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Exploring VMware vSphere And View Next Version Features

Download The VMworld 2009 Presentation on IO DRS

A common question from those that did not get to attend VMware Partner Exchange 2010 has been “So, tell me about what you saw that you can’t tell everyone about!” Unfortunately, like Maverick in the movie Top Gun said, “It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

On the other hand, more and more information is starting to surface on the web. I can neither confirm or deny that all features and version numbers will be available or released as reported, but the TechTarget folks have put together a couple of good summary articles for those who interested in a little more information on a possible future roadmap of VMware vSphere and VMware View. Check the following articles for a round up of general speculation and reaction during and after the PEX 2010 conference. Most of the sources used are credible. ;) (That last comment will make more sense to you after you follow the links)

VMware to add memory compression, I-O resource management to next vSphere

“The next release of VMware’s vSphere will add memory compression, I/O resource management and better VMotion performance, according to attendees of last week’s VMware Partner Exchange in Las Vegas. If the company architects these features as promised, they could improve performance and resource utilization of VMware environments.”

VMware vies for virtual desktop dominance with View 4.5

“The upcoming version of VMware’s VDI software will better integrate its desktop and server virtualization software and expand the role of its ThinApp application virtualization software, all in an effort to extend its server virtualization dominance to the desktop.”

The above quotes are just the opening paragraphs of each TechTarget article. Read the rest for the details.

To use another quote from the movie Top Gun, Continue reading

Help Evaluating VMware Virtual Machine Backup Options

It has to be the most common question for those implementing a new virtual infrastructure (VI)  – “how do we back up our virtual machines?” There are certainly plenty of choices. A company could stay with the (most commonly found in physical environments) system of agent based tape backups, implement VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), implement a third party disk to disk product, or rely on SAN array snapshots. Most likely they will end up with a hybrid solution involving many of these choices. There is not an easy and consistent answer. It’s a company by company decision.

Luckily several posts have recently been published on TechTarget.com sites SearchDataBackup and SearchVMware that tackle the topic of comparing the software based VMware VM  backup alternatives and offer a lot of information for those evaluating the choices. I thought I would summarize these links since they have caught my attention over the last several weeks. Finally I link to a post about the unique advantages of SAN array backups for a hardware based backup comparison.

Readers should be aware that VMware’s Data Recovery (vDR) product has been updated since the posts linked in this summary were written. Although there are some new features introduced, the implementation requirements have not changed and therefore the content of these posts remain relevant.

Although I’ve covered what VI admins need to know about VCB in the past, I am not covering the product in this post. Check some of my other VCB posts for more information. Continue reading

Free Virtual Machine Backup E-Guide

Looking for some good information about backing up VMware virtual machines (VMs)? Researching or planning for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) or third party solutions like PHDVirtual esXpress that enhance the VCB functionality? PCPRO Magazine has combined an article I wrote last October with a related work from author/blogger/VMTN Guru Eric Siebert into a free E-guide titled What You Need to Know about Virtual Machine Backup that is worth the download. After a quick registration with Bitpipe.com, (Bitpipe and SearchDataBackup.com are both TechTarget.com sites) you’ll have access to a 9 page PDF that is an easy read full of useful, real world VM backup implementation advice.

If you did not know already, Bitpipe provides access to great virtualization industry articles and whitepapers on as well as many other technologies. I subscribe and get an email notification from Bitpipe full of great research links daily.

Here is more about the E-Guide from the download page: Continue reading

10 Free Vmware Tools

David Davis recently published The top 10 free VMware tools of 2008 on searchvmware.techtarget.com. I’ve previously blogged about several of the utilities on his list, but David also lists a few that I have not had a chance to explore. I’m listing the 10 tools and their links here for VM /ETC readers, but read David’s post for descriptions of each and some honorable mention selections as well. Also check the end of this post for the previous VM /ETC coverage of these same tools.

David’s Top 10 Free VMware Tools of 2008

  1. VMware Infrastructure Management Assistant (VIMA).
  2. Storage VMotion plug-in.
  3. Solarwinds VM Monitor.
  4. Trilead VM Explorer (VMX)
  5. TripWire ConfigCheck and ConfigureSoft Compliance Checker.
  6. RV Tools.
  7. ESX Manager from ESXGuide.
  8. SearchMyVM.
  9. VMware ESXi Server.
  10. Veeam Monitor Free Edition.

Previous VM /ETC Coverage

Continue reading

Minimizing P2V trouble with VMware Converter

Since P2V conversions with VMware Converter have been on my mind (and my schedule!) the last few months I figured I’d go ahead and discuss the best practices for troubleshooting failed P2V migrations of Windows physical machines to VMware virtual infrastructure. This post copies VMware KB article Best Practices using VMware Converter but with my own experience and opinions thrown in here and there.

I want all readers to understand that all of the recommendations listed are not always necessary, but instead should be systematically tried as needed when experiencing troubles. Most P2V migrations with VMware Converter “just work” without any issues. Use these steps to troubleshoot that small percentage of conversions that fail without an obvious explanation. Continue reading

What backup admins need to know about VCB

I wrote a tip for TechTarget.com’s new SearchDataBackup site. Five things backup administrators should know about VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) walks through some high level planning details for backup administrators considering new options for data and server protection for systems running on virtual infrastructure. The tip talks about why VCB is not the entire backup solution, provides VCB storage and server requirements, discusses the VCB Holding Tank’s role, explains why you still need third party backup agents, and provides and overview for the process of restoring virtual machines and files with VCB.


Check out the whole tip at the link above, and while you are there sign up with SearchDataBackup for great information about data protection and disaster recovery options for both physical and virtual servers.

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New Incentive to Upgrade to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 – VMware SVVP Validation

I wrote a post for the Virtualization Pro Blog titled VMware achieves Microsoft SVVP validation – New reason to upgrade to ESX 3.5 Update 2 that I wanted to expand on here on VM /ETC. Specifically, now that VMware has achieved the SVVP validation, I wanted to emphasize that the only version of ESX covered is the latest version, ESX 3.5 Update 2 (ESX 3.5 U2). Previous versions are not entitled to the extended, cooperative support from VMware and Microsoft. ESXi 3.5 is not explicitly mentioned in any of the reports I have read this week, but I assume ESXi 3.5 U2 is entitles you to the same SVVP privileges.

This is huge if you are a Microsoft shop, and, in case you have not noticed, most companies are. If you are running any of the Microsoft applications listed here in a VMware virtual machine (VM) you should be planning an upgrade to your ESX hosts. The new support benefits are worth the effort. Even if you are still skeptical because of recent events related to the U2 versions the SVVP validation should make you reconsider.

Read the whole post at the link above.

updated 09.05.08 – It’s important to know that the SVVP validation is achieved for the Microsoft applications running on Server 2008. However, the SVVP product catalog also states the following:

“Products that have passed the SVVP requirements for Windows Server 2008 are considered supported on Windows 2000 Server SP4 and Windows Server 2003 SP2 and later”

Credit to goes to Chris Wolf’s post VMware and Cisco Pass Microsoft Server Validation – Now Officially Supported for clarifying the coverage.

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