Oct 25, 2008 Blogs
I noticed that the VMware.com download section has been changed. Before, there were three categories. As of today, the ‘management and automation’ category has disappeared.
Products like Lab Manager, Site Recovery Manager, Lifecycle Manager and Stage Manager can now be found under the ‘Datacenter’ category.
Oct 24, 2008 Blogs
I’ve updated WordPress to version 2.6.3 and replaced the theme altogether with Blog Oh! Blog’s DailyPress.
The theme has been edited to have custom ads, a custom logo and some changes to the css (underlining hyperlinks, different colour for post titles and more).
I find this theme much better to the eyes, as well as improved usability of the site. I hope you’ll like it too!
Oct 20, 2008 Blogs
VMware has released a tool called VIMA:
“The VMware Infrastructure Management Assistant (VIMA) allows developers and administrators to run agents and scripts to manage ESX and ESXi systems (version 3.5 and later). VIMA is a virtual machine that includes prepackaged software, including the latest versions of Remote CLI, VI Perl Toolkit, VMware Tools, a logging component, and an authentication component that supports non-interactive login. You can use VIMA to perform many of the tasks commonly performed in the ESX service console.” Source.
Download it here.
Update: VMware has removed the software from their site. Neither the information page and the download page are available anymore.
Update2: As stated by Arvey Alcabes, VIMA Product Manager at VMware in the comments, VIMA is now available at http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vima/index.html
Oct 17, 2008 Blogs
Backing up your VM’s
Backing up your VM’s is a topic often forgotten when first entering the virtualization world. There are a number of big players in the VMware backup world, and not surprisingly, they all provide with products to backup your VM’s using snapshots and ‘LAN-free’ backups (where, amongst other things, you don’t need agents in the guest OS anymore).
The downside is, that these products cost a lot of money. One of my customers did not have a decent backup-solution yet, and requested a temporary (and free) solution to this problem. I proposed esXpress, and installed a demo to show how it works.
At first, esxPress looks complicated. There are a couple of components, like CLI, the GUI and the VBA’s. The CLI application and the GUI are identical in function, both can set all the options. If you comfortable with using the CLI, I recommend using it instead of the GUI, since the GUI is actually a special VM, and will only take up resources. The VBA’s are specially created VM’s to do the actual backupjob, and are discarded after a job.
Oct 7, 2008 Blogs
What is paravirtualization?
Paravirtualization is a virtualization technique where the guest OSis modified to be aware of the fact it is virtualized. This has a number of benefits, principally a less complex virtualization layer and more opportunity for optimization since OS is aware of it’s envifronment. This generally increases performance of the VM.
The downside is that in the mainstream virtualization world, Linux is the only supported guest OS for paravirtualization, although some BSD flavors can be paravirtualized too. Anything with an open-source kernel is prone to being paravirtualized, actually. XenSource (now owned by Citrix), was the first big software solution to provide paravirtualization for Linux and NetBSD.
Oct 6, 2008 Blogs
Upgrading Debian Etch to Lenny
I’m upgrading my Debian Linux VM’s to their testing release, called Lenny. The upgrade itself is fairly easy and fool-proof, but installing the VMware Tools (110271) is a harder thing to do.
Upgrading Etch to Lenny (source):
- edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Replace all occurences of ‘etch’ with ‘lenny’
- Run apt-get update
- Run apt-get dist-upgrade (twice!)
- Install the kernel headers for your new kernel.
Oct 3, 2008 Blogs
Sander Berkouwer (a collegue of mine) recently posted about installing MS Hyper-V Server 2008. The screenshots are actually mine, (and are made with VMware Workstation, where the Hyper-V server was installed!) since I was curious about this new and free hypervisor, and installed it on a Dell XPS 420. It took about 15 minutes including configuration, updating and rebooting.
Oct 3, 2008 Blogs
When using ESXi (Embedded) in a VirtualCenter cluster with HA enabled, you’ll run into a problem with userworld swap. Every ESXi host needs this swap enabled. VMware KB 1004177 explains the steps needed to configure the scratch location.
This location can be a folder on an existing VMFS Datastore (already polulated with VM’s). It’s also possible to create a folder (like /vmfs/volumes/lun1/swap/srv1 and /vmfs/volumes/lun1/swap/srv2) to host multiple ESXi swap files on one VMFS Datastore. This will eliminate the need for a separate LUN for every ESXi host.
Oct 3, 2008 Blogs
As my first post I would like to link to a presentation about unattended ESX installations I gave at the Dutch VMUG Meeting ’07. The presentation can be downloaded over at the VMUG.
Although the presentation is a bit outdated since the release of ESX3.5, there still is a lot of common ground in the used method. Keep in mind that vimsh has been replaced by vmware-vim-cmd.
The used Ultimate Deployment Appliance hasn’t been updated for use with ESX3.5, so I’d recommend the ESX Deployment Appliance as a replacement.