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What are the attributes of leadership?

~Field Marshall. Sam Manekshaw, MC

The primary, the cardinal attribute of leadership is professional knowledge and professional competence. And you will agree with me, ladies and gentlemen, that you cannot be born with professional knowledge or professional competence. Not even if you are the son of the prime minister, an industrialist or a Field Marshal! Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way.

The problem in India is that as soon as one of us is put in a position of power, he feels that he has the monopoly of the entire knowledge.

It’s a continuous study and you never acquire enough in today’s fast moving, competitive, technological world that we are living in. You’ve got to keep up with your profession, whatever you are in. Doctors, engineers, scientists, all contribute to journals of their profession. They all have contact with their counterparts in other worlds.

The problem in India is that as soon as one of us is put in a position of power, he feels that he has the monopoly of the entire knowledge. Those who are responsible for the defence and security of this country, can they cross their hearts and swear that they have ever read a book on strategy, on tactics? On military campaigns, or weapons? Can they even distinguish between a mortar and a motor, a guerrilla from a gorilla? Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader. Take industry for example. The automobile industry has gone through tremendous technological changes. It’s only recently that our industrialists have started thinking and producing a modern car. I want to tell you that unless you have professional knowledge and professional competence, you will never become a leader.

And that takes me to the next attribute of leadership, the ability to think; to make up your mind, to take a decision and accept full responsibility for that decision. Have you ever wondered, why a man doesn’t take a decision? Very simple, because he lacks professional knowledge and professional competence or he is afraid that if he takes a decision and goes wrong, he will have to carry the can. Ladies and gentlemen, as a law of average, if you take ten decisions, five should be right. And if you have professional competence and professional knowledge, nine should be right. And the one that is wrong will always be put right by a bright colleague, by an intelligent staff officer or by the gallantry of some soldier. I don’t want to give you too many examples of why and when people haven’t taken decisions and what has happened. I will give you just one. If the decision had been taken to ensure that the Sabri Masjid would not be destroyed, a whole community would not have been antagonized.

An act of omission can be corrected but an act of commission cannot be corrected. To do nothing is to do something, which is definitely wrong

An act of omission can be corrected but an act of commission cannot be corrected. To do nothing is to do something, which is definitely wrong. When I was the Army Chief, I visited my formation commanders and I asked one of them what he had been doing about some matter. He turned around and said “Sir, I have been thinking, I haven’t made up my mind”. It is absolutely necessary that a leader must be decisive.

The next attribute of the leadership is absolute honesty and impartiality. We all have our likes and dislikes, but, we must never allow our likes or our dislikes to influence our professional judgment. Those of us, who had the good fortune of commanding hundreds and thousands of men, know this. The leader must be absolutely impartial and honest in dealing with personnel. No man likes to be punished and yet a man will take his punishment if he knows that the punishment awarded to him is similar to the one for a similar crime committed by somebody who has influence, who has the ear of an industrialist, of a minister, of a member of parliament, or the Field Marshal. No man likes to be superseded. And yet, they will accept supersession, if they know they have been superseded by someone better, better qualified under the regulations but not by somebody who is a relative of the minister or by somebody for whom a ‘Godman’ intervenes. It is vitally important when you are dealing with men that you should be absolutely impartial. We must possess the courage to withstand these pressures.

A ‘Yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace… He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the ‘Yes man’.

Moral and physical courage are the next vital attributes and I do not know which one is more important. While addressing young officers or young policemen, I will put emphasis on physical courage but since I am addressing this gathering, I will lay stress on moral courage. What is moral courage? Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, to say so, irrespective of the consequences to you. A ‘Yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace. He will go very far. He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the ‘Yes man’.

I am going to give you a personal example of moral courage. There is a very thin line between being dismissed and becoming a Field Marshal. In 1971, when Pakistan cracked down in East Pakistan, hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India, into West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. The Prime Minister held a cabinet meeting in her office. The External Affairs Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, the Defence Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram, and the Finance Minister, Yashwant Rao Chauhan were present. I was then summoned.

A very angry, grim-faced Prime Minister read out the telegrams from the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. She then turned around to me and said, “What are you doing about it?” And I said, “Nothing, it’s got nothing to do with me. You didn’t consult me when you allowed the BSF, the CRP and RAW to encourage the Pakistanis to revolt. Now that you are in trouble, you come to me. I have a long nose. I know what’s happening.” I then asked her what she wanted me to do. She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan.” And I responded, “That means war!” She said, “I do not mind if it is war. Have you read the Bible?” I queried.

The Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh asked, “What has the Bible got to do with this?” I explained, that the first book, the first chapter, the first words, the first sentence God said was, “Let there be light” and there was light. Now you say, “Let there be war” and there will be war, but are you prepared? I am certainly not. This is the end of April. The Himalayan passes are opening and there can be an attack from China if China gives us an ultimatum. The Foreign Minister asked, “Will China give an ultimatum?” And I said, “You are the Foreign Minister, you tell me”. I told them that my armoured division and two of my infantry divisions were away. One in the Jhansi/Babina area, the other in Samba and the third one in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. I mentioned that I would require all the road space, all the railway wagons, the entire railway system to move these formations to the operational areas and that harvesting was in progress in the Punjab and UP and they would not be able to move the harvest which would rot; and I pointed out to the Agriculture Minister that it wouldn’t be my responsibility if there were a famine.

…and said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, may I send you my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?” She said, “Every thing you told me is true”. “Yes! It is my job to tell you the truth” I responded, “and it is my job to fight, it is my job to fight to win and I have told you the truth.”

Then I said, “My armoured division, which is my big striking force is supposed to have one hundred eighty nine tanks operational. I have got only eleven tanks that are fit to fight.” The Finance Minister, who is a friend of mine asked, “Sam why only eleven?” So I told him, “Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking you for money for over a year and you say you haven’t got it!” And finally I turned around to the Prime Minister and said that the rains were about to start in East Pakistan and when it rains there, it pours and when it pours, the whole countryside is flooded. The snows are melting, the rivers would become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you cannot see the other. All my movement would be confined to roads.

The Air Force, because of climatic conditions would not be able to support me. Now Prime Minister, give me your orders. The grim Prime Minister with her teeth clenched said, “The Cabinet will meet again at four o-clock”. The members of the Cabinet started walking out. I being the junior most was the last to go and as I was leaving, she said, “Chief, will you stay back?” I turned around and said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, may I send you my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?” She said, “Every thing you told me is true”. “Yes! It is my job to tell you the truth” I responded, “and it is my job to fight, it is my job to fight to win and I have told you the truth,” She smiled at me and said, “All right Sam, you know what I want?” I said, “Yes, I know what you want!”

I had the moral courage to tell her the truth. A leader must have moral courage otherwise he will not be respected.

I now come to physical courage. Fear, like hunger and sex, is a natural phenomenon and the man who says he is not frightened is a liar. But to be frightened is one thing and to show fear is something quite different. It is when your knees are knocking and your teeth are chattering – that is when the real leader comes out. If you once show fear to your men, you will never have their respect. I could quote you many examples of my own life. I am not a brave man! Please believe me. You have to have physical courage. Never show your fear. How often has a course of a battle, when everything was going wrong, changed because some young officer has picked up a handful of men and changed the situation by his physical courage? How often a poor old Inspector of Police with nothing but a little swagger stick in his hand quelled a riot by showing physical courage?

The other attribute of leadership is loyalty. We all except loyalty but do we give loyalty? Look at things happening around you. The sons of kings, chief ministers and heads of governments have shown disloyalty.

The other attribute of leadership is loyalty. We all except loyalty but do we give loyalty? Look at things happening around you. The sons of kings, chief ministers and heads of governments have shown disloyalty. Loyalty you must get from your subordinates and also give loyalty to your superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Men may give you trouble and create problems but a leader must deal with them immediately and sternly. A leader must remember that human beings have human problems, so the leader must have a human touch. Leaders must have the gift of the gab and a sense of humour. And finally, men and women all over the world like their leader to be a man, to have manly qualities. It is not that only a person who has no vices is a good leader. Look at Caesar or Napoleon, they had vices but they were outstanding leaders.

Since I joined the Army, many changes have taken place; the .303 rifle has been replaced by a new weapon. Horses and mules have been replaced by vehicles and tanks. Signal communications have advanced a great deal. Satellites now give the entire information to the Commanders. But for infantry soldiers, one thing has not changed, and that is their job. Their job is to fight and win. If you lose, you would disgrace your country, your village, your home and your wife. Let your motto be, ‘No one provokes me with impunity’. In other words, or in a soldier’s language, if your enemy hits you on the chin, black both his eyes and push his teeth down his throat! If you can instil this quality in your men, you will be a great leader. The leader that this country lacks at all levels, in all walks of life.



“The trouble with corporate life is… there is no clear enemies, just a lot of customers”


62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013

I’m amped to do everything in my power to help you kickstart 2013 strong so you install superb habits of the mind, body and behavior.

Today is all about 62 quick, actionable and unforgettable tips that will move you to break free of old patterns, stop being the victim and leap into high gear to get your giant goals done.

62 Fast Tips to Get UnStuck
By Robin Sharma
Author of the #1 Bestseller “The Leader Who Had No Title”

  1. Believe in your vision and gifts when no one else believes in your vision and gifts.

  2. Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise.

  3. Make excellence your way of being (versus a once in a while event).

  4. Be on time (bonus points: be early).

  5. Be a celebrator of other’s talents versus a critic.

  6. Stop watching TV. (Bonus points: sell your tv and invest the cash in learning and self-education).

  7. Finish what you start.

  8. Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete.

  9. Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).

  10. Release the energy vampires from your life. They are destroying your performance.

  11. Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.

  12. Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).

  13. Make the choice to let go of your past. It’s dusty history. And polluting your future.

  14. Commit to being “Mozart-Level Good” at your work.

  15. Smile more (and tell your face).

  16. Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.

  17. Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).

  18. Stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional people adore ideas).

  19. Read “As You Think”.

  20. Read “The Go-Getter”.

  21. Don’t just parent your kids–develop them.

  22. Remember that victims are frightened by change. And leaders grow inspired by it.

  23. Start taking daily supplements to stay in peak health.

  24. Clean out any form of “victimspeak” in your vocabulary and start running the language of leadership and possibility.

  25. Do a nature walk at least once a week. It’ll renew you (you can’t inspire others if you’re depleted yourself).

  26. Take on projects no one else will take on. Set goals no one else will do.

  27. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.

  28. Say “sorry” when you know you should say “sorry”.

  29. Say “please” and “thank you” a lot.

  30. Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.

  31. Dream big but start now.

  32. Achieve 5 little goals each day (“The Daily 5 Concept” I shared in “The Leader Who Had No Title” that has transformed the lives of so many). In 12 months this habit will produce 1850 little goals–which will amount to a massive transformation.

  33. Write handwritten thank you notes to your customers, teammates and family members.

  34. Be slow to criticize and fast to praise.

  35. Read Walter Isaacson’s amazing biography on Steve Jobs.

  36. Give your customers 10X the value they pay for (“The 10X Value Obsession”).

  37. Use the first 90 minutes of your work day only on value-creating activities (versus checking email or surfing the Net).

  38. Breathe.

  39. Keep your promises.

  40. Remember that ordinary people talk about their goals. Leaders get them done. With speed.

  41. Watch the inspirational documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

  42. Know that a problem only becomes a problem when you choose to see it as a problem.

  43. Brain tattoo the fact that all work is a chance to change the world.

  44. Watch the amazing movie “The Intouchables”.

  45. Remember that every person you meet has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and a dream to do.

  46. Risk being rejected. All of the great ones do.

  47. Spend more time in art galleries. Art inspires, stimulates creativity and pushes boundaries.

  48. Read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter.

  49. Remember that you empower what you complain about.

  50. Get to know yourself. The main reason we procrastinate on our goals is not because of external conditions; we procrastinate due to our internal beliefs. And the thing is they are stuck so deep that we don’t even know they exist. But once you do, everything changes.

  51. Read “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.

  52. Know your values. And then have the guts to live them–no matter what the crowd thinks and how the herd lives.

  53. Become the fittest person you know.

  54. Become the strongest person you know.

  55. Become the kindest person you know.

  56. Know your “Big 5″–the 5 goals you absolutely must achieve by December 31 to make this year your best yet (I teach my entire goal-achieving process, my advanced techniques on unleashing confidence and how to go from being stuck to living a life you adore in my online program “Your Absolute Best Year Yet”).

  57. Know that potential unexpressed turns to pain.

  58. Build a strong family foundation while you grow your ideal career.

  59. Stop being selfish.

  60. Give your life to a project bigger than yourself.

  61. Be thankful for your talents.

  62. Stand for iconic. Go for legendary. And make history.

This is YOUR time. Now’s YOUR moment. Let’s do this! 🙂

Your fan,

Dear young women and men of Delhi,

Thank you for the courage and the honour you have brought to Rajpath, the most dishonorable street in our city. You changed Delhi yesterday, and you are changing it today. Your presence, of all twelve thousand of you, yesterday, on Rajpath, that street that climbs down from the presidential palace on Raisina Hill to India Gate, getting soiled by the excreta of the tanks and missiles on Republic Day each year, was for me a kind of purificatory ritual. It made a claim to the central vista of ‘Lutyen’s Delhi’ as a space for democratic assertion in contravention of the completely draconian, elitist and undemocratic prohibitory orders that make the heart of this republic, a zone of the death, not the life and sustenance, of democracy.

From now onwards, consider the heart of Delhi to be a space that belongs, first of all, to its citizens. Yesterday, when thousands of you gathered peacefully, intending to march up Raisina Hill to the president’s palace, you were charged with batons, tear gas and subjected to jets from water cannons. The violence began, not when protestors threw stones, but when the police started attacking people. Stones were thrown in retaliation. The television cameras that recorded what happened show us the exact chronology. The police were clearly under orders not to let people up Raisina Hill. Why? What is so sacred about Raisina Hill? Why can a group of unarmed, peaceful young people not walk to the gates of the president’s palace? So, lets be clear. Violence began when the state acted. Of course, the protest got hijacked by hooligans. But of course it had to be. When hooligans in uniform are let loose on an unarmed crowed, there can be no possibility of averting the possibility that hooligans out of uniform will respond in kind.

But do not let this stop you, or distract you. Do not be scared away from the heart of the city by this violence. Prevent the hijackers from taking over your anger and twisting it to their purposes. But most importantly, never, ever be scared again. You have all given us the gift of a fearlessness. This city is no longer what it used to be, and it is so because of you. Rajpath is yours. This city is yours. its days and nights are yours. Do not let anyone take this back from you. Keep the city. Keep the city safe, make it safe. Make it yours and mine again.

Thank you for doing this in the name of an anonymous 23 year old woman. She is someone like you, like millions of others who wants to lay claim to this city, by day and by night. You demonstrated that the presence of women and men, out on the streets, in public, is the only guarantee by which everyone can feel safe in this city, or in an city for that matter. It is not by making pubs close early that this city will be made safe. It is by ensuring that as many women can be out and about in any place in the city, at any time of day and night, in buses, on the metro, in public spaces, in work spaces, cinemas, theaters, at home, and even in pubs, that this city will be safe for all of its citizens. By being together, in public, as free and equal men and women, in the place where prohibitory orders and Section 144 forbid you from being, you made sure that this city belonged to the 23 old woman who was asked by the men who raped her (Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh) what she was doing out and about at nine at night. You were together, as young women and men, safe, secure in each others company, drawn together by friendship and solidarity, and by your friendship and solidarity with the 23 year old woman who is fighting so bravely for her life. She could have been one of you. Any one of you could have been her, or her injured and brave friend.The young men amongst you demonstrated that you were not there to assert your control over women. The young women amongst you demonstrated that you could hold your own with young men, and feel the opposite of being threatened and insecure.  Our city, so ashamed of its reputation for misogyny, can only be grateful for this organic, spontaneous and public demonstration of the solidarity between the bodies of young women and men.

You made me proud of Delhi again, just as much as the men named Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh had made me ashamed a few days ago by the way in which they brutally raped and nearly killed that anonymous young woman, and assaulted her companion.They cannot be called beasts, because no animals behave as terribly as these men did. They make us ashamed to be human, and make me ashamed to be a man. I am ashamed by them just as much as I was ashamed by the bystanders on a busy street who pulled down the windows of their cars to gape at a nearly naked and clearly injured woman and man, or just stood around, staring, but could not find enough humanity within themselves to come up and offer help,  or comfort, or even cover the two young people on a cold December night.

But yesterday, you, the twelve thousand mostly young men and women who came to Rajpath to express your anger showed the world that Delhi has a different face as well.  Thank you for restoring humanity to this city.Today, the several more than yesterday’s twelve thousand have been joined by a fringe consisting of the storm troopers of some political parties, especially the BJP, and the agent-provocateurs of the Congress, neither of whom have any hesitation in fielding people with accusations of rape against them for elections. Here, in this fringe, you will find the ABVP, the Bajrang Dal, the NSUI, the Ramdev Wallas, the hooligans of the unfortunately named Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena,  the anti-corruption brigade, all manner of busy-bodies, goondas and do-gooders, and some goondas who are do gooders. Do not let them distract you. Overwhelm them with your numbers, make your protests decentralized, and impossible for them or the police to direct and control. Do not, under any circumstances let them speak for you, or tell you what to do, or dictate the agenda. Take back the protest by making it go viral all over the city.

Do not forget that when Sushma Swaraj, the BJP leader made the disgusting comment ‘ uski zindagi maut se badtar ho chuki hai’ (‘her life is now worse than death’), in Parliament, she was actually endorsing the Patriarchal value system that produces rape. It is your responsibility, and the responsibility of all of us, to ensure that Sushma Swaraj’s political career dies it’s deserved and timely death just for that one remark. Let us make sure that she can never be elected to any office again, that she can never insult and humiliate the young women of this country with her patronizing platitudes. She, and other politicians like Mamata Bannerjee, who have questioned rape victims testimonies in recent times, do not deserve our confidence, they deserve an eternal political exile. Just as brutal rapists only deserve an eternity of imprisonment and confinement in solitude in order to reflect on the violence that they have committed.

Remember, the rapist’s intention is not sexual pleasure (because the ONLY way in which pleasure can be had is through the reciprocity of desire, through love, through erotic engagement, not through taking away someone’s agency by force and without consent). Rape is not about sex, it is about humiliation, its intention is precisely to make the raped person think that now that they have been subjected to sexual violence, their life will no longer be worth living. The rapist and Sushma Swaraj are in perfect agreement about the worth of the life of a rape victim.The reason why some men rape women or others who are in their power is because they believe that some lives are more important, worth more, than others. That is the key to patriarchy.

Dear young women and men of Delhi, I am writing this to you so that in the middle of all your anger you can find a space to reflect on the force that patriarchy has over all our lives, and I hope that you will find the means, burnished by your anger to dethrone it from its underserved position of power in this city. I want yours to be the generation that changed Delhi forever. And i know you can make that happen, and that is why I am writing to you.

Let us think about patriarchy together. Patriarchy is what makes you ashamed, not delighted when you have a period, because your traditions teach you that a menstruating body is a polluting body. Patriarchy is what tells you that there are things you cannot or should not do because of the way your body or your desires are shaped. Patriarchy is the secret to your nightmares, the reason for your deepest, most personal fears and anxieties. It seeks control of your body, your mind, your speech, your behavior, even the ways in which you raise and lower your eyes. Behind this lies a clear identification between property and the sexual body that patriarchy tries to perpetuate at any cost. When anyone says that a raped person, say a woman, is defiled, what they mean is that the violence done to her sexually is identical to the violation of their personhood, which ‘properly’ understood, is the property of someone who can legitimately ‘husband’ her body and being. Any woman, according to this view, either is, or will eventually become some man’s property. If she is ‘defiled’ she will become ‘broken goods’, the legitimate claimant to the property which her body constitutes will no longer have any interest in ‘husbanding’ her. That is why they say that her life, laid fallow and waste by rape, will no longer be worth living.

That is why courts in India are so reluctant to admit marital rape. They are bewildered by the reality of marital rape because they cannot understand how someone can ‘violate’ their own property. To understand clearly this you have to think about kinds of injury other than rape.

How is it that violent attacks, or injuries that are non-sexual in nature, do not lead anyone to say that their ‘life is now worse than death’. Imagine an injured soldier, a war veteran whose legs have been blown off, being told by a mainstream politician his ‘life is now worse than death’, and you will immediately see how ridiculous the identification between the destiny of your sexual being and the worth of life is. The injured soldier is feted, decorated, celebrated. The rape survivor is made to feel something quite different. An episode of rape is horrible, but it is not necessarily always more physically painful than a blown off limb. The only reason why women are disciplined and made to fall in line with the threat of rape dangling over them (either by their rapists, or by their would be ‘protectors’) is because rape is seen as a crime against property. And the property in question is inevitably patriarchy’s right over the woman’s body, over the body of any person that patriarchy deems to be without agency. The woman who is raped is made to feel ashamed because she was not vigilant enough to safeguard the orifices of her body from being accessed by an inappropriate other, or a stranger against her will (not that her will counts, necessarily). Had it been an ‘appropriate’ other, say a husband, or a boy-friend, she could be made to feel equally ashamed for the revulsion she might feel in submitting to his sexual will, on occasion, or at any time at all, against her own wishes and desires.

The reason why Sushma Swaraj and others like her hyper-ventilate in this way is because they are the architects of the patriarchal order that produces rape. If Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta have committed the rape that needs to be condemned by everyone, than Swaraj needs to be held accountable for perpetuating the value system that leads Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta to think that rape is the natural and normal thing for them to do. After all a vast number of men in India, routinely rape their wives. And Sushma Swaraj throws Karwa Chaut parties to celebrate the thrall which patriarchy allows husbands to hold over their wives. No young self respecting woman in Delhi should ever take anything that someone like Sushma Swaraj ever says seriously.

Dear young men and women of Delhi, When you see your legitimate protest contaminated by the BJP cadre, ask them about how they are going to deal with their misogynist leadership. How are they going to deal with those who justified the rape and murder of Muslim women in Gujarat? Ask them about how they intend to deal with the fact that even in the recent Gujarat elections, one of the victorious MLAs (the sitting MLA for Dhari) Mansukh Bhuva, has  a charge of leading and participating in the gang-rape of the wife of a panchayat member of Amreli districtby seven people.

Investigation in this case is currently in progress, and while the MLA has said that the charges are false and politically motivated, does it not indicate that a party like the BJP is actually not committed in any way to taking the rights of women seriously when it gives a ticket to a man who stands accused of gang rape. Should it not have waited for this man’s innocence to be proven before blessing him with an election ticket? Ask Sushma Swaraj, ask Narendra Modi, dreaming of Raisina Hill and Lutyens Delhi, what they have to say about Mansukh Bhuva.

Even as I write this, some people are expressing their concern at the way in which your protest is getting out of hand. They are saying that you should not be indulging in violence. On Facebook, I see young Kashmiri men and women ask whether or not the authorities in Delhi will now begin to say that you have been paid to throw stones at the buses of the Delhi police by the Pakistani ISI (after all, that is what was said when young people in Kashmir throw stones at the forces of law and order after the administrations insensitivity in rape cases forced young people to take to the streets, so it is quite natural that they should ask this question when you throw stones in Delhi.)

Learning from your peers in the frontiers of this unfortunate union (governed in part by an unwieldy, creaking but sort-of-working constitution and in part by the precise and lethally efficient Armed Forces Special Powers Act), to throw stones at the force that needs stones thrown at them is not something I feel you need necessarily to be ashamed of. A Tehelka investigation (‘The Rapes Will Go On’) by G. Vishnu and Abhishek Bhalla pointed out in April 2012, that several police officers in positions of responsibility in this city and in the National Capital Region (Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad) think that when women get attacked it is their fault. While writing this, I checked with one of the correspondents who had filed this story. He told me what I had suspected. The Delhi police did order a departmental enquiry, and the concerned officer was ‘transferred’. Not suspended, demoted, punished or reprimanded. No disciplinary action of any consequence was taken. The Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida police were even more ‘sensitive’ to the morale of men in uniform. They did nothing at all. A force that does not punish those amongst its ranks guilty of making such statements, and thereby perpetuates a naked sexism, deserves all the stones that get thrown at it in retaliation for its egregious use of batons, tear gas and water cannons against a peaceful gathering.

But throwing stones at policemen is one thing, and having your protest hijacked by the storm troopers of political parties like the BJP and the Congress is quite another. I think you need to think carefully about how you can prevent your anger from being abused by political opportunists of all stripes for their own ends. Do not lose your resolve. Do not let lumpen political mercenaries ride the wave in the the upsurge that is your anger.

Many of you carried banners that asked men to think, with which I whole heartedly agree (and I am writing this in order to do this thinking with you, and as the mark of my gratitude to you) and some of you asked for capital punishment for the rapists, a demand that i cannot agree to, but am willing to argue with you about, in friendship and in solidarity. The rapists should in my view, spend their entire lives in prison, in isolation, considering what made them do what they did. Hanging, (which one of the accused has even demanded for himself) is the easiest way out for them. It will be the least severe punishment that we can imagine for these horrible and violent men. Moreover, if would-be rapists think they might be hanged, they will go the extra mile to kill their victims, in order to destroy the possibility that someone may testify against them. Under no circumstances has the death penalty ever been known to reduce any crime. It is not the death penalty that will stop rape. To stop rape we have to think about the attitudes that make rape imaginable, that normalize rape. But we can debate this question in depth at another time (and I will be thinking with you a little bit about what these attitudes might be and where they come from later in this piece). Right now I want to think about what your presence on Raisina Hill means to me.

The water cannons that dowsed all of you on today and yesterday’s cold december mornings were cleansing – not you, but this filthy, disgusting state, that can guarantee only the insecurity of its citizens. Remember, that this is not the only rape and murder that has shocked our conscience in recent years. Remember, Manorama, a woman in Manipur who was allegedly raped and then murdered by soldiers of the 17th Assam Rifles Regiment. This happened in 2004, a full eight years ago. Eight years have passed and the rapists and murderers of Manorama have not even been produced in court. They have not been produced in court because they are not civilians like Sharma, Sharma, Thakur, Gupta and Singh. They are men in uniform, not bus drivers, fruit juice vendors, cleaners and gym instructors. An enquiry was ordered and conducted, and its contents still remain secret.

Here is a link on NDTV’s youtube channel to a report on the Guwahati high court’s decision on August 2010 to open the Upendra Commission of enquiry report.

But immediately afterwards, the defense authorities, petitioned the Supreme Court with a‘Special Leave Petition’ against further proceedings in this case. Here was the state, and the army, doing the opposite of what needed to be done to speed up the course of justice in a matter that had to do with rape and murder. In the summer of this year, eight years after Manorama was raped and murdered, the Supreme Court permitted the special leave petition to be heard, and the proceedings in the Imphal bench of the Guwahati High Court, and the opening of the Upendra Commission enquiry had to be suspended. This enquiry into her rape and murder remains, as far as I know, suspended and wrapped within secrecy. Manorama’s family are exactly where they were eight years ago, as far from justice as it is possible for anyone to be. I do not know what progress there has been on the hearing of the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. There seems to be little information available on the matter apart from stray reports that the Supreme Court was hearing the SLP. I would be curious to know what the apex court decided. Whatever be the outcome, we can say this much for certain –  the Manorama case did not get ‘fast track treatment’.

So when Sushma Swaraj demands ‘fast track courts’ to treat cases of rape and sexual violence, ask her why she is so disinterested in making sure that ‘fast track courts’ can track Manorama’s rape and murder. Is it because the fact that when rape and murder are deployed as instruments of national security policy in order to contain insurgency, different standards are automatically assumed to apply? Is it because the BJP thinks that rape is ok as long as it is done in the interests of national security (as in Manipur and Kashmir)  and in order to uphold the honour of Hindutva (as in Gujarat)?

Remember the Kunan-Pushpora rapes in Kashmir, which occurred on February 23, 1991, twenty one years ago? You probably don’t, because Sushma Swaraj, nor any other prominent politician for that matter, has never thought it necessary to demand ‘fast track courts’ to try the guilty rapists of Kunan Poshpora. At least fifty three women were raped on that night by soldiers of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles. No police investigation was conducted, despite a complaint by the villagers. A district magistrate and a sitting chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir high court conducted their own enquiries and found that the soldiers of the 4th Rajputana Rifles had ‘acted like beasts that night’. But no cognizance of their reports was taken by the civil or military authorities in Jammu and Kashmir, or at the centre.

The charges were dismissed as ‘baseless’. Three months after that incident, the Press Council of India was invited by the Army to conduct an enquiry, and the Press Council of India found that the charges were baseless. Not a single soldier of the Indian army has ever been booked for Kunan Poshpora for all of these twenty one years. Now imagine that the Delhi police and administration invite the Press Council of India, or let us say, the Metereological Survey of India to determine whether or not the unnamed 23 year paramedic was raped on a Delhi bus. How can a mass rape by soldiers be investigated and judged by a body designed to look into complaints regarding the running of newspapers and media organizations? This is what ‘justice’ in cases of rape has by and large meant in the outlying territories where the writ of the Indian Union runs. Now, we are facing a situation that alarms us in the very heart of the republic. Perhaps it is time we learnt that we cannot have different standards at play in Delhi and Kunan Poshpora. And that if that is how they do play out, then it is time to admit that those who run this country run large parts of it as if they were colonies. If you, the young women and men of Delhi can begin to understand this, as a result of what you have been experiencing today and yesterday, then all the tear gas and water cannon jets that you faced may well have been worth the while.

Granted, public memory is short, but how short? Remember the rape and murder of Nilofer Jaan and Aasiya Jaan in Shopian, Kashmir, as recently as May 2009, which saw a cover up and reversal of forensic findings at the highest level, with the connivance of the highest levels of the security forces, bureaucracy and the political establishment, so that two raped, killed women could be shown to have ‘drowned in ankle deep water’ in an apparent ‘accident’. You can read the entire contents of a carefully written ‘citizens’ report on the Shopian Rape and Murder case here

Remember how the enquiry report on Nilofer and Aasiya Jan’s rape and death was tampered with so that suspicions about the women’s ‘character’ could be inserted to make it appear that any evidence of sexual abuse could be wished away as the natural consequences of the ‘waywardness’ of young women? Remember, that Omar Abdullah, Rahul Gandhi’s dear friend, who sanctioned and endorsed these lies, continues to be in office, presiding over the violent occupation of Kashmir. Remember that the denial of rape and murder is a key element in his strategy of governance. Remember all of this when politicians and the media praise you for your idealism, and condemn you for throwing stones. Remember that when your peers in Kashmir or Manipur throw stones out of the same anger that motivates you today, their stone throwing is met not with water cannons and tear gas but with bullets and condemnation, but their ‘idealism’ never finds praise in the salons and studios of New Delhi. Remember now that here, now, this winter of 2012, is the time for you, in the streets of Delhi to find a kinship with your friends, your peers, in Srinagar and Imphal. Remember that the safety and freedom of a young woman is always more important than the safety and security of the abstraction that you have been taught to think of as a nation. Remember that a raped woman is deserving of your friendship, your solidarity, you courage and love, wherever she may be, in Delhi, Srinagar or Imphal.

For the last few days, I have been wondering how I can even begin to think about the rape and assault that the brave twenty three year old paramedic (who is now fighting to live, and to live well in a Delhi hospital) and her friend had to undergo. You have asked all men to think. I am a man. I am not a celibate man who can wish away his sexuality. And so I am trying to think this through with you. I hope that all men in Delhi join me in this exercise.

As a man, I have looked at myself in the mirror, each of the past days, and thought about whether, ever, under any circumstances, in any condition of sobriety or intoxication, I have ever entertained even the thought of compelling a woman, a man, a boy or a girl – a lover, a friend, an acquaintance, a colleague, a neighbor, a relative, a stranger to act against her  (or his) consent. I think every man should look at himself and think hard. All of us men have to think because only men rape. Only men entertain the thought of rape. They (we) rape mostly women, and girls, but they (we) also rape other men, and boys, and those of indeterminate gender.

They (we) rape, not because rape has anything to do, as I have said already, with sexual relations, but because rape has to do with the assertion of power, of the compelling power that can make one body do what another body wants against its will. And just as only upper caste men and women can insult and commit violence on to those they consider lower than themselves in a specifically ‘castiest’ way, so too only men can rape, because they (we) think of themselves as occupying the summit of a sexual pyramid.

This pyramid, which we could call patriarchy, is built out of the sexual equivalent of slavery. The protocols of slavery indicate that some bodies be seen as being bereft of agency. Sometimes these bodies are marked by racial difference, at other times by gender, or by other markers. What is understood is that these agency-less bodies (howsoever their agency-lessness is constituted) can be transacted at will by other bodies that are deemed worthy of agency.

Wherever and whenever a certain kind of body (a woman’s body, a child’s body, a prisoner or captive’s body, a slave’s body, a ‘junior’s’ of ‘freshet’s’ body in the ritual of ragging or hazing on campus, a gay man’s body, the body of a caste or race ‘other’) can be thought of automatically as an object that one can bend or break or punish at will, just because of what it is, there and then lie the foundations of rape. The reason why an upper caste landlord can demand his ‘right’ over a lower caste woman’s body and simultaneously insist that she is ‘untouchable’ has to do with how he understands the difference between his body and hers. He rapes her to punish her husband for trying to assert his rights as a tiller over the land he thinks he owns. Or he rapes her because the thinks he can, and because she is there. Thakur, Singh, Sharma, Sharma and Gupta, the men who raped the unnamed paramedic, did not do anything that has not been done before. Men like them did it in cities and in villages, in fields, warehouses, plantations and factories, under trees, beside wells and rivers, in thickets and in clearings, in public and in private, in ruins and bedrooms, even in temples and kitchens, for thousands of years. They did it, not only to strangers and captives, but to their wives and their sisters and their daughters too.

This understanding has nothing biological about it. It is hard-coded into the cultural protocols that teach a man, even as a young boy, which kind of body has agency, and which kind of body is there for the taking.

Our dominant traditions denigrate a character like Ravana who would not touch the abducted Sita without her consent. At the same time it valorizes the Rama who exiles the same Sita when his advisers suggest that the population is not convinced of her ‘purity’ because she had spent such a long time in the home of her abductor, the same Ravana. Here, Rama is the one who underlies the code of rape. He cannot understand that a man can actually not rape a woman within his ‘power’. His decision to abandon Sita is based on the idea that she cannot not have been in sexual contact with Ravana. Ergo, either she willingly had sex with her captor, or if she did not, she must have been raped. In either case, being thus defiled, and broken, she is no longer fit to be his ‘property’. In other words, just as Sushma Swaraj said, her life, either is, or must be made, worse than death.

The assumption that women are automatically available for sex at the appropriate ‘clean’ time is hard-coded into the Hindu tradition. Rama as an upholder of that tradition, cannot act outside its dictates in the way in which women’s agency is viewed.  Remember that the Brhadarankya Upanishad says – “..surely a woman who has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period is the most auspicious of women. When she has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period, therefore one should approach that splendid woman and invite her to have sex. Should she refuse to consent, he should bribe her, if she still still refuses, he should beat her with a stick or with his fists and overpower her, saying – ‘I take away the splendour from you with my virility and splendor’

(Bradaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 6.4.6 –  see especially pages 88 and 89 of the Patrick Olivelle translation of the Upanishads published by the Oxford University Press, 1996)

When one thinks this passage through, it is not difficult to understand why rape should be such an endemic practice within our society.  Marital rape is the original, scripturally sanctioned template on which all rape is founded.  The fear of death penalty can never be a deterrent when you have scriptural and cultural sanction for the codes of property and agency that underlie the control that some bodies are armed with over and above others.  In our society, this includes the sanction for the control that men have over women, adults have over children, and that dominant castes have over others. This normalization of domination and control is the key to the phenomenon of rape and humiliation. In such a situation, carrying placards that demand death penalty for rapists is the easiest thing to do. The difficult, challenging and interesting thing to do, the real thing to do, is to try and understand what are the cultural factors that actually go into the making of a rapists mind. Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta were not eccentric, abnormal characters. They were normal young men. One of them even functioned as an occasional priest in a neighborhood temple. Think carefully of the traditions that he would have imbibed that would have helped, not hindered him in doing what he did.

On the very day after Thakur, Singh, Sharma, Sharma and Gupta did what they felt like doing. We had reports of a Mohammad Rashid who raped a six year old in Turkman Gate in Delhi. Afather was found to have raped his daughter in Kerala for over a year. All of these men had found ways of telling themselves that whatever they were doing could be done. A few days ago, a garment trader in Metiabruz, Kolkata, cut off his sister’s head because he suspected her of having an affair with someone he did not approve of and walked with her decapitated head, sword in hand, to the police station, in defense of his family’s honour. There are people who have praised him for his commitment to his family’s honor. None of these men were deranged, or otherwise criminally inclined. They were all, all honorable men. We need to figure out what gives them this idea of honor. We need to understand and confront the ways in which men read codes of tradition and honor and translate them into the grossest forms of misogyny and the generalized hatred of women.

Dear young women and men of Delhi, if you want rape to end, you will have to confront those traditions. Confronting those traditions, confronting the known history of patriarchy is not the same thing as demanding capital punishment. In fact, they can be the opposites of each other. By demanding ‘death’ for the rapist, you are tacitly entering into a compact with those who see rape not necessarily as a crime against a free agent, but also as a property crime, as an assault on honor and dignity. My understanding is, and my appeal to all of you is –  stop treating rape as a matter of honor and dishonor altogether, and expose and boycott those who would insist it is a matter of honor and dishonour. Treat it as ordinary, disgusting, evil violence, as the naked expression of power, and you will see that the expression of power is never challenged by the demand for death. It is easy for those who think of women as property to demand death for those who violate their property rights over women. That is why many men who will demand death penalty for rapists will happily go home and rape their wives. (Because in their understanding they cannot ‘rape’ their wives, only strangers can rape ‘their’ wives.)If you want to end rape, to end the forced sexual subjugation of one human being by another. You will have to look elsewhere than the gallows for comfort.

Rape and sexual assault, and other kinds of violence centered on the enjoyment of humiliation are different from other kinds of violence. You could be in the company of violent men, as a man, in a bus, and they would not necessarily slap you around just for the heck of it (unless you ‘looked’ racially different, or were different because of the way you expressed your sexual orientation). But imagine or remember what it is to be a woman on that bus, or to be the ‘wrong’ kind of male – queer, child, racially other, submissive because you are held captive – and things can suddenly go wrong. This is what happened on that bus that the 23 year old paramedic and her friend had boarded. This is what happened when Sharma, Sharma, Singh, Gupta and Thakur and their unnamed juvenile accomplice, decided to assert their position as bipedal upper primates on top of their imagined sexual pyramid. Let us not forget that the matter spiraled when one of the assaulters taunted the woman and her friend for being together at night in Delhi. In their eyes, she had broken the code of sexual slavery, by being a person who had acted as a free agent, as someone who could choose to enjoy her claim to the city, its entertainments, with a companion who happened to be male.

Of course she need not have acted as this free agent for this horrible event to happen. She could have been at home, confined within narrow domestic walls where most rapes in Delhi, and India occur. (I have yet to hear of policemen and politicians advocate the abolition of marriage in the same breath as the closure of pubs, although more rapes happen within marriage than do at or around pubs, clearly neither marriage nor pubs are in themselves the causes of rape, but it is always curious that one should be asked to be banned, though sometimes judges do ask rapists to marry their victims, though no one has yet asked a woman who was attacked or molested at a pub to return to the place where she was assaulted). In this instance, were we to go by the law of statistical averages, the brave 23 year old paramedic was not, but could easily have been the sister, niece, daughter, daughter-in-law or wife of one of the accused. Because the majority of those who get raped in our society are sisters, daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces and wives – and they are raped by brothers, fathers, uncles, fathers-in-law and husbands. Or she could have been a worker raped by her boss, or her colleague. She could have been a student raped by a teacher, a patient raped by a doctor or a warden in a hospital or clinic, an undertrial raped by a policeman, an insurgent or suspect raped by a soldier. She could have been dressed in clothes that she felt helped her enjoy and assert her sexuality, or she could have been dressed in work clothes, she could have been dressed in a burqa, a sari, salwar kameez or in a nun’s habit. She could have been a three year old infant, a teenager, a young woman, a post menopausal woman, even a grandmother.

Anybody at all, other than a man in a position of real or imagined power, can be raped by a man in  a position of real or imagined power. We might as well call this the first and most important law of rape.

This means that you can be raped in order to punish you for having broken the code of sexual slavery (patriarchy) – which is what happens when you are ‘accused’ of being up and about in the night in the city with a man who is not related to you. Or, on the other hand, you can be raped, in order to enforce it, maintain it, irrigate it,  generally show the world – how it works, who’s on top – which is what happens when rapes happen within the four walls of homes, work places, institutions and prisons.

Where does this sense of impunity that seems to govern the actions of so many men come from? It cannot come from biology alone. Because, thankfully, not all men, not even all men in positions of real or imagined power, are rapists. Rapists choose to access a cultural code of permission. There is something in the cultural baggage or vocabulary available to us all that normalizes sexual violence, even renders it trivial, as a bit of horseplay at worst, or the hallowed order sanctified by tradition, at best.

Dear young men and women of Delhi. There are things you can do to stop rape.

  • Shame any man who casually passes misogynist, sexist, remarks.  Shame all those cowards who try to humiliate anyone because of the way their bodies or desires are. Shame them in public.
  • Young women, do not retreat from public space. Take back the night. Insist on being out and about. Insist on the conditions that enable your safety. Ask why there are no women bus drivers, women cab drivers. Ask what the Delhi police is doing to punish misogynist officers and constables.
  • Young women, please understand that when you hear songs that are violent and misogynist, you can choose to boycott the radio stations and recording companies that put them out. Leave a party or a celebration that plays a Honey Singh song. If you are young man who is a friend of a young woman at any such gathering, leave the celebration with your friend. Call the radio stations, phone in and demand that they stop playing misogynist songs.
  • Demand more public transport. Demand a thousand more buses that ply all night. Demand a metro system that stays open late into the night. Demand street lighting. Ask why the car lobby in Delhi can systematically stymie the expansion of public transport in Delhi. If there are not more public buses and metro trains, understand that those who run this city are responsible for rape and assault.
  • Take your traditions seriously, and recognize that every religion teaches the subjugation and humiliation of women. Ask men and women of religion what they are going to do to recognize the misogyny in their traditions, to confront and challenge them. Insist that under no conditions can any woman pollute anything around her. insist that women are not property. Not of their fathers, brothers, boy-friends or husbands. Not of the state. Not of God. Understand that people can never be property and must never be viewed as such.Combat and confront anyone who says they can be.
  • Shame and expose those politicians and police or army officers who try to cover up cases of sexual assault and rape in Kashmir and the North East and elsewhere. Do not create a hierarchy of more and less important victims.
  • Young men, decide now, and for all time, that you will treat the women you encounter first of all as friends, as equals, as people who have as much right to your city as you. Learn to respect a woman’s right to pleasure. To her right to say yes and no. Do not think that ‘no’ means ‘yes’.
  • Young men, if you confront a situation in which any man harasses another woman, or any other person, make sure that you will stand up and protest, call attention to what is going on,  and make sure that this stops.
  • Young men, and young women, do not reduce the matter of confronting rape and molestation to one of asking the attacker whether or not he has ‘sisters and daughters’ at home. Rapists prey on their sisters and daughters just as easily as they do on strangers.
  • Young men and young women, do not ever let anyone tell you that under any circumstances, that your life is not worth living.

I hope you change Delhi forever. I hope that the rest of the country follows your example.

I remain hopeful because of what you did yesterday and today. Do not disappoint me, do not disappoint yourselves. Make your protest viral. Take it everywhere, to workplaces, schools, streets, parks, the metro, to dark and unlit streets, to lit streets and corners. Take over the city. Make it a city that belongs to you and me and the brave 23 year old paramedic still fighting for her life.

 ~By : 

Stay Healthy and Be Happy.


by Heidi Grant Halvorson 

The road to hell may or may not be paved with good intentions, but the road to failure surely is. Take a good look at the people you work with, and you’ll find lots of Good Starters — individuals who want to succeed, and have promising ideas for how to make that happen. They begin each new pursuit with enthusiasm, or at the very least, a commitment to getting the job done.

And then something happens. Somewhere along the way, they lose steam. They get bogged down with other projects. They start procrastinating and miss deadlines. Their projects take forever to finish, if they get finished at all.

Does all this sound familiar? Maybe a little too familiar? If you are guilty of being a Good Starter, but a lousy finisher — at work or in your personal life — you have a very common problem. After all, David Allen’s Getting Things Done wouldn’t be a huge bestseller if people could easily figure out how to get things done on their own.

More than anything else, becoming a Great Finisher is about staying motivated from a project’s beginning to its end. Recent research has uncovered the reason why that can be so difficult, and a simple and effective strategy you can use to keep motivation high.

In their studies, University of Chicago psychologists Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach examined how people pursuing goals were affected by focusing on either how far they had already come (to-date thinking) or what was left to be accomplished (to-go thinking). People routinely use both kinds of thinking to motivate themselves. A marathon runner may choose to think about the miles already traveled or the ones that lie ahead. A dieter who wants to lose 30 pounds may try to fight temptation by reminding themselves of the 20 pounds already lost, or the 10 left to go.

Intuitively, both approaches have their appeal. But too much to-date thinking, focusing on what you’ve accomplished so far, will actually undermine your motivation to finish rather than sustain it.

Koo and Fishbach’s studies consistently show that when we are pursuing a goal and consider how far we’ve already come, we feel a premature sense of accomplishment and begin to slack off. For instance, in one study, college students studying for an exam in an important course were significantly more motivated to study after being told that they had 52% of the material left to cover, compared to being told that they had already completed 48%.

When we focus on progress made, we’re also more likely to try to achieve a sense of "balance" by making progress on other important goals. This is classic Good Starter behavior — lots of pots on the stove, but nothing is ever ready to eat.

If, instead, we focus on how far we have left to go (to-go thinking), motivation is not only sustained, it’s heightened. Fundamentally, this has to do with the way our brains are wired. To-go thinking helps us tune in to the presence of a discrepancy between where we are now and where we want to be. When the human brain detects a discrepancy, it reacts by throwing resources at it: attention, effort, deeper processing of information, and willpower.

In fact, it’s the discrepancy that signals that an action is needed — to-date thinking masks that signal. You might feel good about the ground you’ve covered, but you probably won’t cover much more.

Great Finishers force themselves to stay focused on the goal, and never congratulate themselves on a job half-done. Great managers create Great Finishers by reminding their employees to keep their eyes on the prize, and are careful to avoid giving effusive praise or rewards for hitting milestones "along the way." Encouragement is important, but to keep your team motivated, save the accolades for a job well — and completely — done.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story

In my search of the ‘ultimate affordable’ Lab setup for VMware VCAP/VCP/… exams, i went through a lot of possible set ups.

In the end, i started to build a powerful desktop pc in which i intend to virtualize my vSphere environment.  The reasons that made me chose a desktop PC running Windows 7 with VMware Workstation 8 to do this:

– Everybody has a pc.  So why not buy a lightning fast pc which makes your daily application work at light speed (email/surfing/office tasks) and gives you a perfect lab!

– While i enjoy playing around with servers, i don’t like them at home…  they are loud, they generate heat similar to a woodstove, they consume electricity like hell and they are always in the way of things…  Plus you have to interconnect them using 5000 miles of cable.  Bottom line: me not like!

– Every VMware Admin knows the benefits of virtualization… So why not virtualize your lab?  It makes it very flexible (play with # NICs, snapshots, clones, …).

– Since quite some people are already VCP, you can finally put some good use to that VMware Workstation license you got clip_image001

– It’s very easy to suspend all your work (suspend all the VMs aka your whole vSphere environment), shutdown your pc, go to sleep/work/kids/fun and continue the day after.  No electricity wasted, no annoying noises, …

– Since a lot of vSphere features originally were introduced in VMware Workstation, it’s always nice to play around with it.

– With the coming of VMware Workstation 8, you can finally expose VT-x to the VMs, making it possible to run x86 & x64 VMs on your virtual vSphere environment.  This includes VDR, vShield, …

– Finally, it’s cheaper that a hardware setup (maybe not as powerful in terms of performance but it will only host a Lab environment so no big deal for me).

So that are my reasons to go for a virtual Lab setup.  On the next post, I’ll discuss the hardware you need for this desktop pc…

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 2: The Hardware

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 3: VMware Workstation 8

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 4: Base Template

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 5: Prepare the Template

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 6: Domain Controller

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 7: SQL Server

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 8: vCenter

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 9: ESXi

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 10: Storage

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 11: vMotion & Fault Tolerance

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 12: Finalizing the Lab

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 2: The Hardware

Several factors are important to make a powerful desktop pc able to host all the VMs we will need:


You need a CPU with at least 4 cores.  It’s nice to have Hyperthreading as it will give you more logical CPUs and more vCPUs to hand out to the VMs.

Secondly, you need Virtualization Technology features enabled on the CPU.

Let’s start by looking at Intel.


Intel Core i3 systems are no use since they only have 2 cores and no VT-x support.  Update: as someone pointed out in the comments section: recent Core i3 do have VT-x support!  So if you can live with the 2 cores limit, Core i3 is a valid option!

Intel Core i5 is good if you are on a budget.  Pick a CPU with 4 cores (some i5 CPUs only have 2 cores).  You won’t have HyperThreading as that’s only available on the i7.

The Core i7 CPU systems are best suitable for our setup.  Make sure you have 4 cores(some editions only have 2).  Hyperthreading is enabled by default on Core i7 so that’s a good thing.  You need to have Intel VT-x features as well but to my knowledge, all Core i7 CPUs come with those features.


I’m not following ADM brands but basically the same things apply.  At least 4 cores, and AMD-V/RVI support.  To my knowledge, all Athlon 2, Phenom 2 and FX CPUs have those.  The newest FX series are nice looking and affordable.


A stable and decent motherboard is what counts here.  If you want all kinds of fancy features and bling bling, you can easily spend 500 $ on a motherboard.  As there are tons of brands and models, let me list the most important things:

– Pick a CPU Socket that matches your CPU (i know, it sound silly but it would be a shame if your expensive cpu doesn’t fit in that small socket clip_image001[1])

– Make sure you have at least 4 memory banks.

– Onboard Video is nice if you don’t play games.

That’s it besides the usual stuff (SATA, USB, ATX format, …)


You will need 16 GB at minimum!  Using 4 GB DIMMs (affordable, 8 GB DIMMs are too expensive) you will need 4 memory banks in your Motherboard.  If you have 6 banks, you can go for 24 GB easily.

Memory speed matters, but look at the price.  Amount of memory is more important than speed.  Better go for 24 GB ‘slower’ memory than 16 GB of faster memory.

Hard Disk

You need at minimum one decent SSD of 40 GB minimum.  I have an Intel X-25 SSD, but any fast SSD will do.  Buy one of the latest generations since the evolve pretty fast when it boils down to performance.  Personally, i prefer Intel.  The bigger the SSD, the more VMs you can store on SSD and the faster they will respond.  120 GB is affordable these days.

We will use VMware Workstation technologies (Linked Clones) to put multiple VMs on only 10 to 20 GB of SSD storage, so you don’t really need that much storage… but then again, the more the better isn’t it? clip_image001[2]

You will also need a big ‘traditional’ Hard Disk for other storage (ISO files, less used VMs, …).  Any SATA 3.5” HDD will do.  Look for 500 GB or more.


The other components (Case, DVD, …) are not that important.  Pick whatever suits you best.

Install the system with Windows 7 64-bit (because of the high amount of memory, you will need 64-bit OS).  Linux should do as well, but i use Windows at home so I’ll focus on that one.

On the next post, we will look at the Installation of VMware Workstation and it’s configuration.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 3: VMware Workstation 8

Once we have our desktop installed with Windows 7 x64, it’s time to install VMware Workstation 8.

Download the latest binaries from VMware website and start the setup:


Pick a Typical installation.


The default installation location is fine as it is.

I recommend to check for product updates on each startup.


If you’re in a generous mood and willing to help VMware, tick the check box clip_image001[3]


Continue the installation finish it.

When the installation is finished, start VMware Workstation with Administrative Privileges (Right-click and select Run as administrator).


Click HelpEnter License Key… to unlock VMware Workstation.

Let’s start by Configuring VMware Workstation by opening EditPreferences…


The first option we will change is the Default location for Virtual Machines.

Create a Folder “VM” on your SSD drive and on the HDD drive.  The default location will point to the HDD drive.  This way, all VMs are placed on HDD (where we have plenty of space) and only our ‘precious’ VMs will be placed on SSD manually.

My HDD is E: and my SSD is C: (I only have 1 80GB SSD which has my OS installed as well.  This leaves me about 25 GB free for VMs on the SSD).


Next click the Updates item in the inventory window and click the Download All Components Now button.  This will download all VMware Tools versions.  This can be skipped but VMware Workstation will prompt you to download this on the first OS installation of each type.  As i find that quite annoying, I prefer to download them all at once in advance.


Next, click the Memory item.  Change the memory slider until you have a little bit more that 2 GB left for the OS. (my Windows 7 with the default things running like AV consumes 2.04 GB).  If your OS has not enough RAM available, it will start swapping and performance degrades. (putting you SWAP file on the SSD will partially boost performance but still, not an ideal solution).


Click OK to save the preferences.

Now it’s time to set up our Virtual Networking environment.  Open the Virtual Network Editor.


Basically, you have three options for a network:

– Bridged: The VM will get an IP analog to your desktop PC.  Required if the VM need internet access or access to other devices in your home network (NAS, …)

– NAT: VMware Workstation will act as a router.  Not really needed for our setup.

– Host-only: Compare this to an Internal switch on vSphere.  VMs can communicate with each other, but not to the outside world.

Some networks are created by default.


The default VMnet0 network will be used temporary to set up the first VMs so we’ll need that.

Next, we’ll create a new Internal network for our LAN communication (vSphere hosts, vCenter, SQL, …).  Hit the Add Network… button to create one:


Pick VMnet2


The network must be Host-OnlyDeselect the options Connect a host virtual adapter to this network and Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VMs.

Change the Subnet IP to with a subnet mask of  This will give us quite some IPs to play with.


We will create additional iSCSI/NFS network later on, but this will do for now.

So this will give us two Virtual Networks to use: VMnet0 (with Internet connectivity) and VMnet2 (Internal network only).


Click OK to save these settings.

That’s it for this post!  Next, we will start creating our Infrastructure VMs (DC, SQL, vCenter, …)

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab: Part 4 – Base Template

Now it’s time to start building our Virtual Infrastructure services.  This will consist of a bunch of VMs hosting Active Directory, SQL Server, vCenter, …  So we’re talking about 3 to 5 VMs here.

We will use Windows 2008 R2 as the base OS for these VMs.  We will be using Linked Clones technology of VMware Workstation to put those VMs in the smallest space possible.

To make it a short story, we’ll install one ‘Base VM’ with Windows 2008 R2 including all the patches/service packs.  Then, we will create a linked clone for each of our VMs.  This linked clone contains only the differences between the Base VM and the linked clone.  In most cases, this is less than 5 GB per VM.

So let’s start for the Base VM.  Click Create a New Virtual Machine to create your first VM.


Pick Custom (advanced).


The Hardware Compatibility must be Workstation 8.0 (default).


Select I will install the operation system later.


Pick Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 as the OS Type.


Name it Windows2008R2_Base and store it under the VM folder on your SSD drive.  DO NOT STORE IT ON YOUR HDD!!!  This Base VM will get A LOT of Read IO.  If you put it on your HDD, smoke will probably arise from it clip_image001[4]

Since my SSD is the C: drive, I store it under C:\VM


One CPU/Core will be sufficient.


Memory size of 1024 MB.


Set the Network Type to Do not use a network connection.


LSI Logic SAS Controller.


Create a new virtual disk.


Type is SCSI.


Select Store virtual disk as a single file.  These days everybody uses NTFS on Windows 7 so there are no issues with big files.

40 GB disk size is fine.  They are thin provisioned (since we do not select the Allocate all disk space now) so only used space will be allocated.


Accept the default Disk File.


Click Finish to create the VM.

It will appear in your VMware Workstation console now.


Edit the virtual machine settings.

First, remove the Floppy, USB Controller, Sound Card & Printer devices.  We won’t need them and they only consume unnecessary resources.


Next, click the Add button and add a Network Adapter.


Select Custom – VMnet0 as the network connection.  This will give the VM internet access.


Click the CD-DVD (IDE) drive and attach the Windows 2008 R2 ISO file to it.  This ISO file is best stored on the HDD as you need it only once.

Click Power on this virtual machine.

If you get a warning about your Memory Configuration, just tick Do not show this message again and continue.

The VM will boot from DVD and the installation of Windows begins.  Pick the correct regional settings and install it.


Every Full Installation edition of Windows besides Web Server will do.  Since i will run a trial edition, i use the Datacenter edition…  Not that we will be using any of those features, but it just shows up nice clip_image001[5]


Pick a Custom Installation and install it on the 40 GB drive.  Now is a good time to look at the files in the VM directory on your desktop.  The VMDK file which actually contains all the data will grow now as data is been copied from the ISO to the VM.


After installation, about 7 GB will be consumed.  Nice.

Back to the VM, change the password to something strong (capital letters + small letters + number).  We will reuse this password for all accounts.  After all it’s only a lab so no sensitive information will be found, but we need to have a password since blanks are not accepted.


Your mousepointer will be choppy, so let’s solve that first.

First, we start by installing VMware Tools on it (VM – Install VMware Tools…).


An AutoPlay popup will appear in the VM.  Click Run setup64.exe and perform a Typical Installation.  Reboot the VM.

Performance of the VM is okay now, as well as the graphics performance.

Before updating the VM, we will install .NET Framework first.  Open Server Manager and click the Features item.  Click the Add Features link.


Select the .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features item.


Some additional roles need to be installed.  Do so by clicking Add Required Role Services.


Click Next, Next, … Install to install it.

Next, we will turn on Windows Update to bring the VM up-to-date.  You can go ahead and install all the updates, but it’s easier to apply the latest service pack first.  Download it from the Microsoft website and then apply all Windows Updates patches afterwards.

TIP: Disable IE ESC in Server Manager.  Makes surfing a bit easier on the VM.


Now that our system is up-to-date, it’s time to clean it up.  When looking at the VMDK file size, we have grown to 17 GB already!  Yikes!


We’ll start by removing the SP1 installation files.  In a command prompt, run dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded.


After that, we are going to remove all Windows Update backup files.  Stop the Windows Update service and delete the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder.


After deletion, Start the Windows Update service.

Next up the hibernation file: open a command prompt as Administrator.  Type powercfg.exe /hibernate off


After all these step, the VM is consuming less than 10 GB.


Open up VMware Tools, go to the Shrink tab.  Click the Prepare to shrink button.


It’ll take some time…



After it has completed, look at the VMDK file size:


9 GB!  That’s more like it!

Now the VM is ready to be used as a Template.  Run c:\windows\system32\sysprep in the VM.


Select the OOBE option and check Generalize.  Select Shutdown and click OK.


The VM will shutdown automatically and is ready to be templatized (i just invented a new word clip_image001[6]).


That’s it for now!  On the next episode we will start deploying our first VM which will be the Domain Controller.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab: Part 5 – Prepare the Template

First, we will need to ‘protect’ our parent VM and make it a template.  This ensure we don’t delete it or power it on.  Select the Windows2008R2_Base VM and click Edit virtual machine settings.


Select the Options tab, go to the Advanced item and check the Enable Template mode checkbox.


Next up, we need to snapshot the Base VM.  All our linked clones will be based on this snapshot.

Right-click the VM and Snapshot it!


Give it a name like Version 1.0 and provide a good description of it.


That’s it!  Now we are ready to start deploying the first VMs!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 6: Domain Controller

The first VM we will deploy is our Domain Controller.

Right-click the Windows2008R2_Base VM and select Manage – Clone.


Base the clone on an Existing Snapshot named Version 1.0 (or whatever you called it before).


Create a Linked Clone.


Store it on the SSD drive and name it DC.


Power On the DC!

It will boot and will run through the Mini Setup.


Windows will ask you for Regional Settings and a Password.  It will boot afterwards.

You may notice that display performance is a bit sluggish.  Just Reinstall VMware Tools and Repair it and you’re set.


Okay, the first thing we will do is to put the network of this DC to the Internal we created earlier.

Edit the settings of the VM and change Network Adapter to VMnet2.  The DC is now isolated from your home network.  It can only communicate with other VMs on VMnet2 (but there aren’t any for now).

Fill in the IP4 Settings like in the screen below (mind the subnet!  It’s a /24!).


Next, Rename the VM to DC and reboot.


After the reboot, get back into the Computer Rename dialog box and press the More… button.

Fill in a valid DNS Suffix for your new domain we will create.  Mine will be named labo.local.  This means my DC will be DC.labo.local.  Reboot afterwards.


Next up, open Server Manager and click the Add Roles link.  Select DHCP Server & DNS Server.


Click Next a couple of times until you reach the IPv4 DNS Settings.  Fill in labo.local in the Parent domain field.


Continue clicking Next until the DHCP Scopes screen.  Click Add and add a scope ranging from until

Click Next until the DHCPv6 Stateless Mode and disable it.

Install the goodies!


Open the DNS Console and create a Forward Lookup Zone with the following settings:


Primary zone

Zone name


Create a new file …


Dynamic Updates

Allow both unsecure and secure dynamic updates

Then, create a Reverse Lookup Zone with the following settings:


Primary zone


IPv4 Reverse Lookup Zone

Network ID


Create a new file…

Dynamic Updates

Allow both unsecure and secure dynamic updates

Now perform an ipconfig /registerdns (or reboot your server) and ensure it is listed in the Forward and Reverse lookup zone.


Now it’s time to perform a DC Promotion.  Enter the dcpromo command.  The AD binaries will be installed.  Create a new domain in a new forest.

Fill in labo.local (or your own domain name) as the forest name.


Set the Forest functional level to Windows Server 2008 R2.


On the DNS Delegation, selection the option to no create the DNS delegation.

Accept the default file locations for AD binaries.  You could change them (as a best practice) to seperate disks, but since this is only a small LAB AD, i won’t bother with that.


Fill in a valid Directory Services Restore Mode password and click Next a couple of times to install AD.


You will get a warning about the DNS Zone.  Just skip it.


After the reboot, open Server Manager and go to Roles – DHCP Server.  Right-click your DHCP server and select Authorize.  This will make both IPv4 and IPv6 “green".


If you want, you can change the Forward and Reverse Lookup zone in DNS to AD Integrated, but it’s not really necessary for our lab.

That’s it for our Domain Controller!

Next up will be the SQL Server!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 7: SQL Server

Create a new linked clone based on the Windows2008R2_Base template just like you did with the Domain Controller.  Name the machine SQL.

Again, store it on SSD storage.  Run through the OS Setup like you did with the Domain Controller.

Change the Network Adapter to VMnet2 to it can reach the DC.

If all goes well, you should get a DHCP address.


Give it a valid IP address and point the DNS Server to the DC.


Rename the Guest OS and make it a member of the labo.local domain.


Create a useraccount SQLAdmin in Active Directory (set the password to never expire).  Add this account to the Local Administrators group on the SQL VM.


Log on with this account to the SQL VM.

Before starting the installation of SQL Server, we’ll add an additional HD to the VM first.  We’ll throw all SQL binaries on that disk.

Right-click the SQL VM and select Settings.  Click the Add… button and pick Hard Disk.


Create a new virtual hard disk of 40 GBStore the virtual disk as a single file.


Rename the VMDK to something like SQL_Data.vmdk.  This makes it easier to locate the correct vmdk if ever needed.


Get back into the VM and format the disk.


In order to reach the SQL binaries (which are stored on the Windows 7 desktop VM), i use the Shared Folders feature of VMware Workstation.  This allows you to share a single folder between the hosts and the guest VMs.



Start the Setup of SQL Server 2008 R2.  Select Installation and pick New installation or add features to an existing installation.


I will run SQL in Evaluation mode, but if you have valid licenses, feel free to add them here clip_image001[7]


Some Setup Support Files will be installed.


You will get two warnings: one because you cannot access the Internet and a second because the Windows Firewall is enabled.

Select a SQL Server Feature Installation.


Install the Database Engine Services and the Management Tools – Basic.  Change the directories to you SQL Data drive (in my case E:)


Install a Default Instance but again, change the drive to the SQL Data drive.


Set the useraccounts for the services to LABO\SQLAdmin and change all services to Automatic.


Set the authentication to Windows and add the Current User to the SQL Administrators.


Finish setup.

That’s the basic setup for SQL Server.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 8: vCenter

And now finally we come to the point where we are going to install a VMware product clip_image001[8]

Create yet another linked clone based upon the Windows2008R2_Base VM and name it VC.  This must be stored on SSD as well.

The Virtual Network must be VMnet2.  Add it to the domain labo.local.

Create a user VCAdmin in AD and make this a member of the Local Administrators group on the VC.  Log on with that user.

First we need to install SQL Native Client.  This is located on the SQL ISO (the one you installed SQL Server on @ SQL VM).  It can be found in folder 1033_enu_lp\x64\setup\x64 and is called sqlncli.msi.

The installation is just a matter of Next, Next, Next, Finish clip_image001[9]


Now, hop on to the SQL VM and open SQL Management Studio.

Click SecurityLoginsNew Login.


The login name must be LABO\VCAdmin.


Right click Databases and select New Database.

Name it vCenter, set the owner to LABO\VCAdmin and size the MDF file to 100 MB.


On the Options tab, change the Recovery Model to Simple.


Get back into SecurityLogins and open the properties of your LABO\VCAdmin account.  Go to the User Mapping tab.  Give the account do_owner permissions on both the msdb and the vCenter database! (the vCenter database should already be okay normally).


Okay, now head back to the VC VM.

Open up Administrative Tools and select Data Sources (ODBC).  Create a new System DSN.  Select SQL Server Native Client.


Name it vCenter and point to the SQL server.


Click Next on the following screen and…  uh oh


Go back to the SQL Server and open SQL Server Configuration Manager and Enable TCP/IP.  Restart the SQL Server Service.

After that, open Windows Firewall and select Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.  Click Allow another program.  Browse for it and go to E:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe.


Go back to the VC and try again… it should proceed now.

Change the default database to vCenter.


Finish the wizard.

Now that we have the SQL stuff covered, it’s time to install vCenter!  Start autorun from the vCenter binaries.

Select vCenter Server (duh!)


Setup will complain that IIS is installed (got installed with the .NET installation routine).  Therefore, disable the World Wide Web Publishing service on the VC server.



The following screens are quite easy to understand.  Select use an existing supported database and select the vCenter ODBC source you created above.


It will detect that Windows Authentication will be used.  Fill in the password for the vCenter service (VCAdmin, the account we gave dbo permissions on the databases).  This will also mean that the vCenter service will be started with this VCAdmin account!


Accept the default installation paths.  Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance.

Set the JVM Inventory Size to Small.


Finally, click Install to start the installation.


To finalize, install vSphere Client.


Start vSphere Client, install the certificate and you should connect flawlessly to our brand new vCenter environment!


And in case you were wondering, all our 3 VMs together consume about 20 GB.  Not bad clip_image001[10]

That’s it for now!  Next up, we’ll start installing our ESXi hosts.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 9: ESXi

Now that we have our vCenter running, it’s time to deploy our ESXi hosts.

Depending on the amount of memory you have, you can deploy as many ESXi hosts as you want.  Personally (I have 16 GB), i will install 2 of them.

Start by creating a new Virtual Machine.  Take Custom for the type of configuration.


Hardware Compatibility is Workstation 8.0.

Attach the ISO of VMware ESXi 5.0.  The wizard will detect ESXi automatically for you!


Call it ESXi1 and place it on HDD storage.  There is no use on putting it on SSD storage since ESXi has no real important data to store which is important from a performance point of view.


You can play around with the CPUs/Cores, but i give it a Dual Dual-Core (so cores in total).  Gives you some more cores to play with if you want to dive into the CPU scheduler details.


Give the ESXi host 4GB of memory.


Select Do not use a network connection as we will add it later on.


Accept the standard LSI Logic SCSI controller.

Create a new virtual disk and pick SCSI as the type.

Use a 40GB disk and store it in a Single File.


Complete the wizard and click Finish.

Edit the settings of you newly created VM.  Remove the Floppy and USB Controller.

Click Add and add a Network Adapter.  Attach it to the VMnet2 network.

Repeat the procedure and add a second Network Adapter to the VMnet2 network.  This will give you a screen like this:


Select the Processor item, and select Virtualizae Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI.  This allows you to run x64 guests on these ESXi hosts.


Now before starting and installing ESXi, take a Full Clone of this VM and name it ESXi2.  You can create a fresh VM as well, but cloning it will go faster.


Now, Power On you ESXi1 host.

The ESXi Installer will boot.

Follow the wizard and install ESXi on your 40GB local disk.


Use the same root password as you always do.

The installer will wipe your hard disk…  Let him do so by clicking F11.


After the installation, the host will reboot.  Press F2 to customize it.  You will need to login with root.


Select Configure Management Network.  First, go into Network Adapters and add vmnic1 to the list.


Give it IP and set the default gateway to (DC).


Get into DNS Configuration and set the DNS server (should already be set through DHCP but verify) and change the hostname to esxi1.labo.local.  Do not use capital letters here!


Exit the screens and enter Y to restart the Management Network.


That’s it for the basic ESXi installation… Quite easy eh?

Now repeat this part for ESXi2 (IP =

After the two ESXi hosts have been installed, log on to the DC and open Server Manager – Roles – DNS Server – DNS – DC – Forward Lookup Zones – labo.local.  Create a A Record for both ESXi hosts.

Create a PTR Record as well!


You DNS should like like this:


Move over to the vCenter server.  You must be able to ping both machines using their FQDN now!


Open up vSphere Client.

First, create a new Datacenter and below it, create a new Cluster.

Turn on HA & DRS.


Leave all other settings to default and complete the wizard.

Now, add the two ESXi hosts to the cluster:


That will give this cluster layout in vSphere:


Both hosts will have errors (HA related, but it’s no big deal as we’ll solve them later on).

If you ESXi hosts disconnect continually, check Administration – vCenter Server Settings – Runtime Settings and fill in the IP of vCenter.


Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 10: Storage

We now have a cluster, but still not a usable because we don’t have Shared Storage yet.  So let us add some clip_image001[11]

We will go for an iSCSI solution.  This makes perfect sense since this can be virtualized perfectly.  Many iSCSI appliances exist on the market today.  Lefthand, UberVSA, OpenFiler, …  I will however go with the easiest solution: installing a Software iSCSI Target on Windows Server.

Again, various flavors exist, but what most people don’t realize is that Microsoft has it’s own free iSCSI Target.  I has all the basic functionality you need (CHAP, Snapshots, …).  No replication or other advanced stuff is supported, but we don’t really need that for now.

Let’s start by downloading the goodies:

Extract it and put it on the Shared Folder to the VMs can access it.

Now, before we install the iSCSI Software, we need to change our VM to support it.  We will use our vCenter Server for Storage.  If you have the resources on your PC, a dedicated VM would be better (but then, i would go for a dedicated iSCSI appliance like Lefthand, OpenFiler, …).

Give your vCenter VM a second Hard Disk of 500GB and put it on HDD storage.


Initialize it in Windows.  That will become our E: drive on the vCenter:


Now, we want our iSCSI to be a seperate network.  So open the Virtual Network Editor in VMware Workstation.

Create VMnet3 for IP range


Give the vCenter VM a Second Network Adapter connected to this newly created network.


On the vCenter, rename the connection to iSCSI.


Give it IP


Go to the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target folder and start x64\iscsitarget_public.msi.

The installation is a matter of Next, Next, Finish.


Now, open the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console.


On the root item, click Properties.  Enable only IP to listen for iSCSI sessions.  This ensures we only use the dedicated iSCSI network (VMnet3).


Right-click Devices and select Create Virtual Disk.

Point it to E:\iSCSI\Datastore1.vhd.


Set it to 200GB (200000 MB) or something in that neighborhood.  Pay attention as the input fields are in MB (Megabytes).  We won’t assign any targets yet.

Create a second Virtual Disk called Datastore2 in the same folder.  Make the size different, so it’s easier to differentiate the two datastores.


Now that we have our storage ready, let’s prep the ESXi hosts for it.

Remeber that we put the iSCSI traffic on a seperate VMnet3 network.  Our ESXi hosts currently have 2 NICs in the VMnet2 network, so no iSCSI traffic will be possible.

Shutdown the ESXi hosts, go into Settings and Add 2 Network Adapters both connected to VMnet3.

Power On the ESXi hosts.  Select a host and go into Configuration – Networking.  Your current config will look like this:


Click Add Networking… to add a new vSwitch.

Select VMkernel as the type.  Use the newly added vmnic2 & vmnic3.


Name the Portgroup iSCSI_1 and don’t select any other options.


Use IP for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


Open the Properties of vSwitch1 and select Add… to add another VMkernel interface.  This will become iSCSI2 with IP for ESXi1 and IP for ESXi2.

Change the NIC Teaming Failover order of both iSCSI_1 & iSCSI_2.  Set vmnic2 active for iSCSI_1 where vmnic3 becomes unused.  Change it the other way around for iSCSI_2.


The Network Layout looks like this now:


Now get into Configuration – Storage Adapters and click Add….


Select the newly added iSCSI HBA (vmhba33) and click Properties….


Copy the iSCSI Name (you can change this name to something more readable if you want)


Get back into the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console and select iSCSI TargetsCreate iSCSI Target.


Fill in the hostname as the iSCSI target name:


Paste the iSCSI Name from vCenter into the IQN Identifier field.


Now that the Target is created, let’s assign our two LUNs to it.  Right-Click it and select Add Existing Virtual Disk to iSCSI Target.


Select both disks.


Back in vCenter, open Network Configuration on the iSCSI Initiator Properties.


Add both iSCSI_1 and iSCSI_2 to it.


Move on to the Dynamic Discovery and add as a new iSCSI Target.


Close the Window and Rescan the vmhba33 adapter.

Your 2 LUNs will become visible.  Note that we have 4 paths meaning 2 per LUN (= load balancing & failover possibilities).


Repeat the same procedure for ESXi2.

After that go to ConfigurationStorage and create 2 new datastores on these LUNs.


Open the Properties of your Cluster and enable vSphere HA.


It should be enabled without errors (you will receive warnings if you don’t have Shared Storage, that’s why we enable it now and not during Cluster creation).

That’s it for now!  Next, we will create our vMotion interface!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 11: vMotion & Fault Tolerance

Next up is the creation of our vMotion interface.

Let’s take a look at vSwitch0 first:


Open Properties… and remove the VM Network portgroup.  Then, open the properties of the vSwitch and put both vmnic adapters as active.


Now open the properties of the Management Network and set vmnic0 as active and vmnic1 as standby.


Now, add a new VMkernel interface on vSwitch0.  Name it vMotion and enable it for vMotion.


Use IP for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


Finish the wizard, open the Properties of the vMotion Portgroup and set the NIC order so vmnic1 is active and vmnic0 is standby.


Repeat this procedure for ESXi2.

That’s it for vMotion.  Not really rocket science clip_image001[12]

Now it’s time to activate Fault Tolerance.  That’s right, Fault Tolerance running on vSphere in VMware Workstation!

Power Down your two ESXi hosts.

Open the Virtual Network Editor and create a VMnet4 network in the range.


Give each ESXi host 2 new Network Adapters in this VMnet4 network.


Power On the hosts and get into ConfigurationNetworking.

Click Add Networking… to add a new vSwitch.  Select VMkernel and use vmnic4 and vmnic5.


Name it Fault Tolerance and enable it!


IP will be for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


This gives you the following Networking Layout.


Now, before you enable FT on a VM, you need to set the following Advanced Configuration Parameters on EACH VM you want to protect with FT.

replay.allowBTOnly = true

replay.allowFT = true

replay.supported = true


Now you can run Fault Tolerance enabled VMs on your virtual vSphere 5 ESXi hosts!  How cool is that?  One exception though, the VM you enable for FT can be 32-bit only!

I personally like to play around with some DOS appliance which has some games installed.  It is small enough to run smoothly on these virtual environments.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 12: Finalizing the Lab

Our basic setup is almost ready.  We just need to give our VMs some networks to connect to.

Let’s create a new VMnet5 network in the Virtual Network Editor.  Use range and enable the Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VM.


Change the DHCP Settings and fill in a valid start and end address.


Power Off the ESXi hosts and give them two extra vNICs attached to VMnet5.


Create a new Virtual Machine portgroup/vSwitch on vmnic6 & vmnic7 and you’re set:


Now you can start creating your VMs, vMotion them around, play with Fault Tolerance, create dvSwitches, install VDR, experiment with vShield Zones, …  you get the picture clip_image001[13]

With this we can finalize this series.  You now have a fully functional environment which is very flexible and you can start playing with all the features in vSphere 5!

Happy playing in your Virtual Lab Environment!

Source & Credits:

Food for Thought

Two hundred years ago the average age of companies was measured in generations. The average age of companies today is running at 30 years, and futurists predict that within the next 20 years the average age of companies will be just 5 years. These statistics carry profound ramifications for each one of us because the working life of the average individual is 50 years!

For the first time in modern business history, each of us is being forced to face up to the reality that we are, in effect, in business for ourselves. Although we sell time, the value placed upon the time we sell is determined by the quality of our product – our knowledge! The more effective we are at applying our knowledge, the higher the value the market will place on our time!

The quality of your knowledge product though is not, in isolation, sufficient because your potential customers are all companies and these are, by their very nature, made up of teams of people – teams of people with diversified knowledge and skills. Therefore, the true measure of how valuable your product is relates directly to how effective you are at delivering direct results through making meaningful contributions to the team within which you operate.

From an age where we were told what to do, and we did it, we have moved into an environment where we often have to assess for ourselves what needs to be done – and then we have to figure out what we are best at doing in order to make the contribution that needs to be made. This reality means that we have to take responsibility for ourselves and pay careful attention to compiling, and continuously revising, our personal business plan. No company will, today, plan your career – you have to do that for yourself!

This is where the true challenge lies, because to plan our lives, to formulate our business plan, we have to have clarity as to who we are – we have to understand ourselves. Sure, we all want to be happy, healthy, and loved, but our minds are so turbulent and our bodies under such stress as a result, that we fail to pay attention to that one part of our being that acts as the cement for everything else and helps us identify our purpose and direction in life – our soul.

The first step in understanding yourself is to understand the connectivity between the three aspects of who you are – your body, your mind, and your soul:

  • Your Body is the collection of molecules that enables you to experience the world. It includes the sensory equipment that connects you to your environment (hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and smelling) and the motor system that enables you to act (your vocal apparatus, hands and feet). Each day your sensory experiences are influenced by the ever-changing chemistry and electricity of your nervous system, which in turn influences every cell and organ in your body. In this way, your experiences affect you biologically.
  • Your Mind is a field of thoughts, engaging in a continuous conversation about what has happened, what is happening and what might happen to you. In response to your perpetual experiences you form opinions, discriminations, evaluations and judgements, coloured by emotional reactions. Your thoughts, memories, desires and feelings are various expressions of your mind.
  • Your Soul is the silent witness to your mind and body. Your body is changing – look at a photograph of yourself from ten years ago and see how different it is to what you look like today. Your mind is changing – your beliefs about yourself and the world are different today compared to earlier times in your life. Quietly your soul observes all this, providing continuity to your identity and providing you with the stability you need to maintain balance.

When your observing soul, thought-generating mind and physical body are aligned, you are most likely to translate your intentions into choices that result in the outcome you desire. It is a decision from the soul that allows you to move through the door of change in such a way that you have absolutely no intention of retreating. This resolve we know as commitment – a commitment to ourselves!

In order to take responsibility for your life and career you have to make a commitment to yourself to do so. Commitment though, implies action – action that has to be practiced continuously. Through this continuously practiced action you form good habits that put you on autopilot in controlling your life. There are, however, three guiding principles you will have to adopt:

1. What you think, you become. Deep in your soul you suspect that you have not yet realised your full potential and are worthy of a lot more. You have to be honest with yourself and get your mind to start analysing these suspicions because it is the conscious mind that will release your free will and enable you to start writing a better ‘next chapter’ in spite of everything that has happened in your life to date. The primary requirement, however, is that you have to be willing to do things differently in order to realise different outcomes.

2. Release Your Past. We all have issues we have to deal with but spending years of time and energy trying to get to the bottom of the ‘problem’ that caused the issue in the first place is not the most successful strategy. It is possible to clearly understand why you are unhappy, but still not be happier. It is possible to know why you have made bad choices in the past, but this knowledge may not enable you to make better ones today. The most important principle is to let go of the past and commit to change. For our lives to change, we have to change!

3. Unlearning. Most people live their lives as conditioned as Pavlovian dogs, reacting in predictable ways to the situations, circumstances and people they encounter. Because there is security in doing the same things over and over, people stay in relationships that are not good for them, hold onto jobs that allow limited scope for self-expression and maintain daily routines that numb them to the opportunities that unfold around them all the time. Whether you like it or not, you are a creature of habit and if you are not getting what you want out of life you had better start identifying, and releasing, inhibiting habits! In their place form habits that will form you into the person you have always known you could be!

It is action that will take you where you want to go in life – not affirmations. Successful people do not continuously tell themselves "I am a powerful person!" – they prove their worth to themselves by taking action.

The challenge is here and now. You have no choice other than to take control of your life and career because nobody else is going to do it for you – they are just as confused as you are! Determine what knowledge you need to acquire, find out how and where to acquire it, go out and acquire it, and then apply it! Make yourself into the best product you can be in your specific field of expertise!

Coaching Tip:
Make the commitment now to…

– Determine what knowledge you need.

– Go all out to build that new knowledge

– Be true to yourself by applying the newfound knowledge!

Remember that internal misjudgments are six times more likely to cause business failure than external factors. Success in business, as in life, is all about getting the fundamentals right … and the actions you take!

Makes you think, doesn’t it!

With Smiles,




A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pa…ce and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station

was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?


With Smiles,


Why I hate Religion

What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?

What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?

Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,

And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?

Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?

Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced

Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,

Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,

Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,

Not realizing that’s just like sprayin perfume on a casket

Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,

It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.

Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,

Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,

Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,

Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your facebook

In every other aspect of life you know that logics unworthy

Its like saying you play for the lakers just because you bought a jersey

But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,

I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.

I’d go to church on Sunday, but on saturday getting faded,

Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.

Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,

But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,

Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken

I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,

Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.

because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,

God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”

Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called em fools

Don’t you see hes so much better than just following some rules?

Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin

But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?

Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by “religious men”

The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.

Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,

How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,

One is the work of God one is a man made invention,

One is the cure and one is the infection.

Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.

Religion says slave, Jesus says son,

Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.

Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.

This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.

Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,

Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.

Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face

He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.

While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,

Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you

He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,

Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room

So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,

Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.