Virtualization Short Take #27

Here’s Virtualization Short Take #27, a collection of news, tidbits, thoughts, articles, and useless trivia I’ve gathered over the last week or so. Perhaps you’ll find a diamond in the rough among these items!

  • Interested in more information on how it is, exactly, that Cisco is going to provide so much memory in their UCS blades and rack mount servers to make them ideal virtualization hosts? This article from CommsDesign and this “Catalina” article by Rodos Haywood both provide some great information on how Cisco is working around the Intel reference architecture limitations introduced with the Xeon 5500 and Quick Path Interconnect (QPI).
  • This article provides a handy reference on how to unregister the Nexus 1000V vCenter Server plug-in. I wish I’d known this information several weeks ago…
  • Need to view some configuration files on an ESX host? Just browse to http://<IP address of ESX server>/host and you’re all set. I learned of this handy little trick via Virtual Foundry.
  • And speaking of handy little tips, here’s one Eric Sloof shared regarding the vCenter Ops Dashboard. Again, just browse over to http://<IP address of vCenter Server>/vod/index.html to view the vCenter Ops Dashboard.
  • Adam Leventhal describes using the latest version of VirtualBox—which now includes OVF support and host-only networking—to run the Sun Storage 7000 Simulator. This is pretty cool stuff. I hope Oracle doesn’t kill it like Virtual Iron…
  • I just mentioned Virtual Foundry a bit ago, but forgot to mention this great post on hardening the VMX file. Good stuff.
  • For others who are, like myself, pursuing the elusive VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification, Duncan’s recent post describing the VCDX design defense is a great resource. Thanks, Duncan!
  • The VMware networking team addresses some questions around using VMware for virtualized DMZs, and how to protect against Layer 2 attacks.
  • Want to do manual linked clones in VMware Fusion? Here’s how.
  • Via Matt Hensley, I found this VIOPS document on configuring a VMware vCenter Data Recovery dedupe store.
  • This article has more information on installing ESXi 4.0 to a flash drive, a process I have yet to try. (Instructions for burning ESXi 3.5 to a flash drive can be found here.) Anyone else done it yet? I’d be interested in how it went.
  • If you have any questions about SAN multipathing, Brent Ozar’s two part series on the topic may help straighten things out (here’s Part 1 and Part 2). I’m not sure that I agree with Brent’s statement regarding the ability of desktop-class SATA drives to saturate 4Gbps Fibre Channel, but I’m no storage expert so I could very well be wrong.
  • VMware SE and friend Aaron Sweemer provides a handy script that can help fix Service Console networking when performing automated builds of VMware ESX.

That wraps it up for this edition of Virtualization Short Takes. Feel free to share thoughts, questions, or corrections in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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  1. Brent Ozar’s avatar

    WHAT?!?! You don’t agree with me?!?!? That’s it, I’m taking you off my Christmas card list.

    WHAT?!?!? You haven’t received a Christmas card from me yet?!?! That’s it, I’m firing my secretary.

    WHAT?!?!? I have no secretary? Dammit, this blogging thing is harder than it looks. ;-) Thanks for the link anyway, sir.

  2. Kyle Mestery’s avatar


    I’m a Tech Lead who works on the Cisco Nexus 1000V. Regarding running ESXi on USB flash drives: I’ve been doing this for 4.0 for quite some time now. Works great! In fact, most of my servers run this way. It’s way too handy to reinstall by buying a new flash drive and loading ESXi onto it.

  3. Mark Conger’s avatar

    As a Mac fan I stand humbly with my hands in the praying position asking for help. Is it possible to run ESXi natively on a Macbook? If so, I’d really like to read a how to article on it (hint, hint.) If it isn’t possible, then what is the best non-Apple laptop to run ESXi on? I’ve looked for something low cost in the usual places (ebay, tiger direct, etc.) but my price goal of under $500 just won’t buy a good configuration (VT enabled CPU, 3GB mem, 200GB SATA, Gigabit NIC) Thoughts? Thanks.

  4. slowe’s avatar


    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I don’t doubt that ESXi 4.0 works well on USB drives, but I had heard that the process for doing it with ESXi 4.0 was very different than the process for ESXi 3.5 (I’m hearing it’s much, much easier and faster.)


    Don’t look to me to verify whether ESXi will run natively on MacBook Pro hardware! I don’t have the time to rebuild my system from scratch just to test that. :-)

    Anyone else have any suggestions for Mark?

  5. Mark Conger’s avatar

    As a clarification to my post about ESXi, let me add that my goal is NOT to run OS X in a VM, but rather to use the Macbook as an ESXi server for travelling. I already have a Macbook Pro and a Dell PC running VMware Server in Linux.

  6. Mark Conger’s avatar

    Thanks. After looking into the possibility of doing it via Boot Camp and finding that there’s some rather unusual hardware that is probably will keep ESXi from running, I’m going to go with a traditional laptop. Although, I’ll never stop using my Mac!

  7. Collin C. MacMillan’s avatar

    While installing VMware ESXi to USB flash is pretty easy and straight-forward in vSphere (thanks Scott for the mention of my blog post) it is NOT without its potential hazards. Consider that the installation process – formal or “dd hack” – can lead to a re-formatted internal drive if ESX recognizes the drive controller.

    You’re cautioned to boot ESXi flash WITHOUT a hard drive the first time to avoid such a consequence. Then, you’ll need to deal with the temp file space issues accordingly…

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