vCenter Server

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.


Free Training for VMware Products

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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


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

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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

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

Well now you can… Check out >>

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 >>

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!


Home Lab – Adding freeNAS 8.3 iSCSI LUNS to ESXi 5.1

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About a half a year ago I setup my freeNAS iSCSI SAN, created 2 x 500GB iSCSI LUNS and attached them to ESXi 5.1. These were ample for quite a while. However I have the need to add additional LUNS…. My first thought was – “Okay, Okay, where are my notes on adding LUNS…” They are non-existent… Eureka! Its time for a new blog post… So here are my new notes around adding iSCSI LUNS with freeNAS to my ESXi 5.1 Home lab – As always read and use at your own risk

  1. Start in the FreeNAS admin webpage for your device. Choose Storage > Expand Volumes > Expand the volume you want to work with > Choose Create ZFS volume and fill out the Create Volume Pop up.

When done click on Add and ensure is show up under the Storage Tab


  1. On the left-hand pane click on Services > iSCSI > Device Extents > View Device Extents. Type in your Extent Name, Choose the Disk Device that you just created in Step 1 and choose OK


  2. Click on Associated Targets > Add Extent to Target, Choose your Target and select the new Extent


  3. To add to ESXi do the following… Log into the Web Client for vCenter Server, Navigate to a host > Manage > Storage > Storage Devices > Rescan Host

    If done correctly your new LUN should show up below. TIP – ID the LUN by its location number, in this case its 4

  4. Ensure your on the Host in the left Pane > Related Objects > Datastores > Add Datastore


  5. Type in the Name > VMFS Type > Choose the Right LUN (4) > VMFS Version (5) > Partition Lay out (All or Partial), Review > Finish


  6. Setup Multi-Pathing – Select a Host > Manage > Storage > Storage Devices > Select LUN > Slide down the Devices Details Property Box and Choose Edit Multipathing



  7. Choose Round Robin and Click On Okay


  8. Validate all Datastores still have Round Robin enabled. 2 Ways to do this.
    1. Click on the LUN > Paths. Status should read Active I/O for both paths
    2. Click on LUN > Properties > Edit Multipathing – Path section Policy should state – Round Robin (See PIC in Step 8)



    Summary – These steps worked like a charm for me, then again my environment is already setup, and hopefully these steps might be helpful to you.

Great vSphere 5.1 Upgrades KB’s & Articles

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A few of my fellow TAM’s put together this list of great KB’s / Articles that may help you in the process of upgrading to vSphere 5.1 – Enjoy!

vCenter 5.1:


vSphere 5.1 Misc:


Single Sign On Specific:

VMware Guest Operating System Installation Guide gets an Online Facelift

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At some point in your VMware administrator career you discover you need information around the correct settings to deploy a VM properly.

You find that you need to answer questions like –

What is the supported network adapter for my Guest OS?

Are Paravirtualization adapters supported for my Guest OS?

Can I do Hot memory add?

A few years ago the default standard was the Guest Operating System Installation Guide.

It gave you all the information you needed to setup the virtual hardware or confirm what recommend virtual hardware should be by the OS Type.

Recently the compatibility and OS installation guides have come online and they can lead you to best practices around settings and KB’s too.

In this blog post I’m going to step you through how to find basic information around a Windows 2008 server.

Start here –

This link will take you to the Guest Operating System Installation Guide.

Select your OS – In this case I choose Windows 2008 Server

Here are the base install instructions for the Guest OS, note at the bottom the KB Articles and Guest OS Compatibility Guide.

The Guest OS Compatibility Guide can tell you what network drivers etc are support for the guest OS..

Click here to go to the VMware Compatibility Guide, Select your OS Family, OS Type and choose Update & Review…

Then select your ESX / ESXi version to see the details…

Here are the results…  Also from this page you can choose a different product like ESXi 5.0U1 or other…

vSphere 4 – Increase a VMs Hard disk under Windows 2008

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Here’s how I recently changed the C: boot drive on a Windows 2008 VM

One of our older Windows 2008 templates has a 40GB C:\ hard disk, however I’d like it to be 50GB.

With the combination of vCenter Server 4, Windows 2008 and vSphere 4 this couldn’t be easier!


  • Have admin access to vCenter Server and the Windows server
  • A quick snapshot is always a good idea


  • While the server is still ON, yes I said “While the server is still on”, in vCenter Server right click on the VM
  • Choose Edit Settings, Choose the Hard disk you want to expand and type in the new size, Choose OK

  • In Windows 2008 server open Server Manager, Click on Storage, Click on Disk Manager
  • Note the extra space on your hard disk

  • Right Click on the C: drive and choose Extend Volume
  • Choose Next on the Welcome Screen
  • Type in the amount you want to extend by or just click next the max
  • Click Finish to start the expansion, in about 2 seconds you’re done…