::: Virtual Aleph ::: Virtualization Techniques: May 2007 Privacy Policy

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.

[Read all...]

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.

[Read all...]

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