Posts Tagged VMware

Another VMUG Scholarship- thanks Tintri!

Tintri came through again on a scholarship for the VMware ICM class- Install, Configure and Manage. This is important because you have to take this class to pass the VCP test, which can really change your career. In Dallas Fort-Worth, several of the local community colleges offer the class at a much cheaper rate than commercial training centers. Francis Dogbey is the latest VMUG member I found a scholarship, here is the gracious thank-you note he sent:

I have started the VCP training at Collin Community College last week. I am so excited about the opportunity and value that this class offers and I am very grateful and thankful to Tintri for sponsoring me for this course. I surely intend to take the VCAP right after and then hopefully proceed to VCDX. Throughout my career, this is by far the best training class I have ever been in, not even my 3 separate tracks of CCIE (Routing & Switching, Service Provider and Security) bootcamps offered such in depth training with job aids and grants being provided by Collin College to us the students. The networking among us in the class is also great as almost the entire class members are working professionals and each class someone’s boss is looking to employ a VCP offering job opportunity to the class.

My thanks goes to Tintri and to Brad my hero, who made this happen, empowering professionals like me to get our career on track and in the right direction.

If you can’t afford the class, or your boss won’t send you because he’s afraid you’ll leave once you pass the VCP, tell me about it at the DFW VMUG meeting.

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Awesome Home Lab Giveaway at the September 16th DFW VMUG Regional User Conference

I’m excited I got a chance to build an awesome home lab giveaway for one lucky winner at the UC coming up! I have to give a huge thanks out to all the partners that helped financially with this, including Justin Hakimi @justinhakimi at Tintri, John Lucio at Micron, and Tim Harless at Sigma Solutions.
Here is the details on the hardware and software. BTW, everything is on VMware’s compatibility list.

VMware licenses

A huge thanks to Corey Romero @vCommunityGuy at VMware for a license bundle. It includes everything to pass any test:
  • IT Business Management Suite 8
  • vCloud Suite 5
  • Horizon 6
  • vCenter Log Insight 2
  • vCenter Operations Manager 5 for View
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager
  • vCenter Operations Suite 5.6
  • vCenter Server 5
  • Virtual SAN 5.5

PernixData

As usual, Brad Farmer @bfarmdawg and Tee Glasgow @teeglasgow are helping out the DFW VMUG with a PernixData license.

Networking

My own home lab uses Cisco Meraki, and I just had to score a Meraki Lab Kit for the giveaway. It is so easy to use, I would be worried if I was a Network guy. It’s a complete Cloud-based networking kit- the config is blown down to the devices from Cisco’s cloud. It comes with:
MX60
  • Stateful firewall
  • Auto VPN™ self-configuring site-to-site VPN
  • Active Directory integration
  • Identity-based policies
  • Client VPN (IPsec)
  • 3G / 4G failover via USB modem
  • Layer 7 application visibility and traffic shaping
  • Application prioritization
  • It even has MDM! Manage your kids iPads!
MS220-8P (eight port) managed switch (trunking, yea!)
  • 8 port gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 × SFP for 1G uplink, non-shared
  • MS220-8P includes 124 W PoE / PoE+
MR16
  • Wireless access point
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
SG 200-08
  • Consumer grade switching, for added ports.

Servers

2 x ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Servers
The boxes have 16GB of RAM and I added SSDs for running PernixData. After adding a 4 port NIC card there is 7 ports, including an iLo port. This can be used in a variety of configurations. If the winner gets another Gen8 down the road, they could easily get vSAN rocking.
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Storage

I owe a huge thanks to Chase over at Synology for making it possible to include a DiskStation DS1813+ 8 bay enclosure. Combining this with a PernixData FVP clustering will just scream.
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Miscellaneous

Also included are patch cables, power strips, and bootable USB thumb drives on the board. I went ahead and installed ESXi already, mainly to make sure everything worked. It’ll be up to you to get the rest working!
One final thing. Whoever wins this owes me 4 blog posts about their experience settings this up at home.

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Tintri Lab Setup Part 1

I was recently lucky enough to get ahold of a Tintri VMstore T540 (here are the specifications) to use in my test lab, so I thought some unboxing and setup pics would be appreciated. The plan is to beat on the T540 a while and get a good idea of how long it takes to setup and how many IOPS it can deliver. I’ll be using Horizon View and vCAC on it over the coming weeks and see how it handles noisy neighbors. Hat tip to Justin Hakimi over at Tintri for setting this up.

I was originally going to use this in my home lab, but it was too loud, so I worked with Brett Wish @vrazorback to get it setup in our Austin office.

It took longer to grab the pics and do this write up than it took to set the unit up. If you’re not doing anything fancy like link aggregation, its a half hour, tops.

Unboxing

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Yes, it was heavy.

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Top view of one of the two controller blades.

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Here is the motherboard model number, X8DTS-F. This is an older demo unit, however, so your milage may vary.

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The fans are LOUD. My wife got pretty pissed.

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The unit comes with 8 x 300 GB (MLC) RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers and 8 x 3 TB RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers for 13.5TB usable. The promised IO from flash is > 99%, i’ll be putting this to the test in the next few posts.

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Rack and stack complete.

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Pardon the glare. Here is the Tintri unit mounted in the fishbowl at our Austin office. One of the beauties of working for a VAR/Integrator is that we are truly hardware neutral (we get to play with all the nice toys).

Initial Setup

The setup is pretty straight-forward. Use the KVM dongle that is provided and connect to the blade on the right (from the rear). There is a short console session required to give the appliance a management IP address and the usual other network details- there is an idiot-proof set of instructions for this part. Open a browser and hit the address you entered.

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The main page comes up with a Getting Started window. This makes it simple to see the NFS mount info you need for vSphere.

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The array was previously configured, so we’ll need to change the IP address for the NFS ports. We are waiting some new Arista 10G switches, so we will be leaving Jumbo Frames off and use a 1GB switch and see how it performs (it was instantly obvious that the network was the bottleneck)

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Here is the main console before we messed it up with a bunch of VMs.

Connect to vCenter

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I’ll list the steps, but this is really easy.

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We have some security options, I’ll use to keep VDI hosts separate from server stuff.

Replication

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We don’t have a replication license or a second array to use for a replication partner. We’d love to detail a SRM deployment on Tintri. Justin, do you have another one of these laying around? Just kidding. Well, kinda.

Alerts

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The alerts section is a little different. You can set the types of email alerts that are sent by moving a slider bar. There are three settings:

  1. Get Alerts Only
  2. ???
  3. Alerts & All Notices

Add the usual To/From email addresses and an internal relay server. Optionally, click on “more” to configure mail server login and SSL settings.

The array can also send SNMP traps and do Syslog forwarding.

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Autosupport is no longer optional- they’re virtually expected these days. Enabling it is as simple click to a check box. I think we’ll leave this unchecked during stress testing.

LACP

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Configure DNS and then check out the LACP options. We’ll be playing with these at both 1GB and 10GB.

Add the Tintri Datastore to vCenter

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Add a Network File System and click Next.

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Enter the server address, the folder name and a meaningful datastore name.

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And Finish.

As you can see, it’s dead easy to add a pretty significant amount of fast storage to your virtualized datacenter. I’ll be doing some follow up posts on stress testing this puppy and how it interacts with Horizon View and vCloud Automation Center. We’ll also compare and contrast with some other storage platforms out there.

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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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Using SSDs for the “Swap to Host Cache” feature of ESX for VMware View running on Cisco UCS blades

Quite a mouthful, eh? If you have a chance to add some SSDs to your blades, though, I think you will be happy with the results. See the VMware vSphere 5.1 Documentation Center for details on how ESX uses write back cache for virtual machine swap files.

First, get some SSDs and put them in your B2XX series blades and configure a local disk policy. I was lucky enough to get two drives per blades, so I set the local disk policy to RAID1.

UCSMirror

You could go with RAID0, but I plan on using the local disks for A/V offload with vShield End-Point protection, so i wanted a bit more surety.

When the blade boots, you will be dismayed to see your new disks listed as “remote” during the ESX install. This is expected, see Scott Lowe’s post on it for an explanation. It isn’t a problem unless you are trying to use your disks for the ESX scratch disk- we are going to be using the disk for VM swapping, not the ESX Host, so we have one less step to do- see here for a vreference.

Finish your install and either drag the ESX box into vCenter or connect with the tools directly to the host. Create a new datastore from the local disks as you usually would. I recommend using a meaningful name, like _Local_SSD. If you use Host Profiles, you will want to uncheck the relevant checkboxes under Storage before pushing the Profile down to other hosts.

With your host selected, go to the “Configuration” tab and look under “Software”. You see a new link called “Host Cache Configuration”. Click it, and you will not see the disks you added.

Oh joy, we get to play with Putty. Connect to your host with Putty (don’t forget to turn on SSH in your security settings) and get ready to paste some commands. Leave your VMware tools showing “Storage”, you will want to refer back here for the super long naa numbers.

At this point, I could point out the numerous ways you could use PowerCLI, scripts or the vMA to do the same thing, but I think it better to learn how to do it from the command line first. Let’s get an understanding of the big list of values we are trying to manipulate first. We need to add a new value to the list of possible “Storage Array Type Plugins (SATPs)”. Refer to this great post by Stephen Foskett for more on SATPs and the PSA.

Type in “esxcli storage nmp satp rule list” into your putty session and hit enter to see all the SATPs your host knows about:

~ # esxcli storage nmp satp rule list

Name Vendor Model Description
——————- ——- —————- ——————————————————————–
VMW_SATP_ALUA_CX DGC CLARiiON array in ALUA mode
VMW_SATP_ALUA NETAPP NetApp arrays with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA IBM 2810XIV IBM 2810XIV arrays with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA Any array with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA IBM 2107900
VMW_SATP_MSA MSA1000 VOLUME MSA 1000/1500 [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP DEC HSG80
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSVX700 active/passive HP StorageWorks SVSP
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSV100 active/passive EVA 3000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSV110 active/passive EVA 5000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_SVC IBM 2145
VMW_SATP_EQL EQLOGIC All EqualLogic Arrays
VMW_SATP_INV EMC Invista
VMW_SATP_INV EMC LUNZ Invista LUNZ
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV200 active/active EVA 4000/6000 XL
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV210 active/active EVA 8000/8100 XL
VMW_SATP_EVA HSVX740 active/active HP StorageWorks SVSP
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV101 active/active EVA 3000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV111 active/active EVA 5000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV300 active/active EVA 4400
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV400 active/active EVA 6400
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV450 active/active EVA 8400
VMW_SATP_SYMM EMC SYMMETRIX EMC Symmetrix
VMW_SATP_CX DGC All non-ALUA Clariion Arrays
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1742* FAStT 700/900
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^3542* FAStT 200
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^3552* FAStT 500
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1722* FAStT 600/DS4300
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1815* FAStT DS4800
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1724* FAStT 100
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1726-* DS3X00
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1814* DS4000
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1818* DS5100/DS5300
VMW_SATP_LSI Universal Xport FAStT
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD3000 Dell MD3000
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD3000i Dell MD3000i
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage 9176
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D173
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D178
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D210
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D220
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D240
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D280
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC82
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC84
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC88
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B210
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B220
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B240
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B280
VMW_SATP_LSI STK INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI STK FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage 9176
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D173
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D178
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D210
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D220
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D240
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D280
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC82
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC84
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC88
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B210
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B220
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B240
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B280
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN CSM100_R_FC
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN CSM200_R
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_F
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_I
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_S
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN STK6580_6780 Sun StorageTek 6580/6780
VMW_SATP_LSI ENGENIO INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1746* IBM DS3512/DS3524
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD32xx Dell MD3200
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD32xxi Dell MD3200i
VMW_SATP_LSI SGI IS500 SGI InfiniteStorage 4000/4100
VMW_SATP_LSI SGI IS600 SGI InfiniteStorage 4600
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN SUN_6180 Sun Storage 6180
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD36xxi Dell MD3600i
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD36xxf Dell MD3600f
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA HITACHI
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM 2810XIV IBM 2810XIV arrays without ALUA support
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA Fibre Channel Devices
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA iSCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM SAS SES-2 DEVICE IBM SAS SES-2
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM 1820N00 IBM BCS RSSM
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA HITACHI
VMW_SATP_LOCAL USB Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL IDE Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL RAID Block Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Parallel SCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Serial Attached SCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Serial ATA Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Unknown Devices

 

We need to add a line to end of this list, so that your SSD disk (which ESX is seeing as a SAS disk on the SAN) can use the “VMW_SATP_LOCAL” SATP. First, we need to get the naa of your drive. Look in the VMware tools at your disk, click on “Manage Paths” and you will see the naa number. In this case, mine is “naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e”. You can get this in Putty, but I like to check in the GUI, because Putty can be hard to read. Don’t bother typing it out, enter:

~ # esxcli storage nmp device list

That will list all of your data stores, you will want copy the naa number to your clipboard. If you are so bold as to start playing with SATPs while your SAN is connected, you will see all your datastores listed. Look for the one that matches the naa number you looked up, it will probably be the only one with VMW_SATP_LOCAL, and on Cisco UCS, it will likely have “Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)”

~ # esxcli storage core device list -d  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 94413
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Vendor: LSILOGIC
   Model: Logical Volume
   Revision: 3000
   SCSI Level: 2
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: degraded
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: false
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: false
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Thin Provisioning Status: unknown
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unsupported
   Other UIDs: vml.0200000000600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e4c6f67696361

The “Is SSD: false” is what we need to change. We want to add a new rule for the VMW_SATP_LOCAL SATP, one that has option=enable_ssd

~ # esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s VMW_SATP_LOCAL --device  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e --option=enable_ssd

If you up arrow a few times and enter “esxcli storage nmp satp rule list”, you’ll see a new line at the bottom.

VMW_SATP_LOCAL       naa.600508e000000000bd5fc37cdb32b60d                 enable_ssd        user

Now unclaim the device

~ # esxcli storage core claiming unclaim --type device  --device naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

and finally reload and run the claim rules

~ # esxcli storage core claimrule load
~ # esxcli storage core claimrule run

Now lets see if it worked

~ # esxcli storage core device list -d  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 94413
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Vendor: LSILOGIC
   Model: Logical Volume
   Revision: 3000
   SCSI Level: 2
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: degraded
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: false
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: true
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Thin Provisioning Status: unknown
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unsupported
   Other UIDs: vml.0200000000600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e4c6f67696361

You should now have a new disk listed under “Host Cache Configuration”.
HostCache

Pick an amount to use, saving a little room for A/V VMs if need be.
HostCacheConfig

Now add some VMs and browse the datastore to see your new swap files, and make sure to show the SAN guys on your team how you’re saving precious SAN resources.

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New VMware Class for SMBs

See New Live, Online Training Helps SMBs Running VMware Overcome Limited Time and Budget for Training for details. They left out the most important thing- does this qualify you to take the VCP exam?

Its the younger administrators in SMBs that need the VCP more than anyone else. I hope they are making it easier for people to qualify- please keep the test hard though!

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Passed the VCAP-DCD

I passed the VCAP-DCD exam on Tuesday! That test was beating- 4 hours is a long time for an exam. The test is covered by an NDA, so I can’t go into much detail about it, but if you are planning on taking it, be sure to check out the APAC vBrownbag sessions.

Here is the perm-link for resources on passing it.

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VMware View Deployment Spreadsheet

Update: Make sure to enter some text into the spreadsheet to make the fields populate.

This is a spreadsheet that automates almost all aspects of a VMware View deployment using Powershell and Concatenate. I built it mainly out of a desire to avoid using the Flash GUI that comes with View. It is slow and it makes me want to scream when I’m halfway through a 20-click wizard and I realize I need to look something up.

Be sure to keep this after using it- it doubles as your documentation. It is also everything you need to rebuild in a DR situation after restoring your templates and View servers.

It assumes you have deployed the View Infrastructure, have built some templates and taken snap shots. Look at each workbook left to right. Fill out the variables for you environment in the yellow fields, and use the grey fields to make scripts.  A further refinement would making a mail merge to spit all this into batch files for you. Copying and pasting into PowerGUI suffices for me.

Consistency

For each pool name entered, this will nest a Global AD Group into a Domain Local Group, add a space separated list of users to the Global Group, create an OU under a defined VDI OU, create a Resource Pool in vCenter, compose a Pool and then entitle the Global Group to the Pool.  This is set to create Floating Linked-Clone Automated Pools. If you wish to change this, feel free to edit this:

=IF(ISBLANK(‘Pool Sizing’!B9),””,CONCATENATE(“get-composerdomain | Add-AutomaticLinkedClonePool -pool_id “””, ‘Pool Sizing’!B9,”””  –displayName “””,’Pool Sizing’!C9, “”” -namePrefix “””,’Pool Sizing’!G9,”””  -resourcePoolPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/Resources/”,’View Object Names’!C9,””” -parentVMPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/vm/”,BaseImages,”/”,’View Object Names’!D9,””” -parentSnapshotPath “”/”,’Pool Sizing’!F9,””” -datastorespecs “”[Moderate,replica]/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/”,B9,”;[Moderate,OS,data]/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/”,C9,””” -persistence “”Nonpersistent”””,” -organizationalUnit “”ou=”,’View Object Names’!E9,”,”,DesktopBaseOu,””” -minimumcount “””,’Pool Sizing’!H9,””” -maximumcount “””,’Pool Sizing’!I9,””” -headroomCount “””,’Pool Sizing’!J9,””” -refreshpolicytype “”Never”””,” -deletepolicy “”RefreshOnUse”””,” -powerpolicy “”AlwaysOn”””,” -vmFolderPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/vm”””))

Just make the GPOs for each Pool and you are set. Don’t create more than a Pool or two at a time, this will crater your environment if run too much at once.

Download the spreadsheet: vHipsterViewDeploymentTemplate

N.B. You have to start entering values to make code appear.

Be sure to consult the documentation if you need to modify anything.

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Harsha Hosur - VCDX #135.

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