Enable Automatic Start Up for Guest OS on VMware ESX and ESXi

This one had me tearing my hair out. We needed to enable auto startup on some of our Virtual Machines on the VMware ESX server, but I couldn’t for the life of me work out how. After a stupid amount of Googling around, turning up nothing, I actually RTFM! Page 177-178 had the answers 😉

Here’s how to do it:

Launch the Virtual Infrastructure Client. If you don’t have it, just http:// to your VMware ESX host and grab it from the front page.

Go to the Configuration tab of your ESX Server, then click on Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown.

By default (I’m pretty sure) automatic startup is disabled. To enable it, click on “Properties…” on the far upper right of the window.

You’ll now see this window:

Check/Tick “Allow virtual machines to start and stop automatically with the system”.

Now, this is the bit where I nearly cried…

You know you want to “enable” your Guest OSes to automatically boot, but how? I tried clicking and dragging, right clicking for a context menu to enable “Automatic start up” and gave up.

Turns out, you need to click on the Guest OS you’d like to enable, and then click “Move Up” until it sits underneath the “Automatic startup” title. Argh!

I really hope this helps someone out! 🙂

How to force VMware to generate a new MAC address for a virtual machine

How to force VMware to regenerate a MAC address for a virtual machine (or guest OS).

  1. Shut down the Guest OS.
  2. Open up the .vmx file.
  3. Delete the following lines (that begin with…):

     
  4. Boot up the Guest OS again, and it should generate new details in the vmx file (I’d check afterwards to be doubly sure).

 

The most common scenario for wanting to do this is if you’ve used a “template” Guest OS and copied it to multiple PCs, but accidentally clicked “I moved this Virtual Machine” rather than “I copied this Virtual Machine” when first booting the Guest OS in something like VMware Player.

If you tell VMware that the Guest OS was copied, it automatically generates new UUID info and MAC addresses. If you tell VMware that you moved the Guest OS, all unique identifiers are left alone (including the MAC address). By performing the steps above, you can get VMware to generate you some new, unique identifiers, and stop weirdness on your network 😉

Web Application Firewalls

Web Application Firewalls, or WAFs, are a brilliant concept. In essence, they are pretty much what they say on the tin: A firewall for a web application – monitoring web traffic for a given web application, and deciding on whether to allow or deny specific requests.

The first thing that came to mind was protecting internal IIS web servers which have to accept potentially dirty external traffic from the Interwebs; Outlook Web Access, for example.

For more information, InformIT has a nice overview of WAFs.

How did I end up here?

Sometimes, I just casually cruise around LinkedIn, seeing who knows who, and where they work – often clicking off to company and personal websites. Occasionally, I might stumble across something interesting. To show what I mean, here’s something I found just a few minutes ago:

  1. LinkedIn has company data on DisplayLink.
  2. We’re in the same building as NetBanx, so I check them out.
  3. I see that I’m somehow linked to a few employees (mainly via our Techincal Recruiter, but also via contacts I made while out job hunting way back when).
  4. I click on someone to see how they’re linked to me.
  5. This guy has a personal site, which I check out.
  6. Ooh, his front page mentions a nice usability tidbit that I wasn’t aware of, and credits the source
  7. I check the source
  8. Discover that the source also makes a verrrry nice looking AWstats “wrapper” that I’m just forwarding to my colleague, as some of our marketing guys use AWstats for Web Analytics.

Crazy stuff eh? 🙂

TrueCrypt 6.0 out the door, speed gains abound

My colleague Dave just pointed out that TrueCrypt 6.0 was released on Friday, 4th July. The most important new feature here is that encrypt/decrypt speeds are massively improved on multi-core processors – multiplied by the amount of cores you have (e.g. 2x for dual core).

I’ll be testing this out on one of the Execs later 😉

Grab TrueCrypt 6.0 here