HP introduces new ProLiant G6 server line

Today HP announced the release of the new ProLiant G6 server line.

After visiting an NDA session with HP on VMworld Europe 2009 a lot of new G6 ProLiant servers were shown. Nice new hardware build up for even better supporting virtualization in common.

All models are made energy efficient and ready for supporting virtualization. Also other things improved like support for the Flex-10 technology, Intel Xeon 5500 CPU’s (Nehalem) which can give 25% more power for virtual workloads and more and more memory banks to fill.

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VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 released

Last week I reported a bug to VMware and yesterday I got their reply stating that this issue is solved in VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 which they had just released. Damn those VMware guys are fast ;-)

Update 4 has build number 153875, requires a VMware Tools update and includes the following changes:

  • Expanded Support for Enhanced vmxnet Adapter
  • Enablement of Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series
  • QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter Driver Update
  • Emulex Fibre Channel Adapter Driver Update
  • LSI megaraid_sas and mptscsi Storage Controller Driver Update
  • Newly Supported Guest Operating Systems
  • Newly Supported Management Agents
  • Newly Supported I/O Devices
    • SAS Controllers and SATA Controllers
    • Network Cards
    • Expanded Support for Intel E1000 network interface
    • Onboard Management Processors
    • Storage Arrays

More information can be found in the VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 release notes

Thanks VMware for this quick fix :-)

Calculating Power consumption and rack space

While I was doing some research for different customers I needed to calculate the power consumption and how many racks I need. So I collected the links to different calculation models from various vendors.

The tools I found were the following:
Dell Data Center Capacity Planner (online)

HP Site Preparation tool

IBM BladeCenter and System x Power Configurator

If you know tools that do the same, but for another server vendor, please let us know. That way we can keep this list up to date.

New articles published for week ending 3/29/2009

In the last week these items are added or edited in VMware’s Knowledgebase at http://kb.vmware.com

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Virtualisation: it isn’t an app, it’s an infrastructure

Now most of our loyal followers know, I usually do not post any content on this blog other than things related to the hosting of website. It’s my “job” to keep this part of the infrastructure running (well, that’s not quite how it is, but that’s another subject for another post :) ). In my day-to-day job I see a lot of infrastructures pass by and recently I started to notice that some of my colleagues look at virtualisation as an application. They think in boxes.. “we need a DC, and a filer, and blahblahblah”…So I thought, let’s post an entry here and see if you all have something to say about it.

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VI3 Advanced Technical Design Guide chapter 4 released

I know it has been a while so maybe it’s old news to some of you but we have to support our VMGuru-founder, Scott Herold. Scott released chapter 4 of his VMware Infrastructure 3, Advanced technical Design Guide and it can be downloaded (for free) here. A great initiative and a must for every VMware Architect.

Earth hour.

As virtualization freaks on this planet we sell virtualiziation solutions to clients with the motivation that it will save on power, cooling, space, etc and therefore we reduce the CO2-emission (we should receive government funding ;-)) If you support this motivation you will also like ‘Earth hour‘.

In short, on March 31, 2007 people in Sydney decided to take a stand against climate change and 2.2 million people turned off their lights for 1 hour.

This caught the attention of the world and went global. In 2008 the world united and in 400 cities in 35 countries around the world, 50 million people turned off their lights for 1 hour.

On March 28, 2009 Earth hour will return.

User Photo disabled

We experienced some trouble with the “User Photo” plugin which caused a load of PHP code to be displayed in the comments.

We couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause and we decided to disable it. Now I’m no PHP hero (actually, far from it) but I’ve been through the code and I cannot find anything wrong inside.

So, to cut it short, it’s not working, it’s no disaster, we can live without it for now, so we’ll keep it deactivated for now.

Cheers,
Froos

Dell EqualLogic introduces PS6000 Series

Today Dell EqualLogic introduced their new PS6000 series iSCSI SANs. The new models in this serie are the PS6000E, PS6000X, PS6000XV, PS6000S and the PS6500E.

One of the most interesting models is the PS6000S. This PS6000S is an enterprise-class iSCSI SAN with SSD technology and is offering an affordable and easy means to bring the low latency performance benefits of SSD technology. The PS6000S provides higher IOPS and as little as 1/3rd the latency of 15k rpm disk arrays, ideal for challenging applications, such as virtual desktop implementations such as VMware View with linked clone technology. The Solid State Drives (SSD) provide low-latency and high-IOPS.

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What server hardware to choose for your virtualization project?

Selecting physical server hardware while rounding up the business case is always a fun exercise, what do you need and what is smart too choose?Hardware Vendors

A question you should definitely ask yourself is are we going to scale up or to scale out or do both? With scaling up you will put more CPU power, Memory and network bandwidth in your physical servers to accommodate more virtual servers on it. With scaling out you just put another physical server box into the datacenter racks with the same dimensions as the other physical servers.

The pros and cons for scaling out versus scaling up.

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ESXi bug when changing IP address

Yesterday I ran into VMware HA problems again. With my past HA troubleshooting experiences I thought configuring HA wouldn’t be a problem any more but unfortunately it bit me in the ass again.

We all know VMware ESX implementations where not all information, access, etc is available when you start with the installation. Exactly this was the case at this project. I only had 4 ESX hosts connected to the network and an EqualLogic SAN and the network was limited to the rack so only the ESX hosts and the SAN were connected. The network guys had to establish a connecting to the HQ but to do that the had to change IP addresses.

I installed the complete VMware Infrastructure with the new addresses waiting for the connection to be made so I could add the servers, like vCenter, to the corporate Active Directory.

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Webcast: Security in the Cloud: Protecting Confidential Data in Cloud Computing Environments

Title: Webcast: Security in the Cloud: Protecting Confidential Data in Cloud Computing Environments
Location: online
Link out: Click here
Description: Cloud computing is opening up opportunities for cost savings and increased scalability of IT infrastructure. However, security concerns can sometimes obscure these benefits. In this webcast, you will hear from the CIO of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on a joint project using VMware and Third Brigade solutions to provide a secure, robust and cost-effective electronic health records (EHR) infrastructure in a private cloud environment supporting 200-300 independent physicians. Learn how protecting confidential data and ensuring security compliance of cloud resources can enable even greater flexibility for cloud deployments.
Start Time: 20:00
Date: 2009-03-24
End Time: 21:00

Webcast: Deploying Oracle on VMware: Challenges and Opportunities

Title: Webcast: Deploying Oracle on VMware: Challenges and Opportunities
Location: online
Link out: Click here
Description: Many IT organizations are standardizing on VMware as the default platform for all their applications. However, virtualizing Oracle solutions – including databases, RAC, WebLogic and enterprise apps – can pose unique challenges.

In this webcast, VMware will discuss when and how to virtualize Oracle solutions and provide guidance on how to convince application owners that their Oracle deployments will run better on a VMware platform.
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2009-03-24
End Time: 19:00

Software Vendors with Support Policies for Customers Running in VMware Environments

I get more and more the question does vendor x with application y support their software running in a VMware environment.

There are several questions to ask:

  1. Can the application be virtualized? or in other words does the application run without problems in a VMware environment?
  2. Does the vendor support running in a VMware environment?
  3. Does the vendor give full and/or unconditional  support when running the application virtual?

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IT personnel lack communication skills?

talking-around-watercooler
Last Saturday I read an article in a well known magazine in The Netherlands. The article talked about that people in the IT/ICT branche lack good communication skills. I often wonder when reading articles: Who’s the author? Is he or she biased in any way?

The same was true for this article. I quickly found out (the names of their businesses were in the article ;-) ) that the people interviewed worked for companies that gave “soft skill” courses. Don’t get me wrong. I totally agree that employees benefit from some form of interrelational training, especially when you work with people (don’t we all?).

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VMware releases Cost-Per-Application-Calculator

After a frustrating weekend, today I was scouting the Internet for virtualization news and I ran into a very interesting post by Jason Boche.

This morning VMware released their Cost-Per-Application-Calculator. With this calculator you can accurately estimate and compare acquisition cost of a virtualization solution, by VMware labeled as Cost Per Application. This is a great tool which will come in handy in current discussions regarding ‘free’ hypervisors.

If you want to know more about this VMware Cost-Per-Application-Calculator visit Jason’s blog and read the original article.

Based on some numbers from my current client case here are some results from the calculator.

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New articles published for week ending 3/22/2009

In the last week these items are added or edited in VMware’s Knowledgebase at http://kb.vmware.com

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Getting rid of my frustration ………

Most of the time when I’m frustrated it helps to play some squash, ride my bike or vent my frustration on this blog. As all walls in the area have been smashed to bits due to frustrations in the past and it is too cold to ride my bike, I will try the last one.

Yesterday I attended a seminar from work together with Edwin, Anne Jan and Alex. The subject was virtualization with Citrix and we were invited to keep a good balance between Citrix and VMware but we could not give a presentation due to time constraints. The people who organized this event know us pretty well and know (and share) our love for VMware so we were asked not to mess up the presentation and bash the Citrix guy. And so we did………

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