My VMworld 2014 TOP Session Picks

Posted on

Every year there is always something new at VMworld and this year is no exception.

Below are my TOP Picks for 2014. Enjoy!

  1. INF1720 – Getting the Most out of vMotion – Architecture, Features, Debugging
    vMotion is a key, widely adopted technology which enables the live migration of virtual machines on the vSphere platform. It enables critical datacenter workflows, including…
    Gabriel Tarasuk-Levin – Staff Engineer 2, VMware
  2. INF3475-GD – vMotion with Sreekanth
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session… Sreekanth Setty – Staff Engineer, VMware
  3. BCO2629 – Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive
    SRM and vSphere Replication are mature products that can be used as the bedrock of a disaster recovery plan for your virtual infrastructure. Come learn in technical detail…

    Jeff Hunter – Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware Ken Werneburg – Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

  4. BCO1916 – Site Recovery Manager and Stretched Storage: Tech Preview of a New Approach to Active-Active Data Centers
    Are you embracing an Active-Active data center strategy for continuous availability of your apps but also want an easy way to manage planned and unplanned failure events ?…

    Shobhan Lakkapragada – Product Line Manager, VMware
    Aleksey Pershin – Staff Engineer, VMware

  5. BCO3430-GD – Local Availability – HA & FT with GS Khalsa
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session…

    Gurusimran Khalsa – Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

  6. BCO3431-GD – Stretched Clusters with Lee Dilworth
    Group Discussions are a good way to join together with peers, guided by a VMware expert, and discuss a VMware key topic as selected by the group. Come to this session…

    Lee Dilworth – Principal Systems Engineer, vmware

  7. VMware vSphere High Availability (vSphere HA) is one of the most widely utilized features of vSphere. This session will focus on best practices for using vSphere HA. We will…

    Gurusimran Khalsa – Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

  8. EUC1476 – What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6
    Learn about exciting new enhancements in Horizon 6 with View and PCoIP. Optimizing and tuning PCoIP with Horizon View has never been easier. With new default PCoIP settings,… Tony Huynh – Product Line Manager, VMware
    Simon Long – Senior Cloud Architect, VMware
  9. EUC3099 – Comparing GPU-accelerated high-end graphics performance of virtual desktop platforms
    How good are today’s virtual desktop remoting protocols when accelerated by physical GPUs, such as NVIDIA GRID cards? CTPs Benny Tritsch and Shawn Bass developed a unique,…

    Shawn Bass – Blogger, Consultant, ShawnBass.com

  10. STO1211 – Virtual SAN Ready Node and Hardware Guidance for Hypervisor Converged Infrastructure
    Are you looking to select a hardware platform for your Virtual SAN that is within your budget and is best suited for your use case? Do you have growing performance, capacity…

    Rakesh Radhakrishnan – Product Management – Software Defined Storage, VMware
    Wade Holmes – Senior Architect, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US

  11. MGT1833 – How to Perform Troubleshooting and Root Cause Analysis Using Log Insight
    Environments consist of a variety of devices including compute, network, and storage as well as virtual machines. Each of these devices generates log messages. The number of…

    Steve Flanders – Solutions Architect, VMware
    Program Location: US

  12. STO1965 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive
    Virtual Volumes (VVols) is VMware’s new storage paradigm for external SAN/NAS storage arrays. In this session, we will walk you through key technical concepts of Virtual…

    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Suzy Visvanathan – Product Manager, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US

  13. STO2496 – vSphere Storage Best Practices: Next-Gen Storage Technologies
    This VMware Technical Communities Session will present a technical best practices with emerging storage technologies for vSphere. The storage industry is experiencing a high…

    Chad Sakac – SVP, Global Systems Engineering, EMC
    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Vaughn Stewart – Chief Technical Evangelist, Pure Storage

  14. NET1974 – Multi-Site Data Center Solutions with VMware NSX
    NSX provides a comprehensive Multi-Site networking and security solution in software that complements existing VMware products to bring Networking, Compute and Storage…

    Ray Budavari – Technical Product Line Manager, VMware
    Program Location: Europe and US


    And Lastly… I put this one in just for fun… These guys always put on a great show, and you lean something too!

  15. STO2996-SPO – The vExpert Storage Game Show
    Think you know storage? The vExpert Storage Game Show will pit 2 teams of vExperts in a jeopardy style game discussion the latest in storage technologies with vSphere and… Amy Lewis – Influence Marketing, Cisco
    Friea Berg – Business Development, Splunk
    John Troyer – CEO, TechReckoning
    Cormac Hogan – Storage Architect, VMware
    Duncan Epping – Principal Architect, VMware
    Rawlinson Rivera – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware, Inc
    Craig Chapman – Systems Engineer, Pure Storage
    Cody Hosterman – Reference Architect, Pure Storage
    Vaughn Stewart – Chief Technical Evangelist, Pure Storage





VSAN – The Migration from FreeNAS

Posted on Updated on

Well folks it’s my long awaited blog post around moving my Homelab from FreeNAS to VMware VSAN.

Here are the steps I took to migrate my Home Lab GEN II with FreeNAS to Home Lab GEN III with VSAN.

Note –

  • I am not putting a focus on ESXi setup as I want to focus on the steps to setup VSAN.
  • My home lab is in no way on the VMware HCL, if you are building something like this for production you should use the VSAN HCL as your reference

The Plan –

  • Meet the Requirements
  • Backup VM’s
  • Update and Prepare Hardware
  • Distribute Existing hardware to VSAN ESXi Hosts
  • Install ESXi on all Hosts
  • Setup VSAN

The Steps –

Meet the Requirements – Detailed list here

  • Minimum of three hosts
  • Each host has a minimum of one SSD and one HDD
  • The host must be managed by vCenter Server 5.5 and configured as a Virtual SAN cluster
  • Min 6GB RAM
  • Each host has a Pass-thru RAID controller as specified in the HCL. The RAID controller must be able to present disks directly to the host without a RAID configuration.
  • 1GB NIC, I’ll be running 2 x 1Gbs NICs. However 10GB and Jumbo frames are recommended
  • VSAN VMkernel port configured on every host participating in the cluster.
  • All disks that VSAN will be allocated to should be clear of any data.

Backup Existing VMs

  • No secret here around backups. I just used vCenter Server OVF Export to a local disk to backup all my critical VM’s
  • More Information Here

Update and Prepare Hardware

  • Update all Motherboard (Mobo) BIOS and disk Firmware
  • Remove all HDD’s / SDD’s from FreeNAS SAN
  • Remove any Data from HDD/SDD’s . Either of these tools do the job

Distribute Existing hardware to VSAN ESXi Hosts

  • Current Lab – 1 x VMware Workstation PC, 2 x ESXi Hosts boot to USB (Host 1 and 2), 1 x FreeNAS SAN
  • Desired Lab – 3 x ESXi hosts with VSAN and 1 x Workstation PC
  • End Results after moves
    • All Hosts ESXi 5.5U1 with VSAN enabled
    • Host 1 – MSI 7676, i7-3770, 24GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 60GB SSD SATA III), 5 xpNICs
    • Host 2 – MSI 7676, i7-2600, 32 GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 90 GB SSD SATA III), 5 x pNICs
    • Host 3 – MSI 7676, i7-2600, 32 GB RAM, Boot 160GB HDD, VSAN disks (2 x 2TB HDD SATA II, 1 x 90 GB SSD SATA III), 5 x pNICs
    • Note – I have ditched my Gigabyte z68xp-UD3 Mobo and bought another MSI 7676 board. I started this VSAN conversion with it and it started to give me fits again similar to the past. There are many web posts with bugs around this board. I am simply done with it and will move to a more reliable Mobo that is working well for me.

Install ESXi on all Hosts

  • Starting with Host 1
    • Prior to Install ensure all data has been removed and all disk show up in BIOS in AHCI Mode
    • Install ESXi to Local Boot HD
    • Setup ESXi base IP address via direct Console, DNS, disable IP 6, enable shell and SSH
    • Using the VI Client setup the basic ESXi networking and vSwitch
    • Using VI Client I restored the vCSA and my AD server from OVF and powered them on
    • Once booted I logged into the vCSA via the web client
    • I built out Datacenter and add host 1
    • Create a cluster but only enabled EVC to support my different Intel CPU’s
    • Cleaned up any old DNS settings and ensure all ESXi Hosts are correct
    • From the Web client Validate that 2 x HDD and 1 x SDD are present in Host
    • Installed ESXi Host 2 / 3, followed most of these steps, and added them to the cluster

Setup VSAN

  • Logon to the Webclient
    • Ensure on all the hosts
      • Networking is setup and all functions are working
      • NTP is working
      • All expected HDD’s for VSAN are reporting in to ESXi
    • Create a vSwitch for VSAN and attach networking to it
      • I attached 2 x 1Gbs NICs for my load that should be enough
    • Assign the VSAN License Key
      • Click on the Cluster > Manage > Settings > Virtual SAN Licensing > Assign License Key

  • Enable VSAN
    • Under Virtual SAN click on General then Edit
    • Choose ‘Turn on Virtual SAN’
    • Set ‘Add disks to storage’ to Manual
    • Note – for a system on the HCL, chances are the Automatic setting will work without issue. However my system is not on the any VMware HCL and I want to control the drives to add to my Disk Group.


  • Add Disks to VSAN
    • Under Virtual SAN click on ‘Disk Management’
    • Choose the ICON with the Check boxes on it
    • Finally add the disks you want in your disk group

  • Allow VSAN to complete its tasks, you can check on its progress by going to ‘Tasks’

  • Once complete ensure all disks report in as healthy.

  • Ensure VSAN General tab is coming up correct
    • 3 Hosts
    • 3 of 3 SSD’s
    • 6 of 6 Data disks

  • Check to see if the data store is online


Summary –

Migrating from FreeNAS to VSAN was relatively a simple process. I simply moved, prepared, and installed and the product came right up. My only issue was working with a faulty Gigabyte Mobo which I resolved by replacing it. I’ll post up more as I continue to work with VSAN. If you are interested in more detail around VSAN I would recommend the following book.

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.

Free Training for VMware Products

Posted on Updated on


This comprehensive list of training links came my way the other day and it was too good I just had to share it.

It’s the work of the former Omaha VMUG leader turned VMware TAM Jodi S (Twitter @rytalws)


Foundational Topics




VMware DataCenter Virtualization Fundamentals


Introduction to Virtualization and VMware Hypervisor


VMware vSphere Strategy: The Foundation of Your DataCenter


An overview of vCloud Suite


ESXI Foundation


Featured VMware Documentation Sets


vSphere Hypervisor – Installation & Configuration


vSphere Hypervisor -vSphere Client Installation


vSphere Hypervisor – Configuring VM Hardware


VMware vSphere: What’s New Fundamentals [V5.5]


VMware vSphere 5.5 What’s New!


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Web Client Overview


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Cloning/Templates


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Migration vMotion


VMware vSphere: VM Management – HA


VMware vSphere: VM Management – DRS


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Storage Profiles


Local Management Tools Overview


How to Install and Configure VMware ESXI 5.5


VMware vSphere: Installation – ESXI 5


vSphere 5.5 Installation, Administration and Training course


Build your own VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 Datacenter, starting with one PC


HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization


HOL-SDC-1310 – vSphere and vSOM 101


HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments




VMware Virtual Networking Concepts


vSphere Networking


vSphere Distributed Switch


VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals


Network I/O Control


VMware vCloud Networking and Security


VMware NSX Product Page


VMware NSX Blog


HOL-SDC-1302 – vSphere Distributed Switch A to Z


HOL-SDC-1303 – VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform


HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments




Introduction to Storage


VMware vSphere: Storage – Thick & Thin Provisioning


VMware Storage Virtualization


Enable vSphere HA and Storage DRS for VMware vSphere


VMware Storage Profiles


VMware Storage I/O Control


VMWorld Session: STO1545-Architecting Storage DRS


How to identify and Solve Storage I/O Latency Issues


vSphere 5 Storage DRS IO Load Balancing


VMware Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler


HOL-SDC-1308-Virtual SAN (vSAN) and Virtual Storage Solutions




Security of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor


VMware Security Development Lifecycle


VMware Security Response Center


VMware Security Advisories


VMware Hardening Guides


Operations Management


VMware vCenter Operations Manager Documentation


VMware vCenter Operations – Introduction Video


VMware vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals [V5.6]


VMware vCenter Operations Training Videos


HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations


HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization


HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations


Certification –


Certification – VMware Cloud Fundamentals


Certification – VMware DataCenter Virtualization – VCP5-DCV – Blueprint


VMware VCP-DCV 5.1 Exam Preparation



It’s my easy button for you this week.  You all probably already have something but I didn’t… 

In addition, here is a 5.5 Feature URL listing which provides information on each 5.5 feature.. Enjoy!


vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements



Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices


Support for Reliable Memory Technology


Enhancements for CPU C-States


Virtual Machine Enhancements


Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi 5.5


Expanded vGPU Support


Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests


VMware vCenter Server Enhancements


VMware vCenter Single Sign-On


VMware vSphere Web Client


VMware vCenter Server Appliance


vSphere App HA


vSphere HA and VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (vSphere DRS)


Virtual Machine–Virtual Machine Affinity Rules Enhancements


vSphere Big Data Extensions


vSphere Storage Enhancements


Support for 62TB VMDK


MSCS Updates


16GB E2E support


PDL AutoRemove


vSphere Replication Interoperability


vSphere Replication Multi-Point-in-Time Snapshot Retention


vSphere Flash Read Cache


vSphere Networking Enhancements


Link Aggregation Control Protocol Enhancements


Traffic Filtering


Quality of Service Tagging


Quality of Service Tagging


SR-IOV Enhancements


Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture


40GB NIC support



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.


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


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…






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!


Top Blogger Voting for 2014 is now open

Posted on Updated on

For many years now Eric Siebert has held voting for the top Virtualization Bloggers. This is no easy task, and this year he has over 300 blogs listed.

If you found any of my blog posts useful, then please, do take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and vote. Every vote really does count, and the higher you rate a blog the more weight it gets in the final tally. Ratings do make a difference, and feedback is great. As any blogger will tell you, frequently writing quality content takes a lot of time.

Please, take a few minutes out of your day and vote. I’ll be voting for bloggers myself, including MIchael Webster and Jason Boche.

Voting is now open, and will continue through 3/17/2014 >> http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-the-2014-top-vmware-virtualization-blogs.html