How to manually remove a stale VMware View pool

In some cases you may have a pending VMware Horizon View pool deletion task that does not finish for several reasons: usually when you have modify or delete some VM's pool directly from the VMware vCenter Server instead from the View Manager. In those cases you will not be able to remove those pool anymore and probably you will not able to build VM with the same pattern. You can fix this issue manually using those VMware KB: Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from VMware View Manager 4.5 and later (2015112) or Manually deleting linked clones or stale ...

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Cloud related FAQ

What is virtualization and how it's related to cloud? There are different types of virtualization levels (system, applications, networking, storage, ...). But basically it's an abstraction useful to created different contexts. Virtualization could be used as an abstraction level of a cloud computing solutions, but virtualization does not imply cloud. What is cloud (computing)? According with the NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, a cloud has those essential characteristics: On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider. Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed ...

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Manage a Dell Storage with System Center VMM 2012

As written in a previous post, with Microsoft System Center VMM 2012 is possible manage some (supported) storage array using a SMI-S provider. In the Dell storage portfoglio, the only solution that (one month ago) had the SMS-S support was the PowerVault MD3xxx series, and althoug not mentioned by Microsoft, was possible include them in the System Center fabric (as written in specific post). With the new SP1, VMM  supports the same storage arrays that were supported in VMM 2012, plus the SMP provider. For more info: SCVMM 2012 Storage and Load Balancer Provider VMM 2012 SP1 storage providers supports : new SMP storage ...

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VMware SIGs

The VMware Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are some special VMUG groups that differs from geographically local groups by this key points: are topic oriented (and not geo-localized), are globally (worlwide), are almost virtually (with limited face to face meeting) and are interactive at each level (learn from peers, partners but also from VMware). Within these SIGs, members can connect and collaborate through topic based global communities. Yesteday there was the official launch of the first group: the CloudOps VMUG SIG. But there are also other three groups: You can get involved by join one SIG at this link. It's a community, so ...

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IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS

One of the several interesting topics discussed in the recent event Cloud Communities Day, held on Monday 22 in Milan and with the presence of various communities, as well as analysts and academics, was which could be the most interesting type of cloud. If we limiting to the three basic types: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a service (SaaS)... Which one could be the more interesting? As often "it depends" could be the answer, but paradoxically, many have very clear opinions about it (though it is not said that all fit together ...). In ...

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My thoughts on VMware beta exams

The VCP5-DT beta period has already finished, so I would to update my thoughts on VMware beta exams (my first post about them was around one year ago). Beta vs. Regular exams Beta exams usually are for a small period before the run of the regular exams. Usually in the beta exams you have more time, more questions and a way to give feedback. Also the sign-up procedure could be different and is not possible to re-take a beta exam. The results of the beta exam are available not after the exam (as it is usual for most of the regular exam), but ...

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Convert virtual disk format – VMDK to VHD

In the previous post we have discuss on how convert from VHD (used for example in Microsoft Hyper-V) to VMDK format (used in VMware products). Now let's see how to convert from the other side. There are several tools to make this V2V operation: Starwind Converter: again, just because it can convert from VMDK to VHD and vice versa. There is also an interesting post on how to use this product. Vmdk2Vh: a free tool (probably one of the first), but with some limits. For more info see this post. 2Tware Convert VHD: never tested, seems similar to the previous one. For more info ...

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Build a XenServer Pool in a virtual environment

Build a XenServer Pool in a virtual environment

In the previous post I've esplain how to install XenServer 6.0 (but can works also with previous versions) in a VM, using VMware products like Workstation 8 or vSphere 5. To build a XenServer Pool (that is basically the same of a VMware Cluster) you need at least two hosts and a shared storage (and of course a shared network). I suggest to do not clone the second host from the fist because XenServer works with several UUID and in this way you will clone also the host UUID and XenCenter will be not able to identify which is the original ...

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Hyper-V 2012 vs. vSphere 5.1

Although there are some comparison between Hyper-V 2012 R2 (the version 4 of this product) and the existing vSphere 5.1 suite (like this one: Comparing WS2012 R2 Hyper-V and vSphere 5.1), I prefer keep consistency in the available product versions and compare the actual releases (and replace the precedent and old comparison between Hyper-V 2012 and vSphere 5.0). The 3rd release of Microsoft Hyper-V and the VMware ESXi (and vSphere suite) 5.1 has similar technical features (and both of them are in the top-right Gartner quadrant), and probably for the first time, VMware has added one year ago some features (like ...

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Migrating EqualLogic replicas

In the previous post I've describe how migrate volumes across two (or more) EqualLogic in the same group, using different storage pools. In the same way is also possible migrate the data on the disaster recovery site: in this case data are the remote volume replicas that are stored in a single container called delegated space. Each destination of a (asynchronous) replication must have a proper delegated space (and only one!), and a delegated space can be stored on a single storage pool. In this way, by choosing a new storage pool for a delegated space you can start the moving of all ...

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VMFS5 - Upgrading vs. Fresh Install

With a vSphere 5 upgrade there is an important vDesign decision: if you already have some VMFS3 datastores could be better upgrade them to the new version of build new datastores directly with VMFS5? The upgrade procedure is quite fast and friendly and could be applied to a live datastore, so seems that there isn't a big different between an upgrade or a clean format. But usually the recommendation is to re-format each LUN to VMFS-5 rather than upgrade it. This will fix a number of issues, including: Mismatched block size: VMFS-5 introduces the 1 MB unified block size. We would be ...

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Fix vCenter Plugins list: Remove Enterprise Converter

One possible issue after a vSphere 5 upgrade using an in-place upgrade of vCenter Server could appear when you forget to remove the Converter Enterprise plugin (and/or the Guided Consolidation plugin). As you know some products has been removed from vSphere 5, and their plugins may remain in a "orphan" state. The result of this issue is that you will have a "broken" plugins list (with some plugins that are no more available) and also a wrong vCenter health status, due to some services that are no more existing: The well-documented procedure to remove old or wrong plugins is described in the KB1025360 ...

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Manage an isolated Windows Server

There could some cases where you may have some Windows (Server) completely isolated from the Internet, for example in some appliances or storage solution. One interesting aspect that learn on Windows products during a DataCore training was that in this case you can have some delay in the user interface, both on the DataCore GUI, but also on the Windows one. This is related in driver management (and in signign verification) and is well described in a FAQ on DataCore site (DataCore Server GUI takes longer than expected to open). The solution is quite simple and consist in a simple change on the ...

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VMware Tools 5.1 upgrade may restart your Windows VM

One of the new features of vSphere 5.1 was upgrade procedure of the VMware Tools on Windows VMs: when you upgrade them the first time to version 5.1 (the right version number it's 9.x), other upgrade will not require any reboot of your Windows system. For Linux VMs there is no need to reboot the system (but I suggest in order to be sure that the kernel modules are loaded proprerly), and now also Windows VMs could have a zero downtime upgrade. But it's really true? Honestly I found that on some VMs the automatic upgrade procedure of VMware Tools will also ...

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PCoIP vs. Blast

I've already write a post with the comparison between PCoIP and RDP (PCoIP vs. RDP) and some considerations on how use each protocol in a VMware View infrastructure. Other protocols, like HP RGS (Remote Graphics Software) has been removed (from View) years ago, and protocols from other solutions (like, for example, SPICE) are not included. But now there is also the HTML5 option (Blast protocol) included with the Horizon Suite or with the Feature Pack of Horizon View (see this post on how enable it). It's just a 1.0 version so this kind of protocol could not replace yet the PCoIP one: Blast protocol ...

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Is backup to tape dead?

Several new solutions seem demonstrate that backup destination is moving from tape to disk. It isn't really a new trend of last year (for example see this paper from Lisa 2006, or Microsoft that has removed the tape support in his OS included backup solution starting from Windows Vista), but now more products are pointing to the disk solution. The Linear Tape Open (LTO) consortium (whose member include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Quantum) has officially released specifications for the LTO Generation 5 with around 1,5 TB of native capacity and a throughput of 140MBps (uncompressed)... and is working for the future standards. ...

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A3Cube-Logo

A3CUBE Inc., a company founded in 2012 as a result of more than 5 years of research and development operations, has introduced its Fortissimo Foundation building block software solution. Coupled with A3CUBE’s previously announced RONNIE Express platform, Fortissimo Foundation provides dramatic improvements in application performance and datacenter efficiency, particularly in unstructured, Big Data environments.

This solution is not only a new approach to a scale out architecture (confirming this kind of storage trend) but also an innovative way to build converged (and also hyperconverged) systems.

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CloudOps-SIG

CloudOpsSigAfter (several months) the last CloudOps events, the CloudOps VMUG SIG will organize a new event on Ansible about IT Automation.

  • Next CloudOps SIG Event: Ansible
  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11:00 am, Central Daylight Time (Chicago, GMT-05:00)
  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 6:00 pm, Europe Summer Time (Berlin, GMT+02:00)
  • Registration link

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VMworld-Logo

The VMworld US edition is finished some weeks ago and there are just four weeks until the European edition of VMworld 2014! Although those two edition are too close there are still lot of difference in the contents and in the events themselves. The European edition remain one of biggest event in EMEA and a must, especially if you have lost (like me) the US edition.

I’ve explain why attend at this event (reason remain just the same from previous year) now I also collect some (I hope useful) information (like done in the previous year).

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Dell’s networking portfolio was historically made by a Dell PowerConnect series for the switches in the SMB and mid-size target and the PowerConnect-W for the wireless offer. Some years ago there was also a PowerConnect-J series with the (temporally) partnership with Juniper (before the Force10 acquisition).

The Dell Force10 was positioned in the top of the networking offer with several products both for the traditional networking approach (core, aggregation and access) and also for the emerging model (leaf-spine).

But recently the entire networking family has been re-organized and renamed with new names, a clear positioning for each product, a “common” firmware and common management tools. Force10 and PowerConnect are all been merged in a common Dell Networking products portfolio:

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VMware’s technical certifications are almost simple and clear: actually there are four paths (Data Center Virtualization, Cloud, End User Computing, Network Virtualization) and for each four different levels (Associate, Professional, Advanced Professional or Implementation Expert, Design Expert) like in a piramid (with the first level optional, as discussed in a previous post).

There is also a specific path for Cloud Application Platform (related to developer for the Spring framework), but actually could be considered as something apart and also is not included in the official VMware Certification Roadmap.

On the partner side some of those individual certifications could be useful for gaining specific VMware partner competencies, but there isn’t a complete 1:1 mapping between certifications and competencies.

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Dell has just announced the new generation of PowerEdge servers: the Dell PowerEdge 13th generation server portfolio features customer-inspired engineering built to optimize price performance for the widest range of web, enterprise and hyperscale applications, and features state-of-the-art advancements in storage, processing and memory technology coupled with industry leading systems management capabilities.

The first wave of the new Dell PowerEdge servers includes the PowerEdge R730xd, R730, and R630 rack servers, the M630 blade server, and the T630 tower server, which are built with the latest Intel Xeon E5-2600v3 processors. Combined with Dell’s end-to-end portfolio of enterprise infrastructure offerings, software and services, the new PowerEdge servers enable increased levels of operational efficiency and flexibility at any scale for the most demanding applications and environments.

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As written in a previous post, VMware NSX was one of the cool topics during the past VMworld and new version of this products has been announce.

User cases are more and more and probably one of most interesting (and natural) usage of Network Virtualization is the micro-segmentation. This can give an immediate advantage in using this technology, and can also give an answer to a common security issue.

Today’s security models are focuses on perimeter defense, but continued security breaches show this model is not enough. A deep and more granular approach is needed to provide more security and more control.

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Calendar

Interesting European IT events:

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VMworld-Logo

VMware LogoFor people, like me, that are missing this VMworld US, there is a great recap about the VMware related news and announces. Some new products has been announced, some products have change their name, some new released have been reveal.

Let’s see most of them.

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Of course, in this VMworld 2014 there is space also for NSX with lot of sessions, user cases and related news. Related news maybe are not so big as in the past year (the first official announce of NSX), but anyway there is something interesting.

First to all the certification path on Network Virtualization: as written in a previous post, there are already the first (big) group of VCDX-NV. Now the certification page is update also with the blueprint for VCDX-NV and VCP-NV (you can already ask for the authorization for it) and the new certification VCIX-NV (instead of the VCAP level) will be also available soon.

Other news are related to new product releases: NSX for vSphere 6.1 and NSX Multi-Hypervisor 4.2.

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As written in the previous post, there are different approaches for implement a SDDC and EVO:RAIL represent the VMware’s way for implement fast and in a simple way an Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.

EVO represents an entire new family of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure offerings from VMware, and EVO:RAIL represents the first product in this family. It was announced in this VMworld 2014 (with a first list of EVO partners) and will be available during the second half of 2014.

Note that this product will be available only through qualified EVO partners (similar in the concept on how vSphere could be sold through a pre-installed OEM channel). But in this case will be ONLY thought this way: if you want to play with EVO:RAIL you must buy an entire solution or use the Hands on lab. Announced partners include Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, NetOne and SuperMicro.

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VMware Logo

The 2014 edition of VMworld US is started and, as usal, there are several news related to the VMware world (by the way, if you are not attending at VMworld, don’t miss the VMware NOW online event). Some are well know (like VVOLs or recent company acquisition), other will revealed during this event.

But apart the news themselfvel, the focus and the vision of VMware is evolving in this years to something more cloud oriented, or at least more and more close the cloud’s pillars: Abstrastrion, Automation and Agile.

The VM is still present (and most of the policies are VM centric), but the triple-A is driven the evolution. Starting from the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), that (in VMware’s vision) is still the Future of IT.

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