I just wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that I am alive and still working on this blog. This year I’m lucky enough to attend VMworld in Las Vegas. Its been a busy few weeks planning my event schedule, and meetings with vendors and fellow Virtualization Enthusiast. I will do my best to post each night about my daily events. I know things have been quiet around here. I have also been settling into my new role and starting to get involved in some projects, including a complete migration to ESXi on vSphere 4.1U1.
Now that I’m getting settled in, I plan on putting more time back into this blog to continue to share knowledge and the experiences I deal with during my current and future projects. I’ll also be absorbing as much info as I can at VMworld so I can pass on some of the knowledge and all the experiences I have at this amazing event.
Thanks again for your continued support of this endeavor.
VMware has made some much-needed modifications to the new licensing model. After reviewing the new licensing layout, I think I’m happy with it. This is what I thought VMware was originally moving to with the announcement of vRAM based licensing before the first set of numbers came out.
The changes VMware has made include the following:
- Increased vRAM entitlement for all vSphere editions
- Capped the amount of vRAM that is counted for one VM
- Adjusted model to not penalize for short-term spikes and use averages to determine true-up vRAM entitlement.
Lets touch on each of these big points. The first about the increased vRAM entitlement. VMware has increased the entitlements for ALL versions of vSphere, including doubling the entitlement for Enterprise (64GB) and Enterprise Plus (96GB.) This is huge and was the big gripe for everyone, especially myself given our specific environment. Our new blades were going to require 4 Enterprise Plus licenses per blade with the old model, and now will only require 2, meaning we see no additional cost in licensing. And I think this will apply to most people, where licensing cost will be increased none, or just a little for monster servers. This should please most of the people who were up in arms.
Secondly is the vRAM entitlement cap per VM. This may throw some people off so let me break it down. Let’s say you have a large VM, running 1TB of vRAM on the VM. Well VMware will cap the amount of vRAM it penalizes you for at 96GB, meaning that no matter how much vRAM you use over that 96GB, that VM wont cost you more than 1 Enterprise Plus License. This is also big, because the second biggest concern was how the old vRAM model would impact the virtualization of large workloads.
Lastly, the fact that VMware has changed to an average model for vRAM entitlement in relation to licensing true up is great. VMware will now use an average over 12 months to determine what your vRAM entitlement is for your environment. While the impact on Production environments may be small, Test and Dev environments grow and shrink so dramatically that the old vRAM model would have killed companies over licensing due to spikes. Sure these spikes will still push the average up, but I do think it’s fair that it does impact your cost some. If you use the vRAM, you should have to pay a little more. But I think its much better than the high water mark to determine your entitlement. No need getting dinged on vRAM in a dev environment when you use it for a day or two.
All and all, I think VMware has listened to their customers and responded appropriately. This model still follows the heart of the original change, to move to vRAM entitlement, which I still feel is a great model. However, the original model was flawed and VMware has realized that, and adjusted that model to keep their customers happy, and treat them fairly. I am very happy that VMware has made these changes, and I think the community will respond positively to the new model. Kudos to VMware for listening.
As everyone is well aware, VMworld 2011 is about 2 months out. I know we are all looking forward to seeing everyone, learning new stuff, and of course, the event being in Vegas doesn’t make things any worse. For those of you that don’t know, VMworld is VMware’s annual event to showcase its products and upcoming advances in virtualization. This year, it is at the Venetian, in Las Vegas, NV and runs from August 29th through September 1st. I will be attending VMworld for the first time this year, and I think this will be a really good year to go. For those of you that haven’t asked to go, or are still trying to convince your boss to send you, VMware has stepped in and offered to help. VMware has taken the time to create a template justification letter again this year to help you help your company see the value of this event. Here is what VMware has to say in regards to their letter:
You already know how important VMworld 2011 is for your organization. Covering every aspect of virtualization and cloud computing, this once-a-year-event will provide essential opportunities for hands-on instruction, product evaluation, networking and brainstorming. The business impact of your VMworld participation, including increased simplicity, agility and cost efficiency, makes this one of the best IT investments your company will make all year.
To help your boss understand the importance of sending you to VMworld, as well as the return on investment it will bring, we’ve put together a justification email for you to use. Feel free to add or edit to fit your own situation—for example, by referring to specific issues, concerns or initiatives within your organization for which VMworld will be especially valuable.
VMware has also put up its latest Content Catalog on the VMworld site giving you an idea of what sessions and labs will be available this year. It may be a good idea to look over this list and see if any of the content aligns with any strategic directions or initiatives your company is currently involved in or looking into. It can definitely help with the justification of your trip if you can prove that there will be content that will not only benefit you, but also the technological direction that your company wants to steer in.
Lastly, I have a pretty strong feeling that VMworld 2011 is going to be the first time to really get some hands on with vSphere 5. As I previously posted, I’m fairly confident that VMware will be officially announcing vSphere 5 on July 12 and that means the labs and sessions should be packed full of content from this new technology. The rumors surrounding vSphere 5 and what advances it will bring definitely make it a product to see and evaluate for deployment in your environment. I’d also expect to see a lot of sessions on migration to ESXi from ESX since vSphere 5 will be an ESXi only product.
I hope to see everyone there, and hope that a few of these links may help people convince their company of the value of this event. The Justification Letter can be found HERE and the Content Catalog can be found HERE.
VMware blasted out a webcast invite yesterday for the “unveiling of the next major step forward in cloud infrastructure.” The event is July 12, 2011, less than two months before VMworld. There’s a lot of speculation as to whats going to be announced, though it appears quite obvious what Paul Martiz and Steve Herrod are going to be showing off. Lets look at the obvious:
- The Event Title: Raising the Bar, Part V – AKA Part 5, like vSphere 5
- The reference to “the next step forward in CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE.” vSphere is constantly branded as the infrastructure to the a cloud based environment.
- The event is less than two months from VMworld 2011, where VMware will be able to have multiple sessions on it, as well as labs.
- The session catalog for VMworld includes some sessions that discuss technologies not currently available on vSphere 4.1 U1.
Raising the Bar, Part V
July 12, 2011
9 a.m. Pacific time
Register for this free online event »Please join VMware executives Paul Maritz, CEO and Steve Herrod, CTO for the unveiling of the next major step forward in cloud infrastructure.Paul and Steve’s 45 minute live webcast will be followed by additional online sessions where you can learn more about the industry’s most trusted virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services.
Join us and experience how the virtualization journey is helping transform IT and ushering in the era of cloud computing.
A few weeks ago, VMware snuck the vSphere Client for the iPad quietly into the Apple App Store. I decided to download it and give it a spin to see how viable a management option is was. I went through the steps for install and gave it a shot performing basic day-to-day management task that admins may have to perform. Here is what I experienced.
The app itself is easy to find in the App Store and is easy to download. However, it’s not as simple as downloading and pointing it to your vCenter server. To be able to access your vCenter server, you need to install and configure the vCenter Mobile Access on your server. This is where my first gripe comes in. The vCenter Mobile Access is an ‘as-is’ technology that is still in technical preview, which means it has no official support outside of the technical community. Installation of the vCenter Mobile Access piece is fairly straight forward as it comes in an OVF virtual appliance package. Deployment of an OVF is fairly simple, just follow through the prompts, name and point it to a location where you want the new VM to live. Once the deployment is complete, the VM will get a DHCP address if available. I configured a static address as I view this as best practice.
Once you have the IP Address for the vCenter Mobile Access system setup, you can browse to its management have via http://IPADDRESS:5480. Here you can configure passwords and also make your IP changes if you prefer. The default password is passwd and I strongly suggest changing it.
Next you will need to configure your iPad vSphere client. Return to the home screen and select Settings. From there, scroll down and select the vSphere Client from the left. On the right, you will need to enter the IP Address of your newly deployed vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance.
Using the vSphere Client:
Once you launch the client, enter your vCenter server hostname or IP, as well as your login credentials, much like your standard vSphere client.
From there you will see a listing of your host, as well as some basic details, such has total host and total VMs, as well as a listing of each host and the number of VMs on that host. You can select hosts or VMs to get more detailed information. Once thing I did like was the data displayed about VMs, allowing you to quickly see if snapshots are in use on a VM and the status of the VMware Tools, all in one spot. Inside the app you can perform basic task such as rebooting host and placing them in maintenance mode, among other things. You can also perform pings and trace routes on selected machines, as well as examine their performance data.
While the vSphere Client for iPad is definitely a slick little device that looks really pretty, its uses are limited. I do think eventually it could be a pretty good standalone management tool, but for now I view it more as a monitoring tool for your vSphere environment. The fact that connectivity relies on a Virtual Appliance that is in a “technical preview” state also doesn’t help its case. I would have much rather seen VMware release a vSphere client for OSX or Linux with the same functionality as the Windows counter part, rather than rush to be the first to have a management app on the iPad. The View Client for iPad was second on the scene to Citrix Receiver but its a very well put together app that’s full of functionality and thought, where as the vSphere client feels rushed and a little lacking. I would definitely recommend give it a try if you have the time and availability in your environment. I hope VMware continues to develop this and it gets to the level of functionality that its Windows counterpart has.
Visit your Apple App Store on your iPad or iPad 2 to download the app. The vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance can be found HERE.
Fresh on the heels of its last one, VMware has release another Mind Map. This one is geared towards troubleshooting Network issues. Like the previous one I just wrote about yesterday, this one takes you through a series of KB articles to help troubleshoot and resolve network issues with vSphere. I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have and I hope VMware keeps them coming.
Link to the Mind Map can be found HERE.
Earlier this week, VMware published the latest version of their interactive troubleshooting guide. The guide is a flash embedded PDF guide that allows you to step through troubleshooting. VMware has dubbed them ‘Resolution Paths’ and I think the whole idea is a great one for admins dealing with issues. While it’s geared about towards newer admins, I think anyone will appreciate any extra tools to help resolve an issues in a faster manner, as well as their bosses. The document contains links to KB articles for the most common issues faced by customers, so while it may not resolve all issues, it definitely gives admins a step in the right direction.
Here is a quick snip from the VMware site about this new Mind Map as well as a sneak peek.
We have featured Mind Maps before in this blog and gotten fabulous feedback on them, so we are continuing to develop these using the latest interactive PDF document technology. These new, Flash-embedded PDFs are clickable so that you can expand sections and drill down to the problem you may be experiencing. We’re also trying to make them a little easier on the eyes. Let us know what you think of the new look.
Today’s Mind Map details out Resolution Paths for vSphere Management issues. If you recall, a Resolution Path is a collection of KB articles sequenced in a specific order to resolve a specific issue. Since many steps are repeated for different problems, we create separate articles for those steps and reuse them as needed.
A link for downloading this document can be found HERE.