VMware vCenter Appliance 5.5 – Tour

So you have ESXi up and running. What is next? Get the vCenter appliance running. I downloaded the OVA and imported in just a few minutes.


After getting the appliance all booted go the https://<your-ip>:5480

Setup vCenter Options


I selected custom so I could go through all the options.


Oracle is also an option.


Fill in if external. Embedded you just need to choose a password for the Administrator.


Setup your Active Directory authentication. You can do this later if you don’t have the right information now. One thing I learned is the hostname of the appliance MUST be set to a FQDN for this to work.


NTP rocks!


Sign in. the default username and password for the appliance is root and vmware


Now you have a ESXi all ready and added. Start being Virtually awesome.

Installing VMware vSphere 5.5 – Quick Tour

So if you haven’t gone through it in your lab, what is better than getting an idea of how to install vSphere 5.5 with a few screenshots. For the beginners out there I just wanted to walk through the process really quick like.


Boot from the media!


Still looks very familar if you have done this before. Of course if you are so awesome why are you still reading?


Look! It’s vSAN


Is it VSAN, vSAN or Vsan?


I always use password123 – just so it is easy. Just kidding. SRSLY!


By the way a note to VMware: Hitting F11 is not awesome on a Mac. Just hold every key on the bottom left side of the keyboard and hit volume down key for those that have always been mac people and thought F11 is some kind of Air Force project. Actually just FN +F11


Woot! Now you are a pro. Go take the VCP. Oh and study a bunch first.

Now it is time to add it to your vCenter.

VMworld 2013 – In-N-Out Burger Meetup

The annual 2vcps run to In-n-Out burger! This kid from Southern California now living in Atlanta, Georgia needs to get some burgers. So let’s meet up get a Double Double and talk a bit about all the cool things going on at VMworld.

Where: at the In-n-out in San Francsico
When: Tuesday 8/27 – 11pm – after the EMC Party – Great way to finish off or begin the rest of the night.
What: Eat Double Double, Fries

At 11pm I will be getting my Double Double, Fries and Chocolate Shake. Nothing like 1200 Calories at 11pm (only 2am EST).





UPDATE: OSX on Fusion VM

I won’t fully apolgize for saying I wanted to punch Apple. Mainly, this is made much harder than it needs to be. If this doesn’t make sense read my previous rant about getting the install image for OSX Mountain Lion to run a VM legally and licensed on my Mac Mini purchased with Mountain Lion pre-installed.

In that article I cite an article that ended up having the answer if I would just follow the intructions. Go there I will re-describe here with the steps to getting the image installed in Fusion.

Get the BaseSystem.dmg


First we are going to mount the Apple_Boot Recoery HD. The attach the baseSystem.dmg image as a drive.

From the list we now enter:

>diskutil mount readOnly /dev/disk0s3
>hdutil attach "/Volumes/Recovery HD/com.apple.recovery.boot/BaseSystem.dmg"


The result of the hdutil attach command opens this window in finder. This is where I got it all wrong. Instead of following the directions I thought. Well instead of copying everyting in the download and force quiting like the instructions. I will just get the VM to boot from the BaseSystem.dmg. This seemed to be working fine.

On a side note. The BaseSystem.dmg is invisible in finder. From the CLI you can see it and make a copy from the Recovery HD to your main partition. If you want to be able to actually view the file use the command for the CLI:
>chflags nohidden ./BaseSystem.dmg
All this will do is get you this error during the install process with the menacing eyes of the Mountain Lion and the barely QA’d error message saying you didn’t buy Lion. No duh I didn’t buy Lion my mac CAME WITH Mountain Lion. Oh well I digress.


Back to instructions that will actually help you.

Install OSX Mountain Lion


Show All Disks


Use your handy EMC Elect 64GB USB drive


Seriously my 8GB USB was too small the next size up I own is 64GB (thanks @mjbrender)

Now we wait – then Force QUIT


So with a large enough USB drive you click install. The installer will now download 4+GB of installtion files into a InstallESD.dmg image on that USB drive. Now you have to read carefully. You must Force Quit when the installer is finished downloading and ready to reboot. Don’t Reboot. ALT + right click (or two finger’d, whatever). If you just normally quit the app in the dock it will clean itself up and delete the InstallESD.dmg file. Some reported seeing the file in the “Trash” after a normal quit, that just not how I roll. Force that junk!

Now copy that file somewhere else for fusion install.


The USB drive in Finder


In Fusion create a new VM


I am using Fusion 5 so this probably won’t work in previous versions with OSX 10.8
Click Continue without disc.


Choose a disc or disc image…


Now select the InstallESD.dmg image. Now Fusion will detect that you are installing Mac OSX 10.8 and roll on. Amazingly enough now it does not ask for your AppleID to verify the installation was purchased from the App Store.


Install the VMware tools and now you have a happy little OSX VM.

Turning rant back on:
I started messing with this morning and now it is 3:45pm. Thanks for taking a Saturday Apple. Urgh.

Virtual Storage Integrator – VSI 5.5

Actually using the Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) from EMC will simplify the complex environments used to create virtual data centers and private clouds. Wanted to bring to your attention some of the new features in the VSI

What is new?


A little deeper


Demo from my good friend Itzik Reich @itzikr

Itzik shows off how to use the Recoverpoint Point in Time with VMware SRM and the VSI plugin to recover from a bookmark that is not the latest. Always WAS a problem if you could only restore using SRM to a corrupted point in the data. Now you can choose and SRM will failover to that point in time. Read Iztik’s blog post on RecoverPoint 4.0 – http://itzikr.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/recoverpoint-4-0-finally/


Restore a VM from a VNX snapshot or RecoverPoint using the VSI plugin. Pretty cool.

Working on the demo for this now. I will post it in a few days.


More on the EMC, Cisco and Citrix 5000 on vSphere CVD (Cisco Validated Design) in 30 minutes

UPDATED May 26 – New links included Mike Brennan’s latest blog going into the testing and details of the CVD – http://blogs.cisco.com/?p=114587

Scaling CVD for XenDesktop and EMC on Cisco <—-NEWEST Version of the paper!!!!

Back a few months ago I shared about the joint reference architecture that was able to boot and login 5000 users in 30 minutes. Using the Cisco UCS running VMware vSphere, with Citrix XenDesktop and an EMC VNX 7500. Cisco and Citrix answer a few questions with Craig Chapman on the joint validated design in this video:

I really like this layout and it usually takes pretty pictures to get me interested. Here is a high level overview of the design.





Some of the original CVD links:

CVD Paper – 5000 User VDI with EMC, Cisco, Citrix and VMware
Mike Brennan’s blog about 5000 VDI users

Updated May 2013
Solution Brief from Cisco 4000 Users

Update May 24, 2013 – More links:

Mike Brenner blog on the CVD
Scaling CVD for XenDesktop and EMC on Cisco <—-NEWEST Version of the paper!!!!



My VMworld Session – Enterprise PaaS

If you have a session I missed please put it in the comments are yell at me on twitter.

My submission


I had 2 other sessions that seemed to be the exact same submissions as a certain VP from EMC, so I stuck with 5351 Enterprise Platform as a Service. – How IT will compete for internal business customers. There was an alternative title to this session and I promise to reveal it if my session gets approved. http://www.vmworld.com and make sure you vote!

SO. MANY. Sessions. Here are a few others I found interesting.

Other Sessions I see as interesting.


This should be very interesting, two very smart and interesting folks, Wade and Matt. Really looking to see some new faces on stages this year.


HMA was a customer of mine before I moved to a role in the EMC solutions group. It will be good to hear how they are leveraging cloud in their 80+ facilities.

Cloud Foundry and Puppet


I am on a Cloud Foundry/PaaS/DevOps/Next-Gen Apps kick as of late.


Must admit, Jonas rocks. Magnus is pretty cool too. Razor and SDS should prove to be a informative and not boring session.

PaaS Related


I am extremely interested on how to get from “Here is a VM” to “Here is an API, write some code”

An All New but Very Similar Adventure

The more things stay the same the more they change, or something like that. At the beginning of the month I started a new place within EMC. I am now the VMware/Cloud/SDDC guy for the Solutions Marketing and Enablement team with the EMC Solutions Group. Exciting new and fun things coming especially around content related to the same old theme for me. VMware, Virtualization, Cloud and all the related points, now with a focus on end-to-end solutions that address requests coming from the business. I am working with a pretty awesome team and I am excited to see what we can produce over the next few months.all-the-stuffz

So check back here soon for information on EMC World, All new reference archtectures, whitepapers, webcasts, podcasts and all way to get involved in the overall cloud community and conversation. As always it is my pleasure to take stuff I learn day to day and show it to you all in a way that will help you. Thanks for reading!


VMware View Stretched Cluster

The last few days I have been considering the best way to stretch a cluster of VMware View resources. After digging and talking to people smarter than me I figured out there is a lot of things to consider and that means lots of ways to solve this. In this first post I want to highlight the first overall solution that was inspired by an actual customer. This design came from one of the fine EMC SE’s and it inspired me to share further. I stole his picture. It is very storage centric (imagine that) so most of what I share will give some detail to the VDI and VMware portion.

VMware View and VNX and Isilon


Probably more detail then you need. Important things to remember. The VPLEX will keep the Volume in sync across distance at each site. All the benefits of FAST Cache will still be in place for each site.
In this solution each location will have file data redirected to the Isilon for SMB shares. I will use the VMware View pools and entitlements to force users to each side. Group Policy (GPO) or Third Party Persona Management will direct the users to their data. We are active/active in the sense that workloads are live at each site. Active Passive for the File portion as we will only kick users to site B in the event of a planned or unplanned event.
In another post I will discuss what I learned to make it complete non-persistent site to site active active everything. There is some cool stuff coming here.
First I used Resource pools to map to the VMware View Pools I created to. In the picture below the “Dell-Blades” cluster hosts 1-3 are in site A and hosts 3-6 are site B. One problem How to make sure each pool is pinned to each location?


Create the VM Group and Host Groups first!


Create the VM Site A and B group first. Then Create the Host Groups. As simple as editing the settings in your cluster and clicking DRS Groups Manager. One gotcha is you have to have hosts and VM’s first before making the groups. This may be an issue you have have not provisioned your View desktops first (I would wait). Just use some dummy VM’s at first to get the rules created.

With the Groups created Create the Rule


Remember these rules should say “Should run on hosts in group” (big thanks to @VirtualChappy). If you don’t have the rules right failover won’t work in case of a site going away for whatever reason.

Useful Script for setting DRS Host Affinity for all VM’s in a Resource Pool


This script I located on the community forums from the amazing LucD and at fix from another community user "GotMoo" I love the VMware Community.

What is so cool is I can run this after provisioning all of my desktops to get them in the right DRS VM Group and since usually in VMware View Environments you might create and destroy desktop VM’s regularly this helps a ton.

$vCenterServer = "vcenter.domain.lab"
#authenticating and Connecting to the VC

$CurrentUserName = [Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::getcurrent().name
$cred = Get-Credential $CurrentUserName
Write-Output "Connecting to vCenter. Please stand by..."
Connect-VIServer -Server $vCenterServer -Credential $Cred


#Function for updating the Resource VM Groups
function updateDrsVmGroup ($clusterName,$resourcePoolName,$groupVMName){
$cluster = Get-Cluster -Name $clusterName
$spec = New-Object VMware.Vim.ClusterConfigSpecEx
$groupVM = New-Object VMware.Vim.ClusterGroupSpec
#Operation edit will replace the contents of the GroupVMName with the new contents seleced below.
$groupVM.operation = "edit"

$groupVM.Info = New-Object VMware.Vim.ClusterVmGroup
$groupVM.Info.Name = $groupVMName

# Perform your VM selection here. I use resource pools per cluster to identify group members,
# but you could use any method to select your VM's.
get-cluster $clusterName | Get-ResourcePool $resourcePoolName | get-vm | %{
$groupVM.Info.VM += $_.Extensiondata.MoRef
$spec.GroupSpec += $groupVM

#Apply the settings to the cluster

# Calling the function. I've found the group names to be case sensitive, so watch for that.
#updateDrsVmGroup ("ClusterName") ("ResourcePool Name") ("DRS VM Groupname")
updateDrsVmGroup ("UCS") ("DesktopsA") ("VM Site A")
updateDrsVmGroup ("UCS") ("DesktopsB") ("VM Site B")
# updateDrsVmGroup ("Cluster_STAGE") ("Group A") ("Group A VMs (Odd)")
# updateDrsVmGroup ("Cluster_STAGE") ("Group B") ("Group B VMs (Even)")
Disconnect-VIServer -Confirm:$False

More to come…

Finally this is a quick look at setting up View to be cross location. Of course other considerations about web load balancers, networking, number of View Connection Managers all need to be decided for your environment. Next post will include some of the stuff I found about keeping the users data live in both sites. Things like Windows DFS (Isilon can be a member), Atmos, VNX replication, and something called Panzura.