03 Jul 2009

What’s new in VMware vSphere 4 @ Magirus – Day 2

What’s new in VMware vSphere 4 @ Magirus – Day 2

Again I’m outlining my personal impressions of this update course’s 2nd day.

  • – Networking (continued)
    –> PWLAN support (enables private vlans, promiscuous / isolated / community) to separate VMs lying on the same vlan. In fact a vlan can be split up again into different PWLANs.
  • – Nondisruptive Migration to Distributed Virtual Switches
    –> Create new distributed switch, define uplinks, add first adapter to uplink, define port groups, remap VMs to new Port Groups (wizard driven), add second adapters to uplinks
  • – Storage Management
    –> Pluggable Storage Architecture allows 3rd Party Modules for failover / multipathing
    –> iSCSI enhancements (bidirectional CHAP, reduced CPU overhead for swiSCSI, per target CHAP, swiSCSI no longer required Service Console
    –> HBA Round Robin Multipathing is no more just experimental 🙂
    –> Enhanced storage reporting, monitoring and alerting / triggering
    –> Thin provisioning now within GUI (thin provisioning does not support fault tolerance!)
    –> VMFS  dynamic grow (if storage supports that)
    –> Storage VMOTION supports change of provisioning mode when changing the Datastore (thick <> thin).  SVMOTION now in GUI together with VMOTION (Migrate). SVMOTION works now without using snapshots. (creates a destination disks, copies content ->change block tracking ->,  fast suspend/resume to switch to destination disk. SVMOTION works now with independent disks too (at least in the lab I saw it working)
    –> Replica Management (Resignaturing) is now Datastore based (admin can choose to use the existing label for mirror LUNs)
  • HA
    –> Host Monitoring can be disabled (useful for maintenance on hosts or network infrastructure to prevent disrupts or side effects)
    –> Specific Failoverhost can be configured
    –> Percentage or Number value can be assigned to failover policy
    –> VM Monitoring (checks vmware tools heartbeat). If a VM stucks in bluescreen, it gets restarted if configured so.
  • Fault Tolerance
    –> adds a secondary VM on another node (copies via vLockstep the whole state to the secondary VM)
    –> a lot of requirements and limitations make this technology not useful for a lot of use cases (1vCPU, no snaps, no paravirtualized guests, etc, etc.)
    –> requires dedicated vmknics on vmkernel PG)
    –> requires SSL verification enabled on vCenter! This means every host incl. vCenter must have a valid and trusted cert installed!!

Saw today that RVTOOLS (http://www.robware.net/).  RVTools is a small .NET 2.0 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual machines. Very useful.

A must is the following website: http://vsphere-land.com/