Category Archives: VMware

VMTN Login Issues ?

I’m trying to login to VMTN and it wont let me, is anyone else having issues today or is it just me, tried a couple of PC’s.

Update: Looks like there is an issue as a fellow community friend is also having problems as well as a couple of guys in the US who have been in contact.

Update: 05 Aug 08, 08:30 (GMT) Now Working again.

VMware Powershell Competition

I was wondering whether to enter the VMware Powershell competition or not, Looking at the prizes its a no brainer, how cool would it be to go to Vegas for VMworld 2008 ?!, but as you can see from my scripts on this site so far, they are no prize winners.  This is mainly because I am still relatively new to Powershell and still trying to grasp some of the concepts.

So anyway, I thought, what better way to grasp the concepts than to work towards something, so I have decided to work on my script and see how it goes, if it turns out ok then I may enter the comp just for the fun of it, although I’m sure there will be some master PS creators writing some amazing stuff.

So what am I working on ?

I’m working on something that will certainly be quite useful for myself and hopefully others… A VMware reporting script.

This will basically pull out all the config and details of things like your VMs, Hosts, Datastores, Clusters, Networks etc and put them directly into a nicely formatted Word document, I may even through in a few graphs for good measure to show top 10 Utilised VM’s and hosts, maybee a few pie charts to show how much room is left on the datastores ?!

If you think this is a good idea please let me know, just so I know I am not wasting my time ! and if you can think of anything else to put in there also please let me know – all ideas appreciated.

Reported Update 2 Issues (HA)

A few of the forums and other blogs are reporting Problems with Update 2 HA….

Usual issues include:

“insufficient resources to satisfy HA failover level on cluster” and also “unable to contact a primary HA agent in cluster”

The following should help you out:

All hostnames need to be in lower case only.

In Virtualcenter check the following:

  • On each host in the cluster, go to the configuration tab, DNS and routing, hostname, everything needs to be lowercase

On each one of your ESX hosts:

ssh into each host and check lower case names only

  • /etc/hosts lowercase names only
  • /etc/sysconfig/network
  • cat /proc/sys/kernel/hostname if not correct :

hostname <FQDN>

  • after this you can check the settings are correct using

    uname -n

    hostname -a

    hostname -s

    hostname -d

    hostname -f

    hostname

  • make sure hostname in /etc/vmware/esx.conf is lowercase

    /adv/Misc/HostName = <FQDN in lowercase>

    Once these are checked enable HA on cluster again and cross your fingers.

Sneak Preview Capacity Bottleneck Analyzer – Version 2.0

VKernel intrepid Founder and CEO Alex Bakman just couldn’t wait to start talking about a future product release, VKernel’s Capacity Bottleneck Analyzer V2.0. Needless to say, there brand new VP of Sales wasn’t too happy about leaking news for a future product. But the cat’s out of the bag. You can watch a video podcast that previews this latest release here

I wonder if there will be a UK version (Analyser) 🙂

ESXi Single Server Environment training just £27.50

Gain the knowledge and skills to operate VMware ESXi in a single-server environment.

This self-paced course contains brief concept modules, guided demos, and interactive simulations. Topics covered include: Virtualization Concepts, Server Configuration, Virtual Machine Management, Networking, Performance Monitoring, and more.

This online course includes approximately 120 minutes of content with unlimited access by the subscribing individual for 90 days:

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Configure ESXi
  • Install the Virtual Infrastructure client
  • Understand and configure ESXi networking
  • Understand and configure ESXi storage
  • Monitor and configure resource use
  • Build and configure virtual machines and install guest operating systems
  • Clone virtual machines
  • Monitor and manage virtual machine performance

Click here to visit the VMware training site

Enhanced Vmotion

I was just reading up a little more on Enhanced Vmotion as was impressed that we no longer have to worry about CPU architecture and found the following useful information:

Enhanced VMotion Compatibility

Because new features are constantly incorporated into new CPUs, you are likely to encounter incompatibilities and therefore face problems while attempting migration with VMotion. Such CPU incompatibilities limit VMotion to a certain range of CPUs. VMware has investigated the issues and concluded that there is no software‐only solution to this problem. To minimize exacerbation of the compatibility problem with time, VMware has worked with CPU vendors to facilitate live migration of virtual machines across different CPU revisions.

VMware Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC)—available in VMware Infrastructure 3 beginning with version 3.5 Update 2—facilitates VMotion between different CPU generations, taking advantage of Intel Flex Migration and AMD‐V Extended Migration technologies. When enabled for a cluster, EVC ensures that all CPUs within the cluster are VMotion compatible. CPUs starting with Intel 45nm Core 2 (Penryn) and AMD Second Generation Opteron (revision E or F) incorporate FlexMigration and Extended Migration technologies, respectively.

The EVC feature allows the virtualization layer to mask or hide certain features by modifying the semantics of the CPUID instruction and hides certain CPUID feature bits, even from nonprivileged code. For example, with support from hardware, the virtualization layer modifies the semantics of the CPUID instruction to mask or hide the SSE4.1 feature from any code (privileged or nonprivileged) to make CPUs differing in this feature compatible for VMotion.

Specifics on CPU compatibility with the Enhanced VMotion Compatibility feature are available in the Basic System Administration guide for each ESX release starting with version 3.5 Update 2.

EVC utilizes hardware support to modify the semantics of the CPUID instruction only. It does not disable the feature itself. For example, if an attempt to disable SSE4.1 is made by applying the appropriate masks to a CPU that has these features, this feature bit indicates SSE4.1 is not available to the guest or the application, but the feature and the SSE4.1 instructions themselves (such as PTESE and PMULLD) are still available for use. This implies applications that do not use the CPUID instruction to determine the list of supported features, but use try‐catch undefined instructions (#UD) instead, can still detect the existence of this feature.

Therefore, for EVC to be useful, application developers must adhere to recommended guidelines on feature detection. CPU vendors recommend that software programmers query CPUID prior to using special instructions and features available on their CPUs. If this guideline is followed by programmers, EVC is a reliable mechanism for live migration of x86 virtual machines across varied hardware. Thus, you can use EVC to enable an entire cluster to use the same set of basic features, allowing migration with VMotion across any two nodes in the cluster. VirtualCenter can also set up new hardware add‐ons to the cluster and apply these masks.

Conclusion
Virtualization is still a relatively new technological innovation, and the area of live migration of virtual machines is still in its infancy. VMware VMotion is an extremely useful and critical feature in data centers to ensure business continuity, resource optimization, and a host of other benefits. VirtualCenter performs numerous compatibility checks before allowing migration with VMotion. Some stringent CPU compatibility checks for VMotion are necessary for proper functioning of a virtual machine after migration. Though users can override these checks and complete VMotion by applying appropriate masks, the virtual machines and applications may not function properly if they rely on features particular to the underlying hardware. The x86
CPU vendors did not initially envision live migration of virtual machines and design CPUs to support it.

VMware has worked with CPU vendors to support such features, taking advantage of Intel Flex Migration and AMD‐V Extended Migration technologies. With Enhanced VMotion Compatibility, VMware Infrastructure works in conjunction with hardware to support live migration of virtual machines in a wider range of environments. Effective use of enhanced VMotion also depends on using application software that follows recommended guidelines to support CPU feature detection.