Friday, August 24, 2007

ESX 3.0 on Workstation 6 (Update)

By accident, I found out that on the website of XtraVirt, a series of white papers has been published around this theme. Starting from installing ESX in a VM, to creating a NAS virtual machine for hosting your virtual-virtual machines and doing VMotion etc. Interesting...

ESX 3.0 host as NAS server

A client asked me to configure one of their ESX hosts as an NFS server for hosting ISO files. This host had 300GB of remaining disk space which would otherwise be just a waste. So, I started right away: creating an export directory, formatting the file system (converting vmfs to ext3), tested mounting it from different ESX host... no problem!

Until I tried to import the new volume as a datastore via the VI Client, then the VI Client complains about the fact that the NFS server does not support NFS v3 over TCP. Although NFS over TCP has been around for ages, it appears to have been stripped from the NFSD module in the service console. Is this done on purpose by VMware to make sure you can not easily run a standalone ESX host with shared storage out-of-the-box?

Anyhow, by recompiling the NFSD module (luckily VMware has added the source for the kernel) one can make it work. See this document (in dutch) for a procedure on how to make this work. Works like a charm!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

ESX on VMware Workstation 6

I installed ESX 3.0 on VMware Workstation 6 today. People have done this before without too many issues, just some important notes:
- Make sure your processor support VT (or the equivalent for AMD) because otherwise performance is extremely poor.
- Enable VT support in your BIOS (my Dell Latitude D620 had this feature disabled by default - duh!).
- Make sure your virtual disk is 4GB
- Choose a combination of LSILOGIC and SCSI

Doing this, installation of ESX is straightforward and takes about 30 minutes (rough estimate). I've seen messages from people that claim to have virtual machines up and running (with VMotion and all). This is the next step...

Keep you posted...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Disable MMC through GPO

I've been looking for 1 hour now to find the policy setting that prohibited me to launch the SQL manager MMC snap-in (packaged using Softgrid by the way). Stupid, it was there all the time:

I was checking and testing different PATH rules in the section for Software Restriction Policies but forgot there is an administrative template section for the MMC specifically...

Citrix buys XenSource (I know, it's old news!)

Sure I know this is old news, and people have been discussing this fact extensively over the last couple of days.

My colleague Michel Roth has written an interesting article on his website (see here) discussing a possible explanation of the broader picture of the whole deal. Interesting...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Renaming several Files at once

Freeware products exist for renaming files in batch, think about pictures related to the same theme or taken on the same day, for instance. It turns out no additional software is required because Windows Explorer on XP can handle it. Here's the way it goes:

Select all the files you want to rename:

Press F2 (or right-click on a file and select Rename). Give the files a new name and ...

Done !

Please note that file extensions are not handled properly!

Custom Search