Ah, the joys of live demos

Ya. It ends up kinda like that

Occasionally, I do demos for the VMware Partner group (aka Quickstarts). These are beneficial to both groups as it introduces VMware Education to partners and provides technical deep(er) dives than they usually get. Since I’ve done numerous “here’s how to install View and configure a pool” type of thing, I figured just doing the What’s New with 5.3 would be sufficient enough.

As always, I plan on simple demos and without fail… one of them decides to up-chuck. Actually, in this case it was multiples but I had fixed one set earlier today (about 20 minutes before the presentation). I had been fighting with trying to create linked clones.

Remember KISS (keep it simple, silly)

In my case, I’d probably say stupid because that’s what I was. I had created an XP desktop to use and had built it with IDE disk controllers. DUH! Not supported and for a reason. As a result it kept giving me a “I can’t find the parent VM” error. At first, I though I was killing my storage (this was after 5 hours of building and re-building the pool and nearing 11pm). But then lightening struck and I had my “oh crap! that’s why” moment.

I rebuilt the image and away it went.

It’ll come to me!

Replica created.


Linked Clones created.


Customization fails.


It kept complaining about not being able to connect to the domain. I decided to give it up for the night (or morning since it was 1am by this point) and try and tackle it in the proper morning. So I did a search for “View Composer agent initialization state error (18): Failed to join the domain” and found 3 KBs. One suggested upgrading Composer from 2.6 to 2.7 (I’m at Composer 3.0 so … no.); another suggested downloading an upgrade to Windows XP (Not enough time for that).

The last KB (KB1028164) suggested changing the permissions on the AD. That’s easy enough. Did it and *poof* customization tried again and it worked (!!).


Now I could have breakfast and relax a little. Come demo time I can poke and play with where to find some of the new features, including one that is briefly mentioned in the Release Notes.

Except the HTML Blast refused to work (which, by the way, now supports up to 350 connections).


This one will take a bit longer because the error makes no sense. I’ll post on it later. In the meantime, let’s talk about one not-so-documented new feature: unbounded linked clones.

Unbind your linked clones (Free the clones!!)

Screenshot 2013-12-02 10.23.49
Free the clones!

Sometimes we release new features with little fanfare. This is one of those little ones that didn’t get a lot of attention. As you may or may not know, we can determine how many linked clones would reside on a single datastore by choosing one of four options (None; Conservative; Moderate; Aggressive). Each one of these “pretended” that the datastore was 1x, 4x, 7x or 15x in size (respectively). So it’d “squish” all the linked clones it could into the datastore.

For some environments, even the Aggressive (15 times) is not enough. Unbounded addresses this. Technically, this is the Tardis setting (bigger on the inside than outside). We can fit whole universes of linked clones into the datastore. However, keep in mind that IOPs and/or storage limitations will eventually stop you before you get those universes in there so plan accordingly. Always remember:


Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 😉

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