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VMware Text Expander Snippets

One of the problems working with VMware is the sheer number of VMware products, and VMware’s unfortunate predilection for renaming everything. A lot. I mean they rename their products so often, and buy so many companies, that its impossible to keep track of, much less spell everything right and get all the acronyms down.

Being a Mac and IOS guy, the solution for me is TextExpander, which a is a keyboard expansion utility that shares definitions via DropBox. For instance, I have a shortcut where I type ;sig1 and my email signature expands out. This make typing much, much faster, especially on an iPhone keyboard. 

Make sure to make one to change vmware to VMware!

Data Center Virtualization and Cloud Infrastructure

  • ;vcs -> vCloud Suite
  • ;vs -> vSphere
  • ;om -> vSphere with Operations Management
  • ;dpa -> vSphere Data Protection Advanced
  • nsx -> NSX
  • vsan -> vSAN
  • ;srm -> vCenter Site Recovery Manager
  • ;evor -> EVO:RAIL
  • vcenter -> vCenter Server
  • vcd -> vCloud Director
  • ;os -> Integrated OpenStack

Data Center and Cloud Management

  • ;real -> vRealize Suite
  • ;oi -> vRealize Operations Insight
  • ;op -> vRealize Operations
  • ;va -> vRealize Automation
  • ;bi -> vRealize Business
  • ;li -> vRealize Log Insight
  • ;cs -> vRealize Code Stream
  • ;vco -> vRealize Orchestrator
  • ;hyp -> vRealize Hyperic

Infrastructure as a Service

  • ;iaas -> vCloud Air

Desktop and Application Virtualization

  • ;ws -> Workspace Suite
  • ;view -> Horizon with View
  • ;flex -> Horizon FLEX
  • ;hair -> Horizon Air Desktops
  • ;hadr -> Horizon Air Desktop DR
  • ;vol -> App Volumes
  • ;mir -> Mirage
  • ;wp -> Workspace Portal
  • ;ta -> ThinApp
  • ;hops -> vRealize Operations for Horizon


Micron P420 Setup for PernixData

John Lucio over at Micron was kind enough to hook me with a couple of Micron P420 PCIe SSD cards to test in my lab. I do a lot of work with Horizon View and my poor little NAS wouldn’t be able to handle linked clones without PernixData, so I was excited to see the difference between a PCIe SSD and the regular SSDs I use.
Here is the Micron P420. For an IT guy, this is pure crack.
It was easy enough to fit on my SuperMicro X9SCM-IIF-O motherboard. I have plenty of room for the SSD and a 4-port NIC add-on card. I could probably cram some more cards in there if I had to.
Once I booted up, I went to the PernixData Tab on the Hosts and Clusters view of my vCenter C# client. I’m down-reved to to ESX 5.1 for some View work I am doing. No, I don’t use the web client if I can avoid it!
The first thing to do is click Create Flash Cluster so that I have some fault tolerance for my caching:
Create Flash Cluster
I have a cluster, now I Add Devices:
Add Devices
I pick the 2 Micron cards, which showed up with no fuss:
Select Devices
You can select all if you need to for a large deployment:
Select All Devices
The click Add Datastores and pick which LUNs you want to add horsepower to. Make sure to pick Write Through as the write policy, that’s where the sauce is.
 Write Through
Here is how much data was kept from hammering my NAS, it really adds up! App01 runs the vHipster Minecraft server, so all is good.
Flash Usage

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Google Hangouts for VMware User Groups (VMUGs)

The Dallas-Fort Worth VMUG recently started using Google Hangouts to do smaller, impromptu meetings in the evenings. It makes it a lot easier to get good speakers after-hours, and the format of an encrypted video conference chatroom makes it much easier for people to ask questions, share screens and really get conversations flowing. Best of all, it can done from any modern smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Here is a quick how-to on getting started with Hangouts.


Google Hangouts are quick and easy to use. There are a few requirements. First, you need a Google account and you must enable Google+. If you’ve been resisting Google+ because you don’t want more social media in your life, try it anyways. Google+ is perfect for focused special-interest communities like VMUGs. You will not see pictures of kittens on Google+.  Join the Dallas-Fort Worth VMUG community to see examples.

A small plug-in needs to be installed as well. The perma-link to it is Users will be prompted for the plug-in, and it takes a few seconds to install. In addition, it is much easier to setup a Google+ community to send the invites out, though individual users can be invited as well.


Note: You always enter a Google Hangout muted! This causes all sorts of shenanigans, even for a bunch of VMware smart guys.


Setting up a Hangout

You have two options when setting up a Google Hangout. If your group is less than 10 people a normal hangout will work fine and the setup is trivial. If you have more then 10 you will need to broadcast the hangout using Hangouts On Air.

Hangouts On Air

If you are doing a Hangout on Air you only want to invite speakers, if there will be greater than 10 people. You simply send out the link in the address bar to people who will be listening in, and there is an “Embed” link at the top of the page to embed the broadcast on your blog- the community site will get it automatically.  You will also need to link your Google+ account to a YouTube account. Once setup is complete your broadcast will be recorded to review later or to link. Once you complete your hangout it will save and be ready for you to share.


Make sure to experiment with the Google Hangout widgets. Q&A is a must-have, as is Cameraman and Google Effects (Google Effects is half the fun!).


An Example

Here is the hangout from last night with @vtexan @virtualchappy and me, @bchristian21


A big hat tip to John McConnell at UT Dallas and a VMUG co-leader for talking me into trying this! I was very against more social media at first.

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Here is the SlideDeck and the SpreadSheet from my presentation at the vBrownBag on “Automating View with PowerCLI”

vBrownBag SlideDeck

vBrownBag PowerCli Generator

If you have any questions after the presentation, or you’re a lurker like I am at  and watch the recordings well after the fact, feel free to leave a comment or email me at root (at)

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Passed the VCP-IAAS, so I’m a VCP-Cloud

I passed the VCP-IAAS test today. I wasn’t that bad of a test, as long as you have plenty of lab time. Make sure you really got your head wrapped around the networking of vCloud Director if you want to pass this exam. 

The part I was weak on was the Chargeback stuff. It’s more expensive to license Chargeback, so I haven’t played with it much.

, ,

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vSphere 5.1 compatibility with VMware View

Better late than never, View 5.1 is now compatible with vSphere 5.1! I wonder if they share an interface now…

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Re-IP vCenter 5.1 and the joys of SSO

I did my first production deployment of vCenter 5.1, and sure enough, there was a glitch. The admin of the system changed his mind on the VLAN scheme after Single Sign-On, the Inventory service and vCenter components were setup on a linked-mode DR vCenter. I didn’t have to do every step of KB 2033620 but it sure helped.

The new web interface sure is slick, but I keep bringing up up the old tried and true interface. VMware View sure has put me off of Flash, thats for sure. 

SSO is not fun.


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Have you ever needed to add two lines of text together, over and over, like a list of server names and the fully qualified domain name? This can have an endless number of uses for the lazy admin. I never liked writing scripts that read a list of variables from a text file. Its much faster and easier to use a bunch of one-liners in a batch file.

An easy way to do this is with Excel. Take two strings and cat, or concatenate, them together. Here is a diagram so that the Network Engineers reading this can keep up:

     +         =

Using Excel, it would look like this:

This simple method can be used incredibly complex commands, and are an ideal springboard for Powershell. Not only is this a powerful tool for automating deployments- you can keep the spreadsheet and label it “Documentation”.

I will be following up with some examples of how to automate VMware and VDI deployments using this method.



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