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Category Archives: VMware Infrastructure 3

VMware vSphere Resources And Webcasts Customers Should Know About!

Hi everyone,

I am one of the VMware
vSphere product marketing managers at VMware and wanted to give you a summary
of all the upcoming content related to the vSphere launch. We have developed
resources for all audiences and technical levels to help you understand what is
VMware vSphere, how does it work, and how to upgrade to it from VI3 or deploy
it for the first time. 

Here is a quick summary of
vSphere resources. More details are provided below the table.

Existing customers interested in:

Gaining an in-depth understanding of vSphere

to vSphere

New customers interested in:

a basic understanding of vSphere and its value proposition

vSphere for the first time

VMware vSphere Upgrade Center

Live Technical Webcasts

(parts 3-8)

Live Overview Webcasts

On-demand webcasts

(parts 1-2)

VMware vSphere QuickStart Series

On-demand webcasts
(mix of overview and technical

 VMware vSphere Evaluation Center
(goes live on vSphere GA date)

VMware vSphere product page (divided by company size)


Visit the VMware
vSphere web page
to learn more about the features and benefits of
VMware vSphere based on your company size.  You will find datasheets, demos, and solution
briefs on the vSphere product pages.


We have developed 3
webcast series:

We also have a series of podcasts for
those of you who would like to learn about vSphere on the go! The podcasts will
cover vSphere editions and provide technical deep dives into the new features.


We have launched VMware vSphere Upgrade
, a site that contains all the information you need to upgrade
from VI3 to vSphere 4. The site will point you to upgrade preparation
checklists, access to vSphere upgrade communities, vSphere entitlement paths
for VI customers with active subscription contracts, and details on the new and
improved licensing mechanism. We will add more resources to this page including
upgrade best practices when vSphere becomes Generally Available.  I highly recommend that you bookmark this
page if you are an existing VI customer.

[coming soon] We are
creating a vSphere Evaluation Center
packed with demos and technical documentation to provide a guided evaluation
experience for both new and existing customers. The site will go live when
vSphere becomes generally available.


Note: This resource is NOT designed for existing VI

One last resource I want
to point out to New Customers is the
VMware vSphere QuickStart
. This is a new FREE course that will be taught live over the web
in four 2-hour modules. It is designed to teach VMware vSphere and VMware ESXi
evaluators how to do a basic installation, configuration and management of either
ESXi or vSphere. The course primarily consists of live product demonstrations to
ensure new users gain practical experience that can be leveraged to do a basic
vSphere POC or small deployment. If you
are already familiar with VMware Infrastructure (VI3), you should not attend
this class unless you want an 8 hour review of what you already know.

is a short outline of the series:

Module Topic:

Module description

Scheduled delivery Date

Part 1: Install and
Configure ESXi

  • VMware vSphere deployment architecture
  • Install and configure ESXi
  • Configure network and storage
  • Create a virtual machine

Monday: 6/15/09

Part 2: VM Management
with vCenter Server

  • Install and configure VMware vCenter Server
  • User access control
  • VM management (templates, snapshots, and
    thin/thick provisioned VM disks)

Monday: 6/22/09

Part 3: Cluster Set
up, Availability, and Load Balancing

  • Cluster set up
  • Configure
    VMware VMotion, Storage VMotion, HA, and DRS

Monday: 6/29/09

Part 4: Monitoring,
Availability, Back up, and Next Steps

  • Monitoring & troubleshooting
  • Alarms and reports
  • Configure VMware Fault Tolerance & Data
  • VMware vSphere editions & bundles

Monday: 7/6/09

Registration is open today
and space is very limited. Visit the vSphere QuickStart landing
to view course details and register!

More on VMware Update Manager

A few days ago, we linked to a new white paper on VMware Update Manager performance and best practices. Rich Brambley at VM /ETC had a few comments (see VMware Update Manager planning makes a difference), and he also ran an informal poll about how people are using VUM. Check it out (and feel free to still go vote yourself).


Rich is a little uneasy with keeping VUM on the same machine as VC, since it has to store potentially years of patches going forward, but it looks like that’s the easiest way and the way most people are doing it, probably because they aren’t using for all those Windows patches. Our recommendations to separate it only kick in at larger deployment sizes.

Also from Rich:

Finally, Carlo over at VMware Info has written a great how to post for patching ESX with VUM.
The VUM Administration Guide seems to be a little difficult to follow
to me, and Carlo’s post is straight forward about how to configure VUM
for updating ESX hosts.

VI admins sleep easier: HA in action

From Jason Boche yesterday morning on Twitter. Check out his new blog, now on Planet V12n.


"Lost power this morning to an ESX blade @ 9:44:15. VMware HA powers on downed VMs @ 9:45:17 after migrating them to a different host." -from Twitter

So how important is LiveMigration/VMotion now?

We say this all the time, but don’t listen to us, listen to other people using VMware. We will eventually look back on planned downtime (or emergency downtime for patching) like something quaint and obsolete. (What’s a good example of something an admin would have to do 30 years ago that we laugh at now? Wait for your overnight batch job to come back? Load the line printer with green bar fan-fold paper? Swap giant disk platters? I’m sure you can come up with better ones. Anyway, we’ll think of it like that.)

Link: It’s Just Another Layer » So how important is LiveMigration/VMotion now?.

One of Microsoft’s big marketing statements I’ve heard several times
is that LiveMigration wasn’t that important since clients don’t change
when they do work on hardware even with LiveMigration.   I’ll cover why
this in depth on why this is a flawed thought for an enterprise company
in a future blog entry.

Along comes a critical use case this past week.  MS08-67
came out and threw most companies I know of into some serious chaos
while they rolled this patch out ASAP.  Now this one does impact any
Windows OS including Server Core.   Anyone that would be using Hyper-V
would obviously be affected right now.    Let’s walk through trying to
deploy this for 120 Hyper-V hosts with Quick Migration (which causes a
service interruption) as fast as humanly possible with business buy-off
to do this ASAP outside of Maintenance Zones.

vCenter Administrator Portal! (multi VC console) » Yellow Bricks

Technology preview of new vCenter Administrator Portal. Enjoy.

Link: vCenter Administrator Portal! (multi VC console) » Yellow Bricks.

I noticed a new section(including downloads) on
the VMTN forums. This section is about a single console multiple
vCenter servers. VMware vCenter Administrator Portal (VCAP) is a
web-based console that provides a central view into the VMware
Infrastructure environment across multiple vCenter Server
(VirtualCenter) instances. VCAP is delivered as a virtual appliance
based on Linux. If you’re not comfortable with a virtual appliance you
can also download the installable version. …

What can you expect at this moment:

  • Single sign-on to multiple vCenter Servers
  • Monitor events and alarms across multiple vCenter Servers
  • Search and track inventory across multiple vCenter Servers
  • Launch VI Client in context to manage vCenter Servers
  • Search for virtual machines across multiple vCenter Servers
  • Launch virtual machine consoles
  • Utilizes permissions setup in vCenter Servers
  • Unified view for: vCenter Servers, Datacenters, Clusters, Hosts, Virtual Machines
  • Access summary view of inventory objects, rolled up across vCenter Servers, for comparison and monitoring purposes

Notes on VirtualCenter Update 3 from Eric Siebert

Link: VMware fixes VirtualCenter 2 bugs with VirtualCenter Update 3 – Virtualization Pro: A SearchVMware.com blog.

On Friday, VMware released the latest version of VirtualCenter, Update 3 (no update 3 for ESX yet). Unlike Update 2 (which contained some great new features), this version is mainly focused on fixing bugs. VMware administrators may be a little leery of installing this update after the time-bomb debacle that occurred several months ago with Update 2, but there are a few fixes (including many for HA) outlined below that make it worth installing. …

This one caused some issues with HA because of a network compliance
check that was introduced in Update 2. A new HA advanced setting has
been added to bypass this check. …

This one has caused a few people who upgraded to Update 2 some grief — thankfully VMware has quickly addressed it. In HA-DRS cluster, the enter maintenance mode task stalls and VMs do not migrate … In this release, the issue
has been resolved by allowing the evacuations if HA admission control
is disabled.

Thanks, Eric!

Quick Migration in 130 lines of PowerShell

Mike DiPetrillo (who was on our podcast this morning – link to come) had a nice post this morning that showed off the power of the VMware platform, the VI Toolkit (for Windows), and came up with a very useful script for folks that need to move VMs and don’t have VMotion. I’ll let him tell the story: Quick Migration for VMware – The Power of PowerShell.

I thought I’d try to create something with the script and show it off during my talk at VMworld on Deploying VMware in a Microsoft Shop.
The question is what do I create? Well, there has been some great
debate of Microsoft’s Quick Migration and VMware’s VMotion and are they
equal or not, do they solve the same problems, etc. … One of the things that was also brought up
over and over again in the debate was the fact that Quick Migration was
free and came with Hyper-V since it was based on Microsoft Clustering
whereas VMware VMotion was only available in the most expensive
Enterprise SKU of VMware Infrastructure. So there it was – I need to
create Quick Migration for the lower priced and free VMware solutions.
I went off, built my little script, and showed it off at VMworld. There
was a GREAT response to it …

The script works just like Microsoft Quick Migration – the virtual disk
is stored on shared storage, the VM is suspended to disk, and the VM is
then resumed on the destination. Presto!

Interesting to me as a blog watcher is that the virtualization blogosphere’s antennae all started twitching as they recognized a Very Cool Idea. (I’ll also be interested to see how the guys on the podcast this morning spread the news to VMware Communities — because part of my job is to get the word out about stuff like this. How to do that best in all the highways and byways of the Internets, including our own Communities?)

Rich Brambley talks about the need for shared storage and VirtualCenter Quick Migration PowerShell script for VMware VI Foundation | VM /ETC.

Tools like this are one reason why Bob Plankers recommends skipping VMware Server and going straight to ESXi.  Solutions to Match Your Problems : Bob Plankers, The Lone Sysadmin.

of the big things I like about virtualization is that you can find or
build solutions that match the size of the problem you have. Need live
workload migration? Buy VMotion. Need dynamic load balancing? Buy DRS.
But if you only need to move your workloads around once in a while
maybe you can get by with something like Mike DiPetrillo’s quick
migration script. Cheap, easy, right-sized, and it has a well-known
path for growth when you decide you really do need VMotion or DRS.

Duncan Epping (VMware Quick Migration » Yellow Bricks) and Eric Sloof (A poor men’s VMotion – NTPRO.NL) also were on point.

I’ll finish with Carter Shanklin from the Toolkit team Migrating VMs without VMware VMotion.. Carter also notes that we could tweak this so that you don’t need VirtualCenter.

has quite a lot of industry experience and has done a lot of custom
development like this before. However, until recently Mike had never
seen the PowerShell or the VI Toolkit at all, yet he still was able to
put this script together in the span of roughly a weekend. So I’m not
trying to imply that Mike’s not a smart guy but there’s no question in
my mind that the simplicity of the VI Toolkit made it possible for this
really interesting script to get developed in record time.

With the power of the SDK and the VI Toolkit (for Windows) showing that you can build this kind of thing easily, and the announcement of the VirtualCenter Server and VI Client both becoming cross-platform and full of LInuxy goodness, this is going to be a damn fun year if you are a creative developer or sysadmin.

ESXi is easiest to install, even if you’re a Windows expert

Link: VMware: VMware: Virtual Reality: Hyper-V with Server Core — Too Dry and Crunchy for our Taste.

Is Hyper-V with Recommended Server Core, In Fact, Easy?

So, how does the Hyper-V and DOS — err, I mean Server Core —
combination stack up when compared to the user experience of VMware
ESXi?  To try it out, we did side-by-side installations of Microsoft
Server Core/Hyper-V and VMware ESXi 3.5 on identical servers.  To let you see the details of each setup process, we recorded the entire sequence in a pair of videos.

Hypervisorinstallation2_2This first video shows every step required to install Hyper-V and ESXi on a fresh machine.
We kept count of the elapsed time, reboots, mouse clicks and keystrokes
each product needed and it clearly shows the huge advantage the truly
thin and OS-free ESXi architecture has in installation speed and
simplicity.  ESXi goes from bare-metal to fully installed in one-third
the time, half the mouse clicks, hundreds fewer keystrokes and just one
reboot vs. seven compared to Hyper-V.  The simplicity of the ESXi
wizard-driven installation is striking compared to the arduous process
needed to first get the Server Core OS installed and then configure
Hyper-V in a command line environment.

And here’s the end score:



High Availability for VCMS? It’s Clustered! | DanteDog

Link: DanteDog’s Virtualization Blog: High Availability for VCMS? It’s Clustered!.

Recently VMware Technical Support Posted KB Article 1006803
which shows a supported method for clustering VirtualCenter Management
Server 2.5 using Microsoft Clustering Service. It isn’t the only way
supported, and VMware Support will work with you if you are trying a
clustering method that is a little different, but this is one
documented method.


A detailed description and reference, along with screenshots and steps, is provided on our new VI:OPS site (which just went live) in DOC-1111.

Installing, configuring, patching ESXi (+ bonus links)

A ESXi trifecta from Eric Siebert:

  1. Link: Installing and configuring VMware ESXi. A good place to get started.
  2. Link: Two ways to patch VMware ESXi Installable.
  3. Bonus links: http://vmware-land.com/Vmware_Links.html#ESXi

(If you are a blogger or even just making up a newsletter for the office, please don’t steal Eric’s links wholesale without credit. He spends a great deal of time on the VMware Communities and in the blogs finding these links, organizing them, culling the old ones, etc. So respect, ok?)