How To Secure Erase ESXi Disks (HPE or Generic Hardware)

Since a couple of versions, vSphere comes with an erase function in the GUI. This function deletes all partitions to reuse disks with vSAN for example. However, data is not overwritten and can be restored.

Read more »

VMware ESXi 6.7 Installation on Intel NUC8i7HNK and NUC8i7HVK

When you try to install VMware ESXi 6.7 on the smaller version of the 8th Gen Hades Canyon Intel NUC (NUC8i7HNK), the installer fails to boot with the following error message:

Shutting down firmware services...
Using 'simple offset' UEFI RTS mapping policy

The problem only happens with the NUC8i7HNK, not its larger brother NUC8i7HVK.

It took a couple month and a lot of people were trying to get it up and running (eg. on Reddit) but the problem was finally fixed by Intel within BIOS Version 51.

  • NUC8i7HNK - Core i7‑8705G - Works with BIOS Version 51
  • NUC8i7HVK - Core i7‑8809G - Works out of the box

Read more »

7th Gen NUC Remote Management with KVM using vPro AMT

Intel's latest 7th Gen Dawson Canyon NUCs are equipped with AMT vPro Technology. Intel AMT (Active Management Technology) allows remote management including a KVM Console. vPro is available in NUCs with i7 and i5 CPUs. NUCs with i3 CPUs do not have vPro Technology.

7th Gen NUCs with vPro Technology:

  • NUC7i7DNHE
  • NUC7i7DNKE
  • NUC7i5DNHE
  • NUC7i5DNKE

Activation and access to the Remote Console/KVM are a little bit hidden. This post explains how to enable and use the remote management. Read more »

ESXi on 7th Gen Intel NUC (Kaby Lake - Dawson Canyon)

Intel launched a commercial version of their 7th Gen NUCs. The new Dawson Canyon named NUCs are available with vPro technology which allows you to manage NUCs remotely. NUCs are not officially supported by VMware but they are very widespread in many homelabs or test environments. They are small, silent, transportable and have a very low power consumption, making it a great server for your homelab. Generation 7 Dawson Canyon NUCs are available with i3, i5 and i7 CPUs but only i5 and i7 are equipped with Intel's vPro Technology. The i3 comes without vPro and has an identical CPU than the Baby Canyon. The i7 has a powerful 4 Core Kaby Lake-R CPU which give a great performance boost.

Read more »

vCenter Service Appliance 6.7 Tips and Tricks

VMware is moving their vCenter Server from Windows to the Linux based Photon OS. The following tips and tricks might come handy when working with the vCenter Service Appliance 6.7:

  • Enable SSH
  • File Transfer with SCP/SFTP
  • Public Key Authentication
  • Disable or Increase Shell Session Timeout
  • Password expiration
  • Reset vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 root password
  • Create a Backup Job
  • Certificate Warning

Read more »

Free ESXi 6.7 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 6.7 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 (But great community support)
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • Some API functionality is missing
  • No physical CPU limitation
  • Number of logical CPUs per host: 480
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8

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

Read more »

VMware ESXi 6.7 - IO Devices not certified for upgrade

vmware-hcl-65Beside Server Hardware, also double check if your IO Devices (eg. NIC, HBA,..) are supported when updating ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 6.5 to 6.7. The following devices were supported in vSphere 6.5 but are according to VMware's HCL not (yet) supported in vSphere 6.7.

  • Not supported does not say that it does not work.
  • The list has been created with the help of my IO-Devices HCL in JSON Format.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.

Read more »

VMware ESXi 6.7 - Hardware not yet certified for upgrade

Double check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts from to vSphere 6.7. Some systems have not been certified by their vendor yet. The following servers were supported in vSphere 6.5 but are according to VMware's HCL not yet supported in vSphere 6.7.

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.

Read more »

VMware vSphere 6.7 Configuration Maximums Changes

VMware vSphere 6.7 offers increased scalability. You can see a comparison against all previous versions at my ESX and vCenter Configuration Maximums page. Changes in VMware vSphere 6.7 are:

Virtual Machine Maximums

vSphere 6.7 vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0 
NVDIMM controllers 1 N/A N/A
Non-volatile Memory 1 TB N/A N/A
Virtual SCSI targets per virtual SCSI adapter 64 15 15
Virtual SCSI targets per Virtual Machine 256 64 64
Virtual RDMA Adapters per Virtual Machine 1 N/A N/A

ESXi Host Maximums

vSphere 6.7 vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0 
Maximum Non-volatile memory per host 1 TB N/A N/A
Logical CPUs per host 768 576 480
Maximum RAM per host 16 TB 12 TB 12 TB
Number of total paths on a server 4096 2048 1024
LUNs per server 1024 512 256
Volumes per host 1024 512 256

Fault Tolerance Maximums

vSphere 6.7 vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0 
Virtual CPUs per virtual machine 8 4 4
Virtual Memory per virtual machine 128 GB 64 GB 64 GB


vCenter Server Maximums

vSphere 6.7 vSphere 6.5 vSphere 6.0 
Hosts in linked vCenter Servers 5000 4000 4000
Powered on virtual machines in linked vCenter 50000 30000 30000
Registered virtual machines in linked vCenter 70000 50000 50000

Homelab - Will ESXi 6.7 run on Intel NUC?

esxi-on-5th-gen-NUC5i3MYHEVMware vSphere ESXi 6.7 is here and while you might want to wait before you 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 6.7 will run on 5th, 6th and 6th Gen NUCs just as ESXi 6.5

Long answer...

Read more »