VMUG “Green Out” T-Shirt Design Contest

Today VMUG has announced a new contest to design the new look of the VMUG T-Shirt. If you are the artistic type I would suggest that you give this a go. I am excited to see what people can come up with. They are asking for VMUG members to submit a design or phrase that demonstrates the value of VMUG to you as a member and a VMware customer. Not many other details were provided.

Eligibility: Must be a VMUG member

Deadline: Must submit your entry to [email protected] by 5:00 pm Thursday, June 19th CST
Note: The shirt will include a front graphic only and will be printed in one color. You can download the VMUG logo here.

Copy of the email:
(Click to Enlarge)

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Visio Stencils For VMware, Hyper V, etc!

There are a couple of great websites that have a large collection of Visio stencils. When you’re in need of something more than the basic set of stencils that is included with Visio then look no further!

Veeam provides a free collection of VMware and Hyper-V virtualization Visio stencils that can be used by ESX administrators, system integrators and datacenter managers to create their own diagrams in Microsoft Visio 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013 as part of your Hyper-V or VMware deployment planning.

Download the Veeam VMware and Hyper-V stencils direct from Veeam here:

http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-stencils.html

There are also tons of vendor specific visio stencils on VisioCafe. VisioCafe is an independent non-profit web site for the gathering together of IT industry Visio collections:

http://www.visiocafe.com

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Web-Based IP Address Management – phpIPAM

For those of you still using a spreadsheet for tracking IP addresses – it’s time to graduate! A couple of months ago I was looking around for free web based IPAM software. I wanted to be able to track the IP’s I have in use on my home/lab network and I also was consulting for a client that was looking for the same type of solution.  There is quite the list of IPAM related software and many more unlisted options. Believe me – I looked and tried almost all of them (the free ones anyway).

When it came down to it, the ones that stood out were phpIPAM and GestióIP. After using both for a couple of weeks it was clear that phpIPAM was the winner. While both have different strengths and weaknesses – phpIPAM was both aesthetically pleasing and had the feature set I was looking for.  At the time I was using version 0.9 of phpIPAM and since then they have released new versions which I was even more impressed with.

phpipam1

Full List of Features:

  • IPv4 / IPv6 address management
  • Domain authentication (AD) / OpenLDAP authentication
  • Per-group permissions
  • Multiple level of nested subnets
  • Visual subnet display
  • IPv4 / IPv6 address calculator
  • VRF support
  • VLAN management
  • Device management
  • RIPE import
  • Import / export XLS files
  • User management
  • E-Mail notification with IP details
  • IP database search
  • IP request module
  • IP range adding / editing / deleting
  • Custom IP/subnet/userVLAN address fields

phpIPAM uses a clean bootstrap interface, includes LDAP support out of the box, has automatic host availability checks, and is very customizable. It’s very easy to get setup and I had it running on CentOS 6.5 LAMP server in a matter of minutes. I would highly recommend it for small to mid sized environments looking for a cost effective (free!) IPAM solution.

What IPAM software would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

End of General Support for vSphere 4.x

This is just a friendly heads up for anyone who may still have VMware vSphere 4.x (ESX, ESXi, and vCenter 4.x) in their environment.

We have quickly approached the end of vSphere 4.x General Support phase on May 21st, 2014. This means that there will be no more maintenance updates / upgrades, security patches, bug fixes, new hardware support, or server / client / guest OS updates. This support is only provided during the General Support Phase which begins on the date of general availability of a Major Release (“GA”) and lasts for a fixed duration (typically 5 years).

Support will still be available through the 2-year Technical Guidance Phase but it’s limited to providing existing security patches, bug fixes, and workarounds for non-business critical issues. Be aware that there is no phone support for a product that has reached the Technical Guidance phase of its lifecycle.

vmware4EOL

SSD Emulated Virtual Disks for Nested ESXi

I came across a gotcha scenario when trying to deploy vSAN in my home lab. When adding disks to the nested ESXi server all of the disks are detected as regular ol’ spindle disks regardless of the actual underlying storage. So I was in need of a method to emulate an SSD device. Truth be told there are actually many other reasons why you might want to emulate a SSD disk.

The solution is easy! It’s just one simple edit to the virtual machine’s configuration file (VMX). As long as you’re running virtual machine hardware version 8 or later you can configure a specific virtual disk to appear as an SSD.

scsiX:Y.virtualSSD = 1

X represents the controller ID and Y is the disk ID of the virtual disk.