VMworld 2012: Day three

A late post of day three, because of the VMworld party that has been going on =)

This morning a keynote about End User access using VMware View and Mirage. Very cool stuff! You will be able to use your virtual desktop from any device: tablets, macbooks, Windows machines and all able to synchronize your desktop back to the datacenter. No more lost data when your device gets stolen or crashes due to a hardware failure!

The big vendors like HP, Cisco and EMC had to ‘battle out’ this morning for the best presentation, each given 4 minutes. EMC won, probably because of my vote 😉

After the keynote I followed the sessions listed below. Today a new feature in my blog: “Personal Highlights”! I made some notes during these sessions that are nice to know or are in some way applicable to the environments I work with. Hopefully they are of value to readers!

Session #1: GD26 – vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) and Virtual Volumes (VVols) with Suzy Visvanathan
Personal Highlights: “A VSA cluster is formed using 2 or 3 nodes, but when using only 2 nodes you need a special plugin to provide a quorum. If you have the ability, use 3 nodes. The VSA supports RAID5,6 and 10 and supports online expanding of logical volumes starting from VSA 5.1. It’s possible to run the VSA on a host that already has VMs running so you don’t need to configure a new ESXi box running only the VSA!

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Session #2: INF-VSP1367 – Upgrading vSphere
Personal Highlights: “I already performed some upgrades of vCenter/ESXi environments including dvSwitches and VMFS filesystems but still wanted to confirm my knowhow with the VMware specialist. Note to self: Upgrade VirtualCenter first, then your ESXi hosts, followed by the VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware. Upgrading these last 2 components is optional. Check out the new enhancements like more vCPUs or memory capacity but if you don’t need it, it’s not a requirement. If you are upgrading, make sure you upgrade the Virtual Hardware after upgrading all ESXi hosts in the cluster.

Session #3: OPS-CIM2179 – Transforming Your Cloud with VMware: Day One – Building Your Cloud
Personal Highlights: “It’s really important to know the demands of your environment to decide whether you want to implement vCloud Director or not. The VMware technician told me that if you CAN wait, then you SHOULD wait until the 2nd quarter of 2013 because of a new version coming out that will seamlessly run within ESXi.

Session #4: APP-BCA1684 – Virtualizing Exchange Best Practices
Personal Highlights: “A lot of stuff I didn’t know about virtualizing Exchange: Thin disks are not supported, as well as machine snapshots (Could’ve guessed this but ok..) and using a thick eager zeroed disk for your mailbox database disks.

Session #5: INF-VSP1800 – vSphere Performance Best Practices
Personal Highlights: “When in a stable environment, the Transparent Page Sharing mechanism is active at all times, but when you are in trouble, or just warned of performance issues, this is when the Balooning, Compression or Swapping is going on. When setting your power profile in BIOS to OS controlled, it is possible to regulate power from the vSphere Client. Using a low-power profile is not recommended since you can experience performance issues. Last but not least the use of shares is recommended for CPU, memory and storage (Storage I/O).

Brainfart: “General discussions are cool! It’s a really interactive way to form a session using feedback of attendees and input your own question to it!

Today was a good day and saw about 30 minutes of sun today because of the interesting sessions! I just got back from the VMworld party and enjoyed some beers with my colleagues. Getting a little hungry now because of the small appetizers we had for dinner =)

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Thanks for reading again! Tomorrow will be the last day of VMworld 2012: Barcelona so that’s where my blogging will end for VMworld. I will keep this blog filled with technical information so people can learn of use my experiences.

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