VMware @Home

vmware vcenter operationsJudging from the amount of traffic my old post found here has been generating over the past months it’s obvious running your own VMware environment at home is a pretty hot topic. In particular getting it to run on AMD hardware. So I’m going to go a little off script and just expound on tidbits I’ve discovered recently about VMware. Hopefully you find some or all of it useful.

First a little gossip! Every one loves gossip right? I just attended VMWare Forum 2011 yesterday via their online presence. All in all it was less technical than I would have liked but some good did come of it. The VMware vCenter Operations demonstration was awesome. In terms of managing large sets of VMs and being able to trouble shoot problems the UI is spectacular. I think they’d do well to find ways to implement that UI every place possible.  Newish products are nice but the real dish was from a conversation I stumbled in to…An individual asked if vCenter would be supporting PostgressSQL and if vCenter was going to get Linux client support. The official answer was that both of these projects are “in the works” but that they could not divulge potential dates. However, shortly following that statement the same VMware rep followed up with VMworld is “going to be exciting” this year! Thats pretty exciting stuff. I think it speaks to the fact that VMware is starting to realize that times are changing and that systems and management are becoming more diverse.

For a few resources most will probably find useful in this process of building a VMware environment at home. First off is hardware compatibility. While the HCL is obviously the final word it doesn’t mean there isn’t more hardware out there that actually works with ESX/ESXi. That being said the most complete and user friendly list I’ve been able to find is at http://ultimatewhitebox.com/ They’ve got a pretty extensive list going.

The next resource of note are the VMware mailing lists. You have to have a VMware.com login existing and then you can go to the manage subscriptions page to opt-in or out if you’re tired of the pesky things. In particular I track on the events e-mails because most of them are available for free online and they yield a ton of information.

Intel Pro1000GTLastly in my earlier post I was having trouble getting VMware ESXi 4.1 running on my AMD based system I believe I had narrowed it down to my unsupported network adapter. The search for a working gigabit network adapter led me to the Intel Pro 1000 GT which is selling for just $30 over on Amazon.com. I’ll be updating this post when I receive the card and get a crack at re-installing ESXi.