VMworld Day One Quick Thoughts

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.

Your mom goes to VMworld 2010

Am I allowed to say that?

ooops the video I used was removed from youtube

Wow, it is almost here. Today I am getting ready for my flight to SFO tomorrow morning. This is a short post to preview what is planned for the blog during VMworld.

  • A daily recap blog. Getting all of the detail of the days is going to be a big task. So much will be going on there is no way I will get it all but I will give my perspective on that is going on.
  • A video feature. I am teaming up with @kevin_miller and we will be getting some “unique” perspectives from people in and around VMworld. If no one will cooperate I will make something up. Need to find a mic.
  • Pictures from the In-n-Out meetup.

I do have some non-goofing around goals for the trip. There is a massive value to VMworld. I hope I get to all the sessions I want early enough to get in. I am looking for ways to improve what I do everyday which is design, implement and support VMware solutions. I am excited for cool new features as much as the next guy but too much focus on futures and you can miss the stuff that will help you right now.

Finding the Fusion OVFTool

The OVFtool is something I wished VMware Fusion had a while back and finally got a chance to use it the other day. I checked google and I found that it was located at:

/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/ovftool

As I looked for that path I was surprised it was not there. I upgraded from Fusion 2 to 3 to 3.1 and never recalled a chance or a place to add the OVFtool to my install. I could not find an independent download for the Mac OVFtool. I ended up re-installing the newest version of Fusion and I had to click “Advanced” during the install and turn on the OVFtool to install. Not sure if that is the best way, but that is how I got it to work. 🙂

Now that the path exists I was able to convert the OVF Appliance to be used on my Mac.

ovftool --help reveals a ton of options. To do a basic conversion though try this:


$mkdir /Users/username/Documents/Virtual Machines/ApplianceName
$/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/ovftool/ovftool ./Appliance.ovf /Users/username/Documents/Virtual Machines/ApplianceName

This will expand and convert the VM to be used with Fusion. Now just select open the VM in Fusion and play away.

Storage IO Control and An Idea

After being out of town for almost all of July, I am finally getting to make a run at vSphere 4.1. I am throwing different features at our lab environment and seeing what they do. I don’t think I would be writing anything new in saying vMotion and Storage vMotion is faster. Clones and deploying from a template is faster (VAAI). I decided to take a peak at the Resource Allocation for IOps per VM. Nothing you do not already know, you can now assign shares and limits to the Disk IO. Useful if you need certain machines to never take too much IO and cause storage latency. This only kicks in when the latency threshold is exceeded.

My wacky ideas usually come from the idea of resource pools, shares and limits are cool but I don’t want them used all the time. So why don’t I apply the limits or shares dynamically based on a certain time or expected workload. Lets say my third party backup software runs at 8pm, and that software is on a VM. At 7:59 I could lower all the shares of all the vm’s and raise the disk shares of my backup server. This prevents rogue dba from killing your backup window with a query or stored procedure that is heavy in the disk. Even deeper if I could return the shares to each VM as the backup software finishes backing up all the vm’s on that datastore. I wonder if this will actually shorten backup windows or just make the dba’s mad. Either way you win. 🙂

While clearing up my understanding on the issue of SIOC William Lam sent me to these two scripts (very useful):
http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2010/07/script-configure-vm-disk-shares.html
http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2010/07/script-automate-storage-io-control-in.html

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VMworld 2010 – In-N-Out Burger Meetup

Last year we had a great time going to In-n-out. For someone like me that was born and raised in Southern California, In-n-out is one of those things I must have when coming back to California. Luckily there is a location within a short trolley ride of the Moscone Center / VMworld 2010. If there is a lesson from last year if you are not used to public transportation you may need some practice. 🙂

Leave a comment or hit me up on twitter @2vcps if you are think you will make it.

Meetup
Where: at the In-n-out in San Francsico
When: Tuesday 8/31 at 5:30 pm – Gives you enough to go eat and come back before any Vendor sponsored party/events. I won’t interfere with free food and beer. 🙂
What: Eat Double Double, Fries

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UPDATE
@trey_anderson was cool enough to make this map with directions from Moscone to In-N-Out