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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Trainsignal has just launched a new Online Training bundle, and for $49 a month you can get unlimited access to their entire set of training courses and practice exams for Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Citrix, CompTIA, and VMware. The new pricing is very attractive, especially since you no longer need to buy access on a course by course basis. The courses are delivered in your browser, but Trainsignal also offers an offline player in case you need access when traveling or otherwise offline.

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VMware Labs has released a new fling called Makyo (魔境 _makyō_ means “ghost cave” or “devil’s cave.”) which basically is a tool to copy VMs or vApps from one vCenter instance to another. It works by doing an automated OVF export on the source vCenter, and then an import on the destination vCenter. The plugin integrates directly into the vSphere Web Client, and I hope to see this feature installed by default in future versions of the Web Client.

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Eric Siebert has yet again gone through the massive job of setting up his yearly Top VMware & Virtualization Blogs Vote. Huge kudos to Eric, I know this is a big undertaking for you, and myself and the rest of the community really appreciate the hard work you put into this each year! Go ahead and cast your vote before the cut-off date of March 1st. vNinja.net is listed in the general section, feel free to vote for us if you feel like we deserve it.

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My recent experience with setting up vCenter Operations Manager on a standalone ESXi host, and the always excellent William Lam´s post Automating VCSA Network Configurations For Greenfield Deployments got me thinking. There are several other appliances out there that require deployment to a vCenter, to be able to configure the networking options and not just default to DHCP. In many, and perhaps even most, cases you can work around that by running the _vami_set_network _command to change from DHCP to STATIC network configurations.

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A client of mine recently had their vCenter 5.0 appliance replaced with a new vCenter 5.1 appliance, something vCenter Operations Manager did not enjoy. In this case the original vCenter 5.0 Appliance was turned shut down, a new 5.1 Appliance deployed, with the same IP as the old one, and then configured. Naturally the existing hosts were added to the fresh vCenter, clusters recreated and in general everything was reconfigured.

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SearchserverVirtualization published an article today called «Experts weigh in on CTO Herrod’s departure, future of VMware» where I have been quoted in regard toSteve Herrod’s departure from VMware. While the quote itself is correct, I feel that there is a need to further expand on what I said, in the context it was given in. So here it is, my entire response: My reaction to Steve Herrods departure is probably on par with just about everyone else's, one of surprise.

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In order to be able to deploy vCenter Operations Manager, the ESXi host it is deployed to needs to be managed by a vCenter. At first glance, that seems like a fair and pretty straight forward requirement, right? But, is it? While I can see the need for a vCenter in the environment that vCenter Operations Manager is supposed to monitor, I don´t understand why the host you want to deploy the vApp on has to be managed by a vCenter instance as well?

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vOPS 6.3 Environment Explorer Yesterday fellow vExpert Mattias Sundling gave me a little pre-release briefing of the new Dell/VKernel vOPS Server Explorer 6.3 release. While I don´t normally do press release posts like these, I´m willing to make an exception in this case. Not only is vOPS Server Explorer 6.3 available in a free version, with the familiar tools from previous versions, the new release also comes armed with a couple of new interesting tools in the suite:

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Christopher Kusek, who runs pkguild.com, has just announced that he is running a contest where you can win a VMware Workstation 9 license. Seeing that announcement, and the fact that Christopher was nice enough to mention both me and vNinja.net in it, I have decided to also give away a license that has been lingering unused in my possession way to long. Instead of running my own contest, my license has been added to the existing contest so head on over there to read all the details.

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One of the smaller improvements in vSphere 5 was the introduction of the «Virtual machine disks consolidation is needed» configuration alert if vSphere determines that there are orphaned snapshots for a given VM. Previous versions does not show this warning message, and datastore usage could potentially skyrocket for no apparent reason if something continues to create snapshots that are not properly cleaned up when they are no longer in use.

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A little while ago VMware announced Project Nee, something I was, and still am, pretty excited about. This afternoon I finally got access to the Hands-on Labs Online Beta part of Project Nee, and I have to say, this looks incredibly promising and useful. At the moment, the available labs are:Cloud Infrastructure: HOL-INF-02 - Explore vSphere 5.1 Distributed Switch (vDS) New Features This lab explores the new features of the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS).

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VMware vSphere Health Check is a service provided by VMware Professional Services, either by their own consultants or by a consultant from a VMware Certified Solution Provider. I´m lucky enough to be employed by a Premier VMware Solution Provider who offers this service to our customers, and I´ve completed a fair number of these health checks in the last couple of months. You might ask what the value of the Health Check is, and for the end customer it´s pretty clear cut.

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The new vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 is now generally available, and one of many improvements from v5.5 is the new licensing scheme. The new foundation edition, is the new entry-level edition which from now on is included in every licensed vSphere edition free of charge. That´s right, you can now run vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 Foundation without purchasing any additional licenses. vCenter Operations Manager now comes in the following flavors:

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One of my clients has recently been having issues with their storage solution, and wanted to export the events from vCenter that show storage performance degradation, to aid in troubleshooting with the vendor. For some reason, and I have yet to confirm that this is a bug with the vCenter 5.0 appliance or the vCenter Desktop Client, when an event export is done, the storage related events are not exported with the rest of the events.

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VMware Norway held their first ever _VIP VCP Club_ yesterday in Oslo. **What is VIP VCP Club? ** This a new concept by VMware Norway, for certified VMware professionals, where the idea is to gather local certified VMware Professionals for a day of hands-on labs, specialized technical sessions and general community building. Agenda: Lee Dilworth Juggling for the Crowd **Storage/HA/DR/Clustering **Presented by Lee Dilworth **End User Computing **Presented by Joel Lindberg

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Post Update: As per Preetam´s comment, HP has published a customer advisory regarding the usage of install vs update. After installing a couple of brand new HP ProLiant BL460c G8 blades with HP Smart Array P220i controllers at a customer site, I decided that I should upgrade from the VMware-ESXi-5.0.0-Update1-623860-HP-5.20.43.iso Build 623860 used to install the blades, to the latest 821926 build offered by VMware. Normally this is a really easy process using VMware Update Manager, but since this is a new installation all the prerequisites for that are not in place just yet and I decided to use esxcli to perform the update.

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Fellow vExpert Rick Scherer is giving away a voucher that provides free access to all of the VMworld 2012 sessions, including associated MP3′s and PDF’s. Have a look at his post Win Access to VMworld 2012 Sessions and enter to win now! Good stuff Rick, real good! Update October 30th: Fresh VCDX and fellow vExpert Joep Piscaer has followed suit and announced his own «Want to win a VMworld 2012 Subscription?

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When VMware vSphere 5.1 and vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 was launched at VMworld US in late August, one of the news items was the change in licensing relating to vShield Endpoint. vShield Endpoint is now included in every vSphere edition, with the exception of the lowest tier vSphere Essentials package. I was under the impression that you had to upgrade to the new 5.1 version to take advantage of the licensing change, and get licenses available for vShield Endpoint, but a new VMware Knowledgebase article named KB: 2036875 Downloading and enabling vShield Endpoint on supported vSphere platforms debunks that.

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Everyone, and probably their extended family including their mother-in-law, has heard me whine and complain about the VCP training requirements. VMware has unveiled a new lab, namely Project Nee (Next-Generation Education Environment) and this is something I´m really excited about. Project Nee is described as this: VMware Project NEE is a new VMware Labs project providing a richly featured, powerful online learning and lab environment delivered from the cloud to any device, anywhere, anytime.

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This post is inspired by a tweet from Andrew Storrs, where he pinpoints that the host log file locations have changed between ESXi 4 and ESXi 5. Note: This post has been updated with new log files for ESXi 5.1 ESXi 4 Log File Locations: [table id=6 /] ESXi 5 Log File Locations: [table id=5 /] Between version 5.0 and 5.1 the log file locations have not changed, but a couple of new logs have been added.

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