PXE boot and install ESXi 6.7 U1 – remember to use correct boot files

This is a short revisit of an earlier blog post on automating ESXi installation through PXE booting and Kickstart scripts.

In that post we configured a solution for installing 6.5 U1 and that have served me well for a while. Although we have our hosts on newer builds and versions we like to install them with the same image and then run through the patches so that all hosts in the environment are configured in the same way.

On a new environment however we decided to install the hosts directly to 6.7 U1 and that had me revisiting my tftp server setup.… continue reading

It’s a pass – Thoughts on the VCAP DCV deploy exam

Late last week I finally got my results from the VCAP DCV deploy exam which I sat mid-December.

I was of course extremely pleased to learn I had passed the exam.

In this post I will share some of my thoughts on the exam.

Exam guide / blueprint

There’s lots of preparation resources available and lots of guides already written so I won’t go in to specifics on the different exam objectives, but I’ll list the resources I’ve used.

First, one of the most important preparation steps is of course to read the Exam blueprint closely. This includes the exam objectives in detail, the prerequisites and a lot of resources.… continue reading

Automating two-node vSAN cluster setup

In a previous post I described how we are setting up remote offices for a customer with two-node vSAN clusters. I meant to get this post out right after that previous one, but things happened… Anyways, here’s how we automated those two-node vSAN clusters.

Currently we have 7 of these racks ready with more to come. As these will be installed at distant locations we are extra keen on knowing that they are all configured as they should, and that the configuration is the same cross these multiple locations.

Of course, this calls for automation. And with our favorite automation tool PowerCLI we have put together a script to do the vSAN configuration for us.… continue reading

vSphere Performance – vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) monitoring

This post is a (late) follow-up on a previous post I did about exploring the monitoring endpoints of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), and an addition to the vSphere Performance blog series.

Now we will add performance metrics and health status of the VCSA to our monitoring solution. We’ll utilize the REST APIs in vCenter and feed the data into our Influx database and visualize it in Grafana.

In vCenter we have the Appliance Management page also refered to as the VAMI. We will use this as a blueprint of what we want to visualize, but we’ll try to fit the important parts into a single Grafana dashboard.… continue reading

Slides from my VMworld session

Last week I did a session about Performance monitoring at VMworld Europe in Barcelona. The session was part of the VMTN Techtalks with vBrownBag.

The slides (without the video demos) and the script used in the demo is available at Github.

The session was recorded and can be seen on Youtube.

Thanks to all that attended the session and to those watched it live on Twitch or have seen the recording afterwards. Also thanks to vBrownBag for giving me the opportunity.… continue reading

Welcome to VMworld

VMworld 2018 comes to an end

VMworld 2018 is over. As always I’m leaving with lots of great impressions and lots of content to digest and further explore over the coming weeks.

I think it has been even clearer after this year that VMware is focusing on their Cloud strategy together with partners like AWS and IBM, that vSAN is the storage solution they want you to go forward with and that together with NSX this will be the base for the future.

It was also interesting that only since last year the focus on Containers and Kubernetes has really picked up the pace with lots of new offerings and solution as well as the acquisition of Heptio.… continue reading

Speaking at VMworld Europe 2018

The schedule builder for VMworld Europe 2018 in Barcelona is finally live and sessions can be scheduled.

For the first time I will have a session at VMworld, as one of the vBrownBag/VMTN community sessions, and I’m really excited about this.

It is very cool that these community sessions are available in the schedule builder and can be scheduled as other sessions. My session is:

Realtime Performance Monitoring – For FREE [VMTN5524E]

The session will be a quick presentation of the work I did through my Performance monitoring blog series. I have only 30 minutes so I won’t be able to cover all of it, but hopefully I will be able to focus on the most important parts and that I can demo some of it.… continue reading

HPE iLO affects ESXi management agents – hosts in “not responding”

The last months we have had several issues with ESXi hosts going in a “Not responding” status. The VMs are still active and online in this scenario, but the ESXi cannot be managed. This also affets backup as it won’t be able to reach the VMs through the APIs.

Previously we have normally just restarted the management agents on the host and it has been able to connect to vCenter and after this we have managed to migrate the VMs off the host. Lately this hasn’t worked and we have been forced to boot the host with the result of the VMs getting rebooted by HA and eventually started on a different host.… continue reading

VCSA 6.7 Upgrade error – The mystery of how the installer connected to the wrong VM

When trying to upgrade our lab vcenter from 6.5 to 6.7 this week we encountered a strange error.

Our lab environement is running vSphere 6.5 on VCSA and we are running with an external PSC. So when starting the upgrade of the PSC I got an error early in the process, while connecting to the source VCSA.

Error when deploying appliance


I had remembered that I’ve seen some strange errors before if the root password of the appliance was expired. This was not the case here, but I did change the password and reboot the appliance to see if that solved the problem.

As I got the same error on the next try I tested an earlier 6.7 (the GA) version to see if that had the same error and it failed on that as well.… continue reading

Automating disk limits in vSphere

Following up on my last post on Limiting disk i/o in vSphere we will now see how to automate this.

First off we need some way to identify what limit a specific disk should have.

You can do this in multiple ways, you could use an external source, you can use Tags or as we’ve done, Storage Policies.

All our VMs and VMDKs have a Storage Policy to control the Storage it will be compliant with. We have named our policies so we can identify what kind of limit it should have.
We can now use this to set the limit corresponding to the policy.… continue reading