May 2009 archive

Virtual Machine Links

vSphere Virtual Machine Upgrade Process
How to migrate an ESX 3.5 v4 VM to vSphere v7 VM
Three ways to kill a frozen vSphere ESXi host virtual machine
Three ways to kill a frozen vSphere ESX host virtual machine
Configuring a Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI) on a vSphere ESX host (KB Article)

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vSphere Client Links

Running VMware vSphere Client on Windows 7 (TechHead)
vSphere Client installation might fail with Error 1603 if you do not have an active internet connection (KB Article)
vSphere Client Help is not accessible on systems using Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (KB Article)
vSphere Client might fail to connect to the vCenter Server (KB Article)

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Some must read vSphere KB Articles

As Duncan just reported the vSphere KB Articles have all gone public in preparation for vSphere going GA tonight. The VMware knowledgebase is always a source of great information and not just for solving problems and issues and there are a number of articles that you should check out before upgrading to vSphere. Here’s a few of the best out of the 75+ that have been published on vSphere so far. This will also be published on my vSphere Links page in their respective categories.

Fault Tolerance:

Processors and guest operating systems that support VMware Fault Tolerance
VMware Fault Tolerance migration transition states
Understanding VMware Fault Tolerance


Comparison of product offerings for vSphere 4.0 and VMware Infrastructure 3.X
Configuring a Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI) on a vSphere ESX host
Configuring disks to use VMware Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) adapters


Licensing ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0, and vCenter 4.0
Split and Combine license keys on vSphere
Enabling license downgrade by disabling features
Downgrading vSphere 4.0 License to ESX 3.5 version


Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices
Upgrading an ESX 3.x virtual machine to ESX 4.0
Upgrading ESXi 3.5 hosts with OEM server vendor’s specific components to ESXi 4.0
How to create default alarms when upgrading to vSphere 4.0
When you use VMware vSphere to perform an ESX host upgrade, the upgrade might fail
Sometimes the upgrade from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 4.0 fails when the host is trying to reboot
Performing an offline upgrade from ESX 3.x to ESX 4.0 on a local ESX host

vSphere Client:

vSphere Client installation might fail with Error 1603 if you do not have an active internet connection
vSphere Client Help is not accessible on systems using Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
vSphere Client might fail to connect to the vCenter Server


vCenter Required Ports
Creating a 32bit DSN on a 64bit Windows machine

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How I choose my VMware top blog list

I while back I started a top 10 list for VMware blogs that you must read. I updated the first list about 6 months after it was originally published as new blogs appear all the time and old blogs sometimes fall to the wayside. I utilize a combination of criteria when picking blogs for my list:

  1. The first is posting frequency, if a blogger has not posted in many weeks or months I generally disqualify them. I’m looking for bloggers that post at least 2-3 times a month.
  2. Next is posting quality, if a blogger is generally just repeating news and things other people have written I also tend to disqualify them. I look for the bloggers that produce quality, informative posts and aren’t afraid to share their own opinions
  3. Next is post length,  short posts are OK for some things but the really long posts that contain lots of information score more points with me.
  4. Finally the length of time that the blogger has been posting, I generally don’t include ones that have been around for less than 3 months until they’ve established themselves.

Not to long ago when I re-did my vLaunchpad I decided to expand the top 10 list to the top 20 as it became increasing difficult to pick just 10 of the best ones as many new blogs have appeared. I also did a bit of re-shuffling of the order as there were many new great blogs on the list. So without further ado here’s the latest top 20 VMware blogs that you should read, links to them are also all available on my vLaunchpad along with icons for the RSS feed and Twitter account of the blogger.

  1. Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)
  2. (Scott Lowe)
  3. (Eric Sloof)
  4. Virtualization Pro (Various)
  5. Virtualization Evangelist (Jason Boche)
  6. VM /ETC (Rich Brambley)
  7. Mike D’s Virtualization Blog (Mike DiPetrillo)
  8. RTFM Education (Mike Laverick)
  9. Professional VMware (Cody Bunch)
  10. Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)
  11. Planet VM (Tom Howarth)
  12. Gabe’s Virtual World (Gabe Van Zanten)
  13. Rational Survivability (Christofer Hoff)
  14. Musings of Rodos (Rodney Haywood)
  15. VMware Tips (Rick Scherer)
  16. The VM Guy (Dave Lawrence)
  17. VCritical (Eric Gray)
  18. Virtual Black Hole (Steve Beaver)
  19. Virtual Future (Sven Huisman)
  20. Ken’s Virtual Reality (Ken Cline)
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vSphere Release Date

vSphere officially goes on sale on Thursday May 21st according to the information that VMware has published, but will it actually be available on that date for customers to download? Nobody knows for sure (except VMware and they’re not saying) but if I had to bet I would say that it will also be available on May 21st. Why? Several reasons:

  • The first reason is why would you sell something if you can’t deliver it, it’s not like VMware to take pre-orders for a product. If they are taking orders for vSphere, customers are going to want the product and they should have it available.
  • The second reason is that vSphere is already GA as stated and shown at the April 21st launch event, that means it’s done, no more changes, it’s a final build. Since it’s GA already it’s ready to use, it’s not like VMware has to burn DVD’s and package the product, they simply need to post it to their website for customers to download.
  • The third reason is that Cisco announced the Nexus 1000V will be available in early June, they wouldn’t release it unless vSphere was GA, after all why sell something that nobody can use yet.
  • Finally VMware had all their SE’s down in San Francisco at the beginning of May, presumably to learn about vSphere. There is nothing preventing them from releasing it, they have had a month since the announcement to prep for the release so they can do things like updating their website, documentation, licensing portal and more. Time to pull the trigger and release the product.

So I guess we’ll find out on Thursday if it’s available or not. If it’s not released then I’ll be surprised and and would expect it shortly afterwards. Everyone is really looking forward to this release so bring it on VMware!


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Upcoming webinar on Virtualization Security and Compliance

I received an invite today to an upcoming webinar on Virtualization Security and Compliance that is being given by Reflex Systems. What peaked my interest in it was the speakers and topics, one of the speakers is Rob Randall from VMware who is their security guru and also happens to reside in my hometown of Denver. The other speaker is Mike Wronski, VP of Product Management for Reflex Systems. One of the topics is VMsafe which was been announced quite a while ago but very little actual information on it has been released. Here’s what will be discussed in the webinar:

  • Leverage VMware’s VMsafe technology in vSphere 4 to achieve greater security in your virtual environment.
  • Use segmentation through Trust Zones and classification to safeguard your virtual data center and manage virtual assets more efficiently.
  • Add a level of security policy enforcement in your virtual environment by using vTrust dynamic policy enforcement technology.
  • Go “beyond the virtual firewall” to apply best practices for specifying policies in a virtual infrastructure.

I’m guessing that Relfex will be showing off and talking about an upcoming product release that leverages the VMsafe API’s that are part of the upcoming vSphere release. Since very little information about VMsafe has been released I’ll be interested to see how the product utilizes VMsafe to better integrate into ESX. The webinar is Wednesday, May. 27th at 2:00pm EST, you can register for it here.

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Happy Birthday VMTN Community Roundtable Podcast!

Next week will be the one year birthday of the weekly VMTN community roundtable podcast. The brain child of John Troyer from VMware, the podcast was originally slated as a forum for some of the VMTN moderators to talk about some of the current hot topics in the VMTN forums and whatever other popular subjects came up. The first episode on 5/23/08 was a just couple of us guys from the VMTN forums talking about various topics, after a while the podcast became more popular as more people found out about it and the format shifted to talking about specific topics each week and special guests were invited who were related to the topic for the week.

On the podcast we mainly talk about technical stuff as most of the participants are admins, architects and technical gurus and have no tolerance for marketing and sales talk. John moderates the podcast and schedules special guests which include VMware employees, vendors, industry experts and well-known bloggers. Some of the regular participants who have been involved since the very beginning include myself, Edward Haletky, Ken Cline, Steve Beaver and Jason Boche. Other well-known participants include Eric Sloof, Duncan Epping, Scott Herold and many more.

Over the past year we’ve had a few bad moments, mainly because Talkshoe is a public forum, including technical issues (no audio), call crashers yelling obscenities and weird background noises and echoes but the podcasts produce some great technical information as the participants ask some great and tough questions of the guests. This past week was all about what is new with storage in vSphere and Paul Manning from VMware was the special guest.  The podcast turned out to be a great one and lots of insider information about the new storage featues of vSphere was shared.

You can listen to the podcast live each week at Talkshoe’s website and also download a MP3 recording of it after it is finished, additionally the podcast is available on iTunes. While the podcast is going on there is an active chatroom where listeners can chat and share information and opinions. After each show John also posts notes and links to the VMware VMTN blog. So be sure and check it out each week and if you can’t make it to the live show listen to the recordings, all of the past 48 episodes are available to listen to.


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Hyper9 Virtualization Mobile Manager special beta invitations available

First I’d like to welcome Hyper9 as my new exclusive website sponsor, if you don’t know them I encourage you to visit their website and check out their products. I’ve been dealing with Hyper9 for almost a year and they have some great products and ideas. A few months ago they hired programmer/mad scientist Andrew Kutz, the creator of the popular SVmotion plug-in, and since then have been churning out some great plugins and applications. Their latest application which they are close to releasing is called Virtualization Mobile Manager which enables remote management of virtual environments via mobile devices. The product is still in beta but I have a limited number of special beta invitations available to hand out. These invitations include some special perks including:

  • 50% off pricing on their already low pricing
  • Automatic entry into Win a Mobile Device contest, beginning in June
  • In exchange for a little feedback – a limited edition Hyper9 T-shirt

If you would like one of these limited beta invitations please contact me at Please be willing to test out the product and offer some feedback in return for the perks.


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