Category: Top 10 List

Top 10 things you should read about VMware’s VMotion technology

  1. VMware VMotion and CPU Compatibility – A white paper from VMware that explains how VMotion works, the differences between CPU types and features, what CPU masks are and how to use them and what Enhanced VMotion is.
  2. Understanding CPU Compatibility Constraints for VMotion (VMworld 2007 – free registration required) – A VMworld 2007 presentation that explains the complexities behind CPU constraints with VMotion, problematic CPU features, compatibility groups of CPUs, relaxation of restraints and hardware support for enhanced VMotion compatibility.
  3. VMotion CPU Compatibility for Intel & AMD processors and how to override CPU masks due to CPU mismatch – KB Article 1991, KB Article 1992 & KB Article 1993 –  Three VMware knowledgebase articles that cover specific CPU compatibility information for Intel and AMD processors and how to override CPU masks due to CPU mismatch within CPU brands.
  4. How to obtain, configure and use VMotion and how VMotion works – An article from Andrew Kutz that covers how to license VMotion, how to configure and use it and the technical details behind how it works.
  5. VMotion Compatibility – An article from Scott Lowe that covers CPU masks and how to understand them and set them properly to override CPU compatibility constraints.
  6. How to setup and use VMotion: A Screencast – A screencast from Andrew Kutz that shows how to setup and use VMotion. It covers how to configure it, potential gotchas and how to perform a VMotion migration.
  7. What is Enhanced VMotion Compatibility anyway? – An article from Dave Lawrence that explains the technical details about CPUID instructions and how Enhanced VMotion Compatibility helps to solve the problem of using incompatible CPUs with VMotion.
  8. Overview of VMotion migration compatibility error messages – A VMware knowledgebase article that covers the many possible error messages that may be experienced with VMotion and how to resolve them.
  9. Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support – A VMware knowledgebase article that covers the Intel and AMD processors that are supported by Enhanced VMotion Compatibility.
  10. Live Migration with AMD-V Extended Migration Technology – A white paper from AMD that covers the challenges and technical details of using VMotion across incompatible CPUs and how CPUID instructions are used.
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Top 10 things you should read about Virtualization and Compliance

  1. How Server Virtualization Impacts Data Security and PCI Compliance – A great webinar that handles the topic of how server virtualization impacts PCI compliance. This is often a misunderstood area as virtualization is not specifically covered in the PCI specification.
  2. How to Achieve Security and Satisfy Compliance – A VMworld 2007 presentation (free registration required) that covers ESX security practices and recommendations. Additionally it covers compliance requirements and how to asses your compliance readiness.
  3. Achieving Compliance in a Virtualized Environment –  A white paper from VMware that discusses how to achieve compliance in a virtualized environment and how virtualization impacts compliance.
  4. Best Practices for Surviving Regulatory Compliance (VMworld 2007) – A VMworld 2007 presentation (free registration required) that covers PCI compliance and how it impacts VMware Virtual Infrastructure.
  5. Reducing the Scope of Your PCI Audit: Innovative Network Segmentation Using Host Intrusion Defense – A presentation (free registration required) from Third Brigade that covers how to segment your network to reduce the scope of your PCI audits.
  6. Staying PCI Compliant in Virtual and Physical Environments – A webcast from Tripwire that covers the challenges of virtualization for security and PCI compliance and best practices for proving control in a virtualized environment.
  7. Insights from an Auditor: Ensuring a Successful PCI Audit – A webcast from Tripwire that talks about common pitfalls of meeting PCI requirements and how to develop a strategy for assessing your payment card environment.
  8. Surviving Regulatory Compliance in the Virtual Infrastructure – A VMworld 2006 presentation on compliance rules for SOX, implications for VMware implementations and how to overcome security and audit issues.
  9. PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – The official documentation of the PCI standard. Contains the documentation of the latest PCI specification and a summary of changes between versions of the specifications.
  10. VMware Compliance Center – VMware’s compliance portal that contains links to documents that are compliance related.
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Top 10 Blogs that VMware administrators must read

  1. Yellow Bricks – Duncan Epping’s relatively new blog on VMware topics is another great source for technical tips and information. Duncan recently accepted a job working for VMware and we look forward to more great posts from him.
  2. Scott Lowe’s blog – Scott Lowe blogs on many technical areas that administrators will find extremely useful. Scott has a wealth of knowledge and experience and his posts are always worth reading.
  3. Mike D’s blog – A relative newcomer to the VMware blog-o-sphere (well less then a year anyway) Mike DiPetrillo is a systems engineer that works for VMware and has been posting some fabulous stuff lately. Mike’s knowledge and experience is evident in his very detailed posts that he writes and he is not afraid to tackle any sensitive issues and set the record straight.
  4. NTPro – Eric Sloof is a VCI located in the Netherlands that has been blogging on Vmware for many years. His posts are always informative and are another great source for tips and news on VMware related topics.
  5. Tech Target’s SearchServerVirtualization – One of Tech Target’s blogs that encompasses all virtualization platforms. In addition to Tech Target’s staff there are several regular contributors including: Rick Vanover, Eric Siebert and Andrew Kutz.
  6. Tech Target’s Virtualization Pro – Another Tech Target blog that focuses solely on VMware related topics. In addition to Tech Target’s staff there are several regular contributors including: Rick Vanover, Eric Siebert and Andrew Kutz.
  7. VM Etc – Richard Brambley’s blog has many good tips and news items for all virtualization products but with more focus on VMware. Many of his posts also detail his experiences working with VMware and are quite helpful.
  8. RTFM Education -Mike Laverick’s RTFM Education blog is a great source for learning more about VMware. His free guides that he writes on a variety of material are a great source for learning more about VMware and going beyond the manual.
  9. Rational Survivability – You gotta love the Hoff, Christofer Hoff’s blog focuses on virtualization security. Hoff doesn’t pull any punches and is not afraid to say what’s on his mind when tackling sensitive security topics. His often witty and shrewd blog posts reflect his intimate knowledge and experience with security related topics.
  10. Virtual Geek – Chad Sakac who is a systems engineer that works for EMC, VMware’s parent company knows alot about storage as evidenced by his great posts. Chad’s blog has some very detailed and informative posts and is a must read for all virtual geeks out there.
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Top 10 things you must read about ESXi

  1. Installing and Configuring ESXi (Pt. 1) – A basic guide to installing and configuring the installable version of ESXi.
  2. Two ways to patch ESXi installable (Pt. 2) – A basic guide on using two different methods for patching ESXi.
  3. VMware ESX Server 3i – A presentation from VMware on ESXi, this executive summary provides an overview of ESXi and its features and benefits.
  4. The Architecture of VMware ESXi – A white paper from VMware that provides technical detail on the archictecture and management model of ESXi.
  5. Managing VMware ESXi – A white paper from VMware that provides technical detail on managing ESXi including interactive and scripted management, patching, backup and using 3rd party management applications.
  6. Getting Started with ESX Server 3i Installable – The official documentation from VMware on installing and configuring ESXi.
  7. Webcast: VMware ESXi: The Easiest Way to Get Started with Virtualization – A webcast from VMware that covers the key capabilities of ESXi, steps needed for a typical deployment and the tools used for building and managing virtual machines.
  8. How does VMware ESXi Server compare to ESX Server? and VMware KB Article – Some comparisons of the key technical differences between ESX and ESXi.
  9. Boot ESXi from USB Storage – A tutorial on how to create a bootable USB flash drive that can be used to boot ESXi from.
  10. Get full control over your ESXi server – Describes methods for connecting to the command line interface that exists in ESXi that can be useful for support and troubleshooting purposes.
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Top 10 things you must read about VMworld 2008

  1. Day 1 (Tuesday) Paul Maritz Keynote also here and here – Several links from the Day 1 keynote including the official webcast and live blogging with commentary. This keynote introduced some of the new concepts and products that Vmware has planned for the future.
  2. Day 2 (Wednesday) Stephen Herrod Keynote also here and here – Several links from the Day 2 keynote including the official webcast and live blogging with commentary. This keynote was much more technical then the previous days keynote and contained many details on upcoming features in VMware products.
  3. Virtual Data Center OS also here and here – Several links on the new VDC-OS concept that VMware introduced at VMworld including the official VMware page that describes the many new components included in it.
  4. Cisco Nexus 1000V vSwitch also here – The long awaited Cisco vSwitch was announced at VMworld, these links describe its features and technical specifications.
  5. wrap-up also Part 2 and Part 3 – Great conference wrap-up coverage from Alessandro at providing information and commentary on the events, products and announcements at the show.
  6. Tech Target coverage – Tech Target provided many good blog posts, news reports, videos and more at VMworld, this link is to the page that contains all the links to their coverage.
  7. Best of VMworld 2008 awards announced – The Best of VMworld awards showcased many great products at VMworld, this link details all the winners and finalists in a multitude of categories.
  8. Brian Madden’s roundup of the desktop/application vendors at VMworld 2008 also Part 2 and Part 3 – Brian Madden’s great coverage of some of the many vendors that displayed their products in the Solutions Exchange at VMworld.
  9. New feature demonstration videos: VMware DVS (Distributed vSwitch) demo video, VMware FT (Fault Tolerance) demo video,   VMware VirtualCenter Host Profiles demo video and VMware Storage vMotion demo video – Demonstration videos for some of the exciting new features that are planned for the next major release of ESX.
  10. VMworld 2008 – EMC Wrap-up – Part I – Chad Sakac’s wrap-up summary of VMworld including summaries and links to the many session presentations provided by EMC.
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Top 10 News and Information websites that VMware administrators must visit

  1. – This popular website covers the entire virtualization industry and is a great source for all the latest news. Alessandro often reports major news scoops before anyone else and is the place to go to find out all the news, speculation and rumors in the industry.
  2. Tech Target’s – Tech Target’s website that was launched to focus solely on VMware related topics. This website has many great feature articles, tips, white papers, news, webcasts and other information.
  3. Tech Target’s – Another Tech Target website that covers all virtualization products. This website has many great feature articles, tips, white papers, news, webcasts and other information.
  4. Virtualization Sys-con – A great source for news, blogs, interviews, webcasts and white papers for the entire virtualization industry.
  5. Virtual Strategy Magazine – This online magazine has many great feature articles, podcasts, columns, news and many other resources that provide some great information on all virtualization products.
  6. Dabcc – Another great source for virtualization news, articles, columns, podcasts and blogs. This website is updated quite frequently each day with many new articles and posts.
  7. – This website is a good resource for all the latest news in the virtualization industry. It also features many good interviews and articles on virtualization.
  8. Virtualization Admin – A new website that was recently launched that is geared towards virtualization administrators. This website features many great tips, articles and blog posts from many contributor’s including David Davis and has a lot of great technical information.
  9. Virtualization Review – This website has a lot of great content on virtualization including columns, tips, news, feature articles and blogs from Keith Ward and Tom Valovic.
  10. VM Blog – David Marshall’s website that covers all the latest virtualization news in the industry. Another website that is updated quite frequently each day with many new items.
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Top 10 things you must read when making a Business Case for implementing VMware

  1. Getting the Green Light for Your Virtual Infrastructure – A VMworld 2007 presentation from VMware on the benefits of virtualization as well as the financial and commerical aspects. Covers virtualization strategies, communication methods and the development of business plans and cost models. Will also show you how to make the strongest case for virtual infrastructure so you can get the green light to begin your deployment.
  2. Making Business Sense of Virtualization – A VMworld 2007 presentation from Deloitte that covers the business benefits and impact of virtualization. Also covers business drivers and justifcation as well as several case studies.
  3. Reducing Server Total Cost of Ownership with VMware Virtualization Software – A white paper from VMware that examines how VMware virtualization software reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) in server envi¬ronments and provides almost immediate return on investment (ROI).
  4. Accelerate your ESX Deployment and Developing your Virtualization Strategy and Deployment Plan – Two white papers from Glasshouse, the first both illustrates the benefits of moving quickly to build your VMware ESX-centric infrastructure, and suggests a framework that will help you to accelerate your deployments. The second one outlines the process that GlassHouse uses with their clients in developing a “virtualization strategy,” and how they further assisted them in developing a plan to “get there.”
  5. Innovative Uses and Benefits of using VMware Virtualization – A VMworld 2007 presentation from Adaptis that shares a real life success story on using VMware virtualization at Adaptis, including what theye did right and what they could have done better. Also provides solid, convincing ammunition for the ROI of virtualization and discusses how they have reduced implementation costs.
  6. Breaking Down Barriers to VMware Technology Adoption – A VMworld 2007 presentation from VMware that addresses the common barriers to VMware technology adoption, along with proven ways to manage them or avoid them. Looking closely at the common barriers that exist in an organization will help you balance deployment efforts and speed time-to-value.
  7. Building the Virtualized Enterprise with VMware Infrastructure – A white paper from VMware that clarifies how adopting VMware infrastructure – the combination of server, storage and networking virtualization technologies – as a fundamental IT strategy helps organizations to reduce infrastructure costs, respond faster to business needs and increase the consistency and predictability of operations.
  8. Dispelling Virtualization Myths – A VMworld 2007 presentation from VMware that addresses myths regarding virtualization so that you can make an educated decision, fully embrace the technology, and start reaping its benefits. The myths covered will include topics such as production use cases for virtualization in today’s data centers, virtualization architectures, and key questions that organizations have about virtualization offerings from different vendors.
  9. Reducing Data Center Energy Costs with Virtualization – A white paper from VMware that discusses how virtualization technology can result in greatly reduced data center energy costs. Also covers how to calculate energy costs and potential savings by using virtualization in the data center.
  10. Critical Success Factors of Virtual Infrastructure Adoption – A VMworld 2007 presentation from VMware that provides critical success factors for the adoption of Virtual Infrastructure based on VMware Professional Services Organization experience, and identifies key factors required for technology adoption beyond the technical constraints.
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Top 10 things you must read about Memory in VI3

  1. The Role of Memory in ESX Server 3 – A white paper from VMware that explains some of the unique memory concepts that are used in VI3 including memory balloons, overcommitment, sharing and swapping.
  2. Memory Provisioning Recommendations for VI3 – A white paper from Kingston that defines the planning process for determining the appropriate amount of memory for a VI3 deployment, dispels some common misconceptions, and describes the consequences of sub-optimal sizing.
  3. Understanding Host and Guest memory usage – A VMworld 2007 presentation from VMware that helps clear up some of the mysteries on host and guest memory usage in VI3.
  4. Server Memory Power Consumption & Capacity Planning – A VMworld 2007 presentation from Kingston on memory technologies and how to select memory with regard to power consumption and performance.
  5. RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff – A technical article that explains some aspects of the Virtual Memory implementation in Windows 2000, XP, 2003 Server etc. It helps explain the relationship between RAM (Random Access Memory), Address Spaces, Virtual Memory and pagefile in Windows systems.
  6. Memory resource management in VMware ESX Server – A very detailed technical paper by a VMware engineer that explains memory management in ESX server and also how the advanced memory features that are used by ESX work.
  7. Memory Shares/Limits/Reservations – A VMTN forums thread that discusses various scenarios on using memory shares, limits and reservations.
  8. Understanding memory usage in Windows 2000 – A Microsoft Technet article that explains how Windows 2000 uses memory and how to track memory usage to see how much you really need.
  9. Understanding the Impact of RAM on Overall System Performance – A article that talks about why memory plays such a huge role in a computer’s overall performance.
  10. Memory Optimization – A VMTN forums thread that covers some advanced memory topics with participation from one of the VMware engineers.
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