Jan 312010

For future reference, VMware releases always seem to come in bunches.  Update 6 for vCenter 2.5 has been released and can be downloaded here.

The update mostly includes guest operating system custimization enhancements.

Here’s the what’s new section from the release notes:

Guest Operating Systems Customization Improvements

Customization support for the following guest operating systems has been added in this release:
For more complete information about supported guests included in this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Windows 7 Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows 7 Professional (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition (64-bit)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (64-bit)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition (64-bit)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Web Server (64-bit)
Support for Firefox 3.x Browsers with VirtualCenter Web  Access

This release adds support for Firefox 3.x browsers with VirtualCenter Web Access. Firefox 3.x is not a supported browser for ESX Server 3.5 Update 5 Web Access with this release.

Jan 312010

Update: Some readers are reporting issues with the links on this page.  At 10:54 EST this Sunday morning it appears that the technical section of VMware’s web site is offline.  I’ll check it back in a couple hours to see if they have come back and update the article accordingly.

Update: It appears the links are back.  Be aware they may be flaky if VMware is working on the site today.

Anti-Virus Deployment for VMware View – Great article on what to consider when deploying an anti-virus solution for your View desktops.  Great reading on how to best protect your desktop VMs.  My favorite part is the detailed exclusion list for the anti-virus scanners – very helpful.

Analysis of IBM System x3850 M2 Performance and Scalability with VMware vSphere 4 and SAP Solutions – a very specific read but has some very nice scailibility charts in it for the IBM x3850.  There’s also a nice listing of the optimized IBM BIOS settings on the server.

ESRI ArcGIS Server 9.3 for VMware Infrastructure – a good read if you are deploying the ESRI ArcGIS mapping software in your environment.  Very specifics on configuration of that software on ESX 3.5.

VMware View 4 & VMware ThinApp Integration Guide – A very nice paper on how to integrate ThinApp packages into pools of desktops in View.  It has a lot of items to consider when deploying apps this way.  I’m personally hoping for some native VMware integration coming in the future.

Application Registration with VMware ThinApp – Here’s the question: how can I associate a specific file type with a ThinApp’ed application so when I click the file, it opens in the ThinApp’ed App?  Bingo, the doc goes through how to set this up in your environment on virtual or physical desktops.

Jan 312010

Workstation 7.0.1 sneaked out behind me on Friday and can be download here.

Looks like bug fixes and some new supported guest and host OSes.

Here’s the What’s New section from the Release Notes:

Workstation 7.0.1 is a maintenance release that resolves some known issues. This release of VMware Workstation adds the following new support:
New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems
This release provides support for the following host and guest operating systems:

Operating System  Host and Guest Support
Windows 2008 R2    Host and guest
Windows Vista SP2    Host and guest
Ubuntu 9.10    Host and guest
RHEL 5.4    Host and guest
CentOS 5.4    Guest
Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.4    Guest

Jan 292010

And the first release from VMware in 2010 is:  Lifecycle Manager 1.1.  It can be downloaded here.

Looks like bug fixes and more scalability.

Here’s the what’s new section from the release notes:

VMware vCenter Lifecycle Manager (LCM) 1.1 release enhances the performance, robustness, and scalability of LCM and resolves a number of known issues.

The LCM 1.1 release runs on VMware vCenter Orchestrator 4.0.1. To run LCM 1.1, you must install the version of Orchestrator (4.0.1 Build 4502) that accompanies the LCM 1.1 download. See the vCenter Lifecycle Manager 1.1 Installation and Configuration Guide for installation instructions.

Jan 132010

I’m usually not a very controversial writer but this point has been bugging me today.  We’ve all heard about the VMware-Cisco-EMC alliance and how they have begun selling their vBlocks.  Let not forget Oracle’s acquision of Sun (which I read referred to as Sunacle – hilarious).  Sunacle will be able to sell hardware and a lot of software combined.  Now, just today, I read an article about Microsoft teaming with HP to build unified solutions for datacenters.  Solutions with servers, networking, storage and, of course, Microsoft software.  I definitely think there are some advantages to this.  From a support standpoint, all of these solutions will be rock solid.  All of the hardware and software in use is known by the support staff.  This removes a vast number of variables that we introduce when we architect our own solutions in our datacenters.  They will be much easier to troubleshoot and should be more reliable overall.

But what if we want to change our vendor?  Many of us have done this in the past.  Ever changed your storage vendor?  Ever change your server hardware vendor?  Many of us know the pains involved to do so.  We have to learn new tools, new ways of configuring, monitoring and managing our infrastructure.  We may have to migrate applications or data to the new pieces of the datacenter.  This can be quite an undertaking requiring some dedicated project management, months of implementation work and hours of staff training.  All of that if you chose a new vendor for your infrastructure.  Now, what if you had to replace your storage, networking, server and virtualization vendor all at the same time?  What would that project look like?  Would you do it?

If Microsoft and HP decide to release Hyper-Cells (or whatever they may call them).  What if I decide I don’t like HP storage?  What options do I have then?  If I change the storage, is the rest of the solution supported?  What if I decide I don’t like any of it?  Will I still be free to choose the pieces of my infrastructure that I want?

I think the unified solutions have some great benefits to them.  I’m just not sure I’m ready for that kind of commitment…