Moving VMs from one ESXi host to another ESXi host

Every technologist needs a lab environment! I’ve been running ESXi 5.0 on a HP Proliant ML110 G4 for a number of years as VMWare kindly offer a free licence for single socket servers, and I recently acquired a Dell Poweredge T20 server with more cores and more memory so I took the opportunity to install ESXi 6.0. ESXi installs are straightforward – almost a pleasure! – but copying my existing VMs across – because of their size – was more of a challenge without the benefits of shared storage. Copying them was when I found that not all the virtual discs were thin provisioned!

Incidentally, I fretted about whether I’d run into problems installing ESXi 6.0 on a Dell Poweredge T20 server as it wasn’t on the VMWare supported listed. The forums were fairly quiet on the matter, but – as it is a lab – I went ahead, and it was successful.

The options for copying the VMs I found were:

1. Download the VM files to a PC from the original ESXi server, and then upload them to the new ESXi server.
2. Use something like the Veeam Backup tool  – I did download this, but had problems with the ISO on my Windows 10 PC.
3. Using something like the VMWare Converter, or ovftool

One issue I found with Windows Server VMs, after moving them from host to host as files, is that the licenses would need occasionally activating again.

Once I’d transferred all the VMs across to the new Poweredge T20 server, I used the USB media to install ESXi 6.0 on the ML110 G4 successfully.

SQLBits XV – Back to Liverpool!

The popular SQL Server conference SQLBits has announced the date and location of the next event – it’s back to Liverpool between 4th-7th May 2016.

SQLBits was last in Liverpool in 2011 as “Query Across The Mersey” – and it was a blast! The venue then was the Adelphi Hotel, but this time it’s going to be at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre in the Docks.

Training days and workshops start from Wednesday, and prices start from £699 ex VAT for the full four days as part of the Early Bird pricing, rising to £999 closer to the event. The Saturday is the traditional Community Day, which is free.

MongoDB University releases Android App

MongoDB University has offered some pretty good, and free, training videos for DBAs and especially for Developers. One of the limitations has been that the videos are powered by Youtube, so offline viewing has not been possible. However, this has now been fixed with the release of the Android App to complement the iOS flavour app that was released in September.

My first thoughts, having used the MongoDB Android App to watch some of the DBA-track learning, is that it suffers from the same stop-and-start that watching it online does. Some of the videos are as long as 7-9 minutes, but many of them are just a couple of minutes – and I find it irritating having to click something to move on to the next video. This is something that previous versions of the Pluralsight Android app, when the account is enabled for download content, does seemlessly – it just flows.