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Virtualisation Technology Architecture and Industry Comments from the Front-Lines

Last week, I was joined by consultants from xtraVirt at the World Trade Center in Barcelona to implement an Virtual Farm upgrade for ESX 2.5.2 to the new Vi3 ESX (3.0.2).

Be aware of xtraVirt in the marketplace.  These guys are not only technically astute virtualistaion experts but also business savy strategist with extreme creative flare and a natual nack for solving issues and overcoming tough challenges.  First, know xtraVirt.  These  guys deserve some marketing as I was sincerely impressed with their designs and ideas and what they had to bring to the table for  large-scale enterprise Virtual Server implentations, and associated p2v, v2p scenarios.

In fact they've just released a new vmish guide for ESX 3.5 which is well worth some time getting to grips with.  You can find the PDF here.    Vimsh, the interactive shell buffer, allows execution of shell commands in a vim buffer, without having to suspend the vim session, effectively offering a interactive command line session. So good stuff.  VI3 pros will find this utility handy.

Second, I wanted to talk about an major issue we had with the particular 2.5.2 builds we encountered at this customer's Data Center.  After carrying the usual precautionary steps of backing VMs with VRanager Pro, we began pushing the auto-scripted build to the hosts, but half way thorugh the deploymnet process, the upgrade began to error. The install PIDs begain indicating \usr directory space issues.

In the end, we simply left the VMFS partion intact as is, vms remaining untouched since the vmkernel would not load.  And set the directories as follows:

/ = 5GB
/boot = 500mb
swap =8GB  *Determined via memory.
/home = 1000mb
/usr=4000mb       *Programs Directory

After the effective fresh install now, we then VMFS3 upgrade to VMFS3 and then added the individual Virtual Machines to the host with the same name, then selecting the orginal VMDKs.    And volla, everything was sorted.  Even VMTs were installed on top and then Time Sync set. 

One note is that after un upgrade of VMware Tools, the NIC drivers will be striped, so all TCP/IP configs will require re-setting, thus I would recommend a ipconfig /all >c:\ip.txt before the ESX install process.

Hope this helps other Virtualisation Experts.

Posted on Saturday, January 5, 2008 10:30 PM | Back to top

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