Categories
Guest Posts Virtualization

Virtual SAN Fragmentation – Diskeeper Corporation’s V-locity

Guest Post – The marriage of Storage Area Networks (SANs) and virtual machines is a match made in heaven. The entire idea of a SAN is to reduce unnecessary resource usage on production systems and to streamline storage so that it’s more easily accessible. Virtual machines take the entire concept one step further, adding the benefits of maximizing hardware resources and the capability to add servers without taking up additional space.

File fragmentation—since the origin of modern computing is a prime drain on system performance—has substantial effects on both technologies. In the case of SAN, gains made with network technology and drive speeds are totally dependent on the state of the files on the disk. If those files are fragmented, data being read and written will be slowed to the degree of the fragmentation, affecting all users and applications waiting for that data. The entire purpose of a SAN is defeated. Even performance measures such as thin provisioning are crippled: in a fragmented environment, drive space is wasted.

Virtual environments also suffer their own brand of trouble from fragmentation, due to the fact that a virtual environment has added steps to data storage and retrieval. When a file request occurs on a virtual server, the I/O request is relayed, at the least, from the guest system to the host system—which means multiple requests are occurring for each file request. When fragmentation is present, there are multiple I/O requests for each fragment, creating an enormous amount of unnecessary overhead on disk subsystems.

Robust technical challenges require robust solutions and Diskeeper Corporation’s V-locity virtual platform disk optimizer—developed for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V platforms—is designed specifically to relieve IT personnel from dealing with complex fragmentation scenarios in virtual environments.

“V-locity software is absolutely transparent on our virtual SAN systems; it just works,” said Richard Webb of Sustainable Evolution, Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington.

V-locity utilizes Diskeeper Corporation’s proprietary IntelliWrite fragmentation prevention technology, which makes it possible to prevent 85 percent of fragmentation before it ever happens. Fragmentation is addressed at both the host and virtual machine levels—so that performance is maximized all across the virtual platform. V-locity also has InvisiTasking® technology, which means that only otherwise idle resources are utilized in addressing fragmentation and handling other tasks associated with VMs.

“The V-locity product really takes care of the fragmentation on the host and VMs automatically, without the need of manual intersession or overhead of creating scripts and jobs,” Webb said. “The central reporting and configuration management really facilitates ease of management and metric transparency.”

When combining two of today’s most beneficial innovations—SAN and virtual machines—fragmentation is completely addressed with V-locity.

You can contact Colleen Toumayan, at this email address for more information.

Read other Guest Posts here – http://www.msigeek.com/category/guest-posts

Categories
Microsoft Tools Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Keep Offline Virtual Machines up-to-date: Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 helps organizations maintain virtual machines that are stored offline in a Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager library. While stored, virtual machines do not receive operating system updates. The tool provides a way to keep offline virtual machines up-to-date so that bringing a virtual machine online does not introduce vulnerabilities into the organization’s IT infrastructure.

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool combines the Windows Workflow programming model with the Windows PowerShell™ interface to bring groups of virtual machines online just long enough for them to receive updates from either System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Windows Server Update Services. As soon as the virtual machines are up-to-date, the tool returns them to the offline state in the Virtual Machine Manager library.

This Solution Accelerator includes the following components:

  • Brief Overview. Available online only on Microsoft TechNet. Summary for business and technical managers that briefly explains how this Solution Accelerator can fit into an organization’s IT infrastructure management strategy.
  • OfflineVMServicing_x64 and OfflineVMServicing_x86. Setup files for the tool, for 64 bit and 32 bit versions of Windows with Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 or 2008 R2.
  • Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool Getting Started Guide. Provides information about how the tool works, explains prerequisites for the tool, and describes how to install and configure the tool.
  • Offline_VM_Servicing_Tool_2.1_Release_Notes.rtf. Notes provide information about this release, describe known issues in the tool, and include feedback instructions.
  • Offline_Virtual_Machine_Servicing_Tool_Help. Help file for the tool. Provides instructions for using the tool.

Download the Tool here

Categories
Community Activities General

Live webinar: VirtualBox Web Console (VBoxWeb)

logoThe VirtualBox Web Console (VBoxWeb) is an open source project implementing an AJAX version of the popular VirtualBox user interface. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances.

Join the VBox team for the next edition of VirtualBox Live, where you’ll learn how to use VBoxWeb to:

  • Browse your virtual machines and inspect their settings
  • Start virtual machines in headless mode
  • Pause/resume VMs
  • Save the state of running VMs
  • Terminate VMs (hard power off or ACPI)
  • Remote control your VMs using the integrated RDP Web Control

Register Now for the Webinar : Here

VBoxWeb makes use of the following technologies:

  • Sun VirtualBox
  • Python and the VirtualBox Python API
  • VirtualBox RDP Web Control (Flash based RDP client)
  • Prototype (JavaScript library)
  • jQuery and jQuery UI (JavaScript libraries)

Webinar Details:

  1. Speakers:  Andy Hall and Achim Hasenmueller, VirtualBox Engineering Director
  2. Date:  October 7, 2009, 8:00 am PDT / 11:00 am EDT / 15:00 UTC/GMT
    (The presentation will be approximately 45 minutes long, followed by Q&A.) 
  3. Why should you attend this? –  If you want to save time, money and frustration, you’ll want to join this webinar on the world’s most popular open source virtualization software.

If you have questions or feedback, please send them to virtualboxinquiries@sun.com

Categories
General How-to Microsoft

How to create a Virtual Machine using Sun VirtualBoX 3.0

VirtualBox is a powerful virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is Virtual Box an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers;  It is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software.

VirtualBox 3.0 is capable of creating and running multi-processor virtual machines that can handle heavyweight server-class workloads, and also delivers enhanced graphics support for desktop-class workloads, reinforcing VirtualBox’s position as one of the world’s most popular virtualization platforms. Many multi-threaded server-based workloads, such as database and Web applications, can benefit from Symmetric Multiple Processing (SMP) systems, which contain multiple CPUs. VirtualBox 3.0 can now support virtual SMP systems with up to 32 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) in a single virtual machine. With this major enhancement, VirtualBox software can be used to run not only desktop workloads on client or server systems, but also demanding server workloads.

New server features of VirtualBox 3.0 software include:

  • Up to 32 vCPUs per guest to accommodate heavyweight data-processing workloads.
  • Hypervisor enhancements for SMP to enable optimum performance.
  • Updated API platform designed to be the basis of the community-driven VirtualBox Web Console project, which is coming soon to allow IT administrators to manage their datacenters from a Web console. This project is based on the popular Python language.

New desktop features of VirtualBox 3.0 software include:

  • Microsoft Direct3D support for Windows guests, which enables graphically intensive Windows applications, like computer modeling, 3D design and games software, to run in a virtual environment.
  • Support for version 2.0 of the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) standard. As a result, high-performance Windows, Linux, Solaris(TM), and OpenSolaris(TM) graphical applications, which typically use graphical hardware acceleration, are able to run applications like Google Earth and CAM-based software on VirtualBox software.
  • Support for a wider range of USB devices, including storage devices, iPods and phones.

Creating an Ubuntu Virtual Machine using VirtualBox 3.0

After Installing the VirtualBox software, Invoke the shortcut to launch the application.  Click on New buttom which is present under the file menu. This will give you options to install various Operating Systems. (as shown below)

Win

Step 1: In this example, we will choose Linux and Ubuntu, Click Next

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Step 2: In this below dialog, we will select the amount of base memory to be allocated to the Ubuntu VM. You can use the slider or enter the number in the text box provided. I will choose 512 MB, Click Next

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Step 3: IF you already have a disk image, you can load that. Else, you can create a new hard disk using the New Button. I will select the New button here,

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Step 4: You now have an option to create a Virtual hardrive with Fixed size or dynamic size storage. Using a Dynamic Size storage is always a better practice.Click Next

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Step 5: You can do the lower bound of the hard-drive space allocation here. (By default, the Virtual disk will be saved in C:\Users\Vj\.VirtualBox\HardDisks\Ubunto.vdi ) – Click Next

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Step 6:That completes the Configuration settings for the newly built Virtual Machine. Click Finish.

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Step 7:  On completion, you will get this dialog. However, you will need an OS CD/DVD to boot the installation. Click on Settings button, which is present next to the New button. Select CD/DVD ROM, and you can choose the physical CD-ROM drive or an iso file.

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Step 8: You can add an Iso image, using the add button in the Virtual Media Manager dialog

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Step 9: Now you are all set to start the Virtual Machine, and install Ubuntu OS on it. Click the Start Button, which is present next to the Settings. (see below image)

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Step 10: Follow the OS setup Instructions, and Booom, your Virtual Machine is ready to use.

ubuntu

Step 11: You can do all the addition configurations like sharing folders, create multiple snapshots, mounting drives etc using simple menu options. See below

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Installing the Guest Additions is always a better practice. This will make the virtual machine, more responsive.

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