Happy Friday everyone, this week we have some great posts that cover the gamut.  Here are the top 5 picks for this week, enjoy the weekend!

Chad Sakac – Updated 2011 vSphere ESXi 4.1 (and future) Homebrew/Whitebox parts list. – So, as I’ve said before, when things get political, and get all messy – I like going into the lab and spending a solid day just playing with tech.   It’s how I get back into a zen state.   That home lab powers a ton of VMs, and let’s me play, learn and stay fresh – not just on EMC stuff (using Virtual Appliances) and VMware itself, but a lot of folks across the industry.   The home lab has 5 “mainstream” ESX hosts – and some other loosey-goosey ones I use for various purposes.

Kendrick Coleman – Standing Up The Cisco Nexus 1000v In Less Than 10 Minutes – A few weeks ago at geek week, I was assigned the task of getting the Cisco Nexus 1000v distributed virtual switch set up. I probably spent a good 4 hours on my first cluster because I had no clue what was going on and I ended up losing my management network and spent lots of time restoring my network to the original vSwitch. I followed TrainSignal’s 1000v Installation training in Pro Series Vol. 1 but the Nexus 10000v setup has changed a bit since then.

Richard Garsthagen – Security designed for virtualization… it really works!! – Since the release of vSphere 4.1 a new API for security is available called EPSEC (End Point Security). Together with the already existing VMSafe API security vendors can make security products designed for virtualized worlds.  You might ask, why do security products need a special virtualization approach? Well of course you do not have to, but certain things will not perform so well.

Duncan Epping – Blocksize impact? – I was answering a couple of questions on the VMTN forum and stumbled on the impact of using similar blocksizes for all VMFS volume which I never realized. Someone did a zero out on their VM to reclaim some wasted diskspace by doing a Storage vMotion to a different datastore. (Something that I have described in the past here, and also with relationship to VCB here.) However to the surprise of this customer the zeroed out space was not reclaimed even though he did a storage vmotion to a thin disk.

Michael White – Recommended Alarms for SRM Admins to watch – I have been asked before about which of the SRM alarms should users configure and watch for.  There is a lot of different alarms, and I suspect no one needs all of them, but I also suspect everyone will need a few of them.  I will help you get started with what I think are important and mostly standard alarms.  I will also give you ideas of what will trigger them if there is any doubt.