Presented at Connecticut VMUG User Conference on May 14 2013, "Virtualization at home can be practical, affordable, and available, 24x7."

Posted by Paul Braren on May 6 2013 in
  • Presentations
  • UserGroup
  • I'm very happy to have been given this chance to present publicly by Matthew Kozloski, so glad I met him! I find doing live demos fun, and the face-to-face questions and feedback extremely helpful. Here's my presentation summary:

    Paul Braren, Founder of the “TinkerTry IT @ home” blog at

    This session will be geared toward enthusiasts looking to get a taste for what virtualization can do in the home, through actual examples from the past 2 years of building and running my affordable and efficient Intel Core i7 based “vZilla” system.  Discussion and live demonstration will include breaking past VMware ESXi’s 2TB virtual drive size limitation using RDM mapping or USB 3.0 pass through.  You’ll also learn about a self-contained $190 4 bay RAID5 enclosure, well-suited for long term storage, and a very fast RAID controller that uses automatic SSD caching of both read and writes, well-suited for everything else.  VMs like Hyper-V and Linux are available to tinker with, anytime.  Every night, Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs in the personal family cloud are briefly woken up and backed up, using a Windows Server 2012 Essentials VM.  Finally, it’s all gracefully shut down during inevitable power outages using just a $115 UPS, its USB signal cable, and a virtual machine appliance that’s free, simple, and automatic.

    Here's the agenda, where you'll see I'm up at 4pm. If you live in the area, please consider registering then attending, it is a free lunch after all, and I'd sure like to meet you!


    May 14 2013 Update:


    That was a fun and worthwhile learning day for me, meeting many new folks, and a lot of familiar faces in the local virtualization community. I also saw many of my "day job" customers as well. With nearly 300 folks at the beautiful and spacious Connecticut Convention Center facilities, and some good technical presentations, I'm thankful to Matthew Kozloski for pulling off the best Connecticut VMUG event ever, which was also the biggest by far.

    My presentation came at the end of the day, with some technical issues I had with projecting. So I had to go with me doing a Camtasia recording as I presented a brief live demonstration, adding better quality sound tonight. This was not a production build of my laptop and not the heavily encrypted build I use for day to day work, it was for demonstration purposes only. The ESXi 5.1 Update 1 (April 25 2013 release notes) demonstrated was all using the 60 day trial mode, to access my existing 2 year library of VMs. As always, following EULAs and licensing for your particular lab is your responsibility.

    To try to help make up for my technical difficulties that weren't resolved during the short session, I've added some "bonus footage" at the end, completing the full "teaser" demonstration I planned, but be sure to view it at 720p!

    Turns out that on the W520, 3 monitors is easier than one VGA projector! I'll be retesting this device with a VGA adapter, as a workaround for another presentation I'm giving Sat. 18th.

    Here's the list of articles I referred to, as promised:

    Practical ways to deal with VMware ESXi 5.0′s 2TB virtual disk size limitation
    I abuse RAID arrays, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, Episode 2, Mediasonic HFR2-SU3S2
    ESXi 5.1 has USB 3.0 support, sort of…
    The reasoning behind vZilla’s storage configuration
    The reasoning behind vZilla’s use of the LSI 9265-8i RAID Controller (hint: SSD for RAID5 read-and-write caching)
    ESXi 5.1 host with LSI 92xx RAID adapter can run a VM with fully functional MegaRAID Storage Manager UI, here’s how
    How to make ESXi 5.1 see the health of an LSI 9265-8i RAID controller and array (seems to work with all 92xx controllers)
    VMware ESXi 5.1 can run Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 VMs, nice!
    Windows Server 2012 Essentials article list
    How to use a CyberPower UPS solution for proper automated shutdown of your VMware ESXi lab during power outages, including all VMs
    Paul Braren’s guest blogger articles on IT Pro Guru Blog by Systems Management Expert Dan Stolts

    Related articles you may also enjoy, right here on TinkerTry:
    Build your own VMware vSphere ESXi 5 Datacenter, starting with one PC
    How to use a CyberPower UPS solution for proper automated shutdown of your VMware ESXi lab during power outages, including all VMs
    How to install and configure vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 on ESXi 5.1, the easiest way to enable the good stuff for free, like cloning VM templates and the magic of vMotion
    TinkerTry SuperGuides (where future vSphere 5.1 and beyond guides will be published)
    Superguide: Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock, to affordably add 2 external monitors to Windows/Mac/Linux

    Related sites:
    Virtual Appliance Marketplace (like an App Store for your smartphone)

    To view the slide deck, the presentation itself, click here, or visit the VMUG member's only download area, or just it view below.