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Posts Tagged ‘vmware’

HP Smart Array Controller can cause an ESXi PSOD – patch now available

July 7th, 2014 No comments

Time to check your HP Smart Array Controller driver versions.

HP has issued an advisory for ESXi 5.x with a number of Smart Array Controllers that can cause an out of memory condition which could lead to a PSOD if you are running the hpsa driver version 5.x.0.58-1. VMware also has a KB explaining the issue.

You can now avoid this without having to downgrade the driver but upgrade to the 5.x.0.60-1 version so that’s HP Smart Array Controller Driver (hpsa) Version 5.0.0.60-1 (ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1) or Version 5.5.0.60-1 (ESXi 5.5).

You can download the new driver in various formats and update your hosts using a VIB file, the HP software depot or grab the latest offline bundle.

The latest HP supplied ESXi images for June 2014 do contain this latest patch so probably easiest to upgrade using these if you are happy to update the whole bundle.

Categories: ESX, HP, VMware Tags: , ,

HP’s new management appliance OneView updated to 1.1

July 4th, 2014 No comments

HP has updated its new all singing all dancing management appliance, OneView to 1.1

This is now available for download after being announced at HP Discover last month.

image

HP OneView will be the ultimate replacement for HP Systems Insight Manager (HP SIM), HP Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM), HP Insight Control and HP Intelligent Provisioning. It is delivered as a virtual appliance running on a hypervisor.

HP is putting a lot of effort into OneView and really trying to reimagine server management. I was never a fan of HPSIM as I felt it was unnecessarily cumbersome, HP has specifically said one of the goals of OneView is to make server management far easier and quicker with a lighter touch. In fact they are not rushing to add functionality to OneView but taking a pragmatic approach and only adding what is absolutely needed. HPs answer to Vblock is its Converged Systems which are built, configured and managed by OneView so HP has skin in the management game. Converged infrastructure is not just connecting hardware together but requires converged management which OneView aims to deliver.

Moving over to OneView is going to be a long process however as OneView has been designed to manage only Gen8 and future servers with just a little bit of management available for G7 servers. Far more complicated though is there is no migration path from Virtual Connect to OneView, you need to delete your virtual connect domains and recreate them in OneView which means shutting down every blade in your domain (up to 4 chassis) and starting from scratch. HP calls this a transition, not a migration. Not all current Virtual Connect functionality is available in OneView so you may not even be able to configure your newly purchased chassis in OneView depending on your required network config.

Saying that, OneView is going to be the future of server management so you should be thinking in that direction for your future plans. One of the stumblers may be licensing, you need to purchase or upgrade existing management software licenses to use OneView.

What’s new with 1.1?

  • Now available as a Hyper-V appliance along with ESXi
  • You can now provision and manage 3PAR storage, integrating the configuration into server profiles.
  • Added support for the new 20/40 FlexFabric Modules
  • Virtual Connect support for untagged traffic and VLAN tunnelling (OneView was pretty hampered by this before).
  • BIOS settings as part of server profiles (nice one!)
  • Inventory views of Cisco Nexus 5000 switches and HP FEX module which will be very useful.
  • Server Profiles for Gen8 rack mount servers to update firmware and BIOS settings for DL360/DL380
  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server is now HP OneView for VMware vCenter
  • HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center is now HP OneView for Microsoft System Center
  • HP Insight Control for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is now HP OneView for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

Here’s all the documentation and another link with some of the others guides (HP, may be worth putting them all in one place).

Categories: HP Tags: , , , ,

HP Discover US 2014. The Day 3 Buzz & Wrap Up

June 13th, 2014 2 comments

Series:

Today was the final day of HP Discover.

HP Software

There was meant to be a blogger Coffee Talk this morning from HP Software but I was the only one to attend. The HP Software division isn’t in my normal area of interest so was an opportunity to find out what its all about. Instead of having a group blogger chat, I spent an interesting hour with Paul Muller, VP of Strategic Marketing & Chief Evangelist who is a passionate, blunt, straight talking Aussie (the best kind!). If like me you are not aware of HPs software portfolio, it encompasses tools for Business Service Management, Network Management and Automation, Application Lifecycle Management, Quality and Performance Validation, Security, Automation and Cloud Management, Information Optimization, Big Data Analytics, IT Service Management and Mobile Application Development.

image That’s quite a broad portfolio. Products within these group I had heard of were LoadRunner, Fortify, TippingPoint, Arcsight, Cloud Service Automation, Autonomy but there are so many more. Paul explained how some integrate such as security with Big Data analysis so you can search all information leaving your company network and find out whether any sensitive information is escaping, not just looking for a “confidential” tag on a doc but deep inspection along with machine learning that can correlate patterns across multiple information sources.

Autonomy?

Read more…

Categories: HP, HP Discover Tags: , , , ,

What VMware’s EOL of vCenter Server Heartbeat means for availability?

June 6th, 2014 1 comment

image VMware has very surprisingly and suddenly stopped selling vCenter Server Heartbeat from 2nd June 2014. If you have already purchased vCenter Server Heartbeat you will still get support until 2018 so no panic that the whole carpet has been pulled from under your feet but it does beg the question, what to do going forward to make your vCenter installation more highlight available if you need it?

In the EOL announcement, VMware suggests first of all making your vCenter a VM to be able to take advantage of HA to provide high availability. If you cannot for some reason (and you really need to ask yourself why) run vCenter as a VM and it is/needs to be physical then the only solution is to use a backup solution to be able to restore vCenter if it fails.

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WARNING: HP G2-G6 server nics killed by firmware update in HP SPP 2014.02

April 25th, 2014 6 comments

UPDATE 29/04/2014

HP has released an updated HP Service Pack for Proliant which fixes the issue.


 

HP has released a very serious customer advisory saying that some Broadcom Nics which are used in G2-G6 servers and blades could be killed by a firmware update component in their HP Service Pack for Proliant 2014.02.

Using HPSUM, HP SPP or Smart Components for VMware to update the “Comprehensive Configuration Management” (CCM) firmware version to 7.8.21 can kill the nics which would require a hardware swap out to fix!

I would suggest immediately removing the update from HPSUM or the SPP.

If you absolutely need to update the firmware, you can run the component manually and chose not to update CCM.

Affected Nics:

Any HP ProLiant server with any of the following Broadcom Nics:

  • HP NC373T PCIe Multifunction Gig Server Adapter
  • HP NC373F PCIe Multifunction Gig Server Adapter
  • HP NC373i Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC374m PCIe Multifunction Adapter
  • HP NC373m Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC324i PCIe Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC326i PCIe Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC326m PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC325m PCIe Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC320i PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC320m PCI Express Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC382i DP Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC382T PCIe DP Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC382m DP 1GbE Multifunction BL-c Adapter
  • HP NC105i PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter

HP SPP Components

Linux:

  • CP018941.scexe and CP018942.scexe – v2.9.21
  • CP021160.scexe and CP021161.scexe – v2.9.24
  • CP021536.scexe and CP021537.scexe – v2.9.26
  • CP021068.scexe and CP021069.scexe – v2.10.15
  • CP023112.scexe and CP023113.scexe – v2.10.16

Windows:

  • cp018467.exe and cp018468.exe – v4.0.0.22
  • cp021534.exe and cp021535.exe – v4.0.0.22 (B)
  • cp021547.exe and cp021547.exe – v 4.0.0.26

VMware:

  • CP019762.scexe – v1.0.21
  • CP021532.scexe – v1.0.21.3
  • CP021849.scexe – v1.1.10

Wow, that’s a big one, I thought the days of terrible Broadcom firmware updates were beyond us, I guess not!

Categories: HP Tags: , , ,

VMware announces Horizon View 6 taking on Citrix XenApp with RDS Hosted Apps

April 9th, 2014 No comments

VMware has announced the latest version of their End User Computing product Horizon View.

There have been 5 major changes to Horizon View:

  • RDS Hosted Apps
  • Application Catalog Enhancements
  • Cloud Pod Architecture
  • Virtual SAN Support
  • vCOPS for View 6

RDS Hosted Apps

RDS Hosted apps will allow Horizon View clients to access applications and full desktops running on Windows Remote Desktop Services Hosts. This is big news as it gives VMware a competing product to Citrix XenApp.

image

For people who know about VDI, what is the difference? Well, VDI delivers an entire desktop to a particular user. This desktop is a whole virtual machine with an OS and applications. RDS (Remote Desktop Services) means using the capabilities of Microsoft RDS (previously Terminal Services) to allow multiple users to connect to a single OS but have separate private desktop instances and applications (the server doesn’t even have to be virtual but you’d be daft not to). With RDS you can display a full desktop but can also display just an application seamlessly without all the desktop stuff around it. You don’t need as many OS instances which means better resource utilisation as well as fewer Microsoft licenses.

Read more…

Categories: Citrix, View, VMware, XenDesktop Tags: , , ,

HP updates its customised images for VMware ESXi 5.5/5.1

October 25th, 2013 No comments

HP has updated its ESXi customised images to reflect the recent release of ESXi 5.5 as well as its September 2013 Service Pack for Proliant.

HP’s customised images are fully integrated sets of specific drivers and software that are tested to work together. You can see the list of Driver Versions in HP supplied VMware ESX/ESXi images.

I have done an extensive update of my HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 & VMware ESX(i) pre-requisites post which includes these new customised images.

HP Custom Image for VMware ESXi 5.5.0 GA – September 2013:

HP Custom Image for VMware ESXi 5.1 Update 1 – September 2013:

The new and updated features for the HP vSphere 5.5 /5.1 customised Images for September 2013 include:

  • Provider Features
    • Report Smart array driver name and version.
    • Report SAS driver name and version.
    • Report SCSI driver name and version
    • Report Firmware version of ‘System Programmable Logic Device’.
    • Report SPS/ME firmware.
    • Added SCSI HBA Provider.
    • Report IdentityInfoType and IdentityInfoValue for PowerControllerFirmware class.
    • IPv6 support for OA and iLO.
    • Report Memory DIMM part number for HP Smart Memory.
    • Added new ‘Test SNMP Trap’.
    • Updated reporting of memory configuration to align with iLO and health Driver.
  • AMS features
    • Report running SW processes to HP Insight Remote Support.
    • Report vSphere 5.5 SNMP agent management IP and enable VMware vSphere 5.5 SNMP
    • agent to report iLO4 management IP.
    • IML logging for NIC, and SAS traps.
    • Limit AMS log file size and support log redirection as defined by the ESXi host parameter:
    • ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation
  • Utilities features
    • HPTESTEVENT – New utility to generate test WBEM indication and test SNMP trap.
    • HPSSACLI – New utility to replace hpacucli
    • HPONCFG – HPONCFG utility, displays the Server Serial Number along with the Server Name when using hponcfg –g switch, to extract the Host System Information.
Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware Tags: , ,

Join me in a Google Hangout with VMware’s Joe Baguley and futurologist Paul Saffo discussing technology past, present and future

September 25th, 2013 No comments

hangoutI’ll be taking part in a Google Hangout with VMware EMEA CTO Joe Baguley and futurologist Paul Saffo tomorrow for a special VMware Google Hangout Q&A.

Joe is VMware’s EMEA CTO and a great speaker who took part in the VMworld US Day 2 keynote.

Paul is a Silicon Valley based futurologist (isn’t that a great title!) who forecasts long term change in IT. Paul moderated a panel discussion at VMworld US talking about the future of IT.

Joe and Paul will be fielding questions from a number of bloggers including myself:

With VMware recently turning 15 and with their US and EU VMworld 2013 conferences titled Defy Convention we will be discussing technology past, present and future.

We will all be live on the Hangout and would love you to join us tomorrow, Thursday 26th September at 14:30 BST / 15:30 CEST, on VMware EMEA’s Google+ page.

To join in, visit the Google+ page at this time and click on the video to start watching. You don’t need a Google account. If you’re not able to join live, the video will be available on VMware EMEA’s YouTube channel and on the VMware EMEA blog once the Hangout is over.

If you have any questions you want me to ask around IT innovation and the future of technology, leave a comment or get in touch via Twitter and I’ll try and include them.

Categories: VMware Tags:

VMworld US 2013: The Day 4 Buzz

August 29th, 2013 1 comment

VMworld’s final day started a little later than the previous days to give everyone a little lie in after last night’s VMworld party at AT&T Park which was brilliant.

Today’s General Session isn’t the usual VMware announcement session but named Makers and Shakers featuring three innovators unlocking new ways to create and build.

Jay Silver was up first. Jay is a crazy innovator who is founder and director of JoyLabz and Maker Research Scientist at Intel Labs. His idea is the whole world can be made meaningfully interactive. He adds electricity to everyday objects to make fun stuff.  There is absolutely no way this can be explained in text so here is Jay doing a similar talk at TED.

 

Next up was Keller Rinaudo who is CEO of Romotive, these are the guys that make Tomo, a cheap $150 personal robot which uses a smart phone for its processing. Romo showed some new software. Again, he’s done a TED talk so you can see what he does.

 

IMG_2306 Last up was Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot who is a inventor, builder and open source guru. He was the guy who built MakerBot’s 3D printers and is keen on what he calls personal manufacturing. He shoed all number of home 3D printed things that can be made including amazing prosthetic robotic hands, architectural models

The Solutions Exchange wasn’t open today. I appreciate vendors and attendees are by now suffering from conference fatigue but this is also the time when people have been to their preferred sessions and labs and have some time to reflect on everything they’ve learned and can then look through the Solutions Exchange a little wiser than at the beginning of the week. I think it would be useful to still keep it open, maybe that’s something that will be looked at for future years.

VMworldTV has been out and about:

VMworld TV Exclusive Interview with VMware R&Ds Susan Gudenkauf

VMworld TV Meets VMware CTO Global Field Paul Strong

VMworldTV Checks out the Software-Defined Data Center at VMworld 2013

That’s all Folks!

Wow, what an amazing week! To attend a gathering of such interesting, passionate and engaged people is really inspiring. Sure, there are cynical people, jaded and bored by what they do. What I can see however is how IT can really be a force of change and good in the world. Sure, I appreciate that sounds wishy-washy and could easily be a quote from a politicians campaign speech but IT really is one of life’s great enablers, being able to bring real, tangible solutions to pressing problems all over the world. I’m super excited by NSX and VSAN.

Yes, we may get fed up of vendor FUD, cloud-washing, overzealous marketing people, know-it-all architects, internal company politics and rubbish procedures holding back progress but stepping back and seeing what is possible when we all get together and share is truly inspiring.

Even though we work with technology, remember, this is still very much a people business, putting together IT solutions to help people with things.

I’ve met and reconnected with an incredible bunch of people this week, too many people to mention but a whole bunch of engaging, caring, interesting and interested people so willing so share their expertise for us all to learn. Thanks to those who worked out who I was and came over to say hi. The community is truly alive!

Well, that’s the end of VMworld for me in San Francisco. Way too much to see, do and experience in way too little time but what a week!

I’m off on two weeks holiday so hopefully time to reflect and rest! See you all soon!

Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: ,

VMworld US 2013: The Day 3 Buzz

August 29th, 2013 No comments

VMworld continues into day 3 with a noticeable slowing down of the average attendee walking pace after the festivities of the nights before! There was no keynote today with sessions starting at 8am.

I attended VMware Horizon Suite, Innovations for Storage Scalability, Performance and Data Protection by Christopher Wells and Chris Gebhardt from NetApp.

Christopher started by saying he doesn’t like load generation tools as they don’t represent reality. Vendors talk about IOPS with massive, seemingly impressive 1,000,000 IOPS figures but that doesn’t represent workloads in the real world.

All VDI decisions have implications for storage, using automated or manual pools, floating or  dedicated user assignments, linked clones, full clones, NetApp VSC clones along with all the user profile and workloads data. All these ways to create VMs and handle user data have an impact on storage and these need to factored into sizing and performance decisions. Cloning can hurt you if you don’t understand what is happening. hypervisor clones (snapshots) are the least efficient as it is 2 reads for every request as you need to read from two files and for writes, it is three writes including the metadata. All this lands up being a lot of writes and reads, 10 guest IOPS = 28 IOPS to storage. This must be considered for linked clones, its not a 1 to 1 relationship between guest IO and storage. More efficient to not copy any data and provision with storage VAAI.

Most IOPS generated are often actually user workloads and user profiles rather than the VDI image itself.

View Storage Accelerator from VMware is a host based memory cache for all types of desktops and is works transparently to the users and applications.

Christopher then went on to talk about the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier which alleviates boot and login storms. This uses a hardware Flash Cache or Flash Pools for platforms that don’t support Flash Cache.

NetApp suggest using separate volumes or Storage Virtual Machines (SVM) to separate the storage for VMs, corporate apps and user data. Use different storage capabilities and possibly disk types for each, such as not de-duping temporary data. All these SVMs for separate IOPS, capacity and availability can be managed under Cluster ONTAP.

Assessments and sizing are important for Horizon View, PoCs may not scale linearly. An example is the unexpected “lunch storm” which is when users start doing personal things during lunch and watching YouTube videos which isn’t likely captured during a PoC or with standard load testing tools. NetApp does partner with Liquidware Labs for a sizing tool.

Chris Wells then talked about User Data in Horizon Workspace. He said NetApp is a good fit for user data as it allows more users than competitors storage due to de-dupe, non disruptive operations and backup and recovery which all fits very well with Horizon Data.

NetApp will shortly have a beta coming out for SnapCreator for Horizon Workspace. I was hoping for more information about how Horizon Data integrated with NetApp for backups, recoveries & DR so will need to do some reading to work this out. Horizon Data runs as a virtual appliance which stores its data on local VM disks so it is going to be interesting to work out how this VM disk file can be managed but in a way to recover file level data.

Here’s a view of the outside chill out area.

005 004

Read more…

Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: ,