Bye, bye Service Console

This isn’t just another article about vSphere 5. It’s not my aim simply to rattle off a list of new and improved features. There are probably a plethora of those posts out there already, some better than others – use Google to find them. I was inspired to write this after I saw white paper linked to on Twitter about the differences between ESX and ESXi written by Global Knowledge. Actually it was the responses to that article that prompted me. Of all of the many changes announced today, it is the departure of the Service Console that is perhaps the most significant in my view. It may not be a new, super-whizzy feature and many people are already using ESXi and might be thinking “so what”. For me, removing the COS / SC / Service Console is significant for […]

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VMware Version Numbers

I’ve been invited onto the beta of the next version of VMware Workstation. There’s nothing much unusual about that. I have a licensed copy of it and have participated before. What’s different this time is the version number. VMware are (at present) calling this next version “VMware Workstation 2011”. (I don’t think I’m breaking the EULA or anything by mentioning this.) This would, if they stick with it, represent a change from previous versions (4.x, 5x, 6.x and 7.x to name but a few). This will be a marketing tactic. I’m not about to try and second guess what it might be. I’m more interested in whether this be applied only to the “consumer” products (e.g. Workstation, Fusion, Player etc) or if future versions of the “enterprise” products will adopt a similar convention. Imagine that your next datacenter upgrade is […]

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ESX and ESXi AD Integration

If, like me, you make your ESX / ESXi server passwords nice and complex you end up having to dig them out of a password safe every time you want to connect directly to one of them. Or you have an SSH connection manager of some sort perhaps. Even then, there will come a time when you want to connect directly and that 16 character, random, mixed case password just isn’t memorable enough for you to use it. Luckily if you’re running vSphere 4.1 or later you can configure your hosts to use AD authentication. Hooray! Obviously there are security implications to doing this. Each environment is different and any risks should be considered before implementing this. So, let’s deal with the pre-requisites first. There are three of those: Time synchronisation – Your ESX / ESXi hosts must be synchronised […]

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PowerCLI: Adding New PortGroups

I’m sure that someone somewhere has written a script exactly like this in the past but I wanted to write my own for a number of reasons. While I’ll probably never be a PowerCLI hero, it really doesn’t hurt to keep in practice and hone your skills.

Let’s start with what I want to accomplish. I’m working with an ESX 3.5 web hosting environment and there’s a new project in the pipelines. A brace of new servers are required and they’ll be on a new VLAN. The VLAN has been created and configured on the various switches that the ESX hosts connect to but now of course a corresponding PortGroup is required. (Actually two are needed – complex project.) Now we’re not talking about a huge number of hosts here. It would probably only take 10 minutes to do it by hand using the VI client. It’ll take me longer to write this post! However, it is something that happens relatively often in this environment so it’s worth taking the time to write a script. (more…)

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VMTools Version Mismatch

Before I get started, I just want to say that I don’t know for sure if this is an issue that is causing problems for some VMs that I have been looking at or not. I’d welcome any feedback, comment or help anyone has to offer on the topic. I thought that I’d share this just in case it helps anyone at any point. The environment that I’ve been working in is a shared web hosting platform built on ESX 3.5 and vCenter 2.5. Recently the focus of effort has been on data centre migrations, service migrations and office moves. Business as usual (BAU) activities have taken a back seat because of resource constraints. That includes upgrading the virtual infrastructure to the latest version. Currently vCenter is at Update 4 (build 147633) and needs to be brought up to date […]

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