Tag Archives: ESX/ESXi

Updating from ESXi 5.1 to ESXi 5.1 Update1 with PowerCLI

Recently I was asked by someone how they could do rolling automated updates from ESXi 5.1 to ESX 5.1 Update 1 in their environment using PowerCLI, obviously there are a number of ways to achieve this and William Lam did a great job of showing these in this blog including a piece of sample PowerCLI code.

I figured I would share the code I used to perform this so that others may gain from this experience…

Continue reading Updating from ESXi 5.1 to ESXi 5.1 Update1 with PowerCLI

Migrating ESX to ESXi


Just released on the VMware Flings site is a fling which is designed to help when you make the move from ESX to ESXi, this tool will help you check hardware software and also that there are no lingering scripts or locally stored VMs etc.

A great tool to download and run against your environment to ensure you have caught everything before the move to the next version of ESXi. Continue reading Migrating ESX to ESXi

ESXi 5.0 Reference Poster

During VMworld most people I talked to were either moving to ESXi or excited by the new features of vSphere 5 and were investigating what they would need to do to upgrade and get the latest and greatest.

Those who attended the Hands on Lab were lucky enough to grab a poster bought to you by VMware Technical Marketing, this year VMware were giving out two posters, the first is the “VMware Management with PowerCLI 5.0” poster which can be downloaded here.

The second was a new poster which was designed to help you  move to ESXi 5.0, this is called the “VMware ESXi 5.0 Reference” poster, it includes handy quick references to advise people of common tasks like upgrading to the latest version…

Continue reading ESXi 5.0 Reference Poster

Backing up the ESXi System Image

ESXi is based on a system image, VMware used to call this a firmware but some people found this misleading, most people still refer to it as firmware but in this post I will refer to it as a system image.

The system image is a unified image which is the same whether booting from USB, Hard Disk, PXE or any other media. The logic in the first boot will provide auto configuration based on the kind of installation you have.

One thing to remember about ESXi is that it is memory based, so once booted the system image is entirely loaded into memory, ESXi doesn’t care if the original media disappears after boot, there is no reliance on the boot device for running after booting.

ESXi is essentially made up from a number of tardisks (VM TAR files) or archives, these tardisks are mounted into the empty root filesystem in order of enumeration, one of these is called the state tardisk or state.tgz.

The state tardisk is made up of any file in /etc which is marked as sticky, VMware uses the sticky bit to flag the files which are to be included as part of this tardisk but only if they reside under /etc, these are files like esx.conf, inetd.con, passwd….  These are the files which will be persisted after boot.

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Automated support bundles

I received an email recently from a gentleman asking if it was possible to export the support bundles for each host on a daily basis, this can be useful for not only having an archive of your system logs to help resolve problems and work out when they started but also useful for auditing purposes.

At the moment he was doing this manually every day by using the virtual infrastructure client as can be seen below – you can imagine how long this was taking !

Exporting the logs from the vCenter Client


1.  Select the File menu and then Export, Export System Logs…


2.  Select the hosts which you want to download the system logs for and click OK

Continue reading Automated support bundles

Enabling ESX SSH via PowerCLI

Ok, I have been living under a rock a little recently, I have had so much going on that my blog and my hands on time has been suffering, sorry for that.

Whilst delivering a presentation on the new features in vSphere 4.1 – Of which there are tons (should have been 4.5 in my opinion), I came across the ability to be able to enable SSH from the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface).


Continue reading Enabling ESX SSH via PowerCLI

VMware Session 4: Advanced performance troubleshooting using esxtop

And last in this series of presentations given in London on the 8th October but by no means least is Advanced performance troubleshooting using esxtop, this was an absolutely fantastic presentation by a guy who blew my mind, the best bit was when someone asked him a question and he told the audience member where to find the information on the system and how to decode it from the hex file it was written in – A serious Guru !

Unfortunately there was an issue getting the audio of this session so it looks like we will have to stick with the slide deck but please do not be disappointed as this is 59 deep dive slides on esxtop including some of the new counters only relevant to 4.1, please check it out its great stuff.

Continue reading VMware Session 4: Advanced performance troubleshooting using esxtop

VMware Session 3: PowerCLI & Onyx

Following on in the series of presentations (listed below) given by VMware on the 8th October in London please find below the PowerCLI & Onyx slide deck and MP3 file.

Other presentations given:

VMware Session 1: Exploring VMware APIs

VMware Session 2: vSphere APIs for Performance Monitoring

This presentation focused on PowerCLI and Onyx, they skipped some of the easy stuff that normally goes at the start of a PowerCLI deck mainly because the London crowd is used to me force feeding them PowerCLI on a regular basis !

Its a great deck and a good listen on the MP3, some interesting questions and comments made throughout the deck.

This presentation was given by Vladimir Goranov and Yavor Boychev who are both part of the PowerCLI team. (See if you can spot the mistake on slide 7 Winking smile)

The MP3 file can be downloaded from here and the presentation is embedded below: Continue reading VMware Session 3: PowerCLI & Onyx

VMware Event – London – 8th Oct – Not to be missed

If you are in London on the 8th October 2010 then you could be in for a treat, VMware are arranging a fantastic event, well worth the visit and best of all its free !

The event is called: Managing vSphere in large environments using APIs and PowerCLI

There are limited spaces available so act now or you will miss out, some of the most fantastic minds of VMware will be gracing London with their presence before heading out to VMworld Copenhagen.

Think of this as a taster of the kind of things you can expect from Technology Exchange, the contents are listed below, I would recommend this to any VMware admins who are managing large implementations of vCenter, there will be some great detail in these sessions.

If you would like to attend please send an email to PowerCLIEvent@virtu-al.net with your name and company, this will strictly be on a first come first serve basis as there are limited numbers.

If the API’s are not for you then make sure you read the last session before dismissing this day !

The Agenda of the day is as follows:

Continue reading VMware Event – London – 8th Oct – Not to be missed

VMware View 4.5 – More PowerShell Cmdlets

Its probably not news to you that VMware have now released View 4.5, just one of the many cool announcements made at VMworld 2010 – San Francisco.

Did you know however that View now has some PowerShell cmdlets ? – Yeah that’s right.

The Good

I think its great that VMware are putting so much time and effort into PowerShell and giving windows admins a great tool to manage their VMware infrastructure with, one thing I always tell anyone who will listen is that PowerShell is “the glue” that sits in between your applications to enable a common programmatic interface allowing you to glue all these applications together to give you the end results you need, whether it be deploying a VM and then installing Windows and then installing Exchange and then following on to add the mailboxes and patch the server and even send you an email at the end to say its done or simply just adding an “A host” record to a DNS server for a VMHost after installing ESX and patching the host using the Update manager cmdlets.

The possibilities are endless, well as endless as your imagination !

So yes, the point here is that its a great thing that VMware continue to add PowerShell enablement to their apps giving us the freedom to automate them.

With View 4.5 we are given 45 cmdlets to manage our View environment, these are listed below: Continue reading VMware View 4.5 – More PowerShell Cmdlets