VMware vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

VMware released vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b today. The release does not bring any new features but instead patches a few bugs and possible security issues such as the heartbleed fix and most recent OpenSSL as mentioned in CVE-2014-0224. vCenter 5.5 Update 1b now includes the OpenSSL library which has been updated to versions openssl-0.9.8za, openssl-1.0.0m, and openssl-1.0.1h.

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How to install VMware vSphere Update Manager 5.5

If you don’t already know, VMware Update Manager (aka, VUM) is a tool which allows you to easily automate patching and upgrading VMware hosts as well as virtual machine hardware and VMware tools. It’s a wonderful tool and makes upgrading and patching so much easier and allows you to quickly see how compliant/up-to-date your environment is with the built in pie graph.

Recently we had some pretty serious array issues which corrupted the VUM database taking Update Manager down. Since we was going to have to rebuild Update Manager I opted to move from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012, in the steps below I’ll document step by step how to install VMware Update Manager 5.5 on Server 2012 and a separate database.

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Clone VMware ESXi USB boot drive to another USB flash drive

A few days ago one of my hosts in my home lab was displaying an alarm message:

Lost connectivity to the device

Lost connectivity to the device mpx.vmhbaXX:XX:XX:XX backing the boot filesystem /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhbaXX:XX:XX:XX. As a result, host configuration changes will not be saved to persistent storage.

The last part of the message (“persistent storage”) made me think it might have something to do with the USB drive due to the fact that a similar message appeared when setting up the home lab on the Intel NUC’s. After some research it appears my assumption was correct and that the USB flash drive I was using to boot from was indeed starting to fail.

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Thank you VMware Community!

VMware vExpert 2014

So far, 2014 has been a very rewarding year for a number of reasons, two of which has happened in just a week or two span. First, Eric Siebert (@ericsiebert) announced on March 27th, this years results of the 2014 Top VMware & Virtualization Blog voting. My first year entered into voting and made it to 71st place! A huge thanks goes out to not only Eric but just as much so to everyone who voted for me!

To top it off, yesterday VMware announced 2014’s first quarter VMware vExpert list. While vExpert isn’t a technical certification or even a general measure of VMware expertise. The VMware judges selected people who were engaged with their community and who had developed a substantial personal platform of influence in those communities. There were a lot of very smart, very accomplished people, even VCDXs, that weren’t named as vExpert this year. VMware awarded this title to 754 people this year and on that list of many impressive names you’ll find yours truly, Michael Tabor!

I’m both honored and humbled by both lists. It’s a great feeling to be recognized by not only my peers through the voting in the Top vBlog but also by VMware themselves through the vExpert title.

So again THANK YOU very much to the entire VMware community, a spectacular community indeed, and congratulations to everyone else that made the Top vBlog and vExpert lists!

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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