Automating vCloud Director Resiliency whitepaper released

About a year ago I wrote a whitepaper about vCloud Director resiliency, or better said I developed a disaster recovery solution for vCloud Director. This solution allows you to fail-over vCloud Director workloads between sites in the case of a failure. Immediately after it was published various projects started to implement this solution. As part of our internal project our PowerCLI guru’s Aidan Dalgleish and Alan Renouf started looking in to automating the solution. Those who read the initial case study probably have seen the manual steps required for a fail-over, those who haven’t read this white paper first

The manual steps in the vCloud Director Resiliency whitepaper is exactly what Alan and Aidan addressed. So if you are interested in implementing this solution then it is useful to read this paper new white paper about Automating vCloud Director Resiliency as well. Nice work Alan and Aidan!

Do I still need to set “HaltingIdleMsecPenalty” with vSphere 5.x?

I received a question last week from a customer. They have a fairly big VDI environment and are researching the migration to vSphere 5.1. One of the changes they made in the 4.1 time frame was the advanced setting “HaltingIdleMsecPenalty” in order to optimize hyper threading fairness for their specific desktop environment. I knew that this was no longer needed but didn’t have an official reference for them (There is a blog post by Tech Marketing performance guru Mark A. that mentions it though). Today I noticed it was mentioned in a whitepaper which was recently released titled “The CPU Scheduler in VMware vSphere 5.1“. I recommend everyone to read this whitepaper as it gives you a better understanding of how the scheduler works and how it has been improved over time.

The following section is an outtake from that white paper.

Improvement in Hyper-Threading Utilization

In vSphere 4.1, a strict fairness enforcement policy on HT systems might not allow achieving full utilization of all logical processors in a situation described in KB article 1020233 [5]. This KB also provides a work-around based on an advanced ESX host attribute, “HaltingIdleMsecPenalty”. While such a situation should be rare, a recent change in the HT fairness policy described in “Policy on Hyper-Threading,” obviates the need for the work-around. Figure 8 illustrates the effectiveness of the new HT fairness policy for VDI workloads. In the experiments, the number of VDI users without violating the quality of service (QoS) requirement is measured on vSphere 4.1, vSphere 4.1 with “HaltingIdleMsecPenalty” tuning applied, and vSphere 5.1. Without the tuning, vSphere 4.1 supports 10% fewer users. On vSphere 5.1 with the default setting, it slightly exceeds the tuned performance of vSphere 4.1.

VMware Technical Journal, pick it up!

VMware just published the second VMware Technical Journal. This winter edition contains great publications on topics like vProbes, Paravirtual vRDMA Devices, Cloud Tenant UI design process, Storage DRS and FrobOS. There is also a nice introduction by VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger. Simply to much to mention, I suggest you just download it… I think it is a great read and it gives an idea about some of the things VMware engineers work on.

VMware Technical Journal


vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide public draft available

One of the things my team is responsible for is security of the cloud infrastructure suite. They have worked really hard the last couple of months on overhauling the vSphere Hardening Guide. Today the public draft was published. (Thanks Charu, Grant and Kyle!)

One of the major changes is the format of the guide. It has been poured into an Excel spreadsheet making it easier filter, sort and edit. Please take a look at the guide and if there is any feedback don’t hesitate to comment on the community forum thread! The final version of the document should be published mid May.

VMware Technical Journal, download it now!

I’ve read this several times by now, so I figured I would share it with you. Hopefully most of you will already be aware though at this point as several people blogged and tweeted about it.

The VMware Technical Journal is a new publication for the company. We are looking forward to producing future journal issues at regular intervals to highlight the R&D efforts taking place in several different areas of engineering. Our current issue includes papers related to distributed resource management, user experience monitoring, and statistics collection frameworks for virtualized environments, along with several other topics. In future issues we will highlight other areas of VMware R&D, including Cloud Application Platform and End User Computing, and research collaborations with academic partners.

All of the papers included in the tech journal can also be downloaded separately through the following links:

Worth reading believe me!

I’ve already put in the request to make these available as both mobi/epub.