybe talk during the lunch at the conference.



                    • 7. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
                      wblair2 Enthusiast



                      We're neighbors and I also know a few people at Kronos.

                      I was also talking with a few of them when you were evaluating AccuRev (a revision control tool)...

                      In fact I think Kronos is probably their largest customer, or at least the customer with the most massive repositories and streams.


                      We use vmware and LM  for development infrastructure purposes though I would to get the production side of the house to consider virtualization as something more than Solaris zones.


                      We have LM fenced configurations with 16 to 30 VMs each and have about 20 active configurations.

                      We use NFS datastores because our configurations are build off of a common set of templates and libraries therefore we need one very large datastore and NFS seems better suited than block storage.  There are new storage features in VC v4.1 that are important to me but not available in the NFS datastore world.  Besides, LM will probably not support them anyway just like it does not support vmotion storage.


                      We are trying to figure out how to evolve our storage in light of LM's constraints and are having a terrible time because of very ugly ways LM and VC interact (or don't).  We've been trying to abstract our NFS datastores such that we can move a datastore from one storage appliance to a different one, unmount, update DNS, then remount.  Works when it does not involve LM....

                      VC, even though you specify a DNS name, actually stores the IP address then hands that IP references to the datastore to LM.

                      While we do see the host name, other structures hang on to the IP.  Machines refuse to deploy because they can't find the datastore even though the datastore is reported as on-line in VC and LM.


                      Our budget does not support throwing a quarter million dollars onto an EMC or netapp solution; besides we don't want to be locked into one storage vendor....


                      Long and short is that we are at an interesting threshold of evolution.  We're reasonably fed up with LM that we are looking for reasonable alternatives but not yet finding any.  We are actually thinking the grief and lost time we incure with LM might be better spent crafting our own LM like tool suite that is either based up vSPhere/VC or more generic so we can be hypervisor agnostic.


                      We typically use GreenPages for our vendor though the production side of the house has several others.

                      We are currently interested in Isilon cluster storage but they are not supporting the VC v4.1 storage APIs.  The new storage APIs are very desirable >>>IF<<< Lab Manager will take advantage of them for capturing VMs, libraries, and consolidation activity.  Those operations are killing me because they are so time consuming.


                      I look forward to talking with you soon.




                      PS: Your e-mail address was not in your last message and I did not see it in your profile.




                      • 8. Re: Let's have an adhoc Lab Manager gathering at vmug this July
                        wblair2 Enthusiast

                        Well, things didn't gel  for last July but they did for January 20th.

                        There will be at least two lab manager presentations in Foxborough (or Foxboro if you insist) and probably other chatter.

                        And yes, Eddie will be there and presenting for this one.


                        (BIG thanks to Sully for this!)