Monday, September 17, 2012

New VMware Certifications: VCP-Cloud, VCAP-CID and VCAP-DTD

VMware has released three new certifications; VCP-Cloud, VCAP-CID and VCAP-DTD.

The VMware Certified Professional – Cloud (VCP-Cloud) certification validates your ability to install, configure and administer a Cloud environment using vCloud Director and related components. Achieving this certification demonstrates your understanding of basic cloud concepts including public/private/hybrid clouds, multi-tenancy and cloud security, as well as your skills in using vCloud Director to create and manage vApps, service catalogs, and organization/provider VDCs, as well as administering cloud enabled networking and storage.
Earning VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Cloud Infrastructure Design (VCAP-CID) certification shows that you have continued to enhance your cloud skills, and gives you a new, industry-recognized credential for your list of accomplishments.

The VCAP-CID certification is designed for architects who can devise a conceptual framework based on business requirements, organize its elements into distinct components, and design a cloud infrastructure that meets those requirements. It also verifies that you can define goals for the architecture, analyze elements of the framework, and make design decisions that ensure the proper physical and virtual components exist in the design. Achieving VCAP-CID status shows that you have skills with:
  • Conceptual, Logical, and Physical Design
  • Security and Availability Design
  • Extended Cloud Design
  • Metering and Compliance
  • vApp Design
Earning VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Desktop Design (VCAP-DTD) certification shows that you have continued to enhance your desktop virtualization skills, and gives you a new, industry-recognized credential for your list of accomplishments.

VCAP-DTD is designed for architects who can devise a conceptual end user infrastructure framework based on business requirements, organize its elements into distinct components, and design an architecture that meets those requirements. It also shows that you have experience defining goals for the architecture, analyzing elements of the framework, and making design decisions that ensure the proper physical and virtual components exist in the design for the desktop users

For more information :

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vsphere5.1 - Introducing Virtual Machine Compatibility

With each new Vsphere release, Vmware continues to enhance virtual machines features and capabilities to help track the features and capabilities associated with a given virtual machine,VMware has traditionally used a virtual machine hardware version number.

A list of virtual machine hardware version numbers associated with each vSphere release is shown in the following table:

Using a virtual machine's hardware version number, administrators can readily identify each virutal machine's feature set and capabilities.

feature set and capabilities. Historically, it has been considered a good practice that each time an upgrade is made to a vSphere infrastructure (VMware VCenter Server (vCenter Server) and associated Vsphere hosts), the Virtual machine hardware version for each virtual machine is also upgraded.

This would ensure that each virtual machine had the ability to fully benefit from the latest updates and newest features.However,over time serveral challenges to this approach have been identified.

1. Upgrading a virtual machiine's hardware version requires powering off the virtual machine, which requires downtime. With many virtual machines now hosting mission-critical workloads,it can be difficult to shedule downtime.

2. As the size of the virtual infrastructure grows, trying to keep a large number of virutal machiens running at a common virtual machine hardware version proves difficult if not impractical.

3. In many cases, a virtual machine's requirements are fully satisfied with the odler virtual hardware version so a virtual machine upgrade might yield little or no benefit.

With these challenges in mind, and to help simplify virtual infrastructure upgrades, VMware formally extended the virtual machine compatibility matirix in vSphere 5.0. The extended support matrix enables virtual machines running older virtual hardware versions to run fully supported on newer versions of vSphere. The following table show the extended virtual machine hardware version support matrix:

vSphere 5.1 - Extended Guest OS and CPU Support

Along with security, auditing and monitoring updates, and the enhanced vMotion capabilities,vSphere 5.1 adds support for the latest guest operation systems and SPUs. Vsphere 5.1 introduces support for Microsoft Windows 8 both server and desktop editions, along with support for the latest AMD and Intel CPUs, including the AMD " Piledriver" series and the Intel " lvy Bridge" and "sandy Bridge" series.

vSphere 5.1 - vMotion Enhancements

Enhancements to VMotion in Vsphere 5.1 provide a new level of ease and flexibility for live virtual machine migrations. Vsphere 5.1 now enables users to combine VMotion and VMware vSphere storage vMotion (storage vMotion) into one operation.The combined migration copies both the virtual machine memory its and disk over the network to the destination host.In smaller environments, the ability to simultaneously migrate both memory and storage enables virtual machines to be migrated between hosts that do not have shared storage.

In larger environments ,this capability enables virtual machines to be migrated between clusters that do not have a common set of datastores.

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1

VMware vSphere 5.1 brings many new capabilities that extend the benefits of vSphere 5.0, including a number  of new, storage-related features. Many of these enable VMware flagship products such as VMware vCloud Director and VMware View. vSphere 5.1 storage features and enhancements also bring additional scalability, performance and troubleshooting capabilities. This paper focuses on the storage-specific features and enhancements that are available in vSphere 5.1.

The following topics will be discussed in this paper:
  • VMware vSphere VMFS-5 file-sharing enhancements
  • Space-efficient sparse virtual disks
  • All paths down (APD) condition–handling enhancements
  • Storage protocol supportability improvements
  • VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI)
  • Boot from software Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
  • I/O device management (IODM)
  • Solid-state disk (SSD) monitoring
  • VMware vSphere Storage I/O Control enhancements
  • VMware vSphere Storage DRS enhancements
  • VMware vSphere Storage vMotion enhancements

Friday, August 24, 2012

VMware Workstation 9 – Now Available World-Wide!

The Workstation team is thrilled to introduce VMware Workstation 9.  It’s been 12 years since Workstation first launched and dramatically changed the way technical professionals worked with virtual machines.   Since then the team has worked to bring bring innovation with each new release.  We feel Workstation 9 continues this tradition.

Workstation 9 builds on its broad operating system support, rich user experience, and comprehensive feature set to bring you best-in-class Windows 8 support, all new Web interface, restricted virtual machines and much more.  Not only does Workstation 9 change the way you work with virtual machines whether they reside on your PC or in the datacenter, it allows you to work when and where you want.

Let’s take a look at what Workstation 9 can do:

Best in Class Windows 8 Support
To help you and your organization evaluate Windows 8, master the Metro UI and test your applications, VMware Workstation 9 is optimized for running Windows 8 virtual machines and running on Windows 8 PCs. Easy Install simplifies the task of creating Windows 8 virtual machines, Unity mode will intelligently scale to handle applications formerly known as Metro and multi-touch support will ensure you get the true Windows 8 experience in a virtual machine.
Access from Almost any Device

Workstation’s new web interface allows you to access your virtual machines running in Workstation or vSphere from a tablet, smart phone, PC or any device with a modern browser.  No plugins necessary. Now you can power on, off, or suspend your virtual machines and interact with them from almost anywhere.

Restricted Virtual Machines

Create virtual machines that require a runtime password, and another password to change virtual machine settings. Once set, send the virtual machine with restrictions to anyone to run on their Mac, Windows, or Linux machines by using Workstation 9, VMware Fusion 5, VMware Fusion 5 Professional, or VMware Player 5.

Download from vSphere
In Workstation 8 we introduced the ability to upload a virtual machine from your PC to vSphere. Workstation 9 takes the next step and allows you to drag and drop a virtual machine from vSphere to your PC. It’s the easiest way to move virtual machines between your PC and your internal cloud.

Better 3D Graphics

Workstation 9 includes support for the new Windows Metro interface, significant performance and rendering improvements to better support professional graphical applications such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks, Anti-Aliasing, OpenGL 2.1 for Linux operating systems and even an improved graphics driver for Windows XP.

Read the VMware Workstation 9 release notes for a complete list of new features.
What if I just bought VMware Workstation 8?
If you purchased VMware Workstation 8 (Full license or upgrade) between 08/01/2012 and 09/30/2012 you are eligible for a complimentary electronic upgrade under the VMware Workstation 9 Technology Guarantee Program (TGP).  To learn how to get your complimentary upgrade click here.
If you cannot wait to for your complimentary upgrade to VMware Workstation 8, we suggest you make the most of our free 30-day trial offer.
Availability and pricing

VMware Workstation 9 is immediately available for purchase from the VMware online store for $249 (US) and upgrades from VMware Workstation 7.x and 8.x are available for $119 (US). VMware Workstation can also be purchased through VMware’s network of resellers and distributors.

Customers with an active support and subscription (“SnS”) contract are eligible to upgrade to Workstation 9 for free in the My VMware portal.  If you are not familiar with My VMware, check out this KB Article with video.

We hope you enjoy using VMware Workstation 9 as much as we enjoyed creating it.

The VMware Workstation Team

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

VCP5-Infrastructure as a Service certification

The VMware Certified Professional 5 – Infrastructure as a Service (VCP5-IaaS) validates your ability to install, configure and administer a Cloud environment using vCloud Director and related components. Achieving this certification demonstrates your understanding of basic cloud concepts including public/private/hybrid clouds, multi-tenancy and cloud security, as well as your skills in using vCloud Director to create and manage vApps, service catalogs, and organization/provider VDCs, as well as administering cloud enabled networking and storage.

Achieving a VCP5-IaaS certification validates your ability to:

    Install and Configure vCloud Director
    Administer Users, Roles, and Privileges in a vCloud
    Configure and Administer vCenter Chargeback, vCloud Networking, and vCloud   Organizations
    Allocate and Manage vCloud Resources
    Create and Administer vCloud Catalogs
    Monitor a vCloud Implementation

Become a VCP5-IaaS

    Be a VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP5)
    Pass the VCP5-IaaS exam

How to rollback update 1 package from ESXi5

 Access over remote console cards such as IMM, iLO, DRAC or direct attached screen:

1.    Reboot server
2.    Press Shift+r when the screen displays Loading VMware Hypervisor

ESXi5 recovery mode screen

•  Confirm selection – Y
•  Server restarts with an old build

ESXi5 build number before upgrade

Access to server via SSH

1.    Edit the files /bootbank/boot.cfg and /altbootbank/boot.cfg.
2.    In the bootbank copy of the file you should find updated=2.   It will be updated=1 in the altbootbank copy.
3.    Swap the values for updated, save the files and reboot.
Note:  the first way I mentioned using Shift+r is supported, the second method is not.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012

VMware have just released the public technology preview for VMware Workstation 2012.

About the Tech Preview

The VMware Workstation Team is providing public access to the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 to gather real-world feedback from our users.

This VMware Workstation Technology Preview does not contain major new features, but it does include significant changes to our core virtualization technology. We would appreciate your feedback in the following areas :-

•Windows 8 – We would like you to test the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Windows Server 8 Beta as both host and guest OSs and report any issues that you encounter.

•Graphics Rendering – We have made substantial changes to our graphics virtualization code. We are in the process of optimizing the new graphics code for performance, but currently need feedback to ensure that applications are rendering correctly and are stable.

•OpenGL for Linux Guests – VMware has developed an OpenGL graphics driver and upstreamed it to X.Org. The driver has been included in the Ubuntu 12.04 Beta among other Linux distributions. We would like our users to install the Ubuntu beta as a guest OS and give us feedback on the capability and performance of the new driver.

•Nested Virtualization – In Workstation 8 we made VT extensions available to the guest OS. This Technology Preview includes major changes to the implementation and we would like our users to try running ESX and Hyper-V as guests. Please read the Technology Preview 2012 March Overview for more details.

•Miscellaneous – There are several additional enhancements including recent searches will be remembered, tabs have been added to the full screen toolbar on Windows hosts, and the Linux version of Workstation can download VMs from vSphere.
You can download the VMware Workstation Technology Preview from the VMware
Communities site here

Use the following License Key to activate the product – M108C-N0LE1-08L82-03ARK-2EJPY (the key expires on October 15th 2012)

VMware announces View 5.1

VMware View 5.1 Features and Benefits:

Enhancements and new features in VMware View 5.1 include:
•RADIUS Support – Support in VMware View 5.1 for RADIUS will enable greater choice for organizations looking to deploy two-factor authentication, while maintaining compatibility with existing choices.

•VMware View Media Services Enhancements: VMware View 5.1 Local Mode will add multi-monitor support and expanded USB device compatibility, improving the user experience by enabling more peripherals to connect seamlessly into VMware View virtual desktops.
•VMware View Storage Accelerator – VMware View Storage Accelerator (formerly known as Content Based Read Cache) optimizes storage load and improves performance by caching common image blocks when reading virtual desktop images, helping to reduce overall TCO in VMware View deployments.

•VMware View Composer Array Integration (VCAI) – Offered in VMware View 5.1 as a Tech Preview, VCAI will leverage the native cloning abilities in the storage array to offload storage operations within a VMware View environment. As a result, VCAI improves provisioning speeds and management in View Composer and offers another solution for customers wanting to leverage other storage options.

•VMware View Persona Management – New in VMware View 5.1, VMware View Persona Management will extend to physical desktops, enabling IT organizations to preserve user settings across all Windows devices and streamline the migration from physical to stateless virtual desktops.

•VMware vCenter™ Operations for VMware View – Offered as a new add-on to VMware View, VMware vCenter Operations for VMware View will enable administrators to have broad insight into virtual desktop performance. Increased insight can empower administrators to quickly pinpoint and troubleshoot issues, optimize resource utilization and proactively address potential issues in real time.

•VMware View Administrator Enhancements – New performance enhancements to the administrator user interface will deliver faster response times for large-scale desktop environments in the tens-of-thousands. With VMware View 5.1, desktop provisioning with pre-created AD accounts simplifies the process and enhances compliance policy. Administrator enhancements also include editable locations for disposable disk drives.

•New VMware View Clients – Users will be able to connect to their VMware View desktop from a variety of mobile and fixed endpoints with updated clients for Mac, Windows and Linux desktops, thin or zero clients and Apple iPad, Android and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. VMware View 5.1 with PCoIP® adapts to the end users’ network connection to provide a high-quality, customized desktop experience over the LAN or WAN.

•VMware View Administrator Language Support – Globalization and localization of administrator UI provides a better experience for non-English speaking IT organizations and will enable greater adoption in additional markets. Languages will include French, German, Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese.

Friday, February 3, 2012

RAID 5 and 6 support for VMware VSA

Yesterday VMware announced that it will be supporting RAID 5 and 6 with their Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA).

With the release of vSphere 5, VMware also released their VSA, a shared storage solution for the SMB market. VMware VSA uses the local storage in each ESXi server, presents it to the VSA appliance which in turn serves it back to the ESXi servers as shared storage.  Each ESXi server needs to run a VSA appliance, and each will contain a replica of the other’s storage.
Until now the VMware VSA only supported RAID 10, which resulted in very low storage utilization. Running VMware VSA with mirroring between two ESXi server, meant that you could only use 25% of your actual storage capacity.

Now with the added support for RAID 5 and 6, VMware VSA offers a greater storage utilization rate.

A few examples:


In order to be supported, VMware required your local storage to be configured as RAID 10.  In a two node configuration, the VSA’s are in a RAID 1 for HA purposes. Using six 600GB disks in each ESXi server, in a RAID 10 configuration, will result in 1,8TB usable space per ESXi server (50%). Because the VSA’s use mirroring each VSA reserves 50% of the storage for the other VSA’s replica. This leaves us with 900GB of useable space on each ESXi server. The storage utilization in this configuration is 25%.


Now with a newly supported RAID 6 configuration, in a two node configuration with the same six 600GB disks. This results in 2.4TB usable space per ESXi server (67%). Because of the 50% reservation for the other VSA’s replica, this leaves us with 1.2TB of useable space on each ESXi server and a storage utilization of 33%.


In a RAID 5 configuration, in a two node configuration with the same six 600GB disks, the utilization increases even further. A RAID 5 configuration results in 3TB usable space per ESXi server (84%) and 1.5TB of useable space on each ESXi server and a storage utilization of 42%.

So, now the VMware VSA is even more compelling for the SMB market because of the increased storage utilization. For those that are looking to virtualize to achieve business continuity benefits and don’t have the resources/capacity to deal with a SAN or NAS, VSA is a great choice. If you have evolving storage needs and need a shared storage solution to provide high performance and scalability, you may need to look for a SAN or NAS solution.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ESXi commandline work

ESXi command line tasks which I figured I would document as they will come in handy at some point.

  • List all VMs registered to this host (This reveals the Vmid needed for other commands)
    vim-cmd /vmsvc/getallvms
  • Unregister a VM
    vim-cmd /vmsvc/unregister <Vmid>
  • Register a VM
    vim-cmd /solo/register /path/to/file.vmx
  • Get power state of a VM
    vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.getstate <Vimid>
  • Power off a VM
    vim-cmd /vmsvc/ <Vmid>
  • Power on a VM
    vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.on <Vmid>

Upgrading your vSphere Site Recovery Manager

vSphere 5.5 going end of life in September 2018, we have been traveling all over doing workshops for upgrading to vSphere 6.x. However, wi...