Virtualizaton, VMware vSphere 5.1, ESXi Hypervisor, VMware Player, Oracle VirtualBox, Hyper–V, Drobo 5N for Jim – HT119

Home-Tech-Album-125x125_thumb1_thumb1Jim (@jcollison) is joined this week by Christian Johnson, Kyle Wilcox (@kylejwx) and Paul Baran (@Tinkererguy) for Home Tech episode #119.  We want to welcome Kyle to his very first Home Tech appearance!

In the first of a 3 part Series on Virtualization, we will cover some of the VM setups of guys from our community.  Not necessarily a how to but more of a show and tell, we hope to cover all things Virtualization for the Average Tech Guy.

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Paul Braren, blogger at @tinkererguy

I talked a bit about running a virtualization lab in one’s home 24×7, for both practical (daily family pc backups using a Windows Server 2012 Essentials VM) and professional (certification/self-training) reasons. My focus was on VMware vSphere 5.1, with it’s ESXi Hypervisor, there’s a lot you can do, even with free version:

I’ll also touch upon why some folks might want to run Hyper-V nested inside ESXi 5.1

Finally, I’ll mention VMware Player as a free alternative to the popular Oracle VirtualBox, since most folks don’t really need full VMware Workstation:

Here’s the variety of links we chatted about, most of which can be found in this category view:

Kyle asked about speed, my answer was in the above article about the $180 Mediasonic HFR2-SU3S2, mentioning that RAID5/USB 3.0 speed was about 175MB/sec reads and 125MB/sec writes, quite respectable and affordable, with one eSATA cable or one USB 3.0 cable attachment.  RAID5 is built into the unit itself, push button ease of configuration, can regain access to array by installing in second unit or even using software to mount them individually attached to SATA ports on a mobo, for example.  Attach to motherboard with the long cable eSATA to SATA cable mentioned here:

I should probably do a SuperGuide on the Mediasonic:

Even this cheap RAID enclosure’s health can be monitored from within VMware ESXi 5.1:

YouTube video that walks through the entire ESXi 5.1 datacenter at home process, soup to nuts:

Finally, the SeeEye2Eye device that allows me to actually look at my webcam, where I see the person I’m talking to superimposed over the lense. Share this Amazon shortcut or visit the full article (that’ll be updated over time) at:

Kyle Wilcox, @kylejwx

-One of my favorite virtualization  use cases has been putting a VMware VMDK virtual hard disk file on my 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive.  I have installed Windows 7 Pro.  I can plug this into any computer that is running VMware Player, and get to my virtualized desktop.  My inspiration for this was that all the computers at my college campus had VMware Player installed.  I could just take the USB flash drive around to any computer on campus and pull up my personal desktop, with all my files synced with SkyDrive (Windows Live Mesh for those fact checking the dates)

-VMware Converter is also a  very useful tool.  I used it to convert an old Window XP desktop.  If for any reason I find that I was missing something in my data transfer, I have the entire computer virtualized and I can just pull it up.

-I use virtualization for all kind of other testing of Windows and Linux.

-I have heard that VMware Workstation can virtualize VMware vSphere.

-when I was low on hardware, I managed to get a vm running on an old processor (i think pentium d) and 512mb of ram.  the host was xp, and I got windows 7 running. it was slow, but it worked. Used virtualbox or vmware player- I don’t remember which.

VMware workstation reference: this guy has done a ton of cool stuff with vmware workstation, including nested vSphere. and @virtualizedgeek


Jim has a new Drobo 5N!  Some not so shocking news on the Drobo front.  Join the Google+ Drobo Group at

It also has sync integration with  I have the app installed and it is syncing right now.  Very easy setup.  Now having 135GB of cloud storage at, this is looking attractive.

I also ordered a Crucial m4 64GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT064M4SSD3 by Crucial

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