TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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All Things Virtual 18

 

There has been an unbelievable amount of news in the past week and a half since my last All Things Virtual. Also i came across one or two blogs in the past few days that were a bit older but have so much great information in them I’ve added them to this list also.

First is the announcement of the next London VMUG meeting. It is happening on Thursday the 28th of October with some really awesome sessions by Xsigo and Gabrie van Zanten of www.gabesvirtualworld.com/ fame. If you are near the London area I would encourage you to mail the address and book your spot and come join all the attendees for vBeers afterwards and hear how we can all talk about not just VMware stuff but all things geek 🙂

I’m very fortunate to have become a part of a very current and global company like EMC due to the company I worked for being bought by EMC. If you are like i was and always wanted to join a big international IT company at the forefront of the industry then Chad Sakacc’s posting about the more than 200 open positions at EMC,EMC partners and VCE will be of interest to you. There are some amazing roles open especially in my opinion the latest vSpecialist roles to be filled as the vSpecialists are definitely one of the “elite” teams of Virtualisation professionals which I hope one day soon I can become a part of.

Chris Dearden has done an in depth blog posting all about Kaviza VDI in a box V3. If you haven’t heard about Kaviza they won the best of VMworld 2010 Desktop Virtualisation award and has been rated very highly by a lot of top people in the virtualisation industry. Chris has done a great posting all about the features and also just posted about the latest release of it version 3.1.

If you didn’t read my last All Things Virtual then you wouldn’t know that the registration for the VCAP-DCA exams were due to be opened on September the 13th as mentioned by Scott Vessey on his blog. You can register here for the exam. A few of the guys I follow on twitter have already registered. I’m personally waiting quite a while until i feel confident enough in my knowledge and having got through and confidently ticket off all the things on the VCAP blueprint with links as created by by Kendrick Coleman. Eric Sloof posted all about test questions for the VCAP-DCA exam on his site, which will be a nice way of doing some practice before the exam even though a large part of the exam is doing labs. Cody Bunch has started registrations for the VCAP-DCA brown bags consisting of 18 sessions run on a bi-weekly basis starting next week Wednesday (30th of September). I have been through quite few of Cody’s VCP and VCDX brown bags (recorded due to the times they have been running) and they are going to be a brilliant resource in my preparations for the exam.

David M Davis of the Trainsignal vsphere training materials fame has done a very interesting video all about VMware ESXi 4.1 Lockdown and New Total Lockdown Mode. this video is great for someone like me who is having to build and strengthen their knowledge all about ESXi seeing as I’m an ESX only user so far and with the next release not having ESX included.Eric Siebert has posted a great posting all about Upgrading hosts from ESX to ESXi in seven steps. This is brilliant for the exact same reasons of learning ESXi die to ESX being discontinued.

Eric along with David M Davis and  Simon Seagrave have also covered his blog posting along with HP microserver and cool vSphere iPad apps on their latest vchat episode. If you haven’t watched any of theses vChat’s before I would highly recommend them as the guys cover all the latest and greatest things coming out and a personal bit of enjoyment is seeing how remarkably happy David is in every single vChat episode 🙂

The talk and blogging about VMware vCloud Director is still going strong since VMworld and there have been some top class blogs all about features,fixes,lab builds and hardening guides. William Lam has done a posting all about automating the installation of vCloud director and the oracle database. Duncan Epping has posted about the vCloud Director security hardening guide. From what a number of people have been saying on twitter this is a must read before using vCloud Director. I am yet to get round to it as I’m still trying to finish building my test lab of the product but as usual the guide looks like a brilliant resource.Duncan has also posted about creating a vCD lab on your Mac laptop. I’m not an Apple Mac person myself but I’m sure a substantial amount of people will find this posting very interesting.

Mark Vaughn has posted all about a challenge he has made for someone to try make a mini version of the VMware Express truck. If you haven’t heard about the VMware Express tuck then read about it here. Mark is challenging someone to create a smaller version and try put it into a Mini Club-S. I along with a large number of people judging from the talk of it on twitter would love to see this achieved so if you feel up to the challenge then check out his blog and please tell me when it being started and keep me up to date on it’s progress as this is a brilliant idea and highly interesting concept.

Frank Denneman has done another brilliant posting all about Resource pools and simultaneous vMotions. I’ve posted a few of franks previous postings on the topic and i would highly recommend reading through his latest posting on the topic as i know a large number of people and see a very large number on the VMware communities still believing setting values and limits for resource pools as well as using resource pools for organisation.

Duncan Epping has also done a posting all about the misconceptions of the amount of memory allocated to the service console and how it is actually calculated. a nice little bit of information possible for someone writing their vcp or VCAP soon as they love these arbitrary kinds of questions in the exams.

Due to vCentre 4.1 now requiring the base Os to be x64 a number of people are now needing to upgrade their vCentre to a 64bit server.Barry Coombs has blogged all about the VMware document detailing how to achieve it and some of the points of interest he feels you need to pay special attention to.Thankfully due to my vCentre needing a rebuild  a while back my vCentre is already 64bit. If you like a large number people seeing as how much traffic I get to the posting you may get an  “Active Directory Web Services encountered an error while reading the settings for the specified Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instance. Active Directory Web Services will retry this operation periodically. In the mean time, this instance will be ignored.” error and will need to make a few registry changes to fix the error as defined in my blog posting.

Alan Renouf has posted all about the latest PowerCLI 4.1 Poster and Quick Reference Guide. This guide is very useful to me due to my trying to teach myself Powershell/PowerCLI and the learning of these commands for my usage due to the removal of the COS soon. Alan is obviously one of the top guys for PowerCLI and as I’ve mentioned loads of times before if you aren’t using his vCheck program then you need to start using it ASAP.

The next one is an amusing one for anyone working in the virtualisation field who is asked by someone what they actually do for a living and having to try explain it to someone who doesn’t work in IT. Gabrie van Zanten wrote the posting and it’s a great article especially the comments of what other people say 🙂

Next is all about the latest release of the vReference card by Forbes Guthrie. The reference card is an amazing amount of information you could even need to look up on one very easy sheet. I always have the pdf saved to my desktop so i can access it whenever i need to do a quick lookup of any information or values

Next is the availability of the schedule builder for VMworld Copenhagen for all the attendees. I’ve already started playing around with my schedule trying to get in the sessions and hands on labs I want to attend and do ,as well as leave some time for social networking as one of the big things about the conference for me is meeting all the people who I follow and chat to on twitter and whose blogs I have and still learn so much from.If you are a blogger or social media contributor and are attending or will be blogging about VMworld Copenhagen  then remember to add your information for the VMworld Europe 2010 Social Media Contributors.

  Duncan Epping of yellow-bricks fame has a contest to win yourself a free VMworld  Copenhagen ticket so if you aren’t attending and wish to attend but for whatever reason couldn’t afford it then go check out his posting on the contest here and hopefully I’ll meet you there at one of the events.

Talking of events at VMworld the Danish VMUG have taken on a crazy task and have opened up a VMUGParty for all VMworld Copenhagen attendees with free beer and cold drinks sponsored by EMC, Trend Micro, Magirus, IBM and Veeam. I have a feeling this pay get out of hand with the amount of people invited but I’m planning to make it myself and hopefully i can meet you.

Chris Dearden has come up with a very clever idea of instead of exchanging information and business cards at VMworld to exchange self created t-shirts and maybe by the end of the week you’ll have yourself a couple of very cool shirts with your fellow VMware bloggers websites on them.

Gregg


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vSphere 4.1 released

Well after the not so quiet news about vSphere 4.1 being due for release, shock and horror it’s been released. As there are a multitude of people that have had the the opportunity to play and use the RC for a while and therefore have a better understanding of all the new technologies and features I thought I would just summarise all the postings that explained all the new features to me and interested me as there’s sadly a very large number of the RC-enabled bloggers that have almost just cut and pasted the same information from a What’s New news release/PowerPoint slide deck into their blog posts.

  • Eric Siebert has posted I think the best resource and posting of all the features and all the changes since the last release/s. It has all the detail you could need and it is being constantly updated by him on the new features. This is what I hoped many more of the top RC-bloggers to have done.
  • Eric Sloof has posted all about the KB articles pertaining to this release. These links are always a great way of learning the best practices for installing and or upgrading your environment to the latest level and warning of possible problems. This is a page I have set a bookmark to for future reference.
  • Eric has also posted a load of amazing postings all about the Emergence of 10 GigE ,improved vMotion speeds , Memory Enhancements – Compression. I would highly recommend reading these as he’s given some really great details all about these features.
  • Gabrie van Zanten has done a brilliant posting with all of the features and comparisons of the varying versions you can choose and the features they contain. As well as all the new features in the new release.
  • One of the big changes in vSphere 4.1 is licensing has changed for a number of the management tools/products that come with the suite. Erik Scholten has detailed this in his blog posting here
  • Luc Dekens has posted all about the new PowerCLI cmdlets with PowerCLI 4.1 and what the cmdlets can do for you. The open source software for vSphere PowerCLI 4.1 is available from here and here
  • Maish Saidel-Keesing has posted up screenshots of the PowerPoint presentation a lot of people are reposting the information of the new release from but has done the New features and enhancements for ESXi 4.1 side of it so it is an interesting read to see how VMware believe ESXi is good enough to push all their current full ESX customers to ESXi. I still can’t see it happening and no matter what anyone says I think they’ll make plans to accommodate people who don’t want to change as not everyone can change over their whole environments in a short space of time and I know a few people who are still to upgrade to vSphere and they are all very large corporations.
  • On the training side Scott Vessey has posted that there will be a new Install Configure Manage course for vSphere 4.1. I asked if the new VCAP and the VCP4 exams will now be related to 4 Update 2 and 4.1 on twitter and Scott replied with loads of information as per usual.
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  • Keep an eye on Scott’s blog for all the latest information about all the training courses and exams here

Well that’s all the best bits and information I’ve come across, I’m sure there will loads of postings in the coming weeks and months about it all. I’m already downloading it to test out in my lab. Hopefully they don’t bring out 4.1 Update 1 too quickly as it feels as soon as I’ve patched and upgraded all my hosts a new update or version comes out.

Gregg

*UPDATE* Eric Siebert has done an INSANE list off all the links and news for 4.1 on his site here. 🙂 Killed my list by miles.


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All things virtual X

The past two weeks have brought some really great news and views in the virtualisation arena.

On the 6th of this month i was able to attend the London VMware User Group for the second time. There were some very interesting discussions and presentations. I wrote up a blog posting on the day here if you’re interested. I would firmly recommend anyone interested in this field to find out where and when your local VMUG is happening and get your spot as conversing with fellow virtualisation administrators can increase your knowledge on new things very quickly and easily. Hopefully the content from the user group will be uploaded to the normal location soon.

If you somehow haven’t heard about it yet the features due to be in vSphere 4.1 were “leaked” a few weeks back now. There are quite a few new features I’d welcome with open arms like support for up to 4 vMotion concurrent live migrations in 1GbE networks and up to 8 concurrent live migrations in 10GbE networks and Support for 8GB Fibre Channel HBAs. As the article says there is no guarantee that the features will actually be in the public release. I say “leaked” as personally i think if they didn’t want it getting out it wouldn’t have got out, i think it’s just a perfect way of judging people reactions to the features mentioned and see see how they can make some minor changes before making it available.

One of the people i got to meet in person at the London VMUG was Ricky El-Qasem of Veeam. As I’ve said numerous times before I’m hoping to better my powershell/PowerCLI skills as at the moment they are terribly basic and therefore are in dire need of bettering to enable me to script portions of my work to save me time and hopefully prepare me for the lack of the COS in possibly vSphere 4.1. Ricky has posted a few blogs all about his journey in learning PowerCLI in PowerCLI lessons and the resources he has used to grow his skills. Embarrassingly i still haven’t forced myself the time to sit down and get through all of the posts but after speed reading most it it looks like it is going to be highly beneficial to me when I stop being lazy and start working at it.

EMC world that ran from the 10th to the 13th of May brought some really interesting news.The most interesting to me was the announcement of the VPLEX which will enable “VM teleportation”. I won’t try and describe what the technology does and enables you as Chad Sakac has done a brilliant blog posting all about it and what it enables you to do. I can’t wait to be able to play with VPLEX once it’s available. There is also a very interesting KB article all about Enabling long distance vMotion with EMC VPLEX here

Last week the Call for Papers Public Voting opened up for VMworld 2010. Quite a few of the guys I’m friendly with on twitter have made the cut and their sessions have been made available to be voted on. I’m quite amazed by the massive amount of cloud sessions that have been selected. I’m really hoping that VMworld isn’t overshadowed(pun kind of intended) by all the cloud talk. I’ve cast my votes some of which were for fellow UK virtualisation friends and others obviously for ones i really want to be able to see/attend. If you’re like me and gain loads of information and help from Alan Renouf’s PowerCLI scripts then I would recommend a vote for his and Luc Dekens’ “ PowerCLI is for administrators! “ session. There are also sessions by Simon Seagrave of TechHead fame with “Building A Successful vSphere Lab” and “Network Segmentation in a Virtualized Environment ñ Best Practices and Approaches” by Nicholas Weaver of Nickapedia fame to name but a few. So go vote if you’re going to make it to either of the events and hopefully we’ll have loads of really great sessions. If you haven’t registered to attend VMworld then you can still register and get a $250 or €200 early bird discount.

Gregg Robertson

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All Things Virtual

I planned to get this post out last week but unfortunately time ran out before I had a chance. I thought I would put a quick post up of all the things virtual and linked to virtual that i have been doing/working with/learning/reading up on in the past week and a bit.

If you’ve been reading any of my previous postings you would know I have been fiddling fairly extensively and trying to grow my knowledge of powershell,powercli and all the things that can be done with these tools. A professional i follow on twitter who is a guru at all things powershell is Luc Dekens(@lucd22). He has many great scripts and tools for anyone interested and put up a very helpful script of how to search for all VMX files in all datastores and register them into VC.

Scott Lowe(@scott_lowe) did a great write up of  the book vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide.The book was written by many people Duncan Epping(@duncanyb) and Alan Renouf being two of them. It’s a book I’m planning to get myself in the new year and a great book for someone wanting to increase their knowledge in a short space of time as well as a brilliant reference book for people who have been in the industry for ages. The book has just been made available for those of us in Europe wishing to buy it.

For all my powershell and PowerCLI scripting and learning I have been using a brilliant tool called PowerGUI. Dmitry Sotnikov posted last week the new addition of the software and detailed all the new features. This tool is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone planning to use and currently using powershell scripting.

Simon Seagrave(@kiwi_si) wrote a very useful posting all about some great virtualization fundamentals videos from VMware. These are brilliant if you’re trying to learn about virtualisation and are even better for those of you who need to show the benefits of virtualisation to management to maybe get them to agree to converting to VMware.

Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf) has created an absolute life saver reference guide for all things PowerCLI. I printed this off straight away and will be using it extensively in my daily job and my continued learning of PowerCLI. Alan has been a MASSIVE help in my learning of PowerCLI. If you want to learn PowerCLI, his blog posting on PowerCLI where do i start is a great place to start and is the place I’ve recently started at. Also I would recommend keeping an eye on the PowerCLI page of the VMware communities as there are some very informative and interesting discussions on the topic.

Scott Lowe has put up two great posts explaining the differences and similarities of npiv and npv as well as what sr iov is in another posting. I love these kinds of posts as for someone like me who needs things explained in laymen terms to understand it fully it really helps and Scott does this in a great way in these two posts. For those out there who somehow don’t know Scott has a brilliant book called Mastering VMware VSphere 4. If you haven’t got this book already I would highly recommend it for the studying for your vcp4 exam and even more so as a brilliant reference book.

Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame has recently put up two great posts announcing ESX 3.5’s update 5 release and detailing what’s contained in it. As well as a posting of how to do the infamous kill –9 command of ESX in ESXi. If you haven’t had to restart your mgmt-VMware service before due to it hanging or had to use the kill –9 command as the service won’t stop/restart then either you have an environment all VMware admins dream of or you’ve been very very lucky so far. Simon Long (@simonlong_) has posted a great blog posting recently with videos from VMware  showing how to do these service restarts if you’ve never done them before.

Lastly is my blog roll on the right hand side of the page. All of these blogs are my favourites and are blogs I highly recommend to anyone wishing to learn and stay informed of everything happening in the virtual world. These are some of the best and the best in the industry so try take some time to get through them all and add rss feeds for the ones you find the most interesting.

Feel free to follow or even message me on twitter  on @greggrobertson5 and I would recommend following the people I have detailed above and in my previous blog postings.

Gregg Robertson

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Powershell,PowerGUI,PowerCLI and vCheck

As i said in my last post I’ve decided to start brushing up my non existent knowledge of powershell and learn the applications that link into VMware Virtual Infrastructure and how they can make my daily job easier and more automated. I’ve found many great articles and actually registered myself for two on demand Microsoft live meetings on using powershell a number of months back which i still need to make my way through. The two live meetings I’m planning to go through are:

Introduction to Windows PowerShell: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032314395&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Writing Scripts with Windows Powershell : http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032320637&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

Hopefully these will give me a basic basic knowledge of standard commands i can use and how they work as I’m a very big point and click type of person. There are many brilliant resources out there to learn from and reference.

For PowerCLI there is obviously the administration guide. The administration guide has loads of examples and covers both basic and advanced cmdlet usage. I’m definitely going to be spending a fair amount of time reading through and learning everything in the guide.Obviously to do all the great commands in your VMware environment you’ll need to install the PowerCLI application from http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/windowstoolkit/index.html.

Alan Renouf(@alanrenouf) has written a great blog detailing some really helpful links and documents you can follow and use to learn and perfect your PowerCLI knowledge.I’ll be making my way through this list in the coming days. Alan also has a page on his site where he blogs about any new developments in powercli at http://www.virtu-al.net/category/powercli/

Microsoft has very handy PowerShell Quick Reference guide that has some very good examples for doing stuff in your environment.

Vinternal (@vinternals) has a really great blog page about learning all things powercli http://vinternals.com/powercli-mastery/ which is something I’m planning to get through once i have learnt all the basics from all the above resources. But a really great resource.

But my first port of call is a document detailed on both Alan and Simon Longs blogs that was made available at VMworld Europe last year. As it covers all the basics while teaching me about VMware specific commands.http://blogs.vmware.com/files/vi-toolkit-lab—-vmworld-europe-2009.pdf

If your on twitter and wish to follow me and hear about my progress on my learning of powershell,powercli etc then my username is @greggrobertson5

Gregg Robertson

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London VMware User Group

Last week Tuesday i attended my first VMware user group. I have to admit that i was sadly really excited to be attending it for learning about new things from my fellow peers and also about finally meeting some of the people i follow on twitter and whose blogs i read and receive so much information from. The event was help not far from EMC Consulting’s London offices at the Chambers of commerce and trade near Southwark bridge.

I confirmed my attendance to Jonathan Medd’s( @jonathanmedd) powershell session before the user group as  i knew my powershell skills are far from competent and what better way than to get a run through of the best tools and methods i should learn for administering my VMware environment. Jonathon covered a couple of very interesting applications the first one being the vCheck by Alan Renouf(@alanrenouf). I don’t know how i never learnt or heard about his tool but it is definitely something i am planning on rolling out for my VMware environment as soon as possible as it’s reporting of any problems and things you need to watch/resolve is a great tool for any VMware administrator wanting to keep his/her environment running smoothly.

Another topic which was covered by Jonathan which I’m definitely now planning to make a concerted effort of attempting to get through and learn is using powershell and powergui to automate and administer my environment. Fellow VMware user group attendee Simon Long @simonlong_) wrote a great blog about learning it which I’m definitely going to try and get through.

Jonathan also covered onyx alpha and VESI. New applications to me which look to be very helpful also in the maintenance of your VMware environment. I really do have a lot of reading a research to do on this scripting/powershell side!

Next was the sponsors chat who were Symantec. I was quite impressed with them as i have to be honest i had no idea they had so many tools and solutions geared towards virtualisation. Their next set of releases in 2010 are well worth looking out for especially if you have a number of their solutions in your environment already.

Then Simon Gallagher(@vinf_net) spoke about creating a white box environment for home testing/learning. His T.A.R.D.I.S. (no i can’t remember what exactly the acronym stands for) was a real eye opener especially the vmotioning of a machine from a virtual esx server in a virtual machine(yes this isn’t a typo) to a physical host was very impressive and definitely showed how well developed the VMware technology really is. Simon Seagrave(@kiwi_si) who was meant to co host this session but couldn’t because of work commitments has a really great page on his site about the equipment they used and deals on equipment you could use for your own white box lab environment.

The final session was by Mike Laverick(@mikelaverick) and Guy Chapman talking about their opinions and thoughts on cloud computing and the new vSphere features. This was a great session as really brought up a nice discussion from everyone. I’m definitely looking forward to going through his slides once they are published as he had some brilliant comments and references and his describing of the cloud was especially interesting to me as I’m also trying to understand what the cloud is and what it will do for me and my organisation.

A big thank you to Alaric and the rest of the guys for organising the user group. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to be able to make the next one. If you live in the south of England and wish to come to the next one i would recommend joining the community on http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmug/emea/london?view=discussions and subscribing to any new posting on the community or mailing londonvmug@yahoo.com and requesting to be added to the list for the next one early next year.

Gregg Robertson

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