My ramblings about all things technical

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VMware vSphere client for iPad app released

The VMware vSphere client for iPad app has now been released. The first person I noticed to mention it on twitter and with an extremely in-depth blog posting covering it all was Jason Boche  (@jasonboche) in his Free VMware vSphere Client for iPad Available, even beating Scott Herrod VMware’s CTO to the punch(on the twitter announcement at least).

Jason has done such a great job covering it as has Eric Sloof in his VMware vSphere Client for iPad – Control your datacenter from the couch posting that I won’t even bother trying to cover all the features and rather just tell you to read through their blog posting like I have and will repeatedly today Smile

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App store although a number of people are stating it doesn’t show up but John Troyer (@jtroyer) has alerted people to the fact that the “ vSphere Client for iPad can take a few hours to show up in search, but here’s the direct link: “. I’ve already downloaded mine and hope to be doing all my vCentre work via it today so I can used to how it all works.

Have fun playing


*Update* You will need to download the vCMA to be able to use the iPad app to access your vCentre. It can be downloaded from here and the guys from have done a great posting on how to set it all up here

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All Things VMworld:Day 0


Yes I couldn’t think of a better title so I altered my normal title for this weeks proceedings 🙂 .

Due to there being so much information coming out of VMworld and certainly a large amount more in the coming week I thought it may be helpful for myself and hopefully others to list all the interesting news and views that are coming out of VMworld each day.

  • First has to be the rap video by Chad Sakac’s EMC vSpecialist’s. Christopher Kusek (@cxi) was the first person I noticed who posted on his blog all about how the “vSpecialists get the job done! “. A hilarious video for anyone in the virtualisation field and the quality of it is remarkable. I’ve sadly watched it about ten times already today

  • As I said in my last All Things Virtual, VMworld have their own channel on YouTube and already the  first Daily Wrap of VMworld 2010 is up and a very interesting video posted on their channel is the biggest news of the day about the not so secret news that vSphere 4.1 release is the last release of VMware ESX. As well as a video preview of the VMworld Solutions Exchange
  • Another big announcement is the release of VMware vCloud Director. As to not give wrong information and because I’m only learning about it now myself i won’t attempt to try explain but leave it to the professionals and both Eric Sloof and Duncan Epping have done two brilliant posting all about the release and what the product entails. Duncan’s posting is here and Eric’s here.
  • Next has to be Microsoft’s open letter to customers attending VMworld telling them how Microsoft feels they are more/as capable to provide the best services for people wishing to utilise the cloud in the future. This is a great bit of publicity for VMware in my opinion as it shows how strong Microsoft feels VMware are in the cloud computing arena. The letter is here (*Warning* this is a link that downloads the letter in it’s pdf format). To be fair Microsoft do make a very good point in weighing up the positives and negatives of both sides(as well as other vendors) and it’s great to see they have their own stall at VMworld as everyone wants a fair competition and for the best products to be decided by the users on a level playing ground.
  • Last is the summaries of other VMWorld news by Scott Lowe here,Dan Kusnetzky on here and a fairly amusing posting by Larry Chiang of “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School“ fame with his 9 Lies Told at VMworld. Most amusing to me is due to poor layouts of the page it only shows 7 🙂 I purposely left out some things due to them being covered by Scott and Dan as no one likes the same stuff being repeated numerous times.

Well that’s my day 0 of VMworld summary. I’m sure I’ve missed a few things but i think I got all the best and important stuff.



vCentre 4 and vSphere Update 2 Released

As of last night VMware have  released VMware vCentre 4.0 Update 2 & VMware vSphere Update 2

All the patches that were released and their build numbers are:
vCentre Server 4.0 Update 2 (Build 258672)
vSphere Client 4.0 Update 2 (Build 258672)
ESX 4.0 Update 2 (Build 261974)
VMware Tools (Build 261974)

The new features with the latest release of vSphere are:

  • Enablement of Fault Tolerance Functionality for Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors without Fault Tolerance. vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables Fault Tolerance functionality for the Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors.
  • Enablement of Fault Tolerance Functionality for Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors without Fault Tolerance. vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables Fault Tolerance functionality for the Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors.
  • Enablement of IOMMU Functionality for AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors without input/output memory management unit (IOMMU). vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables IOMMU functionality for the AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors.
  • Enhancement of the esxtop/resxtop utility vSphere 4.0 Update 2 includes an enhancement of the performance monitoring utilities, esxtop and resxtop. The esxtop/resxtop utilities now provide visibility into the performance of NFS datastores in that they display the following statistics for NFS datastores: Reads/s, writes/s, MBreads/s,MBwrtn/s, cmds/s, GAVG/s(guest latency).
  • Additional Guest Operating System Support— ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 2 adds support for Ubuntu 10.04. For a complete list of supported guest operating systems with this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

The new features with the latest release of vCentre are:

Guest Operating System Customization Improvements: vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional SP2 (x64) serviced by Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • SLES 11 (x32 and x64)
  • SLES 10 SP3 (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 5.5 Server Platform (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 5.4 Server Platform (x32 and x64)
  • RHEL 4.8 Server Platform (x32 and 64)
  • Debian 5.0 (x32 and x64)
  • Debian 5.0 R1 (x32 and x64)
  • Debian 5.0 R2 (x32 and x64)

Check out the VMware vCentre 4 Update 2 Release Notes here and VMware vSphere Update 2 Release Notes here for all the resolved issues and all the fixes from previous bundles and how to update your environment.

You can download the latest update from the VMware download page here.

Gregg Robertson

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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 IX


It’s been a very interesting week in the virtualisation arena and a number of really great resources and news has come out.

  • First is the news that VMworld registrations are now open.  Since following every bit of last years VMworld via twitter to peoples streaming videos to peoples blogs I’ve been excited that this year I’ve been given approval to attend the conference and hopefully i too can give back some top blog postings like so many of the people i read last year did. Richard Garsthagen (@the_anykey) has posted a great blog posting all about what you can expect to see and be able to do at this years VMworld. I’m personally really excited to play with quite a few of the labs and increase my knowledge on some of the technologies and features i haven’t had a chance to test drive/learn about yet. That and nerdy as it is to hopefully meet and “Chinwag” as Mike Laverick would say(I would highly recommend listening to Mikes chinwags as they are remarkably interesting and helpful to hear what other top virtualisation people are doing and what their views are on things happening in the virtualisation arena). Richard also posted some ways of winning your way to VMworld as the cost for it is obviously very costly especially if you work for a small company or are self employed.
  • Next is the news of the names of the new VMware exams. I posted all about it a few days back  and how I feel this is a very helpful idea and necessary step by VMware to help people grow their knowledge and bridge the gap between the VCP and the VCDX. Have a look at the links I’ve mentioned in the posting..
  • Steve Jin posted a very interesting article about how to use HTTP with the vSphere Client. As he says in the posting the video by Carter Shanklin (@cshanklin) is where the “trick” is shown and is a brilliant video for anyone wishing to learn more about Onyx. This trick is really great and very helpful. Luc Dekens (@LucD22) also posted a very interesting article all about using fiddler as a onyx alternative. I’ve used fiddler a few times before to try work out why certain things weren’t running or what ports an application/server was trying to reach and it’s a very helpful tool, i haven’t had the time to try out Luc’s idea but if it works like he says it does this will be a very good trick and tool in every virtual administrators tool belt.
  • Duncan Epping (@DuncanYB) posted all about the vSphere Resource Kit a book that will have all the things the Microsoft Resource kits had but obviously covering everything vSphere. If the chapter names of the book are anything to go by this book is going to be the bible for vSphere. Check out the webpage of the book here.
  • Rich Brambley (@rbrambley) has done a great posting all about his use case for using VMware Data Recovery and all the positives and negatives of using it. We personally use it here for some small backups and the software is brilliant and very simple to use and understand and is a great tool for small businesses looking for a backup solution for the virtual environment.
  • The hardening guide for vSphere 4.0 has finally come out. For those of you that haven’t used or seen these  before they are brilliant guides by VMware for securing your virtual environments by following more than 100 guidelines from ones for your virtual machines to your hosts to the console OS.
  • VMware have put out a survey/questionnaire all about HA (High Availability) and FT(Fault tolerance) asking about everyone’s experiences of using it. I’ve already filled it in and feel everyone should fill it out as the more people that fill it out obviously the better VMware can understand everyone’s needs and make the products better. The survey is here
  • Next week Thursday is the London VMUG and I’ve just received my confirmation that I have got myself a seat so really looking forward to meeting up with a load of fellow south UK virtualisation geeks and then getting to vbeers afterwards. If you haven’t requested your spot then get a mail sent as the more the merrier. Also Doug Hazelman from Veeam (@VMDoug) is coming to the user group so should be very exciting.
  • A big welcome to Simon Seagrave (@Kiwi_Si) on joining EMC. That’s two of the top virtualisation guys i look up to that have joined EMC now with Alan Renouf also having joined EMC. Hopefully I can work my way into being able to be around these guys and tap into their amazing knowledge.
  • Duncan Epping posted all about the availability of the VCDX application form. As I’ve said in previous postings I’m hoping that one day i have the expertise and knowledge to gain this accreditation.  The application form is also a great view into the kinds of things that will be necessary for you to do the defence and so is helpful to anyone planning to do it and wanting to gain the knowledge necessary.

Gregg Robertson




VMware Certified Professional vSphere passed

Below is my posting about my passing of the VMware Certified Professional vSphere exam that i passed almost a month ago now on  my company blog site

For anyone that has read my previous blog postings or is a follower of my random ramblings on twitter you would know i have been preparing for my VCP4 exam for the past couple of weeks/months. I wrote it last Friday being filled with an unbelievable amount of nerves due to a lot of people saying this exam was much harder than the vcp3 exam which i found very challenging.

Obviously by the title of this post i passed the exam and with an unexpectedly high score of 444 with the required pass mark being 300 (I’m more shocked by this score than anyone else as for a couple of the really hard three answer questions i had to make educated guesses ,which obviously i seem to have got right ) . I didn’t feel the exam was harder than the vcp3 exam but i did study a large amount more for this exam, had a much stronger base of knowledge this time due to my working with the technology for quite a while now, having built almost a dozen vSphere esx servers, several large environments ,having studied for and done my vcp3 recently as well as having attended the “what’s new” course for vSphere .  So the exam may be much harder for people.

As I’ve detailed in my past two blogs on the VCP subject I used and tried to cover a very large amount of resources in my studying which definitely kept me very busy in trying to get it all done/covered and understood before the exam.The reasons I took on such a large amount is firstly I obviously wanted to pass the exam but also I wanted to make sure of my knowledge so that I can do my job effectively, really make sure I understand everything I was learning and got experience in the certain things I haven’t had to use before which therefore I didn’t fully understand how they worked.

Many people have spoken and detailed the layout etc of the exam so i don’t see any point in repeating what they have said already in that respect.

I do agree though with the people saying this exam definitely tests you more on things you only really know about/how to do if you have worked with/played around with all the technologies in the vSphere suite of products which i think is a much better thing as i think it proves you haven’t just regurgitated information and also keep the accreditations status quite high.

A massive thank you has to go out to all the people i follow and chat with on twitter. They were more than happy to answer any questions i might have on things i couldn’t get my head around and also were a great help in giving examples from their real world experience of using the products. I would definitely recommend following the list created by @ericsiebert of the top 100 virtualisation people to follow on twitter. Sadly I’m not on it , but my aim is to keep working and learning so as to prove my inclusion on the list soon.

Good luck to anyone writing the exam, hopefully if you have to make educated guesses for some questions ,they will work out as well for you as they did for me.

Gregg Robertson