HP Lefthand Network Raid Levels Helpful Chart

Here’s a really nice chart that I ran across in the online release notes of SAN/iQ v8.5, which will help explain the differences between all of the SAN/iQ Network Raid levels, especially since there were some name changes to the levels between 8.1 and 8.5.

Notice the big difference between the Raid 10 levels and the Raid 5 & Raid 6 levels are Raid 5 & 6 are stripes with parity based, while all of the Raid-10 levels are stripes with mirror based.

Hope it helps and any questions, feel free to post a comment! 😉

HP Lefthand Networks – SAN/iQ 8.5 New Download Location for Patch Upgrading Previous Versions

I found this “patch” link while actually looking for something else. Here’s a “patch” file which will perform the upgrade to SAN/iQ version 8.5 on your HP Lefthand nodes from previous versions of SAN/iQ, starting at SAN/iQ v7.00.


This should save you the “rig-a-ma-roll” of trying to download the upgrade file through the HP website..

Also of note, here’s our other post related to getting SAN/iQ 8.5:

Free Partition Manager for Virtual Machines

Ever need to change the size of your Virtual Machines? Well, changing the size is fairly easy, but what about the data and partitions inside your Virtual Harddisks? Paragon has made their “partion manager 10 for Virtual Machines” available for free! (well at least the first 5000 copies). Besides changing partitions, it can also do other handy tricks like backups and merging partitions. The product supports the ‘new’ GPT partitions that operating systems like Windows 7 and OSX uses.

Get your free copy here :-)
Partition Manager 10 for Virtual Machines product page

Thanks to Run-Virtual.com for the info!

Release: VMware Workstation 7.1

Thanks to VMguy.com for the write up. Workstation 7.1 has been released and can be downloaded here.  VMware ACE and Player have been updated as well.  Here’s the what’s new section from the release notes:

This release of VMware Workstation adds the following new features and support:

New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems
New Features in VMware Workstation
New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems

This release provides support for the following host and guest operating systems:

Operating System
Host and Guest Support

Ubuntu 8.04.4    Host and guest
Ubuntu 10.04    Host and guest
OpenSUSE 11.2    Host and guest
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5    Host and guest
Fedora 12    Guest
Debian 5.0.4    Guest
Mandriva 2009.1    Guest
New Features in VMware Workstation

OpenGL 2.1 support for Windows 7 and Windows Vista guests — Improves the ability to run graphics-based applications in virtual machines.
Improved Graphics Performance — Enhanced performance with better benchmarks, frame rates, and improved rendering on Windows 7 and Windows Vista guests allows you to run various graphics-based applications. In addition, major improvements in video playback enable you to play high-resolution videos in virtual machines.
Automatic Software Updates — Download and install VMware Tools and receive maintenance updates when available.
Direct Launch — Drag guest applications from the Unity start menu directly onto the host desktop. Double-click the shortcut to open the guest application. The shortcut remains on the desktop after you exit Unity and close VMware Workstation.
Autologon — Save your login credentials and bypass the login dialog box when you power on a Windows guest. Use this feature if you restart the guest frequently and want to avoid entering your login credentials. You can enable Autologon and use direct launch to open guest applications from the host.
OVF 1.1 Support — Import or export virtual machines and vApps to upload them to VMware vSphere or VMware vCloud. The VMware OVF Tool is a command-line utility bundled in the VMware Workstation installer. Use this tool along with VMware Workstation to convert VMware .vmx files to .ovf format or vice versa. VMware recommends that you use the OVF command-line utility. For more information, see the OVF Web site and OVF Tool User Guide.
Eight-Way SMP Support — Create and run virtual machines with a total of up to eight-processor cores.
2TB Virtual Disk Support — Maximum virtual disks and raw disks size increased from 950GB to 2TB.
Encryption Enhancements — VMware Workstation includes support for Intel’s Advanced Encryption Standard instruction set (AES-NI) to improve performance while encrypting and decrypting virtual machines and faster run-time access to encrypted virtual machines on new processors.
Memory Management — User interface enhancements have simplified the handling of increased virtual memory capacity.
User Experience Improvement Program — Help VMware improve future versions of the product by participating in the User Experience Improvement Program. Participation in the program is voluntary and you can opt out at any time. When you participate in the User Experience Improvement Program, your computer sends anonymous information to VMware, which may include product configuration; usage and performance data, virtual machine configuration; usage and performance data, and information about your host system specifications and configuration.

The User Experience Improvement Program does not collect any personal data, such as your name, address, telephone number, or email address that can be used to identify or contact you. No user identifiable data such as the product license key or MAC address are sent to VMware. VMware does not store your IP address with the data that is collected.

For more information about the User Experience Improvement Program, click the Learn More link during installation or from the VMware Workstation Preferences menu.

Release: VMware Fusion 3.1

Thanks to VMguy.com for the great write up. Fusion 3.1 has been released.  You can download it here.  There’s tons of great information in the what’s new section of the release notes.

Here’s also the post on the Fusion Team blog, which has a little more detail and screenshots:

VMware Fusion 3.1 has a large number of new and improved features, including:

New Features

8-way SMP
2 TB Virtual Disks
OpenGL 2.1 for Vista
OpenGL 2.1 for Windows 7
Support for overlapping Unity windows in Exposé and Dock Exposé
USB “EasyConnect” to easily assign USB devices to virtual machine or Mac when connected
OVF Tool for Mac OS X now included as optional install with full download or CD install
OVF Tool 2: Import and export OVF packaged virtual machines and upload to vSphere with bundled OVF Tool
Drag a disk image or virtual disk to the installation media pane of the assistant
Add shortcut for opening a virtual machines configuration file in default text editor for VMware Fusion (Hold down option and right-click in Virtual Machine Library)
User Experience Improvement Program

Graphics Improvements

Aero is much faster on Windows Vista and Windows 7
Greatly improved scrolling speeds in Windows Vista and Windows 7 with latest Mac OS X release
Some games up to 10x faster than VMware Fusion 3.0 with VMware Fusion 3.1 and latest Mac OS X release
Improved performance and better compatibility for both DirectX 9 and OpenGL 3D applications

Boot Camp Improvements

Up to 5x disk performance in Boot Camp virtual machines
New option to minimize prompting for password (authentication dialogs) when using Boot Camp virtual machines
Handle Mac OS X disk changes better to avoid multiple references to Boot Camp partition in the Virtual Machine Library

PC Migration Improvements

Improvements to Migrate Your PC assistant, including better validation of names and better location prompt
Prompt user if Mac OS X guest account prevents guest access to shared folders instead of failing
Open new virtual machine on successful migration
Enhanced user interface on PC being migrated including:
New progress dialog on the PC being migrated as well as in VMware Fusion
Option to show converter logs and troubleshooting steps on PC if PC migration fails
Avoids port conflicts with Web server software installed on PC such as IIS, Tomcat, and Apache

New Guest Operating Systems Supported

Ubuntu 32- and 64-bit
Ubuntu 10.04: 32- and 64-bit (currently in Beta)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 Service Pack 1: 32- and 64-bit
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1: 32- and 64-bit
RHEL 5.4: 32- and 64-bit

You can download it using the link above or running the updater inside of Fusion itself.  Enjoy.

VMware vSphere NUMA Imbalance Error when Upgrading from ESX 3.5 to vSphere 4

I ran across this the other day while onsite at a customer. After performing an upgrade from ESX 3.5 to vSphere 4, the console would show the message:
“Significant Imbalance between NUMA nodes detected. Performance may be impacted.”

A quick Google search came up with this post on the VMware community forums:

There is also an official VMware KB article on this as well:

Another great resource on this error is over on Duncan’s site at YellowBricks.com, here:

You can see the imbalance if you run “esxtop” and then press the “m” button, which will show additional details  for Memory. As mentioned at the forum link above, in esxtop there is a NUMA row that displays how much memory each NUMA node contains and how much of that memory is in use.

If you have a HP server and need help with balancing memory across physical CPU’s, then check out the HP DDR3 Memory Configuration Tool:

If you have a Dell server, here’s the link to their DDR3 Memory Advisor Tool:

Both tools will help you place the memory in the correct slots and in the correct order for optimal performance, as well as fixing any “NUMA errors” reported by vSphere.

Exchange 2010 on VMware vSphere

Short article showing the impact of adding memory to the virtual machine running Exchange 2010 on top of vSphere.  As you will see there is quite an impact adding memory can have on the amount of disk I/O generated.  With the I/O numbers generated you certainly don’t need expensive EMC disk either!


The next link is to the first part of the series where they tested the impact of adding virtual cpu’s to the Exchange 2010 server(s).


What is interesting in both cases is the amount of cpu and disk for 8000 users in both of these test is EASILY within the capabilities of VMware vSphere….so virtualize already!