Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Art of VM Templates-thin provisioning-guest partition alignment:

I found as excellent blog discussing this often overlooked art that I suspect many Vmware Admins might miss out on. Guest parition aligment, thin provisioning your templates so they deploy faster...are all big wins in a virtual environment.

For Linux templates

For Windows templates

The parition alignment tips can also be used for the physical world...just run fisk -l to get the proper /dev/XXXX name first.

Some final notes on the thin provisioning:
to convert vmdk file: vmkfstools -i test3.vmdk tes3thin.vmdk -d thin -a lsilogic
to create vmdk file: Vmkfstools –c 10G –a lsilogic -d thin test2.vmdk

IMPORTANT: You will not see the disk space savings with the ls command. Instead after doing this use the du command to see the savings.

In our case a 10gb template converted to thin format went down to little over 3gb...and instead of 10 minutes to deploy only took 3 minutes!
The Most Useful VMware Commands you need:

One of the weakest areas of Virtual Center is reporting in my opinion, and while the Powershell toolkit is giving us ways to workaround this..I wanted to share some simple commands I learned working with VMware support that I really find invaluable.

List out all virtual machines on ALL storage LUNS:
ls -l /vmfs/volumes/*

See all virtual machines on LUNS that start with VPC:
ls -l /vmfs/volumes/*/vpc*
or even better:
find /vmfs/volumes -name vpc*.vmx

Search all LUNS for a particular virtual machine:
find /vmfs/volumes -name vpc*.vmx -print | grep -i vmname

In the above you match up the long string of numbers with the output from ls -l /vmfs/volumes to find the english name of the LUNS shown.
Document VMware ESX Servers for Free!

UPDATE: The author has converted to powershell his script...very nice. Get the OLD SCRIPT or get the NEW SCRIPT at the authors page.

One of my favorite blogs had this wonderful information on how to document your ESX servers for free. Highly suggest you try this. It produces and very nice HTML report.
Join the VMware 4 Converter Beta Program:

Now is the time to start using and testing the next VMware converter release. It has a long list of new features shown below. Those with a VMware Store acct can get the beta here. Those that need an account go here.
  • Physical to virtual machine conversion support for Linux (RHEL, SUSE, and Ubuntu) as source
  • Physical to virtual machine conversion support for Windows Server 2008 as source
  • Support for converting new third-party image formats, including Parallels Desktop virtual machines, newer versions of Symantec, Acronis, and StorageCraft
  • Workflow automation enhancements to include automatic source shutdown, destination start-up as well as shut down one or more services at source and start up services at Windows destination
  • Power off source machine when conversion is finished
  • Hot cloning improvements for cloning any changes to the source system during the P2V conversion process
  • Target disk selection, and ability to specify how the volumes will be laid out in the new destination virtual machine
  • Destination virtual machine configuration, including CPU, memory, and disk controller type
    Bug fixes described in Resolved Issues and known issues described in the Known Issues section

The following features are no longer supported:
NT4 hot cloning
ESX Server 2.5 destinations

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

VMware Site Recovery Manager is HOT!

Site Recovery Manager just got update 1 in Dec, 2008 and I've got some links to documents and new video showing the possibilities of the product.

First, VMETC has a nice round up of link, video, and tips.
And another very nice SRM central links place is here.

Next, the run-virtual guys have made another excellent video covering SRM.

And finally, see a documented process for creating a 2-site SRM Demo environment on a laptop!
VMware 2008 Year of Virtualization Events:

If your feeling a little worn out from the often frantic pace of changes in the virtulization world it might help to review one account of those changes just from a VMware point of view. Of course that doesn't really shed light on all the changes in the industry this past year, and 2009 looks to be even more exciting with these predictions just from VMware!

Come Jan 2, 2009...put on your seat belt and prepare for another exciting year with virtualization!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a wild and crazy year with virtualization and I got so busy I didn't find time to blog some after VMworld. I appologize for that. But, we should ALL be very thankful that we have jobs and are fortunate enough to be employed, working, or learning in a field where virtualization jobs are really in demand.

VMware will have a Major release next year and the competition will still keep trying to should be another fun year!

Please remember our troops in your prayers who are in harms way everyday...but most important..remember the reason for the season!

Jay Rogers
New VMware Blog-- UPTIME:

The newest blog from the VMware stables has left the starting gate. The blog, entitled Uptime, will cover business continuity, high availability, and disaster recovery.

Continue to the site now.
Blades and Complexities of HA Planning:

"I have also seen customers with 2 Blade Chassis in a C7000 6 Blades in each. An firmware issue affected all switch modules simultaneously instantly isolating all blades in the same chassis. Because they were the first 6 blades built it took down all 5 Primary HA agents. The VMs powered down and never powered back up. Because of this I recommend using two chassis and limiting cluster size to 8 nodes to ensure that the 5 primary nodes will never all reside on the same chassis."

More good info at the source.
Fiber Channel Storage Maximums Explained:

"Have you ever been confused by all of those maximums and descriptions in the Fibre Channel section of the Configurations Maximums reference document? Which ones are for a host and which are for a cluster? Well read on to find out."

Continue reading at source...
Script to help Load Balance HBAs on Active/Active SAN:

Nice script to help with load balancing your traffic accross all HBAs. For Active/Active SANS only.

More info here.
VMware Technical Resource Documents:

If your looking for the best place to keep updated on the lattest technical documents provided by VMware look no futher than this single web page!
ONLINE VMware Hardware Compatibility Site:

Now you can quickly and easily see if hardware is VMware certified online.
Search by hardware manufacturer, model number, or even by keyword.

Try it out now

Friday, December 19, 2008

VEEAM Offering New Free Tool for Christmas!

Veeam will be unveiling a new free tool is on Dec. 22 – everyone who registers will automatically receive a download link that day via e-mail. This holiday gift is marked “do not open until Dec. 22.” has revealed the tool will be Veeam Monitor 3.0.

Update: It's official:
Here's your free gift from Veeam!
We're pleased to announce a new free version of Veeam Monitor

Free real-time monitoring for your free ESXi

Because you registered early, your personal download link is below. Please do not share or post this link -- that will prompt a flood of unwanted e-mail to you for each person who registers using your personal link.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

VMware Online Virtualization Forum:

Network with VMware product experts, customers, partners and other IT Professionals. Attend 30-minute presentations and get the latest info on VMware solutions, products and industry trends. Access real-time information from industry leaders without the hassle or expense of travel. Create a multi-media resource kit, including white papers, videos and podcasts.

Go there now!
Nice ESX Console QuickRef Card:

From this blog check out the REFERENCE CARD current as of ESX 3.5 update 2.
Top 10 Predictions for Virtualization in 2009:

Nice article from VMware perspective:

More predictions are also listed here:

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