Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VMware View Tech Preview app for Android Tablet

VMware has release the View app (Tech Preview) for Android Tablet.
I have tested this on Windows XP and Windows 7 using View Manager and also Security Server on VMware View 4.6.  Both works very well.
The Android Tablet used here is Asus Eee Pad Transformer.  Below is the picture of a connection made.  It works just like the app on iPad with the mouse pad and multiple finger gestures.

Asus Ee Pad Transformer with Honeycomb 3.2 which also comes with a keyboard dock which I have and it looks just like a netbook.

Could the future look like this with a simple hardware to access all desktop?
With low hardware cost of SGD700 like what I have here a Wifi model.

Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware with Update Manager

Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware using Update Manager.

Other related posts:
vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing
vSphere 5 ESXi 5 Installation
Upgrade vSphere vCenter 4.x to 5.0
Upgrade ESX/ESXi 4.x to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager
Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware with Update Manager

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Upgrade ESX/ESXi 4.x to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager

This video will demostrate how to upgrade your ESXi or ESXi 4.x server to ESXi 5.0 using the Update Manager 5.0 plug-in on vCenter 5.0.  Procedures to upgrade your vCenter is in the previous post.

Tested with ESX 4.x and ESXi 4.x which has a local datastore with VM in it.  Both upgrade with VUM complete successfully with datastore still intact and VM still exist.

The only different is that, when you browse the local datastore which was upgraded from ESX 4.x, you will find the esxconsole folder in it which you would not see this if it was upgraded from an ESXi 4.x.

Local datastore from ESX 4.x

Local datastore from ESXi 4.x

Update: Test with local datastore to test if it will be removed.

Next Post: vSphere 5 Migration White Paper and Tools 

Other related posts:
vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing
vSphere 5 ESXi 5 Installation
Upgrade vSphere vCenter 4.x to 5.0
Upgrade ESX/ESXi 4.x to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager
Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware with Update Manager

Friday, August 26, 2011

vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing

The new licensing scheme is used in vSphere 5. Unlike in vSphere 4, where vRAM is not taken into consideration rather the number of cores per socket.

Let do a refresh. In vSphere 4, for Enterprise edition is entitled to 6 cores per physical processor per server. For Advanced/Enterprise Plus edition, is entitled to 12 cores per physical processor.  As for the RAM limitation will be 256GB memory per host except Enterprise Plus which is unlimited.

An example would be follows:
1 server with 2 physical CPUs, each with 8 cores. This will require 2 x Enterprise Plus license.
If you apply 2 x Enterprise instead of Enterprise Plus license, only 6 cores per CPU will be used and 2 cores per CPU left idle.

Let's talk about vSphere 5 licensing. Before we begin, vSphere 5 have removed Advanced edition. A customers who is on Advanced Edition on vSphere 4 will be upgrade to vSphere 5 Enterprise.

vRAM entitlement is based on an edition per physical CPU (no more limitation of number of cores). It is based on vRAM allocated. So what is vRAM different from physical RAM?

vRAM actually define the virtual memory that is allocated to any VM that is powered on. But there are misconception here that most customer have.

Consideration 1:
If you have a server with 128GB of physical memory with 2 physical CPUs, do I purchase 128GB of vRAM? The answer is No and Yes. In a normal setup, we often set buffer of resources for HA. In such, this buffer does not have to take into consideration. Since allocated memory to a VM remain the same if HA kicked in due to host failure, you are not using twice as much the vRAM as the vRAM will be returned to the vRAM pool.

And Yes, if you have less physical RAM you can still overcommit your vRAM entitlement however this is not recommend.  Explained in next consideration.

Consideration 2:
What if I need to increase the allocated vRAM to a VM once awhile? VMware will only measure the average vRAM allocation per year. In such, occasional increase or even creation of a VM for testing for a short period and later destroyed or power off will not bridge your entitlement as long in average/year allocation does not exceed. This is possible as the license does not have a hard restriction on the server even though you do not have enough vRAM entitlement you are still able to allocate more than you have.  You will however see a warning when you overcommit your vRAM entitlement on vCenter and support will ask you to purchase more license when you log a call.

When planning your license, you do have to take note of the vRAM required minus the buffer used for HA where e..g N+1 is used. Of cause you can always buy additional license in the future when needed as well.

If HA was to kicked in when one host were to fail, the entitlement on the failed host will be available and shared by the remaining hosts. i.e. to say the total vRAM entitlement will be pool together and shared within the cluster. Provided that the editions are the same.

Taking the same example of the physical server as above:

1 server with 2 physical CPUs (cores is not a concern), 132GB physical RAM.
Since there are 2 physical CPUs, you would need 2 x any edition license.
Then we will take note of the vRAM now.
If you are on Standard license, you will be need 2 x Standard which entitles you to 32x2=64GB vRAM.

Say you intend to have 100GB of vRAM for use taking consideration for future VM requirement by leaving 32GB physical memory for HA. We will be short of 36GB vRAM. Then you will need to get extra 2 x Standard license to top up as 2x32GB is 64GB of vRAM which will cover the 36GB requirement.  So now your entitlement is 128GB.

Say you are into Enterprise license, you will still need 2 x Enterprise Plus = 96 x 2=192GB of vRAM. In such, you have more than enough. In such, you can even increase the physical RAM without purchasing additional vRAM license.

Consideration 3:
Now you may ask why do I have to buy so many Standard from the example above? Can I just buy another edition to top up? The answer is Yes and No and is not a recommended practice. If a host is entitled to a different edition, the entitlement cannot be shared. In such, the host that is assigned to the different edition license will be standalone and its vRAM entitlement will not be pool together.  Best practice is still to purchase the same edition whenever possible to avoid overheads on management of license.

Consideration 4:
What if I have a monster VM that requires more than 96GB of memory that Enterprise Plus entitles (96GB vRAM entitlement)?
If you are on Enterprise Plus, a VM can be allocate more than 96GB of vRAM without any penalty. Its license for each VM is 96GB vRAM or above.  However 1 x such license would be used and if you need to power on more VMs on the same host, you would need more license as one complete 96GB vRAM license (Enterprise Plus) has been allocated to the monster VM.

Consideration 5:
If I need a VM to have more than 8 vCPU.  Then you would can only use Enterprise Plus license. This is because, all editions maximum vCPU per VM is 8.  For any VM which need more than 8 vCPU only Enterprise Plus would be meets the need.

Consideration 6:
What if you are using View won't I have to purchase lots of license?
Answer is No. For View, vRAM is unlimited license. It will be Desktop license which has unlimited vRAM entitlement.Your license for View will be base on per concurrent user connection.  However per processor socket still applies that is if you have 2 sockets processor, you would need two desktop edition of license.  However in a View license, you can have unlimited vSphere license i.e you can have many hosts to host the number of licensed concurrent users.

Note: View license can only host View servers components and desktop VMs and not allowed to host server workload.

Consideration 7:
Since the free Hypervisor allows 32GB of physical memory, then why should I buy any edition license of standard and below?
1. You enjoy the licensed features of HA, DRS etc. and managed by vCenter instead of multiple direct consoles login.
2. Free Hypervisor is entitled to 32GB physical memory and 32GB vRAM entitlement.  That is, even if you have more physical memory it cannot be used.  Or if you have less than 32GB physical memory, you only can only overcommit your vRAM to no more than 32GB.

IMPORTANT: Due to the different licensing entitlement for vRAM for Desktop and infrastructure, it is not allowed to host server workload on Desktop license.

I have the table of the license entitlement below:


vSphere Edition

vRAM Entitlement/CPU


vSphere Enterprise Plus 96 GB 32
vSphere Enterprise 64 GB 8
vSphere Standard 32 GB 8
vSphere Essentials Plus 32 GB (Max 192GB) 8
vSphere Essentials 32 GB(Max 192GB) 8
vSphere Hypervisor Free Edition 32 GB (physical memory Entitlement and vRAM entitlement) 8
vSphere Desktop Unlimited

Note: For Essential and Essential Plus, the maximum vRAM entitlement for each vCenter is 192GB as the maximum support total hosts not exceeding 3 hosts with no more than 2 pCPUs, it will results in 2 CPU x 3 hosts x 32GB each = 192GB.  For these two editions, it is a hard enforcement unlike Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.

To summarize, cater your HA buffer on physical memory of your server and cater enough vRAM for scalability.  Do the right sizing and not make life simple by sizing vRAM equal to physical memory.  If your end user knows how vRAM works, you will be criticize.

Partner central license simulator:
vSphere 4 features
vSphere 5 features
vSphere 5.0 vRAM compliance and usage

Update 3: Add feature reference for vSphere 4 and 5 on different editions.
Update 2: Refine wording for easier understanding.
Update 1: vRAM entitlement restriction applies to Free Hypervisor.

Other related posts:
vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing
vSphere 5 ESXi 5 Installation
Upgrade vSphere vCenter 4.x to 5.0
Upgrade ESX/ESXi 4.x to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager
Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware with Update Manager

vSphere 5 ESXi 5 Installation

Added this video to my start of video recording on vSphere 5.

Note that the minimum memory requirements is 2098MB from the initial 2048MB in ESX/ESXi 4.x.

Other related posts:
vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing
vSphere 5 ESXi 5 Installation
Upgrade vSphere vCenter 4.x to 5.0
Upgrade ESX/ESXi 4.x to ESXi 5.0 using Update Manager
Upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware with Update Manager 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

vSphere 5 compare with vSphere 4

I have got the chance to play with vSphere 5 RTM release and rather than going through all the new features that can be found on VMware TV in youTube, I shall find some common features that are on both release and see the differences.

HA Admission Control Policy

vSphere 4
The Admission Control Policy for vSphere 4 as shown on the left in the percentage of cluster resources is fixed and irregardless of CPU or Memory the percentage is applied for both.

vSphere 5
In vSphere 5, notice that the percentage has be split out to memory and CPU. This updated percentage options, helps eliminate when you have like to specific different amount for CPU and memory with different tolerance.

Virtual Machines Options
vSphere 4
In the Virtual Machine Options, in was leave VM shutdown as the default value whenever Host Isolation is detected. Many of my customers actually thought this was the default value recommended by VMware and leave it as it is however whenever a host isolation is really found, their VMs was shutdown.

vSphere 5
In vSphere 5, the defaul value is now changed to Leave powered on. I believe, VMware has found that many cases found that VM was shutdown whenever a host isolation happens and decide to put it as default instead of Shutdown and affect production VMs when they are still accessible by any chance.

VM Monitoring

vSphere 4
One of the feature that remain unchange was VM monitoring. In vSphere 4, it was default as disabled. However monitoring was a recommended though. However, majority of the customers are worried of sudden restart of their VMs and never ever used this feature.

vSphere 5
Same thing in vSphere 5, this was left unchanged. Monitoring is via the heartbeat sent from VMware Tools and most customers like to keep it as it is unmonitored and use a third party monitoring tools to perform this job more efficiently. I believe VMware would most probably thinks that this is still eave as disabled unless customers themselves knows what they really want to do with this feature.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Home Lab Setup

Here is a list of the item for my Home Lab
  • Intel Core2Quad 9550
  • 4 x 4GB DDR2 800MHz Kingston ValueRam
  • Asus P5Q-E Motherboard
  • 2 x Western Digital Sata2 500GB Harddisk
  • CoolerMaster GX-550W PSU
  • XFXForce Graphic card (this was board to play game when I was using windows back then)
  • Thermaltake Casing
  • 1 x 2GB thumbdrive (Got free on a VMware event)
ESXi 4.0 was installed on the machine. Did tried using 4.1 but there was an issue booting up after installation not sure why.

After which upgrade was done via CLI to 4.1. After which everything run smooth.

VMware Odyssey™ at vForum 2019 Singapore

This year, from the success of vWarrior last year, VMware Singapore is hosting VMware Odyssey™ at #vFORUMSG Singapore. VMware Odyssey (reb...