I was auto scaling before auto scaling was agile, webscale, and simple.

But it was almost for naught.

According to AWS, “Auto Scaling helps you maintain application availability and allows you to scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down automatically according to conditions you define.” A similar process is discussed by Enterprises with private cloud resources who want to leverage additional compute capacity of public clouds during heavy load periods. Policies usually dictate how these additional resources are orchestrated and provisioned.

Sounds similar to claims from my US Patent 8,176,497, which specifically focused on database workloads, but would apply to other workloads as well. The funny thing is that the Dell Patent Committee almost voted not to authorize the disclosure. The deciding vote was cast by a retiring Dell VP and Distinguished Engineer. Had it not been for his vote and the other two Distinguished Engineers (one BIOS and one Solutions Engineer), this patent never would have gotten its chance before the US Patent Office. By the way, the dissenting votes were by a Dell Storage engineer- now a Dell Storage Director and a Dell Distinguished Mechanical Engineer. Hilarious that my “auto scaling” patent was almost killed by a Mech E. and a SCSI engineer.

This humblebrag is brought to you by a trip down memory after lunch with a longtime friend and former Dell OCTO engineer.

I’d love to hear of similar stories where your idea or your project was almost shuttered only to find its own greatness later down the road.

Dell Customized Bits for VMware vSphere 5.1 and VMware Auto Deploy

There is a great Dell resource that covers configuring stateless boot using the Dell customized VMware ESXi 5. It basically covers how to create a zipped file of the Dell customized image and use it with VMware Auto Deploy.

Per VMware policy, Dell is not allowed to provide the zipped version of the Dell customized image. But customers can create one using the instructions provided in the Dell whitepaper linked on this wiki article: 

The direct URL to whitepaper is here: 

The pages of interest are pages 4-6. It provides step-by-step details on creating an offline image depot for VMware Auto Deploy. Lastly, this Dell whitepaper was tested by and is a supported config per the Dell Hypervisor Enablement team.

Extending Dell Customized Bits for VMware vSphere 5.1 to Have Compatibility with VMware View

All the credit for this post goes to blog commenter – Vincent Wu.

VMware recent released a Knowledge Based (KB) article 2035268 that states support for VMware View 5.1.x with vSphere 5.1. It shows two ways to enable support:

1.  You can deploy the updated VMware ESXi 5.1 ISO image. Instructions are in the KB article.

 OR

 2. You can apply Patch ESXi510-201210001 from the Patch Download Center.

If you are using the Dell Customized Bits for VMware vSphere 5.1, then you will need to apply Patch ESXi510-201210001 from the Patch Download Center in order to support View 5.1.x.

Now Available: Dell Customized Bits for VMware vSphere 5.1

UPDATE: I am no longer with Dell. Please refer all questions to DellTechCenter.com or @DellTechCenter on Twitter. Thanks.

Dell Customized bits for VMware vSphere 5.1(ESXi 5.1) is now available:

Compatible Dell PowerEdge Servers Include:

PowerEdge 1950

PowerEdge 2900

PowerEdge 2950

PowerEdge 2970

PowerEdge M420

PowerEdge M520

PowerEdge M610

PowerEdge M610x

PowerEdge M620

PowerEdge M710

PowerEdge M710HD

PowerEdge M805

PowerEdge M820

PowerEdge M905

PowerEdge M910

PowerEdge M915

PowerEdge R320

PowerEdge R420

PowerEdge R510

PowerEdge R520

PowerEdge R610

PowerEdge R620

PowerEdge R710

PowerEdge R715

PowerEdge R720

PowerEdge R720xd

PowerEdge R805

PowerEdge R810

PowerEdge R815

PowerEdge R820

PowerEdge R900

PowerEdge R905

PowerEdge R910

PowerEdge T320

PowerEdge T420

PowerEdge T605

PowerEdge T610

PowerEdge T620

PowerEdge T710

Important Release Notes:

You should use VirtualCenter 5.1 (latest build) with this release. The Dell Customized ESXi Factory image does not include Dell OpenManage Server Administrator. For detailed instructions to install and use Dell OpenManage Server Administrator, see the Dell OpenManage documentation at support.dell.com/manuals. Select Software, then Systems Management.

This image is customized by Dell which includes updated Driver/Provider versions. Dell also modifies the below files as part of customization.

– etc/vmware/oem.xml

– etc/vmware/support

The drivers included in this ESXi image by Dell as part of customization are:

Broadcom Network Adapter Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ================================================================ tg3 – 3.123b.v50.1

bnx2 – 2.2.1l.v50.1
bnx2x – 1.72.54.v50.2
cnic – 1.72.50.v50.1
bnx2fc – 1.72.51.v50.1
bnx2i – 2.72.10.v50.2
misc-cnic-register – 1.72.1.v50.1
Storage Controller Driver & its Version(Available at vmware.com) =====================================================
mpt2sas – 14.00.00.00.1vmw
Brocade CNA Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ====================================================
bfa – 3.1.0.0 bfa – 3.1.0.0
Intel Network Adapter Drivers & its Versions(Available at vmware.com) ===========================================================
igb – 3.4.7.3
Qlogic HBA Drivers & its versions(Available at vmware.com) ==================================================
qla2xxx – 911.k1.1-26vmw
qla4xxx – 624.01.43-1vmw
ima-qla4xxx – 500.2.01.31-1vmw
qlcnic – 5.0.746
qlge – 2.0.0.54
Emulex HBA Drivers & its versions (Available at vmware.com) ===================================================
be2iscsi – 4.1.334.3
ima-be2iscsi – 4.1.334.3
NOTE: The list of files appended/modified/customized by Dell may change during a later release.

Hope and Competition in the Stack Wars

Recent announcements in the cloud and virtualization industry have provided hope and competition in the Stack Wars. Similarly, my Seattle Seahawks have provided their 12th Man with hope as they have embraced Coach Carroll’s ‘Win forever’ and ‘Compete, compete, compete’ attitude.

The Aftermath of VMworld 2012

I’ve been catching up on expense reports, emails and daily ops. The following video provides some glimpses into the points of emphasis at VMworld 2012. It will be an interesting second half of the year as work flows & processes turn into execution of end-to-end solution stacks. The Stack Wars are in full swing.