Very shortly the printing presses at VMware Press will be churning out copies of Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware: Doing IT Right, which I’ve co-authored with Michael Corey and Jeff Szastak. We had a great technical reviewer for this book in Mark Achtemichuk (Mark A – VCDX-050). There will be enough copies for everyone, and we’ll be signing them at VMworld(s), and vForum Sydney if you’d like your copy autographed (and hopefully SQL PASS events also). This is 512 pages that combines decades of experience into a book, in a single place, which is the definitive guide for virtualizing SQL Server on VMware. This project took us over 12 months to complete, and many late nights and full weekends. If you ask my family they almost didn’t see me for the entire year. This is the third book project I’ve been involved with, after being technical reviewer for VCDX Bootcamp and Virtualizing and Tuning Large-Scale Java Platforms, both also by VMware Press. Duncan Epping has done us a great honour and written a fantastic foreward for the book.
Although I have dedicated this book to my wife, Susanne, and my four sons, Sebastian, Bradley, Benjamin, and Alexander , for their ongoing support (and putting up with my absence during this project). I’ve also dedicated this book to the VMware Community.
I was also lucky to have some great sounding boards during this project in addition to my fantastic co-authors. Kasim Hansia, VMware Strategic Architect and SAP expert, Cameron Gardiner, Microsoft Senior Program Manager Azure and SQL, and Josh Odgers (VCDX-090), Nutanix Senior Solutions and Performance Architect.
Below I have included the full Table of Contents so you can take a look at what we cover and see the value that we’ve packed into this book. I hope you enjoy the book, get a signed copy, and succeed when virtualizing SQL Server.
For anyone that has been following VMware for any amount of time will know they like to keep their Beta programs very limited and usually most people don’t know what’s going on until it’s announced in public at an event. However without a wider audience involved in the use and testing of VMware vSphere in beta form there is less chance to catch bugs and the GA product quality may not be as good as what it could have been.
As you may or may not know for a few years you have been entitled to unlimited usage of Suse Linux Enterprise Server for VMware as part of your VMware vSphere Licenses and Support and Subscription. This is the same Suse Enterprise Linux that everyone was used to, just distributed for VMware under and OEM agreement. This meant that in a vSphere environment you could use as much SLES as you wanted and get all the patches and updates you need for no additional charge over and above you existing VMware SNS. If you wanted phone support on top that was a very reasonable and small fee per host. Unfortunately for those of you didn’t know about this, or for whatever reason didn’t take advantage of this then you might miss out.
While I was working on the Oracle Databases on Web Scale Tech Note for Nutanix I needed a way to quickly add disks to my Oracle RAC VM’s and set the multi-writer flag at the same time. To do this I created a PowerCLI script. It’s quite simple in what it does, but it works, and met my requirements. In the process however I ran into a VMware bug as well. So in this article I’ll explain the bug, and include my script and how it works. You can use this to add disks to an Oracle RAC node and set the multi-writer flag.
On 2nd June VMware announced the End of Availability of VMware vCenter Heartbeat. It is no longer available for sale after this date, but existing customers are supported through to 2018. This marks a turning point for availability when it comes to vCenter. Is this another in a line of cases where VMware has killed a product before there is a suitable replacement or alternative? With vCenter Server Heartbeat gone, your options for availability of vCenter are now limited to VMware HA. But is it really gone?
In May 2014 I recorded a short video with Alastair Cooke (@DemitasseNZ) for his new site notes4engineers.com (@N4Engineers). The idea behind the site is to capture a video series that sheds light on dark coreners of the IT infrastructure world. In ten to fifteen minute bites you can learn from people who build and operate infrastructure. Lets take a deeper look at what I was up to and the secrets I revealed on film for the first time.
I’d been having a bit of a frustrating time recently with the Profile Driven Storage Service and the Storage Monitoring Service in my vCenter 5.5 system. For some reason they just wouldn’t start. Their health check service would continually fail and give a HTTP 503 Error. The logs were also not very helpful with regard to what was going on. The VMware KB was also no help with this particular issue as it had nothing to do with the known problem around using custom ports for the services. I was almost at a total loss and then I stumbled across the solution.
You may know that I don’t have an ordinary home network. Most people are happy with a simple WIFI access point. But for me, my home lab and home network is serious business. It’s where I perform all my testing for my work, including performance testing, and also beta testing of different software and hardware. Even before I joined the Nutanix R&D team I was helping companies engineer better products via the testing I did in my home lab. Early versions of the Micron PCIe SSD and Fusion-io ioDrive SCSI drivers for vSphere went through my home lab, for example, before they were released. Now I’m taking my network architecture to a whole new level. I’ve decided to implement a small scale leaf spine architecture. In this article I’ll show you how this evolution has happened, and give you some high level diagrams. This network covers Home Production, Home Test, and Home Beta Test, in addition to my work test lab.
I wanted to share a brief story about an excellent VDI experience I had recently with VMware Horizon View while on a business trip to the USA. I think this story demonstrates the power of virtualization, modern mobility technology, and the productivity that really can break down barriers and provide massive business value. Before we start the story you might like to check out my home lab environment. This is where my VMware View virtual desktop is located (Windows 8.1). My environment is connected via a home VDSL service to the internet and uses dyndns so I can access it when I’m away from home. This environment is located in Auckland, New Zealand. This story started while on a journey of over 8000 miles and starting at 38,000 feet above the US, somewhere between San Francisco and New York.
On Wednesday 14th May (NZST) I sat the VMware Advanced Professional – Cloud Infrastructure Administration (VCAP-CIA) exam. After receiving my results on Saturday 17th, only 3 days after sitting the exam, I was very relieved to have passed. I would like to thank VMware and the hard work by people including Joshua Andrews and the certification team for getting the results through so fast. This is a massive improvement over previous advanced live lab exams. I had already passed VCAP-CID during the exam beta process, so for me this puts me one step closer to VCDX-Cloud, which is my goal. This article will cover my exam experience and tips and recommendations for others that wish to attempt the exam. Read more…