June 2008 archive

Top 10 Free Tools that must be in every VMware Administrators toolkit

  1. Putty and SSH Plug-in – SSH clients for remotely connecting to the ESX service console. Putty runs as a standalone application and the SSH Plug-in is a VI client plug-in that integrates an SSH console directly into the client.
  2. WinSCP and Veeam FastSCP – SCP clients for browsing ESX server file systems and transferring files to/from ESX hosts.
  3. VI3 SnapHunter and SnapAlert – Utilities that can report all running snapshots on ESX hosts including name, size and date. Can also automatically email reports and optionally commit snapshots.
  4. VI Scripted Backup Utility – A backup utility that is run from the Service Console that provides VMDK level backups of any VM on storage accessible by the host. The script can be targeted at any ESX server or VC server, and if pointed at a VC server is DRS aware.
  5. MCS StorageView – A utility that displays all the logical partitions, operating system, capacity, free space and percent free of all virtual machines on ESX 3.x or Virtual Center 2.x. It can also display how many gigabytes you can save by decreasing the logical partition to a size the VM really needs.
  6. Storage VMotion Plug-in – A VI client plug-in that extends the client’s functionality by providing an integrated, graphical tool that can be used to invoke storage VMotion (SVMotion) operations.
  7. VMotion Info – A program that will collect Vendor, Model, CPU Types and the CPU feature bits from all hosts to check for vMotion compatibility.
  8. VMCdConnected – Scans all Virtual Machines and shows if they have a CD connected to it. After scanning the VM’s you can disconnect all the CD’s with a click of a button.
  9. VMware Converter – Performs hot and cold conversions of physical and virtual servers to virtual machines. Also converts image formats.
  10. Tripwire ConfigCheck – Quickly assesses the security of VMware ESX 3.5 hypervisor configurations compared to the VI3 Security Hardening guidelines. Ensures that ESX environments are properly configured and provides the necessary steps towards full remediation when they are not.
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Top 10 things you must read to get more technical with VI3

  1. The Role of Memory in VMware ESX Server 3 – A white paper from VMware that describes the advanced memory management features of ESX.
  2. Understanding Performance in a Virtualized Environment – A VMworld 2007 presentation on understanding virtulization performance and overhead as well as dispelling common myths.
  3. ESX Server CPU Scheduling – A VMworld 2007 presentation that provides an in-depth look at the sophisticated ESX Server CPU scheduler. It also covers some of the most common performance related issues with single- and multi-processor VMs with specific hints for how to deal with them.
  4. VMware Infrastructure 3 in a Cisco Network Environment – A document that is a collaboration between Cisco and VMware. It documents a set of suggested best practices for deploying VMware Infrastructure (VI) 3.x and VMware ESX Server 3.x in a Cisco network environment. The document provides details regarding the internal constructs of the ESX Server and their relation to external Cisco network devices are discussed.
  5. Resource Management Guide – A manual from Vmware that discusses resource management for VI3 environments. Its focus is on the following major topics: Resource allocation and resource management concepts, virtual machine attributes and admission control, Resource pools, Clusters, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), High Availability (HA), advanced resource management options and performance considerations.
  6. SAN Configuration Guide – A guide from VMware that explains how to use an ESX Server system with a Storage Area Network (SAN). It also discusses conceptual background, installation requirements, and management information.
  7. Understanding “Host” and “Guest” Memory Usage – A VMworld 2007 presentation that defines the “host” and “guest” memory terms and answer some common questions related to them. It also discusses a variety of memory management concepts, such as virtual memory, large page support, memory pressure, and memory reclamation techniques and also provides some best practices around memory management.
  8. Timekeeping in VMware virtual machines – A white paper from VMware that describes how timekeeping hardware works in physical machines, how typical guest operating systems use this hardware to keep time, and how VMware products virtualize the hardware. The paper also describes several known timekeeping issues you may encounter and how to correct or work around them.
  9. Security Design of the VMware Infrastructure 3 Architecture – A white paper from VMware describing the security architecture of VI3 including networking, storage, service console and the hypervisor.
  10. VMware Virtual Machine File System: Technical Overview and Best Practices – A white paper from VMware that gives a technology overview of VMFS, including a discussion of features and their benefits. It also provides best practices and architectural considerations for deployment of VMFS.
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Top 10 things you must read if you are new to VMware

  1. VMware Infrastructure 3 architecture – A white paper from VMware that provides a general overview of the VI3 architecture and features.
  2. VMware Infrastructure 3: Pricing, Packaging and Licensing Overview – A white paper from VMware that describes the all of VI3 feature, licensing and pricing models that are available.
  3. Introduction to VMware Infrastructure – A manual from VMware that provides information about the features and functionality of VI3.
  4. Tips and Tricks for Implementing Infrastructure Services on ESX Server – A white paper from VMware that provide advice on leveraging key features of VMware Infrastructure for deployment of infrastructure services for system administrators who are new to VMware Virtual Infrastructure.
  5. Configuration Maximums for VMware Infrastructure 3 – A document from Vmware that lists all the configuration maximums for virtual machines, VirtualCenter and ESX host servers.
  6. Security Design of the VMware Infrastructure 3 Architecture – A white paper from VMware that describes the security features and design that are part of VI3 architecture.
  7. SAN System Design and Deployment Guide – A huge guide from VMware that describes how to design and deploy virtual infrastructure systems using VI3 with SANs.
  8. ESX Server Architecture – A VMworld 2007 session on that provides a technical overview of the ESX Server architecture including an overview of the VMkernel and its support for virtual machines, an overview of the ESX Server storage and networking architecture, and an introduction to resource management concepts and features in ESX Server.
  9. Using VMware Infrastructure for Backup and Restore – A white paper from VMware that covers virtual disk files and methods for backing up and restoring your virtual environment.
  10. Scaling Your Virtual Infrastructure – Getting Started – A VMworld session with planning tips for designing a Vmware virtual infrastructure including what type of resources to prepare, time constraints and how to operationalize your virtual infrastructure.
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