EP6 – Neon Pens At The Ready

In episode six of The VCDX Podcast, we’ll be discussing everything VCDX related that we can expect to see at VMworld 2019 which is just around the corner. And in our guest interview, I’ll be finding out about a new Lightboard series that’s aimed to help you prepare for your VCDX.

News & Updates

  • This week’s special guest was Karl Childs
  • There will be a VCDX Workshop just before VMworld US on Sunday, August 25th. Register here for the VCDX Workshop
  • There will be a VCDX Panel session during VMworld US in the Certifications area – Preparing for Your VCDX: What You Need to Know [EDU3683U] – Wednesday, August 28, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Interview Notes & Links

Q&A

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to Subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

Why I’ve Hardly Blogged Over The Past Year, And It’s All Datrium’s Fault!

Keeping It SimpleLately, I’ve had a few people ask me “How come you aren’t blogging much anymore?”  My typical response to that question is usually “I’ve not really had much to post about!” Which, when I think about it, really doesn’t make sense. I joined Datrium a year ago, and since joining, it’s been a near-vertical learning curve, working on some ground-breaking technologies. So why don’t I feel like I have anything to blog about?

Well, over the past 10 years, my main reason for blogging was to share knowledge with others around, usually, complex technical issues and configurations. Some examples from the past few years:

So, this leads me to why I’ve not really posted much since joining at Datrium.

Why blame Datrium?

Read the rest of this entry »

EP5 – Slacking Is Encouraged

In episode five of The VCDX Podcast, I’ll be chatting to my special guest about the VCDX Prep Slack Team, finding out what it is and how you can use it to help yourself or others prepare for their VCDX.

News & Updates

There will be a VCDX Workshop at the Indianapolis VMUG on Tuesday, July 16th. Register here for the Indy VMUG

Interview Notes & Links

Common VCDX Mistakes

  • There are too many constraints in some VCDX designs, which limits the panelist’s ability to score the candidate in certain areas.
  • Provided by VCDX panelist Paul McSharry

Q&A

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to Subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

EP4 – So Many New VCDX’s!

In episode four of The VCDX Podcast, we recognize the newly crowned VCDX’s and I’ll be chatting to my special guest about their VCDX defense experience. What things went well, and what didn’t go so well.

News & Updates

Congratulations to the 5 new VCDX’s:

  • #279 – Dmitri Tanurkov (NV)
  • #280 – Veronica Sherin David (NV)
  • #281 – Chris Porter (DCV)
  • #282 – Syed Adeel Qamar (NV)
  • #283 – Fouad EL Akkad (DCV)

And a special congratulations to Jeffrey Kusters #252 – who got his second VCDX (NV).  You can see the full list of VCDX’s on the VCDX Directory

There will be a VCDX Workshop at the Indianapolis VMUG on July 16th. Register for the Indy VMUG

Interview Notes & Links

  • This week’s special guest is Chris Porter
  • Toggl – Time tracking software Chris used in his defense prep

Q&A

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to Subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

EP3 – Always Make Time For Game Of Thrones!

In episode three of The VCDX Podcast, we focus our attention towards preparing for the VCDX defense. How can we find ways to make time in both our busy work and personal lives and then make the most of that limited time we have?

Interview Notes & Links

Common VCDX Mistakes Links

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to Subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

EP2 – Removing The Stress From The VCDX Defense

In episode two, we focus mostly on the VCDX Workshop. What the VCDX Workshop is, who should attend and how they can benefit.

News & Updates Links

Interview Notes & Links

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and way’s to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoy the podcast, please remember to Subscribe and let others know on social media.

Welcome To The VCDX Podcast

Hey guys, I just wanted to bring to your attention a new project that I am working on called The VCDX Podcast. Yep, another Podcast.

As a VCDX panelist, I get asked a lot of questions related to the VCDX certification and the overall process. So I decided, instead of answering every question individually, I would answer them on a Podcast for all to hear and learn from.

The Podcast currently consists of 4 sections and this will probably change as the Podcast matures.

  1. VCDX News and Updates
  2. Special Guest Interview – With a mixture of VCDX panelists, mentors, and certification holders
  3. Common VCDX Mistakes
  4. Q&A

Episode 1 – Welcome To The VCDX Podcast was released last week and can be listened to or downloaded below.

The Podcast should be available where ever you get your Podcasts. Here are some quick links to the common platforms.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Spotify

As with everything I write about, please provide feedback or ideas on how to improve the Podcast. If you have questions that you want answering, you can either message me on Twitter: @SimonLong_ or you can send me an email via my Contact Simon page

The VCDX Podcast – EP1 – Welcome To The VCDX Podcast

Welcome to the first ever episode of the VCDX Podcast.

Episode Summary

In today’s episode;

  • I explain a little about the VCDX Podcast and why it decided to create it.
  • A quick news update about an online VCDX Workshop that should not be missed! – Signup link here: https://upto.com/e/94V4O
  • I am joined by a special guest, me! Simon Long (VCDX #105).
  • In the Q&A section, I ask a common question regarding the VCDX defense presentation.

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and way’s to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoy the podcast, please remember to Subscribe and let others know on social media.

vMotion Error – Failed to receive migration

I recently ran into a situation, when after adding a new ESXi Host into a vSphere Cluster that will be used for Nested ESXi, I was unable to vMotion live VM’s onto the new Host. The error message I was getting was ‘Failed to receive migration’

A quick Google search didn’t yield any results, so I had to resort to reading the logs. In the Virtual Machine log file (vmware.log) I noticed this error message: (Scroll to the right)

2019-01-10T20:31:06.254Z| vmx| I125: Msg_Post: Error
2019-01-10T20:31:06.254Z| vmx| I125: [msg.cpuid.vhv.enablemismatch] Configuration mismatch: The virtual machine cannot be restored because the snapshot was taken with VHV enabled. To restore, set vhv.enable to true.

Doing a quick search of the term: vhv.enable showed me that this is required to be set on hosts that are being used for Nested ESXi. Thanks William Lam (https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2012/08/how-to-enable-nested-esxi-other.html)

So I ran the following command on the new ESXi Host:

echo 'vhv.enable = "TRUE"' >> /etc/vmware/config

After that configuration was added to the config file, vMotions began to function as expected.

Quick And Easy Replication For VDI Golden Images

Continuing on from my previous post; Backup, Restore And Replicate App Volumes, AppStacks And Writable Volumes another large challenge I faced running a Global Enterprise VDI environment was managing the Golden Images.

Replicating VDI Golden Images

The Challenge of Golden Image Replication

For those of you who might not be familiar with VDI environments, Golden Images are the virtual machines that virtual desktop pools are created from. If you need to add an application or make an OS customization for all of your end users, typically you will make the change in the Golden Image and then push that image out to the virtual desktops.

When a VDI environment consists of multiple sites, each separate site usually has its own instance of VMware Horizon or Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp. Each of these separate VDI instances will need their own Golden Images from which virtual desktop pools will be created. In an ideal world, being able to use the same Golden Images for all desktop pools regardless of which site they are in would make the most sense as typically the Pools are the same between sites and this will keep desktop images consistent for all end users. However, until now, this has proven difficult to achieve.

In legacy HCI environments, the replication of virtual machines is very difficult and painfully slow. The main two replication options we see being used are:

  • vSphere Content Library – Using the built-in Content Library service, vCenters can be linked to provide the replication of Golden Images between vCenters
  • Manual Export/Import – Using vCenter to export the Golden Images into an OVA/OVF template, manually copying them to the remote sites and then importing the template into vCenter

There are, however, downsides to both of these methods. In both cases, the whole Golden Image is being replicated each time an update is made. If an image is 60GB in size and there are three remote sites, that’s quite a lot of data that needs to be transferred, this usually is a very slow transfer process and can put a heavy strain on the WAN infrastructure. Additionally, when these images are copied between sites, the vSphere Snapshots are lost in the process making it very difficult to roll changes back if there are issues as all snapshot history is lost.

Golden Image Sprawl

Because of these replication challenges, what we end up seeing is Golden Image sprawl, configuration drift, and an inconsistent-user user experience. Each site has its own set of Golden Images, which are similar to the other sites, but over time the configuration of these images deviates from the other sites. These additional Golden Images also add operational overhead. Each image will need to be patched and kept up to date. The more images you have, the harder it is to keep track of them and the longer updates take to roll out.

Quick And Easy Replication using Datrium DVX

It shouldn’t be this painful. It doesn’t need to be this painful! Using Datrium DVX it only takes a few clicks to replicate Golden Images between multiple sites. The following video (5 minutes) is a brief demonstration of how simple it is to replicate a new snapshot on a Golden Image to a second site.

Some of the key benefits to understand are:

Deduplication and Compression – DVX uses the always-on global deduplication and compression service to only send the changes made to the Golden Image. Rather than sending the whole virtual machine, DVX will only send the data that has changed. This dramatically improves replication times and reduces the load on the WAN infrastructure.

Persistent vSphere Snapshots – When Golden Images are replicated between sites, so are vSphere snapshots. So each Golden Image will show the same snapshot history, regardless of the site they are in. This makes it a lot easier to rollback and forward changes.