VMware vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing Amendment

In reaction to the huge demand of VMware customers after the announcement of the new vSphere 5 vRAM licensing Schema, VMware has announced the changes of its vRAM entitlements  & few other licensing items to respond to customers demands. In this article, I will be covering just that. Its important to note, I am a bit late on bringing the news here as it was announced on August 3rd. The reason on me being late to report this, I have been really busy lately covering for my two colleagues who went on vacation for the past 2 weeks. OK, so what has changed & why?

If you have not heard about the new vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing Schema you might want to start by reading my following article first:  7 reasons why VMware vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing is not as bad as it Look at First Glance. After the initial vRAM licensing announcement, although most customers did not have a problem with the approach and were not affected many had a concern about the vRAM entitlements and Large VMs. VMware had listened to its customers, & modified its vRAM Licensing Policy Accordingly. Below is a summary of these changes:

1- Increasing the vRAM entitlement in every  Edition, where many of the entitlement has even doubled from the original announcement.… Read More

Pay for vSphere Enterprise Plus from Microsoft Licenses Saving in a virtualized enviornment

Note: If you have read this article earlier, please read this revised version of it as after getting multiple comments from different readers I have noticed that although the over all statement of the article was correct the calculation example was not fully accurate so I have gone through the Microsoft Licensing and the comments all over again and accommodated for this in my revised version.

In this post, I will show you a secret that you need to know if you are already using VMware vSphere or if you are planning to buy VMware vSphere. One call to Microsoft to recalculate your Windows/SQL licenses can give you a licenses cut on Microsoft licenses that will pay for VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and still save you tons of money a side. That means you don’t show management that you got vSphere Enterprise Plus for no Extra cost, but as well saved them a huge amount on Microsoft Licenses renewal. I was going to name this post:

How to get VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus for Free!!

Though I was worried of being misunderstood. OK, I have written a post more than a year back: Be Smart & Save huge on Microsoft Licensing with Virtualization.Read More

My Own low cost Lab VMware ESX White Box Specs

I know many of you out there want to practice on many VMware products specially vSphere & would like to build your own lab but without breaking the bank.

I have been able to build my own Home Lab for less than $600 buying the parts in Kuwait, which probably end up even cheaper on your side. Further, I thought I will share my VMware ESX White Box Configuration for others who want to build their own ESX white box, but they don’t want to risk it will not work. This configuration has been tested and it work perfectly with both VMware vSphere ESX 4.0/ESX 4.1/ and even ESX 4.1 U1.

Cut it short below is my Lab ESX white Box configuration:

– ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO MotherBoard

– AMD Phenom(tm) II X4  925 Processor (Four Core at 2.8 GHz)

– 16 GB DDR3

– 2 X 7200 RPM 500GB HDD

– 2 X Intel PRO 1000 GT NICs.

Believe it or not getting a compatible NIC cards is what took me the most. You should mostly look for Intel/Broadcom cards unless if you are ready to compile the driver for your NIC cards which is not that difficult for many cards out there, but I wanted to have a fully supported configuration in my lab.… Read More

vCenter to Manager Hyper-V is a reality

Working for VMware has always been filled with surprises since the first day I joined. I really believe we have one of the greatest engineering departments out there. I mean when your engineering team create a plugin that allow vCenter to Manager Hyper-V in their own spare time, it just get you really proud to work for such a company. Before I get into details about what is going on, I must thank our great engineering team for their super dedication.

VMware has finally released its Hyper-V management tool as a “fling” (unsupported vCenter Plug in, personal projects built by VMware Engineers in their spare time), now available at:


Here is what our Engineering Team have to say about it:

VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter provides basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms towards enabling centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. It also simplifies and enables easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere.


  • Management of the following Microsoft Hyper-V platforms:
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) with Hyper-V role enabled
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled
  • Familiar vCenter Server graphical user interface for navigating through and managing non-vSphere inventory
  • Ease of virtual machine migrations from non-vSphere hosts to vSphere inventory (Great
  • Compatible with VMware vCenter Server 4.0
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vSphere 4.1 Update 1 has been released.

vSphere 4.1 Update 1 has been released on Feb 10th. Below is what’s included in this update:

VMware ESX/ESXi Enhancements:

  • Support for up to 160 logical processors
  • Inclusion of additional drivers (ESX 4.1 Update 1 includes the 3ware SCSI and Neterion vxge drivers, which were provided as a separate download in earlier releases.)
  • Enablement of Intel Trusted Execution Technology (ESXi only)
  • Additional guest operating system support (ESX 4.1 Update 1 adds support for RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9 guest operating systems.)
  • Bug and security fixes (For more information on Bug fixes included in this release, you can check vSphere 4.1 Update 1 Bug Fixes

 VMware vCenter Enhancements:

  • Additional guest operating system customization support
  • Additional vCenter Server database support

For more information on this update & how to carry up the update, please visit:

VMware ESX 4.1 Update 1 Release Notes

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Adding tape Library/Drive to VM running over ESX/ESXi 4.

I have been asked lately if NPIV could be used to attach a tape library to a VM, & as attaching tape libraries to a VM has never been well documented. I have decided to write a small post about it. I don’t want to be a smart A**, but I will start by asking why would you want to attach a tape to a VM? Why not utilize VMware Storage API for backup & move on with it. As any method that can be utilized to connect a tape Drive/ Tape library to a VM running on ESX will compromise on many feature & introduce many restrictions to your environment. That have been said let’s see what options are available & what option is just confusing people.

– As the question was about NPIV & most people are mostly confused by it, I will start by saying NPIV will not help you add a tape library to a VM. NPIV is mainly useful when attaching LUNs & dealing with storage devices. It does not deal with tape libraries.

Ok, now that we had got NPIV confusion out of the way we still left with the question is it possible to attach a tape Library/Tape drive to a VM running on ESX/ESXi?… Read More

How to enable VMotion if you have bought vSphere Essential Plus 4.0

As many of you know VMware has included VMotion in vSphere Essential Plus 4.1, where it was not included in vSphere Essential Plus 4.0

I have been getting the question lately, how do I obtain VMotion in this case if I have a valid support. Do I have to upgrade or change my license?

The easy answer is all you have to do is upgrade your software to vSphere 4.1. The license key you used with vSphere Essential Plus 4.0 will still be valid and usable with vSphere 4.1 & in turn will provide you with the VMotion feature, without the need to do anything on the license.

I thought its worth mentioning a bit about what to upgrade:

1- Start by upgrading your vCenter to 4.1. Its important to remember that vCenter 4.0 will not be able to manage ESX 4.1, where vCenter 4.1 can manage both ESX 4.0 & 4.1 which is why you will need to start with the vCenter first.

2- After completing your vCenter upgrade, then upgrade your ESX hosts from 4 to 4.1

3- Enjoy VMotioning with your vSphere Essential Plus.

So in this case VMotion seems nothing but VMware gift to you at no cost :).… Read More

VMware vSphere Essentials Kit & Essentials Plus Kit upgrade path

I can see the above title bringing a lot of our competitors to read my blog for the next few days. I know many of them are already monitoring it daily, & as many of them still believe that there is still no upgrade path from our vSphere Essentials Kit & vSphere Essentials plus Kit might think I am shooting my self in the foot. I would love to disappoint them hard this time & point out that since vSphere has came out and the upgrade path from vSphere Essentials Kit & vSphere Essentials plus Kit has been available!!!!

I know it has been there for a while, but it seems many of VMware partners & customers still not aware of it. Its sad to say even some of  my colleagues have not been aware of it yet as they have been busy with all the new great products VMware has been releasing lately. I thought I will share the news & the proofs for that in here to stop our competition of visiting SMB customers & telling them that VMware vSphere Essentials Kit & Essentials Plus Kit are dead ended packages. They are not.

I love VMware marketing team. They have always made the right changes at the right time.… Read More

VMware vSphere 4.1 Standard License to Include VMotion

Although this news has been released for over a month now, I believe it was not pushed hard enough. Now its the time for it to make it to my blog. After reading this post, cheaper can no more be an execuse to not choose VMware the leading Virtualization product for your datacenter. Its no more the argument of just VMware being more cost effective, but a very price competetive at the initial cost. VMware has just moved VMotion to its Standard edition. That means the competitors will be offering their customers at best the equivelant of VMware Standard edition. Further, with the low pricing of VMware standard edition its no longer more expensive than the competition.

I believe with this new move VMware has just decided to start crushing the competition. If you have been reading my blog enough, you would have noticed my post less than a year back  IF I was VMware CEO. In that post, I have mentioned that If I were VMware CEO I would included VMotion in the standard edition to crush the competition. At that time, many people has looked at it as a crazy request. Less than a year later, the move has came to match my request.… Read More

You do not appear to have a valid CD-ROM device. If this is a CD-ROM device try enabling legacy emulation mode

I have got one of my customers today complaining that she can not access her laptop CD-ROM inside her virtual machine & that she keeps getting the following error:

VMware Workstation Error

“You do not appear to have a valid CD-ROM device. If this is a CD-ROM device, try enabling legacy emulation mode”

The easy solution for this problem was to change the virtual machine CD-ROM mode from PassThrough IDE to Emulate IDE as per the image below:

I hope this help some one avoid the same problem.… Read More

vSphere Client Error parsing the server “SERVER IP” “clients.xml” file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator.

Today I have installed VMware ESXi on our Lab blades. While trying to connect to my ESXi 4 server using a vSphere client newly installed on Windows XP SP3 I had been hit by the below two errors:

Error parsing the server “server ip” “clients.xml” file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator.

and after I press OK buttom I was getting the following error:

The type initializer for “VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.HttpWebRequestProxy” threw an exception

Below are actual screen shots of the errors:

vSphere client error Error parsing the server server ip clients.xml file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator

OK great!!! you might not care that I hit the same error that you did, but you might care to find out the resolution. Actually after searching the web about the problem I had hit the following VMware forum post that had the answer on the fifth page of it http://communities.vmware.com/thread/211081

I thought it was worth it to share the solution in a post on my blog as many will be hitting the same problem. The way to resolve this problem is to uninstall the windows update KB980773. After doing that close your vSphere client & start it again and try to connect. It should now allow you to connect.

As many people seems not to figure out where the KB980773 as its in fact a Microsoft .Net… Read More

VMware Long Distance VMotion is the missing link for cloud computing today

I am not sure how many people has heard of VMware Long Distance VMotion, although the concept has been supported since fourth quarter of last year. For that, I thought its worth getting people to know about it. It even get more important when deciding on your cloud computing vendor.

At the moment, many companies offer some form of cloud computing services. Some of these cloud services are really nice, specially the one built on VMware Technology. Features like Memory Page Sharing, Memory Over Commitment, VMotion, Storage VMotion, HA, SRM, Snapshot, VMware Data Recovery & so on has made VMware one of the best platforms if not the best for cloud computing. These features has helped cloud computing vendors to offer a highly available & flexible solution for lower cost.

One feature has went missing from most of the cloud computing vendor today, is the ability to transfer the services/virtual machines from a local cloud to remote cloud without requiring downtime. One of the thing cloud computing is promising to offer in the future, is the flexibility to move your services between data centers including local,  remote, & hosted data centers. At the moment, no cloud computing vendor that I can recall offer this without requiring a downtime to move the services/VMs across.… Read More

MS Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V VS VMware vSphere

I am sure many of you have been looking for a comprehensive comparison between VMware ESX 4.0 & MS Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.  I am sure you have found plenty of them with one problem they all were mostly sponsored by one of the vendors. Many of us were ready for a real independent comparison. If you were, then I have a great news for you. ITComparison.com has just released an updated version of their famous Hyper-V & VMware comparison. If you are in a rush just go and check it out at: VMware ESX 4.0 vs MS Hyper-V R2.

I can tell you there was a huge effort to put this comparison together. I have been invited to lead the project of updating the comparison, as I was highly involved in the original version. It was not an easy task, when you have 10 Virtualization Experts with different background arguing the whole day about who is better. Agreeing on every single field has took a great time, but at end it has been decided according to how it work on the ground.  It took us a month to get it online, & we hope it will be helpful for you.… Read More

VMware Snapshots feedback have you filled yours yet?

In order to improve VMware Snapshots  & enhance them further, VMware has just published a Snapshot feedback to its users. The return of the feedback will be used to guide future development of VMware Snapshots & enhance it depending on your feedback. If you believe VMware Snapshot technology is in need for any enhancement its the time for you to get your voice heard. I have just filled my VMware Snapshots feedback, so file yours now :). Below is the link to the feedback forum:

The URL to this survey is: http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?B094F8E2B1F2E0E6B6

Thanks to Duncan Epping, as I have got the above info on his blog at: http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2010/04/13/feedback-on-vmware-snapshots/ & thought its worth sharing to help VMware improve its snapshots. So please take your shot at it. It will not take you more than 15 minutes.… Read More

When trying to access virtual machine using web access you get “Cannot access virtual machine console, the request timed out”

As many of my customers are still on VMware ESX4 & not yet upgraded to ESX4U1, I get many complains about virtual machine console timeout error from web access for non administrator users. Yeah, I have already pushed an upgrade recommendation, but as usual most companies take more time approving the change request than to carry out the change. If you have VMware ESX4U1 & you are facing a problem & hit this page, then please ignore this post as this bug was fixed in update 1. If you want to read the VMware KB on this issue you should check out:

Accessing the console of a Windows virtual machine through Web Access in ESX 4.0 times out

Problem Symptoms:

When accessing the console of a Windows virtual machine through Web Access in ESX 4.0 you get the following time out error:

“Cannot access virtual machine console. The request timed out.”  an image snapshot of the error is below:

Accessing the console of a Windows virtual machine through Web Access in ESX 4.0 times out

The above symptom is the common one I have always seen, but as per VMware KB there are many other symptoms that other customers had as below:

  • You cannot open the console of a Windows virtual machine through vSphere Client Web Access.
Read More