VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is now generally available, and the delivery is via VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 1.  For those using a Linux PXE boot server to install ESXi hosts, below is a quick shell script that takes care of everything automatically.

Usage example (all one line):

# esxiso2pxe /var/install/tftpboot/ esxi55u1 VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0.update01-1623387.x86_64.iso

In order to use the optional ESXi submenu concept, simply add the following to pxelinux.cfg/default

LABEL esxisub
   KERNEL menu.c32
   APPEND esxi-submenu
   MENU LABEL Jump to ESXi submenu



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Dear Readers,

It’s time again for the annual vSphere Land top blog contest and I write this post to respectfully ask for your vote. I would greatly appreciate a vote for VCritical and kindly request that you consider allocating your valuable #1 vote. The scoring for this contest is weighted — every vote counts but the top positions are worth many more points than lower ones. Yes, this is a big ask!

VCritical was founded in 2008 with the objective of providing valuable technical content to the VMware community while highlighting VMware advantages over heavily-funded competitors.  The most popular posts can be seen in the sidebar to the right — I am amazed to still see hundreds of views every day for critical topics such as nested virtualization and PXE booting ESXi.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you have found value here over the years!

Please vote VCritical for your #1 top VMware blog, using this process:
Vote VCritical

Thanks for your continued support and please keep on virtualizing… with VMware technology!

Best regards,


SolarWinds just published a compelling survey that shows how technology pros from a range of organizations throughout North America view the changing role of IT.  Not surprisingly, the most impactful technology advancement from the recent past is virtualization.  Moving forward, emerging technologies expected to disrupt IT the most have to do with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD or BYOx) and mobility.  The top critical investments for business in the future will be cloud computing and mobility.

In other news, this morning VMware announced the intended acquisition of AirWatch – the leader in enterprise mobile device management.  Quelle coincidence!

Or, as Barb Darrow from GigaOm put it:

One way to prove you’re really into the mobile enterprise, is to spend over a billion on a mobile device management company.

IT pros with expertise in VMware products appear to be very well poised for the future.

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Are you trying to figure out how to integrate disparate silos of virtual infrastructure through limited multi-hypervisor management features or expensive third-party add-ons?  Was avoiding lock-in a panacea, or has it merely added to the challenge of meeting service levels?

Now it is finally possible to visually experience the chaos of a multi-hypervisor datacenter as well as the pleasing efficiency that comes upon transitioning to an SDDC based entirely on industry-leading VMware vSphere:

Although it may seem like Everyone Else is deploying a multi-hypervisor datacenter, it’s actually not as common as certain vendors imply. In fact, the practice is not generally recommended for most organizations — Gartner clients may be interested in their take on this topic.

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A very revealing case study just published by VMware describes how the cumbersome management of Hyper-V prompted a former customer to return to VMware.  Dierbergs — a supermarket chain in the Midwest — began their virtualization journey in 2011 with VMware vSphere, but later succumbed to the temptation of seemingly lower cost Hyper-V and invested considerable effort in migrating over to the Microsoft hypervisor.

In the study, IT Infrastructure Manager Chris Lindloff highlights key frustrations they had with Windows Hyper-V:

Dierbergs experienced five major outages in a single year, taking down critical machines necessary for inventory and product ordering. “Even with the highest level of Microsoft support, we had difficulty resolving every outage,” says Lindloff. “Some of our outages lasted as long as 12 hours. One outage even corrupted a critical database server that we needed to restore from backup, resulting in significant data loss.

No surprise here — since Hyper-V is tightly dependent on Windows, Patch Tuesday applies not only to the applications running in the data center but also to the entire virtual infrastructure – double trouble!  VMware vSphere takes an entirely new and different approach by using a very lightweight, purpose-built hypervisor as the foundation for a resilient software defined data center.

Technology leadership at Dierbergs made the critical decision to move back to VMware technology this year:

…while Hyper-V promised to be less expensive, that simply wasn’t true in practice. The total cost of ownership was far higher because of the need for additional management time and extensive support.

If your IT team is spending excessive cycles troubleshooting random connectivity issues or poring over disparate recommendations in an attempt to avoid patching disasters, consider the real-world experience of Dierbergs CIO Jim Shipley:

With the VMware solutions, we spend more of our day focusing on strategic initiatives, which in turn helps IT drive real value back into the business.

The hypervisor is a critical component of the data center, not a commodity as challengers would have you believe.  Standardize on VMware vSphere so your technology pros can focus on the future, and the days of experimenting with alternatives will soon be in the past.

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