VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 now open

The VMware Workstation Team is providing public access to the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 to gather real-world feedback from its users. This VMware Workstation Technology Preview does not contain major new features, but it does include significant changes to its core virtualization technology especially in the following areas.
Installation and operation of VMware Workstation on Windows 8 and Windows Server 8

  • Installation and operation of Windows 8 consumer preview and Windows Server 8 in a virtual machine
  • Rendering and graphics correctness issues on all platforms and applications
  • Linux 3D desktop experience, particularly when using the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Beta
  • Linux 3D application graphics correctness and performance Stability in real-world scenarios including suspend/resume and display and device support
  • Nested Virtualization – running ESX and even trying Hyper-V* as a guest OS
  • VNC connection performance and stability

While this release is focused on VMware Virtualization platform enhancements it does include a few user interface enhancements.
To join in and give your feedback visit:-
http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/beta/workstationtp2012

Installing Windows Server "8" Beta on VMware Workstation 8, It works, well sort of !!!

I had time this morning (while waiting for a problem to be fixed) to test the Beta Build of Windows Server “8” that dropped yesterday, initially I was having issues installing VMtools on a custom “Windows 2008 R2 x64” VM set at hardware compatability 8 and initially gave it from 2-4gb of memory, VMtools had issues installing TP drivers, VMCI and also SVGA drivers did not install, they actually caused a complete black screen which was similar to the Windows 8 Customer Preview MSFT released last year which SVGA issues were related to memory allocation issues.
I destoyed the VM and recreated a custom “Windows 2008 R2 x64” version 7 VM with 1gb Ram and installed the Windows image with no issues, VMtools presented no problems either, so I then shutdown the VM and reset the memory to 2gb and powered back up, there were no issues, all is working fine.
Next is to try and see if the same is true for ESXi 5.0, I especially want to see if I can get Hyper-V working the same as I did for Windows 2008 R2.
Update will follow…

Symantec ApplicationHA 6.0 and Virtual Business Service 6.0 Demo for VMware

its my pleasure to release my latest demo of Virtual Business Service with ApplicationHA 6.0, learn how Virtual Business Service can assist with connecting multiple tiered applications together to create a business service, this demo will create a service from a VMware virtual machine running SQL Server 2008 and a custom application and demostrate how easy it is to start and stop the applications and control the applications when disaster strikes.
Virtual Business Services (VBS) provides continuous high availability and reduces frequency and duration of service disruptions for multi-tier business applications running on heterogeneous OS platforms and virtualization technologies
View the Demo :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA0BqzBGcDU
Product Download:
VOM Virtual Business Services Availability add-on and package

Product Documentation:
Virtual Business Services – Availability User’s Guide

Are you running vCenter Server in a virtual machine, what are your high availability options?

Whilst presenting our virtualization solutions for various customers and at many conferences, one question that often gets raised is that of the availability of a virtualized vCenter Server, especially more so when I talk about Symantec ApplicationHA solution.
There seems to be various options available if your vCenter Server is sitting on physical hardware such as VMware’s vCenter Server Heartbeat or maybe with another vendors solution, Symantec too has a dedicated vCenter agent which runs on Veritas Cluster Server and can protect the various components of vCenter Server as well as Oracle or SQL databases which may be part of the configuration. But when the vCenter server is virtualized then these solutions may be a bit of an  over kill or may impose limitations on vMotion due to shared storage requirements, or maybe be a little expensive for those on a tight budget but still need an availability solution.
If you think about it, those solutions provide hardware and software protection, whilst if we take a look at a virtual machine it’s probably one of the more stable platforms, one could run an application on, all virtual machines with VMtools deployed typically run on a selection of the similar types of network, disk, display drivers due to the nature of virtual machine hardware and portability requirements. Just think about the last time you had a blue screen on a Windows virtual machine or when your Linux virtual machine did a panic or core dump due to driver related issues, more often the issue with downtime is typically due to application faults, and according to Gartner this can be up to 40% for a leading cause of unplanned downtime.
Wouldn’t it be easier to have a solution that monitors all the key components of a virtualized vCenter Server along with SQL or Oracle backend configuration databases and resolve any issues that may occur within them? Symantec ApplicationHA has this ability and not just tailored for vCenter Server, ApplicationHA can also control a vast array of enterprise applications such as SQL, Oracle, Exchange and SAP to name but a few, all of which can be view from within the Symantec ApplicationHA Dashboard directly from within the VMware vSphere Client.

Fig 1. Dashboard Management view of applications configured with Symantec ApplicationHA
To control vCenter Server, Symantec ApplicationHA primarily monitors the services that are installed with VMware vCenter Server. However, if configured on the same machine as vCenter Server, ApplicationHA also monitors the SQL Server or Oracle database. ApplicationHA automatically discovers and monitors these resources.
During the vCenter Server installation, you can choose to install the embedded version of SQL Server (SQL Server Express) to host vCenter Server’s information.
If you install it, then ApplicationHA monitors it. You can configure application monitoring for vCenter Server on a virtual machine using the Symantec ApplicationHA Configuration Wizard. vCenter Server protection of the vCenter environment can be carried out in matter of minutes and management is integrated directly in vSphere Client or Web interface if needed also.

Fig 2. Symantec ApplicationHA Configuration Wizard for vCenter Server.

Fig 3. vSphere Client view of the configured vCenter Server application
So if protection of your vCenter Server is important to you and budget is limited, then take a look at Symantec ApplicationHA and test drive a 60 day evaluation and see for yourself just how flexible this solution is for availability of your applications running in virtual machines, not only for vCenter Server but for other applications also.
Get more info and download a trial version at http://www.symantec.com/application-ha

VMware Workstation 8.0.2 available with a few updates plus official Support for Fedora 16 guests

With various customer meetings and the London VMUG meeting I had last week this patch update slipped under the radar. I have been seeing issues with unrecoverable error when moving from guest to host which thankfully has been fixed in the update.
VMware have released (24.1.12) the updated version of their desktop virtualization software VMware workstation 8.0.2 recently. This is a minor updated release with official support to Fedora 16 guest and Ubuntu 11.10 host. Also, VMware confirms that most of the customer issues have been fixed in latest 8.0.2 version.
This is a free update from VMware for all Workstation 8 users.
Click here to read about release notes of Workstation 8.0.2
Here is the download link of VMware workstation 8.0.2 for Windows and Linux Operating Systems

London VMUG 26th Jan 2012

I have been given the honor of presenting at the London VMUG, come along and listen to some great subjects.  If you haven’t already signed up to the London VMUG this coming Thursday (26th Jan) then make sure you do quick.

Details

Sign up here: http://www.myvmug.org/e/in/eid=273
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Time: 10:00 – 17:15 London Chamber of Commerce and Industry 33 Queen Street London, EC4R 1AP Directions
Time: 17:15 Pavilion End, 23 Watling Street, EC4M 9BR Directions

Agenda

How to remove "No Management Network Redundancy" warning on vSphere using das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning

Whilst updating my ApplicationHA lab images for various Symantec Partner events that i will be running later this year I noticed that I was seeing a “This Host has no Management network redundancy” message on my ESX servers, whilst it doesn’t effect my labs from running properly it is a bit off putting seeing warning triangles next to the ESX servers. I typically use a single NIC for creating ESX servers for the lab and this is the reason why it gets displayed, in real production and test environments you would normally have redundant NICs configured and this message wouldn’t appear.
Here are the steps that will remove the warning using the “das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning” attribute.

Management Redundant Network warning visable

There are a couple of ways to remove the message from appearing, the correct way is to add redundancy to the management networks by adding in another NIC to the configuration or alternativeliy you can use the “das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning” attribute in the advanced vMwareHA/vSphere HA settings.
1. From within the vSphere Client right click on the cluster and edit settings.
2. Select (Depending on your version) the VMwareHA or vSphere HA feature and click “Advanced Options”
3. In the options column enter the tag “das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning”
4. In the value column enter “true” for the value.
5. Click on “OK” and then “OK” again to make the changes in the advanced options
6. right click on the ESX server which is diplaying the warning symbol and select “Reconfigure for vSphere HA” or “Reconfigure for VMware HA”
Thats it, once the reconfigure task completes the warning should disappear and you are left with a warning icon clean ESX server.
Management Redundant Network warning cleared

of course on the screen shot I do have a warning sign on the Win2003-SQL virtual machine but thats a story for another day….

VMware release update for Workstation 8.0.0

Yesterday VMware released an update for Workstation 8.0, grab the updated binaries for Workstation 8.0.1 from http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation/8_0
Highlights of VMware Workstation 8.0.1 functionality include:

  • Graphics performance and compatibility enhancements.
  • Improvements in creating and using shared virtual machines and remote virtual machines.
  • Ubuntu 11.10 is officially supported as a guest operating system.
  • Disk and memory management issues have been addressed.
  • Many customer-reported issues have been resolved.

VMware Workstation 8.0.1 is a free update for all VMware Workstation 8 users.
Release notes at http://www.vmware.com/support/ws80/doc/releasenotes_workstation_801.html
lets hope they fixed the hung process bug which was causing me some issues a couple of weeks ago.