Learn Virtualization & VMware vSphere from Scratch

Few months back I got to speak to different friends of mine in the IT field, who were specialized in networking, storage, SAP, Database, Hardware and so on. I was surprised they had zero to little exposure to Virtualization although they are well versed into their field of expertise. They even held highest certifications in their fields like CCIE & the equivalent for the different specialty. This has kinda surprised me as working with Virtualization/Cloud Admins on daily basis, I had thought most IT professional by now are well versed with Virtualization. This has proved being far from the true, the more I speak to IT Professionals outside the Virtualization field.

Figuring out that many IT Professionals are still stuck in the past within the physical infrastructure, I decided to explore the cause and try to help improve the situation. Asking my friends about the cause of not catching up on Virtualization although they are aware its rapidly changing every IT field. I asked my networking friends if they are already aware that there is more virtual network ports than there is physical these days and they were surprised of that fact. I asked them what will they do when 90% of the network ports become virtual network ports and a part of a virtual switch.… Read More

VirtualCenter for VM ware Server Real Value

I have been reading all over the place about virtualization products. A lot of posts discuss VM ware VI3 & many others discuss Xen or HyperV, but I don’t see many talk about virtualcenter. As I have been using VM ware VI3 & vm ware Virtual server for a while now I can tell you virtualcenter is the most distinguished part of their offering. What struck me the most that vm ware started offering VirtualCenter for their free vm ware virtual server which seems a lot of people are ignoring and not even aware of. In this article I will talk about how useful is it to obtain virtualcenter for VMware server.

VirtualCenter in my opinion is the industry leader for managing virtual environments. VirtualCenter for vm ware server is an extension of the VirtualCenter product line for VM ware VI with new support for VMware Server. With VirtualCenter , VMware Server users access the powerful centralized management that was previously only available with ESX Server or GSX Server.

Benefits of VirtualCenter for VMware Server:
  • Get full support for advanced features of VMware Server, such as the ability to create templates and virtual machines and 64-bit SMP
  • Make the provisioning of new virtual machines in minutes with a centralized management
  • Make the easy transition from GSX Server to VMware Server using “drag and drop” for the migration of virtual machines
Centralized Management with VirtualCenter includes the following:
  • Single view of the inventory of virtual machines
  • Create and set up virtual machines
  • Templates and centralized repository of templates
  • Detailed graphics and performance monitoring system availability
  • Automated notifications and alerts by e-mail
  • Integration with Active Directory and model of explicit permissions for a simple user management
  • Monitor System Availability and Performance
  • Automate operations through task scheduling and alerting to help improve responsiveness to business needs and prioritize actions needing the most urgent attention.
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Resizing a virtual disk with VMware

The other day, an old virtual machine of mine with VMware (that I sometimes used to test various configurations, cases, applications, etc.) ran out of disk space since it had only 2GB for storage! By today’s standards, 2GB of storage seems like a joke! But anyways, I had to solve this inconvenient problem or else I would lose time creating a new virtual machine and configuring the operating system from scratch according to the new specifications for virtual disks.

VMware provides a set of line-of-command utilities to support the administration of virtual machines. Among them is a utility called vmware-vdiskmanager that makes this operation much simpler. Simply run the command with the “-x” option and the desired new size for the virtual disk and…problem solved.

For example:

$ Vmware-vdiskmanager -x 5GB virtual_disk.vmdk

Well, the task seemed simple, but the “virtual disk manager” (a.k.a. vmware-vdiskmanager)refused to perform this operation, signalling that you cannot perform such an operation on disks that use or have used snapshots. The message appeared as follows:

This disk is part of a snapshot chain in ‘/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines/vm1/SO.vmx’.
The selected operation can only be executed on a disk with no snapshots.

A question came to me almost immediately: how we get rid of snapshots?… Read More

Tivoli TSM guide to securing VMware

IBM provides an excellent Field Guide to safeguard VMware disk files with Tivoli TSM under VMware GSX (Linux) and VMware ESX for free download.

In addition to discussing general security issues it also address special tuning tips and useful information on the configuration. Absolutely marvelous!
This Field Guide, can be downloaded from here

Update: A new guide of how to setup TSM to backup VMware ESX using VMware Consolidated backup can be found at:
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager & VMware Consiledated Backup (VCB)
I hope these guides help you backup your VMware enviornment with VMware. If you need any more help, or just want to say thank you please leave it in the comment below.
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