Sunday, December 26, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

I you, your family, friends, and loved ones all have a wonderful Christmas...remembering the true reason for the season...the celebration of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WHERE IS STORAGE HEADING!

Well if it is up to VMware founder Mendel Rosenblum the answer is DRAM.

The Project "RamClouds- Scalable High Performance storage Entirely in DRAM" sounds very interesting.

 

Find out more about the project here: http://www.stanford.edu/~ouster/cgi-bin/projects.php

The paper "The Case for RAMClouds: Scalable High-Performance Storage Entirely in DRAM" can be downloaded from this location.

Original posting and Discussion: http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1663-Hey-Drummonds-forget-SSD-RAM-is-the-future.html

The solution: one possible solution is to shift the home of online data from disk to DRAM. A RAMCloud is a new class of storage intended for datacenters, where all information lives at all times in fast DRAM. Large-scale systems are created by aggregating the main memories of thousands of commodity servers. RAMClouds are interesting because they combine large scale (100-1000 TBytes) with 100-1000x faster latency than current systems (5-10 microseconds to access small amounts of RAMCloud data from application servers in the same datacenter). In addition to simplifying the creation of large-scale Web applications, we believe that RAMClouds may enable a new breed of data-intensive applications.


A product available now RAMSAN: http://www.ramsan.com/products/4

The RamSan-440 is a new solid state disk with record high performance, record high capacity for a RAM-based system, and a combination of features that help ensure the highest availability of data to its users. The RamSan-440 is the world's first non-volatile RAM-based SSD to sustain 600,000 IOPS (input/outputs per second) and deliver 512GB of storage capacity in a 4U rack-mount chassis. It's also the first SSD to use RAIDed NAND Flash storage modules for data backup, and the first system to incorporate Texas Memory Systems' patented IO2 (Instant-On Input-Output) technology


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NTPRO.NIL AWESOME DUTCH VMUG SLIDE DECK

You have got to download and checkout this awesome DUTCH VMUG vSphere Troublshooting slide deck.

Just goes to show some of the quality learning your missing if you are not participating in your local VMware User Group Meetings!

Big thanks to Eric Sloof for making this available.

BUILD A FREE VEEAM TOOLS VM

Nice article to setup a VEEAM product LAB in one virtual machine:


"Veeam products can be installed on the same virtual machine allowing administrators to easily create a cost effective and valuable solution for documenting, managing, and maintaining ESX datacenters. With the recent announcement of free Veeam NFRs for VCPs, VCDXs, vExperts, and VCIs, many will be looking to build VMs to explore Veeam products. This post serves as a high level guide for combining the free versions of Veeam Reporter,Veeam Monitor, and Veeam Business View to create a single "Veeam ONE" Monitor PlusVM."


build-a-free-veeam-one-server-for-vsphere-combine-veeam-monitor-reporter-and-business-view-on-single-vm


VEEAM FREE GIFT

I learned about this from http://www.kendrickcoleman.com...
As a special holiday gift to VMware vExperts, VMware Certified Professionals and VMware Certified Instructors, Veeam is offering FREE two-socket licenses of our products for non-production use. Just register here to receive the Veeam products of your choice for evaluation, demonstration and training purposes. You can choose one or both:

 Veeam Backup & Replication v5 with vPower
 Veeam ONE Solution
     — Veeam Monitor Plus (with Veeam Reporter) 
     — Veeam Business View

Just go here.

IMPACT OF VMWARE LICENSE CHANGES

The VMGUY has a great article explaining final days of the special licensing promotions and impact on how this might affect you or your purchasing decisions.

I know the Per VM licensing changes for say SRM helps those wanting to protect Risk 1 and 2 virtual machines in an affordable way. But if I was a big VMware customer that had really wanted to use SRM to protect everthing…this seems to KILL that Idea COST wise.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NEW CLOUD CERTIFICATIONS

EMC has announced some new certification around Private CLOUD architects.

·         Cloud Architect (EMCCA) certification is targeted toward architects who deliver virtualization and cloud designs based on business strategies encompassing all key technical domains (compute, storage, networking, applications, etc).

·         Data Center Architect (EMCDCA) certification is for architects and designers who provide detailed designs for information storage specific technical domains to complement, expand, and complete their overall virtualization and cloud design.

Both tracks are based on 'open' curriculum where the focus is on technology/principles rather than specific products (similar to ISM design).

For more info see these links where you can learn more:

http://www.rationalsurvivability.com/blog/?p=2767


Creating A New Generation Of Cloud Professionals:

http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2010/12/creating-a-new-generation-of-cloud-professionals.html




Monday, December 6, 2010

VMWARE VIEW ARCHITECTURE PLANNING GUIDE

I came across the VMWARE VIEW ARCHITECTURE PLANNING GUIDE that I found while reading this interesting large scale VDI project post.

Nice guide to read!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

SOME QUICK LINKS

I have just been so busy....thought I would just share some links I found important and worthy of your attention:

vCloud Director Home Lab:
vCloud Director YouTube product Demo: http://snipurl.com/1kkku4
Storage I/O control YouTube product Demo: http://snipurl.com/1kkky1
vStorage API's (VAAI) YouTube product Demo: http://snipurl.com/1kkmda





Friday, November 19, 2010

GREAT ADVICE TO KEEP IN MIND

This is some awesome advice to remember as it gets so easy to just give out resources.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

VDI IS A GO FOR NOVANT IN 2011!

We'll after being involved in VMware's original Beta VMware View VDI program (VMware actually started developing their VDI product while working with us onsite on a project), and presenting at VMUG and the NC/SC VMUG Summit in 2008. It looks like the product has really matured nicely though and we are setting up to implement in 2011. 

So with that said...here is a Gartner report on one of the critical subjects of VDI, storage best practice. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VMWARE END OF YEAR SALE!

I learned of some special end-of-year specials VMware is running from here: http://www.blueshiftblog.com/?p=1129

The promotion includes the following incentives:

  • List price for Enterprise to Enterprise Plus upgrade dropped from $685 to $495 (about 28% off list).
  • 50 VMware View 4.5 Premier Licenses (virtual desktops) — includes ThinApp and vShield Endpoint and more.
  • vCenter Capacity IQ for 15 VMs

Monday, November 1, 2010

1ST VMWARE ANTI-VIRUS-A/V ENGINE OUTSIDE VM

Trend Micro has officially released the first product "Deep Secuirty 7.5" that offloads the Anti-Virus to a dedicated A/V engine outside of any virtual machine!


Other VMware related major security announcements: http://www.virtualizationpractice.com/blog/?p=7970



NEW VMWARE KB MOBILE APP

For Andoid and IPhone (uses HTML5)...future support for Blackberry devices that support HTML5.

P.S. You can view also with Google Chrome or another compatible HTML5 browser on your desktop.

INCREASE VDI CONSOLIDATION RATIOS

Interesting tip that might help with VDI based workloads. Do you own testing and see!

StratoGen vCloud Director BETA Program


StratoGen is seeking experienced VMware users to join the StratoGen vCloud Beta Program which is based on VMware vCloud Director.  

 

Beta testing is a crucial element in the cycle of our product releases, and we work closely with the VMware community to ensure our products are the best they can be.  vCloud Director is a powerful but complex product and as such we are seeking experienced users to provide informed feedback on our product offering.

 

By participating in the program you will be provided with resources on our enterprise platform enabling you to build, deploy and manage virtual machines, vApps and networks using the StratoGen vCloud Director portal. You will be contacted on a periodic basis for feedback.

 

StratoGen is a leading VMware Service Provider Partner (VSPP) with an extensive cloud hosting platform based in London, UK.  

 

If you would like to take part in the program please register at http://www.stratogen.net/products/vmware-hosting-vcloud.html


For more info:

William Craig, Product Development Manager, T: 0845 544 0465 (International +44 845 544 0465)

E: william.craig@stratogen.net

W: http://www.stratogen.net


Friday, October 29, 2010

VSPHERE DESIGN WORKSHOP DIARY

Boche.net is giving a good diary type accounting as he goes through this class.

HP BLADE-SERIOUS KB OUT

VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 host with Broadcom bnx2x (in-box driver version 1.54.1.v41.1-1vmw) experiences a loss of network connectivity and a purple diagnostic screen:


http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1029368


We have not experienced this and we are using the 1.54 driver (it replaced the 1.48 driver when we did the vSphere 4.1 upgrade). 


I called VMware tech support today, and they will have a 1.6x driver out 2nd week of November which should address this and other issues.


Vmware tech I spoke to said use the 1.6 driver and not the older 1.48 driver.


We still have a open ticket because we are not getting any networking performance info in vCenter using the 1.54 driver.

VCAP4-DCA LAB TEST VIDEO TUTORIAL

Hi folks...sorry...but I have been swamped at work. 

VMware education has released this video showing how the test for VCAP4-DCA is performed using a LAB environment setting!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

GETTING THIN DISK SMALL AGAIN

I was recently approached on can we shrink a Thin Disk after is gets expanded. Originally I didn't think this was possible. The scenario that was given was I have a thin disk, a large amount of data is copied which fills the disk and grows the this disk....then this data is deleted inside the guest vm.

I found this documented process to get the thin disk small again...but be aware very labor intensive and probably causes an I/O storm during the process.

VSPHERE 4.1 PASSWORD SECURITY ISSUE!!!!

I just learned from http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2010/07/esxi-41-major-security-issue.html that apparently there is a bad security bug in password authentication. The bug checks for only the 1st 8 characters of a password, ouch! Learn more at the link above or see this KB 1024500 for workarounds.

Friday, October 1, 2010

VSPHERE TEMPLATE PROBLEM WITH 4.1

A combination of datastore maintenance (I removed some datastores--one that actually had ISOs that might have been attached) and possibly vsphere 4.1...I noticed I was getting "Call "PropertyCollector.RetrieveContents" for object "propertyCollector" on vCenter Server"

See the link below. Removing the vm from inventory and adding it back fixed the issue. I have two templates though that so far this had not worked on.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

STORAGE I/O CONTROL (SIOC) TIP:

In short, if you have vSphere 4.1 running in an entire cluster...turn it ON!

SOIC watches I/O latency across the datastores shared in a VMware Cluster and enables each VM it's fair share of disk resources in times of contention when a certain latency value is exceeded (30ms by default). This ensures one disk intensive VM doesn't impact other VMs disk performance. You can also "tweak" and say some VM need priority access in times of contention as well (at the expense of the other vms on that datastore though).

·         Storage I/O Control is supported on Fibre Channel-connected and iSCSI-connected storage. NFS datastores and Raw Device Mapping (RDM) are not supported.

But check out these links for more info: 

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2010/09/29/storage-io-fairness/

http://geeksilver.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/vmware-vsphere-4-1-storage-io-control-sioc-understanding/


SPEED UP VCENTER CLIENT ON WINDOWS 7

Awesome tip from a blog and KB on the topic..really seems to help!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

VMWORLD 2010 SESSIONS DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE

All the VMworld 2010 sessions are now available for download. 


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NET I/O CONTROL BEST PRACTICE WHITEPAPER

Good stuff to read.

HP BLADE VSPHERE TIPS:

I have been heavily engaged in working with both HP and VMware support over the last few weeks on a problem and wanted to share if case this helps anyone else. Using C7000 chassis and BL460 G6 blades and virtual connect all at the current release versions. A working vsphere 4 update 1 blade removed from chassis and put back would fail to load with a "no compatible network driver found" error. Running the Firmware update CD 9.10b even if everything was current to fix the issue and vsphere would then load properly.

We narrowed this down to the 1.48 network driver fixed the issue for vSphere 4 update 1. The 1.54 driver works with vSphere 4.1.

Be aware when using vSphere 4.1 there are two items you need to be aware of:

WHAT BAD ECONOMY?

No job or economy problems if your doing VMware Virtualization/Cloud computing or Storage. How about 200 job openings right now! More than 200 open positions at EMC, EMC partners and VCE link will drive you to more info. And local NC VMware partner Varrow is one of the partners really looking for people now too.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

VMWARE VCLOUD DIRECTOR NETWORKING

Yellow-Bricks.com is running a very nice set of articles on the VMware vCloud Director networking, which is probably the most complex concept of the product. Three articles are planned.Part1 and Part2 have been released so far.
VMWORLD 2010 LABS:


The highlight for all at VMworld 2010 this year had to be the most excellent LAB environment we have every experienced! At first I was concerned because they had done away with most of the large Instructor led labs this year. The hands-on labs were a much better way to go for sure. With a very professional layout, awesome menu, hardware, and cool room, you got to sit down and really go through learning about the products at your own pace (with nice instruction guides that explained stuff, not just told you to click and type this and that).

The labs were open 8am-10pm first two days, 8am-6pm Wednesday, and 8am-4pm on Thursday...so you had plenty of time to really take advantage of this wonderful resource. There were 30 lab topics, 480 lab seats, and 44 hours of lab time. Total lab clouds delivered were 15,344 with a total of 145,097 VMs created! WOW! Every hour the lab cloud created and destroyed about 4000 virtual machines! (All of these stats and information are from this link).

The labs utilized PC-over-IP protocol and Wyse P20 stateless zero clients using VMware View 4.5. More details on this configuration can be found here.

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2010/08/29/vmworld-2010-labs-are-the-place-to-be/

The top 10 labs taken were:

  1. VMware View 4.5 Install and Config (1515)
  2. VMware vSphere Perf & Tuning (1229)
  3. VMware ESX 4.1 new features (1112)
  4. VMware vCloud Director Install & Config (1019)
  5. Basic VMware vSphere Install & Config (829)
  6. VMware View 4.5 Advanced (811)
  7. VMware vSphere Troubleshooting (791)
  8. VMware vCenter SRM Install & Config (789)
  9. VMware vDS & Cisco Nexus 1KV (761)
  10. VMware vShield (734)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VMWARE VCLOUD DIRECTOR INSTALL/VIDEO/LINKS

Announced at VMworld 2010, and if you haven't got to see it yet now is your chance. I found this video showing off the product.
You will notice a Web interface is used, it runs on RedHat Enterprise 64 bit I hear. Some other good links are below:

See this video covering the install process.

Lab Manager upgrade/Exchange Program details.

vCloud Architecture: 


RTFM Info: 

VMWORLD 2010 BLOG UPDATE

Folks I am so sorry but I was not able to blog any during the extremely busy and awesome VMworld Event. My laptop is one of the desktop models and was just to much to carry around and I didn't win one of those nice IPADS or netbooks.

But I am gathering up some very useful information and will be presenting my take of VMworld and what you need to see.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 27, 2010

VMWORLD 2010 and VMWORLD 2011 LOCATION

I will be leaving for VMworld 2010 and I have signed up again this year to be an official blogger at the event.
Also if you haven't heard, VMworld 2011 will again be back in Vegas. How do I know this you ask?

Check out the next to last page of the VMworld 2010 Program guide.
Other guides released for the 2010 event:

See you in SAN Francisco!





Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FAULT TOLERANCE ERROR: FLAG NOT SET

Last year is when I prepared for the future with first separation of my vCenter and SQL Database, and then upgrade of vCenter to 64bit the manual way. Apparently as I learned today, through this upgrade a SSL setting was not set like it is when you do a clean install of vCenter. This will prevent FT from working and kick out an error.

I found the answer to my problem. But just a word on caution...make sure you have checked all the verified boxes and cleared all entries if you have any in the bottom window or turning this on will cause you to loose connection to those vSphere servers!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEW EVOSTOR Storage Solution for vSphere

I received a special invite to see a new awesome storage solution specifically tied to "The future of VMware Storage" at VMworld 2010. President and CEO, Paul Maritz, of VMware will be speaking at the event and probably mentioning the new EVOSTOR EVOLUTION 1200 storage solution. Evolution 1200 is specifically tied to vSphere and the new vStorage API enhancements.


A few highlights:
  • purpose-built for VMware environments
  • EvoStor removes the complexity managing LUNs or file systems
  • first and only VM-level storage system
  • VMware admins can create a VM and simply assign the capacity they need
  • no worry about sizing, performance, optimization or reclaiming storage capacity 
  • EvoStor GUI is built right into vSphere
  • single pane of glass to create VMs and provision storage
  • Multi-tiered storage supporting SSD, SAS and SATA disk drives
Check out the link above for more info!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Removing a vCenter Extension Manually

I recently had a problem with a trial of VMware Capacity IQ where I could no longer bring up the appliance so I had no way to remove the Extension that had been placed into vCenter. A quick search of VMware communities found the answer. In short https://<your VC IP address>/mob/?moid=ExtensionManager, click on unregister extension, enter the extension listed at top you want to remove (for Capacity IQ it was "com.vmware.CapacityIQ").

My VMworld 2010 Schedule

Well here is my proposed schedule, of course this could be all subject to change since nothing can be reserved this year.
My advice though, is spend time in the Hands-on-Labs with the different products, Intructor led labs, Vendor area (every vendor you can imagine in one place), and networking with others! After all, breakout sessions you can always watch later when they are made available.

ALT3004  --  VMware vSphereĆ¢„¢ Troubleshooting
TA6720  --  Troubleshooting using ESXTOP for Advanced Users
TA6841  --  Cisco Nexus 1000v:  Architecture, Deployment, and Management
SS8222  --  Transitioning to ESXi, Architecture for Next Generation vSphere
ALT2003  --  VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch and Cisco Nexus 1000V
SE9600  --  How to Attest Host Platform Security for Cloud Deployments:  A Technology Preview from VMware, Intel, and RSA
TA8218  --  VMware Storage Vision
SS1004  --  Infrastructure Technologies Purpose Built for the Private Cloud
SP8542  --  How the Dallas Cowboys Kickoff Innovation with HP Converged Infrastructure
TA7805  --  Tech Preview: Storage DRS
TA8018  --  Architecting for Performance
SS1003  --  Virtualization Transitions: The Journey to Enterprise Cloud Computing
ALT2002  --  VMware vCenter vShield
TA8065  --  Storage Best Practices, Performance Tuning and Troubleshooting
TA8361  --  Future Direction of Networking Virtualization
TA6944  --  PowerCLI Is For Administrators!
TA8440  --  10Gb & FCoE Real World Design Considerations
TA8133  --  Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for VMware
TA7121  --  Next Generation VM Storage Solutions with vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI)

My Recent CLOUD Testing

Well with all the hype about the Cloud I decided to give the "CLOUD" a try, especially since VMware is really pushing the cloud (and I hear at VMworld they will be announcing they are now a CLOUD provider). Moving to the cloud was a bit like sitting in a taxi at a stop light and watching that meter counting. The two cloud providers I have used are Amazon EC2 and Terremark vCloud Express. Both charge in different ways, for example Terremark charges even if your virtual machine is turned off in the cloud. Both for now are waving data charges until Oct/Nov time frame and then charges will apply for the data bandwidth used.

The first tool I tried was Nasuni Filer and their cloud storage appliance, in simple to install OVF format. This company offers "Simplified cloud storage for business" with unlimited storage, complete file protection, local-like performance, choice of cloud providers, fast restore. I tested by putting some files shares in the cloud with some data but think of it also as a place to say store your DR images. It worked very nicely. Another nice touch is you didn't have to have a Cloud provider account already, it did all that in the background, which made testing this product so much easier and enjoyable. I highly suggest you check this product out if it fits your needs!

The next product which I was very interested in was http://www.cloudswitch.com/. Their product was going to allow me to take virtual machines from my internal VMware vSphere clouds and move them to the cloud to run with the same networking I used internal! Sounds impressive and it was...it worked Great! You can also move the virtual machine from the cloud back into your internal VMware cloud...but this process has a few steps that are not as easy as going to the cloud.

This come is in two products: Explorer (only works with Amazon EC2) and Enterprise with also works with Terremark vCloud Express.I found it easier to contact Terremark and they set me up with a $25 credit to do my testing...and the trials of Cloudswitch are free. Again an OVF import appliance it was easy to setup and use. Soon I have one of my internal test 2003 Servers on our networking running in the cloud...and it worked just like it was within our data center! Nice!. The weakness I saw which I hear Cloudswitch is working on, is console access uses flash in their tool and mouse does not work. But with a move like this no problem...you use Remote Desktop or whatever remote tool you normally would. It had the same IP address as internal to us.

Cloudswitch also came with some sample pre-built test virtual machines to deploy to the cloud, so my next one was a CENTOS 5 virtual machine. It also worked great!

In this setup you do all your work using Cloudswitch, not the Cloud providers tools. 

Billing...is where things get tricky. Cloudswitch estimated my costs for this 1 CPU, 768MB, 15GB thin disk vm as about 8 cents per hour. I got the vm up and running about 9pm at night. By the morning with the vm silent and not really doing anything all night, my bill was up to $8, with a breakout of charges being $2.02 for Servers, $6.25 for storage, $0.25 for ip addressing, and $0.25 for internet services. After adding the CentOS vm and doing a little testing I was up to $18 the next day in fees. So I powered off my virtual machines and deleted them in the cloud.

Overall I think the cloud has potential...but the pricing structure needs work so you know what your costs are going to be. Maybe VMware will have the answer for that at VMWorld 2010!

P.S. I really wanted to thank Terremark for allowing me the credit so I could perform this testing. Give them a call if your serious about trying out the Cloud! Also thanks to Cloudswitch for delivering a tool to make this possible.

vSphere Troubleshooting Class Review

About two weeks ago I attended the online VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Class. I must say it was an awesome class...and I highly recommend to all. One big benefit from the class is a special Troubleshooting Reference Guide you get with symptoms and common things to check and in many cases how to fix. The PDF files are all locked so only certain computers you install some software on can view them, but you can print them out. In addition you get your standard Class and Lab Manuals in PDF locked format, which you print before the class.

An online class is delivered via Webex and it works out really well. You have access to your labs via standard remote desktop. Small mini Webex breakout sessions are used so you and your partner can work together on Labs and still ask for assistance if needed from the dual instructors for the class.

I highly suggest you sign up!

New vCenter Server Performance Best Practice Whitepaper

New Whitepapers freshly released for us performance nuts.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

CISCO UCS PLATFORM EMULATOR:

Just learned Cisco has released a CISCO Unified Computing (UCS) Platform Emulator that you can run from your desktop without needing any hardware. Great for learning, documenting.

I learned about this emulator from here http://rodos.haywood.org/2010/07/ucs-platform-emulator.html which has more info and instructions.

You can get the guide for the utility as well. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MORE VSPHERE 4.1 UPDATE STORIES

Learn from your fellow bloggers I say... Here is Mike Laverick's upgrade experience and notice is the comments some other issues people are bringing up along with issues he had. Hope to do my first upgrade in lab in a few weeks.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

VSPHERE NETWORKING DRIVERS ON HP BL460C BLADES

After spending all afternoon on this one I wanted to share with everyone this tip.
We have all current firmwares on HP C7000 blade chassis using virtual connect. We removed a blade running vsphere 4 update 1 to add RAM. After replacing we get this "no compatible network adapter found" error early in the vsphere 4 classic boot process. It also has the same problem if attempting to do a clean install.

This blog post saved the day, after VMware and HP support could not! Another reason to spend plenty of time on blogs!

In short, you have to rerun the HP Firmware Update boot CD again after taking a blade out of the chassis and it fixes the network driver issue.

Per the blog this effects Xenserver 5.5 as well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

MORE ON VMWARE MOVE TO PER-VM LICENSING

I found another interesting article with more information on how this will work with per_vm licensing.

""We have the chance, the opportunity, but also the responsibility to show leadership in how licensing should be done in a cloud world," he said during a recent interview. "We need to get better alignment between value received and what customers are paying for."

How it might work:

You estimate your needs for the next year and buy licenses to meet those needs. Over the course of those 12 months, vCenter Server calculates the average number of concurrently powered-on VMs running the software. And if you end up needing more licenses to cover what you used, you just reconcile with VMware at the end of the year. (If you end up needing fewer licenses, VMware won't reimburse you, but as Balkansky pointed out, there's really no need to overestimate in the first place.)

Another factor that may be good about this change as it may allow more companies to adopt an easier pay-for-vm policy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

VSPHERE 4.1 LICENSING CHANGES

One interesting item I picked up on from this blog yesterday on the release of vSphere 4.1 is the start of VMware moving to a per-VM licensing structure. At that blog is was announced VMware vCenter Chargeback, VMware vCenter SRM (Site Recovery Manager), VMware vCenter Capacity-IQ, VMware vCenter AppSpeed would be switching to the new per-VM licensing structure.
Today Virtualization.info provided more info most likely obtained fromwww.itnews.com.au stating the per-VM license bundles will be sold in packs of 25.
It's interesting as recently I was having a conversation about this with an anonymous person inside VMware and it is obvious a change is needed with the Cores from Intel and AMD just continuing to increase. This newer model can help save money on some solutions bringing down the cost of virtualization. It allows you to pay for what your managing and not basing pricing on the physical hardware. in other ways it can help because some products had to be licensed for an entire cluster instead of just the number of virtual machines you needed to deal with.
I have learned the licensing changes will take place in September for these products but you will have until December to continue licensing like you have been or switch to the new method.

Another nice change...the standard edition now includes vmotion!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

VSPHERE 4.1 LINKS YOU NEED

As you probably know, the next awesome release of vSphere has been released as expected today, July 13, 2010. There is a lot of blogs and updates on the 4.1 release but some of the best I have found are these:

 

http://vsphere-land.com/news/vsphere-41-the-links.html

 

http://vsphere-land.com/news/tidbits-on-the-new-vsphere-41-release.html

 

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html

 

http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/vmware-vsphere-4-1-released-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-new/

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NC/SC 2010 SUMMIT-Expert Panel discussion video

If you missed this wonderful event held in Charlotte each year, this is a video Dave Davis (AKA vmwarevideos.com training) made of are very good expert panel discussion. The experts were Chad Sakac of EMC, Vaugh Stewart of NetApp, Scott Lowe of EMC, Mike Laverick of RTFM-Ed.co.uk.

 

The first question to get things started is presented by myself and it really got some interesting conversation going.

 

See the video.

VMWARE STORAGE I/O CONTROL VIDEO

This is a nice video showing off the new STORAGE I/O Control feature expected to be in the VSPHERE 4.1 release. This is the first in several storage improvements I think we are going to see from VMware…and shows why VMware is leader!

 

Check out the video.

NEW VMWARE TRAINING COURSES ANNOUNCED

VMware education has been very busy in 2010 bringing us so far 5 new classes to take:

 

n  Automation with vSphere PowerCLI

n  Manage & Design for Security

n  Transition to ESXi

n  Troubleshooting

n  Design Workshop

 

VSPHERE 4.1 RUMORED RELEASE DATE JULY 13, 2010

http://virtualization.info has announced information they have obtained saying the next exciting release of VSPHERE (4.1) will be released July 13th. They were the first to leak possible new features in this release and performance improvements expected in the release.

VWMORLD 2010 BACKPACK REVEALED:

Well as VMworld 2010 get closer and closer we finally get to see the backpack that has been selected for this year.
You can also catch a video of this at http://www.ntpro.nl.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TRY OUT THE CLOUD FOR FREE!!

I was just reading about a free trial of CLOUDSWITCH EXPLORER over an www.ntpro.nil. Now this is cool, especially since I have been preaching this was coming since last year's VMowrld 2009 event to management at work. You can register 1 user and move up to 5 vms into the cloud and back to your VMware internal cloud...securing everything, keeping the same IP, If you like it...move up to the enterprise version!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

VMWORLD 2010 CONTENT CATALOG NOW LIVE!

The content catalog has now been made live for VMWORLD 2010. Go check it out!

VMWARE VIEW PCoIP USERS-DON'T APPLY UPDATE 2

Earlier today VMware became aware of an issue affecting users of VMware View after applying Update 2 to their ESX 4.0 hosts. The problem only effects PCoIP, RDP works normally. There is a discussion of the problem in the VMware Communities here.

While our IT Teams work to resolve the issue, the Knowledge Base Team has responded by creating an up-to-the-minute live document at: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1022830 and using @vmwarecares and @vmwarekb Twitter accounts to alert customers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

VSPHERE 4 UPDATE 2 AND VMWARE TOOLS


The release notes state: "VMware ESX 4.0 Update 2 requires a VMware Tools upgrade". Now the "requires" part is what can lead to some stress, especially in a large environment like ours. Of course it is best practice to accomplish this..but required...seem a bit more serious.



VCAP4-DCA BLUE PRINT GUIDE AVAILABLE

Source of this information is from http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1517-The-VCAP4-DCA-Exam-Blueprint-Guide-is-available.html

Per this information: 40 live lab activities, short pre‐exam survey consisting of 9 questions. Lab activities consist of multiple tasks, where each task is scored. The total number of activities provided is based on the total number of tasks. Because of this, the actual number of lab activities may vary slightly between exams.


VSPHERE 4 FAST TRACK CLASS NOTES

Just ran across this blog with some nice notes from the vSphere 4 fast track class. You may find some of these notes helpful. Nice blog also.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

VSPHERE WIN BEST OF MICROSOFT TECHED 2010:

Now this is just further proof the VMware and vSphere are the top dog when it comes to virtualization.
At Teched 2010 last week it was selected both at Best Of teched 2010 AND Best of TechEd Attendee's Pick!

That has to be embarrassing for Microsoft to loose out at their own conference with Hyper-V!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CRITICAL VSPHERE CLIENT KB

VMware released a CRITICAL vSphere Client KB today

The vSphere Clients, prior to the Update 1 release, cannot be used to access the vCenter Server or ESX hosts. A Microsoft update that targets the .NET Framework, released on June 9th 2010 is causing this issue. The update http://support.microsoft.com/kb/980773 causes the vSphere Client to stop working. 
 
To correct the issue there are two options that can be performed:
  • Remove the MS update from your Windows operating system. The vSphere Client works after the update is removed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

POWERSHELL-RESCAN ALL HBAS IN CLUSTER

Just wanted to share this awesome script I found. Really helpful if your removing a LUN from a Cluster. Normally, when you add a LUN to a cluster the cluster automatically does a rescan for you. But when removing a LUN...it doesn't do that for you.

Check out this Powershell script. Just use the syntax:  ./scriptname  virtualcenter clustername
Sweat!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GREAT SETUP ADVICE FOR 10GIGE NETWORKING

VMware blogs is running a series of articles detailing specific setup suggestion around vSphere and 10GigE. I really like some of the suggestions just in this first article and plan to use this in our setup.



VMware Certified Advanced Professional

VMware has announced a new certification that I plan to go for. The next step up from just a VCP level.

You can find all the details on the VMware Certification site.

Upon accomplishing VMware Certified Professional on VMware vSphere 4 (VCP4) you are eligible to pursue our intermediate level certification: VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP). Available in Datacenter Administration and/or Datacenter Design, this program is appropriate for VCP4s that are ready to further enhance their skills with the virtual infrastructure and add new, industry-recognized credentials to their list of accomplishments.

The VCAP4-DCA is directed toward System Administrators, Consultants and Technical Support Engineers who can demonstrate their skills in VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter technologies in relation to the datacenter, as well as their knowledge of application and physical-infrastructure services and their integration with the virtual infrastructure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

VPLEX/UNISPHERE/UIM/FAST/STORAGE API VIDEO DEMO COLLECTION

VPlex Configuration Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/9/cNvq-jJb4zw

VMWare Failover with VPlex Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/11/fKKhrI7A7Og

Unisphere - a new unified management and reporting interface for all EMC storage systems (excluding SYM) to manage, storage, archive, backup and replicate
Unisphere Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/6/mACVdai9YwE

FAST - version two of fully automated storage tiering now allows automatic sub-LUN level movement of data from Flash to FC to ATA optimizing performance and minimizing cost.  FAST Cache - leverages Flash to extend existing cache capacities for accelerated system performance and automatic absorption of unpredicted spikes in application workloads
FAST Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/5/_py3XRbryt0

VMWare APIs - new tools provide a single view, from within VMware vCenter, with full transparency and integration of storage, server, and virtual machine:
VMWare API Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/10/oKubyt6XBcI

EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) turns Vblocks into integrated infrastructure - a "pool of pools", makes creating service offerings from those pools and subsequently end-to-end provisioning/deprovisioning simple - it allows PHYSICAL infrastructure to be elastic. It also makes managing MANY Vblocks as simple as managing one - and enables the set of Vblocks (end to end) to be partitioned into multi-tenant domains.
UIM version 2.0 Demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/sakacc#p/u/7/IjfyHIkWjmo

NEW VREFERENCE CARDS:

Forbes Guthrie again amazes us by offering up new vreference cards:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


EMC VPLEX-VM TELEPORTATION: MORE INFO



More info is coming out about this major "virtual revolution" as big if not bigger than vmotion and storage vmotion.
See these links:

Video:

The following are a few highlights from the 2nd link above (be sure to see that link for all the info).

"vPlex means (to me) a vMotion where the VMDKs being acted on are immediately available in the other side – moving everything, and moving it instantly over geographic distance.
it starts immediately accessing storage on the other side...access anywhere"


"VPLEX enables a storage device is simultaneously presented at both the local and remote side in a read/writeable state in an active/active model – any IO can be served by any VPLEX node, by any port – at anytime."


"VPLEX is the first application of this core technology and is a shipping, generally available product, and can be used with ANY array."

vSphere advantage:
The answer is basic: It enables high performance, high availability geographically dispersed storage that's active/active – read/writeable on both sides.

  • Use Case #1: vMotion between different vSphere ESX clusters being managed by a single vCenter.
  • Use Case #2: stretching an vSphere ESX cluster across geographic distance.

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