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The Return of Virtualization Short Takes

My irregular “Virtualization Short Takes” series was put on hold some time ago after I started work on Mastering VMware vSphere 4. Now that work on the book is starting to wind down just a bit, I thought it would be a good time to try to resurrect the series. So, without further delay, welcome to the return of Virtualization Short Takes!

  • Trigged by a series of blog posts by Arnim van Lieshout on VMware ESX memory management (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), Scott Herold decided to join the fray with this blog post. Both Scott’s post and Arnim’s posts are good reading for anyone interested in getting a better idea of what’s happening “under the covers,” so to speak, when it comes to memory management.

  • Perhaps prompted by my post on upgrading virtual machines in vSphere, a lot of information has come to light regarding the PVSCSI driver. Some are advocating changes to best practices to incorporate the PVSCSI driver, but others seem to be questioning the need to move away from a single drive model (a necessary move since PVSCSI isn’t supported for boot drives). Personally, I just want VMware to support the PVSCSI driver on boot drives.

  • Eric Sloof confirms for us that name resolution is still the Achilles’ Heel of VMware High Availability in VMware vSphere.

  • I don’t remember where I picked up this VMware KB article, but it sure would be handy if VMware could provide more information about the issue, such as what CPUs might be affected. Otherwise, you’re kind of shooting in the dark, aren’t you?

  • Upgraded to VMware vSphere, and now having issues with VMotion? Thanks to VMwarewolf, this pair of VMware KB articles (here and here) might help resolve the issue.

  • Chad Sakac of EMC and co-conspirator for the storage portion of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 (pre-order here), has been putting out some very good posts:

  • Leo Raikhman pointed me to this article about IRQ sharing between the Service Console and the VMkernel. I think I’ve mentioned this issue here before…but after over a 1,000 posts, it’s hard to keep track of everything. In any case, there’s also a VMware KB article on the matter.

  • And speaking of Leo, he’s been putting up some great information too: notes on migrating Ubuntu servers (in turn derived from these notes by Cody at ProfessionalVMware), a rant on CDP support in ESX, and a note about the EMC Storage Viewer plugin. Good work, Leo!

  • If you are interested in a run-down of the storage-related changes in VMware vSphere, check out this post from Stephen Foskett.

  • Rick Vanover notes a few changes to the VMFS version numbers here. The key takeaway here is that no action is required, but you may want to plan some additional tasks after your vSphere upgrade to optimize the environment.

  • In this article, Chris Mellor muses on how far VMware may go in assimilating features provided by their technology partners. This is a common question; many people see the addition of thin provisioning within vSphere as a direct affront to array vendors like NetApp, 3PAR, and others who also provide thin provisioning features in the array themselves. I’m not so convinced that this feature is as competitive as it is complementary. Perhaps I’ll write a post about that in the near future…oh wait, never mind, Chad already did!

  • File this one away in the “VMware-becoming-more-like-Microsoft” folder.

  • My occasional mentions of Crossbow prompted a full-on explanation of the Open Networking functionality of OpenSolaris by a Sun engineer. It kind of looks like SR-IOV and VMDirectPath to me…sort of. Don’t you think?

  • If you are thinking about how to incorporate HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 into your VMware environment, Frank Denneman has some thoughts to share. I’ve been told by HP that I have some equipment en route with which I can do some additional testing (the results of which will be published here, of course!), but I haven’t seen it yet.

OK, I guess that should just about do it. Thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts, interesting links, or (pertinent) rants in the comments.

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