Troubleshooting VM network connections

When I am troubleshooting I like to have a list of items I can check for either in my head or on paper. Amongst the knowledge base articles of VMware, I found an article about troubleshooting VMs that are having network connection issues.

The article is provides items you can check for when a VM is having connection issues. And with each item they are giving a link to other helpful articles.


Centric promoted to VMware Premier Partner

We already reported this in March as we had some inside information but now it is official. Centric has been promoted to VMware Premier Partner and to celebrate we had a little get-together with VMware two weeks ago.

This is great news as there are only 4 Premier Partners in the Netherlands, SLTN, PQR , Imtech ICT Brocom and now Centric. This is a great acknowledgment of our hard work so VMware and Maurice, Willem, Jeremy and Bart thanks for this ‘award’.


For those of you who have never heard of the VMware Premier Partnership,VMware Premier Partners have made a commitment to invest in the VMware partnership through dedicated technical, sales and support resources, and have demonstrated this consistently over time.

VMware rewards Premier Partners with the highest level of enablement, support and rewards benefits.

Premier partners are authorized to sell the full VMware product line. Taking a solution-oriented approach, Premier Partners engage in complex solution offerings and demonstrate high levels of skill.

The Centric press release can be found here (Dutch).

Spam abuse on the site

Hello Folks,

Recently we opened up the site for comments without registration. We really love the feedback we get from you guys out there. It’s a motivator to keep up the work we’re doing. So keep commenting! :)

However, there is one downside to this. Some people on the net are very concerend about our lovelives and seem to think we are in desperate need of pharmacutical aid with that particular part of our existance.  They frequently try to post links to sites using the comment function, where we can buy these specific pills and in the process also unintentionally join their network to “spread the word”.

In short, the amount of spam posted on the site is rising. We try to keep the site clean of spam and unwanted posts (by using filtering and such) but if we miss one, please drop us a message on twitter, mail, msn, gmail, whatever :) so we can clean it up.



Upgrading VMware ESX 3.5 to ESX 4.0 (vSphere)

Yesterday we did an upgrade from an ESX 3.5 host to ESX 4.0 using the VMware Upgrade Manager. I must say it’s cool to see how you can upgrade your ESX hosts and after that you can schedule the updates for your virtual machines with a virtual hardware upgrade version 7 and new VMware Tools.

There are some prerequisites for upgrading ESX 3.5 hosts to ESX 4.0 by using the VMware Upgrade Manager. Make sure you upgrade your vCenter server to vCenter Server 4.0 and make sure you have updated vCenter Update Manager 1.0 to version 4.0 before attempting to upgrade your ESX hosts.


What’s new in VMware vSphere 4 training

Today we attended the new ‘What’s new in VMware vSphere‘ 4 training and who better to get us up-to-date than Eric Sloof from

Eric already caught us on camera this morning while we were doing the labs so we thought we should return the favor :) .

Watch Eric Sloof share his thoughts on the first day of the training.

New articles published for week ending 4/26/2009

In the last week these items are added or edited in VMware’s Knowledgebase at


Thoughts on high availability

With all the news and buzz around vSphere it’s easy to get carried away by all the new stuff appearing. But even with all these new features we still need to think about High Availability and how to design the infrastructure.

Everytime we design a virtual infrastructure we design it for high availability. We enable HA, we put in a lot of network cards etc to make the infrastructure resilient. Even vSphere brings more high availability options like FT.

But what IS high availability? According to Wikipedia it is:

a system design protocol and associated implementation that ensures a certain absolute degree of operational continuity during a given measurement period.

Well, nice definition, but what does this mean for designing a infrastructure? (more…)

VMware View problems

After a long day configuring various pools for VMware View I got some strange warning in the log from VMware View:

Missing VM was not in the original query: vm-234

I don’t like errors, especially in a newly configured server. in this case it also affected the rollout of In order to solve this I created a new pool but none of the machines in this new pool were provisioned.  Pools that were already present kept on working like a charm.


Enterprise Hypervisor comparison

The last few weeks many blogs and forums have spend time on hypervisor comparisons and I have read tons of articles on the subject. Many only compare hypervisors based on performance, features or cost. I think it’s a bit more complicated then that. After Citrix announced that their XenServer product is available for free I spend a fair deal of my time explaining to colleagues and clients that this is a hoax and that cost is not the only reason to base their decision on. Especially in the case of XenServer the choice and the long term effects make it a little bit more complicated.

When I read Chris Wolfe’s article on ‘Production-class Hypervisor Evaluation criteria‘ and saw his VMworld Europe 2009 presentation (DC15) I found someone who read my mind. Chris knows what he is talking about and uses the right criteria to select the right hypervisor for the job. Now you probably think ‘These guys are VMware fans so here we go again‘ but the opposite is true.

Like Chris I think every situation has its own ideal solution and you should select the hypervisor based on well-considered selection criteria and because my employer, Centric, focuses on clients with 500+ workstations/employees these criteria are Enterprise-class hypervisor selection criteria.


VMware Fault Tolerance & CPUs

With the launch of VMware vSphere this week there are some new features to play with. One of the most interesting features, I think, is VMware FT (Fault Tolerance). Implementation of this features introduces some new caveats, in the case of FT you can not use all CPU’s and you can only apply FT on virtual machines with 1 vCPU. 1vCPU limits the implementations but is very easy to check in contrast to finding more compatible CPUs.

To check which CPUs are compatibel Gabrie van Zanten from Gabes Virtual World published a great article with a matrix of compatibel and incompatibel CPUs.

You can check the list and read the article here.

Rescan plugin for vCenter

For the project I’m doing now I had to add VMFS volumes to eight servers. Not that I’m lazy, but with a couple of ESX hosts and still adding volumes it kinda gets nasty to do a rescan on all systems. Thankfully I remembered a post by Eric Sloof about a plugin from Icomasoft to do a SCSI scan.

This really saved me a lot of work and irritation :)

vSphere ‘how to upgrade’ videos

For those of you who have been following the launch of VMware’s new flagship vSphere 4 and are anxious to upgrade their virtual infrastructure, I ran into a great post on Mike DiPetrillo’s website.

Mike has posted four great video’s with the following scenario’s:

  • Video 1 -VMware VirtualCenter Management Components
  • Video 2 – VMware ESX Host Migration Methods
  • Video 3 – Virtual Machine Upgrades (VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware)
  • Video 4 – Implementing VMware vSphere Licensing

Interested? You can check out the videos here.

vSphere 4 NL product launch


Today I, and two other colleagues, attended the vSphere 4 prodcut launch in Houten the Netherlands. The subject was Efficiency, control and Choice just as in the webcast from yesterday evening.

Jeremy presented the overall vSphere product and after a short break Ton Hermes presented the Technical track and Stef Koopman presented the Sales track. I attended the Technical track and Edwin and Alex attended the Sales track.

The information presented was not very new to us and probably not to you either as we posted an article on the news and new features yesterday.

The news were the features in the four versions of vSphere …….


Webcast: Storage Optimization and Simplified Desktop Management with VMware View and NetApp

Title: Webcast: Storage Optimization and Simplified Desktop Management with VMware View and NetApp
Location: Online
Link out: Click here
Description: Organizations are looking for ways to simplify desktop management, lower storage costs and improve business continuity. The combination of VMware View™ Composer and NetApp storage can help your organization optimize storage and simplify management of thousands of desktops.
Start Time: 18:00 (CEST)
Date: 2009-04-22
End Time: 19:00

Determining VMware Software Version and Build Number

I am just writing an observation report about a virtual infrastructure based upon VMware ESX and was wondering which version the customer is running Virtual Center at the moment. After asking my vExpert colleagues 8-)  they pointed me to the help menu and the about VMware Infrastructure item in the virtual infrastructure client. It nicely shows me what software is running as Virtual Center in build numbers.

After googling around the big library they call internet I found a nice knowledge base article from VMware explaining how to get version and build numbers. You can also use a command to get the version number of VMware vCenter Server by using:

To identify which version of VirtualCenter Server you are running, type (including the quotes):
“C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\vpxd.exe” –v

It still keeps showing me build numbers too, not what I need. The customer just wants to know which update they are at in terms of readable stuff like Update 1 or Update 2 and so on. Not a build number like 16458932279.


VMware announces vSphere 4

This morning a message from John Troyer popped up on my TwitterFox telling me that on April 20th VMware  announced the general availability of their new flagship product, VMware vSphere 4. Finally after all our time beta testing and filling out reviews vSphere is coming!

PALO ALTO, CA, April 21, 2009 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced VMware vSphere™ 4, the industry’s first operating system for building the internal cloud, enabling the delivery of efficient, flexible and reliable IT as a service. With a wide range of groundbreaking new capabilities, VMware vSphere 4 brings cloud computing to enterprises in an evolutionary, non-disruptive way – delivering uncompromising control with greater efficiency while preserving customer choice.

As the complexity of IT environments has continued to increase over time, customers’ share of IT budgets are increasingly spent on simply trying to “keep the lights on.” With the promise of cloud computing, customers are eager to achieve the benefits, but struggle to see the path to getting there.  Leveraging VMware vSphere 4, customers can take pragmatic steps to achieve cloud computing within their own IT environments.  With these “internal” clouds, IT departments can dramatically simplify how computing is delivered in order to help decrease its cost and increase its flexibility, enabling IT to respond more rapidly to changing business requirements.


New articles published for week ending 4/19/2009

In the last week these items are added or edited in VMware’s Knowledgebase at


Upgrade XP to Windows 7 fails big time

Although this has nothing to do with virtualization I do not want to keep this from you. This weekend I tried to update one of my desktops from Windows XP to Windows 7 build 7077. Under the assumption that the Windows 7 setup would warn me in case this was a not supported upgrade path I inserted the DVD and started the setup.

All looked well and the setup started normally. I was somewhat surprised that I could upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7, on the other hand Vista has never been very populair so it could be a wise move from Microsoft to provide a direct upgrade path from XP.

This joy and happiness didn’t last very long as the Windows 7 setup reported that this upgrade was not supported. Again I was a little bit surprised as the setup did start and it even started to copy new files to my Windows XP hard drive. Joy and hapiness were certainly out the window when I discovered that the Windows 7 setup destroyed my boot record/settings and my previous OS would not start.