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Hyper-Vacating Your Datacenter with vSphere 4.1

A new feature in vSphere 4.1 allows administrators to easily perform a cold conversion (V2V) of a Hyper-V virtual machine.

Book Review: Maximum vSphere

Maximum vSphere is Eric Siebert's newest book and a must-have for any vSphere administrator.

Register a LUN full of VMs with PowerCLI

PowerCLI makes it easy to automate vSphere tasks such as registering dormant VMs. It is also easy to create a hosts file for resolving guest IP addresses when DNS is not available.

VMware vSphere 4.1 – the best virtualization platform yet

Roundup of recent VMware vSphere 4.1 reviews and competitive evaluation resources.

Taking snapshots of VMware ESX 4 running in a VM

VMware ESX 4 can virtualize itself, and by using a special undocumented configuration setting it is now possible to take snapshots of virtual VMware ESX 4 systems.

VCritical in the top vDozen at vSphere-land

VCritical was voted #12 in the latest vSphere-land top blog survey.

VMware ESXi 4: SD Flash in BL460c G6

HP Blades incorporate an SD slot that can be used to easily deploy VMware ESXi from flash. Take a look.

vSphere issues? Ask VMware.

Certain errors and warnings in the vSphere Client now provide links directly to VMware KB articles with more details on the specific issue.

Book Review: VMware VI and vSphere SDK

Review of Steve Jin's new book on the VMware VI SDK. A great development resource, and administrators may improve their overall understanding of VMware vSphere and PowerCLI scripting.

Best of 2009

The top 6 posts on VCritical by page view and by reader comments.

Easily view guest IP addresses with vSphere Client

The vSphere Client allows administrators to quickly see the IP addresses used inside a virtual machine -- eliminating the need to connect to the console and interact with the guest operating system.

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ 1.0.1 for vSphere

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ 1.0.1 is now fully integrated with VMware vSphere. The product deploys quickly as an OVF virtual appliance and the user interface is a vSphere Client plugin.

The Truth About VM SAN Transfers

While Microsoft marketing material claims Hyper-V and SCVMM can transfer large virtual machine files and templates over a SAN, the truth is that all VM transfers are done over the network. Only VMware ESX leverages high-speed storage area networking for VM migration.

The Truth About Storage Hot Add and Remove

VMware vSphere 4 offers multiple options for expanding virtual machine storage with zero downtime, including the ability to grow a running virtual disk. Hyper-V marketing literature makes a similar claim, but is limited to simply adding another virtual disk.

vSphere Thin-Provisioned Disk Performance

A new paper published by the VMware Performance Team shows that virtual disks using vStorage Thin Provisioning perform nearly as well as fully allocated thick disks.

Which 50% will you virtualize?

Bob Kelley, a Microsoft VP, recently made the claim that only 50 percent of all workloads will be virtualized. The rest of the industry clearly disagrees.

vSphere Console Stays Connected During VMotion

When an administrator is connected to an VMware ESX virtual machine remote console and that VM is migrated with VMotion to another host, the connection seamlessly migrates to the destination host. Hyper-V does not offer this capability.

Easy recovery from a full VMware ESX datastore

With VMware vSphere, ESX, and VMFS, running out of space on a datastore does not cause damage to virtual machines. It is easy to recover without even a guest OS reboot.

PowerShell Prevents Datastore Emergencies

When a datastore in your VMware vSphere environment is about to fill up, you can have vCenter automatically spring into action to prevent downtime by using Storage VMotion.

Responsible Thin Provisioning in VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere 4 offers thin provisioned virtual disks backed by management that enables safe use in a production environment thanks to advanced accounting of all provisioned space.

Hands off that CSV!

In Windows Server 2008 R2, Cluster Shared Volumes enable multiple hosts to access a single shared LUN. However, administrators may not manipulate or back up VM files on a CSV.

My VMworld 2009 Experience

VMworld 2009 was held in San Francisco, California at the Moscone center from August 31 – September 3rd.  It was a great show and you could really feel the energy from customers, partners, and VMware people alike. Maybe next year I will do some live blogging from the show, but this time I decided to […]

The VMware ESXi 4 64MB Hypervisor Challenge

While completely unsupported, it is possible to build a small 64MB flash drive that will boot and run VMware ESXi 4.

If VMware ESXi 4 is so small, why is it so big?

Although VMware ESXi 4 requires a 1GB flash device to install, the core hypervisor functionality is fully contained in less than 60MB. Most of the remaining space is for a downloadable vSphere Client or simply unused.

Create ESXi 4 USB flash drives with Workstation

VMware ESXi runs great from a USB flash drive and it is easy to prepare a batch of drives for your servers without leaving the comfort of your desk -- by creating them with VMware Workstation.

VMware DPM supported by all major server vendors

Today VMware and the top server hardware manufacturers (Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and NEC) announced full support for VMware Distributed Power Management (DPM). If you have considered using VMware DPM  in your datacenter but have hesitated due to lack of official server hardware manufacturer support statements, today’s news should provide the assurance you need to […]

Awesome performance through VMware DRS

Today VMware announced that performance gains of nearly 50 percent are achievable by dynamically balancing running virtual machines according to resource demand with VMware DRS. The VMware Performance Team has repeatedly demonstrated how vSphere is the superior platform for your production workloads.  Check out the latest article on the VROOM! blog for all the details. […]

Pentacore CPUs in VMware ESX 4

The number of virtual CPUs in a VM on ESX 4 is not limited to power-of-two values--any integer value from 1-8 is permitted.

VMware vCenter Server performance stats levels

VirtualCenter (vCenter) database storage requirements grow rapidly as administrators increase the levels from default settings.

VMware vCenter really needs an agent

As vCenter Server (VirtualCenter) collects performance data, it is stored in the VC database. As the data ages, it is aggregated to save storage space.

Installing vCenter on Linux Technical Preview

vCenter on Linux is distributed as a virtual appliance; it is really easy to try out.  However, the only supported database at the moment is Oracle — this might be a stumbling block for some.  While the installation guide covers everything you need to know, here are some quick tips that may help clarify some […]

VM Encapsulation

Encapsulation is one of the four key benefits of VMware virtual machines.  On the surface it may seem like this is a common feature across all virtualization platforms — but it’s not. If you are a VMware ESX administrator, you know that a VMware virtual machine consists of several files,  normally contained in a single […]

Half the VM reboots on Patch Tuesday

Virtual machine snapshots are a quick way to recover from unexpected incompatibilities you may encounter when patching guest operating systems.  In fact, VMware Update Manager even provides an option to automatically snapshot a VM before applying updates and then delete the snapshot after a specified amount of time. Even if you are not using VMware […]

Storage vendors unanimously applaud SCVMM innovation

A surprising feature of SCVMM and Hyper-V is the requirement to copy multi-gigabyte ISO image files from the library server to individual VM directories on SAN storage instead of sharing a single instance.