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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Slow Down Time!

On this fine Saturday, my third post in our new series The Support Outsider, a unique look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (that’s me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses Masih Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to enjoy work. This week I am going to discuss a challenge I faced in the first few weeks of the job, work-life balance.

A week or two into the internship I completed basic training and started helping out on small jobs. Soon enough I was given my own work tasks and deadlines too. I was excited to finally contribute to the team so I started putting in some extra time and effort to be more productive. While initially it felt rewarding to work at a high level soon I realised that all I thought of most of the time was work related. My work didn’t stop when I left the office, I was bringing it home with me. I didn’t think this to be a bad thing at the start but pretty soon I started feeling that my work life was over powering my personal life.

I started feeling like my activities at home, away from the job, had shrunk to eating, sleeping and getting ready for work the next day. Though I knew that I spent a lot more time at home than I did at work, my mind was convinced that the majority of my day was spent working. This was rather annoying as I couldn’t share this with my team, I felt like I was the only one who had ever faced this problem. I started looking out for solutions.

One evening I saw the main character in a TV show facing the same problem as me and he took a deep breath and time began slowing down. I tried that the next day and while that approach didn’t necessarily work for me I did understand the point they were trying to get across. I stopped rushing into my work tasks and thought about and allocated the time I would spend on them before I started any work on them. This led me to making a rough timetable of the tasks and time to be spent on each task on a daily basis.

I can share this challenge now, after I have developed somewhat of a work-life balance, but while looking up the subject online I found a lot of good help. So if you are going through the same, my advice would be to develop a healthy work-life balance that suits your job. I enjoy both my work and personal life more now, though taking a deep breath when you feel stressed doesn’t slow down time it still helps.

Be sure to come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring this new world of virtualization.

Installing vCloud Director 1.5 Best Practices

As promised, here is a new video which provides an overview of the best practices of installing vCloud Director 1.5, insuring that it is installed and configured effectively. Nothing like getting your project started on the right foot.

The video also directs you where you can drill down for more detailed information. Enjoy!

For more information on this topic, read the KB article: Installing vCloud Director 1.5 best practices (2005829).

If you're not already, subscribe to this blog to recieve these great tips automatically.

Top 10 Most Clicked Articles

If you look at the bottom of every post here in the Support Insider, you’ll may have noticed a ‘You might like’ section with 5 thumbnail images. These are there to offer you related content that you might find useful. For the last 30 days, here are the top articles that our readers are clicking through to read. See anything interesting to you?

  1. Hardware Monitoring in ESXi
  2. Downloading and installing VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5
  3. What is the vSphere Management Assistant (vMA)?
  4. Dealing with VCenter 4.1 Database Tables Growth
  5. How to boot into Windows Safe Mode in your VM
  6. Getting Started with vSphere 5: Upgrading vCenter Server and Update Manager to vSphere 5.0
  7. How to Enable NFS on Windows 2008 and Present to ESX
  8. Getting Started with vSphere 5: Installing the vSphere 5 Web Client Server
  9. VMware Snapshots
  10. Getting Started with vSphere 5: Creating local users and groups in ESXi 5.0

Considerations as you Plan your VMware View Upgrade

Charlie RizorHere's some advice from Charlie Rizor, a support engineer specializing in Enterprise Desktop virtualization.

The Enterprise Desktop team at VMware support receives many support requests from customers that have performed an upgrade of their vSphere or View environments, and are now unable to provision desktops or connect to their environment. The majority of these cases could be avoided with a little understanding and planning prior to pulling the trigger on an upgrade.

Here is a list of the top 5 actions you can take during the planning phase to improve your upgrade experience.

1. Read the Documentation before upgrading.

It may not be necessary to read every document before installing a View test environment, but before upgrading a production environment, you should be familiar with the release notes and the upgrade guide. It cannot be overstated how many times reading just these documents would save hours of work in troubleshooting and rebuilding a View infrastructure. View 5.1 in particular has a lot of changes to the way security features are handled, and blindly upgrading without understanding these changes will almost certainly result in a broken View environment. Refer to the View Documentation site, https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/view_pubs.html

2. Before upgrading to the latest version of vSphere, verify that View Manager and Composer are compatible.

Due to offset release cycles, View Composer is not generally compatible with the latest vCenter Server the day it releases. View relies on the APIs present in vSphere to perform provisioning operations and is not designed to work with future vCenter Server releases. If your organization has a separate administrator for vSphere, be sure they understand that View must be considered prior to upgrading the virtual infrastructure. For example, vSphere 5.0 requires View to be at least version 5.0.  See vSphere 5.x does not support View Manager 4.x (2006216).

3. Don’t change the name or IP address of the vCenter Server during an upgrade.

When creating a pool in View, you designate the vCenter Server, Datacenter, and Cluster under which that pool is to be deployed. Changing the identity of any of these will break provisioning. The only supported way to change the identity of the vCenter Server in View is to delete all the desktops and pools, remove the vCenter Server from the View Configuration and add the vCenter Server with the new identity. For information on verifying continuity between vSphere and View components, see Editing an existing pool in the VMware View web admin interface fails with the error: One of required objects is not found in the VirtualCenter server <IP address> (1015100).

4. During the Upgrade process, some operations are not available.

There are many pieces to a View infrastructure, and once the upgrade process is started, some operations are not available until all the components are upgraded. Check the View Component Compatibility Matrix in the Upgrade Guide for specifics, but in general you will be able to continue connecting to current desktops during the upgrade, but provisioning new desktops is not possible until the Agent, Connection Server and Composer versions are fully compatible.

Each version of the View Upgrade Guide contains its own compatibility matrix:
View 5.1

View 5.0

View 4.6

View 4.5

5. Backup your View environment and disable provisioning during the upgrade to give you a restore point.

View 5.1 doesn’t leave you the option to downgrade after installing, but if your servers are virtual machines in your vSphere environment, you can take a snapshot of them prior to running the installer to give yourself a fallback if the upgrade has to be aborted. This will only work if the information in the databases is consistent with the state of the View environment, so be sure to disable provisioning before taking this snapshot and keep it disabled until the upgrade is complete, then delete the snapshots once the upgrade is verified.

The View Upgrade Guide also contains a section entitled Preparing for a VMware View Upgrade which will walk you through the steps of setting up backup and restore points prior to installing the latest software.  For View 5.1, there is an html version located here, but see the VMware View Documentation page for your version.

By keeping these simple points in mind, you give yourself the best chance of having a smooth upgrade with minimal downtime.

New Poll: Which Label do you Prefer?

Part of the challenge of creating and publishing online content is matching the subject matter to the skill level of the reader (or viewer in this case). Some customers have commented that some of our videos are too basic in nature, and they would not have viewed it if they knew this beforehand.

What we want to do then is begin attaching a label of some sort, indicating the skill level being presented.

Please take our Poll

Tell us which label you prefer:

Loving the Internship

Good morning! Today, the second post in our new series The Support Outsider, a unique look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider, Intern Moses Masih.

Moses Masih While preparing for my interview with VMware for the Multimedia internship position, I did some background research into the company, just like you normally do. I prepared myself for any questions about the company if asked, but even from all my research I could never have imagined how big VMware truly is until induction on my first day. Simply reading about thousands of employees working in a company is not enough; it is only when you are part of the huge employee family do you realise just how many people go into making the thousands.

In the career guidance class at college we would occasionally have guest speakers who would share their work experience and give us insights into some problems they faced as new recruits. My first day as I sat in the waiting area that those insights started coming back to me. I understood only then why they were nervous on their first day, but it’s funny how you can never remember the important parts of their insights, like how they overcame this feeling of unease and anxiety.

I had worked part time jobs before but never at a place quite like VMware or in a job of my interest. I felt like a lot would be expected from me right from the start and not knowing or a lack of understanding about something would not be tolerated. This was the first time I felt this type of pressure and I was very uncomfortable on my first day because of this.

Thankfully, the work environment here turned out to be like nothing I had in mind. I was introduced to my team, who are all very supportive and the staff here in general are very friendly. People genuinely want to help and questions are welcomed at any time, even during lunch break. This was a big change from pretty much every place I’ve worked at where people normally didn’t want to have a conversation, especially during their lunch break.

VMware gives its employees a lot of room to work in and learning is always encouraged. Though being in a virtual team (spread across the globe) sounds like a bit of a challenge I got used to it very quickly and with my role and responsibilities clearly outlined I immediately fit in. I will talk about the cool solutions we use for communicating effectively even within a scattered team in the coming posts. I am loving the internship here and there’s always something new to learn.

Be sure to come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more. Thanks for your time.

My VMware Sneak Peek – Data Migration for Existing Customers

Here is the fifth and final video in a series of videos aimed at providing an early look and insight into the new My VMware portal which launched earlier this year.

My VMware transforms your product license and support management experience by providing a new integrated, self-service, account-based interface focused on simplifying and streamlining your online activities with VMware.

Additional information is available at http://www.vmware.com/my_vmware/overview.html.

You can find a great deal of How To and Troubleshooting-based articles in our Knowledge Base at http://kb.vmware.com, by changing the product filter to My VMware.

The other videos in this series are:

One potato, two potato, three potato … Search!

Have you ever tried searching the VMware KB and had difficulty finding what you were looking for? Well, you wouldn’t be the only person to feel that way. Customers and VMware employees alike have been asking for a better explanation of how to effectively search the knowledge base.

Kilian Walker, our Interactive Presentation Designer, has put together a SlideRocket presentation that talks about how the search works and gives you some tips. We have embedded the presentation for you below, but if you’d like to check out the KB article it relates to, you can find it here.

Kilian covers how the search operators work, the different searching options (by phrase or KB article ID), and the search behavior.

We hope this SlideRocket presentation helps with your searching experience on kb.vmware.com.

Moses Masih – Hello World!

Here is the first post in a new series we are titling The Support Outsider. It’s going to be a unique look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider, Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihHi, my name is Moses. I work at VMware as a Multimedia Specialist intern and I am excited as I write this first post, well, excited and a little bit nervous. Excited for the recent opportunity I have been given to express myself here on The Support Insider blog. And nervous, as up to now I have only lurked in blog communities and never given back, this is my very first time writing for an audience.

I am a third-year computer science student at UCC (University College Cork, Ireland) and for my six months’ work placement I was lucky to get picked by VMware in April to work as a Multimedia Specialist in the Global Support Services group. Most of the work I do involves producing videos for VMware’s KBTV, which also involves me learning more about virtualization and about the products involved in the video. I’m also getting my feet wet on the social media side of things for our Knowledge Base team, which is another interesting task where I interact with customers and provide help via various social media channels.

My hopes are that this Support Outsider series will give you an insight into virtualization from my prospective, an intern still rather new to this field and always learning. I will share with you my experiences on the new job along with my thoughts on some cool virtualization solutions that are out there.

I will try my best to entertain you with my experiences as I step deeper into the exciting world of virtualization.

Be sure to come back to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization. Thanks for your time.

Converting a physical machine into a virtual machine to run on VMware Fusion, Workstation or Player

Another week coming to an end and another video for you from the KBTV team.

In this video, you will see how you can convert a physical machine into a virtual machine which will run on VMware Fusion, Workstation or Player. This video is based on VMware Knowledge Base article Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129).

During the course of this video you will specifically see:

  • How to download and install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
  • How to convert a physical machine running a Windows operating system