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VMware made a rather large announcement this week around the new vSphere 5 licensing model which is based on the concept of vRAM.  Based on customer feedback the vRAM entitlements per socket have been drastically increased across all lines of vSphere.  We have also put a cap of 96GB on the maximum vRAM per virtual machine that would be consumed (i.e. a virtual machine with 128GB of configured vRAM will only use 96GB from the pooled vRAM capacity).  The third component that changed was the licensing compliance concept.  Rather than a fixed high watermark, VMware has given customer more flexibility and has imposed a 12 month moving average of consumed vRAM.  For the official vSphere 5 pricing guide, point your browser here.

On with the Top 5!

Andre Leibovici – The biggest Linked Clone “IO” Split Study – Part 1/2 – In my article Get hold of VDI IOPs, Read/Write Ratios and Storage Tiering I discussed the importance of understanding the virtual desktop IO pattern in VDI deployments. On the same article I briefly discussed the I/O split between Replicas and Linked Clones.  The main idea is that at moment ‘zero’ after the creation of a linked clone, the Replica disk is responsible for 100% of the Read IO, and the Linked Clone disk (delta) is responsible for 100% of the Write IO.

Duncan Epping – SDRS and Auto-Tiering solutions – The Injector – A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article about Storage DRS (hereafter SDRS) interoperability and I mentioned that using SDRS with Auto-Tiering solutions should work… Now the truth is slightly different, however as I noticed some people  started throwing huge exclamation marks around SDRS I wanted to make a statement. Many have discussed this and made comments around why SDRS would not be supported with auto-tiering solutions and I noticed the common idea is that SDRS would not be supported with them as it could initiate a migration to a different datastore and as such “reset” the tiered VM back to default.

Scott Sauer – vSphere 5 and the new vSphere Distributed Switch – NetFlow – With vSphere 5 comes a plethora of new features and functionality across the entire VMware virtualization platform.  One of the core components that got a nice upgrade was the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS).  For those of you that have not had the chance to use the vDS, it is a centralized administrative interface that allows access to manage and update a network configuration in one location as opposed to each separate ESX host. 

Cormac Hogan – vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) – A Very Nice Resilience Feature – Now that you have been introduced to the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA), lets have a look at some of its cool features. Firstly you should be aware that the VSA can handle failures at both the ESXi host and appliance level, and continue to present the full complement of NFS datastores. This means that if the ESXi host on which the appliance is running goes down, the cluster will seamlessly present that NFS datastore from another node in the cluster.

William Lam – How to Create Custom Firewall Rules in ESXi 5.0 – In ESXi 5.0, the firewall system has been completely revamped to provide the same functionality as the classic ESX Service Console esxcfg-firewall command. To access the firewall configurations, you can use the following esxcli namespace: esxcli network firewall. By default, there are set of predefined services that a user can enable or disable upon startup.