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.
Share This:

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.
Share This:

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.
Share This:

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.
Share This:

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.
Share This:

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.
Share This:

Top 10 Free Tools that must be in every VMware Administrators toolkit

  1. Putty and SSH Plug-in – SSH clients for remotely connecting to the ESX service console. Putty runs as a standalone application and the SSH Plug-in is a VI client plug-in that integrates an SSH console directly into the client.
  2. WinSCP and Veeam FastSCP – SCP clients for browsing ESX server file systems and transferring files to/from ESX hosts.
  3. VI3 SnapHunter and SnapAlert – Utilities that can report all running snapshots on ESX hosts including name, size and date. Can also automatically email reports and optionally commit snapshots.
  4. VI Scripted Backup Utility – A backup utility that is run from the Service Console that provides VMDK level backups of any VM on storage accessible by the host. The script can be targeted at any ESX server or VC server, and if pointed at a VC server is DRS aware.
  5. MCS StorageView – A utility that displays all the logical partitions, operating system, capacity, free space and percent free of all virtual machines on ESX 3.x or Virtual Center 2.x. It can also display how many gigabytes you can save by decreasing the logical partition to a size the VM really needs.
  6. Storage VMotion Plug-in – A VI client plug-in that extends the client’s functionality by providing an integrated, graphical tool that can be used to invoke storage VMotion (SVMotion) operations.
  7. VMotion Info – A program that will collect Vendor, Model, CPU Types and the CPU feature bits from all hosts to check for vMotion compatibility.
  8. VMCdConnected – Scans all Virtual Machines and shows if they have a CD connected to it. After scanning the VM’s you can disconnect all the CD’s with a click of a button.
  9. VMware Converter – Performs hot and cold conversions of physical and virtual servers to virtual machines. Also converts image formats.
  10. Tripwire ConfigCheck – Quickly assesses the security of VMware ESX 3.5 hypervisor configurations compared to the VI3 Security Hardening guidelines. Ensures that ESX environments are properly configured and provides the necessary steps towards full remediation when they are not.
Share This:

Top 10 things you must read to get more technical with VI3

  1. The Role of Memory in VMware ESX Server 3 – A white paper from VMware that describes the advanced memory management features of ESX.
  2. Understanding Performance in a Virtualized Environment – A VMworld 2007 presentation on understanding virtulization performance and overhead as well as dispelling common myths.
  3. ESX Server CPU Scheduling – A VMworld 2007 presentation that provides an in-depth look at the sophisticated ESX Server CPU scheduler. It also covers some of the most common performance related issues with single- and multi-processor VMs with specific hints for how to deal with them.
  4. VMware Infrastructure 3 in a Cisco Network Environment – A document that is a collaboration between Cisco and VMware. It documents a set of suggested best practices for deploying VMware Infrastructure (VI) 3.x and VMware ESX Server 3.x in a Cisco network environment. The document provides details regarding the internal constructs of the ESX Server and their relation to external Cisco network devices are discussed.
  5. Resource Management Guide – A manual from Vmware that discusses resource management for VI3 environments. Its focus is on the following major topics: Resource allocation and resource management concepts, virtual machine attributes and admission control, Resource pools, Clusters, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), High Availability (HA), advanced resource management options and performance considerations.
  6. SAN Configuration Guide – A guide from VMware that explains how to use an ESX Server system with a Storage Area Network (SAN). It also discusses conceptual background, installation requirements, and management information.
  7. Understanding “Host” and “Guest” Memory Usage – A VMworld 2007 presentation that defines the “host” and “guest” memory terms and answer some common questions related to them. It also discusses a variety of memory management concepts, such as virtual memory, large page support, memory pressure, and memory reclamation techniques and also provides some best practices around memory management.
  8. Timekeeping in VMware virtual machines – A white paper from VMware that describes how timekeeping hardware works in physical machines, how typical guest operating systems use this hardware to keep time, and how VMware products virtualize the hardware. The paper also describes several known timekeeping issues you may encounter and how to correct or work around them.
  9. Security Design of the VMware Infrastructure 3 Architecture – A white paper from VMware describing the security architecture of VI3 including networking, storage, service console and the hypervisor.
  10. 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.
Share This: