Showing posts from 2012

Google Music Manager outside US

I am just happen to be one of those who just a die hard fan of Google and like to use this new tool.  Since I am outside US I am pretty out of luck.

Well many have shared to use proxy VPN to hide your location to US.  I did lots of search, tried lots of VPN clients and eventually the only one that works for me was Security Kiss.

Its very easy to use and just try out some of the available servers.  Just have to make sure its either US or UK and test it out with some website.  If it works, the server is working.  You might just need to play around to make sure.

Before you head to the Google Play Store to do your activation for the Google Music Manager, you would need to do something first which none of the site mention.  You need a US address.  Yes so you can use any of the delivery hub e.g. ComsGateway, Borderlinx, etc.

Next use the US address and add your billing address for Google Play Store in Google Wallet.  You can use your own Credit Card but make sure the billing address is in …

vCenter 5.x using Oracle Patch 10 or later

vCenter Server 5.x does not function correctly when installed with Oracle Patch 10 or later.
When creating a VM you receive the below error messsage:
"An internal error occurred in the vSphere Client.
Details: Object reference not set to an instance of an object."

This is an alert been raised to customer using Oracle for their vCenter database not to upgrade Oracle patch 10 or later to avoid any issues.

If the customer has already upgraded and encountered this issue, the only option is to roll back to pre-patch backup versions of the database.

There is currently no resolution.  You can refer to the KB below.

GA of vCenter 5.1.0b and SRM and SRM 5.0.2

Software License Deployment Rights

Having to work in a few vendors environment, I realize there are many things that customer are not aware when purchasing any software licenses.

I have experience or came across those customer that have presence in several countries to seek for quotation or pricing from the respective countries to compare which countries would provide a better cost saving in order to purchase from for their entire or if not a specific country usage.

There is nothing wrong with this however most of the software licenses pricing differ depending on countries in terms of taxes and rebates , etc.

However most customer are not aware, if you purchase a licenses from 'A' country and used it in 'B" country, you might end up violating licenses agreement without knowing it.  In terms of audit and compliance, this is in turn results in a violation.

Some companies have been caught and fined not knowing the reason behind.  Some software houses, do send auditors to check on companies randomly.  So w…

VMware vSphere ESX™ End of Availability

VMware has announced the end of availability (“EOA”) of VMware vSphere ESX hypervisor 4.x and VMware Management Assistant (“vMA”) versions 1 and 4, effective August 15, 2013.

Support will be as per support policy however the binary and license key for the above will no longer be available after the 15th August.

For users who are still requires the above, do remember to download and keep a copy.

Please refer to the announcement here.

For Support matrix refer here.  Click on Lifecycle Support Matrix.

Update 21st Feb 2013
Even after 15 Aug, you are still able to purchase vSphere and downgrade via the myVMware portal to vSphere 4 and use it to license the ESX 4.x.  EOA does not restrict user from downgrading. Downgrading to vSphere 4 will be disabled only when the product has End of Life (EOL).

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0

The release of the vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager allows vCenter 5.1 to be able to manage Hyper-V 2 servers based on Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2.

I decide to give it a try so I install a nested Hyper-V2 server and try to create a Windows XP VM it.  However I receive the following error:

The Virtual Machine Management Service failed to start the virtual machine '%machinename%' because one of the Hyper-V components is not running (Virtual machine ID %ID_of_the_virtual_machine%).

Apparently, I would need to add in this advanced setting to the vmx file which I can also use the web client to add that.

hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = "FALSE"

After adding that, my Hyper-V VM is able to start up.

Now let's head back to vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager.  This is a 1.0 release so do not expect too much on it.  This can be found in your normal vCenter download page.

Please note that this plug-in is only available for vCenter Standard edition.  vCenter Essential a…

VMware Mirage FAQ

Recently did a presentation on VMware Mirage to one of my customer who have attended the vForum 2012 and like to explore.  Some questions were posted and like to share some of the ways you can compliment or work with your existing patch management which you might currently have in your environment.

You can find out more on VMware Mirage here.
Download a free trial here.

Question 1:
SCCM in place for patching endpoints.  Mirage can help in two use cases:
Use Mirage to build the reference machine for base layer and deploy to all end points.  SCCM to push all other apps and patches.Use Mirage to build reference machine for base layer and deploy to all end points as standard.  Use SCCM to only patch the reference machine.  Use Mirage to create different layers for different layers required. Now which to choose?  I would recommend option 2.  Here is why.  Using SCCM to patch the reference image and using Mirage to capture helps manage the different stage and you are able to revert this la…

vSphere 5.x: Errors installing ESXi 5.x

This is happening to many customers and it seems to be happening on several new models of servers typically most heard on IBM System x M4 series of servers and some Dell ones as well.

Did some internet searching however none gave much resolution but refer to resolution for white boxes.

These servers must be also be listed in VMware supported list of hardware here.

Below are the two common problems identified:

Problem 1

"Loading /imgpayld.tgz
Relocating the modules and starting the kernel..."
Make sure all firmware including BIOS is updated.  In this scenario, BIOS firmware was updated and installation was successful.  Seems like this was due to the UEFI used on IBM servers need to be updated.  Do find out from your respective vendor on the latest supported firmware.

Problem 2

"Loading /imgpayld.tgz
Multiboot could not setup the video subsystem.
Relocating the modules and starting the kernel..."
This is a strange error apparently, to solve this i…

vSphere 5.x: License Error and Upgrade

Decided to write a post on this as I receive just too times the questions from different customers due to the confusion.

Say if you are using a free edition of the vSphere Hypervisor or you are on any purhcased editions of vSphere, and you like to licensed it or upgrade to the next edition.  Now you have the new license key what do you do?

This is the most asked question:
1. Do I need to reinstall the ESXi server applying a new license key?
Answer is No.  You just need to either go to the Hypervisor via the vSphere client, select the host and on the right under the Configuration Tab and choose Licensed Features.  Click on Edit and enter your serial key.  Alternative if  you have a vCenter, just select Home>Administration>Licensing and choose Manage vSphere Licenses.  The features of the edition you have purchased or licensed will be activated and shown.

2. Can vSphere 5.0 serial keys work in vSphere 5.1?
Answer is Yes.  All vSphere 5.0 keys will still work in all vSphere 5.x.  Thi…

Journey of Virtualization: Software Defined Datacenter

Recently I was asked by some customers who have not yet start virtualization.  They asked which technology should they choose?  Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, Oracle VM, Citrix Zen or even Redhat KVM.

I would like to take this as a neutral perspective here.  Here I do not want to be bias against any technology but rather be open about it and to start at the base and looking towards the goals.

What is your reason that you are going to start virtualization?
Many wanted to do because they see people doing it and they believe it is cost saving.  Have you assess if this is really cost saving for yourself?  For one reason, if you are paying hosting of your server workload, would you really bother about if it is virtual or physical for the SLA you have paid for?

Once you have determine your reason on virtualization, next we talk about what do you want to achieve out of virtualization?
Many talk about TCO, ROI and really the cost savings.  Honestly all virtualization technology delivers …

vSphere 5.1: Error encounter adding host

I came across this incident which is really minor but can get you wasting time troubleshooting.  If you are currently running the free ESXi server and have also purchase a licensed copy, you may encounter this error when trying to add an ESXi host to the vCenter.

"The host is licensed with VMware vSphere Hypervisor. The license edition of vCenter Server does not support VMware vSphere 5 Hypervisor."

Let me explain this.

Prior to purchase a licensed vSphere edition, you would have entered the free license on the ESXi server to run a standalone ESXi server.  This license is also known as VMware vSphere 5 Hypervisor.  This is as show below.  It is limited to 32GB of physical memory with unlimited core or processor.

When adding this host to the vCenter, if you did not enter the vSphere license into the vCenter prior adding the free standalone ESXi server, you will NOT be prompted to change the license.

In this case, you will encounter the above error as the free VMware vSphe…

vSphere 5.1: vMotion with no Shared Storage

In vSphere 5.1, vMotion without shared storage was introduced.  Frank Denneman has mentioned here there is no named to this features though many has given names like Enhanced vMotion, etc.

Some have tried to perform this but realize even though they have upgraded to vSphere client 5.1, it still show greyed out and given a message to power off the VM.  This is because, in vSphere 5.1, all new features enhancement will only be found in the Web Client.  In such, the C# client will not have this option.

So using the Web Client, I was able to perform this vMotion in my home lab where I do not have any shared storage other than the local disk of each ESX servers or across two different clusters which have shared storage within there respective cluster.

Do note that you can only perform 2 concurrent vMotion without shared storage at one time, any additional will be queued.  Also the total of such vMotion adds to the total of concurrent vMotion (max of 8) and Storage vMotion (2 per host or 8 …

vSphere 5.1 Web Client: Installation

There are a few good resources on using the vCenter Web Client.  One of them contains the use of the whole web client interface which you can find here.

This KB states the requirements for the Web Client.
This blog shows you the installation of Web Client.

To access the web client the URL address would be as follows with the default port:
https://:(hostname or ip):9443/vsphere-client

Below is a video on a simple setup of the Web Client and installation.  Do note that the Web Client would require Adobe Flash to access via any of the web browsers namely Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome.

Features now available in Web Client but not on C# Client
vSphere ReplicationvMotion with no shared storage SR-IOV, BDPU, Port allocation to ElasticNetwork HealthcheckBackup and Rollback for vDSPort mirroring (IPFX) and Netflow new enhancements for vDS (ESPAN, RSPAN) I came across this blog post on the vDS enhancements on vSphere 5.1.  Do take a look.

17 Oct 2012
Update 1: Load balance using vCNS for…

vCenter 5.1 Update Manager: Installation

After the installation of vCenter 5.1, you can then proceed with the Update Manager if yu do use it and its strongly you use it to scan and check for update and apply these updates or patches to your VMware environment.

Refer to the vCenter Update Manager documentation page.  Here you will find the installation guide and the requirements for the database rights requirement.  I am using MS SQL in my demo here.  For other database please refer to the installation document.  In short for MS SQL, you need either a sysadmin role or db_owner of the database for the upgrade or installation.  In a corporate environment, typically sysadmin role is not allowed that leads to only the db_owner.

Also the requirement for MSDB is need as sysadmin or dbo_owner during installation or upgrade only.

Create vCenter Update Manager database with the rights.  The revoke of dbo role for the vumuser is at the bottom of the script commented out.
use [master]


vCenter 5.1 with SSO: Installation

To upgrade, you can refer to the Best Practice KB here.
If you have any problem hit installing SSO, you can refer to this KB
If you hit an error for vCenter installation after installing SSO, vCenter Inventory Service successfully, you may want to refer to this KB.

If you encounter an error during vCenter Installation and its show in vm_ssoreg.log
"java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: The local OS identity source is not registered with the SSO installation"
You might need to quit and rejoin your domain for the vCenter server if time on both the vCenter and Domain Controller is within not more than 5 minutes difference.

For a more detailed installation including certificates installation you may refer to this other blog.

To start with, I have make this guide simply easy for someone who have not done any vCenter installation before and using MS SQL for the database.

Here is a video on the installation and below are the detailed instructions and scripts.

To start with vC…

vSphere 5.1: Which edition considerations

With the release of new vSphere 5.1.  There are lots of new improvement that includes license change as well as features included in the lower editions of vSphere 5.1 which were only present in the higher editions in vSphere 5.0.

Below is a overview of features in vSphere 5.0 and 5.1
To keep things simple I will not be going through every features here but would like to bring attention just to those that are made available to the lower editions in vSphere 5.1.

Essential: No change.  Only the Hypervisor.
Essential Plus: Added vShield Endpoint, vSphere Replication, Hot Add.
Standard: Added those in Essential Plus and vShield Zones, Fault Tolerance, Storage vMotion.
Enterprise & Enterprise Plus: Almost similar.

Consideration 1
For Essential and Essential Plus, it still much more applicable to SMB or Remote offices whereby there is no need of the performance guarantee since typically such environment do not have much workloads.  The limitation still applies here where Essential kits a…

vCloud Suite 5.1

As announced on the VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, the vCloud Suite is finally here and it has bundled lots of solutions into one package with different editions to serve different type of customers.  The new licensing will also be included by per processor for this suite bundling.  You may refer to the different editions for the vCloud bundle here.

Below are some of the breakdown and descriptions to all the components.

vSphere 5.1
The same robust and reliable hypervisor that comes with new features like vSphere Replication for replication on recovery purposes which will be available from Essential Plus edition onwards.  Of cos with more features added which I would not go into much details but a few great ones will be GPU sharing and increased of vCPU to 64 .  No more dependency of root account.  Enhanced vMotion able to do a vMotion and a Storage vMotion in just one step even VM on a local datastore.  Single Sign on feature integration with Web client.  The vSphere web client now con…

vSphere 5.1: Best Practices and Technical Papers

With the introduction of vSphere 5.1, there will be many concerns on the best practices that many are interested in.

I have listed the available technical papers that are in VMware site and will update them whenever there is new one updated for easy access and reference.

Best Practices
VMware vSphere 5.1 vMotion Architecture, Performance and Best Practices
VMware vCenter Server 5.1 Database Performance Improvements and Best Practices for Large-Scale Environments
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 5.1

Technical Papers
VXLAN Performance Evaluation on VMware vSphere 5.1
Storage I/O Performance on VMware vSphere 5.1 over 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel
The CPU Scheduler in VMware vSphere 5.1
VXLAN Performance Evaluation on VMware vSphere 5.1

vSphere 5.1: What's New

With the introduction of vSphere 5.1.  There would be many questions on the new features and enhancements been made.  So here are the breakdown of all the new and enhancement documents.

What's New in vSphere 5.1
Introduction to VMware vSphere Data Protection
Introduction to VMware vSphere Replication
Introduction to VMware 5.1 - Performance
Introduction to VMware 5.1 - Storage
Introduction to VMware 5.1 - Platform
Introduction to VMware 5.1 - Networking

Hope these will give you a good idea on the changes.

As for the editions and add on,  the same editions that are in vSphere 5 are still here which includes Essential, Essential Plus, Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.

What has been added is Standard with Operations Management.  This edition adds in vCenter Operations Suite Advanced for active monitoring and capacity monitoring and vCenter Protect Standard for patching.  This edition is very useful for customer starting on a small virtualization project while still able to provide…

vSphere 5 & 5.1 Licensing

As of today's announcement, the new vSphere licensing for 5 and 5.1 will be by per processor licensing moving forward from 27th August 2012.  This eliminate the need of vRAM entitlement which was used in vSphere 5.0 last year.

This come effect for all new and existing customers on vSphere 5.0 while vSphere 5.1 is yet to be released for download.  The updated End User License Agreements (EULA) will replaces and supersede statement can be found here.

This change was decided due to the feedback and confusion created when vRAM entitlement was release last year in partners and users.  Though vRAM would benefit people with bigger environment, the core processor licensing was still easier for everyone.

You can read from the vSphere 5 Licensing white paper here.  You may also refer to all the resources of vSphere whether for 5.0 or 5.1 all at this place.

I have the table of the license entitlement between 4.1 and prior and the new change for 5.x below:

vSphere 4.1 and prior vSphere 5.…