A Brick Hit Me

During the VMware Communities Roundtable today. I learned that Lab Manager 4 only works with vCenter Server 4. Ah! So be sure to plan ahead because even though ESX 3.5 and 4 hosts are supported your vCenter 2.5 is not. So once you upgrade to vCenter 4 you will need to upgrade to Lab Manger 4.

This is no fun because it means after hours work when the users of Lab Manager 3 are at home and happy. Which I started to wonder at what kind of pitfalls will there be upgrading. What do back up to be sure your linked clones stay linked? I guess it is time to read some docs.

Good Luck.

Good link on Exchange in a Private Cloud

Of any Tier One applicaiton out there Exchange is what a play with most, so I always like some Exchange on such and such virtual platform since that is down my alley. So take a look at the new performance blog post over at VROOM.

I think it is a little more realistic in terms of the tested situation. Unlike some that have a Clarrion with 300 spindles for each set of log and database volumes. Someone might have the ability to have the app on multiple arrays but most of us need to get it to work on the one array we had to fight tooth and nail to get. Four to five EQ PS5000XV could actually exist in a wide variety of IT shops. Thanks for the post guys.

New Releases for VMware vCenter

Two new products and a new release for an older product will happen today. Applications aimed for those trying to scale their VMware environment and make it more strategic in their organization. These will be released in the vCenter family but may not actually run on you vCenter Server.

First up is VMware vCenter AppSpeed. This software will alow drilling into the performance of the application level in a VM. One feature I find compelling is the Assured Migration. Take a look at an apps performance before and after migration to be sure the same level of service post virtual migration. This is very cool and needed for VI admins trying to prove that it is not VMware causing the problem. At least AppSpeed helps pinpoint performance issues faster, which is a huge help to anyone with a VMware environment.

Second is vCenter Chargeback. You can guess it, Chargeback provides the ability to apply accounting to your resources and if not charge for those resources at least get a look back to determine the actual costs of a initiative.

Last is the Update to an existing product, vCenter LabManager 4. Big news here is all Stage Manager functionality has been rolled into Lab Manager. Stage Manager will go away supposedly. The pricing for Lab Manager will change. If you have a valid SnS for Lab Manager or Stage Manager you will supposedly get Lab Manager 4. Cool.

So that this doesn’t just look like a copy of a VMware press release. I wanted to include my own thoughts. The appearance of more “manage and automate” applications like these three show that the VMware install base is demanding more and more from their environment. Customers investing in this type of software shows to me they are not looking to bolt to another product any time soon. Wait this is way too positive. Lets say something I don’t like, Lab Manger price will go up but still be less than Lab Manager and Stage Manager combined. As a customer I would not like this move because maybe I just wanted Lab Manager now you say the price has increased due to functionality being added that I didn’t ask for. It could be like Microsoft including SQL 2008 with every 2008 Server license and increasing the cost of the server license by the cost of SQL. Then not letting you buy them separate. The problem with my complaint is I guess many customers came to VMware and said, “Hey, I sure wish Lab Manager and Stage Manager were all one product.”

Time to Study for the VCP 4

Well, before I can get to the VCDX Enterprise Administration Exam it becomes more urgent to get the new VCP for vSphere (aka VCP4).

VCP 4 Blueprint

Simon Long has a practice test on his Slog.

Keep check the practice test site, he has added to it a couple times. I really like practice tests. Helps me know if I know what I am doing. Many times scheduling the exam for me comes down to confidence, I hate to waste $175- $225.

Now to remember how much Memory is required for the vCenter Server…

A New Home and a shiny new wrapper.

I moved my site to new host and am now using a new blog engine for me. Seems to me I will get alot more control but really I like messing with stuff, so at some point I needed to something new with the blog. I still have a few ideas cooking up and hopefully soon they will be polished enough to be published.

vSheild Zones My First Look

So my first experience trying to deploy the new vShield Zones security product included in VMware’s vSphere.

First vShield Zones is different than VMsafe. The way I understand it is the vShield Zones is like your border security but inside of the vSphere. It divides and segregates networks and virtual machines. The VMsafe is end point protection built into the kernel. Reflex has the first VMsafe certified appliance but I have not had a chance to try it yet. (Need more hardware hint hint)

The User Guide talks about downloading an appliance but you actually download an ISO then run an installer that unzips a folder with the 2 appliances. One is the vShield Zones Manager and the other is the actual firewall. The extra step of using the ISO image was annoying buy I guess I am just a whiner. On a super basic level, (I am not here to re-write the user guide) Import the appliance for the manager then import the firewall. Convert the firewall into a template. The Manager appliance takes care of the rest. Note: Internet Explorer 8 and the Manager Web UI don’t work. I used IE 7 just fine.

  1. You won’t get this far in IE8 🙂
  2. Deploying the vShield is straight forward. It creates new vSwitches and port groups and the Manager UI indicates which network is protected and unprotected. This is not in Virtual Center still in the Web Interface.
  3. As you deploy the vShield enjoy watching the tasks in vCenter.

All things considered it is a good product I don’t have enough throughput on my little lab machine to really test any impact using vShields would have on performance. If you are a Service Provider I think it would be a great add on to ensure some separation of virtuals.