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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 4

That was fast.  January just passed us by with a blur, and I am getting ready to ramp up for the VMware World Wide Sales kick off in Las Vegas.  Lot’s of great blog posts this week, it’s often hard to choose just 5 posts that stand out above the others.  Keep the great content coming!

Jason Boche – Jumbo Frames Comparison Testing with IP Storage and vMotion – Are you thinking about implementing jumbo frames with your IP storage based vSphere infrastructure?  Have you asked yourself why or thought about the guaranteed benefits? Various credible sources discuss it (here’s a primer).  Some will highlight jumbo frames as a best practice but the majority of what I’ve seen and heard talk about the potential advantages of jumbo frames and what the technology might do to make your infrastructure more efficient.

Luc Dekens – SIOC statistics – SIOC (Storage IO Control) is apparently a hot topic. There have been an important number of posts since it was made available with vSphere 4.1. On this blog, in my Automate SIOC post, you can find functions to verify and activate/deactivate SIOC from your PowerShell script.  A recent post on Yellow-Bricks, called Enable Storage IO Control on all Datastores! got quite a few comments and Tweets.

Edward Haletky – Want to Move to the Cloud? Simple Steps – You heard the buzzwords and drunk the kool-aid and now you want to move to the cloud, how do you do this? This has been the a fairly interesting question on the VMware Communities Podcast yesterday, when the vCloud team showed up to talk about the current reference architecture. Yet almost all the questions were about going to the cloud and not about the architecture. Does this mean people do not understand what is required to go to the cloud? I think so. So to take a few elements from the podcast and put them in writing is the goal of this article. The Simple Steps to move to the cloud.

Bernd Harzog – Monitoring Virtualized Application Performance – Looking Outside In – Understanding whether a virtualized or cloud based system or application is available and delivering acceptable response times to its end users is one of the most important tasks that must be addressed by any strategy for monitoring the performance of business critical applications.Let’s first review the nature of virtualized and cloud based systems, so that we can assess how these needs should be met.

Gabrie van Zanten – Large Pages, Transparent Page Sharing and how they influence the consolidation ratio – Everybody talks about the benefits of Transparent Page Sharing in vSphere environments and how they reduce the amount of memory needed in your vSphere host. Thanks to Transparent Page Sharing memory overcommit in a production environment has become mainstream.

Moderator-recommended links

It takes a knowledgeable and experienced community member to be a moderator, and we are lucky to have a great team of volunteer moderators here on VMware Community forums.

Since they are such a bright and knowledgeable bunch, I have asked them to share their recommendations for good web pages that would be helpful for any forums user to check out.

Once we collected the links, we have published the list in the Community Website Help forum.

Of course it is a living document and we welcome suggestions from the community. If you know a good resource that is not on our list yet, simply drop a PM to one of the moderators or to me (amaier650) and we'll be sure to review your submission.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 3

Nicholas Weaver – Fistful of Cloud : Interactive Cloud Demo – Technically this is my first time to create a proper GUI(besides normal forms), work with dual APIs, and program for peripherals.This is also the most advanced I have gotten on multi-threading and my brain still hurts. The Microsoft Kinect is an extremely slick piece of hardware and I think we have just scratched the surface with the application this could lead to.

Vladan Seget – Use vOptimizer Pro 3.1 to shrink or realign your virtual disks – This new version is ESXi 4.1 compatible and there are new features and OS. Linux versions RHEL 4 and 5, and Suse 10 and 11 are now supported.  In fact it’s the only product on the market today which can shrink VMDKs. Shrink the virtual disks – to reclaims wasted VM storage. To shrink a VMDK one could use VMware Converter to do it but it’s not in place operation. You’d have to convert the VM by using VMware converter to another datastore and then delete the source VM. You’d have the choice to select the size of the destination disks.

Greg Stuart – Need a pulse check? Get VMware Alive VM for free! – Just when you think VMware has come out with a really cool product that would be hard to top, they follow it with another product that is just as amazing and more. With the release of VMware Alive VM, this is that product. Have you ever heard of Alive VM? I hadn’t either until I stumbled across a promotion running on the VMware website.

Arnim van Lieshout – ESXi Tech Support Mode – As a security recommendation you should always disable Tech Support Mode (TSM) on your ESXi servers, but sometimes it’s helpful if you’re able to connect to your ESXi server using Secure Shell (SSH). When you want to enable TSM, you have 3 options…

Frank Denneman – Setting Correct Percentage of Cluster Resources Reserved – vSphere introduced the HA admission control policy “Percentage of Cluster Resources Reserved”. This policy allows the user to specify a percentage of the total amount of available resources that will stay reserved to accommodate host failures. When using vSphere 4.1 this policy is the de facto recommended admission control policy as it avoids the conservative slots calculation method.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 2

My year is starting out with a bang, and I have been heads down all week planning for the new year with my team.  Here are the top 5 blog posts for Week #2! 

Have a great weekend…

Scott Drummonds – vCenter Custom Alarms: Instruction, Tips, Tools – Half a year ago the Asia Pacific vSpecialist team made a fantastic acquisition in one David “Two Screws” Lloyd. David previously worked for a wonderful VMware and EMC customer in the UK and moved back to Australia. That is when we jumped on the opportunity to snap him up. In working with him in the labs recently, I have come to realize that David has incredible depth and breadth in the space of virtual infrastructure management.

Hany Michael – Integrating VMware vCloud Director with vShield Edge and vShield App – Until a very recent date, I was not quite sure whether this is possible or not. In fact, whenever I was asked if vCloud Director can work with the fully licensed vShield Edge/App or not, I thought the safest answer would be No! After doing some research internally at VMware, I found a great presentation talking about this specific subject. And after viewing this preso for at least two times, I was still not quite sure how it can be set up or configured for that matter. At least I was sure that it can be achieved!

Eric Sloof – Latest fling from VMware Labs – IOBlazer – VMware Labs presents its latest fling IOBlazer – a multi-platform storage stack micro-benchmark tool. IOBlazer started as a minimalist MS SQL Server emulator which focused solely on IO component. It has now matured into a scalable application with multi-platform support, capable of generating highly customizable workload by configuring parameters like…

Charu Chaubal – ESXi 4.1 Active Directory Integration – Although day-to-day vSphere management operations are usually done on vCenter Server logged in through the vSphere Client, there are instances when users must work with ESXi directly, such as with configuration backup and log file access.  Then there are monitoring solutions, which sometimes require direct access to the ESXi host; these would typically be configured to use service accounts. Prior to ESXi 4.1, you could only create local users, which each had separate locally-stored passwords per host.  Since this is cumbersome and doesn’t scale, we decided to address this in the vSphere 4.1 release.

Alan Renouf – VMworld Session: PowerCLI is for Administrators! – This post has been a long time coming – but now the PowerCLI book is at last in the final stages of production (you can pre order here) I am finally able to spend a little time updating my blog again, and believe me I have a long list of posts.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 1

Welcome to 2011!  I hope everyone in the VMware communities had some downtime to spend with friends and family over the holidays.  2011 is going to be an exciting year in IT and even more exciting at VMware.  I am looking forward to a lot of BIG announcements this year which will drive some great blog posts from all of you.  Here are the top 5 posts for week 1.

Andre Leibovici – VMware View 4.5 Events Database Explained – For my first article of the year I have chosen a subject that has not been much discussed, however greatly empower VMware View administrators.  VMware View 4.5 allows administrators to configure an external Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database to record all VMware View events. Prior to View 4.5 the events database was integrated with the local ADAM database, not allowing for external Business Intelligence software integration.

Roman Tarnavski – By Example – Networks in vCloud Director – In order to demonstrate to some customers, partners and colleagues that haven’t had a chance to enjoy vCloud Director yet, I’ve recently prepared some videos which demonstrate how you setup a network within an Organization on top of vCD.  They’re designed to be completely self-sufficient, so the ‘intro’ is re-used.

Eric Siebert – Top eight VMware vSphere backup best practices – When it comes to backing up virtual machines in VMware vSphere, you need to leverage the strengths of virtualization to maximize your backup efficiency. You also need to know what to back up as well as how to back it up. In addition, you can’t use the same principles that you use in a traditional environment to back up a virtual environment. The following are eight vSphere backup best practices.

Brandon Riley – How I Made Millions of Dollars in 15 Minutes – OK good the catchy title worked, and you’ve committed to reading this post. So let’s get to work on making your millions.  Lucky for us technology guys and gals, there are still plenty of C-level employees at companies everywhere who have yet to witness all the benefits of VMware first-hand. Steve Duplessie with ESG just published the following statistics, 58% of organizations have virtualized less than 1/3 of their servers.  Thus far IT owned applications dominate what’s being virtualized. File/Print, etc. 59% haven’t virtualized ANY “mission-critical” applications.

Frank Denneman – AMD Magny-Cours and ESX – AMD’s current flagship model is the 12-core 6100 Opteron code name Magny-Cours. Its architecture is quite interesting to say at least. Instead of developing one CPU with 12 cores, the Magny Cours is actually two 6 core “Bulldozer” CPUs combined in to one package. This means that an AMD 6100 processor is actually seen by ESX as this.

How to manage your Community email notifications

If you are a registered VMTN user, you will have noticed a change in the email notifications you receive since the upgrade to the new platform. They look a little different, and there are new notifications.

For example, there's the "Updates" email that looks somewhat like this:

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 3.06.46 PM
This email notification contains a summary of updates that could be of interest to you, such as how many replies and views your content has received.

There is also a section listing updates made by the people you are following on VMTN.

You decide how often or if at all you would like to receive this message, as well as any other email notification sent by our community mailer.

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 3.07.50 PM
At the bottom of the update email, you will find a link to your email preferences page. You will need to log in with your usual community credentials to get there.

This is what my email preferences page looks like:

Screen shot 2011-01-06 at 3.08.45 PM
As you see, I have chosen to auto-subscribe to some of my content, such as documents and discussions, and not others, such as blog posts and bookmarks.

At the very bottom, I have selected the frequency of my community Updates. I like to receive mine twice a week. But you can also opt for daily or weekly delivery, or cancel that email altogether by selecting "never."

EMC Solutions for VMware webcasts scheduled for January

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a good time ringing in 2011.

Our friends at EMC have scheduled a number of new webcasts for January, covering solutions for using EMC technology with VMware. All January webcasts will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursdays.

The Value of VMware Integration
Thursday, January 6, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Learn about the benefits of tight VMware integration, and find out how EMC's 60+ points of integration with VMware enhance the performance, scalability, security, and ease-of-management of virtual environments.

Deploying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to Accelerate EHR Adoption
Thursday, January 13, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Hear Columbia Memorial Hospital discuss how the EMC Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Solution for Healthcare helps solve the challenge of ever-increasing costs–while increasing clinical productivity, improving workflow, and securing patient information.

Automate Unified Recovery of VMware Hosts
Thursday, January 20, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Learn about strategies for protecting data within a unified storage infrastructure. Discover how to define protection policies, identify protection gaps, and prove compliance, as well as instantly recover from data corruption with DVR-like rollback.

Simple, Efficient, Powerful – Optimizing Your Virtualized Applications
Thursday, January 27, 2011 – 8 am PT / 11 am ET / 16:00 GMT
Find out how our unified storage solutions can help you utilize resources to efficiently and dynamically embrace virtualization, and boost your infrastructure performance–with a 20% guarantee.