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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Join us: Intel-VMware supercharged live chat next Tuesday

The Intel® Xeon® Processor Live Expert Chat. Live 10.06.09

There's an interesting event that has been traveling under the radar until now, but it's a unique opportunity to interact with virtualization experts from both Intel and VMware, so pay attention to this blip on your screen.

What: the Intel Xeon Processor Live Chat
When: Tuesday, October 6, 10am-12noon PDT (-7 UTC)
Where: Intel's Open Port community site

Who will be there? This is where it really gets interesting. I'm still assembling the official biographies of the various attendees, but here's what I know about the attendees on the VMware side:

  • Scott Drummonds. Scott Drummonds is responsible for VMware’s
    technical marketing performance team which is tasked with
    application-based performance analysis and evangelization of VMware’s
    performance leadership.  Scott joined VMware from Intel Corporation,
    where he led Intel’s business applications desktop benchmarking group. 
    Scott received his bachelors of science from Auburn University in
    computer engineering and his masters of science from the University of
    Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in electrical engineering, focusing on
    digital test and diagnosis. Scott can be found on Twitter as @drummonds and on his new blog Pivot Point.

  • Michael Adams. Michael Adams is Senior Product Marketing Manager at
    VMware in the Server Business Unit. His role at VMware includes
    handling all aspects of product marketing for the company’s flagship
    offering known as VMware vSphere™. Prior to VMware, Mike worked at
    Symantec/Veritas for seven years as product marketing manager for the
    Veritas NetBackup product family and at Giga Information Group (now
    Forrester Research) as an open storage market analyst. Mike holds a
    bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan. Mike is the editor of the vSphere Blog.

  • Ronald Kwan. Ronald Kwan is a Technical Alliance Manager at VMware supporting their strategic Storage and Server partners. Ronald has over 18 years of experience in the IT industry.  Prior to joining VMware, he was a Sr. Systems Engineer at StorageTek and Sun Microsystems architecting and designing infrastructure solutions.

  • Jeff Weiss. Jeff came to VMware in 2007, an 11 year veteran in Software and Hardware technical sales by working for companies like Symantec and Sun Microsytems. His specialties have included datacenter continuity and disaster recovery solutions, software infrastructure identity management as well as email security and archiving tools. Over the years, he has architected and sold complex business solutions into a wide array of both public and private accounts, from commercial to government, healthcare to education. Prior to working in sales, he was a networking and datacenter manager at Hughes Aircraft for 14 years.

  • Rupert Schultes. Rupert Schultes has been managing the Intel Alliance at VMware for the last 4 years. Prior to VMware he held several technical marketing, product management and alliance positions at Intel, ATI and Elsa AG in EMEA and Phoenix Technologies in the US.

Last year, Intel got hundreds of questions over this two hour chat, and they weren't even talking about virtualization! This is the first time they've invited a partner to come in and join them on these chats, so we hope we can help Intel provide an interesting and valuable resource for you. Come by this event and talk about anything related to Intel and VMware – performance, business value, technical questions — whatever's on your mind. There is no need to register in advance.

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 39

First of all my apologies that this post is a day late. My wife and I went to Köln(or Cologne as most of you probably call it) for the weekend. For me that means no laptop, internet and/or twitter. We had a great time, but I won't tell you all the details just visit it if you are near by. The Cathedral by itself is worth your time! This weeks top 5 is more or less a waste of time. It's only a top 5 because that's what the title of this article is. In my opinion "A “Multivendor Post” on using iSCSI with VMware vSphere" is far above and beyond anything else on the list this week, and probably this year. Although I linked Chad's version this is a collaborative article between VMware (Andy Banta), EMC (Chad Sakac), NetApp (Vaughn Stewart),
Dell/EqualLogic( Eric Schott) and HP/Lefthand Networks (Adam Carter). Thanks guys for this great piece of work…

  • Chad Sakac – A “Multivendor Post” on using iSCSI with VMware vSphere
    One of the most popular posts we’ve ever done was the original “A ‘Multivendor Post’ to help our mutual iSCSI customers using VMware” that focused on the operation of the software iSCSI initiator in ESX 3.5 with several iSCSI targets from multiple vendors. There’s been a lot of demand for a follow-up, so without further ado, here’s a multivendor collaborative effort on an update, which leverages extensively content from VMworld 2009 sessions TA2467 and TA3264. The post was authored by the following vendors and people: VMware (Andy Banta), EMC (Chad Sakac), NetApp (Vaughn Stewart), Dell/EqualLogic( Eric Schott), HP/Lefthand Networks (Adam Carter)
  • Eric Siebert- Master’s guide to VMware Fault Tolerance
    FT works by creating a secondary VM on another ESX host that shares the
    same virtual disk file as the primary VM, and then transferring the CPU
    and virtual device inputs from the primary VM (record) to the secondary
    VM (replay) via a FT logging network interface card (NIC) so it is in
    sync with the primary VM and ready to take over in case of a failure.
    While both the primary and secondary VMs receive the same inputs, only
    the primary VM produces output such as disk writes and network
    transmits. The secondary VM’s output is suppressed by the hypervisor
    and is not on the network until it becomes a primary VM, so essentially
    both VMs function as a single VM.
  • Duncan Epping – Using limits instead of downscaling…
    I’ve seen this floating around the communities a couple of times and
    someone also mentioned this during a VCDX Panel: setting limits on VMs
    when you are not allowed to decrease the memory. For example you want
    to P2V a server with 8GB of memory and an average utilization of 15%.
    According to normal guidelines it would make sense to resize the VM to
    2GB, however due to political reasons (I paid for 8GB and I demand…)
    this is not an option. This is when people start looking into using
    limits. However I don’t recommend this approach and there’s a good
    reason for it.
  • Vittorio Viarengo – Virtualization Journey Stages
    Confidence can be characterized as selective at this stage.
    The team carefully selects the first applications to virtualize based
    on a path of least resistance for their organization. “Do I have a good
    relationship with that application owner?, “Do I have skills to
    virtualize the application in question?”, “What are the risks
    associated with virtualizing it?”, “What are the risks associated with
    NOT virtualizing it?”, “Does the ISV support the application in a
    virtual environment?”, “Is there a compelling reason to virtualize this
    particular app (lack of HA, deploying a new version, non-satisfactory
    uptime…)?”…
  • Steve Kaplan – The desktops may be virtual, but the ROI is real
    While the white paper lacks supporting data, the numbers nonetheless
    look reasonable. For comparison, I recently calculated annual savings
    of $455 for an organization virtualizing 1,000 PCs and laptops as part
    of a phase one View 3 deployment. The payback period of 11.7 months
    against an investment of $500,000 is in the general vicinity of the IDC
    averages. Applying the IDC white paper estimate of $130 in user
    productivity savings further reduces the payback period to 9.3 months.

VMworld 2009 linkage redux

The dust has settled from VMworld 2009, and I hope everybody is saddled back up and on their horses once again at work. I've been seeing new ideas and new proposals pop up in from Twitter & blog colleagues across the virtualization industry, so I think we can say the conference was a success.

For posterity, I do want to point everybody and The Great Google to two amazing resources to navigate the VMworld-information-o-sphere from Eric Siebert and Duncan Epping:

Eric Siebert: VMworld 2009 Links at vSphere-Land

Duncan Epping: VMworld 2009 (San Francisco) Linkage

I did a similar type of coverage at VMworld 2006 & VMworld 2007, and I've got to tell you, it's a lot of work to put these kinds of links and resources together. If you find them useful, please let Eric (@ericsiebert on Twitter) and Duncan (@DuncanYB) know. Thanks, guys!

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 38

It's a heavy weight top 5 this week with three well known community members; Ron Oglesby, Chad Sakac and Scott Drummonds. Yes Scott Drummonds… he started blogging this week on his new blog Pivot Point. Ron Oglesby unfortunately did not start blogging but did a guest post on virtualization.info. Well we don't need Ron to start blogging we need Ron, Scott and Mike to rewrite the Advanced Technical Design Guide for vSphere. Chances of that happening are slim though, but I can still hope can't I? (Both Ron and Scott are flooded with work and Mike is working on a new vSphere book and a SRM book.)

  • Ron Oglesby – Is there an optimal adoption curve for server virtualization?
    The second item we need to dispose of (or create a new assumption about) is the idea that everything cannot run in a VM… Yes you heard me. Everything can run in a VM today. Does that mean you will run out and virtualize everything starting tomorrow? No. But for 5+ years I have been doing virtualization assessments, and in each one I have generally recommended candidates that utilize less than 1 processor, less than 2GB of memory, and equally low disk and network utilization. Using this type of criteria I consistently find that 80+% of any customer’s environment can be virtualized.
    So, since 2004 I have been telling customers that 80% of their environment could be virtualized, yet most of these companies (5 years later) are nowhere near that. Why?
  • Joshua Townsend – vCenter Database Stats Rollup Troubleshooting
    I recently migrated an environment from vCenter 2.5 to 4.0 and in the
    process switched from a Windows 2003 32-bit vCenter host and a SQL 2005
    server (remote to vCenter) to a Windows 2008 64-bit vCenter server with
    a SQL 2008 server (again, a remote SQL server).  I experienced a few
    issues during the migration and thought I had worked through them all
    (I’ll post on those at a later date).  However, after a bit of time I
    found that performance statistics for objects in the vCenter were
    missing of not rendering at an acceptable pace.
  • Chad Sakac – A couple important (ALUA and SRM) notes
    The answer is that vSphere supports Aysmmetric Logical Unit Access (ALUA) – note that there is no support for this in VI3.x. ALUA is a SCSI standard, and is widely implemented across mid-range storage arrays – including the CLARiiON. with ALUA, the LUN is reachable across both storage processors at the same time. Paths for the “non-owning” storage processor take IO and transit it across the internal interconnect architecture of the mid-range arrays (bandwidth and behavior varies). in the example in the diagram below, the paths on SPA advertise as “active (non-optimized)”, and aren’t used for I/O unless the active I/O paths are not working.
  • Sean Clark – Killing a hung VM with /proc-FU
    Other VMs opened perfectly fine on this same ESX server, just this one
    VM was hosed. Couldn’t ping it’s IP either.  Tried restarting
    mgmt-vmware from the service console, and that removed the VMname from
    the ESX servers inventory the next time we logged in.  Just some weird
    placeholder VM instead, which I ended up removing from inventory.  Next
    tried to re-add the vCenter VM to inventory by browsing to the
    datastore.  No luck, this process hung.  So restarted mgmt-vmware
    again.  And this time decided to look at esxtop to see if this VM was
    still running or something.  And it was..or at least something was
    running with its name.  So now I set out to restart it with vmware-cmd.
  • Scott Drummonds – Performance Troubleshooting: No PhD Required!
    VMware now boasts over 150,000 customers, and I only interact with a
    relative handful a year.  If I count the experts in our small
    performance community I can conclude that our performance experts touch
    a very small percentage of our customer base each year.  That means
    that the great majority of our customers are solving their performance
    problems without engaging us.

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 37

The week after VMworld is probably even more chaotic than VMworld itself. Not only are you digesting all the new ideas/concepts/thoughts you brought home from VMworld you will also need to pick up all the presents(work) they left waiting for you. On PlanetV12n it was also a busy week. Some cool, really cool, write-ups of VMworld and some great non-VMworld related articles. Although it's a top 5 The first two have two entries each. Mainly because my post and Massimo's post are related. Here we go:

  • Massimo Re Ferre' – VMware, SpringSource and What's Not Appropriate to SayThe (Potential) Value of Blogging for Your Career
    When I heard about VMware and SpringSource, all of a sudden I realized
    the world is changing for all of us virtualization geeks. First and
    foremost those that have only been bothering about low level
    infrastructure virtualization details – such as VMotion
    compatibilities, cluster configurations, storage integrations and so
    forth – will have a hard time keeping up with what's going on in the
    industry. Virtualization vendors are "moving up the stack" very quickly
    so you'd better start familiarizing with concepts and technologies
    around Development Frameworks, Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
    and stuff like that. Not the sort of things Systems Engineers (aka
    infrastructure people) paid too much attention to – until now.
  • Duncan Epping – Another year has passed by & VMworld 2009 Linkage
    I can’t remember I ever had so many people congratulating me with my
    birthday. (Okay it was on twitter but still…) Usually with my birthday
    coming up I take some time to look back at the past year.
    Coincidentally a couple of weeks ago John Troyer asked me to do a
    presentation at VMworld about blogging and where it can lead to.
    Because of my overbooked agenda (VMworld preperations, VCDX Panels and
    two projects) I did not have any time to prepare it but it is something
    that kept me busy the last week. Especially after seeing Jason Boche’s
    presentation at the vExpert Session at VMworld I started thinking about
    it again. I had some time on my hands, as I took the day off on my
    birthday, and decided to look back and try to convince you why voicing
    your opinion/views and sharing knowledge is important for your personal
    development and career.
  • Joshua Townsend – ESXTOP Batch Mode & Windows Perfmon
    I needed to grab some stats from my ESX hosts for off-line analysis so I fired up my trusty ESXTOP intent on using batch mode to capture a .csv formatted output. I started to manually select the counters I was interested in while working in ESXTOP interactive mode (you can save your selected counters to the esxtop configuration file with the ‘w’ command) and thought that there must be a better way. I found that better way in the VMware Performance Community: http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-3930. There is now a -a switch that can be used to include ALL performance counters. I’m sold.
  • Alan Renouf – vTip – A VMware Expert updating your VI
    Jason Boche has recently announced his vCalendar which is a great daily calendar with tip for each day, there is also a blog widget and netvibes or Google widget for this too, so my script takes these wonderful daily tips and adds them to a place we all visit on a daily basis…. The Virtual Infrastructure Client.
  • Gabrie van Zanten – I had a dream…
    VMware is still the most innovative company in the field of
    virtualization and is still that step ahead of its competitors.
    Therefore VMware remains the number one choice for the most demanding
    workloads. Demanding not necessarily in performance, but mainly in
    security, availability and flexibility.

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 36

What a week and where do I even begin. For those who have been living under a rock just one word: VMworld. I have met so many people who I have been talking to for a while, and also a lot of people who just came up to me and complimented me on yellow-bricks.com or just wanted to introduce themselves. Thanks everyone for making this an excellent week. Making a top 5 is almost impossible though. The amount of blogs(250+) added over the last 7 days is so insane that I almost had to randomly pick 5. But of course I did not pick them randomly. Here they are, surprisingly most of them have to do with VMworld:

  • Rich Brambley – VMworld 2009 Virtual Infrastructure Design – Lab Manager vPODS Enable Conference Cloud
    If you are like me you probably would have loved to get the opportunity to use the vSphere client to connect to a vCenter server managing that entire virtual infrastructure (VI). Although I did not get to do just that, I did get the opportunity to do the next best thing – talk to the manager of the team that does. My VMworld ended by talking to Randy Keener, Group Manager of VMware’s GETO team (Global Engineering Technical Operations). Keener explained to me some of the VMworld 2009 virtual infrastructure design details that VI administrators would be interested to know.
  • Rick Scherer – My VMware VCDX Defense Experience
    While most of my readers were already home with their families, or packing up and checking out of their hotel rooms on the way to the airport, I was getting ready for probably the most important 2 hours of my technical career.
    So here we are, Friday at 7:15am – a few minutes to grab some food and collect my nerves before I enter room Foothill D at the SF Marriott. To my luck, I enter the lobby of the Mission Steak restaurant and guess who’s there….the entire VMware Certification team, including panel members for my VCDX. There goes collecting my nerves.
  • Justin Emmerson – VMworld session DV2363 – CVP Tech Deep Dive
    In Direct Assignment, technologies like Intel VT-D or other software
    techniques are used to pass through a physical device (such as a video
    card) directly into the VM. This has some advantages such as lower
    overhead, and if you’re running Windows in your VM then all you need is
    a set of Windows drivers, which are easy to find. Passthrough is also
    much easier to program…
  • Joep Piscaer – VMworld ‘09 – Long Distance VMotion (TA3105)
    The main challenge to get VMotion working between datacenters isn’t
    with the VMotion technology itself, but with the adaptations to shared
    storage and networking. Because a virtual machine being VMotioned
    cannot have it’s IP address changed, some challenges exist with the
    network spanning across datacenters. You’ll need stretched VLAN’s, a
    flat network with same subnet and broadcast domain at both locations.
  • Scott Lowe – VMware vCloud Event with Paul Maritz
    Moving away from choice to application compatibility, Paul Maritz again
    refers to the formal announcement of the vCloud API. The vCloud API is
    actually a series of APIs that are being/have been submitted to
    standards organizations (as I mentioned in the keynote coverage, I
    believe it was submitted to the DMTF). SpringSource takes the stage to
    talk about what they do and then perform a demo (a live demo?) of their
    products and technologies. The demo shows off SpringSource and
    CloudFoundry deploying applications to an external cloud.

Liveblogging the VMworld 2009 General Sessions – Day 2

Wednesdays are the usual slot for the VMworld General Session about virtualization futures and technologies. VMworld 2009 continues the tradition with VMware CTO Steve Herrod. Our intrepid team of livebloggers is on the job.

If you're not at VMworld, you can watch the General Sessions (Keynotes) by registering here http://bit.ly/3XVPvg

Otherwise, check out the liveblogs on Planet V12n and Twitter #vmworld and Twitter #vmwkn1

Twitterers:
too many to list, and the way Twitter search works you won't be able to
find their tweets after a few weeks pass anyway.  Check out the VMworld Bloggers and Twitterers page for a good selection or use the links above.

Bloggers:

Liveblogging the VMworld 2009 General Sessions – Day 1

If you're not at VMworld, you can watch the General Sessions (Keynotes) by registering here http://bit.ly/3XVPvg

Otherwise, check out the liveblogs on Planet V12n and Twitter #vmworld and Twitter #vmwkn1

Twitterers: too many to list, and the way Twitter search works you won't be able to find their tweets after a few weeks pass anyway.  Check out the VMworld Bloggers and Twitterers page for a good selection or use the links above.

Bloggers:

You want LIVE from VMworld? Well, hello VMworld!

You may be feeling left out because you didn't get to go to VMworld this year. I'm here to help. Live blogging and tweeting of the VMworld General Sessions will start Tuesday and Wednesday at 8am Pacific time (-7 UTC).

All week long I'm doing live streaming video interviews from the podcasting booth. Just leave it on in the background and listen in during your day or join in the chat to ask questions. I'll be starting up the stream after the keynote tomorrow. http://ustream.tv/channel/vmworld

Vote for the best “Run It With VMware” video!

For our recent Run It With VMware video contest, we asked people to come up with their best/funniest/smartest ways to tell people that, yes, indeed, people are running their mission-critical apps on VMware every day, and in fact they even run better on VMware as you increase your business agility and scalability. The judges proclaimed @the_crooked_toe's "Email's Down" as the winner:

However, we still want to get your opinion! The VMworld Favorite Award is up for grabs and it's up to you to vote for your favorite video! "Email's Down" and "Featuring the Letters V and M" are neck and neck. Go here to http://vmware.com/go/videocontest, log in to vmworld.com, and vote. Bragging rights and $1000 are at stake!