BSOD and kernel panic in virtual machines running vSphere or Hyper-V on Intel E5-v2 & E7-v2 CPUs

There is a serious issue with virtual machines running on vSphere or Hyper-V on hosts with Intel’s Ivy Bridge, Ivy Town, and Haswell processors (E5 v2/v3 and E7 v2/v3).

Virtual machine might randomly crash showing a Blue Screen of Death BSOD (Windows clients and Windows Server) or a kernel panic for Linux systems.

This issue occors on  Intel Xeon E5-2400v2, Intel Xeon E5-2600v2, Xeon E5-4600 v2, Intel Xeon E7-4800 v2, or Intel Xeon E7-8800 v2 Processors.

This issue does NOT affect servers configured with Intel Xeon E5-2400 series, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series, or Intel Xeon E5-4600 series processors. 

Microsoft reported this issue in this blog.

Microsoft provides a microcode update for Intel processors in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This update improves the reliability of x64-based versions of Windows Server that use certain Intel processors. A hotfix for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be available in September, 2014.

Download the update here.

 

VMware reports the issue on this KB. Advised solution is to update the BIOS. When no BIOS update is available  change the virtual machine’s MMU mode on the affected host to Software. Instructions on changing the  virtual machine monitor mode (1036775) as described  here.

Taken from the HP site:

Intel has identified a processor issue where Virtual Machines (VMs) running on VMware ESX 5.x or Microsoft Hyper-V may experience a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in a Windows virtual machine or a kernel panic in a Linux virtual machine when using VMware ESX 5.x or Microsoft Hyper-V. This issue affects Intel Xeon E5-2400 series v2, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series v2, Intel Xeon E5-4600 series v2, Intel Xeon E7-4800 series v2, and Intel Xeon E7-8800 series v2 processors.

Intel has released an updated microcode for impacted processors that addresses this issue. Updated revisions of HP ProLiant System ROMs for impacted servers include this microcode. This issue is NOT unique to HP ProLiant servers and could impact any system utilizing affected processors if the updated microcode is not utilized.

This issue does NOT affect servers configured with Intel Xeon E5-2400 series, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series, or Intel Xeon E5-4600 series processors.

Dell has an update available here.

Someone experienced this issue on HP DL380 Gen8 servers. Update of the BIOS resolved the issue.

ICT-Freak.nl has a blogpost on this issue.

VMworld 2014 session STO1965 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive

This was a great session on Virtual Volumes. This post will provide a summary of the information given in this session.

You can watch the recording of the session at YouTube here. I assure you this will be one hour well spent!

It will take some time for VMware customers to fully understand the concept of Virtual Volumes.

Currently virtual machines running on vSphere are stored on LUNs. These have restrictions. All VMDK’s on a LUNs are treated the same in regard of LUN capabilities. For instance you cannot replicate just a single VMDK on the storage level. It is all or nothing. Also LUNs are restricted in size. And we cannot attach more than 256 LUNs to a ESX host.

vvol-slide1

VMware has been working on a more granular level of management of virtual machine disk files. This technology is known as Virtual Volumes (VVOLs). Virtual Volumes are nothing more than the diskfiles associated to a virtual machine. Think Virtual Volume =VMDK.

When using VVOLs we can forget the concept of LUNs as well as VMFS. LUNs and VMFS are not used in Virtual Volumes.

Virtual Volumes provide:

  • abstration
  • simplicity of management
  • granularity of applying storage capabilities (data services) to virtual machines

Nowadays a LUN provides two functions: storage of data and accesspoint to hosts. In VVOls these two functions are split.

vvol-architecture

Three concepts of VVOLs are important to understand.

  • The Protocol Endpoint (PE) is the endpoint of the data stream from the host. ESXi talks to the protocol endpoint which is able to understand all storage protocols (block and file bases). The PE is created by the storage admin.
  •  VASA provider. VASA stands for vSphere Storage APIs – Storage Awareness . This piece of software is provided by the storage array vendor and publishes the storage capabilities to the ESXi host. The ESXi hosts exposes a set of VASA API’s. Each storage vendor has to support the API.VASA 1.0  is currently being used in vSphere 5 & 5.5. Virtual Volumes in vSphere 6.0 will use VASA 2.0
  • Storage container. This is a collection of storage objects. Each array has at least one storage container. A storage container has capabilties assigned like replication, snapshot retention times, encryption etc. The maximum number of storage containers is determined by the storage vendor. Storage containers cannot snap multiple storage arrays. Each storage container has one or more protocol endpoints associated.

There is no size limit of the storage container. It can be as big as the total storage capacity of the storage array. If the array contains LUNs accessed by physical hosts, the size of the storage container can be restricted by the storage admin.

Protocol Endpoints (PE) are used to zone storage containers. Nowadays  at the LUN level is managed which host has access to the LUN. This function is in VVOLs done by the PE.

Dataservices like replication, encryption, de-duplication are all provided by the storage array.

Virtual Volumes do not need a LUN nor a VMFS filesystem

When using VVOLs we still use and see the datastores in the vCenter Server console. Many features of vSphere are based on the concept of datastores. VVOLs are the same as datastores.

Virtual Volumes will allow Storage Policy Based management. VMware Virtual SAN allowed to place virtual machine diskfiles using storage policies. In VVol policies can be created based on storage capabilities like:

  • which disk types are used for the storage container
  • which snapshot capabilities the storage container provides
  • deduplication
  • replication
  • encryption

Virtual Volumes now allow a per VMDK policy. Admins can now for example snapshot only the virtual disk containing application data. The system disk of the virtual machine will not be snapshotted.

There are 5 types of  Virtual Volume objects:

  1. VMDK
  2. snapshot
  3. swap files
  4. vendor specific
  5. metadata

Migration of virtual machines from VMFS to VVOls is done using vMotion and Storage vMotion

Virtual Volumes does has a couple of restrictions since it is a 1.0 release. It will not support Storage DRS. SRM will also not support VVOLs but VMware is working hard to support it in later versions of SRM.

VVols itself does not support RDM

A lot of storage vendors will support VVOLs when it becomes GA. Not every storage array is likely to support VVOLs. It is up to the storage vendor to decide which arrays will be provided with a firmware update with VVOL support.

The slide below shows the vendors currently supporting VVOL.

vvol-partners

VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 2 available before end of September

During VMworld ,VMware announced it will make available vSphere 5.5 Update 2 before the end of September.

Update 2 will not bring new features but will bring new support.

Some of the changes Update 2 will have:

  • support for the new vCloud Suite 5.8
  • additional updates and patches (over 100 fixes)
  • the vSphere client (written in C#, the one you need to install on Windows) will support virtual machines on hardware level 10. Untill now once a VM has hardware level 10 editing configuration of the virtual machine can only be done using
  • support for new chipsets
  • Haswell EP legacy support (soon to be released Intel Xeon E5 v3 processors)
  • support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7  and Ubuntu 10
  • support for business critical applications (not sure what that will be)
  • support for  6TB hosts (not on the market yet)
  • support for additional versions of SQL Server (like 2012 SP1 , 2014)  and Oracle 12c as database for vCenter Server
  • storage vMotion with Change Block Tracking
  • vsphere55-u2

Source: this recording of a breakout session called ‘what is new in vSphere’

IT-Galaxy! Hét PQR-kenniscongres van het jaar

Tomorrow’s Workspace & Datacenter: Start IT now!

PQR nodigt u van harte uit voor de zesde editie van IT-Galaxy! Hét PQR-kenniscongres van het jaar, waarbij inhoud de boventoon voert in zowel strategische als technische en praktijkgerichte sessies.

Start IT now!

Laat u inspireren, doe kennis op en start tijdens IT-Galaxy de nieuwe toekomst voor uw IT. De IT van vandaag is de basis voor die van morgen. Start IT now!

10 redenen om IT-Galaxy 2014 te bezoeken:

  1. Een dag vol waardevolle informatie, unieke oplossingen en inspiratie!
  2. Op avontuur met TechnoViking Alexander Klöpping; hij deelt met u zijn blik op de toekomst.
  3. Beleef krachtige ‘TED-style’ sessies met prikkelende demo’s in het Demo Cafe.
  4. Ontmoet bijzondere klanten.
  5. Praat met gecertificeerde IT-experts en krijg eindelijk antwoord op lastige vragen.
  6. Topleveranciers uit de IT-wereld laten de nieuwste technologieën zien.
  7. Kijk mee naar cyber security door de ogen van Simon Crosby, één van ‘s werelds Top-25 CTO’s.
  8. Laat u inspireren door nieuwe IT-spelers op het Innovators Plaza.
  9. Maak een 3D-scan van uzelf en maak kans op een 3D-geprint minibeeld van uzelf.
  10. Krijg inzicht in alle aspecten rondom de Werkplek én het Datacenter van Morgen.

Stel uw persoonlijke programma samen

ITGalaxy Savethe Date -100x 100Schrijf nu in voor het grootste IT-kennisevenement in Nederland!

  • PQR’s IT-Galaxy 2014
  • Datum: 1 oktober 2014
  • Tijd: 9.00 uur – 17.00 uur
  • Locatie: Spant!, Dr. A. Kuyperlaan 3 te Bussum

Het programma van IT-Galaxy 2014 is bekend! Stel uw persoonlijke programma hier samen

Alles over de Werkplek én het Datacenter van Morgen

De rode draad van het programma wordt bepaald door de huidige marktontwikkelingen. Wij bieden u een diversiteit aan sessies. U kunt uw persoonlijke programma samenstellen, zodat de dag volledig aansluit bij uw eigen wensen en IT-vraagstukken.

Het programma is opgebouwd uit vier tracks:

  1. De eerste track bestaat uit sessies die alles te maken hebben met de Werkplek van Morgen (#WvM);
  2. Track twee gaat over de aspecten en de ontwikkelingen rondom het Datacenter van Morgen ((#DvM);
  3. In track drie presenteren de goudsponsoren Citrix, Hitachi Data Systems, NetApp en VMware hun visie over Tomorrow’s Workspace en/of Tomorrow’s Datacenter;
  4. Tot slot bieden we u het Demo Cafe en het Innovators Cafe. Dit zijn korte sessies van 15 minuten waarin u meegenomen wordt in de nieuwste IT-technologieën en oplossingen.

Informatiemarkt incl. Innovators Plaza

In de pauzes bieden wij u een informatiemarkt, waar dit jaar nog meer te zien en te beleven valt. Naast de stands van onze sponsoren, is er een ‘Innovators Plaza’, waar nieuwe spelers uit de IT-markt u graag te woord staan. Ook is op de informatiemarkt een 3D-scanner en -printer aanwezig waarmee een 3D-scan van u als persoon gemaakt kan worden. Een unieke ervaring!

Afsluiting door Alexander Klöpping

Alexander Klöpping, bekend als internet- en gadgetjournalist bij ‘De Wereld Draait Door’, is uitgenodigd om IT-Galaxy 2014 in stijl af te sluiten. Een uitgelezen kans voor u om op de hoogte gebracht te worden van de laatste trends in de digitale wereld en de nieuwe media. Mis dit niet!

Inschrijven

Wilt u verzekerd zijn van een plek op IT-Galaxy? Meldt u zich dan direct aan via de inschrijfbutton. U kunt dan uw persoonlijke programma samenstellen.

AANMELDEN!


Programma

8:30 Ontvangst en registratie
9:30 Opening
Ronald Schaap, Directeur PQR
9:40 Keynote PQR | This is IT: CTO’s perspective on Tomorrow’s Workspace & Datacenter
Ruben Spruijt & Jerry Rozeman, CTO’s PQR
10:20 Ochtendpauze
10:50

11.10
#WvM 1 – Technical
Mobile Devices, Applicaties en Data
#DvM 1 – Strategic
To cloud or not to cloud, that’s is the question
#Sponsor 1
Beyond VDI: desktopresources aanbieden aan elk apparaat – als een service!
Demo Cafe
1. Automate IT with Microsoft System Center
Peter Jong, PQR


2. Samenwerken en vergaderen in 2014 met Microsoft Lync
Peter van der Meijden, PQR

Peter Sterk & Jits Langedijk, PQR Jerry Rozeman, PQR Brian Gammage, VMware
11:30 Wisseltijd
11:35

11.55
#WvM 2 – Strategic
From the fire hose series: CTO’s perspective on Workspace 2020
#DvM 2 – Technical
Cloud Management binnen het datacenter van nu
#Sponsor 2
The future of Big Data – A Hitachi United View
Demo Cafe
3. 3D Graphics for Virtual Desktops
Jits Langedijk, PQR


4. SQL Server 2012 Always On
Jeroen Breden, PQR

Ruben Spruijt, PQR Viktor van den Berg &Frans Oudendorp, PQR Alex van Die, Hitachi Data Systems
12:15 Lunchpauze, incl. VIP-tour
13:30 Keynote Hoofdsponsor HP | The new style of IT
Clemens Esser, Manager Presales & Cloud HP
14:00

14.20
#WvM 3 – Praktijkcase
Move corporate data across a BYOD environment
#DvM 3 – Praktijkcase
HITT; iedereen kan toveren… Hoe een kleine IT-organisatie grootse IT-voorzieningen kan bieden
#Sponsor 3
Mobile Workspaces; realiseer nieuwe manieren om beter te werken
Innovators Cafe
1. Het Datacenter van Morgen is All-Flash!
Winfried Posthumus, PureStorage


2. Innovator

Frank Keessen, Mazars Han Rademaker, PQR & Arno Waardenburg, Holland Institute of Traffic Technology Peter van Lingen, Citrix
14:40 Wisseltijd
14:45

15.05
#WvM 4 – Technical
Micro-virtualization: CPU-enforced security & privacy for an era of cloud and mobility
#DvM 4 – Technical
De waarheid achter VMware VSAN, Nutanix en Software Defined Storage
#Sponsor 4
Flash Changes Everything! The Game Remains the Same…
Demo Cafe
5. Automate IT with VMware vCloud
Viktor van den Berg, PQR


6. Enterprise Mobility Management met Microsoft
Frans Oudendorp, PQR

Simon Crosby, Bromium Herco van Brug, PQR Wessel Gans, NetApp
15:25 Middagpauze
15:45 Wrap-up IT-Galaxy 2014
Bas ter Heurne, Sales Manager PQR
16:00 Afsluiting
Alexander Klöpping
16:30 Borrel, incl. prijsuitreiking 3D-minibeeld
17:00 Einde

Now available for all: Recordings of 10 top breakout sessions @ VMworld US 2014

This post is part of a serie blogposts on VMworld. For an overview of VMworld announcements see this post. 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Just like the last couple of years VMware now makes recordings of a selected number of VMworld breakout sessions available for free viewing!

This is a great way for everyone to learn about VMware solutions!

VMware makes recordings of the top 10 breakout sessions available for everyone to view. So not just VMworld participants, In fact, more than 10 sessions are available.

At the moment there are 28 sessions online.

The videos can be seen here.  To view the recordings on a pc you need Microsoft Silverlight. I am not sure how to capture these recordings for offline viewing. There are several tools on the internet for capturing. Not sure what the best one is.

All 28 sessions are available for viewing on YouTube as well. This makes downloading for offline viewing a lot more easy. See the sessions here. An example of a site allowing to create video files is http://downloadplaza.nl/

 

When using the VMworld site for viewing videos , scrolling through the video does work on an iPad but works a bit different on a pc. I have not been able to skip forward or backward. However you can click on slides view to advance (leftupper corner)

I advise to use Youtube for viewing.

slideview

The sessions available right now are listed below. More will be added later. Mind these sessions might changed as they move up and down in the Top 10.

  1. STO1853-S – Software-Defined Storage: The Transformation of Enterprise Storage Has Begun
  2. NET1846.1 – Introduction to NSX
  3. OPT2465.1 – VMware IT’s Transformation: An Update on How VMware IT is Moving to IT-as-a-Service as Told by the People on the Frontlines
  4. EUC1476.1 – What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6
  5. vCloud Automation Center and NSX Integration Technical Deep Dive
  6. BCO2194 – Data Protection for vSphere 101: Keys to Successful Backup and Replication in a Virtual World
  7. VAPP1340.1 – Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way!
  8. SDDC3245-S – Software-Defined Data Center through Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
  9. INF1503 – Virtualization 101
  10. HBC1533.1 – How to Build a Hybrid Cloud – Steps to Extend Your Datacenter
  11. SEC1959-S – The “Goldilocks Zone” for Security
  12. VAPP1318.1 – Virtualizing Databases Doing IT Right – The Sequel
  13. SDDC1600 – Art of IT Infrastructure Design: The Way of the VCDX – Panel
  14. INF1522 – vSphere With Operations Management: Monitoring the Health, Performance and Efficiency of vSphere with vCenter Operations Manager
  15. SDDC3327 – The Software-defined Datacenter, VMs, and Containers: A “Better Together” Story
  16. NET1674 – Advanced Topics & Future Directions in Network Virtualization with NSX
  17. STO1965.1 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive