ESX3i, Enterprise Virtualization and should it be installed on an Atari

Well the Atari part is because of a post on PlanetVM, but seriously though the question is should ESX3i be installed on non-HCL machines? Here are my 2 cents (or agurot in local currency).. Yes and no.. Decisive don't you think? Yes
  • It gives people the chance to test out what ESX can do. The capabilities, the features, limitations and benefits.
  • It is free, so why not use it.
  • It can run off of a USB stick, so it will run on pretty much anything...
  • It does work when installing it on all sorts of hardware. I have personally installed it on all kinds of desktop computers HP and IBM.
  • It will increase exposure for VMware and in turn their market share when people learn that the product is the best thing since bread and butter.
  • Because by nature technical people like a challenge, so installing on non-supported hardware, is challenging, and seeing the amount of posts, sites and blogs that are busy with this means that people like the challenge.
  • It makes a wonderful platform for POC, testing or just playing around.
  • If I can install Hyper-V on any hardware I would like, then why not ESX?
  • IT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY VMWARE!!! - Let me elaborate on this one. ESX abides to a strict HCL. Sometime I personally think that it is too strict, and that is only because of lack sufficient testing on other hardware. But that means that VMware has employees that their job is to sit and install ESX on each platform and see that it works properly. There is a lot of hardware out there, and it changes constantly so the HCL is a game of keeping up with the never ending amount hardware that is released each year.
  • Even if you can install it on your old ZX Spectrum , does not mean that you should. I mean the software was meant to perform at a certain level. So installing it on something like this - it kind of defeats the purpose.
  • Most of the features available do not come with the free product. (write with RCLI [OK temporarily it does - oops!!], HA, DRS, VMotion and that kind of Jazz)
  • When someone fails to install it they come to the forum, bad-mouth, complain and waste most of our time with silly questions to which most them the answer will be..
    This hardware is not supported on the HCL so ........
  • The forums are becoming high traffic with all kinds of stupid questions (and for the life of me I cannot find the post in the forum that talks about it, when I do I will update the link)
So what is is the conclusion? I would say a Yes actually. Go for it, get it working. Get to know the product, and you will see that it is well worth your while. But.... remember you are working on unsupported hardware, so there is only a limit to how much support you will get from your peers, you will not receive any support from VMware at all.


Community Technology Preview-3 (CTP3) of Windows PowerShell V2

So the folks at Microsoft have been busy, just in time for Christmas and the Holidays. Well you know that is the advantage of living in Israel (and being Jewish...) - we don't celebrate Christmas - we celebrate Chanukah (which is not directly related to the Gregorian calendar) so business is as usual here... Selected New and Updated Features in Windows PowerShell V2 CTP3 (Please refer to Release Notes and Help topics for more details) # PowerShell Remoting # Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) # 63 New Cmdlets # Modules # Script Debugging # Advanced Functions # PowerShell Class API You can get it here

A new free Ebook

Microsoft have published a new book - granted it is on Virtualization - the Microsoft way, but still should be something to go over. Understanding Microsoft Virtualization This is the book for IT professionals who want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualization technologies, including Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. The book also examines other virtualization-enabling technologies from Microsoft including Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services, Roaming User Profiles, Folder Redirection, and Offline Files. Download here


Time to change the Passwords again...

Do you all know how one of the biggest headaches you have is changing all the service accounts and administrative passwords on a regular basis? Well I did that this week.

This entailed changing passwords on almost 10 different accounts, local administrator passwords on over 100 servers, Local services, and tasks running under these accounts.

It wasn't so bad though the only real headache is the changing of the local passwords on the servers, the services and the tasks.

Here is how I changed the service credentials (rename the file extensions to .ps1)


Change Admin Password on remote computers


Tasks - I have not found a decent script yet to perform this - when I do I will let you all know.

And of course dont forget to run Eventcombt to check that you have not missed anywhere (or naturally there are places that you never knew about in the first place :) ) to catch all those incorrect loin attempts.

Have a good one - it is about time I went to sleep..

A recap of what happened throughout the year

Rodney Haywood has compiled a post of what happened over the last year in the VMware / Virtualization world. It gives a pretty good picture of what has been going on - milestones mainly as to what has been introduced in the Virtual world. There is a lot to absorb. I sometimes wonder - if I only had another 4-6 hours in my day - then I would manage to maintain control of all the information that flies around the technological world - let alone absorb and use/try some of the stuff. Man .. That is one of the things for a new year resolution.


My Top Virtual appliances

EWeek posted their Top 5 Virtual appliances. They are all good applications, but all of them are products that cost moent and cost a lot. So I thought about how about compiling a list of my own most used Appliances (in no particular order) from the Virtual Appliance Marketplace

If I come up with some more, I will let you know.

Comparisons... Comparisons....

Ahh..... Come On!!!!!!!!! VMware vs Hyper-V comparison. Jason and Scott have said more than enough on the matter. People should get their facts straight!!!!


Dutch VMUG 2008

So some of my friends in NL had their annual event yesterday, the Dutch VMUG 2008. But this gets me thinking. What is the purpose of a VMUG? Well this was taken from the Vmware web site:
The VMware User Group (VMUG) program is designed to encourage and support communities of VMware users who want to hold regular meetings in their local area. The purpose of these gatherings is to provide a forum in which VMware users can share best practices and expertise, and VMware can in turn obtain feedback from the user community.
We actually only started a Local VMUG in Israel (led by Ben Hagai) and we just had our second meeting recently last week. The idea of having a small community of people who all use the same technology, and come across similar problems throughout their day and sharing that knowledge - that is what I would like to see in a VMUG. An intimate group of 30-50 people, meeting once every 3-4 months for a morning to discuss technology, best practices, maybe get a technology update, listen to a technical lecture and things like that. To me having an event like the one titled in this post, seems to defeat the purpose. Don't get me wrong, I am sure it is beneficial, interesting, and highly successful. I mean there were over 600 people who registered and participated in the event. But with amount of people I do not see how you can keep this an intimate group and therefore how this can be a VMUG??


The New online hardware Compatibility guide for Vmware

So yesterday VMware released a new application online that allows you to search for your hardware to see if it is supported with ESX systems

We got this one from John Troyer (and thanks to Duncan for letting us know).


The the small print at the bottom says:


So I guess I will still be downloading/accessing the HCL PDF every time I buy a new server.

It is a great move in the right direction though!!

Which books should every VI Admin read?

Well if you actually have time to read things which actually are printed on paper that is.. Edward L. Haletky - a VMware Communities User Moderator, has put a list together on the Virtualization Wiki. that everyone and anyone who is serious about virtualization should read. The list is here. Happy reading!!!


Active Directory Health Check

Well I have spent the past two days with a Microsoft PFE (Premier Field Engineer) who has been doing a quick health check for issues in our domain.

This does not replace an Active Directory Risk Assessment Process (ADRAP) - but was a highly informative and educating session.

ADRAP Objectives
  • Perform a detailed analysis of an organization‘s Active Directory environment.
  • Review Active Directory configuration.
  • Improve availability by eliminating single points of failure and by verifying that fault tolerant designs are in place.
  • Improve Active Directory performance.
  • Reduce service outages and subsequent downtime by identifying current or imminent issues.
  • Impart knowledge and skills to administer, manage, and troubleshoot Active Directory.
  • Provide tools and methodologies that will enable customers to identify existing problems.
So I have spent the past two days deep-diving into my forest.
It was a fun two days, tons of stuff I have learned, and points taken for fixing and improvement. It is always a pleasure to work with such knowledgeable people - and our PFE is highly qualified and skilled.


Now if only I would earn these numbers.....

I would have so much more time to blog here

This is not what a VCP earns in Israel..... :) And I actually have both certifications....

Report from Israel VMUG

So what did we have:

Client story from Siemens PLM software

Well I got there late (damn so much traffic that I am not used to..) but I have seen the presentation before, so there was nothing new to tell about it.

Virtual Desktop Technical Deep Dive (VMware View - it is now called)

VDI was a good product, but this.. this looks like ... wow.. I will have to get hold of an evaluation copy to try it out. The best feature in my opinion will (actually more than one) the linked clones and offline copies.

Linked clones - this has been available in Lab Manager for quite a while and now it has come View. What will this mean. For example - if you have 10 VM's all with a 10 GB Hard disk, till now that would have taken up 100GB space on you storage. Now true with de-dupe, this can be reduced up to savings of 80% in some cases, you will have one Master image that will be 10GB and each of the other 9 linked clones only take up 50-100MB for each VM so instead of going up 100GB - we are talking about 11GB!! Now that is a huge savings on precious and expensive storage space...

"Offline VDI" - Now the problem with VDI always has been - I do not have access to my VM if I am not connected to the network. So I cannot continue my work on the train/plane/bus. That was a real PITA. But - and yes I know this is experimental only .... - but to take my machine offline with me before I go home, continue the work on it while I am out of the office - as they say in Yiddish "A mechaye" which means a lifesaver!! I cannot wait for a chance to try this one out.

I am sure that View is going to be a huge topic for the upcoming weeks and months.

We will have to wait and see.