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The top 10 VMware tutorials and tips for 2013

Backups, certification and desktop virtualization topped the list of the most popular VMware tutorials and tips from 2013.

While talk of network virtualization, hybrid clouds and software-defined data centers dominated the news out of VMworld 2013, virtualization administrators were looking for help with VMware certification, backups and desktop virtualization.

If you missed the best of the bunch for 2013, then scroll down for a compilation of the top 10 most popular articles on SearchVMware.

10. Stem high packet loss problems

Dropped packets can come from a variety of sources, but when the troubleshooting trail leads to the virtual infrastructure, what do you do? Depending on the host operating system, virtualization admins have a few ways to tackle a significant packet loss issue.

9. Test yourself on vSphere 5.1

While VMware vSphere 5.1 was a relatively minor update to the virtualization platform, administrators found a lot to love in this dot release in the form of added features and patches. But how well do you know the key features in vSphere 5.1?

8. Make a seamless move from a standard switch to VMware vDS

VMware tweaked virtual distributed switches (vDS) to make them more attractive for administrators configuring their vSphere virtual environment. But how do you handle a hot network migration to take advantage of this technology? This tip tells you how.

7. Get help with virtualization capacity planning

VMware Capacity Planner is a free tool for data center infrastructure management, but you can't download it without going through a VMware partner or consultant. If you don't want outsiders in your virtual server environment, there are a number of other free tools to help with capacity analysis and planning.

6. Set up a nested hypervisor in a home lab

Using a nested hypervisor -- a hypervisor inside a virtual machine -- in a vSphere home lab allows administrators to kick the tires on the latest VMware offerings without putting their production environments at risk. While nesting adds a degree of complexity, there are free utilities and tips readily available to make it a worthwhile endeavor.

5. Learn about the VMware VDP backup appliance

While many administrators tend to use third-party tools to back up their virtual machines, VMware introduced the latest iteration of its free backup appliance in the form of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) in vSphere 5.1. Are the tweaks enough to sway IT pros?

4. Decide on an end-user virtualization tool

There are several similarities between VMware's desktop virtualization products VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation, but the key differences may steer administrators to choose a particular offering over another.

3. Read up on VMware Workstation vs. Player

Both VMware Workstation and VMware Player let you virtualize applications and operating systems for testing and development purposes. While one is free, the other costs money but comes with advanced features that may be worth the price, depending on your needs.

2. Get familiar with VCP blueprint

Passing the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) test is one way to prove your expertise with VMware virtualization technology. This Q&A with Bill Ferguson, a VMware Certified Instructor, tells you where you should concentrate your studying efforts.

1. Find out about VMware VADP and vSphere Data Protection

Need answers to your burning VMware vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) and vSphere Data Protection (VDP) questions? This FAQ addresses the demise of VMware Consolidated Backup and the rise of VDP.

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