Converting Open Virtualization Format (OVF) -Virtual Machines to VMware Fusion

Ray over at has posted about how to get an OVF virtual machine (usually VMware Appliances) converted so you can open them in VMware Fusion on the Mac. Here’s his link:

Copied here for reference:

I needed to run an appliance inside VMware Fusion on my Mac, the appliance was in OVF format. VMware Fusion currently does not support this format and requires you to convert the image with a tool called ovftool which can be downloaded at the following location:

Conversion is as simple as:

./ovftool "source.ovf" "target"

Optionally you could use parameters that are described in full detail when running ovftool –help. What remains is importing the created .vmx into Fusion, that’s it.



Figuring out why a pc or server is slow at logging on can be a long and difficult task.  Userenvlog logging existing in Windows XP and 2003 and there is a new process for turning this on in Windows Vista, 7, 2008.  This is a good step in the troubleshooting process to see if group policy could be slowing down the logon process.

Performance Troubleshooting for vSphere 4.1

Chethan Kumar has recently updated the Performance Troubleshooting for vSphere 4.1 guide. This is a great asset I use regularly for any client or partner that asks about vSphere performance – especially those working with Tier 1 applications. It is very educational and addresses the most common scenarios clients experience.


“The hugely popular Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere 4 guide is now updated for vSphere 4.1 . This document provides step-by-step approach for troubleshooting most common performance problems in vSphere-based virtual environments. The steps discussed in the document use performance data and charts readily available in the vSphere Client and esxtop to aid the troubleshooting flows. Each performance troubleshooting flow has two parts:

1. How to identify the problem using specific performance counters.
2. Possible causes of the problem and solutions to solve it.”

It is located here:

Larger vendors focusing on creating pre-packaged solutions…is this what customers really want?

I spend a lot of time with our vendor partners hearing their messaging and I’m definitely sensing a theme over the past year. That theme is pre-packaged “solutions”. As a solutions provider, I wonder how many customers really want this? I’m not saying they don’t but I rarely get asked about it from our clients. Here’s some examples of what I’m talking about to make sure we’re on the same page here: VCE – EMC, Cisco, VMware Flexpod – NetApp, Cisco, VMware HP Matrix / Converged Infrastructure message Microsoft and Citrix have also joined in with this theme and even to the extent of an “appliance” approach in some cases Not to leave out Oracle either with their Exadata DB appliance ….to name few…. These solutions are not only pre-integrated and designed, but they also include a single support model so you don’t have to call several vendors if you have a problem. Is this what customers want? I can see the upside of integration and support, but do customers like choice more than single support and integrated solutions? Vendor lock-in is a fear of some customers as well. Some fear they lose negotiating power when committing at this level too. Many customers also like to be involved in the design process and if IT is considered strategic to a customer’s business they may want to “roll their own” solution to find some strategic advantage over their competition by finding niche products or other optimized combinations that don’t align with the large vendors product lines. We will continue to help our customers build custom solutions that fit their business needs and we will continue to add niche vendors/products that we think our customers want to know about. Part of our value is being more agnostic and seeking out unique solutions that compliment our larger vendors portfolios. We can be the glue, the integration and the support when building solutions that aren’t “packaged”. Ultimately the larger vendors will buy these smaller ones anyway. We just need to stay a little ahead of the curve 🙂 There’s more questions here than answers, but just wanted to share some thoughts.

Virtualizing Citrix Provisioning Server

Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS) is a powerful technology both for hosted virtual desktops and for ensuring consistency across a XenApp farm by using PVS to deliver XenApp.  A common question in deploying PVS is whether it can be virtualized…and I think this article by Citrix does a great job of laying out the decision criteria we use in deciding whether it can be virtualized.  I’m also happy to see that Citrix called out the lack of LACP support in XenServer…while XenServer is a capable hypervisor the lack of this feature almost always means that virtualizing PVS in a large production environment is out if XenServer is the hypervisor (and 10Gb is not in play).

VMware MSCS NPIV Support Clarified

NPIV or N-Port Virtualization is a method of utilizing a single Fibre Channel port to serve multiple physical or virtual servers.  NPIV allows a single SAN device to service multiple WWNs without additional switching infrastructure.  NPIV is the technique used by blade system hardware to reduce the complexity of  SAN connected blades.  NPIV allows SAN connectivity without requiring Fibre Channel switches to be installed within the blade chassis.  VMware also uses NPIV within the Raw Device Mapping (RDM) infrastructure.

Due to a statement in VMware documentation, confusion has arisen over support of Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) in a VMware environment where NPIV is utilized.  In short NPIV is supported with VMware and MSCS where a hardware device such as HP Virtual Connect or Cisco UCS provides the NPIV functionality but not where VMware is providing the NPIV (checking the box in the guest config of a VM for NPIV).

Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R2 – Service Pack 1 Released

Symantec has released Service Pack 1 for Backup Exec 2010 R2.

Information and download links:
Backup Exec 2010 R2 revision 4164 Service Pack 1

Release notes for what has been fixed:

There are several fixes related to the Deduplication option and the Virtual Agent (AVVI, VMware) so I’d recommend customers updating asap.