Tag Archives: ESXi

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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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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Product End Of Support Matrix now available as JSON (incl. Script)

The database used at my VMware Product End Of Support Countdown is now available in JSON. The database is based on VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix and allows you to use the information in scripts or for automation purposes.

vmware-product-lifecycle-json

I’ve also written a small script to demonstrate what this information can be used for.

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ESXi Version Information now available as JSON (incl. Script example)

Out of many reasons, I need VMware ESXi version information in a format that can be reused in scripts. I maintain a manual list since a couple of years but this list can't be used for automation purposes. VMware does not provide this information in the required format, so I created my own database which is now also available as JSON file.

esxi-releases-json

I've also written a small script to demonstrate what this information can be used for. Read more »

Backup Solutions for Free ESXi

VMware offers a free version of their vSphere Hypervisor with some limitations like the lack of vCenter support. Another limitation is that APIs are read-only, so it's not possible to use the Data Protection API aka. VADP to make Backups.

Creating backups of Virtual Machines is also important on standalone ESXi hosts. The API limitation makes it impossible to create incremental CBT aided backups, but it's not impossible to create full copies of virtual machines. The post explains the technique to create backups and takes a look at solution that use these techniques.

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What's inside VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 2

VMware has just released vSphere 6.0 Update 2. Together with the Updates, the following product updates were released today:

If you want to get notified about new products, subscribe to my vTracker RSS Feed.

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How long are Virtual Machines stunned for Snapshots and vMotion?

I've read this excellent article by Cormac Hogan explaining why and when a Virtual Machine receives a "stun". This post is a follow-up explaining how you can determine the duration of a Virtual Machine stun on the most common vSphere functions:

  • Create a Snapshot
  • Delete a Snapshot
  • vMotion

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5th Gen Intel NUC with 32GB Memory

Intel NUCs with ESXi are being used as home servers and in many home labs. If you are generally interested in running ESXi on Intel NUCs, read this post first. Officially, it is limited to 16GB memory which might come a little bit short for virtualization labs. Recently Crucial has launched 16GB DDR3L modules for an affordable price (Intelligent Memory was the first in the market with 16GB modules, but they were quite expensive). I've ordered two Crucial 16GB modules (CT204864BF160B) and tested them in my 5th Gen Intel NUC (NUC5i5MYHE).

crucial-16-gb-module

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What's Inside an ESXi vm-support Bundle?

When you open a Support Request (SR) at VMware, the Global Support Services usually requests you to collect diagnostic information. You can create this log bundle with a special command line tool (vm-support), with the vSphere (Web-)Client or with the API. No matter how you create the bundle the result is always the same: a .tgz file containing your ESXi Host name and the creation date with a size of about 30 - 300MB.

This post explains what's inside this log bundle, but instead of simply extracting the file and looking at the result, I am going to take a look on how the file is created and what's part of the process.

Why is it important to know? Because it does not only contain data that allows VMware GSS to identify your issue, but also to help yourself to enhance your troubleshooting skills. The script gathers the output of many useful commands and there is nearly no black magic involved. You do not need special tools or internal VMware knowledge to make use of this log bundle.

vm-support

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