I thought I’d give an update on some of the new things happening on this website.
- The vLaunchpad has been updated and over-hauled, the blog roll has been alphabetized for easier viewing. I’ve added a new Storage blogs category since virtualization and storage seem to be so closely tied to each other. I added lots of new reference links, removed some old blogs that haven’t been updated in a long time and added lots of new ones that were missing. I also have added a Twitter section with my group lists and created a Tweet grid of the Top 20 bloggers and Top 100 VMware people that can be accessed at http://tweets.vsphere-land.com.
- I’ve created two Tweet lists using the new Twitter lists features so you can also quickly go to the Top 20 blogger or Top 100 VMware people tweets.
- Lots of vSphere link updates, including many new links on Thin Provisioning. Be sure and check out the new white paper VMware just released on the performance impact of using thin disks.
It’s been 6 months since I did an updated Top 20 blog list, last time I let everyone vote on it instead of me picking it. Time to do another one, some of the blogs currently in the top 20 haven’t been updated in a while and there are lots of excellent new ones out there. I’m going to expand it to the Top 25 and setup a survey using a new dedicated survey website. Voting will open Dec. 1st and run through Dec. 15th.
I’d like to highlight some of the excellent new blogs that I added to the vLaunchpad:
Veeam approached me recently and asked if I was interested in writing a white paper for them to coincide with their launch of latest version of Veeam Backup & Recovery (4.0). The timeframe for writing it was short but I accepted it because I was interested in learning more about the vStorage APIs and also Veeam Backup & Recovery. While doing research for it I did learn a lot about the new vStorage APIs that I had not known before. Typically unless you’re a vendor or developer you don’t deal much with APIs, but I’m the curious type though and like to dig deep and find out how things work. There are many important new features in the vStorage APIs and other storage-related APIs in vSphere that are real game-changers for vendors if they choose to take advantage of them. Even if you’re not a developer you should know a bit about them so you have a better understanding of how things work in vSphere.
I learned two additional things while writing the white paper for Veeam, the first is their new 4.0 version of Veeam Backup & Recovery is the first of the many disk to disk backup applications to take full advantage of the new APIs in vSphere, the second is that there are some pretty smart folks at Veeam that are very passionate about their products. I’d like to thank Doug Hazelman & Anton Gostev for answering my many questions about how things work behind the scenes with their product. So go checkout the white paper and more importantly Veeam’s new 4.0 version which I’ll guarantee you’ll be impressed by. Also look for an upcoming tip on searchdatabackup.com that I did that compares how disk to disk backup vendors are using the vStorage APIs and where they are at with their product releases.
On the heals of the CPU Scheduler white paper comes another great one entitled VMware vSphere 4 Fault Tolerance: Architecture and Performance. If you plan on using the Fault Tolerance feature be sure and give this one a read. Also check out my many links on Fault Tolerance.
VMware just released a new 21 page white paper entitled VMware vSphere 4: The CPU Scheduler in VMware ESX 4 that is all about how the mysterious CPU scheduler functions. This is a highly recommended read and the scheduler is one of the most important components of the hypervisor and therefore you should understand how it functions. The white paper details how the scheduler works, changes made to it in ESX 4, verifies the effectiveness of CPU resource controls including Shares/Reservations/Limits, compares different co-scheduling algorithms and evaluates the performance impact of CPU scheduler changes in ESX 4. Be sure and go check it out.
It’s been announced that Foreigner will be the band for the VMworld 2009 party this year and I have seen many negative comments about VMware’s choice. Personally I like the choice, I grew up listening to Foreigner in the 1980’s and there was many a time that I was cruising around in my Camaro with the windows down cranking Juke Box Hero or Hot Blooded on my cassette player. Over 20 years later I still have the lyrics for Juke Box Hero stuck in my head. Foreigner was a big band in their day, they had many hits including 16 top-40 hits and 9 top-10 hits which is pretty damn good achievement for a band. Here’s a bit of history about Foreigner:
- Formed in 1976 by English musicians (Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliott, American musicians (Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi) and an American singer (Lou Gramm). Mick Jones who is the lead guitarist is the sole original band member, Lou Gramm left in 2003 to pursue a solo career.
- Jason Bonham, the son of late Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham played drums for Foreigner from 2004 - 2008.
- They have released 8 albums, the last one in 1994, and have sold over 50 million albums world-wide, their albums are listed below:
- 1977 - Foreigner, #4 on U.S. charts, 5x multi-platinum
- 1978 - Double Vision, #3 on U.S. charts, 7x multi-platinum
- 1979 - Head Games, #5 on U.S. charts , 5x multi-platinum
- 1981 - 4, #1 on U.S. charts, 6x multi-platinum
- 1984 - Agent Provocateur, #4 on U.S. charts, 3x multi-platinum
- 1987 - Inside Information, #15 on U.S. charts, platinum
- 1991 - Unusual Heat
- 1994 - Mr. Moonlight
- Their 16 top 40 hits and 9 top 10 hits including the following well-known songs:
- Cold As Ice
- Double Vision
- Head Games
- Waiting for a Girl Like You
- Feels Like the First Time
- Dirty White Boy
- Juke Box Hero
- Long, Long Way From Home
- Hot Blooded
- I Want to Know What Love Is (#1 hit)
- Say You Will
So yes they are an older band who’s last album was released in 1994 and they currently only have one original band member but who cares, they have lots of great songs, they put on a good show and I’m sure they will really rock the VMworld party. So instead of all the negative comments and whining please show some appreciation that VMware stepped up and chose an original band to play this year instead of a cover band like last year. I know everyone’s musical tastes vary and you definitely can’t please everyone but the VMworld party planners tried to book an original band that they thought would please the majority of attendees and I think they did a good job. Some of you might not be old enough to remember Foreigner so I say give them a try before you criticize them, there is a good chance you’ll like them. And for those that simply don’t like Foreigner, there are alot of other clubs in San Francisco that you can go to that night that might be playing the type of music you enjoy, you can always go check them out instead.
My VMworld 2009 link pages are now online and I am adding new links to them every day, currently most of the links are in the Travel Info and Things to do in SF categories but the other categories will be populated as the conference approaches and during it. Each day of the conference I will be posting all of the links relevant to that day, so if you can’t physically attend VMworld this year you will still be able to virtually attend it through all the links posted here. You can get to the VMworld 2009 links several ways: directly using this URL: vmw09.vsphere-land.com, by clicking the button in the right sidebar or by selecting vLinks from the navigation menu. By the time the show is over I should have hundreds of links posted here so keep checking back.
I recently wrote some articles for Tech Target on the two new products that were introduced in vSphere: vShield Zones and VMware Data Recovery. The VMware Data Recovery article covers what it is, comparisons to 3rd party products and how to install and configure it. The vShield Zones article is a 3-part series that covers what it is, how it works, how to install and configure it and many tips for using it. Special thanks to Carlos Camacho and Serge Maskalik from VMware who helped me work through some issues I had and provided me some great information on their product. vShield Zones will be the subject of the weekly VMTN podcast this week so be sure and listen in for even more information and to ask questions.
VMware Data Recovery article at searchdatabackup.com:
VMware Data Recovery Manager: A guide to installing and using VDR
vShield Zones articles at searchvmware.com:
vShield Zones: What it is and how it works (Pt. 1)
Installing and Configuring vShield Zones (Pt. 2)
Quick tips for managing vShield Zones (Pt. 3)
Over in the VMworld forums Theron Conrey has a thread going for his big Sunday night VMworld bash and is encouraging people to write a VMworld themed limerick to get an extra raffle ticket to win great prizes. Since I didn’t want to deal with the strict rules that makeup a proper limerick I did a poem instead and included in it some of my good buddies who I enjoyed hanging out with at VMworld last year. So here it is, and be sure and stop over to the VMworld thread to see the limericks and add your own (make sure you follow the strict limerick form!).
At the thirsty bear I hope to meet Jason Boche
Maybe drink a few beers and eat some kolache’s
If I’m lucky I will win a prize
But if not I can talk to Ken Cline and get more wise
Hopefully I don’t come down with a fever
After staying out all night and drinking with Steve Beaver
If Edward Haletky shows up at the party
We’ll all for sure be educating by that security smartie
If you plan on bringing a lady to the event that day
Watch out for Matthew Johnson who will try and steal her away
If Thomas Bryant shows up and starts drinking doubles
Look out San Francisco as there is going to be trouble
Hopefully John Troyer will show up after working in his yard
For he has a VMware corporate credit card
I’ve been putting together the top 10 and lately the top 20 VMware blogs based on a few factors but this time around I wanted to poll the user community to see what they thought the top VMware blogs were. Well the people have spoken, there were about 350 votes cast, a few duplicates (I track voters IP addresses, you know who you are) and the results have been tabulated and the new top 5 is ready to be announced. I weighted the votes with a #1 vote being worth 5 points, #2 vote worth 4 points, #3 vote worth 3 points, #4 vote worth 2 points and a #5 vote worth 1 point. I was going to put together a little slideshow with the results but have been too busy so without further ado here’s the results and your new top 5:
- Yellow Bricks - Duncan Epping - 102 first place votes - weighted score of 991
- Scott Lowe’s Blog - Scott Lowe - 39 first place votes - weighted score of 707
- Virtual Geek - Chad Sakac - 61 first place votes - weighted score of 550
- NTPro - Eric Sloof - 12 first place votes - weighted score of 412
- RTFM Education - Mike Laverick - 5 first place votes - weighted score of 232
Congratulations to the winners! You guys work hard and produce some fabulous posts and you deserve to be on top. Rounding out the top 10 were the following blogs:
VM/ETC - Rich Brambley - 5 first place votes - weighted score of 196
Virtualization Evangelist - Jason Boche - 4 first place votes - weighted score of 190
Gabe’s Virtual World - Gabe Van Zanten - 5 first place votes - weighted score of 132
Virtualization Pro - Various - 3 first place votes - weighted score of 129
Mike D’s blog - Mike DiPetrillo - 3 first place votes - weighted score of 120
I probably won’t get around to updating the vLaunchpad until next week. I’ll be doing this again in 6 months and next time I’ll be using a better survey tool and you’ll get to choose the whole top 20. There are a great many blogs in the VMware community right now and just because you are not on the top 20 right now doesn’t made you are not worthy, just that you have a lot of competition; but bloggers come and go and it’s sometimes hard to devote time to a blog so keep up the great posts and you are sure to make the list someday.
I wanted to download the new vSphere virtual Management Assistant (replaced VIMA) and the vSphere CLI (replaced RCLI) to play around with them today and I spent at least 5 minutes trying to find them on VMware’s download site. The previous VI3 versions were available under the VI3 Downloads page on the Drivers & Tools tab but on the vSphere Downloads page the Drivers & Tools tab only has a network driver download listed. Eventually I figured out there were located under the Datacenter Downloads page as a separate product under the VMware SDKs & APIs Downloads page. So if you’re looking for them in the vSphere Downloads page you’re in the wrong spot as VMware has moved them to the their developer download area. You can also easily get to all the vSphere downloads from my vSphere download links page. Additionally you can quickly access all the documentation links from my vSphere documentation links page.
I have a hard time picking the top blogs from the many great ones that are out there. I initially started with a top 10 and recently expanded it to the top 20 as more and more blogs have started. In this post I outline my blog selection criteria for the top 20 and it’s no easy task for me to pick them and rate them in order. Well here’s the chance for you to pick the top 5 of my top 20 blog list using this new survey form that I created. You can pick from the current top 20 which you can see on my vLaunchpad,or choose other and add one that is not on the list. The survey will be open for 2 weeks, afterwords I’ll announce the results and update my vLaunchpad accordingly. Duncan Epping from http://yellow-bricks.com has been the reigning number #1 for a while now and is a tough one to beat. So head on over to my survey and cast your vote, each position will have a weight assigned with it and they will be added up accordingly for the final results.
With VI3 you could run on either 32-bit or 64-bit server hardware but vSphere requires 64-bit hardware because the VMkernel and Service Console are now 64-bit. I did a tip a while ago for searchvmware.com that talks about this in detail and shows how you can test your hardware to see if the CPU supports 64-bit and has some of the other CPU features that vSphere needs for certain features. To briefly summarize that tip:
- Long mode is required to be able to install vSphere, it will not install without it.
- To be able to run 64-bit VM’s on vSphere either the AMD-V or Intel-VT feature is required. Without it you can still run vSphere but are limited to using 32-bit VM’s.
- For the Fault Tolerance feature to work you need specific processors that support Lockstep technology, you can read this KB article to find out which ones have this feature.
Here are some links to various information that can help you better understand all this:
About 2 months ago, John Troyer asked me for recommendations for 10 or so of some of the VMworld 2008 & VMworld Europe 2009 sessions to be released for free to non-attendees. It was hard picking just 10 and I ended up with about 30 of the ones I thought people would enjoy the most. Well it took a while but they just announced that they are now available for free and it’s almost the exact session list that I picked out back then. So head on over to the VMworld website and check them out, there is some great content there. You do need to have a VMworld account to view these sessions, if you don’t already have one you can get one by registering for free.
VMworld Europe 2009:
AP07 - Virtualized Oracle Database Server Performance and Best Practices
DC07 - What’s New in vCenter Server
DC14 - Overview of 2009 VMware datacenter products
DC15 - Hypervisor Competitive Differences: Beyond the Data Sheet
DC26 - vStorage - Storage integration for the VDC-OS
TA12 - Introducing VMware Converter 4.0: What’s New and Different
TA15 - Protecting your vCenter Server with Server Heartbeat
TA17 - End-to-End Disaster Recovery Approach with Automated SRM Failback
TA20 - Cisco Nexus 1000V Technical Preview
AD2764 - Managing VMware with PowerShell
BC2215 - Top Tips for VMware Consolidated Backup
BC3141 - Understanding Options for Virtualized Disaster Recovery
EA2244 - Virtualizing SQL Server Using VMware Infrastructure
EA2263 - Deploying Exchange 2007 on VMware Infrastructure 3
EA2347 - Citrix Presentation Server Virtualization in VI3 - Best Practices
EA2538 - Using IBM WebSphere Family Products with VMware
EA2672 - VMware is the Best Platform for Java Workloads
PO1323 - Best Practices for Virtualizing Active Directory
PO1520 - Managing VMware ESXi in the Datacenter
PO2061 - VMware VirtualCenter 2.5 Database Best Practices
PO1944 - Architecting and Managing your Storage Effectively with Virtual Infrastructure
PO2218 - Everyday Usage of the RCLI
PO2841 - Virtualization - The Big Picture
TA1401 - Understanding Host and Guest Memory Usage and Other Memory Management Concepts
TA1405 - VMotion Technical Deep Dive
TA1440 - ESXtop for Advanced Users
TA2213 - VMware Infrastructure 3 Storage: iSCSI Implementation and Best Practices
TA2375 - Intepreting Performance Statistics in VI3
TA2550 - ESX Server Best Practices for Performance
TA2554 - VI Networking: Advanced Configurations and Troubleshooting
TA2668 - VMware ESX Architectural Directions
TA2920 - Overview of VMware Product Directions
TA3807 - VirtualCenter Directions
VD3261 - VDI versus Terminal Services
VI2389 - Licensing for a Virtual World
VI2940 - VMware ESXi: The Easiest Way to Get Started
VI2715 - Making the Case: Selling Virtualization When ROI isn’t Enough
LAB05 - VMware Infrastructure - Security Hardening & Best Practices (VMware VirtualCenter/ESX/ESXi)
LAB09 - Scripting VMware Infrastructure: Automating, Integrating, and Extending VI
I’ve just added a new section to this site under the vInfo tab called Release/Build Info which contains tables with the release dates/build numbers for each version of ESX, ESXi, Consolidated Backup, vCenter Server and Converter as well as links to download them and to the release notes. The tables cover ESX from 2.5 to 4.0, vCenter from 1.1 to 4.0, ESXi from 3.5 to 4.0, Consolidated Backup from 1.0 to 1.5 and Converter from 1.0 to 4.0.
I was going through some old photos and came across these before and after photos of our virtualization project:
These 3 HP DL385’s
And this DL585
Replaced this assorted collection of DL360’s, DL585’s, ML530’s, BL10e’s, BL20p’s and more
Visual proof of the benefits of virtualization