VMware – Storage Migration (part 1)

Monday, 1. June 2009

Recently, I was tasked with migrating our entire VMware implementation to a new storage array.  Essentially, we are replacing our current SAN with one that is claimed to be bigger, better, and faster.

That sounds great, but how do you move 35 TB of data belonging to 800 VM’s with a minimal impact?  Storage VMotion may be what you’re looking for.

Storage VMotion can be a really useful tool.  Essentially, it can let you move a VM from one datastore to another while the VM is powered on, much like how a standard VMotion can let you live-migrate between hosts.

There are several considerations to keep in mind when preparing for a Storage VMotion.  A more complete list can be found here, but the more common ones we ran into were:

     –  Virtual machines with snapshots cannot be migrated using Storage VMotion.
     –  Virtual machine disks must be in persistent mode or be raw device maps.

The first one should be fairly obvious: you must delete any snapshots before performing an online Storage VMotion.

The second has to do with the disk “mode”.  You can research more about the different mode options but essentially the virtual disk must be able to be snapshotted (i.e. not “independent”) and the changes must be persistent (i.e. not discarded when the VM is powered off or a snapshot is deleted).  This is a requirement as the snapshot functionality is used by the Storage VMotion process.  If you have disks that may be marked as independent, you can plan to power down the machine and change this setting for the duration of the migration, or just migrate it while its off.

There are few different ways to perform a Storage VMotion which I’ll describe in a future post.

Microsoft SCCM Training

Sunday, 25. January 2009

At the office, we’re starting to deploy the Microsoft System Center suite, beginning with the Configuration Manager tool.  This tool is the next version of Microsoft’s System Management Server (or SMS).

In order to get up to speed, I was sent to a local Microsoft authorized training facility.  The class is 5 days long and covers everything from product installation and configuration, to design and OS/software deployment.

I’m also reviewing the course requirements for Microsoft test 70-401.  Information about this exam can be found here.

VMware Certified Professional

Monday, 1. December 2008

Several months ago, my employer brought in VMware to provide the Fastrack course covering VI3.  Along with the course, each attendee was given a voucher code to take the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) course.  After procrastinating for several months, and the voucher expiration nearing, I finally buckled down and started studying.

I scored a total of 98/100, while 70 is required to pass.

The Fastrack course is a lot of material.  For that entire work week, I spent 8+ hours a day in class, and the class could have been twice as long and still a challenge.

I’m sure this will be the last test of the year, but I am scheduled for a week of training on Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager product in January and there is an associated certification test for that product as well. 😉

VMware Certified Professional

MCITP: Server Administrator

Friday, 1. August 2008

It’s been a very busy week of studying, but today was the day I picked to take the 70-646 test.  I spent hours per night going through the material in order to be prepared for todays test date.

Fortunately, the hard work paid off and I passed todays test with a perfect score: 1000/1000!

Microsoft Certified IT Professional

Now, I need to plan which test I’m going to take next.  I’m considering proceeding forward to the MCITP:EA test but I’m not quite sure which I’ll start studying for now.  I’m going to enjoy the weekend and then figure this out and continue studying early next week.

MCTS: Active Directory Configuration

Friday, 25. July 2008

Today I nailed Microsoft 70-640 pretty well; ended up with a score of 981/1000.  I think that’s pretty good for only allowing 2 weeks to study.  On top of that, I lost the weekend since my truck died, forcing me to spend all Sunday at the auto dealer.  I can’t complain too much though as this week I got a new truck and a new cert.

Overall, the test had a fair amount of DNS questions on it.  This shouldn’t be terribly suprising for people familiar with A.D. since it’s based heavily on DNS.  There were also a fair amount of questions on PKI and Ceritificate Services.

Once again, the Microsoft Press “Self-Paced” book got the job done very well.

MCTS: Active Directory Configuration

Next, I plan to take test 70-646 which is the first Professional level exam for Server 2008.  I intend to pass this by August 8 for sure, but I’m considering cramming through it by the 1st.  We’ll see.

MCTS: Network Infrastructure Configuration

Friday, 11. July 2008

I took Microsoft Certification test 70-642 today.  This is one test of the MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) series for Windows Server 2008.  It specifically covers “Network Infrastructure Configuration”, which includes topics such as DNS and DHCP, as well as some new things like NAP, or Network Access Protection.

Overall, the test shouldnt be too difficult for a candidate who has some real-world experience regarding many of these topics, and who puts the time in to get up to speed on some of the new things Microsoft has added with Server 2008.

As you could probably tell, I passed this test; I finished with a score of 966/1000.  Not bad for only taking 2 weeks to sutdy.  And in case you were wondering, I used the official Microsoft Press Self-Paced study book for this test.

MCTS: Network Infrastructure Configuration

I’m already looking over the material for 70-640, which is MCTS: Active Directory Configuration.  Estimated test date is August 1, 2008.

Microsoft MCITP Certification

Wednesday, 2. July 2008

My most recent quest is to attain a respectable certification level for an IT professional. What better a cert to complete than an MCITP?

MCITP stands for “Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional” and is their current certification for Network Admins and Systems Engineers. The MCITP tests are the equivalent to the previous MCSA (Systems Administrator) and MCSE (Systems Engineer) certifications which were used during the WindowsNT through Windows Server 2003 days. The MCITP cert focuses on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.

Over the next few months, I’ll update this page with my current progress towards this certification. First stop: Test 70-642… “Configuring Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure”. Estimated completion: 7/31/2008.

More information regarding the Microsoft MCITP Certification can be found here.


Tuesday, 1. July 2008

Somehow you’ve found this page.  There probably wont be too much activity here.  I intend to use this page to keep notes of interest in an organized manner and if somebody else benefits from them, great.  If you find something helpful, feel free to leave a comment.