Wednesday, December 12, 2012

VMware Tech Preview

Cormac Hogan from VMware has a three part Tech Preview series. The series is over at vSphere Blog.

The first part covered Distributed Storage Tech Preview which has a video. Basically what  it does is aggregates the hosts’ local storage and makes a single pool of storage shared across all hosts. Within the blog Cormac has other links highly recommend reading those.

The second part was Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) Tech Preview which also has a video.

"What if the vSphere admin could decide up front what the storage requirements of an application are, and then tell the array to create an appropriate VMDK based on these requirements? Welcome to VVOLs"

 Lastly the third posting was Virtual Flash (vFlash) Tech Preview.
"To date, VMware has done very little around flash. We only have the smartd introduced in vSphere 5.1 to monitor Solid State Drives (SSD) attributes and the swap to SSD feature....."


Friday, November 23, 2012

Migrating virtual machines with Raw Device Mappings (RDMs)

A presentation on migrating virtual machines with RDMs FAQ.

Areas that are covers are;
  • Warm migration (vMotion), where the virtual machine state as powered on.
  • Cold migration, where the virtual machine state as powered off.
  • Storage migration (Storage vMotion), where the virtual machine state as powered on.

Knowledge Base Article

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

vSphere client - Which one to use?

Administrating your vSphere 5.x environment can now be done via a Web Client. So now the question is asked when to use what? As some features can only  be administered via vSphere Web Client.

 The table below details features available in Web Client and Desktop Client and if a feature is not listed then the feature is available in both.

Information from vSphere Blog.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Collecting diagnostic information from vCenter Server 5.1

Just though I would put this up as its something I like to keep booked marked and up to date.
The KB provides procedures for obtaining diagnostic information for VMware vCenter Server.

Collecting diagnostic information from vCenter Server 5.1

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nexus 1000V Free

The Nexus 1000v software v2.1 has been release and can be downloaded now.
Two editions of the Nexus 1000v are available an Essential Edition and an Advanced Edition.

The Nexus 1000V Essential Edition provides all the rich Layer-2 networking features to connect virtual applications to the network and integrate into VMware environments, including: VXLAN capability, Cisco vPath service insertion, integration with vCloud Director, and a plug-in for management and monitoring in VMware’s vCenter Server.

Continue reading....

Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches

Download here

Release Notes

Friday, October 19, 2012

vSphere 5.1 – VDS Feature Evaluation Videos

VMware have introduced a number of enhancements with Networking.
They have produced a few videos that cover;
  •  VMware vSphere 5.1 – Network Health Check
  •  VMware vSphere 5.1 – Networking Rollback and Recovery
  •  VMware vSphere 5.1 – Network Config Backup and Restrore
Also a  blog back in September.

 What’s New in vSphere 5.1 – Networking

 VMware vSphere 5.1 – Network Health Check

 VMware vSphere 5.1 – Networking Rollback and Recovery

 VMware vSphere 5.1 – Network Config Backup and Restrore

Monday, September 24, 2012

VMware Free SRM Training

VMware have created 11 instructional videos on the basics of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. 

1. SRM5 Concepts/Architecture
2. Installing SRM5
3. Site Pairing
4. Storage Replication – Part 1
5. Storage Replication – Part 2
6. Inventory Mapping Protection Groups
7. Protection Groups
8. Creating a Recovery Plan
9.Testing a Recovery Plan
10. SRM Failover
11. SRM Failback

The videos are delivered by Andrew Elwood, Senior Technical Instructor.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Multiple Array Support for ESXi

From vSphere Blog follow the link below for more detail.

ESXi host connected to multiple storage array - is it supported?

"The primary aim of this post is to state categorically that VMware supports multiple storage arrays presenting targets and LUNs to a single ESXi host...."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Storage - Collection of Links

While doing research for various topics, I booked marked a few links. So here is the list of links that may be useful when troubleshooting or designing Storage.
A highlight is the vBrownbag vStorage Troubleshooting with Nathan Small.

#vBrownBag Follow-Up – vStorage Troubleshooting w/ Nathan Small

BrownBag Follow-Up – IO Analyzer

Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere – Part 1 - The Basics

Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere – Part 2

Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere (Part 3) – SSD Performance

Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues

Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere – Storage Queues

VMFS Locking Uncovered   

Storage Protocol Comparison (A vSphere Perspective) White Paper

Best Practices for running VMware vSphere on Network Attached Storage

VMware vSphere Advanced Troubleshooting - Eric Sloof vSphere 4

Monday, May 7, 2012

VMware View 5.1 – What’s New – Storage Features and Whitepapers

With the announcement of View 5.1, a number of enhancements have been made and new whitepapers have been released.
Links Below;
Storage Optimisation
View Storage Accelerator (formerly known as Content Based Read Cache) optimizes storage load and improves performance by caching common image blocks when reading virtual desktop images, helping to reduce overall TCO in VMware View deployments.
Simplified Desktop Management and Deployment
VMware have continued to make advancements on all areas of EUC. Areas like Storage, desktop migrations and large scale management.
Enhanced End-User Experience
Virtual Desktop Provisioning with VAAI
The VMware Reference Architecture for Stateless Virtual Desktops on Local Solid-State Storage with VMware View 5
This document covers architecture for Stateless Virtual Desktop on SSDs.

VMFS Locking Uncovered - vSphere Blog

Finally have time to get something on my blog.

Cormac Hogan from VMware has  a very good blog about VMFS. He starts by general overview on VMFS locking. Which over my time in virtualisation is misunderstood more often than not .

 Areas covered:

  • Heartbeats
  • On-disk Metadata Locks
  • Optimistic Locking
  • VAAI ATS (Atomic Test & Set)

The link below.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stretched Clusters and VMware vCenter, Site Recovery Manager

Been meaning to get this up....better late than never.

Stretched Clusters and VMware vCenter, Site Recovery Manager

"This paper is intended to clarify concepts involved with choosing solutions for vSphere site availability, and to help understand the use cases for availability solutions for the virtualized infrastructure.
Specific guidance is given around the intended use of DR solutions like VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager and contrasted with the intended use of geographically stretched clusters spanning multiple datacenters.
While both solutions excel at their primary use case, their strengths lie in different areas which are explored within."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Antivirus Practices for VMware View 5

The documents talks about Best Practices for protecting VMware View Desktops from viruses.

"This paper focuses on the best practices for protection against viruses in the VMware View™ 5 virtual desktop
environment. Antivirus software is one of the largest segments in today’s computer security market. Nearly
every enterprise deploys antivirus software on every desktop. As services such as security, mobility, access
control, and line-of-business applications are all rolled up into the datacenter or cloud, antivirus practices need
to be rolled up as well."

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Virtualization Performance Show

VROOM  is hosting a weekly Virtualization Performance Show.
They have scheduled to be run every Friday for five weeks. The host will be Todd Muirhead.

The schedule is as follows;
  • VROOM - VMmark: March 9th
  • VROOM - Million IOPS: March 16th
  • VROOM - Hadoop: March 23rd
  • VROOM - NFS: March 30th
  • VROOM - vMotion: April 6th
You don’t have to register, go to at 10am Pacific Standard Time this Friday.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Storage Protocol Comparison - A vSphere Perspective

Interesting blog by Chogan ( VMware vSphere Blog) comparing Storage Protocols without really talking about the performance side but looking at it from vSphere perspective.

Things like:
  • Implementation Options
  • Load Balancing
  • Resilience
  • Ease of configuration

Saturday, February 11, 2012

VCAP5-DCD Study Group

Although VCAP 5 Exam Blueprints series haven't been released.

Alastair Cooke has hosted  APAC series of the BrownBags

Two sessions have been conducted;

2 February – Overview, Design methodology and Business Requirements

9 February – Storage Design

You can register for the sessions on GoToMeeting at

Friday, February 3, 2012

SRM 5 in a Box

SRM 5 in a Box
 VMware Site Recovery Manager 5 & NetApp Simulator 8.

Had to do some testing with SRM and decided to build a lab. So I documented the process.

The document has the following section.

1    Introduction   
2    LAB Setup   
3    LAB Environment   
4    LAB Build steps   
Step 1 – Setting up Workstation   
Step 2 – Build Domain Controller (DC01)   
Step 3 – Build vCenter Servers (VC01 and VC02)   
Step 4 – Build ESXi Host (ESX01 & ESX02)   
Step 5 – Add ESX to vCenter   
Step 6 – NetApp Simulator   
Step 7 – OnCommand System Manager 2.0R1   
Step 8 – Create an iSCSI LUN and add to ESXi   
Step 9 – Install SRM   
Step 11 – Configure SRM (Sites and Array Managers)   
Step 12 – Configure SRM (Protection Groups)   
Step 13 – Configure SRM (Recovery Plan)   
Step 14 – Configure SRM (Run Test)

This document came to being with the requirement to be familiar with SRM 5. As you can’t substitute hands on time and the only time I can get is “Lab time”, I decided to see what was out there in terms of Lab setups and what I’ll need to set my LAB up.
First port of call was Google! The most popular result was a document titled “SRM in a Box” by  Tomas ten Dam  ( hence the title of this document. I would like to thank Tomas for his great work on the his document.
The information in this document are the steps I used to build a LAB where I could test SRM 5 and NetApp Simulator and not real world SRM architecture. It is only for testing and educational purposes.

What I used.

The Physical Host PC:
·         AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor 3.2 GHz
·         16 GB RAM DDR3
·         VMware Workstation 8.x.
·         Windows 7 Pro  64 Bit
·         120 Gig Corsair Force GT SSD

What I used.

·         Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
·         SQL ManagementStudio x64
·         The Netapp simulator 8.1
·         VMware vCenter (VMware-VIMSetup-all-5.0.0-456005)
·         VMware SRM 5.0.0  474459
·         The Netapp SRA 2.0
·         OnCommand System Manger 2.0R1
·         A ESXi 5 Build 469512
·         Putty

We’ll go through setting up lab environment. The LAB will be divided into two sites consisting of 1 ESXi 5 host, 1 vCenter Server and a NetApp Simulator for Storage. There will be also 1 DC/Management Server managing both sites as shown in diagram below.
From a network perspective we are going to use a flat network (NAT on VM) for ease of setup and troubleshooting. I used 192.168.44.x range.

 The complete document can be found here.