VMware vs Citrix @ Burton Group Catalyst event

Burton Group is in their last day of their annual Catalyst Conference in San Diego (July 27 – 31, 2009). Wednesday they had their announced VMware vs Citrix battle and I just watched their video feed.

It was a very interesting ‘battle’ between VMware’s Scott Drummonds and Citrix’s Simon Crosby but I must admit that I was a bit annoyed a times. I think the the photo on the left captures the atmosphere for the debate quite well.

Simon Crosby constantly attacking VMware on various issues, but mainly on VMware’s standpoint on performance testing, and Scott Drummonds staying very relaxed, not getting into a bitch fight, throwing mud and pulling hair.

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10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day

So has anyone come up to you to wish you a Happy Sysadmin Day today? No? Why not? You deserve it! Even if you are a Virtual Sysadmin!

Like most Virtual Sysadmins, you spend your days (and sometimes your nights and weekends) installing hypervisors, creating virtual machines, having virtual (coffee) breaks, dealing with virtually angry employees and virtual managers when virtual equipment fails, troubleshooting difficult virtual problems under intense virtual pressure, and setting up the virtual systems that keep your virtual organization running.

Your organization lacks respect? Do you know the feeling? System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year.

Today is your day, congratulations everybody!! Today is the 10th Annual (Virtual) System Administrator Appreciation Day!

SysAdminDay01

Having trouble digging through the VMware View log files?

As you may have read here on VMGuru.nl we are great fans of VMware View and spend a lot of time testing and implementing various versions. One thing which is still missing, despite the new(er) versions 3.0, 3.1, 3.1.1, is a proper way to view the VMware View log files.

In my search of a decent VMware View log viewer I ran into ‘vAudit‘, a handy little tool created by Richard Garsthagen, a VMware employee who runs the website RunVirtual.com.

The tool is still in beta (v0.90) but it looks very promising and helps a lot when troubleshooting and administrating a VMware View environment.

You can find more information here and you can download version 0.90 here.

Update Aug 4th:

Recently Richard released the 1.0 version of vAudit with the following improvements:

- vAudit now also checks for login failures, so you can detect if people are trying to hack into your system
- You can now resize the username column, so you can actually read the username if you have long domain names
- When you MouseOver a session, it will display the machine name and time information

In the next release, Richard is planning to add information about your top users, make an export function and at some point will give your a graph with daily concurrent usage.

You can download vAudit 1.00 here.

New articles published for week ending 7/26/2009

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

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Veeam nWorks 5.0 released

Do you want to monitor your VMware vSphere virtual infrastructure with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager or HP Operations manager? No Problem!

Veeam just released their new nWorks 5.0 which has native support for vSphere, vCenter 4.0 and ESX 4.0. It allows for preconfigured monitoring of new vSphere features like Distributed Power Management, Host Profiles, etc. According to Veeam the new product ‘s Management Center offers improved scalability, high availability, simplified deployment and lower administrative overhead.

I know Anne Jan is a big fan of nWorks and will want to try out this new version when he’s back from holiday. If you want to know more or want to try out the new version you can find more information here:

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 has been Released To Manufacturing (RTM)

I was checking out the news and was checking out the competition on Microsoft’s Virtualization Team Blog and ran into some interesting news.

Microsoft just announced that their Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft hyper-V Server 2008 R2 have been released to manufacturing.

I guess my ‘Microsoft-informant’ was right, Microsoft’s intention is to release Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V at the same time and not 3-6 months later as they did with version 1.0.

After the initial Hyper-V R1 release, Microsoft interviewed their customers to discover what they wanted in their new v2.0 product. These are the improvements and priorities which their customers want (according to Microsoft).

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Virtualise Microsoft Exchange: Can you really?

As Microsoft Exchange server is one of my area’s of expertise (or so they keep telling me :) )  I have had numerous discussions in the past whether you should virtualize Exchange or not. For ages Microsoft has claimed it cannot be done, performance would suffer severely, you would not receive support in a virtual environment etcetera.

To be honest, I didn’t really care about it. We’ve designed perfectly working Exchange organizations on VMware when MS was still refusing support. There are some rules you need to respect when you design your messaging environment, but generally it is no problem if you have the required resources available!

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Vacation update (week 27-29)

The post frequency on VMGuru.nl has been a bit low because I have been on ‘holiday’ for the last three weeks. During these three weeks I’ve been very busy moving to my new house.
Now I’m back and the first thing to do is to plough through my Inbox and check all interesting RSS news to discover what has happened in the world of virtualization during my absence.

I decided to create a small and concise update in chronological order.

July 7th – VMware ESX Configuration Maximums Matrix:
In between packing, flooring and cabling I came across a great ‘VMware ESX Configuration Maximums Comparison Matrix on Daily Hypervisor.com.  A great documents which sums up the maximums of ESX 3, ESX 3.5 and 3.5 U1, ESX 3.5 U2 and up and of course vSphere. Very handy when studying for your VCP exam or when designing a new virtual infrastructure.

July 10th – vCenter Server 2.5 Update 5 released:
As of July 10th vCenter Server 2.5 Update 5 (English and localized) is available for download. Virtual Center 2.5 Update 5 fixes some important known issues and includes significant performance and scalability improvements to VMware High Availability. Use or update to vCenter Server 2.5 Update 5 when you have more than 35 virtual machines per host in an HA cluster.

For more information read the release notes. For details regarding compatibility check this out. vCenter Server 2.5 Update 5 can be downloaded here.

July 13th – New VMware Partner Central ONLINE:
On July 13th the new VMware Partner Central came online. VMware Partner Central now has some new/improved features like customized content on your program, partner level, and role. Improved Partner Locator that allows customer and prospect searches on your locations, competencies, partner levels and partner types. Dedicated pages for products & solutions, promotions, sales & marketing tools to help you develop your virtualization practice.

So go to http://www.vmware.com/partnercentral and check out the new features. I think it is definitely worth it.

July 13th – VMware View 3.1.1 released:
On July 13th VMware also released an important update for VMware View 3 which update to version 3.1.1. This maintenance release addresses some customer issues and eliminates some known bugs. It also addresses the following: ‘View clients might unexpectedly disconnect from the desktop when tunneled‘ described in knowledge base article 1012388.

More information regarding this release can be found in the release notes. The new version (3.1.1) can be downloaded here.

July 14th – vSphere Sales reference sheet:
Today I received a very handy vSphere Sales reference sheet from our VMware Reseller Manager. The sheet shows the different version of vSphere and associated support options with the (European) prices. So if you want to compare vSphere version and pricing, check out this
vSphere Sales reference sheet. Maurice thanks!

July 15th – New vCenter Management products:
VMware picked my birthday to release their new vCenter Management products, vCenter Lab Manager 4, vCenter AppSpeed and vCenter Chargeback.

VMware Lab Manager 4 .0 automates management of internal cloud resources for development and test environments, providing self-service access for end users while ensuring IT control.

vCenter AppSpeed enables virtual infrastructure administrators to ensure performance levels for virtualized-multi-tier applications.

vCenter Chargeback provides cost modeling, accounting and reporting/billing for virtual resources.

July 16th – vSphere upgrade exam material:
Today I received an e-mail from a colleague which some nice information to prepare for the vSphere 4 upgrade exam. The VSP 4 Upgrade guide and the VMware vSphere Software compatibility matrix combined with the
VMware ESX Configuration Maximums Comparison Matrix is a good foundation for the upgrade exam. Edwin thanks!

So far the 7 most important VMware/virtualization facts from the last 3 weeks out of my Inbox.

New articles published for week ending 7/19/2009

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

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Want to play truth or dare with the Oracle Sales force?

OracleDiceswithoutOracleLogoAfter some hard pushing and nudging with Oracle sales the last couple of months I almost became a Oracle licensing guru. Not what I had in mind and was aiming for to be honest. While completing some business cases about virtualization for several customers, Oracle products became a hot issue again.

The Oracle Soap

I advised the customer to be careful about mentioning that they were striving for virtualizing the Oracle servers on VMware. The Oracle account manager could smell blood and would jump on the band wagon to let them pay for their attempt to make the infrastructure flexible and ready and supportive for a fast changing business. So the first thing what happened when the Oracle account manager heard the word virtualization was that he mentioned to the customer that it would cost at least 200K Oracle licensing costs even without knowing what the customer was pursuing.

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New articles published for week ending 7/12/2009

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

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Weekly it is

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

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Going Daily

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

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New articles published for week ending 7/5/2009

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

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RES software

A few days ago Edwin and me had some employees from RES software visiting us, giving us a demo of the RES Powerfuse and RES Wisdom products. While both these products introduce interresting features, RES Powerfuse is the one I would like to eleberate on since this product has potential within the virtualisation world.

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