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

Microsoft vs. VMware: Companies lose the battle – Part 2

Signs of an immature market

But is it really necessary for hypervisors to be a proprietary technology? Efforts by Microsoft and VMware to differentiate their hypervisors remind us of the networking situation thirty years ago, when all power suppliers believed in different technologies (Token Ring, Ethernet, ARCNET, etc.). Gradually, however, manufacturers have accepted the idea that taking a common standard (TCP/IP over Ethernet) and concentrating their efforts on innovation in the upper levels of the software stack, stimulates the growth of the market as a whole and, consequently, the value of the manufacturer’s own share of the pie. It seems that in the case of virtualization, suppliers are not yet ready to see the situation from this perspective. Today, speeches still revolve around concepts such as speed and feeds, but probably the market itself will finish by imposing its own rules.

If all server-based computers are in the early stages of a massive migration towards virtual machines, as many analysts argue, the lack of a standard hypervisor for Windows will only delay this transition. The fact that manufacturers focus on being different and unique shows that virtualization is still an immature business. The problem is that, despite this immaturity, many companies are already dependent on virtualization.… Read More

Big concerns about VMware ESX and ESXi 3.5 Update 2

VMware is presently experiencing some tough times, but I have to say that they are handling the situation professionally, as always.

All those who downloaded the product and gave a valid address received an e-mail describing the problem:

Problem:

An issue has been discovered by many VMware customers and partners with ESX / ESXi 3.5 Update 2 where Virtual Machines fail to power on or VMotion successfully. This problem began to occur on August 12, 2008 for customers that had upgraded to ESX 3.5 Update 2. The problem is caused by a build timeout that was mistakenly left enabled for the release build.

Affected Products:

VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 & ESXi 3.5 Update 2
Reports of problems with ESX 3.5 U1 with the following 3.5 Update 2 patch applied.
1. ESX350-200806201-UG
No other VMware products are affected.

So, if you start a VM after August 12, the server will say that the product is expired. In the meantime, try and avoid turning off a virtual machine. The problem also arises when it is moved with VMotion.

An info page was immediately put online.

The following day at 7:00 a.m., I received a new mail. Evidently, they had been working all night:

Dear VMware Customers,

We have released the express patches for the product expiry issue.… Read More

A wonderful gift from VMware

I just read some good news:
Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware, has announced the availability of VMware ESXi for free.

For the record, ESXi is the super-light version of the leading hypervisor. It features:

– operating system independence;
– 15-minute installation (215 MB on a bootable CD);
– only 32 MB Used when installed, and leaves the rest to the VM , and
– remote management.

I tested this version out, and I must say that I only regretted two things:
1) Its method of distribution – either OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or purchased online. In an administration with servers provided on long-standing specifications, adding an OEM or purchasing directly by credit card is not that easy. By making it free, VMware gives us a wonderful gift!
2) The admin client is available only with Windows (other tools are available with Linux).

Of course, the goal is to occupy the field; they’re not fooling anybody.

But, it doesn’t take away from the fact that VMware products, in addition to being “hyper” quality, “hyper” solid and “hyper” practical, are also very accessible for low-end versions.
In short, I’m staying with VMware.

A big thanks to Francois for providing inspiration for this article.Read More

VMware VI3 Root Shell Access

In this article I am trying to answer the following questions, which seems to pop up all the time.

How to enable Shell Access for the root account in VMware VI3 (VMware ESX)?
Is it the same way in VMware VI3 V3.5?
Why would I want to enable shell Access for the root account?
Why does VMware disable it by default?
What’s your recomendation in this regard?

Ok, Lets take one by one of these questions and answer it:

How to enable Shell Access of the root account in VMware VI3 (VMware ESX)?

To enable Shell Access of the root account in VMware VI3 all you have to do is login to the terminal with your root account. Or login through ssh using a user account then elevate to root.

After that go to the /etc/ssh directory

cd /etc/ssh/
Then edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config using vi

vi sshd_config

Then change the No to Yes next to the PermitRootLogin as shown in the below snapshot

vmware vi3 permit root login

Save the file by pressing :wq

then restart your VMware ESX server.

After that your VMware ESX Root will have shell access.

Is it the same way in VMware VI3 V3.5?

Yes, the same trick still work in V3.5.… Read More

VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 Demo

Many people know VMware by products as VMware Workstation or VMware Server but not many know the full power of the enterprise products of the company.

For these who are missing on the VMware Enterprise products amazing functionalities I will leave the following video for them (Unfortunately its only available in English) …..

Read More

Watch The Virtually Famous Video Contest Winner- VMware Virtualized Hardware Hotel

VMware had organized a contest so that the users of their products could demonstrate by means of a video how VMware changed their lives… and the way they work.
For all the people with a few years in technology, they know that VMware with no doubt is the most innovating technology of the last decade for the x86 environments and for which we work with day to day.

Virtualization with VMware always have been spoken of with emotion and enthusiasm. As VMware has been the first player in the X86 Virtualization market, they have further combined many features & possibilities of Virtualization around their Virtual Infrastructure product on very fast basis. All that helped them amaze everyone with their products.

As VMware has continually amazed their customers with their products, many of the contest videos came to be amazing. As most of you won’t have the time to watch it all, we thought at least to show the winner video on our blog. The winning video is VMware Virtualized Hardware Hotel which is showing below. Enjoy it.

Read More

VMware wants to re-motivate its troops

VMware has announced several major improvements to its partnership program VMware VIP, which relates to nearly 10,000 partners around the world. The improvements include the Advantage+ Incentive Program, which offers higher margins to partners and reward their efforts with those concluded pro-actively sales of products and solutions VMware, sold to new customers or those who initiated negotiations even if another partner who makes the sale. VMware wants to make better use of its partners, but it is a wonder why this initiative? and why now?

From there you think that the No. 1 in the virtualization market is trying to re-motivate the troops who are increasingly hearing sirens of Microsoft and Citrix/Xen, it was a step … However, products VMware have still early to be too worried about, if one believes the craze still vivid of CIOs for ESX technologies.

Other improvements to the program are added, such as training partners to virtualization, or new marketing tools (emarketing online). … Read More

What’s new in VI3.5?

The VMware team few days back has a very short Webinar on “What’s New in VMware Infrastructure 3.5”. I have missed some of the points, but below are the most important things that have been raised:

vmware vi3.5 whats new

ESX Server 3.5 & 3i:
The 3i server will be next generation to the “normal” ESX a decisive strategic plan. End of the year, the first hardware manufacturer will start releasing servers with the 3i server pre-installed. The list price of 3i is $ 495 for 2 CPUs. In the long run, the ESX3i seems to be the replacement for ESX3 stripping the Service Console!

Distributed Power Management:
This feature is an enhancement for the existing DRS. It will power down unoccupiedphysical hosts (to spare electricity) and, power it on if necessary, again!

improved HA:
HA is now no longer limited to hardware failure of a physical hosts respond, but also hanging VMs restart. This will be implemented using the vmware-tools and the associated Heard beat. Thus, each supported VM OS is supported – it is allowed to be curious whether the thing in practice really works!

Storage VMotion:
So far VMotion was only between machines sharing the same storage. If you had to move a VM between different storages you had to turn off the VM then clone it (Basically required down time).
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.
Read More

Tripwire Config check for ESX

Tripwire config check for ESX is a nice Free tool to come! Tripwire Config check review the configurations of your Physical & VMware systems based on your specific needs! Tripwire ConfigCheck is designed to sift through the hundreds of configuration settings within VMware’s ESX Server and identify those that are not set according to VMware’s recommendations.

At the end of your scan, you get a nice list of all successful and unsuccessful tests with a very good and detailed explanation! Further more The tool also provides guidelines that users can follow to fix the problems, if they choose to do so. For more information and to download the tool check on Tripwire’s

Very Cool Tool. More over its free. Try it out!!!

VMware Tripwire config check toolRead More

PDF for VMware’s Connection Broker has just been published

VMware has just published a big PDF with a very good step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring the new Virtual Desktop Broker Connection Manager (VDM) 2.1.

You can download the PDF here.Read More

Introduction To VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 New Modules Distribution

As VMware has changed the way they distribute their Modules across their VMware VI3 versions, many IT Professionals are still wondering how the new distribution work. For that I have decided to post it on here. I hope it will be helpful for everyone. Please post any questions you have about this new distribution. For me it seems more sufficient than the earlier distribution? What do you think?

Overview of new VMware VI3 Infrastructure modules (License)Read More

How-To Install Windows XP on VMware ESX:

Again and again the question about how to install Windows XP on VMware ESX platform pop up? The fact that VMware uses a separate SCSI controller for the virtual machines and that causes windows error message similar to the following to appear on the screen while windows copying its files during the installation:

====================================================
Installation failed no hard drives found.

Make sure that all hard drives are turned on and properly connected to the computer, and that all hardware settings for the hard disk drives controller are correct. This may require you to run a diagnostic or installation program by the manufacturer.

The installation can not continue. Press the F3 key to cancel the installation
====================================================

The cause of the problem is that Windows XP require the SCSI Driver while the installation is running. You can download the required driver from here

To approach the installation after downloading the driver mentioned above:

1. Power on the Virtual Machine with the Windows XP CD mounted. Important, don’t map the SCSI driver floppy image yet.
2. As soon the setup start & windows in the small blue bar at the bottom mention to press F6 for additional SCSI driver. Press F6 to be able to upload the downloaded driver.… Read More