So long ESX – It was nice to know you!

Well, I knew it was coming but I just didn’t want to believe it. VMware has officially taken down the download links to the ESX product from their website. I’ve heard that you can still get to it through some super-secret hyperlink, but I’m not 100% sure of that. This should come as no surprise to fellow VMware folks out there since they have been talking about this day for quite a while now.

One thing that I am going to miss (and maybe this is just a nostalgic thing for me) is that fact that I could immediately SSH to a node if there were any issues that popped up and I couldn’t get to it via vCenter or Virtual Center for the 3.x days. Oh sure, you can turn on “tech support mode” but then vCenter complains constantly that it is on and makes it look like you have all kinds of problems in your cluster with warning icons all over your hosts.

Being the sentimental guy that I am, part of me will be sad that there will be no service console anymore, but I am welcoming this change due to a number of reasons that are obvious:

1) The attack footprint of ESXi will be much smaller and therefore make it far more secure than ESX.

2) Deploying “diskless” nodes will contribute to a cost savings and allow for quick boot times via SD or other methods.

3) I will really not miss running out of local storage due to logs (something I haven’t seen since 3.x)

But for now, I bid you farewell ESX – you have served your purpose well and now I will have to live in the VMA appliance from here on out.

VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1 Update 1

VMware releases the first update package (U1) for vSphere ESXi 4.1

In this release, comes the ability to boot your ESX servers with Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology or “TXT” for short. This implementation allows for protection of core system files (binaries) that could become corrupted or even tampered with while the system is up and running. Currently, this is only available with the Intel X5600 series chipset but I can only imagine that this will be present in subsequent CPU releases from Intel and AMD will soon follow.

Update 1 also contains the following:

1) Support for up to 160 logical processors
2) Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, 6.5 and Novell SUSE Enterprise Server version 11
3) Support for Ubuntu 10.10
4) Support for Solaris 10 update 9

Driver support includes 3ware SCSI & Neterion vxge

Various issues have also been resolved with this release namely, large .vmdk files on NFS that were suspect to fail due to wait times that are inherent with NFS storage.

And as always with any major release, you will need to upgrade your VMware Tools!

VMworld Day 3 & 4

Sorry all, missed my post from day 3 and I am doing a combined post for the last two days here.

What a week! The labs were a huge success and I could tell by the long lines the last few days. Spent most of my time on the solutions exchange floor and at the whiteboard commons area talking with fellow engineers about design considerations. It’s so awesome that there are so many individuals that have the right mind-set for these deployments. Almost every single person that I talked to had a well rounded background for virtualization. Many years of experience makes for well built solutions – that was the theme the last few days.

I also spent some time at the solutions exchange where I talked with some vSpecialists and NetApp folks, but spent the majority of my time at the VMware booth talking about design concepts and finding our more information about products I haven’t had a chance to use yet.

I am still bummed that I didn’t make it to all the breakout sessions that I wanted to attend. I guess 17,000+ attendee’s will do that, but I did run into may great individuals in the industry that are fellow blogger’s and twitter users.

Anyway, this has to be the best VMworld that I’ve attended over the last 4 years and I can’t wait for VMworld 2011!