Category Archives: ESX/ESXi

vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide – Available in Europe

Quick Start GuideThe vSphere Quick Start Guide is doing well, I don’t think we will quite take the Christmas Number 1 best seller slot but still, thanks to anyone who has purchased the book so far and a bigger thanks if you have left us a review or published a blog post, its always good to hear how people are finding the book.

After the release I had a few questions about when it would be released on the UK Amazon site, it seams that apart from sharing their name, these two sites do not have anything to do with each other, one would assume that once it was published on the US site it would soon make its way over to the UK site, that doesn’t seam to be the case.

Do not despair, we have now released it via LULU, a self publication site, you can now purchase the book and have it delivered very quickly from here for just…

£12.53 – no I am not missing a 0, that is correct, what a bargain price !

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Boot from Paravirtualized SCSI Adapter

From vSphere U1, VMware now support booting from a Paravirtualized SCSI adapter, why would you want to do this ?  Well why not, check out the VMware  Performance Blog where VMware have tested this adapter and shared their results.

VMware were able to achieve 350,000 I/O operations per second on a single vSphere host (ESX 4.0) and 3 virtual machines.  From their findings the VMware Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) adapter was able to achieve 12% more throughput with 18% less CPU cost compared to the LSI virtual adapter… Now you see why we should use it !

So in trying to test this the first thing I did was move one of my current virtual machines onto the adapter by clicking “edit settings” go to “SCSI controller 0” and click the change type button, from there you can select “VMware Paravirtual”. Continue reading

vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide is here


Its here, I’m an author, watch out JK Rowling !

Its been a while coming but the vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide is now available to buy on Amazon (US), we are working at getting it on the UK site but I’m just pleased to see it out there and available to buy.

This book is a co-authored publication bought to you from some of the leading names in VMware bloggers and admins, and they also asked me to contribute too 🙂

The book is designed for you to carry around with you, its not a heavy duty full novel but more of a VMware admins help book which can be referred to when you are in the damp dark datacenter at 4am in the morning with no internet connection !

Having said that there is definitely something in there for everyone, whether you are new to VMware or a seasoned Pro.

Throughout the book you will find great tips, real life situations and numerous PowerCLI examples.

If you haven’t yet heard of this book then please read these wonderful comments already left on the Amazon post.

If you have read it then please, leave your comments along with the others.

Buy your copy now ! in fact buy two !

Scripted Install and Configuration of Dell OpenManage Client

I have installed a fair few Dell Open manage client’s on our ESX hosts to give us the nice hardware monitoring of the Dell Open Manage software, I have just found an easier way to install it here at the Dell Tech center.  

This script will install and configure the OMSA agent on VMware ESX 3.x. It will also configure the SNMP settings, and open the default ports in the firewall to allow communication.

If you’ve never installed OMSA on ESX, don’t start with this script ! Read this piece of documentation first, “Installing Dell OpenManage in a VMware ESX Server Software Environment”.

Then once you have a grasp of the steps necessary, you can use this script as a standalone, or integrate it as part of your standard installation procedures.

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VI3 Quick Reference Card

The guys over at have just updated there VI3 reference card, having used the last version many times and always keeping a copy on my desk I would check out the updated version and print off a few copies for you and your colleagues.

The new version contains all the updated information form ESX 3.5 Update 3 so go grab a copy from here now:

Should I virtualise Exchange ?

For a long time the answer was no, but developments in the VMware Products have lead to major improvements in disk/network/memory and CPU performance so now the question is…
Where do I start ?
If your looking for a good starting point I would listen to the recent podcast from the VMware community round table which was specifically on virtualising Exchange..
Also you may want to check out the VMware pages written especially for virtualising Exchange, make sure you check out the resources tab….
It would seam that after years of advising against it even Microsoft are jumping on the band waggon:

With the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a virtualized Exchange 2007 SP1 server is no longer restricted to the realm of the lab; it can be deployed in a production environment and receive full support from Microsoft. 

Check out the full article on the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog here

Vizioncore Leads the Way with Full Support for VMware’s ESXi

I have just recieved an email notification from Vizioncore about a new product:

Vizioncore Inc., today announced that vRanger Pro 3.2.8, the latest version of its recognized industry-standard backup and restore solution, will be the first and only product on the market today to provide full support for VMware ESXi 3.5.

VMware ESXi 3.5 provides a thin hypervisor compared to the full ESX version, and has been designed to provide a smaller footprint to both simplify adoption of virtualization as well as increase security of the platform. Both free and licensed versions of VMware ESXi exist, and vRanger Pro 3.2.8 will provide backup and restore currently for only licensed versions typically found in large organizations.

“While other solutions do exist on the market, they are only able to provide backup and cannot properly restore. These products do not incorporate a method to support ESXi without the console capability that existed in ESX,” explains Chris Akerberg, President and Chief Operating Officer of Vizioncore Inc. “vRanger Pro is the only product available today that both backs up and restores virtual machine images running on VMware ESXi hosted servers without the need for scripting.”

VMware has been shipping a free version of ESXi, however the free version has limited functionality. While the free version makes it easy for customers to adopt virtualization, they will need to move to licensed versions of ESXi to allow them to take advantage of additional functionality provided by VMware such as VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), Update Manager, HA and VMotion. Vizioncore’s vRanger Pro 3.2.8 can leverage the VCB framework to perform full backup as well as offering significant value-add features such as differential backups and compression of ESXi.

Another important feature offered by vRanger Pro 3.2.8 allows users to take advantage of remote data access that VMware has provided for a clean and simplified restore process. “Customers are looking to adopt ESXi because it is an embedded install which is far more secure and reliable for the user,” continues Akerberg. “At Vizioncore, as we rapidly respond to new developments in the virtualization market, we demonstrate, yet again, that Vizioncore leads the way when it comes to providing support for VMware’s latest technology.”

For more information please visit

Removing SCVMM from vCenter

An interesting article was bought to my attention which explains that if you ever use SCVMM to control your VMware environment (no comment) and then decide to remove it again (again no comment) there are a few things left behind.

The following blog explains what is left behind and whats better it even gives you a nice powershell script to remove the leftovers, good job !

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 makes several changes to your vCenter environment that you may like to know about, especially since they don’t seem to be mentioned in the product documentation. It’s also worth pointing out that none of these changes are reverted when you subsequently decide to discontinue managing vCenter with SCVMM.

Read the rest of the article here

Microsoft NLB Error when trying to Cluster Cloned VM’s

After configuring a few NLB VM’s recently on VMware I was intrigued when one of the people I follow on twitter was having issues with cloned NLB’s, SimonLong_ kindly agreed to document the details so I could blog about it and share his experience……

My Job; Cluster 2 VM’s using Microsoft NLB, a simple 2 minute job right? Wrong!

Why? Because my 2nd VM was a clone of the 1st.

Once I had my newly created VM’s configured I proceeded to fire up the NLB Manager tool and began to create my new cluster. Cluster configured…first VM added to the cluster, no problems.

Then I tried to add the 2nd VM… I was confronted with this Error:

“No interfaces are available for installing a new cluster”


Great there goes my lunch break!

After a little Googling I come across this MS Support article

Because I had cloned the 2nd VM this meant that the Network Adapters on both VM’s had identical GUID’s in the registry and apparently NLB isn’t a fan of matching GUID’s.

There are two ways I found to fix this;

  1. The Lazy way (which I first used)
  2. My Recommend solution found here (which I now use, when I realised that I was being a Cowboy).

Solution 1

  • Add a second NIC to either VM that your trying to cluster
  • Remove the configuration and Disable the primary NIC
  • Configure the second NIC

You should now be able to add both VM’s to the NLB Cluster.

Solution 2

  • On either VM enter “Device Manager”
  • Expand “Network Adapters” and right mouse click on the Network adapter that you are trying to add to the NLB configuration.
  • Select ‘Uninstall’. NIC has now been uninstalled.
  • Next you want to re-add the network card which in turn will create a new GUID for it. Do this by right mouse clicking your servers name at the top of the ‘Device Manager’ list and select ‘Scan for hardware changes’. This will now re-detect the NIC and give it a new GUID.
  • Now exit out of “Device Manager”
  • Re-configure the NIC

You should now be able to add both VM’s to the NLB Cluster.

Now that I was able to add the VM into the cluster I did receive the following errors;

· Could not read configuration of interface "{DF52417D-E337-4543-A223-8D17514E02BC}": error 0x800706ba

· Update 2 failed with error 0x800706ba

Ignore it the VM still seems to converge fine into the cluster.