VMware Press Sweepstakes

VMware Press, VMware's official publishing arm, are in the middle of running a 60 day competition sweepstake (that ends June 30th 2012). On offer are a $100 Amazon gift card and three VMware Press books for the winner and nine second prize winners will win an eBook of their choice. Enter here. The publisher has already produced two excellent books in Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0 and Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator. This summer promises a glut of new titles that I'd be interested to read too: Storage Implementation in VMware vSphere 5.0 (July 2012) Managing and Optimizing vSphere Deployments (July 2012) The Official VCP5 Certification Guide (July 2012) VMware View 5: Building a Successful … [Read more...]

Installing SQL 2008 R2 on 2008 R2 Server Core

Following on from previous posts on a similar theme, I wanted to make a quick note of how SQL 2008 R2 is installed on a 2008 R2 Server Core VM. SQL 2008 R2 has a number of feature dependencies that must be present before an installation can take place. Assuming that you've deployed your VM, given it some network settings and joined it to your domain (if you want) then there are three further things you need to address to get SQL installed. The first is adding some disk space to the VM. If, like me, you deploy Windows server VMs with a reasonable 40Gb of C: drive space you'll need to add something to have enough room for SQL and some databases. I like to keep databases and log files on separate drives to the main OS so I tend to add … [Read more...]

Adding disks to 2008 R2 Server Core VMs

In a lab environment, sometimes anything can go. Solutions aren’t always standards compliant or don’t always follow best / sensible practices. One that I can’t shake off though is using separate drives in my VMs for operating systems and data. It’s too ingrained. Given my new found penchant for using Windows 2008 R2 Server Core for VMs in my lab though I hit a little niggle that I thought I ought to note down for when I inevitably forget about it. When deploying a VM from a template for a specific purpose, it’s natural to add extra disks to it. In the normal version of windows, using the DiskManagement snapin to bring the disk online automatically makes it read-write as well. In Server Core, you can’t use the snapin locally. Firewalls … [Read more...]

Installing VMtools on Windows 2008 Server Core

Not having a full GUI to use, it can sometimes be difficult to install software on Windows 2008 Server Core machines. You need to get used to scripted installations, software distribution methods and / or silent installs. If you've gone as far as initiating the tools installation for a VM you could be forgiven for wondering what the heck you're going to do next. The install doesn’t autorun (Windows Explorer does this normally but Windows Explorer isn’t there). Even if you run setup64.exe manually it won’t help. If you run setup64.exe /? though you get a little bit of help. A typical (and silent) install of VMtools can therefore be performed by running: The VM will automatically reboot though, just so you know… Note: … [Read more...]

Review: Trainsignal VMware vSphere 5 Training

I've been a big fan of Trainsignal's courses for some time now. You never forget your first one and for me that was "VMware vSphere Pro Series Training Vol1". Time has flown by though. Trainsignal have since released a number of new courses, several of them VMware focused. I have some of them in my library and there are also some that I couldn't justify purchasing at the time. With all of the changes in vSphere 5 I thought it a good idea to get hold of Trainsignal's latest and greatest as part of my VCP5 preparations. I've done a fair bit of work with vSphere 5 but there were always going to be bits that I was less familiar with. What the training offers is the opportunity to bone up on those weaker areas and brush up on the bits that … [Read more...]

Windows 2008 – Full Fat or Diet?

Out of curiosity (cats give it a bad name in my opinion) I recently chose to do a little experimentation. No bunsen burners and weird coloured liquids though, I wanted to do a light weight comparison of Windows Server 2008 R2 vs Windows Server Core 2008 R2 in my home lab. Let it never be said that I don’t know how to have fun! It was a rather simple comparison with a fairly simple aim: I wanted to know if there was a difference in how many resources were consumed on an ESXi host (specifically one of my low power HP Microservers). Certainly not rocket science. I started off by building brand new VMs for each in vSphere 5. Aside from the OS itself, both were identically configured with: 1 vCPU 2Gb Ram 1 x 40Gb, thin provisioned … [Read more...]

London VMUG 17th May 2012

Hi, my name's Michael and I'm a geek. It's been 3 months since my last VMUG. I had the weirdest dream the other night in which I stood up and uttered those words in front of all of the attendees at this month's London VMUG. The truth is, I probably am suffering from VMUG withdrawal. Lucky me, it's just two weeks until the next one. Thursday 17th May is the date, the location is the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry as usual and of course there will be vBeers afterwards. The question is not "Will you be there?", it's "Why wouldn't you be there?". Just check out the agenda highlights: Using vShield to Drive Efficiency and Costs Savings - Stephen Porter, Trend Micro Desktop Transformation with Liquidware Labs - Dan … [Read more...]

VMware Forum London 2012

This has crept up on us somehow. Where did April go? VMware Forum London is on next Wednesday (9th May). I've not been to one before and this year doesn't look like being the year either as I'll be in sunny California. So what is it and why should you go? I've borrowed this directly from VMware's site: What is the VMware Forum? At VMware Forum 2012, you will have the opportunity to learn how VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, together with our partners, is delivering cloud infrastructures to address critical issues such as how you can reduce IT complexity while improving security and accelerating how applications are built, deployed and run across the enterprise. Who should attend? VMware Forum … [Read more...]

Windows 7 Printer Sharing with a Mac

For quite some time I had my home printer connected to a USB port on one of my ESXi hosts. To save a bit of memory I doubled up my home lab’s AD domain controller as a print server. I did this because the only other non-virtual computer at home capable of printer sharing was running Windows 7 and for some reason I could not get my Mac to work properly with the printer when it was shared from that. (Authentication would fail when trying to connect to it via SMB.) The downside of this arrangement though was that my AD VM was tied to that single ESXi host. I couldn’t vMotion it without losing the printing functionality – something that my wife quite rightly complained to me about on several occasions! Obviously I should probably just get a … [Read more...]