Category Archives: Uncategorized

Xiotech Market information and Points of Interest.

A local vendor sent me these links, and I thought I would share. Virtual View, recognized in Storage Software for Virtualization category, dramatically simplifies storage monitoring, management and provisioning tasks in VMWare virtual environments  “Xiotech gets my nod for best technology initiative of 2008”  Article featuring Dan Lewis of USC Marshall School of Business. Lewis declares that his Emprise 7000 system provides an 8x better performance than his old HP EVA3000. He also praises Virtual View, self-healing capabilities, and reduced energy consumption ISE among the top 5 technologies for 2009 Jon Toigo comments on the most important IT-related things that happened in 2008. Xiotech holds both the #1 and #2 spots – with ISE and Web Services based management.;jsessionid=4JXY4Y42KKETWQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?pgno=9 The 10 Biggest Storage Stories Of 2008  Xiotech Selected as 2009 Hot Companies Finalist  More, more, more Article on Web Services and ISE


Source Xiotech and local Vendor.

Exchange 2003 Outgoing SMTP delivery issues

Exchange 2003 Outgoing SMTP delivery issues

We have had an Exchange 2003 mail server for a few years and have had great results without many big configuration changes, until now. Recently we added a new Qwest T-1 and changed our firewall to a Watchgaurd. After the change we have had a number of problems delivering mail to certain hosts. These hosts require that your mail server send mail with certain mail header requirements.

I am trying to get input on what’s required on all levels for mail delivery.

For outgoing mail to pass header requirements what should be in place at your DNS provider Ex: A record, your ISP Ex: Reverse DNS, your firewall and internal Windows DNS server, and your Exchange server?

Currently our mail server is sending an EHLO that won’t resolve. The format is
Here is an example display of full headers received portion when I receive mail in my Yahoo account.


from (EHLO ( by with SMTP; Wed, 28 Jan 2009 19:14:08 -0800

What should this be? If the internal mail server is called “exch” can you use then rely in internal DNS to do the rest?

How should this also correlate with your ISP reverse DNS, should they matchup some how?

The solution was provided by Web: Twitter:
SPF or Sender Policy Framework will help your Exchange Server delivery mail smoothly.

Going Tapeless in Enterprise

Dave Graham @ wrote a blog about going tapeless.

I was asked the other day about the potential for finally going tapeless in Commercial and Enterprise spaces. Truth be told, this is becoming a more common occurence as those mechanical beasts hit the tail-end of their maintenance windows. With that in mind, what are some (not all) of the business drivers that move enterprises from tape to disk (or other mediums)?

“Tape is Dead!” has echoed through the halls of storage IT for quite some time. It’s been an ideological pursuit of the “next generation backup” mantra hawked by the Tier Ones in the storage space. What has been noted is the continued price depreciation of disk as capacity has increased, the tighter compliance metrics from government agencies, as well as the legacy of natural disasters that have arrived on the scene since 2001. Let’s unpack these a bit.

He discusses the following topic’s.

Price Depreciations and Increased Capacity

Tighter Compliance

Natural Disasters

Remediating the Problem

Price Depreciation and Capacity Increase – Tapeless

Tighter Compliance – Tapeless

Natural Disasters – Tapeless

Please check out the full post

Converting a Linux Virtual Machine With an LVM has a write up on Converting a VM from A older version of Xen to VMware using the VMware Converter 4.0 titled : Converting a Linux Virtual Machine With an LVM

He went through quite a process. Make sure to check it out.

I was entrusted with the task to try and migrate a VM from Xen 3.2 to ESX. Well you would think that is a trivial task – it should be. But let us not forget that we are talking here about version 3.2, which is two generations back from the current Citrix Xensource which is in use today.
After successfully migrating it I would like to share with you the procedure.
This was done on a Xen Guest VM runnning Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 3 (Taroon Update 7)



Full Source Post.

VMware KnowledgeBase Articles released to do with Time

I saw these come across the VMware RSS feed today, and I have personally had time problems in Linux VM’s, so I wanted to post these links.


Time in a Linux virtual machine jumps backward when using clock=pit

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time runs slower than real time due to lost timer interrupts

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time in a Linux 2.6 guest operating system runs faster than real time due to lost tick overcompensation

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time in virtual machine drifts due to hardware timer drift

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time runs too fast in a Windows virtual machine when the Multimedia Timer interface is used

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time falls behind in a virtual machine when the memory of the virtual machine is paged from disk by the VMkernel

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009

Time drifts in virtual machines and the service console due to the HPET misreporting its frequency

KB Article

Jan. 27, 2009


I hope these help those of you that are having time issues in VM’s are able to


Thanks to VMware.

Notable KB Articles from the week from TheVMguy and me. posted his weekly Notable KB Articles from the week.

27 Articles new or updated this past week.  The first one is very relevant.


None of these hit home for me, ( just didn’t apply) so I went looking for more, and found the following.


How to Store Snapshot Files on an Alternate LUN

Datastores no longer available during upgrade


I’ll quote them below.


How to Store Snapshot Files on an Alternate LUN

KB Article

Jan. 26, 2009


VMware ESX

VMware VirtualCenter


Snapshot files are stored in the directory where the <VMname>.vmx file exists.

If you have limited space on the LUN where the <VMname>.vmx file exists, it may be necessary to specify an alternate location for the delta files that are created when you take snapshots of a VM.


This can be accomplised by defining an alternative working directory in the <VMname>.vmx   for the VM. The side effect of defining an alternative working directory is that the swap file will also be created in the alternative location.

The step to do this are:

1) Power off the VM

2) Edit the <VMname>.vmx file

      * add a line that looks like the following **

workingDir = "/vmfs/volumes/47384c5e-41fd4f1c-69c3-00163581bcf/directory_for_vmname_snapshotfile/"

3) Remove the VM from inventory in VirtualCenter

4) Add the VM to inventory in VirtuaCenter

5) Power on VM

6) Take snapshots as desired

Note: It may not be necessary to remove from inventory and add back into inventory, but in repro this produced consistent results.

You cannot use the advanced edit setting feature in VirtualCenter to add this line to the <VMname>.vmx file and have this take effect.

Note: This appears to only work as expected when you edit the .vmx file directly.


Datastores no longer available during upgrade

KB Article

Jan. 25, 2009


VMware Lab Manager

Product Versions

VMware Lab Manager 3.0.x


  • Cannot complete an upgrade from Lab Manager 2.x to 3.x.

  • Required VMFS datastores no longer available.

  • An error is received while upgrading Lab Manager from version 2.x to 3.x after specifying VirtualCenter credentials in the configuration wizard.

  • The wizard does not proceed forward until each unavailable datastore is deleted from the configuration.


This issue occurs when the credentials you gave for VirtualCenter do not have sufficient permissions to access the datastores and other required objects.

To verify the permissions, connect to VirtualCenter using the same credentials specified in the Lab Manager configuration wizard. If you are not able to see the configured hosts, clusters, or datastores, you must reconfigure the account privileges to make these objects accessible, or use a different account.

For more information on configuring VirtualCenter permissions, see the Basic System Administration guide, specifically the Managing Users, Groups, Permissions, and Roles section.

Those two caught my eye.


Thanks to The VMguy and VMware.

Where to start with your VMWare ESX Whitebox has a cool write up on building a ESX White Box.

I know a lot of small shops that could find this very interesting, so I wanted to share this blog.


There have been a couple of postings recently by people who have spent some time custom building PC’s capable of running VMWare ESX. A great example is Eric Sloof who has built a monster white box capable of running the new VI4 Beta software.

That’s got me interested in building one,  perhaps to road test new features if I can ever get invited to participate in a VMWare beta program,  or perhaps just to run ESX 3.5i so I can play about with new Microsoft Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 Beta.

One of the main issues with building a whitebox is ensuring compatibility with the VMWare HCL,  so where on earth do you start looking so you can ensure your whitebox works.  Well I’ve put togethere some links together to get you started,  I hope they’re of some help.

VMWare Hardware Compatibility List

The new fully searchable HCL just has to be on the list,  double check your planned components,  you may be suprised to find they are actually supported on the HCL. – The unnofficial VMWare ESX whitebox HCL

This site is stacked full of useful information on tried and tested hardware combinations

The Ultimate Whitebox web site

Though this is a relatively new site it has some really well laid out information on hardware combos

Tim Jacobs post on his Whitebox

This post is just under a year old but still contains some good information.

Now HP were doing some crazy deals on their HP ML tower server range last year.  I was having a look at servers direct in the UK today and the prices are pretty good,  I’m tempted to buy one of these  rather than build a solution from scratch.

So how have people got on with ESX on the HP ML Series server? Well here are a few more links that may help.

instaling ESX 3.5 on the HP ML110 G5

Kiwi Si who runs the TechHead has a great lab article about installing ESX 3.5 on the ML110 G5

ESX 3.5 operating on a ML115 G5

Virtual VCP has put this article together detailing the changes required to get ESX 3.5 working on the new ML115 G5 servers.

Thing to remember with all whiteboxes are they are not supported by VMWare and you will be relying on the VMWare community to help you out with any problems.  My advice is,  if someone has listed the exact components that worked for them,  copy it as it will most likely work for you.


I think that a White box is the way to go for testing, and I think it is great that people are blogging about their experiences and or where to start the process when building these.

Thanks to VirtualPro

Full Source Link

Are you a EMC ControlCenter and VMware customer? Good hotfix to know about..

Virtual Geek has a write up on EMC ControlCenter and Vmware, and a hotfix. I wanted to post this as it is one of those things that is good to know.

Was working a customer case where they were having issues with VMotion and Control Center. Control Center is one of the only Storage Resource Management tools with tons of VMware integration – and has had it for more than a year.

Ok, Control Center has active discovery (i.e. agent) and passive discovery mechanisms (i.e. leverage an API). Most VMware-integrated features use the passive mechanism – basically ControlCenter has a VM-proxy (i.e. a host which can be a VM that has software that queries the ESX CIM API and the VC APIs). Some customers want more. For example, they want file-level reporting for chargeback and analysis WITHIN the VM. Or, they want drill-downs into databases in VMs. These require agents to run inside the VM if you want that (again, ESX-layer chargeback, utilization reports, thin provisioning use, performance and VMDK->Datastore->LUN/filesystem->backend details – those have no agent requirement).

So, the problem only arises when ControlCenter components running on a guest systems (ergo agents to provide file-level reporting or application integration) are Vmotioned and ControlCenter has discovered the ESX server hosting the VMs that those ControlCenter components are running on.

The root cause is that the ControlCenter store component incorrectly interprets a Vmotion activity as a deletion of a VM (i.e. at the ESX CIM level, the VM just disappeared, and requires correlation at the VC layer). That deletion is not allowed by other rules within the ControlCenter repository and the discovery of the ESX server fails resulting in stale data in ControlCenter and sometimes corruption to ControlCenter component configuration data.

We just released a hotfix for this problem for EMC Control Center 6.1 (HF4486) and will be releasing one for 6.0 shortly (HF4485).

This primus case contains more information regarding the problem. emc203588;jsessionid=0735EE24ACC9E5D50A82A6A5D8CF9820?docType=1006&clusterName=DefaultCluster&resultType=5002&groupId=1&page=&docProp=$solution_id&docPropValue=emc203588&passedTitle=null

Based on our testing, once the correct hotfix is applied, Vmotion of VMs with ControlCenter components installed will work fine and there will be no support limitations.

Thanks ControlCenter team!!

Thanks for the write up, gives people a chance to know about it.

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Setting clients to Reboot at 12:15 A.M


Some of our client devices have a need to do a daily reboot, and I didn’t feel like manly setting up a scheduled task on each device. I needed something I could run via login script or USB stick, that only takes a couple of seconds of time per device.

Therefore, with some help from the Internet I developed the following.


schtasks.exe /create /RU SYSTEM /SC DAILY /TN Reboot /st 00:15:00 /TR "shutdown -r -f -t 60"

Copy the above line and paste it into notepad, or your text editor of choice, and save it as a .bat file.

This will set the device you run this on, to make a new scheduled task, which is daily reboot at 12:15 , which is run as system, with a 60 sec count down.  Admin rights are required to create this task.

Run it once per PC you want to reboot .



I hope someone can find this useful.

NetApp and Virtualization One Stop Shop!

Christopher Kusek, Technology Evangelist posted a collection of Netapp related information.

I am going to quote it here. Please refer to the source post for updates and changes.

NetApp and Virtualization One Stop Shop!

You ever ask the question “Wow, I wish there were a consolidated place to find everything* there is to find about NetApp and Virtualization?

I ask that question all the time. The following is a release of my internal notes I’d forward to people when they say “NetApp + Citrix?” “NetApp + VMware” or “NetApp + Hyper-V”

This way, both you AND I have a single place to go look and I don’t have to reinvent my wheel!

Everything you wanted to know about NetApp and Virtualization but were afraid to ask.

NetApp Virtualization Team Blog – Great resource of information and the definitive source on updates of new documents, TR’s, etc – It is where I’ll update new links like those above from.

VMware and NetApp

Microsoft and NetApp

Citrix and NetApp

Oracle and NetApp

And some definite –must- reads!

NetApp 50% Virtualization Guarantee* (Effective until December 31, 2009)

Top Must Read Knowledge Base Articles (Virt-KB!)

NetApp Virtualization and Twitter!

Yes! I was able to track down the folks at NetApp who are on Twitter, so follow them here!

NetApp Virtualization and YouTube!

  • NetAppTV (Customer Success Stories and other cool videos)
  • NetAppTube (Demos from VMWorld and more!)
  • NTriantos (SMVI, VDI, OSSV and more!)

Since we have been looking at NetApp, these caught my eye. I hope someone else will find them useful. Make sure to check out if you haven’t before.

Thanks to and NetApp

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