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Veni, Vidi, VMwari {Part 1} September 1, 2012

Posted by Brent Quick in : vmware, VMworld , add a comment

With all apologies to Julius Caesar and VMware for the title, I wanted to write up some comments about my VMworld 2012 experience before I get sucked back into family,  life, and uh oh yeah work.

To start, thank you to the VMUG organization for covering my show admission and getting me in the block of rooms at the Marriott Marquis.  Second thank you goes to John Troyer and Alex Maier who run or manage or at least keep some semblance of oversight on the vExpert program.  Third goes to all the other vExperts who in spite of me not knowing them in person (note to self keep Twitter avatar up to date) still welcomed me to the program.  Next thank you goes to VMware for putting on an amazing event, not as amazing as it could be (remote access to HoL please!) but still pretty unbelievable as a first time attendee.

Before I get to the commentary I also need to recognize my wife for enabling me and pushing me to go.  Then allowing me to come home in spite of a totally neurotic weimaraner who in the first 12 hours I was away decided that the trash would look better if spread through out the kitchen, the Shetland Sheep dog who decided he could stand a bite to eat but who’s pancreatitis decided it could not stand what he ate and quickly reversed the gastric system, and it being the first week of school for my son who is home schooled.  I say recognize because there is not a word to describe how grateful I feel for her willingness to allow me to spend almost a week in SFO getting my geek on.

So as mentioned this was my first VMworld and as someone mentioned in the boarding line for SFO to ATL, I am no longer a vVirgin any more.  I did not do a lot of sessions since the content will be available for streaming and I was there to network and some socializing.  I did a lot of meeting and greeting in the VMUG booth, schmoozed with the Twitterati, trolled the solutions exchange for mass quantities of schwag, went to a huge vendor’s private briefing, lots of parties and meet ups, and even told Steve Herrod that my wife thought he was a very attractive man.

Up next – Twitterati and v0dgeball

Worst Error Message Ever May 30, 2012

Posted by Brent Quick in : Upgrade, vCenter, vmware, vSphere 5.0 , 1 comment so far

Recently I upgraded to vSphere 5.0 and due to problems with my Netgear ReadyNAS (CIFS target for PHD Virtual Deduped data) I had to spend more time in the storage section of the vSphere client then usual.  As I was looking around for how to configure an iSCSI target with Username/Password I saw “Storage I/O Control” disabled listed for all my datastores.
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How I converted to paravirtual SCSI controllers from LSI March 30, 2011

Posted by Brent Quick in : vSphere 4.1 , 7comments

Looking at having moved from vSphere 4.0 to 4.1 I was interested in what knobs I might turn to get more performance out of my vm environment which consists of the following IBM x3650, x3650 M3, and DS3400 FC SAN with 15K SAS drives.  This led me to look at the higher performance paravirtual SCSI controllers instead of the existing LSI controllers.  Enhanced in update 1 to support boot disks it seemed like time to give them a try, but how to convert my existing LSI controllers to paravirtual? (more…)

Recover from damaged partition table in ESX 4.1 (and prior) December 7, 2010

Posted by Brent Quick in : vCenter, vmware, vSphere 4.1 , add a comment

So I added 6 (RAID 5 w/hot spare) disks to my IBM DS3400 (six existing in RAID 5 w/hot spare) and started carving some new LUN’s.  The purpose is so that my VM’s would be on dedicated LUN’s versus the big LUN with multiple machines.  As a vSphere Standard user I do not have Storage vMotion, so I was shutting down the VM’s to move them when disaster struck.  By disaster, I mean that all of a sudden the 300 GB LUN with the three VM’s that I needed to migrate was unavailable in vCenter (I wish I had a screen shot but I was too busy trying to resolve the problem) but I could still see it in the SAN manager software.  After checking on the zoning and determining that there was no reason from the SAN that the LUN was not available, I went ahead and did a rescan/refresh on the HBA’s and prayed.  No joy in Mudville for the mighty Casey struck out. (more…)

As Paul Harvey would say, “Here is the rest of the story” July 30, 2010

Posted by Brent Quick in : Update Manager, Upgrade, vCenter, vmware, vSphere 4.1 , add a comment

So I was pretty psych’ed after getting the install of vCenter 4.1 on my new x64 host to finally work, so the next step was to get Update Manager working (not that I need it but it was previously installed and the vCenter client was looking for it on the old host.  Well after a very few setup items I was on to the install with my 32bit DSN setup already I thought it would be cake.  Well as it would turn out not so much.  There is a known but unpublished issue involving the VIM_VCDB that produces the dreaded Error 25085.  I say it is know since the VMware support person had it figured out in about an hour, most of which was spent bitching about 2008 not having everything in the same place as 2003.  So in the end a series of 6 delete SQL queries later the install was done and patches were on the way.  SQL listed after the break.  I hope it helps someone else.

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From x32 to x64 vCenter Server – Ouchies all the way! July 28, 2010

Posted by Brent Quick in : Update Manager, Upgrade, vCenter, vmware, vSphere 4.1 , add a comment

So with vSphere 4.1 you must run the vCenter server on a x64 OS.  No big deal except you must migrate or do a fresh install since there is not a way to upgrade a Windows x32 to x64.  No big deal except the default install is SQL Express which means no management tools so you cannot work with the existing DB objects or the new SQL instance.  No big deal just download then SSMSEE making sure to get the x64 edition and install it locally, except you get a 29506 error when doing the install unless you are running under elevated privileges even if you are already an administrator.  No problem just create a shortcut to the cmd.exe and “run as administrator”.

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Is there any real competition for Cisco and UCS? July 18, 2010

Posted by Brent Quick in : Vertical Stack , add a comment

After reading Steve Kaplan’s article comparing Cisco UCS to the HP Matrix (Link) I had a back channel exchange about what Steve thought might qualify as competition, and in the end nothing was the answer.  There are some competitive stacks that can be built but no competitive product.  Am I and by extension Steve missing something?  I would appreciate some comments.

Thanks - Brent

Steve’s list of competitive stacks: