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Category Archives: Support Outsider

VMware Apps for You

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my ongoing series — “The Support Outsider”, a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihTaking a break from the usual Workstation and My VMware topics, this week I will be talking about some cool VMware / VMware-related apps which just might be what you are looking for your virtualization needs. Maybe you are already using these apps, so feel free to share your views on them here. If you are not using them yet, do try them out for yourself and see how they can help you out. For this week, I will be talking about two apps from VMware and in the coming weeks, I will also discuss other VMware-friendly apps out there.

My VMware app: First on my list is the My VMware app from VMware, Inc. Available for both iOS and Android, this is a great app to have on your iPhone, iPad or smart phone to view your entitlements, accounts, products, and license keys in a folder structure. You can also see the users and permissions associated with the folders. Though the app is free to download, you need to have a My VMware account in order to use it. (Check out this article Creating a My VMware profile (2007005) if you haven’t created a My VMware profile yet). If you are going to try out this app for the first time, check out the My VMware Mobile App FAQ; you will find a lot of helpful answers there. Another good article to read when using the app for the first time is My VMware Mobile App Overview (2017192). It will give you an overview of what the app is about and functionality it offers.

VMware vSphere Client for iPad: Next on the list is the VMware vSphere Client for iPad app, also from VMware, Inc. The app requires iOS 4.0 or later and is free to download on your iPad. This is a very useful app for viewing and managing your vSphere environment on the go. You can monitor the performance of your vSphere hosts and manage your virtual machine by starting up, stopping, and suspending your VMs. To get an overview of the app and see other features it offers, see the overview section in the VMware Community for this App. Before you start using the App, you will need to set up the free vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) virtual appliance (available here at the VMware Labs) and also configure the app itself. Check out these two videos for setting up the vCMA virtual appliance and configuring the app; they will walk you through the whole process.

So, there you go, two handy VMware apps that will help you in your virtual environments. If you are running into problems with these or other VMware apps, check out the VMware Communities and see if a solution is already posted in there. You can also get in contact via Twitter: @vmwarecares.

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.

Restrict your virtual machines using Workstation 9

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihLast week I talked about encrypting virtual machines, a feature available in Workstation 9. Encryption adds an extra layer of security to your virtual machines; check out last week’s post for more information on this topic or watch the video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

This week I want to discuss restricting virtual machines, another new feature in VMware Workstation 9.

Once you have encrypted a virtual machine, you can enable restrictions; this feature will allow you to prevent users from making any changes to the virtual machine’s configuration settings. Once restrictions are enabled, users will not be able to perform actions like remove virtual devices from the VM, change its memory allocation, change the network connection type, and various other actions (check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide to find out more about the actions that cannot be carried out once restrictions are enabled).

When you enable restrictions, you can also choose the ‘Require the user to change the encryption password’ option. This is a very useful feature if you wish to distribute a VM to multiple users. For example, if I wanted to provide my friends with a copy of the personal VM I use for software development purposes, I would select this restriction’s option which then will prompt my friends to change the encryption password when they open the VM. This saves a lot of time and effort as you only need to set a temporary encryption password for the VM once instead of setting passwords for all the copies of my VMs individually. Anyone who opens the copied VM now can change the encryption password at start up, to set up their own personal encryption password for their new personal VM.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you enable restrictions on your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

If you have any problems restricting or encrypting your virtual machines, remember to check the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com).

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

Encrypt your virtual machines using Workstation 9

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihI had mentioned last week that I intended to discuss some cool Workstation 9 features that I have come across while making videos for this product, so this week I want to discuss the topic of encrypting virtual machines.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone was to get access to your virtual machines? I never used to care about it until one day, last week, one my ‘friends’ broke into a virtual machine that I carry with me on an external hard drive. Luckily, all my friend did was playfully change the wallpaper on the machine as a prank.  Even though setting my password to something stronger than password123 would have helped, it got me thinking that my virtual machine would have been a lot safer if I had encrypted it. That’s exactly what I set out to do.

Before you encrypt your virtual machine, one important item to note is that the encryption feature only supports virtual machines that have virtual hardware version 5. x or later. For more info on that, check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide for limitations.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

I also want to point out that if you have any problems encrypting your virtual machine, remember, the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com) should be the first place to come to mind for help.

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 Resources and Education

Hello again, everyone. Welcome to my series, The Support Outsider, a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihThe week before last, I talked about the new VMware Workstation 9 and very briefly discussed how you can purchase it. I’ve been working on videos for Workstation 9 and in the coming weeks I intend to discuss some cool new features that I have come across.

A few weeks ago, I was discussing the various sections in My VMware. This week, I want to revisit that topic and explore the Resources and Education section in My VMware. I will specifically discuss the Communities and Knowledge Base sections this week, and get to the other section in the coming weeks. I will also share with you some useful, related Knowledge Base articles.

Once you have logged into My VMware (Creating a My VMware profile (2007005), open the Resources and Education section. Here you will find links to some very useful tools and resources. You will find links to:

  • Communities
  • Knowledge Base
  • Technical Resources
  • Support Tools
  • VMware training
  • Product Documentation

All of these tools are very handy and I am sure that most of us use them on a daily basis; the Knowledge Base and Communities are ones I most often use. When I come across a problem while working on videos, these are the two places I search for answers. The next time you come across any issues with your VMware products, go to the VMware Communities by clicking View Communities from within the Research and Education section of your My VMware profile. In the Community, join discussions under Technical Help and choose the forum you are interested in. You can either look for answers or provide them there. Use Communities to simply research or contribute to the discussions or use this section to express your honest opinion and let it all out.

In the Knowledge Base section of Resources and Education, you will find the answers to all of your VMware problems (well most of them). My team manages and maintains the Knowledge Base and the videos I make are embedded in the Knowledge Base articles they relate to. The Knowledge Base is a user-friendly tool that lets you search for articles that will help solve any VMware issues you are facing. If you are looking for an article to start,I would recommend you read Using the VMware Knowledge Base (878). Also check out Searching the VMware Knowledge Base(9268797); it features a SlideRocket presentation that will walk you through the steps on how to search the Knowledge Base, and also provides other useful info.

VMware‘s SlideRocket is a very powerful presentation tool, and I intend to talk more about it and the useful features it offers in the coming weeks. So, do come back to find out more on that and be sure to come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization.  Thanks for your time.

A Few Things About VMware Workstation

Hello again everyone and welcome to my ongoing series “The Support Outsider”, a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihIt was a fun and busy week as VMware prepared to launch Workstation 9 (and Fusion 5). Yes, its finally here in case you hadn’t seen the news yet.

My week was busy making videos relating to Workstation 9 and as most of my work in the last couple of months has involved Workstation 8, I was excited about seeing Workstation 9.

Let me start by mentioning that if you have recently purchased Workstation 8, you could be eligible to get a free upgrade to Workstation 9. Check out Eligibility to receive free licenses for VMware Fusion 5 & VMware Workstation 9 (2033582) to find out more about this (the article also gives you details about free upgrades from VMware Fusion 4 to 5).

If you are new to Workstation and are looking for information check out: Workstation and Player Online Library, you will find pretty much everything you need in this guide so do look at it. You can also find some pretty useful videos and information on our VMware KBTV blog.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about purchasing VMware products you can check it out here How to Purchase VMware Products if you feel like buying Workstation 9, but a reminder that you will need a My VMware account to purchase it (
Creating a My VMware profile (2007005)
) but as I mentioned this week I’m going to take a break from talking about My VMware, but check out the post for more information, or check out this article Buying VMware Fusion 5/VMware Workstation 9 from the VMware Online Store (2033704) which specifically deals with buying the new Workstation 9 and also VMware Fusion 5.

So, there you go, just a few things I thought I would share with you regarding Workstation 9. Next week I will continue with Workstation 9 and tell you a few other things I have come across while making the videos for it.

If you have any problems in purchasing or downloading Workstation 9, remember you can always check out the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com) or you can get in contact via twitter http://twitter.com/vmwarecares.

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.

Exploring the My VMware Get Support section

Hello again everyone and welcome to my ongoing series "The Support Outsider", a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihLast week I was talking about buying VMware products and discussed some features of the Products and Downloads section in My VMware. This week I thought I'd briefly explore the Get Support section of My VMware and share with you some useful, related Knowledge Base articles. In the Get Support section you will find quick answers to common questions and you may also file Support Requests here.

Once you are logged into My VMware go to support and click on Get Support (If for whatever reason you have created a profile and logging into My VMware is failing check out Logging in to My VMware fails (2014050)). There are three options when selecting your issue category:

  • Technical issues
  • Licensing issues
  • General Inquiries

From the drop-down menu in these options you can select the issue you are facing. Depending on your choice you are then provided a list of relevant Knowledge Base articles that might help in quickly solving your issue. These articles are specifically chosen to address our most frequent inquiries. If the displayed articles do not help, you may continue the process of filing your request by clicking on the continue button on the bottom of the page. From there you fill out the support request information on the following page and send the request.

If you haven’t filed a support request before using My VMware I would recommend reading Filing a Support Request in My VMware (2006985). This KB has helpful embedded videos that demonstrate the procedures for filing your request for the different issue categories.

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

How to Purchase VMware Products

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

Moses MasihWhen monitoring Twitter I have often come across people asking questions about how they might buy a VMware product that they had downloaded to try out, and decided after kicking the tires, to purchase.

The answer to their question is simply – through My VMware. If you wish to evaluate a VMware product you will be asked to set up a My VMware account. Some customers have questioned this extra step but I see why this was done. My VMware offers a lot of useful features that help in maintaining your account in an organized fashion.

Once you have logged into My VMware, go to the Products and Evaluations section and you will be able to see all of your current and expired evaluated products. Under Current Evaluations, you will see the product’s name and options like Download and How to buy. When you click on How to buy you will see various options presented which you can then use to buy the product you are evaluating. Check out article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2007046 to get more information on this topic.

You will also find other features there like Product Registration where you can register license keys Registering a license key in My VMware (2011177), Betas where you can test VMware's cutting edge advancements, and Virtual Appliances where you can explore various cloud-ready virtual appliances, like the one I downloaded from the VMware Solution Exchange (last week’s post). Overall, the registration may seem like an annoyance up front, the payoff is in staying organized over the long term, and organization saves money.

Check out this article if you have any problems downloading any products: Downloading VMware products and troubleshooting issues with downloads (1012245).

The VMware Solution Exchange

Hello again everyone and welcome to my seventh 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 I will use this idea to tell you about how I was able to start development in Drupal by simply downloading a pre-built virtual machine which was already fully configured and ready to develop.

This past week I was researching some web and CMS development tools to learn some new development techniques and Drupal came highly recommended by some colleagues here. My team uses it to develop custom web applications. I learned I could get one of these pre-built vms from VMware's Solutions Exchange (VSX) (https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store) which is VMware’s online virtualization marketplace. Wow, what a place! There are many virtual appliances and solutions available in VSX, so if you haven’t been there already it is definitely worth looking into. No installing of applications, supporting databases, and web servers; it's all done!

The BitNami Stack virtual machine I downloaded (https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/drupal-7-0-0-ubuntu-10-10 ) had a Ubuntu 10.10 Linux operating system and all the dependencies needed like Apache-MySQL-PHP and phpMyAdmin pre-configured. Talk about a time saver!

I created a new virtual machine using the VMDK virtual disk file provided in the downloaded zip file. Steps for doing this are found in the KB article: Creating a Workstation virtual machine using existing VMDK virtual disks (2010196). I made the mistake of not following the steps one by one however, and after I got so far into the KB, I notice things weren't going as expected.  Turned out to be completely my fault. Lesson learned — follow the KB, one step at a time.

I now can enjoy this new virtual machine, building my development skills instead of using my physical machine. This way, I know I won’t end up crashing my laptop by way of an accident.

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

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.

A Typical Work Day

Hello again everyone and welcome to my fifth post in our 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’m going to talk about my typical work day.

In my current role as a multimedia specialist, most of my work revolves around the VMware KBTV blog and also the VMware YouTube channel – VMware KBTV. I help in managing and maintaining them and also help providing a steady flow of new video content. 

Before now, I thought video production to be quick and easy. But after only a week of training I realised that a lot of work goes into producing even the shortest of videos. It involves research and understanding the topic involved, making scripts, shooting the audio and video elements and then combining the two elements to produce a single file and so on.

On a typical work day I come in earlier than most staff members to avoid any unwanted noise in the recordings like fire doors being slammed, people conversing with customers, sneezing, laughing, etc. Getting up early is manageable but not sounding like I just woke up in the recordings is a challenge, so thankful for coffee!

Before I start recording anything I have to research into the topic at hand. When I am given a new video to make I start by looking up the associated KB article and product involved.

Here’s an example. For the first video I was asked to make (running Workstation 8 as a server with shared Virtual Machines:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2005585), to research the product I first read the Using VMware Workstation guide first as I had little knowledge about Workstation along with the documentation. Then I read the KB article itself and practised the steps involved a couple of times.  

Once I have a good understanding of the product involved and the steps in the article I try to execute them and record my screen performing the steps using Camtasia Studio 7, a great screen capture utility for video work. After that, I produce a written voice over script, which I’ll use to record the audio.

Once I have the audio and video sections both recorded I bring them into Camtasia Studio 7 for final editing. I have to place the audio clips carefully in the video file and look for opportunities where a zoom or other such effect might be added to emphasis some procedure. We also add some quiet background music to our videos to fill in the dead spots. Once editing is finished, I produce a final draft which is then passed on to other teamates to be double checked and finally published on our VMware KBTV blog and YouTube channel. To see the latest videos we have posted check out http://blogs.vmware.com/kbtv.

So there you have it, a look at my typical workday. 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.