How to configure Multi-NIC-vMotion in VMware vSphere 5

We have two new videos for your viewing pleasure today. Both videos discuss and demonstrate the processes involved with configuring Multi-NIC-vMotion in vSphere 5.0

The first video details the process relating to a Standard vSwitch and the second video shows the process concerning a Distributed vSwitch.

Both of these videos were created with the assistance and guidance of our friend Duncan Epping over at Yellow Bricks. Thanks Duncan!

We hope you enjoy these videos!


VKernel presents vOperations Suite 4

In June 2011 I was part of the TechField Day #6 delegation and one of the companies we visited was VKernel. During the VKernel presentation we, the delegates, had a number of comments on the layout / GUI part of vOPS. Only a few months later, VKernel shows they have been using our feedback and of their customers and made some pretty good adjustments to the GUI with the release of VKernel vOPS 4.

Of course that is not the only change in vOPS 4. One of the biggest new features is that VKernel vOPS is now “Hypervisor Agnostic”, which specifically means that besides VMware vSphere, they now also support Microsoft Hyper-V and will be supporting RHEV in Q4 2011.

VKernel vOPS 4 is not only Hypervisor agnostic in a way that it retrieves performance data from both VMware vSphere and HyperV, but the VKernel appliance can of course also be deploy as VMDK and VHD file.

A considerable change in the GUI is the instant drill-down to VM level from a high level view. This high level view shows you the health of all your VMs in one glimps. Each VM is represented by a single square, the more VMs the smaller the squares get. Even with 2000 VMs you can still get a fairly good indication of your complete environment within seconds. VMs in good health are green, VMs with a slight problem are yellow and if things are really bad…. You guessed it, the square that represents the VM turns red.

Except for performance, it is also important to know if you are using your resources in a cost effective way. VKernel came up with a new feature called Cost Optimization. By using a cost index per VM, vOPS 4 can tell you if your VM is being used cost effectively. The index is calculated based on hardware costs, resource usage and VM density.

When talking about this with Bryan Semple (CMO VKernel) I had my doubts about the calculations made. Using the VKernel cost index, a VM using a lot of resources on very expensive hardware, would get ‘punished’ for using these resources on an expensive host. Is that fair? An expensive host often has the most power, fastest RAM, etc and maybe you should run the more resource intensive VMs on the more expensive hosts. But who is to blame if the VM is not running where it should be running? It isn’t the VMs fault. So maybe the index should be more host oriented instead of VM oriented. Bryan thinks I have a point there and he will discuss this with the development team.

More details can be found at the VKernel website.

See full post at: VKernel presents vOperations Suite 4

Towards Virtualized Networking for the Cloud

Towards Virtualized Networking for the Cloud

Posted by Steve Herrod
Chief Technology Officer

VMworld 2011 is well-underway with more than 19,000 attendees gathered in Las Vegas to learn about, celebrate, and drive the future of both virtualization and cloud computing. The amount of news has been staggering, but I want to take more time to focus on one particularly important announcement in this blog; a new vision and approach for networking in the cloud era.

Cloud computing holds the promise of accessing shared resources in a secure, scalable, and self-service manner, and these core tenets place huge demands on today’s physical network infrastructure.  While compute and storage are virtualized, network is still a physical impediment to full workload mobility and can inhibit multi-tenancy and scalability goals. Even with VLAN technologies, the network continues to restrict workloads to the underlying physical network and to non-scalable, hard-to-automate constructs.

Have we seen this before?

I like to think about this problem as similar to one we’ve previously seen in the telephony industry. One of the fundamental challenges with today’s networking is that we use an IP address for two unrelated purposes, as an identity AND as a location. Tying these together restricts a (virtual) machine from moving around as easily as we would like. We had the same challenge with telephony before wireless came of age… our phone number rang for us at a specific destination rather than following us wherever we went!


Just as our mobile phone numbers allow us to take calls virtually anywhere, separation of a machine’s network ID from its physical location enables more mobility and efficiency for applications. And this is exactly what we’re after in the cloud… a model that enables the efficient and fluid movement of virtual resources across shared cloud infrastructures both within and across datacenters. This improved mobility will ultimately enable better approaches to load balancing, disaster recovery, power-usage optimization, datacenter provisioning and migration, and other challenges approaching us in the cloud era.

Welcome VXLAN!

VMware has collaborated with Cisco and other industry leaders to develop an innovative solution to these challenges called “VXLAN” (Virtual eXtensible LAN). VXLAN enables multi-tenant networks at scale, and it is the first step towards logical, software-based networks that can be created on-demand, enabling enterprises to leverage capacity wherever it’s available. How does it work?

Using “MAC-in-UDP” encapsulation, VXLAN provides a Layer 2 abstraction to virtual machines (VMs), independent of where they are located.  It completely untethers the VMs from physical networks by allowing VMs to communicate with each other using a transparent overlay scheme over physical networks that could span Layer 3 boundaries.  Since VMs are completely unaware of the physical networks constraints and only see the virtual layer 2-adjacency, the fundamental properties of virtualization such as mobility and portability are extended across traditional network boundaries. Furthermore, logical networks can be easily separated from one another, simplifying the implementation of true multi-tenancy.

And VXLAN enables better programmability by providing a single interface to authoritatively program the logical network. Operationally, it will provide the needed control and visibility to the network admin while allowing the flexibility of elastic compute for the cloud admin.

And VXLAN can be implemented to be very efficient and resource savvy. We take advantage of efficient multicast protocols for the VM’s broadcast and multicast needs. We leverage Equal-Cost Multi-path (ECMP) in the core networks for efficient load sharing. And within the virtualized environment we leverage vSphere’s DVS, vSwitch, and network IO controls to ensure the VMs get the bandwidth and security that they require. Cisco will certainly leverage the N1000V switch as one key place for VXLAN implementation, and other partners will soon announce their approach as well.

A Collaboration

VMware has collaborated closely with Cisco and industry leaders including Arista, Broadcom, Brocade, Emulex, and Intel in making this an industry-wide effort and to ensure a seamless experience across virtual and physical infrastructure. As part of this effort, we have published an informational IETF draft (see to detail the use case and the technology. To achieve its full potential, VXLAN must be adopted across the industry, and we’re committed to helping this happen in an open and standards-compliant way.

In Closing… 

VXLAN is the flagship in a growing set of capabilities that deliver a new model of networking for the cloud. For some additional context, be sure to check out Allwyn’s blog on logical networks from May. It addresses the physical limitations associated with today’s networking infrastructures in an evolutionary way, and offers a model that enables the efficient and fluid movement of virtual resources across cloud infrastructures. And what’s more, it does so in an evolutionary way that leverages today’s network infrastructure investments. Stay tuned for even more updates on this exciting new development!








       Download VMware Products  | Privacy  | Update Feed Preferences 
        Copyright © 2010 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved.

vSphere5 Ready to Download

Well, at last the wait is over. vSphere5 is now available to download and evaluate from website. I was actually expecting the bits to drop on Wednesday, that’s what my (no so) reliable sources were telling me. Who knows perhaps they were released at 23.59 on Wednesday!

I wouldn’t know – I was tucked up in bed by 10pm. I’m not one of those people who sleep in a tent outside an Apple store, if you catch my drift.

Of course I went to download vSphere5 I wasn’t able to. You see I’m neither a customer or partner, and therefore my account is NOT “activated” for customer downloads.

That’s a webpage I’ve been looking at for some years. So at the moment I’m downloading the eval, which looks ALMOST fully functional (Update: I’m not seeing the “Depot” version of ESX5i that’s used with Auto Deploy…). That will last for 60 days. After that I don’t really know what I will do. I will probably sign up for a mailinator account, and just keep on evaluating vSphere5. I’m not really sure where I’m heading on licensing with VMware. I’m no longer a VMware Certified Instructor so I’m not on the email list for education licenses, and I don’t know how long it will take for my vExpert licenses to come through.

My task for today once ESX5i installable has downloaded is to test the GA build of the VMware Hypervisor against the Ultimate Deployment Appliance. Yes, that’s right the UDA has a new build number (Build 20) which adds support for ESX5i. But I need to validate it against the GA, before Carl and I make it publicly available. Not that I expect anyone to deploying ESX5i in anger today – except hard-core fanbios like me of course!

The other thing I’m trying to do is get a preview of chapter 1/2 of my “Hotel California” book out on RTFM. Why? Well, chapter 2 has lots of vSphere5 good stuff, and don’t want to sit on it until next year – because well, by then it will be common knowledge….

Simplifying IT support and deployments with converged systems

All IT solutions will experience problems at some point in their life.  Supporting IT solutions is difficult, time-consuming and costly, but also a fact of life – a fact as a systems administrator I am thankful for.  It means, I have a job.  Problem solving skills are absolutely necessary, but all administrators need the expert help of vendors’ support departments when our knowledge runs into something we just don’t know.

Unfortunately, when multiple vendors’ products are coupled together as a solution, support can become nasty as vendors point back and forth at each other while trying to get to a resolution.  The more complex the solution, for instance a SAN, the more difficult to troubleshoot through the multiple layers of software, firmware and hardware, even multiple vendors of the solution.  And, I believe, the hassle has made customers seek a better way.

Finding a better way

In my employer’s case, they chose to standardize with a single vendor long before I joined the staff.   We have stuck with servers and storage hardware from the single vendor, including their certified part upgrades (no third party upgrade components).  We chose to do this to simplify our support and avoid finger-pointing.

The vendor we standardized with was HP, and the reason was that they offered an entire line of products under their umbrella to meet our needs.  By the time I joined the staff in 2006, we were already HP heavy, except where a specific Unix was required by another vendor.   What we wanted as a customer was the quickest and easiest route  to a resolution, with the least resistance and finger-pointing, when a problem came up.  Even beyond the hardware solutions, HP has handled our software support for Microsoft, RedHat and VMware for many years.  We wanted this because the software companies could not finger point at the hardware or vice versa – HP was doing it all.  Sure, it might happen between teams in HP occasionally, but we could easily escalate our case and have a manager bring this to a resolution.  It has worked well for our needs.

Having all this expertise in-house is an advantage that HP is now branding under the name “Converged Systems” or the “Instant-On Enterprise”.  Earlier this week, I attended a webinar for the Blogger Reality Contest where HP unpacked more of its converged solutions strategies.  HP is bringing together all of the pieces spread throughout its portfolio into specialized solutions.  Its not a new concept, in my opinion, but one that some customers have been already using for years on their own.  HP has improved on this by tweaking configurations  to squeeze performance out of configurations and adding software to ease installation and management of the solutions.

Building Upwards – HP VirtualSystem

HP introduced VirtualSystem in June as a modular, easy and quick way to implement virtualization in customer datacenters.  The VirtualSystem solution is a full package of storage and compute resources plus the software tools to quickly and easily deploy a virtual stack in an environment.

For HP VirtualSystem, the key benefits are:

  • Quick built out timeframe
  • Automation through Insight Control suite components
  • Monitoring through the Insight Dynamics suite components
  • Improved virtual machine performance, cost and scale due to purpose built hardware
  • Ability to upgrade to CloudSystem for fully automated IT
  • Single point of contact for support – HP for compute, storage and software, including hypervisor

HP VirtualSystem comes in 3 levels (shown below).  The VS1 is built out using rack-mount, Proliant hardware for both the server hosts and for the storage and features a P4000 series iSCSI storage array.  It is rated to handle up to 750 virtual machines and can scale up to 8 physical hosts.  The VS2 is built out using HP BladeSystem with a P4800 iSCSI storage array (covered in depth last week).  It is rated for up to 2500 virtual machines and can scale up to 24 physical hosts.  The third offering is the VS3 which is built on HP BladeSystem and the 3PAR Utility Storage platform to provide ultimate scale and performance.  VS3 introduces fiber channel storage capability and scales up to 6000 virtual machines with up to 64 hosts.

In terms of choice, VirtualSystem supports all three major hypervisors from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.  Using my company as an example again, the multi-hypervisor datacenter already exists.  We are utilizing VMware vSphere heavily and then some Citrix XenServer.  When it came to planning upgrades for our aging MetaFrame/XenApp farm, we looked at virtualization.  As we evaluated XenServer, we found it to be “good enough” for running Citrix XenApp on top of it.  XenApp has its own failover and redundancy built into the application layer, so many of the VMware advanced features did not matter.

For VirtualSystem, HP is also handling all support for both the hardware and software for these solutions.  Having experience with HP’s software support teams, I can report that they do a good job at it.  I would not say they are always perfect, but in general, they have solved our issues and advised us well, so in reality this is a big benefit.  For those who want not on break/fix support, HP offers Proactive 24 Services for an additional level of preventative support.

Building to the cloud – HP CloudSystem

As I learned at HP Discover, just because you have a large virtualization pool in your datacenter does not mean you have a private “cloud.”  The critical difference between a virtual infrastructure and a cloud is orchestration and automation.  Built on top of HP VirtualSystem, HP CloudSystem is a solution that offers all of the necessary orchestration, service catalog and workflows to turn virtual infrastructure into a true cloud.  There is a clear and clean upgrade path from VirtualSystem into CloudSystem.  And for those starting fresh or who want to evaluate the HP solution, there is even an HP CloudStart service which will deliver a rack with CloudSystem into their datacenter and have it fully operational in 30 days or less.

CloudSystem is offered in three levels: CloudSystem Matrix, CloudSystem Enterprise and CloudSystem Service Provider.  CloudSystem Matrix is targeted towards those looking to automate the private cloud, customers who are looking to add automation and orchestration to their existing virtual systems.  It provides infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and basic application provisioning in minutes.  CloudSystem Enterprise extends upon Matrix and allows for private and hybrid cloud, enabling the bursting of workloads to public cloud.  It is a platform for hosting not only IaaS, but Platform as a Service (Paas) and Software as a Service (SaaS).  CloudSystem Enterprise provides application and infrastructure lifecycle management and allows for management of traditional IT resources in addition to virtualized resources.   The CloudSystem Service Provider edition extends upon the Enterprise edition and allows for multiple tenants on a single infrastructure, securely without exposing customer data between customers.  It is intended to host public and hosted private clouds for customers.  The editions in CloudSystem are more about capabilities and less about limits, compared to VirtualSystem.

Since automation and orchestration is the key of CloudSystem, that is where I wanted to focus.  The base of CloudSystem is the Matrix Operating System, which is the same combination of HP software found in the HP VirtualSystem solution.  On top of the Matrix Operating System, the CloudSystem Matrix solution includes Cloud Service Automation for Matrix.  This software includes Server Automation for lifecycle management for physical and virtual assets via a single portal and set of processes and HP SiteScope, an agent-less monitoring solution for performance and availability.

The enterprise and service provider editions include a beefed up version called, simply, Cloud Service Automation.  It includes the entire orchestration, database and middleware automation pieces of the pie and a cloud controller software.  These additional pieces allow not only the automatic and streamlined provisioning of physical and virtual servers but also the provisioning of the required glue that sits in between the apps and the servers.  The diagram below from HP shows all the moving parts of Cloud Service Automation better than I can explain in words.  And because, Cloud Service Automation is total lifecycle management, there are the pieces for monitoring and performance management which would be needed.  In addition, the centralized portals serve as point for both end users and IT professionals to manage the cloud.

Cloud Maps are another feature of CloudSystem and these are predefined automation workflows for deploying software and platforms easily.  These are the piece of the puzzle that allows for improved deployment times and also allow for drag and drop creation of new workflows and processes in the cloud.  HP has worked with its software partners to create these maps of requirements and automate the process of deploying their solutions.

Beyond all of the capabilities, HP is working hard to make this an open solution by making it compatible to burst workloads into third party clouds, whether its Amazon’s EC3 or a vCloud service provider.  This was a point stressed during the announcements at HP Discover and during the call on Tuesday.

This is post number two for Thomas Jones’ Blogger Reality Show sponsored by HP and Ivy Worldwide. I ask that readers be as engaged and responsive as possible during this contest.  I would like to see comments and conversations that these entries spark, tweets and retweets if it interests you and I also request that you vote for this entry using the thumbs up/thumbs at the top of this page.  As I said earlier, our readers play a large part in scoring, so participate in my blog and all the others!

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about CloudSystem.  In June,  I posted about my take on CloudSystem Service Provider from a potential service provider’s perspective.  I encourage you to take a look at that post, too, after you take a minute to comment and/or vote on this post.

VMware vSphere 5 Licensing and Pricing Update

As you are probably aware, when VMware announced our new Cloud Infrastructure Suite, we also introduced changes to the vSphere licensing based on a consumption and value-based model rather than on physical components and capacity. 

While we believe this model is the right long-term strategy as we move into the cloud-computing era, the announcement generated a great deal of passionate feedback from partners and customers that led us to examine the impact of the new licensing model on every possible use case and scenario - and equally importantly, taking into consideration our partners’ and customers’ desire to broadly standardize on VMware. We’ve listened to your ideas and advice, and we are taking action with the following three updates to the vSphere 5 licensing model:

  • We’ve increased vRAM entitlements for all vSphere editions, including the doubling of the entitlements for vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Below is a comparison of the previously announced and the new vSphere 5 vRAM entitlements per vSphere edition:


  • We’ve capped the amount of vRAM we count in any given VM, so that no VM, not even the “monster” 1TB vRAM VM, would cost more than one vSphere Enterprise Plus license. This change also aligns with our goal to make vSphere 5 the best platform for running Tier 1 applications.

  • We’ve adjusted our model to be much more flexible around transient workloads, and short-term spikes that are typical in test & development environments for example. We will now calculate a 12-month average of consumed vRAM to rather than tracking the high water mark of vRAM.

Finally, we introduced the vSphere Desktop Edition to address vSphere licensing in a desktop environment. vSphere Desktop is licensed on the total number of Powered On Desktop Virtual Machines allowing  customers to purchase vSphere for VDI use case on per user basis.  Our price books are being updated and will be available on Partner Central shortly. 

If you have additional feedback please we welcome your comments here. We also have several resources on Partner Central available to provide clarity for you and your customers, a vmLIVE session available for replay, and an additional vmLIVE scheduled for August 10th 

We value our partnership with you and look forward to a successful introduction of vSphere 5 into the marketplace this quarter!

-- Scott Aronson
Senior Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances.

Talk of the Town – VSphere 5 Licensing

A somewhat surprising popular topic at the moment considering the amazing features announced by VMware this week is vSphere 5 Licensing, so says Alan Renouf, a Senior Technical Marketing Architect here at VMware.

Alan has just posted a blog post: vSphere 5 License Entitlements where he speaks to the confusion and misunderstanding of the new licensing model.

Alan also provides a powerful script that you can run on your current system to determine where you stand when you decide to upgrade to vSphere 5. Here is a demo video of that script.

Be sure to head on over to Alan's blog to pick up the source script.

vSphere 5 Launch

Gestern war wie viele wissen der Launch von vSphere 5.
Die neue Version bringt einige interessante Features, wie 32 vCpus oder 3D Beschleunigung für Windows Aero.
Allerdings bereitet mir das neue Lizenzmodell irgendwo Bauchschmerzen, aber irgendwie auch wieder nicht.
Ich versuche meine Gedanken dazu mal nieder zu schreiben.
Ich gehe von einem Szenario aus wie ich es bei uns im RZ vorfinde, drei Hosts mit je zwei CPUs und 128GB Ram. Die Lizenz ist Enterprise Plus, d.H. nach dem neuen Lizenzmodell darf ich pro Host 2 x 48GB Ram als vRam verwenden.
Würde wenn man das ganze flach betrachtet bedeuten, man kann 96GB von 128GB benutzen und 32 würden brach liegen.
Das klingt erstmal ärgerlich und hat mich ehrlich gesagt erstmal geschockt.
Aber VMware hat sich dann doch etwas dabei gedacht, und der vRam wird nicht pro host sondern pro Cluster berechnet, bedeutet ich kann insgesamt 288GB an RAM für meine virtuelle Maschinen vergeben.
Bleibt am ende ein Gap von 96GB die brach liegen würden.
Jetzt aber zu der Krux des ganzen, ich kenne niemanden der seine 3 Hosts komplett auslasten würde, es muss ja immer noch ein Fenster für HA übrig sein.
Gehen wir davon aus, wir würden die 288GB die uns VMware zugesteht voll auslasten, dann hätten wir bei Ausfall eines Hosts schon ein Overcommitment von 32GB.
Mit anderen Worten niemand wird auch wenn er 384GB RAM in seinem Cluster hat diese voll ausnutzen, weil er Reserven für den HA Fall haben muss.
Ich hoffe, ich kann hiermit einigen die Angst vor einem Umzug auf vSphere 5 doch ein wenig nehmen.

VMware Unveils vSphere 5 and the Cloud Infrastructure Suite

Today VMware’s announced releases include vSphere 5, vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5, vShield 5, vCloud Director 1.5, and the new vSphere Storage Appliance 1.0. These are joined by vCenter Operations, which launched in March of this year.

The launch is being done via a live online event featuring presentations by Paul Maritz and Steve Herrod!

I’m actually watching the presentation right now and some of the new features in vSphere 5 are awesome!

The video below comes from the VMware blog and highlights and the 200+ new capabilities that have been added!