Andrew Connell

Latest Virtualization topics

All the latest Virtualization pages on this site.

Here you'll find 'Virtualization' related blog posts and articles

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    Blog: Moving Exclusively to Boot-to-VHD's

    Forward: I’ve known this was possible for quite a while, and know one or two people who do it ( Paul Stubbs ), but it wasn’t until just recently that I decided to bite the bullet. Recently I had nagging issues with my primary Windows 7 install. Occasional lock ups, driver issues, services not starting automatically, A/V not starting automatically, etc… I knew a rebuild was in order. I elected to move exclusively to a boot to VHD option.
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    Blog: Critical Path Training's "All Up" Training VM Now on Cloudshare

    Need a development environment for your SharePoint team? Don’t want to spend the time building out the environment? We at Critical Path Training recently built out what we call our “All Up” virtual machine which we use in all our developer & SharePoint Designer courses as a Cloudshare showcase solution . This means you can get a copy of it and use it yourself even if you aren’t taking one of our classes.
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    Blog: Updated Silent Virtualization Server Specs-Perfect for a Home Office / Small Business

    Last weekend I wrote about how I do SharePoint 2010 development & presentations both on the road and also from my home office . In that post I broke it down into two categories: what I use as my portable rig (laptop) and what I use when I’m not on the road in my home office. Since I posted that I’ve had quite a few questions through my blog about the silent virtualization server I setup.
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    Blog: SharePoint 2010 Development-What's in your rig?

    Back in November 2009 after getting a bunch of requests I elected to put a post up that explained the hardware I use when doing day-to-day SharePoint 2010 Development . Seems that was quite popular… but recently I’ve been getting the same question a lot in my classes with people asking if that old it still applied. So I figure it is about time to refresh this. Forward I’d like to break this down into two categories.
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    Blog: Why I don't do SharePoint 2010 development on Windows 7

    I noticed this post the other day by SharePoint legend & Certified Master Todd Carter . In it he references the MSDN article that shows you how to setup a Windows 7 box to do SharePoint 2010 development . By the way, if you’ve been under a rock, you can now do SharePoint 2010 development on a client operating system such as Windows Vista SP2+ or Windows 7 (both must be 64-bit).
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    Blog: Allowing a host machine to talk to guest VM’s in Hyper-V (and vice versa)

    Those of us who use Hyper-V for development know of the challenge we face when we try to copy files or talk to the guest virtual machine or have the guest VM access the host machine. It’s frustrating because it was so easy to do in VirtualPC or VMWare Workstation as we had the easy copy files to and from the desktop just like we can do with Remote Desktop.
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    Blog: Allowing a host machine to talk to guest VM''s in Hyper-V (and vice versa)

    Those of us who use Hyper-V for development know of the challenge we face when we try to copy files or talk to the guest virtual machine or have the guest VM access the host machine. It’s frustrating because it was so easy to do in VirtualPC or VMWare Workstation as we had the easy copy files to and from the desktop just like we can do with Remote Desktop.
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    Blog: Windows Deployment Services benefits even small shops/individuals

    If you’re running Windows 2008 in your network, then you have a very slick zero-cost option available to you: Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
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    Blog: Fixing a lovely (and maddening) time sync issue for a virtualized home office

    For the last year+ I’ve been dealing with a maddening issue. All the machines in my house were always off by 3-8 minutes from the atomic clock . Not that big of a deal for most folks… but when you’ve got Windows Media Centers with the wrong time, you always have your recordings start a few minutes late. The way I’ve got my house setup is that I have a virtualization rig (Win2k8 with Hyper-V) that hosts my two domain controllers (all machines at home are on the same domain except a little Windows Home Server) and a bunch of others for work stuff.
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    Blog: A nice upgrade to my virtualization rig - look ma... no fans!

    In June of 2008 I built a custom rig with three things in mind: Super powerful and not requiring an upgrade for a few years Primarily a virtualization rig (hosting HyperV images) Stealthy quiet As a SharePoint developer, I live in virtual machines. After a nice quarter of revenue (note: this was back in Q2 of 2008 :)) and at my wits end of dealing with external USB drives, I finally gave in and said “screw it, you get a healthy budget… go build a rock solid virtualization rig.
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    Blog: Creating a Custom and Quiet Virtualization Rig with Microsoft's Hyper-V

    As a professional who’s primary focus these days is SharePoint, like most folks I live in virtual machines. That’s usually meant working with Microsoft’s VirtualPC or VMWare Workstation on my laptop on a daily basis when working on projects, demo’ing to customers, doing presentations and teaching. While performance was never ideal, it was acceptable and just settled with running one machine at a time even on a 4GB laptop. While unrelated, as I don’t work for a large organization and thus, work out of my house, I got tired of having a few machines running in the home office for various things.
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    Blog: Creating a Custom and Quiet Virtualization Rig with Microsoft's Hyper-V

    Earlier this year I built a custom server with a few goals in mind: Very powerful & capable of running multiple machines for an extended time Must be quiet Fault tolerant Not requiring a hardware upgrade for a few years The specs for this box have made it something that’s turned into a great business expense as I’ve got so much use out of it. It’s a nice strong machine that runs VERY quiet:
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    Blog: A slick free drive imaging solution

    Last week I posted about doing a rebuild of my laptop so that I could run Leopard, Vista x64 and Windows Server 2008 x64 in a triple boot fashion, as well as run Vista virtually in Leopard via VMWare Fusion. I really like doing presentations & demos of SharePoint natively off the bare metal for performance reasons. However the challenge was having a reliable imaging solution. Thankfully I found something with the help of my friend Dan Holme : the Windows Installation Automation Toolkit .
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    Blog: So what's on your SharePoint development machine?

    Occasionally I get a comment from someone who hit an old page on my blog called What’s on My PC… an oldie that others were doing at the time. In the last few weeks I’ve been hit by a higher than normal amount of these in part due to my Setting up your SharePoint development environment post at the end of August. After migrating my virtualization rig to Hyper-V last week , I build out a brand new clean SharePoint development machine.
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    Blog: Changing my virtualization strategy

    A few months back I talked about building a monster virtualization rig and installing VMWare Server 2.0 on Windows Server 2008 to host a handful of VMs . It’s been running fine for a while, but kept seeing minor networking and lag issues here and there. In addition, I get VMs from clients at times to test configurations, do performance testing, etc… and most of these are VHD files, Microsoft virtual hard disks for use with VirtualPC 2007 or Hyper-V.
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    Blog: Using VMWare Server 2.0 RC1

    Last month I blogged my saga of building a rig dedicated just for hosting virtual machines. So far I have been incredibly happy with the hardware. In the last week I’ve been going through the process of consolidating physical machines into virtual ones. Today I have a physical machine that acts as my (a) home AD domain controller, (b) SQL Server, (c) file share and (d) host for virtual machines. For all that stuff it works great, except it’s a bit limited in size (trying to put virtual machines & a file share on 250GB requires some tradeoffs) and it only has 4GB RAM so it can only host one or two VMs at a time.
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 3

    In part 1 of this series I explained the reasoning and background on why I’m building a virtualization rig. In that post I included my experience with trying to get an OOTB Dell PowerEdge 2900 III . In part 2 I discussed the parts, buildout and price list. In this post I want to talk about the setup, install and performance testing. Burnin: Testing power & heat (and fans) Setup of the vRig was a piece of cake.
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 2

    In part 1 of this series I explained the reasoning and background on why I’m building a virtualization rig. In that post I included my experience with trying to get an OOTB Dell PowerEdge 2900 III . In this post I want to cover parts. The next part will be more about setup and installation of the virtualization software. Before electing to build a new machine, I did consider getting a MacPro and installing VMWare Fusion on it.
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    Blog: The Saga of an Ultimate Virtualization Rig: Part 1

    Early last year Scott Hanselman & Jeff Atwood set out to build the “Ultimate Developer PC” for Scott. It was an entertaining series of posts on both blogs ( check out this post for links to all the other posts ). As someone who works exclusively out of a home office (except when onsite or teaching obviously) I’ve been eyeing doing something similar over the last two years. But as a SharePoint developer who doesn’t do so much gaming, I was more interested in a virtualization rig rather than a dev rig… things like graphics are of zero importance to me.
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    Blog: Update on the switch: six weeks after switching from MSFT virtualization to VMWare's offerings

    In mid-August I blogged about how I had made the cut over from using Microsoft’s two virtualization products (VirtualPC 2007 & Virtual Server 2005 R2) to VMWare’s offerings (Workstation v6 & Server v1). It has now been six weeks since I made the switch and since I’ve had a few questions since then, I figured it was time for an update. In short: I’m still happy with VMWare. I explained in the last post what my situation is… basically consultant developer, instructor and writer that works out of a home office.
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    Blog: I've made the switch, and I'm not looking back

    Back in May I posed the question asking why people liked VMWare’s virtualization offerings over Microsoft’s. I got some decent feedback, but nothing that made me switch. So I got both VMWare Server (equivalent to Virtual Server 2005 R2, both also being $0.00) and VMWare Workstation 6 (equivalent to VirtualPC 2007, except VPC is free and Workstation is $200). I went back and forth… kicking the tires here and there but never really could make justify the jump.
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    Blog: Invirtus VM Optimizer v2.5 gets better...

    Previously I posted how I found Invirtus’ VM Optimizer (VMO) product to be a big help with virtual machines in the sense that it made them run much faster and, more importantly, shank the overall physical size of the virtual hard disks. The only thing: I never really understood what it was doing. Recently VMO v2.5 was released as an upgrade from the original 2.0 version. This new version introduces a settings utility that not only lists all the things it does to reduce the size and speed up a virtual machine, but it also has a few configurable options.
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    Blog: Shrink your virtual machines with Invirtus VM Optimizer!

    Every once in a while you come across a product that does exactly as it claims, and does is damn well. Right before my vacation, I got a trial copy of Invirtus VM Optimizer and give it a try. Before I share my experience, first let me explain what this product does. Previously I’ve written how you can tweak your virtual machines (VM) to run at their peak performance . I’ve also written how you can use differencing disks to your advantage .
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    Blog: ASP.NET 2.0 Tips and Tricks.... Setting up Subversion at home... Centrino & VPC fix

    Two cool links for Wednesday morning… Scott Guthrie has created a page that contains all his ASP.NET 2.0 Tips, Tricks, Recipes and Gotchas… very nice! » ASP.NET Tips, Tricks, Recipes and Gotchas The Lifehacker has posted a nice howto step-by-step on setting up Subversion for your personal use. I didn’t follow his instructions for setting up my install, instead I used one from the “VSTS: tips, tricks, and techniques” blog for setting it up under Windows… with no Apache.
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    Blog: RECAP: Tampa Code Camp - July 15, 2006

    Yesterday I attended the Tampa Code Camp 2006 with two local friends who rode down from Jacksonville with me Friday night: Vinay , and Greg Y. The Tampa crew did a fantastic job putting on the event and it was filled with some great regional speakers including Jim Zimmerman , Jay Kimble , Vinay Ahuja , Brian Knight , Bayer White , Stan Schultes , Tom Fuller , and David Silverlight .
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    Blog: Virtual Machine Additions for Windows Vista Beta 2

    Do you want to try Windows Vista but not on your clean laptop? Yeah, I don’t either… but I do want to play with it someday within a virtual machine. Microsoft has made available specific VM additions once you get the OS installed in your virtual machine to make the experience much more palatable. » FINALLY: Virtual Machine Additions for Beta 2 are available
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    Blog: Changes to my virtualization/dev tools Tampa Code Camp talk this weekend...

    As I previously posted , I’m presenting two sessions at the Tampa Code Camp this weekend… one on WCM (mostly one long demo) and one called “ Don’t be a Tool, Be a Better Developer Through Tools & Virtualization! ” The virtualization/dev tools talk is a semi-repeat of a talk I did last night at the Jacksonville User Group which ran long and eventually got cut short as I mentioned in the recap post earlier today .
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    Blog: RECAP: JAXDUG July 12 Talk on Virtualization and Developer Tools

    First, thank you to everyone who attended my talk at the JAXDUG meeting last night . I was quite surprised at the turnout with a last minute change in venue (what’s up with that Merrill Lynch security? Damn.. that’s some tight stuff!). Second, I’d like to apologize for not getting to spend as much time on the development tools like I had planned. I noticed the virtualization part of the talk was longer than expected, but I decided to wrap up the virtualization best practices piece and then we’d just run late and those not interested in dev tools could leave.
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    Blog: Tampa Code Camp 2006

    The top notch Florida developer community is holding another Code Camp in Tampa on Saturday July 15th. While this event is free, there are a limited number of sessions that will be available. Last check, there were over 300 registered attendees with less than 50 spots available before it sold out… well, as sold out as a free event can be. While the event is being managed by others, I’ve got to give props to a kick-ass DE (Developer Evangelist) we’ve got in Florida: Joe Healy (aka: devfish)
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    Blog: Showing some delayed JAXDUG love & my talk at the July meeting

    I’m way late on posting this… frankly trying to slam out a bunch of work before TechEd, TechEd itself, and now trying to catch up on a bunch of work before I head for a relaxing vacation on a mountain in western North Carolina just kept me so damn busy I couldn’t get this post crafted until now. On June 7th, Tom Fuller (recent MVP Solutions Architect awardee) came and spoke to the Jacksonville Developer User Group about Software Factories and Domain Specific Languages (DSLs).
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    Blog: Telling your virtual machine to stop beeping and shut up!

    Today was the day I built my MOSS Beta 2 baseline virtual machines. All I was trying to accomplish today was to have one machine configured with 400MB of memory to act as my new domain controller, DNS, and database (SQL Server 2005 SP1) server. The other is my primary MOSS Server, configured with 1024MB of memory and a complete install of the server products as well as the following 2007 clients: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InfoPath, Outlook, and SharePoint Designer.
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    Blog: Making sure your virtual machines are running at the peak performance...

    Do you work with virtual machines? How about over a long period of time? You’ll know that over time, they seem to slow down under heavy use. Why is that? There are plenty of reasons, some are specific to virtual environments, some are more general. This post will focus only on the virtual aspects… general aspects are things like installing tons of beta software, a lot of apps that run in the background or on startup, etc.
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    Blog: HOWTO: Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs

    In my last article on virtualization with Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 SP1, I covered how you can use Differencing Disks to your advantage . However, in retrospect, this article was posted a bit out of order. The article below should have been posted first. Before you start building out your Virtual PC’s, you should first be aware of how to squeeze out every last drop of performance. After all you’re running a machine within a machine, so it’s going to be a bit slower than the host, and thus, why not make it as fast as possible!
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    Blog: HOWTO: Squeeze Every Last Drop of Performance Out of Your Virtual PCs

    In my last article, I documented how you can use Virtual PC’s differencing disks to your advantage , not only to safe space, but administrative tasks. That article briefly touched on the subject of performance (see section: “Extra tips on using VPCs”). Only a few items were mentioned in that post, but in reality, there’s so much more you can do to make your VPC’s run as fast as possible on your machine.
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    Blog: Orlando Code Camp, March 25... don't miss out!

    I missed out on South Florida two weeks ago, but I won’t miss Orlando! The Orlando Code Camp will be held on March 25, 2006, in Orlando, FL (duh)… hosted by the Orlando .NET User Group . The exact location is yet to be announced. This *FREE* event is open to anyone but targeted to developers… registration is required and they do cap the number of attendees so don’t delay!