VMware Support offline for most of day due to power outage

On the 17th of Feb some form of Power Failure occurred at one of VMware’s Palo Alto locations.   From what I understand this primarily affected the support systems and as such the phones were down for most of the day.

Update 18 Feb 10 @ 8:28pm:

@vmwarecares Network outage here caused by small plane crash in Palo Alto

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/02/18/texas.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=C1

VMware Support back and up and running by 9pm CST.

Upgrading Power Management Firmware on HP Blades

When you update your Onboard Administrator on HP c-Chassis to 2.5x, the OA will start to check if the Power Management version is new enough and if it is not it will give you a Major Error with details of : C01668472

To update this you need to either have a running OS or you can do the following steps using tools you have already downloaded most likely.

bbFirmware CD 1.60
PowerManagement 3.4D Linux install

  1. Boot off bbFirmware CD via the iLO Virtual Media
  2. At the boot: prompt type in console and hit enter.  Don’t hit the default.
  3. Wait for a console shell prompt to come up.  This may take a couple minutes.
  4. Mount a Folder (which will show up as a USB device to the OS) via the iLO to the directory you have put the PowerManagement update in.   It is smart to minimize how many files are in that directory.
  5. Type in mkdir /mnt/power
  6. Type in mount /dev/sda /mnt/power
  7. Type in cd /mnt/power
  8. Type in ./CP011627.scexe
  9. Once this is complete go ahead and reboot the box via the iLO.

That should address this issue.

Cloud Computing Solution Provider – VMware

The recent Zimbra acquisition by VMware threw me a bit for a loop initially.  Then I started chewing on it and read the good post by Rodney Haywood.   Very shortly afterwords I had a classic Homer Duh moment.

VMware aims to build from the ground up the best cloud computing solution for sale as possible.   That is taking into account that cloud computing definition today is as about as vague as a real cloud in the sky.  Today that cloud is fluffy and in 5 mins that cloud is shaped like a rabbit.   As such they have built a pretty strong infrastructure level for customers with vSphere, vCenter and various add-on tools.   They have picked up SpringSource to offer ultimately a platform for services and understanding of how the JVM interacts more closely with the hypervisor.   Now they are getting into the services space with Email/Calendaring.

  • IAAS -> vSphere/vCenter
  • PAAS -> SpringSource
  • SAAS -> Zimbra

Each of these areas is really focused on a different customer base at the end of the day.  Sure you can say IT and that’s like saying your customer base for is for the TV viewing audience.    It is too vague and there is better & a more definable end customer grouping.

  • IAAS -> Server/Storage/PC/Hardware Teams – Ground Level System Admins
  • PAAS -> Development Teams making solutions up – Architects/Developers
  • SAAS -> Back Office management/utilities – Often more visible by the CxOs.

So where are they going next and what areas are missing for the full suite for all the different customer bases they are aiming for?

Ideal Software Licensing Model – Requirements Collection

I’m looking for some feedback and thoughts from the community to help define a reasonable Licensing Model that takes Physical & Virtual into account.  From my view as a client I don’t think this is all that complicated at the end of the day.

More discussions with some vendors around licensing and I’m finding more and more that the following two axioms are defining these discussions:

  • Vendors want to get paid for their software (obviously the most they can be).   They are not stupid in most cases.
  • Clients want to pay for what they use (obviously the least they have to).   They are not stupid in most cases.

The challenges come from the fact that Vendors don’t get the following generally:

  • A VM in VMware is limited in processing to the vCPUs it has.
  • A vCPU is limited to what a given core is individually capable of.
  • More clients might be willing to use your software if I didn’t need to pay for 12 cores of power when I only need 2 today.
  • VMotion of a VM does not mean I’m suddenly gaining more cores of processing.

Clients get upset cause of the following items:

  • When a Vendor assumes I’m an idiot and can pull the wool over my eyes.   This a good relationship does not make.
  • A Vendor goes and says a Virtual does less than a physical, then charges me more if it is virtual.
  • A Vendor requires me to license this big physical box and I only want a couple cores worth or less than # of cores in physical box.
  • I want to use your software and because I’m running it as a virtual you want to charge me more.  I can’t even buy smaller physicals to use your software within my software budget (smallest thing I can buy within reason today is an 8 core system and I only need 2 cores worth).
  • A Vendor limits me to some physical box even though the OS/Software will be on a virtual machine.   (Who cares what physical box is on it as long as I pay for the CPU MHz I’m using?  Your software doesn’t.  Only your legal does.)
  • If I buy a lot of your software you can cut me deals since I’m spending a lot of money with you and then I’ll be interested in licensing models by physical cores or just a volume level discount.  I’d rather not start there if I can avoid it.
  • We’ve seen what happens to good tech when licensing models can’t take tech into account.   See the Mainframe and Computer Associates licensing stubbornness in the 80s contribute significantly to the rise of the distributed computing space.  We don’t want to deal with that migration if we can avoid it.

So there’s some of the requirements I have come up with.   What other requirements/gotchas can you think of that have got you in dealing with vendors?   Anything different when dealing with Solaris or AIX or HP/UX virtualization?