Archive for January, 2009

How to install Windows 7 on VMware Fusion

January 25th, 2009

The VMware Fusion team has put together a great “how to” guide for installing Microsoft Windows 7 (beta) on VMware Fusion on Mac.  Complete with screenshots and detailed explanations, this resource should have you up and running Windows 7 in no time.

I’m hearing from various people in the trenches that Windows 7 on a VM runs very well, better than Vista, and one report says with as little as 512MB RAM.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if people are more excited about running the new Windows OS as a VM, or the fact that the Windows promise land that Vista never provided may be right around the corner.

Check it out!

Windows on multicore processors

January 22nd, 2009

Great article by Randall C. Kennedy comparing Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 and their multicore efficiencies (or lack thereof).  If you want to know which Windows OS is going to take most efficient advantage of AMD and Intel multicore technology, this article is worth a read.  You may be surprised at the results.

Excerpt:

“In order to test the limits of Windows multicore support, I constructed a comprehensive, multiprocess workload test package using the ADO (database), MAPI (workflow), and WMP (media playback) Stress objects from the DMS Clarity Studio; see “How I tested” for the details. I then executed the package across representative dual- and quad-core systems in an effort to document the scalability, the execution efficiency, and the raw performance of the workloads when running against each of the available Windows incarnations.”

Read the full article here.

Help with license keys

January 20th, 2009

Purchasing a product and not being able to install or use it due to licensing issues can be frustrating.  VMware provides at least two resource inlets to resolve licensing issues:

Help with License Keys:

Contact VI-hotline@vmware.com

or

Call 1.877.4.VMware (1-877-486-9273)

In addition to the above, you should be able to talk to your local VMware rep. who should be more than willing to help.

While I’m on the subject, here’s a link to manage your online VMware account where you can:

  • Manage orders
  • Register a product
  • Manage product licenses
  • Find a serial number
  • Manage subscriptions

Plus:  The VMware Product Licensing home page

Lastly, a link to VMware Infrastructure 3 Pricing, Packaging, and Licensing Overview (a great document I might add)

KB1008130: VMware ESX and ESXi 3.5 U3 I/O failure on SAN LUN(s) and LUN queue is blocked indefinitely

January 19th, 2009

I became aware of this issue last week by word of mouth and received the official Email blast from VMware this morning.

The vulnerability lies in a convergence of circumstances:

1. Fibre channel SAN storage with multipathing
2. A fibre channel SAN path failure or planned path transition
3. Metadata update occurring during the fibre channel SAN path failure where metadata updates include but are not limited to:

a. Power operations of a VM
b. Snapshot operations of a VM (think backups)
c. Storage VMotion (sVMotion)
d. Changing a file’s attributes
e. Creating a VMFS volume
f. Creating, modifying, deleting, growing, or locking of a file on a VMFS volume

The chance of a fibre channel path failure can be rated as slim, however, metadata updates can happen quite frequently, or more often than you might think. Therefore, if a fibre channel path failure occurs, chances are good that a metadata update could be in flight which is precisely when disaster will strike. Moreover, the safety benefit and reliance on multipathing is diminished by the vulnerability.

Please be aware of this.

Dear ESX 3.5 Customer,

Our records indicate you recently downloaded VMware® ESX Version 3.5 U3 from our product download site. This email is to alert you that an issue with that product version could adversely effect your environment. This email provides a detailed description of the issue so that you can evaluate whether it affects you, and the next steps you can take to get resolution or avoid encountering the issue.

ISSUE DETAILS:
VMware ESX and ESXi 3.5 U3 I/O failure on SAN LUN(s) and LUN queue is blocked indefinitely. This occurs when VMFS3 metadata updates are being done at the same time failover to an alternate path occurs for the LUN on which the VMFS3 volume resides. The effected releases are ESX 3.5 Update 3 and ESXi 3.5 U3 Embedded and Installable with both Active/Active or Active/Passive SAN arrays (Fibre Channel and iSCSI).

PROBLEM STATEMENT AND SYMPTONS:
ESX or ESXi Host may get disconnected from Virtual Center
All paths to the LUNs are in standby state
Esxcfg-rescan might take a long tome to complete or never complete (hung)
VMKernel logs show entries similar to the following:

Queue for device vml.02001600006006016086741d00c6a0bc934902dd115241 49442035 has been blocked for 6399 seconds.

Please refer to KB 1008130.

SOLUTION:
A reboot is required to clear this condition.

VMware is working on a patch to address this issue. The knowledge base article for this issue will be updated after the patch is available.

NEXT STEPS:
If you encounter this condition, please collect the following information and open an SR with VMware Support:

1. Collect a vsi dump before reboot using /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vsi_traverse.

2. Reboot the server and collect the vm-support dump.

3. Note the activities around the time where a first “blocked for xxxx seconds” message is shown in the VMkernel.

Please consult your local support center if you require further information or assistance. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this issue may cause you. Your satisfaction is our number one goal.

Update:  The patch has been released that resolves this

Computerworld: VMware among the 9 hottest skills for 2009

January 19th, 2009

8. Data center
Most of the glass-house buzz is about server and storage virtualization projects that help organizations lower their energy costs and shrink their data center footprints.

But few companies are recruiting specifically for data center skills. Instead, they’re retraining existing staff in VMware and other virtualization technologies. For instance, Aspen Skiing is considering virtualizing up to 40% of its servers in 2009, says Major. To achieve that, Aspen Skiing plans to rely on VMware and EMC to provide staff with the necessary training.

Read more here.

Virtualize your game servers

January 18th, 2009

Why not?  This is a 24 player Team Fortress 2 dedicated server running on Windows Server 2003 on top of VMware ESX 3.5.0 Update 3.

  • 1 vCPU
  • 512MB vRAM
  • 1 vNIC
  • Periodic banner advertisements in game spreading the word to gamers about VMware virtualization and its practical application to the gaming community which has a large following

Click on the image below for a larger version:

tf2vmw

One month CPU utilization averages:

tf2vmwcpu

Virtualization Manager Mobile (VMM) beta 1 released

January 16th, 2009

Lostcreations, an Austin-based software company which specializes in .NET and Java solutions for the heterogeneous virtualization sector of IT, has released beta version 1 of a product they are calling Virtualization Manager Mobile (VMM).

While the product is new, the concept is not:  Remote monitoring and management of your datacenter when you’re at the beach (or wherever remote management is inconvenient using traditional tools like laptops and WiFi).  It’s done through a hand held device having a web browser.

Beta 1 has the ability to monitor virtual machine CPU and memory utilization, as well as stop, start, suspend, and reset the VM.  The product currently supports VI3, and VMware Server 2.  Expect many new features in future versions including support for Hyper-V and XenServer 5 as well as the ability to develop your own plug-ins to extend other hypervisors.

The technology behind the tool includes AJAX and the Google Web Toolkit and the application back end installs on Windows, Linux, and OS X.  Lostcreations even provides a live demo to see the tool in action first hand!

After a decade of talking about it, we’re finally getting there!

1-16-2009 6-29-20 PM

1-16-2009 6-29-52 PM

1-16-2009 6-30-19 PM