::: Virtual Aleph ::: Virtualization Techniques: 2007

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18 December, 2007

NPT: Nested Page Table

from IT20.info: AMD to add new (interesting) virtualization feature support

It's interesting that up until a year ago many people were showing their
AMD tattoos claiming that Opteron was king of the hill and Intel was going nuts.
Nowadays all these people seem to wear very nice shirts that hide these tattoos
as there seems to be a consensus now that Intel, backed by their immense R&D
capabilities and more than immense marketing funds, have returned to be king of
the hill again leaving the AMD Opteron (and even their own Itanium processor) in
the dust. This is mainly due to two big achievements:

[Read all...]

17 December, 2007

Are you syncronized?

One of the most important thing in an enterprise infrastructure is being syncronized with the res of the world. For this we use ntp servers (Network time protocol). With ESX we syncronize the physical hosts and then, we flag the "syncronize with host" check box inside VmWare Tools window.
Let's have a deeper look into ESX configuration with external ntp source. We can use as sources the three pools that vmware give us as an example in the knowledge base article.
The three NTP servers are the following (it's a best practice to edit /etc/hosts and insert the three enties): 0.vmware.pool.ntp.org 1.vmware.pool.ntp.org 2.vmware.pool.ntp.org

As often happens (and it's desiderable), ESX host are behind a firewall; so let's give some iptables commands in order to open UDP port number 123 to and from the Internet (pointing to vmware ntp pools):

iptables -A lan-to-internet -s Our_Host -d -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed
iptables -A lan-to-internet -s Our_Host -d -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed

iptables -A lan-to-internet -s Our_Host -d -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed
iptables -A internet-to-lan -d Our_Host -s -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed
iptables -A internet-to-lan -d Our_Host -s -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed
iptables -A internet-to-lan -d Our_Host -s -p UDP --dport 123 --sport 123 -j allowed

Now we must edit /etc/ntp.conf file, so that it read as the following:

restrict default kod nomodify notrap

server 0.vmware.pool.ntp.org

server 1.vmware.pool.ntp.org
server 2.vmware.pool.ntp.org

driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift

Last but not least let's start ntpd service (service ntpd start) and config with chkconfig the automatic startup for ntpd at runlevel 234.

It's not compulsory to use vmware pools and there are different thinkings about the syncronization of virtual machines: someone for example prefer to syncronize the domain controllers with external source directly instead of using the flag inside vmtools check-box


italian version of this post

14 December, 2007

I like this approach! (from Massimo Re Ferrè blog)

Very good post on Massimos' blog.
he says:

Hardware virtualization these days is a hot topic and we all know that. There are many customers looking into it for the first time and one of the problems they are facing right now is how they are going to size their new virtual infrastructure. Lately I have received lots of requests from many people in order to help them project the hardware investments (in terms of physical servers) that they need to jump onto the virtualization band wagon. In this post I'd like to try to provide you with a very quick and dirty method to do that.

I like this kind of approach and I invite to read all the post


From VmWare Site: VMware and SAP

from VMWare site:

VMware Announces Support from SAP of VMware ESX Server for Production
Environments Responding to Customer Demand, Companies Establish Global
Technology Partnership; VMware Infrastructure is Only Virtualization Platform
That Supports SAP® Solutions with Both Windows and Linux on Industry-standard

[read all...]

12 December, 2007

What's new in VI3.5

hi all, new and interesting post on Mike Laverick blog with free downloadable PDF guide.
The title is Free RTFM Guide: “What’s New & Different in Vi3.5"
Thanks Mike ;)

11 December, 2007

VUGIt Blog is born: long life to VUGIt!

Hello all,
about one year ago the VUGIt (Virtualization Users Group Italia) have been founded, and now we have a blog, too.
I've added it to my Blogroll but I'd like to put a strike on it adding this post: VUGIt Blog (VMCafè, for friends :) ) is full of interesting posts about virtualization for italian speaking enthusiast!

Hope you'll find it useful for your works!
If you like virtualization and you speak italian, pls, have a look!


From Mike Laverick Site

Hello all,
a very interesting article from RTFM blog.

Mike says:

Whilst I was at VMworld 2007 this year there was a session I never got round to attending or watching on the VMworld website. It subject was about the myths of virtualization/VMware. In recent months I’ve seen that as virtualization and VMware’s star has risen, there has been a rise and rise in urban myths and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

[Read all...]


ESX 3.5 released

Hello all,
ESX 3.5 has been released. Check out on VmWare Web site!
Ready to download:
- ESX 3.5
- Virtual Center 2.5
- New Converter
- New VCB

What you will get:

• Storage VMotion
• Swapfiles-less VMotion
• Update manager
• Server consolidation advisor
• Lockdown Mode
• Distributed Power Management (DPM)
• Guest OS disaster recovery capability
• Provisioning across datacenters objects
• Integration with VMware Consolidate Backup (VCB) and VMware Converter 4.0
• Integration with Wyse multimedia redirection engine
• Support for VMware Server 2.0
• Support for AMD Rapid Virtualization Indexing (formerly Nested Page Tables or NPT)
• Support for Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP)
• Support for InfiniBand network cards
• Support for 10Gbit Ethernet network cards
• Support for TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) network cards
• Support for network load balancing algorithms
• Support for N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)
• Support for VCB over iSCSI SANs
• Support for IPv6 in virtual networking
• Support for para-virtualized Linux guest OSes
• Support for Intel I/O Acceleration Technology (IOAT)
• Support for Jumbo Frames
• Support for Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF)
• Support for SATA storage devices
• Support for 200 hosts and 2000 virtual machines
• Support for 128GB RAM per host and for 64GB RAM per virtual machine


20 November, 2007

VMware patches for 15 November 2007

Hello all,
there is a critical patches in november 15, 2007 section from Vmware Site. Go to VMware ESX Server 3.0.2 Patches and check out the KB article.



Smashing an SQL VmWare machine with (DB)hammer

Hi all,
I like to post this pointer to Richard's Blog Run-Virtual:
it's about Virtual SQL running in a VMware Cluster at TechED and it's named

VMjuggler: 5 Days of TechED, 10.000 vMotions later….

[Read all...]

05 November, 2007

VMware ESX Server 3.0.2 Update 1 RELEASED

VMware ESX Server 3.0.2 Update 1 has been released on October 29, 2007.

What's new?
Basically the following improvements have been added:

- Support for selected servers based on the Intel Quad-Core Xeon 7300 series processors. Refer to the Systems Compatibility Guide for ESX Server 3.x for information on which servers are supported.

- Driver updates for the megaraid_sas, bnx2, cciss, and forcedeth drivers. Refer to the I/O Compatibility Guide for ESX Server 3.x for more information.

Therefore we have some patches for VI 3.0.2 released the same day

::: ESX-1001902 - cciss Driver Upgrade, Support for 16+ Logical Drives
For more information, see KB 1001902.
::: ESX-1001903 - bnx2 Driver Upgrade, Support for Broadcom 5709 Based Network Card (NIC)
For more information, see KB 1001903.
::: ESX-1001904 - nVidia forcedeth Interrupt Storm Fix
For more information, see KB 1001904.
::: ESX-1001905 - Support for AMD CPU 64-bit Guest Operating Systems
For more information, see KB 1001905.
::: ESX-1001906 - megaraid_sas Driver Upgrade, Support for the LSI Logic 1078 HBA
For more information, see KB 1001906.
::: ESX-1001907 - SMBIOS Fix; PRE-enablement Support for AMD and Intel CPUs
For more information, see KB 1001907.
::: ESX-1001908 - e1000 Driver Upgrade, Support for New Network Interface Card (NIC)
For more information, see KB 1001908.

VmWare main site Page for VI 3.0.2 Rollup update 1

05 October, 2007

Postcard and Honey Pot from Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Hi all,
I'm a little busy at the moment but I want to thank Deborah Weisman from Computer Center at tha Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I'm attaching the email I've got from her last month.

We just got a physical redhat machine whose disk was dying to boot in our esx server thanks to your help! (by redoing initrd with

We still don't have the ethernet card working yet though. It doesn't see it at all.

Thanks again,

Deborah Weisman
Computer Center
Faculty of Agriculture
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The network card is working now, too

She used the article for cloning Linux with Converter in order to solve their issue with the linux box.

Yesterday I've got a postcard from her and three pots of honey!! :)
I've attached the postcard in this blogpost.

Thank you Dvorah! Hope to see you some days (maybe at netx TSX Europe)

04 September, 2007

Partitioning Local storage on an ESX Host

Why using automatic partition when there are better partitioning schemes to use? In my opinion the wizard do not take care of how much the /var/log folder can grow (quickly). The following table is what I use for partitioning local storage on ESX (VI3) hosts. Normally we will have a pair of disks used for installing VMware operating system: I've assumed the four most common size and that the two disks are configured with an hardware mirror. The three partition in bold red ( / , /boot , )
must be configured as primary partition. Other must be logical partitions on an extended volume.

This is only my point of view and maybe you prefer having more VMFS and less /vmimages on local disks because you store ISO images on a networked location: for the newbyes this can be a starting point to design their preferred partitioning.


21 August, 2007

August 2007 cluster map

Hello all,

August is time for holidays for me... so no new post about technology and virtualization.

Just the map of all the access in the last 30 days on the blog and the advice to vote for me (and ask your frieds to do the same J ) in Vmware Video Contest.

My video is named "Before… after" : click on the title to get there and give me five stars!!!

Thank you all!!!



23 July, 2007

Vmware Contest : Be virtually famous

Hi all,
I've posted a video in "VmWare contest site"

Please have a look to the embedded clip cause on the contest site all the colour are messed up, I think for additional compression.
After you've seen it, pls go to View and Rate Video Section and vote for me ;)

Thank you all!!!


16 July, 2007

10 July, 2007

Veeam configurator

From Tarry Blogging

Veeam Configurator integrates with and extends the capabilities of VMware VirtualCenter, maintaining and building on VirtualCenter’s centralized view and associated benefits, such as VirtualCenter partitioning to simultaneously configure all ESX Servers in a cluster. Veeam Configurator offers GUI-based centralized control over ESX settings and subsystems not accessible from the VirtualCenter interface, freeing administrators from reliance on the service console

[Read all on Tarry Blogging]

[Have a look at Veeam Configurator on Veeam Site]

VMware Release Exchange 2003 Performance Whitepaper

On Vmware site has been published a 19 pages whitepaper that explain how Exchange 2003 perform and scale when installed on virtual machines.

Abstract from the introduction of the whitepaper
Virtualization has become a mainstream technology, allowing enterprises to
consolidate underutilized servers
while helping to increase reliability and
fault tolerance and simplify load balancing. As organizations
virtualization in the data center, many may consider virtualizing
Microsoft Exchange software. This paper
suggests how an enterprise-critical
messaging application like Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 should be
sized and
deployed on VMware® ESX Server to obtain a satisfactory Quality of Service.
Specifically, we
􀂄 The performance implications of running
Exchange Server 2003 on a virtual machine versus a physical
􀂄 The
performance of Exchange Server 2003 in virtual machine configurations when
“scaling-up” (adding
more processors to a machine) and “scaling-out” (adding
more machines).
This paper discusses the performance and scalability of
Exchange Server 2003 when it is deployed within
virtual machines hosted by
VMware ESX Server 3.0.1 on a Dell® PowerEdge® 6850 server with a
CX500 FC SAN. The Heavy user profile from Microsoft’s Exchange
Server 2003 Load Simulator benchmarking
tool was used to simulate the
Exchange workload.

[Download PDF...]

Intel Invests in VMware

From vmwarewolf blog

Intel and VMware announced today that Intel Capital is assuming a $218.5
million stake in VMWare. Intel Capital will invest $218.5 million in VMware’s
Class A common stock subject to customary regulatory and other closing
conditions including Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) review.
Intel will purchase 9.5
million Class A shares at $23 per share, which, at the completion of VMware’s
forthcoming IPO, will give Intel about a 2.5 percent stake in the
VMware has indicated the price range on its offering: $23-25.
Assuming this pricing is somewhere in the mid-range, the company will raise a
cool $741.4 million. According to bloggingstocks.com this IPO “should be
scorching hot”. You can find the prospectus
at the SEC web site.

[Read all...]

09 July, 2007

Documenting a Virtualization Project: savings in depth

Very interesting link to a post on Documenting a Virtualization Project blog

This article describes in depth the saving for power consumption, cooling, real estate costs, ... that the author (martijinl) has achieved with virtualization.

[Read all]

18 June, 2007

Ouch!!! Another i?86 issue...

Hi all,

while installing VmTools from VI 3.0.1 in an old Linux (RedHat 6.x) distro I get this error messages:

I think that's because the distro cannot understand what kind of processors it's running on (Opteron).
I manage to solve this problem using the –-ignorearch switch for rpm command (see man rpm)
Hope to help

14 June, 2007

Climate Savers Computing Initiative

Believe it or not, the average desktop PC wastes nearly half the power
delivered to it. Half! This wasted electricity unnecessarily increases the cost
of powering a computer, and it also increases the emission of greenhouse
gases.Improving the energy efficiency of computers is a cost-effective way to
reduce electricity consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases that
contribute to climate change.The Climate Savers Computing Initiative brings
together industry, consumers and conservation organizations to significantly
increase the energy efficiency of computers and servers.

[Visit the site]

Thank you guys

I'll keep you informed with the visitors map montly

Thank you!!!

Green is the color...

Wall Street Firms Reduce Data Center Energy Consumption
By Penny Crosman

When we heard that Bank of America is installing -- brace yourselves, gentlemen -- waterless urinals in the "green" skyscraper it's building near Bryant Park for its investment banking operation, we realized that Wall Street is starting to take energy and water conservation seriously. Not that we've come across many tree-huggers on the Street, but for very practical business reasons, technology executives are looking to reduce the power consumed by their data centers -- the primary electricity guzzlers in any company -- even as their computing needs grow.

"So watt," you say? Following are five reasons why you should care about the megawatts of energy flowing through your data centers:

1. The amount of juice soaked up by giant server farms is growing fast -- it literally doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a report out of Berkeley National Laboratory. And power consumption by the world's data centers is predicted to increase by an additional 40 percent by 2010, the research found. The growth is fueled by the increasing number of installed, low-end volume servers -- typically systems costing less than $25,000, including racks of blades -- more than the actual energy usage per server.

[Read all...]

VMware Announces Pre-Order Availability and Pricing of VMware Fusion for Mac Users

From VmWare Site

Combines Mac User Interface with Industry-leading Virtualization Technology and Introduces Unity Feature for Seamless Windows Application Integration

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 12, 2007 —VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced pre-order availability and pricing for VMware Fusion, which enables Mac users to simultaneously run Mac, Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris-based applications without rebooting. Starting today, through a special promotion, customers can pre-order VMware Fusion for $39.99 from www.vmware.com/mac until the product is generally available.

VMware currently plans to make VMware Fusion generally available prior to the end of August 2007 for a suggested retail price of $79.99. All statements regarding VMware Fusion herein, including the features below, are made with respect to VMware Fusion beta versions, including the latest VMware Fusion Beta 4, which is available today at www.vmware.com/mac.

[Read all...]

08 June, 2007

VMware Advances Hosted Computing Services

New VMware Service Provider Program Helps Deliver Virtual Infrastructure to Customers as a Hosted Offering to Increase Service Levels and Value
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 6, 2007 — VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP), which allows hosting providers such as Web hosting services, telecommunications companies and outsourcing businesses to bring to market new virtual infrastructure as service offerings.

The VSPP incorporates a new licensing model that makes the industry-leading VMware Infrastructure suite available to hosting providers on a per-virtual machine, per-month basis. With this new program, hosting providers can easily develop their own customized virtual infrastructure as service offerings that “rent” VMware virtual machine capacity to end customers.

[Read all...]

31 May, 2007

Resizing Virtual Disks

From VmWare-Land site

There are several methods to re-sizing virtual disks listed below. If you want to shrink the disk in ESX3 then using Vmware Converter is the best way to do this, you can no longer use vmkfstools to shrink a disk in ESX3, you can also try using QpartEd to shrink a disk. With all these methods you should make a backup copy of your original vmdk file in case something goes wrong. Also make sure you shutdown the OS cleanly before restarting the VM (GpartEd will sometimes fail otherwise). Methods 1, 4 & 5 are essentially the same using Linux boot CD’s and either GpartEd or QpartEd.

[Read all...]

30 May, 2007

KB Article: esxupdate Fails with Package Downgrade Warning

From VmWare Knowledge Base:

The patch maintenance tool, esxupdate, was created to allow the installation of patches in random order. However, a flaw prevents the installation of older patches after newer patches (with an updated, overlapping RPM) is installed. In this situation, esxupdate returns the following messages, which indicate the bundle contains a package that has an older revision than what is already installed on the system:

INFO: 1 packages need to be downgraded.

Please use the --force option and try again.


Read the KB for solution

29 May, 2007

Improved performance using Shared Folders in Workstation 6.0

From VMTN Blog

It's nice to see Workstation 6.0 being received well. We continue to focus on performance improvements for this product, not just the major subsystems but every feature we support too. One of the significant improvements I'd like to draw your attention to is in using Shared Folders. Shared Folders allow sharing files between the guest and the host, or among virtual machines.
We've now wired up this feature with the guests' kernel (page) cache. What this means is that your files in the shared folder will now be cached by the guest kernel for faster reads. Writes are done asynchronously, making them faster as well. The attributes (or metadata) of the files are cached, making browsing through your Shared Folder for all your files much quicker. This support is for Linux guests at the moment. With this integration you can expect improvements in performance up to 40%, depending on the usage.
We've always received great feedback on the usefulness of this feature, and we hope you continue to enjoy your experience in using Shared folders even more. We are looking into similar improvements for Windows guests as well.

25 May, 2007

From Steve Herrod's Blog: The Amazing VM Record/Replay Feature in VMware Workstation 6

From Steve Herrod's Blog

One other new feature that we’re extra excited about is “VM Record/Replay”. The idea behind Record/Replay is relatively straightforward. When executing software within a virtual machine (VM), our virtualization layer can record the complete execution behavior. Having saved this behavioral information, the user can go back in time (from the VM’s point of view) and replay that exact and complete behavior over and over again. The keywords here are exact and complete, and that’s where both the implementation challenge and the power come from.

[Read all...]

Windows Vista Performance in VMware Workstation 6.0

From VMTN Blog (VROOM!)

One of the great new features in VMware Workstation 6.0 is its Windows Vista support. Vista can be used as the host operating system (HOS) and the guest operating system (GOS) for VMware Virtual Machines (VM). The question to us is how well Vista performs in VMware Workstation 6.0. This actually contains two sub-questions. (1) What is the performance of Vista as the HOS? (2) What is the performance of Vista as the GOS? To answer these two questions, we did a comparison of Windows Vista and Windows XP performance.

[Read all...]

24 May, 2007

Veeam Reporter 2.0 for VMware Infrastructure 3

A very good way to document a virtual environment.

From Veeam Site

The new Veeam Reporter tells you all there is to know about your VMware Infrastructure in less than no time at all.

Veeam Reporter collects information about a VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) environment, its components and configuration settings, and provides comprehensive visual reports for analysis and documentation. Designed for professional use by ESX administrators, system integrators and datacenter managers, it is fully integrated with VMware Virtual Center and ESX Server.

Key Features:

Collect information for Virtual Center 2 or an individual ESX Server 3 in a single user interface

Report on Network, Configuration, Storage and VMotion

Support the following formats:

Microsoft Visio – for visualizing and analyzing the virtual infrastructure
Microsoft Word (RTF) –for tracking changes through the Word’s “compare documents” feature
Microsoft Excel (XLS) – for building an inventory and allow for quick searching of a particular detail (like finding an IP address for a VM)
Portable Document Format (PDF) –for archival purposes and for report distribution

[Read all...]

Linux virtualizing: some gotchas

The Linux Cloning post is heavily commented :)
All the commenters have understanded the actual message of this blog: "share knowledge among the Vmware engineers".

In particular I thanks Mike Cretan for the following gotchas:

- On Redhat Enterprise Server 4 (RHEL4), /etc/modules.conf is called /etc/modprobe.conf

- Also, your approach only works if the BusLogic kernel module is installed already. This certainly wasn't the case with our RHEL4 system, so it might be worth nothing that the BusLogic module needs to be installed prior to migration.

- If it hasn't (as was my case), download the driver dd disk and rpm package from http://www.vmware.com/support/esx2/doc/esx2-rhel4u4-dd-rpm.html and use RPM to install it on the original system, then copy the BusLogic.ko file to the /lib/modules/2.x.y-zz/updates directory (create updates if necessary) and then follow your instructions.

- Final point: the RHEL4 rescue disk (install disk 1) does not include the BusLogic driver either, so when prompted for boot, use "linux dd rescue" to get the rescue mode to ask for a dd disk - then provide the one downloaded above.

I'm thinking to collect all the procedure and comments on a pdf file that I will take updated while new solutions come out.

22 May, 2007

Virtual Cow in Milan

Hello all,
a little bit off topic but I cannot resist :)

In Milan there are a lot of Cows and two of them are sponsored by Microsoft.

Please, have a look to my other blog and enjoy the pictures.

Da CowParade Mil...


21 May, 2007

ZXTM - now running on Windows

From Owen Garrett [Zeus Dev Team]

The ZXTM software runs on Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, VMware VI3 and now Windows.

The port to Windows uses a virtualization stack and a couple of additional management tools. It's reliable, easy to use, and provides the full functionality of ZXTM on Windows Server 2003 R2 platforms.

[Read all and download ...]

Parallels introduces a virtual appliance directory and developer network

From Virtualizationdaily.com

Parallels, Inc., maker of award-winning desktop virtualization solutions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, announced today the Parallels Technology Network (PTN) – an online community for users, as well as developers using Parallels virtualization technology to deliver their software in self-contained virtual appliances.

Via the PTN, which is available online at http://ptn.parallels.com, users and developers will have access to a wealth of information related to Parallels virtualization technology. In addition, developers can make their software available to Parallels users as virtual appliances.

“We’re taking ease of use to another level by facilitating the availability and adoption of virtual appliances that run on a PC or Mac regardless of the operating system,” said Benjamin Rudolph, Director of Corporate Communications, Parallels

[Read all...]

Getting the best performance from Workstation 6.0

From VMTN Blog namen VROOOM

It was a proud moment for us when Workstation 6.0 went out the door. While we continue to provide increasing flexibility in using desktop machines and laptops, running multiple operating systems, and reducing hardware costs, we'd like for you to enjoy the best performance you can get from Workstation 6.0.

On top of all the goodness Workstation 6.0 has to offer, we now have a revised performance document as well. You can find it here. We've tried our best to provide tips not only about things that you could tune with Workstation and its features, but things you could tweak on your host operating system and within the guest, and even what to look out for on the hardware level. The reorganization of the document makes it easy to find what you need to achieve the best possible experience.

[Read all...]

18 May, 2007

VMware Introduces Support for Cross-Platform Paravirtualization

From VmWare Web Site

Linux Kernel Adopts Transparent, Cross-Platform Paravirtualization with Paravirt-ops;
VMware Workstation 6 the Industry-First Commercial Product to Support Paravirt-ops

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 9, 2007 VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced that it is supporting cross-platform paravirtualization with the open-interface standard paravirt-ops in VMware Workstation 6, the sixth generation of its desktop virtualization software product. VMware Workstation 6 became generally available today and is the first commercially available product to support paravirt-ops.

[Read all...]

VMware Delivers VMware ACE 2 Enterprise Edition

From VmWare Web Site

The Only Product That Allows IT Administrators to Centrally Manage and Control Virtual Desktops Installed on any PC; Pocket ACE Feature for Deployment to Portable Media Enables Users to Go Mobile with their Desktops

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 15, 2007 VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced the general availability of VMware ACE 2 Enterprise edition. VMware ACE is a breakthrough product that enables IT desktop managers to create a standard PC environment including operating system, data and applications, wrap it with IT policies to protect the contents, package it into a virtual machine and deploy it to any managed or unmanaged licensed PC client.

[Read all...]

15 May, 2007

Blog.caloni.net ...for share experiences in Windows environment

Hello all,
as you can see on the right, there are some feed from blogs that seems to me very interesting: a lot of them are about virtualization.
There is also one blog, that's owned by Alessandro Caloni (friends and skillful collegue of mine). I've decided to put the feed because of, in virtualization field, often we have to cope with Windows environments and some tips and trick are always a good help.

see below for categories in his blog, and look it up often:

Active Directory
BackUp & Restore
MS Networking
MS Softgrid
Security Alerts
System utility

thank you Alessandro.

14 May, 2007

java.wrapper issue after Linux P2V conversion

Hi all,
after converting a linux box from physical to virtual could happen that the 'uname -m' command give some strange output - i?86 - and the execution of a perfectly working java programs give the error message 'Error: could not find libjava.so'. This is for java 1.3.1

from bugs.java.com here is the solution:
To fix the problem add | i?86 to the first case statement in
jdk1.3/bin/.java_wrapper and jdk1.3/jre/bin/.java_wrapper scripts
So the new case statement should look like:
case "`uname -m`" in
i[3-6]86 | ia32 | ia64 | i?86) # | i?86 is new
# the rest is the same

NOTE: This solution has been only been tested on a Intel Pentuim 4 running
Slackware Linux Version 7.1 Kernel 2.2.16

I've tested it on RedHat 6.1 virtualized on VI 3.0.1, too.

The full article can be found in java bug ID 4414152

EMC Adds VMware Support to ControlCenter

Storage manager update supports virtual servers but isn't cluster-aware

From Computerworld.com

May 14, 2007 (Computerworld) -- EMC Corp. is set to end a two-year wait by its users for a new version of its flagship ControlCenter storage resource management (SRM) software.

> Version 6.0 of the software, to be introduced this week, includes support for EMC’s virtual server technology and more flexible reporting and customization capabilities, the company said.

Lori Motzko, a Windows systems manager at Louisville, Ky.-based SHPS Inc., said the lack of support for EMC’s VMware virtualization tool was a glaring problem with earlier versions of ControlCenter.

One of the major frustrations that administrators have with EMC is they own VMware and yet they don’t have agents compatible with ControlCenter right now,” said Motzko. “When you’re zoning disks — and VMware is a zone-disk hog — you have to do it all manually. Now they tell me they have a [VMware] agent. That’s a big deal.

> SHPS, a health management tools provider, currently runs ControlCenter 5.2 with Service Pack 5 and has 2TB allocated to its VMware ESX servers.

[Read all...]

11 May, 2007

Using Top More Efficiently (linux command)

This is a bit off topic but I found this article from Linux Forum very interesting.
The article is written by Mulyadi Santosa and it's about using the top linux utility in more useful ways.

For desktop users, monitoring resource usage is an important task. By doing this, we can locate system bottleneck, planning what to do to optimize our system, identifying memory leak and so on. The problem is, which software one should use and how to use it according to our need.

Among many monitoring tools that available, most people use "top" (a part of procps package). Top provide almost everything we need to monitor our system's resource usage within single shot. In this article, all the information are based on procps 3.2.5 running on top of Linux kernel 2.6.x

Here, we assume that procps package is already installed and run well in your Linux system. No previous experience with top is needed here, but if you had given it a try briefly, that would be an advantage.

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VmWare Workstation 6 General Availability

From VmWare Site

Expand the Power of Your PC with Virtualization
Discover the true power and flexibility of your desktop or laptop computer with VMware Workstation. Reduce hardware costs by 50% or more by running multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single PC. Automate and streamline tasks to save time and improve productivity. Join the millions worldwide who use Workstation to:
Host legacy applications and overcome platform migration issues
Configure & test new software or patches in an isolated environment
Automate tasks for software development and testing
Demonstrate multi-tier configurations on a single PC

Take Your Virtual Machines With You
New to Workstation 6 is the ability to create and deploy secure virtual machines (called ACEs) with the ACE Option Pack. Mobility is one of the primary benefits of this option pack, as it enables users to securely take their desktops with them on portable media devices such as USB thumb drives.

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View VmWare Workstation 6 datasheet (PDF download)

07 May, 2007

Virtualize a Linux Server with VmWare Converter 3.0.1

Hi all,
I've spent my last saturday virtualizing physical Linux servers by a customer site. As VmWare Converter is in experimental status for now for virtualizing Linux I think that's a good idea to put the procedure I've used and that I've described in my two previous posts (1, 2) but without screenshots ;) .

So, let's begin with conversion: first of all shut down your physical linux box and put the VmWare Converter CD - I've used the last one, 3.0.1 - in your CD reader and boot. Follow the on screen procedure and send the images to your target Virtual Infrastructure host. At the end of the cloning task you'll find the definition of your brand new VM browsing your Virtual Infrastructure Client.
Take a Linux rescue CD, my favourite is Fedora Core 2 rescue linux ('cause works with all the linux boxes I've virtualized), set it as boot device and fire up your VM.
Be sure to boot from the rescue CD. Otherwise you'll surely get a Kernel Panic messages

If you use FC2 rescue CD just press enter (with other rescue CD you'll have to type linux rescue at the boot prompt)

Select the language...

... keyboard...

... and do NOT connect the network (sometimes it bring to an hanged system)

Linux rescue will try to mount the virtual machine file system in /mnt/sysimage: let's mount it in read-write mode.

As for the messages from your linux console, you can set /mnt/sysimage as your root environment; press the OK button and you'll be in a shell as root user.

Issue the chroot /mnt/sysimage command,

and edit /etc/modules.conf with your favourite editor, changing every scsi alias with BusLogic and each eth nic with pcnet32. Save and exit.

Change directory to /boot and make a backup copy of your initrd-2.x.y-zz.img .
Then issue the mkinitrd command (mkinitrd -v -f /boot/initrd-2.x.y-zz.img 2.x.y-zz, all on one line as you can see in the below figure). Wait for the command to end,

... and reboot

Disconnect the linux rescue boot CD and see your virtualized linux box that come up.

During the first boot the virtualized box will reboot (sometimes) and kudzu will check for new hardware prompting for removing physical scsi modules configuration and for adding BusLogic and PcNet32 modules (always).
This procedure has worked for Fedora Core 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 with 2.4.XX-ELsmp kernels and for Red Hat 6.2 and 6.1 with 2.2.x-YYsmp kernels. The RH6.1 box has LILO instead of grub: I must issue the lilo command after the mkinitrd session in order to rewrite the MBR (don't know why...), and to get this vm working.

All the procedure is based on www.vmwiz.com but, I hope, more in depth explained and used after VmWare Converter cloning (not after P2V / Ghost cloning)

03 May, 2007

Cloning linux machine with converter (second time)

The procedure to clone a Linux Machine with converter has worked for the second time.
Because of the Linux Kernel (2.4.21-37.ELsmp) I must use the Linux Rescue CD from Fedora Core 2 distribution ( the RedHat 7.2 linux rescue do not work, at all)

The complete procedure could be found here

30 April, 2007

VmWare Converter 3.0.1 released

The new release of Converter has been published and it's ready for download.
As stated on VMware.com site you can:
- Quickly and reliably convert local and remote physical machines into virtual machines without any disruption or downtime.
- Complete multiple conversions simultaneously with a centralized management console and an intuitive conversion wizard.
- Convert other virtual machine formats such as Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server or backup images of physical machines such as Symantec Backup Exec LiveState Recovery or Ghost 9 to VMware virtual machines.
- Restore VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) images of virtual machines to running virtual machines.
- Clone and backup physical machines to virtual machines as part of your disaster recovery plan.

Download VMWare Converter

21 April, 2007

Some issues with VMware Server 1.0.2 after upgrading to Ubuntu 7.04

First of all, thank you How to geek dot com and DebianAdmin for the "Upgrading Ubuntu From Edgy to Feisty (6.10 to 7.04)" procedure. All works fine.

Unfortunatly I get some error from the installation scripts because of some problem with module recompilation. I'm trying to troubleshoot the problems and I'll give you feedback asap (I'm a little overheaded with real work in this period...)

Upgrading to Ubuntu Feisty in the graphycal way
Upgrading to Ubuntu Feisty in the command-line way (apt-get)

15 April, 2007

VMware Server 1.0.2 on Ubuntu 6.10

Hi all,
I've installed VMware Server 1.0.2 on my Ubuntu Box (AMD 64). I've also installed the 30 days trial of Virtual Center Server on a VM just to try it out. The installation on a 64 bits Linux release was not very easy because of lib32 required, but nothing that cannot be solved with some search on the Internet.

The first image is the XP desktop inside the linux box: on this client machine I've installed the Virtual Center Server for VmWare Server. The look and feel is very similar to Virtual Center 1.4 client (the one used with ESX 2.5.x farms) as you can see from second image.
There are the Inventory, Scheduled Tasks, Templates and Events button, to work easy on your virtual environments. If you're not familiar with ESX and you use only VMware Server you'll find that this tool is very useful.

The third image is about I/O performance monitor. You can see also the little counters for CPU, Memory (fifth image, see below) and Network performances.

The interface shows alarms from all virtual machines that are running in your VmWare Server Environment and the events tab for each system show what happened in the past.

All the performance graphs are configurable for look and feel: moreover you can define the lenght of analisys on which you want to have informations (past day, past week, past month or past year). Virtual Center server could be configured to use an .mdb database or MSDE or MS SQL Server.

As a final consideration, if you are a SMB, and you are a VMWare Server user, you'll be very happy with this product. It makes all the tasks easier to commit.

09 April, 2007

Cloning a Linux Machine with Converter

Hi all,
I've tried to clone a physical linux server (Fedora) with the VmWare Converter 3, and I do it. Unfortunatly cloning Linux with Converter is only experimental, and the application just clone the disk and you have to do all the manual task at the end of the cloning process in order to make the new VM works. I've followed the procedure that I've found in the http://www.vmwiz.com/ site and, as stated in the site, use process at your own risk.

First of all, if not installed, you should install the kernel source and utilities, on the physical machine.

Basically you have to reboot the linux machine with the Converter boot CD and clone it.
When this trivial task is finished, have a look at the settings of the VM on your Virtual Infrastructure client and do the needed change to reflect your "in mind" configuration.
Try to start the VM: quite soon you'll receive a kernel panic message. Swith off your Linux VM, and reboot it with a linux rescue CD. I've used Red Hat 7.2 disc 1 and at the boot: prompt write linux rescue.
Mount the installation, thet's pretty straightforward 'cause linux rescue option ask you if you want to do that, and mount your virtual disk as /mnt/sysimage. At the prompt do a chroot /mnt/sysimage.
Go to /etc/modules.conf and back it up: edit it removing all the physical SCSI driver that could be aliased in the file - replacing it with BusLogic driver.
Change directory to /boot and make a copy of your ramdisk(s) just in case of error... Issue the mkinitrd command for rebuilding the modules for the Buslogic driver (mkinitrd -f -v /boot/initrd-[version]-img [version]).
Halt your system. Disconnect boot cd connected for rescue procedure. Your system will boot up normally and you just have to install vmtools.

This procedure works for me but I cannot assure that's right for you.

Below you have some links on the subject.

Manual Physical Machine to Virtual Machine Conversion (P2V) Instructions for Linux
Wonders of 'dd' and 'netcat' :: Cloning Operating Systems
Linux P2V

04 April, 2007

TSX 2007 in Nice

Hi all,
last week I passed the VCP310 exam and I'm "relaxing" in Nice with a lot of VMWare professionals from all over the world.
This year the present seven different tracks to attend and three Labs with "hands on" session on Consolidated Backup, Perl Scripting, Lab Manager and Dunes.
Today I've met Mike Laverick (RTFM Education) and thanks him for his fantastic guides.

Keep in touch for news.

20 March, 2007

VMware 3.0.1 Patching

A great article on Virtrix Blog about automating the patch management for ESX 3.0.1

VMware: (Auto)patching your ESX host
As you all know, patching an ESX host is not exactly fun. VMware has promised to deliver a better patching system in their new version (ESX 3.1 and VC 2.1). In the meantime, we have to make sure that our ESX hosts are patched. In this post, I will use an IIS repository to deploy ESX patches from a central server (well, its not a push but rather a pull technology).

[read all...]

13 February, 2007

Performance Tuning Guide for ESX 3

From VMTN blog (Vroom!)

Optimizing ESX's performance is one of the primary tasks of a system administrator. One wants to make the best use of what ESX can offer not only in terms of its features but also their associated performance. Over time a number of customers have been asking us for a single comprehensive ESX performance tuning guide that would encompass its CPU, memory, storage, networking, resource management and DRS, component optimizations. Finally we have ...

[Read all...]

12 February, 2007

Netapp storage considerations

During a thread on VMTN discussion forum diztorted (thank you) intruduces interesting considerations on netapp storage.

Read all on discussion forum

11 February, 2007

Lotus Domino: interesting considerations about virtualizing

From VMTN discussion forum:
another great question from jjpcarroll (thank you):

Any best practice in virtualizing Lotus Domino servers?

another answered question... but always interesting to know your opinion

Read all on the forum

09 February, 2007

VI3 LUN and VM Planning

This is a very interesting thread on VMTN Discussion Forum that begin with some questions posed by jjpcarroll:

My main questions are:

  • Is it vital to seperate OS and data LUN's? Is RAID5 fine for both data and OS?

  • How large does the RDM file LUN need to be?

  • I read that you should only have 15 -20 VM's connecting to each LUN for i/o reasons is this correct?

Read all and post your answer (also if the thread is marked answered).

VMware Infrastructure 3 Named the 2006 Disaster Recovery Product of the Year by SearchWinComputing.com

From VMware site
Disaster Recovery a Major App for Virtualization
PALO ALTO, Calif., January 30, 2007 — VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today announced that SearchWinComputing.com has named VMware Infrastructure 3 the 2006 Disaster Recovery Product of the Year. VMware Infrastructure 3, the third generation of the industry-leading infrastructure virtualization software suite, provides hardware-independent recovery, reduces hardware and infrastructure requirements and simplifies the steps in disaster recovery, enabling faster, more reliable and cost-effective disaster recovery.

[Read all...]


This is an OFF TOPIC post, but someone in the tech world could be interested.

From VMware site:
IPO Expected to Unlock Market Value of VMware for EMC Shareholders

PALO ALTO, Calif., HOPKINTON, Mass. – February 7, 2007 EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced its intention to sell approximately 10% of VMware via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued VMware stock.
[Read all...]

Make Easy Physical-to-Virtual Conversions

From VMware Site:

Automate and simplify physical to virtual machine conversions as well as conversions between virtual machine formats with the new, free VMware Converter. VMware Converter quickly and easily converts Microsoft Windows-based physical machines and third party image formats to VMware virtual machines. It also converts virtual machines between VMware platforms.

[Download VmWare Converter from Vmware site...]

VirtualCenter for VMware Server lets you centrally manage multiple servers running VMware Server

From VMware Site:

Centralized Management for VMware Server Enhance your VMware Server deployment by adding centralized management with VirtualCenter for VMware Server. Priced for small and medium businesses (SMBs), this easy-to-use offering has everything you need to start experiencing the benefits of virtualization in your IT infrastructure, including:

  • Increased utilization of existing servers, minimizing the need to purchase new hardware.
  • Rapid server provisioning—in minutes instead of hours or days.
  • Centralized management and monitoring of the virtual IT environment.

[Read all and download evaluation copy...]