VMware vSphere 5.1 Update 3 released

At December 4 VMware released vSphere 5.1 Update 3. This update has mainly fixes for issues as well as security updates but does contain some interesting new supported software. No new features in this Update.

The list of supported processors and guest operating is expanded for this release. However VMware did not reveal which processors and guest operating systems have been added.

New in vCenter Server 5.1 Update 3:

vCenter Server database support. vCenter Server now supports the following external databases:

  • Oracle 12c
    Patch 19192712 must be applied on both the database and client to use Oracle 12c in Windows. The patch is not required for Oracle 11.2.0.4 client.
    Patch 16235055 for database and patch 19192712 for client must be applied on database server and client for Windows VC that uses Oracle 12c client with Oracle 12c database server which is installed on Linux OS.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014

 

Download ESXi 5.1 and vCenter Server 5.1 Update 3 here.

The ESXi 5.1 Update 3 Release notes are here

The vCenter Server 5.1 Update 3 Release notes are here

VCP5: make sure you take the VCP5-DCV Delta Recertification Exam to stay current before Nov. 30

You might be aware that VMware changed the VCP certification on March 10, 2014 . A VCP-certification is now valid for 2 years. This also applies for certifications obtained before March 10. More information in this VMware FAQ.

If you are VCP5 Datacenter Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) certified the quickest and cheapest way to recertify is doing a Delta exam which can be done from anywhere: your office, at home etc. No need to go to an exam center. This Delta exam was announced at VMworld and is not very well know. 

For many VCP certified people the expiration policy means they are required  to recertify before March 10, 2015 to keep their VCP certification.

Several options are available for recertification:

  1. Take the current exam for your existing VCP certification solution track. For example, if you are a VCP3, you could take the current VCP5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam. Cost for exam $ 225,-
  2. Earn a new VCP certification in a different solution track. For example, if you are a VCP-Cloud, you could recertify by earning VCP5-Desktop (VCP5-DT) certification.
  3. Advance to the next level by earning a VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification. For example, if you are a VCP5-DCV you could earn VCAP5-DCA certification. Costs for exam  which will take your about 3+ hours: $400
  4. Renew your current VCP5 DCV by completing a limited-time, streamlined delta exam. The exam is based only on the delta (new) material between the vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams.

Option 4 is the most efficient way to recertify if you are VCP5 DCV certified.. Mind however this the exam will be available through November 30, 2014.

The advantages of this delta exam are :

  • Based only on new material between the vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams – you save hours of prep time
  • Available online – you can take it from any location
  • Far less expensive – you save money. Costs are $ 120,-

If you do not recertify for VCP5 you have to wait to VCP6-DCV become available. You likely need to attend a 5-day course as well before being able to register for the exam.

More information on the VCP5-DCV Delta Recertification Exam (VCP550D) here. Mind you can only register for the online exam maximum for two days ahead.

The exam had 65 questions and you have  75 minutes to do the exam.
No retake limit other than a 7-day waiting period. Content is vSphere 5.5 – specific content. Expect Virtual SAN questions

So study, then book the exam and do the exam within 48 hours after booking.

Thanks to  my co-workers Herco van Brug and Viktor van den Berg for sharing the news about the new delta exam.

Gartner releases Magic Quadrant for x86 server virtualization. vSphere and Hyper-V lead, Citrix drops

As every year in early July, Gartner released its Magic Quadrant (MQ) for x86 server virtualization. This document provides an analysis of the market for x86 server virtualization. Again VMware is the clear leader as it has been since 5 year. Microsoft Hyper-V is the only other solution in the leaders quadrant. Citrix XenServer is dropping each year as the company is now targeting cloud virtualization and desktop virtualization.  It is now positioned in the ‘niche player’ quadrant.

The distance between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V is in the MQ for 2014 about the same as in the MQ for 2013.

New in the 2014 MQ  is Huawai. Their x86 hypervisor is called FusionSphere and according Gartner it is mainly used in Brazil, Russia, India and China. FusionSphere is mainly running on Huawai serverhardware and primarily in China.

The full report can be read here.

See my post on the release of the Magic Quadrant 2013 here.

gartner-mq-2014

Did you know VMware Elastic Sky X (ESX) was once called ‘Scaleable Server’?

VMware has been a vendor of  servervirualization software for a long time. This story will inform about the history of VMware ESX(i) and uncover the various names used in the history of ESX(i).

VMware was founded in 1998. The first ever product was VMware Workstation released in 1999. Workstation was installed on client hardware.

For server workloads VMware GSX Server was developped. This is an acronym for Ground Storm X. Version 1.0 of GSX Server was available around 2001. It was required to install on top of Windows Server or Linux making GSX a Type 2 hypervisor just like Workstation. The product was targeted at small organizations. Remember we are talking 2001!

GSX 2.0 was released in summer 2002. The last version available of GSX Server was 3.2.1 released in December 2005.Thereafter GSX Server was renamed to ‘VMware Server’ available as freeware. VMware released version 1.0 of VMware Server on July 12, 2006. General support for VMware Server ended in June 2011.

However VMware realized the potential of server virtualization for enterprises and was working on development of a type 1 hypervisor which could be installed on bare metal.

VMware Scaleable Server’ was the first name of this product currently known as ESXi.  See this screenshot provided by  Chris Romano ‏@virtualirishman on his Twitter feed. This must be around 1999 or 2000.

After a while the name was changed to  ‘VMware Workgroup Server‘. This was around year 2000. Hardly no reference can be found on internet for these two early names.

In March 2001 ‘VMware ESX 1.0 Server‘ was released. ESX is short for Elastic Sky X. A marketing firm hired by VMware to create the product name believed Elastic Sky would be a good name. VMware engineers did not like that and wanted to add a X to sound it more technical and cool. 

VMware employees later started a band named Elastic Sky with John Arrasjid being the most well known member.

ESX and GSX were both available for a couple of years. ESX was targeted at enterprises. It was not untill around 2005/2006 before ESX got some traction and organizations started to use the product.

ESX had a Service Console. Basically a Linux virtual machine which allows management of the host and virtual machines. Agents could be installed for backup software or other third party tools.

Development started for a replacement of ESX. The replacement would not have the service console. In September 2004 the development team showed the 1st fully functional version to VMware internal staff. The internal name was then VMvisor (VMware Hypervisor). This would become ESXi 3 years later. 

At VMworld 2007 VMware introduced VMware ESXi 3.5. Before that the software was called  VMware ESX 3 Server ESXi edition but this  was never made available. This screenshot shows the name ‘VMware ESX Server 3i 3.5.0′ . ESX and ESXi share a lot of similar code.

ESXi has a much smaller footprint than ESX and can be installed on flash memory. This way it can be almost seen as part of the server. The i in ESXi stands for Integrated.

At the release of vSphere 4.0 (May 2009) the ‘ESX Server’ was renamed to just VMware ESX.

Up to vSphere 4.1  VMware offered two choices for customers: VMware ESX which has the Linux console and ESXi which had and still has the menu to configure the server. Mind you have still access to a limited command line by pressing Alt-F1.

Since vSphere 5 ESX is not longer available.

Similar to the hypervisor  the management software changed names a couple of times as well. VMware VMcenter is so old Google cannot find any reference for it. It might also be used as an internal name only. Here is a screendump taken from here

At December 5 2003 VMware released VirtualCenter. It was used to manage multiple hosts, (ESX Server 2.1) and virtual machines .

In May 2009 VMware released ‘vCenter Server 4.0‘ as part of vSphere 4.0. vCenter Server from now on was the new name for VirtualCenter. The last version released of VirtualCenter was 2.5

Sources used for this blog:

Wikipedia VMware ESX

vladan.fr VMware ESXi was created by a French guy !!!
VM.blog What do ESX and ESXi stand for?
yellow-bricks.com vmware-related-acronyms/

Some more images of old VMware products are here

Visio Stencil Set for 2014 VMware vSphere and Horizon

Ray Heffer shares a new Visio stencil set for 2014 which contains some popular shapes for VMware Horizon View, Workspace and vSphere. These are not official VMware stencils, but have been created from existing external content (thanks to Maish Saidel-Keesing at TechnoDrone) in addition to using Adobe PhotoShop and pulling images from public PDF documentation.

Download at www.rayheffer.com