VM Junkie

November 28, 2009

View 4 issue with LSI Logic controller

Filed under: view, vmware, vSphere — ermac318 @ 9:27 pm

So this came out during my View 4 beta testing, but I chocked it up to the drivers in the Beta being unsigned (as they often are), however this is still an issue in the final bits of vSphere 4 update 1 and View 4.

When creating a template from scratch (and sometimes after upgrading templates) using the (Parallel) LSI Logic SCSI controller (as you are instructed to do in the XP Deployment guide), you will run into an issue after creating a linked clone pool.

When a linked clone is created in View 4, a second controller is added for the additional disks (unlike in View 4). With IDE, this isn’t an issue (as the disks are added to the second IDE controller). With BusLogic SCSI, the additional controller is auto detected and doesn’t require any user interaction. However, if the template is made with the LSI Logic controller, non-admin users will be presented with a dialogue box after every View Composer operation (newly created clone, refresh, or recompose) which will ask for admin credentials to install the driver for the second LSI Logic controller.

This is a big issue as the Windows XP Deployment Guide says: “The LSI Logic adapter issued for VDI-based deployments is recommended.” They later elaborate that this is for performance reasons.

For now I recommend people either change around their templates to use a different controller.

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November 20, 2009

Best new feature of vSphere Update 1: PVSCSI Boot

Filed under: esx, vmware, vSphere — ermac318 @ 12:03 pm

So a while back I made a post about some new best practices for vSphere based on some new features that were available. One of the ugly points at the time was that while the new PVSCSI controller was awesome, you could only use it for additional disks.

Well I’m thankful to report that as of vSphere Update 1, you can boot from a PVSCSI controller so there shouldn’t be a necessity to add a second controller just when you want to take advantage of this new IO device.

Coincidentally, one of the other points in that article was about Thin Provisioning, but a recent whitepaper from VMware has pretty much alleviated all my fears on that front.

New EVC Mode in vSphere 4.0 Update 1: Westmere

Filed under: esx, vmware, vSphere — ermac318 @ 11:54 am

Looks like VMware is already preparing for the launch of Intel’s newest chip. I noticed the following in vCenter 4 Update 1’s EVC Cluster options:

Good to note this means that there is sufficient changes ahead to require a different EVC mode. That means for those of you installing Nehalem-based clusters today, if you plan on adding Westmere cores in the future, you’ll have to turn EVC on in Core i7 mode.

November 11, 2009

Windows 7 XP Mode – Virtual PC vs. Workstation 7 Unity

Filed under: microsoft, vmware — ermac318 @ 6:00 am

So I recently upgraded my primary work laptop to 64-bit Windows 7. So far, I have no regrets! Loving the new OS, although my battery life seems to have taken a slight hit, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the OS, the battery dying, or a combination of both.

However, I did find one of my applications just would not work in 64-bit Windows 7, no matter how much fixing I tried. I considered going back to an older version to test if that worked, but I figured I’d just eat the Virtualization dogfood and do what any good nerd would do – run it in a VM!

Microsoft has been kind enough to offer a special XP Mode VM to all business-class Win7 customers. I made a blog post about this previously when it was announced. But now it was time to really give it a try. At the same time, VMware just released Workstation 7 (convenient how that version number lined up…) which includes support for importing the XP Mode VM directly into Workstation so you can use Unity to run XP apps. Sounds like a great comparison test to me!

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