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VMWare Workstation 8 Released

VMWare released version 8 of Workstation today.  The upgrade costs $99, and a new license will set you back $199.
 
The new version boasts over 50 new features, including:

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Windows 8 Developer Preview Available Tonight

Windows 8 Lock Screen
Microsoft announced that they will be releasing the Windows 8 Developer preview "later this week".  According to PCMag.com, it will be available at 8PM Pacific time tonight. 

 

Keep an eye on the Windows Dev Center, as the download will be posted there.
 

 

I'll be downloading it and writing up a full review as soon as I can.
 
 

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Windows 8 to use fewer resources.

During his keynote speech today, Microsoft Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky demonstrated the resource useage of Windows 8 on an old Lenovo Netbook.

Windows 8 is set to use almost 50% less RAM than Windows 7.  It shed a few processes, and uses significantly less CPU resources.
 

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pfSense 2.0 is out!

UPDATE: It took a little longer than expected, but pfSense 2.0-RELEASE is finally available for download.

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Budget Laboratory: Part 4 - Connecting VMWare ESXi 4.1 to an iSCSI SAN through vSphere

For Part 4 of the "Budget Laboratory" series, we're going to connect the ESXi 4.1 server we installed in Part 3, to the Virtual SAN we created using FreeNAS 8 in Part 2, using the vSphere client.

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Budget Laboratory

Whether you're a student studying to start a career in Information Technology (IT), or a seasoned IT professional, a laboratory (lab) is an invaluable resource.  A good lab can help you learn new technologies, or test them before using them in a production environment.  Building a lab can be both expensive, and time consuming, but it doesn't have to be!

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Budget Laboratory: Part 3 - VMWare ESXi 4.1 on VMWare Workstation 7

For this installment of my "Budget Laboratory" series, I'll show you how to install VMWare ESXi 4.1 on VMWare Workstation 7. Yes, we'll be running Virtual Machines (VMs) inside of a VM! Why would anyone want to do such a thing? To learn ESXi and vSphere of course! If you don't have spare hardware for a dedicated ESXi lab environment, running it inside of Workstation 7 is a great alternative. You could also run it inside of VMWare Player if you feel so inclined. However, as with the first 2 articles in this series, I'll be using Workstation 7. ESXi and Player are both completely free, Workstation has a 30 day free trial available.

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Budget Laboratory: Part 2 - iSCSI Virtual SAN with FreeNAS 8

Storage Area Networks (SANs) are used in most Enterprise class networks, you'll also find them at a lot of small and medium businesses. A lot of systems rely on SANs to provide high availability features. A SAN is great to have for setting up shared storage for any type of cluster. Fiber used to be dominant for SAN connectivity. You'd need Fiber Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) in every server you wanted attached to your SAN, and a Fiber switch to connect everything. Then came iSCSI, which works with much cheaper Network Interface Cards (NICs), and can use regular network switches, as well us much cheaper copper cables. At first iSCSI wasn't as fast as Fiber, topping out at gigabit speeds, so if speed was important, you'd stick with Fiber.

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Creating 188 volume mount points in under 2 minutes with PowerShell and diskpart.

Last week I showed you how I used PowerShell and diskpart to partition, format, and label 193 disks. If you'll recall, I said I still needed to figure out how to get 188 of those disks mapped to folders for Volume Mount Points.

My goal was to get this 100% automated. Due to time constraints, I'm only at about 95%. This last bit takes a small amount of manual work. Don't worry, it's just simple copy and paste.

First we need to list out all volumes, to do this, open PowerShell, and run diskpart.

diskpart
list volume
exit

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Configuring 193 disks in under 2 minutes with PowerShell and diskpart.

Today at work I had to partition, format, and label, 193 disks, in Server 2008 R2. Each disk was a LUN on an EMC SAN. The server is an HP ProLiant BL460c G7 Server Blade.

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