Friday, May 31, 2013

VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2013

VMware Workstation 2013 Tech Preview





The news has come out few days back, that VMware Workstation Technology preview 2013 is available for testing. Anyone can download and test the Tech Preview of VMware Workstation with Virtual Hardware Version 10 (or vmx-10) which will be (or should be) part of the final release. Each major step forward in Virtual Hardware version introduces support for more RAM or CPU plus other enhancements. You could read my post about the current Virtual hardware version 9 in this post.

Interesting read if you ask me what were the previous versions of Virtual Hardware. If you want to see the history of  Virtual Hardware versions, there is a VMware Kb article for that: Virtual machine hardware versions.

The current VMware Workstation 9 has introduced the possibility to restrict and encrypt VMs too. A feature which gets further enhanced, where an encrypted VM with restrictions for modifications will expire in time. Useful when wanting to create restricted VMs for sharing with time as a limit.

What’s New in the VMware Workstation Technology Preview May 2013

Note that:

There are no guarantees that changes in this preview will be forward compatible with other VMware software, nor that these changes will be present in future supported releases of VMware Workstation.

New in this release - Virtual Hardware 10:

16 vCPUs – Quite monster, isn’t it? To be able to use it you’ll need a PC or server with at least 8 cores with hyper-threading enabled to create and power on a VM with this configuration

Expiring Virtual Machines

The encrypted VMs with restrictions, introduced in Workstation 9 has been enhanced to time limit restriction.  Pretty cool.

This feature establishes a secure connection to a web server at VMware.com to validate the current time and prevent users from rolling back their host clock.

New Converter built in

This Workstation Technology Preview includes a preview of the next version of VMware Converter.   The Converter enables users to make Physical machines virtual.  This version of the Converter includes support the following enhancements:

  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system
  • Support for vSphere 5.1 virtual machine hardware version 9

SSD passthrough

Windows 8 can optimize performances when run from SSD. VMware Workstation can detect when the Virtual Machine Disk file is being stored on an SSD drive and pass this information to the guest operating system to enable Windows 8 to make the same optimizations when it is running in a virtual machine.

Pre-Release OVF Tool

OVF tool is used when manipulating Open Virtualization Format (OVF) packaged VMs. The latest pre-release version of the OVFTool is included in this Technology Preview of VMware Workstation and is used by Workstation to upload and download virtual machines to and from vSphere.   The OVFTool is also used to import an .OVF file which may come in handy when importing virtual machines created using desktop virtualization software developed by Oracle.

Requirements before you install.

It’s pretty common today to have a CPU which is VT-x support, but still. If you have an Intel CPU that has VT-x support, you must verify that VT-x support is enabled in the host system BIOS. The BIOS settings that must be enabled for VT-x support vary depending on the system vendor. See the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003944 for information about how to determine if VT-x support is enabled.

When you install a 64-bit operating system, Workstation performs checks to make sure the host system has a supported processor. You cannot install a 64-bit operating system if the host system does not meet the processor requirements.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to rollback ESXi 5.1 to 5.0


VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1 was released last month, after upgrading my hosts I had some really annoying issue’s, I couldn’t connect my iSCSI (QNAP) datastores and the hosts failed with a PSOD.. once I checked the HCL at the VMware website I saw that my HP DL360 G5 isn’t supported anymore.. time to rollback the latest installation.

Solution:


(Re)boot the host and press R to start the Recovery Mode..


Installed hypervisors:


HYPERVISOR1: 5.0.0-623860 

HYPERVISOR2: 5.1.0-799733 (Default)

CURRENT DEFAULT HYPERVISOR WILL BE REPLACED PERMANENTLY 


DO YOU REALLY WANT TO ROLL BACK?

Press Y to start the roll back


Output





The host is downgraded and back online again with VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0.0


VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1





The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 includes the following new functionality:

  • Support for virtual machine hardware version 9
  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system

Interoperability

Converter Standalone 5.1 supports the following sources.

  • Physical machine running an operating system noted in Supported Guest Operating Systems
  • VMware Desktop products
             Workstation 7.x, 8.x, and 9.0
             Fusion 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
             Player 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
  • VMware vCenter virtual machines
           vSphere 5.1
        vSphere 5.0
        vSphere 4.1
          vSphere 4.0

Third-party backup images and virtual machines
  • Acronis True Image Echo 9.1 and 9.5, and Acronis True Image Home 10 and 11 (.tib)
  • Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery) 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, and 8.5, and LiveState Recovery 3.0 and 6.0 (.sv2i format only)
  • Norton Ghost version 10.0, 12.0, and 14.0 (.sv2i format only)
  • Parallels Desktop 2.5, 3.0, and 4.0 (.pvs and .hdd). Compressed disks are not supported
  • Parallels Workstation 2.x (.pvs). Compressed disks are not supported
  • StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop, ShadowProtect Server, ShadowProtect Small Business Server (SBS), ShadowProtect IT Edition, versions 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 (.spf)
  • The Microsoft VHD format for the following sources:
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (.vmc)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and 2005 R2 (.vmc)
For conditions and limitations about converting Backup Exec System Recovery, ShadowProtect, and Consolidated Backup images, see the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone User's Guide. 
Parallels Virtuozzo Containers are not supported in Converter Standalone.

Depending on the selected source, you can convert it to the following destinations.

VMware vCenter virtual machines
  • ESX 4.0 and 4.1
  • ESXi 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1
  • vCenter Server 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1
VMware Desktop virtual machines

  • VMware Workstation 7.x, 8.x, and 9.0
  • VMware Player 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
  • VMware Fusion 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0

Earlier releases of Converter Standalone (versions 3.x and 4.x) might not be compatible with VMware vSphere 5.x.

Supported Guest Operating Systems

Converter Standalone 5.1 supports the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 10.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 11.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 12.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
CAUTION: During cloning of powered on Linux machines, Converter Standalone 5.1 preserves the following source file systems on the destination: ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, and vfat. All other source file systems are converted into ext3 file systems on the destination virtual machine.


Free vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive E-Book

The VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive is a guide to building consistent high-performing ESXi hosts. Written for administrators, ...