The VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.
Presently there are five VMUGs in the UK including the latest addition - South West UK VMUG - @swukvmug
Why am I involved and why should you come along?
I had been using VMware products for over 3 years and after joining twitter it was very clear to me the VMware user community was very friendly and also very helpful, it was there I learned about VMUG so the chance to meet and greet other users like myself and of course learn from the "rockstars" was to good an opportunity to pass up, after attending several meetings I was completely sold.
VMUG meetings are a great place to meet like minded IT professionals who share a passion for VMware technologies, often you can meet bloggers and experts and will get to hear updates from what is new at VMware and other related virtualization technologies.
I have heard enough Sign me up!
So this morning I took the VMware Infrastructure as a Service exam (VCPVCD510) to gain the VCP5-Cloud qualification. The IaaS exam is available for existing VCP5-DCV holders to take without any other pre-requisites. I am very pleased to say I finished the exam in good time and scored 466/500 – the pass mark is 300.
As a proof of concept I recently tried to virtualize OS X (Mountain Lion) - It is important to note that VMware is now licensed to do so and you can read more here.
The following is an overview of the steps I followed to achieve my goal in some cases it was trial an error as I am not a regular Mac user.
As OS X requires Apple hardware to run you will have to find yourself a Mac that will install and run ESXi. You can check VMware's HCL even though the results only listed MacPro5,1 I was able to run ESXi 5.1 on a MacPro4,1. I did try it on an earlier MacPro but no joy. For this proof of concept test i have the following hardware.
- 2x 4core MacPro4,1
- 7GB Ram
- Single 1TB SATA Drive
I am also aware others have used Mac mini's as Lab machines but I will not cover that here.
The installation is simple, by burning an ISO with ESXi 5.1 and booting the MacPro from the CD and then follow the usual steps to deploy ESXi.
Note - if you find nothing happens and you end up with a black screen with "Select CD-ROM boot type" its likely your MacPro cannot run ESXi though I have read a few article where individuals have performed firmware updates etc.
Once you have have ESXi installed configure it in what ever fashion you wish (a static IP is never a bad idea)
According to VMware, Infrastructure Navigator is
…a component of the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite. It automatically discovers application services, visualizes relationships and maps dependencies of applications on virtualized compute, storage and network resources.
Effectively it takes a look at the network connections that are running between your VMs (and physical servers) and works out which applications and services are running on each, and the dependencies – both upstream and downstream – for each VM.
This is particularly useful in large enterprise environments where perhaps application developers have not (shock) documented the dependencies for a particular application. I can think of several times when I’ve been 100% confident that (according to all the documentation provided) I can decommission a server, or the service running on a server, only to have to turn it back on due to a production outage – because an un-documented dependency exists.
Effectively, Infrastructure Navigator leverages VMware Tools to run a netstat command on each VM and work out what connections are being used. It comes with a library of already classified services – e.g. MSSQL running on port 1433 is a pretty obvious service. Non-classified services (or services configured for running on a non-standard port) can be easily added to the library to build up a detailed picture of which VMs depend on each other (as well as “unmanaged” servers/services that are out of the scope of vCenter).
There’s no doubt that vCOps is a great product for proactively monitoring your vSphere environment, but it’s a hefty package for the lab. The minimum recommended RAM is a whopping 16GB – in my lab that’s the whole of my management host! I recently needed to do some testing so I wanted to get it running in the lab with the barest minimum I could get working, and it turns out you can get working with just 4GB and 2 CPU…albeit you wouldn’t want to monitor much! I also want to use vFlash Read Cache to accelerate I/O in the lab – this requires upgrading VMtools and the VM hardware to version 10.
Bear in mind that this is a lab install, and production environments should follow the recommended minimums and configurations!