• Category Archives vSphere 5.1
  • vSphere 5.1 GPU acceleration now supported on XenDesktop with HDX 3D Pro and XenApp with HDX 3D

    Citrix announced support on 4/8/2013 for vSphere 5.1 GPU acceleration on XenDesktop 5.6 FP1 and XenApp 6.5 FP1. I have to admit that I was pretty excited today when I read this and I can’t wait to do some testing to see the results, and I will definitely be doing some testing on this functionality.

    I am seeing more and more request for high quality video from customer’s aCitrix infrastructure, such as medical imaging, 3D rendering etc. The list goes on and on.. Some details are below but definitely worth a read if you are looking at using GPU to enhance your video performance in your XenDesktop or XenApp environment on vSphere 5.1. Check out the full article.

    From the article.

    VMware recently introduced GPU hardware acceleration support for its latest hypervisor release, vSphere 5.1. XenDesktop 5.6 FP1 and XenApp 6.5 FP1 have tested successfully with the new GPU acceleration capabilities on vSphere 5.1 and Citrix officially supports these configurations.
    vSphere 5.1 introduced two GPU acceleration methods: Direct graphics acceleration (vDGA) and Shared graphics acceleration (vSGA). vDGA is similar to XenServer’s GPU pass-through method where each graphics processor supports a single VM to enable high performance rendering for designers and engineers that require a dedicated GPU or for GPU sharing with multi-user XenApp VMs. vSGA is a light-weight implementation of GPU sharing designed for business graphics such as Microsoft Office and Windows Aero graphics and may not be suitable for demanding 3D professional graphics applications such as CAD, geographical information systems and medical imaging. vSGA is based on API Intercept, a software implementation which has the following limitations:

    • API Intercept is limited to older versions of OpenGL and DirectX
    • API Intercept may not perform well with large 3D models since the graphics commands have to be sent from the user session to Session 0 which controls the GPU

    Would you use these features? If so, what would you use it for?

  • VMware vSphere 5.1 Known Issues : Updated 9/17/2012

    VMware released vSphere 5.1 at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco and with any new product release there are usually bumps on the road, compatibility issues and things that just don’t work. VMware vSphere 5.1 is no exception.

    I have been part of many beta tests for other companies as well as several vSphere editions going back to 3.x. Not every configuration and product can be tested. The beta process does catch a lot of issues. The day software goes live without any issues every time, a lot of people will be without work..

    I have decided to catalog a few of the known issues with the vSphere 5.1 release.

    Perhaps the larges issue is that VMware View and vSphere 5.1 are not compatible yet.

    Last Updated 09/30/2012

    vSphere 5.1 and VMware View (all versions of View) 

    VMware vSphere 5.1 is not currently supported with any versions of VMware View.

    Do not upgrade vSphere above the supported versions listed in the VMware View 5.1 Release Notes.

    vSphere 5.1 is in the process of being certified against VMware View. To be alerted when this article is updated, click Subscribe to Document on the link above in the actions box

    VMware vSphere 5.1 and Cisco UCS

    Read Chad Sakacc’s post for more details. vSphere 5.1 support on Cisco UCS, the VMEM needs a new vSphere 5.1 specific .vib.

    VMware vSphere 5.1 KB articles

    VMware complied several of the 5.1 KB articles in a recent blog post on VMware Support Insider blog

    More VMware vSphere 5.1 KB articles  ** Added 9/17/2012 **

    VMware has compiled more vSphere 5.1 KB articles that you may have missed. This one features a few of the Single Sign-On (SSO) issues that have been common for some of you

    vCenter Server Services hang on startup after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 

    From the VMware KB article: Follow the link for resolution

    • After upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1, the VMware VirtualCenter Server service fails to start
    • The VMware VirtualCenter Server service will not successfully stop or start.
    • The vpxd log files show the following:
      • The final log in the vpxd.log file shows:
        CoreDump: Writing minidump
    • You see a backtrace near the very bottom of the vpxd.log file which begins with the following:

    2012-09-13T11:53:46.802+02:00 [04468 info ‘vmmoVm’ opID=SWI-c5103928] [VmMo::SetComputeCompatibilityDirty] vm vm-5345 is marked dirty
    2012-09-13T11:53:46.786+02:00 [05112 warning ‘win32vpxdOsLayer_win32’ opID=SWI-56f04b9c] [VpxUnhandledException] Backtrace

    Increased Restart time with vCenter Server 5.1

    This issue only impacts the start/re-start time for vCenter Server. It does not affect the ongoing operations after vCenter Server has started. In fact, due to improvements to the vCenter Server database, the use of vSphere Web Client, the Inventory Service cache, customers will notice significant performance improvements in vCenter Server 5.1.

    VMware vSphere 5.1 and EMC VMAX arrays.

    Sphere 5.1 changes the behavior of VAAI Hardware Accelerated Locking (aka ATS) to no longer work with transient (sometimes on/sometimes off) ATS behavior, and older (i.e. non-current) versions of Enginuity will fail to create VMFS-5.

    VMware vSphere 5.1 and EMC PowerPath V/E 

              **** Updated 09/26/2012 Resolved *** – Fix is out.

    PowerPath/VE customers, hold off vSphere 5.1 upgrades (GA was yesterday).   Hotfix P02 from EMC is in days, and so is the expected VMware fix, follow the above link for more details on Chad Sakac’s blog post

    VMware vSphere 5.1 and Synology DSM 4.1   ** Blog updated on 9/18/2012 **

    Kendrick Coleman found an issue with the most recent release of DSM 4.1 and vSphere 5.1

    It’s possible to mount both NFS and iSCSI datastores, but when you try to build or power on a VM, everything begins to halt when it needs to write to disk. If everything runs in memory (like mounting an ISO and beginning an OS installation), but when it comes to install the OS to disk, it begins to crawl. I checked the vmkernel log and here is what is shown. You can see that after I power on the VM, it gets binded to a port but when it tries to read from disk, there are all sorts of errors 

    Update Manager 5.1 reports the compliance status as Incompatible when scanning or remediating ESXi 5.x hosts that belong to an HA cluster 

    I personally ran into this issue when upgrading my lab – see Update Manager 5.1 Release Notes

    CA Signed SSL Certificates may cause trouble with the upgrade process of vCenter.

    From Michael Webster’s blog at http://longwhiteclouds.com/

    I have heard unconfirmed reports of difficulties with the upgrade process of vCenter particularly with registering Inventory Service and SSO with vCenter when using CA Signed SSL Certificates. As I’m using CA Signed Certificates in my lab environment I will update this article when I have completed my upgrade.

    Troubleshooting SSL certificate updates and Single Sign On (2033240)
    vCenter Single Sign On installer reports: Error 29155. Identity source discovery error (2034374)

    ESXi cannot distinguish between EagerZeroedThick & LazyZeroedThick
    From Cormac Hogan’s Blog

    ESXi cannot distinguish between thick provision lazy zeroed and thick provision eager zeroed virtual disks on NFS datastores with Hardware Acceleration support

     When you use NFS datastores that support Hardware Acceleration, the vSphere Client allows you to create virtual disks in Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed (zeroedthick) or Thick Provision Eager Zeroed (eagerzeroedthick) format. However, when you check the disk type on the Virtual Machine Properties dialog box, the Disk Provisioning section always shows Thick Provision Eager Zeroed as the disk format no matter which format you selected during the disk creation. ESXi does not distinguish between lazy zeroed and eager zeroed virtual disks on NFS datastores.

    VMware vSphere 5.1 iPXE problems with AutoDeploy

     If you are having issues with IPXE and AutoDeploy please read Gabe’s Virtual World

    VMware Support Insider: ALERT: Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR

    Added 09/30/2012

    VMware has become aware of an issue whereby vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 release can go into an Edge disk full state approximately 14 days after the first edge is deployed.

    Symptoms include:

    • In vCloud Director, attempting a reconfig fails with this error:VIX_E_DISK_FULL
    • In vCloud Director, when looking at Edge Gateways, you receive this error:Edge VM backing the edge gateway is unreachable

    For further updates and more information on this alert, refer to KB article:
    Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR (2035939)

    Links for more information
    vSphere 5.1 Important Upgrade Considerations by Michael Webster VCDX #66 

    As with any upgrade please carefully consider especially before implementing in production. Reach out to your partners and trusted advisers for guidance so they can evaluate your environment to minimize issues.

  • VMware vSphere 5.1 Whats New

    Today at VMworld 2012, VMware announced the release of VMware vSphere 5.1 There are quite a few exciting features and general enhancements. One note that many customers will like is that the vRam licensing component has been removed, VMware vSphere is licensed per socket again.  The additional RAM licensing caused a lot of stir in the community and became known as the vTax. This is good news and makes it simpler and cheaper to scale up in high density situations.

    Another big feature i want to call out is 5.1 allows more than eight host to access a single file. This was a big limitation for VMware View, Linked clones. This limitation also caused issues with Xendesktop environments that boot from ISOs for Citrix Provisioning Server. This can now scale out to 32 hosts accessing a single file.

    Some of the features announced in vSphere 5.1

    Larger virtual machines – Virtual machines can grow two times larger than in any previous release to support even the most advanced applications. Virtual machines can now have up to 64 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and 1TB of virtual RAM (vRAM). 

    New virtual machine format – New features in the virtual machine format (version 9) in vSphere 5.1 include support for larger virtual machines, CPU performance counters and virtual shared graphics acceleration designed for enhanced performance.

    Flexible, space-efficient storage for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – A new disk format enables the correct balance between space efficiency and I/O throughput for the virtual desktop. ( I will delve more into this topic in a future post as it directly relates to End User Computing.

    For a detailed announcement of what’s new in the vDistributed Switch, please visit Jason Nash’s blog

    vSphere vMotion® – Leverage the advantages of vMotion (zero-downtime migration) without the need for shared storage configurations. This new vMotion capability applies to the entire network. 

    vSphere Data Protection – Simple and cost effective backup and recovery for virtual machines. vSphere Data Protection is a newly architected solution based EMC Avamar technology that allows admins to back up virtual machine data to disk without the need of agents and with built-in deduplication. This feature replaces the vSphere Data Recovery product available with previous releases of vSphere.

     vSphere Replication – vSphere Replication enables efficient array-agnostic replication of virtual machine data over the LAN or WAN. vSphere Replication simplifies management enabling replication at the virtual machine level and enables RPOs as low as 15 minutes.


    Zero-downtime upgrade for VMware Tools – After you upgrade to the VMware Tools available with version 5.1, no reboots will be required for subsequent VMware Tools upgrades.

    VMware vShield EndpointTM – Delivers a proven endpoint security solution to any workload with an approach that is simplified, efficient, and cloud-aware. vShield Endpoint enables 3rd party endpoint security solutions to eliminate the agent footprint from the virtual machines, offload intelligence to a security virtual appliance, and run scans with minimal impact.

    vSphere Storage DRSTM and Profile-Driven Storage – New integration with VMware vCloud® DirectorTM enables further storage efficiencies and automation in a private cloud environment. 

    vSphere Auto DeployTM – Two new methods for deploying new vSphere hosts to an environment make the Auto Deploy process more highly available then ever before.
    Management (with vCenter Server) 

    vSphere Web Client –The vSphere Web Client is now the core administrative interface for vSphere. This new flexible, robust interface simplifies vSphere control through shortcut navigation, custom tagging, enhanced scalability, and the ability to manage from anywhere with Internet Explorer or Firefox-enabled devices. 

    vCenter Single Sign-On – Dramatically simplify vSphere admin- istration by allowing users to log in once to access all instances or layers of vCenter without the need for further authentication. 

    vCenter Orchestrator – Orchestrator simplifies installation and configuration of the powerful workflow engine in vCenter Server. Newly designed workflows enhance ease of use, and can also be launched directly from the new vSphere Web Client. 


    Information on how to upgrade
    Other vSphere 5.1 White Papers published today

    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1

    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Performance
    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Networking

    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Storage