Virtual Machine Hardware Version does make a difference

For years, I have dismissed Virtual Machine Hardware version as unimportant. In fact, in this very blog, I may have advocated for leaving VM Hardware Version set at 8, to maintain full compatibility with both the vSphere C# Client and the vSphere Web Client. Unfortunately, thanks to Spectre and Meltdown, things have changed. Updating your… Continue reading “Virtual Machine Hardware Version does make a difference”

Spectre, Meltdown and VMware vSphere

Many people are under the incorrect belief that it is hardware-level firmware updates from companies like HPE and Dell that will protect our Virtual Machines from Speculative Execution Vulnerabilities. This is NOT TRUE. As far as your VMs are concerned, the VM BIOS and Hypervisor are the hardware!

VCSA and ESXi password security

I recently went looking for information on password security for the VCSA 6.0 & 6.5 and ESXi 6.0 & 6.5. Most specifically, I was interest in the number of passwords remembered, so I could define that in documentation for a client. Try as I might, I couldn’t find documentation for VCSA number of passwords remembered… Continue reading “VCSA and ESXi password security”

HPE Custom Image for ESXi 6.5U1 has been withdrawn due to purple-screen issues

HPE has quietly withdrawn the HPE Custom Image for ESXi 6.5U1 July 2017 due to purple-screen issues being experienced on a number of current VMware-supported servers (! The particular issue purple screen we saw when deploying this ISO against a HP BL460 G7 was: #PF Exception 14 in world 6824:sfcb-smx IP 0x1 addr 0x1  

OVF and OVA formatted Virtual Appliances

The Open Virtual machine Format (OVF) originally came about in 2007 as the result of a proposal by vendors (VMware, HP, Dell and others) to the Distributed Management Task Force (DTMF), the goal being to create an open standard for interchangeability (portability) of Virtual Machines between hypervisors. VMware was an early and enthusiastic adopter of… Continue reading “OVF and OVA formatted Virtual Appliances”

Patch your ESXi Hosts from the command line easily and quickly

In many situations it is desirable to patch your ESXi host(s) prior to being able to install or use VMware vSphere® Update Manager™. UPDATED 4/18/2016: HP has a new URL for HP Customized VMware ISO’s and VIB’s For example: Prior to installing vCenter in a new cluster Standalone ESXi installations without a vCenter Server Hardware… Continue reading “Patch your ESXi Hosts from the command line easily and quickly”

Changing existing LUNs to Round Robin on ESXi

In the following steps, I am going to show you how to set all of the VMFS Volumes (LUNs) on an ESXi Host to use the PSP known as Round Robin, using only the ESXi Shell and/or SSH. This is clearly the simplest and most direct method of changing the PSP for existing volumes, and… Continue reading “Changing existing LUNs to Round Robin on ESXi”

Timekeeping on ESXi

Timekeeping on ESXi Hosts is a particularly important, yet often overlooked or misunderstood topic among vSphere Administrators. I recall a recent situation where I created an anti-affinity DRS rule (separate virtual machines) for a customer’s domain controllers. Although ESXi time was correctly configured, the firewall had been recently changed and no longer allowed NTP. As… Continue reading “Timekeeping on ESXi”

iSCSI with Jumbo Frames and Port Binding

Immediately after installing an ESXi Server, you may or may not have any storage at all. Most ESXi servers today are diskless, with the ESXi installation living on some sort of flash-based storage. In this case a fresh installation of ESXi will present with no persistent storage whatsoever, as you can see in the example… Continue reading “iSCSI with Jumbo Frames and Port Binding”