Running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 in a VM

The new releases of Windows OS products (both Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2) are actually in a RTM state for OEM and will be public available on October (probably the 17th or the 18th). Actually, in the last days, Microsoft has announced that the RTM is also available on MSDN and Technet. Or you can simple ask to download the evaluation product (but in this case it's just a beta version). If you want to run them on a VM it's really easy because it's just the same of running a Windows 8 or a Windows Server 2012 VM. And ...

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VMTN Community and Social Media

The original post is avilable on the VMTN Community blog: Guest post: VMTN Community and Social Media I would like to talk about how VMware Community compares with (and complements) other social networks and media. I'm a VMware Community Moderator, but I'm writing this post as a "normal" Community user. I do not consider myself a social media guru, but just a beginner. If you want to be precise, the title of this post is not exactly correct, because the Community is just another form of social network.  However, there are differences between the Community approach versus the other tools that have ...

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Virtualization types

With the term virtualization usually we are talking about System Virtualization, where a physical system is "partitioned" to permit multiple environments (using virtual machines). But virtualization is more generic and include different types: System Virtualization or Platform Virtualization: the hypervisor layer permit multiple virtual machines (VM). There are mainly two sub-types: Server Virtualization: where VMs are usually server OSes with server roles. Desktop Virtualization: where VMs are desktop OSes. There are two different approaches: Server Hosted: where VMs are running on physical server machines (usually using hypervisor for server virtualization). Also called VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or Virtual Desktop Interface). Client Hosted: where VMs are running ...

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Building a vSphere 5 lab

For people that need to make practice for the VCAP-DCA exam (and the beta of VCAP5-DCA will start soon) a good lab environment is mandatory. But it could also be useful for other reasons, like demo environment. There are several options to build one, but most used solutions are using nested hosts on one physical system with: VMware Workstation/Fusion over a host OS: common for a notebook. ESXi 5 on a server or a whitebox: common if you plan to have a always-on or fixed solution. Actually both solution could be good, but Workstation could not scale too much, expecially if you work with ...

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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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Analysis of different hypervisors

I've read some posts (see in the bottom of this post for the references) and I notice how the  hypervisor comparison and choosing criteria are still a interesting trend and not only a marketing battle between different vendors (and maybe there will be more interest will be on this aspects with the release of Windows Server 8). But in several cases the comparison is limited to the hypervisor technical characteristics (and I've already written something about Hyper-V 3.0, XenServer 6.0 and RHEV 3.0) without considering (except in some cases) that the those are only one of the possible choice criteria. One interesting ...

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Migrating volumes with EqualLogic features

During an array migration usually you can use application level trick to move your data between the old and the new array. For example with VMware vSphere you can use the Storage vMotion features (now added also in lower edition of vSphere 5.1) or with Microsoft Hyper-V 3 you can use the new Storage Live Migration feature. But in some case you may have also an option at storage level. For example to migrate across two Dell EqualLogic array (also different models) you can use the embedded function. The trick its simple: just add the new EqualLogic as an additional member in ...

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VMware related acronyms

Duncan Epping has wrote (on 2010) a nice post with the meaning of several, not too obvious, VMware acronyms used sometime in some product name, but usually in the internal process or file name. In those post you can found also some interesting facts about the meaning and the origin of some names. Now I've just put a copy here and short the list alphabetically and also added some new entries: AAM Automated Availability Manager (aka VMware HA since v 4.1) ADM Application Discover Manager ALUA Asymmetric Logical Unit Access APD All Paths Down APM Application Performance Manager CBM Chargeback Manager CBRC Content Based Read Cache CF Cloud Foundry CIM Common Interface Model (standard acronym) CIQ Capacity IQ (now integrated in ...

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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure with VMware EVO:RAIL

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). ...

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Virtualization ecosystem is becoming multi-hypervisor

One trend in the last year(s) is that the virtualization ecosystem is growing outside the boundary where was born: historical partner vendor of VMware now are extending their solution to other hypervisors, and also also new products are designed to managed a more complex virtual environment. This was also called "Hypervisor Agnosticism" in a VKernel post. We do not talk about interoperability across different hypervisors, but simple use same tools, especially for management, monitoring and data protection, for more type of products. Does it make sense? For a single customer maybe not... have multiple environment could be an extra cost (also if ...

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Bye bye Transparent Page Sharing

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 ...

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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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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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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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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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Why Dynamic Disks are a bad choice

Microsoft Windows Dynamic Disks (or Dynamic Volumes) are an abstraction layer (introduced in Windows 2000) over the partitions (similar to the LVM layer on Linux environment) to decoupled the volumes (with their NTFS data) from the disk partitions and have a greater flexibility, like hot-extend a volume by simple add new partitions (but also several other advantages). But in a virtual environment there are other way to handle disk flexibility, like hot-extend a virtual disk at hypervisor level (for VMware this feature was introduced in VI 3.5U2)... so there is no need to use dynamic disks at guest level. The only ...

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Atlantis-Logo

During the recent VMworld Europe, I’ve got the opportunity to talk with Gregg Holzrichter, Vice President of Marketing of Atlantis Computing about their virtualization products. I’ve meet them during the VMworld EU 2013 and also during the last Virtualization Field Day.

Atlantis Computing, with the headquarter in California (Mountain View) and an office also in EMEA (London), was the winner of “Best of VMworld 2012″ and “Best of Citrix Synergy 2012″ awards, addresses the challenges of storage-intensive virtualized and cloud applications: performance, cost and the ability to scale-out on demand.

Their solutions are targeted for the VDI and presentation virtualization area by providing a solution to accelerate the storage and optimize the related accesses.

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ViolinMemory-Logo

During the recent VMworld Europe, I’ve got the opportunity to talk with Steven Willson (VP Technology Services EMEA at Violin Memory) and Eric Herzog (Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Alliances at Violin Memory) of Violin Memory about their storage products and their users cases in virtualization projects. I’ve already met them one year ago, during the past edition of VMworld Europe and this was the opportunity to know the news about those months.

As I already written in the previous report, their storage are completely flash based, but the big difference from other similar approaches (like Nimbus Data and Pure Storage) is that the flash are not mounted on SSD (or PCI) but directly connected to the storage system, this to avoid the SAS interface of the SSD and reduce potential bottleneck.

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LoginVSI-Logo

During the recent VMworld Europe, I’ve got the opportunity to see Login VSI product, especially a new component to it’s benchmark tool for VDI and remote desktop/applications environment: Graphics Framework.

The Login VSI Graphics Framework, available for Login VSI Pro users, makes it easy to test any professional graphics application (such as AutoCAD, Siemens NX and Photoshop) in virtualized desktop environments.

Floris van der Ploeg (R&D guru) wrote an interersting blog post about this new Login VSI component.

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VMUG

Today I’m attending at the Nordic VMUG User Conference (it must be the second or the third user conference of this group) that represent also my first VMUG User Conference outside Italy.

Past year there were 470 attendees (623 registered) really a lot of people and, in fact, the Bella Center is used (the same used in VMworld EU editions in Copenhagen).

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VMware Logo

VMware has announced and released Horizon for View 6.0 several months ago. I’ve already discussed about the news of this product (remote apps and app pools is probably one of the most evident).

The upgrade procedure is almost similar with previous procedures (see upgrade to View 5.3 or View 5.2) and it’s well document in the official Horizon View 6.0 upgrades guide. Remember to check first the compatibility guide (and verify with version of vSphere could be used) and finally to upgrade also the AD GPO templates.

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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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vExpert

Each big vendor has some kind of “community award” for individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of the specific vendor’s users over the past year. Those kind of “experts” could be book authors, bloggers, leaders in some communities, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These people have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of the specific vendor’s technologies to their colleagues and to the community.

Usually the submission are annual (Microsoft MVP is quaternary, but it’s one of the exceptions) and most of them are already open for the 2015:

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VMworld-Logo

Like in the past VMworld 2014, the location of VMworld 2015 will be in the same place: again at San Francisco (for the US edition) and Barcelona (for the EU edition).

  • US edition: will be in San Francisco during August 30 – September (with a partner day on August 30)
  • EU edition: will be in Barcelona during October 13 – 15 (with a partner day on 12)

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ITPressTour-Logo

The IT Press tour is a five-day event taking place this week in San Francisco that seeks to introduce the EMEA media to tech firms doing some interesting things in Silicon Valley. I will take part at the next edition (the 14th) tgat will take place exclusively in the Silicon Valley (during December 1-5, 2014).

Since the 1st tour edition, the EMEA press group has met 105 companies for 155 sessions, some companies did multiple editions and adopted the IT Press Tour as a key marketing communication medium.

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Liquidware-Logo

Liquidware Labs announce Stratusphere UX 5.7 that deliver unparalleled visibility to organizations that support physical, virtual and mixed-platform desktop environments. For virtual desktop and virtual application delivery it support platforms and architectures such as VMware View and RDSH, as well as Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.

With the release of Stratusphere 5.7, operations teams, next-generation desktop and applications architects have an easier path to determining root causality with visibility that extends from the data center down to the end-point. New features in this release include:

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XIO-Logo

During the first European Tech Field Day Extra (at VMworld EU in Barcelona) the first company that we met was X-IO Technologies. As written in a previous post, X-IO has a long term (over two decades with different names) of expertise to deliver unmatched price/performance for enterprise applications.

It’s all started in 1999 with Seagate Technologies with the idea of build a new zero touch design storage: Seagate invested over $100 million in this project, but on 2007 this technology was acquired by Xiotech (in 2007) and Intellinget Storage Element (ISE) has began is life on 2008.

There were Gavin McLaughlin (VP of Worldwide Marketing) and Hollis Beall (Director of Technical Marketing).

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