Thursday, December 30, 2010

ESX 4.1 Memory Compression

Hi there, probably most of you are just thinking about the holidays, right ?
Well, since I’m still working, I’m also thinking about the holidays, but also on a new post.

This time I will write about VMWARE memory compression…it’s a new feature on ESX 4.1

We can think of it as a new layer of memory management.
At memory overcommit technology hierarchy it’s now placed between balloning and swapping.

1 – Trasnparent page sharing
2 – Balloning
3 – Memory Compression
4 – Disk swapping

So what happens is when ballooning is not capable of managing the workload instead of swapping the memory to disk ESX attempts first to compress the guest’s memory.
So the pages can be compressed and stored at the main memory.
The next access to that memory would require a memory decompression.

But why is that better/faster ?
Because the compressed memory still in main memory and a compress/decompress process is a lot faster than swapping in disk.

See the performance bellow:



Also If you want to read more Memory Resource Management in ESX 4.1 , check this out.

Happy New Year !!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Database and ODBC for vSphere Virtual Center 4.1

Hi guys,

This week I started creating the infrastructure for my vSphere environment.

I assume must of you read the hundreds of pages of Installation guide and Administrator guide, each time there’s a new release, right ? ; )

Well, I don’t. (my bad) . So, sometimes I learn the hard way.

Today I will share what I figured out when installing Virtual Center on a 64bits system.

If you are using a SQL 2008 database don’t forget to first install SQL Server 2008 Native Client on your Virtual Center Server.

I’m also installing my Virtual center on top of a Windows 2008 64bits

Virtual Center is now 64bits application, so you can use the 64bits ODBC to create it’s DSN connection to the database.
But, Update Manager still a 32bits application, so you have to use a 32bits ODBC
To launch 32bits ODBC run: [WindowsDir]\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe

OK, my ODBC connections have been created I went through the installation without any problem or issue, but after a few days I started facing a few problems , then, suddenly virtual center service was not starting up anymore…. After some troubleshooting with my ODBC and database I decided to re-install it…. This time I got errors and installation did not proceed.

Error 25003. Setup Failed to create the VCenter Server repository



VMWARE has also a good KB about it, but none of the solutions worked to me.

After a few hours troubleshooting and making tests I figured out that DBAs have installed SQL 2008 Enterprise R2….. despite the fact SQL 2008 is an supported version R2 is not.

So, reinstalling the SQL with the right version fixed my issue.

Moral history….. READ THE DOCUMENTATION.

Merry Christmas…..

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

sVmotion fails with (vim.fault.InvalidDeviceBacking)

Wow, it has been crazy over here these last weeks…
I’m working on the upgrade of my environment from ESX 3.5 to vSphere 4.1, including some scripted installation of ESX, new templates, etc…
probably the new posts will be about migration ; )

For this one I selected an issue that was really bothering me for some time.
When I tried to perform a storage v-motion (sVmotion) a few guest hang with “A general system error occurred: failed to copy VM config to VMotion dest (vim.fault.InvalidDeviceBacking)”

First I wanted to make sure the problem was not with my environment, so I tried another sV-motion for another guest, on the same host with the same source LUN and going to the same LUN. This time it worked fine.

Another curious fact is when I try to see the disk information on the guest’s properties page the disk size is unavailable and the virtual disk become high-lighted, just like if I did some change.



So my conclusion was that the issue was with the guest !!

After several troubleshoots and attempts I figured out that the vmdk files were configured with full path on the vmx instead of the relative one.

Something just like that:

scsi0:0.name = "/vmfs/volumes/45d0b927-82211d90-ba07-000e0c830b29/guestA.vmdk"
scsi0:0.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/45d0b927-82211d90-ba07-000e0c830b29/guestA.vmdk"

So I decide to remove the disk a re-attach them back.

After I removed the disks from the guest I took a look at my vmx file and realized that entries were not updated to reflect there’s no more disks on the guest.
So, I manually delete those lines.

Then I add re-attached the disk back through the VC, and the vmx reflected the change with the relative path instead the full path,

scsi0:0.fileName = "guestA.vmdk"

If you realize the entry scsi0:0.Name was not created anymore.

Since the guest is running fine and sV-motion back to work again I was wondering how it went in there ?!?

My though is that it’s an old vmx entry for older version of ESX…. Since I have an old environment, backing to ESX 2.0, that has been upgrading since them… some guest can be that old and have had several upgrades and in some cases inherited some old setting.

Some of those cases I saw a header in the vmx like:

### Created by VMware ESX Server 2.0.0 Config Wizard (05/08/07)

That’s all , hope it helps you..

Friday, November 26, 2010

VMware KB Mobile APP

Some time ago I wrote about the vSphere Management for iPAD.
Now VMWARE has launched an APP for iphone and Android phones.

You would be able to search the VMware knowledge bases, read blogs, watch VMware KBTV videos direct from your cel phone… online and for free.

Take a look.
Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Svmotion – Failed to connect to host

A few weeks ago I realized the storage Vmotion (svmotion) was not working.
Right after it started it stopped with an error message: Failed to connect to host

I did check several KBs and posts out there, but the common sense was about name resolution (DNS issues), deleting snapshots, restarting the VMware management services.

So I decide to look further, first I wanted to make sure Vmotion was working (the first 10% of svmotion task is a vmotion to the same host). It worked fine; my host was licensed to vmotion.
Then I looked at the host’s logs, /var/log/vmkernel, /var/log/vmkwarning, var/log/vmware/hostd.log and nothing in there gave me a clue.

A few more troubleshoot was.

Moved the guest to another cluster, to make sure the issue was not on the guest. It worked, so the problem was within the hosts.
I moved one of the hosts to a new cluster, just to make sure the problem was not with some cluster configuration. It was not.

Then looking at the Virtual Center logs (could be located at: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs )
Looks for the actual one, it starts from vpxd-0.log to vpxd-9.log

I found a very interesting log:

[VpxdInvtHost] IP address change for xxx.xxx.xxx.9 to xxx.xxx.xxx.106 not handled, SSL certificate verification is not enabled.

So, apparently Virtual Center was thinking I have changed the cOS IP (I have not) and just during svmotion it was getting lost in the middle of the process.

At this time, I put the host into maintenance mode (to move the guests off), then disconnect the host and remove it from VC.
I wait a few seconds and add it back. ( it will register the host with correct IP back on VC)

After that my svmotion started to work again.

Hope it can help someone out there.
Bye

Friday, November 12, 2010

VMware PowerCLI script to manage VM resources

T.G.I.F.

A few months ago I talked about memory limitation and the impacts it could make on your guest’s performance.

So, you may be wondering what guest’s have limitation.
With this cool PowerCLI script you can identify the limits on your guests very quickly.

Let’s see how it works:

- start PowerCLI
- run: get-vm | get-vmresourceconfiguration | select VM,MemLimitMB

Guest’s with MemLimitMB = -1 means unlimited

Obs: there are a lot of other settings on the vm resource configuration, if you run the command without the “select” section you will see all of them.

Now that you know what are the memory limits on you guests, it’s time to adjust it
Again another PowerCLI script can make it happens very fast, instead of going server by server through Virtual Center.

- start PowerCLI
- run: get-vm | get-vmresourceconfiguration | Set-VMResourceConfiguration -MemLimitMB "value or $null"

Obs1: $null means unlimited
Obs2: If you want to specify just a few VMs, you need to setup a variable a place it just after get-vm command, see the PowerCLI basics if you don’t know how.

Have a good weekend all

Friday, November 5, 2010

VMware PowerCLI Basics

I realized that every post about PowerCli I write I need to give the same instructions: Install, configure, etc…

So, I’m creating this post with the basics of PowerCli and in the future I will always make reference to this post.

Let’s get started:

Make sure you have PowerShell installed (newer O.S. already have it, if you don’t have it go to Microsoft web page download and install it.)

Then you need to install PowerCLI, download it here. (the installation is pretty much the same…Next..Next..Finish)

Now, that it’s installed, you just need to launch, there should be a shortcut on your desktop or through the Programs Menu under VMware

First thing you need is to connect on your Virtual Center.
- Run: Connect-VIServer –Server “your_VC”

Then you can place all the command and scripts

Exporting the results:
To export the results you can:

1. after the command add “ > file”
ex: Get-VM > c:\temp\result.txt

2. export to a csv file. After the command add “ | Export-CSV your file”
ex: Get-VM | Export-CSV c:\temp\result.csv

Working with batch files
PowerCli can also work with batch files, so you can create scripts and run them against just some specific serves.

- create a txt file with one host per line (ex: c:\temp\servers.txt)

Then you can read this for the source of hosts:

Option 1:
Reading the file to a variable
- Run: $host = Get-Content c:\temp\servers.txt
Running the command against the variable
- Run: Get-VM $host

Option 2:
Reading the hosts direct from file
Get-Content c:\temp\servers.txt | foreach { Get-VM $_ }


Here you go, now you are ready to play with PowerCli, the basic syntax is there, you just need to change the commands you need to run and adjust any additional parameter you might want.

See you next

Thursday, October 28, 2010

VMware script to delete/remove VMs, guests

I have to admit since I started playing with PowerCLI I’ve been enjoying it more and more.

A few weeks ago I needed to delete 50 VMs from the environment and I realized I would give the script a shot.
Of course I could do that through Virtual Center, but it would take some time to do it manually.

So, here’s my script which deleted all the 50 VMs in about 08 minutes ; )

Assuming that you have a txt file with your guest’s name one per line.
Mine was c:\temp\servers.txt (replace this on the script for you file name)

Open PowerCLI
Connect on VC: Connect-VIServer –Server “your_VC_goes_here”
Get-Content c:\temp\servers.txt | foreach { Remove-vm $_ -DeleteFromDisk -Confirm:$false }

Have a good one

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Managing Vmware Snapshots – 3/3

Now that you did a clean up on your environment…. You still don’t know what I’m talking about….. check the previous post.

Next time you don’t what to be surprised with the number of guests running with snapshots on your environment, so the perfect approach would you be notified when they are creating them, right ? Now with vSphere 4.x it’s possible.

Just creates an alarm that will trigger when a snapshot is created.

Check this vmware KB about how to do that..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Managing Vmware Snapshots – 2/3

Now that you understand what’s snapshot and when to use it…what... you don’t know ?!?! check my previous post about it…

So, you are probably wondering what VM on your environment has snapshots, how long they have been there, but if you are like me, that have hundreds of guests on your environment, using snapshot manager is not the best tool for the job.

VMware provides a Windows PowerShell interface to vSphere functionality. The products below offer PowerShell cmdlets for administering vSphere components. With PowerCLI you can create script to help you with several tasks on your environment.

First you need to install PowerCLI, download it here. (I’m assuming you already have PowerShell on your workstation.

Here’s the steps to get a list of VMs with snapshot

- launch vSphere PowerCLI
- connect on your VC. Run: Connect-VIServer –Server “your_VC”
- run: Get-VM | Sort Name | Get-Snapshot | Select VM,Name,Description,Created

there will go:
If you want to export it to CSV file just run:

Get-VM | Sort Name | Get-Snapshot | Select VM,Name,Description,Created | Export-CSV "Your_File_outup"


It’s time for the cleanup …

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Managing Vmware Snapshots – 1/3

I’ll write a serie of 3 posts talking about the snapshots.

The first one (this one), will cover the fundamental of snapshots, best practices and when to use it.
The second one, will cover how to extract a list of guests with snapshots from your environment
The last one, will cover how to monitor the creation of the snapshots.

Let’s start…

What’s VMWARE snapshot ?
A snapshot is a picture of your system at the time the snapshot is taken. When you create a snapshot, a new DELTA file is create to store the changes that have occurred to the virtual machine since the snapshot was taken.

If you want to know more about snapshots, VMWARE has a good KB about it.

If you dont know how to create snapshots, check the video bellow



Vmware Snapshots Best practices

• Snapshots are not backups. As the snapshot file is only a change log of the original virtual disk, do not rely upon it as a direct backup process.
• The maximum supported amount in a chain is 32. However, VMware recommends that you use only 2-3 snapshots in a chain.
• Use no single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours.
• Confirm that there no snapshots present before a Storage vMotion.
• Confirm that there are no snapshots present (via command line) before increasing the size of any Virtual Machine virtual disk or virtual RDM.

Issues with Snapshots

• Old snapshots could grow so large as to cause issues when deleting/committing them to the original virtual machine disks.
• These snapshots can very quickly grow in size, filling datastore space.
• An excessive number of snapshots in a chain or snapshots large in size may cause decreased virtual machine and host performance.
• Migrating an ESX 3.x virtual machine with snapshots in powered-off or suspended state to another datastore might cause data loss and make the virtual machine unusable
• Increasing the size of a disk with snapshots present can lead to corruption of the snapshots and potential data loss.

So, when to use snapshots anyway

Snapshots are very good for testing new functionalities, installing new applications, patches, changing applications, in fact for every change you would make on the system that could take the system to fail. It’s a very fast recovery process, you just take an snapshot before you make any change , do you thing and if something goes wrong you can undo it very fast.
But remember, Commit snapshots on these virtual machines as soon as you have verified the proper working state of the process you are testing.|

Friday, October 1, 2010

How to identify a non-aligned disk - VMWARE

I few months ago I wrote an article about misalignment disk and the performance issues it could bring to your environment… remember it here.

Now that you understand the disk alignment it’s time to check your environment and see how big the issue on your environment is.

Vizioncore has a good tool for the job vOptimizer !!

You can download a free tool that will scan your environment and tell you which guest is not 64k aligned. It’s called vOptimizer Waster Finder and you can download it from here.

Here’s also a good presentation about the product.

It also brings some cool reports. Here's an exaample of the disk alingment report.



You will probably notice a product called vOptimizer Pro, ok, that’s the paid version; it does a lot of other cool tricks, like resizing the disks and make the correct alignment of the disk.

But how to make a disk aligned is a subject for another topic….

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Blog Layout

Hi there, you will probably notice that the layout of my blog has changed.

Well I was a little tired to see my videos not fitting on the main page, so I decided to change it a little bit.

I hope you all like it.... if not you can leave a post and I'll think about changing it again.

see you

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vmotion history and enhancements

Hear from Dilpreet Bindra the Senior Engineering Manager of VMWARE about Vmotion.

It's an interesting video that tell us how is working at VMWARE and the improvements they made on Vmotion for vSphere 4.1

Thursday, September 9, 2010

vSphere Management into IPad

Ok, may be it’s not the most critical application to manage your vSphere environment, but it could become one of the coolest.
Since IPad application are spreading and adherence is greater and greater, probably you have one already.
So, how cool it would be if you could manager your vSphere environment from it, in fact from anywhere ???

This new IPad app still in development and will not bring all the feature of the full client, but there are cool features into it, like vmotion, performance, turn on turn off a guest… and more.

Take a look…

Monday, August 30, 2010

Root password never expires

If your company requires you to provide a strong password control and you want to have an expiration date for the root account, you can accomplish it with chage command.

chage -M root

Where, X is the number of days until expiration.

Or implement more complex password policy with PAM.

But you might realize that after a reboot the root account turns to a state of password never expires.

It’s because the root password expiration information was not preserved across hostd restarts. A new tag called rootPasswdExpiration is added to the /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml file from VMware ESX 3.5, Patch ESX350-200810201-UG.
If this rootPasswdExpiration tag is set to True, then the number of days to expiration will be preserved across hostd restarts.

After setting the rootPasswdExpiration tag in the /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml file as True, run the chage command again.

There it goes

Monday, August 23, 2010

IBM at Jeopardy ?!?!

Hi there,

After a vacation of 20 days I’m back.
Since there are about 800 new e-mails on my inbox I will not have time to write a good post today….

So, I’ll just share with you an IBM project that seemed to me very interesting.

Do you remember when IBM developed “Deep Blue” to play chess ?

Well, now IBM is developing Watson to compete o Jeopardy.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

VMForum 2010 - São Paulo

Hey guys, this morning I received an invitation to the VMFORUM 2010 in São Paulo.

Last year I went to it and it was very good, with several partners , news, some labs.
It’s a good opportunity to exchange ideas, raise your networking and take a day off office and relax a little ; )

Hurry up and register yourself ASAP. It will be on Aug 03rd.

I expect they have had time to create presentations about new features of vSphere 4.1
take a look at the agenda

See you there…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Migration from VMware Infrastructure 3 to VMware vSphere 4

Now that vSphere 4 is out there for a long time and VMware has released vSphere 4.1 you may be confident to migrate your environment.
I’m pretty sure that with the new features you can convince your boss to afford new hardware’s and licensing to use all the capacity of vSphere ; )

Well, let’s focus on the technical piece, which is the easier one.

VMware has a great Upgrade Center page where you can learn a lot of things like, new licensing program, documentation, communities, etc..

But if you want something more practical take a look at the prerequisite checklist, it will covers everything you need to know to start upgrading it.

Good luck..

Friday, July 16, 2010

vSphere 4.1 has been released

VMware has now released it’s new version vSphere 4.1, there’s a few new features as Storage I/O Control, some other changes in functionality like HA and DRS and changes in the capacity of virtual center, it’s now capable of support a lot more virtual machines and hosts into a single vCenter Server. check what’s new here.

One thing to note is that it’s the last version with the 2 flavors of VMWARE (ESX and ESXi). Vmware has decided to keep just the ESXi in future releases, so if you are not using it already, it’s time to get used with it and started migrating it.
Vmware has a good page about ESXi including how to upgrade from ESX to ESXi. click here

Also Vmware made available a single page with all the KBs about vSphere 4.1 as you might know every new product comes with it’s own new issues, check it out here...

And for you guys, like me : (
That did not start the migration from VMware Infrastructure 3.5 to vSphere 4.x, here's a guide page about how to do that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do or do not set a memory limitation on your guest ???

I can tell you guys that there’s not right choice in here, it’s because every environment is unique.
Depending on the amount of resources available you have, the over commitment of your resources, your guests’ behavior, etc…

So, I’d like to give you some ideas about when to use and when not to use it.

But be aware that it’s not a general idea you should consider it for each guest you have.

- start with no memory limit
- then if you have a guest that has an application consuming a lot of memory or may be has a memory leak, it’s a good idea to think about memory limitation.
- If you memory availability is to low and you have a lot of memory ballooning activity, which would impact the performance on several guests, may be it’s time to check the more offenders guests and set a limitation on them.

- Now if you have plenty of memory available there’s no reason to limit your guests
- do not set a limitation close to the memory allocated or bellow that, give some room for it run when peaks of utilization occurs.

Bellow you can see a video where memory limitation impacts the guest’s performance even when there’s plenty of memory available on the host, if you want to read the history it’s here.

Don’t use memory limits – Proofpudding from Eric Sloof NTPRO.NL on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

VMWare store I/O control (SIOC)

Recently I’ve been seen several posts about storage control and I decided to understand where it’s coming from:

As far as I could understand it started back in 2009 during VMworld, one of the articles was about it. Click here to see

Then on June 2010, VMWARE released a video showing how it should works. (see it bellow)

How it works:
- It’s enable per Datastore
- You should set shares per VMs
- You can define IOPs limits per VMs

So, the host monitors it’s latency with the datastore when it reaches it’s limit all the VMs accessing it are prioritized according with it’s shares, just like CPU/Memory constrains, then each VM will have it’s share to access the storage, avoiding one VM to monopolizes the storage and kill the performance for every other VM.


Well, let’s be honest, it’s a very cool thing… I don’t know you guys, but by internal security policies we must run an antivirus scan once a week, it’s killing my VM’s.
A Bunch of VMs scanning a shared storage at the same time makes a lot of latency on the I/O and drops the performance on the storage aggressively. We tried to split the scan schedule across other days and times, which helped us a little bit, but did not solve the whole problem.

VMware is saying it should be available on VSphere 4.1 release. Let’s see…

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Right Size your VM

If you are new with virtualization, your clients does not understand that requisites for a virtual server differs from physical servers or even if you don’t have a baseline yet to measure your needs, there’s a website that you can use to check what the others are doing with their own VMs.

CompareMyVM allows you ,for free, on learning how to right size your VM, compare VMs by applications and other categories.

It could be a good start.
But my advice is always monitor and measure up the performance of your VMs, if you can overestimate your VM’s requisites and never revisit it you will probably be wasting a lot of resources.
Try to start small, monitor and increase as required…
It’s always easier to increase capacity then decreasing it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Platespin issue preventing P2V

There could be situation when you want to convert a physical server with PlateSpin and it does not work.
If you check the logs you realize something that drives you to think that the problem could be with firewall or an IP source not answering…

Well it occurs if you have a NIC not configured on your source server.
Just disable any NIC that’s not in use and start the virtualization again.

It should works fine this time ; )

Friday, June 4, 2010

VMware disk alignment

If you have never heard about it don’t be shy, raise your hand…. I did not know about it like one year ago either.

If you have a guest suffering from performance or even your entirely environment and you don’t know where to look at anymore ….

Your problem might be misalignment volumes/disk.

An unaligned partition results in a track crossing and an additional I/O, incurring a penalty on latency and throughput. The additional I/O (especially if small) can impact system resources significantly on some host types. An aligned partitions ensures that the single I/O is serviced by a single device, eliminating the additional I/O and resulting in overall performance improvement.

Some Tips are:
- Always use Virtual Center to create configure your storage (don’t know why someone would do different, but disk alignment is possible on datastore and VMDK)
- Newer OS as Windows 2008 don’t have this issue
- Check your storage vendor for the correct disk alignment

VMWARE has created a good topic about it…here!!

If you are like me and want a visual clarification click here and check this good blog about it.

example of a disk aligned:

Friday, May 28, 2010

PV2 does not end - 94%

good Friday all.... it's always good ;)

Today, I'd like to share an issue I faced during a P2V with VMWARE Converter.

Everything was looking great when the task stopped at 94%, it was there for a long time, there was no error , did not end up the tasks, was not freeze.
So, I had to cancel it and did a few troubleshoots, reinstall the agent, reboot the host, the server…. etc.

It was when a realized there was a software mirror for system disk.

So I broke the mirror and started the P2V again…. This time it completed successful !!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reset root password

If you have forgotten or don't know the password for the root user on an ESX Server host, you can change it without reinstalling ESX Server.

Note: The procedure below performs a password reset, it "blindly" replaces the existing root password with a new one. This is not password recovery, it does not allow you to learn the original root password.

1. Reboot the ESX Server host.
2. When the GRUB screen appears, press the space bar to stop the server from automatically booting into VMware
ESX Server.
3. Use the arrow keys to select Service Console only (troubleshooting mode).
4. Press the a key to modify the kernel arguments (boot options).
5. On the line presented, type a space followed by the word single .
6. Press Enter. The server continues to boot into single-user mode.
7. When presented with a bash prompt such as sh-2.05b#, type the command passwd and press Enter.
8. Follow the prompts to set a new root user password.
9. When the password is changed successfully, reboot the host using the command reboot and allow VMware ESX Server to boot normally.

EASY, right ?!?!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

VMWARE CPU Identification Utility

It has been busy days over here, that’s why it has been a few days since my last post.
But you are not here to hear me complaining about it ,right…. So here’s my tip this week.

Sometimes you need to enable a new feature on Virtual Center or inherited a new environment throught a company acquisition and you don’t know if your host are capable of supporting this setting.

As you know some features like EVC depends on CPU’s features.

VMWARE has a tool called CPU identification Tool, you download it, burn a bootable CD and start your host with it.
It will check your CPU’s feature’s an print it on the screen for you.

Easy !!! right

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

VMware Toolbar

Hi there, more one good tip for you vmware fans (just like me)

VMware has developed a Toolbar for IE.
It has a lot of shortcuts in there, like for, downloads, documentations, we can go to the communities, check the News, but one of my favorites is to set up your search to check direct and only the VM KBs.

Test it yourself, download here



check the video bellow for a few more tips

Friday, April 23, 2010

Customizing guest with SysPrep

When you deploy a template, clone an existing virtual machine or when you convert (P2V), you have the opportunity to customize the new guest operation system and it’s done with SysPrep (just for Windows system).

Before you run the Guest Customization wizard you need to set up the SysPrep files on your Virtual Center.
Microsoft includes the SysPrep tool set for each version of operational system, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, XP, versions for 64bits and SysPrep 1.1 from the Microsoft web site.

So you need to download each one of them and extract specific files to a specific directory on Virtual Center, sounds trick right ?!?

So, to help you guys I already downloaded the files, placed them into their correct folders, now, you just need to download it, extract them to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\sysprep\ on your virtual Center Server.

Here’s a good VMWARE KB about it.

See you next..

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Better performance on VMWARE converter

At this point you might be realized that one of the activities that take most of the time of a P2V migration is the copy of the data from the physical server to the virtual one.

Well let’s take a look how can we boost your migration.

My advice here just applies to HOT migration, OK ?!?!

So, depending on your choices during the convert wizard you end up with better or poor performance, that’s why your data will be copy or block-level or file-level to.

Block-level is always faster than file-level. And how do you choose one of them ?

Block-level will be used when you maintain or extend the disk on the target.
File-level will be used when you choose a smaller disk on the destination.

Then you asked me, but the feature to reduce the disk size on the destination is something cool to reclaim unused space and save some money with storage.

Yes it is. But depending on your volume size, your P2V cool takes forever to finish and eventually failed.

My advice is to try to use block-level and when the machine is virtualized you can use sVmotion to reduce the disk to thin, saving your storage.

Remember all P2V creates tick disks.
To save storage consumption convert them to thin with sVmotion.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

House that tweets

OK everybody knows that twitter is one of the latest Booms on the internet.

Well… I’m still out of that, most because I don’t have time to be in there reading thousands of posts, also because I’m not interested in following any other’s life.

But I have to admit that after reading this post I almost created my account to follow the “House that tweets”, yes …that’s it, the “House that tweets” !!!!

It’s amazing what we can do nowadays with technology . if you want to read the enterily BBC news, the link is here

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is there anyone reading my blog ?!?!

After I started writing my blog, one question was constantly on my mind….. is there anyone reading my blog ?!?!

So I looked at the available gadget , looking for a kind of counter…. Well, there is any !!!

Then I decided that might be a gadget on the net that I could import into my blog, it was when I found google analytics. It’s a lot more fun than a simple counter, you have graphs, tons of information, as where are your visitors from, browsers they are using, how they reach your website…. More amazing, IT’S FREE.
I’m still a newbie at it, but I intent to understand more the resources of this google feature.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VCP4 Certified !!!


Yesterday I took the VCP410 exam and I’d like to share some of my experience.

First, here’s a personal guide I built for my self with the topics I have studied, may be it would not make sense for you, but it’s a start.

Another tip is to gain experience working with the environment, I know it’s not easy, may be your company does not have VMWARE yet, but it helps a lot.

Build your own LAB environment, there are several HOW-TO on the intenet about how to do that. It will allow you to test things, configure , troubleshoot, etc..

Be careful with DUMPs, I looked at a few ones, there are some wrong answers, others mix question about ESX 3.5 with ESX 4.0, so instead of memorizing it, try to duplicate the configuration on your LAB.


About the exam:
- I’ve seen a lot concern about maximum configuration and we should memorize them. So I did, in fact it was my main focus during study, but, lucky or not, I did not get a single question about it : (
- I got a bunch of vApp question, so take some time to study it, specially their configuration options.
- The majority of the question are multiple right choices, some times 2, some time 3 right answers, so be attention to those.


Whish you all good luck

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

End of Life (EOL) VMware Consolidated Backup

A few weeks ago VMware announced the EOL for VMware Consolidated Backup, formerly known as VCB.

For now on you should be thinking of implementing VMware Data Recovery, VBC still available but it will not be compatible with newer versions.

VDR is not the best backup solution yet, but VMware believes with the vStorage APIs made available, other companies will start creating theirs own backup solution. I can barely wait...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How check if your VMware License file is OK

I’m pretty sure there are plenty of VI3 out there, so I’ll post another topic related with the VMWARE Licensing for ESX 3.5… let’s get it on.

A few posts behind I talked about how to set up your license server to read multiple licenses file, but if you like to combine these multiples in just one ?!?!?

It would be amazing if there’s a way so you can test if your LIC file is OK and has all the features included into, right ?

We know that sometimes it’s expensive to create a lab environment for each aspect of systems, so what can you do about it ?

VMWARE has a simple webpage where you can test if your consolidate LIC file is the way it supposed to be.

Check it out

Friday, March 5, 2010

Veeam FastSCP works

On my last post you saw that I found a tool that promises miracles when transferring VMDK files over DATASTOREs.

So, I did my own test to guarantee that there are performance improvements using Veeam FastSCP over regular SCP copies.

I took a single 20gb VMDK files with just 10gb of this file was in use, the rest was blank blocks.

As you can see on the chart comparison bellow, SCP took 27 minutes to copy the file when Veeam FastSCP took just 13 minutes.

Well… I would say it works and I can add that the bigger your file is and as much blank blocks you have the bigger you be the differences between then.

Do your own test and let me know the results… to me it worth’s a try!!!

See you

Monday, March 1, 2010

Transfering VMDK files

I’ve been working on a project for a client that is moving it’s datacenter to another one, in another city.
So, there is a need to move their guests to another VMWARE environment on the new datacenter. Both datacenters are connected with a fast LAN-to-LAN link, so it’s just a matter of doing the math …… size of VMDK x network speed.

Then I realized because of big VMDK files and several concurrent copies over the network would take me to a huge outage on the guests and probably the client would not approve it or be very upset.

Doing some search on the internet I found Veeam FastSCP, despite of the fact it’s free, it has some features that makes it very interesting:
- traffic compression
- empty block removal
- 6 times faster then SCP

Well, at least that’s what their website promises…
Let’s give it a shot…… I will let you know.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adding extra licenses

Have you had the need to add more licenses to your actual VMWARE environment ?

Well, I have.

Even though it's possible to consolidate your licenses , it's a consuming time task, you need to go the VMWARE License portal and combine the old and the new one into a single license file.

I realized that because Virtual Center 3.5 uses a FLEXlm license server you can se it up to search all the licenses files at a specific folder.
So, in the future what need to do is just download you extra license file to this directory and restart the license server service.

So, how to do that ?
- on your license server:
- open registry editor and go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\FLEXlm License Server\VMware License Server
- change the key LICENSE to the path where your licenses could be found
- restart your license server service.

One last thing, it just works for VI3, on vSphere licensing mode has been changed from .lic files to license key codes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saving some energy

Well, you guys, probably, know that in Brazil Carnival is a big holiday, but what you, probably, don’t know is that it’s “optional” and some companies choose to do not give the day off for their employees. So, here I’m.

Have you heard about DPM ? It’s a VMWARE future called Distributed Power Management, it has the capability to consolidate idle VMs into just a few physical servers and shutdown/suspend unused hosts, it can save you some $$$ with cooling and energy.

Here’s a good video that shows how it works.







Thursday, February 11, 2010

Missing memory to run more VMs

Today I want to give you guys a tip, you will realize that I, probably, will post a lot of topics about virtualization. That's why it's my mainly area these days...so here it is:

What happen if you want to run more VMs than you physical memory allows ? I suppose you are using VMWARE Workstation, ok ?!?

- Go to Edit / Preferences
- on the memory tab set it to allow memory swap



of course your performance would not be the same, but, it's a workaround.

good luck

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kick-off

Hi there,

This year, I believe, I reached the maturity of my career when I can give some tips and share some of my experiences with technology with other folks.
Since I read a lot of articles and receive several e-mails , you will see here some of a high level information and links to get a deeper information about the subject.

First I'd like to say sorry for the guys who can't read english, but I decided to create it in English to have a global reach and be accessible for more people.
Also, for the guys who can read English, sorry for "my" English ;)

Well, let's start it....

Who am I

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I’m an IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infrastructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Consulting Architect, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them successfully on their journey. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opinion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinions. Reach me at @dumeirell

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