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Cloning Windows Server 2012 Domain Controllers on vSphere 5

Microsoft introduced a lot of virtualization awareness in Windows Server 2012, particularly for domain controllers.  They are, for the most part, considered virtualization “safeguards” in that they prevent against some of the classic problems of virtualizing domain controllers.  Historically things like virtual machine snapshots, restoring from virtual machine image backups, or cloning domain controllers was either difficult or impossible.  With the introduction of the VM-GenerationID it is now safe to use virtual machine snapshots and even clone existing domain controllers.

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vSphere Home Lab Upgrade–Synology DS1812+

I built up my home lab back in late 2011 after finally deciding that I needed something that was completely mine and not a shared lab with others.  I built pretty much an identical lab to Jase McCarty’s (http://www.jasemccarty.com/blog/?p=1516) and have been very happy with it.  The only problem I’ve had is with my home lab storage. A funny thing happened on the way to figuring out what storage to use in my home lab.  Faced with the prospect of

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Honored to be an EMC Elect

I found out this weekend that I was named as an EMC Elect in the program’s inaugural first year.  The EMC Elect award is similar to the VMware vExpert award in that it honors community involvement and knowledge sharing.  Needless to say I’m thrilled and honored to have won the award especially when I see my name associated with many other folks I respect.   Being rewarded for doing something we are all passionate about is what makes awards like the

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PVSCSI Bug Causing Exchange 2010 Jetstress to Crash

A few weeks back I was called in to help a customer who was experiencing problems completing Jetstress testing for an Exchange 2010 deployment. It wasn’t an issue of Jetstress reporting failed tests. Rather, they were unable to get through most of their tests without the Jetstress application actually crashing (JetstressWin.exe has stopped working). They would see the following after the Jetstress testing completed but before it could write any log files to disk. The only Jetstress related error in

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Windows 2012 Failover Clusters and vSphere 5.1

How many of you actually read through the release notes of a new vSphere release?  Ok, I know that Maish does.  If you read Maish’s post or read the vSphere 5.1 Release Notes you would see the following: Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering is not supported If you try to create a cluster for Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2012, and select to run validation tests, the wizard completes the validation tests with warnings, and after that returns to running

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Licensing SQL 2012 in a VM with Hyper-threading

When I talk to customers about running SQL in a virtual machine I often refer to the SQL 2012 Licensing Guide to make sure I have the latest information.  This document has changed quite a few times over the last year and I often find something new that I didn’t notice in the prior version (or simply wasn’t there). Last week I was looking at the SQL 2012 Virtualization Licensing Guide (opens a PDF) when I noticed something I hadn’t

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Error 1711 When Upgrading vCenter to 5.1

I was recently going through the process of upgrading my home lab from vSphere 5.0 to 5.1.  Everything was going great until I got the following error: Error 1711. An error occurred while writing installation information to disk.  Check to make sure enough disk space is available, and click Retry, or Cancel to end the installation. I found a few references online to a bad MSI file when this happened to folks in previous versions of VMware products (not limited

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SQL 2012 AAG/FCI added to VMware “Supported Configurations” KB

Just a quick post to note that VMware has added SQL 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances to their “Microsoft Clustering on VMware vSphere: Guidelines for Supported Configurations” knowledgebase article.  This is a KB article that I refer to frequently when speaking with customers about virtualizing business critical applications and clustered servers.  As expected, SQL 2012 AAGs are fully supported and have no vMotion/HA restrictions just like Exchange 2010 DAGs.  AAGs do not utilize shared storage and

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New in vSphere 5.1–Support for five node Failover Clusters

As has been the case with the last few vSphere releases, VMware has crammed vSphere 5.1 full of new features and functionality. I won’t try to go into all of the details since there are many blog posts out there already. Since virtualizing business critical applications is near and dear to my heart, one of the changes that immediately jumped out to me is a big change to the support for virtualized Windows Failover Clusters.  Since the first version of

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Using PVSCSI Driver on Windows Server 2012 VMs

Are you looking to start testing Windows Server 2012 in your vSphere environment and want to utilize the PVSCSI driver for better potential disk performance and lower CPU utilization?  You may have noticed that the only PVSCSI drivers available for Windows stop at Windows 2008.  But will that work on your Windows 2012 VM? In short, it sure will!  I gave it a try and can confirm that loading the Windows 2008 PVSCSI driver on your Windows 2012 VM will

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