New Digi AnywhereUSB hub

USB anywhere hubAt the client site that I’m currently working they are using these USB anywhere hubs from Digi. These USB hubs give you the ability to use USB on virtual machines over a TCP/IP connection. Each USB hub can service one virtual machine and holds up to 4 USB ports.

The down side of these USB hubs is that they can take up quite some room in the datacenter. The currently used type  isn’t rack mountable and for each virtual machine you  need a new USB hub, even if you don’t use all 4 ports.

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Database mirroring as alternative to clustering and FT

There are a lot of products and product features available for creating a (more or less) high available environment. If you look at Microsoft SQL Server you have the option to create a Microsoft Cluster, you can use Marathon everRun,  VMware Fault Tolerance if you have a 1 vCPU SQL server, etc.

When I was researching the possibility to create a redundant Microsoft SQL Server environment without the use of shared storage I noticed that a lot of the options needed shared storage: clustering, FT, etc. Some products, like everRun, can be used without shared storage, but are very costly.

An alternative to the options above is Database Mirroring (DBM), which is a part of Microsoft SQL Server. Database Mirroring (DBM) is in essence the possibility to replicate/mirror all database content to a second database server. With DBM you can achieve high availability for your databases without the hassle of Microsoft Clustering Services (MSCS) and without the need for shared storage.

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VMGuru.nl, 13th in Top 25 VMware blogs

We are very proud and honored to tell you that VMGuru.nl finished 13th in Eric Siebert’s blogger contest on vSphere-land.com which was won by Duncan Epping!

Last week we all asked you to vote for us if you appreciated our blog and apparently a lot of you did.

We appreciate your votes and want to thank all who voted for us and of course Eric Siebert.

Select the Vimeo video below to watch the vChat episode where Eric, David, Simon and Special Guest, John Troyer count down the Top 25 VMware Blogs as voted by you. The fragment where VMGuru.nl is awarded 13th place is at 25:35.


Build numbers database updated

We updated our build number database again with the most recent build numbers we could find on VMware products.

The database has been updated with, amongst others, VMware View, vCloud Director, vSphere 4.1 and VMware Fusion.

Go to http://www.vmguru.nl/wordpress/build-numbers/ for the database.

t minus 20 days

We are finally going to VMworld 2010 in Copenhagen! No thanks to our employer but many many thanks to Richard Garsthagen who provides us blogger invitations.

So we are counting down the days as we are very exited to attend VMworld again this year. I’m looking forward to Sunday October 10th as we drive to Copenhagen the day before the Partner Day.

To get in the mood here’s a video of the highlights of VMWorld Europe 2009.

Check out www.VMGuru.nl from 11 to 14 October  for ‘live’ reports from VMworld 2010 Copenhagen!

How to: Upgrade to VMware View 4.5

With the release of VMware View 4.5 comes the challenge to upgrade your existing installation to this new version.

The upgrade is not that difficult but because I promised you all a ‘How to upgrade to VMware View 4.5‘ I will provide this service anyway.

Before you start first a few pointers:
1. make a back-up of the VMware View systems that you’re going to upgrade;
2. If some of your end users are using the Client with Offline Desktop, ask them to check in their View desktops;
3. when you have multiple connection servers and you are upgrading from 4.0 to 4.5, you need to disable the VMware View Connection Server service on all Connection servers. (Thanks Sven)
4. If you are using vSphere, you must have vSphere 4.0 Update 2 or vSphere 4.1. If you are using VMware Infrastructure, you must have VMware Infrastructure 3.5 Update 5 and VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 6.

Also check the official VMware View Upgrade Guide.

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VMware vSphere 4.1 and View 4.5 launch news

Last Thursday we attended the VMware vSphere 4.1, vCenter 4.1 and View 4.5 launch event at Amerongen (NL).

We already brought you all news regarding vSphere and vCenter 4.1 and View 4.5 but we heard some interesting thing we would like to share with you.

VMware View 4.5

With VMware View 4.5 VMware has changed the names for some product related features. Let us welcome Local mode, persistent disk, dedicated and floating pools.

View Client with Offline Desktop -> View Client with Local Mode
User Data Disk -> Persistent Disk
Persistent Desktop pool -> Dedicated Desktop pool
Non-persistent Desktop pool -> Floating Desktop pool

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New job @ Imtech ICT

This week our fellow blogger, Edwin Weijdema, accepted a new challenge and signed a new contract at Imtech ICT in the Netherlands.

Of course Edwin will be missed but we all understand him ‘sailing’ to a new employer and we at VMGuru.nl wish Edwin all the best at his new job.

Although Edwin has switched sides he will continue blogging at VMGuru.nl.

Blog competition, vote VMGuru.nl #1

It is time again for a new top blogger voting survey. Eric Siebert started the second competition of this year and again your votes will decide the winners and help decide the Top 25 VMware bloggers.

Last time we, at VMGuru.nl, were very honored to enter the list on a respectable 18th position but we want to climb the chart. Our goal is to enter the Top 15!

Since the last blog competition we published 72 articles and our website is visited by approximately 13.500 unique visitors per month. Because of our efforts VMware awarded us the vExpert status for the second year in a row.

So I hope you appreciate our time, effort, quality and content and vote VMGuru.nl #1 at  vSphere-land.com.


Download VMware View 4.5 now

After the announcement of VMware View 4.5 at VMworld 2010, VMware released the new version of View yesterday.

If you are interested in the new features and improvements see our previous post.

If you want download an evaluation of the VMware View 4 .5 visit the VMware View website.

I hope to publish a ‘How to upgrade VMware View 4 to 4.5′  this week.

Bad network performance on new ESX host (part 2)

Bug

Some weeks ago I posted an article about some bad network performance when moving VMs to a new ESX host.

Last week I got an e-mail which announced some updates and among it was the one promised to us by the engineer that helped us with our problem.

Description of the patch is exactly what we where experiencing with our VMs:

“When you access remotely using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from a client machine to a Microsoft Windows virtual machine with TCP segmentation offload (TSO) enabled and EnablePMTUDiscovery parameter set to 0, the network connection is slow and sometimes, the connection might not work. This issue is reported on Broadcom bnx2x NICs, such as BCM57710, BCM57711, BCM57711E, etc.” http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026129

After installing the patch on one of the ESX hosts we tested with a test VM on a patched and an unpatched ESX host and there was a clear difference in performance. The logon on the VM was much faster on the ESX host with the patch.

For us the patch fixed the problem and we are now deploying it on all the ESX hosts.

We got a happy customer again.

VMGuru Tuning

Hello Folks!

In the past we had several major and minor issues regarding the website performance. As we have also moved to new hardware a few months ago, we had to reconfigured the complete backend construction. Last weekend I spend some time rounding up the last details on this and on the website’s configuration.

When I compare it to our old server, the performance in the backend is significantly better and after the last tuning activities last weekend, I think the website is performing very nicely. However, speed is always subjective. I think it’s fast, but you may think it could be better.

So, let us know what you think! Are we slow where you are? Tell us about it. We like to know! :)

The Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance: after the first week

Last sunday I took our Zimbra appliance into productionmode. About one week has passed and I must say, I still don’t regret the choice. Even with my 2 gigs of mail, Zimbra seems to be coping fine. I did notice a few things that could be improved though. But hey, which product is perfect? There’s always something to be done or someone with a brand new idea. (more…)

The END of ESX, Long Live ESXi !

With the release of vSphere 4.1 it will be the last version of ESX to be released in an ESX and an ESXi version. After this version only the ESXi flavor will be released. We at VMGuru.nl predicted that this would happen a few years back, so we advised our customers to go for the ESXi version, too make it a lot easier to migrate to a newer version in the future.

VMware recommends that customers deploy vSphere 4.1 on the ESXi hypervisor architecture as a best practice.

In the past some features from the ESX architecture weren’t supported on the ESXi platform. As of vSphere 4.0, all the functionality of VMware vSphere is supported on both architectures, including support for Jumbo Frames, Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), NetQueue, and NetFlow.

VMware ESXi is the latest hypervisor architecture from VMware. It has an ultra-thin architecture with no reliance on a general purpose OS, yet still offers all the same functionality and performance of VMware ESX. For a comparision between ESX and ESXi 4.1 see the following article.

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VMworld 2010 update

This week VMworld 2010 is held but unfortunately VMGuru.nl is not there to bring you the latest news from San Fransisco.


But of course we scan the Internet, follow twitter and have close contact with VMware personnel on-site.

First of all, if you can not attend VMworld like us but want to stay up-to-date check out:

VMworld 2010 buzz and the VMworldTV Channel.

 

VMware vCloud Director

The biggest news from VMworld today is the introduction of the VMware vCloud Director, formerly known as project Redwood. With the VMware vCloud Director enterprises can build secure, multitenant private clouds by grouping infrastructure resources into virtual datacenters and publishing them to users through Web-based portals and other software interfaces as fully automated, catalog-based services. This solution provides a clear path to cloud computing by giving customers the power to leverage existing investments and the flexibility to extend capacity among clouds.

For more information go here.

Or watch the video on VMware KB TV.


VMware View 4.5

The other big announcement was the VMware View 4.5 release in the beginning of September.

For more information see yesterdays blog post.


iPad VMware View client.

Besides the VMware View client for the Mac, which is part of the VMware View 4.5 package, a very nice addition to VMware View will be the upcoming VMware View client for the iPad. VMware is going Apple! Great news in my opinion because now I have an extra excuse to get myself an iPad :).

For more information and a short demo visit VMworld TV.


Bye bye ESX.

Another public secret is the end of life for VMware ESX. With the release of vSphere 4.1, VMware announced that this will be the last version which will have an ESX version. At VMworld this seems to be one of the primary messages besides all the new products, features and announcements. New releases of VMware ESX will only come as ESXi.

Visit VMworld TV for an interview with Sean and Charu fro.m the ESXi team about what this will mean for customers. Is ESXi up to the challenge? I don’t think so! Almost all my implementations in the last two years have been based on VMware ESXi and I have never encountered any problem regarding back-up-, UPS- or monitoring agent which couldn’t be solved. So I’m happy, one less choice to make.


VMware acquires Integrien and TriCipher.

Another announcement done at VMworld 2010 is the acquisition of Integrien and riCipher to expand VMware’s stack of cloud enabling software. Integrien is a company which specializes in performance analytics and TriCipher is a federated-access-management software provider.

Integrien’s real-time performance analytics software, called Alive, can be combined with VMware’s vCenter virtualisation products, allowing organisations to derive performance summaries of their infrastructure and virtualised applications.

TriCipher’s software will provide VMware infrastructure with a single set of authentication and security controls that can be used to bridge public and private clouds.