VMware has released a security advisory to address multiple vulnerabilities in VMware Workstation, Player, ACE, Server, Fusion, ESX, and ESXi. The first of these vulnerabilities is due to a error in the VMware Descheduled Time Accounting driver. Exploitation of this vulnerability may result in denial of service in Windows-based virtual machines. The second vulnerability is due to a known error in the libpng package used by some VMware products. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

It's recommended to visit VMware security advisories page and download the necessary updates to resolve the issues.
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So the long wait is over. You can now download vSphere 4 from http://www.vmware.com/download/vsphere/.

 I've been patiently waiting for this release as I should now be able to fully and openly discuss the bells and whistles of the product without breaching the private beta confidentiality agreement.

I've used vSphere4 for quite a while now and I can tell you that it's a very good product. Well done VMware. Now that VMware's build work is over (for now), our work starts. Most of us will now be planning the upgrade of our environments to vSphere from VI3. Sounds like fun! Bring it on!

 

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Mike Laverick from http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/ gave some comments on Eric Siebert's interesting article named "Will VMware give away VMotion and HA for Free". The article can be found at http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/will-vmware-give-away-vmotion-and-ha-for-free/

At first I though that I didn't see the need to comment on this, but when I read Mike's comments on his blog, something caught my attention that cheesed me right off! Mike says that many people dismiss VMotion as some kind of nice-to-have toy. Now, Mike obviously disagree with that statement, and so do I.

Here's my comments on that simple one-liner:

As for VMotion being a critical part of the package, I simply can't see how it can be dismissed as just a nice to have tool. I guess those who dismiss VMotion as "Nice to Have" simply don't work in enterprise environments where a single change request can take days to be reviewed let alone approved. The ability to move VMs from one physical box to another certainly makes life in enterprise IT bearable.

 Just to get a simple change through to fix or enhance something on a physical host can be tough enough. Imagine doing the same change request but having to include "The following 15 systems will be unavailable..." in the impact clause of a change request? That kite is not going to fly mate!

My view, charge for VMotion. It saves a lot of time in the long run, and in this world time=$$money$$. Why complain about forking out some $$$ in the first instance if it’s going to save you money in the long term? Or, of course you can opt to go with MS and save the cash on licensing only to lose more cash on techie salaries and SLA breaches. It’s up to you.

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Kodiak Private Beta Logo
 

I’ve been playing a little with the beta version of Kodiak, “the world’s only platform-in dependent virtualization management application!”

For those who aren’t familiar with Kodiak, here’s an intro as from their website:

Kodiak, from BlueBear, enables unprecedented visibility into and control over virtualized infrastructures, regardless of size or composition. As the industry's only application that's both hypervisor-agnostic and cross-platform, Kodiak sets a new standard in versatility, pushing virtualization out of the datacenter and catalyzing its widespread adoption throughout the information technology landscape. BlueBear believes useful software should be available to anybody who needs it, and at no cost; hence Kodiak's price, totally free! 

 

Anyway, I’ve got a few invitations to the private beta program. If you would like me to send you an invite, please drop me an email via the contact page! I only have a few, so first come first serve!

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If you’ve ever had trouble installing VMware tools on certain distributions of Linux, it may be worth a shot looking at VMware Tools Operating Specific Packages, or VMware Tools OSP.

VMware Tools OSPs are VMware Tools software packaged in the native package format and standards for selected supported Operating Systems (Guest Operating Systems). These packages are distributed for example in packages such as rpm and dep.

Currently VMware Tools OSPs are supported for the following Guest Operating Systems:

·         Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 (RHEL)

·         SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and 10 (SLES)

·         Ubuntu 8

You can download a user manual for OSP at http://www.vmware.com/pdf/osp_install_guide.pdf
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VIRTUALVCP.COM was down between 25-04-2009 and 02-05-2009 due to a firewall failure in my hosting environment whilst I was away on vacation with my family in South Africa. On the 25th of April, I noticed that my mobile phone stopped communicating with my active sync email server. I soon realised that the problem affected the entire hosting environment, including www.virtualvcp.com and www.vi-pedia.com.

As I was almost 10,000km away from home, I was left with no other choice than to wait until I could get back to the UK to resolve the issue.If you are reading this article from www.virtualvcp.com, it's obvious that the problem has now been resolved. I will now have to go back to the drawing board to work on a redundant connection to my hosting environment. At this moment in time, my websites do not generate enough unique hits per day to justify me moving the sites to a dedicated hosting environment. Once I get 3000+ visits per day, then I may look into moving out.

I do apologise for the down time of this website. It is against my personal  beliefs to have an unreachable website, even for an hour, but my hands were tied in this case. Thank you again for visiting www.virtualvcp.com. Keep checking back for some content on vSphere. I am now well rested and ready for some good blog'n! 

 

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EMC has introduced a new line of Symmetrix products. The new Symmetrix products can start small and expand up to support the largest virtual datacenter infrastructures.

EMC Claims that the new Symmetrix V-Max and V-Max SE (Virtual Matrix Architecture) storage arrays can scale up to hundreds of thousands of terabytes of storage and is capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of virtual machines.

The Virtual Matrix Architecture is built on the V-Max engine, which contains all the necessary disk and I/O ports along with multiple Intel quad-core processors, up to 126GB of memory and the Engenuity operating system [by EMC].

EMC marketing vice president Barbara Robidoux said that the new V-Max architecture is "the single biggest innovation for the storage industry in years. Each Symmetrix Frame can fit up to eight V-Max engines. This gives a total of 1TGB of memory and twice the front-end and back-end connectors supported by EMC's current high-end DMX-4 systems. Also, an entry-level V-Max SE costs 10% less than a DMX-4, but due to Intel's quad-core processors, the V-Max offers significantly better performance.

Connectivity options include:

  • Fibre Channel
  • iSCSI
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ficon for IBM mainframe systems.

 

Now, I'm off to get one for my home lab ;-)

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ImageIt is good to see that VMware has managed to keep momentum even as Citrix and Microsoft launched their Hypervisors as an onslaught on VMware's Virtualisation market share. Now, even today customers still select VMware Virtual Infrastructure as the best platform to run Microsoft Exchange. I guess this goes to show that although Microsoft and Citrix may be catching up, VMware is still miles ahead in the race and this is why I say so:

I've been playing around with Windows 2008 R2 Beta with Hyper-V for a little while now to try and get a feel for what it does and how it does it. Even though I'm a hardened VMware supporter (this is no secret by now, and I'll stay a hardened VMware supporter for the foreseeable future), I do think Microsoft is making steps in the right direction. I haven't really had enough time to play with Citrix XenServer, so I can't really comment on that. I have no doubt that Hyper-V on Windows 2008 R2 will be a good product. However, even though Microsoft seems to be throwing everything they have at their attempts to get Hyper-V and their entire package on par with VMware, it still just feels like they’re are just about trying to catch up with the functionality of, well, VI3!, a product that is just about to be superseded by the new VMware vSphere. Now I don't have the exact details, but I'm sure vSphere will be released later this year. vSphere will have an enormous amount of new functionality (some of which may still be well kept secrets by VMware). If vSphere is released this year with lots of new bells and whistles, what will Microsoft have to do to get Windows 2008 R2 on par with vSphere? Time will tell I guess.

Anyway, back to Exchange on VMware. I found this article on the topic:
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090310005551&newsLang=en  

 

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For those of you going to VMworld Europe 2009, spare some time to visit the Veeam Software booth at VMworld Europe this year. Veeam is a leader in the virtual systems management market and I'm sure there will be some interesting solutions on display. Their booth will be #56, so be sure to drop by.

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About Veeam Software: 

Veeam Software, a VMware Technology Alliance Premier partner, helps organizations safeguard their investment in virtual infrastructure by providing innovative systems management software designed to reduce costs, increase productivity and mitigate risk.

Veeam offers a full suite of VMware management tools, including Veeam Backup, the 2-in-1 backup and replication solution; Veeam Reporter, to document virtual environments for capacity planning and chargeback; Veeam Configurator, to manage “configuration drift;” and Veeam Monitor, for performance monitoring and alerting across multiple VirtualCenters.

With its acquisition of nworks, Veeam expanded its product line to include connectors that incorporate VMware events, status and performance data into Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and HP Software Operations Manager. This product set includes the Smart Plug-in for VMware - an HP Certified SPI; and the Management Pack for VMware - for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. These innovative connectors solve the need of large organizations to smoothly integrate VMware into their enterprise-wide systems monitoring architecture.

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Microsoft MVVM and Caliburn Micro: My head still hurts trying to wrap my mind around this, even after years of trying!
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