Is Spanning VMDKs Using Windows Dynamic Disks a Good Idea?

I've had several folks ask me recently about how to support very large NTFS volumes on vSphere virtualized Windows servers.  The current limitation for a VMDK in vSphere 5.1 is 2TB minus 512B.  FWIW, a Hyper-V virtual disk in Windows Server 2012 can be up to 64TB.  Those asking the question want to support NTFS volumes greater than 2TB for a variety of purposes - Exchange databases, SQL databases, and file shares.  Windows (depending on the version and edition) can theoretically support NTFS volumes up to 256TB (depending on cluster size and assuming GPT), with files up to 256TB in size (see … [Read more...]

Configuring VMware VASA for EMC VNX

vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) are one of several VMware vSphere Storage APIs.  VASA, new in vSphere 5.0, provides vCenter with a way of interrogating storage array LUNs and associated datastores to gain visibility into the underlying hardware and configuration of the storage layer.  Storage capabilities, such as RAID level, thin or thick LUN provisioning, replication state, caching mechanisms, and auto-tiering are presented through VASA to vCenter (a unidirectional read operation by vCenter against the array).  With VASA, vCenter can identify which datastores possess … [Read more...]

Storage Basics – Part IX: Alternate IOPS Formula

It's been a long time since I published an article in my Storage Basics series - the series has been some of the top content on my site to date.  I sat for a beta version of the VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Desktop Design (VCAP-DTD) test today and was reminded by the test of a post I had in waiting about an alternate way to calculate IOPS (hint hint - memorize these formulas).  I have several more articles sitting in draft form, but a new job, crazy kids, home improvement projects, and a wife with chronic cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leaks (it sounds bad - and it is - but look on … [Read more...]

VMware View 5.1 Not Compatible with vSphere 5.1

Update: 10/26/2012 - a patch has been released to correct compatibility between View 5.1 and vSphere ESXi 5.1.  See here for more: http://vmtoday.com/2012/10/vmware-view-5-1-x-now-compatible-with-vsphere-5-1/ VMware released vSphere 5.1 shortly after VMworld 2012.  The new release of vSphere includes features that will be of great benefit to VMware View virtual desktop infrastructures such as the new Space Efficient virtual disk (.vmdk) format and a new virtual machine format (hardware version 9) that enhances virtual shared graphics acceleration.  However, the current version of VMware … [Read more...]

VMworld Europe News and Announcements

I wanted to let you all know about some announcements that have come out at VMworld Europe over the past couple days.  These announcements help round out some of the new products and features announced at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.  These new and updated features are a big deal for customers who want to take a wholistic approach to deploying and managing a hybrid cloud across different service providers.  If you're thinking about upgrading your vSphere license to a vCloud Suite license (you have until December 15th to claim the free upgrade to the vCloud Suite Standard Edition, along with … [Read more...]

Microsoft KB2661254 and VMware

Microsoft today is pushing an update to Windows via Windows Updates that increases the bit length requirements for RSA certificates.  With this update, Microsoft is requiring RSA certificates to have a key length of 1024 bits.  Some applications do not yet use a 1024 or greater key length and could be impacted by this updated.  Some examples: Internal Microsoft Certificate Authority servers that were built with a less than 1024 key will not start after the update – this will make certification validation for internally generated certs fail (could impact Outlook Web Access, vCenter … [Read more...]

vCloud Suite Upgrade Notes

I live blogged at VMworld about VMware giving a free upgrade (technically a $1 upgrade, but what's a buck amongst friends) to the newly announced VMware vCloud Stuite Standard Edition for all current customers with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus under active Support and Subscription (SnS).  This gives customers the basic building blocks for starting to shift their virtualized datacenters towards a software-defined datacenter with all the cloud automation needed to drive the next stage of datacenter efficiency, mobility, and consumption-based provisioning. VMware vCloud Suite is a … [Read more...]

vSphere 5.1 Announcement, Features, and Specifications

Today at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, VMware announced the new version of their flagship product vSphere 5.1.  Version 5.1 builds on the success of vSphere 5, enabling more flexibility, scalability, and automation for running your private cloud of storage, network and compute resources.  There's lots of coverage of vSphere 5.1 by the tech media, bloggers, and VMware, so I won't cover all of the nitty gritty details, but I do want to highlight several that are of interest.  I'm saving some of the features for more in-depth posts, so stay tuned for more! vSphere vMotion no longer requires … [Read more...]

You Get A Cloud, and You Get a Cloud, and You Get a Cloud

It's like Oprah has visited VMworld today, proclaiming "You Get a Cloud, and You Get a Cloud, and You Get a Cloud!" Look at your vSphere 5 box.  If it says 'Enterprise Plus Edition' you get a key -- to the cloud.  That's right - if you own VMware vSphere 5 Enterprise Plus edition, you now have VMware vCloud Director.  For free.  As I predicted in Reading the Tea Leaves Before VMworld 2012 Part 2, VMware has introduced a new pricing/packaging scheme called the vCloud Suite, which combines vSphere 5.1, vCloud 5.1, and vCloud Networking and Security into a new package called the vCloud … [Read more...]

Reading the Tea Leaves before VMworld 2012 – Part 2

In Part 1 of ‘Reading the Tea Leaves Before VMworld,’ I looked at some recent VMware acquisitions to make some predictions on what might be announced this week at VMworld.  In part 2, I’ll work through the VMworld Content Catalog and a few other sources to guess at what product specific features and upgrades we might expect.  So, without further ado, here’s What to Expect when you are vExpecting. vSphere 5.1 It’s no secret that an updated version of the flagship vSphere product will be announced this week.  If history repeats itself, the version announced this week will pick up version … [Read more...]