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Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010 with VMware-Customer self paced course May 31, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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I recently posted an article regarding the virtualisation of Exchange 2010 and stated that “yes it is possible”, and also gave some links for the documents from Microsoft and VMware on best practices.

I was just signing myself up for some online learning relating to the vCAP-DCD 5 and I found a self paced online course from VMware for Virtualising Exchange, so I’ve signed up for it.

I’m going to work through the course this weekend (sad yes, but it’s my job and it’s for my benefit, also Tracey my wife and the kiddies are going shopping (I’ve just been paid))

Here’s the description of this course.

Overview:

 

This self paced course discusses why organizations need to consider virtualization of Exchange 2010. This course focuses on the Exchange design prerequisites and Exchange design considerations. This course also covers guidelines for designing, sizing, and implementing Exchange 2010 on vSphere.

 

Objectives:   

 

After completing the course, you should be able to:

Describe the need for virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010.
Describe the benefits of virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010.
State the prerequisites for designing the virtualized Exchange environment.
Describe the process of sizing Exchange servers using both manual and automated processes.
Illustrate several design and sizing examples for various sized environments.
Describe design considerations and guidelines for Exchange sizing.
Discuss implementation considerations for virtualizing Exchange on VMware vSphere.
Explain the process for testing Exchange performance.
Discuss the methods of monitoring Exchange performance on vSphere.

 

To access this course go to

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=31389

 

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VMware Site Recovery Manager V5 May 30, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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SRM V5

On the course this week we’ve talked about various HA scenarios that we need to protect against, one of the topics refers to protection at every level within the vSphere product.

Here goes.

At the component level we have NIC Teaming on our virtual switches and that will protect against a NIC failure, we also have storage multipathing.

At the Server level we have vMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduling, High Availability and VM Fault Tolerance.

At the Storage level we have Storage vMotion and Storage DRS.

The Data level is protected by the vStorage APIs which allow third party backup solutions such as Veeam, or we can use VMware’s Data Recovery Virtual APP.

Now onto the Site Level, I’ve been looking at SRM V5, I’ve used the various different versions of this product, but now I’m concentrating on Version 5 and for me, it’s much improved.

To summarise the product, SRM is designed to protect Virtual Machines residing in datastores on replicated storage at the protected site. In the event of a storage failure or a complete site failure, the Virtual Machines can be failed over to a remote datacentre or if you prefer the recovery site. The recovery virtual machines continue to operate while the protected site is unavailable.

So why am I mentioning all of this, the reason is I work for a VMware Authorised Training Center, we run SRM courses.

If you wish a lot more detail on the product visit the following URL.

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/SRM/VMware-vCenter-Site-Recovery-Manager-with-vSphere-Replication-Datasheet.pdf

If you want some training, have a look at the following URL and see if this course would interest you.

http://mylearn.vmware.com/descriptions/EDU_DATASHEET_vCenterSRMICM_V5.pdf

 

vCAP-DCD 5 available May 29, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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vCAP-DCD 5 now available

I was talking to my delegates about the VCP 5 and we went to the Pearson VUE website and we noticed that.

VMware is pleased to announce the release of the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Datacenter Design exam.

This exam is a requirement for the VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert)

Looking at the blueprint, the following two courses are recommended.

VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [v5.0], the link to the Datasheet is below

http://mylearn.vmware.com/descriptions/EDU_DATASHEET_vSphereDesignWorkshop_V5.pdf

DRBC Design – Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Fundamentals,

This 4 hour online course provides students with an introduction to disaster recovery and business continuity concepts and enables them to map some of these concepts to specific VMware product features.

Describe the differences between disaster recovery and business continuity.

Describe decision trees involved in disaster-recovery design with vSphere/vCenter and SRM, and the pros and cons of each path in the tree.

Map SRM features to DR concepts.

Describe vSphere best practices that facilitate successful DR implementations.

Describe the role of VMware clustering and backup/restore technologies in disaster recovery.

Plan for performance monitoring in the event of a failover.

Describe the business planning and process planning required to implement a disaster recovery and business continuity design for a VMware vSphere deployment.

The above course is available via the VMware Mylearn Website

VMware also provide an exam simulation of the design tool at http://www.vmware.com/go/vcap

The community for vCAP-DCD candidates is located at:

http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/certedu/certification/vcap

To sit this exam you must be a VCP 5 and be authorised by VMware

 

RESXTOP Navigation May 28, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in RESXTOP.
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When we’re using RESXTOP in interactive mode, we can change the view by using various keys to change the screen behaviour.

COMMANDS ARE CASE-SENSITIVE

From the vMA use fastpass authentication to target your host and then run RESXTOP

The characters that change the screen view are now listed below

c – Switch to the CPU resource utilisation screen (default)

m – Switch to the memory resource utilisation screen

d – Switch to the storage (disk) adapter resource utilisation screen

u – Switch to the storage (disk) device resource utilisation screen

v – Switch to the virtual disk resource utilisation screen

n – Switch to the network resource utilisation screen

V – Display only virtual machines in the screen

h – Display the help screen

f – Change the columns

q – quit

RESXTOP displays information based on worlds. Think of these as processes. A world can represent a VM and a VMKernel component.

On the RESXTOP screen we will see ID (World ID), GID (Resource Pool ID) and NAME (Name of the running world).

In later articles we’ll look at the four main categories of CPU, Memory, Networking and Storage

RESXTOP May 27, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in RESXTOP.
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Managing real-time performance using RESXTOP

I was sitting on the Train The Trainer (TTT) for the new Optimize and Scale course last week and we were looking at performance monitoring tools, in the Install, Configure and Manage Course we look at the performance charts that are built into the vSphere Client.

On the Optimize and Scale course we look at the vMA (vSphere Management Assistant), and for performance we examine results from the RESXTOP utility.

What this utility allows is command-line real-time monitoring and collection of data for the main system resources, these being, CPU, Memory, Networking and Storage.

The beauty of this utility would be for example, to allow us to identify say CPU issues on the host and then via various options identify the problem Virtual Machine.

We can use RESXTOP in one of three modes.

Interactive Mode: All statistics are displayed as they are collected, showing how the system is used in real-time.

Batch Mode: The statistics are collected and output to a saved file for later analysis.

Replay Mode: The data that was collected by the vm-support command is then interpreted and played back as RESXTOP statistics.

In later articles we’ll look at the four main resources and the data we can view and collect.

Virtualise Exchange 2010, OK let’s do it May 26, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in General Stuff.
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One of the questions I’m asked more than any other when teaching the Microsoft Exchange course is.

“Can I virtualise Exchange Server 2010?”

My answer is always “Yes”.

I’ve done it quite a few times now and every time it has been successful. Really what it all comes down to is planning and ensuring that you take your time, and that you decide whether you want to consolidate all roles into one server, or split the roles. This will affect performance.

Both VMware and Microsoft produce some fantastic guides to doing just this.

The VMware guide can be found at

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/exchange-2010-on-vmware-best-practices-guide.pdf

Microsoft’s guide can be found at

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2428

I’ve used both this guides, I’ve virtualised Exchange on VMware ESXi and also on Hyper-V.

The other question is which one does it best, and the answer is “                 “, sorry the keyboard has gone faulty, the answer is, really it depends on what you’ve got, so do you have ESXi? If the answer yes then this is the best product. Do you have Hyper-V? Then this is the best product.

In my experience, both do the job well.

vSphere PowerCLI reference poster May 25, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs, VMware Training.
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Yesterday I stuck a link for the vSphere 5.0 CLI reference poster onto the blog site, today as I’m still sitting on the optimise and scale course, I thought I’d be lazy and just give another link to another useful document that will come in very handy for anyone wanting to sit the vCAP-DCA 5, as according to the blue print for the exam there WILL BE POWERSHELL QUESTIONS.

http://blogs.vmware.com/files/vmware-management-with-vcli-5.0.pdf

I’ll be driving back to Newcastle upon Tyne today, so to quote Homer “Woo Hoo”, Homer Simpson not the Greek dude.

 

vSphere 5.0 CLI reference poster May 24, 2012

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VMware vSphere 5 Command line

We were sitting on the new Train The Trainer Optimise and Scale course for vSphere 5 and the course is quite heavy on command line, which is useful for scripting and automation and also for the new vCAP-DCA exam, the conversation got round to wouldn’t it be nice if we included a reference card in the back of the books, one of our fellow VCI’s held up a poster called the vSphere 5.0 Reference poster, we had a look on the internet and found the poster in PDF format.

We all agreed this may be quite a good resource for the vCAP-DCA 5 exam.

Follow the link to get the poster.

http://blogs.vmware.com/esxi/2011/09/vsphere-50-cli-reference-poster.html

 

Connection Options in the vMA (VMware Management Assistant May 23, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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<conn_options> What????

When using the vMA (VMware Management Assistant), in all the examples there’s a bit that says for example vicfg-vswitch <conn_options>, but what are these connection options, well they’re listed below

–cacertsfile                                        Specifies the CA certificate file

–config                                                 Path to a configuration file

–credstore                                         Name of credential store file

–encoding                                          Specifies the encoding to use

–passthroughauth                          Use Microsoft Windows Security SSPI

–passthroughauthpackage         Specify Domain-Level authentication protocol to be used

–password                                         Log in password

–portnumber                                   Uses specified port to connect

–protocol                                           Uses specified protocol to connect

–savesessionfile                              Saves the session to the specified file

–server                                               The ESXi or vCenter host

–sessionfile                                       Uses the specified file to load a saved session

–url                                                      Connect to vSphere Web Services SDK URL

–username                                        User name to log in to system

–vihost                                               Name of ESXi host to run the command against

Phew quite a few connection options, generally you will probably use the following.

vicfg-vswitch –server vc01.qavdc.com –username administrator –password abcd1234 –vihost esxi01.qavdc.com –B both vSwitch0

The above connects to vc01 and sets CDP to both on esxi01 host to both for vSwitch0

Let’s have a Fling May 22, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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It’s time to have a Fling

I was teaching a VMware ICM course last week and we started talking about Auto Deploy (a technology to stream the ESXi Operating System straight into RAM, so diskless hosts), and I mentioned that for myself, the greatest downfall for this technology is that I can’t type and I hate command line (the technology is controlled by a Power Shell interface). I used to be a hardware / networking engineer, so I prefer screwdrivers and hammers.

I then decided to share with my delegates the wonder of the VMware Labs website and in particular the “Flings” section at the following http://labs.vmware.com/flings

To quote the website exactly

“A fling is a short-term thing, not a serious relationship but a fun one. Likewise, the tools that are offered here are intended to be played with and explored.”

The point of showing this website was to show my delegates the wonderful Auto Deploy GUI developed by Massimiliano Daneri. He has also included a superb manual that allows everyone to easily use his product.
http://labs.vmware.com/flings/autodeploygui you can follow this link straight to the Auto Deploy GUI.