VMware View 3D Gaming Experience

View 3D ExperienceFor those of you who follow me on twitter you may well have seen me tweeting about the View 3D Experience over the duration of both of this years VMworlds.

Myself and a colleague Tim Federwitz (virtuallygeeky.com) had been tasked to showcase VMware's vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration) that will be released in the next release of VMware View at some point in H1 2013.

What is vSGA?

Before I go into what we had running at VMworld, I'll just go into a little more detail about vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration).

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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:

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 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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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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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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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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