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VMware announces version 6.0 of their products (and why I hate the recertification program)

VMware version 6.0 products announced

Yesterday VMware announced version 6 of their products including vSphere 6, Virtual SAN 6, etc. I’ve read a bit on some of the products and to me it seems more of an evolution and less of a revolution. I’m also seeing similar concepts being introduced that Microsoft already implemented in Hyper-V. All in all I think the competition is good for the consumers. If you want to learn more about the VMware version 6.0 products, take a look at these sites:

Why I hate the recertification program

For some time now I knew that VMware would release version 6.0 of their products, but in the meanwhile I’m required to recertify before March 10th. I would’ve preferred to spend my time on version 6.0 of their products instead or on other technologies instead of being forced to focus it on version 5.5 to keep my certification status. Therefore my suggestion to VMware is to ensure that the recertification requirements take into account releases of new products. The ICT work field is already moving at an extremely fast rate and it is already hard enough to keep up without having to recertify (for multiple vendors and certifications).

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Cloud, ICT, Private cloud, Public Cloud, VMware

 

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VMware – Free ebook of “VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive 5.0″ and “VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deepdive” today and tomorrow only

Duncan Epping is offering his books vSphere Clustering Deepdive 4.0 and 5.0 for free, but only today and tomorrow.

For more info take a look at his great blog:
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/05/28/free-kindle-copy-of-vsphere-5-0-clustering-deepdive/

 

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Intel Haswell CPU available in June with VMCS shadowing – nested virtualization

In the beginning of June, the new Intel Haswell CPUs will be available. Besides the regular improvements like being faster, having better energy efficiency and having better graphics capabilities, these new CPUs will also include VMCS shadowing (Virtual Machine Control Structure Shadowing).

Basically it’s a feature that allows you to run a hypervisor (like VMware, Hyper-V, Xen Server) and create another hypervisor as a VM beneath it. This is also called nested virtualization.

Some of you might say, “Hey this is not new, I’ve already done this with VMware!”. The difference however is that the current method uses some sort of emulation that does not directly access the hardware. And even though it’s great for testing purposes, the performance is suboptimal.

With the embedded hardware supported VMCS shadowing in the new Intel Haswell CPU the nested hypervisor can directly access the hardware, which should improve performance. Also, it might even make it possible to use non-VMware hypervisors in a nested virtualization scenario.

Of course as always, we’ll just have to wait and see how the performance will be in real-life. It’s also not clear to me yet if hypervisors need to be updated to be able to leverage this option. Nonetheless, to me it sounds very promising and I look forward to playing around with it.

For more information read this great article by Gabe Knuth called “Could VMCS Shadowing (a.k.a. nested VMs) from Intel’s new Haswell processors be what Bromium needs to work in VMs?”. When you use the links in the article you will be able to get more information about the Intel Haswell CPUs including benchmarks and more detailed information about VMCS shadowing and use cases.

[EDIT 08-06-2013] Citrix is working hard on integrating VMCS Shadowing / Nested VMs in their products:
http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/06/03/intel-and-citrix-collaboration-to-bring-support-for-hardware-accelerated-nesting-of-hypervisors-into-market/#comments

If you’re planning to build / buy an Intel Haswell based computer or Home Lab, be sure to look into the confirmed USB3 bug in the chipset. Also unfortunately the DDR3 prices have increased substantially (almost 50%) over the last half year.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Hardware

 

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VMware – Free videos covering what’s new in VMware vSphere 5.1

In the last half year, it’s been a very busy time for me because of all the new Microsoft products being released. As a result of this, I unfortunately haven’t been able to look into the newly added features and capabilities in VMware vSphere 5.1

Luckily however, VMware has released these free videos covering what’s new in VMware vSphere 5.1. This should make it easier to get up-to-date again.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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VMware – The VMware virtualcenter server service terminated with service specific error code 2

A friend of mine who is still a student has been building his own VMware lab environment for some time now. Yesterday he contacted me that he couldn’t get the “VMware VirtualCenter Server service” to start anymore.

The log showed: EventID 7021 “The VMware VirtualCenter Server service terminated with service-specific error 2 (0×2).”

A quick google search however showed that many things could be causing this error. Because it was a lab environment, I wanted to upgrade the virtual center to the latest version. Before doing so, I took a look at the VMware blog post covering the latest update 5.1.0B. In the readme it said:

SSO service dependency on MS SQL
When SSO is installed with local Microsoft SQL Server, the services must start in a specific order.
SSO must start after SQL Server starts. If SSO starts before SQL Server starts, restart the SSO
server after SQL server starts.”

Doing so resolved the issue. To prevent the issue from re-occurring, I made the SSO service dependent on the SQL service.

I don’t understand why this is not part of the automated installation process though :(

 

 

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Powershell – Get Percentage of Pysical and Virtual Servers from your VMware and Cisco UCS combined for each location

In a previous blog post I’ve already shown this script that use PowerCLI to get the percentage of physical and virtual servers from your VMware environment for each Virtual Center server. This script however only took into account ESX hosts and VM’s in each Virtual Center server separately.

This means that:

  • The UCS blades weren’t taken into account as physical servers.
  • No percentage was being calculated for each physical location.

This new script automates determining for each location the number of physical and virtual servers in VMware vSphere and Cisco UCS.

PS: You can get more detailed information from the script, but it has been disabled using comments by default.

 

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PowerShell – Get the percentage of physical and virtual servers from your VMware environment

With the current focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) including Green IT, it might be important to know what percentage of servers has been virtualized.

This script I made will use PowerCLI to get the percentage of physical and virtual servers from your VMware environment for each Virtual Center server. You can specify multiple Virtual Center servers if desired.

 

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