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; http://youtu.be/o2f1b1vYSis


Created on October 13, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

This blog has 2,541 views and one response.

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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; http://youtu.be/aN9mc9YNiC0


Created on October 10, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

This blog has 2,608 views and no responses.

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Run it with VMware – Video Contest

Hey everyone, my marketing contact at VMware informed me of a video contest that they are putting on for VMworld 2009. The grand prize is $5000 cash and four other lucky people will win $1000 cash. Not to mention the fact that the 5 will be played at VMworld and the crowd favorite will win an additional $1000!  So you better enter now, entries must be received by July 20th, 2009. Even if you do not win, you do get a cool Run it with VMware T-Shirt. The only down-side I see is that you must be a US Resident.

Contest Name: Run It with VMware
Contest Website: www.vmware.com/go/runitwithvmware
Submit Videos by: 7/20/09
Eligibility: Open to ALL U.S. Residents (Don’t have to be a VMware customers)
Prizes: One $5000 Grand Prize, Four $1000 Prizes, One $1000 VMworld Favorite Prize, free t-shirt for all qualifying participants.
Topics: VMware is the best platform for business-critical applications.

Some key things:

1)      You don’t have to be a VMware customer to participate.

2)      You don’t have to run VMware vSphere in the datacenter to talk about it.

3)      You don’t have to represent the company you work for and talk about your experiences there if you’re not allowed to or don’t want to. There are many other ways to creatively show why VMware is the best platform for business-critical applications.


Created on June 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under VMworld.

This blog has 1,976 views and no responses.

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Upgrade VMware vCenter 2.5 to 4.0 Video

During an upgrade of vCenter 2.5 to 4.0 at a customer site I decided it would be a good idea to record the steps required.  In this video you will see how to upgrade VMware vCenter 2.5 to vCenter 4.0 that uses a Microsoft SQL database.  The steps are trivial and I have done more than a handful of these on customers production servers.

The most important thing is to follow the best practices, give your ODBC user db_owner privledge on the MSDB and vCenter database prior to any install or upgrade – then remove the privledge after the installer is complete.  Also make sure that IIS or any other webserver is disabled.


Created on June 1, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

This blog has 14,268 views and 12 responses.

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VMware vSphere Launch POV Video

I have finally retreived the video from my Sony HD Cam and converted it for view online!  Boy this was a long process…the video is 80 minutes long and features my POV from the launch event on April 21st.  I’m sorry that the video just cuts out, after 80 minutes of HD recording my camera just died. Be sure to check out my other candid videos and photos.   Enjoy the show!


Created on May 1, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

This blog has 2,843 views and one response.

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VMware vSphere 4 Launch Event – On-Site Coverage – Second Video Live!

The time has come, the official VMware vSphere 4 Launch Event. Special Thanks to TrainSignal and NetApp for making this possible. For those of you who have not registered for the chance to Win a FREE TrainSignal VMware ESX Training Kit, please go do so now! Registration to Win will end around 2:00pm PST and the winners announced on this page around 6:00pm PST.

This will be the page where I post all of the up to minute information and videos as I have them available. I will also include my Twitter feed below for easy access.

Video Broadcasting

I have a lot of footage I need to go through, roughly 2 hours spread across two cameras….not mentioning still photos which have been uploaded to TwitPic.  More videos and photos will be posted here as soon as I edit and publish.

Notes

The event has been great, the information however wasn’t as exciting as I would have hoped. John Troyer said it best in a Twitter though, this launch was to target a broad range of audience, typically those who have no clue what vSphere is….for those of us internal to the product it wasn’t going to be anything special. However, VMware CEO Steve Herrod showcased an awesome “Olympic Torch” style video showing the Golden Image of vSphere 4.0 – which is complete! This means that vSphere will be released to market (RTM) sometime this quarter!

I posted a ton of pictures on TwitPic, and some comments on Twitter, check those out below. A lot of big names in the industry were present; Michael Dell, Joe Tucci, Steve Herrod, John Chambers and a few others were all up on stage at one point in time with Paul Maritz. All in all, the launch has been a great marketing tool for VMware to get the annoucement of vSphere and the Cloud vision — and you know what, I’ve always been skeptical about “The Cloud” but with vSphere, it really makes sense. Great Job VMware.

I will also work on getting all of my TwitPics into a Flickr group soon too.

Twitter Updates

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Created on April 21, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

This blog has 5,055 views and 9 responses.

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The Things You’ll Find When You Google Yourself

My boss asked me today to provide a list of things I’ve done the past year for my upcoming performance review.  I typed up all I knew off the top of my head, but I decided to do a Google Search on my name to see what it comes back with.  To my surprise I found a interview that Gartner did of me a few months back in regards to virtualization and storage. What’s funny is that it feels like I did this years ago and that everything I mention is such old and outdated technology! 

Check it out for yourself, hope you enjoy it!  Here is the abstract and link to view it;

http://www.itbriefingcenter.com/programs/gartner_644_netapp.html

DataCenter Virtualization: Why You Need It and Best Practices for Success

Server virtualization has fast become the way to cut costs. If you are interested in maximizing the benefits of virtualized servers and extending those benefits toward storage, then check out this new program now.

In this program you will learn how server virtualization:

  • Can save you money
  • Help with server sprawl
  • Free up data center space
  • Support your x86 server architecture
  • Enhance disaster recovery
  • Provide dynamic flexibility
  • Allow for rapid deployment

You will hear experts from featured analyst firm, Gartner, Inc., and industry experts from NetApp, and San Diego Data Processing Corporation discuss:

  • The reasons your organization should choose server virtualization for storage.
  • The benefits server virtualization can bring to your company.
  • The objectives your company can achieve with server virtualization.

Plus you’ll have access to a number of case studies, white papers and other supporting materials, which will be interesting and useful to you as you make the move towards virtualization.

See for yourself. Check out this new program now and learn more.


Created on April 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

This blog has 2,179 views and one response.

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NetApp Battles the Competition

In a clever marketing video NetApp produced (in house), NTAP takes on DD and e2 in an 8 Mile style rap battle. This was quite entertaining, thanks for the 4 minute break from a stressful day NetApp!

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Created on February 25, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under NetApp.

This blog has 3,990 views and one response.

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Hyper-V Puts VMs At Risk During Migration

A very cool video was sent over to me by an employee of VMware, it shows in a demo of Hyper-V an application failure because Hyper-V did not check the CPU compatibility prior to migration.  The origin host had the SSE4.1 instruction set, the destination did not.  Once migrated the application failed and crashed.  Later in the demo it shows a vMotion attempt of the same style, the CPU compatibility checking done during the vMotion process denied it to complete.

See it for yourself: Click here to Launch


Created on December 16, 2008 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, Hyper-V, VMware.

This blog has 2,273 views and no responses.

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VMworld 2008 – Highlights Reel

VMware has released a nice highlights reel from VMworld 2008. I have included it in this posting for your viewing pleasure.  To view it please click the Read More link below.  Enjoy!

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Created on December 1, 2008 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Conferences, VMworld.

This blog has 2,121 views and no responses.

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