VMware Press

On Thursday May 18th Pearson Education and VMware announced the creation of VMware Press. VMware is the global leader in virtualization technology and Pearson Ed the worlds leading learning company and one of the largest publishers of textbooks and education material. Ask any college student, I’ll bet they have at least one Pearson Ed book in their bag. The joint venture makes perfect sense to me and with kool-aid like this who can resist. Below are three titles the newly minted VMware Press has announced as soon to be released. I personally cant wait to get my hands on Storage Design and Implementation in VMware – Technology Deep Dive.

Coming Soon from VMware Press

Storage Design and Implementation in VMware vSphere 5.x Storage Design and Implementation in VMware vSphere 5.x
by Mostafa Khalil • Technology Deep Dive • Fall 2011In this technology deep dive book, expert architect Mostafa Khalil teaches everything an administrator or architect needs to know about design, management and storage maintenance in the vSphere 5.0 virtual environment, including detailed procedures and guidelines, architectural design elements, best practices, common configuration details, and more.
Administering VMWare SRM 5.x Administering VMware SRM 5.x
by Mike Laverick • Technology Hands-On • Fall 2011In this practical and technical guide to installing and configuring VMware’s Site Recovery Manager 5.0, expert Mike Laverick takes readers through set-ups for multiple vendors, disaster recovery, common pitfalls and errors, while along the way explaining why things happen, and how to fix them.
Automating Day-to-Day Administration of VMware vSphere 5.x Automating Day-to-Day Administration of VMware vSphere 5.x
by Cody Bunch • Technology Hands-On • Fall 2011This hands-on technical guide to automating vSphere with Orchestrator teaches administrators how to save time and resources by automating their virtual infrastructure.  Automation expert Cody Bunch teaches valuable practices and tool use through a combination of real world automation examples and case studies.

Click HERE to read The Official VMware Press Announcement.

Visit http://www.vmware.com/go/vmwarepress for a complete product listing.

For more information, surf on over to the VMware Press Facebook Fan Page and join the discussion.

This information was discovered reading the blog of Duncan Epping at Yellow-Bricks
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vSphere VLANs – 802.1Q VLAN Tagging

I came across a test prep question in the book ‘VCP VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 STUDY GUIDE’ : ‘Which type of private VLAN (PVLAN) would allow a VM to communicate with any other PVLAN on the virtual switch as well as the physical switch connected via physical NIC uplinks?’
Now I took the VMware Fast Track with one of the co-authors Jeantet Fields, and I’ve been studying for a while so at first glance I’m thinking this is an easy one; it is Promiscuous mode; which happens to be the correct answer. I’m not really a guy that gets hung up on Q&A’s as I like to understand the how and why’s. The other optional answers include Community and Isolated mode and although I know these are valid VLAN mode’s I thought I would take a moment to review the topic as what I learned from my training has become foggy as it was awhile ago. VMware has a nice diagram ( shown below ) provided in the ‘What’s New inVMware vSphere 4: Virtual Networking‘ whitepaper that is helpful in understanding VLAN concepts.
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMW_09Q1_WP_vSphereNetworking_P8_R1.pdf
The primary reason for implementing VLANs is to enable secure logical network groups by segregating and isolating the network communication on a physical network. This is basically accomplished by dividing the broadcast domain into several logical broadcast domains.
Private VLANs can be thought of in terms of two groups.: A Primary VLAN and a Secondary VLAN.
The Primary VLAN is the network being divided into separate groups. It is the container of secondary VLANs and as such is able to communicate with any of the contained secondary VLANs. I think of the Primary VLAN as the physical network or the network switch although in a virtual environment it doesn’t have to be a physical device.
Secondary VLANs are the divided groups within a Primary VLAN.  Secondary VLANs are identified using 802.1Q VLAN tagging id’s associated with each network packet. Packets are ‘tagged’ with the associated VLAN id as they are transmitted and communication between hosts is dependent on VLAN association and type. Secondary VLANs can be in the same subnet or not. The important thing to remember is that VLAN tags will segment hosts regardless of subnet or subnet mask.
There are three types of Secondary Private VLANs: ( Promiscuous, Isolated & Community )
Isolated VLANs – Hosts connected to ports within an isolated VLAN cannot communicate with each other, any other Isolated or Community VLAN at the Layer 2 network level.
Community VLANs – Hosts connected to ports within a community VLAN can communicate with each other but cannot communicate with ports in other community VLANs.
Promiscuous – Promiscuous mode ports serve one Primary VLAN, one Isolated VLAN and multiple Community VLANs. The Layer 3 gateway ( or the uplink port ) is typically connected to the switch via a promiscuous mode port. Promiscuous mode ports may also be used for network traffic monitoring and/or logging. And, hosts that need to communicate with Virtual Machines in various private VLANs such as Backup Servers, are typically configured with promiscuous mode network ports.
Many SMB’s limited by funding and physical resources utilize VLANs to increase security and provide the logical network segmentation functionality typically achieved using physical network devices.
VLAN Usage Diagram
There are many challenges resolved using VLANs but here is what I use them for:
Since iSCSI and NFS traffic is neither secured during transmission or storage, I ensure that network storage resides on a dedicated VLAN. Since domain admins, or vCenter local administrators are able to install, connect and administrate vCenter with or without authorization, I lock down the vCenter/ESX/ESXi Management Network to a dedicated VLAN as well.
If you have a VLAN story or suggestion please share your experience.

dvSwitch to vSwitch and back again

Creating a Distributed virtual switch and adding a host is fairly straightforward.  I have found that once a host is added to a dvSwitch ( or whichever way you wrap your head around the concept ) however that it’s a bit more difficult to convert it back depending upon how many virtual adapters are involved. This post documents the steps to add a host to a Distributed Virtual Switch and migrate 3 VMkernal adapters to it, and then migrate them back to the original Virtual Switch.

CONVERT to dvSwitch

(Fig 1) This screen shows the ESXi-1 host using a vSwitch configured with temporary VMkernal ports. Other than being set for DHCP they’re not used for any true purpose merely to allow for this example.

(Fig 2) As you can see in this screen I already have a dvSwitch configured with various dvPortGroups. The ESXI-2 server is already a participating host. I am going to add the ESXi-1 host and when I do I’m going to migrate the ports to the dvPG-VirtualMachines Port Group. Take notice of this section.

At this point I’m in the Inventory-Networking window and I’m going to click the ‘Add Host’ link in the upper right hand corner.

(Fig 3) The Add host GUI requires a host and desired NIC card selection. For this I’m going to select the vmnic1 and click next.

(Fig 4)  Now we’ll migrate the virtual adapters from the Virtual Switch to the dvSwitch. Select the virtual adapters to migrate.

(Fig 5) Assign the migrating adapters to a dv Port Group.

(Fig 6) Here I simply select the dv Port Group identified as ‘dvPG-VirtualMachines’.

(Fig 7) Now you can see the vmk3, vmk4 and vmk5 have imported into the dvPG-VirtualMachines port group on the distributed switch.

CONVERT TO vSwitch

So adding a host to dvSwitch is pretty easy. If there were thousands of virtual adapters that needed to be migrated the ease of which this interface makes that process would quickly become obvious. Migrating ports from a dvSwitch back to a standard vSwitch is just as simple however it’s not as automated and can be more time consuming. I haven’t figured out a way to migrate all virtual adapaters back to the vSwitch all at the same time like we did when we migrated the virtual adapters to the dvSwitch.

If someone knows a better or more efficient procedure please let me know.

(Fig 8) To begin the process of migrating the host back to a Standard vSwitch we have to get all the adapters moved off the dvSwitch. To start the process click the Manage Virtual Adapters link in the upper right.

(Fig 9) Each adapter must be selected individually then click ‘Migrate to Virtual Switch’

(Fig 10) Select which vSwitch to migrate the virtual adapter to.

There must be a way to migrate all the adapters to a Virtual Switch at the same time but I haven’t been able to figure out how. In this example I had to do this three times to get all the adapters migrated. In a heavy production environment there may be hundreds or thousands of adapters. I could see this taking a really long time. One would obviously drop to command line or script to get this done on a large scale system.

(Fig 11) Once all the virtual adapters have been migrated back to a Virtual Standard Switch the last thing to do is remove the host from the dvSwitch. For this you go back to the Inventory-Network screen ( cntr-shift-H ) and select the Hosts tab.

(Fig 12) To remove the host right click and select ‘Remove from vNetwork Distributed Switch’ In this example I want to remove the ESXi-1 host so I followed this step for this host.

(Fig 13) Going back to the Inventory-Hosts and Clusters screen and Configurations tab you can now see the dvSwitch is no longer associated with the ESXi-1 host.

And that’s how to add a host to a Distributed Virtual Switch migrating the virtual adapters and back again to the originating Virtual Standard Switch.

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SPLIT RAIL – Dual Axis Snowmobile Skis

October 9, 2010 1 comment

Split Rail, Dual Axis, Snowmobile SkiUnveiled to the public at haydays on Sept 11, 2010 in North Branch MN, the split rail ski is new to the snowmobile market this year. With the Split Rail Ski being marketed at many of this falls major snowmobile and power sports expo’s by two sons of the inventor and recently featured in the March 2011 SuperTrax Magazine this ski is sure to have the guys talking in the shop, bragging on the trail and gloating around the dinner table; that is if you can get your hands on a set.  Three years of testing have gone into these skis and they claim they will hold up to the abuse that hardcore sledders tend to put their sleds through.

What the Media has to say.Split Rail, Dual Axis, Snowmobile Ski

In a letter to Rob Wrightman, the president of the Split Rail Ski Mark Lester, the Publisher of Supertrax International Magazine wrote: “To say [the ski] is unique is a huge understatement. Based on looks alone the ski is literally dripping with appeal and bonafide sizzle.”, “you’ve got something here which will improve and further both handling and control on most modern snowmobiles.” and “It’s got great potential to re-write the rules and carve out a new identity for itself in the snowmobile industry.”

How do they Perform

Where to get them

Manufactured in Canada, home to the birthplace of snowmobiling, the only way to purchase a set for yourself is to contact Split Rail Ski directly. If you made up your mind and you’ve decided these are a ‘must have’ item for this snowmobile season,  Split Rail can be contacted at:

Sales & Product Testing
1-888-771-9872
1-705-645-9872
Box 191
Bracebridge, ON
P1L1T6
markw@splitrailski.com
http://www.splitrailski.com

What do I think

With an emphatic thumbs up from the president of Snowtrax Magazine and the Split Rail Ski claims to “eliminate darting” with the catch phrase “‘It’s like Riding on Rails ‘ No longer just a Figure of Speech… … It’s a Reality” it’s difficult not to buy into the promise of a better handling ride however, the near $800 price tag may be a bit limiting to the masses though. I would love to get a set of these on my sled for a season and tell you hands down you’ve got to get a pair. But, unfortunately for Split Rail Ski my sled is only a year old so I don’t have a need for a new set of skis. If for some reason I damaged a ski however I would definitely be replacing it with the Split Rail Ski. My guess is the manufacturing costs are comparable to existing skis and, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the big four snowmobile manufacturers would be interested in purchasing either the patent or manufacturing rights. Maybe we’ll see these or something similar on future factory production sleds. The Split Rail Ski is eye candy for your snowmobile that not only looks good but claims to perform as good as they look.

While at the Big East Powersports Show in Syracuse, NY I spoke with the Split Rail Ski folks and inquired about the possibility of demoing the product. There are many places around the country where the big four manufacturers( Arctic Cat, Polaris, Skidoo and Yamaha ) provide demo rides. I always attend the Snodeo at Colebrook, NH. Maybe next year Split Rail Ski will attend and provide demo sleds so interested would be buyers can ‘kick the tires’.

If you get a chance to ride a sled with Split Rail Skis or if you’ve purchased a pair, I’d be really interested to hear about your experience and get your opinions.

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Hello World!

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

As a student of Computer Science and an I.T. Professional by trade, I think the ‘Hello World!’ heading couldn’t be more appropriate for my first post, which is why I’m certain the WordPress developers provide the first post for you and it is why I’m keeping it. To all the folks that ‘Get there GEEK on’ I know you hear me. For the rest of you you’ll have the move past this one. To plagerize JEEP. ‘It’s a GEEK thing, you wouldn’t understand’, but that’s no reason to be sad. See – Project Gorilla

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