Archive for the ‘Recommended’ Category

I’m sure anyone who ends up at my tiny little blog, will already be familliar with the brilliant virtualgeek virtualization blog by Chad Sakac.

Even though you may have already seen this I thought it was still worth a mention, this kind of integration with VMware is a perfect example of why I think EMC arrays are used more than any other vendor in the market.



I blogged a short time ago about VMware’s virtual appliance “vCenter Mobile Access”, below are some of the points explaining what it lets you do from the comfort of your very own phone.

  • Search for virtual machines in your data center
  • Migrate virtual machines from one host to another using vMotion
  • Execute recovery plans using VMware Site Recovery Manager
  • Access Scheduled Tasks, Alarms and Events
  • And much more…

I recently got a Blackberry storm which was reason enough for me to spend an hour getting the new virtual appliance up and running.

I thought id post a couple of screen shots showing it in action.

You can see here the main page requests the name of the Virtual Center server, Username and Password.


The next image shows the options available once logged in.


Ive played around doing searches and vMotions of virtual machines from my phone and I must say its very cool.

For security reasons I would probably not recommend making the virtual appliance web page available externally, but with BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) you don’t need to bother. The key here is that VCMA is web based, so almost any portable device/phone could be used.

A Must Read

Posted: April 30, 2009 in Recommended

Tonight I was cleaning up some books I had sitting down in our spare room when I come across a book which Ive been meaning to post about for some time.

I’m the first to admit I don’t read enough books… busy with kids, busy doing geeky things, busy with work… I can always drum up tones of excuses why I don’t read enough but every now and then I manage to work my way through one.

Ill be honest and say that most technical books bore me and I often dont get past the first or second chapter, WHY ? well I think half the time its because the books read like manuals, and you know how much us men love to read manuals .. ” No No ill just set it up and refer to the manual if i cant get it going” ill say to my wife.

Well one technical book I had no problem getting through was Enterprise Systems Backup – A corporate insurance policy by colleague Preston De Guise. Coming from a Systems Administrator/ Backup Administrator background I knew this was going to be something that I would be interested in reading but what I really liked about Prestons book was the unique writing style.. what am I talking about, here’s an extract from the first chapter;



Hundreds of years ago, primitive villagers would stand at the mouth of a volcano and throw an unfortunate individual into its gaping maw as a sacrifice. In return for this sacrifice, they felt they could be assured of anything from a safe pregnancy for the chief’s wife, a bountiful harvest, a decisive victory in a war against another tribe (who presumably had no volcano to throw anyone into), and protection from bad things.

Too many companies treat a backup system like those villagers did the volcano. They sacrifice tapes to the backup system in the hope that it guarantees protection. However, when treated this way, backups offer about as much protection as the volcano that receives the sacrifice.

Sacrifices to volcanoes were seen as a guarantee of protection. Similarly, backups are often seen as a guarantee of protection, even when they’re not configured or treated properly. In particular, there is a misconception that is something which is called “backup software” is installed, then a backup system has been installed.

This book is all about learning how to build the backup system.

“Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery: A Corporate Insurance Policy” moves beyond scripts and individual backup/recovery packages to explain not only how things work in a backup environment, but why they must be done. It is an indispensable tool not only for system architects, but also managers responsible for data protection within the environment.


 I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s part of an IT organization, It doesn’t matter if your at Help Desk, Team Leader, Systems Administrator level or the CEO of the company, I guarantee you will  learn something from reading this book and in most cases expose you to concepts,best practices  and strategies you had previously not considered

You can find more information about Preston and his book here

Well after a few nights off I’m ready to start talking technical stuff again. Ive recently had the need to start looking into how I’m going to generate some reporting on both ESX hosts and Virtual Machines configured in Virtual Center.

After looking around on the VMware forums I come across a recommendation by Texiwill for a small utility called RVtools by Rob de Veij.

Rob describes RVtools as;

“A small .NET 2.0 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual machines. Interacting with VirtualCenter 2.x or ESX 3.x RVTools is able to list information about cpu, memory, disks, nics, cd-rom, floppy drives, snapshots, VMware tools, ESX hosts, datastores and health checks. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and RVTools is able to list the current version of the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine. and update them to the latest version”

Ive installed RVtools and pointed it at our production Virtual Center server for evaluation and I was very impressed. I hope to get some screen shots up in the next couple of days but until then here is a screenshot from Robs site.



If your looking around for something simular in nature, I highly recommend you visit Robs site and download the latest package.