Improve Linux VM IO performance by disabling IO Scheduler

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For a little while now we’ve been seeing RedHat Linux virtual machines performing poorly. Tasks would take considerably longer on the Linux VM’s then other Windows VM’s. After digging around I eventually found that RedHat has it’s own IO scheduler that runs in the background. On a physical box this wouldn’t be a big deal, but as a virtual machine everything is already being processed by VMware hypervisor. The fix, disable the IO Scheduler!

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vSphere 5.1 Release Date leaked, maybe?

Looks like Sammy Bogaert over at Boerlowie’s Blog has possibly found the release date of vSphere 5.1… maybe?

I was about to download vSphere Update Manager PowerCLI 5.0.

I followed the main site and wanted to check the documentation first. So I clicked the Documentation button.

vmware update manager

This lead me to the Docs of Update Manager PowerCLI 5.1! That’s right, 5.1! With a release date of 10 September 2012.

vsphere5.1 release date

None of the links for 5.1 work, so no news on any new features…

Guess somebody at VMware was a bit too fast to update the website

Nice find Sammy, guess time will tell if the Sept. 10th date is the actual release date or not.


VMware vCenter 5.0 Update 1a released

VMware vCenter 5.0 Update 1a has just been released and is the first major update since version 5.0.

The main improvements being:

  • vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1a introduces support for the following vCenter Databases
    • Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, Standard ONE Edition Release 2 [11.2.0.3] – 64 bit
    • Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, Standard ONE Edition Release 2 [11.2.0.3] – 32 bit
  • vCenter Server Appliance Database Support: The DB2 express embedded database provided with the vCenter Server Appliance has been replaced with VMware vPostgres database. This decreases the appliance footprint and reduces the time to deploy vCenter Server further.

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VMware Workstation 8.0.4 released

VMware has just released it’s forth minor update for VMware Workstation 8, bringing it up to 8.0.4. The looks to contain mostly a few bug and security fixes.

General Issues

  • Linux guests running the Linux kernel version 2.6.34 or later could not be pinged from the host via an IPv6 address.
  • On rare occasions, Linux guests would suddenly fail to Autofit or enter Unity.
  • Unity mode would exit if the title bar of an application contained certain non UTF-8 encoded extended ASCII characters.
  • On Windows hosts, the VMware Workstation user interface sometimes became unresponsive when minimized from full-screen mode if the suggestion balloon was being displayed.
  • On Windows hosts, the user interface sometimes became unresponsive if the application was rendered on an extended display that was abruptly disconnected.

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My VMware View Windows 7 Optimization Guide

These are the few steps I do when creating a new "Golden" image. Luckily I don’t have to do these steps all the time as I’ll create the "Golden" image when there is a new upgrade such as when we went from View 4.6 to View 5.0.1. I like to have a new fresh machine using new virtual hardware from the start. You could certainly just upgrade the virtual hardware on the "Golden" image, I just prefer to start clean.

At any rate, here’s my list. Hopefully someone might find it somewhat useful and maybe even others can improve upon it.

Preparing a new virtual machine

  1. Create New Virtual Machine – FILE > NEW > VIRTUAL MACHINE (CTRL+N)
  2. Under Configuration select CUSTOM.
  3. Select a Name, Folder, Host, Cluster, and Storage.
  4. Under Guest Operating System select Windows and then Windows 7 32bit under the Version drop down.
  5. Select which Network (VLAN) and under Adapter select VMXNET 3.
  6. Configure disk size to 30GB THIN provisioned.

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VMware Octopus wallpaper

VMware Octopus desktop background

Duncan over at Yellow Bricks was nice enough to share this VMware Octopus wallpaper. Of the VMware wallpaper I have this one is my favorite for some reason.