A Stage Hand in Act Two – Thoughts on Joining VMware

I've been incredibly fortunate over the past several years to have worked with many VMware customers as the Virtualization Practice Manager at Clearpath Solutions Group, as a leader in the Washington DC VMware User Group, and at industry events like VMworld, EMC World, VMUGs, VTUGs and VMware Knowledge Series. As I have engaged with customers large and small, I've seen the realization of the real, tangible benefits of VMware's virtualization solutions to IT organizations and the businesses they serve. I also began to see customers become increasingly interested in solutions beyond vSphere - … [Read more...]

64TB VMDKs? Yes we can.

Here’s a tasty tidbit for you – in the just announced vSphere 5.5, we can now create 64TB VMDK files.  While much of vSphere 5.5 offers a 2x increase in configuration maximums over vSphere 5.1, the increase in VMDK size is a whopping 32x.  (It may actually be a bit less – I’m not sure if the -512B caveat comes into play on the virtual disk size for vSphere 5.5.  I didn’t think to test this out in the lab during my beta testing… the max size is actually 62.9TB as space is reserved in the containing VMFS for snapshots, metadata, etc.). Now just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  I … [Read more...]

Going Nostradamus Style on VMworld 2013

It's hard to believe that VMworld 2013 is upon us.  Before last year's show I wrote a couple posts on my predictions for VMworld 2012 (here and here).  A good number of my predictions were correct on new products, services, and overall direction for VMware.  Emboldened by my future telling success, I thought I would try to do the same this year.  So without further ado, here's what I see coming at VMworld 2013, based on the VMworld 2013 Content Catalog, earlier announcements, rumors, social media hints, and pure conjecture. A Narrowed Focus First prediction: we'll see a narrowing of focus … [Read more...]

A vGuy in Real Life

I've been reflecting a bit tonight on my vJourney so far as I sit in my hotel room before VMworld 2013 kicks off tomorrow.  I just realized that I'm coming up on five years of blogging on VMtoday. It's been a very cool experience seeing people around the world take an interest in what I have to say, and even more awesome getting to know my fellow vExperts and readers on a personal level. I've strived to keep it real and personal, relating to real VMware users, not tossing out some fluffy cloud B.S. that has no bearing on what the real admin experiences every day in their job. I've got a few … [Read more...]

Configuring AWS Auto Scaling for WordPress

In previous posts, I covered the basics of Amazon Web Services, Preparing AWS Services to support our sample WordPress workload, and Installing WordPress in AWS with ElastiCache and S3/Glacier backups.  In this post we’ll look at how to configure an AWS Auto Scaling group of WordPress servers that respond dynamically to the load placed on them by creating new EC2 instances on demand, or spinning down unnecessary instances during low demand to save on operational expenses.  Auto Scaling uses AWS Cloud Watch to monitor AWS components and responds to alarm metrics (CPU utilization, number of … [Read more...]

PCoIP Packet Loss? Don’t Blame the Network!

Several months ago I was called into a new customer to diagnose some odd behavior in their VMware View environment. The organization was struggling with constant disconnects and generally poor performance on their View desktops. When users weren’t being randomly disconnected from their desktops, the users experienced lag when dragging windows between multiple monitors, ‘choppy’ graphics/video, and slow application launching. The problems occurred with local and remote users (both WAN and LAN could be involved).  The customer had done some troubleshooting, worked with VMware Support and the … [Read more...]

Installing WordPress on AWS

Now that we have our AWS infrastructure configured to support a sample WordPress workload (see Part 1 and Part 2 of this series) we can get into installing and configuring WordPress, AWS ElastiCache, and S3 / Glacier backups. Setup NFS Server for WordPress Media Library Our WordPress EC2 instances will be transient – we’ll be using AWS Auto Scaling to spin up and down web server instances as needed.  In a single server setup, WordPress expects a local (ext4) directory (/wp-content) within the web server root directory for storing WordPress content (themes, plugins, media library, images).  … [Read more...]

Preparing Amazon Web Services (AWS) for an Auto-Scaling WordPress Site

Preparing Amazon Web Services (AWS) for an Auto-Scaling WordPress Site In my last article I covered the basics of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now it’s time for some hands-on configuration. The example I’ll be working with in the next few posts is a WordPress based site. I’ll leverage a bunch of services within AWS to support my site – Route 53 for DNS, RDS (MySQL as a Service), Elastic Load Balancers in front of auto-scaling EC2 instances (monitored by CloudWatch), ElastiCache, Simple Storage Services (S3), and CloudFront. As you can see, this setup will be very different from the shared … [Read more...]

Introduction to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

As Virtualization Practice Manager, I spend most of my time focused on the VMware stack, but I’m also working with various other technologies including Amazon Web Services.  Many Clearpath customers are expressing interest in hybrid cloud to support their evolving architectures, applications, and business requirements.  As a value added reseller (VAR), Clearpath is in a unique position to guide customers through the transition to a hybrid cloud through our strong partnerships with VMware, Cisco, EMC, and Amazon Web Services.  By drawing on our history of providing private cloud architectures … [Read more...]

Multipathing Support in vSphere Standard Edition

A customer recently asked me if storage multipathing is supported in vSphere Standard Edition.  The customer had reviewed the vSphere Editions comparison chart at https://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/compare-editions.html and saw that Standard Edition did not include the 'Storage APIs for Array Integration, Multipathing' feature.  While the answer was quick and easy, I saw a good chance to provide some detailed information to the customer to better equip them to make an informed purchasing decision and to run their vSphere environment in the long run.  So what is … [Read more...]