Microsoft Office/Outlook 2007 SP2 Released

If you are running Office 2007 (including Outlook 2007) on your own computer or a PC you can install stuff on, Service Pack 2 for Office is out. It looks to have quite a bit of updates and performance fixes.


For the nerds out there ;-), a list of bug fixes can be found here:


I’m downloading as we speak and I’ll let you know if I notice anything positive or negative.. 


Using USB Devices in Virtual Machines on VMware ESX

I’ve been getting this question a lot lately – “Can I use USB devices or dongles inside a Virtual Machine on ESX?”

The out-of-the-box answer is No. USB devices are not supported within the VM on ESX 3.5. That being said, there are a few companies that have gotten excellent reviews and are very popular on the VMware Community Forums that provide USB functionality.

The most popular way of presenting USB devices in Virtual Machines on ESX that I’ve heard/seen is from Digi International, which has a product called AnywhereUSB. Follow the link for additional info on the product.
They have also published a VMware Branded Technical Note (whitepaper) entitled VMware ESX Server: Using AnywhereUSB to Connect USB Devices

FabulaTech is another popular way. A good post regarding it can be found here:

Update to the post:
I came across a recent post over at VMetc mentioning a couple more temporary plus permanent options for using USB over IP:

A few other links of companies that have gotten good reviews to allow USB access in VM’s: (Inexpensive, starts at $89!) (Open Source Project for USB over IP)


VMware vSphere 4.0 – Info and Configuration Maximums

A lot of information came out about vSphere (new name for ESX 4) was released at VMworld Europe 2009. Here’s the configuration maximums as presented at VMworld Europe:

Virtual Machine Maximums
Virtual CPUs per Virtual Machine – 8
Size of RAM per Virtual Machine – 256GB
NICs per Virtual Machine – 10

ESX Host Maximums:
Hosts per Cluster – 64
NFS Datastores per Host – 64
Virtual Machines per Host – 256
Physical CPUs per Host – 64
Logical Processors per Host – 64
Total Cores per Cluster – 4096
Virtual CPUs per Core – 20
Size of RAM per Host – 512GB
Total RAM per Cluster – 32TB
Maximum Network Throughput – 40GB/s (Maximum of 4-10GbE Network Cards per ESX Host)

Not including the above we’re also going to get: Fault Tolerance, VM Safe, vNetwork Distributed Switch, vShield Zones, vCenter CapacityIQ, vCenter Data Recovery, vCenter ConfigControl, vCenter Orchestrator, vCenter Chargeback and vCenter AppSpeed

Thanks to for their post which helped to verify some of this information!

VMware Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC)

I ran across a great post over at helping understand the Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) feature in VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 and above.

VMwareTips Post:

Useful VMware KB Articles about EVC: KB 1003212

The short story of it all is if you have the processors listed in the KB article and you enable EVC (VM Settings), then you’ll be able to VMotion your VM’s.

How to configure OpenFiler v2.3 iSCSI Storage for use with VMware ESX

On my to-do list was to write up a How-To on using OpenFiler iSCSI storage appliance with VMware ESX. The OpenFiler appliance is a free appliance that you can use to turn local storage into an iSCSI target. Well, Simon over at TechHead in the UK did a bang up job (that’s London speak!) with a How-To detailing installing the OpenFiler software and using it with ESX.

I’ve heard great things about OpenFiler from our customers who are using it. Keep in mind, you’ll want to keep OpenFiler in DR environments or Test/Dev environments as there is some limits on performance. But those who are looking for a free iSCSI target or appliance, it’s a good one.

You might also check out our other post on some of the other common iSCSI appliances, very similar to OpenFiler:


VMware vCenter Mobile Access Technology Preview

I ran across this on another blog surfing for something which I’ve since forgotten.. 😉 I thought this was pretty neat. It’s the Technology Preview of a new feature for VMware vCenter called vCenter Mobile Access. Here’s the link:

They even have a video showing it “in action” (just turn down your speakers though, the music is horrible IMO). There’s a link near the bottom of the page titled “How Will I Connect to This Thing” which is interesting too, especially since most people can’t get to their vCenter server from outside their corporate LAN, well without VPN or something.

This is VMware’s own product that is very similar to: