Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

Maintenance tonight

December 9th, 2008

The blog, web, and Team Fortress 2 servers will be down briefly tonight for a little maintenance on the virtualized gateway router.  Duration should be about half an hour at the most.  I apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Speaking of maintenance, I doubled my hosting bandwidth over the weekend from 5Mbps down/512Kbps up to 10Mbps down/1Mbps up.  I performed a little bandwidth speed testing last night and initially I wasn’t overly pleased the results.  Depending on the remote host I tested speed against, I wasn’t seeing the numbers I should be on the download side.  Eventually I did find a remote host that proved I had a 10Mbps down pipe (I don’t have bursting AFAIK).  On the up side (which is what really counts for hosting performance and you readers), I wasn’t able to find any remote hosts that showed I had upstream bandwidth beyond 512Kbps.  I’ll be performing more tests and I will contact my service provider if I am not completely satisfied.  For what I’m paying for business class broadband, I insist that I be consistently getting the 80% of the promised speeds which I believe is the SLA with my provider.

Trust me, I could go really hysterical with regards to my provider but you readers deserve better so I’ll keep it bottled up for now.  Thank your lucky stars for whatever provider you have because chances are they are much better than what I have to work with.

Toodles.

Update: Bandwidth is looking good.  Explanation in comments below.

12-9-2008 9-45-07 PM

Build a network boot disk for VMware guest VMs

November 25th, 2008

A person recently asked me via Email how to create a bootable MS-DOS diskette with networking capability for use in VMware guest VMs. Rather than privately isolate the knowledge in an email conversation, I figured the least I could do after going through the steps is to share it in a blog post so that it may be cataloged in Google for everyone’s benefit.

There are several methods to creating a network boot disk. Some easier. Some more difficult. In the interest of time and leveraging the innovation of others, I’ll turbo charge today’s procedure by using Bart’s Network Boot Disk. Frankly I’m not interested in modifying network boot disk files by hand which was one of the purposes behind Bart’s solution – making the creation of boot disks easier. Note, to use this procedure, you admit to owning a Microsoft Windows 98 operating system license.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create the boot disk by following the instructions here.
  2. Download the BFD full package v1.0.7 file.
  3. Extract bfd107.zip to a temporary folder (I’ll use c:\temp\ for this example).
  4. Good news – the driver used by VMware (the AMD PCNet Family Ethernet Adapter NDIS pcntnd.cab) is already included in the default list of drivers bundled in the bfd107.zip file above. This is a perfect working example of why VMware chose to virtualize the AMD PCNet Family adapter. It’s ubiquitous nature allows it to be supported by every VMware guest operating system on the support list. By virtue of the fact that VMware supports most of the popular/common Windows and Linux operating systems, you’ll find that VMware networking works with nifty utilities like Bart right out of the box.
  5. As the instructions indicate, open a command prompt, go to the BFD directory (in this example, c:\temp\) and execute the command bfd msnet and follow the instructions on screen. This step will create the actual floppy diskette.
  6. The network boot diskette is ready to use with VMware. Use it to boot a guest VM.
  7. I found that booting from the #3 menu item labeled “Boot without emm386” worked well with ESX 3.5.0 Update 3:
    11-25-2008 4-59-37 PM
  8. Accept the following default prompts assuming they are applicable to your environment:
    11-25-2008 5-05-03 PM 11-25-2008 5-05-40 PM 11-25-2008 5-05-49 PM 11-25-2008 5-05-57 PM
  9. Configure the “Logon as”, “Password”, “Workgroup”, and “Domain” as necessary:
    11-25-2008 5-06-32 PM
  10. The network boot disk will complete its boot up process, connecting your MS-DOS VM to the network with the given parameters. A quick net view displays the shares of a Windows server on the network:
    11-25-2008 5-08-17 PM
  11. A net use command maps a C: network drive to the network Windows server share and a dir command displays the share contents:
    11-25-2008 5-08-46 PM

Well that’s about it. At this point, you’re on the network, ready to dump or capture an image, or whatever it is that you needed a network boot disk for. Don’t forget you can transform the physical floppy diskette into a virtual floppy image by using a utility such as WinImage by Gilles Vollant. This allows the VM to boot much more quickly and it allows you to avoid the use of the dying technology of physical floppy disks altogether.

Update: Roger Lund posted another method on his blog using the Universal TCP/IP Network Bootdisk that looks just as quick and easy.  Check out Roger’s solution.

VMware VI network communications and port usage diagram

November 6th, 2008

Nigel Metheringham has taken the information I posted here and updated it with information from page 179 of the VMware ESX Server 3 Configuration Guide

The result is a current diagram of VMware Virtual Infrastructure network communications and port usage which applies to both ESX and ESXi.  Nigel sent me the updated document via email so that I can update the information on the VMware Communities, however, they are currently unavailable due to planned maintenance so in the mean time I’m making the document available here.  Thank you Nigel!

Download from the link below:

vmware_network_ports

Monday morning funny

November 3rd, 2008

I saw this comment on Twitter this morning from @jbjon and it made me  chuckle:

twitter is just multiplayer notepad”

I used to be the person that knocked Twitter, but I have gotten some practical use out of it since joining for VMworld 2008.

I’m still not down with the Myspace and Facebook sites.  Nothing good can come from those sites if you ask me.

Force a DHCP lease renewal in ESX and ESXi

October 31st, 2008

If you are running your ESX or ESXi management console on DHCP and need to force a DHCP lease renewal, here is how it can be done in both ESX and ESXi.

ESX:  Run the following two commands locally in the service console (COS):

ifdown vswif0
ifup vswif0

ESXi:  Use the local console menu to “Restart Management Network”:

esxidhcprenw