VMware Homeserver – ESXi on 5th Gen Intel NUC

Intel NUCs are not officially supported by VMware but they are very widespread in many homlabs or test environments. They are small, silent, transportable and have a very low power consumption, making it a great server for your homelab. I’ve posted a preview at the beginning of the year and got my first 5th Gen NUC up and running in February. Today all versions of the NUC, including the flagship with the i7 CPU, are available in the market. Time to give it a more detailed review

esxi-5th-gen-nuc

5th Gen Intel NUCs are available with an Intel i3, i5 or i7 CPU. The Intel i3 and i5 are available with and without 2.5″ slot where the i7 is only available with 2.5″. With the NUC5i5MYHE there is also a i5 model with a faster vPro CPU.

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ESXi 6.0 May 2015 CBT Fix Patch (Build 2715440)

VMware has republished the patch for ESXi 6.0

Product: VMware ESXi 6.0
Release date: May 14, 2015
Patch: ESXi600-201505001
Build: 2715440
Links: KB2116125 | Download

The update resolves the CBT Bug

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New Tool: Decoder for ESXi SCSI Sense Codes

scsi-sense-codeI’ve published a new tool that helps to quickly decode SCSI error codes displayed in vmkernel.log when something gone wrong. The tool uses an internal database to translates SCSI codes to human readable status information.

VMware ESXi SCSI Sense Code Decoder

Please do not hesitate to comment when there are any questions, or you’ve encountered an error with the decoder.

How does it work? Let’s assume that your vmkernel.log shows the following error mesage:

2011-04-04T21:07:30.257Z cpu2:2050)ScsiDeviceIO: 2315: Cmd(0x4124003edb00) 0x12, CmdSN 0x51 to dev “naa.[…]” failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x24 0x0.

Simply enter the colored hexadecimal numbers to the form and press Submit:
scsi-sense-decoder-howto

The result and a short description is displayed:
scsi-sense-decoder-result

When you’ve entered all information, you can copy the URL for future reference. You can find the above example here.

ESXi 5.5 May 2015 Patch (Build 2718055)

VMware has republished the patch for ESXi 5.5 (ESXi550-201504002) that has been recalled this week.

Product: VMware ESXi 5.5
Release date: May 8, 2015
Patch: ESXi550-201505002
Build: 2718055
Build (security only): 2702869
Links: KB2114245 | Download

The update resolves 41 issues including the following: Read more »

VMware Recall: ESXi 5.5 Patch Release ESXi550-201504002

warningVMware has recalled the latest ESXi 5.5 Patch, released on April 30, 2015.

Affected Product:
VMware ESXi 5.5 Patch Release ESXi550-201504002
(build number: 2702864)

After upgrading to VMware ESXi 5.5 Patch Release ESXi550-201504002 (build number: 2702864) with VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x or Cisco Nexus 1000v, Virtual machines on VXLAN wires are unable to communicate across hosts with their Edges or Distributed Routers.

If you have already upgraded, perform a rollback to the latest version:

  1. Reboot ESXi Host
  2. When the Hypervisor progress bar starts loading, press Shift+R.
  3. The following warning is displayed:Current hypervisor will permanently be replaced
    with build: X.X.X-XXXXXX. Are you sure? [Y/n]
  4. Press Shift+Y to roll back the build
  5. Press Enter to boot

How to get “Use Windows session” Checkbox to work in VCSA6

You’ve just installed vSphere 6 vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and want to use the “Use Windows session authentication/credentials” checkbox like you know it from the vCenter Server running on a Windows Server?

You’ve already added an Active Directory as Identity source, and you can login with AD users, but the “Use Windows session authentication/credentials” still does not work?

You see the following error messages in the vSphere Client:
Windows session credentials cannot be used to log into this server.
windows-session-credentials-cannot-be-used

Or in the vSphere Web Client (If the checkbox is greyed out, install the Client Integration Plugin from the bottom of the login page):
Incorrect username/password
vsphere-web-client-incorrect-password

This post explains how to get the “Use Windows session” checkbox to work

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Which Performance Counters are available in each Statistic Level?

vcenter-no-data-availableWhen analysing performance metrics in the vSphere Web Client (Monitor > Performance) or in the vSphere Client (Performance Tab) you might have seen the following messages instead of performance graphs:

“No data available”

“Data is not collected for the current statistics level. Increase the statistics level to view the graph.”

Statistic parameters are “Interval Duration” and “Statistics Level”. This is what you configure in the vCenter Server settings:
vcenter-statistics-configuration

Interval Duration determines the frequency at which statistics are stores:

  • Realtime (20 seconds), save for 1 hour – not configurable, all metrics available
  • 5 minutes, save for X days
  • 30 minutes, save for X weeks
  • 2 hours, save for X month
  • 1 day, save for X month

Statistic Level determines the amount of data gathered and which counters are available for displayed. The default Level 1 stores the fewest metrics, Level 4 stores all metrics supported by the vCenter Server.

With vSphere 6.0, vCenter Server supports 544 metrics but as there are only 4 statistic levels it is not clear what metrics are included in each level. This post helps to understand what metrics are included in each level, and how you can add single metrics to lower levels. This might be helpful if you need single metrics from level 2, but do not want to activate all level 2 metrics.

Please note that changing the collection level beyond level 1 or adding a large number of data counters to collection level 1, might result in a significant reduced performance.

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vSphere 6.0 Performance Counter Description

vsphere-6-performance-metricsThis is a list of all available performance metrics that are available in vSphere vCenter Server 6.0. Performance counters can be views for Virtual Machines, Hosts, Clusters, Resource Pools and other objects by opening Monitor > Performance in the vSphere Web Client.

These performance counters can also be used for performance analysis with esxcfg-perf.pl, or PowerCLI.

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vCenter Server 5.0/5.1 Update – CVE-2014-6593 (SKIP-TLS)

vcenter-server-logoVMware has published an update for vCenter Server 5.0 and 5.1 where CVE-2014-6593 (SKIP-TLS) has been fixed.

It was discovered that the SSL/TLS implementation in the JSSE component in OpenJDK failed to properly check whether the ChangeCipherSpec was received during the SSL/TLS connection handshake. A man-in-the-middle attacker could possibly use this flaw to force a connection to be established without encryption being enabled. The update has been already fixed in newer versions of vCenter Server (6.0a, 5.5 Update 2e). More information are available in VMSA-2015-0003. Read more »

ESXi 5.5 April 2015 Patch (Build 2702864)

[Warning] This patch has been recalled!

VMware has published a patch for ESXi 5.5

Product: VMware ESXi 5.5
Release date: April 30, 2015
Patch: ESXi550-201504002
Build: 2702864
Links: KB2114245 | Download

The update resolves 41 issues including the following: Read more »