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May 07 2009

General Links

VMware Versions compared
Choosing between VMware Server and ESX Server
VI3 Key Feature and Benefits Summary by Version (3.0.x)
VI3 Key Feature and Benefits Summary by Version (3.5.x)
A Comparison of Software and Hardware Techniques for x86 Virtualization
Understanding Full Virtualization, Paravirtualization and Hardware Assist
VMware ESX Server: Scale Up or Scale Out?
VI Support Lifecycle FAQ
Should VMware lower pricing of ESX Server?
Virtualization Management – New Technologies and Standards (VMworld 2007)
Operational Readiness – Five Steps to Success (VMworld 2007)
100% Virtual – Debunking the Myths and Realities (VMworld 2007)
Determining VMware Software Version and Build Number
The New Sprawl: Managing Virtual Server Environments

May 01 2009

Top 10 things you must read about VMware vSphere

  1. VMware vSphere 4 Cheat Sheet – A cheat sheet document from VMware on vSphere that outlines new features, editions, entitlements and comparison tables to other virtualization products.
  2. vSphere 4 Pricing, Packaging and Licensing Overview – A white paper from VMware that outlines the various vSphere and VMware vCenter Server editions and the latest changes to pricing, licensing, upgrade paths and Support and Subscription (SnS) entitlements.
  3. vSphere Key Features & Benefits Summary – A table that outlines all the different features in vSphere and which ones are included in the different vSphere editions.
  4. vSphere Editions Comparison – A simple comparison checklist that shows all seven editions of vSphere and which of the larger features are included in each one.
  5. vSphere Pre-requisites Checklist – A checklist from VMware that describes the requirements and pre-requisites necessary to begin planning for the upgrade of an existing VMware Infrastructure to VMware vSphere.
  6. VMware vSphere: Got 64-bit hardware? – Unlike VI3 which supports both 32-bit and 64-bit server hardware, vSphere will only support 64-bit server hardware. This article explains what 64-bit hardware is and how to tell if your servers are 64-bit capable or not.
  7. What’s New in VMware vSphere 4: Virtual Networking – A white paper from VMware that provides an overview of the new features and capabilities to virtual networking under VMware vNetwork which is the new name to describe the collection of networking technologies for optimally integrating networking and I/O functionality into vSphere.
  8. What’s New in VMware vSphere 4: Performance Enhancements – A white paper from VMware that outlines the key performance enhancements of vSphere, organized into following categories: Scalability Enhancements, CPU/Memory/Storage/Networking, Resource Management and Performance Management.
  9. What Is New in VMware vSphere 4: Storage – A white paper from VMware that provides information about the storage enhancements in vSphere including the following: Virtual Disk Thin Provisioning, Improved iSCSI Software Initiator Efficiency, New vCenter Storage Capabilities, Dynamic Expansion of VMFS Volumes, Enhanced Storage VMotion, Pluggable Storage Architecture and PV SCSI and Direct Path I/O
  10. The Path to vSphere Unleashed – A four part video series that details the transition to VMware vSphere from VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3), covering the VMware VirtualCenter management components, the VMware ESX host migration methods, the virtual machine upgrades (VMware Tools and virtual hardware) and implementing the VMware vSphere licensing.
    1. The Path to vSphere Unleashed Pt 1 – VMware VirtualCenter Management Components
    2. The Path to vSphere Unleashed Pt 2 – VMware ESX Host Migration Methods
    3. The Path to vSphere Unleashed Pt 3 – Virtual Machine Upgrades (VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware)
    4. The Path to vSphere Unleashed Pt 4 – Implementing VMware vSphere Licensing

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.