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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Purple Diagnostics Screen Articles

One thing you'll never see mentioned in a VMware Knowedgebase article is the term PSOD. Those ominous letters harken back to the blue screen crashes we all have seen on Windows based computers. In VMware, our dump screens have a magenta (purple) background, and so the lingo goes:

BSOD = Blue Screen Of Death
PSOD = Purple Screen Of Death

We really hate the negative connotations that these short-forms impart and much prefer to refer to these as purple diagnostics screens, because they do contain a great deal of information you can use to help diagnose the problem you have encountered. Here's what one looks like:

PSOD_ATOM
(click to enlarge)

Here is a list of every KB article we have that talks about these diagnostic screens. Hopefully a list you never need.

Multicore your vCPUs

Hello again everyone and welcome to my sixth post in our series The Support Outsider, a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (that's me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihThis week was busier than usual but I did come across a cool feature which you can try for your virtual machines. I want to talk about turning single core virtual machines into multicore machines in vSphere and Workstation.

While working on a new video that deals with setting cores in a virtual machine: Setting the number of cores per CPU in a virtual machine (1010184) so that its operating system can recognise the machine as having multi-core CPUs, I found that this process can be used in vSphere and Workstation 8. I tried it and set my single core virtual machines to 4-core machines and also came across some useful details that I will talk about. 

For ESXi 4 and 5 virtual machines the number of cores can be set up with vSphere and the process to do this is explained nicely in the above mentioned article. The article is a good read and will really help you understand the concepts of multi core vCPUs in virtual machines. I recommend reading and understanding the article before performing the steps.

For virtual machines I created in VMware Workstation: Creating virtual machines in VMware Workstation (1018415), the cores can be set by simply going into the virtual machine settings and clicking on processors. There you will see options to change the number of processors as well as the number of cores per processor for you virtual machine.

After restarting my virtual machines, I did not notice a huge difference in speed, but I think that is for two reasons. The application that I am using inside the vm is not very CPU intensive. Another reason I learned is that if your application is very disk intensive, then it doesn't matter how powerful you make your CPU, the disk is what is slowing you down.

When setting the cores for your virtual machines, one of the important issues that came up is that you could end up violating the license of the guest operating system on your virtual machine. You should always check if the new setting are in compliance with your operating systems EULA (End-user license agreement).

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.

Installing Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) as a virtual machine in VMware Fusion 4

With the availability of Apple's latest addition to the Mac OS X family – Mountain Lion (watch the video here) - which was announced earlier this week, we have started working on some new video tutorials specifically focusing on Mac OS X 10.8 in respect to our VMware Fusion product.

It will take us a few weeks to get these tutorials done and dusted. So, while you are waiting, here is a tutorial which demonstrates how to install Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) as a virtual machine in VMware Fusion 4. This video is based on the VMware Knowledge Base article Installing Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) as a virtual machine in Fusion 4 (2005334).

We know that the majority of you Mac junkies are looking to test out Mac OS X 10.8 as soon as possible. Before you do, ensure that you read the information available in the following blog posts first to save you some headaches:

A cool and intesting way to give Mountain Lion a test-drive might be to install the VMware Fusion Technology Preview 2012 on one of your super-cool Mac systems and then install OS X 10.8 inside of a virtual machine running on that platform. The Fusion Technology Preview is a beta-type platform, so it should not be used in your production environment — but it sure would sit nicely in your test and development environments.

Maybe if we get some time over the next few days we might even create a video or two quickly demonstrating how to install the Tech Preview and OS X 10.8 inside of a virtual machine….we are not making any promises though :-).

Anyway, enough talking….here is the video showing Installing Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) as a virtual machine in VMware Fusion 4.

Will VMware Fusion run on OSX Mountain Lion?

Rick BlytheIf you’re a Mac user you probably were eager to download and install the latest iteration of Mac OSX, labelled Mountain Lion. If you’re like me, you paid your $20 bucks, waited for the download to complete and the minute it did, you launched the installer without any thought to what applications you might be breaking. I’m as guilty of this behavior as the rest, and as soon as my machine rebooted, there it was staring at me on the dock — a VMware Fusion launcher with a big overlay on top of it apparently indicating this application will no longer run.

Good news! The VMware Fusion team was well prepared and had an FAQ posted in their blog: VMware Fusion and OS X Mountain Lion FAQ. Following the instruction in the FAQ I was happily able to run Fusion after I got the latest version installed. Knowing that there are other people out there like me, I got busy tweeting and sharing this FAQ.

Thanks VMware Fusion guys, I can get on with my day now.

 

***UPDATE: there is now a KB article on the subject: VMware Fusion compatibility with OS X Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8) (2032208)

Understanding the Storage Path Failover

This presentation follows along the VMware ESX/ESXi 4.x and 5.0 storage multi-pathing failover sequence, as it is logged on ESX Classic and ESXi.

For more information be sure to consult the KB articles referenced in the presentation.

VMware Workstation 8 as a Server

Hello again everyone and welcome to my sixth post in my series, The Support Outsider – a unique look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (that's me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihThis week I am going to briefly talk about a very useful feature of VMware Workstation that I came across this past week.

My first introduction to Workstation came in college where one of my friends had it on his computer and I saw a few things that it offered but had never gotten my hands on the product until I started working at VMware. Installing workstation was very easy and I was easily able to understand how it works on my own from playing around with it.

Last week I was given a task to automate the exporting of reports from one of the analytics packages we use for our ftp site. I was given a choice between either exporting every single report from the first of January 2011 to the current date or to develop a script for automating this process. Naturally I picked developing a script which would be two days of work, over exporting the reports manually which would obviously take longer. Manually exporting would have also consumed time that would be better spent on other tasks later in the week.

I approached one of the developers on a different team to help me develop the script and on his suggestion we created a new virtual machine on my desktop using VMware Workstation 8 following the steps in this KB article: Creating virtual machines in VMware Workstation (1018415).

We developed the script in this virtual machine and then using Workstation's server feature found in Workstation 8 (Running VMware Workstation 8 as a server with shared virtual machines (2005585) I made the virtual machine remotely accessible for the developer to modify the code where and whenever needed and also to check the code I was writing myself and be able to compile the program from his machine. This, I discovered, is a very handy feature in Workstation and it saved me a lot of time.

Once the coding was complete I simply ran the automation script in the background which exported all the reports for me on the same virtual machine used for development purposes while I spent my time working on other tasks. I was already impressed with Workstation for other features that it offers (which I might discuss in future posts) but for developing in a team spread out in different locations this new feature is great!

Find out more about Workstation in the Workstation blog, or to get an overview of the product yourself, visit: http://www.vmware.com/products/workstation/overview.html

Come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization!

Changing your My VMware password

Earlier this year, we released a new online portal called My VMware in order to provide simplified management for your product licenses and support entitlements.

If you ever have the need to reset your My VMware password due to a possible malfunction in your brain causing short term memory loss, then this tutorial might just get you out of a pickle!

Presenting our short and straight-to-the-point video which demonstrates how to change your profile password in the My VMware portal. This video is based on VMware Knowledge Base article Resetting your My VMware password (2013961) which should be referenced for the steps involved.

Enough said….let’s watch!

Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESXi and ESX

Here’s another brand new Sliderocket presentation on the topic of virtual machine snapshots.

Watching this overview of virtual machine snapshots will help you understand why you might be encountering an issue, and so that you can prevent those issues from occurring.

The presentation covers what makes up a snapshot and how the VMware API communicates with the snapshot; there is also a detailed look at the disk chain. For further information on this topic, be sure to read KB article: Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESXi and ESX (1015180).

Scheduled Maintenance – July 20, 2012

MaintenanceVMware will be performing a system upgrade to several VMware web applications on Friday, July 20th, 2012 from 6:00PM until 10:00PM Pacific Time. During this time, we request that you file your Support Requests via phone.

If you need to file a support request while the upgrade is in progress, our global toll-free numbers for support can be found at: http://www.vmware.com/support/phone_support.html

These system upgrades are part of our commitment to continued service improvements and will help VMware better serve your needs. We appreciate your patience during this maintenance period.

Changing the log file behavior in VMware View components

When trying to troubleshoot issues in your VMware View environment, you may encounter the need to obtain extra verbosity in the logs in order to capture all of the events surrounding the issue.

It is possible to change the level of logging for the various components in a VMware View environment and in this video tutorial you will see how the log levels on the View Connection/Security servers, the View Client and View Agent can be modified. In VMware View 4.0, the available log levels are INFO, DEBUG and FULL. In VMware View 4.5 and later, in addition to the View log levels, there are 2 additional components that can be set on the View Agent and Client – PCoIP and Virtual Channel, each with their own levels.

This video is based on VMware Knowledge Base article Changing the log file behavior in VMware View components (1025887) which should be referenced for the steps involved.

For instructions relating to changing the log levels for the VMware View Composer components, check out VMware Knowledge Base article Enabling verbose logging for View Composer related components (1010388). We hope to have a video covering that KB article available in the coming weeks so watch this space!