Share your VDI opinions to enter contest and win VMware View Train Signal DVDs

Manlio Frizzi over at has asked me to help spread the word about a contest he’s holding on his blog. It’s actually a great way to start good conversations about Virtual Desktop Infrastructures, how they’re used today, and how they could be made better. To be eligible, Manlio is asking contestants to offer three opinions regarding the state of VDI technology today. With the support of Train Signal, he’s giving away their VMware View 5 Essentials 2 DVD training package to two, yes two, winners. Another cool thing about his contest is that he’s going to donate all the proceeds from his next Google Adsense payment to a cat asylum. Be sure to thank him for this when you enter! You can check out his contest here: VDI CONTEST



A Small Virtual Machine for a Test Lab

Get my 57MB Damn Small Linux OVA here (rename file extension from .doc to .ova): DOWNLOAD

While I’m traveling, I use my laptop as a mobile test lab. To do anything of significance, I like to run two VMware ESXi 5 hosts, vCenter Server 5, a domain controller (both on x64 Windows Server 2008 R2) and for my recent study focus, a NetApp DataONTAP 8.1 simulator, all on VMware Workstation 8. All these things are great, but with “only” 8 GB RAM to pull from, my resources are limited and I’m pushing RAM utilization to the max before I even start running VMs, as you can see below. The only thing saving me is an Intel 320 Series SSD.

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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.


I passed the VCP 5 exam!

A happy day for me, indeed! I passed my VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 exam today in Rolla, MIssouri. I’ve been studying vSphere 5 now for about 5 months.

Because my current project is implementing vSphere 4.1 data centers, I was planning on attending the Install, Configure, and Manage course for vSphere 4.1 – I even bought the 4.1 course. Then vSphere 5 came out and my course provider, Global Knowledge, changed my 4.1 course to version 5. That was ok by me. I just changed gears and started studying for vSphere 5. I’ve been able to set up version 5 test labs at different customer sites parallel to our 4.1 implementations. The test labs have all consisted of nested ESXi boxes.

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The Quick and Dirty (and Free!) IP Scanner

If, on occasion, you need to scan a range of IP addresses for live devices but don’t have access to the many tools for such a task, free or otherwise, memorize this little trick and move on to more important things!

Open a command prompt and type

for /L %i in (1,1,254) do ping -n 1 | find “Reply” >> c:\ping.txt

Be sure to replace the x’s in the above command with the correct portion of the IP address range you want to scan.

The output below is what the command looks like when it’s running.

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Ever heard of ARP Stuffing? Me neither.

So I’m looking at a metered APC PDU, model 7811, that I need to access. It’s fully racked and stacked, boxes on top of and below it. I don’t have the RJ-11 to serial cable that came with it and I don’t feel like making one. There’s currently not a DHCP scope on the subnet it will belong to so it will likely assign itself an APIPA address assuming it’s set to DHCP by default. It’s essentially an out-of-the-box config – which is nothing. What’s the easiest way to gain access to it?

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VMware OS Compatibility – Upgrading Windows

It’s no fun doing research all day on your only day off, so I took a minute to read Mike D’s VMware blog over at where I came across some interesting and fun stuff.  The “stuff” is actually just an embedded YouTube video but one that should send you back in time for a few minutes to reminisce about simpler days.  The video shows the upgrade of every major version of Microsoft Windows since — get this — Windows 1.0! He actually started with MS-DOS 5.0 because the earliest Windows versions required it.  One interesting tid-bit is that the launch of Windows 1.0 predates that of the VGA standard and its numerous analog extensions we’ve all come to know and love. Instead, it uses EGA. 

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