VMware Recertification Policy

VMware certified

Starting today, March 10 2014, new VCP certifications must be re-certified within two years of it’s earned date. Anyone who currently has their VCP certification prior to March 10 2013 has until March 10, 2015 to re-certify.

The new policy gives you three options to re-certify:

  1. Take the current exam for your existing VCP certification solution track. For example, if you are a VCP3, you could take the current VCP5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam.
  2. Earn a new VCP certification in a different solution track. For example, if you are a VCP-Cloud, you could recertify by earning VCP5-Desktop (VCP5-DT) certification.
  3. Advance to the next level by earning a VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification. For example, if you are a VCP5-DCV you could earn VCAP5-DCA certification.

I can understand why they are doing this but I don’t agree with the changes. As per the announcement if you let your certification expire, “Your certification will be revoked,and you will no longer be entitled to use the certification logo or represent yourself as VMware certified“. Really? You mean everything that was done prior and after taking the exam means nothing?

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How to use Site Recovery Manager DR IP Customizer

As one of the tasks given to me include protecting critical virtual machines via Site Recovery Manager (SRM) I ran into an environment that needed to be protected and have static IP’s assigned to them. The environment consists of about 15 VM’s, all of the VM’s each have 5 NIC’s with two of the VM’s having 9 NIC’s – that’s a lot of NIC’s to manually configure on both the Protected and Recovery side in SRM.

Looking through the SRM Documentation I was able to see that VMware has graced us with a wonderful tool to greatly speed up this process, dr-ip-customizer.exe!

How to use VMware DR-IP-Customizer

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Installing DD-WRT on an ASUS RT-AC66U router

I recently upgraded my EnGenius ESR-750H wireless N router to an Asus RT-AC66U wireless AC router. The EnGenius router has been pretty good for me but basic and no support for other firmware. The Asus RT-AC66U not only has a number of added features and support for 802.11ac, it also doesn’t seem to be plagued with the port 32764 bug or the Linksys “TheMoon” virus that’s been going around on select Linksys models, but the Asus also has a number of firmware options that can be used with this router such as Merlin, Tomato, and DD-WRT.

I’ve used DD-WRT in the past with other routers and had great success and decided to go that route with my new AC66U router as well.

How to install DD-WRT on Asus RT-AC66U

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Secure your Synology NAS, install a SSL certificate

I’ve been using the default setup on my Synology DS412+ with HTTPS enabled for a while now but knew it really wasn’t all that secure without a proper SSL certificate and creating a self-signed certificated isn’t all the much better and can be easily forged. I decided it was about time I used a “real” certificate to better secure the NAS.

Prerequisites before starting

  • You need to own a domain name, for example MikeTabor.com and be able to receive email from the domain name.
    If you don’t already have a webhost for the domain, I’d suggest BlueHost.

  • You also need a DDNS service setup. In this case and for my use, I simply use the Synology DDNS service they offer for free.
  • With those two setup, you will also want to add a CNAME DNS forward from your domain (or subdomain if you wish to go that route) to your DDNS service.
  • Finally you’ll want to make sure Port Forwarding has been configured on your router.

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Upgrade ESXi host to ESXi 5.5 using VMware Update Manager 5.5

A while back I wrote about how to upgrade to ESXi 5.5 via command line which works great when you only have a few hosts as each host has to download the ISO from the web each time. This time I’ll show you step by step how to upgrade your ESXi 5.1 host to ESXi 5.5 using VMware Update Manager 5.5 (aka VUM).

For this post I’m going to assume you have already upgraded your vCenter and VUM to versions 5.5 as well as the VUM plugin installed. So lets begin!

Upgrade ESXi host to 5.5 using VMware Update Manager (VUM)

  1. Open the vSphere client and click on Update Manager
    VMware Update Manager icon

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VMware vCenter Server 5.5b released

vmware vcenter 5.5b released

VMware hasn’t let the holidays get in their way and has released vCenter Server 5.5b (Build 1476387) along with vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.0b (Build 1476389). The update includes a number of fixes.

Resolved Issues in 5.5.0b

Upgrade and Installation

  • Upgrading the vSphere Web Client to vSphere 5.5 fails with an error
    Attempts to upgrade the vSphere Web Client to vSphere 5.5 fails when they are installed in a custom, non-default location. An error message similar to the following is displayed:

    Error 29107. The service or solution user already registered...

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Restore a VM using the {vm}-flat.vmdk file

missing vmdk file error

A couple days ago I was asked the question “An admin deleted the vmdk file associated with a VM, there are no snapshots or backups of the VM . Can we restore this VM somehow?“. I believe in backups, I like to have my VM’s backed up so that I can depend on them for events just like this very issue. At first I was stumped, until the {vm-name}.flat.vmdk was mentioned. That’s when I remembered a method to recover a VM using the vm-flat.vmdk file that I had actually done 2-3 years ago.

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Set default printer for View floating desktop and Persona Management

Sometime ago I asked a question over at the VMware forum about how to set default network printers on a VMware View 5.0 floating pool that used Persona Management as Persona Management wasn’t keeping this user setting on it’s own. The printers would be added to the VM just not remember the default printer setting. I’ll admit I forgot to update the thread, but a work around was devised which I’ll share below.

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Increase incremental backup speed by enabling CBT

In a recent VMware environment I was working in, we noticed that our incremental backups was taking a long time (like up to 7-8 hours) to complete. After digging around it was found that VMware actually has a feature built-in since version 4 called Change Block Tracking (CBT). CBT will track any blocks that were changed since the last backup and tag them and stores the information in a -CTK file. The obvious benefit is that now the third party software only backs up the changed block and not the entire VM each time, reducing the amount of data being backed thus speeding up backups and even lowers the CPU utilization on the VM host.

CBT is disabled by default though there are some backup tools that will enable it automatically or you can enable it manually which can easily be done following these steps:

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