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vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on Intel NUC

When you want to build a VMware vSphere Lab at home, Intel might have a great system for you: The Intel NUC family - The Next Unit of Computing. The system was initially designed to be used as home theater or digital jukebox. Due to it's power it is also a fully adequate replacement for a desktop computer. The Intel NUC is big on performance and surprisingly small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for a virtualization home lab.


The Intel NUC System is available as system board only and with a chassis. Currently there are 4 models available, beginning with an Intel Celeron processor and ending with a powerful Intel Core i5 vPro processor:

    • DC53427HYE Kit / D53427RKE Board: 3rd gen. Intel Core i5-3427U (up to 2x 2.80 GHz)
    • DC3217IYE Kit / DC33217GKE Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
    • DC3217BY Kit / DC33217CK Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
    • DCCP847DYE Kit / DCP847SKE Board: Intel Celeron 847 (2x 1.10 GHz)

Read More »vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on Intel NUC

Preview on HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 for ESXi

Hewlett-Packard has just released a Generation 8 Microserver which is going to replace the well-known N36L/N40L/N54L Microservers. The new server has the same trendy design as the entire Gen8 series. The AMD Turion CPU has been replaced by an Intel Ivy Bride CPU which is way more powerful and the memory limit has been raised to 16GB. With that, the new server brings much more power to your VMware vSphere Homelab and allows you to run more virtual machines. In this post, I am going to compare both specs to point out what's new and better.

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Match VMware vCenter 5.1 Component Versions

With the separation of the vCenter Service into 4 components in vSphere 5.1 (vCenter Single Sign On, vCenter Inventory Service, vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client) there is a possible issue that you could have mismatched services installed. When you install an update you have to install all components one after another without having a workflow to check that all have been updated. I have already written about the update process from 5.1 to 5.1u1 and their versions but this is not the only update available. Now I've created an overview of all possible vCenter 5.1 version numbers that can be identified in the Control Panel.

Read More »Match VMware vCenter 5.1 Component Versions

Howto Update vCenter Server from 5.1 to 5.1 Update 1

About 6 months after the release of VMware vSphere 5.1 the first Update is available since this weekend. As you know, the vCenter Server has been split into 4 services: Single-Sign On, Inventory Service, vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. That makes the update process a little bit more more complex. Here is a small Walk-though how to Update to vSphere 5.1.0 U1

Read More »Howto Update vCenter Server from 5.1 to 5.1 Update 1

Intel CPU EVC Matrix (VMware Enhanced vMotion Compatibility)

Intel uses a model named "Tick-Tock" to follow every microarchitectural change with a die shrink. This results in having two EVC baselines for every microarchitecture. I've created a small table with a quick overview about EVC Modes with their appropriate CPU Series and Codenames used by Intel to denote their CPUs. I've also included additional Codenames that may be used by Intel for special processors. The upcoming Haswell architecture is named, but not yet available or supported by VMware.

This post is updated regularly. [Last Update: April 2018]

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vSphere Web Client vs. vSphere Client (C# Client)

Since VMware introduced the vSphere Web Client there is a common question: Which vSphere client should I use? The answer simple: You need both! 

There are many new features within vSphere 5.1 which are only available through the Web Client. But there are also many reasons to use the old C# Client: Some features and plugins are not implemented in the Web Client Client. There is no doubt that you need both clients to configure your vSphere 5.1 environment. But which client should you use for day-to-day work or for configuration tasks that are available in both clients?

This post has been updated to include vSphere 5.5 Features

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Howto: SSO - Simple AD Authentication with VMware 5.1

With vSphere 5.1 a new component called Single-Sign-On (SSO) has been introduced. The new SSO service is mandatory since 5.1. There is no way around, you have to use it. The good thing about it is that it has various authentication options and can be deployed in an redundant fashion. Unfortunately it adds a lot of complexity to your configuration but if you understand all of it's components and functions, you won't  miss it.

Read More »Howto: SSO - Simple AD Authentication with VMware 5.1