Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)

November 17th, 2011

Several months ago I co-wrote a piece titled Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) Tag Team.  The article talks about CDP, walks through some working examples, and provides a view of what information the protocol advertises.  CDP is a great tool but it’s proprietary to Cisco network gear.  In the past, if you were using non-Cisco switches, you couldn’t leverage CDP in either direction (listen or advertise).

Today is the first look at a new vSphere 5 networking feature which is Link Layer Discovery Protocol – essentially CDP for every other switch vendor which supports this IEEE 802.1AB open standard.

Take a look at the images below which show a side by side comparison of LLDP and CDP from the vSphere Client perspective:

Snagit Capture  Snagit Capture

As you can see, there’s a lot of parity between the two protocols.  Each provides some very helpful information from the upstream physical network perspective.  Namely the identification of the switch and the port number.  From what I’ve seen so far, LLDP is a completely viable alternative to CDP.

In case you’re wondering where to configure LLDP or CDP on a vNetwork Distributed Switch, it’s an advanced setting of the vDS itself:

Snagit Capture

VMworld Europe – My Schedule

October 12th, 2011

VMworld Europe is coming fast!  Last week I wrote the article VMworld Europe Is Ready And Waiting For You which spoke broadly about the many things to see and experience at the European leg of the VMworld tour. Today I’m sharing some detail about the sessions I’m interested in by detailing my schedule.  As with each VMworld, scheduling is a big challenge.  I’m not able to sign up for every session I’d like to see in Copenhagen.  Add to that, I’ve already been to a few of the key sessions I wanted in on at the Las Vegas show six weeks ago.  So keep in mind you won’t see all the great sessions this event has to offer on my schedule alone.  Have a look and remember – There’s still time to register and attend!

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
           
09:00 Free Day PAR3269 Zimbra: The New SMB Game Changer     Free Day
           
10:30   BCO1432 VMware Data Recovery – Everything You Need To Know VSP1933 Storage I/O Control for Network-Attached Storage Datastores
 
           
11:00       EUC3158 VMware Zimbra: Better than Exchange  
           
12:00   BCO2395 Stretch Clustering – Now and Beyond CIM2916 What’s New in VMware vCloud Director    
           
12:30       VSP1700 VMware vSphere 5.0 Storage Features  
           
13:30   VSP3868 VMware vStorage Best Practices CIM2231 Making Sense of VMware vShield and VMware vCloud for the Average System Administrator    
           
14:00       VSP2376 Performance and Scalability Enhancements in VMware vStorage VMFS 5  
           
15:00     VSP2894 Virtual Distributed Switch Best Practices    
           
16:30     CIM1600 VMware vCloud Networking Finally Explained    

VMworld Europe Is Ready And Waiting For You

October 3rd, 2011

Are you kicking around the idea of attending VMworld Europe?  You’re in luck – there’s still plenty of time to get signed up as an attendee!  VMworld is by far the best technology conference I’ve ever attended in my 15 year career.  To prove that point, this year’s European gathering in Copenhagen, Denmark will mark mark my 8th trip. My 2nd in Europe and also my 2nd which I’ve funded myself. I feel that strongly about it. It’s an absolutely fantastic opportunity for learning about new architecture, technologies, and trends in the VMware virtualization ecosystem.  It’s also a good opportunity to meet community members, friends, and some of the most knowledgeable virtualization, storage, and networking experts on the planet.

The Copenhagen schedule looks like this:

General Sessions – Hear from key VMware executives:

  • – Tuesday, October 18: Steve Herrod, CTO and SVP of R&D
  • – Wednesday, October 19: Raghu Raghuram, Senior VP and General Manager of Cloud Platforms
  • – Thursday, October 20: Paul Maritz, CEO

 

Super Sessions – Learn about key VMware products and solutions on Tuesday, October 18:

  • – Managing Virtual and Cloud IT Environments – A Roadmap to Well-Managed ITaaS
  • – Transitioning to ESXi
  • – Securing your Cloud
  • – The End-User Computing Revolution Starts Now with VMware View

Also:

Breakout Sessions – More Freedom. Less Formality.

This year for both conferences, there is pre-registration for Sessions, giving you the peace of mind that you will have a spot in the sessions you and your business care most about. Plan your daily agenda with Schedule Builder to view a complete listing of available Sessions, and then select the ones that matter most to you. Plus, we’ll be repeating most Sessions at least once, so you’ll have ample opportunity to pre-register for your top choices.  Check out the session abstracts in the content catalog.

 

Knowledge Experts

Connect directly with subject-matter authorities through our Knowledge Experts Program. These members of the VMware community – made up of industry-leading customers, bloggers and VMware employees – will conduct and participate in Breakout Sessions and Group Discussions. They’ll also be available for One-on-One meetings and more casual discussions as they circulate throughout the conference.

 

One-on-One Meetings

Schedule One-on-One meetings with up to three Knowledge Experts during the conference. Use these 15-minute sessions to delve into topics that relate specifically to your organization. Registration will open shortly.

 

Group Discussions

In addition to traditional Breakout Sessions, we’re introducing Group Discussions led by Knowledge Experts. These informative and interactive discussion groups are a great opportunity for you to gain insight from like-minded colleagues in similar industries. Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Just Register for VMworld, and then you can use Schedule Builder (launching in mid-August) to schedule your preferred Group Discussions.

 

Hands-on Labs

Powered by the VMware cloud and presented via a self-service Lab Cloud portal, you will easily explore how virtualization can make a powerful impact on your organization. Unlike traditional instructor-led Labs, you are empowered not only to schedule which topics you want to take, but also when you want to take them, enabling you to choose the content that is right for your own business objectives on a schedule that allows you to maximize your conference experience.

VMworld will stage more than 18,000 lab seats and conduct up to 480 simultaneous Lab sessions during the four-day event. To build out this environment, we have committed 75,000+ man-hours in Lab creation and development to produce 30 Lab topics – all powered by vSphere Hypervisor, formerly vSphere ESXi. The Labs will cover everything from virtualized desktop infrastructure, through the vSphere-powered data center and into the VMware-powered cloud. With easy access to more than 100 VMware Subject Matter Experts on hand to answer questions and explore options, you’ll get one-on-one attention when you need it, and still have the flexibility to move at your own pace. Forget pre-registration. With over 40 hours of available Lab time throughout the conference, you’re free to experience the latest in VMware offerings on your own schedule.

Finally, if you’re planning on being there, look for the VMware Community TV booth where live interviews and podcasts can be conducted with industry experts, bloggers, vEXPERTs, etc.  The VMware Community TV booth will be available Monday through Thursday, 10:30 – 16:00pm, with shows starting every hour, at 30 minutes past the hour. Reserve a slot by following this link.

I hope to see you there!

VMworld 2011 Recap at Nexus Information Systems 9/14

September 12th, 2011

Couldn’t make the big show? No problem!

Join me at Nexus Information Systems Sept. 14th as we recap VMworld 2011! VMworld 2011 took place August 28th – Sept 1st with over 170 unique Breakout Sessions and 30+ Hands On Lab topics offered across four days. We’ll be covering our thoughts on the direction of VMware virtualization, the buzz we observed from the VMware community, and highlights of ecosystem vendors (with a special message from Dell Compellent & others). We’ll cover some specifics on:

  • VMware vSphere 5.0
  • vCloud Director 1.5
  • View 5.0
  • SRM 5.0
  • Tech Previews – AppBlast & Octopus

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (CT)

Nexus Information Systems
6103 Blue Circle Drive
Hopkins, MN 55343

Lunch will be served

Sign up today!

Sponsored by:

Win a VMworld Pass from StarWind Software

August 7th, 2011

Snagit Capture

Win a Free VMworld Expo Only Pass* from StarWind Software!!!

Would you like to attend VMworld 2011 Expo in Las Vegas? It’s easy and free! Snagit Capture

Follow these simple steps:

1. Click “Like” on the StarWind Software Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/StarWind.Software

2. Post five benefits of the StarWind product on your Wall starting with the following words: “I like StarWind because…” and put a link to this posting in a comment on the StarWind Fan Page

3. Retweet the following message: I want to win #VMworld Expo Only Pass from #StarWind! http://ow.ly/5PvFD

That’s it! As soon as the number of our fans reaches 200, two Expo Only Passes, valued at $300 each, will be drawn between StarWind fans, and two people with the most interesting lists of benefits will attend VMworld Expo 2011 for free!

The Rules:

• You must be able to attend VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada (29 August – 1 September)

• Only one valid entry per person

Note: Here you can view examples of StarWind benefits but don’t use them because we found them first! 🙂 http://www.starwindsoftware.com/benefits 

Read more about VMworld 2011 http://www.vmworld.com/index.jspa

*Expo Only (description):

Solutions Exchange floor access during OPEN hours only, including the Welcome Reception on Monday August 29 5:00-7:30pm. Expo Only passes are NOT admitted to General Sessions, Keynotes, Conference Sessions, Conference Meals or the VMworld Party. Additional Expo Only passes cannot be purchased and will NOT be allowed early access to the Solutions Exchange floor.

IBM x3850 NICs Lose Network Connectivity With ESXi 4.0 Update 1

June 11th, 2011

This is a heads up on an issue I ran into some time ago upgrading to VMware ESXi 4.0 Update 1 on an IBM System x3850.  Granted, it’s an aging hardware platform and fast becoming a dated issue, nonetheless this information may help someone out of a late night or weekend fiasco.

Shortly after the upgrade, VMs began experiencing intermittent losses in network connectivity.  Tied to the problem, the following error was revealed in the ESXi log files:

WARNING: LinNet: netdev_watchdog: NETDEV WATCHDOG: vmnic7: transmit timed out

The root cause turned out to be a known issue with the e1000e driver on ESXi 4.0u1 and the IBM x3850.  The issue is documented well in VMware KB Article 1010313 (Intel 82571 NICs intermittently lose connectivity with ESX 4.x).  The KB article was updated last April and appears to still be giving VMware fits as it has spread to vSphere 4.1.  According to the KB article:

This issue may occur if the Message Signaled Interrupt (MSI) mode is enabled for the e1000e driver and this mode is not supported in a server platform. This driver supports these three interrupt modes:

  • 0.Legacy
  • 1.MSI
  • 2.MSI-X

ESX 4.0 added support for Message Signaled Interrupts in network and storage drivers. The default interrupt mode for the e1000e driver under ESX 4.x is MSI (1).

The workaround according to the KB article is to configure the e1000e driver to use Legacy (0) Interrupt mode (thus disabling MSI mode) by performing the following:

  1. Open a console to the ESX or ESXi host.
  2. To configure the e1000e module option IntMode and use Legacy (0) interrupts for a 4-port NIC, run the command:
    • esxcfg-module -s IntMode=0,0,0,0 e1000e
    • Note: A mode number must be specified for each NIC port. In case of 2 quad port NICs, specify the mode 0 for all 8 ports with the command:esxcfg-module -s IntMode=0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0 e1000e
  3. On ESX host, run this command to rebuild initrd:
    • esxcfg-boot -b
    • Note: This step is not applicable to ESXi hosts.
  4. Reboot the ESX/ESXi host for the changes to take effect.

VMunderground BPaaS (Beantown Party as a Service)

June 3rd, 2011

Event:  VMunderground BPaaS (Beantown Party as a Service): Tech Field Day 6 Edition

Calling all New England VMUG members, guests, and potential sponsors, as of Friday evening, there are still plenty of tickets available for the upcoming VMunderground BPaaS (Beantown Party as a Service).  I’ll be there and I hope to see you there as well.  Following are the announcement details from VMunderground:

VMunderground is happy to announce that we’ll be helping throw a virtualizaiton community bash with the Tech Field Day 6 crew!!  If you are in the Boston area or local enough to Fenway, mark your calendars for Thursday night, June 9.  It will be the mother of all FCoTR user group meetings!!  Planning a dance fight for FCoTR supporters versus the FCoAC (Avian Carrier) supporters.  It will be spectacular!

Seriously, it’s on. It’s happening. And their will be a big giant green monster involved.  Tech Field Day has the EMC Club at historic Fenway Park in Boston and TFD is opening up the event attendence to VMunderground! We have around 100 seats we’re looking to fill.  If you’re in the Boston area this night clear your calendar and sign up for a ticket and get ready to bring your “A” game to the VMunderground BPaaS (Beantown Party as a Service).   

If you’ve had the fortune of attending a VMunderground WuPaaS (Warm-up Party as a Service) at the last two VMworlds, you know that VMunderground is a blast.  Some of the smartest virtualization minds in the world, best sponsors, and always some good food, brews and conversations.  We’re currently rounding up some great sponsors to help support this community focused event. Stay tuned to learn more about this awesome opportunity to rub elbows with Boston’s finest vPeople and the Tech Field Day crew.  

If you’re interested in sponsoring the first installment of BPaaS, please contact Theron Conrey and Sean Clark at beantown@vkaboom.com (parent company of VMunderground).  We have a few slots open for sponsorship, but speak up soon to reserve your spot.

ATTENDEES:  Please note, this is NOT the VMworld party.  This is a first-time joint collaboration with Tech Field Day and you should probably live within Boston area before committing to this event.  VMunderground rocks, but not maybe not enough to fly into Boston for.  😉

TICKETS: Tickets go on sale in two 50 ticket batches: Friday, May 27 at 4 PM Eastern time.  And the evening of Monday, June 6.  There will be 100 tickets.  When they’re gone, they’re gone. Watch twitter or this site for more info.  @vSeanClark and @TheronConrey are a good place to start.