London VMUG September 2009

Yesterday I attended the VMware user group meeting and have recorded the main points of what I learned.

With the new version of the vSphere (ESX) there is an option to buy an optional switch from Cisco. This is a virtual switch which replaces your traditional virtual switches in side vCenter. Here are some of the key advantages. • You will be able to monitor counters and interrogate SNMP between virtual machines. In the past you have not been able to do this as the network traffic will never leave a host. • You only need to setup one ‘port profile’ per vcenter resulting in have only one virtual switch. Now you will not need to worry about having a switch on each host with exactly the same name and port groups. (this function is also available in vSphere and not just a Cisco benefit. VMware’s version is called ‘distributed switches’) • The virtual switch is represented as a virtual machine in your environment and can have a hot standby if it needed to be invoked.

Cisco sponsored the event and spoke about their new product called Unified Computing System or UCS. This is Cisco’s venture into making servers along with EMC which they own a large part of. It sounded very interesting but details were sketchy as it’s not officially released yet. It also seems to be aimed at large companies as they gave example of potential customers buying between 4 – 8 cabinets worth!

The last part worth mentioning was VMware’s new virtual desktop offering after acquiring a company called (some think like) Teradechi. The main part of this new offering is that now the VDI solution has a much richer multimedia experience for end users using a thin client.

Running vSphere client on Windows 7

Here’s how to get it working!

1. Obtain a copy of %SystemRoot%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv2.0.50727System.dll from a non Windows 7 machine that has .NET 3.5 SP1 installed.

2. Create a folder in the Windows 7 machine where the vSphere client is installed and copy the file from step 1 into this folder. For example, create the folder under the vSphere client launcher installation directory (+%ProgramFiles%VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherLib+).

3. In the vSphere client launcher directory, open the VpxClient.exe.config file in a text editor and add a <runtime> element and a <developmentMode> element as shown below. Save the file.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>

<developmentMode developerInstallation=”true”/>

3. Create a batch file (e.g. *VpxClient.cmd*) in a suitable location. In this file add a command to set the DEVPATH environment variable to the folder where you copied the System.dll assembly in step 2 and a second command to launch the vSphere client. Save the file. For example,

SET DEVPATH=%ProgramFiles%VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherLib
“%ProgramFiles%VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherVpxClient.exe”

4. (Optional) Replace the shortcut on the start menu to point to the batch file created in the previous step. Change the shortcut properties to run minimized so that the command window is not shown.

You can now use the VpxClient.cmd (or the shortcut) to launch the vSphere client in Windows 7.

All credit to