Author Archives: fgrehl

Run pgAdmin in a Docker container on the vCenter Server Appliance

In the last article, I've explained how to manage the vCenter Server Appliance vPostgres Databases with pgAdmin. This article goes a step further and explains how to run pgAdmin in a Docker Container on the vCenter Server Appliance itself. This method works with vCenter Server Appliance version 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0.

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Manage vCSA Embedded vPostgres Database with pgAdmin

This article explains how to prepare the vCenter Server Appliance to connect with external Postgres Management Tools like pgAdmin. This method works with vCenter Server Appliance version 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0.

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Connect and work with the vCSA Embedded vPostgres Database

This article explains how to connect and work with the embedded vPostgres Database of a vCenter Server Appliance version 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0.

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NSX-T 3.0 Evaluation - How to Download and get License Key

When you download and deploy NSX-T 3.0, the following message is displayed after login:

Some features are not supported with the Endpoint license. Please upgrade the license to use more supported features.

Unlike ESXi and vCenter, which are automatically running in a fully-featured 60-day evaluation mode after installation, NSX-T requires a license. The non-expiring license which is active by default is called "NSX for vShield Endpoint" and has a limited feature set.

This article explains how to register for an evaluation license and get access to NSX-T product downloads.

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VMware ESXi 7.0 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

Double-check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts to vSphere 7.0. Some systems have not been certified by their vendor yet. The following servers were supported in vSphere 6.7 but are according to VMware's HCL not yet supported in vSphere 7.0.

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 has been created with the help of my HCL in JSON Format.
  • Follow the comments to get notified of updates.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.
  • The list only contains systems by the following vendors: Cisco, DELL, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo, and Supermicro

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Demystifying vCenter Version and Build Number Mismatches

Have you ever wondered that the VMware vCenter Server build number mentioned in Release Notes does not match with the build number displayed in the vSphere Client? There are many different versions and build numbers used through the product. How the numbering works is different from Releases to Release. Here is an example of version numbers used in vSphere 6.7:

  • vCenter Server 6.7 U3f
  • Appliance Version: 6.7.0.43000
  • Windows Application Version: 6.7.0.31288
  • ISO/Installer/Update Build: 15976714
  • Appliance Build Number: 15976728
  • Windows Build Number: 15976721

In this article, I am going to explain where these numbers are used and also how the numbering differs from vSphere Release to vSphere Release (eg. vSphere 6.7 numbering standards differ from vSphere 6.5).

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VMware ESXi 3.5 - 7.0 Hypervisor Size Comparison

The VMware bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for over 12 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 7.0.ESX.

  • 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 6.7 - 129,51 MB
  • ESXi 7.0 - 149,40 MB

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Free ESXi 7.0 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 7.0 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 VMware's website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version but with some software limitations.

Tech Specs and Limitations

  • No commercial support (Community support)
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • Some API functionality is missing (API is read-only)
  • No physical CPU limitation
  • Number of logical CPUs per host: 480
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8
  • The Key is restricted to 100 Physical Servers deployments.

Other limitations like the 32GB Memory or 2 CPU Socket limit are no longer in place.

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How to add the USB NIC Fling to ESXi 7.0 Base Image

Many people are using the USB NIC Fling by William Lam and Songtao Zheng in homelabs. To make a fresh installation or upgrade as simple as possible, I've created a new Image Profile that contains the USB NIC driver.

This article explains how to create a custom ESXi 7.0 Image including the NIC driver to either upgrade previous versions of ESXi or make a fresh  ESXi installation with USB NIC support.

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PowerCLI Script to verify Hardware ESXi 7.0 Support

VMware vSphere 7.0 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 7.0. The script generates the following output for all hosts connected to the vCenter.

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