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Archive for July, 2010

Manage VMware Server 2.0 with Virtual Infrastructure Client instead of the Web UI

July 22nd, 2010 No comments

I personally find the Web UI a little slow for managing VMware Server 2.0 on my home lab and also prefer to use an interface more like the one I use at work when managing our vCenter and ESX hosts. So here is how to use the VMware Infrastructure Client to manage VMware Server 2.0. For this to work, ensure you use an older version of the Infrastructure Client. The one that comes with ESX 3.0 / 3.5 hosts seems to work well. The newer vSphere Client doesn’t work and gives you an error message when you try to login.

1. Grab a copy of the Virtual Infrastructure client and install it on the machine you are accessing your VMware Server Host from. I had trouble finding a download link, so I needed to pull it off an old ESX 3.5 host.

2. Install the client, then run it. At the login prompt enter the full web UI address of your VMware Server Host in the IP Address / Name section. So if you were trying locally on your host, you could enter https://localhost:8333 or from a remote machine use the IP address in the format https://x.x.x.x:8333

3. Enter your user name and password and hit “Login”. This should load up your VMware Server 2.0 server in the infrastructure client. Enjoy!

Benchmarking – Corsair Reactor R60 SSD vs conventional HDs

July 21st, 2010 No comments

So the other day was my first venture into the world of Solid State Storage. I purchased a Corsair Reactor R60. Not the best of SSDs, in fact it is more on the budget side when it comes to SSD storage. It uses a JMicron JMF612 controller and support TRIM provided your OS such as Windows 7 does. The drive was however good value for money in terms of size and performance. Here is a rundown of some of the features straight from Corsair’s site.

  • Maximum sequential read speed 250MB/s
  • Maximum sequential write speed 170MB/s
  • Latest generation JMicron JMF612 controller and MLC NAND flash for fast performance.
  • 128MB DRAM cache for stutter-free performance
  • Internal SATA II connectivity
  • USB 2.0 connectivity for disk cloning or for use as external drive
  • TRIM support (O/S support required)
  • No moving parts for increased durability and reliability and quieter operations over standard hard disk drives
  • Decreased power usage for increased notebook or netbook battery life

I had a clean installation of Windows on my previous OS drive, so I decided it would be a good time to benchmark the SSD against this. I also got hold of some results using the exact same benchmark and scenario but using 8 x Velociraptor 300GB SATA Drives in RAID 60 on a dedicated Areca RAID card. Here are the results. I have used IOmeter for the benchmarking, using a Transfer Request size of 4KB. The results are taken from the Command Queue Depth of 4 results in each instance.

I must say that I am extremely impressed with this SSD. Even for budget / mid range drive, it is phenomenally fast when comparing it to conventional HD storage. Windows loads much quicker and so do the games that I have installed on it. Everything snaps open as the drive is able to access any area of storage almost instantly. File copying performance is also extremely impressive. Even when comparing to a high end RAID controller with multiple high speed Velociraptor drives spinning at 15000rpm in RAID, this drive pulls ahead in all benchmarks. As a dedicated OS / Application drive, I would definitely recommend one.

Next up, I think I am going to try this drive out as dedicated VM storage drive and see how VMDKs perform on it!

Shrink a SQL Database using SQL Management Studio

July 14th, 2010 No comments

Here is a quick “how to” on shrinking a SQL Database using SQL Management Studio.

1. Launch SQL Management Studio and login with your desired credentials.

2. Connect to the SQL Database engine instance and expand it by double clicking on it.
3. Expand your “Databases” node and right-click the specific database you would like to shrink.
4. Go to “Tasks” -> “Shrink” and then click “Database”

5. There are some optional settings at this point. Read more about the process here if you would like to learn more. Otherwise continue with the defaults by clicking “OK”.

Here are the results on a DB I shrunk today (before & after):

An update on what I have been busy with lately…

July 13th, 2010 No comments

Thought I would do a quick blog post on what I have been busy with lately.

1. My first iPhone / iPod Touch game (released on Cydia for Jailbroken devices)

So this is something I have been busy with over the last few months – coding bits and pieces here and there whenever I get a bit of spare time on my hands. Its nothing special – just a simple Maze game. You use your device’s accelerometer to navigate your character through 5 maze levels. If you touch the walls you lose health. The longer you take to complete the maze, the more score you lose too. So the point is to get through in the quickest possible time without touching walls. I learnt the basics of how to work with the accelerometer, game loops, twitter integration, a little bit of PHP and mySQL for the Highscore system and a fair amount of general objectiveC code. There are a couple of bugs in the game at the moment (like the way you get a little stuck on walls – issue with my game loop) that I don’t really have time to sort out at the moment. But hopefully I’ll get more time in the near future to figure out my mistakes and fix these. You can check the game out in more detail here or you can download it for Jailbroken Apple devices on Cydia. Search for “Speed Maze”.

2. Moving

Well we’re moving house in the next month or so. We have found a place a little closer in to London that is going to offer far more room, an awesome garden, park across the road, and to top it all off, its in a nice quiet cal-de-sac. As such, I have been taking the opportunity to eBay some surpluss hardware and gadgets I have had lying around for a while. This includes various PCs and bits of hardware I have had lying around, plus around 20U worth of Dell PowerEdge servers! (See image above).

3. Other

My home VMware lab – I have also been building various ESX and vCenter labs here at home to play with in a non-production environment. This is great as it allows me to test all kinds of crazy things I really don’t want to try out at work! I have chopped and changed the hardware, but finally have two different labs going. One is a nested set up of virtualized ESX 4.0 hosts, running under a main ESX 4.0 host if you see what I mean. ¬†The other is running on a PowerEdge 6850 server at the moment – 4 x Xeon 3.16GHz CPUs and 4GB RAM. The issue I have here is that there is no Intel VT (hardware virtualization) support on these processors. So although ESX 4.0 runs OK, I can only run 32-bit VMs for now. Exchange 2010 and other 64-bit VMs will have to stay on my main gaming PC for now then. I also found this great WordPress plugin by lynxbat on Twitter. Once set up, it displays statistics from your VMware ESX host or vCenter Server. You can take a look at my current lab stats on the right in the sidebar. Get the plugin over here: WP-vSphereStats.¬†Apart from that, we have also been planning one or two soon to be taken, well deserved holidays. We’ll be off to France soon, after which we’ll be taking a nice long holiday in South Africa. Excited to see friends and family again soon!