Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

My First Storage Vmotion!

April 11, 2008; another milestone to mark in my virtualization journey! Storage Vmotion is just one of those things (like vmotion) that make putting servers in a Datacenter that are not vitual...just that much more ridiculous. I assume all the other competition will try to copy VMware's innovation on this too..but just remember VMware is the one with the vision that just keeps on amazing us all (and teaching us completely innovative ways to run a datacenter!

I used the Virtual Center Plugin from Lost Creations, the first external company from VMware to publish some really cool plugins for Virtual Center 2.5. The plugin was a dream to install and use. Not sure why, but they have removed the dowload links for this and other plugins from this site for now. Have to look into that.

Friday, April 11, 2008

New FREE Tool shows your Wasted Storage Space in Each VM:

Download the tool at the Mightycare Website. Look for MCS StorageView at the bottom of the page.

The tool displays the logical partitions in each virtual machine (ESX 3.x or VC 2.x or higher) and with your setting on free space comfort range, show you how much storage is wasted and in which virtual machines. Nice!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cost Per VM more important that cost of Hypervisor: has a good case study comparing the major advantage VMware has over the compeition with it's memory technology. The # of vms you can run and cost savings are amazing! I will summarize below but please read the full story at the link above.

- We took a common dual socket server with 4GB of RAM and tried the test with ESX Server 3, Citrix XenServer v4 and Microsoft Hyper-V beta. We created and powered on 512MB Windows XP VMs running a light workload and kept adding them until the server couldn’t take any more. Our Hyper-V and XenServer tests topped out at six and seven VMs respectively, which was expected. You see, both those products subtract the full amount of memory allocated to each running VM from the host’s physical RAM. When you factor in the additional memory required by the hypervisor and the management OS, there’s room left for at most seven VMs. In fact, XenServer and Hyper-V will flat out refuse to let you power on an additional VM with a warning that memory resources have been exhausted, as shown in the screen shots below. XenServer and Hyper-V can’t do what we call “overcommiting” memory and that should strike you as tremendously wasteful when most data center VMs are lightly utilized.

-The VMware ESX Results (ESX=40 vms, Hyper-v=6, XenServer=7)

-Those 40 VMs have more than 20GB of total RAM allocated and they are running fine on a server with 4GB of physical RAM – a 5:1 memory overcommit ratio. Our exclusive ability to efficiently overcommit memory lets VMware Infrastructure support more than five times as many VMs on the same hardware as our competition! We repeated the test using Windows 2000 Server VMs running SQLIOSim to see how we fared with heavily loaded VMs. Hyper-V and XenServer both topped out at six and seven VMs again when they hit their memory limits, but the ESX Server platform ran fine with 14 VMs – twice as much as the other hypervisors!

-Now, let’s get back to the cost per VM comparison to see which hypervisors provide the most bang for the buck. In the table below, we add up the costs for a basic hypervisor deployment. We’ll assume a 2-way, 4GB server costs us $6,000. Next, we add the costs to run Windows in each VM. For that, we’ll take advantage of Microsoft’s policy that lets us run an unlimited number of Windows VMs on a host licensed with Windows Server Data Center Edition (and yes, that policy also applies to VMware and Xen hosts.) Licensing Windows Server Data Center Edition costs us $5998 for two sockets. After that, we plug in the cost of the VMware Infrastructure 3 licenses, and to make things interesting, we’ll assume the competing hypervisor is absolutely free.

-The next row in the table shows how many concurrent 512MB VMs each hypervisor can support. For VI3, we’re assuming a conservative 2:1 memory overcommit ratio based on our heavy workload test, which lets us run 14 VMs. For our hypothetical free hypervisor, we’re stuck at seven VMs because memory overcommit isn’t an option. That’s right, no other hypervisor technology allows memory overcommitment – it’s a VMware exclusive.

-Finally, we do the division and find that even our high-end VI3 Enterprise bundle beats a free hypervisor in cost per VM! Going with any other hypervisor means you’ll need more hardware, network and storage connections, switch ports, floor space, power and cooling to support a given population of VMs. That should make your decision easy if all you’re doing is simple server consolidation, but there’s more to consider. VI3 Enterprise includes a powerful array of virtual infrastructure services like VMotion, DRS, HA and more that let you automate, optimize and protect your operations, and those features put us far ahead of the offerings from the Xen vendors and Microsoft.

-If you’re ready to get started consolidating your servers, don’t be lured by seemingly low cost hypervisors into a decision that will limit your VM density and lock you into spending more on hardware. Instead, put memory overcommitment at the top of your list of hypervisor feature requirements. You’ll spend less on the project by stretching your hardware further and, since only VMware has memory overcommitment, you’ll get the proven reliability and advanced virtualization features of VMware Infrastructure thrown in for free. Beware the high cost of a “free” hypervisor.
Microsoft Hyper-V "Quick Migration" not good enough for datacenters:

Learn more details of Quick Migration weakness compared to all other hardware-based hypervisor vendors Vmotion and Live motion abilities. Also learn more on how VMotion actually works.
Read more: part 1 and part 2.

As the Article states:
"Every other hardware-level virtualization provider in the market, with the exception of Microsoft, is enabling their customers to enjoy the freedom of no downtime migrations. It begs the question: Where is Microsoft’s Quick Migration really good enough? As a follow-up: Why would you want to go that route when every other hardware based virtualization provider can offer you no downtime migrations."

Monday, April 7, 2008

VMware beats competition with true HOT-Add Features: noticed an interesting new feature in VMware Workstation 6.5, true hot-add for Disk, CPU, and Memory on Server 2008 guests!

This became possible for ALL hypervisor vendors since the Dynamic Hardware Partitioning (DHP) technology Microsoft started implementing in Server 2003 SP1 but fully implemented in Server 2008.

Microsoft dropped highly touted plans to include this in May of 2007 in its first Hyper-V release which opened the door for other Hypervisor vendors like VMware to take advantage of it first.

Normally VMware adds features first to VMware Workstations products and then they show up in the ESX product many expect this to show up possibly in the ESX 4.0 product.

Please see more info in the full article.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VMware ESX 3.5 first update due April 10:

Per, we get to try the new UpdateManger feature April 10, when the first updates for ESX 3.5 will be released.
VMware Sales Professional (VSP) Certification info:

"The VMware Sales Professional (VSP) program is an online, self-paced curriculum that has been broken down into an accreditation for each of VMware’s four main solution areas. The first accreditation can be completed in about 5-7 hours and each subsequent accreditation requires about 1-2 hours."
Selling Infrastructure Optimization Solutions
Delivering the VMware Message
VMware Solutions Overview
VMware Products Overview
VMware Corporate Overview
Virtualization Overview

Learn more from the source.
VMware Workstation 6 Beta now Open:

I received an email about this but good info is available on site.

- Use Unity to integrate your guest apps with your host
- More Powerful VM Record and Replay
- Support for Smart Cards & Smart Card Readers
- Enhanced ACE Authoring
- Link State Propagation Networking
- Improved 3D graphics Support

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Online What's New in ESX 3.5 Class!

Enroll or learn more here.


- Format: Self-Paced
- Length: 120 Minutes
- Cost: $100US


This course is open to anyone but is designed for students who have already taken a VMware Infrastructure 3 instructor-led course. It assumes a strong working knowledge of VMware Infrastructure 3. The course contains sixteen brief eLearning modules. Topics include: an overview module of many the new features, a module on upgrading an existing VMware Infrastructure to ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5, and several guided demonstrations on how to operate three of the key new features: Storage VMotion, VMware Update Manager, and Guided Consolidation. In addition, the course provides eight interactive simulations, which give the student hands-on practice with the procedures being demonstrated.Note: For optimum performance a high-speed Internet connection is strongly recommended. Pop-up blockers may need to be disabled.

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