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Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 42

This week was the last week of the VCDX defenses in EMEA. I loved doing it and wished we had these defense panels every week. We certified three people this week and unfortunately some did not pass the exam. I believe we are up to VCDX 028 right now. For those working towards the VCDX Certification, the next opportunity for the Design Defense is Partner Exchange in Las Vegas. But that is not the topic of this article. This article is all about last weeks Planet V12n blog articles. We had numerous excellent articles again and like always it was tough to pick a top 5. This weeks top 5 contains two "new comers" to the blogosphere, welcome Luc Dekens and Andrew Hald. Enough of the small talk here we go:

  • Luc Dekens – Scheduled Tasks – MethodAction
    In the PowerCLI Community there was a recent question on how these Scheduled Tasks can be created from PowerShell (see relocate vm’s from csv file and create schedule task in VC).
    Being able to create a Scheduled Task for a svMotion for several guests from a PowerShell script, instead of clicking away in the vSphere Client, would be another step on the path of vSphere automation.
    The current PowerCLI 4 (build 162509) unfortunately has no cmdlets for Scheduled Tasks. But the SDK contains the CreateScheduledTask method that can be used for this purpose.
    The key parameter to this method is the ScheduledTaskSpec object. In the action property of this object you specify which type of action you want the scheduled task to take. If we want to schedule a Task, we will have to select the MethodAction extension object.
  • Andrew Hald – The Commodity Hypervisor
    This morning Dan Kusnetsky posted a blog entry discussing how VMware is "Facing Challengers on all Sides." I have followed Dan's blog for some time now and don't always agree with his conclusions. In this post, he outlines each of the players in the virtualization industry and their angle at dethroning VMware as the "King of Virtual Machine Technology."
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/virtualization/?p=1383
    Dan states that the hypervisor is becoming a commodity. While this may be true in price (Microsoft, Citrix and VMware all offer their hypervisors for free), this is not true for customers and real world virtualization deployments. The hypervisor is not even close to being a commodity yet. The other players would like you to believe that they are on par with VMware, but they are not in the same league.
    A commodity is defined as "some good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market." Thus all hypervisors would have to provide the same features for the same total cost to be defined as commodities. When comparing the players in the virtualization market, we immediately see that this is not the case.
  • Eric Sloof – Massive I/O power increase using EMC PowerPath/VE
    You’re about to enter a world where creating a Virtual Machine hot-clone is done faster than powering it off. My former Capgemini colleagues, Ernst Cozijnsen and John van der Sluis recently implemented EMC PowerPath/VE, here's their story.
    It took the guys in storage land a long time to deliver…. But finally it's there…. A really great kick-ass plug-in to boost your vSphere 4 storage performance through the roof.
    In prior versions of ESX the Native Multi Pathing “NMP” plug-in was
    available for balancing the storage load over different Fiber Channel
    HBA’s and storage paths to your storage array(s). Beside that it’s not
    really “Multi Pathing” it had another major disadvantage of being able
    to stress your storage array in such a way it could crash.
  • Eric Siebert – What is virtualization?
    If you work with virtualization for a living, inevitably you’ll be
    asked what virtualization is. Trying to explain it to someone who
    doesn’t work with computers can often be challenging, and after you
    explain it they still may not know what it’s about. So how do you explain it to someone for the first time? I find that
    using analogies that anyone can relate to is a good way to explain
    things to people. Before I attempt a virtualization analogy I’ll try
    explaining it in basic computer terms.
    Virtualization software, also called a hypervisor, emulates computer
    hardware allowing multiple operating systems to run on a single
    physical computer host. Each guest operating system appears to have the
    host’s processor, memory, and other resources all to itself. The
    hypervisor, however, is actually controlling the host processor and
    resources and allocates what is needed to each operating system, making
    sure that the guest operating systems (called virtual machines) cannot
    disrupt each other.
  • Cody Bunch – A Quick PowerCLI Lesson – Digging for Info (Who Powered Off that VM)
    This gives us an idea about the information we’re looking for, as
    well as provides us a place to start looking. Let’s dip into the
    PowerCLI:

    [vSphere PowerCLI] C:\> $vm = Get-VM | where { $_.Name -eq "Wiki" }

    What this does is set the variable $vm to the object that represents
    our VM. What is an object? For our use an object is anything in your
    Virtual Infrastructure, and the properties and methods that belong to
    it. Take a turtle for example (yes… turtle, hang with me). That turtle
    will have some properties: breed, gender, length, weight, etc.
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Duncan Epping

About Duncan Epping

Duncan is a Chief Technologist working in the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware, serving as a partner and truster adviser to EMEA customers. He is the co-author of several books, including the vSphere Clustering Deepdive series and Essential Virtual SAN. He is the owner and main author of virtualization blog yellow-bricks.com.