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Monthly Archives: July 2010

vCO Team Blog

Two of my colleagues recently launched a new website. It is probably one of the few vCenter Orchestrator Blogs out there and definitely worth following for anyone who is into orchestration and automation.

Besides of course covering the vCenter Orchestrator 4.1 release extensively they wrote multiple very useful and detailed articles on vCenter Orchestrator.

One of the first articles explains how to create a self provisioning portal with vCO in a detailed stepwise approach. They have just published a follow called "part 2". The article cover the following steps which result in a self provisioning portal:

  • How to create a simple Workflow 
  • How to map inputs, outputs, and attributes 
  • How to launch a Workflow from a webview, using the vCenter Orchestrator Weboperator 
  • How to launch a Workflow from the vCenter Orchestrator Client
  • How to create a Workflow using subworkflows
  • How to map inputs, outputs, and attributes
  • How to use user interactions
  • How to do basic presentations
  • How to use validation presentation properties
  • How to handle exception and write to the event log
  • How to use vCO Server and System objects in scriptable boxes
  • How to use the API search
  • How to launch a Workflow from the vCenter Orchestrator Client
  • How to launch a Workflow from a webview, using the vCenter Orchestrator Weboperator
  • How to set rights on workflows
  • How to set up the vCO mail plug-in

vSphere 4.1 and more

We've very pleased to announce the availability of VMware vSphere 4.1 and several other products today. Here's an initial overview of what's new and what's changed. (Updated 7/13 with press releases, blog posts) 

The Press Releases

At VMware, our press releases are very readable and actually worth checking out. Here are the highlights for the two releases that came out July 13:

  • VMware Advances Foundation for Cloud Computing With VMware vSphere 4.1 and Expanded Virtualization Management Portfolio
    • Introduces the concept that vSphere 4.1 is a platform to build cloud infrastructures
    • Goes over the big new features — see also Steve's blog post (below)
    • Talks about new cloud-based (per-VM) licensing models that we're introducing for several of our vCenter management products
    • Talks about bringing over the Ionix acquisitions to new branding and support from VMware
    • Teases the new Essentials pricing (see the next release)
  • VMware Introduces Enhanced Virtualization Offerings for Small and Midsize Businesses
    • Some background on SMB use of virtualization – contrary to what you might think, small businesses actually often make use of our "enterprise-grade" virtualization feature
    • vMotion in Essentials and Standard
    • Essentials is now list priced at $495/6 processes
    • ESXi (free version) now called "VMware vSphere Hypervisor". We'll now use ESX & ESXi just to refer to the two different architectures.

Blog Posts

Here are some important blog posts we published.

  • VMware vSphere 4.1: Advancing the Platform for Cloud Computing

    from VMware CTO Steve Herrod: "And I thought I’d close with a bit tech-y, but great quotation about this release from one of our more than 800 beta-testing customers… "This release has the stability of a ‘dot-1’ release with the advancements of a ‘dot-0’ release". Indeed!"

  • vSphere and vCenter: The Foundation of VMware's Cloud Strategy

    from VMware Marketing VP Bogomil Balkansky: "VMware is bringing the benefits of cloud computing to internal datacenters by helping customers more efficiently and effectively manage existing applications while building the path to the private and public cloud.  This is what virtualization is all about. By enabling an evolutionary approach to cloud, VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter are the foundation for our cloud strategy"

Steve also contributed this short video introduction to vSphere 4.1:

VMware vSphere 4.1

VMware ESXi

VMware vSphere Hypervisor

The product formerly known as "free ESXi"

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.1

VMware Studio 2.1

For more information

For the full picture — and it's a big picture, because vSphere 4.1 is a big release, I recommend:

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 26

Been really busy today with the kids but did manage to get the top 5 ready for you guys…. Read it!

  • Thomas Mackay – Understanding ESX/ESXi Equivalency…Are we there yet?
    It is public knowledge that ESX is evolving to a pure ESXi model in the future release cycles of the product, though exact timelines are still under NDA. Convergence to a “console-less” ESX provides a number of benefits to our customers, with which many of you are, by now, well acquainted . It reduces the overall footprint that requires patching (see below) as well as removes the dependency on the vestigial RHEL-based Console Operating System, and sets the stage for future enhancements and technologies yet to be introduced. (Those who are under NDA might know to what I am referring!
  • Thakala(vReality) – VMware Data Recovery 1.2 Linux file level restore client
    I have successfully tested it on 64-bit CentOS 5.5, and because so many versions of Ubuntu are listed I’d guess that FLR client works on any recent Debian releases also, just make sure it has support for FUSE 2.5 or later. If you have custom kernel make sure you have all FUSE dependencies compiled in. Note that even though your Linux distribution may be 64-bit version, 32-bit version of FUSE is required. Note the absence of any SuSE or Novell SLES distrubtions from tested and supported list, not that FLR client won’t work on them though, I am sure it will.
  • Jon Owings – All out of HA Slots
    As you can see here the slot size is rather giant. We have the largest CPU and Memory reservation plus some overhead (for simplicity) and that blows the size of the slot way up. I didn’t set the reservation, but surely they were there. 8GB of reserved memory. 4000MHz of CPU. Ouch. Where did that come from? It followed the VM from the old host to the new one. One of the reasons I was there was to setup a new cluster since the older ones were performing so slow on the local storage. It seems like someone tried to help some critical VM’s along the way by adding the reservations. I removed the reservations and had plenty of slots as you see below.
  • Massimo Re Ferrre – Cloud and the New IT Pillars
    In my previous IT life I was in the business of trying to homogenize heterogeneous virtualization platforms under a single management umbrella so I have to (strongly) agree with my colleague’s statement. In fact, these pillars are very different in the way you manage them. This is true not only from a technology perspective but also, and even more so, from a process perspective. For example, the process to request a partition on a legacy Unix system may be totally different than the process required to instantiate a new physical server, which in turn is totally different than the process to request a new vSphere virtual machine. To complicate things more, the Cloud pillar, by very definition, doesn’t require any process whatsoever to instantiate a new workload from the self-service portal.
  • Duncan Epping – vSphere 4 U2 and recovering from HA Split Brain
    I had never noticed this until I was having a discussion around this feature with one of my colleagues. I asked our HA Product Manager and one of our developers and it appears that this mysteriously has slipped. As I personally believe that this is a very important feature of HA I wanted to rehash some of the info stated in that article. I did rewrite it slightly though…