Like many others I was a VCP 4 and needed to upgrade to VCP 5 by Feb 29th to avoid a pricey class and possible ribbing from my peers. I was well aware of this deadline since mid December, however, I procrastinated on studying and was mostly flinging myself around the globe doing implementations and having an all around good time. When Feb 1st came I was sitting on a flight from Saigon to Frankfurt and that is when panic struck.

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Now there is an ambitious post title if there ever was one, but it seems fitting as the next 12 months promises to be my most ambitious professional year to date. Like Neil, I´ve started a journey that could either crash and burn, or end up with my very own personal moon landing. Those of you that follow my antics on Twitter already know what I´m talking about, but I´ll spell it out once and for all:

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I´ve mentioned this earlier, VMware hands-in labs going public in 2012, but finally it seems like something is happening in that regard! Scott Sauer has announced the availability of «VMware Virtual Customer Labs” (vCL) where he walks us through the setup and delivery of the new vCL offering. At the moment it´s only available to «selected customers», supported by a VMware pre-sales engineer, and the number of labs are limited. It´s still a work in progress, and I´m sure great things will come out of this!

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In a recent article, VCP 5 certification course deadline looms over VMware pros both vNinja.net contributors (Christian and Ed) are quoted in relation to the VCP 5 certification upgrade deadline of February 29th 2012. While I can´t speak for Ed, I can clarify my own comments a bit. The following is a quote from VMware, taken from the article in question: “That requirement is in place to maintain the integrity of the certification.

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Eric Siebert has opened up the voting for the top VMware & virtualization blogs. Head on over and cast your votes! Votes for vNinja.net and vSoup.net would be greatly appreciated, but since we´re not affiliated with the Dutch vMaffia we promise that you will not have to wear concrete boots or wake up to a horses head in your bed if you don´t vote for us. We think.

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As Mr. Simon Seagrave has pointed out, there is a fix available to enable OSX Lion Time Machine support for Iomega IX2 and IX4 NAS storage devices. I decided to take this a little step further, and try to upgrade my old (and discontinued) Iomega IX2-200 to the new IX2-200 Cloud Edition firmware. Initially this was a big failure, as I seemingly managed to brick my device. It was only responding to pings (so the TCP/IP stack was loaded and working), but I could not bring up the web based management tool nor connect via telnet or SSH.

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My new colleague Olav Tvedt asked me if I could test his method of enabling Bitlocker in a VM, on VMware vSphere. Of course, I was happy to oblige. I followed the same steps as he did in his Running Bitlocker on a Virtual computer post, and it worked perfectly. The only real difference between doing this in Hyper-V and on ESXi, is that the virtual floppy drive on ESXi by default doesn’t emulate an empty floppy.

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Sammy Bogaert has posted a 12 part series called «Building The Ultimate vSphere Lab», which knocks the socks of my previous vSphere 4.x series. In reality this means that my planned series for vSphere 5.x is now cancelled, as there is no need to duplicate Sammy’s efforts. Be sure to check the series out!

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Yes, this is YAEotYP, so if you’ve already read tons of them I apologize. 2011 - My personal view 2011 has been a steamroller of a year.The vSoup Virtualization Podcast got aired the first time, and we’ve recorded and published 19 full episodes in the inaugural year. I was awarded the vExpert title for the first time, and even got invited to Tech Field Day #6 in Boston. In addition to this, I wrote a white paper for Veeam, was included in the Server Virtualization Advisory Board, joined Rick Vanover for a Veeam Community Podcast, and appeared in two video interviews.

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One of the last projects I’ve been involved with at Seatrans, is to automate the installation and configuration of vSphere ESXi 5 hosts for deployment on vessels. I’ve talked a bit about this before, both on vSoup and in Setting Up Automated ESXi Deployments where I outlined my PXE and PowerCLI based installation and configuration scheme. Not much has changed since then, except updating the PXE server to offer ESXi 5, instead of ESXi 4 and a lot of work has been put into the scripting, including a front-end GUI for the PowerCLI script itself.

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While using ThinApp to create a standalone version of TweetDeck 0.38.2, since the newly announced 1.0 version looks, acts and feels like a 0.1 version, I posed the following question on Twitter: ["Hrm, what other apps should i #ThinApp while I'm at it?"](https://twitter.com/#!/h0bbel/status/145249562490179585). Kevin Kelling immediately responded with «Doom». Naturally, I decided to give it a go. A quick download of ZDoom later, and a quick run through the ThinApp Setup Capture later, the following was born (view in full screen for better viewing):

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As the title says, it’s been one of my more «public» weeks ever. Besides my «normal» vSoup engagement, this week I’ve also been involved with Mike Laverick’s VMTN Subscription Movement Miniwags to voice some of my views about the #VMTNSubscriptionMovement. Fair warning: This is video, and please to remember that during recording Movember was nearing its final phase. VMTN Subscription Movement Miniwags – Christian Mohn Secondly, I was a guest on the Veeam Community Podcast Episode 45 – vSphere 5 Storage Potpourri.

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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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VMware Labs now has fixed data centers which means that the VMworld Hands-On labs are going to be publicly available in early 20112! Hear Mornay Van Der Walt, Senior Director R&D at VMware, explain the details in this video from VMworld TV: This is great news, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this is a really good idea.

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The last couple of days I’ve been in training class, taking the 6451B Planning, Deploying and Managing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 course. One of the first things that got mentioned, was that for larger deployments you should not run System Center Configuration Manager virtually. Of course, this caught my eye as I’m a proponent for the virtualize first «movement». It runs out that the reason for this is that Configuration Manager is somewhat poorly designed, as just about everything it receives from the clients in the network is placed in text based log files (inbox folder) before being processed and pumped into the back-end SQL DB.

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Not that WSUS is expensive, after all it’s a «free» addon to the server you’re already running if you need it. Of course, running your own Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) infrastructure is preferable in just about every scenario except for some edge cases where bandwidth or latency issues might prevent you from syncing the updates from a central repository. Sadly, these edge cases enter the fray from time to time and I recently found myself in the middle of such a scenario.

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To celebrate vSphere 5 GA release today, I’ve recorded a quick video of the old school CD/ISO based installation: vSphere 5 ESXi Install Video from Christian Mohn on Vimeo. Seems strangely familiar, right? Enjoy!

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The up and coming release of VMware vSphere 5 comes with an upgraded versjon of the VMware vStorage VMFS volume file system. One of the problems with VMFS-3 an earlier is that the block size you define when you format the datastore, determines the maximum size of the VMDK files stored on it. This means that when planning your datastore infrastructure you must have an idea on how large your VMDK files will potentially be during the lifecycle of the datastore.

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No, this is not a farewell post, but rather the opposite. It’s Dr John Troyer’s birthday! John lives and breathes his role, as Senior Social Media Strategist at VMware, and I have to say that one of the most brilliant moves VMware has done is to employ John in his current role. Lots of other corporation employ marketing people in their social media roles, VMware went the other way and put the very technically savvy Dr.

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Recently at the office I was given the task to test out some SMB NAS products to use as potential candidates for some of our small branch offices all over the world. I did many tests relating from backup and replication to actually running VMs on them and pounding them with IOmeter. What I will share with you in this series of posts is my vSphere/IOmeter tests for NFS and iSCSI.

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As many of you did I watched todays Cloud Infrastructure Forum and the release of vSphere 5 today. I was very excited with many of the features such as Storage Profiling, Storage DRS, VMFS 5 release, and they have blown the top off of the resource limits on VMs to create Monster VMs - just to mention a few. However, one topic I notice causing quite a stir is the new licensing that seemed to be very briefly mentioned at the end of the webinar.

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