vmware

Supported features for VMware virtual machine compatibility

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Here is one of my most favorite VMware KB articles.

Supported features for virtual machine compatibility

Hardware

ESXi 6.0 and later

ESXi 5.5 and later

ESXi 5.1 and later

ESXi 5.0 and later

ESX/ESXi 4.x and later 

Hardware version

11

10

9

8

7

Maximum memory (GB)

4080

1011

1011

1011

255

Maximum number of logical
processors

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum number of cores (virtual CPUs) per socket

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum SCSI adapters

4

4

4

4

4

Bus Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI-Logic SAS adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SATA adapters

Yes*

Yes*

No

No

No

VMware Paravirtual controllers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual SCSI disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI passthrough

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE nodes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE CDROMs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE hot plug support

No

No

No

No

No

Maximum NICs

10

10

10

10

10

PCNet32

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000e

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

USB 1.x and 2.0

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

USB 3.0

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

No

Maximum video memory (MB)

512

512

512

128

128

SVGA displays

10

10

10

10

10

SVGA 3D hardware acceleration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

VMCI

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

PCI passthrough

16

6

6

6

6

PCI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nested HV support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

vPMC support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Serial ports

32

4

4

4

4

Parallel ports

3

3

3

3

3

Floppy devices

2

2

2

2

2

Guest OS support

91

91

91

91

78

Estimating the size of a Core Dump file (PSOD) for ESXi 5.0-5.5

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If your ESXi host has a PSOD do you know if you have enough room to write the PSOD file to your local disk? Ever need to estimate the size of a core dump?

In this blog, I’m going to show you 2 ways to estimate the size of the core dump file and then from there you can compare this size to the your core partition ensuring it is able to write the file.

For ESXi 5.5:

If you run the following command on vSphere 5.5 (This command only will run on 5.5) it will estimate your core dump for you.

‘localcli –plugin-dir /usr/lib/vmware/esxcli/int systemInternal coredump configuration check’

core

For ESXi 5.0/.1 – the command above does not exist with 5.0-5.1 but if you follow the steps below it is a slick way to estimate the size.

Couple of options –

  • 1st Option — as a possible comparative,  you could run the 5.5 core dump command and use the result as your baseline for the similar esxi hosts running  5.0/.1 hosts
  • 2nd Option — Force a core dump test
  1. Follow these instructions to create a core dump and re-direct the dump file to a data store with enough space
  2. Once completed, note the size of the core dump and then multiply it times the number of core dumps you want to keep.
    – 250MB core dump file x 4 = 1GB << would be this size you need, my recommendation just make it 2.5GB, as this would align you for ESXi5.5 and beyond
  3.  Use these instructions to increase the size of the core dump partition – Core Dump KB’s 1000328, 2004299

Free vSphere 6 Webinar Series!

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VMware has a great webinar series coming up, see the chart below for dates and times.

These sessions would be a great primer before going to VMworld!

Date

Webcast Topic

vSphere Expert

Registration / Replay

June 2

vCenter ServerWhat’s new in vCenter Server including differences between Windows install and the virtual appliance.

Mohan Potheri

Replay

June 16

vSphere SecuritySecurity at the top of mind?  Learn about security in vSphere 6 including considerations for Platform Services Controller.

Mike Foley

Register

June 30

Business Continuity
Business continuity equals business productivity.  Learn how vSphere 6 minimizes downtime for applications and maximizes productivity for businesses.  Availability and data protection aspects of vSphere 6 will be covered.

Matt Meyer

Register

July 7

PowerCLIIncrease data center efficiency through automation.  Learn what’s new with PowerCLI including some tips and tricks that may surprise you.

Brian Graf

Register

July 14

vSphere Web ClientThe Web Client is one of the most improved areas of vSphere 6.  Streamlined design, improved responsiveness, and better overall usability are just a sampling of what makes the Web Client cool.  Learn what else the vSphere 6 Web Client has to offer.

Dennis Lu

Register

July 21

vSphere 6 PerformanceLearn about all the new performance improvements that vSphere 6 has to offer.  With the time you save, you may have time for an additional coffee break.

Mark Achtemichuk

Register

July 28

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based ManagementvSphere 6 has transformed storage for virtual machines.  Learn how Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based Management redefines how you should think about storage.

Rawlinson Rivera

Register

August 11

vCenter Server AvailabilityFor some vCenter Server has become mission critical.  Learn how to provide high availability for vCenter Server.  Also covered with be Platform Services Controller.

Johnny Ferguson

Register

 

More information here — http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2015/05/vsphere-6-webcast-series.html

 

Quick ways to check disk alignment with ESXi and Windows VM’s

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There are two simple checks a virtual infrastructure (VI) admin should be doing to ensure ESXi Datastores and the Windows VM’s are properly aligned. If either are misaligned then performance issues will follow. Though I’m not going to get into the whys and how’s of alignment issues I will show you how to quickly check.

1 – ESXi Datastores (DS)

By default if the VI admin formats the DS with vCenter Server or directly connected to a host via the VI Client the starting sector will be 2048. A starting sector of 2048 will satisfy nearly all of the storage vendors out there, however 2048 starting sector should be validated with your storage vendor.

If the VI Admin chose to format the DS via a script then they should choose a starting sector of 2048 or what the storage vendor recommends

Example — partedUtil setptbl \$disk gpt “1 2048…..” More info here on partedUtil

Here is a simple command to check your “Start Sector”.   SSH or Direct console into a host that has DSs you want to check and run this command.

~ # esxcli storage core device partition list

esxistartingsector

 

Some note about this –

RED Box – Is the local boot disk, so its starting sector will be 64, this is okay it’s just a ESXi Boot disk

Yellow, Green, and Blue – Are all VSAN Disks and all have a starting sector of 2048   << This is what I’m looking for, I want to make sure all DS disks start at 2048, if not they could experience performance issues.

 

2 – Windows VM Check

Windows checks are pretty easy too, the starting sector offset should be 2048. Note the screenshot below shows the Partition starting offset of 1,048,576, also note it’s in labeled in bytes not sectors. To find the starting sector just divide the Partition Starting Offset by the Bytes per Sector.   Simple math tells us its right — 1048576/512 = 2048 Sector. If your Partition Starting offset is anything other than 1,048,576 Bytes or 2048 Sectors then the VM is not aligned and will need adjusted.

From a Command Prompt, type in ‘msinfo32.exe’ to bring up this screen, navigate as shown below, and note your Partition Starting Offset.

windowsstartingsector

 


My Commodore Collection on Public Display

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I’ve had many great memories of my Commodore computers throughout the years. Mostly around gamming, leaning about computers, and good times with friends. I never let go of my Commodores and in fact I added a few more to my collection over the years. Mostly they just sit in my closets and once a year or so I pull them out and clean them up. Most recently I came across a public display in my local library, folks were displaying different collections of items they enjoyed. I thought what I great thing to do with my collection, put it on display! For the past month my Commodores have been on display at our local library. While I was still putting up the display conversations started from people just passing by and over the past month when we’d stop in I’d catch a glace of folks looking at them. By allowing others to enjoy it too it was the best thing I could have done with my collection. My Commodore is the reason why I choose a technical career and now, through public display, it just gave others enjoyment too.

I will make one plea though – If you own older 1980’s or even 1990’s style computers, please don’t donate them to charities unless you know for sure it will be resold. Many computers like Commodores are scrapped by charities as they feel they have no value. If you want to know what you can do with your older equipment please reach out to me and I’ll help you find it a good home.

Here are a few pics from my display…

VMware Releases for March 2015

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What a great month for VMware releases – So many released products and all on one day March 12!

I got this very useful table from a colleague of mine with all the Products released, version, and useful links.

Enjoy!

Product

Version

Download URL

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vSphere 6.0n (ESXi, vCenter)

6

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.x

6.1.0

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vRealize Automation 6.x

6.2.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vRealize Orchestrator 6.x

6.0.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Business Advanced\Enterprise 8.x

8.2.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Business Standard 6.x

6.1.0

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Business Standard 6.x for vSphere

6.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Code Stream 1.x

1.1.0

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Infrastructure Navigator 5.x

5.8.4

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Operations Manager 5.x

5.8.5

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vCloud Networking and Security

5.5.4

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.x

6

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware Virtual SAN 6.x

6

See vSphere 6 

Downloads

And docs

VMware vSphere Data Protection 6.x

6

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vSphere Replication 6.x

6

See vSphere 6    

    Downloads 

And docs  

VMware Integrated Open Stack

1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware View 6.x

6.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware Horizon Client for Windows 3.x

3.3

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware Workspace Portal 2.x

2.1.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware App Volumes 2.x

2.6

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

VMware vSphere PowerCLI 6.x

6

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Orchestrator Active Directory plugin

2.0.0

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

vRealize Orchestrator vRealize Automation plugin

6.2.1

Download

Documentation

Release Notes

Single Source Information for Affected Products of VMware Security Advisories

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Ever wish there was a better way to track VMware Security Advisory’s? Tired of tracing through email threads, RSS, Twitter feeds, etc.

Well there isn’t an APP for that but there is a “Spreadsheet for that”. That’s right a good old spreadsheet.

See this link for more information >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2078735

How could one use this sheet? Simply put this spreadsheet is updated when advisors are released or updated. This allows users to sort by all types of fields to get the latest information they are looking for in one place.

Here are some ways I have used it….

Sort by specific Vulnerability title, in this case ‘Bash’

 

Here’s a view filtered by ESXi 5.5…

 

Passed VCP 5 Delta Test

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I passed my VCP 5 Delta test today. Here are some of my notes around it…

  • Test was 65 Questions and you have 75 Minutes to complete it, I had about 15 Mins left.
  • I passed my VCP5 in January of 2012 and I don’t believe there was one repeat question from that test
  • I didn’t get any min max questions
  • Lot of Virtual SAN Questions
  • Know your licensing Models and what features belong to what
  • Don’t skip studying around vDP or vSphere Replication
  • Really know vRealize Operations (aka vCOPS) badges and how they are calculated (I got at least 3 questions on this)
  • The questions seem to be longer in length and more multiple choice / select all correct << Not my favorite type
  • I would say I passed for two reasons
    • It was open book, how nice was that! So have your best documents and guides ready
    • I followed the blue print, read my documents, and made sure I read every ‘Note’ section
      • Here is an example of the Notes section. I’ve found that some questions on the test that usually come from this sections like this.

More information around the test can be found here > https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=51919&ui=www_cert

Quick Excerpt from this link –

VCP5-DCV Delta Recertification Exam

 

        

On October 1st, we released a new delta exam to qualify recertification candidates for the VCP5-DCV Certification.

The exam is offered to current VCP5-DCVs who need to renew their VCP5-DCV credential. The exam will be available through November 30, 2014 and offers some key advantages:

  • Based on new material between the vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams – you save hours of prep time
  • Available online – you can take it from any location
  • Far less expensive – you save money

If you hold a VCP5-DCV certification, this is the quickest route to recertification.

This limited time opportunity – the exam will only be offered until November 30, 2014.


 

VSAN – Setting up VSAN Observer in my Home Lab

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VSAN Observer is a slick way to display diagnostic statics not only around how the VSAN is performing but how the VM’s are as well.

Here are the commands I entered in my Home Lab to enable and disable the Observer.

Note: this is a diagnostic tool and should not be allowed to run for long periods of time as it will consume many GB of disk space. Ctrl+C will stop the collection

How to Start the collection….

  • vCenter239:~ # rvc root@localhost << Logon into vCenter Server Appliance | Note you may have to enable SSH
  • password:
  • /localhost> cd /localhost/Home.Lab
  • /localhost/Home.Lab> cd computers/Home.Lab.C1 << Navigate to your cluster | Mine Datacenter is Home.Lab, and cluster is Home.Lab.C1
  • /localhost/Home.Lab/computers/Home.Lab.C1> vsan.observer ~/computers/Home.Lab.C1 –run-webserver –force << Enter this command to get things started, keep in mind double dashes “—” are used in front of run-webserver and force
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO WEBrick 1.3.1
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO ruby 1.9.2 (2011-07-09) [x86_64-linux]
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] WARN TCPServer Error: Address already in use – bind(2)
  • Press <Ctrl>+<C> to stop observing at any point ...[2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=25461 port=8010 << Note the Port and that Ctrl+C to stop
  • 2014-09-17 03:39:54 +0000: Collect one inventory snapshot
  • Query VM properties: 0.05 sec
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.231: 0.65 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 241KB)
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.233: 0.63 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 241KB)
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.232: 0.68 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 257KB)
  • Query CMMDS from 172.16.76.231: 0.74 sec (json size: 133KB)
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Live-Processing inventory snapshot
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Collection took 20.77s, sleeping for 39.23s
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Press <Ctrl>+<C> to stop observing

How to stop the collection… Note: the collection has to be started and running to web statics as in the screenshots below

  • ^C2014-09-17 03:40:26 +0000: Execution interrupted, wrapping up … << Control+C is entered and the observer goes into shutdown mode
  • [2014-09-17 03:40:26] INFO going to shutdown …
  • [2014-09-17 03:40:26] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start done.
  • /localhost/Home.Lab/computers/Home.Lab.C1>

How to launch the web interface…

I used Firefox to logon to the web interface of VSAN Observer, IE didn’t seem to function correctly

Simply go to http://[IP of vCenter Server]:8010 Note: this is the port number noted above when starting and its http not https

 

So what does it look like and what is the purpose of each screen… Note: By Default the ‘? What am I looking at’ is not displayed, I expanded this view to enhance the description of the screenshot.

 

 

 

 

References:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2064240

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/10/21/configure-virtual-san-observer-monitoring/

My VMworld 2014 TOP Session Picks

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Every year there is always something new at VMworld and this year is no exception.

Below are my TOP Picks for 2014. Enjoy!

  1. INF1720 – Getting the Most out of vMotion – Architecture, Features, Debugging
    vMotion is a key, widely adopted technology which enables the live migration of virtual machines on the vSphere platform. It enables critical datacenter workflows, including…
    Gabriel Tarasuk-Levin – Staff Engineer 2, VMware
  2. INF3475-GD – vMotion with Sreekanth
    Setty
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session… Sreekanth Setty – Staff Engineer, VMware
  3. BCO2629 – Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive
    SRM and vSphere Replication are mature products that can be used as the bedrock of a disaster recovery plan for your virtual infrastructure. Come learn in technical detail…

    Jeff Hunter – Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware Ken Werneburg – Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

  4. BCO1916 – Site Recovery Manager and Stretched Storage: Tech Preview of a New Approach to Active-Active Data Centers
    Are you embracing an Active-Active data center strategy for continuous availability of your apps but also want an easy way to manage planned and unplanned failure events ?…

    Shobhan Lakkapragada – Product Line Manager, VMware
    Aleksey Pershin – Staff Engineer, VMware

  5. BCO3430-GD – Local Availability – HA & FT with GS Khalsa
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session…

    Gurusimran Khalsa – Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

  6. BCO3431-GD – Stretched Clusters with Lee Dilworth
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session…

    Lee Dilworth – Principal Systems Engineer, vmware

  7. VMware vSphere High Availability (vSphere HA) is one of the most widely utilized features of vSphere. This session will focus on best practices for using vSphere HA. We will…

    Gurusimran Khalsa – Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

  8. EUC1476 – What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6
    Learn about exciting new enhancements in Horizon 6 with View and PCoIP. Optimizing and tuning PCoIP with Horizon View has never been easier. With new default PCoIP settings,… Tony Huynh – Product Line Manager, VMware
    Simon Long – Senior Cloud Architect, VMware
  9. EUC3099 – Comparing GPU-accelerated high-end graphics performance of virtual desktop platforms
    How good are today’s virtual desktop remoting protocols when accelerated by physical GPUs, such as NVIDIA GRID cards? CTPs Benny Tritsch and Shawn Bass developed a unique,…

    Shawn Bass – Blogger, Consultant, ShawnBass.com

  10. STO1211 – Virtual SAN Ready Node and Hardware Guidance for Hypervisor Converged Infrastructure
    Are you looking to select a hardware platform for your Virtual SAN that is within your budget and is best suited for your use case? Do you have growing performance, capacity…

    Rakesh Radhakrishnan – Product Management – Software Defined Storage, VMware
    Wade Holmes – Senior Architect, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US

  11. MGT1833 – How to Perform Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis Using Log Insight
    Environments consist of a variety of devices including compute, network, and storage as well as virtual machines. Each of these devices generates log messages. The number of…

    Steve Flanders – Solutions Architect, VMware
    Program Location: US

  12. STO1965 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive
    Virtual Volumes (VVols) is VMware’s new storage paradigm for external SAN/NAS storage arrays. In this session, we will walk you through key technical concepts of Virtual…

    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Suzy Visvanathan – Product Manager, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US

  13. STO2496 – vSphere Storage Best Practices: Next-Gen Storage Technologies
    This VMware Technical Communities Session will present a technical best practices with emerging storage technologies for vSphere. The storage industry is experiencing a high…

    Chad Sakac – SVP, Global Systems Engineering, EMC
    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Vaughn Stewart – Chief Technical Evangelist, Pure Storage

  14. NET1974 – Multi-Site Data Center Solutions with VMware NSX
    NSX provides a comprehensive Multi-Site networking and security solution in software that complements existing VMware products to bring Networking, Compute and Storage…

    Ray Budavari – Technical Product Line Manager, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US

     

    And Lastly… I put this one in just for fun… These guys always put on a great show, and you lean something too!

  15. STO2996-SPO – The vExpert Storage Game Show
    Think you know storage? The vExpert Storage Game Show will pit 2 teams of vExperts in a jeopardy style game discussion the latest in storage technologies with vSphere and… Amy Lewis – Influence Marketing, Cisco
    Friea Berg – Business Development, Splunk
    John Troyer – CEO, TechReckoning
    Cormac Hogan – Storage Architect, VMware
    Duncan Epping – Principal Architect, VMware
    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Craig Chapman – Systems Engineer, Pure Storage
    Cody Hosterman – Reference Architect, Pure Storage
    Vaughn Stewart – Chief Technical Evangelist, Pure Storage