Best Practices and URL’s

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Here’s a great check list that I came across today…  Enjoy!

Component Check (per Best Practice)

Host Verify equipment was burned in with memory test for at least 72 hours

Host Verify all host hardware is on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

Host Verify all host hardware meets minimum supported configuration

Host Check CPU compatibility for vMotion and FT

Host Check ESX/ESXi host physical CPU utilization to make sure that it is not saturated or running in a sustained high utilization

Host Verify all hosts in the cluster are compatible versions of ESX/ESXi

Host Check ESX/ESXi host active Swap In/Out rate to make sure that it is not consistently greater than 0

Host Check to make sure that there is sufficient service console memory (max is 800MB)

Host Verify that ESX service console root file system is not getting full

Host Check if any 3rd party agents are running in the ESX service console

Host Verify that NTP is used for time synchronization

Network Verify that networking in configured consistently across all hosts in a cluster

Network Check to make sure there is redundancy in networking paths and components to avoid single points of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each network)

Network If HA is being used, check that physical switches that support PortFast (or equivalent) have PortFast enabled

Network Check that NICs for the same uplink have same speeds and duplex settings

Network Check that Management/Service Console, Vmkernel, and VM traffic is separated (physical or logical using VLANs)

Network Verify that portgroup security settings for ForgedTransmits and MACAddressChanges are set to Reject

Network Check the virtual switch portgroup failover policy for appropriate active and standby NICs for failover

Network Verify that VMotion and FT traffic is on at least a 1 Gb network

Network Check that IP storage traffic is physically separate to prevent sharing network bandwidth

Storage Verify that VMs are on a shared datastore

Storage Check that datastores are masked/zoned to the appropriate hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that datastores are consistently accessible from all hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that the appropriate storage policy is used for the storage array (MRU, Fixed, RR)

Storage Check to make sure there is redundancy in storage paths and components to avoid single point of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each datastore)

Storage Check that datastores are not getting full

Virtual Datacenter Check that all datacenter objects use a consistent naming convention

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts within a cluster maintain a compatible and homogeneous (CPU/mem) to support the required functionality for DRS, DPM, HA, and VMotion

Virtual Datacenter Check that FT primaries are distributed on multiple hosts since FT logging is asymmetric

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts for FT are FT compatible

Virtual Datacenter Check that reservations/limits are used selectively on VMs that need it and are not set to extreme values

Virtual Datacenter Check that vCenter Server is not running other applications and vCenter add-ons (for large environments and heavily loaded vCenter systems) and is sized appropriately

Virtual Datacenter Check that the DB log setting is Normal unless there is a specific reason to set it to High

Virtual Datacenter Check that the vCenter statistics level is set to an appropriate level (1 or 2 recommended)

Virtual Datacenter Check that appropriate vCenter roles, groups, and permissions are being used

VM Check any VMs with CPU READY over 2000 ms

VM Check any VMs with sustained high CPU utilization

VM Check any VMs with incorrect OS type in the VM configuration compared to the guest OS

VM Check any VMs with multiple vCPUs to make sure the applications are not single threaded

VM Check the active Swap In/Out rate of VMs to make sure it is not consistently greater than 0

VM Check that NTP, windows time service, or another timekeeping utility suitable for the OS is used (and not VMware Tools)

VM Check that VMware Tools are installed, running, and not out of date for running VMs

VM Check VMs that are configured and enabled with unnecessary virtual hardware devices (floppy, serial, parallel, CDROM) and any devices that prevent VMotion

VM Check VMs that are not yet on virtual hardware v7

VM Check VM configuration (memory reservation) for VMs running JVM to consider setting reservation to the size of OS+ java heap

Item URL


VMTN Technology information

VMTN Knowledge Base

Discussion forums

User groups

Online support

Telephone support

Education Services


Technical Papers

Network throughput between virtual machines

Detailed explanation of VMotion considerations

Time keeping in virtual machines

VMFS partitions

VI3 802.1Q VLAN Solutions

VMware Virtual Networking Concepts

Using EMC Celerra IP Storage (VI3

VMware vCenter Update Manager documentation

VMware vCenter Update Manager Best Practices

Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.0

Recommendations for aligning VMFS partitions

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere

Large Page Performance

VMware vSphere PowerCLI

VI3 security hardening

VMware HA: Concepts and Best Practices

Java in Virtual Machine on ESX

CPU scheduler in ESX 4.0

Dynamic Storage Provisioning (Thin Provisioning)

Understanding memory resource management on ESX

06.08.2010 VMUG Event

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The big Phoenix VMUG meeting is tomorrow… I hope you all can make it… some of the buzz will be about the FREE VMware CookBook and the workshop around Building your home lab around Workstation 7.

For all you night owls… I posted my Workshop lab a day early…. Go here to see it…



Network – Edit Hosts file on ESX

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Here are the simple commands to edit a hosts file on an ESX server…

Log on as root
Enter vi /etc/hosts

Press ESC, then i to insert
Edit Text
Press ESX, the :wq press enter to save

Here are some common commands with vi

“you have to enter command mode first using ESC “

i = insert at this charachter

x = delete a charachter

dd = delete a line

yy = copy

p = paste a copied line

a = append to the next charachter

A = append to the end of aline

I = insert at the beginning of a line

:w = write

:q = quit

:w! = force a write (read only files)

:q! = force a quit no changes

ESX 4 – Windows 7 VM cannot connect via RDP

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Today I noticed when rebooting my Windows 7 VM under ESX 4 remote desktop would not allow connections until I logged on locally.

I also noticed vCenter Server reported VMTools wasn’t running.


I did a bit of research and found that Remote Desktop Services was in manual mode.
By changing the startup type to Automatic it not only fixed the Remote Desktop issue but vCenter Server reported in properly as well.

ESX 3.5 – Network DNS Settings

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Here’s the quick way to see your DNS settings from command line..

cat /etc/resolv.conf

ESX 3.5 – Keyboard Issues displaying wrong characters

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I ran into an issue getting an ESX 3.5 server to join a Virtual Center 2.5 server today..

For some reason I couldn’t get it to join my VC server and when I tried to I would get the error bad password or user name. Connecting the VI client straight to the server failed, trying to use the web interface failed, but I could remote into the server via an IP KVM and log on without issue.

What I found was my keyboard map on this individual server was set to UK and not US.

Here is how I resolved this issue.

Logged in to the host as root

cd /etc/sysconfig
vi keyboard
Press esc twice
Press insert to edit
Changed KEYTABLE=”uk″ to KEYTABLE=”us″
Press esc twice
Enter :qw > to save the file and exit
Reboot the ESX server
And now it works like a champ..

Nasuni does a nice write up on the Phoenix VMUG

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Hey if you get a chance check out the blog below, Andres did a really nice write up about the Phoenix VMUG and their product..

I had a chance to watch the Nasuni presentation and they offer are really cool vm appliance that allows for “virtually” unlimited storage for a flat rate price…

When I heard the flat rate price it floored me how cost effective it was…

I currently have a need for some off site storage and we’ll be looking at Nasuni very soon…

WebSite – MXTool Box

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I found this neat web tool today… it was a pretty quick way to do a Who-is and then do simple tests like SMTP, DNS, etc..

One feature I liked the Black list checker… real easy way to see if your domain or the domain your trying to send email to has been black listed.

Exchange – Free downloadable Exchange starter kit

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VMware offers a free downloadable Exchange starter kit.

What you’ll get are 3 files (2PDF’s and one Video):
University of Plymouth –

Here this link to register..

I found this information useful if your needing to do an “executive overview”.

If you need in-depth information and how-to’s for business critical apps then start here..

Home Lab – Install of ESX 3.5 and 4.0 on Workstation 7

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Tonight I got the pleasure to work on my home lab a bit..

Here is what I am currently running..

Antec Sonata Gen 1 Case
Antec 650 Earth Watts Power Supply
Gigabyte EP43-UD3L MB
Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9400 2.66Ghz/1333FSB/6MB Cache
Cooler Master TX3
8GB of Patriot DIMM 2GB PC2-5300U CL4-4-4-12 (DDR2-667) (PEP22G5300LL)
500GB/300GB/160GB SATA 3.0 HD’s
Windows 7 – 64 Bit
VMWare Workstation 7

Installation of ESX 4.0 was easy… just follow the steps to create a new VM and choose ESX 4.0

Installation of ESX 3.5 was a bit tricky at first… I did the usually google for answers but everything was on Workstation 6.5 and how to modify the vmx config file…

I ended up doing the following and it seams to be working well..

Create a custom VM
Choose “I will install the OS Later”
Select “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 64-bit”
Defaults on the rest
When it completed set it to boot to your ESX3.5 Media, so that you can install the OS
Complete the OS install and your done..
Much easier then WS 6.5

Mine ran with out issue and it really moves..
In fact I installed it with my ESX 4.0 VM running in the background..

So far workstation 7 is seems to be a big improvement and it’s quite speedy for me..