ESXi has a 32mb Memory footprint

I was listening to an very interesting presentation this evening from Olivier Cremel, Principal Engineer
ESXi Internals: Better Understanding for Better Management and Troubleshooting

The ESXi Architecture document actually states that the memory footprint of the hypervisor is 32mb


Eric Gray, also put up a post regarding the hypervisor footprint - again 32mb

The hypervisor is loaded into memory into a RAMDISK. But where exactly can you see the size of the RAMDISK in which the hypervisor runs, and is it actually 32mb?

Two places:

1. In the System Resource Allocation settings for your ESXi host.


Here you can see that the size of 32MB is reserved - so that it will always be available - but it is also limited at 32MB so that it does not grow larger than the specified size.

2. In the ESXi host itself.


As you can see from the output below

~ # vdf --help
vdf: invalid option -- -
Gather stats about visorfs
visorfsdf [filepath]
   -h       multiple instead of blocks
   -p       resource pool view

As you can see from the output above the MAINSYS partition is the set 32MB.

Of course because all the entities above are resource pools, they can be configured to your needs - but they should only be done with specific guidance from VMware support.

A nice bit of info..


What is in Store for 2011 and How to Keep up?

2010 has come and gone. It has been a great year, seriously, there are so many things I can point out that continue to amaze me, that makes me wonder sometimes what is it that I do that has  brought these great times upon me.

Two contributions of mine that were published lately were predictions on what is store for us in 2011.

Predictions for 2011 by the virtualization community - Veeam 

2011 server virtualization predictions from our advisory board - SearchServerVirtualization.com

I will not repeat any of the the predictions that have been published above - but I would like to add a small something on a personal note.

Keeping up with the technological advances is becoming harder. Anyone that does not agree - put up your hand! More and more products are being released, by all of the major players in the industry.Be it virtualization, be it the supporting Eco shell around it (monitoring, management, planning, security etc. etc.) , be it the hardware vendors, the storage vendors the sausage vendors, (hey not the sausage people - just wanted to check if you were paying attention). If you are not developing a product that will be connected with virtualization in some way - then you are losing out on a really large potential market.

If I were to dedicate all my time (which I cannot - I have a life - and a day job) to only testing all the new products, technologies that are being released, developed on a daily basis, then perhaps, maybe I would be able to keep up. Maybe. Only very few of us can actually do this there just is not enough time.

So how to keep up? I have a few suggestions.

  1. Twitter. Twitter is a unbelievable source of information, it is actually sometimes scary and can become quite an addiction, that is why you have to control how you use Twitter. If you have not already joined in I would suggest the following lists to follow.

    If you you were to follow the people in these lists (and some of them overlap) then you will most probably follow most of the people that are active in the VMware/virtualization world - that would give you a good push start.

  2. PlanetV12N. If this is the only thing you can do - then subscribe to this feed. This is a great source of information which is something that I make time (actually more than once) daily to go over the blog articles and news that was released.

    If you have any other good sources - then please feel free to share!

  3. Concentrate on certain projects and products, not everything has to be tested, evaluated. Pick and choose what you find to be relevant to your business and your needs. I suppose, that if the need arises (and is justified) for a certain product to be tested, then the time will be allocated and freed for you.

2011 is going to be a whirlwind of a year - with a great amount of technology and ideas that will emerge and evolve and go GA

I hope to get back to more regular blogging, now that I have completed a major project, that you will be hearing about in the not very distant future.

Thank you all for a great year, and here is looking forward to an even better one!!!


Visio Stencils - Happy Holiday's to you all!

*****Update June 11, 2012******

The new version is available here


This has been long overdue.
I would like to share with you the new Visio Stencils that I have completed.
But first the legal part
These are the official icons and diagrams of VMware, Inc. VMware allows the use of these icons and diagrams in derivative works by VMware Community members to illustrate virtualization concepts and IT architectures only if the VMware copyright and terms of use are clearly displayed. The VMware icons and diagrams cannot be altered in any way. VMware does not endorse or make any representations about third party information included in this document, nor does the inclusion of any VMware icon or diagram in this document imply such an endorsement.
What's new?
If this is half as popular as the previous versions - then I will be very pleased.
Happy Holiday's Everyone!
Box Shots Icons Products
Box Shots Icons Products


Unsupported Hardware - Would You?

Today I came across two different products that could provide a large amount of benefit to any organization. But there is an issue with both of them.

The first one is Nexenta

NexentaStor is a fully featured NAS/SAN software platform with capabilities that meet and even exceed the capabilities of legacy storage systems. NexentaStor’s rapid development is due in great measure to the feedback and input of well over 10,000 NexentaStor users and the ongoing progress of the underlying OpenSolaris and Nexenta.org communities, each of which are estimated to have hundreds of thousands of members.

  • File system: NexentaStor can be installed as a filesystem on a wide variety of servers and server blades.
  • Software Virtual Appliance: NexentaStor is packaged as a virtual appliance with other products such as VMware’s virtualization products.
  • Community Version: NexentaStor is also packaged into a Community version for community use and for hardware and software developers that want to embed the product or integrate with the product.

The product itself seems to be very promising - with one caveat (which I will get to in a second)

The second one I came across was because of a Xsigo blog post here
(which in itself is a very informative read!)

With Xsigo virtual I/O, you can move, add, or change connectivity on demand. Configure up to 64 isolated connections per server through a single cable.

Networks and storage all connect to the I/O Director, which in turn connects to each server via a single cable (or two for redundancy). Xsigo offers both InfiniBand and standard Ethernet options for server connectivity.

Unlike any other virtual I/O or unified computing solutions on the market, only Xsigo lets you converge server I/O using the ports your servers already have.

Again this seems to be an amazing product - I have seen some demos of the product - but again with one caveat (here it comes!)

Neither of the two products are supported by VMware. They do not appear on the HCL.

Let us start with Nexenta


Their Support Statement and Policy


And last but not least


Looking on the VMware HCL


Nexenta does not even appear in the list of partners


Which leads me to the conclusion it is not supported by VMware.

Next on to Xsigo -



And from the the above blog post


The HCL does not list them either.


My point in the this post? Not to come down on any of the above vendors - I do not have a single bad word to say about them - not one.

But when I bet my business on a certain platform - it will have to be supported end to end - completely. And if it is not on the HCL - then I would need it in writing (in triplicate!!) that I will receive support from VMware in the event of a infrastructure issue that is because of one of these components. The fact that VMware uses the product - does not necessarily mean that I will.

I would not like to, ever, get into the situation that my production systems have an issue and I get an answer back from VMware, "It is not on the HCL - so we will try our best - but if is the 3rd parties issue then we cannot help".

Would you run your Production environment on non-HCL hardware? And if so why?
Looking forward to your comments.


Veeam's Holiday Present

I would like to tell you a short story about the new present that Veeam has announced today.


Just under 2 months ago I sent the message above to Doug Hazelman. The text speaks for itself. This is the answer I got back from him


So the Hash tags were out #*F*4*C* - which was of course #NFR4VCP

Isn't it great to have companies like this that actually think of these things before you even have the idea? and even more so - bring these things to fruition!!

The NFR licenses include 2 sockets of Veeam Backup & Replication v5 with vPower and Veeam One Solution.

This is a good strategic move on Veeam's behalf, getting the people that deal with virtualization to test drive the products, get to know them, and if the find them useful, then continue to expand their deployment

The promotion is here: http://www.veeam.com/go/free-nfr-license


Thank you very much Veeam!!


(And this is completely coincidental that there have been two blog posts regarding Veeam
in two days - I swear!!)

Welcome To A New Sponsor

I would like to thank Veeam for becoming a sponsor of Technodrone

Welcome aboard!!

VMware Communities Downtime this weekend

For those of you who have not already noticed.


VMware will be upgrading Communities systems between 10-12 December 2010. During this time, the system will be placed in read-only mode. While we work on the upgrade, you will not be able to log in, and only public content will be available. All data will be preserved and become available again once the upgrade is complete.

This is a sneak preview of the demo site.


If you need urgent support during the upcoming weekend, please submit a Support Request.


My Android Phone as a USB stick

A few days ago, I was presented with a situation that I had a failed ESX Server which needed to be re-installed. How and what happened is another tory for another time though.

I wanted to get some information off of the ESX host, namely the configuration and the whole /var/log partition for the purposes of opening an SR with VMware to analyze the issue.

In this particular case I could only get into single mode on the ESX host, so I did not have any network connectivity to the outside.

So I thought that I might as well use a USB stick. Well life is not so simple. The only one I had on me was a 16GB Sandisk Cruzer. Now this USB stick was formatted in Windows, and of course because of the partition size - it was NTFS.

Now the process of mounting a USB stick on an ESX host is really very simple.

  1. Plug it in
  2. dmesg to get the identity of the drive that was just inserted (for example /dev/sda)
  3. mkdir /tmp/usb
  4. mount /dev/sda /tmp/usb

It is that simple.

I needed to copy off the files before I wiped and re-installed the host.

I thought - where else do I have an available USB stick? And Bling! Light bulb!! My phone!!!

  1. Plugged it into the host.
  2. Found the identity from dmesg
  3. Created the directory, mounted the device
  4. Copied off my files
  5. umount /tmp/usb

I now had the necessary files on my phone - which I could thereafter forward to the relevant people.

Handy to have a phone wherever you go, don't you think?