vSphere Hosts: Scale Up vs. Scale Out

March 10, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Another confusing debate is around the approach you take when choosing your vSphere Hosts hardware configuration.  Two approaches there: Scale Up (Vertical Scaling) and Scale Out (Horizontal Scaling). Scale Up is to get small number of large powerful servers and that why it’s called Vertical Scaling; because you scale the configuration up to the max. with small number of servers. Scale out is to get a lot of small less powerful servers to achieve same required configuration and it’s called Horizontal Scaling; because you scale the number of servers horizontally, each with low hardware configuration. The common misconception of these two approaches is that people thinks that Scale-out approach indicates using Blades and Scale-up approach indicates using Rack-mounted servers. A fully populated, powerful blade chassis […]

vSphere Hosts: Blades vs. Rack-mounted Servers

March 9, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 2

One of the political-like eternal debates is the debate around vSphere Hosts Form Factor, which to choose: Blade Servers or Rack-mounted Servers. Both technologies are mature and support high computing power and Hardware Vendors offer both of them now equally. In addition, VMware vSphere supports using both of them and puts no limitation on the form factor of the hosts. They’re dominating now over Tower form factor which began to disappear because of its large foot print and high power usage. Confusing to choose between them, right? Long story short, both options have their own Pros and Cons that should be aligned with your (customer) case and your (customer’s) requirements and constraints. In the following table, a summary of the main differences […]

Modify vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Time Zone

March 2, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Few days ago, I went to a customer for a migration project to vSphere 5.5. After deploying vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 U2d and during configuration, I had some issues with “root” account -described here– that I needed to modify the time zone on my vCenter Server Appliance and I got a big surprise. On vCenter Appliance 5.1, I used to do it through its console as the screenshot below indicate. For vCenter Appliance 5.5, and surprisingly, this can’t be done anymore as indicated by this KB. Again, I began to search for some help, till I found this KB about how to change ESX 4.x Time-zone using service console. I thought that vSphere 4.x Service Console is a Linux Shell UI which is […]

Unable to log in with “root” on vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

February 24, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Yesterday, I went to a customer for a migration project to vSphere 5.5. After deploying vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 U2d and configuring IP addresses, I logged in with “root” account and default password to begin configuration and I started with adding it to my customer’s AD Domain to adjust its time sync and confirm machine naming and DNS settings. After I added it successfully, I rebooted the vCenter Appliance and once it booted up I tried to log in with “root” and boom, I can’t log in. It threw an error: “Unable to authenticate user. Please try again.” First, I thought I was writing password wrong, but I wasn’t as I found that I could log in using SSH. Then, […]

Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010/2013 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 12, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 1

We’ll talk today about virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on vSphere 5.x platform. Microsoft Exchange is considered the most common messaging system in any business all over the world. From SMB to huge Enterprises and Corporations, they all may use Microsoft Exchange as their messaging and communication system. For most of them, Exchange is considered Tier 0/1 that should be served with highest level of performance and availability. vSphere 5.x is capable of providing such level of performance and availability while reducing Microsoft Exchange footprint with 5x to 10x by consolidating many Exchange roles and nodes on the same physical hardware while providing 100% or more of the required performance. Best practices mentioned here are collected from different sources that are mentioned in […]

VCAP-DCD Study Group and Exam Simulator

February 9, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certificates, the most certificates VMware professionals want to pursuit to prove their knowledge and proficiency as well as they’re prerequisites to the most valuable and hard certificate: VCDX. VCAP certificates are divided into two branches, one for Administration, that tests your administration and troubleshooting skills, and the other for Design. IMHO, VCAP Design certificates are far more difficult that Administration ones. During my journey to VCAP-DCD title, I was gifted by two things that helped me the most acquiring it as well as knowing new VMware professionals: VCAP-DCD Study Group & VCAP-DCD Exam Simulator. VCAP-DCD Study Group is founded and administrated by Melissa Palmer. This is a group of 180+ VMware professional pursuing VCAP-DCD, some […]

Virtualizing Java Enterprise Applications on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 6, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Enterprise Software are known to be business-critical and business-oriented software that each company develops its own one to serve their business needs. Today, we gonna talk about Java Enterprise Applications. Java Enterprise Apps are multi-tier Enterprise Software that consists of -generally- from 3 tiers: Web Interface, Application Processing Tier and a Back-end DB. Each tier isn’t a single instance -either physical or virtual-, but each tier consists of a cluster of instances to serve the purpose of the tier. This makes Java Enterprise Applications excellent Virtualization candidates. vSphere 5.x with its enormous features, can deliver the required performance, scalability and availability level for Java Enterprise Applications clusters. With HA, DRS, vMotion and other many features, vSphere Platform can extremely decrease the physical hardware […]

What’s new in vSphere 6.0 – Fault Tolerance Quick Peek

February 5, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 2

As VMware launched vSphere 6.0 yesterday, many of us waited to see the rumors, or the features seen in beta versions, to be true or not. For me, one of the most waited features was the new Fault Tolerance feature. New FT feature now supports 4 vCPUs and 64GB of RAM on non latency-sensitive VMs. As stated by VMware: “It can handle nearly 90% of total workloads”. So, is it the only difference between FT in vSphere 5.x and vSphere 6.0? The answer is absolutely NO. In vSphere 5.x, FT was based on a technology called vLockstep, which keeps the Primary and Secondary VMs in constant synchronization. When a x86 instruction is sent to the Primary VM, it’s copied and sent to the Secondary […]

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