How to set up a VMware vSphere Lab in Virtual Machines, with DRS and HA


I recently wrote a (reasonably!) lengthy article on how to set up your own VMware vSphere lab or test environment consisting entirely of Virtual Machines, running off of one piece of host hardware. This is really handy as a lot of people new to Virtualization often think they need to purchase full on server equipment to create a white box, or find second hand servers off of eBay. Even more often, they make the mistake of overlooking the CPU feature set required to run vSphere – Hardware Virtualization, buying 64bit capable servers (good), but lacking the Intel VT or AMD-V feature-set required for vSphere (bad!)


This is when running everything virtualized comes in really handy. As well as keeping your hardware and lab requirements/size down, you have everything you need all in one installation of VMware Workstation. You’ll also be able to test out some really cool features that vSphere / vCenter Server has to offer – such as HA (High Availability) and DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduling). In the article I also make reference to a few best practises to have when configuring the real deal for production use. I hope this comprehensive guide is useful for those of you looking to set something like this up!


VMware lab consisting - nested VMs running in Virtualized ESXi hypervisors.


Read the article here on to get started and see how its all done!



SQL Server Full Text Indexing

So this is more of a mental note to self, based on the summary of a lesson I just completed on SQL Server Full Text Indexing. In summary, to create Full Text Indexes, we need to keep the following in mind:

  • Before a full text index is created, you need to make a full text catalog that is mapped to a filegroup first.
  • Full text indexes can be created on columns with CHAR, VARCHAR, XML and VARBINARY.
  • When using  a full text index with a VARBINARY(MAX) column, you need to specify the column for the COLUMN TYPE parameter so that the Full Text Index Engine knows which filter to load for parsing the data. (for example a filter for Word Documents, Excel, HTML etc…)
  • The “LANGUAGE” setting specifies which “Word Breaker” and “Stemmer” SQL Server loads to tokenise and build inflectional forms for the index.
  • Word breakers can be used for different languages that have a close relationship with fairly acceptable results in most cases, but stemmers are language specific and can only be used on the exact language data you are dealing with.
  • CHANGE_TRACKING controls whether SQL Server tracks changes to underlying data columns – Automatically , manually or is off.

This is my interpretation of the summary provided at the end of lesson 1 in Chapter 5 of the Microsoft MCTS Exam 70-432 authored by Mike Hotek.

Full Text Predicates that can be used:


A Thesaurus file can be used to configure synonyms for search arguments. A stop list contains a list of words that you want to exclude from your full text index or search arguments.