Purging old data from a vCenter Server DB

In the previous post we have talk about the VMware Horizon View Event database and how purge the old data in order to free some space. You can have similar issue also with the VMware vCenter Server database, considering that it can continuous grow due to the statistics and also due to the events/tasks. In really small system a simple solution could be re-install a fresh version of vCenter Server (maybe during an upgrade) and re-create all the configuration stored only in the vCenter Server database. But in several cases this approach is not realistic. Again there isn't a pre-build maintenance ...

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ESXi Performance Graphs - VM Power

There is an performance monitor at VM level that show always a null value: it's the VM Power Graph. The same monitor at host level show the power usage of the specific host. But by default, the power usage of the VMs are not calculated. To enable this experimental feature you must change an advanced parameter (Power.ChargeVMs) on each host (by default, as show in the picture, is zero... it must be changed to 1): After this operation the performance graph will start to show the value of VM power consumption (I supposed based on memory and CPU usage): How those value can ...

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Cloud computing types

Cloud computing is a way to use (and also deliver) computing resources (for a formal definition see The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing). For this reason there are different types of cloud based on which type of "computing" resources are provided. Mainly there are three big silos: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): usually it provides VMs a virtual datacenters resources (like storage and networking), and also the infrastucture need to manage them. An example of this kind of cloud is Amazon EC2. Platform as a service (PaaS): in this case a developer platform is provided that usually include OS, libraries, programming language execution ...

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Installing vCloud Director in a lab

Build a vCloud lab is interesting to increase your skill and knowledge, make some test and of course preparing for the VCAP-CIA exam. If you build on a ESXi nested environment you will not have too much problem (except with old hardware that may not support complete ESXi nesting with vSphere 5.1). With a VMware Workstation environment (of course with enough memory and resources) could be more fun and portable. But could be more difficult if you plan to use vCloud Director virtual appliance. To start your lab you need at least a vCenter Server (the virtual appliance could be fine), a ...

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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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VMware vSphere 5.5 upgrade path

The procedure for upgrade to VMware vSphere 5.1 is quite similar to the upgrade path to vSphere 5.1 (and almost similar also to the upgrade path to vSphere 5.0) and is well described in the specific guide (vSphere Upgrade Guide). And first to all, you have to analyze the pro and the cons of a product upgrade, for more information see also: VMware vSphere 5.5 – Upgrade or not upgrade? You have also to consider (particularly for small enviroment) if apply an upgrade or rebuild. Anyway, some points are quite common for each major vSphere upgrade: HCL: the Hardware Compatibility List must be ...

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Updating SSL certificates in VMware products

VMware vSphere 5.1 There is a good post with a complete reference for all vSphere products: Configuring CA signed certificates for VMware vCenter Server 5.0.x - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2015421 Configuring CA signed SSL certificates for vSphere Update Manager in vCenter 5.1 - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2037581 Creating certificate requests and certificates for the vCenter 5.1 components - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2037432 Configuring CA signed SSL certificates for vCenter SSO in vCenter 5.1 - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2035011 Configuring CA signed SSL certificates for the Web Client and Log Browser in vCenter 5.1 - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2035010 Configuring CA signed SSL certificates for the Inventory service in vCenter 5.1 - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2035009 Configuring OpenSSL for installation and configuration of CA signed certificates in ...

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ESXi - How does the dual bank work?

As written in the previous posts, in the ESXi installation there are two copy of the system image located in two different partitions (see Partitions layout of system disk and More on partitions posts). The actual system image is located on the first 250 MB partition, formatted with plain old FAT16 filesystem, but using a special pseudo-filesystem on it (see VisorFS: A Special-purpose File System for Efficient Handling of System Images). The image itself, s.v00, is a 124 MB compressed file, which is decompressed on boot and contains the hypervisor operating system. Note that the compressed image is larger in 5.0 ...

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VMware partner competencies

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 ...

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Microsoft Virtual Labs

Some months ago I've write about the VMware Hands on Labs and how labs are important for testing and learning about a product (also for other vendor). Events like VMworld, Microsoft TechEd, Dell Storage Forum, HP Discover, ... are a good moment to have access at those kind of labs. But of course you can also build your own labs (as described in this post) but this require more effort. A good work-around is use on-line and on-demand lab. For VMware the on-line version is just in beta, but for Microsoft this kind of tools are a reality from several years ...

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ESXi - Partitions layout of system disk

In ESXi the partitions schema is automatically defined by the installation process and there is no way to modify it (you can only choose where install the hypervisor). There is a great post from Rickard Nobel (ESXi 5 partitions) that explain the structure of the partitions, their size and their purpose. But it does not explain how to get this information. To see the partition layout in ESXi 5, the fdisk command will not work on new GTP disk (this type is used for all new disks and for disks that are extended to more that 2 GB, as written in ...

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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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New's in vSphere 5 - Storage API

vStorage API Introduced for the first time in vSphere the vStorage API are specific functions to permit an integration more thight with external storage functions. Note that there also other integration module that are coverd in the PSA framework. For more information see: What Is New in VMware vSphere™ 4: Storage What’s New in VMware vSphere™ 5.0 – Storage vSphere Storage API - Storage Awareness (VASA) This is a new set of APIs introduced in vSphere 5.0 that will enable VMware vCenter Server to detect the capabilities of the storage array LUNs/datastores, making it much easier to select the appropriate disk for virtual machine placement or ...

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Hyper-converged storage momentum

Hyper-converged architectures consolidate and manage computing, networking, and storage resources via software so they can run on any vendor's server hardware. Several years ago they where (apparently) strange approach to storage implementation used mainly for cheap solution (using VSA, that lacks, in much cases, of right scalability), or for special user cases like ROBO or VDI (with solution like NexentaVSA for View). But starting with Nutanix (probably the first real player in those kind of solution) the idea of simple VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) has dramatically changed by introducing a large scalability with new scale-out (or web-scale, using Nutanix terms) approach. VMware is talking about ...

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Hyper-V 2012R2 vs. vSphere 5.5

Now that both Microsoft and VMware have officially announced the new released of their virtualization products it's possible make an homogenous comparison between Hyper-V 2012 R2 (the fourth generation of Hyper-V) and vSphere 5.5. VMware vSphere 5.5 introduces several news and scalability improvements, on the other side Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 consolidate its features and improve what was already existing in the 2012 version, with a limited (but significant) new features. For example now, finally, some VMware old date features are mainstream also in Hyper-V, like VM hot cloning, hot disk resize (in this case also with the possibility to reduce ...

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Top IT Certifications

One common question is "which certification should I get?" or "which is the best one?"... As usual it depends and is not a simple "objective" choice because it also depends on your needs and on what is required (in the IT field), that could also depends year by year. For the first question IMHO I really suggest to check your skills, think on what you would like to do and related to jobs offers. Which is the right certification could not be defined with a simple objective criteria. One criteria could simple choose a certification according on your kind of job. There ...

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DIABLO TECHNOLOGIES LOGO

During the first European Tech Field Day Extra (at VMworld EU in Barcelona) one of the companies with the more technical presentation was Diablo Technologies. This company was founded in 2003 and they’re working on Memory Channel Storage (MCS) which is a very high performance host flash solution.

There where Jerome McFarland (Principal Product Marketer, Diablo Technologies), Daniel Beveridge (Senior End User Computing Architect, VMware), Ricky Trigalo (Director Virtualization Solution Architecture, Diablo Technologies) to explain this kind of solution and how apply in virtualized environments.

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PTC-Logo

PTC-2014Also this year I’m attending at the Powering the Cloud event (this was the report of past event). I’ve also written about the reasons to attend at this event, that remain almost the same each year.

For sure it’s one of the most valuable events in Europe (after VMworld EU) and in Germany (there is also the CeBIT event, but has different target) and this year it also share the space and timing with the Data Centre World event.

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Some months after the announce of the version 4 of their product, NAKIVO Inc. has released the new NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.

This product is going to fill the features gap with other products introducing the Flash VM Boot feature that provides the ability to run VMware VMs directly from compressed and deduplicated VM backups, without recovering the entire VMs first. The backup from which the VM is started remains unchanged to preserve the integrity of the data.

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Zerto provides enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions for virtualized infrastructure and cloud. Zerto Virtual Replication was one of the first hypervisor-based replication and recovery solution for VMware and they have over 700 customers and 150 cloud service providers.

Now, at the TechEd Europe event, they are announcing Zerto Virtual Replication for Microsoft Hyper-V.

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Serveral months ago VMware has introduced a Recertification Policy on the VCP certifications (as already discussed in this post).

There are different options to renew your certificate, but for most VCP5-DCVs will need to renew their VCP5-DCV credential prior to March 10, 2015 (be sure to check on your myLearn transcript your deadline, some weeks ago has been updated for all).

Specifically if you were not looking to expand to other solution tracks or advance to the VCAP level there is a streamlined exam that offers a quicker route to recertification for current VCP5-DCV holders.

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LoginVSI-Logo

Login VSI is a well know company in the VDI and End User Computing are, due to its Login VSI product: the flagship product (sold for the past 2 years) for sizing, scaling, capacity planning, change impact on performance. But also a standard for benchmark those kind of environments. I’ve already wrote about the new 4.1 release.

But is not the only product, there are also:

  • Login VUM (new product out in limited beta): for continuous proactive monitoring of end user experience in production environments.
  • Login Automation Machine (currently part of Login Consultants as Automation Machine, will be moved to Login VSI before the end of 2014): for automate and manage the end user experience.

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VMUG

November will be a great month for VMUG User Conferences in Europe with three great events:

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During the last Tech Field Day extra at VMworld Europe after the first day there was an interesting roundtable discussion between the delegates.

The topic was about hyper-convergence systems that was one of the hot themes during the VMworld, considering also the VMware announces. Of course EVO:RAIL was one of the main points, but not only and there were lot of interesting considerations.

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Veeam-Logo-2014

During the first European Tech Field Day Extra (at VMworld EU in Barcelona) one of the companies was Veeam with an interesting session. Veeam does not need any introduction because it’s well know both in the data protection world and in the virtualization ecosystem.

There were Doug Hazelman (VP or Product Strategy and Chief Evangelist at Veeam Software), Rick Vanover (Product Strategy Specialist and Community Manager at Veeam Software) and Luca Dell’Oca (EMEA Evangelist at Veeam).

Of course one of the session’s topic was about the Veeam Availability Suite, but the main theme was how Veeam solves common issues caused by backup.

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Using VMware Workstation 10 on Windows 8.1 I’ve got a strange issue on mouse handling the mouse with strange behaview, like delayed click, area selection (when not required), click on the wrong points, … making the Workstation console completly unusable. Keyboard was working fine in the console and also the mouse in the host OS or in the guest OS when connected with RDP.

The issue was not related on the type of the guest OS (same issue on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 R2) and was not related to Workstation Patches (up to date) or VMware Tools in the guest (also up to date).

Issue appear when I was using an external video with a HDMI to VGA adapter and how Windows 8.1 handle DPI scaling.

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In VMware strategy, Cloud Management is the control plane for the Software-Defined Data Center and the Hybrid Cloud and, of course, is one strategical aspect for both pillars.

The next step in the VMware cloud management evolution must addressing evolving needs of SDDC and Hybrid Cloud customers:

  • Deliver cloud services with the cost and agility their consumers expect from cloud
  • Enable converging of IT Silos (Storage, Network, App MW, Security, Ops)
  • Deliver unified management across Private, Public and Hybrid with flexible consumption models

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There are already lots of information about VMware vSphere 6.0 (actually in beta) but one big change has not be publicized so much: starting in December with the next ESXi Update release, TPS (Transparent Page Sharing) among virtual machines will no longer be enabled by default and this will not only be applied to next release, but also on current releases.

This actually does not mean that will be not be available (at least not in the short period), but is another historical piece that will be not used by default, like the vSphere Client (first was announced as no longer available in next release, than something has changed) or like ESX Server or Converter Enterprise.

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