ESXi

My VMware ESXi Home Lab Upgrade

Dell R720 Server

Although the focus in my career right now is certainly more cloud focused in Amazon Web Services and Azure, I still use my home lab a lot.

For the last 5+ years my home lab had consisted of using 3x Intel NUC’s (i5 DC53427HYE), a Synology NAS for shared storage and an HP ProCurve switch. This setup served me well for most of those years. It has allowed me to get many of the certifications I have, progress in my career and have fun as well.

At the start of this year I decided it was time to give the home lab an overhaul. At first I looked at the newest generation of Intel NUC’s but really wasn’t looking forward to dropping over $1,300 on just partial compute (I’d still need to be RAM for each of the 3 NUC’s). I also wanted something that just worked, no more fooling around with network adapter drivers or doing this tweak or that tweak.

I also no longer needed to be concerned about something that had a tiny footprint. I also questioned if I really needed multiple physical ESXi hosts. My home lab isn’t running anything mission critical and if I really wanted I could always build additional nested VMware ESXi hosts on one powerful machine if I needed.

So in the end, the below is what I settled on. Replacing all of my compute, most of my networking and adding more storage!

How to update VMware ESXi 6.7 to 6.7 Update 1

To go along with the newly released VMware vCenter 6.7 Update 1 release, comes VMware ESXi 6.7 Update 1 as well.

As you might expect with an Update 1 release there are a number of patches, fixes and new additions with ESXi 6.7 U1. If you haven’t already seen, check out the release notes here.

Below are two ways to easily upgrade your ESXi 6.0-6.7 hosts to ESXi 6.7 U1 using the command line or by using VMware Update Manager.

How to upgrade ESXi 6.5 to ESXi 6.7

VMware released ESXi 6.7 a little while ago, but it’s only been here recently have I started deploying it in my home and work lab environments. Below are two ways to easily upgrade your ESXi 6.5 hosts to ESXi 6.7 using the command line or by using the VMware ESXi offline bundle.

Fixing, This host currently has no management network redundancy

host no management network redundancy

I recently redid my VMware home lab environment and after enabling HA the warning message “This host currently has no management network redundancy” started displaying on each of my ESXi hosts.

This warning happens because in a HA cluster there is a requirement for the management network to have redundant NICs, but in my case I’m using Intel NUCs which only have a single NIC and since this is only a lab I don’t care to see the warning so lets disable it.

How to update VMware ESXi 6.5 to 6.5 Update 1

With the release of VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1 also comes VMware ESXi 6.5 Update 1 and just like vCenter there are a number of changes, updates, and fixes for ESXi as well in 6.5 Update 1 – you can see the release notes here.

Yesterday I made a post on how to upgrade VMware VCSA 6.5 to 6.5 Update 1. Below I’ll show you three ways to upgrade your ESXi hosts to 6.5 Update 1.

Download VMware vCenter & ESXi 6.0 Update 2

VMware has released vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 and ESXi 6.0 Update 2 (build: 3620759) which include a number of new features and fixes. VMware has also released the much anticipate VSAN 6.2 which includes it’s own bunch of new features such as deduplication, compression, QoS, and RAID5/RAID6 Erasure coding.

VMware releases patch for glibc vulnerability on ESXi 5.5

VMware ESXi550-201602401-SG

You may remember not to long ago, the GHOST vulnerability found in glibc, a GNU C library. Well a new glibc vulnerability (CVE-2015-7547) has been discovered and it affects VMware ESXi 5.5 and 6.0 in addition to all versions of VMware virtual appliances running Linux such as vCenter, Orchestrator, vRealize, etc.

VMware has just released patch ESXi550-201602401-SG for ESXi 5.5 and ESXi600-201602401-SG for ESXi 6.0 which fixes the glibc vulnerability, a patch for ESXi 6.0 has yet to be released. VMware has however posted workarounds for affected virtual appliances.

HTML5 Embedded Host Client, this looks promising

It’s no secret many people have really disliked the vSphere web client, it’s very sluggish, clunky, and based on flash (flash comes with it’s own security issues). It was rumored and highly hoped that vSphere 6 might be re-written in HTML5, but sadly this didn’t and hasn’t happened yet. While vSphere 6 did improve a bit on the web client the issues many people have had with it in the past still remain today.

Enter the VMware HTML5 Embedded Host Client fling. I’ve been using and following this fling for a while now and have really enjoyed it and with each release it keeps getting better and better.

The Embedded Host Client fling is based on HTML5 which allows it works great across all kinds of platforms, it’s fast, responsive, and doesn’t require any plug-ins – YES the VM console works great. If this happens to be a look of what’s to come in a new VMware vSphere web client, then a client is looking very promising!

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s extremely easy to install and doesn’t even require a reboot just follow these simple instructions.

Power off an unresponsive VM using ESXTOP

Just recently we have some hardware issues in our primary datacenter and during that time had a few VM’s that became unresponsive and needed to get them back online. The VM’s had stopped responding to the normal vSphere commands to reboot, shutdown or even restart. I didn’t want to power cycle the entire ESXi host and instead just power off an unresponsive VM.

Here is a quick and easy way to do just that using ESXTOP.

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