Aug 312009
 

Got over to the Moscone Center early this morning.  Looking pretty good, cool setup in the foyer:
Datacenter

The lines were not too long yet and moving quickly at the registration counter….
Registration

The longest lines I would find were in the VMware Store in Moscone South.  Make sure to head over there soon if you want the “big guy” shirts like me…..
VMware Store

Aug 272009
 

What?  Not a VMware release you say?  Last week Wyse quietly released PocketCloud for the iPhone and iTouch.  The PocketCloud app allows you to connect to RDP 6 terminal servers and VMware View 3.1 Managers (ahh there’s the connection).  Here’s the list of features from Wyse’s web site:

Thin-Client-On-the-Go

  • For iPhone and iPod touch

Wyse Proprietary RDP 6.0 Engine

  • Fast: Optimized for the iPhone
  • Enterprise grade security: 128-bit encryption and FIPS support
  • Microsoft Terminal Services support

3G and Wi-Fi Optimized

  • Work smoothly with 3G connections and Wi-Fi

VMware View 3.1 Certified

  • Support for:
    • Direct connections and advanced tunneling
    • SSL encryption
    • Experimental support for RSA Two-Factor Authentication Continue reading »
Aug 222009
 

The oldest VMware product, workstation, was updated this week to version 6.5.3.  Mostly bug fixes but one nice addition from the release notes:

Workstation 6.5.3 is a maintenance release that resolves some known issues. With this release of VMware Workstation, new support has been added.

Support for New Guest Operating Systems
VMware provides new support for the following guest operating system on Workstation 6.5.3:

Ubuntu 9.04 is fully supported.
See the Guest/Host OS tab on the VMware Compatibility Guide Web site for supported guests, installation instructions, and known issues.

Security Fixes

  • New: Third party library libpng updated to 1.2.35. Several flaws were discovered in the way the third-party libpng library handled uninitialized pointers. An attacker could create a PNG image file in such a way, that when loaded by an application linked to libpng, it could cause the application to crash or execute arbitrary code at the privilege level of the user running the application. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CVE-2009-0040 to this issue.

You can download the updated bits here for Windows and here for Linux.

Aug 222009
 

Ace was upgraded this week to version 2.5.3.  Here’s the main updates (all security fixes) from the release notes :

Security Fixes

  • New: An updated version of Apache is being shipped with ACE Management Server. The new version of ACE, updates the Apache HTTP Server on Windows hosts to version 2.0.63 to address multiple security issues that existed in previous versions of Apache.  The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the names CVE-2007-3847, CVE-2007-1863, CVE-2006-5752, CVE-2007-3304, CVE-2007-6388, CVE-2007-5000, CVE-2008-0005 to the issues addressed by this update.  Note: The Apache HTTP Server is not part of an ACE install on a Linux host. Update the Apache HTTP Server on the host system to version 2.0.63 in order to eliminate these security issues.
  • New: Third party library libpng updated to 1.2.35. Several flaws were discovered in the way the third-party libpng library handled uninitialized pointers. An attacker could create a PNG image file in such a way that when loaded by an application linked to libpng, it could cause the application to crash or execute arbitrary code at the privilege level of the user running the application.  The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CVE-2009-0040 to this issue.

You can grab the updated version here .

Aug 182009
 

Many of my users out there run Microsoft Cluster Services on ESX.  A great questions was asked of me today: have the rules changed with running MSCS on vSphere?  The answer is: a little.

There are 3 scenarios of MSCS clusters and ESX: Cluster-in-a-box (both MSCS nodes are on the same physical host – great for testing), cross-host (where each of the MSCS node VMs resides on different ESX hosts), and physical-virtual (where one MSCS node is physical, one is virtual).  The requirements for MSCS can change, even in the minor updates, so check the documentation often.  Here’s my compiled list of requirements/tips for MSCS on ESX 4.0:

  • You are still limited to two-node clusters with MSCS on ESX 4.
  • From a storage perspective, you can use local storage (for cluster-in-a-box) or Fiber Channel (for cross-host or physical-virtual clusters).  There is still no support for NFS or iSCSI (I personally think this is because FC and local storage have more predictable performance – although iSCSI is improving on this).
  • If you are doing cross-host, both hosts must be running the same version of ESX (this just makes sense really).
  • The MSCS node VMs cannot move as part of HA or DRS.  (HA is being a little redundant for MSCS, DRS is because MSCS is so hyper-sensitive to network connectivity that even a ping loss could failover the MSCS cluster).
  • You cannot use MSCS with Fault Tolerance  (i.e. FT VM’s can reside on the same physical ESX hosts, but MSCS node VMs cannot run as FT pairs)
  • You cannot vMotion MSCS node VM’s.  (Same reason as DRS).
  • You cannot use N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)
  • If you are using FC and using the native multipathing in ESX, you cannot use round robin as a path policy.
  • You must use VM hardware version 7 with ESX/ESXi 4.0 (if you migrated the VMs from ESX 3.5 or before, make sure to upgrade your VM hardware version)
  • Failover clustering with Windows Server 2008 is not supported with virtual compatibility mode RDM’s, for Win2008 use physical compatibility mode RDMs.
  • You cannot use thin-provisioned disks for the Windows OS vmdk’s, they have to be thick.
  • For Win2000 and Win2003 use LSI Logic Parallel as the controller type for the shared storage.  For Win2008 use LSI Logic SAS.
  • For physical-virtual MSCS clusters, use RDMs in physical compatibility mode (this just makes sense if you think about it)
  • You cannot run storage multipathing software in the VMs or on ESX (i.e. no PowerPath VE).
  • You cannot over-commit memory for the MSCS node VMs, set the Memory Reservation option for each of the nodes to the amount of memory assigned to the virtual machine.
  • Set the disk I/O timeout to 60 sec. or more (HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetServicesDiskTimeOutValue) in the registry.

You can find all the details and steps walking you thru the setup of MSCS on ESX in this article .  If you’re not on vSphere yet but you want to run MSCS nodes as VMs, you can find the proper docs for your version of ESX in a freshly updated KB article located here .