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Monthly Archives: October 2008

VMware Update Manager Performance and Best Practices Paper Posted

Link: VMware: VROOM!: VMware Update Manager Performance and Best Practices Paper Posted.

VMware
Update Manager (VUM) is a component of VMware Infrastructure that
automates patches and upgrades of ESX hosts as well as Windows and
Linux virtual machines. A new white paper, VMware Update Manager
Performance and Best Practices http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vum_1.0_performance.pdf, is now available.

In this paper we discuss VUM 1.0
host deployment, latency, resource consumption, guest OS tuning,
high-latency networks, and the impact of on-access virus scanning. We
also provide performance tips to help customers tune the system for
better performance.

What’s New in Security at VMware.com

From the VMware Security Blog, which should be on your short list. (Note that the blog is more for news and updates, but you can get security notifications emailed to you — check the right sidebar of the blog or the Security Center. Note also that this page is separate from the Security Technology page Charu mentions below.)

Link: VMware: VMware Security Blog: What’s New in Security at VMware.com.

  • The new VMware Compliance Center includes an overview of the issues involved with
    virtualization and compliance, a comprehensive listing of partner
    virtualization compliance solutions, and references such as white papers
    and recorded webcasts.
  • There is a new listing of Free Security and Compliance Utilities.
    These tools are provided by VMware partners, and can be downloaded and
    used right away to help assess and monitor your VI deployment
  • The Overview section of the Security Technology site has been updated to present the core issues of virtualization and security in a more streamlined way.  The Resources listing has also been enhanced to include more external resources.
  • Although not new, the VMsafe section had received some updates over the summer which you might not have seen.
  • Finally, something else that’s not new but worth pointing out is the Security Certifications
    page.  We will be listing all security-related certifications that
    VMware products receive, so you can check here to see ones we have
    received.

VMware Server 2.0 on the Roundtable podcast

Rick Vanover at SearchVMware.com runs down the recently-released VMware Server 2.0. That will be our topic today on the podcast. Listen/chat live. Link: VMware Server 2.0: New look, new Web interface.

The 2.0 version also offers several functionality highlights:

  • New console tool. The console tool for VI Web Access is a
    browser applet that runs in a separate browser window across platforms.
    The console tool has some nice features, including re-direction
    capabilities for local media (such as CD-ROM) to the guest VM. The
    console display also has dynamic resolution resizing, including
    full-screen support. The figure below shows a guest VM in the new
    console:

    Seibert_st_1_2

  • USB 2.0 device support

  • Live disk addition You can add an additional hard drive to a VM on the fly.
  • New programming features The VMCI socket interface and VIX API allow for programming and scripting directly to VMware Server.
  • Increased hardware boundaries You can now assign up to 8 GB of memory to a VM. Enhanced 64-bit processing support is available.
  • Virtualize

    Picture_1

    Check out our new ads, appearing in a business publication near you.

    More blog roundup

    Bochebanner
    Jason Boche is new to blogging, but has been working with ESX for years and has been a great resource and user moderator of the VMware Communities for years as well. (And he had a giant picture hanging by the bookstore at VMworld, but I don’t think that counts towards your VCP.)

    He’s hitting the ground running with his new blog,
    boche.net – VMware Virtualization Evangelist

    Duncan Epping has also been in a technical tip frenzy lately

    Eric Gray also had a good snarky one today: Storage vendors unanimously applaud SCVMM innovation

    As usual, you find more reading material on Planet V12n.

    Transcript, notes on vCloud, VDC-OS podcasts

    Rod Haywood took the time to write up a transcript of last week’s vCloud podcast. Since there isn’t a lot yet written about the details of our vCloud initiative, this makes for good reading. He also has some great notes and thoughts on the VDC-OS podcast. Here’s a quick section about the new REST-style vCloud APIs we’re working on:  Musings of Rodos: Transcript of "All about the vCloud" podcast from VMTN.

    So compared to the VIM APIs if you wanted to any type of rich
    operation, lets say provision a new machine, that could have four or
    five discrete steps to it, some of them could be synchronous, some
    could be asynchronous, you would have to coble together the work flow
    of things and map out the dependencies and trap the error conditions in
    case one of them didn’t come through. What we have done is boil these
    things up to much simpler course grained operations so you can
    provision a machine through one call, sit on your response code and
    deal with an error code due to something such as a lack of billing
    information to make that provision or what ever else might be the case.
    But we are definitely trying to make it a much simpler way to very
    immediately pull together services that would sit on top of that
    infrastructure. The scope of the API at this point is working on making
    sure we cover all your basic infrastructure operations so provisioning
    of machines, all your basic state transitions, capturing inventory of
    what you have, we have added a couple of new containers that we think
    are helpful for people managing infrastructure, so that people can take
    a larger pool of infrastructure and chop it up, so if the case was you
    are a large company and you wanted to make a volume purchase of
    capacity you could then chunk it up and hand it off to business units
    for individual projects and then manage it in those individual
    containers. We will be pushing out the documentation for everybody to
    start engaging with and providing feedback at the end of the first
    quarter next year.

    Weekend reading: new blogs

    New blogs for your weekend reading enjoyment. I should be adding some of these to Planet V12n in the near future.

    New VMware ThinApp Blog from Travis Sales. Recent posts include:

    VMware’s Erik Gray has a new blog, VCritical. His latest post: What would things be like without VMFS?

    Jason Boche, who you may recognize as a VMware Communities moderator, has started a new blog at boche.net/blog. His latest post: ESX partitioning a lost art form in ESXi

    ESX administrators evolve from varying backgrounds where they dealt
    with a range of operating systems. Each administrator brings their best
    ideas, experiences, and nightmares the he or she would probably like to
    forget, to the table. With the ESX Service Console (Console Operating
    System or COS for short) based on a version of Red Hat, Linux and Unix
    administrators were natively the best equipped to carry on an
    intelligent conversation of Linux partitioning “Do’s and Don’ts”.
    However, ESX did add a few twists in how it used the COS and the file
    system. Taking into account the native behavior of Red Hat in addition
    to the ESX specific characteristics, partitioning best practices
    evolved. While not every administrator will agree on the exact size a
    given partition should be, a pattern in how ESX is properly partitioned
    is fairly evident, plus or minus the partition size variance that fits
    the personal taste of the administrator or perhaps company baseline
    policies or standards. ESX partitioning strategy was an art form; maybe
    something to brag about when getting your geek on in a circle of peers.

    SeanClark.us, who was also one of the instigators of vmworldunderground. Recent posts:

    Rodney Haywood’s Musings of Rodos. Rodney has been getting up early to be a regular on the podcasts, and he’s well worth reading about cloud and other topics. Recent posts:

    It’s Just Another Layer from Ian Koenig. Recent posts:

    2 VCPs and a Truck. I don’t know Jon Owings, but I love the blog name. (Around here, Jon, it’s One Big Man & One Big Truck.)  Recent posts:

    VM Squad from Jeromy. Recent posts:

    Leo’s Ramblings from Leo Raikhman. Some recent posts in the VMware category:

    And I’ll leave you to wander off and go check out VMware Tips from Rick Scherer. Off to a very nice start

    Using Workstation snapshots for all your projects

    Erik Swenson of EMC uses VMware Workstation and a big snapshot tree to separate his Sharepoint projects. Link: SharePoint Branding & Design: Benefits of VMware Workstation for Branding.

    Vmwaresnapshots7
    I store them on an external drive and back it up frequently. This
    allows me to take all of my work on the road or to any client site as
    needed. As you can see from the screenshot on the left I normally start
    all of my projects from a base vanilla image of SharePoint. … 

    The great thing about VMware is that I can
    always go back to any of my past projects and make edits or changes as
    needed. Say for example you finished up a project about a month ago and
    you are knee deep into another project. When all of a sudden you get an
    email that there was this weird bug that needs to be fixed. All you
    would have to do is save a snapshot of your current project and open up
    the snapshot of the old project make the fix and you are done.

    The Economist does cloud computing

    The Economist has a nice special report on Cloud Computing and corporate IT, and successfully explains the various flavors, from the SaaS/Gmail to the VDC-OS enterprise cloud. It’s hard to pull out one quote, so here are two samples:

    The evolution of data centres | Where the cloud meets the ground | The Economist.

    “In
    a way, we’re cleaning up Microsoft’s sins,” says Paul Maritz, VMware’s
    boss and a Microsoft veteran, “and in doing so we’re separating the
    computing workload from the hardware.” Once computers have become more
    or less disembodied, all sorts of possibilities open up. Virtual
    machines can be fired up in minutes. They can be moved around while
    running, perhaps to concentrate them on one server to save energy. They
    can have an identical twin which takes over should the original fail.
    And they can be sold prepackaged as “virtual appliances”.

    The economics of the cloud | Highs and lows | The Economist.

    Cloud computing is unlikely to bring about quite such a dramatic
    shift. In essence, what it does is take the idea of distributed
    computing a step farther. Still, it will add a couple of layers to the
    IT stack. One is made up of the cloud providers, such as Amazon and
    Google. The other is software that helps firms to turn their IT
    infrastructure into their own cloud, known as a “virtual operating
    system for data centres”.

    Drawing a neat diagram of the IT stack will also become increasingly
    difficult because the layers are becoming less distinct. In a world of
    services it often does not make sense to think of hardware and software
    separately, argues Padmasree Warrior, the chief technology officer of
    Cisco. Both need to be blended to offer new services, she says.

    Here are the articles in the series:

    How are you doing Employee Virtualization Training? | VMHero

    Ryan Marmion asks how you are educating your colleagues about virtualization? If you have, has it made a difference?

    Link: Sound Off: Employee Virtualization Training | VMHero.

    This brings to light that virtualization is more than a mere adoption of technology.  There is a cultural adoption as well.  How do your people know that they shouldn’t run 4 VM’s on their laptop?  How do you explain that virtualization is not *magic* to people that don’t have a fundamental understanding of how it works?  In my mind this might be that mystical missing piece in your ROI puzzle.  Once your drive adoption at the lowest level with a workforce of people who are educated and excited about what the technology is doing in your organization, the enthusiasm will bubble up to the top levels of the company.