This week I was looking at getting NTP (Network Time Protocol) set up on my servers here – I’d had problems in the past with the TCP Port not being open on my firewall. This solved I had NTP up and running in no time. One thing that I always found curious was why Universal Co-ordinated Time – is called UTC instead of UCT. Out of curiosity I checked this out online – I thought the history of this standard was an interesting and ironic tale of the “holy grail” of “standardisation” in our industryâ€¦. He’s how one website had itâ€¦.
“In 1970 the Coordinated Universal Time system was devised by an international dvisory group of technical experts within the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU felt it was best to designate a single abbreviation for use in all languages in order to minimize confusion. Since unanimous agreement could not be achieved on using either the English word order, CUT, or the French word order, TUC, the acronym UTC was chosen as a compromise.”
Well, there we have it – how on earth are we to get agreed standards – when standards bodies – can’t even agree on the names for standards – never mind what standards area!
This week I almost bought a second-hand SAN for my two ESX servers I run here – nothing fancy just a MSA1000. Unfortunately, the system was purchased a while back when HP/Compaq were using Emulex Cards. It took a while for the seller to get back to me with their version numbers. With all this “re-badging” of SAN kit that goes – its very difficult to work out what type card you actually have what with a combination of Emulex code numbers and HP/Compaq code numbers. It turned out that they were HP versions of Emulex cards – and VMware does NOT support them. So its back to the drawing board I guessâ€¦ From what I gather from the support forum Emulex cards do not have a great reputation in the VMware communityâ€¦
Anyway, in my research I stumbled across a useful document – that goes beyond the normal what’s supported/not supported – it also covers the intricacies of SAN Booting. Previous versions of ESX did not support booting from the SAN – indeed it was a install recommenedation to disconnect from the SAN if you intention is to install to local drives. That recommendation still stands – but SAN booting is now an option in 2.5. I think its geared up for people who have gone down the Server Blade route and wish not have anything installed locally to the Blade for ease of recovery/cloning. Anyway, you might find this document interesting:
Meanwhile, I am very close to finishing my guide on VMware’s P2V. I’m up in Glasgow, Scotland teaching Citrix this week – so that is on hold. When I come back I am going to add a quick over of LeoStream’s P>V. As of yet I have no success in obtaining an evaluation version of PlateSpin.
When I finished the P2V guide I will post it to my website – and let you all know. That will more or less end the development on VMware ESX/vCenter/P2V – from then on I will be refining/tidying/updating my documents.
I hope shortly to have a second co-teach arrange and finally get signed off as a certified instructor for VMware. I didn’t think it would take this long – but politics has played a major part in some of the delays
I’ve been working recently on updating my skills and knowledge to teach the new VMware Infrastructure Course – which uses ESX 2.5 and Virtual Center 1.2â€¦
As part of that process I have made some quick notes on the core differences between ESX2.1 and ESX2.5 – the course changes from the old Admin I and II courses – to the newer 4-day course.
For those of you concerned about certification – the official policy so far is:
From approximately March 2005, vCenter skills and knowledge will be required to be a VCP. Those of you like me who did the older ESX Admin I&II do not (yet!) need to take an update exam. This is what VMware say
“When the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) exam begins to include VirtualCenter, will current VCPs be required to re-certify?
No, current certifications will remain valid for now. However, in the VCP legal agreement, VMware has reserved the right to change the requirements to become and to remain certified. It is important to VMware and to its customers that the VMware Certified Professional designation remain a reliable indicator of familiarity and competence with VMware solutions.
VCPs are encouraged to keep their VMware knowledge up to date. They are also encouraged to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org their email addresses or mailing addresses change, so that they can be informed of changes to the VMware’s certification program.”
Well, this is actually a bit of an experiment or joke if you like. I didn’t actually make the keynote. I was out drinking with a buddy from England last night who haven’t seen in 2 years. We had some great mexican food and got to shoot some pool. Almost won my game, but fluffed the finish on the black.
Right now I’m in bed in the hotel, I ignored the alarm I set for 7.00 to get me to the keynote at 8am. Never understand the conferrence circuit. They get you drunk on the evening, and then expect you up at 8am. Personally, I think conferrences should run more like 11am-2am (the next day). Giving attendees plenty of time to process their alcohol intake.
But anyway, I’m not at the keynote – but I’m going to write a blogpost based on the twits of my fellow bloggers. Hey, maybe I will do this next year – after all you don’t have to write anything original if your a blogger just canibalise everyone else material. Right?
So anyway, Mr Herrod has stepped up to the stage. And right of the bat present the standard vMware slide – you know the one with vSphere4 in the middle and individual piece plug in like parts of the jigsaw. To the sound of “I like to move it, move it”. He announced that VMware will be extending the functionality of DRS to include the SVMotion of VMs from one datastore to another to improve performance. As with VMotion/DRS subtle calculations based on the IOPS of each VM will be used to control if the VM gets moved – in a process dubbed “datacenter defrag” (I heard that buzz word yesterday at the private press (non)event.
Next Herrod demo’d config control. It has a web-based admin tool that seemed to irratate some of my fellow twits/bloggers. The argument being that this marks a deviation from the vCenter plug-in strategy. Personally, I’m in two mines. Web-interfaces means I don’t have to worry about install/upgrading client front-ends – and conflicts in versionings (Vi Client anyone?) but the problem with WI is they tend to be a bit clunky, lack in feedback – and fininky about what browser your using (does anyone like me have 3 different web-browers installed in case one doesn’t work well with a web-site?)
It was this time I lost site of the VMworldPress Wifi in my hotel room. So I had to stop. I will continue when I get reconnected.
Anyway, then I got back on by then. The keynote had finished, but fortunately tweet deck still captured all the tweets. It sounds like Herod repeated the stuff at the Paul M session yesterday – Iaas, Saas, Paas. The alphabet soup prompted some commentors to demand BaaS – (Breakfast as a Service!). Clearly this early morning session had denied them the sustance they needed. Meanwhile I had my breakfast in bed. Yum. Also Herod demo’d the long distance VMotion that was shown at Paul M session. Somewhere in the break outs is a “Long Distance VMotion” session. It’s TA3105 on Wednesday (today) at 4.30pm. My pal Chad Sakac is there, (un)fortunately I will be co-presenting – so I will have to get a re-wind on the session when these videos appear on the VMworld 2009 website…
Some more information has come out how de-duplication has been impleamented in the new vDR appliance:
Yeah, at last we can use the word publically!