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Monthly Archives: February 2009

VMworld coverage

I'm having some technical difficulties. In the meantime, for more news out of VMworld I highly advise checking out Planet V12n, where you can keep tabs on keynotes, individual sessions, and what looks like an amazing party. Also check out VMworld.com (caution, sound!) — right now it  has a nice video on vCenter Server Heartbeat, as well as access to both keynotes, and the headlines. A Google News search for VMworld is not a bad option for a mix of press coverage. SearchServerVirtualization's VMworld coverage is, as usual, excellent.

I hope to resume our regularly scheduled coverage tomorrow, although if you click those 4 links above, you'll really know everything there you need to know about VMworld Europe.

[Update: ok, I can't resist dropping in one thing. There are probably announcements and topics that will be more relevant to your daily life, but the first demos of our Mobile Virtualization Platform had the crowd buzzing. Also check out today's podcast where we talked a bit about it as well. More on the podcast later.]

VMware vExpert Awards

Congratulations and thank you to all our newly minted VMware vExperts. Email went out tonight informing around 300 hard-working bloggers, user group leaders, and virtualization evangelists of all types that they had received a VMware vExpert Award. VMware vExperts were chosen on the basis of the contributions they had made to the community of VMware and virutaliztion users in 2008.

We are not publishing a list of the awardees right now. There will be a public vExpert Directory where the award winners will be able to publish a professional profile.

This is an amazing group of people. The amount of intelligence, experience, and energy in the entire list of nominees was humbling. I'm grateful that they have such passion around this paradigm-changing technology. A big THANK YOU from everybody here at VMware to everyone who applied.

Choosing the final list was challenging, but we had a limited number of awards. There were highly qualified candidates who were either: (1) deeply experienced VMware experts, but without as much demonstrated or organized community contribution as others — we need to come up with an award for these guys! (2) great bloggers who just recently started — we hope they'll keep it up and join us next year; and (3) early adopters with valuable contributions, but before 2008 — and I hope they'll be able to join us next year as well.

I'm sure we forgot somebody, and I'm going to kick myself when we figure out who. I'm happy to chat with anybody about the process or what you can do to increase your chances next year. (jtroyer@vmware) The online and offline communities have just exploded this year, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

I'm honored to be working with all the vExperts this year. My goal is to help them where I can, make them all more successful in their virtualization efforts, and with a little luck get them big promotions and raises. For those of us not on the vExpert list, I hope we'll be rewarded with deeper blog posts and white papers, more informed and interesting user groups, and amazing new tools.

Community contributions often happen outside of work, and not everybody can spend their nights and weekends telling people why virtualization is so cool. Thanks again for all the hard work and long hours you put in. It's going to be a great, great year.

–John Troyer
VMware Communities Outreach and
VMware vExpert Program Manager

Obsessively Tracking VMworld Europe


An empty Solutions Exchange the day before the show opens.
photo: Viktor van den Berg

They're just waking up over there in Cannes. Time to get dressed and head in to the opening keynote for VMworld Europe 2009. Today was Partner Day, and although most of it was under NDA, some of our intrepid bloggers reported around the margins. Geert Baeke somehow actually channeled what I was going  to link to, in advance, so just hop over to this psychic's blog to take a look at what I would have posted: baeke.info :: VMworld Europe 2009: Partner Day. You'll be hearing more about everything, but that's a tasty sip. (The highlight for me was vCenter Server on Linux Technology Preview. w00t!)

There are many ways to track what's going on the next few days. I think this may be the most documented virtualization conference in history. Not only has our informal contingent of bloggers grown (virally? like a bacteria colony on a dish of tasty agar? like the budget deficit?) over the past year — there a literally dozens of folks blogging from Cannes, but also many of them have connected via Twitter to make some distributed alien intelligence and hive mind. Trust me, there's going to be lots of coverage. In addition, VMworld Impressario Richard Garsthagen has provided a passel of them with Flip video cameras, so expect to see lots of action shots of men in business casual attire talking about vSphere.

I think many people are going to be liveblogging the conference. Check Planet V12n for more on the blog side. I know @lode, who was our star on Twitter last year, will be joined by many others on their BlackBerries, iPhone, and laptops.

I also highly recommend checking out VMworld Europe 2009 Networking Community. That's the right place to talk about the conference on the Discussion Threads. From there, you can check out resources like:

You can also vote for the Best of VMworld Europe 2009 (registration required).

Flickr: search for VMworld, VMworld Europe 2009 Pool
YouTube: search for VMworld
Vimeo: search for VMworld

You know have all the tools you need to follow all the action over the next few days. Have fun, and remember to back up.

Remote consoles for Windows and Linux | PlanetVM

Tom Howarth lays out some tips for remote access to VMs with ESX and ESXi. I’d bet there’s a few things here you didn’t know about — for example, did you know you can use VMware Player as a remote console?

Remote consoles for windows and linux | PlanetVM.

From the responses on the VMTN thread asking for a linux vCenter version
it became very clear that there are a number of people who do not know
about some of the features hidden and already available in some of
VMware’s products. Now how can this be? I wrote a document “Web Access” about this several months ago, surely it must be common knowledge by now!

Ah.. You gave it a confusing name you say? I hear you shout,  Well..
OK.. that is true.  I suppose it didn’t help hiding this document under
the VMware Server 2 documents either.  But, and this is the major rub
of this post, the VMware Server 2 console works for most of the other
products like ESX/ESXi as well.

Lets walk you through this then. :D

First pics from VMworld Europe are in

Stu from vinternals posts the first picture from VMworld Europe. Next week, we’re all VMworld, all the time!

1l4w4-ce1de59f9c123441dd486066314979c7.499ee74a

And VMworld organizer Richard Garsthagen snaps what’s going on behind the scenes. There is a serious amount of hardware in Cannes right now.

VMTN: Ask the Experts session at the community lounge

Today's guest post is from Eric Sloof, who blogs at NTPRO.NL, is a VCI, and is often seen with a video camera at virtualization conferences. He has helpfully included everybody's Twitter avatars, so you have a better chance of stalking them in Cannes. (Yes, Duncan really looks like that, although that's an awful photo of Alan.)

So if you're at VMworld Europe next week, be sure and check out these unusual sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. I guarantee you will get your question answered, or your money back!

VMTN: Ask the Experts session at the community lounge


If
you’re seeking answers for your most difficult VMware related
questions, you really should pay a visit to this year’s VMware
community lounge. The following experts are at your service:

duncan Duncan Epping, – VMware Senior Consultant and owner of Yellow-Bricks
gabrie Gabrie van Zanten, – Owner of gabesvirtualworld
jason Jason Boche, – VMTN Moderator, Minneapolis Area VMUG president, and owner of Boche.net
alan Alan Renouf, – Owner of Virtu-Al, Powershell Enthusiast
steve
Steve Beaver, – Tripwire, VMTN Moderator, Published Author, and contributor to Virtual Black Hole
scott Scott Herold, – Quest, owner of VMGuru.com and accomplished Author
thomas Thomas Bryant, – VizionCore and VMTN Moderator
vitoolkit Wil van Antwerpen, – Owner of vi-toolkit.com
eric Eric Sloof, – VMware trainer and owner of ntpro.nl
tom Tom Howarth, – VMTN Moderator and owner of PlanetVM

So don’t forget to put the following dates in your agenda: Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th  from 13.00 to 14.00.

VMware sets web performance record with building blocks for multicores

Today's guest post is from VMware performance guru Scott Drummonds. Scott blogs over at communities (Virtual Performance blog) and the VMware Communities Performance section. Scott's talking about our latest feat of showing how virtual can be better than physical,  VMware Infrastructure Sets World Record for Web Server Performance

Building Block Architecture for Superior Performance

If any of you have heard me speak in the numerous events I've done in
the past two years, you may have heard me detail the areas where
virtualization performance can exceed native. There are scalability
limitations in traditional software that make nearly every enterprise
application fall short of utilizing the cores that are available to
them today. As the core explosion continues, this under-utilization of
processors will worsen. Here is a graph that we've been showing to
illustrate that point:

http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/5369/core_explosion.png

In 2008 I visited VMworld Europe and showed on using multiple virtual
machines on a single physical host could circumvent the limitations in
today's software. In that experiment we showed that 16,000 Exchange mailboxes could be fit on a single physical server
when no one had ever put more than 8,000 on in a single native
instance. We called this approach designing by "building blocks" and
were confident that as the core count continued to increase, we'd
continue to expose more applications whose performance could be
improved through virtualization.

On Thursday last week SPEC accepted VMware's submission of a SPECweb2005 result. And last night we posted an article on VROOM!
detailing the experiment and providing information on the submission.
This submission is an incredible first for us: not only have we shown
that we can circumvent limitations in web servers, but we posted a
world record performance number in the process. Of course, if any of
you have seen Sreekanth Setty's presentation at VMworld on his ongoing
work on SPECweb2005, this result wouldn't surprise you:

http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/5370/specweb_scaling.png

Getting a benchmark standardization body like SPEC to approve these
results isn't always easy. Most of the industry remains stuck in a mode
of thinking of performance as a single instance's maximum throughput.
But given the scale-out capabilities of a large number of enterprise
applications I'd argue that benchmarking should account for scale-out
capabilities on a single box. VMware's customers follow this practice
faithfully in sizing their deployments to match their needs and
everyone wants to know the platform's ability to handle this use-case.
SPEC's willingness to accept results showing building blocks on a
single host is commendable and progressive. As more benchmarks approve
submissions like these VMware will continue to be able to show record
numbers.

Tolly Report : Virtual Desktop Implimentaion VMware View 3 Premier vs. Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise 2.1

From VMware's own Warren Ponder (one of the authors of the recent View Reference Architecture):  Virtual Desktop Blog: Tolly Report : Virtual Desktop Implimentaion VMware View 3 Premier vs. Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise 2.1.

Complexity is one the most important factors and considerations as
people move more of their physical desktops toward virtual desktops.
Complexity inherently introduces risk and increases the chance for
failure and additional cost. One thing I have always said, is we are
building and designing a solution from the ground up to enable a new
way do doing things in a virtual world. We are not trying to retro fit
legacy products to work in a virtual world.

One of the things that impresses me the most about the engineering
talent at VMware is the level of effort and willingness to listen to
customer needs and requirements and wring out the complexity ultimately
simplifying things for the customer. This comes at price to us, it
takes time, effort, willingness to listen, and a desire to provide
customer focused service. All well worth the price.

Recently we worked with an "independent performance consultancy The Tolly Group
to compare the differences of what it takes to get a mission critical
solution such as a Virtual Desktop solution up and running using VMware
View or Citrix XenDesktop in a timely, efficient, cost effective
manner.

The pdf can be downloaded here. I couldn't cut text from the pdf (pet peeve), but Jason Boche quotes the findings:

VMware View 3:

  1. Installed more rapidly and with considerably fewer steps and less manual intervention
  2. Provides simpler image management that makes more efficient use of disk
  3. Requires no manual configuration of Microsoft Active Directory or DHCP
  4. Allows management of all VDI functions through a single web-based GUI
  5. Provides equivalent end-user experience on LAN as Citrix for Microsoft Office applications

New blogs from VMware: Knowledge Base, KB Digest, ESXi

Three more blogs recently launched (well, two, but I bet the third is new to you) from the good folks at VMW HQ. As we grow our portfolio of blogs, a good place to check in is Planet VMware, which is an aggregation of all our corporate blogging efforts. A lot of times, teams will use their blog as an way of getting out announcements and other information — things that aren't worth a press release, but might get lost in the shuffle otherwise. They aren't daily blogs by any means, but they're still worth keeping up on. So instead of checking in with each one, either load up your RSS reader or just go directly to Planet VMware for the latest.

ESXi Chronicles is, as you might expect, covering all things ESXi, both the free version as well as the embedded and installable commercial versions. Expect to see missives from product manager Amir Sharif (who is on Twitter: @amir_sharif), technical marketing polymath Charu Chaubal (don't be put off by the marketing in his title), and the rest of the ESXi team. Charu and Amir have a nice intro post: Welcome to ESXi Chronicles.

At the end of the day, a product is only as good as its
value to customers.  We’d love to see
your comments on these postings, plus any other suggestions you might have for
how to make ESXi even better.

To kick off this blog with a bang, we are extremely proud
that VMware ESXi has been named 2008 Product of the Year by TechTarget’s
SearchServerVirtualization.com.

According to TechTarget, “The awards were presented by the
SearchServerVirtualization.com editorial staff, judged in conjunction with a
team of users, industry experts, analysts, and consultants. The awards were
granted based on innovation, value, performance, reliability and ease of use.”  As one judge put it, "VMware's free ESXi
leads the virtualization platform market by continuing to offer the most
functionality and highest value of all the hypervisors available today."  VMware's press release provides additional information.

And our Global Support Services team is now publishing two new blogs. VMware Knowledge Base Blog will give general news about the KB and what's going on with GSS. Rick Blythe (also known from his blog vmwarewolf) is heading up this effort. There's also a Twitter account: @VMwareKB. His latest post: Rating Knowledge Base Articles.

Something you may have noticed during your latest visit to the VMware Knowledge Base is a new rating system (see red arrow in screencap).

Rating Knowledge Base Articles

The Knowledge base Team wants to know your opinion of its articles in the
knowledge base. Five stars is a good rating, and one star is poor.
VMware considers a 4 or 5 rating as indicating the article is a
success.  Anything 3 or below is considered an article that requires work/improvements.

There’s also a Provide Feedback link. This opens a
new window giving you the opportunity to provide us even more feedback
on the knowledge base article

And finally, let me tell you about one of those secret resources that has been around for a while, but that you probably don't know about: the Weekly KB Digest. This is a categorized listing of all kb articles published over the last week. essential reading. Latest post: New articles published for week ending 2/8/2009

Build a virtual appliance with VMware Studio

Two new videos from VMware Education walk you through creating a virtual appliance with VMware Studio. (via VMblog via RTFM) See also the VMware Studio Community. Join us on the VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast this Wednesday @ noon PST where we’ll talk more about VMware Studio, OVF, and what’s required to certify your virtual appliance with Jason Mills. You may remember Jason from his days a few years back on the VMware Communities team, VMTN Experts Panel, or various VMworld labs. So come by, say hi, and see what Jason’s been up to.

Part 1:

Part 2: