Apple iPad announced, can it change daily operations?

Apple finally annoumced their tablet officially,dubbed the  iPad. The last months more and more rumors appeared on the internet. You probably wonder why this is interesting for the virtualization community.

Although a lot of people over at Gizmodo complain that it’s just an iPhone on steroids. I can see some real world applications for it.

Since I’m a real gadgetfreak, together with a lot of you I guess, I wonder how I could use the iPad in the daily operation. I see visions how the daily operation would look like.


vSphere 4: 9 months later

May 21th VMware released their new flagship product VMware vSphere 4 which should bring us tons of new features and performance improvements.

But how is the vSphere experience almost 9 months later?

Starting with the installation and setup experience, my personal experience with vSphere is very good. During the installation and setup of VMware ESX or ESXi 3.x I experienced a lot of issues like BIOS settings causing HA issues, HA issues when changing the ESX IP addresses, Problems with VMware Update Manager and faulty HP USB sticks. We even created a HA checklist for you to easily address HA issues.

Once up and running ESX(i) 3.x ran fine with the occasional HA error which 99% of the time could be fixed by reconfiguring HA from Virtual Center.

Now with vSphere the installation and setup is simple, error free and straight forward. Setup HA in the cluster properties wait for all progress indicators to reach 100% and you’re done.


Please tell me: ‘What is MED-V?’

This week I got the question if I could draw up a short lists of pro’s and cons for MED-V. Since I’m doing virtualization in the widest possible way, this fits well in my job description.

But heck, what a question! Before I could even try to  answer the question I really had to dive into the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization solution (hence MED-V) which is part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Sure, I already seen some comments on the internet about MED-V and I already was somewhat biased. Still I tried to make it an objective report.

Let’s start with what it is not in my opinion. Although it enables management of virtualized desktops it is not a full blown desktop virtualization solution like XenDesktop and VMware View.


And the winner is ……

January 3rd, Eric Siebert, started the Top 25 VMware/Virtualization bloggers contest. During two weeks everybody in the community could vote for their favorite Top 10 and the challenge was to get into the Top 25 and to knock Duncan Epping from the top spot ;-). This last challenge proved to be very very difficult and again, Duncan took the top spot. So until July 2010 Yellow Bricks is the #1 blog in the community.

And how did do? Due to all your votes we finished at a respectable #18 in the Top 25 VMware/Virtualization bloggers and we’re very proud of it.

So, for everyone who voted for us, thank you very very much!

You can check out the complete score list here.

VMware to acquire Zimbra

It was a rumor for some time but 45 minutes ago Steve Herrod, CTO of VMware, acknowledged that VMware has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra from Yahoo.

First of all, for those of you that don’t know, Zimbra delivers open-source email, calendaring, and collaboration software for deployment within companies of all sizes, as well as to cloud and hosting providers offering mail services over the web.  From a business perspective, Zimbra is one of the most popular collaboration software offerings, with more than 55,000,000 users and a subscriber base that is growing rapidly.

So, why does VMware buy their own e-mail. calendering and collaboration platform? This has nothing to do with virtualization, right?

According to Steve Herrod there are two main reasons for the acquisition:

  1. Zimbra will further VMware’s mission of simplifying IT.

    VMware’s mission is to simplify IT, and every VMware product focuses on attacking the complexity and rigidity that has crept into this world. In many ways we see the excitement over cloud computing to be a longing for a simpler, more flexible way of doing computing. The VMware strategy is to help customers achieve cloud-like efficiency and operational improvements across the major IT infrastructure investment areas.

  2. Zimbra will add to the portfolio of offerings VMware provides to the VMware vCloud partner.

    This second motivation is very much related to the above point. We launched our VMware vCloud™ initiative just over a year ago to develop an ecosystem of telecom, hosting, and service providers that offer cloud solutions based on VMware technologies. This ecosystem has grown by leaps and bounds, quickly surpassing 1,000 members. Today we offer this ecosystem VMware vSphere-based compute and storage infrastructure upon which they can offer what is commonly referred to as “infrastructure-as-a-service” (IaaS). With the acquisition of SpringSource, we can enable our partners to offer a higher level of cloud-based service; one where programmers can write their code and let the cloud handle the details of how and where it runs. This is commonly referred to as “platform-as-a-service” (PaaS). And with Zimbra, we will now offer our partners an even higher level of cloud capability; one where customers can simply use an application without worrying about the details of how and where it runs. This top layer of the hierarchy is known as “software-as-a-service” (SaaS).

With the coming acquisition of Zimbra I think VMware is trying to fight of their link with Microsoft and deliver a total package without being bound to a Microsoft operating system or Exchange implementation. This might be a smart move in the ongoing hypervisor battle because the Microsoft marketing machine is coming weather we like it or not.

For the complete article from Steve Herrod look here.

Oracle VM, things they do not tell

Last week a colleague, who sells applications running on an Oracle Database, had some questions regarding Oracle and running it in a Virtual Machine (VM) on top of a VMware infrastructure with a customer.

1) How to license Oracle in a virtual environment?

I pointed him to an article about licensing the Oracle software in a virtual environment I wrote some time ago.

Oracle can namely be hard- and soft partitioned, where VMware, XenServer, Hyper V and Oracle VM are all marked as soft partitioning, while looking into the way Oracle VM can be hard partitioned I stumbled on the following how to do it:

There are two methods to pin virtual CPUs. You can use the xm command to pin a guests’s virtual CPUs or you can hardcode the CPU mapping in a guest’s vm.cfg file. The difference between pinning CPUs with xm and hard coding the CPU mapping in a guest’s vm.cfg file is the persistence of the CPU mapping. CPUs that are pinned with xm are not persistent between reboots. Hard coding the CPU mapping in a guest’s vm.cfg file is persistent between reboots. To comply with Oracle’s hard partitioning policy, you must hardcode the CPU mapping in a guest’s vm.cfg file.



Eric Siebert over at vSphere-land is running a new blog contest which let you decide who the most favorite blogger is. Can anyone knock Duncan Epping from the top spot? With the last elections entered the voting list so make us proud and kick into the Top 25. Your votes will decide the winners and help decide the Top 25 bloggers.

You can pick your 10 most popular bloggers based on your points Eric Siebert will create a vSphere-land blogger top 25.

Please cast your vote and make a change to win a copy of the TrainSignal vSphere DVD training course.

Here’s how it works, you pick your top 10 favorite blogs, to vote simply number your 10 favorite blogs from 1 to 10 with 1 being your most favorite blog ( of course ;-)).

Deciphering the Cisco 3750 product code

When designing a virtual infrastructure an important bit in the design is the storage infrastructure also called the Storage Area Network (SAN). In a SAN based on iSCSI we often use Cisco 3750 switches, but when you are going to select the right Cisco 3750 for the job the fun starts. You will be dazzled by the amount of different product numbers and will be busy deciphering the product code.

The product code for a Cisco 3750 switch is build up like this:


WS stands for Switch
C stands for Catalyst series
3750 stands for the 3750 product line

a >> blank, G, E
blank = classic 3750 switch, 6.5 or 13.1 mpps forwarding rate
G = all ports are gigabit, 35 or 38 mpps forwarding rate
E = enterprise line, 65.5 or 101.2 mpps forwarding rate

xx >> 12, 16, 24, 48
12 = 12 Ethernet ports
16 = 16 Ethernet ports
24 = 24 Ethernet ports
48 = 48 Ethernet ports

b >> T, P, F, D, W
T = Ethernet ports
P = Power over Ethernet

(more…) how did we do in 2009?

hey folks!

First of all, a happy newyear to you all!

With 2009 behind us, we look forward to a new and intense 2010. Personally, I think 2010 will be a very interesting year. With the world economy leaving the ruins of the crisis and alot of new trends and technology introductions ahead, we are in for quite a treat. Also, we are eagerly looking forward to VMworld in Copenhagen, later this year. We hope to see a lot of you in Denmark!

However, a quick look back is in order too. (more…)

Happy New Year!

The wishes all of you a very happy new year!

A brand new year to perform your virtual fireworks!