VMware VMDirectPath I/O

What is VMware VMDirectPath I/O?

VMDirectPath allows guest operating systems to directly access an I/O device, bypassing the virtualization layer. This direct path, or passthrough can improve performance for VMware ESX systems that utilize high-speed I/O devices, such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet. A single VM can connect to up to two passthrough devices.

VMDirectPath I/O is experimentally supported for the following Storage and Network I/O devices:

  • QLogic QLA25xx 8 Gb Fibre Channel adapters
  • Emulex LPe12000 8 Gb Fibre Channel adapters
  • LSI 3442e-R and 3801e (1068 chip based) 3 Gb SAS adapters
  • Intel 82598 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Broadcom 57710 and 57711 10 Gigabit Ethernet controllers

VMware regularly adds support for new hardware. Check your hardware’s support at the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide portal.

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My Twitter account is Suspended!!

This morning I awoke to two Emails from Twitter titled “Your account has been suspended” (Not quite sure why they felt the need to tell me twice).

Written in the Email was the following;

If you are one of my Followers you will know that earlier on this week someone/something got hold of my username/password for my Twitter account and used it to spam all of the people I follow. As soon as I found out, I changed my password and removed any Twitter apps that could have been used to gain access to my account and since then there has been no more spam.

So why have Twitter done this? I have opened up a Support Ticket with Twitter to try and find out.

Update: Just found out that Duncan over at Yellow-Bricks has also had his Twitter account Suspended.

No sooner had I opened the ticket, the ticket was showing as “Solved”. I checked my account, it was still suspended! So I have re-opened the ticket and I await to hear back.

VMware vCenter Linked Mode, spanning Time Zones? Apparently Not!

After reading through the ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 Server Installation Guide I noticed the following requirement for adding vCenter to a Linked Mode group;

“All vCenter Server instances must have network time synchronization. The vCenter Server installer
validates that the machine clocks are not more than 5 minutes apart.”

Now this got me thinking…..

If a company had two Data Centers, lets say one in London and one in Amsterdam, They’ve decided they wanted to use vCenter Linked Mode to help them manage both Data Centers from a central location. According to VMware’s documentation this wouldn’t be possible due to the time difference between the two cities, London GMT and Amsterdam GMT+1 would mean that the vCenter Server clocks would be 1 hour apart.

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NPIV support in VMware ESX4

Whilst revising for the VCP4 Beta Exam and also replying to a thread on the VMTN Forum, I’ve come across a couple of instances where there is a lack of “using NPIV in VMware ESX 4” information. The only good post I can find is Jason Boche‘s post; N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) and VMware Virtual Infrastructure, but his post is written and tested using ESX3.5. So I have decided to find out as much information as I can and post it here.

Definition: NPIV stands for N_Port (Node Port) ID Virtualization

What does NPIV do? NPIV is a useful Fibre Channel feature which allows a physical HBA (Host BUS Adapter) to have multiple Node Ports. Normally, a physical HBA would have only 1 N_Port ID. The use of NPIV enables you to have multiple unique N_Port ID’s per physical HBA. NPIV can be used by ESX4 to allow more Fibre Channel connections than the maximum physical allowance which is currently 8 HBA’s per Host or 16 HBA Ports per Host.   See the image above for a graphical representation of NPIV.

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VMware vSphere 4 Configuration Maximum Practice Exams

Tomorrow (17th July) I have the pleasure of sitting the VCP4 vSphere 4 Beta Exam, all 4 hours of it..

One of the main things I remember from taking the VCP3 exam was the amount of Configuration Maximum questions that VMware ftel the need to put into it. So I downloaded the vSphere 4 Configuration Maximum PDF and began reading, reading again and reading again. But nothing seemed to stick in my memory.

I have decided to make myself 3 mini vSphere 4 Configuration Max Practice Exams, so I can test myself over and over until I have learnt them. I haven’t added all the maximums to the exams, just the ones I think might be included in the VCP4 Exam.

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VCP4 vSphere 4 Beta Exam

This morning i received an email from VMware;

VMware is proud to announce the availability of the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 (VCP4) beta exam!  We would like to invite you to participate in this beta.  Your experience as a current VCP3 and vSphere beta product user will be valuable in helping us craft a high quality exam.

But it has to be taken by 17th July…. So i had better get revising

Here are few details about the Exam:

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WAN VMotion – A Step Closer to a Private Cloud?

VMware has just released a joint Proof of Concept with Cisco titled VMotion between Data Centers.

Just lately I’ve been doing a lot of extra reading about how Cloud computing is shaping and evolving and I believe this to be another step taken by VMware to closer themselves on becoming a “Private Cloud” solution. Will we soon be seeing Virtual Infrastructures spanning separate Data Centers?

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VCP vSphere 4 Practice Exam

I have produced this practice exam to help me learn the latest features and configuration maximums available VMware vSphere 4.

Please feel free to use it as much as you like. If you think an answer to a question is incorrect or you would like to contribute some questions to the exam please feel free to Contact Me. If you want to be notified whenever questions are added to the practice exam Follow Me on Twitter.

Please be aware that this exam is still in Beta, many questions are under review.

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vSphere Update Manager – Scan for Updates Error

Not long after installing vSphere Update Manager i decided to run a “Scan for Updates” on one of ESX3.5 Hosts. The night before i had received a VUM Download Alert email with a list of new updates which indicated to me that VUM seemed to be running as fine, but no sooner had i started the scan it Failed showing the following Error;

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ESXCFG Command not Found

I’ve come across this little issue whilst trying to make some changes to my ESX firewall.

I connected to my ESX Host using Putty and logged in using my non-privileged account (Called login) and then to run the ESXCFG commands i needed to change to my Root user.

So i entered su and put in the root password when prompted. I could see that my user account had been changed to root so i tried to run the esxcfg-firewall command.

This is what i found;

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