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site recovery manager

Future vCenter And SRM Requirement For 64 bit OS Means More vCenter VMs

VMware engineer Michael White’s post 64 bit is almost here – are you ready? on the Uptime (VMware and Business Continuity) Blog foretells of the future 64 bit requirement of both vCenter and SRM (Site Recovery Manager). White writes:

“I wanted to remind everyone, of what I have already seen floating around the internet, but still important enough to remind.  Our next release of SRM is going to require a 64 bit OS.  This is the same as our next release of VC as it too will require a 64 bit host OS.  This change is required to support the increased capabilities of our products.  As we scale our products to match our customers needs, generally 1 – 2 years in advance of where they will need all the capabilities of a given product we have had to use a 64 bit OS.  This will show itself in increased numbers in things like more simultaneous vSphere client connections.”

To me these new operating system (OS) requirements mean we will see even more instances of vCenter as a VM (virtual machine). It only seems logical that a least path of resistance is to virtualize the management server in order to upgrade, especially considering all have already invested in 64 bit hardware for their hypervisors if they decided to upgrade to vSphere 4 in the first place. To go a step further, I’m willing to argue that it will be more common for an IT Department to justify the cost of additional ESX hosts, even if only dedicated for management, then it will to deploy new servers for physical instances of vCenter.

The looming transition to a console-less ESXi eventually means more management virtual appliances in the future too. Solutions which will continue to need a ESX console or similar will have to substitute their own appliance to operate with ESXi. This means even more justification for additional ESX/ESXi hosts and thus greases the decision to virtualize vCenter as well. I expect to see management clusters of ESX hosts become more common in the future than even the use of management networks today.

ESX hosts have bigger and badder hardware now than ever before allowing for higher consolidation ratios and larger applications to easily run in virtual machines, but it will be interesting to see if the vCenter as a VM best practices change over time. I personally feel that continuing to separate the database from the virtualized vCenter will continue to be a smart choice. Running a separate, and even virtualized, SQL instance ensures not only better performance of vCenter as a VM but enhances DR scenarios. In fact, those that already have the vCenter database on a remote instance will likely have a safer upgrade to the 64 bit vCenter.

The new 64 bit requirements will no doubt make for an interesting migration scenario, and I’m sure we will see some positive and negative opinions. Let me know your thoughts on a 64 bit vCenter as a VM in the future!

Take VMware SRM Survey, Get a Free Copy of Laverick’s Book, and Donate $10 to UNICEF

VMware needs feedback from SRM (Site Recovery Manager) customers. The SRM product team is asking that customers take a 15 minute survey about their deployments. In return, the first 1000 to participate will receive a free PDF copy of Mike Laverick’s SRM 4.0 book, and VMware will donate $10 to charity. Laverick indicated in an email the chosen charity is UNICEF.

Here’s the VMware Communities: Survey for SRM customers – please … original post from May 27:

Hello SRM users,

The VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) product team is looking for product feedback on SRM deployments. If you have purchased SRM, we would like to hear from you. Your participation will be very valuable to us and the information you provide will be used to improve the SRM product going forward.

You can provide your feedback by completing the survey

The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes and will expire on June 10, 2010. Please note that this survey is for SRM customers only.

Upon completion of the survey, if you are among the 1st 1000 respondents, VMware will donate $10 per response to charity. You will also receive a link to download the electronic copy of Mike Laverick’s book "Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 4.0" upon completion of the survey.

We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your valuable feedback.

Thank you,

The VMware SRM Team

Check out Laverick’s post on this survey as well:

SRM Customer? Complete this survey, and VMware will donate $10 to UNICEF

Implementing VMware SRM: Pay Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain

Now that I’ve sat the VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) class, done the labs, and had some design and implementation time with the product I am reminded of a scene from the movie The Wizard of Oz. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” is a famous line from the movie which comes from the scene when Dorothy and gang discover that the mighty and powerful Wizard they fear is really just an elaborate machine controlled by an ordinary man.

I am not suggesting that SRM is a sham. In fact, it provides automation of virtual infrastructure fail over between sites that is truly wizard-like. Understand however, VMware SRM software is just the last piece of the total data center recovery “machine”. Many organizations may be seeking the semblance of automated site fail over, but have they really considered in detail what it takes to start up their business critical systems at a secondary location?

A simple determination of readiness for SRM’s wizardry is answering this question: Continue reading

VMware Site Recovery Manager – links, lessons, and labs

This post is a collection of VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) links that have been building up as various notes, to dos, and draft posts collecting dust for VM /ETC. I’m including links to popular blog posts describing how to set up “in a box” demo lab environments for SRM,  links to a couple free chapters from a SRM book, and links to multiple VMworld 2008 SRM presentations for those readers that did not get attend either VMworld Europe or VMworld in Las Vegas this year. Finally, at the end of this post I am also including the VMworld 2008 Installing Configuring and Troubleshooting SRM lab materials.

Be sure to follow all links to read the original content, but I am briefly quoting from each source to provide some descriptions.

New SRM posts and links seem to be popping up daily. If you have a great SRM link please leave it in the comments for all to find.

Enjoy! Continue reading

VMware changes product names

John Troyer has announced that the VMware website has been updated to reflect new product line names first introduced back in September at VMworld 2008. In the VMTN post Do they smell as sweet? New product line names: vCenter, View, John explains that the VirtualCenter and VDM products have are now referred to as vCenter and VMware View. Several VC add ons such as Update Manager and Converter are included along with Site Recovery Manager (SRM), Lab Manager, Lifecycle Manager, and even the file system VMFS now have slightly new names.

John provides a complete list of all products impacted by the name change which I have copied here. Continue reading

Avoid Hot VMware Snapshots When Using Storage Array Snapshots

Avoiding storage array snapshot pitfalls in a VMware environment is an article and tip published by Scott Lowe for Scott discusses the design challenges and implications of combining the snapshot abilities of VMware ESX with the SAN based snapshot features of storage devices. The tip points out that incorrect configuration of VMware ESX with the storage device could lead to inconsistent and unusable images when trying to recover VMs.

“Because these snapshots are not, by default, integrated in any way with VMware ESX Server, we have to perform a few extra steps to ensure consistently reliable and usable storage array snapshots.”

Read all of Scott’s tip at the link to the article above.

My “2 cents” on this is that trying to configure the combination of the two snapshots manually might not Continue reading

Staying ahead of the hypervisor competition

I am proud to announce that has invited me to become a contributer to the Virtualization Pro Blog. My first post was published earlier today.

“Maybe it’s because I just spent a week at the VMware Partner Exchange in San Diego and I am full of the VMware “Kool Aid”, but it appears to me that VMware has a pretty good strategy, focus and direction for staying ahead of the competition. While other vendors are still perfecting and marketing their hypervisor, VMware is talking about automation and management of the virtual data center with products like Site Recovery Manager, Lab Manager, Stage Manager, and Lifecycle Manager.”

Please check out the rest of Is hypervisor competition really just about the hypervisor?

Be sure to add this great virtualization site to your bookmarks and feed readers and look for future posts from me there!

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