A little while ago I fitted a small 64GB SSD disk to my HP MicroServer just to have a quick look at the new vSphere 5 feature Swap to Host Cache, where vSphere 5 reclaims memory by storing the swapped out pages in the host cache on a solid-state drive. Naturally, this is a lot faster than swapping to non-SSD storage, but you will still see a performance hit when this happens.

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VMware has announced Horizon Application Manager 1.2, and together with the new ThinApp 4.7 release it promises «end users access to Windows, SaaS and enterprise web applications across different devices while retaining control and visibility via policy-driven management». VMware Horizon Application Manager now manages your ThinApp applications making it easier and faster to provide virtualized Windows applications to end users. From Horizon Administration, you can deploy ThinApp packages, entitle users and groups, track user licenses, and manage application updates.

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Mike Laverick has started something of a petition to bring back the VMTN Subscription option, and I could not agree more! The VMTN Subscription was a way for interested parties to pay for a years subscription to VMware products, akin to the Microsoft Technet subscription program. It’s not intended for production use, but as a means to get hold of products for lab work, testing and development. I don’t understand why VMware pulled the plug on that option back in 2007, but I do understand why it’s time to bring it back to life.

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Juan Manuel Rey’s post Monitor ESX 4.x to ESXi 5.0 migration process show how you can watch the progress of an ESX 4 to ESXi 5 upgrade procedure, by looking at the live logs. While this is very useful, and in many cases a real learning experience, it got me thinking that these logs should be available remotely as well. Since ESXi supports, and actively encourages, the use of an external Syslog service for log file safekeeping and monitoring, shouldn’t the installation logs for ESXi also be logged externally if configured?

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Every once in a while an opportunity presents itself that is just too good to pass up and after 8 years at Seatrans AS I’ve decided to move on and and accept a position as a Senior Consultant in the Infrastructure Consulting division of EDB ErgoGroup. Seatrans has been a fantastic employer, and without the backing and support I’ve had over the years I would not be in a position where this change would be possible.

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Moving On

if ((Get-date) -gt (Get-date 2012-01-01)) {Get-VM h0bbel | Move-VM -Datastore newEmployer -RunAsync } More details later.

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In the new VMware Workstation 8 release, VMware has added a rudimentary network simulation setting where you can tweak bandwidth and packet loss for a given network card. Very useful when testing applications and servers and want to know how they react to network issues, or if you want to simulate a WAN link. I know this was available in Workstation 7 as well, but it used to be a team feature.

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Installing Microsoft Windows 8 in a VMware Workstation 8 VM turned out to be a real piece of cake. Follow the screenshots for the procedure I used, but basically all I did was to create a new VM with the pre-configured «Windows 8 Server» preset and inserted the downloaded ISO file. Note: Windows 8 Server has been removed as a preset option in the final release of VMware Workstation 8, my screenshots are from the beta version.

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The newly opened Backup Academy, by Veeam, aims to educate administrators, and others interested in virtual machine backup, in the required skills to maintain a proper backup strategy for your virtual infrastructure. Currently the site has 8 videos available, covering content from disaster recovery to backup integrity tools. Even if it is run by Veeam, it does not focus on Veeam specific products or services, but rather on the general ideas behind a successful backup and disaster recovery of both VMware and Hyper-V based environments.

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VMware is close (still in beta) to releasing the new major release of VMware Workstation. Update 14. September 2011: VMware Workstation 8 has now officially been released. VMware Workstation 8 brings a lot of new features and enhancements to the table, and I’ve been lucky enough to play around with it in the beta program. VMware Workstation 8 System Requirements To be able to install VMware Workstation, the host system processor needs to meet the following requirements:

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