Well I’m now starting to think about ramping up my vmware studying due to the oncoming 1st attempt at the exam. I do feel a bit more relaxed about it than previous exams, probably because I administer esx/vc loads at work but of course that doesnt mean I can take it easy. I’ve rebuilt my ESX lab at home using the eval versions of esx and VC I downloaded a while back. The only thing I had to re-register was for another evaluation version of VMware Workstation, otherwise I just used the ISO’s I had previously downloaded.
Anyway As I am studying and doing test’s I shall put up various musings on my way.
On a side note because I do not have a great deal of linux knowledge I am having quite a few problems virtualizing exisiting linux boxes. I am bookmarking interesting links to do with virtualization (methods including rsync etc), but so far have only managed to virtualize one linux box without too much trouble. This is kinda spurring me on to learn loads more linux stuff.
So I was looking around at open source stuff the other day, specially to see if there was anything like norton ghost around and I stumbled upon clonezilla. I was not quite sure what to expect and it was with some degree of nervousness that I let it loose on a computer. I need not have worried though clonezilla is fantastic simple and very fast. It is very much like ghost used to be, no frills no faff disk cloning. I must admit that when ghost moved to mostly being a desktop app thats when I lost my respect for it.
It runs as a live cd and walks you through all the options etc and give you hints on what options do so even a novice would be able to use it I would imagine. the most difficult bit is selecting the right source and destination disks as both of them were the same make model and size, so I had to just boot the live cd with the source disk in and take down the displayed serial number (I think its a serial number), and use that. Took under 5 minutes to clone an 80GB disk with about 4.5GB of used space.
Check it out
I’m going to talk briefly about virtualizing live linux servers. At work i’ve just virtualized my first red hat box. Was it painless? No. Was it informative? Yes.
l was given the task of p2v’ing the box after a disk in its mirror failed. So with a good bit of googling i came upon this tutorial on how to virtualize the box. It was not quite complete for me and I had to figure out various error messages I encountered along the way but I eventually managed it and with shaking hands clicked the vm’s power on button.
I must admit I was expecting a good number of errors when it started (and would not have been surprised by a kernal panic), but it booted into kudzu hardware manager uninstalling all the old bits and installing the new and too my relief completed its boot without any further issues.
Some of the issues that I came across along the way is doing the conversion in this way creates a VM for you and it firstly mounts a VM convertor helper ISO into the VM. This helper VM requires an IP address etc so you need to either let it DHCP for an address or Statically assign one during the convetor wizard screen.
Also as it needs to be contactable on the network you need to ensure that the VM is set up so that the network card(s) are on your production network. So if any of you normally put the cards into an isolated lan then this wont work. Also I’m not sure if this is to do with our setup or convertor “feature” I found I had to have the machine running the convertor client connecting to the convertor server on the linux box in the same subnet.
Trouble is now I’ve done one I expect I’ll be labelled with the “Linux Virtualization Expert” badge at work and will be given lots of other jobs that wont be quite so smooth! Ah well its all about the learning curve isnt it.