Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for SCVMM 2008 R2 Released

To help an organization answer the age old question,”How do i get started?” Our Solutions Accelerator Team has created an IPD Guide for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 as well as for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

These IPD Guides have Step by step processes to help guide an organization down the path of virtualization.

For SCVMM 2008 R2 the flow looks like the following:

IPD-SCVMM2008R2-flowchart1 IPD-SCVMM2008R2-flowchart2

For Windows Server 2008 R2 the 9-Step process is below:


These Guides are great and really help people embark on the journey towards virtualization where they can achieve the benefits of virtualizing their infrastructure more quickly than doing it on their own.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Still Strong after almost 2 years - Hey Dad MS Licensing Video

Back around this time in 2007, while I was still a Staff Systems Engineer over at VMware, I had a lunchtime meeting with an enemy TSP, Michael Cooper, from Microsoft. There we discussed how MS licensing (of the OS) in a Virtual environment worked. When could you VMotion (Live Migrate) these VMs, and what were the repercussions of the 90 Day Rule.

We actually did this with sweetener packets on the table and it really cleared things up for me.

From there, a year ago last January (2008), I created a First in a short lived (1) series of Videos called “Hey Dad”, where I worked with my kids to produce a little documentary on how the MS Licensing policy works.

I thought it was a nice video, and everyone that saw it seemed to understand the MS licensing scheme better. One of the coolest things about it was when someone from MS Europe sent me a request asking if they could use the Video in one of their internal trainings. Internal Trainings. At the time, I though, wow, shouldn’t this be easier? I get it, it doesn’t seem that hard, but really most people don’t, and hopefully after watching the video, they will.

Nearly two years later, and it is still one of the definitive training videos for MS Licensing of OSs in the Virtual World as referenced by one of Rich from Bechtle’s latest Blog Microsoft & Virtual Licensing

It is nice to see it still working. Now to expand the series for Licensing MS Apps in a Virtual World…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

VMworld 2009 Wrap-Up

Wow, how to sum it all up. Definitely, VMworld was fun, and VMware puts on a nice conference. I would have to say, however, that I was a little disappointed.

The keynotes didn’t show anything new? Everything I saw there was really everything I saw at VMworld Europe (in fact it was pretty much the same stuff I saw at last year’s VMworld), and to be honest, I think they presented it better at VMworld Europe. I wasn’t the only one to think so (Mike Laverick at

And that was it. So nothing too radical or shocking - and more or less a restatement of the agenda in Canne…

If you happened to stay until the very end, you got a few seconds on SpringSource, but even that seemed not put together very well.

They did finish a big release cycle, and probably the next major release is a few years off, so they may not have the roadmap down right now, perhaps that is what it was.

There were a couple of sessions that I liked, but mostly, those were flat as well. The VMware Head to Head vs. Microsoft and Citrix was interesting, but obviously they are going to only show their good side there and put us in the most unfavorable light that they can.

The part I liked the best was the Solutions Exchange. Being the “little guy” at the conference, there was a definite feeling of excitement. It felt very similar to when I first started with VMware and was at the LinuxWorld conference. There was a feeling in the Microsoft Booth and with the customers and partners that I talked with where they wanted to work with us. As I was walking around the booths, or tweeting away, I was contacted by many different partners, and there was this energy about it. From DataCore and their help with my 3 Laptop Demo (which I didn’t show at the show), to Pano Logic to Citrix, to all of the partners at the show. They all seemed to want to work with us.

Everyone was really upbeat about Microsoft’s advances, and when we talked with customers, more and more “light bulbs” went off. I can really do all of that? It costs only that much? WOW!

It was really good seeing all of my old friends from VMware (and some from other companies), and though there were some awkward silences (when conversation switched to business), it was the best part of the whole show.

It is a two horse race now, and we are coming in strong. This year is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Self Paced Rave


Such a fantastic time! Props to the VMware Lab Team! Who actually did a lab last night?

It was great seeing all my friends at the SPR last night (next year I need to get the VIP Pass). Music was great, drinks were flowing, people were talking, and I am sure EVERYONE had a great time.

Best part of the show.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 2 Wrap-Up

Today was an interesting day. I sat and watched the Day 2 Keynote, looking at what VMware shows as the vision for the future.

I then went to watch a session on Virtualizing Exchange EA2631

I learned some things there:

Exchange has made itself (over time) better suited for Virtualization from Exchange 2003 –> Exchange 2007 –> Exchange 2010 due to less IO, and better design. Also, ESX has improved and the computers have evolved, so they have all joined together.

But on the MS Front, we have updated out sites with some new information from our Exchange and Virtualization Team on Virtualizing this Tier 1 application. Check out Zane’s Blog Post for more information.

After lunch I went to the VMware Head to Head comparison of VMware vSphere and ESX and Hyper-V with some SCVMM, and Citrix. It would have been a better conversation if it would actually have been more than one side. Their big comments on Architecture differences and memory overcommitment were old and tired. They were biased and based on conjecture. They commented that our “integrated” solution is a bunch of applications which we do need to work on, but when they showed them all, they showed many twice, and and some that you wouldn’t use except in some cases, but not when loading other apps that they showed.

They said we don’t have a Host Profile equivalent, when if you look at what System Center Configuration Manager does, it does a lot of what Host Profiles does. Of course they didn’t mention that to get Host Profiles, customers would have to buy the Enterprise Plus SKU.

They failed to mention that if you are comparing vSphere with Microsoft Solutions, you have to include all of the SMSD products, NOT just VMM and a little OM.

They failed to mention that you have to pay 3 times more to get a VMware Solution than you would have to pay to get the comparable solution from Microsoft, I wonder why?

Are we Enterprise Class? Yes, we are.

Do we have some work to do? Yes, we do.

Is VMware scared? Yes, they are.

Dr. Stephen Herrod’s Keynote

I always enjoy Day 2 Keynotes at VMworld. You always get to see something new. Dr. Stephen Herrod started the keynote today by sliding VMware View over to the left emphasizing that it is the biggest focus for VMware right now. He says managing the desktops will be the same as managing the servers. I don’t think that is the right way to look at it. Yeah, I believe it resonates to Server guys, but there are many, MANY differences between how you have to manage the desktop and the datacenter. It seems to VMware, that (like one of our TSPs told me at a conference earlier):

When all you have is a Hammer, everything looks like a nail

Key agreement with rto Virtual Profiles coupled with the ThinApp “bubble”. Create a master image of the OS, plop it down and keep each app out there encapsulated on its own.

Best User Experience to All Endpoints – From a WAN to a LAN environment to Local so you can run it on the net, and on the local machine to leverage the “Media” devices (Graphics, etc). PCoIP releasing later this year.

Employee-Owned IT – rebrand, revamp of ACE – VM on a DVD, or running directly on the laptop No host OS, Client Hypervisor (Client Virtualization Platform (CVP)) with Intel vPro. They have Win7 x64 running in a VM with the CVP underneath.

VMware Mobile Strategy – VCMA – a mobile app to manage your vCenter and now VMware View environment

Mobile Phone to Mobile Personal Computer - “Device Freedom” Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), and “Application Freedom”

All of this client stuff, still makes me think that they are trying to adapt and fit VDI as the solution for everything. Really now, shouldn’t it be that the customer should use the whole toolbox and not just the hammer. VDI works for some cases, but Terminal Services is better for other, and App-V solves other solutions. If you have a local user that needs to run a policy encapsulated VM, MedV will give you this. Microsoft has the Desktop solution that you can use for the challenges you face.

VMotion the Foundation of the Giant Computer – First VMotion, then Storage VMotion, then Network VMotion (Distributed Virtual Switch), now Long Distance VMotion

New workload – HPC

DRS – Shuffling VMs around for best performance. Squeezing more out of your systems, extending soon to include IO not just CPU and Memory. Tiering the needs and the applications with the Resources around you.

This could be interesting if they DRS the VMs, and also the Storage as your storage IO patterns change.

AppSpeed – Nothing new

vApp – IT Service Policy Descriptor SLA as metadata to the group of VMs using OVF.

VMsafe – Always on Security and Compliance via APIs. Aware of the application running in the VM, not the VM, so it can be smart in what it protects and secures.

Choice – Lab Manager to allow for self service portals.

Long Distance vMotion – Proactively move the DC when certain events will occur. Cisco with it Data Center Interconnect up to 200 km. F5 uses BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager to move different iSessions around.

VMware vCloud API – Programmatic Access to resources, Self Service Portals, vSphere Client Plugin (one vCenter to view local and Cloud resources).

After moving View to the left, they now added vApps to the right as a fourth pillar. vSphere provides IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Software is Middleware and Tools that is combined and hooked underneath termed PaaS (Platform as a Service). The middle yellow bar is the Automated, Policy enforcement, scalability. Developers only need to know the application interface, they don’t need to be bothered with anything else, and then there is SaaS (Software as a Service).

PaaS – Open set of interfaces for Ruby on Rails, Python, .Net, PHP, Rod says we want the developers happy, we want them to know about this as little as possible but enough to be productive. Can be deployed internally and externally, wherever.

How popular are these different interfaces? Azure provides this to our Developer community.

SpringSource -

Take advantage of the revolution…

I don’t see a revolution here, but I think some of the new capabilities are nice, and looking forward to see how we respond.

TA3438 – Performance Improvements of vSphere…

Or something like that. Was Top 10 blah blah blah in the syllabus, doesn’t matter, it was good. Richard McDougall was really good at showing the performance improvements of vSPhere 4 (actually of ESX Server 4).

He broke them down into a few different categories and the major improvements there:




  • Relaxed CoScheduling
  • Extended Fairness Support


  • 2nd Generation Hardware Assist
  • Large Page Support


  • 350,000 IOPS up from 100,000 IOPS
  • Reduced IO Overhead by 50%
  • Asynchronous IO forks offload IO to a different core
  • Paravirtualized SCSI driver

He also talked about DRS improvements.

He made a comment that not all hypervisors are the same, and that just leveraging the hardware improvements of the processors isn’t enough. There is more to virtualization, and the vmkernel provides much in terms of access, scheduling, and IO access.

I agree that all hypervisors aren’t the same, BUT all hypervisors now give you quality performance near native, for most things, isn’t that enough?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BW4740 – Evangelizing the Value Proposition

We all know Virtualization is great, and it saves customers money. As Todd said in the keynote, Virtualization saves Financial Energy, Human Energy, and Earth’s Energy.

But, how do you demonstrate this savings to your upper management. How can you translate these IT Benefits into Business Value your Exec’s can understand.

IT Benefit

Solve Business Needs

Consolidate Resources

Lower Capital Costs

Reduce Complexity

Lower Operational Costs

Automated Management

Increased Agility

Availability and Disaster Recovery

Reduce Downtime

improved security

Reduce Business Risk and Increased Governance

From there, you can show them output from an ROI calculator. VMware’s ROI Calculator was created by Alinean, our ROI Calculator was created by Alinean as well. Take either of these reports and look at the results. YOU WILL SAVE MONEY WITH VIRTUALIZATION.

Now look at them, and remove the cost for VMware, that is what you will save with Microsoft.

If you are running Microsoft Operating Systems in the Guests, you buy the Windows Server Datacenter Edition and apply it to the host. Once applied, you can run unlimited Server VMs on that box (regardless of Virtualization Solution), but, with Hyper-V that license also includes the Virtualization Layer. With VMware you would have to buy a vSphere Bundle with that cost added ON TOP of the cost you are already paying for the Guest OS license where you get a Virtualization solution included.

If you are managing these Guests with System Center Configuration Manager, and System Center Operations Manager, then get the Server Management Suite Datacenter bundle to save money, and once you bundle with SMSD, you get SCOM, SCCM, SCDPM, and SCVMM. So you have the management pieces, and you don’t need to buy the vSphere Bundle.

You need to understand how Virtualization will save you money versus physical. What you really need to do is justify your Virtualization Solution of choice. As all of them will save you money, why not save the most and go with the Microsoft Solution?

EA3605 – Virtualizing Tier 1 Apps

VMware shows some graphs on good performance with Tier 1 Apps (Exchange, SQL, etc). Trying to give the customers ammo they can take back to get these apps virtualized.

Performance can’t be the issue now. It has to be “server huggers” or people afraid of change as the platform whether Hyper-V or ESX can run the workload.

They were talking about VMware products like vApps, FT, AppSpeed for monitoring, but the story isn’t all there today.

AppSpeed seems nice, but if you are running the SMSD suite of products, you can EASILY monitor your SQL servers and Exchange, and the apps you are using. System Center gives you insight into what is going on with your apps as well as your Guest OS, your Physical Systems, and the Virtualization Infrastructure.

FT only works for UP VMs, so doesn’t work for a Tier 1 app, but it will be nice when it does.

Join the New “C2D” Facebook Page

Please take time to join the new Microsoft Facebook page, “Client to Datacenter” at

As a companion to the existing Virtualization Facebook page ( and the System Center Facebook page (, its intent is to pull together the overall Microsoft management + virtualization story, and make it easier for us to give our friends in the community a central place on Facebook to connect, comment, and get updates. In time, we will fill this in and draw a closer connection with our other social media presences on the Web.

· What you get out of it? A one-stop-shop for System Center and Microsoft Virtualization, and an easy way to find and connect with others in the community.

· What we get out of it? A way to better engage with the community in the exciting playground of social media.

Notes on the VMworld Opening Day Keynote

I didn’t want to do this, I had high hopes for this Keynote, wanted to hear something cool, but I wasn’t impressed. After sleeping through the Opening Day Keynote, So what is the future of VMware?

It was a very low and understated keynote. No excitement whatsoever. I will bold out what I think were cool announcements, and you can read my commentary on the rest.

Todd comes out and talk about how VMware is now this Platform of IT. He says that VMware has 96% of the Global 1000 and that at their Partner Conference they said get the rest. They got 10 more of these and so they have 97% of the Global 1000.

Financial Energy, Human Energy, Earth’s Energy

Kroger, Siemens, Fannie Mae *Customer video

42% Infrastructure Maintenance, 30% app maint, 23% app invest, 5% infra invest

10 minutes in, and nothing exciting or new talked about. Todd and Paul came in and beat their chests a little, but really there was NOTHING NEW. Disappointing. Take the Hardware, encapsulate the OS/App into a “little black box” lift it up and Slide VMware vSphere in there. Now you can push it out to the cloud.

Automatic Operations leads to Business Agility

This could be interesting. Reverse DPM? When Power is expensive (and usually demand for resources higher) squeeze the servers onto a box and save power.

32 minutes in, again, nothing new. Yawn. These are all slides I have seen before, and they weren’t presented very excitingly. I saw these at VMworld Europe, at the vSphere 4 Launch, nothing new.

VMware and IBM “dialing the power down” lessening the idle power.

Creating a new VM with Lab Manager, WOW?

vCenter Chargeback weight the resources

VMware Go? VMware Went…How do I make money off of those people that download and use ESXi for free.

vCloud Express – Fast and Cheap uhh, Fast and Cost Effective

vCloud API – Announcing (again?) this Open Cloud API

VMware View – Desktop as a Service

HP showed a couple of things that are interesting. First of all, they had this storage device and you could pull it out and all of the disks were built in to the side. That was cool.

Also, HP has built in their Insight Manager Tools built into vCenter which can monitor your servers and then if you need to go into their tools (you need more depth) then you can launch it. Paul commented on how this is a Single Pane of Glass for managing the physical and virtual. Granted you still have to pop out to get to the OA, but interesting.

PCoIP – we saw a small demo of it, it didn’t pop, but they are making progress.

SpringSource Acquisition – is this their compete to Azure?