vSphere 4.1: Multicore Virtual CPUs

With the release of vSphere 4.1, VMware has introduced Multicore Virtual CPU technology to its bare metal flagship hypervisor.  This is an interesting feature which had already existed in current versions of VMware Workstation.  VMware has consistently baked in new features in its Type 2 hypervisor products, such as Workstation, Player, Fusion, etc., more or less as a functionality/stability test before releasing the same features in ESX(i).

Head on over to the link below for the excellent write up by Jason Boche’s Blog for all the details, including how to setup the multiple cores within ESX(i)!


****Update 8/31/10****

The article above is good however it doesn’t really mention the requirement that you have to allocate more vCPU’s to the VM in ADDITION to making the cores change like the article states. VMware’s KB article is a little clearer in this area, including the math needed with allocating vCPU’s and Cores. The KB article is at:

Symantec NetBackup – Cannot Use Staged Capacity Managed Option in a Storage Lifecycle Policies (SLP) with Puredisk

When using a NetBackup Storage Lifecycle Policy (SLP) with a Puredisk Storage Unit, you cannot select the "Staged Capacity Managed" retention type. This article explains why that is the case.

Staged Capacity Managed Option


In a nutshell, using the “Capacity Managed” option within a Storage Lifecycle Policy (SLP) with a Puredisk storage unit is not possible. The option is even greyed out when pointing it to a Puredisk storage unit, as shown in the above screenshot.

That kind of made sense to me, but kind of didn’t. So after researching that question through multiple documents and training guides, I finally found the answer in the “Help” button on the above screen (in all places!). It said:

Staged capacity managed is selectable for any disk storage unit that is allowed in a lifecycle. However, for the disk types that support single-instance store (SIS), Staged capacity managed functions to various degrees. In order for Staged capacity managed to operate, NetBackup must know how much space a backup image uses. With SIS enabled on the storage unit, NetBackup cannot know exactly how much space a particular backup image occupies.

The following storage unit configurations use SIS:
PureDisk storage units
NearStore storage units that have either the Enable file system export option enabled or the Enable block sharing option enabled.
Some OpenStorage storage units, depending on the vendor characteristics.

So that’s why we can’t use Capacity Managed SLP’s with a Puredisk based storage unit.

Release : VMware vSphere 4.1 and vCenter 4.1

VMware vSphere 4.1 was released today. Please see the “What’s New” link below to see all the new features and enhancements.

One thing that I thought was interesting, is this section from the what’s new link:

  • VMware ESX. VMware vSphere 4.1 and its subsequent update and patch releases are the last releases to include both ESX and ESXi hypervisor architectures. Future major releases of VMware vSphere will include only the VMware ESXi architecture.
    • VMware recommends that customers start transitioning to the ESXi architecture when deploying VMware vSphere 4.1.
    • VMware will continue to provide technical support for VMware ESX according to the VMware vSphere support policy.
    • To learn more about the ESXi architecture and how to migrate from ESX to ESXi, go to the VMware ESX to ESXi Upgrade Center.

That’s very interesting I think. I’ve heard for awhile that vSphere will slowly move away from the Service Console based hypervisor and it looks to be that vSphere 4.1 is definitely moving towards that direction.

Another cool feature I wanted to highlight is the Memory Compression feature. It’s an additional feature that complements Memory Transparent Page Sharing that ESX/vSphere has done for a long time. Here’s the snippet from the What’s New link about this feature:
Memory Compression. Compressed memory is a new level of the memory hierarchy, between RAM and disk. Slower than memory, but much faster than disk, compressed memory improves the performance of virtual machines when memory is under contention, because less virtual memory is swapped to disk. See the vSphere Resource Management Guide.

Another thing I noticed in the release notes is that vCenter Server 4.1 must be 64-bit, which I know for a lot of our customers might mean a migration of their existing vCenter database from a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit one. Here’s the info from the release notes for reference:
vCenter Server 4.1 must be installed on a 64-bit system. You can upgrade from vCenter Server 4.0 to vCenter Server 4.1 on the same system if it is 64 bit. To upgrade, confirm that your database is supported with vCenter Server 4.1, and back up your supported database, SSL certificates, and vCenter Server configuration. Then run the vCenter Server installer. The installer informs you that an earlier version of vCenter Server is on the computer and will be upgraded.

You can also upgrade from VirtualCenter Server 2.5 or vCenter Server 4.0 on 32-bit systems to vCenter Server 4.1 on a 64-bit system by installing vCenter Server 4.1 on a 64-bit system and keeping the database from the VirtualCenter Server 2.5 or vCenter Server 4.0 system. You can use the data migration tool to migrate the vCenter Server configuration from the 32-bit system to the 64-bit system. See the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

What’s New in vSphere 4.1:

Release Notes for vSphere 4.1:

vCenter 4.1 Download Location:

vSphere 4.1 Download Location:

vSphere 4.1 ESXi Installable Download Location: