VMware View: Transfer Server Functions

I thought I'd put together some notes on the VMware View Transfer server as there doesn't seem to be to much information easily available on this feature of View.  Essentially it is used to Check-Out and Check-In virtual desktops, allowing them to be used in Local-mode (Offline). I want to show you in a bit more depth what happens when you Check-in, Check-out, Replicate and Rollback your virtual desktops.

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VMware View 4.5: Rebalance

Rebalance: A desktop rebalance operation that evenly redistributes linked-clone desktops among available datastores.

When testing this, customers can often see unexpected results. This is often due to their misconception of how this function of View works. 


Why? View 4.5 looks for the datastore/s that have the highest "weighted available space". The formula that View 4.5 uses to calculate this is:

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VMware View Desktops: IDE or SCSI? BusLogic, LSI Logic or PVSCSI?

confusedI've seen and had many discussions around this topic when discussing VMware View desktop design, so I though I'd gather as much information as I could to help you decide. 

From the information below, I would personally recommend using the following:

  • Windows XP: LSI Logic Parallel or SAS
  • Windows 7: LSI Logic SAS 

The PVSCSI controller will be the controller of the future so you may also want to keep this in mind. Of course you can make your own decisions. Most of the points made are desktop focused, however most will apply outside of a View environment.

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Smartphone Virtualization

I've just seen this news I feel you all need to know about this:

LG and VMware announced this morning a partnership that brings visualization to Android smartphones. The non-nerd premise is this: You've got your standard Android smartphone, with your e-mail, your apps, your phone number. And in a virtual space on the same device, you have another set of apps, corporate e-mail, another phone number — completely sandboxed from your personal stuff, unable to talk to or access its data.

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vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical Deepdive – Book Review

42-15968313I've been hearing little teasers from Frank Denneman (One of the Authors) about this book since way back in the summer when it was first announced.  Now I finally have my hands on a copy. 

Most people would have heard of the two guys (Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman) who wrote this book and most of you will know that these guys are smart, real smart. This is something that has drawn me to read this book. Being a regular reader of their blogs I know that they are very "straight to the point" people. There will be no bullshit. Just good, complicated, technical content.

So far, I've read it on the bus, train, plane, taxi and tram. To be honest, any spare time I've had, I've picked it up and read a little. Usually, with me this wouldn't happen. I've often found many IT books to be too large/heavy. So much so, I don't carry it around with me. This book is a good size, 220 pages. It's really easy to read, it's like reading a long blog post. The language is informal, there is a little humor in there to. The chapters are short so you don't always need loads of spare time to read a section. It could even used as a Toilet Book, you could get a chapter read in a single visit. 

haanddrsI like to think I know quite a bit about virtualisation, I work for VMware so I really should.  I know how to setup/configure HA and DRS and I've done it many many times. Select this setting, click a few drop-down menus and hey presto, HA and DRS does it's thing – Feet up, relax. It's the same for Reservations/Share/Limits, we all have a good idea of what they do, but do you fully understand the impact of the changes you are making? Are you making the right decisions? Read this book and you will be able to answer Yes to both of those questions.

In addition to the in-depth technical information, there are also Pro's, Con's and recommendations for various design configurations helping you to make decisions on what is best for you and your environment.

It's one of those books where you can take as much or as little as you like. If you want a better basic knowledge or HA and DRS, then this book explains everything in a very clear and easy to understand context. If you really want to know how the DRS algorithm calculates the Priority Level of a Migration Recommendation this book will also service you well.

This book is available NOW from the following:



The SLOG has been voted 11th in the world out of all of the virtualization blogs.


Thank you to all that voted for both my Blog and all of the other Blogs out there.

HDS – VMware Best Practice Documents

HitachiSince starting at VMware I've spoken to a lot of people who've told me they have problems finding good VMware best practice documentation for HDS Storage. I was fortunate enough to attend the HDS Bloggers Day back in April, at which I met some great people and made some good contacts. I've been in touch with them and spoken to them about my colleagues views on the lack of good HDS documentation relating to vSphere and they pointed me to the following website:


The site contains many PDF's and video's including:

So if you're using HDS Storage, it might be worth giving it a look.  

If you can't find something you need on there, contact me via the Contact page and I'll get in touch with Hitachi for you.

Update: I've managed to get another couple of links for you:

VMware Auto Deploy – Stateless ESXi

Over the past few days I've been looking into deployment tools to help me deploy a large amount of ESXi Host's in a short space of time. One of the tools I've been looking at is VMware Auto Deploy

VMware Auto Deploy

VMware Auto Deploy

The auto deploy application which comes as an OVT template is basically just a jumped-up vMA, with the added extra's of DHCP, TFTP, HTTP servers and a deploy-cmd CLi and Database.

Here is a brief overview of how VMware Auto Deploy works once configured:

  • PXE boot the target server
  • ESXi is installed onto the target server from the auto deploy app
  • The ESXi host will then be added into your vCenter
  • The ESXi host will then have a Host Profile applied to it.

This makes life pretty easy.

What I didn't know and it didn't mention on the labs site was that the ESXi install was Stateless. The ESXi install is only held in memory. So if you reboot the server you'd see a "No Operating System Found" message.

Before VMware Auto Deploy, I hadn't ever given Stateless ESXi a second thought. The configuration of a host once ESXi was installed was a lot more detailed than the initial install itself and took time to complete. Now with the use of Host Profiles we are able to Install and Configure an ESXi host within a matter of minutes and 100% automatically. At this rate I'll be doing myself out of a job! However, I also believe it's the way most large deployments will head in the not so distant future. We are beginning to see an increase in the amount of diskless servers/blades coming onto the market, which is ushering us down the route of using Stateless installs. 

I'm not going to go into the in's and out's of the application configuration as it's all available in the VMware Auto Deploy Administrator's Guide. It's very simple

Is Jumbo Frames Working?

jumboframesI saw this little discussion on an internal mailing list a week or so ago and I've decided to post it too The SLOG – 1. So I don't forget it, 2. I'm sure many of you will at some point use Jumbo frames in the future on your vSphere environments.

Question: "Assuming that I enable jumbo frames, is there a way on in the VM to determine is jumbo frames are truly supported end-to-end?"


In your VM, ping your destination with a large message and specify don’t fragment.

  • Linux VMs:         ping –M do –s 8000 <ip address or destination>
  • Windows VMs:  ping –f –l 8000 <ip address or destination>
  • ESX(i):                vmkping –d –s 8000 <ip address or destination>

VOTE NOW – Top 25 VMware Virtualization Blogs

Another year has passed….Where the hell did that go? Well you may or may not have heard that the vSphere-Land.com Top Bloggers in VMware and Virtualization Award nominations have been released and voting has commenced.

Once again I'm both pleased and honoured to have my Blog on the shortlist amongst some of the worlds top Virtualization Bloggers.

So if your a regular reader of the various Virtualization Blogs, it would be great if you could vote for your favourites.

For more information visit www.vsphere-land.com