How to force a specific locale when managing vSphere

VMware does a great job with localizing their Windows based products - that means if you have your computer configured with one of the supported locales (usually identified by their ISO 639-1 codes e.g. de, en, fr, ko and zh_CN) then the menus and messages will be displayed in your local language rather than in English (which is the default).
However, this is not always useful. There might be situations where you prefer a program to use English (or another specific locale), no matter what your local computer is configured for, e.g. ...

The v-Front Challenge #1: Win cool prizes sponsored by Trainsignal!

A while back I posted a riddle (about VMware Storage VMotion) for you to solve, just for fun ... I got a lot of positive feedback for that, so I will run a similar contest again starting today. But this time there are some cool prizes to win that were sponsored by Trainsignal ...

New blog sponsor: Trainsignal

One important goal of my blog is to provide useful information/instructions and educate on technically challenging topics. I am very happy that I found a partner that is driven by the same motivation!

How to install (or update) VMware Tools in pfSense

Update 2015-01-26: If you are using pfSense 2.2 then please refer to this newer post: pfSense 2.2 was released - How to install VMware Tools (sort of). The following instructions are still valid for pfSense 2.0 and 2.1.

Update 2016-05-04: If you are using pfSense 2.3 (or newer) then please do not follow this guide, or it will break your system! Use the pfSense Package Manager to install the open-vm-tools package instead!

I blogged before about pfSense, the Open Source FreeBSD-based router and firewall appliance that I use in my hosted virtual lab (SBHVL) to implement IPv6-capable routing and firewalling and connecting two hosts through an OpenVPN tunnel.
I use the current development branch pfSense 2.1, because it supports IPv6. After a long beta phase it has recently reached Release Candidate (RC) status, and this inspired me to update my appliances, although I didn't have any problems with the beta build that I was using before.

After updating I had the challenge to get the VMware Tools up and running again.

Why Windows 2003 VMs suddenly lose network connectivity

This blog post is really a drama. The location is the IT department of a medium sized or enterprise business, the characters are Infrastructure Administrators. Any resemblance to real persons and incidents is by far not coincidental, but fully intended.

Creating vCenter alarms with PowerCLI

I stumbled over some GUI limitations in the vSphere Web Client and the Legacy C# client when trying to create an alarm to monitor vSphere Replication RPO violations, and finally I wondered: Who uses GUIs anyway? ;-) Let's script this task with PowerCLI!

Easier said than done ...

Monitoring vSphere Replication RPO with vCenter alarms

I'm currently exploring the possibilities of stand-alone vSphere Replication in my lab. A first and very important outcome was my post about how to automate VM recovery. This time we will look at how you can monitor vSphere Replication RPO violations using vCenter alarms.

When configuring replication for a VM you specify a target RPO (Recovery Point Objective) that can range between 15 minutes and 4 hours. I chose the minimum for most of my VMs, and this means that vCenter (resp. the vSphere Replication Appliance) should replicate changed data so frequent and fast that the state of the replica lags behind the primary VM for at most 15 minutes. It depends on a number of factors whether this is always successful or not: