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Monthly Archives July 2012

IBM System Networking Distributed Switch 5000V for VMware ESXi 5.x

Looking over the internet i have not seen lots of people talking about this so i though i can make a point of discussion for my blog post for today.

None of us may be reading this article doesnt know about VMware Distributed Switch and the features it provides. and all of us may know as well that it is not the only option available to customers today. customers using vSphere enterprise plus can have either the VMware Distributed Switch or May be the Nexus 1000v as a distributes Networking function in their vSphere Environment.  in one day not customer has 3 Choices to choose from either VMware, Cisco and now We have IBM in the picture with their release of the 5000v Distributed Switch.

The 5000V is a distributed virtual switch option for vSphere 5. It provides IBM NOS (Network Operating System) personality and functionality, and interoperates with standard vSphere 5 features.

The 5000V has two software components: a Controller and a Host Module. The Controller is an Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) package that can be deployed as a virtual appliance on ESX 4.x or ESX 5.x Hosts. The Host Module is a VMware ESXi 5.x Offline Bundle (ZIP) that must be installed on each ESXi 5.x Host that needs to be added to an IBM vDS.

The 5000V Controller is used to create and manage one instance of the IBM vDS. The Controller closely interacts with the VMware vCenter Server for its functionality. The IBM vDS appears as just another distributed virtual switch at the vCenter Server and can be consumed using standard mechanisms familiar to vSphere administrators. For example, hosts, virtual machines, and uplinks (physical NICs) can be attached to the IBM vDS at the vCenter Server, using the vSphere Client.

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Manage Your Horizon Environemnt.(Part 2) – Updating your thinapp packages in horizon

New Package.ini Parameter, VersionID. made specifically for Horizon

Before thinapp 4.7.2 which i wrote about its release here. we use to upgrade the packages using AppSync or side-by-side updating mechanism. Now you don’t need to use any of these methods any more since the update will be based on a new parameter in the Package.ini file called VersionID.

 

To understand more about this we need to discuss how this VersionID actually works and what are the relationships that connects it to horizon.

So VersionID as obvious from the name is the version of the thinapp package that work in conjunction with another package identifier parameter in Package.ini file called AppID. So in case that you do an update for the thinapp package, AppID stays the same but VersionID Gets incremented. You place the updated package in a new folder on the ThinApp Repository in the Horizon environment. Horizon regularly scans the ThinApp Repository, and when Horizon encounters an application that has the same AppID as another, it compares the VersionID values and considers the application with the higher VersionID to be an update. keep in mind that AppID is one of the mandatory requirement of horizon that is one of the reasons why you require version 4.7 as a minimum for thinapp to be able to use the packages for horizon. so if you packaged your applications with a version thinapp that is prior to 4.7 then you need to recapture the application with thinapp 4.7 or later releases.

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The New IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure (SDI) Reference Architecture with VMware View Desktop Virtualization

In this post i am discussing the recent announcement by IBM for VMware View reference architecture which has surprisingly amazed me in term of how hard they worked and the aspects of design and test cases they used. it looks to me like as of 2012 the technology for the virtual desktop is apparently getting very hot in the market unlike what some analyst have anticipated. in my case, it is been a while where the only thing i am doing is explaining to the customers about the value of VMware EUC vision and products and i see for myself the excitement in people faces about adopting the technology. i should thank VMware for View 5 as well View 5.1 for the tremendous job and features done by their engineering team to achieve this high level of a quality and competitiveness.

with the feature sets provided VMware has changed the game in term of:

1- Computing Resources required to host the virtual desktop infrastrucuture.

2- Storage resources requirement where host caching has changed the game on how the storage should be designed for virtual desktops.

3- Networking resources requirement on the user consumption.

I dont speak on behalf of VMware but in my opinion these are the things that customer are really concerned about when developing a strategy for their end users. they want to be able to.

a. Minimize Capex requirement: this is achieved by the leading vSphere platform and the VM Density offered, Host Caching which minimize the requirement for the storage structure and hugely minimize I/O and finally Network requirement in term of  bandwidth consumption for each user session.

 

b. Manageability ease: easy to use management interface that allow customer’s administrator, to easily provision, upgrade or manage the whole environment with a single management interface.

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New VMware Lab Fling – View Controlled Recompose Script

This script performs a Controlled Recompose of a VMware View Linked Clone Pool of Virtual Desktops. It first identifies a free desktop and recomposes it to create the first Replica Desktop.

Note: If this first recompostion fails the script aborts assuming the creation of the Replica VM also failed.

After the recomposition of the first desktop, the script recomposes a specified number of additional free desktops to create a supply of recomposed systems. These desktops will be available for re-connecting users when the script next recomposes the remaining desktops in the pool, directing View to force logoff active users after the warning period specified in View Manager. An optional extra recompose can be run against the pool as the final step to provide a second attempt to recompose any desktops that may have failed.

During operation the script will abort after a specified number of timed out recompositions in a row (default 3). It will also immediately abort if it detects a View Composer error. The script can be configured to send Email Alerts to notify Administrators of both failed and successful script operations.

The script runs by default in interactive mode, prompting for required settings. It can also be run in unattended mode to support scheduled, automated maintenance.

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Handling the application suite icon when enabling a VMware ThinApp package for Horizon

Source: VMware KB Article.

Symptoms

  • The Microsoft Office suite icon does not display properly in the Horizon Application Manager application catalog. Instead, the standard Windows icon appears.
  • The application icon for a custom application does not display properly in the Horizon Application Manager application catalog.

This is a problem that appears for very few ThinApp virtual applications. Microsoft Office is the only known commercially available application that manifests the problem. The presence of multiple entry points is not sufficient to present the problem; the application must have a suite icon, or it must have the icon stored in an unusual file.

Purpose

This article discusses an issue with application suite display icons which occurs specifically with a Microsoft Office ThinApp package in a Horizon Application Manager environment.

Cause

The virtual application package was not enabled for Horizon through Setup Capture. You may have enabled the package for Horizon by:

 

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Login to VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Failed with an Error – Your ID is Disabled

Today, it was one of my toughest day honestly trying to troubleshoot a weird error that poped-up into my head when trying to Login to vCM. although the solution is out there i always try to troubleshoot things myself until i get ahead of the time i allocate to myself to solve the problem.before

in any way. the screen capture Below identifies what i am talking about.

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Experimenting with Windows 8 Desktops in View

Source: VMware Blogs

By Robert Baesman, Director of Product Management, End-User Computing

With all the news these days about Microsoft Windows 8 Release Dates, it’s natural for those working on a with VDI technology to be curious about the latest from Redmond and how Windows 8 might work as a virtualized desktop workload.  Of course with it not RTMed yet, nobody has a VDI solution out there that officially supports it, but that should never stop a good science experiment…

Win8_desktop_vmworld

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vSphere 5 New Networking Features – Port Mirroring

Source: VMware Blogs.

Port mirroring is the capability on a network switch to send a copy of network packets seen on a switch port to a network-monitoring device connected to another switch port. Port mirroring is also referred to as Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN) on Cisco switches. In VMware vSphere 5, a Distributed Switch provides a similar port mirroring capability that is available on a physical network switch. After a port mirror session is configured with a destination—a virtual machine, a vmknic or an uplink port—the Distributed Switch copies packets to the destination.

Port mirroring provides visibility into

• Intrahost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on the same host)

• Interhost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on different hosts)

Figure below shows different types of traffic flows that can be monitored when a virtual machine on a host acts as a destination or monitoring device. All traffic shown by the orange dotted line with arrow is mirrored traffic that is sent to the destination virtual machine.

The terms Ingress source and Egress source are with respect to the VDS. For example, when you want to monitor the traffic that is going out of a virtual machine towards the VDS, it is called Ingress Source traffic. The traffic seeks ingress to the VDS and hence the source is called Ingress. If you want to monitor traffic that is received by a virtual machine, then configure the port mirroring session with the traffic source as Egress Source as shown in the top right corner diagram of the figure below.

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How to use Port-Mirroring feature of VDS for monitoring virtual machine traffic in vSphere 5.0?

Source : VMware Blogs.

I would like to clarify few things in this blog entry about the Port-mirroring feature that is available on vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS). This feature is similar to the port mirroring capability available on the physical switches. Network administrators can use this feature to troubleshoot any network related issues in the virtual infrastructure and monitor virtual machine to virtual machine traffic that is flowing on the same ESXi host. Network administrators use network analyzer tool, which captures traffic, along with the port mirror feature to perform monitoring and troubleshooting activities. In the physical network, depending on where the analyzer or debug tool is placed in the network, network administrators choose different port mirroring options. The following are some of the standard port mirroring options available on physical switches:

–       Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN)

–       Remote Switch Port Analyzer (RSPAN)

–       Encapsulated Remote Switch Port Analyzer (ERSPAN)

SPAN feature is local to the switch and requires the monitored ports and the destination port are on the same switch. With the release of vSphere 5.0, VMware provides support for only SPAN feature on VDS. The following blog entry discusses the feature in little more detail. During the setup of a SPAN session customers have to select a virtual port that needs monitoring and then choose a destination virtual port where all the traffic will be mirrored. Here are some of the common monitoring and troubleshooting use cases based on where the analyzer tool is running.

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