vExpert 2013

I just found out today that I was awarded the prestigious vExpert award! I am honored once again to be recognized by VMware as an expert in the virtualization community and will continue to provide a service to the community that I have become so attached to over the last 9 years. I’ve been in this field since the early 90’s and I must say that the VMware community is the best one out there, hands-down! Never before have I seen such a plethora of expertise that is offered by so many great minds in the community. Maybe it is due to social media facets such as Twitter that has escalated the popularity of this technology, but you cannot deny that it is the most disruptive and innovative technology to date.

I am looking forward to another year of advancement and social interactions with everyone!


Cisco UCS Manager and Java Issues

As much as I love Java development, I am constantly annoyed by Java updates on a workstation and getting the right version of Java to work on a product. The Cisco UCS Manager is no different an thus prompted me to post this in an attempt to remediate the issue that I can only image a lot of people have with accessing the management interface.

I downloaded the latest and greatest Java version and build which was version 7 update 5 at the time of this writing. My workstation wasn’t running this, so I found the link on the main page of the UCS Manager.

I thought to myself – great! They have a link to the latest and greatest Java and immediately downloaded version 7 update 5. Alas, much to my displeasure, I was presented with this error when attempting to connect to one of the fabric interconnects.

What the…. According to the error message was was to be a 1.6 update 10 or higher! Thinking that there must be something wrong with the version that I just downloaded and installed, I immediately removed Java and reinstalled after a reboot of Windows 7. Well, that didn’t produce results and I stared to look on the Cisco forums for answers. One of the suggestions called for a modification of the way Java keeps and removes temporary files, but that did not resolve the issue and I continued to receive the error above.

On a hunch – I removed all versions of Java that were installed on my computer at the time:

I then restarted and installed the old version of Java which is Version 6 Update 33 and that resolved it.

After finding the resolution, I like to do some research in my spare time to determine the root cause of the issue and managed to locate this link on Cisco’s site. It pertains to the 2.0 platform and talks about the need for Java 1.6  due to the “lack of 64bit native libraries for the KVM/VMedia. Still doesn’t fully explain the Java runtime error that I received stating that anything higher will work.

Hope this helps those that are trying to get in and administer the UCS environment.



Speeding Up VMware Converter 5

Back in June of last year I did a preview post on VMware Converter 5 describing some of the great features of this product. Well, now that it has been out there a while I thought that this would be a good time to talk about a significant change to how the conversion process can be accelerated by simply turning off the default method of transport. As a catch-all, they have the converter using SSL so that if a P2V (or V2V for that matter) is done across an unsecured connection, the data is protected. The  product has a great sector based copying process during the cloning operation and conversion speed, but I have found this tweak to help speed the process up considerably within your network.

Please note that this change should only be done if you are performing your P2V processes within your private or corporate network, whether it be on the ethernet segment in your LAN or across your private MPLS WAN. I do not recommend turning this off if you are P2Ving a machine across the internet or unsecure line for whatever reason. 

Changing the VMware Converter Client

First off, locate this file in your installation directory which is generally at c:\program files\VMware\VMware Converter Standalone

Next, open it up in your favorite XML editor (notepad for me) and make a change to this highlighted entry:

Make the entry “false”:

You will want to save this back as an XML file so make sure that you change the settings in notepad when you save it.

That’s it! Why there is no “tick box” for turning this off is beyond me, but this will speed up your conversion times. Some of my testing has shown a 6x reduction in P2V times.