Thursday, January 17, 2008

Demystifying Microsoft Licensing Policies for Virtual OSs

So, I get this question all of the time.  How do I make sure that I am appropriately licensed to run Microsoft OSs in my VMware VMs.  Can't I just have the number of licenses purchased for all the VMs I am going to run, and then it doesn't matter where I place them?  Also, how do I account for VMotion?


Well, you can't just buy all the licenses necessary for the VMs that you have because you have to physically assign the licenses to a physical entity.  Plus, there are different types of licenses (Standard, Enterprise, Data Center Edition) and depending on which one you buy will allow you to run 1, 4, or unlimited virtual machines on that box.


Now I am not a Microsoft Employee, and anything you read here is my opinion and shouldn't be used as legal documentation.  You should always consult your Microsoft Sales Representative, but I feel this is accurate when considering simply the Microsoft OS licenses, it doesn't cover the Applications at all.


Microsoft has posted some Windows Server Virtualization Calculators that you can use to help determine what licensing you need, and I have posted a You!Tube that tries to demystify this whole thing.  Check out my Hey Dad - Microsoft Virtual Machine Licensing Policies video.


Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 11, 2008

One thing to try if DPM does not work in ESX Server 3.5

I was experimenting with the new DPM (Distributed Power Management) feature in VMware Infrastructure 3 the other day, and was having some problems.

I had 4 servers in my cluster (DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduling) and HA were enabled, but DPM was NOT). The systems were:
2 Dual Socket Quad Core Intel
2 Quad Socket Quad Core Intel

They were all attached to the same iSCSI storage. I had one (1) VM created and running and it was able to VMotion between ALL machines. HA is setup so that it can handle 1 system failure. I manually had three of the servers enter Standby Mode and then Powered them back on through the VirtualCenter MUI. When I tried the fourth server, it failed to enter Standby. I enabled DPM in Automatic Mode, and nothing happened. I thought it must be something like it needed some time before it kicked off so I went to lunch. After coming back, all physical boxes were still powered on.

I left it overnight. The machines were still powered on. To get DPM working, I performed the following:
  • I disabled DPM
  • I, again, did the "Enter Standby -> Poweron" operation for ALL servers
  • This time it was successful for ALL servers
  • Lastly, I then re-enabled DPM

YEAH! At this point, once I enabled DPM, it sent first one server to standby, and then moved the 5 VMs off of the second server and set that one to standby.

Thank you to the DPM developers for all of their assistance. Also, an interesting tidbit from one of the developers:

...if DPM thinks some machines in the cluster can't come out of standby but others can, it can still work. It just will consider only machines that can come out of standby as candidates to evacuate and power down...

I hope this helps.

Welcome to the Dog House


I have just started to blog, so excuse me if my etiquette and style is a little raw. I work for VMware, Inc., and have been with them for over 8 years working as a Systems Engineer on the West and as we have grown, the Northwest. Now, I am working as a Specialist Systems Engineer assisting our Sales teams with Industry Analysis. With that being said, the postings on this site are my own and do not represent VMware’s positions, strategies or opinions. (disclaimer)

A few of my favorite things are my family, baseball, technology and my dogs. Dante is a Flat Coat Retriever and is the BEST DOG EVER. Spot, my little Rat Terrier, is a little more of a challenge, but I love him anyways.

Really, I wanted to start blogging about my views and experiences with Virtualization and if possible give out some good and relevant information.

Please, bear with me, as this is going to be fun.