The survey is in: disaster preparedness is a top benefit of virtualization for SMBs

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure  Kommentare deaktiviert für The survey is in: disaster preparedness is a top benefit of virtualization for SMBs
Dez 192009
 

Source: VMware Newsletter >>

The survey is in: disaster preparedness is a top benefit of virtualization for SMBs

Impact of Virtualization on Costs, Security, and Applications VMware today announced the results of a compelling survey focused on operational efficiency, disaster preparedness, and use of virtualization among Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). At a time when analysts have forecasted rapidly increasing adoption of virtualization solutions by SMBs, it’s interesting to dive into what’s really been driving that adoption. A fascinating take away from the survey is the focus on improving business continuity and disaster recovery. Most IT folks are aware of the server consolidation benefits from virtualization, but improving disaster preparedness is a somewhat “hidden” benefit, especially among SMBs.

High level summary of results

  1. Eye opening data about the risks and implications of IT systems downtime among SMBs. A large number of SMBs have had their bottom line impacted by downtime and yet, less than half of them have a business continuity plan.
    • One-third (33%) of SMBs have had an IT systems outage within the past two years 
    • More than one in five (21%) has lost critical business data as a result of an accident or disaster
    • Of those, more than three in five (62%) have lost sales or customers as a result.

  2. SMBs that have adopted virtualization have yielded great benefits, with those citing significant improvements in these key areas:
    • Time spent on routine IT administrative tasks (73%)
    • Application availability (71%)
    • Ability to respond to changing business needs (68%)
    • Backup and data protection (67%)   
    • Business continuity preparedness (67%)

  3. Picture 3 Companies that have implemented virtualization see their IT departments as more effective and more responsive to business needs.
    • 71% of companies that use virtualization rate their IT department as somewhat or very effective, versus 45% of companies that have not implemented virtualization.
    • 73% of companies that use virtualization rate their IT departments as somewhat or very responsive, versus 57% of companies that have not implemented virtualization.

  4. The top initiatives in 2010 are:
    •  Improving security (61%)
    •  Data backup & protection (52%)
    •  Maintaining current infrastructure (42%)
    •  Reducing energy use (39%)
    •  Business continuity & disaster recovery (39%)

Conclusions and next steps

It’s a great time to virtualize if you haven’t started already. Improved server utilization and consolidation are primary and already well known benefits of virtualization. However, virtualization can also improve operational efficiency by helping IT departments spend less time on routine administrative tasks, like server provisioning and maintenance. Another powerful, “hidden” benefit of virtualization is business continuity and disaster recovery. By making IT systems less likely to fail, and by making server restoration substantially faster, virtualization enables SMBs of all sizes to reduce the cost of downtime — in terms of lost productivity, lost sales or damaged reputation.  Given SMBs’ relatively limited disaster preparedness, virtualization can act as an important insurance policy.

Companies new to or considering virtualization should be aware of low-cost and easy solutions that will help them get started. For example, VMware’s market leading hypervisor, ESXi, along with VMware Go, let you easily start down the virtualization path for free. When you are ready to step into low-cost complete solutions, the VMware vSphere Essentials editions add central management and business continuity features. You can support your business case with a financial analysis from VMware’s free online ROI calculator. Learn more about VMware’s solutions for SMBs here.

You can read a complete report of the survey results here in our white paper The Benefits of Virtualization for Small and Medium Businesses: VMware SMB Survey Results.

Posted by Joe Andrews, Group Manager, VMware Product Marketing

      
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 Posted by at 09:46

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 50

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure  Kommentare deaktiviert für Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 50
Dez 192009
 

Source: VMware Newsletter >>

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 50

What happened this week… Yes the Dutch VMUG! The Netherlands is just a tiny country but when we are talking about technology it seems that we can beat any country out there in terms of enthusiasm. This years anual VMUG meeting had over 600 attendees, I repeat over 600 attendees. It’s almost like a dutch VMworld. Keynote by VMware’s evangelist Richard Garsthagen and a welcome message from Steve Herrod. Eric Sloof did multiple blogs about the VMUG meeting but this one contains a video which captures the atmosphere. That’s enough introduction blabla… here are the articles that made it to the top-5:

  • Frank Denneman – Impact of memory reservation
    I have a customer who wants to set memory reservation on a large scale.
    Instead of using resource pools they were thinking of setting
    reservations on VM level to get a guaranteed performance level for
    every VM. Due to memory management on different levels, using such a
    setting will not get the expected results. Setting aside the question
    if it’s smart to use memory reservation on ALL VM’s, it raises the
    question what kind of impact setting memory reservation has on the
    virtual infrastructure, how ESX memory management handles memory
    reservation and even more important; how a proper memory reservation
    can be set.
  • Joep Piscaer – Virtualizing vCenter with vDS: Another Catch-22
    To make matters worse: I could not select the correct network label (Port Group) in the drop down list. After some long and hard thinking, I figured out why: ESX couldn’t communicate with vCenter to update the dvSwitch’s status. This is simply because the vCenter VM was one of the migrated VM’s, and thus suffered from the same problem: it wasn’t connected to the network. How’s that for a catch-22!

    As I said earlier, the physical hosts run on a single vmnic. No easy fix here then, I cannot create a standard vSwitch, create a port group on it, add a vmnic and migrate the vCenter VM to this port group to get the VM online and thus be able to get the other VM’s attached to the right (dvSwitch) Port Group, after which I can migrate the vCenter VM to the right PG.

  • Hany Michael – Diagram: VMware High-Availability
    This is not an introduction to the VMware HA, and it’s not a very advanced diagram for it either. I assume here that you have a general idea on the topic before looking into it to appreciate this incredible technology. If you are a VMware professional you may also find this useful to keep your information sharp and present about the topic at any given time. You really don’t have to re-read the documentation every time you’d like to remember a small detail about the subject.
  • Forbes Guthrie – vSphere 4 card – version 2
    Its been a long time coming. Version 2 of this card has many changes that I’ve wanted to make since writing these cards. It’s taken a good couple of months of hard (and frankly a bit boring :0) work, which had pulled me away from blogging about more interesting things and playing with some of the newly released products. The best bit is you probably won’t notice much of a difference. A lot of the work is under the covers, to make the most out of the paper real estate.
  • Massimo Re Ferre‘ – From Scale Up vs Scale Out… to Scale Down
    One of the implications is that servers are now memory-bound. If you ask 10 virtualization architects in the x86 space they will all tell you that the limiting factor today in servers is the memory subsystem. Put it another way, you are reaching the physical memory usage limit far before you manage to saturate the processors in a virtualized server. Have you ever wondered why that is the case? As users move backwards from 8-Socket servers to 4-Socket servers to 2-Socket servers the number of memory slots available per server gets reduced. That’s how x86-based servers have been designed over the years: the more sockets the server has, the more memory slots that are available. What is happening now is that customers tend to use much smaller servers because they can support the same number of partitions per physical host, but the memory requirements haven’t changed. That’s because the amount of memory needed is a function of the number of partitions running, and if that number of partitions is kept constant you will always need the same amount of memory.

      
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 Posted by at 09:45

VMware Workstation 7 adds Windows 7 support

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware Workstation 7 adds Windows 7 support
Dez 192009
 

Source: VMware Newsletter >>

VMware Workstation 7 adds Windows 7 support

      
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 Posted by at 09:44

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 49

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure  Kommentare deaktiviert für Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 49
Dez 192009
 

Source: VMware Newsletter >>

Top 5 Planet V12n blog posts week 49

Just a couple of weeks left to make the Top 5 in 2009. I expect every single blogger out there to publish one of their best articles ever in the upcoming weeks. Do you wonder what the criteria are? There are none, it’s my personal preference. I list the articles that I enjoy reading. A good example for instance is Bouke’s article. It’s not an in-depth technical article, but it is really useful and something I have never seen document before… that’s what I am looking for unique articles.

  • Scott Lowe – What is SR-IOV?
    SR-IOV works by introducing the idea of physical functions (PFs) and virtual functions (VFs). Physical functions (PFs) are full-featured PCIe functions; virtual functions (VFs) are “lightweight” functions that lack configuration resources. (I’ll explain why VFs lack these configuration resources shortly.) SR-IOV requires support in the BIOS as well as in the operating system instance or hypervisor that is running on the hardware. Until very recently, I had been under the impression that SR-IOV was handled solely in hardware and did not require any software support; unfortunately, I was mistaken. Software support in the operating system instance or hypervisor is definitely required. To understand why, I must talk a bit more about PFs and VFs.
  • Bouke Groenescheij – vCenter Client Shortcuts
    Lately I’ve been having great fun using shortcut keys to control
    vCenter speeding up administration. There are very useful combinations,
    like and . Here is a list which
    I use a lot…
  • Eric Siebert – What is Changed Block Tracking in vSphere?
    CBT is a new feature in vSphere that can keep track of the blocks of a virtual disk that have changed since a certain point in time. This is extremely useful for backup and replication applications that can use this information to greatly improve incremental backup and replication times. Without CBT these applications have to figure out changed blocks on their own so being able to get this information for free using the vStorage advanced programming interfaces is extremely valuable to them. CBT is not really part of the vStorage APIs but is a new feature of the VMkernel that is built into the storage stack. The CBT feature can be accessed by third-party applications as part of the vStorage APIs for Data Protection. Applications can use the API to query the VMkernel to return the blocks of data that have changed on a virtual disk since the last backup operation. You can use CBT on any type of virtual disk, thick or thin and on any datastore type except for physical mode Raw Device Mappings. This includes both NFS and iSCSI datastores.
  • Kenneth van Ditmarsch – Testing Scenario’s VMware / HP c-Class Infrastructure
    The red lines indicate 10 Gb connections between all individual
    Interconnect Bay’s, which all tied together form the “Virtual Connect
    Domain”. The horizontal lines are the X0 ports which are internally connected by
    the c7000 backplane. The vertical and diagonal lines are 0.5 meter
    CX4 cables.
    (Note that since IC1 and 2 and IC 5 and 6 are Flex-10 modules, they are
    horizontal linked with 2 links  (20 Gb) as designed by HP)
  • Vittorio Viarengo – Virtualization Journey: Product Adoption
    When customers enter into the Business Production phase and they start
    virtualizing business applications and production databases, the value
    proposition is all around better quality of service and business
    continuity. This shift is sudden and dramatic. It is like cost savings
    from consolidation is taken for granted at this stage and customers
    switch their focus on faster provisioning, better capacity management,
    reliability and process automation for their business applications. 
    This is where features such as High Availability (HA), Fault Tolerance
    (FT) and SRM become important.

      
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 Posted by at 09:44

VMware ESX 4 – COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, VMware, VMware Update Manager  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware ESX 4 – COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic
Dez 092009
 

Via VMware KB

VMware KB: Due to a possible dead lock on rpmdb, upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 Update 1 can fail or time out and leave the host in an unusable state

Due to a possible dead lock on rpmdb, upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 Update 1 can fail or time out and leave the host in an unusable state

Symptoms
When attempting to upgrade ESX 4.0 to ESX 4.0 Update 1 (U1), you may experience these symptoms:

* Upgrade operation may fail or hang and can result in an incomplete installation
* Upon reboot, the host that was being upgraded may be left in an inconsistent state and may display a purple diagnostic screen with the following error:

COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic

Purpose
ESX 4.0 U1 includes an upgrade to glibc version 5.3 which implements a change in locking mechanism compared to glibc version 5.2 already installed with ESX 4.0. If rpm command is run during the installation of ESX 4.0 U1, a dead lock may be placed on rpmdb. For more information, see RedHat PR 463921.

As a result, upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 U1 can fail or time out and leave the host in an unusable state.
While this issue is not hardware vendor specific, this has been reported to occur on HP Proliant systems if Insight Management Agents are already installed and running on the host being upgraded. Investigations into this issue revealed that Insight Management Agents run rpm commands on a regular basis which triggers the deadlock during the U1 installation. This can also occur on any system from other vendors that has a process or an application running rpm, or if you happen to manually run the rpm command, like rpm -qa, while Update 1 installation is in progress.

Note: VMware esxupdate tool can be used standalone and is also used by VMware Update Manager and VMware Host Update Utility.

Resolution
Who is affected

1. Customers using VMware vSphere 4 upgrading to ESX 4.0 U1 on HP Proliant systems with a supported version of HP Insight Management Agents running.
2. Customers running rpm commands on systems from any vendor while upgrading to ESX 4.0 U1.

This affects any of the following upgrading scenarios:

* Upgrade using Update Manager
* Upgrade using esxupdate
* Upgrade using vSphere Host Update Utility

Note: ESXi is not affected.

Note: If you want to install the update, you must download the update manually. The update is no longer available for automatic download in Update Manager and the vSphere Update Utility. You can find the update on the VMware Downloads site and copy the download to your local depot as needed.
Solution
To avoid this issue:

1. Do not run rpm commands on any host while the Update 1 installation is in progress
2. If Update 1 is being installed on a HP Proliant Server, disable HP Insight Management Agents running on the ESX 4.0.0 host prior to installing Update 1.

HP Insight Management Agents can be stopped using the following sequence of commands:

* service hpsmhd stop
* service hp-snmp-agents stop
* service hp-health stop

HP management agents automatically restart after the upgrade completes and the system is rebooted.

If you meet one or both of the conditions of Who is Affected and you already ran the Update 1 installation but have not rebooted the host, do not reboot the ESX host. Contact VMware Technical Support for assistance. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

WARNING: Rebooting the host means the host may need to be reinstalled because it is not recoverable after a reboot.

WARNING: If you have virtual machines running on local storage, they may not be retained if you reinstall ESX 4.0 as a result of this issue. Contact VMware Support for assistance before reinstalling.

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 Posted by at 09:48