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Showing posts from October, 2010

Which ESX version am I running on ?

(An update of an older post: now with vSphere 4.1 info. Further updated in 2011 with vSphere 5 info.)
Your Linux runs on a VMware VM, but which ESX version is it ? You can see for yourself (as already explained in an earlier post on this blog). Run "dmidecode" and look at lines 10, 11 and 12. The list has been updated with current info:
ESX 2.5 - BIOS Release Date: 04/21/2004 - Address 0xE8480 - Size 97152 bytes
ESX 3.0 - BIOS Release Date: 04/17/2006 - Address 0xE7C70 - Size 99216 bytes
ESX 3.5 - BIOS Release Date: 01/30/2008 - Address 0xE7910 - Size 100080 bytes
ESX 4 - BIOS Release Date: 08/15/2008 - Address 0xEA6C0 - Size 88384 bytes
ESX 4U1 - BIOS Release Date: 09/22/2009 - Address 0xEA550 - Size 88752 bytes
ESX 4.1 - BIOS Release Date: 10/13/2009 - Address 0xEA2E0 - Size 89376 bytes
ESX 5 - BIOS Release Date: 01/07/2011 - Address 0xE72C0 - Size 101696 bytes

USB-over-IP goes mainstream

I've been into virtualization for a long, long time, so I was familiar with the USB-over-IP concept. It has always been the preferred way to bring USB into a virtual machine, because it doesn't limit the flexibility of virtualization: live migration (vMotion), failover (HA), fault tolerance, ... can all handle USB-over-IP.
But I was still surprised to find a cheap USB-over-IP device in a local computer store: the Belkin Network USB Hub, NUH for short. 100 USD list price, became EUR 90 retail price here in Belgium. Not the greatest deal around, but no reason to feel grumpy.
Now let's see what this baby can do: the test setup consists of the Belkin NUH and two clients: a Windows Vista 32-bit laptop connected over WiFI and a Windows 2008 R2 64-bit VM on VMware vSphere connected over wired GigE. Then I gathered a diverse set of USB devices: USB memory sticks, USB hard drives, a USB smartcard reader, and a USB CD/DVD writer.
The NUH gets a DHCP address by default (can be changed t…

ESX home lab upgrade

My original home lab, three years old now, included two PC's running virtualization software, with Intel core 2 quad CPU's and 8 GB RAM each. While browsing for a replacement, I found Didier's Shuttle SX58J3 review. I researched some alternatives, but decided to go for the SX58J3 as well, fitted with 12 GB RAM and i7-970 CPUs, hexacores with hyperthreading.
shallow: depth is critical in my telco rack.reduced height: I might get 4 shuttles in the same space as 2 minitowers earlier. They're actually slightly wider, but not by much.
12 GB per server is 50% more than the old lab (16 GB is supported but slower)the Intel core i7-970 CPU gives 100% more MHz than the old Q6600. They are much more expensive, truth be told. But being Westmere generation, they support vSphere4.1 features like DirectPath I/O and Fault Tolerance.I can re-use the PCIe dual gigabit adapters I had in the old lab.
One real problem so far: in BIOS v100, I couldn't change any setting without rendering t…