I am often building out machines that I want to change configurations on but would like a quick way to revert them back to an original state quickly. I could do this with snapshots but often I dont want to mess with the snapshots getting large or forgetting I took a snapshot, this is where the “Independent disk” comes into play. Cormac Hogan did a nice job summarizing an Independent disk on his blog but I found a slightly different example, his really focuses on the backup scenario. Mine is in a lab and I dont care about the backups. I want a lab system than no matter what a user does I can simply put it back to the way I set it up with little to no effort, possibly even for multiple machines with a script. I want the user to be able to make changes however and even reboot the system from within the OS or using VMtools integrated reboots. Heres how I did it…
Build the VM with all the virtual disk you would like and install an OS. Keep the defaults as you add disks. If you add additional disks before powering on, make sure they are at the default as shown below.
Make any configuration changes you need within the core OS. If you want things on secondary disks to be static when reset, make those changes now also.
Power Off the VM and Edit Settings. You will now go to all the virtual disks and change the disks to “Independent – Nonpersistent”
Power on the VM.
You can not make any changes you want to the VM, even allowing users to make changes involving multiple disks. To reset the VM to the clean state that you built, simply go to vCenter and power cycle the VM.
Note: If youhave any snapshots you can not change the disk style. You will need to delete all snapshots and consolidate if you want to set this.
VMware has released a mobile client for their newly released MyVMware page. For years one fo the biggest issues with VMware has been the confusing licensing and user management. With the release of MyVMware, many of these issues have been resolved. One thing I will enjoy is the ability to grab a license key directly from my phone when I need it. After working for a reseller and now a vendor, both big VMware partners, I often need to test software that it can be a pain to go grab a license key from the portal only to not be able to use cut and paste and have to type the key in. Now I can open my app, grab a key and still type it in, but it is much quicker. I took a few screenshots of the app and listed them below so you can get an idea what the app can do.
1. Start by logging in:
2. You then have to approve the EULA (Surprise!)
3. You will then see your profile
4. You now have to pick your folders (whatever ones you have created on the MyVMware website)
5. Once you go into the folder you can see the products under it.
6. The select the product and click next (you have to do that each time, that is kind of annoying) and you will see the license keys
Click on the power icon on the top to logout, or the gear to set your refresh and timeout time
On July 12, 2011, VMware CEO Paul Maritz and CTO Steve Herrod will be presenting on the next generation of cloud infrastructure. The webcast titled “Raising the Bar, Part V” has made many believe this will just be a fancy way to introduce the next generation of hypervisor with the release of vSphere 5, however if rumors hold true there could be quite a few more releases also with three breakout deep dives you can only guess.
9:00-9:45 Paul and Steve present – live online streaming
10:00-12:00 three tracks of deep dive breakout sessions
10:00-12:00 live Q&A with VMware cloud and virtualization experts
The event is free — if you sign up today you’ll get an email reminder. If you can’t make the whole event make sure you follow @ConvergenceTech or @mletschin on twitter since we will be following along. A few of my fellow vExperts will also be onsite for the event and will be taking questions during and after the event with the #vmwarecloud hashtag.
On Wednesday, we’ll be recapping the event on ourVMware Community Roundtable — join some of the VMware staff, myself, many of the vExperts and others for an hour of live Q&A.
If you want to talk about it live you can also join a group of virtualization professionals for a networking gathering at the DC vBeers event.
In an effort to make these processes as easy as possible heres the next in my series of flowcharts for supporting VMware. Keep in mind that this is simply for installation. Make sure you follow best practices and do a full application assessment before assuming your DR plan is complete. Attempting to deploy a DR plan for Exchange, SQL or any other multi-tier application without looking at all the interconnectivity will result in an unsuccessful DR failover. With that being said… heres the flowchart.
I have worked for multiple resellers throughout the years and one of the things that has been constant throughout has been that customers like to bring in an subject matter expert to do an initial deployment, but then after the initial deployment they let the environment remain status quo. Budgets tend to shrink with each passing year but the one area that should not get overlooked in maintenance of your infrastructure. As companies consolidate their servers and desktops onto a small subset of servers, the old system admin rule of “Always check from layer one up” carries even more weight, the physical layer quickly gives way to the hypervisor.
The challenge comes into play when you need to determine if you are truly following the best practices that have been put out by VMware. The do more with less mentality often means that IT staff are wearing multiple hats. This is the time to bring back in the VMware Solutions Provider or consultant and ask for one of the more underutilized tools in the consultants belt, the VMware HealthAnalyzer.
HealthAnalyzer is an automated process that collects inventory, configuration, and utilization data from the vSphere environment through the vSphere SDK. Once the data is collected the tool allows the solutions provider to produce a report grading the environment through a stop light mentality and display the findings and data in an easy to view format, including ways to re-mediate any pieces that are missing when compared to VMware Best Practices. The amount of time that the report takes is completely dependent on the size of your environment but in most SMB environments the data collection can be done in a single day without installing anything on the corporate environment. Once the data is collected, the consultant can compile and analyze the data to return the report card both in a written report as well as a summary presentation.
The world is geared towards being able to work remotely, yet VMware has been less than speedy finding a way to manage the ESX environment from a mobile device. Sure they released the vCenter Mobile Access (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UxDnV2qaeM&fmt=18), which is great if you are not using a device that has any graphic power. However, why not use something that is easy but still gives an administrator the ability to see their environment and maybe even work with it some?
VManage does exactly that. For $2.99 an administrator can use their iPhone or iPad to connect via WiFi or VPN to their environment and see alarms, stats, and even VMotion machines. It will even inherit the permissions you set within vCenter so the admins will only see what the primary datacenter admin has given them rights to.
Overall VManage is a really nice product for quick access and knowledge of your VMware environment. Take a look at a short demo that illustrates the ease of using VManage.