VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor-Manager 1.1 is out, sign up for it!

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 is a minor release with the following new capabilities:

  • Migration of virtual machines from Hyper-V to ESX or ESXi hosts.
  • Support for the latest Microsoft Hyper-V3 hypervisor (as well as the earlier versions).
  • Increased scalability with regards to the number of supported third-party hosts to 50 (from 20 in MHM 1.0).
  • Ability to provide custom certificates for the MHM server from the installer wizard.
  • Multiple objects selection in the UI and a number of other usability improvements.
  • Plus a number of server and client-side bug fixes.

If you have some Hyper-V hosts in your environment that you want to manage, or need to migrate from Hyper-V to vSphere, then make sure to download this nice vCenter add-on. It is in Beta, and I am certain the engineering team will appreciate all the feedback you can give.

Startup Intro: SoftNAS

Last week I had a chat with Rick Braddy from SoftNAS. Some of you might know Rick from when he was the CTO of a hosted virtul desktop company called Virtual-Q and others from when he was the CTO of Citrix for XenApp and XenDesktop. Today Rick is the CTO for SoftNAS, a software and appliance based storage solution. Rick gave me an introduction to what it is SoftNAS (Professional) does and offers and I figured I would do a short write-up as an introduction to SoftNAS.

Ultimately SoftNAS is a virtual appliance that offers up local storage as shared storage. SoftNAS is build on top of CentOS and leverages ZFS. It is deployed as a virtual machine, which means that it takes a couple of minutes to set up. SoftNAS has a nice looking user interface which allows you to quickly create shared storage for your virtual environment. When I say quickly I mean in a matter of minutes you have shared storage to your disposal: select your volumes –> create a storage pool –> create a volume –> use it. For those who care, besides VMware vSphere SoftNAS also supports Hyper-V and Amazon EC2. [Read more...]

What is: Current Memory Failover Capacity?

I have had this question many times by now, what is “Current Memory Failover Capacity” that is shown in the cluster summary when you have selected the “Percentage Based Admission Control Policy”? What is that percentage? 99% of what? And will it go down to 0%? Or will it go down to the percentage that you reserved? Well I figured it was time to put things to the test and no longer be guessing.

As shown in the screenshot above, I have selected 33% of memory to be reserved and currently have 99% of memory failover capacity. Lets power-on a bunch of virtual machines and see what happens. Below is the result shown in a screenshot, “current memory failover capacity” went down from 99% to 94%.

Also when I increase the reservation in a virtual machine I can see “Current Memory Failover Capacity” drop down even further. So it is not about “used” but about “unreserved / reserved” memory resources (including memory overhead), let that be absolutely clear! When will vCenter Server shout “Insufficient resources to satisfy configured failover level for vSphere HA”?

It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure that one out, just power-on new VMs until it says “stop it”. As you can see in the screenshot below. This happens when you reach the percentage you specified to reserve as “memory failover capacity”. In other words in my case I reserved 33%, when “Current Memory Failover Capacity” reaches 33% it doesn’t allow the VM to be powered on as this would violate the selected admission control policy.

I agree, this is kind of confusing…  But I guess when you run out of resources it will become pretty clear very quickly ;-)


VMworld 2013 call for papers open!

VMworld 2013 Call For Papers opened today. I know many of you are excited about this and hoping to have a session accepted at this top-of-the-bill event. Personally I always submit various sessions and for the last years always had atleast one of them excepted, and some years even multiple. So the obvious question I always get is “do you have tips”?

I guess at the risk of lowering my own chances, here they are, do note that as always there is a limited number of sessions that will be accepted. No guarantee that my tips will help in any shape or form, but these are my rules when I submit a session:

  • Be Original, make sure your suggestion is unique. If there are 10 others submitting the exact same, chances are slim you will get in. (Every year I see at least 5 or 6 community/bloggers panel sessions being submitted, with limited space make sure you work together on this and do not compete.)
  • Think Big, although your 2 host home-lab might be interesting to you VMworld is attended by 20.000+ people. So make sure your session appeals to the broader audience AND to the voting committee.
  • Quality over Quantity, really there is no point in submitting 10 sessions. Rather submit two or three, well thought out and developed submissions. This is what you will be judged on by the voting committee. They will read your title and summary, this will need to convince them!
  • Co-Present! Something I always try to do is to team up with someone. Not only will it make the “delivery” a lot easier, but a second pair of eyes on the submission will help!
  • Theme – Theme – Theme, although the theme for 2013 hasn’t been announced yet all of us can more or less guess what it will be about. We all know VMware has these three pillars they are focusing on, and that the SDDC is a major part of it… Make sure to submit something that hits that theme / fits in to those three pillars!

Now before you start running and submit a session, take a deep breath, sit down, relax and think about what you are going to submit. The Call For Papers will be open until April 12th so no need to rush, start scribbling down those ideas and go take your time to fine-tune them!


Top 25 bloggers 2013 results are out…

The top 25 bloggers 2013 voting results are out again. This year the competition was insane. With newcomers like Cormac Hogan and Chris Wahl, but also old-timers like Chad Sakac, Scott Lowe, Eric Sloof and of course Frank “resource management” Denneman.

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to Eric Siebert who took the time and effort again to set this up. I know how much work these kind of things take, so once again thanks Eric for spending your evenings on this! There were over 80 new blogs this year and 4 new blogs made the top 25, and one new blog made the top 10. With a total of ~1300 votes this is probably one of biggest community awards I have seen. Yes being a vExpert is awesome, but getting votes from your readers feels 10 times better.

I am not going to list the full top 25 here, I feel everyone should hit Eric’s page for that. I do want to thank everyone for taking the time to vote for me. I am honored to have been voted number 1 blogger for virtualization again for the 6th consecutive time. This is crazy, who would have thought that when I started yellow-bricks.com years ago… I sure did not expect that, and it was also never my intention. Thanks everyone, and please keep coming back and leave comments – be interactive!

There are two bloggers I do want to call out, first of all someone who I managed to persuade to start his own blog and who entered the Top 10 as a newcomer… Cormac “the god of all things VMware storage related” Hogan. What a tremendous achievement this year by Cormac. So many great articles, not just deep technical but also his “storage vendor overviews” are awesome. Of course the resource management guru who jumped from spot 5 to spot 2, Frank Denneman. Awesome work, what can I say more?! Keep it up,

Once again, make sure to watch the vChat below and hit Eric’s page for the full list. Thanks everyone, and see you next year :)