vSphere 5.1 new features: My top 5 and some less known

This week VMware announced vSphere 5.1 at VMworld in San Francisco. The VMware Blogosphere is already flooded with lists of what's new in this release, so I decided to elaborate on my personal top 5 new features and some less known new features instead of repeating the news over and over. Here we go:

Introducing the Small Budget Hosted Virtual Lab (SBHVL) project

This week there is the VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, and lots of the VMware bloggers have been very busy in the last days preparing for this event. I'm sure there will again be lots of exiting news, product updates and announcements from VMware and other vendors. I won't be there, but I will closely follow these news.

How do you stay up-to-date on VMware product patches and updates?

A while ago I posted the news about vCenter Server Update 1a and the latest ESXi patch being released, and in the comments section a reader asked some questions about updating VMware ESXi specifically and other VMware products in general.

His first question was: How do you know that a vCenter/ESXi/any VMware product patch/update is released?As a VMware admin, how do you stay up-to-date on this matter? My first thought was: Now, this is easy to answer, but in the end I was not able to find a single definitive answer to this question ...

How to simplify and automate VMware ImageBuilder with the ESXi-Customizer-PS script

I published a new and improved version of my ESXi-Customizer-PS script today. This PowerCLI script greatly simplifies and automates the process of creating fully patched and customized ESXi 5.x installation ISOs using the VMware PowerCLI ImageBuilder snapin.

Over time I added more and more options to the script, and I think it is time now to provide a detailed tutorial to show how to make efficient use of it. Grab the latest version (1.3) from my Google Code page and give it a try. The only prerequisite you need is an installation of the current VMware vSphere PowerCLI.