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The ESX Admins Group and how does the ESXi host know about it July 31, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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On the VMware Install, Configure and Manage course and Fast Track course we talk about Role and we discuss the importance for delegated administration, In version 5 we have the ability to add our ESXi hosts to Active Directory.

The advantage of this is as follows.

We can allow the system administrators to login to the vSphere Client, the vMA and the Direct Console User Interface with an Active Directory account, this then removes the need to divulge the root user password.

One of the statements made on the courses is as follows.

Users who are in the Active Directory Group ESX Admins are automatically assigned to the Administrator Role.

But how does the ESXi hosts know about this group? Well it’s configurable.

Just click the graphic to show in full screen

As can be seen in the graphic,from the vSphere Client, select Hosts and Clusters view, then highlight the host, go to configuration, software and advanced, then select Config > HostAgent > Plugins > Hostsvc and the first option is to specify the AD group used for administration.

The second option, controls whether the group is used.

Supported databases for the linux VMware vCenter App July 30, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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I was teaching an ICM 5 course today and one of the things the course states is that the new vCenter App (Linux vCenter Server), supports Oracle and IBM DB2 as external databases.

That’s not the case, but in defence the course is written pre release and any good instructor can point out the descrepancies.

We then continue through, I demonstrate the installation and we find no external IBM DB2 database.

The other thing mentioned in the course is that the embedded database is IBM DB2, it was with 5.0 but now with 5.0.1 the embedded database is PostgreSQL.

Below is an extract from the Admin guide for vCenter Virtual App

As an alternative to installing vCenter Server on a Windows machine, you can download the VMware vCenter Server Appliance. The vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine optimized for running vCenter Server and associated services.

The vCenter Server Appliance has the default user name root and password vmware.

Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2 are not supported for the vCenter Server Appliance.


Version 5.0.1 of the vCenter Server Appliance uses PostgreSQL for the embedded database instead of IBM DB2, which was used in vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.

The vCenter Server Appliance does not support Linked Mode configuration. The vCenter Server Appliance does not support IPv6.


The embedded database is not configured to manage an inventory that contains more than 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. If you use the embedded database with the vCenter Server Appliance, exceeding these limits can cause numerous problems, including causing vCenter Server to stop responding.


Exchange 2013 Review is now here July 27, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Exchange 2013.
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Exchange 2013 preview is upon us, I have just received an email asking me to download the preview edition. Which, I did.

I haven’t yet installed it, but I will soon on my RC 2012 Windows Server, and probably in a VM on my 2012 Hyper-V server. Also I’ll stick it on VMware vSphere as well, get a balanced view

However I did a bit reading and the first thing that struck me was that we lose the four server roles of Mailbox, Hub Transport, Client Access and Unified Messaging. This gets condensed to two roles, Mailbox and Client Access.

The Mailbox server role now incorporates the traditional Exchange 2010 components such as Hub Transport, Mailbox and Unified Messaging.

The above makes complete sense to me, I never understood having the Message Transport and Unified Messaging as single roles anyway. But it was all to do with CPU constraints when Exchange 2007 popped up.

Client Access as a single role, yes I get that, after all with Database Availability Groups the mailbox may move.

Oh another thing, I remember that Exchange 2007 was going to be the death of Public Folders, well, Exchange 2013 preview has still got them.

As I play and learn more, I’ll stick it in a Blog.



The road to VCP VMware Certified Professional July 26, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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AS a VMware instructor I teach many, many delegates on the virtues of VMware technologies, and as part of process of sitting on the course the delegates inevitably wish to sit the exam.

So the process of getting to sit the exam is as follows.

Sit a qualifying course

Book the exam

Pass the exam, but that’s up to you.


Datacenters built entirely in sofware July 26, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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I mentioned in an earlier Blog that I was looking at VMware vCloud Director.

One of the things we create within vCloud is Resource groups and resource groups consist of one or more DRS/vSphere HA clusters that provide CPU, Memory and Storage resources to the cloud.

We then can manage multiple DRS/vSphere HA clusters within a resource group. We then take that resource and hand it to vApps.

Cool, great and fine, but what about networking. I really want to provide that as well.

So imagine my surprise when I found out last night (25th July 2012) that VMware have just bought another company Nicira, what do Nicira do? Oh yes they virtualise networking.

In a nutshell, we stick in a layer between the host and the network, this then transforms your physical network into a pool of network capacity that enables creation of multiple isolated virtual networks to connect workloads in your cloud.

Hey presto we have now virtualised and pooled my missing resource.

Dr Stephen Herrod now has his software defined datacentre (I knew he was a clever bloke, watch his youtube vids, from the office of the CTO)

Upgrading VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 July 25, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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I had an interesting question about upgrading from vSphere Version 4 to Version 5.

Once the upgrade is finished the VMFS datastores will be VMFS version 3? The ESXi 5.0 operating system uses VMFS 5.0? Can I do an in place upgrade.

My answer was yes, select your datastore.

In Hosts and Clusters view

Select the Host > Configuration Tab > select the VMFS 3 datastore > click upgrade to VMFS 5 in the GUI.

Remember that VMFS 5 is only supported on hosts running ESXi 5.0 and later.

Also the VMs running on the datastore do not have to be moved or powered off.

But let’s say for example that the block size was 8MB on the original VMFS 3, which means it will be 8MB on the VMFS 5 datastore. The delegate wanted 1 MB blocks. With VMware there’s always a workaround.

This was going to cause an issue, however on analysis we found we had spare capacity across the datastores, so instead we decided on a storage vMotion of VMs to a different datastore, we then deleted and recreated the datastores as VMFS 5 1MB block and repeated until all datastores were now version 5.



A definitive definition of what is cloud computing July 24, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in General Stuff.
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I teach all about clouds, and I have the VMware definition and the Microsoft definition burned into my mind; however both companies differ in what they say a cloud is and what a cloud does, so I decided to get a definitive answer.

The best place to get an accurate answer is from a standards body and that is what I have done.

I decided to go with the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Happily I found they had published a document that explains a cloud definition, service models and types.

Very handy and it’s very academic.



VMware are soon to have a new boss July 23, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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VMware are going to have a new boss from 1st September 2012.

Paul Maritz the current boss is stepping aside from his job as CEO of VMware, however he’ll still be on the board. Paul will also take the role of technology strategist at EMC (Possible future boss of EMC? However this is my thought on the future and only my thought on the future, pure speculation on my behalf).

Pat Gelsinger will become the new CEO, Pat has worked in senior roles at Intel and EMC.

Read the letter from Paul and Pat, you may have already had this letter as a customer.

I work quite closley with VMware, watch this space plenty of announcements to be made after VMworld.

Good lucj to both Paul and Pat in their new roles

vCAP5-DCA exam is now live July 18, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 Datacenter Certified Administrator exam now live.

I just checked the www.vue.com/vmware and noticed that the exam is now live.

There’s also some information that may be of some interest to VCAP-DCA 4 people who have not yet passed their VCP 5.

Until October 9, 2012 if you are a current VCAP4-DCA you do not need to achieve VCP5 certification first, you only need to pass the VCAP5-DCA status.

Anyway for a lot more information go to the mylearn site for the VCAP-DCA5 certification

As always, good luck with the exam, yet another one to add to my to do list.


VMware ESXi5 SplitRX July 17, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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I got asked a question last week regarding the ESXi SplitRX functionality, the question went along these lines “What’s SplitRX, I’ve seen it in a couple of sample vSphere exams?”

So here’s the answer.

Multicast is an efficient way of disseminating information and communicating over the network. A single sender can connect to multiple receivers and exchange information while conserving network bandwidth. Financial stock exchanges, multimedia content delivery networks, and commercial enterprises often use multicast as a communication mechanism. Multiple receivers can be enabled on a single ESXi host. Because the receivers are on the same host, the physical network does not have to transfer multiple copies of the same packet. Packet replication is carried out in the hypervisor instead.

SplitRx mode is an ESXi feature that uses multiple physical CPUs to process network packets received in a single network queue. This feature provides a scalable and efficient platform for multicast receivers. SplitRx mode typically improves throughput and CPU efficiency for multicast traffic workloads.

SplitRx mode is supported only on vmxnet3 network adapters. This feature is disabled by default. VMware recommends enabling splitRx Mode in situations where multiple virtual machines share a single physical NIC and receive a lot of multicast or broadcast packets.

SplitRx mode is individually configured for each virtual NIC

To enable SplitRX do the following

This feature, which is supported only for VMXNET3 virtual network adapters, is individually configured for each virtual NIC using the ethernetX.emuRxMode variable in each virtual machine’s .vmx file (where X is replaced with the network adapter’s ID).

The possible values for this variable are:

 ethernetX.emuRxMode = “0”

The above value disables splitRx mode for ethernetX.

ethernetX.emuRxMode = “1”

The above value enables splitRx mode for ethernetX.

To change this variable through the vSphere Client:

1 Select the virtual machine you wish to change, then click Edit virtual machine settings.

2 Under the Options tab, select General, then click Configuration Parameters.

3 Look for ethernetX.emuRxMode (where X is the number of the desired NIC). If the variable isn’t present, click Add Row and enter it as a new variable.

4 Click on the value to be changed and configure it as you wish.

The change will not take effect until the virtual machine has been restarted.