Posts Tagged ‘Virtualization’

VMware releases Cost Per Application Calculator

March 23rd, 2009

On Monday morning 8am EDT, VMware will have released their Cost Per Application Calculator.  The tool was designed to accurately estimate and compare acquisition cost of a virtualization solution.  VMware has labeled this metric Cost Per Application.  Many market analysts, competitors, and potential customers have been focusing on the sheer cost of purchasing VMware licensing and support without performing the time consuming analysis that would reflect VMware’s complete cost effectiveness.  This calculator was designed to address that.  Goals outlined for the calculator included:

  • Simlified yet accurate metric to evaluate upfront costs only
  • Focus on easily quantifiable cost items that can be entered into the calculator, not indirect savings coming from things like improved productivity or operational efficiency
  • Present a cost comparison between VMware and competitor products using cost per application

VMware’s calculation for Cost Per Application is:

  • Virtualization software
    • Licenses for virtualization software


  • Hardware
    • Servers
    • Networking
    • Storage
    • Electricity
    • Datacenter space


  • VM Guest OS
    • Licenses for virtual machine operating systems


  • Management
    • Management software
    • Management servers and other infrastructure cost
    • Database software and servers


  • Number of Apps Virtualized


  • $$ Cost Per Application $$

Note, the Cost Per Application Calculator is not meant to be a replacement of VMware’s TCO and ROI Calculator which is always the optimal methodology to evaluate a software invstment with a complete cost/savings analysis.  VMware’s TCO and ROI Calculator accounts for more items such as multi year views, depreciation, and amortization which the Cost Per Application Calculator does not .

Virtualization Wiki launched

February 11th, 2009

Rynardt Spies, proprietor of the VirtualVCP blog, has launched VI-Pedia, the Virtualization Open Wiki.

It looks like Rynardt has already begun populating the Wiki with links to VMware’s HCL information.  I think the following information which I posted over at the Petri IT Knowledgebase would also prove to be useful on the Wiki:

Community-Supported Hardware/Software for VMware Infrastructure
In 2007, VMware began maintaining a web page of non-HCL hardware that works with VMware ESX. This is a list of hardware and software components that have been reported to work with VMware Infrastructure, either by the community or by the individual vendors themselves. Great for people trying to build a cheap lab out of dubious or whitebox hardware. If your hardware is not on the official VMware HCL, check this list to see if someone has reported that your particular piece of hardware works with ESX.

Additional Resources for Community-Supported Hardware/Software for VMware Infrastructure

Thank you for putting this together Rynardt!

NFL’s Super Bowl IT team gets ready for game day

January 31st, 2009

 I think this would be a neat gig, and probably somewhat stressful.  All infrastructure components from simple to the most advanced must be monitored thoroughly and must not be overlooked.  And hey, virtualization is involved which is a plus.  It’s too bad they don’t specify what flavor of virtualization.  Inquiring minds would like to know.  How about it Computerworld?

January 30, 2009 (Computerworld) The National Football League is fielding three teams for Sunday’s Super Bowl. The first two are well known: the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals. The third, more anonymous one is the 17-member IT staff that the NFL has assigned to work in Tampa, Fla., the site of this year’s game.

That team was tasked with creating a complete IT operation for Super Bowl XLIII in a matter of weeks. Its coaches are Joe Manto, the NFL’s vice president of IT, and Jon Kelly, the league’s director of infrastructure computing. Their opponent is the same one that IT managers face everywhere: anything that can threaten system availability and uptime.

It doesn’t help matters that one of the four IBM BladeCenter S systems being used in Tampa is located on a wood floor in a tent that lacks any climate control capabilities. But so far, so good – and with the four BladeCenter boxes at different locations, and virtualization software ready to provide redundancy, neither Manto nor Kelly seems all that worried.

“It’s very exciting for IT guys,” Manto said of the experience of setting up a systems infrastructure for the Super Bowl. It’s unlike most IT projects, which involve creating systems that will provide ongoing support to users. Instead, the seven-day-a-week effort in Tampa has a short life span and a clear and unmovable deadline.

“That game is going to kick off on Sunday no matter what happens,” Manto said. And by Tuesday, the IT equipment will be disassembled, packed and shipped out of Tampa. “It’s really an open-and-closed operation, which is sort of unique in the IT world,” he said.

The IT staff has set up systems in a hotel to support business operations for about 200 NFL employees who are on-site in Tampa. It also has also built a tech operation at the convention center in Tampa to support 3,500 media representatives who are covering the event; that setup includes wireless networking and automated access to NFL data.

Another system will manage the credentialing of up to 25,000 people – everyone from construction workers to halftime performers. In addition, about 300 PCs have been networked together.

This is the first year that the NFL has completely turned over its server processing workload for the Super Bowl to blade systems. Each BladeCenter chassis includes two blade servers, each with a pair of sockets for quad-core chips. In the past, the league would bring “tens of servers” to the game to provide IT support, Kelly said.

Manto said he will be able to watch parts of the game, primarily on TV monitors, as he moves around Raymond James Stadium in Tampa checking on system operations. But for the most part, Sunday will be a 14-hour workday for the IT staff. “Our main goal,” he said, “is to make sure that everything about this event is accomplished professionally and in a way that gives the fans the best possible experience.”

 Article above originally posted here.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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:


One month CPU utilization averages:


How VMware virtualized Exchange 2007

January 8th, 2009

I often hear questions or concerns about virtualizing Exchange.  E-Oasis found a new VMware white paper and provides a nice lead in explaining how VMware corporate took their physical servers and migrated to virtual, reducing aggregrate hardware usage.

One might ask why VMware’s Exchange servers were not virtualized before this, particularly when VMware was a smaller company with less mailboxes?  Perhaps they decided earlier versions of Exchange were not virtualization candidates?  Maybe limitations in earlier version of ESX made it less than attractive?  I don’t know why but it would have been cooler to see VMware put their money where their mouth is earlier on.  Perhaps someone from VMware can chime in on a comment here.

At any rate, it’s an absolutely beautiful white paper and I’m actually surprised at the level of detail some of the diagrams get into providing network host names and IP addresses for the infrastructure.  I suppose they could be ficticious, but the names look rather authentic and not made up to me.  Kudos.

Take a look at VMware’s whitepaper here.