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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 52

Happy New Year to everyone in the VMware communities!  There were lots of great “2010 best of” blog posts this week from many of the top virtualization bloggers.  I suggest checking those out, lots of great information from the past 12 months in the virtualization space.  Here is the top 5 blog posts for the last week of 2010, enjoy!

Eric Sloof – Video – How to run Android in a VMware Virtual Machine – Android-x86 is a project to port Android open source to the x86 platform, formerly known as "patch hosting for android x86 support". In this video I’ll show you how to create a VMware vSphere virtual machine configured with the Android-x86 boot CD.

Christian Mohn – Installing and Configuring WANem Virtual Appliance – In a previous post, Using the WANem WAN Emulator Virtual Appliance, I’ve talked about how I’ve successfully used WANem to emulate different WAN scenarios. Since I work for a shipping company, the ability to emulate VSAT conditions are especially useful for testing and proof-of-concept scenarios.

Frank Denneman – Node Interleaving: Enable or Disable? – There seems to be a lot of confusion about this BIOS setting, I receive lots of questions on whether to enable or disable Node interleaving. I guess the term “enable” make people think it some sort of performance enhancement. Unfortunately the opposite is true and it is strongly recommended to keep the default setting and leave Node Interleaving disabled.

Arne Fokkema – Slow mouse performance on Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine – I wanted to migrate the lab to Windows Server 2008 R2 and found some problems with the video drivers provided with vSphere 4.0. After a quick search at http://kb.vmware.com I found the following KB article: KB1011709. This article mentioned the new WDDM driver.

William Lam – How to identify the origin of a vSphere login? – There was a pretty interesting post on the VMTN community forums recently in which a user was trying to identify a rogue vSphere login to their vCenter Server. Unfortunately, the actual user was not able to pin-point which system was logging in with his/her credentials. This potentially could have been some type of automated script that was configured and running and now has been forgotten. The vSphere admin tried to terminate the session which can be done using the vSphere Client or vSphere APIs, but the process would  be re-spawned automatically.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts week 51

Happy holiday’s to everyone in the VMware community!  I hope that you are able to find some downtime to spend with friends and family over the next few weeks.  We are winding down 2010 at VMware, but the great virtualization blog posts don’t stop for the holiday’s.  Here are the top 5 posts for week 51.

Rebecca Grider – Performance Scaling of an Entry-Level Cluster – Performance benchmarking is often conducted on top-of-the-line hardware, including hosts that typically have a large number of cores, maximum memory, and the fastest disks available. Hardware of this caliber is not always accessible to small or medium-sized businesses with modest IT budgets. As part of our ongoing investigation of different ways to benchmark the cloud using the newly released VMmark 2.0, we set out to determine whether a cluster of less powerful hosts could be a viable alternative for these businesses. We used VMmark 2.0 to see how a four-host cluster with a modest hardware configuration would scale under increasing load.

Duncan Epping – vCenter and Memory metrics – I received a question last week from a former colleague around some of the memory details in vCenter. There are a couple of places where memory details are shown on a “VM level” within the vCenter client. The first tab that we will discuss is the Summary tab. It shows “General” and “Resources”. It appears that there is a lot of confusion around this topic and that probably comes from the fact that some of the Performance Metrics are named similarly but don’t always refer to the same.

Kendrick Coleman – Fixing Storage Alignment for Virtual Machines – There are plenty of great blog post articles out there about storage alignment, so I’m not going to dive much into that because we don’t need to beat that horse to death much longer. One of the best easy to read and beginner articles I’ve come across is Best Practice for File System Alignment in Virtual Environments by NetApp and My #1 Issue with VMware ESXi Today by Aaron Delp. Why all the fuss? Misaligned VMs negatively impact performance resulting in increased IO and search time. Everyone is aware of the alignment issues, but we’re not 100% sure on how to fix these issues.

Sean Crookston – Home Lab Setup – VLANs and Routing – A few months back I began thinking about doing a few things to my home lab setup to give it a little extra in terms of the capabilities it had. One thing near the top of my list was beefing up the network side of things a little bit.  Originally I had just the two hosts hooked up to a couple of 8 port gigabit switches. For the most part this was perfectly fine as I had full gigabit connectivity along with Jumbo frames. What was lacking though was manageability of the switch and VLANs.

Jakob Fabritius Nørregaard – P2V pre-migration checklist – and considerations – My previous post was a P2V post migration checklist. This post is a pre-migration checklist which is about all the information that should gathered and checked before doing any P2V conversions.  I have been involved in a number of larger P2V projects (+50 P2V’s) and, in my experience, proper planning is a key element for a successful project. Typically, you, as a VMware- or P2V person, have no real knowledge of the Windows servers to be converted – their just another server.

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 50

John Troyer asked me to help out with the PlanetV12n weekly Top 5 blog posts since Duncan has been quite busy with the new release of his HA and DRS Deepdive book (along with Frank Denneman).  I will probably be updating the Top 5 on Friday’s vs Sunday’s but we will see how that plays out with the scheduling.  Anyways let’s get this kicked off again!

  • Todd Muirhead – Oracle RAC Performance on vSphere 4.1  – Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is used to run critical databases with stringent performance requirements. A series of tests recently were run in the VMware performance lab to determine how an Oracle RAC database performs when running on vSphere. The test results showed that the application performed within 11 to 13 percent of physical when running in a virtualized environment.
  • Frank Denneman – Impact of oversized virtual machines part 1  – Recently we had an internal discussion about the overhead an oversized virtual machine generates on the virtual infrastructure. An oversized virtual machine is a virtual machine that consistently uses less capacity than its configured capacity. Many organizations follow vendor recommendations and/or provision virtual machine sized according to the wishes of the customer i.e. more resources equals better performance. By oversizing the virtual machine you can introduce the following overhead or even worse decrease the performance of the virtual machine or other virtual machines inside the cluster.
  • Vladan Seget – vSphere Advanced Troubleshooting by Eric Sloof – Eric Sloof is not only great blogger and trainer, but he also shares his work with everybody. I had an occasion to meet with Eric in VMworld Copenhagen 201 this year and I saw a guy who is does his job with passion. His latest presentation at the Dutch VMUG yesterday where 750 people attended, is available Online on Slideshare and I embedded it to my blogpost. Eric also provides a PDF of those 50 Slides
  • Chad Sakac – Understanding vSphere Disaster Recovery/Avoidance options Part I – Interest from customers on EMC VPLEX is very, very hot, and that’s keeping us very, very busy.   Interest highlights that the core idea of active/active geographically dispersed transactional storage (“access anywhere”) is something people gravitate towards as they dream their next “active/active” virtualized datacenter dream.  The most common use case I see (admittedly, this will be biased towards things my team and I support) are stretched vSphere clusters.
  • Richard Garsthagen – Mobile Management – The possibilities – As the xmas holiday is coming, some lucky ones might find an iPad under the tree, but most of us will hopefully be spending some nice time at home. But what if stuff goes wrong at work, while you are at a nice xmas dinner? Do you need to pull out your laptop or drive to the office.. or can you cope with some of the available mobile management solutions that are available today?  Here at run-virtual HQ we tested out for you the possible options.

VMTN communities upgrade

Today, we have rolled out a major upgrade to the VMTN community platform. The new platform has a number of improvements to existing functionality and adds some new features which can help us all share and find content easier. Here is a short list of highlights, but there is much more to discover.

  • We have now incorporated social media as part of our community. The new layout has tabs for Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube at the top of the page, to present a unified picture of all the goings on in our community.
  • Social capabilities: follow people, tags, communities, groups, and social bookmarking
  • Groups: with the new release, each user will be able to create private or public groups
  • Your view: your personal homepage, which can serve as your Communities dashboard, where the feeds from all the people and content you follow can be aggregated
  • More widgets, better rich text editor support, and better support for Microsoft document formats.
  • Private Discussions and Documents: People can now create private discussions and documents, with full control over who will be able to see and edit your content.
  • Activity updates: Users can subscribe to receive a digest email that summarizes activity of interest, such as who commented on your content, whether there are any unanswered questions in a given community, etc.
  • You can read full 4.0 documentation and release notes on the Jive site.

We have created two short video demonstrations of what the new platform allows you to do, and more are in the works.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the new platform.

esxtop, Storage I/O Control, Alive VM, Configuration Manager: Recent Community Podcasts

The last month of VMware Community Roundtable Podcasts have been really good. Every Wednesday at noon California time (3pm East Coast, 20.00 GMT) we gather for this live anything-goes mostly-technical podcast. We cover the latest news of the week as well as guests from VMware and the greater virtualization ecosystem. 

Everyone in the community is invited to join us live, either via the online chat or by dialing-in via a regular or VOIP phone. Callers are especially welcome and it's easy to get your question on the air! The chat runs fast and furious in the background as the interview goes on streaming live over the Internet. Since I conduct most of the interviews, I won't tell you that the chat is more informative than the questions I'm asking, but I will tell you it is often very entertaining! If you can't join us live, you can always listen to the recording, either from the web page or via iTunes. 

Next week for Podcast #121 our topic is 2010 in Review/2011 Preview with the good folks from TechTarget. Bring your predictions for 2011! Colin Steele from SearchServerVirtualization is also asking for your 2011 virtualization predictions and is offering a few new books as prizes for folks who participate. More information on the VMware Community Roundtable Podcast series and dial-in/voip info.

Topic: 2010 in Review / 2011 Preview with SearchServerVirtualization
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Time: Noon PST / 3pm EDT / 20.00 GMT
How:  (724) 444-7444 19367# 1# or VOIP & live stream information here.

For each of these podcasts, you can listen right here in the web page, via the mp3 link, or via iTunes.


#117 - Advanced esxtop & performance troubleshooting. One of the best sessions from VMworld 2010 was on esxtop, the performance metrics and analysis tool for VMware admins. It's a real power tool. Krishna Raj Raja, one of the speakers from that session, joined us on the podcast to give us the inside story on esxtop, use cases, and tips and tricks to get the most out of this powerful tool. Krishna is a long-term veteran of VMware and had a lot to share. Listen via the widget at right, the mp3 file, or iTunes.


#118 – Storage I/O Control: Past, Present, and Future. VMware engineer Irfan Ahmad is one of the key drivers of Storage I/O Control, introduced in vSphere 4.1. Irfan joined us this week to give us the inside scoop on this new capability, some of the reasons we built it, some of the design challenges that monitoring and throttling storage I/O across a cluster posed to the engineering team, and we went overtime talking about some best practices and implications for using it now, and where this kind of functionality might go in the future. A highly recommended session. Listen via the widget at right, the mp3 file, or iTunes.


#119 – Alive VM. Most of us first saw the Integrien Alive product at VMworld this year when Steve Herrod announced that Integrien was joining us and demoed their unique monitoring and management tool live at the General Session. David LaVigna from the Integrien team joined us for an hour on Alive VM. Unlike other monitoring tools, Alive VM doesn't use thresholds or other static triggers. Instead, you feed it any sort of time series metrics – from CPU and disk utilization to how many warnings are in your logfiles – and by watching their patterns over the weeks and month, it starts to understand the patterns of your business and it gets very smart about noticing when things get off-kilter. It also has some killer dashboards and visualizations that give you a better overall view of your data center. Listen via the widget at right, the mp3 file, or iTunes.


#120 – vCenter Configuration Manager. George Gerchow dialed in from the Gartner conference where he was presenting to tell us about vCenter Configuration Manager, one of the Ionix products that joined VMware in April. Configuration Manager is a mature product that can automate configuration and provisioning and help you manage compliance across your data center. George shared with us some of the capabilities of Configuration Manager, what people are using it for, how it can help remediate issues. We discussed some of the management, compliance and control issues as you reach higher levels of virtualization and build out private or hybrid clouds. Listen via the widget at right, the mp3 file, or iTunes.

See you next week on the podcast! 

John
@jtroyer on Twitter 

Welcome new VMTN community moderators

On December 1, we have competed our second semi-annual round of moderator elections, and had a minor change in the team. A few new folks joined the ranks of VMTN community moderators for the six-months term, beginning on the 1st December 2010, and ending on the 31st May 2011.

mittim12, jasemccarty, a.p., and dquintana are the newest members of the team.

We hold elections every six months, and anyone can nominate somebody (or themselves) by dropping a Private Message (PM) to Alex Maier (amaier650). Next election will start on the 1st May 2011.