Friday, August 27, 2010


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


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 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 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 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. 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


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 which has more info and instructions.

You can get the guide for the utility as well. 

VMware RSS Feed