Now that VMware ESXi 5.1 Update 1 has been released I decided to do a quick and dirty upgrade of my home installation. I refuse to call it a lab these days, since it´s one singular host and all it does it contain my home domain controller… Anyway, the following procedure upgraded the host from 5.1b to 5.1U1, by downloading the upgrade directly from VMware and installing it. Make sure the host is in maintenance mode before attempting this procedure.

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While building my lab environment, I ran into a situation where I wanted to have a completely sealed off networking segment that had no outside access. This is a trivial task on it`s own, just create a vSwitch with no physical NICs attached to it, and then connect the VMs to it. The VMs will then have interconnectivity, but no outside network access at all. In this particular case, I was setting up a couple of nested ESXi servers that I wanted to connect to the «outside» vCenter Appliance (VCSA).

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Dell offers a Multipathing Extension Module (MEM) for vSphere, and in this post I´ll highlight how to «manually» install it on a ESXi 5.1 host. I will not cover the network setup part of the equation, but rather go through the simple steps required to get the MEM installed on the hosts in question. First of all, you need to download the MEM installation package. At the time of writing, the latest version is v1.

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So, what is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? As we all (should) know, that is very much a trick question. Now, consider this little non-trick question: I wonder what the avg disk size is for your virtual machine these days. I do most math with 60GB on avg, but wonder if that has changed [@DuncanYB](https://twitter.com/DuncanYB/status/317269670195507203) / March 28th 2013 And now, guess what?

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Duncan Epping rather unceremoniously published a blog post «New Beta Program offering: VMware Hosted Beta» yesterday, outlining the availability of the new hosted beta offering that companions some of the current VMware beta programs. _Due to the very NDA nature of the beta programs, I can´t really go into details on what is currently offered, but what I can say is this: Well done VMware!_ The VMware Hosted Beta runs on the same engine that runs the VMware Hands on Labs Online – Beta, but with a little added twist.

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It´s a well known problem that with Veeam Backup & Recovery Replication 6.5, and earlier, backing up the SQL server that hosts the vCenter DB poses a problem. KB1051 VSS for vCenter outlines the issue well, and provides a workaround. If you experience this problem, you will see entries like this in your Veeam B&R backup logs: Veeam vCenterDB Backup Error The workaround provided by Veeam is to create host VM-Host Affinity Rules, effectively pinning a VM to a given host, and then perform the VM backup through the host rather than through the vCenter.

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This week I´m working at a client site, upgrading their entire existing vSphere 4.1 infrastructure to vSphere 5.1. The customer engagement also includes upgrading Veeam Backup and Replication 6.0 to 6.5, and usually an isolated upgrade of Veeam B&R is a no-brainer next, next, next, done install. To complicate things in this particular environment, I also had to migrate the vCenter SQL DB from a local MS SQL Server 2005 Express instance to a full-fledged MS SQL Server 2008 R2 instance.

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Autolab, that awesome «little» thing that automagically builds a nested vSphere Lab environment for you, was definitely not put together by Flint Lockwood but by Alastair Cooke (www.demitasse.co.nz). Unlike Flint´s inventions, this one actually makes sense and serves a purpose! Now, how sweet would it be to deploy Autolab without having to invest time, money and effort into acquiring your own hardware? Well, thanks to baremetalcloud.com, you might now actually be able to do just that (and more, if you wish).

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I needed some new wall «art» for my home office, and decided that a couple of small «Keep Calm» posters would do the trick. Naturally I got a bit carried away, and created more than one, and of course, most of them are virtualization related: If you have some ideas, I´ll gladly create more, just leave a comment! I would also love photos if you printed out any of these and put them on a wall or in a frame somewhere.

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Our sponsor Veeam is giving away a free pass to TechEd 2013 in this months giveaway. Register now to be entered into the draw before March 18th when the winner will be announced.

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About the author

Christian Mohn is a Senior Solutions Architect and Tech Lead SDDC for Proact in Norway.

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

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