VMware one-ups Microsoft with vSphere 5.1

By , Network World |  Virtualization, VMware, vSphere

We setup a local and VPN-connected network running several hardware servers thru a 10G Ethernet Extreme Networks Summit X650 (locally) and between our lab and network operations center connection. The reason? The vMotion software will jam an equal number of pre-bonded virtual and physical ports with a traveling virtual machine during VM movements. More ports, higher speed, means a faster movement from one metal server to the target host for a moving VM.

We started up configuration on a bare metal HP DL560 Gen8 server. This server has plentiful, even spectacular power and serious disk in a 2U frame, and uses what we believe to be pretty standard drivers. But VMware's vSphere 5.1 lacked drivers for it, so it hung with an indiscernible error message. We recognize that we received early, yet not beta, supposed-to-be-production code, so we contacted VMware and within a few hours, we had a custom-cut of 5.1, and from there, everything moved splendidly.

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Of the subtle upgrades, this edition is able to use more complex authorization and certificate trading schemes, and still has an ongoing affinity for authentication with Microsoft Active Directory. However, instead of the Windows-only client, we could now use browsers from Windows, MacOS and Linux. The UI is understandable and makes comparatively good use of browser windowing areas.

Our older vSphere Clients were immediately subject to a download of a new client type when we used them to access 5.1 turf, and managing a combination of 5.0 and 5.1 resources requires the 5.1 denominator of vSphere client -- which looks superficially identical to the old one. When we started looking to resources and configuration, we rapidly found newer features.

We wanted to test moving a VM from one machine to another, Storage vMotion-style, whose target didn't share the same storage. This means that the instance has to move its IP information, its storage basis, its work, and even its CPU-type on-the-fly

We moved it, although it required some initial work. We're used to the minutiae of setting up a VMware network, and little of that has changed. We provision our networks through ISO images that we store on an NFS network. Using NFS is still not without its pain on VMware, as initial boots from ISO images into VMs -- even when we've pre-built and pre-seeded images, require comparatively obscure setups.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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