Dec 312009
 

Lots of new technical papers for the month of December:

Workload Considerations for Virtual Desktop Reference Architectures Info Guide – Great paper on the RAWC (Reference Architectures Workload Code) tool.  It allows you to simulate desktop workloads in VM’s to help size them in a VDI deployment.

Reference Architecture Brief: Dell Virtual Remote Desktop Featuring VMware View 4 – A paper from Dell on a reference architecture to use for VDI deployments.  Good reading if you plan on doing VDI on Dell in 2010.

VMware Reference Architecture for Cisco UCS and EMC CLARiiON with VMware View 4 – A good reference architecture for VDI using View, Cisco UCS and a EMC Clariion CX4-480.  Good read for using VDI on this platform.

VMware View 4 Evaluator’s Guide – The standard read if you are planning on Evaluating VMware View.  This one is a must-have to make sure you test out all of the features and functionality in View.

Deploying Virtual Desktops with VMware View 4 on EMC Celerra NS-120 Validation Test Report – A paper on the results from EMC’s testing of their NS-120 as a platform for View.

VMware View on NetApp Storage Solution Brief – Nice overview of the benefits gained from running View on NetApp storage.  Lists and itemizes the integrated functionality and benefits.

VMware View 4 with PCoIP Info Guide – A nice little paper overviewing the features built into the PCoIP protocol built into View4.

Management of VMware ESXi on HP ProLiant Servers – (what? something not View related?) A good paper listing the integration and monitoring options of HP Servers running ESXi and HP Insight Manager.  Many HP customers have asked me for this information.

VMware vCenter Server 4.x: Using Database Views – A very good listing of fields stored on the vCenter4 database.  Customers have asked me many times for this kind of info and there are not many publications on it.  Great read if you want to extract some custom info from your vCenter database.

HP Reference Architecture for VMware View 4 – Good read if you are thinking of running View on HP blades.  Nice reference architecture from HP.

SAP Solutions on VMware vSphere 4 – Best Practice Guidelines – A must-read if you plan on virtualizing your SAP deployment on vSphere.  Many customers have asked for this doc.

VMware View 4 Deployment Guide – (had to end it on a View article) A must read when you are planning a View deployment.  Great points to remember and pitfalls to avoid.  Definitely a keeper if you are deploying View in 2010.

Dec 162009
 

Awoke to a new release this morning (man, these guys are busy in December).  AppSpeed 1.2 was released last night and can be downloaded here.  It looks to me like a “maturing” release.  That is, adding scalability and enhancements to the monitoring and display capabilities.  As always, here’s the what’s new section from the release notes:

VMware vCenter AppSpeed provides proactive performance management and service-level reporting for applications running within virtual appliances. By analyzing the traffic that flows between end-users, Web applications, and back-end servers, AppSpeed provides visibility into multitier applications and enables rapid identification of performance issues originating from inadequate resource allocation and application problems.

The new AppSpeed features include:

  • Enhanced AppSpeed scalability AppSpeed scalability has been enhanced, enabling a single AppSpeed Server to monitor significantly larger environments (more servers, applications and transactions). You can now specifically exclude servers that do not need to be monitored.
  • Central management for multiple AppSpeed Servers You can now install more than one AppSpeed Server and control the environment of each AppSpeed Server from a single user interface. This enables additional scalability for monitoring large environments, while delivering centralized visibility of application performance and service levels.
  • Enhanced mapping capabilities Improvements have been made in the mapping algorithms, enabling smarter, more accurate application grouping and transaction analysis.
  • Topology editing from the user interface You can now merge, split or delete applications, providing greater control over how your monitoring data is presented. All of the operations are accessible from the AppSpeed user interface.
  • Enhanced security using a vCenter-based authentication model Connection to AppSpeed Servers is now authenticated against vCenter. A new AppSpeed privilege has been introduced and AppSpeed access is now only granted to AppSpeed-privileged users.
  • New latency-focused Analysis views Two new latency-focused analysis views have been introduced in the AppSpeed user interface, enabling more detailed visibility for latency analysis and troubleshooting:
    • A view that compares a single application or transaction latency between servers
    • A view that compares transaction or server latency with their latency baselines, pointing to latency anomalies
Dec 152009
 

Capacity IQ 1.0.1 was released today.  You can download it here.  The only feature edition from the release notes is support for vSphere.  However, here’s the features list from the release notes:

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ is a capacity management and planning tool for VMware Infrastructure environments. CapacityIQ helps you:
Eliminate waste by identifying any unused or over-allocated capacity
Reduce operational overhead by automating routine capacity monitoring and management tasks
Minimize business risk of outages or failures resulting from capacity bottlenecks and shortfalls
CapacityIQ supports VirtualCenter 2.5, Update 4 and Update 5 and vCenter Server 4.0.x, managing hosts running ESX Server 3.0.1 through ESX 4.0.x.

Key Features
This section describes the key features available in CapacityIQ.

Capacity Awareness
View and analyze past, present, and future capacity states at-a-glance with dashboard graphs and tables.
Eliminate costly routine monitoring and management tasks through automation using customized capacity thresholds and alerts.
Capacity Optimization
Reclaim excess capacity from idle, oversized, or powered-off virtual machines.
Size and allocate capacity for each virtual machine based on historical and future needs.
Place virtual machines in the most optimal clusters to eliminate further waste.
Capacity Prediction

Simulate one-time business events to quantify potential business impact.
Identify the timing of potential capacity shortfalls based on trends and forecasts.
Purchase and provision capacity as and when needed.

Dec 142009
 

Sorry, missed this one last week.  Lab Manager 4.0.1 was released on 12/10 and can be downloaded here.  Here’s the what’s new section from the release notes:

Support for VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 1

Lab Manager 4.0.1 supports ESX Server 4.0 Update 1 and vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Guest Operating Systems

Lab Manager 4.0 provided experimental support for Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) guest operating systems. Lab Manager 4.0.1 provides full support for these operating systems. In addition, Lab Manager 4.0.1 supports guest customization for Windows 7 (64-bit) using Microsoft Sysprep.

Requirements:

vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 or later, and
ESX Server 4.0 Update 1 or later or ESX Server 3.5 Update 5 or later
Thin Provisioning Virtual Machine and Virtual Machine Template Virtual Disks

When you create a virtual machine template or add a virtual hard disk to a virtual machine or virtual machine template, you can choose to use thin provisioning. In Lab Manager 4.0, all virtual hard disks used the thick format.

Thin provisioned format
Use this format to save storage space. A thin virtual disk starts small and, at first, uses just as much storage space as it needs for its initial operations. When the virtual disk requires more space, it can grow to its maximum capacity and occupy the entire datastore space originally provisioned to it.
Thick format This is the default virtual disk format. A thick virtual disk does not change its size and from the very beginning occupies the entire datastore space provisioned to it.
NOTE: You cannot specify the disk format if the disk resides on an NFS datastore. The NFS server determines the allocation policy for the disk.

Refer to the known issues related to thin disks.

Improved Version of SSMove

The version of SSMove included with Lab Manager 4.0.1 allows you to move all the trees on a datastore at once. Previously, you had to move each tree on a datastore separately.

Export to vCenter Enhancements

When you export a virtual machine template or configuration from Lab Manager to vCenter, you can select a destination resource pool and inventory location.

Dec 112009
 

Fusion 3.0.1 was released this morning. For those running on 3.0, the auto-update-check should let you know that a new version is available. You can download the new version here.
As always, here’s the what’s new from the release notes:
VMware Fusion 3.0.1 is a maintenance release of VMware Fusion 3. It is a free upgrade for all VMware Fusion 3 customers, and provides the following enhancements and fixes:

Highlighted New and Improved Features

  • Faster 3D performance, with Windows Experience scores 20-80% faster than before on Mac OS X Snow Leopard
  • Reduced time for resuming virtual machines
  • Supports import of standalone VHD disks into VMware virtual machines
  • Supports import of Parallels Desktop 5 virtual machines into VMware virtual machines
  • New 64-bit native networking subsystem to match the 64-bit native engine
  • PC Migration Agent and Migration Assistant Improvements
  • Adds support for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Installer localized into all supported languages
  • Shows progress that VMware Tools are being installed in last step of migrating the PC
  • Does not automatically show the PC Migration Agent application in the resulting virtual machine
  • Adds only one network adapter to imported PC virtual machines
  • Unity View Improvements
  • “Always On” Applications menu defaults to the active virtual machine, and if more than one virtual machine is running, the menu defaults to the one that has focus
  • Fixes a problem in which the “Always On” Application menu was not populated in some cases
  • Improves the Aero-in-Unity experience with better interactive performance and easier readability of window titles
  • Improves Unity view interactive performance for 32-bit Windows applications running on 64-bit Windows operating systems
  • Ability to dismiss system tray menus in Unity view with only one click
  • Small mouse wheel scroll increments work correctly in Unity view
  • Fixes keyboard focus issues in Unity view when multiple windows are opened and closed
  • Fixes a problem in which Adobe Fireworks, Photoshop, and some other applications would drop out of Unity view, causing the Waiting for Unity window to appear
  • Fixes a problem in which VMware Fusion would fail when processing very large icons from Windows applications
  • Fixes a problem in which VMware Fusion could not create Windows applications in the dock for those with really long application names
  • Shared/Mirrored Folders Improvements
  • Outlook 2007 preview works with Mirrored Folders enabled
  • Applications no longer crash when saving exceedingly long path and file names with mapped drives
  • Saving files in shared folders with a PC using ZoneAlarm antivirus software no longer causes Windows to fail
  • WDDM (Windows Vista and Windows 7) Graphics Improvements
  • Windows Experience graphics scores are 20-80% better than VMware Fusion 3.0
  • Greatly improved HD video playback for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Older games (including Diablo II, Homeworld, and others) play now on Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Windows Media Player no longer stretches video
  • Fuzzy text in Windows Aero is fixed
  • Interactive performance on ATI video cards with Aero is greatly improved in combination with Mac OS X 10.6.2
  • Windows 7 no longer boots to an incorrect resolution

General Graphics Improvements

  • Fixes fuzzy text in WPF applications
  • Improved 3D performance
  • Linux Improvements
  • Adds support for Ubuntu 9.10 32-bit and 64-bit editions, including Easy Install and Unity view
  • Fixes choppy sound problems with newest Linux guests with kernel version 2.6.30+
  • Fixes Easy Install problems when double quotes were used in password
  • Improves Tools support for latest 2.6.z kernels
  • FreeBSD Improvements
  • Prebuilt modules for FreeBSD 8.x
  • Mac OS X Server Improvements
  • Faster boot times for Mac OS X Server guests
  • Other Fixes and Improvements
  • Multicore support for Windows 7 works correctly for all editions of Windows 7. Previously it did not work for Windows Home Premium, Home Basic, and Starter editions
  • Fixes a performance problem in which Spotlight would continually search the Mac for virtual machines when the Virtual Machine Library was left open, causing slow downs
  • Fixes a problem in which the VMware Tools included with VMware Fusion 2.0.5 would not be updated correctly
  • Fixes a problem in which it was not possible to use a CD drive on certain hardware-specific versions of Mac OS X 10.6.1. This is also fixed by upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6.2
  • Fixes a problem in which the ThinPrint driver would cause printing problems in 64-bit Windows Boot Camp partitions
  • Favorite virtual machine opens correctly when launching VMware Fusion 3
  • Contains a fix for Link State Propagation for bridged networking that previously failed, in some cases, after installing VMware Fusion 3.0
  • Fixes a problem in which you could not switch Spaces desktops away from a full-screen virtual machine if the Full Screen view title bar was hidden
  • Fixes miscellaneous memory leaks in the VMware Fusion UI and during AutoProtect snapshots
  • Speeds up navigation in the Virtual Machine Library when you have 10 or more virtual machines
  • Removes console log spew by VMware Fusion Helper
  • In the Preview window, the View mode buttons show enabled and selected state
  • Fixes black flash when suspending a virtual machine in Single Window view
  • Virtual Machine Library and Preview window previously had poor quality for European language users