Archive for February, 2011

HP Flex-10, ESX and Broadcom fun still continuing with ESX 4.1 Update 1…

February 24th, 2011 1 comment

ESX 4.1 update 1 was released recently which started the investigation again into the Broadcom bnx2x driver versions which are important in HP Blade installations.

Here’s a timeline of what drivers have been released:

  • 13/07/2010 – ESX 4.1 Base install (Build 260247) installs the 1.54.1.v41.1-1 driver.
  • 29/11/2010 – VMware release a bnx2x driver update available through Update Manager which updates the driver to 1.54.1.v41.1-2
  • 29/11/2010 – VMware release a bnx2x driver update NOT available through Update Manager for driver version 1.60.50.v41.2
  • 10/02/2011 – ESX 4.1 Update 1 released (Build 348481) which has the 1.54.1.v41.1-2 driver included
  • 10/02/2011 – VMware release another bnx2x driver update available through Update Manager which installs a 1.54.1.v41.1-2 driver version.

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Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP Tags: , , , , ,

Scripting Flex-10 ESX design with PowerCLI

February 18th, 2011 No comments

My Flex-10 ESX design with simplicity and scalability posts detail the configuration steps required to deploy ESX with Flex-10. There’s a lot of clicking around in the vSphere client that can be automated with PowerCLI.

The steps below will set up the ESX networking component as described in the design posts so can be incorporated into the rest of your PowerCLI build process.

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Flex-10 ESX design with simplicity and scalability: Part 2

February 17th, 2011 2 comments

This post continues from Part 1 where the Flex-10 configuration was done.

ESX Networking

So now we have all the Flex-10 networking configured, its time to see how this works in ESX.

All VLANs are now being passed down all the uplinks, through the Flex-10 switches and onto the vm_trunk_1a and vm_trunk_2a Ethernet Networks.

What we need to do now is install ESX or ESXi and get them connected to the networks.

You would have defined a particular VLAN which you will be using for your physical host IP addressing.

A good idea is to plan out your IP addresses scheme for Service Console/Management Network, VMKernel and vMotion to have IP addresses that are consistent. This also allows some clever scripting possibilities.

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Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware Tags: , , , , ,

Flex-10 ESX design with simplicity and scalability: Part 1

February 17th, 2011 19 comments

I’ve written quite a few posts about HP Flex-10 and some of the challenges and solutions to getting everything up and running.

I’ve also discussed my ideas about Flex-10 ESX design on the podcast so here it is…

If you are deploying Flex-10 make sure you have all the prerequisites in place:

I also recently managed to find the manual page for the HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Module for c-Class BladeSystem on HP’s site which is a good reference launch page for the latest HP Virtual Connect Ethernet Cookbook and all other Flex-10 related documentation. Don’t you love trying to find things on HP’s site?

I do however think that HP is trying a little too hard to sell all the benefits of Flex-10 and is possibly sacrificing simplicity to show off all the features of Flex-10. They seem to want you to cram us much of Flex-10 into your deployment as possible when you should rather be streamlining the design to rather give you only what you need.

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Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware Tags: , , , , ,

NetApp DataONTAP 1.3 released

February 8th, 2011 No comments

NetApp’s Powershell Toolkit has been updated to 1.3.

Highlights are:

  • Create a PSDrive and access the ONTAP file system as if it was a local disk
  • Using a Credential Cache
  • Being able to invoke SSH directly from within DataOntap so you can run any CLI command as the API doesn’t cover everything
  • More -WhatIf parameter usage

You can get more information from Making The Most Of Data ONTAP PowerShell Toolkit 1.3

Microsoft has created a fantastic administration environment with Powershell, the more companies that create PowerShell modules the better so good work NetApp, looking forward to some more!

Categories: NetApp, Powershell Tags: ,

Determining where growth is occurring in the vCenter Server database

February 4th, 2011 1 comment

VMware has released a useful KB article to help you work out where your vCenter database growth may be coming from.

As the vCenter database is the only place for storing all config information, performance data, tasks, events etc. it can grow very quickly especially if you are doing large scale deployments.

The article may point you in the right direction and highlight if you are gathering too much information and/or not purging old data.

You can have a look at your vCenter Server Settings and look at the Statistics and Database Retention Policy settings to see if perhaps you are gethering too much information.

As vCenter becomes critical having a single database holding everything makes your infrastructure management tool too cumbersome.

I would really like VMware to split out the tasks/events/performance data from the critical core configuration/operating data and store it in a separate database so when you have to fix your core installation you are not faced with a massive database of non critical information to work with.

Categories: vCenter, VMware Tags: ,