January 2011 archive

Home Lab Links

Creating a Virtual (Home) Lab for VMware VCP & VCAP – Step One: Design (Aaron Delp)
Is a whitebox or branded box better for a VMware lab? (Backup Central)
Intel Avoton: The Perfect Home Lab Host? (BeyondVM)
Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage, Cloud Edition (Boche.net)
Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab (12-part series) (Boerlowie’s Blog)
vSphere 5.0 on HP ML110 G7 (Bussink.ch)
2013 Homelab refresh (Bussink.ch)
HP ML110 G7 and Power Management (iLO3 & vSphere DPM) (Bussink.ch)
New ESXi test box: the green machine (Conrey.org)
Meet My ESX(i) Server, the BabyDragon (Error 404 – It’s a Blog)
My lab Setup (ESX Virtualization)
My ESXi 4 Whitebox (ESX Virtualization)
Video of my VMware vSphere HomeLAB (ESX Virtualization)
My switch adventures (ESX Virtualization)
My homelab – The Network design with Cisco SG 300 – a Layer 3 switch for €199 (ESX Virtualization)
Supermicro Single CPU Board for ESXi Home lab – X10SRH-CLN4F (ESX Virtualization)
Homelab for VCP and VCDX (Gabe’s Virtual World)
My new whitebox ESX home lab (Gabe’s Virtual World)
Home Lab Hosts – Just in time for vSphere 5 (Jase’s Place)
Home Lab Hosts – Could it have been leaner? ($$) (Jase’s Place)
Nested vSphere Lab in VMware Workstation – Faster/Affordable/Portable Storage Alternative (Jase’s Place)
vSphere Home Lab: Part 1 – Storage (Jason Nash’s Blog)
vSphere Home Lab: Part 2 – Networking (Jason Nash’s Blog)
vSphere Home Lab: Part 3 – Compute (Jason Nash’s Blog)
vSphere Home Lab: Part 4 – Upgrading a Synology NAS (Jason Nash’s Blog)
VMware vSphere Home Lab – “The Green Machines” (Kendrick Coleman)
Scrap Lab – Home lab for the cheap (Michael Ryom)
My Work & Home Lab Environments (My Virtual Cloud)
My ESX future version compatible WhiteBox (NTPro.nl)
New ESX WhiteBox Asus V3-P5G45 (NTPro.nl)
A VMware High-Availability Cluster at Home (NTPro.nl)
The Mac Mini VMware ESXi 5 Server – Part 1 (Research) (Paraguin Consulting)
The Mac Mini VMware ESXi 5 Server – Part 2 (Installation) (Paraguin Consulting)
The Mac Mini VMware ESXi 5 Server – Part 3 (Follow Up) (Paraguin Consulting)
OS X on a Mac Mini with VMware ESXi 5 (Paraguin Consulting)
VMware vSphere Whitebox Server Lab Setup Part 1 (Ray Heffer)
VIDEO: VMware vSphere Whitebox Server Lab Setup Part 2 (Ray Heffer)
VMware vSphere Whitebox Server Lab Setup Part 3 (Ray Heffer)
Home Lab Server (Rick Mur)
Better than Ever – it’s the BabyDragon II! (Rootwyrm’s Corner)
NetGear ReadyNAS review: A look at the ReadyNAS 2100 (SearchSMBStorage)
Building a virtual test lab to boost VMware skills (SearchVMware.com)
VMware lab at home: Assembling the parts for advanced vSphere features (SearchVMware.com)
Sifting through the hardware options for advanced VMware home labs (SearchVMware.com)
Creating a VMware home lab: Dollars and sense (SearchVMware.com)
My VMware vSphere Home lab configuration (Shogan.tech)
Iomega ix2-200 Adds iSCSI, Sync To Dual-Drive SOHO NAS (Stephen Foskett)
Running your own EMC Celerra ‘Uber’ Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) in your vSphere Lab – Part 1 (TechHead)
VMware ESXi vSwapping with SandForce SSDs (TechHead)
Running VMware vSphere on an HP MicroServer (TechHead)
VIDEO – HP Proliant MicroServer Hands On Review (TechHead)
New HP Proliant MicroServer – a decent vSphere lab server candidate? (TechHead)
VMworld Slide Deck – “Building an Affordable vSphere Environment for a Lab or Small Business” (TechHead)
VIDEO: vChat – Episode 3 – vSphere Home Labs (TechHead)
Running VMware vSphere 4.1 on a MacBook Pro with dual disks (incl SSD) (TechHead)
Lenovo TS200 Server Review – Part 1: Hardware (TechHead)
Lenovo TS200 Server Review – Part 2: Running vSphere (TechHead)
VMware ESX(i) Home Lab – Why, What and How? Considerations when building your own home lab (TechHead)
Building your own VMware vSphere lab – A step by step guide. Part 1 – Lab Overview (TechHead)
HP Proliant ML110 G6 Released – Still a worthy virtualization work or home lab server? (TechHead)
VMware vSphere ESX: Install, Configure, Manage – Preparing your Test Lab (TechHead)
Running VMware ESXi on a home lab HP Proliant ML115 G5 with a Dell PERC 5i Array Controller (TechHead)
Installing and Running VMware vSphere (ESX 4.0) on your lab HP Proliant ML110 or ML115 (TechHead)
Network Cards Used For My VMware ESX Home Lab (TechHead)
VMware ESX WhiteBox Solutions – An Article Summary (TechHead)
HP Proliant MicroServer G8 – A Decent Home Lab Server? (TechHead)
HomeLab Part 1: Design Process – Low Power Designs (vBrain)
HomeLab Part 2: Design Process – Medium Designs (vBrain)
HomeLab Part 3: Design Process – High End Design (vBrain)
HomeLab Part 4: Summary and Final decision (vBrain)
HomeLab Part 5: Upgrade LSI2308 Firmware (vBrain)
HomeLab Part 6: Install most recent driver for the LSI2308 controller (vBrain)
How to build a 64Gb Low Power and Fast ESXi Home Lab (vClouds.nl)
Home labs – the Synology 1512+ (vExperienced)
Home labs – a scalable vSphere whitebox (vExperienced)
Home labs – a poor man’s Fusion-IO? (vExperienced)
Building a Fast and Cheap NAS for your vSphere Home Lab with Nexentastor (Vinf.net)
Distributed Power Management (DPM) for your Home Lab (Vinf.net)
vT.A.R.D.I.S – 10 ESXi node cluster on a trolley as demonstrated at London VMUG (Vinf.net)
vTARDIS Cloud (Vinf.net)
Performance Update on Cheap vSphere Server (Vinf.net)
Cheap vSphere Server (Vinf.net)
New Home Lab Design (Vinf.net)
iTARDIS vSphere on a Mac Mini (Vinf.net)
My VMware Home lab (Virtual-blog)
SMB/LAN NAS Review (Virtual Future)
Cisco NSS324 review (Virtual Future)
Iomega IX4-200D review (Virtual Future)
Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6 review (Virtual Future)
QNAP TS-859U-RP+ Review (Virtual Future)
Synology DS1511+ NAS Review (Virtual Future)
Building a Home VMware Infrastructure Lab (Virtual Geek)
Updated “Homebrew” ESX Hardware List (Virtual Geek)
Updated 2011 vSphere ESXi 4.1 (and future) Homebrew/Whitebox parts list (Virtual Geek)
vCloud 5.1 Suite Home Lab-circa 2013 (Virtual Geek)
Building a Home Lab with ESXi 5.5, VSAN, and Mac Mini Server (6,2) (Part 1 of 3)
Post VMworld, Upgrading the Home Lab (Virtual Langer)
New whitebox for ESX4 (Virtual Lifestyle)
A new server for my lab (Virtual To The Core)
Home Lab (Virtualised Reality)
My New Lab Infrastructure (Virtualization Eh)
The Ultimate Portable Lab part1 (Virtualize Planet)
Running nested hypervisors on the Ultimate Portable Lab (Virtualize Planet)
Building new whitebox servers for VMware home lab (Virtualize Tips)
VIDEO: My Home VMware vSphere Lab (VMware Videos)
vSphere WhiteBox HCL (VM-help.com)
The SBHVL project – Part 1: Basic setup, Networking and Security (VMware Front Experience)
The SBHVL project – Part 2: Backup and Disaster Recovery (VMware Front Experience)
The SBHVL project – Part 3: Management, Remote Access and more Security (VMware Front Experience)
HP’s new itty-bitty Microserver, the little server that couldn’t (vSphere-land)
The new HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 – a great virtualization home lab server (vSphere-land)
The VMware Home Lab (vTexan)
Home vLab: no more “home” (Vuemuer.it)
Loading Up Your HP N40L MicroServer With 16GB Of RAM (Wahl Network)
Synology DS411 vSphere Home Lab Storage – Protocol Bakeoff (Wahl Network)
Efficient Virtual Networking Designs for vSphere Home Lab Servers (Wahl Network)
The HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L – VMware Home Lab Review [Video] (Wahl Network)
SuperMicro Advanced Features for Home Lab Servers [Video] (Wahl Network)
My Lab (Wahl Network)
Designing A Home Lab? Here’s My Three Favorite Tips (Wahl Network)
Three Example Home Lab Storage Designs using SSDs and Spinning Disk (Wahl Network)
New Super Quiet Supermicro X8SIL VMWare ESXi Server (Wolf++)

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ESX vs. ESXi: Convincing your boss to move to ESXi

Since VMware first introduced its ESXi hypervisor at the end of 2007, the ESX-vs.-ESXi debate has escalated. But now that VMware plans to phase out ESX and switch to ESXi, migrating to ESXi has become increasingly important.

But the reality is that many VMware shops still run the ESX hypervisor. ESXi has a radically different management approach, and many ESX shops have avoided ESXi because it lacked the power of ESX’s service console. Additionally, several ESX features were not available in early ESXi iterations.

But ESXi has steadily matured, and now the consensus is that the stripped-down hypervisor is on par with ESX’s features and management. But many IT shops still run ESX because they are used to it, and the transition to ESXi can be time-consuming and difficult.

Now that ESXi will replace ESX, you may be ready to switch hypervisors. But you might have to convince your boss and coworkers to get on board. To end the ESX vs. ESXi debate for good, this sample letter should help you make a convincing argument for migrating to ESXi.

Read the full article at searchvmware.com…

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NetGear ReadyNAS review: A look at the ReadyNAS 2100

Having shared storage is a must for most IT environments, whether they are large or small. Shared storage enables collaboration, document sharing and is a key requirement for many advanced features in virtualization. An attractive alternative to complex and expensive storage area networks (SANs) for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are network-attached storage (NAS) units.

NAS units are dedicated standalone units that attach to your network and contain both disk controllers and hard disks all in one unit that can be accessed by any device on the network. They can range from small one-drive units to multi-drive units that support multiple RAID levels to protect against disk failures. Most units support a wide variety of protocols that can be used to connect to the NAS unit, such as Windows CIFS/SMB, iSCSI, NFS, Apple’s AFP, FTP and more.

NetGear ReadyNAS storage devices

The NetGear ReadyNAS family of devices range from their small two-drive ReadyNAS Pro desktop units up to the larger 12-drive ReadyNAS 4200 rack mount units. Most of the ReadyNAS models have the same feature and protocol support; the main differences between them are the hardware specifications outlined below:

Read the full article at searchsmbstorage.com…

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10 VM administration tips and virtualization best practices

I originally did these 10 tips for searchvmware.com but they ended up with 5 of the general ones published on searchservervirtualization.com and 5 of the VMware specific ones published on searchvmware.com.

5 tips at searchvmware.com

VMware administration and management can be complicated and frustrating. But it’s much easier when you know the optimal way to handle virtual machines (VMs).

VMware administration and management requires not only technical expertise but also problem-solving skills. And if you don’t properly manage a VMware environment, it can quickly come back to bite you. These VMware administration and management tips will help you better manage your VMs and avoid common mistakes.

VMware administration tip No. 1: Thin is in
You should strive to properly size virtual disks, but sometimes disk size grows, such as with a database server that accumulates additional data on a regular basis.

In these situations, administrators often allocate more disk space to a VM than is initially needed. Thin provisioning helps reduce this wasted space.

Read the full article at searchvmware.com…

5 tips at searchservervirtualization.com

Virtual machines (VMs) have specific management requirements that don’t apply to physical servers. For effective VM administration, you need to know how to properly manage, maintain and troubleshoot your VMs.

There are several challenges that you should be aware of to keep your VMs fit and healthy. In this article, I share five virtualization best practices to help you efficiently and effectively manage VMs. For VMware-specific advice, check out this companion article on five ways to improve VMware administration and management.

VM administration tip No. 1: Avoid overallocation
You virtualize physical servers to make use of wasted resources. But many administrators allocate the same amount of resources to virtual machines as they did to physical servers.

Read the full article at searchservervirtualization.com…

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How PCI DSS 2.0 affects virtualization compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 2.0 is hot off the presses, and the question everyone’s asking is, “Does it cover virtualization compliance?”

Well, kind of.

Two years in the making, PCI DSS 2.0 offers additional guidance and clarifies portions of the previous PCI DSS 1.2 standard. Virtualization compliance is mentioned, but only generally, and there are no specific virtualization security recommendations. In fact, the major change in version 2.0 is that PCI Security Standards Council brought the virtualization layer into the scope of the standard, which governs organizations that handle credit card information.

Previously, virtualization was completely ignored, so the move is a step in the right direction. But without firm guidance on how to ensure virtualization compliance, the standard is still ineffective. And the council doesn’t plan to update PCI DSS 2.0 for another three years, so it will be quite a while before we get more detail about protecting credit card information in virtual infrastructures.

Read the full article at searchvmware.com…

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Which VMware certifications are right for you?

It used to be that VMware had only one certification: the VMware Certified Professional (VCP). Becoming a VCP was fairly basic; you had to attend an approved training class and then pass an exam. And if you passed the VCP exam with a high-enough score, you were eligible to become a VMware Certified Instructor (VCI).

Now there are more VMware certifications, so you might wonder, “Which VMware certifications are right for me?” To help you decide, I’ve covered the various VMware certifications and requirements and how they can improve your IT career.

VMware Certified Professional
This VMware certification proves that you have the basic skills and knowledge to work with vSphere. To become a VCP, you must take an authorized, instructor-led training class. (Online classes are not eligible.)

Read the full article at searchvmware.com…

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Why physical performance monitoring tools aren’t enough

You can’t rely on traditional performance monitoring tools for monitoring a virtual infrastructure. Using the same tools that you would in a physical environment often results in inaccurate and incomplete metrics.

For the most accurate method, you need to know which performance monitoring tools to use and what to monitor in your infrastructure.

Physical performance monitoring tools: Why not?

Performance monitoring tools that are designed for a physical infrastructure use an operating system to measure and monitor the performance statistics of servers’ physical hardware. In a virtual infrastructure, the guest OS can’t see the physical hardware, only the virtual hardware that has been emulated by the hypervisor. Because an OS can’t directly access most of the host server’s physical hardware, traditional performance monitoring tools won’t function properly in a virtual infrastructure.

Read the full article at searchservervirtualization.com…

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Utilizing vSphere features, resource controls for VM priority

After you implement virtualization for your customers it is important to define the priorities for their virtual machines (VMs). If you do not, your customers may find that their critical applications now run slower than before. Setting up resource controls can be a valuable service that VARs can offer their customers. The value can be two-fold: it helps to define customer priorities so that mission-critical VMs get access to the resources they need to run their workloads, and it allows VARs to show their customers the benefits of virtualization.

Here we will learn the resource control features in vSphere and how solutions providers can use them to set up a virtualized infrastructure that works for their customers.

Read the full 2-part article (Part 1, Part 2) at searchsystemschannel.com…

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