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Tag Archives: virtualisation

ICT – Great article by Paul Simoneau about ICT challenges including suggestions to deal with them

As an ICT professional I believe working in ICT can be very challenging. Paul Simoneau wrote a great article about current and future challenges including suggestions to deal with them.

The challenges covered in the article are: new technology, cloud, big data analytics, virtualization, Bring Your Own Device/Apps (BYOD/BYOA), shadow IT, new generations of workers, energy  efficiency, user systems, creating value, interoperability and social networks.

I wanted to share this article because I feel it reflects reality very well.

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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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Microsoft – Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V 3.0 best practices checklist

Roger Osborne has posted a great article with a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V best practices checklist.

I especially like the fact that it’s not just a checklist, but it also explains what it does and why it is considered a best practice to do it this way (in specific situations).

Additionally you might also want to take a look at “Top 20 Hyper-V Performance Metrics You Should Care About” and System Center Advisor.

 

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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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