Ravello Offers Free Lab Service for all 2015 vExperts

Ravelloravello_logo-2 Systems has announced free lab service for all 2015 vExperts, which offers 1,000 free CPU hours per month for personal or home lab use.

I was lucky enough to be one of the early VMware on AWS VIP Pass users, and I’ve been working on several setups the last few weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to make those available as blueprints in the new Ravello Repo, once they are ready for publishing.

My experience with Ravello Systems so far can be summed up with one word: Awesome. The ability to quickly fire up a test environment, especially with nested ESXi hosts, is fantastic. In fact, a lot of the things I’ve been using my home lab for, has been transitioned over and run on demand on Ravello instead. The CPU and RAM requirements for a home lab has increased dramatically over the last few years, and the investment needed in hardware makes it difficult to keep it up to date. Now, my existing home lab can work for some workloads and scenarios, others run on AWS via Ravello when I need them.

It’s the best of both worlds, just the way I like it.


The “vCommunity”

The recent months, and weeks, has made me question the value of the “vCommunity”. I’m even questioning if there really is such a thing at all any more. I believe there was such a thing at one point, but it seems to be fading fast into history, only to be replaced by hyperbole of egonormous proportions. Back in the old days, and this might just be me showing my greying of beards moment, the hyperbole wasn’t a strong a force as it seems to be today. As clickbait replaces journalism, hyperbole and FUD seems to be replacing what used to be based on technical merit.

Yes there is a typo in there, it was supposed to read “I don’t really understand why people spend enormous amounts of time on something, to just turn around and shit all over it.”

Sure, I get it. You want to make a buck, and a name for yourself. This is completely understandable, I do the same thing. We all do, let’s not kid ourselves and pretend we live in la la land where life is beautiful all the time, and we are all working together towards a better world, or even a better tomorrow. The truth is, we are not collectively working towards anything but our own self indulgence or self worth, or whatever might seem to be the best “move” at any given time.

Harsh? You bet. Reality? It sure is.

Take a moment, and read of what Anthony Burke wrote in his Remember your Technical Integrity post. I simply could not agree more.

If you chose to sacrifice your technical, or even moral, integrity for another paycheque, be my guest – That is your prerogative. Just don’t wine if I call you out on it, or simply stop listening to you. Just as you make your own choices, I sure as hell will be making mine. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not saying that you can’t change your opinion about something. Or change employers. That’s perfectly fine, completely natural, and even healthy – Changing your personality, well probably not as healthy. Also, it probably shows that your previous “personality” wasn’t real either. Again, not so healthy. I’m pretty sure that’s where unicorns come from. Fake personalities, with hidden agendas.

I won’t kid myself into thinking that I can influence this trend in any way, shape or form, and things will go back to being what it once was, but I sure can make sure that I don’t fall into the same trap myself. If I ever fall into the same category, by all means tell me, or even better take me out back and give me a good old fashioned beating.

As someone I respect once said about the community:

There is none… It is a bunch of dicks and egos.

VMware Software Manager – Changing Download Directory

The new VMware Software Manager, which was released at the same time as vSphere 6, is a great way to get your download ducks in a row, and not manually download all the different vSphere pieces one by one.

But all these downloads sure eat up disk space, and if you, like me, chose the wrong download location while installing VMware Software Manager what do you do? There is no way in the web interface to change the download directory after installation, so how do you change it? There is a way through the GUI as well, but here is how to do it manually:

It turns out that the configuration is stored in %appdata%\VMware\Software Manager\Download Service\Cfg\application.cfg, specifically under the [download] section. To change your download location, move your existing directory to a new location, and update the path under directory=. Then use Task Manager to kill the vsm_download_service.exe task(s) that are running, and restart it from the C:\Program Files\VMware\Software Manager\Download Service directory and you should be all set to download to the new location.


It turns out, that you can in fact change this setting through the GUI as well, just not via the web interface. If you right click the VMware Software Manager icon in your tray, you can change the location by choosing the Settings->Change Download Location option. I completely overlooked that when trying to change the location at first.