Category: VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is the Type 1 “Bare Metal” Hypervisor offered for free as “The VMware Hypervisor” or as part of the vSphere platform under a wide variety of licensing arrangements.

NFS Reading list for vSphere Users

I have to confess that I have always thought of NFS for vSphere as being a second-tier choice. Even the best solutions from well known vendors using 10GbE and SSD, NFS datastores always seem to under-perform and be more problematic as compared to block-storage SAN devices. Even with the theoretical reduction of overhead per payload (per Ethernet Frame), I’ve never found an enterprise NFS device that I wouldn’t gladly trade for a block-storage SAN when used for vSphere-specific applications. Continue reading

ESXi NC551m stops working after firmware update

In an ideal world, management would provide unlimited funding to upgrade hardware continuously! We all know that’s not going to happen! Sometimes it is necessary to prolong the lifespan of servers as long as possible, particularly when they are extremely well-provisioned devices, even by today’s standards!

Such is the case with our HP BL460 G7 Blades. They are each equipped with a dual-port 10Gb onboard NIC adapter (Emulex HP NC553i) and a dual-port Mezzanine NIC adapter (Emulex HP NC551m), rendering a total of four 10Gb ports.

Recently, after running HP Service Pack for Proliant (SPP), we lost network connectivity to the Emulex HP NC551m adapter. It wasn’t simply that no network traffic was being passed, but rather the entire adapter disappeared from the configuration in ESXi 6, and the adapters were not visible using the SSH CLI command: esxcli network nic list It’s as if the NC551m adapter simply wasn’t there! Continue reading

Setting the coredump partition when using vSAN

I was designing a customer vSAN deployment and I came across the guidelines and formula for calculating the required ESXi Coredump partition size: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2147881

Right away, I started working the formula for my customers deployment, when it occurred to me; this is WAY more complicated than it needs to be!

VMware actually wants you to take a number (the size of SSD in GB), divide by 100, multiply by 0.181 and then multiply by 0.25. Ridiculous!

  • Why not just multiply by 0.0045, it is exactly the same thing!

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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 VM Hardware Version also updates the VM BIOS, and that’s an important part in the remediation of Speculative Execution Vulnerabilities, specifically: CVE-2017-5715 ‘Spectre Variant 2’. Continue reading

VCSA and ESXi password security

vcsa 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

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

 

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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

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

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