My Virtualization collections and encounters..

Month: July 2011

How to enable remote connection (ssh) to ESX server

Edit the configuration file for SSH with the command:

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Find the line that starts with PermitRootLogin and change the no to yes. You can find this line about 2 pages down from the top. Save the file by first pressing Ctrl-O and then Enter. Exit with Ctrl-X.
Restart the sshd service with the command:

service sshd restart

Note: Alternatively, use the command:

/etc/init.d/sshd restart

How to convert your dhcp ip address in to static address in your ESX host.

First off take notes of your current DHCP ip details, by passing the command below.

esxcfg-vswif -l

Then remove vswif0 by issuing the below command

esxcfg-vswif -d vswif0

Then type the below command by specifying correct ip details captured in the first step. Remember this is case sensitive ( i = Ip address, n = Subnet mask, b = broadcast )

esxcfg-vswif -a vswif0 -p Service\ Console -i -n -b

How to expand VMDK disk space using vmkfs tools command

First you would need clone take a backup of the current VMDK file. Here is the format on how you can take the backup of the VMDK file.

vmkfstools -i  <source-file>  <destination-file>

Source = /vmfs/volumes/4e1bd456-2f6f018c-dd56-000c2989b6dd/WinXP/WinXP.vmdk
Destination = /vmfs/volumes/4e1bd456-2f6f018c-dd56-000c2989b6dd/WinXP/WinXPnew.vmdk

vmkfstools -X 12G /vmfs/volumes/4e1bd456-2f6f018c-dd56-000c2989b6dd/WinXP/WinXP.vmdk

After extended the disk from VMware you would need to manually login to the operating system and perform the below task, to complete the disk expansion.

  • Start – run – type diskpart
  • type list volume
  • type select volume 1
  • type extend

For more inputs on disk expansion visit VMware KB 1007266

Files that makes Virtual machine

Understanding the files that make up virtual machine (VM) can ease management tasks, enabling you to clean up unnecessary files and more. In this tip, we will cover the components that make up a VM on an ESX host. In part one, we broke down virtual machines (VMs) is from a hardware perspective. In this tip we will cover the components that make up a VM on an ESX host. These are the various files associated with a VM, located in the VM’s directory on the host (represented in the illustration below).


If you take a look at a VM’s home directory on an ESX host using a file browser application like WinSCP or the datastore browser that is built into the VMware Infrastructure Client (VI Client), you will see a list of files that are associated with the VM. Most of the files start with the actual name of the VM and have different file extensions based on the type of file that it is. You may not see all of the possible file types until your VM is in a certain state. For example, the .vswp file is only present when the VM is powered on and the .vmss file is only present when a VM is suspended. Below is a typical VM directory listing using WinSCP.

So what are all these files that make up a virtual machine and what are they used for? Let’s cover each file type in detail.

The .nvram file. This small file contains the Phoenix BIOS that is used as part of the boot process of the virtual machine. It is similar to a physical server that has a BIOS chip that lets you set hardware configuration options. A VM also has a virtual BIOS that is contained in the NVRAM file. The BIOS can be accessed when a VM first starts up by pressing the F2 key. Whatever changes are made to the hardware configuration of the VM are then saved in the NVRAM file. This file is in binary format and if deleted it will be automatically re-created when a VM is powered on.

The .vmx file. This file contains all of the configuration information and hardware settings of the virtual machine. Whenever you edit the settings of a virtual machine, all of that information is stored in text format in this file. This file can contain a wide variety of information about the VM, including its specific hardware configuration (i.e., RAM size, network interface card info, hard drive info and serial/parallel port info), advanced power and resource settings, VMware tools options, and power management options. While you can edit this file directly to make changes to a VM’s configuration it is not recommended that you do so unless you know what you are doing. If you do make changes directly to this file, it’s a very good idea to make a backup copy of this file first.

VMDK files. All virtual disks are made up of two files, a large data file equal to the size of the virtual disk and a small text disk descriptor file, which describes the size and geometry of the virtual disk file. The descriptor file also contains a pointer to the large data file as well as information on the virtual disks drive sectors, heads, cylinders and disk adapter type. In most cases these files will have the same name as the data file that it is associated with (i.e., myvm_1.vmdk and myvm_1-flat.vmdk). You can match the descriptor file to the data file by checking the Extent Description field in this file to see which –flat, -rdm or –delta file is linked to it. An example disk descriptor file is shown below:

The three different types of virtual disk data files that can be used with virtual machines are covered below:

  • The –flat.vmdk file
    This is the default large virtual disk data file that is created when you add a virtual hard drive to your VM that is not an RDM. When using thick disks, this file will be approximately the same size as what you specify when you create your virtual hard drive. One of these files is created for each virtual hard drive that a VM has configured, as shown in the examples below.


  • The –delta.vmdk file
    These virtual disk data files are only used when snapshots are created of a virtual machine. When a snapshot is created, all writes to the original –flat.vmdk are halted and it becomes read-only; changes to the virtual disk are then written to these –delta files instead. The initial size of these files is 16 MB and they are grown as needed in 16 MB increments as changes are made to the VM’s virtual hard disk. Because these files are a bitmap of the changes made to a virtual disk, a single –delta.vmdk file cannot exceed the size of the original –flat.vmdk file. A delta file will be created for each snapshot that you create for a VM and their file names will be incremented numerically (i.e., myvm-000001-delta.vmdk, myvm-000002-delta.vmdk). These files are automatically deleted when the snapshot is deleted after they are merged back into the original –flat.vmdk file.

  • The -rdm.vmdk file
    This is the mapping file for the RDM that manages mapping data for the RDM device. The mapping file is presented to the ESX host as an ordinary disk file, available for the usual file system operations. However, to the virtual machine the storage virtualization layer presents the mapped device as a virtual SCSI device. The metadata in the mapping file includes the location of the mapped device (name resolution) and the locking state of the mapped device. If you do a directory listing you will see that these files will appear to take up the same amount of disk space on the VMFS volume as the actual size of the LUN that it is mapped to, but in reality they just appear that way and their size is very small. One of these files is created for each RDM that is created on a VM.

The .vswp file. When you power on a VM, a memory swap file is created that can be used in lieu of physical host memory if an ESX host exhausts all of its physical memory because it is over committed. These files are created equal in size to the amount of memory assigned to a VM, minus any memory reservations (default is 0) that a VM may have set on it (i.e., a 4 GB VM with a 1 GB reservation will have a 3 GB vswp file created). These files are always created for virtual machines but only used if a host exhausts all of its physical memory. As virtual machine memory that is read/written to disk is not as fast as physical host RAM, your VMs will have degraded performance if they do start using this file. These files can take up quite a large amount of disk space on your VMFS volumes, so ensure that you have adequate space available for them, as a VM will not power on if there is not enough room to create this file. These files are deleted when a VM is powered off or suspended.

The .vmss file. This file is used when virtual machines are suspended and is used to preserve the memory contents of the VM so it can start up again where it left off. This file will be approximately the same size as the amount of RAM that is assigned to a VM (even empty memory contents are written). When a VM is brought out of a suspend state, the contents of this file are written back into the physical memory of a host server, however the file is not automatically deleted until a VM is powered off (an OS reboot won’t work). If a previous suspend file exists when a VM is suspended again, this file is re-used instead of deleted and re-created. If this file is deleted while the VM is suspended, then the VM will start normally and not from a suspended state.

The .vmsd file. This file is used with snapshots to store metadata and other information about each snapshot that is active on a VM. This text file is initially 0 bytes in size until a snapshot is created and is updated with information every time snapshots are created or deleted. Only one of these files exists regardless of the number of snapshots running, as they all update this single file. The snapshot information in this file consists of the name of the VMDK and vmsn file used by each snapshot, the display name and description, and the UID of the snapshot. Once your snapshots are all deleted this file retains old snapshot information but increments the snapshot UID to be used with new snapshots. It also renames the first snapshot to “Consolidate Helper,” presumably to be used with consolidated backups.

The .vmsn file. This file is used with snapshots to store the state of a virtual machine when a snapshot is taken. A separate .vmsn file is created for every snapshot that is created on a VM and is automatically deleted when the snapshot is deleted. The size of this file will vary based on whether or not you choose to include the VM’s memory state with your snapshot. If you do choose to store the memory state, this file will be slightly larger than the amount of RAM that has been assigned to the VM, as the entire memory contents, including empty memory, is copied to this file. If you do not choose to store the memory state of the snapshot then this file will be fairly small (under 32 KB). This file is similar in nature to the .vmss that is used when VMs are suspended.

The .log file. These are the files that are created to log information about the virtual machine and are oftentimes used for troubleshooting purposes. There will be a number of these files present in a VM’s directory. The current log file is always named vmware.log and up to six older log files will also be retained with a number at the end of their names (i.e., vmware-2.log). A new log file is created either when a VM is powered off and back on or if the log file reaches the maximum defined size limit. The amount of log files that are retained and the maximum size limits are both defined as VM advanced configuration parameters (log.rotateSize and log.keepOld).

The .vmxf file. This file is a supplemental configuration file that is not used with ESX but is retained for compatibility purposes with Workstation. It is in text format and is used by Workstation for VM teaming where multiple VMs can be assigned to a team so they can be powered on or off, or suspended and resumed as a single object.

That covers all the files that are associated with a virtual machine, and after reading this tip you should have a better understanding of the anatomy of a virtual machine. Now you can check out the VMs on your own ESX hosts and see the various files that make up your virtual machines. You might find a few surprises from old data that has not been properly cleaned up on your VMFS volumes. Just be careful before you start deleting any files and make sure that the files you delete are no longer needed and not being used.

Source : TechTarget.com




VMware vSphere 5 what’s new

VMware  announced vSphere 5 on 12th-July-2011. This is the next generation of their Cloud  Infrastructure Suite.

Here’s a list of white papers and technical documents about the new products, features and licensing of VMware vSphere 5:

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Platform

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Storage

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Performance

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Networking

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.0 Availability

What’s New in VMware vCloud Director 1.5 Technical Whitepaper

What’s New in VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.0 Technical Whitepaper

What’s New in VMware Data Recovery 2.0 Technical Whitepaper

VMware vSphere Storage Appliance Technical Whitepaper

VMware vSphere 5.0 Licensing, Pricing and Packaging


Also the new VMware Certified Professional (VCP 5) exam details are available:

VMware Certified Professional 5 (VCP 5) information

VMware VCP5 exam blueprint

Top 20 Articles for February 2010

Here is our Top 20 KB list for February. This list is ranked by the number of times a Tech Support ticket was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledgebase article.

Paul Maritz (CEO of VMWARE)

Paul Maritz (born 1955) is CEO of VMware Corporation (NYSE:VMW), and a past senior executive at Microsoft.

Born and raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), his family later moved to South Africa where he was schooled at Highbury Preparatory School and Hilton College. He received a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Natal, and a B.Sc. (Hons) degree, also in Computer Science, from the University of Cape Town in 1977.










After finishing his graduate studies, Maritz had a programming job with Burroughs and later became a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, before moving to Silicon Valley in 1981 to join Intel.

He worked for Intel for five years, including developing early tools to help developers write software for the then-new x86 platform, before joining Microsoft in 1986.

From 1986 to 2000 he worked at Microsoft, leaving as executive vice president of the Platforms Strategy and Developer Group and part of the 5-person executive management team. He was often said to be the third-ranking executive, behind Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. He was responsible for essentially all of Microsoft’s desktop and server software, including such major initiatives as the development of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Internet Explorer.

He then founded, and was CEO of Pi Corporation, a company backed by Warburg Pincus. When this was acquired by EMC in February 2008, Maritz briefly became President and General Manager of EMC Corporation’s Cloud Computing division, before being appointed CEO of VMware (a public company majority-owned by EMC), on July 8, 2008 – replacing co-founder and CEO Diane Greene.

He sponsors third-world development projects and is the chairman of the board of the Grameen Foundation.

VMWARE History

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) is a provider of virtualization software. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in Palo Alto, California. The Company is majority owned by EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC).

VMware’s desktop software runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, while VMware’s enterprise software hypervisors for servers, VMware ESX and VMware ESXi are bare-metal embedded Hypervisors that run directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system.



In 1998, VMware was founded by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Edward Wang, and Edouard Bugnion. Greene and Rosenblum, who are married, first met while at Berkeley. Edouard Bugnion remained the chief architect and CTO of VMware until 2005, and went on to found Nuova Systems (now part of Cisco).

The company has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, United States, and established an R&D Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as one at the Time Warner Center in New York City, in 2005. VMware software runs on Windows and on Linux, and made its debut on Mac OS X in December, 2006. Their customers include all 100 of the Fortune 100 companies.

VMware operated throughout 1998 in stealth mode with roughly 20 employees by the end of that year. The company was launched officially in February 1999 at the DEMO Conference organized by Chris Shipley.

VMware delivered its first product, VMware Workstation, in May 1999 and entered the server market in 2001 with VMware GSX Server (hosted) and VMware ESX Server (hostless).In 2003 VMware launched VMware Virtual Center, the VMotion and Virtual SMP technology. 64-bit support appeared in 2004. The company was also acquired by EMC Corporation that same year for $625 million.

In June 2006, VMware acquired privately-held Akimbi Systems.

In August 2007, EMC Corporation released 10% of the company’s shares in VMware in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock debuted at 29 USD per share and closed the day at 51 USD.

On July 8, 2008, VMware co-founder, president and CEO Diane Greene was unexpectedly fired by the VMware Board of Directors and replaced by Paul Maritz, a retired 14-year Microsoft veteran who was heading EMC’s cloud computing business unit.[14] In the same news release VMware stated that 2008 revenue growth will be “modestly below the previous guidance of 50% growth over 2007.” As a result, market price of VMware dropped nearly 25%. Then on September 10, 2008, Rosenblum, the company’s chief scientist, resigned from VMware.

On September 16, 2008, VMware announced that they are collaborating with Cisco to provide joint data center solutions. One of the first results of this is the Cisco Nexus 1000V, a distributed virtual software switch that will be an integrated option in the VMware infrastructure.

VMware acquired Tungsten Graphics, a company with core expertise in 3D graphics driver development on November 26, 2008.

On August 10, 2009, VMware announced the acquisition of SpringSource, a leader in enterprise and web application development and management. The acquisition is seen by the industry as a strategic move of VMware to become a leader in offering Platform as a Service (PaaS). The acquisition also resulted in the expansion of VMware’s education services portfolio by the inclusion of SpringSource University and its authorized training partner – SpringPeople Technologies.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, VMware acquired Zimbra, an open-source collaboration software tool, from Yahoo.

On Thursday, May 6, 2010, VMware acquired GemStone, to be operated under VMware’s SpringSource division.


Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑