ESXi

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

Read More »5th Gen Intel NUC with 32GB Memory

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

Read More »What's Inside an ESXi vm-support Bundle?

Pre-installed ESXi 6.0 on SD Cards or Flash Drives

Many ESXi installations are running on SD Cards or flash drives. In my opinion, it's a good practice. The hypervisor itself requires about 150MB, and the full installation on a SD Card is less than 1GB, without diagnostic partitions. VMware recommends using a 4GB or larger USB/SD device. When you want to install ESXi and you don't use auto-deploy, install servers or other automation tools you typically have to mount an ESXi ISO file to your server management system (iLO, iDRAC,...) or work with a physical installation media. This is somewhat slow and uncomfortable, but there is a little trick to make the installation faster.

You can prepare the USB/SD device with the ESXi installer, plug it into your server and install it to the device itself by overwriting the installer. You can also use customized installers when your hardware requires special drivers.Read More »Pre-installed ESXi 6.0 on SD Cards or Flash Drives

How to hide a Virtual Machine

This post explains how you can hide a VMware based Virtual Machine from designated users or the entire vCenter Server infrastructure. I'am explaining different scenarios where you can hide Virtual Machines including:

  • Hide Virtual Machines from Groups or Users in vCenter
  • Hide Virtual Machines from the entire vCenter Server
  • Hide Virtual Machines from root on Single ESXi instances
  • Find hidden Virtual Machines

To clarify, this post does not cover techniques to cloak that the Guest OS is running on a virtual machine, instead of bare metal.

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Adding a second NIC to a 5th Gen Intel NUC (Or other PCIe Cards)

NUC5i5MYHE-with-external-nic-squareIntel 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. One major drawback is that they only have a single network port. There are USB NICs in the market, but for ESXi hosts they only work in path through mode. That means that USB NICs can only be used inside VMs and not for the hypervisor itself as vmnic.

The slightly older 4th Gen NUCs had a Mini PCIe slot that allowed an additional NIC to be installed. With that port it was possible to install a Syba Mini PCIe NIC for example. Nevertheless the adapter is unsupported with ESXi and did not fit into the NUC chassis, there are solutions.

Unfortunately, the 5th Gen NUC does no longer have a Mini PCIe slot. Instead it has M.2 slots. An easy solution would be a M.2 NIC, but until today there are no such cards available. In this post I will explain the possibilities to use PCIe cards with the M.2 slot to upgrade the 5th Gen NUC with additional NICs or other cards like Fibre Channel HBAs.

Read More »Adding a second NIC to a 5th Gen Intel NUC (Or other PCIe Cards)

VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 3 Released

VMware has just released vSphere 5.5 Update 3. Together with the Updates, the following products were released today:

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

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VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 1 Released

VMware has just released vSphere 6.0 Update 1. Together with the Updates, the following products were released today:

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

Read More »VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 1 Released

VMware ESXi 6.0 - Unsupported Hardware (All Vendors)

hcl-60-300x250-full-listDouble check your vendor support when updating ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 5.5 to 6.0. There are a lot of systems that are no longer supported. The following servers were supported in 5.5 U2 but are according to the VMware HCL no longer supported in vSphere 6.0.

Your server is listed and you want to upgrade? Don't panic.

  • Not supported does not mean that it does not work.
  • Servers get certified by their vendor, not VMware. If you want a server to get certified, ask your vendor.
  • Did I miss something? Please comment.

Last Update: September 10, 2015

This post contains a sortable and searchable list containing all vendors. It extends the shortlist of widley used servers I maintain since the vSphere 6.0 release.

Read More »VMware ESXi 6.0 - Unsupported Hardware (All Vendors)