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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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.

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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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Patch for vmware vSphere 4.0

vmware has recently released a patch for their vSphere 4.0 product line, which affects both ESX and ESXi.

Details from vmware;

We are pleased to inform you that a new VMware ESX 4.0 Patch is available as of April 28, 2011.

Improvements included in this patch:

  • An update for the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) to revoke an RSA key that HP uses for code signing certain software components
  • Remediation of a denial of service possibility. By sending malicious network traffic an attacker could exhaust the available sockets which would prevent further connections to the host
  • Refinements in handling of shared folders

Detailed information regarding resolved and known issues and enhancements can be found at ESX 4.0 Patch Release Notes

VMware ESX 4.0 Patch is available for download at:
Download VMware ESX 4.0 Patch


VMware vSphere Product Management Team

One of the patches included (ESX400-201104401-SG for ESX and ESXi400-201104401-SG for ESXi) resolves a couple different issues, one updates the Certification Revocation List (CRL) to revoke a key that HP uses for code-signing certain software components. HP server contains a new key pair and has re-signed the affected software components with the new key. What this means is that if you apply this patch on a HP server and you are using specific HP management agents (like the HP Management Agent for VMware ESX 4.x) you will need to download the software with the updated key and re-install it.

The other fix within the above mentioned patch resolves a potential denial of service attack against the vmkernel over it’s management interface. When an attacker exhausts all available sockets the ESX(i) host will become inaccessible via vCenter or the vSphere client. Virtual Machines will continue to run and have network connectivity, but the ESX(i) host may need to be rebooted in order to be able to connect to the machine again. The ESX(i) system might intermittently lose connectivity caused by applications that do not correctly close sockets. If this occurs, an error message similar to the following might be written to the vpxa log file:
socket() returns -1 (Cannot allocate memory)
An error message similar to the following might be written to the VMkernel log file:
socreate(type=2, proto=17) failed with error 55
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures Project ( has assigned the name CVE-2011-1785 to this issue. More information on this patch can be found in KB 1037258 (ESX) and KB 1037259 (ESXi).

Another patch, specific to ESXi (ESXi400-201104402-BG), has also been released. The only information on this patch can be found in KB 1037553 which states “This patch improves the way shared folders are handled.”.

Created on April 30, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

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Thinapped vSphere Client

The VMware Labs team released a little gem of something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Taking the full install of the vSphere Client and creating a ThinApp package out of it…that’s right, the entire application in one small and easy to use executable file. The details on the flings page says it best…

Run vSphere client 4.1 in a snap. No install, just download the EXE and double-click. Place the ThinApped vSphere client on any network share and it will automatically stream to any Windows PC with no installation, agents, drivers, or specialized servers required. Carry ThinApped vSphere client and your customization on USB stick and now your vSphere client is available on the GO!

Download it for yourself from here today!

Created on April 11, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vCenter, vSphere.

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EMC VNX Replicator now supported by VMware SRM 4.x

Just received notice this morning that EMC VNX Replicator has been approved for support for VMware Site Recovery Manager 4.0.x and 4.1.x. An excerpt of the message is below:

The EMC VNX Replicator 4.0.23 is now certified (re-test waiver) for SRM versions 4.0.x and 4.1.x. EMC has updated the 4.0.22 Celerra SRA to reflect new array support (VNX line), but have not had to change any of the code as the new array runs the same replication software as the old (Celerra line).

The SRA is available from the SRM 4.1.1 download page at

Note that you must login to get the download page that contains the SRA files.

The updated SRM storage partner compatibility matrix is available at

Created on March 16, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under EMC, SRM.

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VMware vCenter XVP Manager

vmware Labs has released vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, their first stab into management of non-VMware virtualized environments. vCenter XVP Manager allows you to use the vSphere Client to manage Hyper-V Server 2008 hosts and their associated virtual machines, it also allows you to easily migrate those Hyper-V based virtual machines into VMware virtual machines.

The installation is pretty simple, you first install a server piece that could very well be installed on your vCenter Server, then you install a XVP Manager Plug-in into your vSphere Client which is done via the vSphere Client Plug-in Manager.

This product is currently only listed as a vmware Labs Fling, which means that it is not guaranteed that it will continue beyond it’s 1.0 Technical Preview status, but if people like it and push vmware for this type of functionality we may very well see it embedded within the core vCenter Server product.

For more information and to download vmware vCenter XVP Manager check out the vmware Labs website.

Created on February 26, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Hyper-V, vCenter.

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VMware vSphere 4.1 U1 Released

Yesterday, February 10th, VMware made available for general consumption U1 to their vSphere 4.1 product line. This update includes all prior patches as well as a number of new enhancements to the vSphere product suite.

This release provides the following improvements, I’ve included some notes along with the high-level updates:


  • Support for up to 160 logical processors
    • Prepared for the release of the Westmere-EX processor
  • Inclusion of additional drivers
    • 3ware and Neterion drives are now included
  • Enablement of Intel Trusted Execution Technology (ESXi only)
    • More information on this can be found in KB 1033811 
  • Additional guest operating system support
    • Provides support for RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9 guest operating systems
  • Bug and security fixes

VMware vCenter

  • Additional guest operating system customization support
    • Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, RHEL 6, RHEL5.5
  • Additional vCenter Server database support
    • SQL 2008 R2, SQL 2005 SP3, Oracle 11g R2, DB2 9.7.2
  • Bug and security fixes

VMware vCenter Update Manager

  • The VMware vCenter Update Manager Utility to help users reconfigure the setup of Update Manager.
  • Bug and security fixes.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator

  • Bug Fixes

For additional details regarding the new fixes and improvements, please refer to the following release notes:
VMware ESX
VMware ESXi
VMware vCenter

VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1 is available for download from the VMware website as well as through VMware Update Manager (for your ESX and ESXi hosts). Keep in mind, the only way you can switch from ESX to ESXi is to do a fresh install. I’d highly recommend using Host Profiles to make this migration quicker and easier.

Jason Boche has already noted one potential issue with using VMware Update Manager (VUM) to upgrade from 4.1 to 4.1 U1, check that out here.

Created on February 11, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under vSphere.

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VCDX4 Annoucement

It makes me very proud to announce that I received my VCAP4-DCD Beta Exam results and much to my surprise (honestly) I passed!

Congratulations on passing the VMware Certified Advanced Professional on vSphere4 – Datacenter Design exam! You will receive an email notification from once your certification status has been confirmed and added to your VMware Education Transcript (allow 10 days).

Based on the following VMware Education diagram, currently holding the VCDX3 certification and passing the VCAP4-DCD exam upgrades you to the VCDX4 certification.

VCDX4 Upgrade Path

Thank you VMware for allowing me to be part of such a great education program. Now it’s time to celebrate a little!

Created on January 11, 2011 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Certification.

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