Nov 302011
 

A brand new video for all of you Mac OS X fans!

In this video we discuss and demonstrate how to install the VMware vSphere 5 ESXi hypervisor as a guest operating system inside of a virtual machine running on the VMware Fusion 4.x virtualization platform for Mac OS X. That's a mouthful! Read again if confused :)

Be sure to check out VMware Knowledge Base article Installing ESXi 5.0 in VMware Fusion (2009580) for additional information and instructions.

 

vExpert Spotlight: Hal Rottenberg

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Nov 302011
 
vExpert Spotlight: Hal Rottenberg

Blog URL: halr9000.com
Twitter handle: halr9000
How did you get into IT?

I dropped out of college after my first year. School didn't hold my interest, but nothing else did either. I ended up at a mail-order computer hardware shop in sales when one day, their computer guy left. I sort of wound up as the IT guy by default, and went up from there. I soon left that small shop, then went from various contracts during the dotcom days to permanent employment at larger and larger enterprises including HP, IBM, and Home Depot. Each job was a steady progression in pay and responsibilities, starting in helpdesk, and ending up on the system engineering side of the house. 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

While at IBM, I discovered PowerShell. I was a huge fan, and learned all that I could possibly learn about this new scripting language from Microsoft. Through my participation in that community, I was awarded Microsoft MVP.

I really loved exploring the intersection of PowerShell and non-Microsoft products, most especially by using it to manage my VMware VI3 R&D lab. I was in the right place at the right time when PowerCLI began, and a book deal fell into my lap. After many long, (long) hours, Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell: TFM was published. Getting that book out the door felt great! Not too long afterwards I was welcomed to the inaugural class of 300 vExperts and had the pleasure to be included among this great group ever since. 

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

Well, you have to be passionate about technology, and love to learn. You also need to be a bit of a self-starter. Building a home lab is a great place to start. With a bit of planning, a commodity PC and a free copy of ESXi, you can really get the hang of virtualization. I also found that it helps to specialize some, but not too much!

Being an expert in one thing is great (and often lucrative), but once you understand how to take various pieces of software apart, and use the pieces to solve problems, that's where I think the fun is. And that's really important--having fun at what you do for a living. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time doing it!

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New Articles Published for Week Ending 11/26/11

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Nov 292011
 
New Articles Published for Week Ending 11/26/11

Apache Tomcat
Server fails with the error: java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: PermGen space (2009352)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

Socialcast
Socialcast Mobile Apps FAQ (2008689)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

VMware ESX
Powering on virtual machine on an NFS server fails with the error: Unable to retrieve the current working directory (1006539)
Date Published: 11/22/2011
Security Audit account issues after an ESX install (1025565)
Date Published: 11/24/2011
ESX host fails with Lost Heartbeat purple diagnostic screen mentioning VmkDev: 3102: Can't find serial# (2009232)
Date Published: 11/21/2011
Missing VIB files for the be2iscsi CNA driver causes adapter errors (2009649)
Date Published: 11/23/2011
An ESX 4.x host fails to boot with this message: MP-BIOS bug: 8254 timer not connect to IO-APIC error on ESX host boot (2009763)
Date Published: 11/21/2011
ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 4 and ESX 4.0 Patch Release ESX400-201110001/ESXi400-201110001 use the same VMware Tools OSP repository. (2009863)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

VMware ESXi
User defined xml firewall configurations are not persistent across ESXi host reboots (2007381)
Date Published: 11/22/2011
Downloading, licensing, and enabling the VMware vSphere Storage Appliance (2009895)
Date Published: 11/22/2011
Cannot vMotion a virtual machine from an ESX/ESXi 4.1 host to an ESXi 5.0 host (2009718)
Date Published: 11/23/2011
VMware Datarecovery (VDR) backup fails with error "Trouble reading files, error -3943 ( open failed)" (2009673)
Date Published: 11/23/2011

VMware Fusion
Upgrading from VMware Fusion 4.1.0 and unsupported versions of Mac OS X (2009990)
Date Published: 11/23/2011

VMware Horizon Application Manager Connector
Horizon Connector does not support Active Directory binary attribute values (2009688)
Date Published: 11/22/2011

VMware Service Manager
Custom fields are not tranferred when using Copy and Paste functionality (2009739)
Date Published: 11/23/2011

VMware vCenter Server
Default number of database connections in vCenter Server 4.1 (2004716)
Date Published: 11/24/2011
Powering on a virtual machine fails after a storage outage with the error: could not open/create change tracking file (2009244)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
Disabling the vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in on vCenter Server (2009852)
Date Published: 11/21/2011
Updating the vCenter Server Heartbeat configuration after changing the domain administrator password (2009856)
Date Published: 11/21/2011
Setup Completion shortcut is missing on the secondary server after the restore (2009859)
Date Published: 11/21/2011
vCenter Server Heartbeat Web Service logs consume excessive disk space (2009860)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager
Protecting a virtual machine machine using Site Recovery Manager fails with the error: unable to find place holder datastore for the host (2007955)
Date Published: 11/21/2011

VMware vCenter Update Manager
Uploading an ESX upgrade bundle to vCenter Update Manager 5.0 fails with the error: Cannot upload file, because it is an invalid package (2009812)
Date Published: 11/23/2011

 

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Nov 292011
 

Greetings!

Today we have a new video which I am sure will be of interest to anyone who has a Macbook Pro, iMac or another Apple product with Mac OS X 10.6.7 running on it and who wants to run some Windows applications on it with VMware Fusion 4.

In this video we will discuss and demonstrate the process of downloading and installing VMware Fusion 4.

Before getting started though, you should first ensure that your host system meets the minimum system requirements as defined in the Getting Started with VMware Fusion guide. It's well worth checking if you want to avoid the possible headaches of trying to uninstall a failed install.

For older versions of VMware Fusion, we suggest viewing Downloading and Installing VMware Fusion.

vExpert Spotlight: Sohrab Kasraeian Fard

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Nov 282011
 
vExpert Spotlight: Sohrab Kasraeian Fard

Twitter: @Kasraeian
Blog URL: http://www.kasraeian.com 

How did you get into IT?

It was about two years before school when for the first time I saw “Computers” in my father’s working place. When I was in the 1st year of my high school, I get the chance of playing games on the computer and one year after that I get some lessons about computer and MS DOS.

I can say those event's changed my life completely as I leaved my first university after 2 years of studying “Material Engineering – Ceramic Field” and went to the new university for studying “Computer – IT Field” and later on one of my professors invited me to his company and from then my IT career started. 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I started using VMware products “VMware Workstation 6.x” and “VMware Server 1.x” before I'm moving to the new university for studying computer-IT (more than 6 years ago). While I was in university I started using these two products more and more which lead me to help multiple professors to use "VMware Workstation" for their courses and classes. During this process I faced multiple problems which lead me to the "VMware Community" for the first series.

About 2 years ago I started studying for "Microsoft MCITP EA" certificate and for testing multiple scenarios and configuration I managed to build my own "Home Lab" and that was the first time I start using VMware ESXi 3.5 on my devices; running "VMware ESXi 3.5" on the white-boxes in that time got a lot of problems which lead me to the VMware Community (VMTN) again.

As the result of using “VMware ESXi 3.5” I changed my goals and get my VCP4 certificate before my MCITP EA certificate. I got a lot of helps from SMEs, posts and documents inside and outside of VMTN. In that point I started looking for a way to at least answering parts of helps which I received and paying back to the community by sharing information I got and helping others (if it's possible); and this year I got the honor of being awarded as the "vExpert 2011".

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

I think, spending time and money for IT and especially in the matters which person interested on would get its result if good motivation and good goal being exist as well.
Try to be a better and better person in company and among friends and don’t stop putting more and more times on subjects, learning and for sure sharing them and finally never doubt about asking questions.

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vExpert Spotlight: Michael Letschin

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Nov 252011
 
vExpert Spotlight: Michael Letschin

Blog URL: www.thesolutionsarchitect.net
Twitter handle: @mletschin
Current employer: Convergence Technology Consulting

How did you get into IT?

As a cadet at the Air Force Academy, each cadet squadron has a computer clerk and in my sophomore year, that was my job.  Essentially a help desk tech for the 60+ person squadron for small computer issues.

After transferring to the University of Maryland, I needed a job to pay for school. I found a position working on websites for the university and so began my IT career. After a few strokes of good luck and moving into systems part-time in college and then full-time through my senior year, I had become a systems admin.

After college, I took a position doing small to medium outsourcing and moved through the ranks into IT management. Over the past few years, I have moved into more of a pre-sales/architecture position.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I began working with VMware back in the 2.0 days when we still had to decide between ESX and GSX.  I had the great fortune of migrating a few companies through some consulting engagements from 2 to 2.5 to 3 to 4 and now have designed a few engagements with vSphere 5.

As for my vExpert time, I feel that has much to do with my time blogging and participating in the weekly VMware Communities Podcast. I began blogging for my company blog and found that there were some topics that were better said outside a corporate umbrella and started thesolutionsarchitect.net. I now continue to blog on virtualization topics for both my corporate blog at convergentech.us as well as on my personal site.

The podcast has been a huge growth point for me and has spawned great friendships and learning chances.  I also had the opportunity to host a daily podcast at VMworld this past year with other vExperts.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

If you are looking to move from being a systems admin to an architect or pre-sales, my best advice would be to learn as much as you can about as many topics you can across the realm of IT.  During your IT career you often come to crossroads to determine how your career will progress, stay technical or become a manager, focus on a single product or be a generalist.

Most architects I know have moved into management at some point and chose to be a generalist but with some specific product set that they are especially good at. The next thing to do would be to learn about the business side of IT. IT decisions are not normally made solely for the technical purpose but normally with a balance of technical and financial costs.  I continued on my education to get an MBA and it gave me invaluable knowledge of business.  You don’t need to go get an MBA, but you should look to expand your knowledge to understand the basics like ROI, capex vs, opex, and cost of capital.

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Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 3)

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Nov 232011
 
Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 3)

General tips, recommendations and comments:

Go back and answer those questions posed at the beginning of this piece to help determine the best route for getting your book or blog published. Find, develop and refine your voice or writing style including approach, tone and focus. Seek help and advice from others, be mindful of their time and in return, see how you can help them with something. Likewise find a project that is open to having you join in as a collaborator or put your own collaboration together. Do not be afraid to ask others who are already published to participate.

Get your blog up and running if it isn’t already, and use that to help organize your thoughts, then evolve those ideas into an outline for your book. This will be handy when you put a proposal together for a publisher. Leverage your blog or website as a repository and portfolio which can complement your book as well as serve as a quick reference of your other works.

Go to http://storageioblog.com and my main site http://storageio.com to see examples of how things interact and tie back to each other, ranging from articles, tips, and reports, to events and videos among other items.

For a book project, have a plan that includes research, administration, writing, editing, proofing, layout, composition and other production activities along with promotion. Understand your time constraints for doing all these things, factoring in other projects, work, family and time to sleep. When you get writer’s block which you will, having other things to do, such as administrative work, figures or diagrams design, research or editing can be a great way to productively use the time while you can’t write.

Another tip is to maintain a list of ideas and items that end up on the cutting room floor (things that do not make it into the actual product) so you something to go to when you hit a writer’s block moment.

Conduct a make vs. buy decision similar to what you may do in your IT job. That is, you can write it yourself, or you can have it written for you. With my books, I do them the old-fashioned way, which is to write them myself working with a publisher and their publishing service to handle production items. But celebrities and politicians are not the only ones who have ghost writers, as they can be a cost effective way for an executive or a busy professional to trade money for time.

Talk with different publishers to see what they will do for you and how you can work with them, as well as if it is a good fit for both parties. At the beginning of this piece I mentioned questions to ask and one of those is important: Why are you looking to write and publish a book? If the topic is narrow with a small target audience, a traditional or specialty publisher is not a good fit, you may want to look at self-publishing.

If you are sensitive to others editing and rearranging your work, either develop thicker skin or avoid working a formal publisher, as rest assured, their style will differ from yours. However when working with publishers, you can compromise on style and grammar, but make sure that you maintain your voice, tone and editorial objective.

Leverage publishing services for copy editing, proofing, layout, pagination, indexing, glossaries and other pre-press functions. There are many services as well as individuals that can do these tasks for you.

If you are simply looking to become a published book author, you can take shortcuts such as signing up with some of the eBook sites. Some venues will pay you to write what effectively is a long “white paper” that they in turn publish as an eBook with or without somebody sponsoring it.

Regardless of whether you are going to self-publish, ePublish or go with a traditional publisher, your success will depend on what you are willing to do in order to market and promote it.

Needless to say, there are many more things to talk about pertaining to writing a book, creating a blog or producing videos, podcasts etc., however it is time for us to wrap up for now. Feel free to drop me a note with any questions that I can address. Also let me know when you get your blog up and running or your book published.

Cheers,
Gs

[How to write a book or blog, Part 1]
[How to write a book or blog, Part 2


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more atwww.storageio.comwww.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio.

 

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New Articles Published for Week Ending 11/19/11

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Nov 222011
 
New Articles Published for Week Ending 11/19/11

Apache HTTP Server
Logging user defined cookies with Apache 2.0 and the usertrack module (2008211)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Checking the modules that are compiled into Apache HTTP Server and vFabric Enterprise Server (2009272)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
Installing mod_fcgid on Apache HTTP Server 2.0.x configurations under Linux/Unix (2009475)
Date Published: 11/17/2011

Apache Tomcat
Setting up Tomcat in the Windows platform for monitoring by jconsole or jvisualvm (2008410)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Enabling garbage collection logging with Tomcat on a Linux/UNIX platform (2009621)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
Enabling garbage collection logging with Tomcat on Windows platform (2009563)
Date Published: 11/16/2011

Datacenter
Script error when downloading objects with file type .tar.gz (2009654)
Date Published: 11/17/2011

Shavlik NetChk Protect
Port requirements for Shavlik NetChk Protect (2007451)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

SpringSource Tool Suite
SpringSource Tool Suite support for UML Class Diagrams and Sequence Diagrams (2007017)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

Virtual Disk Development Kit
Backing up and restoring virtual machine templates using VMware APIs (2009395)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

VMware Capacity Planner
Verifying the inventory data in VMware Capacity Planner (2007127)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

VMware ESX
VMware ESX 4.0, Patch ESX400-Update04: VMware ESX 4.0 Complete Update 4 (2006233)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Binding VMkernel ports to the Software iSCSI Initiator fails with the error: Failed to add nic (2006627)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
vMotion fails with the error: Migration to host <> failed with error Out of memory (195887124) (2007083)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
An ESX/ESXi 4.1 U2 host with vShield Endpoint 1.0 installed fails with a purple diagnostic screen mentioning VFileFilterReconnectWork (2009452)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
Storage vMotion fails with the error: Storage vMotion failed to copy one or more of the VM's disks (2009623)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
VMware ESX 4.0 Patch ESX400-201111201-SG: Updates VMkernel, VMX, Hostd, and Apps (2006227)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
vSphere Client reports the error: Culture 'en' is a neutral culture. It cannot be used in formatting and parsing and therefore cannot be set as the thread's current culture. (2007492)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
ESX/ESXi messages log entry: storageRM: Storage I/O Control: connection with vobd failed, error code: -1 errno: 2 (2004523)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
HP G7 ProLiant BL465c running ESX/ESXi 4.x fails when performing a reboot (2009480)
Date Published: 11/16/2011

VMware ESXi
Storage vMotion to thin disk does not reclaim null blocks (2004155)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
VMware ESXi 4.0 Patch ESXi400-201111202-UG: Updates vSphere Client (2006232)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
VMware ESXi 4.0 Patch ESXi400-201111203-UG: Updates VMware Tools (2007881)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Installing ESXi 5.0 in VMware Fusion (2009580)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
VMware ESXi 4.0, Patch ESXi400-Update04: VMware ESXi 4.0 Complete Update 4 (2006234)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Setting up Serial Logging for Linux/UNIX virtual machines (2009269)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
VMware ESXi 4.0 Patch ESXi400-201111201-UG: Updates Firmware (2006231)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
XML Script to Generate Computer Names and IP Addresses (2007557)
Date Published: 11/19/2011
Storage device performance deteriorated (2007236)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Holes found in BIOS reported IOAPIC listing (2008091)
Date Published: 11/19/2011
High latency vMotion networks  (2008096)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Permanently lost storage device is detected by ESXi (2009209)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Permanently lost storage device is available for use (2009287)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Storage device holding a datastore is permanently lost (2009301)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Storage device is permanently lost with no open connections (2009306)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

VMware Fusion
Fusion 3.x does not support 3D acceleration on Nvidia 7300 graphics cards (2005097)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Java in a Windows 7 guest in Fusion 3.x freezes Mac hosts with ATI Radeon X1X00 graphics cards (2005586)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Migration Agent fails after upgrading to Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 (2008225)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
USB device connected to a Windows virtual machine gets disconnected if the virtual machine enters the sleep mode (2009508)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Troubleshooting graphics issues in Fusion (2009565)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
NAT networking fails after a Fusion upgrade (2009642)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
New licensing prompt for Mac OS X virtual machines in VMware Fusion 4.1 (2009714)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Upgrading VMware Fusion 4.0 fails with error: The operation can't be completed (2009730)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Assigning a primary lookup key to a virtual machine for deployment (2005460)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Starting or resuming a virtual machine when launching Fusion 4 (2009717)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

VMware Service Manager
Capturing a trace log with DebugView for VMware Service Manager (2003526)
Date Published: 11/17/2011
Missing ENTITY_TYPE parameter from SENDPAGERIA and SENDEMAILIA in VMware Service Manager 9.0 (1038388)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
Square bracket in the subject field of the Service Manager email is recognised as a database field (2008861)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
Application Event log of Service Manager reports the log spew: ERROR: (Infra.Services.Messaging) Exception of type 'System.OutOfMemoryException' was thrown. (2009453)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Closure Rules based on Log group fail if the call is logged in the portal by a customer only user (2009689)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager
Collections of vCenter data fail with error: The term <PowerShell script> is not recognized (2008500)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
The <Date Detected> variable for vCenter Configuration Manager Alerts is in GMT (2008668)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Clicking the ellipses in the vCM Unix Bulleting slider reports this error: The SELECT permission was denied on the object 'ecm.sysdat_patch_lst_pls_xref', database 'VCM', schema 'dbo' (2009356)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
The DHCP Servers Scope Definitions report returns no data (2009175)
Date Published: 11/14/2011  

VMware vCenter Orchestrator
VMware vCenter Orchestrator (VCO) times out with the error: Timeout, unable to get property 'name' (2007423)
Date Published: 11/18/2011
vCenter Orchestrator VIX plugin fails when running the Set VIX configuration defaults workflow (2009507)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

VMware vCenter Server
Interacting with the vCenter Server Appliance embedded IBM DB2 database (2004506)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
Settings that use non-ASCII characters do not display correctly after you customize Windows XP and Windows Server 2003  (2004736)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Why a virtual machine CPU maximum limit in a standalone host can differ from the host in a DRS cluster (2009408)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
Cluster level performance graphs show the most recent value as 0 (2009550)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
After installing the intermediate certificate chain in vCenter Server, vSphere Client reports that the certificate is untrusted (2009313)
Date Published: 11/14/2011
Storage device performance improved (2007237)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Storage device becomes permanently lost while SCSI reservation is held by ESXi (2009302)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

VMware vCenter Update Manager
Directory traversal vulnerability in the Jetty Web server that is embedded in earlier Update Manager 4.x versions (2001146)
Date Published: 11/18/2011

VMware vCloud Connector
Copying to a VMware vCloud Director cloud fails with an UnknownHostException (2009285)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Preferred and Alternate DNS addresses must be manually set on VMware vCloud Connector Node when deploying in VMware vCloud Director (2009293)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Using the console "Blue Screen" to do network configuration in vCloud Connector 1.5 (2008281)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
vCloud Connector UI does not show up in vSphere Client as a plug-in  (2009277)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Copying the same virtual machine, vApp, or template multiple times to the same destination fails after the first copy completes (2009279)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Proxies that require usename/passwords are not supported in VMware vCloud Connector 1.5 (2009281)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Cannot delete previous VMware vCloud Connector Server from vcloud.vmware.com after registering a new Server (2009289)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Guest customization must be manually enabled when deploying a VMware vCloud Connector Node to VMware vCloud Director 1.5 (2009292)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Copying a set of items from one cloud to another using VMware vCloud Connector fails due to the exception: Error obtaining lease (2009363)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

VMware vCloud Director
Enabling centralized logging of vCloud Director cell logs (2004519)
Date Published: 11/14/2011

VMware vFabric RabbitMQ
VMware vFabric RabbitMQ clients cannot connect to vFabric RabbitMQ server (2004788)
Date Published: 11/15/2011

VMware View Manager
Cannot configure the View Persona repository to the user's home directory in Active Directory (2007219)
Date Published: 11/16/2011
Connecting to the View infrastructure using a View 5.0 client reports the warning: VMware View cannot verify the identity of the server you have contacted (2009311)
Date Published: 11/15/2011
Windows servers that run View Connection Server require a Microsoft ADAM and AD LDS security patch.  (2009578)
Date Published: 11/14/2011

VMware vSphere Storage Appliance
Unable to select ESXi host during VSA Cluster Installation (2005092)
Date Published: 11/17/2011

 

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Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 2)

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Nov 212011
 
Guest Post: How to write a book or blog (Part 2)

If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

You can have the best-produced book, the coolest blog, the slickest video or podcast, however if nobody knows about it, who will read, watch or listen to it? You need to inform people so that they can find it. I cannot count the number of times I hear from people who have written a book and complain about it not selling, or of having a blog with no comments or followers signed up for it.

Even with a good publisher who actively helps to promote your work, ultimately you or someone on your behalf will have to generate interest for it. The number one cause I have seen as to why a book does not sell is tied to lack of effective promotion to the target audience by the author. Of course having something that people want to see or hear about for free, or for a reasonable fee is also important. This ties back to the question of identifying your target audience and your motivation for writing that book, blog, etc.

Know your audience and competition:

Knowing who your audience is also helps to understand and research what other works are out there, so that you can articulate how your creation complements or competes with the existing work, as well as how it differentiates itself.

Do not be discouraged if there are similar works, because this can mean that there is a market for this content, and your opportunity is to convey information or a story in a different way. For example with my newest book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011) not being the first book out on any of the topics covered in the book per se, I took a different approach of addressing how they interact and converge, as well as management issues and opportunities along with related interdependent themes.

In the blog scenario I ask people if they have statistics enabled such as Wordpress or Jetpack stats or awstats or Quantcast among others and if so, what activity do they see. Stats can help to determine what people are reading or looking for, which can help with ideas for future posts.

Part of finding your voice and style is practice and also observing what others are doing, what works and what does not. Keep in mind that what works for some may not work for you, and vice versa. Be yourself, practice, do some posts to try different things out. For example when I started blogging several years ago, I got in the habit of trying to do a post about something at least once every week or two regardless of anybody reading them.

Help others help you

Look for opportunities to do guest blog posts (like this one), interviews or question-and-answer sessions for different outlets. There are many venues that are looking for people to write articles, which will provide exposure for your blog and any other projects. Now of course if your objective is to make as much money as possible, your options may be limited as many publications and venues have cut back on what they pay (assuming they pay), however it never hurts to get some practice and publicity when and where you can.

Here’s a tip for getting traffic for your blog or other project: Ask someone if you can interview them, and publish the interview on your blog. You will be surprised how many people will respond positively to requests, as long as you are mindful of their time. While there are some that charge a fee for spending time talking with you, there are others that do not charge, including me. Time permitting, I’m happy to have a quick conversation with bloggers or future authors.

Usually whenever I am interviewed by a traditional journalist or by a fellow blogger, once their piece appears, I will mention it. In other words, what goes around, comes around. Help others help you. Oh, and if you are going to use or reference to others’ material, make sure you attribute and preserve any applicable copyrights.

[To be continued.]

[How to write a book or blog, Part 1]


About the author

Greg Schulz is founder of Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory consultancy firm, and author of the books Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier, 2004). Learn more atwww.storageio.comwww.storageioblog.com or on twitter @storageio.

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