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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 17

Luc Dekens – Orphaned files and folders – Spring cleaning – One of our readers asked if that function could be used to remove orphaned VMDK files from one or more datastores. Now unfortunately that is not the case since the function we presented in chapter 7 uses the ReconfigVM_Task method to remove the harddisk.

David Davis – Understanding Memory Compression in vSphere 4.1 – vSphere 4.1 comes with a new performance-enhancing feature called memory compression. It can give your system a performance boost when it starts running low on RAM. Just like swap memory, memory compression is not equal to real memory but can help to prevent degradation of performance when you’re running low on memory. For comparison, memory compression is faster than swap on disk but slower than real memory.

Eric Siebert – How to avoid VDI boot storm problems using SSD – Desktop virtualization, or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), can bring many benefits to an IT organization, including easier system management and centralized security and data protection. But the storage environment that supports VDI requires some careful planning to avoid the problem of VDI “boot storms” — big slowdowns that can occur when a lot of users log into the system at the same time. There are a few options for addressing the problem, but the one that makes the most sense relies on tactical placement of solid-state drives (SSDs).

Vladan Seget – How to backup ESXi 4.1 configuration – One of those questions you might be asking yourself is the one on How to backup ESXi configuration files. You might be saying why backup if the re-installation of an ESXi takes just few minutes, but wait. There is not only the installation of ESXi, but there are all the configuration files concerning virtual switches and their configuration, shared storage (datastores configurations), multipaths, local users and groups and also licensing informations.

Duncan Epping – Which metric to use for monitoring memory? – This question has come up several times over the last couple of weeks so I figured it was time to dedicate an article to it. People have always been used to monitoring memory usage in a specific way. This always worked fine until ESX(i) 3.5 introduced the aggressive usage of Large Pages. In the 3.5 timeframe that only worked for AMD processors that supported RVI and with vSphere 4.0 support for Intel’s EPT was added.

A week in virtualization

Weekly virtualization news, as featured on the Community Roundtable podcast.

Yesterday, VMware announced acquisition of SlideRocket. SlideRocket delivers innovative presentation solutions that use modern concepts of cloud computing, collaboration, social media and mobile computing platforms. To find out more, visit sliderocket.com You can also check out Steve Herrod's blog post about the acquisition, at blogs.vmware.com/console

We are still accepting vExpert applications for 2011. In order to be selected as a vExpert, the applicant should have gone above and beyond their day job in contributing to the virtualization and VMware user community. For more details, and to apply, visit VMTN blog at blogs.vmware.com/vmtn

VMware Studio 2.5 is now available. This release provides a number of cool enhancements, such as provisioning using vCloud Director, Multiple NIC support, ability to deploy an appliance without specifying IP pools. LVM support now allows you to extend appliance disk size after deployment. For a full list of new features, go to vmware.com/go/studio

Coming up in the next days and weeks, we have number of events going on in the world of virtualization.

On May 11th, we'll have a webinar on Reliable Disaster Protection with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. To find out more and register, head over to webcasts.vmware.com

VMware Forum events are taking place in early May in Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Rome, as well as in Washington DC, New York, Anaheim, and Mexico City. The web page with details is linked directly from vmware.com – simply click on the box that says “VMware Forum 2011” on the lower left.

There are four full-day regional VMUG conferences happening over the next couple of weeks, starting with Milwaukee, Wisconsin, tomorrow, and continuing on to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Dublin, Ohio, and finally Palo Alto, in Silicon Valley, California. Regional VMUGs are full-blown virtualization conferences, with agendas spanning a whole day and up to 1000 people attending.

Additionally, the following VMUGs are meeting over the next seven days: Grand Rapids, Melbourne, Helsinki, and Charlotte. Details and registration links for all these VMUG meetings are at myvmug.org and click “Events.”

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 16

Sorry the Top 5 is a little late this week, I was able to slip away for a few days and visit my new(er)born nephew in Philadelphia, PA.  Anyways, here we go!

Joshua Townsend – Storage Basics – Part VIII – The Difference in Consumer vs. Enterprise Class Disks and Storage Arrays; or ‘Why is the SAN you are proposing so darn expensive?’ – As both an IT Manager and storage & virtualization consultant, I have shepherded SMB’s through SAN purchases in support of VMware environments.  This may not hold true for the bigger IT shops, but as I take these smaller companies through the SAN purchase process, a common set of questions is often asked — Do we really need a SAN, and why is it so darn expensive!?

Christian Mohn – Installing and running VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere – The first version of the new VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere tool is now available for download.  VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere lets you scan your ESX and ESXi hosts for compliance with the VMware vSphere hardening guidelines to make sure your hosts are properly configured. It also lets you save and print your assessment results, so you can track your compliance level over time, or use them as documentation for internal audits.

Duncan Epping – Distributed vSwitches, go Hybrid or go Distributed? – Yesterday I was answering some question in the VMTN Forums when I noticed that someone referred to my article about Hybrid vs full Distributed vSwitch Architectures. This article is almost two years old and definitely in desperate need of a revision. Back in 2009 when Distributed vSwitches where just introduced my conclusion in this discussion was…

David Davis – Configuring vSphere 4.1 VM to Host DRS Affinity Rules – VMWare vSphere’s DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) is mainly used for load balancing virtual machines (VMs) on a cluster. While most virtualization admins will want to run DRS in fully automated mode – i.e., vSphere decides on its own which VM is assigned to which ESX Server – there may be certain instances when you would want to enforce some conditions by setting what are known as DRS Affinity Rules.

Heath Doerr – Adding Shell Extensions to ThinApp Packages – By following the examples below, it is possible to add ‘Right Click’ functionality, or Shell Extensions, to your ThinApp packages.  In this way you can use Windows Explorer to send paths and file names as arguments to ThinApp executables before they launch.

A week in virtualization

Weekly virtualization news, as featured on the Community Roundtable podcast.

The new certification called the VMware Certified Associate 4 – Desktop is now officially available. The VCA4-DT is the first step toward gaining expertise in desktop virtualization and is designed for Desktop System Administrators who want to demonstrate their ability to manage, monitor and troubleshoot desktop deployments and VMware View components. To find out more about this new certification, go to mylearn.vmware.com/portals/certification

A new benefit for Vmware User Group members launched last week. The new program, named VMUG Advantage, allows all VMUG members around the world to save with special offers on VMware training, VMworld registration, and product licenses for VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion. To learn more and to purchase the VMUG Advantage membership, visit myvmug.org and click on “VMUG Advantage”

VMware Education Services team has just made available a new, free e-learning course dedicated to ESXi, called “Transition to ESXi Essentials”. The course is a self-paced three-hour online training, which will teach you things you need to know to make fundamental design decisions when adding VMware ESXi to a vSphere environment.

After completing the “Transition to ESXi Essentials” course and the short survey at the end, you can also get a free e-book “VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security” authored by Dave Mishchenko and edited by VMware technical experts. Dave’s book will be a great help to anyone who wants to learn everything there is to know about ESXi. The e-book will only be available freely for a limited time, so I suggest you hurry up if you want it. Visit blogs.vmware.com/esxi for details.

We are still accepting vExpert applications for 2011. In order to be selected as a vExpert, the applicant should have gone above and beyond their day job in contributing to the virtualization and VMware user community. For more details, and to apply, visit VMTN blog at blogs.vmware.com/vmtn

In the upcoming days and weeks, we have a lot going on in the world of virtualization events.

VMware Forum events are taking place in early May in Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Rome, as well as in Washington DC, New York, Anaheim, and Mexico City. The web page with details is linked directly from vmware.com – simply click on the box that says “VMware Forum 2011” on the lower left.

Also, tomorrow, we have webinars coming up on Data Access for Modern Applications as well as on Managing Your Federal Agency's Virtual Infrastructure with VMware vCenter Operations. To find out more and register, head over to webcasts.vmware.com

There is a regional VMUG conference happening today in San Diego, California, and another full-day user conference is scheduled for April 28 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These regional VMUGs are really full virtualization conferences, with up to 1000 people often attending.

Additionally, the following VMUGs are meeting over the next seven days: Johnston, Brandon, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Evansville, Grand Rapids, Melbourne, and Helsinki. Details and registration links for all these VMUG meetings are at vmware.com/events

 

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 15

Michael Poore – Trying vCenter CapacityIQ – Previously I have posted about trying out vCenter Operations. Now the trial, assuming that you went down that route, is actually for vCenter Operations Advanced version. This includes vCenter CapacityIQ. It would be remiss of me not to talk about that too so here goes.  I’m going to assume that CapacityIQ has already been downloaded. After all, you signed up for the vCenter Operations trial didn’t you?

Eric Sloof – Video – Getting Started With VMware Cloud Foundry – Getting Started with Cloud Foundry provides information about installing and starting VMware Cloud Foundry, the VMware Application Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. This video is intended for anyone who wants to install, configure, and use VMware Cloud Foundry.

Vladan Seget – How to build a low cost NAS for VMware Lab – introduction – During the past several days/weeks I’ve been thinking of upgrading my home lab. It’s something that can be costly, especially when you start from zero. I started last year with one multi usage box running VMware Workstation and running ESXi as a VM, with adding some SSD drives to it for speeding up, but already in that time I had in my mind the necessary evolution. Mainly because running nested VMs from within VMware Workstation is great way to start, but the speed is just isn’t there. And also you can run only 32bit nested VMs.

Andre Leibovici – How to read Linked Clone Storage Provisioning metrics in vCenter – Understanding storage resource utilisation by a virtual machine in vCenter Client is not difficult, especially when Thick Provisioning is in use. When the virtual machine is using Thick Provisioning all three metrics (Provisioned Storage, Not-Shared Storage and Used Storage) show exactly the same numbers.

Chris Wolf – Is VMware a Provider or Enabler? – Today VMware announced the launch of Cloud Foundry – a cloud service that makes it easy for developers to get started with VMware’s Open Platform-as-a-Service (Open PaaS) offerings. VMware CTO Steve Herrod offered good insight into VMware’s plans for Cloud Foundry in this post. In case you missed it, last week Steve Herrod blogged about VMware taking over operations for EMC’s Mozy cloud-based data protection service.

VMware vExpert 2011 applications now open

Each year, we designate several hundred individuals from around the world as VMware vExperts and invite them to participate in our yearly program. The vExperts are people who have gone above and beyond their day jobs in their contributions to the virtualization and VMware user community. 

vExperts are the bloggers, the book authors, the VMUG leaders, the tool builders and town criers, the tinkerers and speakers and thinkers who are moving us all forward as an IT industry.

A vExpert should demonstrate knowledge about VMware solutions and their benefits, and how they fit into the overall IT landscape. A vExpert designation is not a technical certification of any kind, although they are often very articulate and knowledgeable about virtualization and IT topics, both technical and non-technical. It should not be confused with a VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert).

A vExpert designation is

  • a thank you from VMware for contributing to the communty and helping people along their journey to the cloud;
  • a way for VMware to help you in your evangelism and your career, with access to private beta programs, product licenses, and exclusive briefings from VMware and its partners;
  • a way for VMware to dialog with its community of very smart and innovative users.

vExpert program criteria are

  • Value to the community. Did you create something valuable for the greater community of VMware users, such as a blog, book, tool, event, or presentation? Both technical and non-technical contributions are considered. 
  • Technical merit. If your contribution was technical, was it correct and useful?
  • Effectiveness. Were your contributions effective in making VMware users more successful?
  • Professionalism. Did you communicate in a professional manner?
  • Reach. Was your contribution useful to a large number of people? This award weighs public contributions that the entire community can benefit from.
  • Effort. vExperts typically put forth a great deal of time and effort over the course of the year, often beyond the boundaries of their normal day job. Did you demonstrate sustained effort above what was expected of you in your virtualization projects over 2010? 

A few things that we're doing differently this year:

  • We ask everyone who would like to be considered to fill out a vExpert Information Form detailing your activities in 2010. In past years, we often haven't had complete information on your activities, which made decision making difficult. Even current vExperts should fill this out so we know what you've been up to.

  • On the Information Form is a place to enter a VMware employee reference. This is completely optional, and most vExperts will be designated without any sort of reference. However, if you feel like your activities are not very obvious and available on the web, or if they were predominantly not in English, or they don't quite fit into the fields provided in the Information Form, you may want to include an employee reference who is familiar with your efforts.

  • There is a separate nomination form. If you think someone should be a vExpert but believe they may not apply to be a vExpert themselves, please nominate them. Fill out the Nomination Form and both VMware and the nominee will be sent an email with your message. However, the nominee must still fill out an Information Form so that we have a complete view of their activities. Nominations are not required and are multiple nominations are not counted as votes for your designation; instead, simply fill out the Information Form to be considered.

  • We're weighing the "above and beyond" portion of the nomination more highly this year. The vExpert designation is given to an individual, not to a company. Your contributions could have been a part of your corporate activities, but your individual contribution should be clear, beyond what was expected of you in your corporate role, and noted in your Information Form.

  • VMware employees are encouraged to apply this year. VMware employees will be selected separately after the non-employee selections. 

 As in previous years

  • The vExpert designation is based on contributions during 2010. Activities earlier than this are not considered.
  • The award duration is one year. Existing vExperts are not guaranteed a renewed award and are evaluated each year with other nominees.
  • A committee of VMware employees chooses the recipients of the vExpert awards.
  • You must be 18 years old to be eligible for the award.

And now that you've read through all the above, here are your next steps. We will accept Information Forms until midnight PST Friday, May 6, 2011. vExpert recipients will be notified within the following two weeks.

Good luck, and thanks for all your support.

The VMware vExpert Program Team

[vExpert 2011 Applications and Nominations are now closed. Thank you!] 

vExpert 2011 Information Thanks

 

Thank you for applying to
the VMware vExpert 2011 Program!

Your submission has been received.
You should receive an email confirming the data you entered with instructions
on how to update your information before the May 6 deadline. 

For more information on the vExpert program http://bit.ly/vExpert2011

To contact the program team: vexpert@vmware.com

vExpert 2011 Nomination Thanks

 

Thank you for nominating someone to
the VMware vExpert 2011 Program!

Your submission has been received.
An email has been sent to the nominee informing them of your nomination.
They must still fill out an Information Form by May 6 to be considered.

For more information on the vExpert program http://bit.ly/vExpert2011

To contact the program team: vexpert@vmware.com

vExpert 2011 Nomination Form

Use this form to nominate someone for the vExpert 2011 program. It will send them an email with the reasons you list in the form below.  The nominee must still fill out the Information Form so that we have full knowledge of their activities in 2010.

Nomination is not required to be considered for a vExpert — rather than asking someone to nominate you, you are invited to simply fill out the Information Form. Multiple nominations are not counted in any way in our decision-making process.

Read the blog post VMware vExpert 2011 applications now open for more information on the program and on the criteria we are using to determine vExpert designations. Applications are due by midnight PST Friday May 6, 2011.


  • vExpert 2011 Nomination

  • The Nominee

  • Should be Empty:



Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 14

The second quarter at VMware starts out with a bang with VMware acquiring Mozey from our parent company EMC.  Check out Steve Herrod’s blog post on the acquisition here.  On with the top 5 for the week!

Jay Weinshenker – Licensing Oracle on VMware vSphere – Honestly, I thought this issue was done and buried, but over the past few weeks I’ve seen this question come up multiple times, so let’s get this cleared up.  Let’s go right to the source – Oracle’s own documentation. If you read Oracle’s partitioning document you will see that this is Oracle’s stance as of January 24, 2011. In it, it discusses soft partitioning and hard partitioning.

Jeff Szastak – Limiting Processors and Memory To Windows For POCs – As customers transition from phase 1 into phase 2 of their virtualization journey, they begin virtualizing business critical applications. As they move into this phase, they often perform a POC to understand how their application performs on physical versus a virtual platform. Customers often ask for guidance on conducting a POC and we talk to them about the importance of an apple to apples analysis. What I mean by this is making sure the physical server and the virtual machine are configured identically (or as identical as possible).

Eric Sloof – Mind Map For Troubleshooting vSphere Network Issues – Mind mapping is a powerful technique that allows you to make the most of your brainpower by creating maps that use colour, lines, and images to capture and organize your ideas, information, and tasks.  VMware’s support team has created two new mind maps which will help you solving Management and Network issues. In order to use these minmaps, you have to use a recent version (9) of Adobe Acrobat.

Carlo Costanzo – Creating an ESXi Installer on a USB flash key. – So you’ve read the unconfirmed warnings/rumors of ESX being end of life’d in the next version and you’ve decided to take the plunge and are about to install ESXi!  GREAT!  But you are not quite ready to run the system from a USB or SD card just yet.  You still want to install ESXi onto a classic RAID 1 hard drive set.  I guess I get it.  RAID 1 gives you the warm and fuzzies knowing that if there is a failure of 1 component (i.e. drive) the other will pick up the slack until morning.

Vaughn Stewart – Current Status, An Update, and a Look to the Future of Alignment – It has been one year to the date since the last time I authored a post on the topic of partition alignment. I think its fair to state this issue has gained awareness over the last year thanks to posts from a number of industry experts such as Duncan Epping, Aaron Delp, and Chad Sakac just to name a few. However alignment remains an open issue, which is unfortunate for customers and partners.