Marcel van OS from XTG (a training group and sponsor at the VMUG) gave a session about VMware Lab manager. Overall a great session, even the demo’s worked!
Marcel started the session by asking the attendees who has had some hands on experience with VMware Lab Manager already. From my viewpoint in the room I did not spot a single hand when that question was asked, luckily quite a few hands were raised when Marcel questioned about who was thinking about using the product in the near future.
I wrote about VMware Lab Manager before after TSX back in april, besides the caveats I wrote about back then, Marcel noted some extra today.
Like I noted before VMware Lab Manager (LM) gets a spot right next to Virtual Center (VC). Unfortunately the integration with Virtual Center is minimal. That is exactly the reason why you have to be careful using VC and LM together, especially features like vmotion HA and DRS (especially the agressive one) will have a devastating impact on the configurations within LM. The other way round VC won’t be happy when LM deactivates a VM , when not used it will be archived and VC will not see it anymore. A typical setup when using LM will consist of unclustered host(s) with no HA and DRS.
When designing an LM architecture keep in mind that storage is a important expansion factor. Because of the use of snapshot technology you will be needing a lot of storage. Looking at performance there will be an increase of storage I/O if you compare it to an ESX environment without LM (e.g. production).
Another factor that you will have to keep in mind is the availability of ip-addresses. Because of the IP-fencing technology you need a BIG range of reserved ip-adressess (C-class networks will not do the trick). If I got it right you could end up with having 120 ip-adresses for one VM (template in LM-terms).
With Lab Manager you have the possibility to install LMtools (VMware Lab Manager Tools not to confuse with the Licence Server "LMTOOLS.EXE"). LMtools are a set of LM-specific tools which can be installed inside a template. One of the things it does is, when creating a copy of the configuration/environment that it provides the vm with a new SID. OK now comes the exiting part. DO NOT install LMTOOLS on Active Directory or SQL servers because they don’t like their SID being changed. I can imagine there are more situations where you don’t want your VM to get a new SID, in that case do not install LMtools.
So far my review on VMware Lab Manager at the Dutch VMUG Event 2007