Installing VMware Workstation Pro 14

VMware Workstation Pro 14 is a 64-bit Type 2 Hypervisor that is available for Linux and Windows.

As a Type 2 Hypervisor, Workstation Pro runs as an application on top of a full Operating System like Windows 10 or Ubuntu Desktop and claims compute and hardware resources from the parent OS, then allocates those resources to the VMs you create. Continue reading “Installing VMware Workstation Pro 14”

VCSA 6.5 consoles and connections

Being successful with VMware vSphere is largely about understanding “Who’s on first, What’s on second and Idunno’s on third,” at any given point in time. This is especially true with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), as it presents a several new console choices to the administrator. Continue reading “VCSA 6.5 consoles and connections”

Using WinSCP with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

From time to time, you will find it necessary to transfer files to or from your VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) or ESXi Servers. If you are working from a Windows desktop or server, there’s no more convenient utility than WinSCP for copying files securely between Windows and Linux Systems.

There are a few issues, however, when it comes to connecting to the VCSA with WinSCP that I will show you how to work around without reconfiguring the default shell of your VCSA! Continue reading “Using WinSCP with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance”

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 or how to configure it anywhere! Continue reading “VCSA and ESXi password security”

VCSA disks become full over time

I’ve recently spoken with a number of VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6 (VCSA) users that have had issues with the root filesystem of VCSA running out of space.

This situation seems to be occurring more often now due to a combination of when the VCSA 6 went mainstream (18 to 24 months ago) and the default 365 day password expiration. The combination is just long enough for the root password to expire and after about 6 months (depending entirely on the size and activity of the vSphere environment) the /dev/sda3 disk fills! Continue reading “VCSA disks become full over time”

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 (http://vmware.com/go/hcl)!

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

 

Continue reading “HPE Custom Image for ESXi 6.5U1 has been withdrawn due to purple-screen issues”

Revisiting scripted installation for ESXi 6.5

I thought I would revisit scripted ESXi installation for my lab. It’s been since 5.0 or prior since I actually went into depth on this and there are some significant changes for 6.5. The example script draws heavily from other sources and it is now working.
Continue reading “Revisiting scripted installation for ESXi 6.5”

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 the OVF standard, with support for import and export of OVF packaged VMs included in its hypervisors by 2008. Other vendors have shown varying degrees of support for the OVF standard, possibly as a reaction to VMware’s early adoption of the OVF standard. Most vendors and Cloud architectures have supported the OVF standard since the DTMF announced OVF 2.0[1] in January 2013. 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 replacement where you have ESXi Configurations backed-up with vicfg-cfgbackup.pl, but the rest of the hosts in the cluster are running a higher build number than the latest ISO available
  • It is just convenient on a new ESXi host, when internet connectivity is available!
  • Non-Windows environments that do not to intend to create a Windows instance just for patching ESXi

Continue reading “Patch your ESXi Hosts from the command line easily and quickly”

vCenter 6 Email configuration remains stuck in 1997

On the release of vCenter 6, I was personally very excited to see several email configurations which had not been previously possible. Listed under vCenter Server Settings > Advanced Settings were the following new keys:

  • mail.smtp.password
  • mail.smtp.username

vCenter SMTP keys

One might be led to believe that the ability to configure a SMTP username and password implied that one could also use a SMTP username and password; unfortunately that is not the case!

I have confirmed, after many hours of frustrating calls with VMware Support, that VMware vCenter still does not support email servers which require authentication.

To answer your question about SMTP authentication – I expect this to work in one of the next versions and from my understanding username and password fields are there for that reason, just not implemented under the hood yet.   -VMware Escalation Engineer

This fact is (and has been) noted in VMware KB 1004070 for quite some time, but the addition of the new keys led to some hope. I am told that KB 1004070 is being amended to reflect the fact that the keys “mail.smtp.password” and “mail.smtp.username” are fully without function in vCenter 6.