I had to come up with a super cheesy line for the title. Maybe this post will be a little different than the other reviews of the past year. I am always just trying to be funny and in my own mind I am. I won’t list the number of views to my site (because my numbers are small compared to some) but I did double my viewers from 2009. I won’t write the Christmas letter of changes during the year, mainly because my big Virtualization/Storage industry change won’t come until 2011. This last year was a banner year though. I wrote 46 new blog posts this year. Almost one a week, which was my goal.
My Favorite Posts of the Year
You might be a vDiva if…
Hope this one doesn’t get me in trouble at the new job.
iSCSI Connections on EqualLogic PS Series
This was fun to work on and it is a popular post.
The Mini ESXi 4 Portable Server
This was a great post to put together. This little server is a lot like my R2D2 now. That droid and I have been through a lot together. The box I carry it in from customer to customer is looking pretty worn. It has been an awesome time saver on the roll outs we do. I am going to miss this little machine so much I will probably build a new one soon.
Even better I met some really cool people this year between Partner Exchange in Las Vegas and VMworld in San Francisco and of course all the awesome customers I met during the year.
I have run the Wyse Pocket Cloud application on my iPad almost since I purchased the iPad last spring. I must admit though, I couldn’t really use it on a regular basis. One, my main workstation at work is a Mac. Two, I just didn’t have the pressing need to use windows from my iPad. So I saw that the application updated a week or so ago and decided to try it out to check things on my home PC when I am not sitting in my home office. I first noticed that the Wyse PocketCloud Windows Companion can now login using your gmail or Google Apps account to connect you straight to any PC that is running the agent. Reminds me more of how LogMeIn worked but using authentication I already have available.
It worked great.
First I had to turn on Remote Desktop in Windows 7. I had to use the “less secure” option to make it work.
Next install the Wyse PocketCloud Assistant agent on the PC. The software can be found here. Once it is installed notice the new system tray icon.
After the application is signed in with Google sign in the same credentials from the Wyse App on the iPad.
Before I knew it I was into my personal Windows 7 desktop from my iPad. You can tell when I logged in I still had my Google Chrome browser open to the download for the Wyse PocketCloud Companion.
I am honored to be included in the upcoming Gestalt IT Field Day. Looks like a great group from the community will be in attendanc. I am looking forward to the collection of presenters. With how busy I have been delivering solutions lately it will be really good to dedicate some time to learning what is new and exciting. I plan to take good notes and share my thoughts here on the blog. For more information on the Field Day check it out right here: http://bit.ly/ITTFD4
Random picture of my dog.
I previously posted about the limits on iSCSI connections when using Equallogic arrays and MPIO. If you have lots of Datastores and lots of ESX hosts with multiple paths the numbers of connections multiplies pretty quickly. Now with VAAI support in the Equallogic 5.02 firmware (hopefully no recalls this time), the number of Virtual Machines per Datastore is not important. Among other improvements, the entire VMFS volume will not lock. As I understand VAAI the only the blocks (or files maybe?) are locked when exclusive access is needed.
Lets look at the improvement when using fewer larger EQ volumes:
Old way (with 500GB Datastores for example):
8Hosts x 2(vmkernel connections) x 10(Datastores) = 160 connections (already too many for the smaller arrays, PS 4000).
VAAI (with 1.9 TB* Datastores)
8 Hosts x 2(vmkernel connections) x 3(Datastores) = 48 connections
The scalability for Equallogic is much better with VAAI when trying to stay under the connection limits.
*Limit for VMFS is 2TB minus 512B so 1.9TB works out nicely.
I have recently made the transition to using ESXi for all customer installs. One thing I noticed was after installing with a couple different types of media (ISO and PXE install) the servers come up with the NIC’s hard coded to 1000 Full. I have always made it a practice to keep Gigabit Ethernet at auto-configure. I was told by a wise Cisco engineer many years ago that GigE and Auto/Auto is the way to go. You can also check the Internet for articles and best practices around using auto-configure with gigabit ethernet. Even the VMware “Health Analyzer” recommends using auto. So it is perplexing to me that ESXi 4.1 would start to default to hard set. Is it just me? Has anyone else noticed this behavior?
The only reason I make an issue is I was ready to call VMware support a couple weeks ago because nothing in a DRS/HA cluster just built with 4.1 would work. One vMotion would be successful, the next would fail. Editing settings on the hosts would fail miserably when done from the vSphere Client connected to vCenter. After changing all the pNics to auto everything worked just fine (matching the switches).
Hit me up in the comments or on twitter if you have noticed this.
I thought I would get more into posting my thoughts on each session. To be completely honest I was in some really good and really bad sessions. My goal was to find sessions that would potential benefit my day to day work. Not just a session where they talk about features we may or may not see in the next year. More of that knowledge came from doing the labs. Next year I will make more time to check all the labs out. I do not really learn well listening to someone speak anyways. I am more of a hands on learner.
I was go over how I would address the sessions I didn’t like. I think the best way to comment is to just say there were some sessions that were not helpful, at all. Others were really good. Therefore I wanted to list out five good lessons I learned in the VMworld 2010 Breakout sessions.
1. A common theme to me was the distributed virtual Switch (dvSwitch) is required to do anything advanced. This convinced me to push more into using the dvSwitch on deployments when possible. I figure more and more network features will be depending on the dvSwitch. Included features now available are: Network IO Control, Private VLANS (needed for cross Host network fences, and will be important for Cloud networking in vSphere an vCloud Director)
2. Innovation is coming to the Network. Converged networks from Xsigo and Cisco are just the beginning to virtualizing the network and I/O.
3. Doing VDI and having happy users is going to be harder than Server Virtualization.
4. VMware is working hard to get View deployments right. The View Benchmarking tool is going to help validate the deployments in order to provide scale. Hoping for good things here.
5. There are so many moving parts in a virtual datacenter solution. Architecture when it comes to VMware is basically knowing to account for everything involved. Seeing how the lab datacenter was put together was encouraging. Knowing even the rock star Architects at VMware have the same challenges as the everyday folk. They did a great job, because in my opinion the labs rocked.
I learned a great deal during VMworld. It was once again a great experience. At the same time I hope the words “deep dive” are not misused like they were this year. VMware did a great job this year and hopefully will do better next year. See you all at PEX 2011 in Orlando?
Just some quick thoughts on day one. For me things are going pretty smooth. I did skip lunch so I could get into the Building the VMworld Labs session but I would say it was worth it. Very good and practical information on how you build a datacenter in 2 months. Stuff that. Most of the time the sessions have some good information but this one was all good.
I think this would be all for now.
*Disclaimer I work for a Xsigo Partner, but I also think it is cool stuff. I do not get any compensation from any vendor for any blog post. My opinions are my own, unless I am copying them from someone.
I recently had someone on twitter ask if there were more Xsigo resources out there for research. He commented that it was really cool, but seemingly hard to find information. I tried to find good information that had some technical content (not just a press release). So I will post some links here and as I come across more I will update this post.
Straight from Xsigo.com
Xsigo – Try it out, I dare you! - Nigel Poulton (Awesome review and great comments)
Xsigo tips and tricks – Scott Lowe (Good technical content, some of this may have changed since new XMS’ have been released.)
Benefitting from IO Virtualization – Scott Lowe (Another good look at the product)
Maximizing I/O Virtualization – Scott Lowe (Again good concepts)
I usually don’t just make announcements on this site. There are plenty of good news sites that let you know what is new and whatnot. I don’t remember if I saw this but I am behind on my reader feeds so forgive me if everyone already checked this out. The View Open Client is an open client (hence the name) to connect to VMware View Managed Desktop deployments if your OS is Mac or Linux and this is very good news. The java plugin or whatever you call it from the View web manager is annoying to me mainly because the java security is pesky. I know you can just change the settings in Java but I have had in the past where an update from Apple kills my previous settings.
All this to say someone today had never heard of the client and I had show him what was up. He was very happy to be introduced to the View Open client. So I thought it would be cool to spread the word a little more.
Here is the June 3, 2010 release with the fixes and changes from last version.
Here is the main google code site to get the download.
Enjoy the View Open Client!
I am avoiding a post where I have to think really hard about a topic. That makes me procrastinate and come up with even crazier ideas. I am writing this one down now. Most of these apply to me so if you are offended by any of them you are probably a vDiva.
You might be a vDiva if…
… you roll your eyes when someone talks about installing a PHYSICAL server.
… you are on twitter to see how many people you can get to look at your blog, but you never stoop so low to interact with the common folk.
… you are surprised when the guy at the table at the VMUG doesn’t know who you are.
… you constantly check your Google Analytics account to see how many views you have. (guilty)
… you refer to yourself as @… (your twitter account)
… you hunt down @jtroyer if you latest post takes too long to get on the v12n board.
… your require a signed rider agreement with your speaking topic for VMworld, saying you need 800 green M&M’s, a copy of Lord of the Rings in your hotel room, and direct phone access to Steve Herrod’s iPhone.
I probably ticked a bunch of people off. I am just having fun. Have a great day! Go ahead and add your own in the comments.