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Sorry the Top 5 is a little late this week, I was able to slip away for a few days and visit my new(er)born nephew in Philadelphia, PA.  Anyways, here we go!

Joshua Townsend – Storage Basics – Part VIII – The Difference in Consumer vs. Enterprise Class Disks and Storage Arrays; or ‘Why is the SAN you are proposing so darn expensive?’ – As both an IT Manager and storage & virtualization consultant, I have shepherded SMB’s through SAN purchases in support of VMware environments.  This may not hold true for the bigger IT shops, but as I take these smaller companies through the SAN purchase process, a common set of questions is often asked — Do we really need a SAN, and why is it so darn expensive!?

Christian Mohn – Installing and running VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere – The first version of the new VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere tool is now available for download.  VMware Compliance Checker for vSphere lets you scan your ESX and ESXi hosts for compliance with the VMware vSphere hardening guidelines to make sure your hosts are properly configured. It also lets you save and print your assessment results, so you can track your compliance level over time, or use them as documentation for internal audits.

Duncan Epping – Distributed vSwitches, go Hybrid or go Distributed? – Yesterday I was answering some question in the VMTN Forums when I noticed that someone referred to my article about Hybrid vs full Distributed vSwitch Architectures. This article is almost two years old and definitely in desperate need of a revision. Back in 2009 when Distributed vSwitches where just introduced my conclusion in this discussion was…

David Davis – Configuring vSphere 4.1 VM to Host DRS Affinity Rules – VMWare vSphere’s DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) is mainly used for load balancing virtual machines (VMs) on a cluster. While most virtualization admins will want to run DRS in fully automated mode – i.e., vSphere decides on its own which VM is assigned to which ESX Server – there may be certain instances when you would want to enforce some conditions by setting what are known as DRS Affinity Rules.

Heath Doerr – Adding Shell Extensions to ThinApp Packages – By following the examples below, it is possible to add ‘Right Click’ functionality, or Shell Extensions, to your ThinApp packages.  In this way you can use Windows Explorer to send paths and file names as arguments to ThinApp executables before they launch.