vCenter’s Number – Is It Up?

(This is all based on information that's in the public domain at the time of writing and is all my own opinion. I may very well be wrong!) ESXi first saw the light of day as version 3.5 in 2007 / 2008. Rumours were rife after ESXi 4.0 was released in 2009 that the clock was now ticking on ESX "Classic". With the release of 4.1 in 2010 VMware finally confirmed the rumours and, from 5.0 onwards it's been ESXi only. You know this already of course if you've been working with vSphere for any length of time. The reason that I'm bringing it up though is because I think it's a clue as to what's going to happen to vCenter in the future. The vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) first appeared as a technology preview called "vCenter 2.5 on … [Read more...]

Force Removal of Licensed vCenter Products

Once in a while, you need to remove or update licensing in vCenter to account for products that have been registered or interact with vCenter Server. Unfortunately in some cases you need to force unregister products for vCenter Server - say if a product was registered and then deleted without being unregistered, or if an evaluation period has expired but the Evaluation version is still present in vCenter. The solution is simple if not at first immediately obvious. Follow this process to force unregister a prodult from vCenter: Login to vSphere Client. Home > Licensing. Switch to View by: 'Asset'. Right-click the asset or evaluation you want to remove. Select the bottom option: 'Remove Asset'. Accept the warning … [Read more...]

Adding ESXi Host to vCenter: Evaluation Expired (but it hasn’t)!

Quick and interesting little gotcha for those running or upgrading any systems running trail, evaluation or time-limited licenses out there. If you try and add a host to vCenter and the agent replies with an error reporting that the evaluation license has expired, try checking the BIOS time and date settings for your ESXi host. If they are anything other than close to the vCenter system time, then this will affect your evaluation period and may result in the timeout error. Solution: Reboot your ESXi host and check / update the BIOS date and time. Problem Fixed! This solution is also detailed in VMware KB 2011655 here: … [Read more...]

Configuring vCenter Orchestrator


Article by Michael Poore (@mpoore) vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is a no charge extra for vCenter Server owners. In fact the binaries are installed alongside vCenter Server itself. This post covers what you need to configure vCO and start to use it. It's based on the GA release of vCenter 5.0. (Of course I should point out that other orchestration products are available.) … [Read more...]

Trying vCenter CapacityIQ


Previously I have posted about trying out vCenter Operations. Now the trial, assuming that you went down that route, is actually for vCenter Operations Advanced version. This includes vCenter CapacityIQ. It would be remiss of me not to talk about that too so here goes... I'm going to assume that CapacityIQ has already been downloaded. After all, you signed up for the vCenter Operations trial didn't you? As with the Operations VM, CapacityIQ is delivered in an OVF package and installing it is as easy as: 1) - Open your vSphere Client and select "Deploy OVF Template..." from the file menu 2) - Locate and select the OVF file for CapcityIQ in the OVF deployment wizard 3) - Accept the EULA. Assign a name. Select a location, … [Read more...]

Trying vCenter Operations

vCenter Ops Download 1

As I mentioned a little while ago, vCenter Operations is a new management product that VMware are bringing out. Well, actually they've now brought it out as of Monday. I thought I'd check it out... Downloading To sign up for a trial and download vCenter Operations, you simply need to head over to VMware's "Support and Downloads" page and expand the "Infra & Ops Management" section. Follow the download link, register for a free trial, accept the Ts & Cs and download the software. vCenter Operations comes as virtual appliance (you download an OVA file) that's about 600MB+ in size. Depending on the size of your internet connection, you may want to do something else right now. Installing I don't want to teach people … [Read more...]

Released: vCenter 2.5 Update 6

vCenter 2.5 Update 6 was released on Friday. Whilst I'm not working with any 3.5 / 2.5 environments at the moment this is good news because Windows Server 2008 R2 guest customisations have been added. Also added is support for Firefox 3.x using vCenter Web Access. The full release notes are here. I'm going to stick my neck out a bit and suggest that this may be the final update to vCenter 2.5 before it reaches the end of General Support in May. … [Read more...]

ESX 3.5 U5

I mentioned ESX 3.5 Update 5 only yesterday in my post about VMtools on Windows 2008 R2. Little did I know that 16 hours later I'd be writing about it again to say that it had been released! The update can be downloaded from VMware's website as usual. Shamelessly copied from the release notes, here's what you can expect to have changed: Enablement of Intel Xeon Processor 3400 Series – Support for the Intel Xeon processor 3400 series has been added. Support includes Enhanced VMotion capabilities. For additional information on previous processor families supported by Enhanced VMotion, see Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (KB 1003212). Driver Update for Broadcom bnx2 Network Controller – The driver for bnx2 controllers … [Read more...]

Setting up Sysprep for vCenter 2.5

Several of my recent clients (my current one included) have both avoided, failed or just not used Virtual Machine (VM) templates. Depending on who you ask the answer to the question "Why Not?" seems to vary between: "I didn't know that you could do that" "We couldn't make it work" "It was too complicated to setup" "We haven't had the time yet" "All of our new VMs are different" After some convincing I have persuaded my current client to let me configure sysprep and a couple of templates for them. I've done this a few times before but never really documented it. Admitedly a lot of this is already documented in the Basic Admin Guide for vCenter but this post saves downloading a PDF file. … [Read more...]

Which VMs are in which Port Groups

This took me a little while to get sorted as I had a gap in my PowerShell knowledge around the handling and formating of nested objects. A bit of exploration with get-member and I came up witha working script. It's based on a post by Hugo Peeters and lists the VMs that are connected to (or belong to) a particular Port Group. I wanted to know this as I was producing some infrastructure diagrams for a customer and wanted to know the names of VMs in a cluster for each Port Group without having to visit each ESX server. … [Read more...]