Do You vRealize What’s in a vName?

VMworld is upon us, a joyous time of year of new product announcements, new features, networking with friends, indulging in delicious cuisine and of course… product re-branding.

The biggest area of re-branding, VMware’s Cloud Management Product portfolio, previously known as the VMware vCloud Operations Management Suite. The new name for this product family, vRealize.

The rationale behind this change is to align better with the capabilities of their CMP. Realize means to bring into existence; accomplish; be fully aware. To “realize assets” is to monetize – tells a business story. It will convey awareness and accomplishment.

So, how does this look on paper?

From To
vCenter Operations Management Suite

  • vCenter Operations Manager
  • vCenter Configuration Manager
  • vCenter Infrastructure Navigator
  • vCenter Hyperic

vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon

vRealize Operations

  • vRealize Operations Manager
  • vRealize Configuration Manager
  • vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
  • vRealize Hyperic

vRealize Operations for Horizon

vCenter Operations Management Pack for XYZ vRealize Operations Management Pack for XYZ
vCloud Automation Center

  • vCloud Application Services

vCloud Automation Center Desktop
vCloud Automation Center Development Kit

vRealize Automation

  • vRealize Application Services

vRealize Automation Desktop
vRealize Automation Development Kit

IT Business Management Suite vRealize Business
IT Benchmarking
IT Benchmarking Starter Kit
vRealize IT Benchmarking
vRealize IT Benchmarking Starter Kit
vCenter Log Insight
vCenter Log Insight Content Pack for XYZ
vRealize Log Insight
vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for XYZ
vCenter Orchestrator vRealize Orchestrator


The other big name change announcement which I covered last Thursday was that VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will now be known as VMware vCloud Air. The term Air is a brand suffix which could attach to a family (vCloud) or existing product to denote “as-a-Service” delivery.

Another term which would be a brand suffix is OnDemand, this attaches to cloud services that are metered and delivered as a ‘pay-as-you-go’ consumption model. Examples of products that could include this would be VMware vCloud Air OnDemand and VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand.

Other vCloud Air service names would include vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud, vCloud Air Dedicated Cloud and vCloud Air Disaster Recover. Finally, VMware’s strategic network of service provider partners will also adopt the new brand of VMware vCloud Air Network.

A couple other cool names coming out of VMworld are the official product names for Project Marvin, which has been the hype of the summer. We now official see these as VMware EVO: Rail and VMware EVO: Rack.

OpenStack fans, take a look at VMware Integrated OpenStack, which I believe (as of this writing) would be how VMware integrates into OpenStack via Neutron (NSX) and Nova (ESXi) – as well as through vRealize Automation.

VMware View went through a naming change a while back when the entire portfolio suite became VMware Horizon. But look for brand suffixes to come to Horizon like VMware Horizon Air Desktop and VMware Horizon Air Apps which would both be Horizon offerings made available through vCloud Air. We may even see others like vRealize Operations Air and vRealize Automation Air coming as well.

All in all, I like the change to vCloud Air (from vCHS) as in my opinion offers much more opportunity than just being a Hybrid Service.  vRealize will take some time getting accustomed with, but the reasoning behind it makes sense.

Created on August 25, 2014 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Cloud, Monitoring, View, VMware, VMworld, vSphere.

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Extending an EagerZeroedThick Disk

Today a coworker asked me about extending an EagerZeroedThick disk, as they had a customer inform them that extending an EagerZeroedThick disk actually turned it LazyZeroed. Although this is somewhat true, it is not 100% accurate. What actually happens is the extension becomes LazyZeroed but the original portion of the disk still remains EagerZeroedThick. This is actually by design, if you want to extend the VMDK and ensure that it is all EagerZeroedThick you must specify a flag in the vmkfstools command to do so.

Extending an EagerZeroedThick VMDK

# vmkfstools -X 10G -d eagerzeroedthick /path/to/vmdkfile.vmdk

In the above syntax example it is critical that you specify eagerzeroedthick as the disk format.

Created on September 4, 2013 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Storage, vSphere.

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VMware Support Alert – Implementing CA signed SSL certificates with vSphere 5.1

In our effort to provide our viewers with up to the minute information on VMware related news and topics, we’re posting the following Special Alert direct from VMware Support Insider.

SSLOne of the most common things we see in VMware Global Support Services (GSS), regardless of product, version, or customer, is the need to implement custom certificates. This could be for a number of reasons:

  • Security
  • To get rid of the warning when you first login
  • You like a challenge

Whatever the case may be, in vSphere 5.1, the process has changed due to the addition of vCenter Single Sign On (SSO), which adds complexity to the procedure. This is because the majority of services register themselves to SSO. As a result of changing the certificates, the services also need to be re-registered.

As a result of repeated question from customers coming in on this, we gathered our Professional Services, Engineering, and Technical Writers to develop the following Resolution Path to guide you through the various steps through to completion (you can read more about resolution path articles here).

Resolution Path Article:

Child articles in the resolution path are:

Note: It is recommended that you follow the articles in the sequence provided as many steps are dependent on each other.

We have also created an article with the steps for vCenter Server Appliance 5.1:

Finally, we have updated these vSphere 5.0 articles thanks to feedback received on them:

Note: The vCenter Service fails to start up issue is now resolved in vCenter Server 5.1.0a. For more details, refer to KB article:
vCenter Server Services hang on startup after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 (2035623).

We hope that this helps everyone through their SSL implementation. If you find any errors or anomalies, there’s a feedback form at the bottom of every article. We will be keeping an active eye on your feedback!

Created on October 31, 2012 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Alert, Security, vCenter, vSphere.

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Chad’s Choice Webcast on June 28th, 2012 – Don’t Miss!

To all of my EMC customers, fanboi’s or anyone just interested in hearing about some great new technology… Be sure to listen in to Chad’s Choice this Thursday at 8:00am PT.  This time he has some important information for those VNX and CLARiiON customers out there on VAAI and Multipathing, as well as a next generation preview.

So come hang out with the VirtualGeek and learn about some really cool stuff!

Register now by visiting

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 8:00 am PT / 11:00 am ET / 15:00 GMT

Join us to learn important EMC VNX and CLARiiON updates, including:

  • What’s the scoop on VAAI on vSphere 5 and CLARiiON – Why isn’t it shown as supported with vSphere 5, but is with vSphere 4.x?
  • Multipathing behaviors – How does it work today, and how will it work tomorrow?
  • Upcoming VNX software release has material changes – What are they and how do they work?

Created on June 26, 2012 by Rick Scherer

Posted under EMC, Storage, VMware, vSphere.

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vSphere 5 Video Series – VMware vSphere 5.0 Auto Deploy

Happy Holidays! This video is a continuation of my vSphere 5 Video Series, in this video I cover how to properly leverage VMware vSphere 5.0 Auto Deploy to automatically deploy ESXi hosts in your infrastructure. Auto Deploy is a new feature found in the Enterprise Plus edition of vSphere 5, it allows administrators to deploy stateless images that are deployed via gPXE directly to the RAM of the host. That’s right, ESXi hosts do not require a local HDD/USB/SDCARD to operate as they can simply download their image and configuration (via Host Profile) into RAM and automatically be placed in their correct vCenter Server datacenter/cluster or folder.

As shown above, PowerCLI is used to create an ESXi Image Profile, this image includes the base ESXi installation as well as any additional drivers, third-party integration or plug-in that you would like to include. That Image Profile is then attached to a Deployment Rule that is also created within PowerCLI. The deployment rule dictates what Image Profile is to be used, what host(s) are tied to the deployment rule and some other configuration specifics such as, which Host Profile to attach after the host has been added to vCenter as well as which vCenter DC/Cluster/Folder to add the host to. For example, you can leverage the same Image Profile but have different Deployment Rules based on DRS Cluster.

For those of you that would like to know a little more about how Auto Deploy functions under the covers, there are basically five core components when it comes to Auto Deploy. There is the actual Auto Deploy server (1) which is essentially a web server that pushes an ESXi Image Profile to the server, this is driven by the Rules Engine (2) which is accessed/configured via PowerCLI along with the Image Builder. There is a requirement for a TFTP Server (3) which will store the gPXE bootloader (4) and push it to potential ESXi hosts that are led to it by a DHCP Server (5). Once gPXE is booted it is notified to grab the ESXi Image and Configuration from the Auto Deploy server.

In the video I cover everything that is needed for Auto Deploy to work, including to installation of vCenter Server and the associated Auto Deploy service as well as PowerCLI and creation of the Image Profile and Deployment Rule. By the end of the video you should have a firm understanding of how to leverage Auto Deploy in your environment to its full potential. I even include steps on how to slipstream third party vendor packages into your ESXi Image Profile, including; EMC PowerPath/VE, the VMware vCloud Director agent and the VMware Fault Domain Manager agent (vmware-fdm) which is required for VMware HA to properly function.

For reference, the EMC PowerPath/VE 5.7 vibs can be downloaded from EMC Powerlink, the VMware vCloud Director agent can be copied from your vCloud Director server from the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/agent folder and the vmware-fdm agent can be grabbed directly from the vCenter Server by adding http://<vcenter-server>/vSphere-HA-depot as an esxsoftwaredepot in PowerCLI.

Read More…

Created on December 27, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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vSphere 5 Video Series – Install vCenter 5.0 in Around 5 Minutes

In this video we’re going to cover the installation, configuration and usage of the VMware vCenter 5.0 Server Appliance (vCSA). The vCSA is a brand new production ready Virtual Appliance that allows you to stand up vCenter Server in literally a few minutes. Once you watch the video you’re going to be like, “Hey Rick, that was more than 5 minutes!”.  For that I do apologize, but when you do watch it you will realize we’re doing a lot more than just installing vCenter 5.0.

First a little disclaimer. vCSA is not for everyone, but in my opinion it should definitely be looked at and should be leveraged wherever it can. vCSA is obviously the direction of where the vCenter Server product is going and hopefully relatively soon it should be at par with its Windows based big brother.

So, why isn’t it for everyone?

As of right now it does not have support for integration with VMware Update Manager (VUM), VMware vCenter Linked-Mode, VMware vSphere Storage Appliance (vSA), VMware vCenter Heartbeat and VMware View Composer. Another concern you may have is that it’s embedded database option (based on DB2) is limited to 5 Hosts and 50 Virtual Machines. Think of the embedded option to be similar to the SQL Express Option in vCenter Server for Windows, great for POC, Demo, Test and extremely small SMB situations, but not practical for production. The final nail in the coffin might be that it only supports Oracle to offer external DB functionality.

Some of those constraints are not going to be avoidable, for example if you require more than 1,000 hosts or 10,000 powered on virtual machines you’re obviously going to need Linked-Mode and the Windows based vCenter Server. If you’re looking to deploy a VDI solution based on VMware View, you’re going to need the Windows based vCenter Server as well. But, if you’re like the majority of VMware vSphere customers, have less than 1,000 hosts, are confident in VMware DRS and HA to protect your vCSA and are OK with the fact that you need Oracle for the external database (which you can virtualize as well)….the vCSA might be for you!

One last thing I wanted to comment on was VMware Update Manager, in my opinion the lack of VUM support for the vCSA might not be that big of an issue, and here’s why; With the introduction of vSphere 5.0, VMware also introduced a few new features, Auto Deploy and Image Builder. These features tied together with Host Profiles truly enable the concept of stateless ESXi. My thought is, if you need to update your ESXi host, simply update the Auto Deploy rule and reboot the machine. Upon the next boot it will automatically be updated and configured properly.  Obviously VUM does a lot more than just ESXi patching, but again, for the majority of vSphere customers they’d be just fine with Auto Deploy.

So have a view of this video to see just how easy it is. I have sped up some portions of the video, specifically the loading of the vSphere Client as well as the deployment of the vCSA OVF template. Also, I suggest watching the video in full-screen mode by clicking the icon on the bottom right of the video. If for whatever reason the video isn’t displaying, you can also use the following link to view;

Created on October 13, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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vSphere 5 Video Series – Installing ESXi 5.0 in Under 5 Minutes

This is going to be the first of many in my vSphere 5 Video Series where I’ll cover the basics to getting vSphere 5.0 installed, configured and operating. In this video see just how easy it is to do a bare-metal installation of ESXi 5.0. Out of all of the install and upgrade options available for vSphere 5.0 this by far is the easiest and cleanest method in my opinion.

Upgrading can be extremely easy as well, by leveraging VMware Update Manager (VUM) it allows existing configurations to be migrated and will even allow you to migrate from ESX to ESXi. One thing to keep in mind when doing a migration with VUM from vSphere 4 to vSphere 5 is that if you are using the ESX edition of vSphere 4 and have custom scripts, agents or modules loaded into ESX those will not be migrated into ESXi 5.0.

Whatever your situation might be, my recommendation has always been to do a fresh installation of ESXi then leverage Host Profiles to push the configuration to the host. Even if you’re not an Enterprise Plus customer you can still get all of the benefits, like Host Profiles, free for 60 days by simply not licensing the product. Remember, you must license before the 60 days are up to avoid any service disruption.

Another great feature of vSphere 5 is Image Builder and Auto Deploy, I’ll cover Auto Deploy into more detail later, but with Image Builder you can build custom ESXi builds that include third party drivers and other custom data. Don’t worry though, you can still do custom installations with kickstart if you’d like, but after you see Auto Deploy you’re not going to want to.

So have a view of this video to see just how easy it is. I have sped up some portions of the video, specifically the blade server booting, the hardware discovery process and actually installation portion. Also, I suggest watching the video in full-screen mode by clicking the icon on the bottom right of the video. If for whatever reason the video isn’t displaying, you can use the following link to view;

Created on October 10, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

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vmware 2011 Mega Launch

It is 9am Pacific Time on Tuesday, July 12th 2011 and I sure hope you’re tuned into the vmware Mega Launch so greatly titled “Raising the Bar, Part V”. If you’re not watching the live broadcast, stop right here and tune into it by clicking this link, then come back and read this post.

Spoiler alert… reading beyond this point talks about amazing updates and new features from vmware!

Read More…

Created on July 12, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Cloud, Security, SRM, Storage, vCenter, VMware HA, vSphere.

This blog has 4,979 views and 2 responses.

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VAAI Train Running Late Today

Another one of those posts today that most likely will not affect most, however there is a known issue with the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) mixed together with EMC VMAX Storage Arrays. My best bud, Chad Sakac, wrote about this last week (over here).

Long story short, if you’re running a VMAX with Enginuity 5875.135.91 or 5875.139.93 along with ESX(i) 4.1 hosts you may see some slowness when trying to do things like Storage vMotion, Deploy from Template, etc…basically things that leverage HardwareAcceleratedMove.

So how do you fix it?  First thing is you need to disable HardwareAcceleratedMove, instructions on how to do this can be found in VMware KB1033665. Next thing is to contact EMC Support and have the ePack that engineering released for this problem installed on your VMAX. Then finally, contact VMware support for their hotfix…rumor has it that a VMware support bundle should be released sometime soon. After you have the patch for VMAX as well as vSphere you should have no problem turning HardwareAcceleratedMove back on.

So to wrap this up….VAAI issue when mixed with VMAX, but it doesn’t affect all VAAI functionality, just XCOPY (HardwareAcceleratedMove) and even then it doesn’t affect every single operation. Get the patches, get them installed and get back on schedule!

Created on June 14, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Storage, vSphere.

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vSphere Doesn’t Like OVF with SCSI ID of X:15

In a very random situation that most customers probably wouldn’t even encounter, we’ve came across a bug while importing an OVF that has a VMDK with a SCSI Address of X:15 (ie: SCSI 0:15, SCSI 1:15, etc). It appears that vSphere doesn’t take kindly to virtual machines being imported that have virtual disks addressed as X:15 and will issue the fatal error “Unsupported value ’15’ for element ‘addressOnParent’. I’ve tested this with different SCSI Adapters thinking it was perhaps tied to LSI Parallel, this was not the case as it failed with all other adapters.

This issue actually came up initially while attempting to import an OVF into a Catalog within vCloud Director. A similar error appears stating “The following error was encountered while processing the OVF file you provided: Unsupported value ’15’ for element ‘addressOnParent’.”

You can see the offending line within the actual OVF file shown below, this is tied back to the actual VMDK and what SCSI Bus it resides on, as shown in the picture below the OVF file.

I’ve raised the question to VMware Engineering and will hopefully be able to post their response to this issue shortly.

Created on June 14, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Cloud, vSphere.

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