Saturday, February 26, 2011

PXE booting a UCS blade to install ESXi - I finally got something to work right!

I finally figured out how to install ESXi on a UCS blade using PXE! I used tftpd, an opensource tftp, dhcp, and syslog package, but it should work on a Linux system as well, if you have the patience to configure one. for PXE I'm using pxelinux, and the real trick is adding the "vlanid=<vlan>" line to the APPEND line in the pxe config file.
I also used some of the kickstart commands for esxi to automate the process. You can find more info about those here, and a terrific article by my blogging hero, Scott Lowe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cool new "Fling" from vmware labs - XVP Manager for non-vSphere hypervisors

Interesting new “fling” from VMware labs...a manager for non-vSphere hypervisors. I’ll be testing this in the lab.
Note that this comes from the “lab” at VMware, which means it may never become a product, it does not indicate VMware corporate strategic directions, it’s just something the engineers came up with. Don’t read too much into it. 

The part they glossed over in the email they sent to me (text below) is the "Converter" part. XVP helps not only manage Hyper-V server, _it also provides an easy way to convert Hyper-V VMs to VMware VMs_.  This reminds me of the way Microsoft made it easy to convert from Novell Netware to Windows; make a management server, take control of the competitor data, then make it easy to convert it over. 
I haven't tested it in the lab yet, but I shall...

Dear vmjfk,
VMware Labs  presents its latest fling XVP Manager and Converter  <(here)>  - that helps manage  non-vSphere hypervisor.
VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter provides basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms towards enabling centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. It also simplifies and enables easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere.
Key Features:

  • Management of the following Microsoft Hyper-V platforms:
      Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) with Hyper-V role enabled
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled
    • Familiar vCenter Server graphical user interface for navigating through and managing non-vSphere inventory
    • Ease of virtual machine migrations from non-vSphere hosts to vSphere inventory
    • Compatible with VMware vCenter Server 4.0 & 4.1
    • Scalable up to management of 50 non-vSphere hosts

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

LDAPManager - great for trawling through the LDAP server on your MAC

I use a MAC at work, and sometime run across interesting utilities. One of those is LDAPManager, a FOSS LDAP directory discovery package that is simple to use, and gets the job done. Works with Microsoft Active Directory, too!

Good Book - Mastering VMware vSphere 4 - Scott Lowe

One of my favorite titles for understanding vSphere and actually getting it to do something for you is Mastering VMware vSphere 4 by Scott Lowe. I highly recommend it to anyone who is stuck trying to manage a vSphere environment, or trying to pass their VCP test, since some of the questions on the VCP 4.0 test came from this book!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cloud director still using Oracle - I use XE

For those who wish to get VMware Cloud Director™ up and running, but get stymied when it asks for an Oracle database (I know I was, I don’t use Oracle DB for much), there is a free version called OracleXE™. This version installs on Windows or Linux, is free (as I said) and comes up easily on Windows 200x. Remember that when configuring VCD, don’t accept the default Oracle instance name (orcl), use XE. The rest is the same.
Also, VCD won’t let you use the sysdba operator. You can easily create a new one by using SQLPlus, or through the web based GUI. VMware won’t support using XE, but for demos, it’s quick, easy, and will get you onto the real issues you want to explore.

VMware Cloud Director - lack of a sub Org

In working with VCD, I've discovered that there is a flat tiered Org structure - we can't seem to make a sub org. This is an issue for large customers wanting to deploy VCD, since they can't organize it into smaller orgs run by the upper org. I add this to my list of things I wish VMware would fix.