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This is a guest post by Stine Elise Larsen: Weirdly I have worked mainly with VMware products for years now without having the pleasure to go to VMware Explore. This year that was about to change and I was so excited! I was heading from the cold weather of Norway to sunny Barcelona to attend VMware Explore Europe and I could hardly wait.

I have written down a little recap of my trip, with some tips and tricks for other people that might have not gone to Explore before.

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Ever since vSAN 8 was announced, I’ve been waiting to try out the new Express Storage Architecture in my HomeLab, especially since the internal storage in my hosts is NVMe only. Yesterday the last piece of the puzzle was released, namely the new USB Network Native Driver v1.11 for ESXi 8 which I needed before reinstalling my hosts in order to get vSAN traffic isolation.

Once the hosts were installed and configured, it was time to enable vSAN and try out the new Express Storage Architecture. vSAN ESA is configured in the same way as the traditional OSA version, you just select that you want ESA at configuration time.

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This week was the return of VMworld, post-pandemicly renamed to VMware Explore, in Europe. As has been the case for several years now, it was held in the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.

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With vSphere 8 comes vSAN 8, and with it a slew of improvements and even a brand new architecture option! This new optional next generation architecture is built into vSAN 8, and going forward customers can choose which architecture to deploy; vSAN Original Storage Architecture (OSA) or vSAN Express Storage Architecture (ESA).

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VMware announces vSphere 8 — The Enterprise Workload Platform at VMware Explore US 2022. The new release comes with a number of new features and enhancements. Read more for a quick summary of changes and enhancements.

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This is a guest post by Stine Elise Larsen: Last week, I worked with a customer on what was seemingly a straightforward VMware vCenter 7 certificate replacement job but encountered several red herrings that also turned out to be issues that needed solving. I thought I’d share these in this post, in the hope that they can help others in future. The initial issue was that during the summer holidays, the customer’s certificates had expired, and they were presented with “Error 503, service unavailable” messages when trying to log into vSphere Client. While renewing certificates with certificate-manager in vCenter BASH Shell via SSH the services got stuck at 85%, and then failed to start after several minutes.

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VMware has released an updated version of KB85685 SD card/USB boot device revised guidance (85685). Previous versions of this KB stated that in the next major version of ESXi SD Card / USB boot would be deprecated and unsupported. This has now changed, as the updated version dated 27th of April 2022 states that this will still be supported in the next major version.

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My new lab is based on Dell OptiPlex 7090 UFF hosts and after enabling vSAN on the four node cluster, the first two hosts I set up started having issues, especially with the cache devices. It seems that they just disappear from the host, especially when doing IO-intensive operations like changing the vSAN policy for a few VMs from RAID-1 to RAID-5. Once the host is rebooted, the device is back in place, seemingly without issues until the next time it disappears. Strangely this was not a problem before I configured vSAN, and only used the same devices as local datastores.

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Installing Tanzu Community Edition (TCE) on vSphere is well documented on the tanzucommunityedition.io site, but I ran into a couple of small quirks when installing it in my home lab.

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For years now my homelab has been a single Dell Precision T7500 host, with a total of 24 GB RAM and a few TB of locally attached disks. I also had a small Synology DS216play and a very old HP MicroServer N36L that I ran FreeNAS on. A few months back, the MicroServer decided to call it quits after many, many years of service (it was released in May 2010!). To replace it I got ordered a new Synology DS920+, which again forced me into have a proper look at my entire home lab environment. The conclusion was very clear; My home lab environment was in dire need of a complete overhaul!

To make a long story short, I ended up with a pretty odd choice of new hosts for my home lab!

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About the author

Christian Mohn Profile Picture

Christian Mohn works as a Chief Technologist SDDC for Proact in Norway.

See his About page for more details, or find him on Twitter.

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