Best of 2010

We’re less than twelve hours away from 2011 and we’re bombarded with Top 2010 rankings.

And with a great 2010 behind us I can’t resist to do a VMGuru – Best of 2010.

My personal highlights for 2010 are my new job at Imtech, the trip to VMworld Europe in Copenhagen and of course the interview with John Troyer on VMworld TV.

For VMGuru the articles which were best appreciated and visited are (in random order):

Besides the articles two other highlight are of course the awesome 13th place in Eric Siebert’s blog contest and the vExpert 2010 for Edwin, Anne Jan and myself.

We at VMGuru hope you enjoyed our website in 2010 and hope to see you again in 2011.

On behalf of the complete I would like to wish you all

a happy, healthy and virtually insane 2011!

Merry X-mas

This is one of the last articles for 2010 and what a beautiful year it has been.

  • A lot of new products like vSphere 4.1, Zimbra, View 4.5, ThinApp 4.5.
  • The vExpert 2010 achievement for three of the bloggers.
  • A great VMworld 2010 in Copenhagen and a packed VMUG event.
  • A new job for Edwin, Anne Jan and myself.

But 2011 also promises to be a great year with the expected release of vSphere 5, many improvements in View and maybe more job opportunities for members.

On behalf of the complete I would like to wish you all

a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and virtually great 2011!

Another blogger switching sides

After 12 years it was time for something new, something
exciting, something fresh.

From the 1st of January 2011 I will also be working for
Imtech ICT Infrastructure  Services & Solutions.

I will join Edwin and Erik at Imtech ICT, building the virtualization
solutions they sell.

Of course I will continue blogging at, now with real life experiences from Imtech ICT. The main story will still be ‘virtualization’ but the ingredients will differ, NetApp/IBM N-series instead of Dell EqualLogic, IBM servers instead of Dell.

Dutch VMUG: PowerCLI is for administrators!

Luc Dekens and Alan Renouf did a great presentation on PowerCLI.

PowerCLI is based on PowerShell. PowerShell is designed by Microsoft with the SysAdmin in mind. It’s the universal language for Windows data centers.

Most of the time GUI interfaces are single purpose and rigid. PowerShell is the glue between your infrastructure. Microsoft makes it as a requirement for new application releases that it will work with PowerShell like SQL Server, Exchange, IIS7, SCOM and more. Commands (called cmdlets) are pretty easy to remember because they are in the verb-noun format (for example get-host)


Dutch VMUG: VMware HA and DRS – Q&A

Duncan Epping, Consulting Architect, Cloud Practice

Frank Denneman, Consulting Architect, PSO

Duncan and Frank are the authors of the VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deep dive. It is available from Amazon, and from Monday it will also be available at Computer Collectief. You can order it from today from Computer Collectief. The book is definately worth reading. In the session they answered questions from the audience.


In vSphere 4.1 the algorithms for DRS are changed? Can you give some more information on how VMs are distributed over hosts in case of an HA event?

The changes are more in HA, not in DRS itself. in vSphere 4.0 HA checked all host on where to start the VM. This took a lot of time before a VM actually was started. in vSphere 4.1. It also was a big load on the hostd process on the ESX host. in vSphere 4.1 the process is totally different. The VMs are placed across the ESX hosts in the cluster according to a round-robin principal. On the first host HA will check if the portgroup and datastores exist that the VM needs and then it starts the VM. The next VM is getting started on the next ESX host. VMs are started faster and the load on hostd is almost non-existent.

The most common misconception is that HA and DRS are working together. DRS doesn’t do anything after an HA event. Only when the load on an ESX host is getting above the threshold DRS kicks in

Will there be an integration between HA and DRS? What will happen with the next version considering HA?


Dutch VMUG: vSphere Advanced Troubleshooting

Eric Sloof, instructor and blogger for, gave a great presentation on advanced troubleshooting on vSphere.

Eric shows that you can use esxtop for troubleshooting on almost every level. He said a lot about troubleshooting. Below you’ll find the things I could write down during his talk.

CPU Ready Time. interval in the graphic is important. The measured time has to be divided by the sample time. He talked about %RDY times and that it isn’t always a problem. Also the different scheduling mechanisms were covered.

Too much vCPUs on a virtual machine. One of the most important things I think was the tantrum: “Only add CPU’s when it necessary. First troubleshoot, then add”

Transparent page sharing reclaims memory by consolidating redundant pages with identical content. When you boot a Windows VM it will zero out all memory blocks. ESX doesn’t know what memory is free within the virtual machine.


Dutch VMUG: vCloud Director presentation and demo

Willem van Engeland (VMware) and Duncan Epping (VMware, Yellow Bricks) did a presentation on vCloud Director.

Paul Maritz said earlier: Cloud-based infrastructure will become the new hardware”, shifting from running your applications on HP, IBM or Dell hardware to Terremark. With vCloud Director you can create your own cloud: public, private or hybrid. VMware published a vCloud API which contains:

  • vApp upload & download
  • inventory listing
  • vApp operations
  • catalog management
  • task management

vCloud Director is built for scalability. It is tested on 10.000 VMs in a vCloud Director cell, which can contain 25 vCenter servers.


Dutch VMUG: Keynote

Today the 6th edition of the Dutch VMUG has started.

Viktor van den Berg, Dutch VMUG leader, opened the VMUG around the 9.30 with a couple of facts and figures around the Dutch VMUG:

  • There are more than 50.000 VMUG members in the world
  • The Dutch VMUG has 5.131 members
  • There are 181 participants for the workshops
  • During the keynote 3.000 hands were shaken
  • The agenda was opened 6.158 times

Willem van Enter, Regional Directory Benelux, VMware, welcomes all participants and gives a short speech about pride, growth and future about VMware. He hints shortly to the mobile hypervisor, for which they entered a partnership with LG. Their goal is to bring virtualization toe mobile devices so you will be able to use a personal and a business profile/entity/virtual machine on your mobile phone. About one third of the audience heard about this.

Richard Garsthagen, senior Evangelist EMEA, VMware, takes us on the trip to the cloud.


Live from the VMUG.

Today is V-day, the day of the annual dutch VMUG and the complete will be there to report live from Nieuwegein (NL).

So check out regularly today to see and hear what happens at the VMUG event.

You can also follow us on twitter and/or check the #vmugevent and #DutchVMUG tags on twitter.

Virtualize your remote offices using VMware Essentials RoBo

Some of you might already have been there. I know I have:

You have a large organization with more than 10 remote or branch offices. You have virtualized your entire back-end but those nasty site servers still remain a physical nuisance. Some regional offices have a complete data center with more than 20 servers just to make sure everyone can work locally. You want to virtualize it but you can’t convince your management to purchase 10 or more sets of Advanced of Enterprise (plus) licenses for those sites as that is far to expensive.

Now, what do you do? What I’ve done in the past is use a ‘free’ ESXi license and manage it as a standalone server. It is a possibility, but you lack a lot of enterprise features you really want to have. And what if the site is too big for just one host. And what about fail-over? One is None, we always say. So what’s the solution? (more…)

Comparing RemoteFX to RDP, ICA/HDX, EOP and PCoIP

One of my coworkers pointed me to a video from this years Tech-Ed Europe about VDI protocols. Bernhard Tritsch did an interesting comparison between the different remote protocols used in today’s VDI solutions. In a 60 minute session Bernhard explains the differences between location (host vs client), type (hardware vs software) rendering and compression types (lossless vs lossy).

Although the results aren’t that good for PCoIP (software version) it still is a very interesting video.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Choosing VMFS block size with vSphere 4.1

Last month I regularly received requests from colleagues concerning VMFS block sizes. Although it’s a simple setting, it still raises a lot of questions and the introduction of vSphere 4.1 has somewhat changed the game.

The block size on a VMFS datastore defines two things:

  • The maximum file size;
  • The amount of space a file occupies.

First of all, the block size determines the maximum file size on the datastore. If you select a block size of 1MB on your datastore the maximum file size is limited to 256GB. So you cannot create a virtual disk beyond 256GB.

Also, the block size determines the amount of disk space a file will take up on the datastore. This is theoretical because VMFS3 uses sub-block allocation (see below).

It is not possible to change the block size after you set it without deleting the datastore and re-creating it. Therefore you should create a good design and determine the block size before creating the datastores.