Tag Archives: VMware Education

VMware Workstation-Powered Lab: Preparing the Lab Part 1

Hello and a hearty welcome to my series on making a virtualization lab! In this first part of lab preparation I’ll show you where to get the needed binaries, set up networking in VMware Workstation and create a software RAID0 out of 3 SATA HDDs. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time – and finally, there is no time better than the present. This is because the Lab can be run using the cutting-edge software that was provided to me in the form of vExpert Licenses.

On the hardware side – because I am constrained by budget for this vSphere lab (which equals zero at the moment), I have decided to make use of the most I have available. This means I will be utilizing my Whitebox’s hardware with VMware Workstation 11, and creating a basic lab from the resources I have at my disposal.

Lab Specifications

At first we’ll take a look on what I have available – only the compute resources used for virtualization will be noted below:

CPU – Intel Core i7-2600k @ 4.05 GHz – 4 Cores, 8 Threads.
RAM – 16 GB 1866MHz DDR3 Memory
Storage – A software RAID0 out of three SATA drives and perhaps a small 60GB LUN from my 120GB SSD – this will be provided by StarWind Virtual SAN software iSCSI Solution which I got a NFR license for (again, thank you vExpert Programme!).

This hardware configuration will enable me to run two ESXi hosts each with 2 CPUs and 6GB RAM. As far as the software goes, I will be using Windows Server 2012 R2 – both Core (for Domain Controller) and the “GUI” (or non-Core edition) to serve as a management console for both of these previous servers.

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Book Review: VMware vSphere Design, 2nd Edition

VMware vSphere Design Book Cover

Since expanding my digital bookshelf with some more VMware-oriented books, I finally finished one hefty piece in my library, and that is a Kindle Edition of VMware vSphere Design, 2nd Edition. I like getting my hands-on experience with hardware and am intrigued by data center design, so I just had to get this piece. Continue reading

Book Review: Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5

Book Cover

Today I’ll be sharing a short review for the of the book, Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 – Kindle Edition. I purchased it in order to enhance my knowledge, and in hope that it will help me be better prepared for the VCP510 exam. This book has  greatly fulfilled both of my expectations.

I read it from cover to cover, as I usually read all the technically oriented books in order to soak the most knowledge I can. The book is nicely written, with sidebars providing very useful knowledge from working experience. As can be expected from a book that contains “Mastering” in its name, it focuses on every single aspect of vSphere. Starting from the basics in each of its chapters, smoothly transferring to an in-depth level. There is a step-by-step walk-through for every action that is a subject of the chapter along with screenshots. Technically complex matters are displayed graphically to enhance your imagination, which is always nice.

The paperback version has 840 pages – this translates to roughly 15 hours of reading if you don’t just want to skim through the book or just look for enlightenment in certain chapters. But it is certainly good to read the book bit by bit – I guess reading it all in one sitting would result in an information overload 🙂

I wish I could sum up each element this book covers, but I’d be just typing out all vSphere features and aspects such as networking and storage and their underlying components – that many of you are already familiar with. If you have some vSphere experience – or you grasp the concept of virtualization with some IT background and seek a book that will get you started with vSphere, would like to know how certain things work “under the hood”, or just want to see how the authors tackled some real-world scenarios, this book is for you.

As for myself, I read this book with some ~5 months of last-level operator experience and learned many new things. For example did you know that during vMotion the memory snapshot of the source VM is sent to the destination ESXi host in clear text? Or that while using NFS connection to your datastores, only one of the two uplinks being used for the data transfer, even though LACP is used? And there’s much, much more. While sweating in the exam room answering the VCP questions, I recalled what I read in this book many times. Even though this book is revolving around vSphere 5.5 and its features, it is tremendeously helpful for use with earlier versions of vSphere 5.x.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about the vast amount features in vSphere. Be it people recently introduced to virtualization, or seasoned vSphere operators who would like to know more. It will even help you to prepare for VCP if you take your time and indulge in the chapters.