6.5

Tips for using USB Network Adapters with VMware ESXi

Running Intel NUCs and other SFF systems with ESXi is a proven standard for virtualization home labs. One major drawback is that most of the available SFF systems only have a single Gigabit network adapter. This might be sufficient for a standalone ESXi with a few VMs, but when you want to use shared Storage or VMware NSX, you totally want to have additional NICs.

This article explains some basics to consider when running USB-based network adapters with ESXi.

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ESXi VMKUSB NIC Fling adds support for 2.5GBASE-T Adapters

The USB Native Driver Fling, a popular ESXi driver by Songtao Zheng and William Lam that adds support for USB-based Network Adapters, has been updated to version 1.6. The new version has added support for RTL8156 based 2.5GBASE-T network adapters.

Multi-Gigabit network adapters with 5GBASE-T are available for a while, but those 5GbE adapters cost about $100 USD. The new driver allows the usage of 2.5GbE adapters that are available for as low as $25 USD. The driver was released yesterday, and luckily I already own a bunch of 2.5GbE adapters, so I could give it a test drive immediately.

CableCreation USB 3.0 to 2.5 Gigabit LAN Adapter (CD0673)

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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 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.

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VCSA 6.5 Broken Filesystem - "Welcome to Emergency Mode"

Today I managed to crash the storage used in my home lab. After fixing the FreeNAS box, my vCenter Server Appliance (Version 6.5 Update 1) refused to boot and after opening the console, it welcomed me with the following error message:

Welcome to emergency mode! After logging in, type "journalctl -xb" to view system logs, "systemctl reboot" to reboot, "systemctl default" or ^D to try again to boot into default mode.
Give root password for maintenance
(or press Control-D to continue):

Typically, this problem is caused by filesystem issues. This article explains how to fix the filesystem and get the appliance back up.

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What's inside VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1

VMware has just released vSphere 6.5 Update 1 including the following producs:

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

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