Category Archives: Virtualization

USB Devices as VMFS Datastore in vSphere ESXi 6.5

intel-nuc-with-usb3-connected-ssdIn ESXi 6.5, there are some changes concerning devices connected with USB. The legacy drivers, including xhci, ehci-hcd, usb-uhci, and usb-storage have been replaced with a single USB driver named vmkusb. The new driver has some implications if you are trying to use USB devices like USB sticks or external hard disks as VMFS formatted datastore.

Some people have reported that they have issues with USB Datastores since ESXi 6.5. I've tried to reproduce and fix those problems. This post explains the changes in the new version and how to create VMFS 5 or VMFS6 formatted USB devices as datastore on your ESXi host. Read more »

How to use ESXCLI v2 Commands in PowerCLI

PowerCLI, a set of PowerShell extensions for vSphere, is a great tool for automating VMware configuration and management tasks. It allows you to change a lot of ESXi host and vCenter settings. A powerful cmdlet is Get-EsxCli which allows you to run ESXCLI tasks from your PowerCLI console. ESXCLI is the main configuration command on an ESXi host.

This post explains how to use the Get-EsxCli cmdlet with the new V2 interface, which is much more intuitive than the old method.

get-esxcli

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ESXi 6.5 - ESXCLI Command Mindmap

esxcli-splashIn vSphere 6.5 the command line interface esxcli has a new namespaces and 93 new commands. Esxcli is a complete set of commands that you can use for troubleshooting, configuration or kickstart files. I have created and printed a mindmap to navigate through the namespaces more quickly. This post covers only basic namespaces, available on all ESXi 6.5 hosts. If you've installed additional software you might see more namespaces. I've also created mindmaps for ESXi 5ESXi 5.5 and ESXi 6.0.

ESXCLI in version 6.5 has 16 namespaces: Read more »

VMware vSphere 6.5 Configuration Maximums Changes

VMware vSphere 6.5 offers increased scalability. You can see a comparision against all previous verisons at my ESX and vCenter Configuration Maximums page. Changes in VMware vSphere 6.5 are:

Virtual Machine and Host Maximums

vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0 
RAM per virtual machine 6 TB 4 TB
Video memory per virtual machine 2 GB 512 MB
Logical CPUs per host 576 480
Number of total paths on a server 2048 1024
FC LUN ID 16383 1032
Volumes per host 512 256

vCenter Server Maximums

vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0
Hosts per vCenter Server 2000 1000
Powered on virtual machines 25000 10000
Registered virtual machines 35000 15000
Number of host per datacenter 2000 500
Virtual machines per cluster 8000 4000
Hosts per distributed switch 2000 1000


vmware-configuration-maximums-esx1-esxi65

VMware ESXi 3.5 - 6.5 Hypervisor Size Comparison

VMwares bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for almost 9 years now. During that time it has been continuously refined and added with new features. Since vSphere 5.0, the hypervisor size is very constant and has not increased severely. In this post I am going to have a look at how much the hypervisor footprint has been changed from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 6.5.

  • ESXi 3.5 - 46,01 MB
  • ESXi 4.0 - 59,99 MB
  • ESXi 4.1 - 85,19 MB
  • ESXi 5.0 - 132,75 MB
  • ESXi 5.1 - 125,85 MB
  • ESXi 5.5 - 151,98 MB
  • ESXi 6.0 - 154,90 MB
  • ESXi 6.5 - 135,39 MB

esxi-hypervisor-size-3-5-6-5

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New ESXCLI Commands in vSphere 6.5

esxcli-65In vSphere 6.5 the command line interface esxcli has been extended with new features. This post introduces the new and extended namespaces. Remarkable changes in esxcli version 6.5 are:

  • USB passthrough configuration
  • NVMe device status and configuration
  • VIB signature verification
  • Storage adapter capabilities
  • Device capacity information
  • VMFS6 reclaim configuration
  • vSAN iSCSI configuration
  • Physical nic coalesce queue configuration
  • WBEM configuration

 

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Homelab - Will ESXi 6.5 run on Intel NUC?

esxi-on-5th-gen-NUC5i3MYHEVMware vSphere ESXi 6.5 is here and while you should wait to upgrade your production, it's time to explore the new features in your Homelab. I've received a few questions on whether it is safe to upgrade.

Short answer
ESXi 6.5 will run on 5th and 6th Gen NUCs just as ESXi 6.0 U2

Long answer...

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PowerCLI Script to verify ESXi 6.5 support

VMware vSphere 6.5 is here and a lot of systems are no longer supported. Use the following script to verify that ESXi hosts in your environment are certified for running ESXi 6.5. The script generated the following output for all hosts onnected to the vCenter.
esxi65-check-support-powercli-output

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VMware ESXi 6.5 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

vmware-hcl-65Double check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 6.0 to 6.5. Some systems have not been certified by their vendor yet. The following servers were supported in vSphere 6.0 but are according to VMwares HCL not yet supported in vSphere 6.5.

Your server is listed and you want to upgrade?

  • Usually, the list gets smaller a couple of weeks after a new vSphere version has been released. I will update this post when I notice changes.
  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • Servers get certified by their vendor, not VMware. If you want a server to get certified, ask your vendor.
  • Vendor support matrices sometimes differ from VMware HCL. Please ask your vendor or VMware whether you are allowed to upgrade.
  • The list only includes common vendors: Apple, HP, Cisco, DELL, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo and Nutanix.
  • The list has been created with the help of my HCL in JSON Format.
  • Follow the comments to get notified about updates.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.

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Free ESXi 6.5 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 6.5 has been released and as known from previous versions, VMware provides a free version of their Hypervisor ESXi for everyone again. The license key can be created for free at VMwares website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version.

Limitations

  • No support
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • 2 physical CPUs
  • Unlimited cores per CPU
  • Unlimited physical Memory
  • max. 8 vCPU per VM

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