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...]

Storage Basics – Part IV: Interface

In parts I, II, and III of the Storage Basics series we looked at the basic building blocks of modern storage systems: hard disk drives.  Specifically, we looked at the performance characteristics of disks in terms of IOPS and the impact of combining disks into RAID sets to improve performance and resiliency.  Today we will have a quick look at another piece of the puzzle that impacts storage performance: the interface.  The interface, for lack of a better term, can describe several things in a storage conversation.   It can be let me break it down for you (remember, we're keeping it simple … [Read more...]

Right-sizing Your Power and Cooling

We all know that virtualization allows us to do more with less.  Fewer servers and space-saving storage (talk about an oxymoron) help us put some green in the datacenter and back in the budget.  But with tight budgets demanding greater efficiency, virtualization pushing per-U-space utilization higher, and increasingly rack-dense equipment, proper planning of your physical plant remains an essential part of IT.  I argue that right-sizing your power, cooling, and floor-space is more critical now than it has ever been, and is a knowing how to do it is a darn good skill for a virtualization … [Read more...]

Storage Basics – Part III: RAID

This is the third in a multi-part series on storage basics.  I've had some good feedback from folks in the SMB space saying that the first couple posts in this series have been beneficial, so we'll be sticking with some basic concepts for another post or two before we dive into some nitty-gritty details and practical applications of these concepts in a VMware environment.  In the second post of this series I introduced the concept of IOPS and explained how the physical characteristics of a hard disk drive determine the theoretical IOPS capability of a disk.  I then noted that you can aggregate … [Read more...]

Vote Now for Top Virtualization Bloggers

Happy New Year to everyone!  2010 is shaping up to be quite a good year, both personally and professionally.  Between two little boys at home and a bunch of new projects at work I should stay busy.  I will also continue to co-lead the Washington, DC VMware User Group (VMUG).  In my spare time I will continue to write what I hope are technically sound, practical, and timely articles on VMtoday.com. And speaking of VMtoday.com... Eric Siebert has opened up voting for the top 25 virtualization bloggers on his vSphere-Land.com site.  I am very honored to be included in the ballot list of 55 of … [Read more...]

VMtoday’s One Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of my first post on VMtoday.com, and an exciting year it has been in many ways.  First, some stats: VMtoday.com has been visited more than 10,000 times in the past year.  While the number of site visits is far below some of my fellow virtualization bloggers, it is still exciting for me to see that I am making an impact on the community (despite my meager post count).  There are some of you who read my posts through Planet V12n and RSS, which is cool by me. Yesterday was the busiest day for the site.  No coincidence that it comes after adding some … [Read more...]

Upgrading Virtual Hardware in a VMware Virtual Machine May Cause Disks to go Offline

I recently posted an article on how specific actions during the upgrade of a VMware Virtual Machine's hardware from v4 to v7 can cause problems with certain services, including DNS, DHCP, and WINS. In that case, the problem was related to Microsoft Windows leaving non-present devices with networking configurations and  the failure of the VMware Upgrade Helper service to copy WINS settings when updating the NIC.  As my fellow blogger and VMUG leader, Jason Boche, responded on Twitter: "Same gotchas, different version."  And right he is - anyone with experience in P2V or V2V, or who has been … [Read more...]

IBM DS3300 iSCSI Write Performance Solved

I have been pulling my hair out with a small VI3 implementation running against an IBM DS3300 iSCSI array.  Performance, for lack of a better term, sucked.  Granted, the DS3300 is not an enterprise level workhorse of a storage system, but it fit the budget.  Read performance was decent from the array, but write performance was terrible, maxing out at 10Mpbs throughput and insanely high latencies on long writes when the system was under load.  This led to some long P2V operations, poor guest performance, and some questions from the project sponsors on why I couldn't make the environment … [Read more...]