VMware Flash Read Cache Installation

In my home lab I decided to install 3 SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 SSD’s for VMware’s Flash Read Cache, this lets you accelerate virtual machine performance through the use of host resident flash devices as a read cache. Now please understand that these drives aren’t on the HCL so your mileage may vary.

I have a full page dedicated to Flash Read Cache being prepared for my VCAP 5.5 Guide so I won’t do the whole thing here.

Finally this post was initially created using vSphere 5.5 but the steps are identical when completing the work on a vSphere 6 environment.

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Installing ESXi 6 with BlackListed Drivers – Net55-r8168

My lab is in constant turmoil, it’s a fresh installation every couple of months, back when I was labbing with vSphere 5.1 it wasn’t much of an issue installing the native ESXi 5.0 or 5.1 ISO to the Shuttle SH67H3 chassis that makes up the backbone of my lab (I run 3 of them). When VMware released vSphere 5.5 around 18 months ago they removed the drivers for the Realtek r8168 and r8169 NICs (amongst others) and this caused an issue during my first rebuild (rather than upgrade which kept the original 5.1 driver).

Move forward to the vSphere 6 launch and VMware have gone one step further and not only kept the driver out of the release but have now gone and blacklisted the driver, so if you had it installed on your 5.5 installation and carried out an upgrade you’re going to be disappointed because ESXi6 prevents installing the older 5.1 drivers via blacklisting (more information can be found over at the excellent @VFrontDe website).

Now Andreas has gone a step further and created a new driver bundle and placed it on his vibsdepot site and it’s well worth downloading.

Now I have to admit that I cheated when it came to installing the new vib in to the ESXi 6.0 media, rather than using his ESXi-Customizer-PS utility I simply used his older ESXi-Customizer tool instead, yes it’s been deprecated but actually it still works and it created the ISO using the download ISO rather than requiring the offline bundle.

Carried out the installation following my VMware Workstation 11 post to ensure that the formatwithmbr setting was used to ensure that the USB drive didn’t turn itself back to Read-Only but apart from that the whole process was simple to do thanks to the hard work that Andreas has done.

vROps – One or more ports are experiencing network contention – Temporary Fix

So VMware have admitted that the alert seen in vROps 6 for the below error and have a KB article written for it.

vROPS error

Unfortunately the resolution says to disable the DVPortGroup Dropped Packets alert, this turns out to be easier said than done.

As an alternative fix I have looked at the configuration for the Alert Definition to allow people to delete the current alert and re-create it if\when vROps 6.0.x comes out and the fix is present there.

Continue reading vROps – One or more ports are experiencing network contention – Temporary Fix

Voting now open for the 2015 Top VMware & Virtualization Blogs

It’s that time again, Eric Siebert from vSphere-Land.com runs a vote for the top VMware and Virtualisation blogs every year. As there are now over 450 blogs listed on the nominations page there are a lot of sites to choose from. top-vblog-2015-1-smaller

The voting is simple and should take no longer than a couple of minutes and allows you to choose your top 10 favourite listed blogs. The scoring is such that a #1 vote gives you 10 points, #2 vote gives you 9 points all the way down to a single point for a 10th place vote.

The following criteria should be taken into consideration when voting.

  • How long have they been blogging
  • How long are the posts
  • How often do they post
  • How well are the posts written

Results last year saw me slide up to 177 (an increase of 9 places over the previous year) but I would love to improve that this year and I can only do that with your help.

If you like the blog\articles and find them useful please take the time to cast a vote for my blog

I would really appreciate it, the blogging is done because I want to do it but I hope you the reader also get something out of it.

Thanks for continuing to read the blog and come back soon.

VCP5-DCV (VCP550) Exam Blueprint Downloadable Documents Bundle

As preparation for my VCP5-DCV (VCP-550) study Guide I downloaded all of the documents mentioned in the blueprint and decided to put them in to an easily downloadable bundle for everyone else to download.

The zip file contains folders for each objective and contains some duplications but for the most part shared files for each objective can be found under the common files folder in that objective folder.

The file can be downloaded here

VCP-NV Exam Blueprint Downloadable Documents Bundle

As preparation for my VCP-NV study Guide I downloaded all of the documents mentioned in the blueprint and decided to put them in to an easily downloadable bundle for everyone else to download.

The zip file contains folders for each objective and contains some duplications but for the most part shared files for each objective can be found under the common files folder in that objective folder.

The file can be downloaded here

Creating a CentOS 7 VMware Gold Template – Updated for Deployment Fix

I have documented how to create a CentOS 7 VMware Gold Template for all the non-Linux admins out there. centos7

Following the instructions below will yield a template ready for future installs that ensures you can deploy at speed.

All told this should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

I have amended the post with details on how to fix the guest customisation issues that I was experiencing before.

I can now successfully deploy new VM’s from the template.

Continue reading Creating a CentOS 7 VMware Gold Template – Updated for Deployment Fix