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Category Archives: ESXi

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

Today VMware released an update to its virtualization management solution, vCenter Server. The update brings several fixes as documented in the release notes which can be reviewed in full here.

The new versions are as follows:

  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891313
  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b Installation Package | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891310
  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891314
    downloaded now from vmware.com

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Does Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) Affect Performance?

YES!

Now that I’ve scared you, lets take a look at these use cases.

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Checking the vNUMA Topology

I’ve been asked a few times recently how to determine what virtual topology vNUMA recommended and created for us and besides looking at the obvious guest OS for the final result, you can also check the vmware.log file for more detailed information.

Additional background here.

Examples:

1) “Wide and “Flat” virtual machine – default configuration

This virtual machine was configured with 20 vCPUs (20 sockets and 1 corespersocket) on a 4 socket, 10 core, hyper-threading enabled, host:

numa: Exposing multicore topology with cpuid.coresPerSocket = 10 is suggested for best performance

numaHost: 2 virtual nodes, 20 virtual sockets, 2 physical domains

Here we see vNUMA has automatically set corespersocket = 10, which matches the physical topology, and presented 2 “virtual nodes” aka NUMA nodes.

2) Spanning pNUMA nodes – manually configured

This virtual machine was configured with 20 vCPUs (1 socket and 20 corespersocket) on a 4 socket, 10 core, hyper-threading enabled, host:

numa: Setting.vcpu.maxPerVirtualNode=20 to match cpuid.coresPerSocket

numaHost: 1 virtual nodes, 1 virtual sockets, 2 physical domains

Here we see vNUMA has respected the manual configuration and set the vNUMA advanced setting maxPerVirtualNode = 20 which doesn’t match the physical topology.  1 “virtual nodes” aka NUMA node is presented which spans 2 “physical domains,” aka pNUMA nodes.

So searching vmware.log for ‘numa’ and ‘numaHost’ will provide these details and again a reminder to let vNUMA provide the optimal configuration when possible.

SAP HANA Now Supported on VMware vSphere 5.5 for Production Scenarios

Eighteen months ago at SAP SAPPHIRE Madrid 2012, VMware presented impressive performance data showcasing SAP HANA running on vSphere. At that time, vSphere 5.1 received support from SAP to run SAP HANA for non-production scenarios.

After an extended and successful joint testing program with SAP, we’re proud to announce that vSphere 5.5 has achieved production support for SAP HANA.  Today, joint customers can run and scale single node SAP HANA databases up to 1TB in a virtual environment while taking advantage of all of the vSphere features they know and rely on to achieve high availability and improved Quality of Service for their mission critical workloads.

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vSphere Distributed Switch – Network Monitoring

When users adopt the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) there is a whole new level to monitoring that becomes available that’s not possible with our vSphere Standard Switch. Industry standard tools such as Port Mirroring and Netflow and our own VDS monitoring called Health Check. These powerful tools not only help to troubleshoot issues or monitor traffic but help to ensure you don’t have issues to begin with.

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App HA 1.1 Released – Now available for download

App HA overview

The latest version of App HA, 1.1, was released last week and is now available for download. This release has a number of cool new features that will greatly increase the usability of App HA. I will do additional post(s) on these in the next few weeks.

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vSphere Distributed Switch – Backup and Restore

Continuing on with features found in the vSphere Distributed Switch, the Backup and Restore capability is a feature I rarely saw used when I was in the field. I saw, and still do see, customers going out of their way to make sure they can backup the vCenter database, and even more so SSO, but if you have to rebuild your vCenter or migrate to a new one and don’t have a backup of your Distributed Switch you’re going to be in for a lot of work.

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PVSCSI and Large IO’s

Here’s a behavior that a few people have questioned me about recently:

Why is PVSCSI splitting my large guest operating system IO’s into smaller blocks?

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Join our VMware Hands-on Labs Online Workshop on Tuesday, March 25th 10:00 AM PDT


HOL-CertSeal_200Join our VMware Hands-on Labs Online Workshop on Tuesday, March 25th 10:00 AM PDT.

In our vSphere with Operations Management 101 online workshop, you will learn first-hand how vCenter Operations Manager can help you manage your vSphere environments. We will walk you through the steps to access the live vCenter Operations labs.  Using the Hands-on Labs online portal you will be able try vCenter Operations Manager and chat with our VMware experts who use this product to monitor the Hands-on Labs infrastructure. Attend this online workshop to see how vCenter Operations Manager provides comprehensive visibility into the health and performance of your vSphere environments, helps you improve the efficiency of your virtual infrastructure, increase your consolidation ratios, and how it provides capacity management with “what if” planning capabilities.

This online workshop is targeted at customers who are running vSphere and who are new to vSphere with Operations Management.

Date: March 25thworkshop
Time: 10:00 AM PDT
Length: 1 Hour
Register

Restricting Access to the ESXi Host Console – Revisiting Lockdown Mode

I’ve had a number of requests for recommendations on the “best way” to restrict access to the ESXi host console. While this is easily done using the ESXi Lockdown Mode feature I’m finding there are some admins who are still under the impression that lockdown mode doesn’t work, and in order to prevent access to the host console you need to disable the console service. While there were some challenges with lockdown mode in the past, things changed in ESXi 5.1.

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