Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New VMware Workstation 6 support running ESX 3.5 now!

It appears VMware has listened to the customers and they are putting back in the ability to run VMware ESX 3.5 inside of VMware Workstation. Reports so far are detailed in the links below but it appears at present you can installed ESX 3.5 inside workstation but you can not run any virtual machines yet...with that support coming in the next beta release.

There is also some changes needed in your VMX file. See these links:



Monday, May 26, 2008

XtraVirt's new FREE SAN Appliance!

Wow...now this is really cool and just what you need to do some of the DR testing. This is a free tool that works similar to LeftHand Network's SAN appliance, using your free space on your ESX servers as replicated ISCSI storage.

The Xtravirt Virtual SAN (XVS) appliance for VMware ESX3 Server, is a free solution to provide the benefits of shared VMFS storage without the cost of a SAN – this allows the utilisation of otherwise unused local storage in the ESX server to facilitate enterprise level features such as vMotion, DRS and HA normally only available through the use of a shared storage device. All volume data is synchronously replicated between hosts, providing full fail-over capability with data integrity in the event of host, disk or appliance failure. The appliance is menu driven and has been designed to be as easy to configure as possible, and full documentation is provided. Its features include:

- XVS is a SAN and local Disaster Recovery all-in-one
- It provides enterprise level functionality such as vMotion, DRS, and HA, all using direct attached storage

- All volume data is synchronously replicated between hosts providing full failover capability with data integrity in the event of a host, disk or appliance failure

More Info and download.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Demand for Virtualization Jobs up 40%-mostly for VMware skills:

Virtualization.info has an article or see the full report from DICE.

"There are more than 1,500 jobs posted on Dice that require VMware experience, up 40 percent from only six months ago. Right now, only a handful of jobs call for Hyper-V knowledge..."

Virtualiation.info job board has over 7,500 jobs related to VMware, over 290 to Xen, and just 57 to Hyper-V.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Citrix Releases it's XenDesktop VDI product:

See this article for more info.
Interesting info:
"To deliver its out-of-the-box Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Citrix includes with DDC several other products: the back-end virtualization infrastructure (XenServer), the streaming server (Provisioning Server), the application virtualization & streaming server (XenApp), the SSL VPN gateway (Access Gateway), the monitoring suite (EdgeSight), the QoS engine (WANScaler), the remote control (GoToAssist) and the VoIP gateway (EasyCall)."

"It's worth to note that while Citrix offers its own hypervisor with XenDesktop, the product also supports VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V once available."
Server Core (Server 2008) Configuration tool Updated:

Get version new version 1.1.3 here.
Product Activation
Configuration of display resolution
Clock and time zone configuration
Remote Desktop configuration
Management of local user accounts (creation, deletion, group membership, passwords)
Firewall configuration
WinRM configuration
IP configuration
Computer name and domain/workgroup membership
Installation of Server Core features/roles
DCPROMO wizard (3 scenarios supported)
Windows Server Backup performance configuration
Automatic Updates configuration

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Whitepaper: SQL 2005 and VC Database Performance:

Get it here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

First Annual Carolina VMware Users Summit BIG success:

The first CVSU was packed, and a big success. Held April 25, 2008 in Charlotte, NC..we were honored to have our guest speaker be the famous Mike Laverick from http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/ web site and co-author of the best selling Pre published VMware book "Advanced Technical Design Guide"...so to be available in stores. He is also a popular VMware Instructor but probably most famous the fabulous free Guides he creates for us mere mortals dealing with VMware.
Below is my summary of his keynote points on "The Myths of VMware Virtualization":

FUD, next few years not about features, fighting to convince each virtual vendor is best.
10 Myths of Vmware Virtualization
1. To manage ESX you have to know Linux:
everyday learn something new, he bought book to learn basics in Linux...
attitude: (what I don't know can always learn). All virtual vendors have a common
interface (Back background and white text).
2. Microsoft and Xen will win the war:
a) cheaper--get what you pay for. free hypervisors end up costing more due to (b) below
b) get more on ESX server due to memory sharing...others will require you to have much
more physical servers and licences
c) Xen went to per server licensing...VMware might have to look at this he suggests
d) Real reason for "free" virtual stuff is to get you locked into a vendors products (and
virtual machine format).
e) after you have created terrabytes of virtual machines in one format (like vmware) what
would be reson to leave that platform and go through big complicated virtual disk
conversion, when that other platform (microsoft/xen) is really not that much
f) hypervisors will become a commodity. Why even charge $28 for Microsoft's stuff? We
pay premium from Vmware because it is so much better. VMware moving to
automation and management.
g) size of total market tapped so far is only 5%...big market! Best interest to have
competition for negotiating.
3. Microsoft and Xen will win because there are more windows guys out there:
a) Vmware is dealing with infrastructure, not just software. Important as selecting a
storage or networking vendor. Not lightly made decisions and changes not easy.
Once virtual infrastructure is embeded into infrastructure..there is no Back-out
plan. This needs more knowledge and attention than standard LAN roles.
b) you don't make a decision to buy a product by the skill sets in house. You buy products
good for the business and scale up skills
c) right now premium on VCP certification, other certifications coming. As more and more
get the same certifications the value of these will go down over time (like MCSE)
d) important to keep learning new stuff not just ESX server like:
Site Recovery Manager for example will be BIG for companies and DR plans.
VMSafe, Continue High Availability other examples.
4. Microsoft or App vendor does not support their OS/app in Vmware:
a) Microsoft support statement (even for their hypervisor) "Best Efforts". KB articles
b) MS should welcome Vmware/Xen as it will help them sell more OS licenses
c) Microsoft supporting virtual should be easier (virtual hardware is same and reduces
complexities of different hardware issues to figure out so in there best interest)
d) Driver development easier
e) like to see micrsosoft embrace this
f) really like to see copy of windows designed to run in virtual
g) All share same customers, top 100 vmware customer are microsoft's top 100
customers. So Microsoft is not going to be able to push out VMware
with these big customers through support statements. MS can't say get
better support with MS Hyper-v due to this.
h) Oracle stuff, out with on Xen version and support for VMware questions. Oracle been
supporting vmware and have kb support statement. Don't say they support
Microsoft Hyper-V!!! Do support Xen.
5. Will Windows run better only in Hyper-V:
a) microsoft has not fully embraced pararvirtualization (vm aware). Some Linux distros do.
b) vmware has included support for this
c) if microsoft does this vmware supports this
d) future benefits in the hardware advances, Nested page tables, NPIV, etc.
e) if microsoft adopts pararvirtualization all virtual vendors will reap the rewards
f) Companies will make intelligent decisions on what best virtual platform..not just
because on my windows start menu.
g) thinks they will get market share from being on start menu, but doesn't mean they will
use that to kill off competition
6. Vmware users hate Microsoft:
a) many of us make living off Microsoft
b) many moan about the top dog
c) most vmware vms are windows OS
d) best way to run a microsoft OS with this other system called Vmware
e) how did we get here..been forced to run just one app inside of windows
f) we don't hate microsoft, multi OS support is needed in todays world
7. VMware days are numbered just like Netscape
a) just because they did does not mean so for Vmware
b) they took for granted there customer and didn't evolve
c) many have said this about Citrix for 10 years and they are still very strong
d) difficult for Microsoft to be all things to all customers and be the best in all
e) still thing room for niche players (Xen, VMware)
f) 10 years time...10 years is an eternity in our industry
8. Applications won't perform well in virtual machine
a) consultants will often not suggest virtual for citrix/oracle/sql but they did no
analysis to support this finding
b) more of a CYA for the vendors
c) plenty of evidence to support will work fine in virtual
d) issue is more about the vendors/consultants don't want to think, requires effort,
thinking, motivation
9. Going green and IT industry
a) IT not really friendly to environment
b) improvements being made
c) can do more like what we do with old computers
10. Vmotion helps with DR
a) vmotion requires two working ESX servers..so this is not true
b) microsoft blog discussion arguing about this
c) Site Recovery Manager is the answer for DR
In conclusion:
don't believe the hype
Watch for FUD
Manage Vmware with Powershell Useful script examples:

www.ntpro.nil/blog site had very useful information of on a new Wikki web page that has some terrific example code for Managing VMware with Powershell and the new VI toolkit. Check it out here.

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