Monday, February 27, 2012

Testing vSphere 5 FT in a VMWare Workstation lab

Studying for VCP 5 requires a home lab for walking through the installation steps, learning to manage every single feature of vSphere 5 and getting real hands-on experience.

If you wanted a cost effective solution for your home testlab, you have probably chosen to run everything in a VMware Workstation environment.

Though nesting your vSphere environment inside VMWare Workstation has let you test ESXi installation, vCenter appliance configuration, vMotion, Storage vMotion and much more, there certainly is something you are struggling to enable: Fault Tolerance (FT).

In fact, even if you could get a VM configured for FT, you probably get the following message when powering it on:

'Record/Replay is not supported on this CPU for this guest operating system.'

To work around this issue, you'll have to use BT-based record/replay, which means adding the following option to your FT-enabled VMs:

  • replay.allowBTOnly : true
  • replay.allowFT : true
  • replay.supported : true

These settings are found at VM-level under 'Edit Settings / Options / General / Configuration parameters' (note that this tab can be accessed only with your VM powered off).

The 'replay.allowFT' and 'replay.supported' switches must just be set from false to true while 'replay.allowBTOnly' must be added as a new row.

Of course this setting can be added directly to the vmx file, but for sure you knew that if you are heading to be a VCP.

For more information on Binary Translation check this and this. And for a VCP 5 study guide, check my other blog post here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

VCP5, my study notes

These days I pushed myself to study to become a VCP5 at last. So, after attending the appropriate (and mandatory) course 'VMWare vSphere 5.0 Install, Configure, Manage', and after spending many days in the lab disassembling and reassembing the whole virtualization solution, and going over my study books and almost every possible Internet resource, I (think I) am finally ready to sit for this exam.

Here follow the notes I have taken while studying. They are a bit crammed, many things are probably missing, maybe because I didn't feel I needed to write them down, many things are there but I suppose I knew them before. It doesn't matter. These are my personal study notes and that's the way it is. Of course if you, reader, wish to contribute and send me your opinion or suggest corrections/improvements, whatsoever, feel free to do so and I will be most happy of updating this blog post.

And in case these notes helped you, please, let me know and share you score!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Touching a file in Powershell

Although 'touch' being one of the most useful Linux commands, it is still missing in Powershell. The 'touch' command is important for developers and sysadmins alike because it allows you either to update the timestamps of a file, either to create temporary empty filenames.

So here's my Powershell transcription of the bash 'touch' command for those of you who might need it:

param([string] $filetotouch)
if(test-path $filetotouch)
    Set-ItemProperty -Path $filetotouch -Name LastWriteTime -Value (get-date)
    “File $filetotouch timestamp succesfully updated”
    Set-Content -Path ($filetotouch) -Value ($null);
    “File $filetotouch succesfully created”

You can save this file as touch.ps1 then call it from the Powershell command line as follows:

.\touch.ps1 test.txt

I hope you liked this script.
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