Duncan Epping rather unceremoniously published a blog post «New Beta Program offering: VMware Hosted Beta» yesterday, outlining the availability of the new hosted beta offering that companions some of the current VMware beta programs. _Due to the very NDA nature of the beta programs, I can´t really go into details on what is currently offered, but what I can say is this: Well done VMware!_ The VMware Hosted Beta runs on the same engine that runs the VMware Hands on Labs Online – Beta, but with a little added twist.

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It´s a well known problem that with Veeam Backup & Recovery Replication 6.5, and earlier, backing up the SQL server that hosts the vCenter DB poses a problem. KB1051 VSS for vCenter outlines the issue well, and provides a workaround. If you experience this problem, you will see entries like this in your Veeam B&R backup logs: Veeam vCenterDB Backup Error The workaround provided by Veeam is to create host VM-Host Affinity Rules, effectively pinning a VM to a given host, and then perform the VM backup through the host rather than through the vCenter.

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This week I´m working at a client site, upgrading their entire existing vSphere 4.1 infrastructure to vSphere 5.1. The customer engagement also includes upgrading Veeam Backup and Replication 6.0 to 6.5, and usually an isolated upgrade of Veeam B&R is a no-brainer next, next, next, done install. To complicate things in this particular environment, I also had to migrate the vCenter SQL DB from a local MS SQL Server 2005 Express instance to a full-fledged MS SQL Server 2008 R2 instance.

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Autolab, that awesome «little» thing that automagically builds a nested vSphere Lab environment for you, was definitely not put together by Flint Lockwood but by Alastair Cooke (www.demitasse.co.nz). Unlike Flint´s inventions, this one actually makes sense and serves a purpose! Now, how sweet would it be to deploy Autolab without having to invest time, money and effort into acquiring your own hardware? Well, thanks to baremetalcloud.com, you might now actually be able to do just that (and more, if you wish).

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I needed some new wall «art» for my home office, and decided that a couple of small «Keep Calm» posters would do the trick. Naturally I got a bit carried away, and created more than one, and of course, most of them are virtualization related: If you have some ideas, I´ll gladly create more, just leave a comment! I would also love photos if you printed out any of these and put them on a wall or in a frame somewhere.

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Our sponsor Veeam is giving away a free pass to TechEd 2013 in this months giveaway. Register now to be entered into the draw before March 18th when the winner will be announced.

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Trainsignal has just launched a new Online Training bundle, and for $49 a month you can get unlimited access to their entire set of training courses and practice exams for Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Citrix, CompTIA, and VMware. The new pricing is very attractive, especially since you no longer need to buy access on a course by course basis. The courses are delivered in your browser, but Trainsignal also offers an offline player in case you need access when traveling or otherwise offline.

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VMware Labs has released a new fling called Makyo (魔境 _makyō_ means “ghost cave” or “devil’s cave.”) which basically is a tool to copy VMs or vApps from one vCenter instance to another. It works by doing an automated OVF export on the source vCenter, and then an import on the destination vCenter. The plugin integrates directly into the vSphere Web Client, and I hope to see this feature installed by default in future versions of the Web Client.

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Eric Siebert has yet again gone through the massive job of setting up his yearly Top VMware & Virtualization Blogs Vote. Huge kudos to Eric, I know this is a big undertaking for you, and myself and the rest of the community really appreciate the hard work you put into this each year! Go ahead and cast your vote before the cut-off date of March 1st. vNinja.net is listed in the general section, feel free to vote for us if you feel like we deserve it.

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My recent experience with setting up vCenter Operations Manager on a standalone ESXi host, and the always excellent William Lam´s post Automating VCSA Network Configurations For Greenfield Deployments got me thinking. There are several other appliances out there that require deployment to a vCenter, to be able to configure the networking options and not just default to DHCP. In many, and perhaps even most, cases you can work around that by running the _vami_set_network _command to change from DHCP to STATIC network configurations.

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