Thursday, October 13, 2011

Its Alive (the blog)... and my VMWare build (not alive, yet)

Well here it is, my first blog post there isn't much here right now, and I have to say I am not overly impressed with WordPress.com. I would much prefer to have hosted this blog on my own server in order to take advantage of expanded customization, specifically syntax highlighting since I intend to do a bit of blogging about T-SQL. That being said, I wanted it up and running cheaply and quickly, that much is accomplished. I expect that with time, I will migrate to a self hosted .org implementation in order to gain access to these features as well.

I decided to start this blog in order to regurgitate my experiences with new technologies in hopes that I could give back to the IT community. I spend so much time on forums and reading other people's blogs when I am trying to solve problems, I decided it was time to at least give others the opportunity to draw on my experience as well. So, a little about me: I am 26 Years old, Married, 1 Child, 1 Motorcycle, Countless Computers. I drill with the North Carolina Army National Guard as a Signal Officer, although I have not been branch qualified yet. I graduated in May 2011 with a BS in Information Systems and Operations Management from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (late bloomer on the higher ed). I should be starting a Masters program there in the Fall of 2012. I currently work as a DBA/Sysadmin at Apex Analytix and I really enjoy my work. Prior to this job, I was a freelance IT Consultant working for a couple small businesses, which I still do part time. I am really enjoying the opportunities I have been given to expand my technical knowledge via experience, and plan to continue doing so. Lately I have really been interested in learning more about enterprise class storage and virtualization.

That brings me to the actual topic of my first post. Jason Nash of Varrow was kind enough to provide a pretty thorough hardware guide to building a home VMWare cluster about a year ago. Additionally one of my consulting clients recently approved a proof of concept build for a small VMWare cluster. I contacted Jason, he gave me some pointers, and I have just recently ordered the parts to get the build going. Without further adieu, I present you with the first piece of useful information towards building a home VMWare lab, an almost verbatim ripoff of Jason Nash's home build, with a CPU and Memory upgrade:

VMWare Parts

I plan to document the build and configuration process thoroughly here on this blog, as I have never even installed ESXi, let alone configured an entire failover cluster. So it should be an interesting learning process and hopefully provide those of you with similar desires with some valuable knowledge about the caveats involved in such a process.

In addition to VMWare, I am currently working a lot with Sharepoint, SQL Server Reporting Services, and Microsoft ForeFront Threat Management Gateway on a project I've been assigned. We are working on getting the TMG in as a Single Sign On solution so that we can turn this SharePoint site into an extranet of sorts, its proven to be quite a problem child as even though I have successfully published the SharePoint site, as well as the SSRS site via their SSO mechanism, the data sources (SQL 2k8R2/SSAS 2k8R2) are failing over to NT Authority\Anonymous, a clear indication of a breakdown in the kerberos delegation chain. More to come on this later...

Thanks for stopping by, if there's anyone out there!