Welcome to VMware Alive VM

Heh? Alive VM? I have never hear of it? Well up until today neither had I.

Looking at my previous post Upgrade to Enterprise Plus promotion I clicked on the link (which was originally pointing to the above mentioned promotion) and was presented with this page.


A quick search on VMware's site brought only these two hits


A Google search brought me to this


Aha! Integrien!!


Now Integrien was acquired at the end of August 2010 by VMware.

Now judging from what is on the VMware landing page

Get a comprehensive view of overall performance for the entire vSphere environment; health, performance and capacity. Heat maps easily locate trouble areas and mapping of virtual machines to host, cluster and datacenter combined with trended analytics enable quick and effective problem solving.

Q. What is the current offer?
A. During this promotion, when you purchase an eligible VMware vSphere product offering you will qualify to receive a perpetual license of VMware Alive VM allowing you to manage up to 50 virtual machines and one (1) year of Basic Support and Subscription (SnS) at no additional charge.

Q. What is the timeframe for this promotion?
A. When you purchase eligible products between November 23, 2010 and March 1, 2011, you will be qualified to receive a promotional code for our VMware online store which can be used to redeem the applicable VMware Alive VM perpetual license. Redemptions must be made by April 30, 2011 at midnight PST.

Q. What is the benefit of VMware Alive VM
A. VMware Alive VM is a uniquely designed product that enables the VM administrator to have a comprehensive view of the overall performance of their complete vSphere environment.

  • Indicators of health, workload and capacity
  • Heat maps to easily locate trouble areas
  • Mapping of virtual machines to host to cluster and datacenter to get to root cause analysis
  • Trending and analytics for quick and effective problem solving

    An Alive VM promotional redemption code will be emailed to eligible customers within 30 days of Alive VM General Availability or within 30 days after the eligible order is placed, whichever is later.

  • So officially the product has not yet been released. Notice the slight name change from the original Integrien brand. But the promotion is valid.

    Here are some features from the Integrien site

    AliveVM Features & Benefits

    Advanced Real-time Analytics

    • Sophisticated Dynamic Thresholding algorithms to learn the normal behavior of all time-series performance metrics captured by vCenter for all virtual elements.
    • Real-time calculation of Health for each virtual element, driven by an algorithm which assesses the underlying metric normal/abnormal behavior.
    • Real-time calculation of a Workload level for each virtual element, driven by an algorithm which assesses the resource-limited performance metrics.
    • Real-time calculation of a Capacity index for each virtual element, driven by an algorithm which projects the element’s future Workload demands

    Compelling Visualizations

    • Visualize the performance of the entire virtual infrastructure from all vCenters, not just one, complete with element relationships that tie ESXs to VMs, VMs to LUNs, etc.
    • Dashboard focus can be switched from Health to Workload to Capacity analysis; or switch from an overview of the entire environment to detailed performance information about any element with one or two mouse clicks.
    • Within minutes of installation, AliveVM’s analytics start determining the range of normal behavior for every element, so you can focus on truly anomalous behaviors that requires attention before they develop into problems that affect end users.
    • An element detail view graphically displays the Health, Workload and Capacity not only of the element themselves, but also of parent and siblings. Related storage and network devices are also shown so you understand the behavior of the element in context
    • Automatically highlights an element’s most actionable metrics, those with the most abnormal behavior in the recent past
    • View ‘mash-ups’ of health performance with related change events. This makes the impact that each change in the environment had on the element’s health obvious. For example, if a configuration change degraded the health of a particular VM, you would quickly see that on the chart, and know which change triggered the performance problem.


    • Available via download as either a quick and easy server installation package or a virtual appliance; as a web application there is no client installation necessary.
    • Collects all available time-series performance data, topology relationships, and vCenter configuration change events directly from vCenter. Requires only knowledge of the vCenter URL and a read-only user credential for each target vCenter to configure.
    • Install and integrate with your vCenters in minutes - no external RDBMS required, no manual configuration and no required user input.
    • Inherits the flexibility, reliability and scalability of the Integrien Alive enterprise platform for performance management.


    I Got my Ugly Mug on the VMware site

    Pablo Roesch approached me a while back to ask if he could add me to the Hero Spotlight on the
    VMware Developer Community.

    I was contacted today by a colleague in Israel who said he saw my face up on the VMware site

    The Heroes in the Spotlight are rotated, so F5 to go through them all.

    1. I am honored
    2. I am not worthy - there are so many others that should be up there.
    3. Thank you Pablo for making this happen.



    Upgrade to Enterprise Plus promotion - ends soon

    Act Now to Get More Value from vSphere

    That is the title of the promotion valid for less than one month from today.


    For a limited time, you can get VMware vCenter CapacityIQ and/or VMware View for free, depending on which version of VMware vSphere you upgrade to or purchase, making the ROI better than ever.

    If buy vSphere Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise or Enterprise Plus, upgrade to any of these editions, or purchase any vSphere acceleration kit that contains these editions
    between August 9, 2010 and December 15, 2010
    and get 15 VMs of VMware vCenter CapacityIQ, a robust virtualization capacity planning solution that helps you utilize your datacenter and desktop capacity in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Review the list of qualifying SKUs or read the FAQs for more details.

    Buy or upgrade to vSphere Enterprise Plus
    between August 9, 2010 and December 15, 2010
    when you purchase or upgrade to vSphere Enterprise Plus and get 50 free licenses of View Premier Add-On plus 15 VMs of vCenter Capacity IQ.
    Review the list of qualifying SKUs or read the FAQs for more details.


    As an additional, ongoing benefit, qualifying purchases will also be entitled to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware operating system with subscription to patches and updates at no incremental cost. To learn more, visit the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware product page and read the terms and conditions and list of eligible SKUs.


    Add-on packages mean you need to have a current license of VMware View.

    Regular price for 10 View Premier 4.5 add-on licenses goes for $1,500 (+$375 SNS for one year).

    Approximate price for one VM license of CapacityIQ is $75/vm (+$19 SNS for one year)

    In total - $10,785 value for the promotion.This looks like a great deal - seriously, so if you have the opportunity I would advise you use it.

    And if this is done in 3 eligible orders it goes up to $32,355. Kachinggggggg………..

    So just to clarify here - from the FAQ.

    Q. What is included in the View Premier 4.5 add-ons that will be included for free as part of this promotion?
    A. The View Premier Add-on seats will include:

    • VMware View Manager with VMware View Composer
    • VMware vShield Endpoint
    • VMware ThinApp (client and packager)
    • VMware Workstation

    Q. View Premier 4.5 add-on is limited to orders of vSphere Enterprise Plus, upgrades to vSphere Enterprise Plus, and upgrades to Enterprise Plus Acceleration Kits. Is there a detailed SKU list posted?
    A. Yes. Please refer to complete list of SKUs. <-There is a long list so please check

    Q. If I buy through a channel partner, will my orders be eligible?
    A. Orders placed through VMware resellers are eligible for this promotion. This promotion is not available for OEM partners ordering directly from VMware, except orders via Enterprise License Agreements or purchase orders where customer’s information is specified.

    Q. This promotion has a maximum of 3 eligible orders per customer. Can you define customer in this case?
    A. For the purposes of this promotion, “customer” is defined as an entity that has a unique customer name. For example, if there are 4 orders from a customer with the same name (regardless of the address), only 3 of the 4 orders will receive the View and/or CapacityIQ bundles.


    Q. How will the license keys be provided?
    A. You will receive a promotion code on or before December 15th, 2010, which is redeemable for the license key at the vmware.com online store. Promotion codes must be redeemed by February 15, 2011.

    Q. Who will be the recipient of the email with the promo code?
    A. The promotional email will generally be sent to the person listed as the company contact listed on your VMware order.

    Q. What do I do if I lose my promo code?
    A. Please send a customer service request and include your VMware Order ID. We will resend the promo code that was issued to you.

    Q. What happens if I don’t redeem my code before it expires on February 15, 2011?
    A. The promo codes are only good for a limited time. If you do not redeem the code prior to its expiration, we will not be able to issue you a new code.

    Q. Can I get temporary keys for this promotion offering today?
    A. No. CapacityIQ 1.5 licenses will be fulfilled within 30 days of general availability or within 30 days of when you place the order, whichever comes later. The VMware View Premier 4.5 bundle will be fulfilled within 30 days of general availability or within 30 days of placing the order, whichever comes later.


    Q. What Support and Subscription (SnS) is included as part of the CapacityIQ 1.5 and View Premier 4.5 add-On Bundles?
    A. When you redeem the promotion code for the View and/or CapacityIQ bundles, you will automatically receive one year of VMware Production Support at no charge.

    Q. When will the Support and Subscription (SnS) start on this View or CapacityIQ bundle? What happens after the first year?
    A. Your SnS agreement will begin on the day you redeem the promo code and will end one year from that date. Approximately 90 days from the expiration of the agreement, you will receive a quote to renew at then-current list prices.

    Q. Once I redeem the promo code and install the license keys, how do I receive support?
    A. When you redeem the promo code, a one-year support agreement will be created. The Primary License Administrator can add additional Support Administrators to the agreement via the Contract Management portal.

    Q. Who can I contact if I have questions?
    A. Please contact your VMware authorized reselling partner or VMware account representative if you have any questions.


    New Patch released - VMSA-2010-0016

    This was just released. KB 1027027 (ESX) and KB 1027753 (ESXi)

    I wanted to point out that is should deal with several issues that include a patch to solve this Host crash because of ESX Active Directory Integration.

    Here is the info from the KB 1027021

    When an user who is a member of more than 32 groups attempts to log into an ESXi host by using KVM, any one of the following issues might occur:

    • ESX/i host restarts
    • ESX/i host becomes unresponsive

    Note: With this patch, a user who is a member of more than 128 groups can access the console, but loses any group information beyond the 128th group.

    And also the 8 character password issue that William Lam posted about here

    If passwords of more than eight characters are set for ESXi 4.1 system users, the set password is truncated to eight characters, and the system evaluates only the first 8 characters of the password submitted for authentication.
    Note: To implement this fix, reset the password of the existing ESXi 4.1 system users after applying the patch.

    As always - Test before deployment


    Incorrect NFS Datastore mount

    I was contacted the other day with an issue where someone was trying to create a cluster in a box, and they were running into an issue. When trying to power on the VM with the shared, eager-zeroed-thick disk that was created they were running into an error message, saying that they did not have permission to access the disk.


    I checked to see if the VM settings were correct and that the SCSI adapter was set to a different controller with the correct disk sharing options. It was.

    I enquired how was the eager zeroed disk created, and that was also done correctly. The admin logged into the ESX host and created the disk with the following command on the datastore.

    sudo vmkfstools -c 60G -d eagerzeroedthick /vmfs/volumes/IT_DBM_QT/shared/shared.vmdk

    I logged into the host and noticed something weird. The disk was created in a folder called shared but the permissions on the folder and the files were not correct. they were set with owner:group which was not root:root the way it should have been.

    From the ESX host

    drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4096 Nov 1 14:43 .
    drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 512 Nov 1 15:23 ..
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 20 14:31 md1
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Oct 27 11:23 md2
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 19 16:21 mich_bi
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Oct 14 18:04 oem11
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 16 10:20 orabi11
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Oct 3 12:09 rh5.5-m2.kickstart
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 12 12:36 rh5-dg1
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Oct 14 16:53 rh5-dg1_1
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 12 15:46 rh5-dg1_2
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 13 11:05 rh5-dg2
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Sep 12 15:08 rh5-dg2_1
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Nov 1 15:07 rh5-rac1
    drwxr-xr-x 1 65534 65534 4096 Nov 1 15:09 rh5-rac2
    drwxrwxr-x 1 admin admin 4096 Nov 1 14:43 shared
    drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4096 Nov 1 12:00 .snapshot

    Now the listing above shows that the owner was 65534:65534 which was not right.

    Now who is user 65534? I tried to cat /etc/passwd | grep 65534 but did not find anything there.

    I have the NFS datastore mounted outside of the ESX host, for administrative purposes, so I decided to check from there. And low and behold this is what I saw.

    drwxrwxrwx 17 root   root    4096 2010-11-01 14:43 .
    drwxr-xr-x 20 root   root    4096 2010-11-01 15:21 ..
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-20 14:31 md1
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-10-27 11:23 md2
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-19 16:21 mich_bi
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-10-14 18:04 oem11
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-16 10:20 orabi11
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-10-03 12:09 rh5.5-m2.kickstart
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-12 12:36 rh5-dg1
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-10-14 16:53 rh5-dg1_1
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-12 15:46 rh5-dg1_2
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-13 11:05 rh5-dg2
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-09-12 15:08 rh5-dg2_1
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-11-01 15:07 rh5-rac1
    drwxr-xr-x  2 nobody nogroup 4096 2010-11-01 15:09 rh5-rac2
    drwxrwxr-x  2 admin  admin   4096 2010-11-01 14:43 shared
    drwxrwxrwx 10 root   root    4096 2010-11-01 12:00 .snapshot

    The owner was nobody:nogroup.

    I then asked the storage admin to please check the export on the NetApp filer was defined and got this back

    /vol/DBM/DBM_QT        -sec=sys,rw

    I remembered from a while back in my first VCP course that ESX hosts have to have root access to the NFS mount in order to work.

    Changed the export to:

    /vol/DBM/DBM_QT        -sec=sys,rw,root=

    I now tested the creation of a new VM from the vSphere client and verified that the permissions were now created with root:root.

    Strangely enough the ESX host was able to mount the datastore, machines were working as well.

    I did however still have to change the permissions on the folders and files that were already created on this datastore while the mount was not correct. This I did in order to prevent further problems and rectify the incorrect permissions

    chown -R root:root /vmfs/volumes/IT_DBM_QT/*

    Of course this was all done with the VM's powered off!


    Get-vSphereClient Function

    As was posted on the new KB article 1029925 the vSphere Client is no longer packaged with current builds of ESX and ESXi. However it is packaged with vCenter, so you can still get it from the web interface of your vCenter server.

    Since they have posted a direct URL to the download I decided to wrap this in a PowerShell script

    Function Get-vSphereClient {
     Downloads the vsphere 4.1 Build 258902 Client
     As was posted on the new KB article 1029925 the vSphere Client is no longer 
     packaged with builds of ESX and ESXi. This function will download the vSphere 
     client from VMware's site
     Author: Maish Saidel-Keesing
     The url for the .exe file
     The location the file will be saved
     PS> Get-vSphereClient -url http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/2/5/8/9/0/2/VMware-viclient-all-4.1.0-258902.exe -path c:\temp\viclient.exe 
    param (
    ##Create Web Client 
    $client = new-object System.Net.WebClient

    Hope you can make use of this.

    Jase McCarty posted an article on on how to change this behavior on his blog a few months back as well.

    List of Free Ebooks

    I came across this list of free eBooks that Microsoft has released as of late.

    Windows 7 troubleshooting tips

    Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance


    Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2


    First Look Microsoft Office 2010


    Perhaps you can find something useful here.