ESX

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 | vCenter, ESXi, vSAN | Information

Posted on Updated on

VMware announced the GA Releases of the following:

  • VMware vCenter 7.0 Update 1
  • VMware ESXi 7.0 Update 1
  • VMware vSAN 7.0 Update 1

See the base table for all the technical enablement links, now including VMworld 2020 OnDemand Sessions

.

Release Overview
vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 | ISO Build 16860138

ESXi 7.0 Update 1 | ISO Build 16850804

VMware vSAN 7.0 Update 1 | Build 16850804

What’s New vCenter Server
Inclusive terminology: In vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, as part of a company-wide effort to remove instances of non-inclusive language in our products, the vSphere team has made changes to some of the terms used in the vSphere Client. APIs and CLIs still use legacy terms, but updates are pending in an upcoming release.

  • vSphere Accessibility Enhancements: vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 comes with significant accessibility enhancements based on recommendations by the Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR), which is the internationally accepted standard.  Read more
  • vSphere Ideas Portal: With vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, any user with a valid my.vmware.com account can submit feature requests by using the vSphere Ideas portal. Read more
  • Enhanced vSphere Lifecycle Manager hardware compatibility pre-checks for vSAN environments: vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 adds vSphere Lifecycle Manager hardware compatibility pre-checks. Read more
  • Increased scalability with vSphere Lifecycle Manager: For vSphere Lifecycle Manager​ operations with ESXi hosts and clusters is up to:
    • 64 supported clusters from 15
    • 96 supported ESXi hosts within a cluster from 64. For vSAN environments, the limit is still 64
    • 280 supported ESXi hosts managed by a vSphere Lifecycle Manager Image from 150
    • 64 clusters on which you can run remediation in parallel, if you initiate remediation at a data center level, from 15
  • vSphere Lifecycle Manager support for coordinated upgrades between availability zones: With vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, to prevent overlapping operations, vSphere Lifecycle Manager updates fault domains in vSAN clusters in a sequence. ESXi hosts within each fault domain are still updated in a rolling fashion. For vSAN stretched clusters, the first fault domain is always the preferred site.
  • Extended list of supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu versions for the VMware vSphere Update Manager Download Service (UMDS): vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 adds new Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu versions that UMDS supports. For the complete list of supported versions, see Supported Linux-Based Operating Systems for Installing UMDS.
  • Silence Alerts button in VMware Skyline Health – With vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, you can stop alerts for certain health checks, such as notifications for known issues, by using the Silence Alerts button.  Read more
  • Configure SMTP authentication: vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 adds support to SMTP authentication in the vCenter Server Appliance to enable sending alerts and alarms by email in secure mode. Configure Mail Sender Settings.   Read more
  • System virtual machines for vSphere Cluster Services: In vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, vSphere Cluster Services adds a set of system virtual machines in every vSphere cluster to ensure the healthy operation of VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler. For more information, see VMware knowledge base articles KB80472KB79892 and KB80483.
  • Licensing for VMware Tanzu Basic: With vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, licensing for VMware Tanzu Basic splits into separate license keys for vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus and VMware Tanzu Basic. In vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, you must provide either a vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus license key or a vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus with an add-on for Kubernetes license key to enable the Enterprise Plus functionality for ESXi hosts. In addition, you must provide a VMware Tanzu Basic license key to enable Kubernetes functionality for all ESXi hosts that you want to use as part of a Supervisor Cluster.
    When you upgrade a 7.0 deployment to 7.0 Update 1, existing Supervisor Clusters automatically start a 60-day evaluation mode. If you do not install a VMware Tanzu Basic license key and assign it to existing Supervisor Clusters within 60 days, you see some limitations in the Kubernetes functionality. For more information, see Licensing for vSphere with Tanzu and VMware knowledge base article KB80868.
  • For VMware vSphere with Tanzu updates, see VMware vSphere with Tanzu Release Notes.
Upgrade/Install Considerations vCenter
Before upgrading to vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1, you must confirm that the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) mode is set to enhanced, which enables the Multiple Link Aggregation Control Protocol (the multipleLag parameter) on the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) in your vCenter Server system.

If the LACP mode is set to basic, indicating One Link Aggregation Control Protocol (singleLag), the distributed virtual port groups on the vSphere Distributed Switch might lose connection after the upgrade and affect the management vmknic, if it is on one of the dvPort groups. During the upgrade precheck, you see an error such as Source vCenter Server has instance(s) of Distributed Virtual Switch at unsupported lacpApiVersion.

For more information on converting to Enhanced LACP Support on a vSphere Distributed Switch, see VMware knowledge base article 2051311. For more information on the limitations of LACP in vSphere, see VMware knowledge base article 2051307.

Product Support Notices

  • vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1 does not support VMware Site Recovery Manager 8.3.1.
  • Deprecation of Server Message Block (SMB) protocol version 1.0
    File-based backup and restore of vCenter Server by using Server Message Block (SMB) protocol version 1.0 is deprecated in vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1. Removal of SMBv.1 is due in a future vSphere release.
  • End of General Support for ​VMware Tools 9.10.x and 10.0.x  VMware Product Lifecycle Matrix
  • Deprecation of the VMware Service Lifecycle Manager API
    VMware plans to deprecate the VMware Service Lifecycle Manager API (vmonapi service) in a future release. For more information, see VMware knowledge base article 80775.
  • End of support for Internet Explorer 11
    Removal of Internet Explorer 11 from the list of supported browsers for the vSphere Client is due in a future vSphere release.
  • VMware Host Client in maintenance mode
What’s New ESXi
What’s New

  • ESXi 7.0 Update 1 supports vSphere Quick Boot on the following servers:
    • HPE ProLiant BL460c Gen9
    • HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Plus
    • HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen9
    • HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 Plus
    • HPE ProLiant XL225n Gen10 Plus
    • HPE Synergy 480 Gen9
  • Enhanced vSphere Lifecycle Manager hardware compatibility pre-checks for vSAN environments: ESXi 7.0 Update 1 adds vSphere Lifecycle Manager hardware compatibility pre-checks. The pre-checks automatically trigger after certain change events such as modification of the cluster desired image or addition of a new ESXi host in vSAN environments. Also, the hardware compatibility framework automatically polls the Hardware Compatibility List database at predefined intervals for changes that trigger pre-checks as necessary.
  • Increased number of vSphere Lifecycle Manager concurrent operations on clusters: With ESXi 7.0 Update 1, if you initiate remediation at a data center level, the number of clusters on which you can run remediation in parallel, increases from 15 to 64 clusters.
  • vSphere Lifecycle Manager support for coordinated updates between availability zones: With ESXi 7.0 Update 1, to prevent overlapping operations, vSphere Lifecycle Manager updates fault domains in vSAN clusters in a sequence. ESXi hosts within each fault domain are still updated in a rolling fashion. For vSAN stretched clusters, the first fault domain is always the preferred site.
  • Extended list of supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu versions for the VMware vSphere Update Manager Download Service (UMDS): ESXi 7.0 Update 1 adds new Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu versions that UMDS supports. For the complete list of supported versions, see Supported Linux-Based Operating Systems for Installing UMDS.
  • Improved control of VMware Tools time synchronization: With ESXi 7.0 Update 1, you can select a VMware Tools time synchronization mode from the vSphere Client instead of using the command prompt. When you navigate to VM Options > VMware Tools > Synchronize Time with Host, you can select Synchronize at startup and resume (recommended)Synchronize time periodically, or, if no option is selected, you can prevent synchronization.
  • Increased Support for Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT) maximums: With ESXi 7.0 Update 1, you can configure more SMP-FT VMs, and more total SMP-FT vCPUs in an ESXi host, or a cluster, depending on your workloads and capacity planning.
  • Virtual hardware version 18: ESXi Update 7.0 Update 1 introduces virtual hardware version 18 to enable support for virtual machines with higher resource maximums, and:
    • Secure Encrypted Virtualization – Encrypted State (SEV-ES)
    • Virtual remote direct memory access (vRDMA) native endpoints
    • EVC Graphics Mode (vSGA).
  • Increased resource maximums for virtual machines and performance enhancements:
    • With ESXi 7.0 Update 1, you can create virtual machines with three times more virtual CPUs and four times more memory to enable applications with larger memory and CPU footprint to scale in an almost linear fashion, comparable with bare metal. Virtual machine resource maximums are up to 768 vCPUs from 256 vCPUs, and to 24 TB of virtual RAM from 6 TB. Still, not over-committing memory remains a best practice. Only virtual machines with hardware version 18 and operating systems supporting such large configurations can be set up with these resource maximums.
    • Performance enhancements in ESXi that support the larger scale of virtual machines include widening of the physical address, address space optimizations, better NUMA awareness for guest virtual machines, and more scalable synchronization techniques. vSphere vMotion is also optimized to work with the larger virtual machine configurations.
    • ESXi hosts with AMD processors can support virtual machines with twice more vCPUs, 256, and up to 8 TB of RAM.
    • Persistent memory (PMEM) support is up twofold to 12 TB from 6 TB for both Memory Mode and App Direct Mode.
Upgrade/Install Considerations ESXi
In vSphere 7.x, the Update Manager plug-in, used for administering vSphere Update Manager, is replaced with the Lifecycle Manager plug-in. Administrative operations for vSphere Update Manager are still available under the Lifecycle Manager plug-in, along with new capabilities for vSphere Lifecycle Manager.

The typical way to apply patches to ESXi 7.x hosts is by using the vSphere Lifecycle Manager. For details, see About vSphere Lifecycle Manager and vSphere Lifecycle Manager Baselines and Images.

You can also update ESXi hosts without using the Lifecycle Manager plug-in, and use an image profile instead. To do this, you must manually download the patch offline bundle ZIP file from the VMware download page or the Product Patches page and use the esxcli software profile command.
For more information, see the Upgrading Hosts by Using ESXCLI Commands and the VMware ESXi Upgrade guide.

What’s New vSAN
vSAN 7.0 Update 1 introduces the following new features and enhancements:

Scale Without Compromise

  • HCI Mesh. HCI Mesh is a software-based approach for disaggregation of compute and storage resources in vSAN. HCI Mesh brings together multiple independent vSAN clusters by enabling cross-cluster utilization of remote datastore capacity within vCenter Server. HCI Mesh enables you to efficiently utilize and consume data center resources, which provides simple storage management at scale.
  • vSAN File Service enhancements. Native vSAN File Service includes support for SMB file shares. Support for Microsoft Active Directory, Kerberos authentication, and scalability improvements also are available.
  • Compression-only vSAN. You can enable compression independently of deduplication, which provides a storage efficiency option for workloads that cannot take advantage of deduplication. With compression-only vSAN, a failed capacity device only impacts that device and not the entire disk group.
  • Increased usable capacity. Internal optimizations allow vSAN to no longer need the 25-30% of free space available for internal operations and host failure rebuilds. The amount of space required is a deterministic value based on deployment variables, such as size of the cluster and density of storage devices. These changes provide more usable capacity for workloads.
  • Shared witness for two-node clusters. vSAN 7.0 Update 1 enables a single vSAN witness host to manage multiple two-node clusters. A single witness host can support up to 64 clusters, which greatly reduces operational and resource overhead.

Simplify Operations

  • vSAN Data-in-Transit encryption. This feature enables secure over the wire encryption of data traffic between nodes in a vSAN cluster. vSAN data-in-transit encryption is a cluster-wide feature and can be enabled independently or along with vSAN data-at-rest encryption. Traffic encryption uses the same FIPS-2 validated cryptographic module as existing encryption features and does not require use of a KMS server.
  • Enhanced data durability during maintenance mode. This improvement protects the integrity of data when you place a host into maintenance mode with the Ensure Accessibility option. All incremental writes which would have been written to the host in maintenance are now redirected to another host, if one is available. This feature benefits VMs that have PFTT=1 configured, and also provides an alternative to using PFTT=2 for ensuring data integrity during maintenance operations
  • vLCM enhancements. vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) is a solution for unified software and firmware lifecycle management. In this release, vLCM is enhanced with firmware support for Lenovo ReadyNodes, awareness of vSAN stretched cluster and fault domain configurations, additional hardware compatibility pre-checks, and increased scalability for concurrent cluster operations.
  • Reserved capacity. You can enable capacity reservations for internal cluster operations and host failure rebuilds. Reservations are soft-thresholds designed to prevent user-driven provisioning activity from interfering with internal operations, such as data rebuilds, rebalancing activity, or policy re-configurations.
  • Default gateway override. You can override the default gateway for VMkernel adapter to provide a different gateway for vSAN network. This feature simplifies routing configuration for stretched clusters, two-node clusters, and fault domain deployments that previously required manual configuration of static routes. Static routing is not necessary
  • Faster vSAN host restarts. The time interval for a planned host restart has been reduced by persisting in-memory metadata to disk before the restart or shutdown. This method reduces the time required for hosts in a vSAN cluster to restart, which decreases the overall cluster downtime during maintenance windows.
  • Workload I/O analysis. Analyze VM I/O metrics with IOInsight, a monitoring and troubleshooting tool that is integrated directly into vCenter Server. Gain a detailed view of VM I/O characteristics such as performance, I/O size and type, read/write ratio, and other important data metrics. You can run IOInsight operations against VMs, hosts, or the entire cluster
  • Consolidated I/O performance view. You can select multiple VMs, and display a combined view of storage performance metrics such as IOPS, throughput, and latency. You can compare storage performance characteristics across multiple VMs.
  • VM latency monitoring with IOPS limits. This improvement in performance monitoring helps you distinguish the periods of latency that can occur due to enforced IOPS limits. This view can help organizations that set IOPS limits in VM storage policies.
  • Secure drive erase. Securely wipe flash storage devices before decommissioning from a vSAN cluster through a set of new PowerCLI or API commands. Use these commands to safely erase data in accordance to NIST standards
  • Data migration pre-check for disks. vSAN’s data migration pre-check for host maintenance mode now includes support for individual disk devices or entire disk groups. This offers more granular pre-checks for disk or disk group decommissioning.
  • VPAT section 508 compliant. vSAN is compliant with the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). VPAT section 508 compliance ensures that vSAN had a thorough audit of accessibility requirements, and has instituted product changes for proper compliance.

 Note: vSAN 7.0 Update 1 improves CPU performance by standardizing task timers throughout the system. This change addresses issues with timers activating earlier or later than requested, resulting in degraded performance for some workloads.

Upgrade/Install Considerations vSAN
For instructions about upgrading vSAN, see vSAN Documentation   Upgrading the vSAN Cluster   Before You Upgrade   Upgrading vCenter Server  Upgrading Hosts

Note: Before performing the upgrade, please review the most recent version of the VMware Compatibility Guide to validate that the latest vSAN version is available for your platform.

vSAN 7.0 Update 1 is a new release that requires a full upgrade to vSphere 7.0 Update 1. Perform the following tasks to complete the upgrade:

1. Upgrade to vCenter Server 7.0 Update 1. For more information, see the VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 Release Notes.
2. Upgrade hosts to ESXi 7.0 Update 1. For more information, see the VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 Release Notes.
3. Upgrade the vSAN on-disk format to version 13.0. If upgrading from on-disk format version 3.0 or later, no data evacuation is required (metadata update only).

 Note: vSAN retired disk format version 1.0 in vSAN 7.0 Update 1. Disks running disk format version 1.0 are no longer recognized by vSAN. vSAN will block upgrade through vSphere Update Manager, ISO install, or esxcli to vSAN 7.0 Update 1. To avoid these issues, upgrade disks running disk format version 1.0 to a higher version. If you have disks on version 1, a health check alerts you to upgrade the disk format version.

Disk format version 1.0 does not have performance and snapshot enhancements, and it lacks support for advanced features including checksum, deduplication and compression, and encryption. For more information about vSAN disk format version, see KB2145267.

Upgrading the On-disk Format for Hosts with Limited Capacity

During an upgrade of the vSAN on-disk format from version 1.0 or 2.0, a disk group evacuation is performed. The disk group is removed and upgraded to on-disk format version 13.0, and the disk group is added back to the cluster. For two-node or three-node clusters, or clusters without enough capacity to evacuate each disk group, select Allow Reduced Redundancy from the vSphere Client. You also can use the following RVC command to upgrade the on-disk format: vsan.ondisk_upgrade –allow-reduced-redundancy

When you allow reduced redundancy, your VMs are unprotected for the duration of the upgrade, because this method does not evacuate data to the other hosts in the cluster. It removes each disk group, upgrades the on-disk format, and adds the disk group back to the cluster. All objects remain available, but with reduced redundancy.

If you enable deduplication and compression during the upgrade to vSAN 7.0 Update 1, you can select Allow Reduced Redundancy from the vSphere Client.

Limitations

For information about maximum configuration limits for the vSAN 7.0 Update 1 release, see the Configuration Maximums  documentation.

Technical Enablement
Release Notes vCenter Click Here  |  What’s New  |  Earlier Releases  |  Patch Info  |  Installation & Upgrade Notes   |  Product Support Notices

Resolved Issues  |  Known Issues

Release Notes ESXi Click Here  |  What’s New  |  Earlier Releases  |  Patch Info  |  Product Support Notices  |  Resolved Issues  |  Known Issues
Release Notes vSAN Click Here  |  What’s New  |  VMware vSAN Community  |  Upgrades for This Release  |  Limitations  |  Known Issues
docs.vmware/vCenter Installation & Setup  |   vCenter Server Upgrade  |   vCenter Server Configuration
Docs.vmware/ESXi Installation & Setup  |  Upgrading   |   Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle  |   Host Profiles  |   Networking  |   Storage  |   Security

Resource Management  |   Availability  |  Monitoring & Performance

docs.vmware/vSAN Using vSAN Policies  |  Expanding & Managing a vSAN Cluster  |  Device Management  |  Increasing Space Efficiency  |  Encryption

Upgrading the vSAN Cluster   Before You Upgrade   Upgrading vCenter Server  Upgrading Hosts

Compatibility Information Interoperability Matrix vCenter  |  Configuration Maximums vSphere (All)  |  Ports Used vSphere (All)

Interoperability Matrix ESXi  |  Interoperability Matrix vSAN  |  Configuration Maximums vSAN  |  Ports Used vSAN

Blogs & Infolinks What’s New with VMware vSphere 7 Update 1  |  Main VMware Blog vSphere 7    |  vSAN  |  vSphere  |   vCenter Server

Announcing the ESXi-Arm Fling  |  In-Product Evaluation of vSphere with Tanzu

vSphere 7 Update 1 – Unprecedented Scalability

YouTube A Quick Look at What’s New in vSphere 7 Update 1  |  vSphere with Tanzu Overview in 3 Minutes

VMware vSphere with Tanzu webpage  |  eBook: Deliver Developer-Ready Infrastructure Using vSphere with Tanzu

What’s New in vSAN 7 Update 1   |  PM’s Blog, Cormac vSAN 7.0 Update 1

Download vSphere   |   vSAN
VMworld 2020 OnDemand

(Free Account Needed)

Deep Dive: What’s New with vCenter Server [HCP1100]    |   99 Problems, But A vSphere Upgrade Ain’t One [HCP1830]

Certificate Management in vSphere [HCP2050]      |     Connect vSAN Capacity Across Clusters with VMware HCI Mesh [DEM3206]

Deep Dive: vSphere 7 Developer Center [HCP1211]    |

More vSphere & vSAN VMworld Sessions

VMworld HOL Walkthrough

(VMworld Account Needed)

Introduction to vSphere Performance [HOL-2104-95-ISM]

VMware vSphere – What’s New [HOL-2111-95-ISM]

What’s New in vSAN – Getting Started [HOL-2108-95-ISM]

Create an ESXi installation ISO with custom drivers in 9 easy steps!

Video Posted on Updated on

One of the challenges in running a VMware based home lab is the ability to work with old / inexpensive hardware but run latest software. Its a balance that is sometimes frustrating, but when it works it is very rewarding. Most recently I decided to move to 10Gbe from my InfiniBand 40Gb network. Part of this transition was to create an ESXi ISO with the latest build (6.7U3) and appropriate network card drivers. In this video blog post I’ll show 9 easy steps to create your own customized ESXi ISO and how to pin point IO Cards on the vmware HCL.

** Update 03/06/2020 ** Though I had good luck with the HP 593742-001 NC523SFP DUAL PORT SFP+ 10Gb card in my Gen 4 Home Lab, I found it faulty when running in my Gen 5 Home Lab.  Could be I was using a PCIe x4 slot in Gen 4, or it could be the card runs to hot to touch.  For now this card was removed from VMware HCL, HP has advisories out about it, and after doing some poking around there seem to be lots of issues with it.  I’m looking for a replacement and may go with the HP NC550SFP.   However, this doesn’t mean the steps in this video are only for this card, the steps in this video help you to better understand how to add drivers into an ISO.

Here are the written steps I took from my video blog.  If you are looking for more detail, watch the video.

Before you start – make sure you have PowerCLI installed, have download these files,  and have placed these files in c:\tmp.

I started up PowerCLI and did the following commands:

1) Add the ESXi Update ZIP file to the depot:

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot C:\tmp\update-from-esxi6.7-6.7_update03.zip

2) Add the LSI Offline Bundle ZIP file to the depot:

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot ‘C:\tmp\qlcnic-esx55-6.1.191-offline_bundle-2845912.zip’

3) Make sure the files from step 1 and 2 are in the depot:

Get-EsxSoftwareDepot

4) Show the Profile names from update-from-esxi6.7-6.7_update03. The default command only shows part of the name. To correct this and see the full name use the ‘| select name’ 

Get-EsxImageProfile | select name

5) Create a clone profile to start working with.

New-EsxImageProfile -cloneprofile ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard -Name ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard-QLogic -Vendor QLogic

6) Validate the LSI driver is loaded in the local depot.  It should match the driver from step 2.  Make sure you note the name and version number columns.  We’ll need to combine these two with a space in the next step.

Get-EsxSoftwarePackage -Vendor q*

7) Add the software package to the cloned profile. Tip: For ‘SoftwarePackage:’ you should enter the ‘name’ space ‘version number’ from step 6.  If you just use the short name it might not work.

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage

ImageProfile: ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard-QLogic
SoftwarePackage[0]: net-qlcnic 6.1.191-1OEM.600.0.0.2494585

8) Optional: Compare the profiles, to see differences, and ensure the driver file is in the profile.

Get-EsxImageProfile | select name   << Run this if you need a reminder on the profile names

Compare-EsxImageProfile -ComparisonProfile ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard-QLogic -ReferenceProfile ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard

9) Create the ISO

Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard-QLogic” -ExportToIso -FilePath c:\tmp\ESXi-6.7.0-20190802001-standard-QLogic.iso

That’s it!  If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ videos and blogs that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start posting boring video blogs!

Cross vSAN Cluster support for FT

 

F11 Key for nested ESXi with MAC OS X

Posted on Updated on

In my home office and abroad I use a MAC Powerbook with VMware fusion quite a bit and most recently I was installing ESXi to a Fusion VM.  Kindly enough the ESXi install program asked me to push F11 to continue, and when I pushed F11 my wonderful MAC translated this as the MAC function — shrink the screen.

By default, the MAC function keys are for MAC purposes vs. the standard function key they are intended.  After doing a bit of searching I found two options.   1 – You can use the keypress as I described below or 2 – you can adjust your MAC settings under keyboard and uncheck “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys”

At this point, I didn’t want to change the overall behavior of my MAC and I went with option 1.  To issue the F11 key in a fusion VM simply Press FN-CMD-F11 and this allows the ESXi install to continue.


Turning a ‘No you cannot attend’ to a ‘Yes’ for VMworld

Posted on

I’ve been lucky enough to make it to very VMworld since 2008 and 2014 will be my 7 time in a row. In this blog post I wanted to share with you a breakdown of some of the tips and tricks I’ve used to get to these events. Being the former Phoenix VMUG leader I’ve shared these tips with fellow VMUG users and now I’m sharing them with all of you. Users would tell me cost is the number one reason why they don’t go – “My Company sees value in this event but will not pay for it”. This breaks down to Food, Hotel, Travel, and the infamous golden ticket aka the VMworld pass. So how do users overcome the cost to attend? This is what this blog post is all about…

Working with your employer –

Having your employer pick of the tab not only benefits them as a company but yourself too. As you know VMworld is full of great content and the socialization aspects are second to none. Chances are you’ll be asked to put together a total cost to attend and this cost can be quite high for some companies on a tight budget. My suggestion is if you are getting the big ‘No’ then work with your boss around the total costs. First find out why it’s a ‘No’ and look for opportunities to overcome this. Maybe your company will pay for some of the items. Example – They might be able to cover airfare, but the rest is on you. Don’t forget if your company has a VMware TAM (Technical Account Manager) reach out them. Even if you are not directly working with the TAM they are your best resource not only for VMware Technology but for getting you to VMworld. They don’t have passes but the usually know the community very well and can assist.

Sometimes I hear “My employer will not allow me to accept gifts”. True your company may have a policy around the type of gifts you can receive and by all means follow this policy. However, keep in mind you may be able to take vacation time and represent yourself at this event not your employer. Then there is a possibility gifts could be accepted but on the premises you don’t represent your company. Some companies are okay with this but just make sure they are. If you are able to do this I would suggest you represent it as ‘personal development’.

How do I get a free VMworld Pass aka the Golden Ticket?

This can be your biggest challenge. However here are some ways to get your hands on one.

  • Give-a-ways
    • I can’t tell you how many vendors have giveaways contests right now — hit them early and enter as many as you can find
    • Tips-
      • When you enter, find out who your local vendor contact is and let them know you entered then stay in contact with them
      • Keep in mind not all contests are the same, some are based on random drawing and others are not. This is why I say keep in contact with the vendor.
      • How do I find give-a-ways >> Google ‘VMworld getting there for free’
  • Get the word out
    • Tell your boss, workmates, vendors, partners, use twitter, linked in etc. and Repeat again and again. By doing this you let others know about your strong interest in getting there, in turn they might get a lead for you.
    • Most importantly, reach out to your local VMUG leader and ask them for tips in your area. They are usually well connected and might have a lead for you as well.
    • Follow Twitter and Linked In – You never know who is going to post up “I have a pass and need to give it to someone” Yes that is right, before the event you can transfer a pass to someone.
      • New to Twitter, need contacts? It’s simple find the #VMworld hastag, see who is posting to it and start following them. Then look at all their contacts and follow them too, soon you’ll have a gaggle of folks
    • This sound like work why do all this? Simple, distributed coverage model. The more people know the more likely they are to help and in turn the more likely you’ll succeed
  • Don’t forgo an Expo-Only or Solutions Exchange Pass
    • If you get offered this pass take it. I can’t tell you how many vendors have these passes and cannot give them away, seriously this is gold but folks don’t know how to leverage them.
    • First off this pass has great value, there is a TON of value here
    • Second this pass can get you on to the Solutions Exchange floor where all the vendors and partners are.
      • Once there start talking to all the vendors, fellow attendee, all those folks you meet on twitter, etc. as you never know who has a full pass they couldn’t get rid of, take it and upgrade yours
    • Third while you are there with an Expo Pass use Twitter and the VMworld hash tags to let folks know you’re here and you are looking for a full pass.
    • Stop by the VMUG booth on the Expo floor, you never know who will be there and you never know users there might be able to help you
  • Vendors and Partners
    • Find out who is sponsoring VMworld this year, and then…
      • Start calling the ones you know well, ask them for support getting there
      • Don’t forget to call the ones you don’t know so well too
      • If you have deal on the table with a vendor coming up, inquire if they will put or through in passes, travel, etc.
  • Finally biting the bullet and buying a ticket
    • If you are going this route at least try to get a discount your ticket. Discounts change from year to year, so you’ll need to read the T&C’s around this. Simply google ‘vmworld discounts’
      • Early Bird Pricing
      • VMUG Advantage Discount
      • Alumni
      • VCP
      • Group Discounts
    • Use PSO Credits to Pay
      • Another way to pay is PSO Credits. Rules around this can change from year to year but if you plan ahead these can be a way to get to VMware.
      • TIPS – Use those unused credits to pay, Are you renewing your ELA? See how you can bake in PSO credits just for VMworld

What about Food, Hotel, and Travel Costs?

  • Food
    • There will be free food everywhere, in-fact feel free to give some to the homeless I usually do.
    • If you get a pass then lunch and usually breakfast are included
    • For dinner, find out where the nightly events are as they usually have food
    • Talk with Vendors they might take you out, you never know
  • Hotel
    • Ask a Vendor to pay for just the room or ask them to gift hotel points to you
    • Room Share with someone at the event << Think about it, you won’t be in the room that often and chances are from 7AM till 10PM you’ll be out of your room
    • Use Travel sites to cut down the cost
      • Secret Hotels: Carriage Inn and The Mosser. Good if you’re on a budget these fill up quickly so book ahead
    • Use your Hotel or other travel points to book the hotel for free
    • Get a low cost hotel away from the event, but watch your travel costs
  • Travel
    • Airfare
      • Ask a vendor to pay for just the airfare, or maybe they have points they can gift you
      • Use your own travel points to pay for this
    • Rideshare to the event
      • See if one of your connections are driving to the event, offer to split fuel costs
      • You drive someone to the event, and they pick up the hotel or vise versa
    • Local Travel
      • Use the following –
        • VMworld Shuttle
        • Bus
        • Uber
        • BART
      • Once again hit up those vendors, they might have a way to get you around for free

Finally here is a breakdown of how I got to so many events and how/who paid for it….

Year

Pass

Travel

Food

Hotel

2008 VMworld

Vendor Sponsor – Full Pass

Employer Paid

Vendor / Event

Employer Paid

2009 VMworld

VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass

Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles

Vendor / Event

Employer Paid

2010 VMworld

VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass

Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles

Vendor / Event

Vendor Sponsored

2011 VMworld

Vendor Sponsor – Expo Pass but I got an upgrade to Full by asking others

I drove two others and I paid for the fuel

Vendor / Event

Travel Companion paid for room

2012 VMworld

Employee Labs

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

2013 VMworld

Employee TAM

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

2014 VMworld

Employee TAM

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

Employer Paid

 

Summing it up…

My take is, if you REALLY want to go you’ll get there but sometimes it takes effort to do so and if you do it right it might not cost you a thing. Don’t let anything stop you and find your way there.

Finally, after you’ve been to the event don’t forget about the folks who got you there and say ‘Thank you’. Then over the next year continue to build this relationship as you never know if you’ll need help again, or you want to help someone else get there.

Turning a ‘No you cannot attend’ to a ‘Yes’ for VMworld

Posted on Updated on

I’ve been lucky enough to make it to every VMworld since 2008 and 2014 will be my 7th. time in a row. In this blog post I wanted to share with you a breakdown of some of the tips and tricks I’ve used to get to these events. Being the former Phoenix VMUG leader I’ve shared these tips with fellow VMUG users and now I’m sharing them with all of you. Users would tell me cost is the number one reason why they don’t go – “My Company sees value in this event but will not pay for it”. This breaks down to Food, Hotel, Travel, and the infamous golden ticket, aka the VMworld pass. So how do users overcome the cost to attend? This is what this blog post is all about…

Working with your employer –

Having your employer pick up the tab not only benefits them as a company but yourself too. As you know VMworld is full of great content and the socialization aspects are second to none. Chances are you’ll be asked to put together a total cost to attend and this cost can be quite high for some companies on a tight budget. My suggestion is if you are getting the big ‘No’ then work with your boss around the total costs. First find out why it’s a ‘No’ and look for opportunities to overcome this. Maybe your company will pay for some of the items. Example – They might be able to cover airfare, but the rest is on you. Don’t forget if your company has a VMware TAM (Technical Account Manager) reach out them. Even if you are not directly working with the TAM they are your best resource not only for VMware Technology but also for getting you to VMworld. They don’t have passes but they usually know the community very well and can assist.

Sometimes I hear “My employer will not allow me to accept gifts”. True your company may have a policy around the type of gifts you can receive and by all means follow this policy. However, keep in mind you may be able to take vacation time and represent yourself at this event not your employer. Then there is a possibility gifts could be accepted but on the premises you don’t represent your company. Some companies are okay with this but just make sure they are. If you are able to do this I would suggest you represent it as ‘personal development’.

How do I get a free VMworld Pass?

This can be your biggest challenge. However here are some ways to get your hands on one.

  • Give-a-ways
    • I can’t tell you how many vendors have giveaways contests right now — hit them early and enter as many contests as you can find
    • Tips-
      • When you enter, find out who your local vendor contact is and let them know you entered. Then stay in contact with them.
      • Keep in mind not all contests are the same, some are based on random drawing and others are not. This is why I say keep in contact with the vendor.
      • How do I find give-a-ways >> Google ‘VMworld getting there for free’
  • Get the word out
    • Tell your boss, workmates, vendors, and partners.  Post on Twitter, Linked-In, etc. and Repeat again and again. By doing this you let others know about your strong interest in getting there, in turn they might get a lead for you.
    • Most importantly, reach out to your local VMUG leader and ask them for tips in your area. They are usually well connected and might have a lead for you as well.
    • Follow Twitter and Linked-In – You never know who is going to post up “I have a pass and need to give it to someone”. Yes that is right, before the event you can transfer a pass to someone.
      • New to Twitter, need contacts? It’s a pretty simple to get started.  Simply find the #VMworld hastag, see who is posting to it and start following them. Then look at all their contacts and follow them too, soon you’ll have a gaggle of folks.
    • This sound like work.  Why do all this? Simple, distributed coverage model. The more people know the more likely they are to help and in turn the more likely you’ll succeed
  • Don’t forgo an Expo-Only or Solutions Exchange Pass
    • If you get offered this pass take it. I can’t tell you how many vendors have these passes and have trouble giving them away, seriously this is gold but folks don’t know how to leverage them.
    • First off this pass has great value, there is a TON of value here.
    • Second this pass can get you on to the Solutions Exchange floor where all the vendors and partners are.
      • Once there start talking to all the vendors, fellow attendee, all those folks you meet on Twitter, etc. as you never know who has a full pass they couldn’t get rid of, take it and upgrade yours.
    • Third, while you are there with an Expo Pass use Twitter and the VMworld hash tags to let folks know you’re here and you are looking for a full pass.
    • Stop by the VMUG booth on the Expo floor, you never know who will be there and you never know if users there might be able to help you.
  • Vendors and Partners
    • Find out who is sponsoring VMworld this year, and then…
      • Start calling the ones you know well, ask them for support getting there.
      • Don’t forget to call the ones you don’t know so well too.
      • If you have an upcoming deal on the table with a vendor, inquire if they will throw in passes, travel, etc.

What about Food, Hotel, and Travel Costs?

  • Food
    • There will be free food everywhere, in-fact feel free to give some to the homeless I usually do.
    • If you get a pass then lunch and usually breakfast are included.
    • For dinner, find out where the nightly events are as they usually have food.
    • Talk with Vendors as they might take you out, you never know.
  • Hotel
    • Ask a Vendor to pay for just the room or ask them to gift hotel points to you.
    • Room Share with someone at the event << Think about it, you won’t be in the room that often and chances are from 7AM till 10PM you’ll be out of your room.
    • Use travel sites to cut down the cost.
      • Secret Hotels: Best Western Carriage Inn and The Mosser. Good if you’re on a budget but chances are they are full this year (2014).
    • Use your hotel or other travel points to book the hotel for free.
    • Get a low cost hotel away from the event, but watch your travel costs.
  • Travel
    • Airfare
      • Ask a vendor to pay for just the airfare, or maybe they have points they can gift you.
      • Use your own travel points to pay for this.
    • Rideshare to the event
      • See if one of your connections are driving to the event, offer to split fuel costs.
      • You drive someone to the event, and they pick up the hotel or vise versa.
    • Local Travel
      • Use the following –
        • VMworld Shuttle
        • Bus
        • Uber
        • BART
      • Once again hit up those vendors, they might have a way to get you around for free

Finally here is a breakdown of how I got to so many events and how/who paid for it….

Year Pass Travel Food Hotel
2008 VMworld Vendor Sponsor – Full Pass Employer Paid Vendor / Event Employer Paid
2009 VMworld VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles Vendor / Event Employer Paid
2010 VMworld VMUG Sponsored – Full Pass Vendor paid for Airfare with Miles Vendor / Event Vendor Sponsored
2011 VMworld Vendor Sponsor – Expo Pass but I got an upgrade to Full by asking others I drove two others and I paid for the fuel Vendor / Event Travel Companion paid for room
2012 VMworld Employee Labs Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid
2013 VMworld Employee TAM Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid
2014 VMworld Employee TAM Employer Paid Employer Paid Employer Paid

Summing it up…

My take is this, if you REALLY want to go you’ll get there but sometimes it takes effort to do so and if you do it right it might not cost you a thing. Don’t let anything stop you and find your way there.

Finally, after you’ve been to the event don’t forget about the folks who got you there and say ‘Thank you’. Then over the next year continue to build this relationship, as you never know if you’ll need help again, or you want to help someone else get there.

Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x – Poster

Posted on Updated on

 

This is by far and away my favorite VMware Poster and I use it as a reference quite often.

Benefits –

  • Clear representation of all the TCP/IP Ports needed by VMware Products and their dependences
  • PDF has a very clear diagram that can be printed on to a large format
  • PDF Diagram has reference numbers that correlate to further slides for more information

You can find the PDF Here >>http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2054806

PIC of the Reference Link –

Part of a PIC of the Port Diagram

vSAN 1.0 Released Home lab update here I come!

Posted on Updated on

In case you missed the vSAN announcement and demo on www.vmware.com/now Here is a quick review…

  • General Availability of Virtual SAN 1.0 the week of March 10th
  • vSphere 5.5 Update 1 will support VSAN GA
  • Support for 32 hosts in a Virtual SAN cluster
  • Support for 3200 VMs in a Virtual SAN cluster
    • Note, due to HA restrictions only 2048 VMs can be HA protected
  • Full support for VMware Horizon / View
  • Elastic and Linear Scalability for both capacity and performance
  • VSAN is not a virtual storage appliance (VSA). Performance is much better than any VSA!
  • 2 Million IOPS validated in a 32 host Virtual SAN cluster
  • ~ 4.5PB in a 32 host cluster
  • 13 different VSAN Ready Node configurations between Cisco IBM Fujitsu and Dell available at GA, with more coming soon

Elaboration and analysis: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/06/vsan_emerges_at_a_whopping_32_nodes_and_two_meeelion_iops/

VSAN Hands-on Labs (already available): https://blogs.vmware.com/hol/2014/03/click-go-take-vsan-hands-labs.html

Cormac as always does a great review as well — http://cormachogan.com/2014/03/06/virtual-san-vsan-announcement-review/

 

vSAN will be the next direction for my home lab as I plan to move away from in my opinion a buggy FreeNAS product.

High speed networking is required for the replication network and my back plane will be something like this — http://www.bussink.ch/?p=1183

I’ll post up more as it progresses.

Enjoy!

Patches? Patches? We don’t need no stinkin’ Patches

Posted on

 

Recently I reviewed some of the patching techniqus around ESXi and vCenter Server.

The question I wanted to know more about was – How are products (vCenter and ESX(i) patched (4.0 and above)?  

What I found was “it depends” J but I remember them this way…

Note – Before I apply ANY patch or update I always check the HCL, check with my hardware vendor, and read the release notes as most patches contain prerequisites.

 

vCenter Server is simple, I remember it this way “Patches? Patches? We don’t need no stinkin’ Patches…”

ESXi — Can be a bit more complicated…  It’s more like this — “I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real; if it’s out of the can then nothing.”

 

Here is a bit more depth –

vCenter Server (VC) Windows Edition –

VC 4.x, 5.0 and 5.1 – There are no patches vCenter Server only full updates packages which contain all the content. AKA – Patches are included in the each releases.

VC 5.5 – No patches for VC just updates but there are patches for tcServer and JRE.  These patches will be released on an as needed basis.

It’s pretty simple, if you want to patch your vCenter Server then just install an Update, but do your
homework
first.

 

ESXi —

First off Patches are not exactly cumulative and depending on how you update ESXi the Build numbers and sub-components can be off.

Trying to simplify this… it’s not a cut and dry method but here is what I found…

In most cases (not all) it seems to come down to two ways of updating your host. Ask yourself this:

1.     Do you want ESXi to report the more accurate Build Number and have all the underlying sub-components (Virt Hardware, Tools, etc) up to date?

2.     OR is it more important to just have a specific Patch installed?

 

If Yes to “more accurate Build Number” then this is suggested…

Update ESXi to the latest Update, then apply the latest Patch.

This should ensure the sub-components contained within are updated uniformly and the build number should report properly.

Accurate Build Number Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1, update it to ESXi 4.1U3 first, then Apply Patch 9

The result should yield an ESXi server and subcomponents fully up to date

 

If Yes to “more important to just have a specific Patch” Simple answer is just apply that patch

However depending on your current level of ESXi the patch may not contain all the updated sub-components.

It will contain the Patches and Security updates documented in its KB or release notes.

 

Specific Patch Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1, Just Apply Patch 9

The result should yield an ESXi Server with Patch 9 and the sub-components may not be updated, it depends on the patch

This may also change the build number to reflect an unexpected result, meaning it may not look like the build number for ESXi 4.1U1 or Patch 9, it may be somewhere in between.

 

Last Monkey Wrench in this mix… Express Patches with ESXi

This is the exception to the statements above and add a couple of new rules…

Express Patches typically fix only a very specific function, and they are typically are NOT cumulative.

 

Monkey Wrench Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1 let’s say Express Patch 3 (EP) is the latest patch level.

To fully update ESXi and Sub-components you should update to ESXi 4.1U3 first, apply the Patches and only EP’s just below EP3, then apply EP3

If you only want the EP then just apply EP3

 

Hopefully this makes sense and after reading this thread I’ll bet you never look at ESXi patching the same way J

 

One last item here is a great url around build numbers…

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1014508

 

 

 


 

vSphere 5.x licensing Matrix

Posted on Updated on

Ever want to compare a full list of the vSphere features to the associated licensing level?

Well now you can… Check out >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2001113

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!

 

vSphere 5.x licensing Matrix

Posted on

 

Ever want to compare a full list of the vSphere features to the associated licensing level?

Well now you can… Check out >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2001113

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!