Pimp My Microserver!


I'm not normally in the habit of posting this sort of thing but I do own a number of these MicroServers and they're great for home lab use. They may only take up to 8Gb RAM and have single, dual-core chips in them but they don't eat much power and don't make much noise. They're also as "cheap as chips" to buy! Enough about why I have them. ServersPlus are running a competition of sorts to design a cosmetically pimped up MicroServer. If you submit what becomes the winning design you get the first one of the batch for free. Submissions have to be in on 11th November and voting runs until 30th November. … [Read more...]

Bath vBeers 9th December 2011

As many of you in the VMware community will know, there are regular vBeers events held around the country. (See http://www.vBeers.org for more information about the international phenomenon). This year, I am arranging a vBeers event in Bath, for anyone and everyone who wants to come and have an early festive celebration in our fair city. I have posted more information on the event on the vBeers.org website - have a look here (http://www.vbeers.org/2011/10/26/vbeers-bath-friday-9th-december-2011/) to see full event information, including location and times etc. In addition to all the main and additional seasonal attractions of Bath, as an added incentive this event is being sponsored by my company Eduserv (http://www.eduserv.org.uk) … [Read more...]

VMware ThinApp BootCamp


Earlier in the year VMware ran a View 4.6 BootCamp that was well received. As a natural follow-up to that, next week sees the start of a six part ThinApp BootCamp. Starting on Monday 31st October and running for six business days, the ThinApp BootCamp will see the following videos released, one per day: ThinApp Design Best Practices ThinApp Implementation Best Practices ThinApp Performance Enhancing Techniques Scripting within ThinApp Isolation Modes Explained AppLink Fundamentals At the end of the BootCamp you can register to download an eBook copy of all of the presentations. If you're using or thinking of using ThinApp, this BootCamp is a free and self-paced method of learning more. To find out more, head over to … [Read more...]

VMware VCP 5 Exam Revision

I have the VCP5 exam in a couple of weeks, and am in the midst of revision. A couple of excellent resources for those going through the same process: - TrainSignal VCP revision videos. - The Simon Long blog (www.simonlong.co.uk/blog/) - Mastering VMware vSphere 5 book by Scott Lowe. Update: I have been reading more of Scott's book and am now deep into Chapter 7: High Availability. Can't recommend it enough - even if you aren't taking the exam! - vSphere Clustering 5 Technical Deepdive book by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman. - VMware VCP homepage, including the VCP5 exam blueprint, FAQ, VCP Forum and mock exam. All these are fantastic resources - use them if you are studying for this exam! Any more useful links? Please … [Read more...]

HP ESXi 5.0 ISO: Write Failed Error….

I have recently been building a test lab with HP Proliant servers, and came up with an interesting problem. The VC was built successfully on a VM on one of the hosts, and the hosts were all built using the HP custom ESXi 5.0 ISO image. Interestingly, the hosts all had disconnection issues and an error in the logs detailing: - Installing license - A general system error occurred: Write failed file:/etc/vmware/vmware.lic After some searching around, I found this post on VMware Communities describing the problem - essentially the host license is unable to be written to and needs to be removed before a valid license can be used: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/326778 ...so I thought I'd summarise the solution. Credit to … [Read more...]

VMworld Solutions Exchange

For some the Solutions Exchange at VMworld is the place to get free pens and stress balls in between conference sessions. For others, myself included, it's an opportunity to learn about products related to or supporting the virtualisation industry. I spent several hours in there talking to representatives of several vendors with products that I have either used in the past, might use on upcoming projects or that I am just curious about. What follows is a summary or overview of some of the vendors (besides the VMware stand of course) that I visited. QNAP I've included QNAP and visited them for one fairly simple reason - I own one of their devices! Ok, my QNAP NAS is fairly small (two drives in a RAID 1 configuration) and I mostly use it … [Read more...]

UKVMUG – There’s Still Time (03/11/2011)!

Next week sees the UK's first national VMUG taking place and there's still time to register for it. For anyone who hasn't been to one before, VMUGs (VMware User Groups or Virtual Machine User Groups depending on who you ask) are regular meetings of virtualisation users held around the world. I'm a regular attender of the London VMUG (Twitter: @LonVMUG or hashtag #LonVMUG) and have been for a few years now. For a while now though there have been rumours of a UK-wide VMUG and it's happening for the first time on Thursday 3rd November 2011 in Birmingham. … [Read more...]

VMworld Hands-on-Labs


I thought that I should mention the Hands-on-Labs in a separate post because they were very slickly implemented and managed, a testament to the people who put them together. Not only that though, it was VMware eating their own dog food in a very public way and, in my opinion, showing that they were up to the challenge. For those people reading this who haven't been to VMworld before the Hands-on-Labs (HOL) are an area of the conference where you can work though a series of prescribed tasks to satisfy some requirementsconjured up in a brief scenario. It's an opportunity for some to try out some of VMware's products in a meaningful way. In the HOL area, there were 240 seats available, each one equipped with dual 19" widescreen … [Read more...]

VMware Certifications

Whilst doing the rounds in the VMworld Solutions Exchange, I got into a conversation about VMware certifications on VMware's stand. I was there for quite a while and learned a lot about how VMware choose questions and tasks for their exams. It's quite an involved process and one designed to ensure that a certain percentage of people sitting the exams are capable of answering each question. Each question must be carefully considered and researched by a small panel of people before it is submitted in to a pool from which the exams are built. In the case of the VCAP-DCA exam, extra effort is required to automate the creation of a suitable testing environment / conditions for the task and, where possible, a mechanism for automatically marking … [Read more...]