The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Steve Beaver

Steve Beaver
Steve BeaverStephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

I saw a question get posted on twitter that kind of intrigues me a little. The question was pretty straight forward. “How many virtual machines should I be able to run on a host?” That is really a fair question in itself but what I find intriguing is that this is the first question he asks. Is this really the first thing administrators think to ask when designing their environment? After all there is no set formula on how many virtual machines you can run on a host. You can be a little more exact when working with VDI because for the most part all the virtual machines would be set up pretty much the same way and the numbers can be a little more predictable. That would not be the case when working with server virtualization. You are going to have servers all with different configurations and amount of resources provisioned to the virtual machines. This variation is what will change your slot count and the amount of virtual machines you can run on the host.

I can remember, in what seems like a really long time ago, about the creation of a new company, Acadia, that will support the coalition of VMware, Cisco and EMC’s vBlock product. I had really long forgotten about the new company that was going to be formed when EMC really started their hiring blitz and campaign to get all the well known talent that EMC could get their hand on. That had been the news and buzz in the industry, as well as a nonstop twitter topic speculation about who was going to be the next person to enroll in Chad’s Army as a vSpecialist. It really appeared that the EMC crew was going to be in the best position to support and sell vBlock technology.

IO Virtualization Approaches: VMworld 2010 Review

There seem to be three styles of IO Virtualization (IOV) taking place within the virtual environment. At VMworld, the IO Virtualization companies were out and talking to people about their wares, products, and approaches to IO Virtualization. These three methods are:

* Converged Network Adapters used within Cisco UCS, HP Matrix, etc.
* Attached IOV top of rack devices such as the Xsigo Device
* PCIe Extenders

Each of these provide unique benefits to your virtual environment but which to use? First, we need to know what each of these approaches brings to the table.

VMworld 2010 in Review

What seemed like forever to get here was over in a blink of an eye. VMworld 2010 in San Francisco was once again an incredible event with over 17,000 people in attendance. Now that I have had a little time to reflect on the past week, I wanted to share my thoughts on the week and the event itself. The weather in San Francisco was unseasonable warm for San Francisco standards during the event but as a person from Florida who enjoys warmer weather the temperature for me was absolutely wonderful. I arrived in town on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed taking advantage of the power of twitter from the San Francisco Airport. Once I landed I sent a tweet out to see who else may have landed and who might want to share a cab to the hotel. Denis Guyadeen (@dguyadeen) responded right back and once we grabbed are luggage we were off and on our way.

The week that all of us virtualization junkies have been waiting for has finally arrived. In case you are not sure what I am talking about, it is VMworld 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco California. The weather for me is a little cool with the wind but then again I am from Florida so it does not take much for me to think it is cool. The sun is shining and the place is packed. All and all a great start for this event.

When I first started with virtualization, the only option you had at the time was single core processors in the hosts. Scale up or scale out was the hot debatable topic when designing your infrastructure. On one side of the coin the idea was to scale up in that it was best to get a few of the biggest servers you could find and load them up with as much memory and processors that you could fit in the box. The end result were some very expensive servers able to run a lot of virtual machines for its time. The other side of the coin presented the idea that it was better to scale out with more, smaller servers to make up the cluster. I have worked in both type of environments and attitudes over the years and as for me, personally, I aligned myself with the scale out philosophy. The simple reason for aligning with the scale out group was host failure.

VMworld Pilgrimage Part 2

In my Preparing for the VMworld Pilgrimage post last week, I went over some things, namely hotel and airfare, which you should have confirmed by now if you are planning on attending VMworld 2010 in San Francisco. I have heard through the grapevine that there are going to be around 15,000 people in attendance this year so it is shaping to be another great event. This post is going with the assumption that your travel, logging, sessions and labs have been booked and taken care of. With that said, what is the best way to stay current and get the most out of the week? I would like to present the thought that the VMTN Community Lounge / Blogger Area is a good place to start. If you are looking to meet some of the most active individuals in virtualization, this will be a place that you should consider checking in periodically throughout the week.

The countdown is on for one of the biggest virtualization conferences of the year, VMworld 2010 in San Francisco. I have been lucky enough to be able to attend all the VMworld conferences from 2005 on and the 2009 VMworld Europe in Cannes, France. These shows are pretty big and jam packed full of people, exhibits and sessions. Good old fun for the entire family!! Well not necessarily shared fun for the entire family, but if you have a passion for virtualization, then VMworld 2010 in San Francisco is the place you should be. Since it is San Francisco, you can even bring your entire family and your family can enjoy the Spouse Activities while you enjoy the talk about virtualization.

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