Distributed Virtual Switch Failures: Failing-Safe

In my virtual environment recently, I experienced two major failures. The first was with VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch and the second was related to the use of a VMware vShield. Both led to catastrophic failures, that could have easily been avoided if these two subsystems failed-safe instead of failing-closed. VMware vSphere is all about availability, but when critical systems fail like these, not even VMware HA can assist in recovery. You have to fix the problems yourself and usually by hand. Now after, the problem has been solved, and should not recur again, I began to wonder how I missed this and this led me to the total lack of information on how these subsystems actually work. So without further todo, here is how they work and what I consider to be the definition for fail-safe. Continue reading Distributed Virtual Switch Failures: Failing-Safe

Exploring a Limitation of VMware DRS

I have been a big fan of VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS). VMware DRS is a service or feature that will dynamically allocate and balance computing resources across the hosts in a cluster. In all of the environments I have work with so far, DRS has been a fantastic tool for getting and maintaining that balance across all the hosts in a cluster. Recently though I have come across a limitation of VMware’s DRS that is worth mentioning. Continue reading Exploring a Limitation of VMware DRS

Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2011

MultiPoint Server is the Cinderella of the Windows world, locked away in the cellar education sector, kept away from the bright lights of publicity and severely limited in what it could offer. But that could well be changing given Microsoft’s recent efforts to revamp the product. Although not yet quite ready for shipping, Microsoft has been working hard to add value to MultiPoint Server and when it ships in March it looks like Microsoft might have a winner on its hands. Continue reading Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2011

Browsium Release Candidate available: time to put Internet Explorer Virtualization issues to bed?

Application Virtualization allows users to use potentially conflicting software in the same workspace. Towards the end of 2010 there was a great deal of discussion about the complexity of using application virtualization to finally let corporations end their dealings with the recalcitrant Internet Explorer 6. Continue reading Browsium Release Candidate available: time to put Internet Explorer Virtualization issues to bed?

Save lives, implement VDI

Everyone living in the Northeastern United States has been victim of some of the most significant snowfall in recent history. There is more snow, icy rain and sleet than we know what to do with. Every day my neighbors and I are out clearing off driveways and walkways so we can get to our cars and head out to work, only to be met with slick on and off-ramps, narrowed streets and a continuous bombardment of slush from the vehicles in front of us. What is most frightening to me is the increase in heart attack deaths that are reported from people after they have shoveled large amounts of snow.

SnowThe American Heart Association warns that people should take extreme precautions when shoveling snow. See this article on Winter Weather Tips published by the AHA. Basically what happens is the heart rate and blood pressure increase while shoveling snow. That, coupled with the body’s natural reflex to constrict arteries and blood vessels when exposed to the cold and a buildup of lactic acid, can lead to a heart attack in those who are at risk.

Business owners, you and your company can help reduce these events from occurring by implementing policies, processes, and tools for your employees to stay at home and still work effectively. Continue reading Save lives, implement VDI