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Monthly Archive: March 2009

Mar 26 2009

Top 10 things you must read about VMFS & Virtual Disks

  1. 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.
  2. Recommendations for Aligning VMFS Partitions – A white paper from VMware that lists a summary of performance testing results, recommendations for VMware VMFS partition alignment, and the steps needed to create aligned VMware VMFS partitions.
  3. Advanced VMFS Configuration and Troubleshooting – A VMworld 2007 presentation (free registration required) that covers technical information on VMFS volumes, backing up metadata, SCSI reservations, partition alignment and more.
  4. ESX Server Raw Device Mapping – A white paper from VMware that covers what RDMs are, when to use them and when not to, how to manage RDMs and technical information on RDMs.
  5. Performance Characteristics of VMFS and RDM using a SAN – A white paper from VMware that covers the performance differences between using VMFS datasources for virtual disks and Raw Device Mappings. It describes an overview of the technologies, the test environment used, performance results and conclusions.
  6. VMware Virtual Disks – Virtual Disk Format 1.1 – A white paper from VMware that provides a high-level introduction to the layout of the files that make up a VMware virtual disk and drills down into the details of the data structures inside the virtual disk files.
  7. A Few Technical Threads – Part 1: RDMs – A good technical blog post from Chad Sakac of EMC that covers what features work when using RDMs and what don’t and when to use RDMs.
  8. A Few Technical Threads – Part 2: VMFS Resignaturing – A good technical blog post from Chad Sakac of EMC that covers why VMFS volumes get resignatured and tips to avoid resignaturing.
  9. Using VMware Converter to resize virtual disk files (Pt. 1) – A blog post from Tech Target that covers methods for resizing virtual disk files including use Converter, the VI Client and vmkfstools.
  10. Increasing virtual disk partition size using DISKPART or GpartEd (Pt. 2) – A blog post from Tech Target that covers methods for increasing the size of existing disk partitions once a virtual disk has been increased in size using Windows tools and Gnome Partition Editor.

Mar 18 2009

Top 10 things you must read about Virtual Machines

  1. Anatomy of a virtual machine (Pt. 1) – An article from Tech Target that covers what a virtual machine is and the differences between the physical hardware of a host server and the virtual hardware that a virtual machine sees.
  2. Anatomy of a virtual machine (Pt. 2) – An article from Tech Target that covers what all the files that make up a virtual machine are and detailed information on each file type.
  3. The Reincarnation of Virtual Machines – An article from Mendel Rosenblum on what a virtual machine is, the history of virtual machines, the different types of virtualization and detailed information on hardware virtual machines.
  4. Timekeeping in VMware Virtual Machines and Timekeeping in VMware Virtual Machines – A VMworld 2007 presentation (free registration required) and white paper from VMware that describes how timekeeping hardware works in physical machines, how VMware products virtualize this hardware, and the various ways that guest operating systems use the hardware to keep time. They also cover a few known timekeeping issues and how to correct or work around them.
  5. CIS Virtual Machine Security Benchmark – A security benchmark for virtual machines from the Center for Internet Security. This document describes potential threats to virtual machines and has guidelines for securing and protecting them.
  6. Improving Guest Operating System Accounting for Descheduled Virtual Machines in ESX Server 3.x Systems – A white paper from VMware that covers the descheduled time accounting component of VMware Tools that provides improved accuracy for guest CPU time accounting and improved guest OS timekeeping. It explains how to install and monitor VMDesched on Linux and Windows guest operating systems. It also describes timer interrupt virtualization issues resolved by VMDesched and how VMDesched works.
  7. Virtual Machine Backup Guide – Documentation from VMware that provides information on different methods you can use to backup and restore virtual machines. It also describes how to setup and use VMware Consolidated Backup in your environment.
  8. Virtual Machine Mobility Planning Guide – Documentation from VMware that covers how to plan a virtual computing environment that allows maximum mobility for your virtual machines. It covers key issues you must address when moving virtual machines that must be modified to run in the new environment. Topics include how to move virtual machines between different VMware products and versions, platform differences and cross-generation mobility.
  9. Choosing a Network Adapter for Your Virtual Machine – A knowledgebase article from VMware that describes all the different virtual network adapter types that you can use in your virtual machines. It describes what each type is and under what circumstances it can be used.
  10. Understanding Full Virtualization, Paravirtualization and Hardware Assist – A white paper from VMware that provides an overview of x86 virtualization, different techniques for CPU virtualization, memory and device I/O virtualization and the benefits of paravirtualization.

Mar 05 2009

Backup Links

Consolidated Backup in Vmware Infrastructure 3
VMware Consolidated Backup Best Practices, Tips and Tricks
Backup and Recovery of Virtual Servers (VMworld 2006)
Hot Backups and Restores (VMworld 2006)
Non-disruptive Backups of Vmware Environments Using Veritas Netbackup (VMworld 2006)
Perl Backup Script for Vmware ESX 3.x
Online Backup to Windows Share using vmsnap_all and (W2K3)
VMware Consolidated Backup Technology: Today and Future (VMworld 2006)
Implementing VMware VCB
VMware Consolidated Backup Lab Manual (VMworld 2006)
Troubleshooting VMware Consolidated Backup
Configuring Tape Drives and Media Changers on ESX Server 3.x Systems
CA Arcserve Backup – Best Practices Guide for VMware ESX Server Backup
How to backup VMware ESX 3.0: File level and raw file backup
VMware Consolidated Backup: Adding an iSCSI LUN to ESX Server
Troubleshooting VMware Consolidated Backup
VMware Consolidated Backup Script Additions
Chapter download: Backing Up and Recovering Virtual Machines
VMware Consolidated Backup Best Practices
VMware Consolidated Backup: Improvements in Version 3.5
Comparison of VI3 Backup Tools
Best Practices for Architecting VCB Enabled Solutions (VMworld 2007)
Making Backup Simple – An Appliance Approach to VCB (VMworld 2007)
A Backup a Day Keeps Disasters Away (VMworld 2007)
Alternatives to VCB for VMware backup
Full backups of virtual machines and Windows VSS
VMware and VSS: Application Backup and Recovery
Five things backup administrators should know about VMware Consolidated Backup
How to Backup VMware ESX Servers
VMware Consolidated Backup ‐ Partner Integration Guide

CA ARCserve Backup r12 Virtualization Support
CA ARCserve Backup Best Practices Guide for VMware ESX Server Backup
Data Protection for VMware and Application Data in Mission Critical Environments
How to Attach Local Tape Device to VMware ESX Host
E-Guide: What You Need to Know about Virtual Machine Backup