The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution

Bertrand Russell

Welcome to vBlog, a personal record of my techy tinkerings and particular ponderings.

I tend to focus on VMware virtualisation, and the interaction/automation of it using PowerCLI (VMware's PowerShell Snapin), but anything that I happen to stumble across that seems like it might be of use at a later date, may well get recorded here.

I also maintain vWiki, which was a predecessor to this blog. Wiki's are great for quickly recording snippets of info, but tend not to look that great; Blog's are better looking things, but seem to require more effort so that the posts/articles are accessible in their own right. As a result I tend to update both interchangeably as available time, and depth of thought, permit.

If you happen to find anything of use, or in need of correction please leave a comment. Knowing that my ramblings are of some use is a great reward; and similarly I'd hate to waste anybody's time by feeding them duff info.

See these pages for me info about me, and my vBlog, and below for my recent posts...

Or more specifically, how does server or desktop computer virtualisation work?

The purpose of virtualisation is to enable to be able to run more things on less hardware.  To allow you to run numerous virtual instances of a machine on a single computer.  But how do you do that? Continue reading →

Or in the US – virtualization.

Virtualisation enables you to reduce the number of computers and other equipment that you might have, whilst still getting done what you need to.

There are many different types of virtualisation, but desktop computer virtualisation and server virtualisation are the most common. They work by enabling a single computer to do the job of many computers. The single computer will have to work harder. But modern computer hardware has been developed over the decades to be more and more powerful, and so is up to the job. Continue reading →

While not a daily requirement, every so often I find myself needing to set-up a virtual router.  The first time I came across Vyatta was when setting up a VMware lab-in-a-box, and more recently to replicate the functionality provided by the Virtual Router in a VMware Lab Manager unfenced lab (I’ll explain later if you don’t know what that is).

The best part of a Vyatta router is, like most things in life, that it’s free (for the Core version – which provides all the routing functions that you’d normally expect from a router).

This post will take you through the basic set-up for a router, and them some configuration examples for a few useful set-ups. Continue reading →

This post covers what you need to do to be able to run an ESXi3 server from a USB stick (if you’re installing ESXi 4 then you don’t need to do this, the VMware installer will detect the USB stick (or SD card) and install to it).

Note that while in theory an ESXi server makes very little use of the storage its running from, there is an important exception.  ESX3 HA will write to the storage, and in HA enabled clusters its possible for USB keys to become worn out.  This typically rears its head when trying to add/remove a server to an HA cluster, and this operation fails.  There are ways around out (not least replacing the USB key) and I’ll probably post on this later in a more general HA problems post.  Note that this problem is limited to ESXi3, ESXi4 HA is much more forgiving to the ESX’s storage.

So why do it? Continue reading →

All servers have one purpose, to serve.

To facilitate this, one or more applications or services need to run, and it is these applications or services, that provide the server’s function to its clients. These are utterly dependant on physical resources in order to be able deliver, but its the applications/services and their configuration or data, that distinguish one server from another. Continue reading →