New work machine, new network layout

Work sent me a new development box, a Dell Precision T5400, with a quad core Xeon, with 8 GB of RAM, add the free VMWare ESXi server and life just got better.....Virtual Machines ROCK!

Installed the ESXi server on the new hardware, ran the VMWare Converter on my existing VMs to move them to the server - worked great. Told the converter utility to create a VM from my running development box - and it did - took about 4.5 hours. When it was done, I started the new VM, fixed the network and video settings, and installed VMWare Tools.

The only snag was minor, I had to "re-validate" my copy of Windows XP Pro - this was easily done once I had my network settings corrected.

While it's possible to connect and manipulate the various virtual machines using the console from the VMWare Infrastructure Client - you get a better experience using a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP).

Using RDP allows you to several things, including forward audio from the remote machine to your physical one - this is good for things like email notification noises and what not. Also you can easily switch between full screen and windowed mode.

Going this route has made it possible for me to quite using a KVM, lose a ton of extra wiring that was snaking all over the place, and generally simplify my computing/development environment.

Given my particular network layout, I had to use port forwarding in my firewall to make the connections work, so each VM has it's own Remote Desktop port.

All in all it works well, here is the new network layout:

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