How to enable EVC on ESX 3.5 with No Downtime

Posted on September 8th, 2008 in Virtualization | 14 Comments »

To improve the compatibility of the Processors chipset during the VMotion for Virtualization, the recent release from VMware had the option of EVC for both INTEL and AMD which allow you to VMotion around all your VM even it is not running the same processor family. Previously you may faced compatible issues if you try to Vmotion from INTEL 7 series to 5 series processors family. With this new option, that problem will gone. Really thanks and appreciate to the effort from VMware as well as INTEL and AMD to bring this success and easier our life.

Here I would like to share my experience on how I get this enable without interrupt my existing production environment. By default, the features will tell you to power off all your VM before you can enable this features. Here is the tweak around solution you may want to try. Most of the time, we run critical application on VM which able to minimize the down time for us.

To have Enhanced VMotion Compatibility(EVC) working, 1st you need to create a new cluster. This cluster is not necessary to have HA/DRS running itself, because is to really allow you to move the existing production VM to the temp servers. At the same time, you can setup 1 or 2 temporally ESX Server with the evaluation edition, which have similiar configuration with your production ESX. This is to allow Vmotion happen between the ESX host.

Once you had those ready, start to VMotion all the VM out from the production ESX to the Newly build temporally ESX, until your existing production ESX cluster is empty with any of the VM power on and running.

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Patches Release for ESX 3.5 and ESX 3.5i

Posted on September 8th, 2008 in Announcement, Virtualization | No Comments »

Latest patches release from VMware on the build number 110268. Is highly recommend to test out the patches on the testing machine before you apply the patches to your production. You can review the details of the patches from the link below.

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Experience on VMware ESX 3.5 and ESX 3.5i

Posted on August 26th, 2008 in Virtualization | 1 Comment »

I had tested both environment with my test machine which is DELL Precesion Workstation with 2 x 2.0 Quad core, which had total of 17GB ECC memory loaded with 3 SATA disk contain more than 1TB local storage. Below is the comparison I had done during the test.

Installation – ESX 3.5i had advantages as the entire process is fast and simple. ESX 3.5 require more interaction as it looks similiar to Linux installation. I know the ESX 3.5 can be script and customize by using the ks.cfg which I had done previously for mass deployment. For comparison 1 to 1, ESX 3.5i is much more easier and faster.

Configuration – Basically I dun really find much different as I do manage this machine with my virtual center. The only different is the Linux connection and command no longer usable on ESX 3.5i. By the way, I read some artical to tweak around to make the SSH work on the 3.5i, but I will prefer to proceed with powershell or CLI if I do need to use command prompt.

Perfomance – ESX 3.5i had better through put. In my test, I created 3 VM which 2 of them running on Windows 2003 SP2 with 4GB memory and 4Vcpu, plus additional 1 VM with SUSE Linux. I did the same on ESX 3.5 too. The respond on the ESX 3.5i is much smooth and not lacking, as ESX 3.5 you will see some lacking from the console open on Virtual center.  Follow by file copy test, the VM on ESX 3.5i is slightly faster than ESX 3.5. just less than a minute faster which I tried to copy some file with 20GB. Beside these points, I had not found anything different.
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