Learn vmware Horizon View 6

I am pretty stoked. There are a ton of new features. And I can quickly get my hands dirty with the feature set ahead of time.

Sure I will be upgrading my LABtop to explore the upgrade steps from 5.2 To View 6
But WITH the HOL you can quickly familiarize your self with the new features. (Aka play around) aren’t public clouds great! Project NEE!!

New HOL LAB FOR Vmware Horizon View 6

“VMware Horizon 6 with View is an important product release that brings advanced features to your end-user experience. As the first release in the 2014 Hands-on Labs development cycle, HOL-MBL-1451 brings exciting new content in real time with the general availability release of the Horizon 6 with View product. Be the first to experience Horizon 6 with View and see how your applications and desktops can be unified in a single workspace.”

HOL Lab announcement link

The lab session link


VMWARE LABS aka Flings (and HOL again!)

If you don’t know.. you should know about VMWARE Labs!

I am  referring to VMWARE Hands On Lab 




That is a awesome resource!

I can’t stress the awesomeness of this resource enough! If you haven’t tried it you need to…NOW.


The code name in beta was ProjectNEE —which stands for Next-generation Education Environment, is VMware’s multi-tenant, cloud service that provides an online learning environment. This IS A GREAT example of the cloud in action







What I refer to is short term projects the incredibly talented VMware Engineers work on.

There are a lot of tools to choose from depending on what you want to do.

A few of my favorites:

VMware OS Optimization Tool


I run VMware fusion virtual machines and want to streamline and optimize the GuestOS. I don’t really need the eye candy, and focus more on the functionality of the OS and needed program functionality.


The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7 desktops for use with VMware Horizon View. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Analyze
  • Optimize
  • Viewing History
  • Managing Template

Also included is the Remote OS Optimization Tool, which uses the same functionality as the Optimization Tool, but connects to a remote VMware View broker so that remote parent and template VMs can be enumerated and optimized.



OS Optimization



VisualEsxtop is an enhanced version of resxtop and esxtop. VisualEsxtop can connect to VMware vCenter Server or ESX hosts, and display ESX server stats with a better user interface and more advanced features.


  1. Live connection to ESX host or vCenter Server
  2. Flexible way of batch output
  3. Load batch output and replay them
  4. Multiple windows to display different data at the same time
  5. Line chart for selected performance counters
  6. Flexible counter selection and filtering
  7. Embedded tooltip for counter description
  8. Color coding for important counters

but but why? I already have esxtop.. If you haven’t read Duncan’s excellent post about esxtop click here

or if you want a deep-dive from vmworld.

“VMworld 2012: Session VSP1423- ESXtop for Advanced Users”



This is a great esxtop log scrubber. You can easily scrub the log backwards and forwards searching for Spikes (anomalies) and find correlation. It can assist you in your troubleshooting efforts. Time range, specific counters — because there are a lot! And you can now demonstrate your findings graphically to put into a report. Collecting data is only the first part of finding the root cause. RCA (Root Cause Analysis) requires you to ask the 7 why’s and demonstrate empirical data – objective data. Data that is observed, evidenced-based, seen and demonstrable. I want my data to stand by itself an be irrefutable. 

Finding the correlation is a difficult task. What other variables in your IT ecosystem is contributing to this observation. What is causing this bottleneck?

esxtop in batch mode plus esxplot – A winning combination.


esxtop -b -d 2 -n 100> captured-host-esxtop-output.csv

Please don't misunderstand that esxtop is great, but over 100 hosts. You might want different tools. The analogy would be you wouldn't use a meter stick to measure your commute to work by car. But if you want granularity that is super detailed down to a specific VM on a specific host.. esxtop is the winner.


Esxplot is a GUI-based tool that lets you explore the data collected by esxtop in batch mode. The program loads files of this data and presents it as a hierarchical tree where the values are selectable in the left panel of the tool, and graphs of the selected metrics are plotted in the right panel.

Esxplot allows you to “browse” the contents of these somewhat unwieldy files. You can plot up to 16 metrics on the same canvas and export the graphs to a gif, jpg, png or bmp file format. Subsets of the data can be worked with by using the regex query box which will produce a subtree that can be browsed or exported as a csv file which can, in turn, be loaded into esxplot, PERFMON or Excel.

The program is written in Python language and uses the platform-independent Window library, wxPython. Python programs written in wxPython can run unchanged on Linux, Windows, and OSX. In order to run esxplot you need to have Python 2.6.x or later installed (this program will not yet run under Python 3.x due to the lack of wxPython support).



What is your favorite troubleshooting and or vmware related tool?




Learning VMware… where to start on your journey to Virtualization Mastery.

Ok, so I have been asked this question many times as a consultant. This topic often is brought up  when interacting with their customer.

And the answer is what a consultant most often says: “It depends…”

You have to understand what the purpose of the question is.

Meaning who is asking you the question? What is the motivation to ask the question?

Is it for themselves? it is for their direct reports? It is for their management?

Maybe they would like some justification to provide career growth? Maybe they would like to have career growth? Or, often they have this new task called *”virtualization” that now is a Area of Responsibility they have been charged to manage.

*or virtualisation — for other parts of the world 😉 


Anyhow you slice it you cannot avoid Virtualization technologies and the impact is has to you.

There are several aspects of Virtualization and it depends on your job function to determine what is material to you.


There are different areas of concern (aka AOR Areas of Responsibility) that impact your what and how you get things done!

A PC technician. How will Virtualization impact my job? Can I do things easier?

The Business Unit Manager How will this impact my budget?

The System Admin How can I do things more efficiently?

The Storage admin How will I provide storage to this thing call ESX?

The Security Team How are we maintaining compliance with HIPAA? SOX? PCI?


This isn’t a post around the different options for Virtualization and selection of hypervisors. Vendors and mindset of each vendor strategy. Type 1 vs Type 2.


Typically the technician (technical staff member) will want to have a deep depth of understanding, but you cannot have depth without breadth. I know that having a deep understanding of one area of expertise can be beneficial, but what about the next level? How does what you do INTERACT with the other areas. What about what I call INTEGRATION POINTS?

What you do; you will need to do well; exceptionally well! But case in point: What you deploy will require you to understand how it interacts with the IT ecosystem.

ecosystem |ˈekōˌsistəmˈēkō-|

noun Ecology

a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

• (in general use) a complex network or interconnected system


Since we are not discussing the flora and fauna of our data center or the native plants in the region that provide drought resistance or provide genetic diversity to the seed bank for the area… but I digress.  😉


The complexity of the network, the interconnected system. How does Virtualization add to the picture? Does it impact your consumption of the resources normally provided to you? Yes

Does it impact the Level of Service you can provide to downstream users?  Does it make things easier?

Those are thought provoking questions.

But first where are you in your path to understanding and mastery of virtualization?


There are several areas to gaining mastery of VMWARE virtualization.

Area of Expertise


Data Center Virutalization

End-User Computing – aka EUC or Desktop

Network (NSX) << more on that one later



Okay you have now defined your breadth what about depth?

“A journey of a thousand miles.. starts with one footstep.” There is no short-cut.. but there is a path to guide you.



Advanced Professional


Where to start?

Choose your path!


Data Center Virtualization

End-User Computing


So you want to learn?

Where to really start?

Find some free training from the comfort of (aka home local loop-back) From the comfort of home you can start your journey or if you are in the industry.. accelerate your proficiency today

VMWARE online videos 


FREE self-paced learning online 

Webinars – (Web + seminar) = learning delivered to you! –

“New to the VMware free training library is our ViewPoint Webinar Series where we connect you directly with VMware’s own expert training team, making it easier to take full advantage of VMware® products, from data center virtualization and hybrid cloud to software-defined data center.”

Here is a list of the self-paced learning available for free:

BUT. But …. But I learn by doing!!!

Ok some people are kinetic learners and well learn by doing.

VMWARE Hands On Lab 


And then there is more!!

You can access the documentation for the 2013 HOL labs right here

Ares of study for HOL Labs

SDDC (Software Defined Data Center)


Hybrid Cloud

Partner Solutions


So you want to get certified.. here is a great source to sum things up and review


Study Guides
link – The Official VCP5 Certification Guide (VMware Press)

kindle version – The Official VCP5 Certification Guide (VMware Press)


Essential Reading

link Mastering vSphere 5.5 by Scott Lowe

EMC, ScaleIO, Storage, Uncategorized, Virtualization, vmware

Open Source tool: Vagrant OPENSOURCE. Learn it. Use it. Software tools are great and sharing tools and supporting the OpenSource community is a good thing. This is part of a multi-part post. I will share my experience setting up ScaleIO in my vmware Fusion Lab. First find a tool to make provisioning quicker, more consistent, and automated. Tool: Vagrant From the vagrant website:

Vagrant provides easy to configure, reproducible, and portable work environments built on top of industry-standard technology and controlled by a single consistent workflow to help maximize the productivity and flexibility of you and your team. To achieve its magic, Vagrant stands on the shoulders of giants. Machines are provisioned on top of VirtualBox, VMware, AWS, or any other provider. Then, industry-standard provisioning tools such as shell scripts, Chef, or Puppet, can be used to automatically install and configure software on the machine.”

more later..   vagrant and more about


Intro to ScaleIO


EMC ScaleIO at a Glance

EMC ScaleIO is a software-only solution that uses application hosts’ local disks to realize a virtual SAN that is comparable to or better than external SAN storage, but at a fraction of the cost and complexity. ScaleIO makes a convergence of the storage and application layers possible, ending up with a wall-to-wall single layer of hosts. The lightweight software components of ScaleIO are installed on the application hosts alongside applications like databases and hypervisors.

Breaking traditional barriers of storage scalability, ScaleIO scales out to hundreds and thousands of nodes. ScaleIO’s performance scales linearly with the number of application servers and disks. With ScaleIO, any administrator can add, move, or remove servers and capacity on demand during I/O operations. ScaleIO helps ensure the highest level of enterprise-grade resilience while maintaining maximum storage performance.

ScaleIO natively supports all the leading Linux distributions, Windows Server and hypervisors and works agnostically with any SSD, HDD, and network. The product includes encryption at rest and quality of service (QoS) of performance. ScaleIO can be managed from both a command-line interface (CLI) and an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). Deploying ScaleIO in both greenfield and existing data center environments is a simple process and takes only a few minutes.”


VMware Product Walk-thru

This is pretty cool..
How do you explain a vmware product quickly?
Use this tool!
It won’t provide a deep-dive technical explanation but it IS a good starting point for conversations.

This will cover:
vCloud Suite
Big Data Extensions
vSphere Upgrades
VSOM (vsphere operations manager)
Openstack + VMWARE
VDS Virtual Distributed Switch
Storage Management

It is pretty cool.. click thru and learn something new!


VMware Product Walk-thru

Storage, Virtualization, vmware, vsom

VMware vSphere with Operations Management

What a title! Operations Management  How do you define Operations management?

Can it be one system (ESX host or 1000?) How many VMs are running? How many vCenters do you run? How much storage do you have?

What: But more important is: What are you charged with? What is your responsibilities? How can you answer questions respective to your area(s) of responsibility? Can you answer questions related to your infrastructure?

OK. What about the next level of questions related to the above?  You may know what you run (hopefully) but how is it running? Is it running with maximum efficiency? Can you improve how things are running? Where are your bottlenecks? At which level? VM? Storage? Network? Host? You can determine that in about 60-90 seconds for  a single VM, a single host, a few DataStores.

What tools are in your toolkit? perfmon, esxtop, vcenter performance tab, vsom (vcops) other???


Now things are getting interesting… Data collecting is good. That is step one.

Now sorting and analyzing data is the next level. What about data correlation? Data analysis?

Root Cause Analysis (Why, why, why, why, why, why, why? aka “The 7 Why’s” … to drill down and find the answer) RCA is exhausting and time consuming. It burns up your man hours aka OpEX. How large is your team/ staff to address this question? And then the next quadrant.. Data Trending? Can you be proactive? Can you make more than a SWAG? How accurate is your predictive prowess? What is your strategy to handle these questions? I work with many customers looking to answer these questions. Scope and scale of responsibility can be overwhelming. I do know that VSOM does help and more often than not does answer the above questions and MORE.


Operations Management

 VSOM  Badges   Badges..

We don’t need “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” Actually you do.

When you understand the mindset Health Risk and Efficency or just for short H.e.R.E.   The approach to the vsphere management is very visual. Very quick and very dynamic.

*** Badges are not Metrics. Badges are MORE.


Performance, Capacity and Configuration INFORMATION – A single view. QUICK and Informative.
Analytic algorithms – beyond normal parameters… RED is bad!
VSOM. .Deploy the vApp…!
You’ve now employed a FTE (Full Time Employee) That just keeps working and working for you.

Health  — Operations

Immediate issues – Anomonilies & Faults

Risk — Short Term health
Forward looking issues, may come up if not addressed soon
Efficiency  — Long Term Health
Where improvements can be made
VSOM uses a multi-dimensional analysis. There are more facets, properties of an object monitored than a single dimension. i.e. is it on or off. How long it it on. What kind of health does it have? Can it access the resources defined for it? Can it meet the demand the object wants for the associated resources it needs? i.e. disk access? network access? compute access? Is this being throttled by a bottleneck somewhere?
How is your Virtual Environment? I call this the compute ecosystem.
Score card
“immediate Issues”
“Future Issues”
– Time remaining
  • when resources exhausted
-Capacity remaining
# VMs deployed
# VMs powered on.
# VMs remaining can be deployed
Longer time period vs workload (instantaneous)
Reclaimable Wastes “Right-sizing” of VMs. Maximize. Run Hotter.
Where do you want your operations to be be set. Are you running at the level you can manage? Are your end users consuming resources effectively??
  • above or below optimum
  • reduce VM sizing

Learn more vmware education Class 

Read a Book or for your online reference



How is your digital kungfu?? 🙂

More later..