VM Sizing Best Practices in vSphere

Why Does VM Sizing Matter?

“Understanding elemental behavior is crucial for building a stable, consistent and proper performing infrastructure” – Frank Denneman, Sr. Staff Architect, VMware​

When creating a VM in ESXi, the cores per socket layout is important to the guest OS since it is ultimately the operating system making scheduling decisions based on the hardware architecture it sees​. When VMs are created, assigning virtual CPUs and cores per socket should be a consideration since performance could vary between 1×16, 16×1, 2×8 and 4×4 configurations​.  VMs with large memory requirements may change the optimal virtual CPU socket allocation depending on physical resources of the host. This post is to discuss sizing VMs and how the default cores per socket value might not be the best for the performance of the virtual machine. ​I’m not going to get into right-sizing, which is a different topic, so I’ll cover that in a future. Keep reading for a few list of best practices for cores-per-socket values, when to use Hot Add and using hyper threads to create monster VMs. Continue reading “VM Sizing Best Practices in vSphere”

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How To Compute MD5 or SHA-1 In Windows

I have a confession to make. For many years I blindly downloaded files from various web sites, some known but others less known and eagerly installed these packages on my computer. This is dumb. How do I know if this file is really the one that the site owner intended me to get? How do I know the file wasn’t maliciously replaced with malware ridden payload? How do I know if the download was really accurate and I got 100% of the data? Now, I’ve seen the file description showing the file size it should be and even the timestamp with a date I can match. But these two things alone aren’t enough to accurately verify the file I downloaded is the real deal. Here’s where my ignorance and embarrassment comes in. I didn’t know what to with the MD5 or SHA-1 information the website gave me. So consider this post as a PSA to check the integrity of files downloaded. It’s actually super easy and fast too. Here’s how I do it and gone are the days of ignorance and embarrassment.

Enter an older but trusty command line tool from Microsoft called File Checksum Integrity Verifier. I like this tool because 1) it’s free, 2) it’s command line based and 3) it’s easy to use. Microsoft offers no support for using this tool but don’t worry, it’s quite easy to install and use. FCIV will run on Windows Server 2000 and newer and desktops running Windows XP and newer. Here’s how to do the basics.

Continue reading “How To Compute MD5 or SHA-1 In Windows”

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Nutanix .NEXT 2018 Summary


Nutanix held its annual US conference in New Orleans, Louisiana May 8th through 10th. Keeping in line with the company’s sales and market share growth, the attendance this year of nearly 5500 people was also setting records. There were significant product announcements, informative break out sessions, a bustling vendor exhibit hall and a vibrant community area for people to hang, connect and share experiences. NEXT 2018 was my second Nutanix conference (last year being in Washington DC) and New Orleans didn’t disappoint. So many good places to grab good food & drink, experience the 300 years of history and vibrant culture in NOLA and “let the good times roll” with friends new and old. Continue reading “Nutanix .NEXT 2018 Summary”

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vRealize Operations 6.7 Pre-Upgrade Readiness Assessment Tool

If you’re fortunate enough to have the ability to create custom dashboards in vROps, you’ve also most likely had the misfortune of having those dashboard and supporting views get broken during vROps upgrades when certain metrics and properties are removed or replaced. This past year I was able to participate in the vROps Design Partner Program and contribute ideas and feedback to the product management team at VMware. Because of this participation I feel a closeness to the 6.7 release and the improvements it includes. One such feature is the pre-upgrade readiness assessment tool. This tool will identify dashboards, views and metrics that may be affected by changes from previous versions of vRealize Operations Manager and the latest 6.7 release. These items, when identified, will need to be manually corrected after upgrade complete but the big news is you know about any impact BEFORE you start the upgrade. No more surprises weeks after the upgrade by some app team saying their dashboard is messed up.

Continue reading “vRealize Operations 6.7 Pre-Upgrade Readiness Assessment Tool”

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Hello World!

First post on the new blog. Wait…Blogs…so 2008, but this is 2018, right?!? So here’s me starting a new blog site. Why? Well, a few reasons actually. Here’s a couple. First, they say sharing is caring and I believe this is true, especially with information. Second, this will be a personal challenge to be more thoughtful. Not like being nice. I’ve already got that covered. I mean more intentional, with critical thinking and constructive criticism. Making an effort to dig deeper than the shiny surface and understand more of the meat in the “why” underneath the “how”.  Additionally, I’m fortunate enough to have really good exposure to really smart people and cool technology. If I can take some of that experience, run it through my personal view finder, and share that with the virtualization community, then that’s going to help us all improve our professional productivity but also be a stronger community through shared experiences. Coincidentally, today happens to be “Pay it forward day”. So this seems fitting to start this off with that theme in mind.

What content will be coming? Excellent question. Some of the usual how-to installs of software from VMware, dives into Nutanix Acropolis, and virtualization related best practices. I’ve got a ton to learn on cloud topics and automation so there will be some 101 type things coming there. Plus, I hope to share career development stories, leadership insights and of course personal insights and opinions on all of it.

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