Archive for June, 2011

How to Add your Twitter Name to your VMworld Registration

My company has a central point register employees for conferences so the same was true for VMworld. But I noticed that my twitter handle was not included and could not figure out exactly how to add it. After some searching and an email to VMWorld2011Registration@vmware-events.com I was able to figure it out. To save you all a little hassle, here’s a quick screenshot walk through that should help.

  1. Go to http://www.vmworld.com and sign in

  2. Enter whatever your VMworld.com username and password is

  3. Click Register Now (I know you already did but this is how it works)

  4. Select Your Conference Site then Click Submit

  5. Click on Registration

  6. Click on the Pencil Beside Contact Information

  7. Scroll to the bottom and just above Emergency Contact Information you will see a Twitter Username Space. Enter your username including the “@”. If you leave off the @ it will not be on your badge.

  8. Click Continue and you will be taken back to the Registration Information Screen.

All Done. Hope that helps everyone out. Please feel free to pass it along. Social Networking does not do much good if we aren’t social.

Brownbag Webinar on Storage Impact on VDI

ProfessionalVMware BrownBags – VDI & Storage Impacts from ProfessionalVMware on Vimeo.

How vCenter Operations kept my Tier 1 app virtual

Virtualization admins have become the last line of defense when something is not working right. Networking teams will claim it is the over use of hardware, developers will claim it is the hardware, storage guys claim that they just provide disk. So how can a virtualization admin clearly show the relationships between different systems, different hosts, and the needs for CPU, Memory, network and storage. The answers to all the questions already sit in the logs and data collected by vCenter, but without an easy way to interpret the data it is pointless. In comes vCenter Operations.

vCenter Operations is a natural way for virtualization administrators enter into a full scope virtualization monitoring platform. As an integrator, we have found that each time we place a new or upgraded vSphere environment, we have added Operation Standard to the kit to allow the admins on site to get a great overview of their environment as shown below.

You will notice that you can see vCenter systems, datacenters, clusters, and even all the way down to an individual VM. The next questions is how did this help us with a Tier one app.

I was recently at a client site that was having some significant speed issues in their Sharepoint environment. As a multi-tier application Sharepoint needs both a web front end and a database backend. We got word that Sharepoint was running slowly. Luckily we had just installed vCenter Operations and when we checked the console we noticed that 2 of the ESX hosts were in the Red category. After double clicking on the ESX host we saw that the network usage was the issue, with 100% of network being used similar to the graphic below that shows a systems at 100% of CPU being used.

The great part was looking further down the page on the ESX host we found the Child Objects. With a single child object being Red as well I was able to drill down into the exact machine.

Once we drilled down to the machine we found that the database server from Sharepoint was using 100% of my network capacity. Then we looked at the other ESX host that showed Red, we found out that it also only had a single machine with a Red status. It turned out that the second guest with a Red status was the Web front end for Sharepoint. We then backed out of the vCenter Operations console (which conveniently is integrated into the Virtual Infrastructure Client) and migrated the web server to the same ESX host as the SQL server. We gave vCenter Operations a couple minutes to make sure that the data was up to date and we were back to a healthy Green environment across the board.

Now that we know the network load could be impacting the rest of my environment when the two servers are split, we simply set an Affinity Rule on DRS. This forces the two servers to always stay on the same ESX host. Searches and document retrieval speeds from Sharepoint decreased almost immediately. Needless to say convincing the powers that be that instead of hours upon hours of troubleshooting a simple add-on product is sometimes worth its weight in gold. The next solutions might have been to move Sharepoint back to a physical environment, meaning the cost for new hardware that would have been a minimum of twice the cost of a simple monitoring and correlation product.

VMware goes social and after the big boys

Google and Microsoft have been going toe to toe with each other for the last few years. Google gets their app platform ready for the enterprise with email, calendar, word processors, spreadsheets and presentations all delivered over the web. Then Microsoft follows suit and breaks from their installable application formula and releases hosted Exchange and Office365. Both companies have been looking at ways to make the current way we do business just a little bit easier. The piece that was missing was innovation. Microsoft and Google both have been great innovators throughout the past few years but one company is slowly making a push to dethrone them both. VMware has been steadily buying up what appeared to be niche players in the marketplace. Each of these players has been innovative in their field and VMware is looking to integrate all of these platforms into the new way we can do business. Each of the applications below have been bought by VMware check them out and then I will show how this vision could very well mean a change in the way we do business. – Thinstall – a leader in application virtualization that allowed a user to separate the application from the operating system just like vSphere does to the operating system from the hardware – Zimbra – Originally an open source platform that make it’s livelihood being the backend for Yahoo email before being brought into the enterprise space for collaboration tools – myONElogin – renamed as the first part of Project Horizon, this allows SAML authentication to SaaS applications and will soon do the same for thinapped applications – SlideRocket – presentations need to be portable since we hardly ever give them from the system they are created on, yet PowerPoint presentations can also be the largest files we have, limiting the portability of those files. SlideRocket brings presentations to the web, this one only lacks soe of the innovation of prezi.com that truly reinvents what a presentation could look like – SocialCast – Facebook has revolutionized the way we communicate and the social aspect is more important than ever for efficient office communication. SocialCast does exactly that by bringing our once distant communication circle back to a close group. Each of these products alone looks to be very cool, however the combination would allow you to potentially share a presentation with a colleague in China that you met through SocialCast that was built with SlideRocket while at the same time you both login into a SalesForce account using the same authentication you used to access your computer through Horizon, and then open a published application for your ERP system that had a Thinapped client. No longer are you tied to geographic boundaries and software regulations, no longer are you limited by Microsoft or Apple Based software, and no longer are you limited in using the software that is presented on the web by innovators in your industry. The use of SAML with Horizon means that you can collaborate cross platform, cross country and without the forced tax of a installed application. Rumor has it that VMware still has a few more big acquisitions to announce, that combined with the release of vSphere 5 and an updated VDI offering could spell trouble for the likes of Microsoft, while not immediate, at least it means it is time to start paying attention to someone other than Google. The same goes for Google, with the release of the Cromebook they took the ChromeOS portable, but what happens when I need the security of my LAN?

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