Monthly Archives: December 2009

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) is a secure and seamless bridge between a company’s existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud. Amazon VPCenables enterprises to connect their existing infrastructure to a set of isolated AWScompute resources via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, and to extend their existing management capabilities such as security services, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems to include their AWS resources

VMware tools toolbox XFCE startup problem

If your Xubuntu 8.x/9.x (XFCE) VM keeps logging you out on startup it may be a problem with your XFCE config startup or VMware tools toolbox startup settings.

So just reboot your VM into single user mode or login as root (only if you’ve pre/re/enabled root account login) and goto the users directory that has the problem and :

# cd ~user-with-problem
# mv .config .old
# logout

Now you should be able to re-login as then problem user !

However they will have lost all their XFCE X11 X settings but you can now :

$ diff -qr .config .old

to investigate the XFCE or VMware setting that was causing the problem !

You can also check your .xsession-errors file(s) to see if you’re getting:

vmware-user: could not open /proc/fs/vmblock/dev

in which case you could try and re-run and reboot to fix !

VMware Tools Virtual Shrink

If you’ve built a VMware VM but forgotten to turn off LVM and therefore cant use vmware virtual toolbox to shrink your disks you can still perform a virtual shrink by filling up your vm vmdks with 0’s !

$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=40M count=40 of=1
$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=40M count=40 of=2
$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=40M count=40 of=3
$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=40M count=40 of=4
$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=40M count=40 of=5

etc etc

$ rm 1 2 3 4 5

This didnt affect the 11G of space used by my vm vmdk disks but it did reduce the tgz of the entire vm from 5.5G to 3.3G !

Eucalyptus EE with vSphere®

Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition (Eucalyptus EE) with vSphere® support enables customers to implement on-premise cloud computing with Eucalyptus, the most popular open source private cloud software, and vSphere, VMware’s industry-leading virtualization platform. Eucalyptus EE with vSphere support is the only on-premise cloud computing solution available today for vSphere customers, providing a robust, affordable cloud computing solution that leverages their investment in VMware® technologies.

Elastic Server Bundles

Patrick Kerpan gave a great talk this evening on Elastic Server Bundles. You can just search for a component name such as java to get a list of bundles which you can then add to your server template and then create your Server image on a variety of virtualisation and cloud platforms. I particularly liked the idea of using Elastic Server to create KVM images for your dev team, VMW images for your test team and AMI for operations / production !

Bare Metal Cloud

NewServers have created a cloud that doesn’t use virtualisation ! NewServers explain that

all of the other server clouds use virtualization.  They use a Hypervisor that allows them to run operating systems inside an operating system.  They use this to create many virtual private servers (VPS) on the same physical server and sell those to different customers.   This introduces overhead that significantly affects network and disk operations.  The technology is far from perfect introduces additional security risks.  Users on a shared server can affect one another’s performance.

and that NewServers

have nothing against virtualization.  We do have something against sharing.  You don’t share your personal computer so why would share the one that runs your business critical applications. Instead of selling ambiguously defined and potentially dynamic slices of servers we sell absolute whole units and grant access down to the bare metal. You’re free to use virtualization if you wish; we even have prebuilt VMware images in our catalog.

Amazon EC2 can now boot from Amazon EBS snapshots

Amazon EC2 has just announced the ability to boot instances directly from Amazon EBS snapshots, providing increased flexibility in how customers can manage their instances.

You can still save an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) in an Amazon S3 bucket and boot it from the local instance store, but you can now also choose to save AMIs as Amazon EBS snapshots and boot directly from an Amazon EBS volume.