VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration FAQ

I ran across this awesome link that discusses the arrays that support VAAI and how to double-check if it’s configured.


This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI).
Note: For more detailed information about VAAI and when it is used, see Storage Hardware Acceleration in the ESX Configuration Guide.

VMware – Cannot Expand a VMFS Datastore on vSphere 4, Solution

I was at a customer site and was showing him how to expand the VMFS datastore on vSphere 4. Problem was however, it would not increase. If you clicked on the “Increase” button in the VMFS datastore’s properties, the next screen is supposed to show you the available “free” space left on that disk so you can use that free space to increase the VMFS size. However it was coming up blank.

I found a post that said to try and connect directly to an ESX/vSphere server and try the vmfs increase that way, as they were having the same problem. There are several posts from people (eg: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/220476?start=15&tstart=0)who that method worked for, even when it wouldn’t work when connecting to vCenter, like I experienced. So I had the customer try that method and it worked!

Here’s the other thread I found:

VMware – vSphere 4.1 Handy and Useful Links

Scott Lowe has posted an awesome collection of vSphere 4.1 links, which he’s shared here:

I’m also posting below for reference on our site (in no particular order):
vSphere 4.1 – The First Bug found (and how to resolve it) « Itzikr’s Blog
VMware KB: ESX/ESXi installations on HP systems require the HP NMI driver
VIDEO: New vSphere 4.1 Windows Active Directory Authentication
What’s New in vSphere 4.1
vSphere 4.1 Storage Networking Updates « Wikibon Blog
VMware Communities: VMware In SMB: ESXi Scripted Installation Via PXE and Kickstart!
Support Insider: Useful vSphere 4.1 Knowledgebase Articles
VMware: VMTN Blog: vSphere 4.1 and more
VMware: VMware vSphere Blog: vSphere 4.1 is Here! Tell Me Something About the Release I May Not Know
Welcome to vSphere-land! » Tidbits on the new vSphere 4.1 release
vSphere 4.1, VMware HA New maximums and DRS integration will make our life easier
VMware KB: Setting the number of cores per CPU in a virtual machine
VMware KB: Changes to Fault Tolerance in vSphere 4.1
A Few Gotchas With vSphere 4.1! | Daily Hypervisor
VMware: Uptime (VMware and Business Continuity): VDR and vSphere 4.1 compatibility
VMware KB: Changes to VMware High Availability in vSphere 4.1
Blue Gears » Blog Archive » vSphere Upgrade: Going to 4.1
Stuff: PAM changes in ESX 4.1
Krystaltek: DRS/Fault Tolerance Placement Restrictions
Don’t add resource pools for fun, they’re dangerous – NTPRO.NL – Eric Sloof
How to use vMA 4.1 installation, configuration « GeekSilver’s Blog
Two new HA Advanced Settings » Yellow Bricks
DRS 4.1 Adaptive MaxMovesPerHost | frankdenneman.nl
vSphere 4.1 to 4.0 differences
VMware vSphere 4.1: Not the Typical .1 Release
VMware KB: VMware ESX and ESXi 4.1 Comparison
Best practices KB on how-to install ESX 4.1 and vCenter | ESX Virtualization
VMware KB: Copy and Paste option is disabled in vSphere Client 4.1

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:

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: