Thursday, December 31, 2009


I hope you, your friend, family and loved ones all have a safe and Happy New Year! We have another big year for Virtualization ahead in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010-New VMWare Training Opportunties

I have previously shared VMware's New Education Roadmap information from the blog "Punching Clouds".  NTPRO.NIL is reporting new information on the classes scheduled to come in 2010 dealing with the different Virtualization specialist categories of: Virtualization Generalist, Security Specialists, Performance Specialists, Virtual Desktop Administrators, Availability Specialists.

See the links above for more info...

vCenter 4 Update 1 Performance is Amazing

I just wanted to comment again and how impressed I am with the speed and operational improvements we are seeing using the new vCenter 4 update 1. The previous Virtual Center 2.5 update 5 was sluggish and many times kept us waiting as the client timed out between tasks. And I had done all sorts of testing to ensure it was not a SQL database or storage performance problem.

So the only change has been going from Server 2003 SP2 32 bit OS that Virtual Center 2.5 was running on (in a virtual machine) to Server 2008 SP1 64 bit Enterprise and vCenter 4 update 1 (in a virtual machine). Of course it does a database upgrade during the install so maybe it is talking to the database in a more optimized way. But you sure are not left waiting for results anymore.

The other important user friendly part is the search feature, so now you can find anything without drilling down into places.

Great Job VMware!

vCenter 4 Alarms and Thin Provisioning

vCenter 4 has really impressed me as well with the many stock alarms that are present now. Are there are new interesting ones you should consider adding especially for using the new Thin provisioning features and monitoring snapshots. By default you get the "Datastore Usage on Disk" alarm, basically your how full am I. But with thin provisioning you should really consider some of the suggestion from the VCritical site below:






VMware Thin Provisioning Performance White Paper

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

vCenter 4 Upgrade A Success!

Wow after a lot of planning today was the day I pulled the trigger for our big upgrade to vCenter 4. The upgrade went very smoothly and I am really impressed with the speed of vCenter compared to Virtual Center 2.5 update 5. You need to upgrade for that reason alone!

Our virtual center and SQL 2005 servers are both virtual, and our goal was to follow the strong suggestion from VMware: Future releases of VMware vCenter Server might not support installation on 32-bit Windows operating systems. We also wanted it to be the license server for the ESX 3.5 servers as well until we get migrated.

The vSphere Upgrade Guide for Update 1 had some instructions for doing this but I'll walk you through the steps I took below which might help. I had already prepared items in a folder I would need during the rebuild of the new 64bit vCenter.

You will need:
SSL files from old virtual center:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

SSL files go here on new 64bit server:

C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL

Sysprep files Old:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep
Sysprep files new:
C:\Users\All Users\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep

35 license server files old:
\Program Files\VMware\VMware License Server\Licenses
35 license server files new:
\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware License Server\Licenses

  • rename current virtual center 2.5
  • deployed new Server 2008 64 Enterprise SP1 vm
  • removed my DRS rule to keep the SQL and old virtual center together
  • made a note of the ESX server new vcenter vm is on
  • shutdown old vcenter, remove from AD
  • configure new vCenter 64 bit OS, Join domain
  • copy SSL files (make the directory that doesn't exist yet--see above)
  • install sql native client (64 bit version)
  • setup ODBC (remember to use 32 DSN by running c:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe and select SQL Native driver)
  • Perform the vcenter install
  • copy sysprep files, check everything out (agent updates take place on the servers)
  • Install the virtual center 2.5 update 5 license server only and point to your license files
  • set vCenter to be the license server for ESX 3.5 servers (under vCenter Server Settings)
  • and that was about it...still need to update the other components (update manager, etc)
Hope this helps you...

Monday, December 28, 2009


Have you checked out the NEW VMware KBTV channel? Go check it out now!

Hot free video instruction of popular KB related issues.
VCP 4 "No-Class" Extension:

NTPRO.NIL is reporting that VMware has extended the deadline to Jan 31, 2010 for current VCP 3 holders to pass the VCP 4 certification without taking the What's New Class. This apparently is due to a rush of people not being able to book the exams.

See the link for more details.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to you all!

I hope you will enjoy some quality time with Family and friends during this holiday season. I encourage you to remember the true meaning and purpose of this holiday, honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Lord. I hope you have a relationship with GOD and will spend time in prayer and church celebrating the salvation and thanks we owe Jesus for dying for our sins so that we may have everlasting life and forgiveness of our sins.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Help with HP Insight Management Agents on VMWare ESX 4 server

Nice blog I came across today with some really good info including this tip for those installing HP agents in the service console.

IOPS...the big factor in virtualization success

Found this great article that you can really learn a lot from concerning IOPS.

The original info is from here.

Tools you need...Virtualization EcoShell

Powershell tools are becoming the best way to really get fast information and reporting from your virtual infrastructure and even active directory. Recently I had to make a change in our environment that would have taken clicking several times down into the settings of each vm....which for 600+ vms would have taken a long time. With powershell, this task took seconds! That is the difference powershell can make in your administration tasks.

Fortunately we don't all have to be programmers and tools have come along (PowerGui) and (EcoShell) which help us learn and do some amazing powershell stuff. First, head over to The Virtualization EcoShell Initiative to download and get this tool. Videos are available at the bottom of the screen showing you the power of the product. An advanced training video I learned about from ntpro.nil is located on Vizioncore's site.

You will love the vDiagram (generate Visio reports of your environment) and vReporting (Generate html reports) features I am sure!

Nice vSphere HOT-ADD Memory/CPU OS list

Xtravit has a very nice chart showing the OS capabilities with this amazing new features in vSphere 4.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

vSphere 4 LUN removal issue

Please see this original post for information on a vSphere 4 storage bug that appears to be getting several people.

It deals with removing a LUN from the server…and the order you perform the process. The proper sequence is:

  1. In the vSphere client, vacate the VMs from the datastore being removed (migrate or Storage vMotion)
  2. In the vSphere client, remove the Datastore
  3. In the vSphere client, remove the storage device
  4. Only then, in your array management tool remove the LUN from the host.
  5. In the vSphere client, rescan the bus.

vSphere update 1 Round Robin NMP bug

We all should be  aware of this as we move to using Round Robin in our production environments.


Original information link.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Build OS Drive Templates using PVSCSI Adapter

Very nice walk through on how to build new clean templates using the new Paravirtualized SCSI Adapter for maximum throughput (and less CPU overhead). This tip does require you to be using vSphere 4 update 1 or higher. Only Server 2003 / 2008 are supported for this.

Read more now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

VCP4 Welcome Kits shipping

This NTPRO.NIL report quotes VMware as saying the VCP4 Welcome Kits will start shipping Dec 14. Should take about 10 days to arrive.

Thanks for this info Eric Sloof.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boot from Paravirtualized SCSI Adapter

In VMware testing. the VMware Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) adapter was able to achieve 12% more throughput with 18% less CPU cost compared to the LSI virtual adapter. Originally you could use this only for non boot virtual disks. This link explains now that you can now use this for your boot/OS disk since vSphere Update 1, using this procedure.

Core Configurator 2 download

Those of you finding the Hyper-V Server Core configuration (where you configure your servers now without any GUI) a rather challenging experience..then you need to get version 2 of this nice tool which gives you a nice GUI interface to do many of those configuration tasks. Makes you wonder why Microsoft didn't just put this in themselves.
More info is here.

VMware PowerCLI Quick Reference Card

Xtravirt has a nice quick reference card for the VMware Powershell commands. Click here for more info.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I passed vSphere VCP410 certification today!

I have been studying really hard for this, with a personal goal to certify on the new vSphere line by years end. Today that came true, with God by my side. The exam, about 85 questions and 90 minutes to complete, I had about 10 minutes left. This was a much more reasonable # of questions than the 270 we had in the Beta exam.I have posted earlier links to the study material I used. The vreference cards and Simon Long ( practice exams I think were very helpful in giving me confidence.

Good luck to you all going for your VCP certification! I'm off the donate some $$$ to simonlong.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Three training courses now meet the requirement for VCP4

Fast Track is still the best option as troubleshooting assumes knowledge from the others.
New VMware Education Classes:

1-day Manage Scalability: covers the specific features of vSphere related to scalability, such as Host Profiles, Distributed Power Management, and vCenter Linked Mode

4-day Troubleshooting: Very intensive: you will spend most of the time diagnosing and rectifying configuration problems created on VMware® ESX™/ESXi hosts and VMware vCenter™ Server systems.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Awesome VCP410 EXAM study links

Awesome study notes:

Awesome Daily ESX Farm report

Based on Powershell, this is a script I now schedule to run every morning so I have a nice report each day and I save the report in a folder.

I donated $25 I thought it was so good. Very customizable by by easy commenting or uncommenting sections in the code.

I scheduled it in task scheduler with these commands:
in the arguments section: -PSConsoleFile "C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VIToolkitForWindows\vim.psc1" & C:\Scripts\dailyreport.ps1 vcenter

vcenter would be the name of our virtual center server.

Vmotion Stats: how fast can we go

I came across this little tip from this link:

Apparently vSphere 4 will show you stats of your Vmotion performance.

Just do: tail –f /var/log/vmkernel
Article also explores does having a lot of bandwidth really help! Good read!

File Lock to deal with these:

We had a problem with a template..not being able to turn it on...we would get a file locked error.

Not sure how someone accomplished this but they had used the template VMDK file in a deployed virtual machine. How did I find this out? Using the command shown below, which looks through all the virtual machine config files to find if any other machines were using the file. xpsp2basethin.vmdk was the file in use.



 [root@esx3srv0301ph xpsp2base]# egrep -i xpsp2basethin.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/*/*/*.vmx

/vmfs/volumes/499f22e3-2239bc87-25f0-001a6459e0f8/vpcuniversity2/vpcuniversity2.vmx:scsi0:0.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/499f2335-cd135fea-a4dd-001a6459e0f8/xpsp2base/xpsp2basethin.vmdk"

/vmfs/volumes/499f2335-cd135fea-a4dd-001a6459e0f8/xpsp2base/xpsp2base.vmx:scsi0:0.fileName = "xpsp2basethin.vmdk"

/vmfs/volumes/hdsvpc3a/vpcuniversity2/vpcuniversity2.vmx:scsi0:0.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/499f2335-cd135fea-a4dd-001a6459e0f8/xpsp2base/xpsp2basethin.vmdk"

/vmfs/volumes/hdsvpc6a/xpsp2base/xpsp2base.vmx:scsi0:0.fileName = "xpsp2basethin.vmdk"



Link to a good KB article with much more on this subject:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sorry for being away so long

I really enjoy sharing the information I learn with all of you.  And I really appreciate all the other bloggers out there passing on their knowledge and experience. It's all about giving back to the community and helping others find how important the virtualization technology is to their careers and companies.


Unfortunately, I have been extremely busy at work and studying for the VPC 4 exam. Nothing like an economic crisis to get virtual as the first choice for new servers! My work also put in new security software that blocks many blog sites while others it allows..which has really been a pain. Then I remembered I could post via I am back online again.


Thanks for visiting my blog. Stay tuned..we have a lot of catching up to do!!


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