donderdag, september 20, 2007

VMware: Stopping a Virtual Machine gone haywire

Sometimes a Virtual Machine can't be stopped via the VIClient. The job just hangs. There are a number of options to stop your Virtual Machine from within the Service Console. Keep in mind that these are last resort options!

  • Stopping the virtual machine by issuing the command vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/<datastorename>/<vmname>/<vmname>.vmx stop. This must be done on the ESX host where the Virtual Machine is running!
  • If this does not work, one can issue the following command: vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/<datastorename>/<vmname>/<vmname>.vmx stop hard. This will try to kill the Virtual Machine instantly.
  • A final solution is to kill the PID (process ID). Issue the following command: ps auxfww | grep <vmname> to locate the correct PID (BTW: this cannot be done via ESXTOP). The first number to appear in the output is your PID. The PID can be used to terminate the process by issuing kill -9 PID.

woensdag, september 19, 2007

VMware: New HA features in VC 2.0.2

As you know, HA is triggered on an ESX host after 15 seconds when it cannot contact it's cluster partners and the default gateway. By Default, all virtual machines running on the ESX host are shut down and restarted on the remaining ESX hosts in the cluster (using a Legato AAM agent to do it's job).

The only thing you could do up until now was changing the default gateway (via the das.isolationaddress option/value set). However, for most companies this is not enough. When a general network maintenance is scheduled, you should disable HA to avoid an unnecessary HA trigger.

New in VirtualCenter 2.0.2 are the following option/value pairs:

  • das.failuredetectiontime = <value> (default 15 seconds)
  • das.isolationaddress2 = <value>

These values can be set under Your Cluster => Edit Settings => VMware HA => Advanced Options.

See also VMware's HA_Tech_Best_Practices.pdf document for more info!

dinsdag, september 18, 2007

VMware: Installing Windows XP on ESX using LSI Logic driver

I get a lot of questions concerning the deployment of Windows XP on ESX. By default, ESX will use the LSI Logic driver when deploying a new Windows XP virtual machine. The LSI Logic driver is not found on the CD-ROM media, so Windows XP will not continue with the installation if this driver is not found.

The steps:

  • Create a new Windows XP Virtual Machine
  • Upload a Windows XP .iso file to your datastore/ISOstore (preferably a VLK version) and link it via the CD-ROM options in your Virtual Machine. Make sure it is connected / at power on
  • Go to and search for a driver for the LSI20320-R controller.
  • Extract all files in the symmpi_wXP_1201800.ZIP
  • Use a program such as WinImage to create an LSILogic.flp file and include the extracted files in the .flp image.
  • Upload the newly created LSILogic.flp to your datastore/ISO store
  • Link the .flp file via the Floppy options => use existing floppy image in datastore in your Virtual Machine. Do NOT connect it yet.
  • Power On your Windows XP machine. The installation of Windows XP should begin.
  • During setup, press F6 to select additional SCSI drivers
  • Now is the time to connect your floppy and use S during Windows Setup when prompted to connect to the floppy drive.
  • The LSILogic drive should appear. Press ENTER to continue
  • Setup will continue as normal
  • Install VMware tools
  • Done!

NOTE: when using the BusLogic driver instead, you can download & use a preconfigured .flp file from the VMware site: Follow the same procedure as described above. The driver should be name VMware SCSI Controller in Windows XP.

vrijdag, september 14, 2007

VMware: how to get more performance counters in VirtualCenter

Ever wondered why you could select gazillion performance counters in real-time, but only 1 or 2 counters when selecting Per Day/Per Week/Per Month/Per Year/Custom? Here is the solution: in the VIClient, go to VirtualCenter Management Configuration and then statistics. By default, the Statistics Collection Level is set to 1 (Basic Metrics).

Ideally, you could set the level to 3 or even 4. After a while, you will notice new performance counters available for selection in the chart options menu! These are great for doing memory sizing/ CPU sizing over a longer period of time. Great huh?

woensdag, september 12, 2007

HP: DL580 G5 released - the virtualization monster

HP has released the G5 version of the DL580. This is a lean mean virtualization machine:

  • Up to 4 Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors with up to 8MB (4x2) shared L2 cache (16 cores in total)
  • Up to 128GB (with 4GB DIMMs, 32 slots!) of 667MHz DDR2 Fully-buffered DIMMs
  • Up to Eleven PCI-Express Slots

This is a great VMware/Viridian/XenSource/... virtualization machine with plenty of room for extra NICs & HBA's. I hope VMware will be able to use this model in their ESXi platform. How hard can it be to stick an extra 32Mb SSD module in this one ;)

woensdag, september 05, 2007

Citrix: Presentation Server with Ardence OS Streaming

Wilco van Bragt ( has written a nice how-to article on preparing a Citrix Presentation Server (version 4.0 or 4.5) with Ardence streaming.

Some Advantages of OS streaming in combination with terminal servers:

  • Flexible provisioning
  • Rapid software (OS/Apps) deployment
  • Servers are always 100% identical
  • Easy implementation of updates and hotfixes to the operating system and applications
  • Easy rollback scenarios
  • After a restart the system is back in clean state

Citrix MPS/Xensource/Ardence combo anyone ;)

Read the complete article here