Virtualization Adapted Adapting Business Processes for Virtual Infrastrcuture (and vice-versa)


Watch DVD Movies from iMac to HDMI TV with TOSlink Digital Surround Sound

Filed under: virtualization — iben @ 18:29

How we watch movies on our iMac



Parts List

Quantity Description Unit Price Extended Price Female HDMI to Male DVI Adapter $8 Female TOSlink/Male 1/8 Plug Adapter $3 30 foot TOSlink Optical Digital Audio Cable $31 Subwoofer Cable, 30 feet $50 HDMI Cable, Series-2, 30 feet $121
KLH Audio Subwoofer e-12dbn $100 Philips 42″ lcd 42PFL7422D $900 Sony STR-DE995 Receiver $500 Sony RM-LG112 Remote Control
$100 Dish Network ViP622 High Definition Digital Video Recorder $300$ Logitech Harmony 1000 Remote Control $220 Logitech Harmony Remote Extender RB-996-000029

$220 Bose AM-5 Speaker System $400
JBL Center Channel Speaker $100
Apple iMac 24″ Intel Core 2 Duo REFURB IMAC 2.16/1G/250/SD/AP/BT FA456LL/A $1449
Apple VESA MOUNT KIT M9649G/A $29
Apple Mini-DVI to DVI adapter $19 Belkin 3 channel HDMI Video Switcher Part#AV24502tt $110
APC SmartUPS 1400 $350

Parts Description

Apple iMac 24″ Intel Core 2 Duo

  • 24-inch widescreen display
  • 1GB memory
  • 250GB hard drive
  • 8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT with 128MB GDDR3 memory
  • Built-in iSight camera

Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SuperDrive

Logitech Harmony 1000 Remote Control

Logitech Harmony 1000 features a brilliant 3.5” color touch screen that allows for one-touch
activity-based control of even the most sophisticated A/V components.
Navigation controls located on the right side of the panel make it easy
for you to scroll through several options. Say goodbye to the wasted
time and unnecessary complexity of multiple remotes controlling
multiple devices; Logitech’s patented Smart State Technology makes it
easy! Control your HDTV, adjust aspect ratios, or change sound
modes—there are no complicated macros to program. Just press an
on-screen activity icon and Harmony does the rest.

The Harmony 1000’s sleek shape and brushed aluminum surfaces
will look right at home as the centerpiece of your digital living room.
The remote is all you’ll need to control even the most complex home
entertainment systems. And when used together with a Harmony® RF
Wireless Extender (sold separately), you can further reduce clutter by
placing your components out of sight. Since the remote can transmit
both infrared and radio frequency commands, you can control equipment
inside a cabinet or even in the next room. Control your electronic
devices in an organized fashion. With the Logitech Harmony 1000, it’s
all within your fingertips.

Optical Digital Audio Cable: Mitsubishi Eska POF

When we have a choice, we prefer to run
digital audio in coax; it’s more robust over distance, and the cable is
interchangeable with cable used for certain other applications (e.g.,
composite video). However, an increasing number of devices are coming
onto the market with digital audio available only in optical form,
following the TOSlink standard. For these applications, we build our
optical cables using the finest high-performance Plastic Optical Fiber
(POF), Mitsubishi’s ESKA Fiber. While POF is in general rather lossy
stuff compared to glass optical fiber, we prefer it for optical digital
audio use because it’s much more physically durable and because its
aperture matches the spec for optical digital audio use, unlike glass
fiber which is too small and must be used in bundles. Our fiber is
encased first in a tough cladding layer and then, for added durability,
a flexible outer PVC jacket similar in texture to the PVC on some of
our high-flex Belden cables (e.g. Belden 1505F). In our own usage,
we’ve tested these cables at lengths up to 50 feet and found them to
perform perfectly even at those extended distances.
BJC Digital Optical Cable

Female HDMI/Male DVI Adapter

For plugging an HDMI cable into a DVI jack.

Female HDMI to Male DVI Adapter

Female TOSlink/Male 1/8″ Plug Adapter

For plugging a TOSlink cable into an optical-compatible 1/8″ jack.

Female TOSlink/Male 1/8 Plug Adapter

Subwoofer Cables

Subwoofer cable In
some ways, the subwoofer cable interconnect is the least demanding
application in home theater. While HD video demands cables able to
carry high-bandwidth signals, at tight impedance tolerances, the
subwoofer cable has the relatively easy job of carrying a very
low-frequency, very low-bandwidth signal. But a subwoofer cable has a
critical job to do, and needs to do it well: keep out hum. Hum can come
from ground loops (cable won’t help you if that’s the case, but see our
isolation transformer
below) or, often, from EMI (electro-magnetic interference).
High-energy, low-frequency noise, like the 60-cycle hum from nearby
power cords, fluorescent lights, and other miscellaneous sources, is
the hardest type of interference to shield against, and the best
defense here is a dense and highly-conductive braid shield. Our
recommended subwoofer interconnect cables have not one, but two, dense
braid shields, and in our testing we’ve found this to be the best
shield configuration, outperforming conventional single-braid,
braid-and-foil, and unbalanced twisted-pair cables when it comes to hum

The Cable: Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 Analog Audio Cable

recommended subwoofer cable is our own proprietary design, the LC-1
low-capacitance audio cable. It has an extremely heavy double-braid
shield layer for the best possible rejection of induced low-frequency
hum, and extremely low capacitance for the flattest possible frequency
response. It is thick — about .305 inch in diameter — but is more
flexible than comparably-sized cables, and is therefore easy to route
around corners and obstacles. Unlike most analog audio cables on the
market, too, LC-1 is UL-listed and bears a CM rating under the National
Electrical Code, so is suitable for in-wall installation in both
residential and commercial environments. (CM is a superior rating to
the more often-seen CL-2 and CL-3 ratings). For more information and
specs on this cable, see our “Design Notes” article about LC-1.

The Connectors: Taversoe Crimp RCA Plugs

are a critical part of any audio cable, because if the cable isn’t
well-joined to the connectors, or if the connectors don’t make firm
electrical contact with the jacks, it doesn’t much matter how good the
cable is. Our LC-1 cables are terminated with the Taversoe RCA plug, a
high-quality RCA plug with an all-metal body and shell specifically
designed for the perfect dimensions for use with LC-1. Its all-metal
body, crimped tightly to the shield braid, completes the shielding
assembly from cable end to cable end, to ensure that the cables do not
become an entry point for noise. These plugs are gold-plated on all
jack-contact surfaces, and employ a set of leaf-spring style grippers
on the outer RCA ring which apply just the right amount of force to the
jack to grip it firmly without overtightening.

Taversoe RCA Plug

HDMI Cables

HDMI is a digital signal format, developed
primarily as a platform for the implementation of HDCP (High Definition
Content Protection) to prevent consumers from having complete access to
the contents of high-definition digital recordings. As one might expect
from a standard that was developed to serve the content provider
industries, rather than the best interests of the consumer, HDMI is
something of a mess. The signal is not robust over distance because it
was designed to run balanced when it should have been run unbalanced
(SDI, the commercial digital video standard, can be run hundreds of
feet over a single coax without any performance issues); the HDMI cable
is an unnecessarily-complicated rat’s-nest arrangement involving
nineteen conductors; switches, repeaters and distribution amplifiers,
by virtue of this complicated scheme, are made unnecessarily expensive;
and the HDMI plug is prone to falling out of the jack with little more
than a light tug. As more and more manufacturers move to implement HDMI
on more home theater devices, however, it falls to the consumer to try
to make the best of this dubious and poorly-thought-out standard.

BJC Series-2 HDMI Cables:

In addition
to our new Belden-built cables, we continue to offer our more
economical, Chinese-sourced Series-2 HDMI cables. These cables are of
excellent quality and we have found them dependable up to lengths of 50
feet at all resolutions up to 1080p/60. They are rated CL2 for in-wall
installation, and use 24 AWG silver-plated copper signal conductors.View the drawing and spec sheet on our Series-2 HDMI and HDMI/DVI Cables, in .pdf format.

Blue Jeans Cable Series-2 HDMI Cable

Sony STR-DE995B Receiver

• Stereo Power Rating: 100 Watts Per Channel x 2 (8 ohms 20 Hz-20 kHz, THD .09%)
• Dolby® Digital EX, dts®, 96k/24 bit dts ES®, dts:Neo6®, Dolby® Pro Logic® II Decoding
• A & B/A or B Speaker Switch
• 32-bit Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Pro Logic® and dts® Decoder
• 32-bit DSP with 13 acoustic environments
• Digital Cinema Sound™ system with Cinema Studio EX modes

Philips USA 42PFL7422D 42″ Widescreen 1080p HDTV LCD

  • 1920 x 1080p pixel resolution
  • 8000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
  • 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio
  • 500 cd/m² brightness
  • 176°H/176°V viewing angle
  • Perfect Pixel HD Engine offers the unique combination of ultimate sharpness, natural detail, vivid colors and smooth natural motion on all qualities of HDTV
  • Built-in analog/digital tuner (NTSC/ATSC) USB connector for easy, instant multimedia playing
  • Three HDMI inputs for easy full HD connectivity
  • 42PFL7422
  • D: 41 3/16″ W x 27″ H x 4 5/8″ D
  • weight: 73.6 lbs.
  • 47PFL7422
  • D: 45 5/8″ W x 29 5/8″ H x 4 5/8″ D
  • weight: 52.8 lbs.
  • VESA 600mm x 400mm compliant
Philips USA 42PFL7422D 42 Wides...

HDMI™ 3-to-1 Video Switch

The Belkin PureAV HDMI 3-to-1 Video Switch allows
you to connect to and switch among three high-definition,
digital-video source devices through only one High-Definition
Multimedia Interface (HDMI) or Digital Visual Interface (DVI)*
connection on your high-definition television (HDTV).

Its quick
adoption has made HDMI one of the most common audio video connections
available. It is used on high-definition components, such as HDTVs,
up-converting DVD players, HD cable/satellite boxes, entertainment
computers, and the newly released Blu-ray® and HD-DVD players. This has
created a bottleneck at the HDTV connection—with a common scenario
featuring three HDMI/DVI sources to only one HDMI/DVI input. The Belkin
PureAV HDMI 3-to-1 Video Switch lets you connect three sources into one
HDMI input on your HDTV. Then, simply select from among the source
devices either by pressing the input-selector button on the Switch
itself, or by using the included remote control to scroll to or
directly select a source.

Bose Acoustimass-5 Speakers

Two Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays
deliver the warmth and emotion of string and wind instruments. Those
sounds are lifelike and spacious thanks to Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays.
With a blend of reflected and direct sound, this innovative Bose
technology approximates the way sound reaches your ears during a live
performance. You experience the richness of your favorite music from
almost anywhere in the room.

The Acoustimass bass module
produces dramatic low tones without audible distortion and can be
hidden behind furniture. Music and movie effects all seem to come from
the small cube speakers, rather than the hideaway module.

Acoustimass® 5 speaker system

JBL Center Speaker

Black JBL Center Speaker circa 1990
Need to find a picture to put here.


VMware ESX High Availability – Tips and Tricks

VMware HA doesn’t work.

  1. Verify that host name is lowercase: hostname; hostname -s
  2. Verify that host name in /etc/hosts is lowercase
  3. Verify that search domain in /etc/resolv.conf is in lowercase
  4. Verify that host name in /etc/sysconfig/network is fqdn, all lowercase
  5. Verify that the host name in esx.conf is fqdn, all lowercase
  6. Verify that host name in DNS is lowercase: nslookup; <short hostname> (should properly resolve fqdn of host, all lowercase)
  7. Verify that all primary service consoles have the same name.
  8. Verify that all primary service consoles are in the same IP subnet.
  9. If VMotion vmkernel port is on same vSwitch as primary service console, use das.allowVmotionNetworks=1
  10. If host has multiple service consoles, use KB 1006541 and the das.allowNetwork0 HA option to ensure that only the primary service console is allowed.
  11. Verify that customer has appropriate licensing for HA, and has available licenses:  In LM Tools, perform a status inquiry, verify that cu is licensed for VC_DAS
  12. Once you have met all of the above criteria, enable HA.
  13. If, after you have verified all the above, and HA still won’t configure:
  1. On the host, stop vpxa: service vmware-vpxa stop
  2. The host will show not responding in VC after a while
  3. Disconnect the host from VC
  4. Re-connect the host to VC
  5. This will force the VPXA package to re-deploy, as well as the HA packages to re-deploy.
  6. Re-configure the hosts for HA.

Many thanks to: Kevin Riley []

See also:
As of VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 2 configuration of VMware High Availability fails.
An error similar to the following appears in the Tasks and Events detail:

HA agent on <esxhostname> in cluster <clustername> in <datacenter> has an error Incompatible HA Networks:

Cluster has network(s) missing on host: x.x.x.x

Consider using the Advanced Cluster Settings das.allowNetwork to control network usage.
– Allows for a NIC that is used for VMotion networks to be considered
for VMware HA usage. This parameter enables a host that has only one
NIC configured for management and VMotion combined to be used in VMware
High Availability communication. By default, any VMotion network is
das.allowNetwork[…] – Allows the use of port group names
to control the networks used for VMware HA. The value is set as the
name of the portgroup, for example, Service Console or Management
Network . When configured, the VMware HA cluster only uses the
specified networks for VMware HA communication.

To configure VMware HA to use the new settings:
Log in to VirtualCenter with the VI Client as an administrator.
Edit the settings of the cluster and deselect Enable VMware HA.
Click OK, and wait for the servers to unconfigure for VMware HA.
ESX Server > Configuration > Networking on each of the ESX hosts
in the cluster and note the portgroups that are common between the
Edit the settings of the cluster, and select Enable VMware HA.
Click VMware HA.
Click Advanced Options.
Add the das.allowNetworkX option with a value of the portgroup name, where X is a number between 1 and 10,

IR: Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Saturday Barbecue Recipes

Filed under: home — Tags: , , , , , , — iben @ 08:51

I was having a few people over for a barbecue yesterday and they asked about some of the recipes I followed. There are some basic staple foods we seem to have on hand all the time and spend some time each week to keep the fridge stocked up with jars of Beans and Salsa. We make the Rice and Salad fresh for each day. Sometimes the kids like Pasta or Potatoes too instead of the Rice.

4 cups rice, 4 garlic cloves, 4 serrano peppers, 4 teaspoons hot oil for 4 minutes, then 2 x 4 cups water and 4 spoons of seasoning, simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepping red tomatoes, green tomatillos, garlic, and serrano peppers for grilling on barbecue.

Green salsa is on the grill

Cucumbers, limes, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper = yummy salad


virtualized active directory domain services

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , — iben @ 00:21

There are many customers we’re setup with virtualized active directory domain controllers. Windows 2003 at first and now Windows 2008 both work fine as Virtualized Domain Controllers.

Here are some of the links and notes that help as references…


An anti-affinity DRS rule is used when you want to keep 2 virtual machines on separate hosts when they provide a redundant service and locating them on the same host would eliminate that redundancy.


The Virtual Machine on 64-Bit Windows Server

If using the x64 version of Windows Server 2003 or 2003 R2, one of the primary goals will be to contain the entire Active Directory database within the virtual machine’s RAM cache. On 64-bit Windows, employing 16 GB of RAM cache will accommodate a database of approximately 2.5 million users.
Caching the Active Directory database in 64-bit Windows will avoid performance hits related to certain disk operations. For a virtual machine that is a domain controller, adding, modifying, searching, deleting and update operations generally benefit significantly from caching. Write operations will always incur a slight penalty, regardless of whether a domain controller is running on a physical or virtual machine.
There is limited benefit for filling cache on 32-bit Windows for customers with large directories; in fact, in some cases this actually can exhaust kernel resources.

–> http:/

–> http:/
First Published: 17 June 2009
Windows 2008 Server and Windows 2008 Server R2 further refine the functionality with the service being renamed Active Directory Domain Services.

This article describes a condition that occurs when a domain controller that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 starts from an Active Directory database that has been incorrectly restored or copied into place. This condition is known as an update sequence number rollback, or USN rollback. When a USN rollback occurs, modifications to objects and attributes that occur on one domain controller do not replicate to other domain controllers in the forest. Because replication partners believe that they have an up-to-date copy of the Active Directory database, monitoring and troubleshooting tools such as Repadmin.exe do not report any replication errors.

Here is a link to a VMworld 2006 Presentation titled TAC 9710 –
Virtualizing a Windows Active Directory Domain Infrastructure:
* Clock synchronization
* Network performance
* Multi-master replication model
* Security
* Potential single point of failure
* Disaster recovery


# To help prevent a potential update sequence number (USN) rollback situation, see Appendix A: Virtualized Domain Controllers and Replication Issues.


— I b e n
iben.rodriguez – gmail
Follow me on


Installing ESX or ESXi on older hardware

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , — iben @ 16:13

I recently had opportunity to install VMware ESX on some old Dell hardware. These notes helped me move through the process.

VM-Help database of links:

How to enter nocheckCPUIDLimit on ESX with screen shots –
This is a two step process. Once for initial install from cd-rom and once for rebooting off hard drive. I did have to tweak it as it did not work 100% as advertised (see BrennanB post on April 27th).

Please let me know what other links worked for you and your old hardware.  Be sure to update vm-help with any feedback too!

I b e n


VMware Storage VMotion

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , — iben @ 21:10

How Does VMware Storage VMotion Work?

VMware Storage VMotion allows virtual machine storage disks to be relocated to different datastore locations with no downtime, while being completely transparent to the virtual machine or the end user.

Before moving a virtual machines disk file, Storage VMotion moves the “home directory” of the virtual machine to the new location. The home directory contains meta data about the virtual machine (configuration, swap and log files). After relocating the home directory, Storage VMotion copies the contents of the entire virtual machine storage disk file to the destination storage host, leveraging “changed block tracking” to maintain data integrity during the migration process. Next, the software queries the changed block tracking module to determine what regions of the disk were written to during the first iteration, and then performs a second iteration of copy, where those regions that were changed during the first iteration copy (there can be several more iterations).

Once the process is complete, the virtual machine is quickly suspended and resumed so that it can begin using the virtual machine home directory and disk file on the destination datastore location. Before VMware ESX allows the virtual machine to start running again, the final changed regions of the source disk are copied over to the destination and the source home and disks are removed.

This approach guarantees complete transactional integrity and is fast enough to be unnoticeable to the end user.

VMware White Paper on Storage vMotion –

Dell video showing how VMware Storage vMotion works –

VMware Storage vMotionVI Client Plugin by Andrew Kutz

Guide on how to use Storage vMotion –

Here is another GUI for VMware Storage vMotion –

VMware Storage vMotion GUI

VMware Storage vMotion GUI

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