There are a several good points made my new blogging buddy, Miguel. Number one, you don’t include in your design features for the sake of features. This may seem obvious, but perhaps for a passionate (maybe overzealous!) VMware Architect, implementing features on which on-site staff are not proficient or can’t manage is not a benefit. As Miguel shares in this “palm-to-face” anecdote, such features in the hands of untrained staff can have the opposite effect for which they’re designed. So take into account the staff’s abilities before including advanced features in your design. Number two, communication is key in any environment. Communicating to the customer the gravity of the decisions they make in regards to what’s included in the design and certainly sharing planned maintenance times with all stakeholders. A communication strategy and change control process are key to making this work. Number three, as Miguel shared with me, if an admin is looking at his virtual infrastructure like a hog looks at a wristwatch, well, things are pretty bad. And finally, always remember: VMware’s easy.



I had a long-term project at a customer site where I was to analyze, design, and architect a solution based on the equipment, environment, and requirements. Before I rolled in to the customer site as the new VMware SME, there had been a recommendation by a junior and recent VCP to implement distributed switching, linked vCenters and a few other feature sets of VMware and NetApp. There was not any experience with distributed switching by the on-site staff and their exposure to VMware was minimal, although many thought themselves as experts after a few weeks with the product. I kept hearing the comment that VMware was easy. I recommended a hybrid solution with the MC using standard switching, and VM network\storage on distributed switching as a compromise to a fully distributed solution. They decided against this even after I presented them with the advantages.
A few weeks later they had…

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ESXi 5 Purple Screen of Death in VMware Workstation 8

While I’m traveling, I carry a beefy laptop as a mobile test lab. I fired it up recently after several weeks of no lab work and to my chagrin, looked up and saw the dreaded purple screen of death for the first time. I saw this as a good opportunity to research this particular PSoD and post my findings.

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Replacing a Cisco Nexus 2224 Fabric Extender

So my team and I got a call to swing by a customer’s site on our way to another job. They told us half the ports went bad on a FEX and we were to install the replacement that just arrived onsite. In this post, I’ll explain how to replace the FEX (which is trivial) and more importantly how to verify that it’s working after installation.

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2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.