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Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 49

Just a couple of weeks left to make the Top 5 in 2009. I expect every single blogger out there to publish one of their best articles ever in the upcoming weeks. Do you wonder what the criteria are? There are none, it's my personal preference. I list the articles that I enjoy reading. A good example for instance is Bouke's article. It's not an in-depth technical article, but it is really useful and something I have never seen document before… that's what I am looking for unique articles.

  • Scott Lowe – What is SR-IOV?
    SR-IOV works by introducing the idea of physical functions (PFs) and virtual functions (VFs). Physical functions (PFs) are full-featured PCIe functions; virtual functions (VFs) are “lightweight” functions that lack configuration resources. (I’ll explain why VFs lack these configuration resources shortly.) SR-IOV requires support in the BIOS as well as in the operating system instance or hypervisor that is running on the hardware. Until very recently, I had been under the impression that SR-IOV was handled solely in hardware and did not require any software support; unfortunately, I was mistaken. Software support in the operating system instance or hypervisor is definitely required. To understand why, I must talk a bit more about PFs and VFs.
  • Bouke Groenescheij – vCenter Client Shortcuts
    Lately I've been having great fun using shortcut keys to control
    vCenter speeding up administration. There are very useful combinations,
    like <Ctrl>-<Shift> and <Ctrl>. Here is a list which
    I use a lot…
  • Eric Siebert – What is Changed Block Tracking in vSphere?
    CBT is a new feature in vSphere that can keep track of the blocks of a virtual disk that have changed since a certain point in time. This is extremely useful for backup and replication applications that can use this information to greatly improve incremental backup and replication times. Without CBT these applications have to figure out changed blocks on their own so being able to get this information for free using the vStorage advanced programming interfaces is extremely valuable to them. CBT is not really part of the vStorage APIs but is a new feature of the VMkernel that is built into the storage stack. The CBT feature can be accessed by third-party applications as part of the vStorage APIs for Data Protection. Applications can use the API to query the VMkernel to return the blocks of data that have changed on a virtual disk since the last backup operation. You can use CBT on any type of virtual disk, thick or thin and on any datastore type except for physical mode Raw Device Mappings. This includes both NFS and iSCSI datastores.
  • Kenneth van Ditmarsch – Testing Scenario’s VMware / HP c-Class Infrastructure
    The red lines indicate 10 Gb connections between all individual
    Interconnect Bay’s, which all tied together form the “Virtual Connect
    Domain”. The horizontal lines are the X0 ports which are internally connected by
    the c7000 backplane. The vertical and diagonal lines are 0.5 meter
    CX4 cables.
    (Note that since IC1 and 2 and IC 5 and 6 are Flex-10 modules, they are
    horizontal linked with 2 links  (20 Gb) as designed by HP)
  • Vittorio Viarengo – Virtualization Journey: Product Adoption
    When customers enter into the Business Production phase and they start
    virtualizing business applications and production databases, the value
    proposition is all around better quality of service and business
    continuity. This shift is sudden and dramatic. It is like cost savings
    from consolidation is taken for granted at this stage and customers
    switch their focus on faster provisioning, better capacity management,
    reliability and process automation for their business applications. 
    This is where features such as High Availability (HA), Fault Tolerance
    (FT) and SRM become important.
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Duncan Epping

About Duncan Epping

Duncan Epping is Chief Technologist working for VMware. Main responsibility is exploring new possibilities with existing products and features, researching new business opportunities for VMware. Duncan specializes in Software Defined Storage, hyper-converged infrastructures and business continuity / disaster recovery solutions. Duncan has 3 patents pending on the topic of availability, storage and resource management. He was among the first VMware certified design experts (VCDX 007). He is the co-author of several books, including best seller vSphere 5.1 Clustering Technical Deepdive. He is the owner and main author of the leading virtualization blog yellow-bricks.com.