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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Survey time, please help it only takes a couple of minutes!

Today I received two requests to plug a survey. The first survey is on the topic of NAS usage and cloud storage and the second one on the topic of multi-tier apps. Please fill them out, as this is your way of defining what the future of VMware (potential) products and features looks like!

The first one takes about 2 minutes to fill out:

NAS / Cloud Storage survey:

This is a survey on alternatives to traditional NAS storage systems! We would like your opinion on NAS usage within your environment and consideration for alternatives to NAS solutions.


And the second one, takes 10 minutes roughly, but with the chance of winning a giftcard:

Multi-tier app Survey:
We would like your input on virtualization of multi-tier applications in our quest for continuous improvement

We have created a survey to capture your feedback: http://tinyurl.com/VMware-multi-tier-application . The survey should only take 5-10 minutes to complete.

As an incentive, respondents will be entered in a drawing to win one of three $50 Visa gift cards!

The survey will be open until July 9, 2013, so please participate soon!

Configuring PXE to support multiple Auto Deploy Servers

One question I constantly receive from customers is how they can use Auto Deploy with their current TFTP solution, often they may have an existing TFTP server but still want to make use of AutoDeploy stateless installs to easily deploy and manage their ESXi hosts.  This can also fall under the question of how can I deploy two sets of hosts to different vCenters on the same VLAN?

Both of these questions can be addressed in this post, the key thing to keep in mind is how we will be designing the DHCP/PXE/TFTP infrastructure to use AutoDeploy, there are multiple ways to achieve this depending on your companies environment and what best fits into your infrastructure. I have often heard from customers that they are unable to use AutoDeploy because they already have a PXE infrastructure, this is not always a roadblock.


The scenario I have used for this post is that we have two vCenters, there is a vCenter for Infrastructure and a vCenter for the VDI environment, in this scenario we have a very simple network and both infrastructures are on the same network and the same VLAN.

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Heads Up! Cannot Enable SIOC on NFS Datastores

This is an interesting one for those of you considering using Storage I/O Control (SIOC) on NFS datastores. We’ve come across an issue a couple of times whereby SIOC fails to enable on an NFS datastore due to a permissions issue. The following messages are seen in the SIOC logs on the ESXi hosts sharing the datastore:

2013-06-10T11:53:08.147Z: <test, 0> Error in opening stat file for device: test.Ignoring this device.
2013-06-10T11:53:12.159Z: stat file /vmfs/volumes//test/.iormstats.sf already exists.
2013-06-10T11:53:12.160Z: open /vmfs/volumes//test/.iorm.sf/slotsfile(0x10000042, 0x0) failed: Permission denied
2013-06-10T11:53:12.160Z: <test, 0> Giving UP Permission denied Error -1 opening SLOT file /vmfs/volumes//test/.iorm.sf/slotsfile
2013-06-10T11:53:12.160Z: <test, 0> Error -1 in opening & reading the slot file2013-06-10T11:53:12.160Z: Couldn’t get a slot2013-06-10T11:53:12.160Z: <test, 0> Error in opening stat file for device: test.Ignoring this device.

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Reporting on RPO Violations From vSphere Replication

A commonly requested thing that people ask for from vSphere Replication is more consolidated reporting.  You can set alerts in vCenter to key off of various things that surface from vSphere Replication, but it is not exactly a consolidated list when doing so.  What people are looking for is a common interface to pull together *just* vSphere Replication alerts for things like RPO violations.

My good friends and colleagues Alan Renouf and Lee Dilworth have identified a really elegant way to pull this information from vCenter to generate a report that will tell you about any RPO related alerts, such as historical RPO that is violations, when they occurred, and for how long using the ever useful PowerCLI.

Check out the blog post that covers this scripting solution over at Virtu-Al.net that solves this enigma for you.  It’s a great job by Alan and Lee!

“It’s a Unix system, I know this!”

Every fellow geek who first saw Jurassic Park twenty years ago (Has it really been that long??) cringed when Lex Murphy sat down at a Silicon Graphics workstation and exclaimed the line above. I’m reminded of this line all the time when I talk to some customers who I find treat their ESXi systems like they would a Unix or Linux system. I’m here to tell you, it’s not.

A shell does not an OS make

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 6.12.03 PM

Did you know you can run a Unix bash shell on Windows? Heck, you can even run a Unix bash shell on OpenVMS! Neither of them are Unix systems, obviously! And neither is ESXi.

Logging into an ESXi shell, whether via SSH or via the local console using ALT-F1, brings you into a Unix-like shell.

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Preview – VMworld 2013 Extreme Performance Series: vCenter of the Universe

Previous entry: Preview – Extreme Performance Series: Monster Virtual Machines

Next in our Extreme Performance Series mini-track, I’d like to highlight the following vCenter performance breakout.  Remember, you’ll want to attend the whole series to learn about performance across the stack.

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Preview – Extreme Performance Series: Monster Virtual Machines

This year at VMworld (both San Francisco and Barcelona) performance will be front and center.  I’ve been working internally to create a “mini-track” of technically advanced performance breakouts with many of our actual performance engineers as speakers.  Customers always want to know about best practices, troubleshooting and just how far vSphere can push the performance envelope and that’s very hard to do in a 60 minute session.  So this year I’ve got approval to try something different. Continue reading

Help us to help you and win a copy of VMware Fusion!

Auto DeployDo you use VMware Auto Deploy?

Is there a good reason you don’t use VMware Auto Deploy?

Here at VMware we value our customers feedback and want to help make sure our product lines and features are in line with what is needed from your organization, as part of this we are trying to find out more details about how our customers use Auto Deploy, or if you don’t , how they don’t use Auto Deploy!

As part of this we have created a survey which will help prioritize efforts in the future and give us a clearer picture on how customers are or are not using Auto Deploy.

The survey takes you to different pages based upon your answers so please do not get scared by the number of pages at the top, this will quickly reduce and should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

As a thank you for filling this survey out, at the end you will have the chance to add your email address (optional) and be entered into a draw to receive 1 of 3 copies of VMware fusion, winners will be contacted after the end of the survey.

Thanks for taking the time to help make VMware products better.

Take the survey here

Grant shell access to this user? No worries mate!

A few weeks ago I saw on an internal email thread an ask from a customer via their VMware sale engineer. The customer was using AutoDeploy and Host Profiles. As part of this process, they were creating a local user on their ESXi hosts and when they connected to the host via the vSphere Client application on Windows, they were worried to see that the user was created with Shell Access already granted! As you can imagine, that’s probably not something you want done by default. Even more so when you’re in an environment that has compliance concerns. And especially when you have the Security Guy looking over your shoulder!

Well, like our friends from Down Under would say, “No Worries Mate”. What you are seeing here is a UI bug in the vSphere Windows Client. As you know, the vSphere Windows Client has been superseded by the new vSphere Web Client. But at the moment, it’s the main tool for configuration by those who connect to ESXi servers. With the vSphere Web Client being the current and future client user interface for vCenter Server managed objects and resources, the “old” vSphere Client may, at times, not be as current as we’d like.

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Introduction to VMware Virsto

What is VMware Virsto and What Does it Do?

Since VMware’s acquisition of Virsto earlier this year, many customers and folks in the community have expressed a great deal of interest in the product. Since so many folks have requested more information about the product, I’ve decide to write a series of in-depth blog articles that will discuss VMware Virsto’s capabilities, benefits, and targeted use cases for the product. VMware Virsto is a software-defined storage solution design to optimize the use of external block storage in vSphere virtual infrastructures. VMware Virsto enhances the use of external Storage Area Networks (SAN) by accelerating performance and increasing overall storage utilization. When considering the storage challenges that are faced today in virtual infrastructures, one of the primary concerns revolves around performance and space efficiency. Virtualized environments tend to be performance intensive and persistent with the presentation of random I/O.

Virsto  RandomIO

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