TechXpress – Virtualising T1 Apps – April 2009

Last week was my second TechXpress seminar held in Auckland. The presentation was about Virtualising T1 Apps, specifically SQL and Exchange.

It coincided well with the VMware Communities Round Table Podcast #42 where virtualising SQL was discussed at length. Prior to the Podcast John Troyer set the panel and listeners some homework to read a recently released White paper, so over the last week my head has been well and truly crammed with virtualising SQL information.

Once again, great presentation and nice relaxed atmosphere.

Cloud Computing in Plain English

I have just sumbled across “TWO” really easy to understand video thanks to Mike D Petrillo’s Blog and @HighTechDad on Twitter. I’m starting to hear more and more people talking about the Cloud and i’m finding that a lot people are not really exactly sure what “Cloud Computing” is.

My Top 5 Monthly Twitter Users – It could be you!

As part of my new Blog, i have introduced a section called My Top 5 Twitter Users. Currently it has a list of 5 users that i regularly find myself reading their Tweets.

As of today i am going to “Favor” all the Tweets that i find interesting, funny and generally useful to me. At the end of the Month i will add up all of my Favored Tweets and put the Top 5 Twitters that appear in that list onto my Blog.

Unfortunately there isn’t a prise or anything lined up for the winner of each month, I’m really just doing it to keep my Blog content dynamic and to let me readers know who  in my eyes  is worth following on Twitter.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that I’ve excluded myself from this list. Clearly all of my Tweets are interesting, funny and generally useful and it wouldn’t be fair on all of the Twitter Users if i was to win every months. 🙂

If you arn’t following me then please feel free to add me: @SimonLong_

Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)

Whilst reading a VMware document on using SQL inside VMware Virtual Infrastructure i realised that i wasn’t 100% sure on what the Hard Abstraction Layer ( HAL) actually is, so i decided to do some reading up, here is my take on it.

What is the Hardware Abstraction Layer or HAL?

The HAL is a part of an Operation System that talks directly to the machine’s Hardware.

The Windows OS is able to support multiple hardware platforms without having to have different OS versions for each hardware platform thanks to the HAL. During the installation of an OS the HAL is chosen depending on the hardware platform, because of this you are normally unable to remove the HDD from one PC and move it to a PC which has different hardware.

A HAL tip when you are installing VMware VM’s using  Windows Server 2003

Windows 2003 Server unlike Server 2008 doesn’t have the ability to dynamically adjust the HAL to accommodate extra vCPU’s after installation. So if you’re creating a new VM which may possibly need to have an extra vCPU added to it in the future, it is best practice to install the OS on a VM with 2 vCPU’s as this will install the SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessor) HAL rather than the UP (Uniprocessor) HAL. Once your install of 2003 server is complete you can change your VM’s vCPU’s back down to one. You now have the option to add another vCPU whenever its needed.

*If i have misunderstood what the Hardware Abstraction Layer is, please message me direct or leave a comment.

GMail Forgotten Attachments – We’ve all been there, done that

Is this a familiar story?

  • You created a new Email
  • You added the Recipients
  • You added the Subject e.g. HR Spreadsheet
  • You wrote a nice passage telling them you have attached the spreadsheet they requested
  • You hit Send

2 Mins later you get this reply… “Sorry i cant seem to find the attachment.”

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General IT Introduction

As The Slog is mostly Virtualisation orientated i have decided to add another Catagory called “General IT“. This is a place where i will post Non Virtualisation specific posts.

I’m also going to use this area to aid my learning. I’m always learning and looking to improve my knowledge, so if there something mentioned in conversation or documentation that i dont understand 100% i will research it and write it up in this section.

All comments on my write ups are gratefully received as I’d rather know when I’m wrong or heading off in the completely wrong direction.

If you subscribe to my Blog and don’t want these posts, please let me know and i will try arrange the feeds to not include these posts. Just drop me an email via my Contact page if this is the case.


VMware Virtual User Group

Alan Renouf over at has come up with the idea of creating a VMware Virtual User Group.  I had no idea what this was until i read Alan’s post.

I was contacted and asked if it was a good idea to start a VMware Virtual User Group, I think this is a great idea and it would compliment the already existing physical user groups and podcasts which exist.

Sounds good to me!

Alan is asking everyone to fill in a simple one page survey so he can get a better idea of what you Virtual guys would like to see at the VMware Virtual User Group.

So please take 2 minutes to fill out this single page survey and help pave the way for the virtual user group…

Click here to take our Online Survey

ZAR Critcal Data Recovery saved the day

Working in IT you’d think that i would practice what i preach?

“Make sure you back EVERYTHING up!”

Well i do now! Whilst on a trip to a beautiful beach my camera decided to tell me that i had a “Memory Card Error” and i was unable to take anymore photos.

Once we had returned home i put the SD card into the reader and received the message we all dread.

SD Card needs formatting

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VMware TechXpress – Auckland 19th March 09

Yesterday i attended my first VMware TechXpress event in Auckland. For those of you who haven’t heard of these events before, here is what VMware says about them;

We created these groups in mid 2007 specifically for pre-sales and post-sales consultants from within our reseller, system integrator and technology alliance partner community. By attending your local TechXpress, you hear about the latest developments from VMware and our vendor partners. Furthermore, the venues have been selected to provide a relaxed, fun and informal environment to facilitate open conversation and provide you with an opportunity to network with your peers.

Well I’m not a pre-sales or post-sales consultant and I’m not a reseller, but i thought i would register my name and see if they would allow me to attend. They Did!

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PowerShell Scripting, its about time i learnt

If i had a £1 for every time i heard/read about how good PowerShell is i probably wouldn’t have to write this post myself!

So I’ve decided to bite the bullet and I’m going to learn. I’m lucky enough to regularly chat to Alan Renouf from the Virtual-Al Blog, and he’s agreed to help me with my journey from a complete Novice to a “PowerShell Guru” like himself.

Update: Alan has just pointed me to this excerlent VI-Toolkit Labs document which has been release from VMWorld Europe 2009.

Personally I think the best way to learn PowerShell is to start off by being given a set of basic tasks that needs to be done and then working out how to use PowerShell to run this task for me.

This part of my Blog will be mostly for my own benefit, but I’m pretty sure that the scripts i come up with could come in handy to other users. The posts i make on PowerShell will not appear on this blogs front page or in my RSS feeds but they will be Tweeted on Twitter, so if you don’t follow me already and your interested in what I’m writing add me now.

Update: Tom Howarth from PlanetVM has just told me that he too has decided to learn PowerShell, hes also using the VI-Toolkit Labs document from VMWorld Europe 2009.

PowerShell Scripting Resources

Here is a list of PowerShell Scripting Resources that i’m using. I will continue update it:

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