What if it’s Just Some Crazy Guy in a Clown Suit?

As a few of you have noticed, I recently changed my title on LinkedIn from Chief Consultant to Cloud Architect in the newly formed EVRY Cloud Consulting division, but what does that mean and perhaps more importantly, why?

The closest description I have found to describe what my new role is this:

 Leads in the development of the technical solution or offering, in translating the business needs into technical requirements. Identifies gaps, strategic impacts, financial impacts and the risk profile in the technical solution or offering, and provides technical support.

— Joe McKendrick / Forbes

Or, as Mrs. Josh Atwell would say:

This change comes with the realization that for most SMB customers, moving IT-services to cloud based solutions makes a lot of sense. No, this doesn’t mean I’m abandoning virtualization. I still have a passion for running efficient data centers, but only when it makes sense to do so – and often it does not – but when it does, I sure want to be there and help build it.

IT means that I will need to broaden my horizons and see a larger picture.
IT means I will have to learn something new
IT means I will be challenged in a whole new way going forward.
IT means change.
IT is changing.
IT is happening.
IT means less product, more business needs.

The time of IT for IT’s own sake has passed and I feel fine.

VMware Update Manager: Unsupported Configuration

During an upgrade from vSphere 5.1 to 5.5, I ran into a rather strange issue when trying to utilize VMware Update Manager to perform the ESXi upgrade.

During scanning, VUM reported the ESXi host as “Incompatible”, without offering any other explanation. I spent ages looking through VUM logs, trying to find the culprit, suspecting it was an incompatible VIB. Without finding anything that gave me any indication on what the problem might be, I moved on to looking at the ESXi image I had imported into VUM.

As this was on a Dell PowerEdge R710, I was utilizing the Dell Customized Image of VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 2, which got an updated A02 version last night (27th of August) – I downloaded my image, VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0.update02-2068190.x86_64-Dell_Customized-A00.iso on the 27th, but before the VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0.update02-2068190.x86_64-Dell_Customized-A02.iso image was available. Thinking this would resolve the issue, I imported the new image into VUM, and created a new Upgrade Baseline. Sadly, I was still greeted by the non-gracious “Incompatible” warning after performing a new scan.

After some more digging, I found the following entry in the Events pane, for the given host, in vCenter:

Error in ESX configuration file (esx.conf).
28.08.2015 11:51:25
Scan entity

Naturally I go digging into the  /etc/vmware/esx.conf file, and found the following entries:

/nas/[oldserver]/readOnly = "false"
/nas/[oldserver]/enabled = "true"
/nas/[oldserver]/host = "[oldserver.fqdn]"
/nas/[oldserver]/share = "/VeeamBackup_[oldserver]/"


These references to [oldserver] pointed to an old Veeam Backup & Replication server that was decommissioned ages ago. Veeam B&R adds these to a host if vPowerNFS has been used to mount a backup share, and the entries had not been removed when removing the old Veeam B&R server. DNS resolution for the old server failed, as it has been completely removed from the infrastructure, thus causing the VUM update to fail.

Manually removing these lines from /etc/vmware/esx.conf fixed the problem, and VUM was able to scan and remediate without issues.


After writing this, I saw Jim Jones had the same experience, for more details read his post:
Unsupported Configuration when using VUM for a Major Upgrade

Update ESXi Embedded Host Client Fling

VMware ESXi Host Client 2015-08-26 18-42-24The ESXi Embedded Host Client Fling got an upgrade today, and in addition to new features it now works properly on ESXi 5.5. In addition to this, it’s also available as an offline bundle so you can distribute it with Update Manager.

Since I’ve spent most of my day in esxcli, here is a quick post on how to perform the upgrade from a local http repository hosting the .vib file.

Install .vib file

  1. Download the esxui-3015331.vib file and place it somewhere accessible via http.
  2. SSH to your ESXi host, and run the following command (remember to enable maintenance mode if needed).
    esxcli software vib install -v http://[yourip:port/path]/esxui-3015331.vib
  3. Wait for the installation to finish
    Installation Result
    Message: Operation finished successfully.
    Reboot Required: false
    VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.3015331
    VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.2976804
    VIBs Skipped:
  4. Access the updated Embedded Host Client via http://hostip/ui/