Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

The ideal VMware vSphere Lab

Cloud vs Virtualization

Cloud vs Virtualization by Tsahi Levent-Levi, on Flickr

Good evening to you all, I wanted to share the latest offers I have received from ServersPlus today which has got me thinking.  Firstly to cover off ServersPlus is a reseller / partner within the Infrastructure and I came over them about a year ago when looking for the HP Micro Servers as small NAS and VMware ESXi test servers.

I currently have a few servers running within a test and production environment but as always my test environment has not really been updated for a long time (v4.1 – yes I know!!!).  So I have been thinking and researching whitebox servers VS the ServerPlus deals that used to run on the HP Proliant ML110 G7 (which is now end of life and not being replaced at present – thanks HP.!).  I am planning on then looking into the VMware Essentials / Plus pack to build a full test environment and turning into a Pre-Production lab.

Of course I can just update and work through reboots etc but I am thinking of the hardware refresh to save this and jumping straight to ESXi 5.1.  So I wanted to share the great deal from ServersPlus on the Dell PE T110 (Dell comparison to the HP ML110):

Firstly click here to access the details or see below for the contact details of ServersPlus and don’t for get to mention us:

DELL PowerEdge T110 II ‘Ultimate 32GB ESXi 5.1 Testbed’ Bundle:

  • Order Code: SVDEL-32GBESXI5
  • Dell PowerEdge T110 Tower Server
  • Intel Xeon E3-1220 v2 (3.1 Ghz) Quad-Core
  • 32GB (4 x 8GB) ECC Udimms
  • 1x500GB SATA HDD
  • Samsung 24x DVD-RW
  • 1yr NBD Warranty
  • WOW – Bootable vSphere ESXi 5.1 Installer on 4GB USB 3.0 Drive

All this for under £600 ex VAT – WOW, OMG etc…  This is a ready to go (don’t forget to add a dual or quad port network card here).  If you are looking to experience vSphere vCenter to manage this environment then go now further with the following to bundled kits for SMB’s:

vSphere Essentials – all this for just over £500:

  • VMFS (Virtual Machine File System)
  • 8-way Virtual SMP
  • VMware Hypervisor
  • VMware vStorage Thin Provisioning
  • VMware Update Manager
  • VMware vStorage APIs
  • vMware vCenter Server for Essentials

vSphere Essentials Plus (around £3,800 check the link here):

  • VMware vSphere Storage Appliance for Essentials Plus
  • VMware Data Protection
  • VMware High Availability (HA)
  • VMware vMotion
  • VMware vStorage APIs
  • VMware vShield Zones
  • VMware vShield Endpoint
  • VMware Replication

I will update you on the decision and possibly put this into a blog series.

When venter 4.1.0 fails to startup after install

Hello all, before I start ranting about my problems over the weekend trying to recover my Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 and Active Directory, I will tell you about a small problem with my vCenter installation.

If (like me) you know about VMWare but a newbie to vCenter you may not know why after you restart your vCenter server why you cannot connect to vCenter with the VSphere client. After some digging around in the VMWare fourms I came across this post:-;jsessionid=20C841686151B792D2561F3587950AAC

Which explains the problem as vCenter services trying to start before your SQL server / service instance starts (or in my case SQL Express). So a quick fix would be to go into Services and change the dependency of the service, otherwise follow these instructions as per my screenshot:-

Click start – run, then type in regedit

Click enter

Navigate to


Name: DependOnService (REG_MULTI_SZ)




Check your SQL service instance name within the services.msc console, default and on my server it was the below. then add this into the Reg key, click OK, close regedit and reboot the service


A screenshot below shows the relevant information:

Vcentre image

Our new VMware lab layout

OK so for those of you who know me, I have a home lab setup of 3 servers (at present) running about 10 virtual machines at the moment, which is planning to expand once I have built my new SharePoint 2010, SQL 2008 environments.

Now on the electric front I have worked out last year I used over 7,000 kWh is this normal for what i am using it for – umm…..

My VM Layout