vCenter Server

vSphere 6.0 / 6.5 Cross reference build release for ESXi, vSAN, and vCenter Server

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I love the Correlating build numbers and versions of VMware products (1014508). This one KB has made my job, and I’m sure yours too, so much easier. Before this KB was released it was a bit difficult to correlate build, patch, and update levels to vSphere Environments. Now with just a few clicks one can find out all this information and more. However, I really need the ability to correlate multiple core products. Typically, I work with — ESXi, vCenter Server, and vSAN. So, today I took the time today to align all this information.

It took me about 5 mins to build the chart below but it will save me loads of time. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked which version of ESXi was related to which version of vSAN and Oh, what version of vCenter Server was released with it? Well with this cart below you can answer those questions and more.

~ Enjoy!

vSAN version

ESXi version

Release Date

Build Number

vCenter Server

Version

Release Date

Build Number

vSAN 6.6.1

ESXi 6.5 Update 1

7/27/2017

5969303

vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1

7/27/2017

5973321

       

vCenter Server 6.5 0e Express Patch 3

6/15/2017

5705665

vSAN 6.6

ESXi 6.5.0d

4/18/2017

5310538

vCenter Server 6.5 0d Express Patch 2

4/18/2017

5318154

vSAN 6.5 Express Patch 1a

ESXi 6.5 Express Patch 1a

3/28/2017

5224529

vCenter Server 6.5 0c Express Patch 1b

4/13/2017

5318112

vSAN 6.5 Patch 01

ESXi 6.5 Patch 01

3/9/2017

5146846

vCenter Server 6.5 0b Patch 1

2017-03-14

5178943

vSAN 6.5.0a

ESXi 6.5.0a

2/2/2017

4887370

vCenter Server 6.5 0a Express Patch 1

2/2/2017

4944578

vSAN 6.5

ESXi 6.5 GA

11/15/2016

4564106

vCenter Server 6.5 GA

11/15/2016

4602587

vSAN 6.2 Patch 5

ESXi 6.0 Patch 5

7/11/2017

5572656

     

vSAN 6.2 Express Patch 7c

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 7c

3/28/2017

5251623

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 3b

4/13/2017

5318200/5318203

vSAN 6.2 Express Patch 7a

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 7a

3/28/2017

5224934

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 3a

3/21/2017

5183549

vSAN 6.2 Update 3

ESXi 6.0 Update 3

2/24/2017

5050593

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 3

2/24/2017

5112527

vSAN 6.2 Patch 4

ESXi 6.0 Patch 4

11/22/2016

4600944

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2a

11/22/2016

4541947

vSAN 6.2 Express Patch 7

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 7

10/17/2016

4510822

     

vSAN 6.2 Patch 3

ESXi 6.0 Patch 3

8/4/2016

4192238

     

vSAN 6.2 Express Patch 6

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 6

5/12/2016

3825889

     

vSAN 6.2

ESXi 6.0 Update 2

3/16/2016

3620759

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2

3/16/2016

3634793

vSAN 6.1 Express Patch 5

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 5

2/23/2016

3568940

     

vSAN 6.1 Update 1b

ESXi 6.0 Update 1b

1/7/2016

3380124

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 1b

1/7/2016

3339083

vSAN 6.1 Express Patch 4

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 4

11/25/2015

3247720

     

vSAN 6.1 U1a (Express Patch 3)

ESXi 6.0 U1a (Express Patch 3)

10/6/2015

3073146

     

vSAN 6.1

ESXi 6.0 U1

9/10/2015

3029758

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 1

9/10/2015

3018524

vSAN 6.0.0b

ESXi 6.0.0b

7/7/2015

2809209

vCenter Server 6.0.0b

7/7/2015

2776511

vSAN 6.0 Express Patch 2

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 2

5/14/2015

2715440

     

vSAN 6.0 Express Patch 1

ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 1

4/9/2015

2615704

vCenter Server 6.0.0a

4/16/2015

2656760

vSAN 6.0

ESXi 6.0 GA

3/12/2015

2494585

vCenter Server 6.0 GA

3/12/2015

2559268

 

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

2 VMTools Secrets your mother never told you about!

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These are pretty common asks amongst operators of ESXi – ‘Which VMtools version came with my ESXi Host’ and ‘Where can I view and download all the VMTools directly?’ The answers are below and the outputs aren’t pretty but they sure are useful!

1st – Check out the URL below to see all the ESXi Host build to released versions.

https://packages.vmware.com/tools/versions

2nd – Where can I view and download all the VMTools directly

https://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/index.html

Finally, if you read this far then you are in luck here is the best tip — Watch this video and you’ll know more about VMtools than your mom :)

http://vmware.mediasite.com/mediasite/Play/6d33be3f5da840a19ec1997e220aedfe1d

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

 

vSAN – Working with the vSAN HCL Database

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The vSAN HCL DB is a local file enabling vCenter Server to validate your vSAN hardware deployment.   This local DB file contains information around the supported products on the VMware compatibility guides. Part of the vSAN Health checks is validating the age of the vSAN HCL DB file.  The initial release of the health feature ships with a copy of the vSAN HCL DB, which was current when released. This copy of the database will become outdated over time. The file can be updated via an internet connection or through manual download (See KB’s below). However, if the HCL DB file is not updated and is 90 days past you will see a warning and at 180 days past you’ll receive an error. These alerts in no way will affect your vSAN cluster as they are merely non-impactful alarms.

You can find this check by clicking on your vSAN Cluster > Monitor > Virtual SAN > Health and then expand Hardware compatibility (See the PIC below). Under Hardware compatibility, you will see various checks that validate your installation.   The ‘vSAN HCL DB up to date’ is the check that will alarm when needed.

You might be thinking –

“I validated my vSAN deployment against the HCL & VCL’s when it was initially built, so why do I need to recheck it over and over?” There are a few good reasons why this validation is important. First off – New firmware and drivers are validated on a routine basis, keeping on top of these will help to ensure your vSAN cluster is able to work optimally and is less problematic. Second – Just because a component was listed on the VGC, doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay on the VGC. Allowing vSAN to self-check itself not only will save you time but will identify any potential issues.

“My vSAN cluster doesn’t have an internet connection and I am pretty good about keeping up to date on the VGC. Do I really need these checks, and if not how can I disable them” Frist off I would not recommend disablement but there may be a need for this. It could be very true that your company does a good job of manually checking the VCG but automating these check would only help your efforts and would be more efficient. However, there are some deployments where automated checks may not be desirable. For those cases follow this guidance to disable: Cluster > Manage > Virtual SAN > General > Internet Connectivity > Disable Auto HCL update

For more information around the vSAN HCL DB, including how to disable and update, please see the following KB’s

In this PIC I’m showing where you can locate the vSAN HCL DB Check status.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 5.14.57 PM

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

What new in vSphere 6.5

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Hey folks — This great video came my way today.  Watch Kevin Steil, (Southeast VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) Team Lead) talk about HOL-1710-SDC-3 – vSphere with Operations Management: Product Deep Dive which introduces the cool, new features coming in vSphere 6.5.

P2V GOLD – Remove all Windows Non-Present devices at once via GUI and CLI!

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Issue >> If you’ve done any type of Windows P2V (Physical 2 Virtual) then you’d know all about the value in removing non-present or ghosted devices. Normally non-present devices are harmless but from time to time they can cause you an issue or two. P2V best practice is to remove non-present devices enabling a pristine OS. The issue with removing non-present devices is the time to complete the task. Currently, you have to go to command line, enter a few commands, and then manually remove each non-present device from device manager. If you have to remove 200+ non-present devices that could take several hours to complete. Until now…

Solution >> I located 3 great tools that remove all the non-present devices at once — Device Clean up Tool GUI based, Device Clean up Tool CLI based, and Ghostbuster GUI based. All the links are below.

Other Notes >> Personally, I used the Device Cleanup Tool GUI and I was able to remove 213 devices from my recent P2V. Not only did it clean up my OS but it also fixed a pesky USB issue I was having.

Device Cleanup Tool V0.5 – removes non-present devices from the Windows device management

Device Cleanup CMD

GhostBuster

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

ESXi Host NIC failure and the Web client vSwitch orange line doesn’t move? — The results are Shocking!

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Okay, the title was a bit dramatic, but it got your attention. Now keeping with my quest to deliver no-nonsense blog articles here is what the orange line means…

Question 1 – What is the function of the orange line when selecting a vmnic, port group, or vSwitch while viewing them in the Web client network settings?

The orange line is showing you the teaming order for the pNICs or vmnics based on their vSwitch or port group teaming policy. In this screenshot, the policy is Active / Active for both vmnic0 and 1.

The orange line will not move to the other pNIC’s unless they are marked as “active” in the teaming policy. “Active in the teaming policy” vs. “which pNIC is passing traffic” are two different things. The orange line is not a representation of the latter, “pNIC passing traffic”.

 

Question 2 – How can I tell which pNIC is currently passing traffic?

The Web or Thick client vSwitch display (aka the orange line) doesn’t display the pNIC which is currently passing network traffic. You need to use ESXTOP to determine the active pNIC.

Simply go into ESXTOP, Press N, find your vSwitch and it will lead you to the pNIC currently being used to pass traffic.

 

Question 3 – I had a pNIC failure why isn’t the Web client moving the orange line to the standby NIC?

Again… the orange line ONLY points to the Active pNIC in the teaming policy. In this screenshot below, the teaming policy is setup for vmnic3 as Active and vmnic2 as stand by.

Even though vmnic3 is down, traffic should be flowing through vmnic2. Use ESXTOP to determine this (See Question 2)

 

 

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

vCenter Server 6 Host Profiles — ‘Update Profile From Reference Host’ is now ‘Copy Settings from Host’ with the WebClient

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Question – For Host Profiles where did the ‘Update Profile From Reference Host’ and ‘Change Reference Host’ move to in the WebClient?

FAQ around this…

Where did it move to with the Webclient? >> ‘Update Profile From Reference Host’ and ‘Change Reference Host’ have been combined under one item ‘Copy Setting from Host’

Where do I start? >> Simply right click on your host profile, choose ‘Copy Settings from host’.

How do I update the current profile? >> When the window appears for ‘Copy Settings from Host’ your current “reference” host should be selected. Simply press ‘OK’ to update the profile or Press Cancel to not update.

How do I change the reference host? >> When the window appears for ‘Copy Settings from Host’ choose your new host for the settings to be extracted from aka your “new reference host” Simply press ‘OK’ to update the profile.

For more information, See the VCenter Server 6 Host Profiles Guide under ‘Copy Settings from Host’

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-60-host-profiles-guide.pdf

 

If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.

Supported features for VMware virtual machine compatibility

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Here is one of my most favorite VMware KB articles.

Supported features for virtual machine compatibility

Hardware

ESXi 6.0 and later

ESXi 5.5 and later

ESXi 5.1 and later

ESXi 5.0 and later

ESX/ESXi 4.x and later 

Hardware version

11

10

9

8

7

Maximum memory (GB)

4080

1011

1011

1011

255

Maximum number of logical
processors

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum number of cores (virtual CPUs) per socket

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum SCSI adapters

4

4

4

4

4

Bus Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI-Logic SAS adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SATA adapters

Yes*

Yes*

No

No

No

VMware Paravirtual controllers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual SCSI disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI passthrough

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE nodes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE CDROMs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE hot plug support

No

No

No

No

No

Maximum NICs

10

10

10

10

10

PCNet32

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000e

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

USB 1.x and 2.0

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

USB 3.0

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

No

Maximum video memory (MB)

512

512

512

128

128

SVGA displays

10

10

10

10

10

SVGA 3D hardware acceleration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

VMCI

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

PCI passthrough

16

6

6

6

6

PCI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nested HV support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

vPMC support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Serial ports

32

4

4

4

4

Parallel ports

3

3

3

3

3

Floppy devices

2

2

2

2

2

Guest OS support

91

91

91

91

78

Cannot install vCenter Server Appliance 6 Error “No apps are installed to open this type of link”

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A requirement for the installation of VCSA 6.0 is installing the Client Integration Plug-in. Normally, this can be done during the time you install the VCSA.   However, during a recent installation, I got the error “No apps are installed to open this type of link”

My first thought was there was a browser compatibility issue with IE11 and the installer, so I tried Firefox and Chome but I got the same results.  Next was a quick reboot, still same error.

Finally, I tried installing  “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” manually and then running the VCSA installer.  What do you know it installed without issue.

Simple fix on this one — Manually, install the “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” first and then run the VCSA installer.

 

You can find the “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” in the ‘vcsa’ folder in the VCSA ISO.

 

 

vCenter Operations Manager 5.8.2 Assigning a Licensing Key

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One of the items I noticed hanging up many users is how to assign a license key for vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS). In this blog I’m going to review the basic steps around this.

After the installing vCOPS most users logon to the vCOPS Admin page and they notice the ‘License Status’ is listed as ‘Licensed’. This is the first item that trips up most. However if you notice directly above License Status the ‘License Mode’ is listed as ‘Foundation’. The foundation licensing mode is basically the “free” version of vCOPS. Foundation will allow you to do some of the functions of vCOPS for free. Follow this URL to compare different vCOPS versions and Eric Sloof does a great short video here outlining the basic functions.

Now the question becomes — How do I enable my vCOPS license key? VMware KB 2017464 does a great job to enable the key but it leaves the pre-step of key entry and to use the Web Client to complete this task.

Here are the steps to enter and enable your vCOPS License Key via the Web Client

Start at the Home Screen within the Web Client > Licensing Icon > Licenses > Ensure ‘License Keys’ tab is selected and then choose the Green Plus mark to add your key.

Once completed choose the ‘Solutions’ tab > Right Click on your key > ‘Assign License Key’ > then choose the license key you want to apply.

Finally logon to the vCOPS Admin page and ensure the key has updated.

Note – if you are already logged into this page you may have refresh or login again for the status to update.