Tag Archives: esxi

New Fling: vSphere HTML5 Web Client

New Fling: vSphere HTML5 Web Client

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VMware first introduced the vSphere Web Client with the release of vSphere 5.0. The vSphere Web Client would be the future management tool replacing the vSphere client aka “Legacy, Thick or C# Client”. This would be become more evident over time with each release of vSphere. New features could only be managed through the vSphere Web Client. While the concept of a browser based client is a step in the right direction, the dependency of flash was not. Keep in mind the decision to use flash was made when it was the standard for web applications, times and standards have changed. With that change it has taken some time to work on replatforming the vSphere Web Client. This always leads to the question, when will we see a HTML5 version of the Web Client? I’m happy to announce the wait is over!

The first step towards making a HTML5 Web Client a reality is the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling. This release of the Fling will focus primary on VM management, with more updates coming.  Here is a list of the features and operations available in this first release:

  • VM power operations
  • VM Edit Settings (simple CPU, Memory, Disk changes)
  • VM Console
  • VM and Host Summary pages
  • VM Migration (only to a Host)
  • Clone to Template/ VM
  • Create VM on a Host (limited)
  • Additional monitoring views: Performance charts, Tasks, Event
  • Global Views: Recent tasks, Alarms (view only)
  • Integrated Feedback Tool

HTMl5 Client

The vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling is a standalone appliance that can be deployed in your existing or new vSphere 6.0 environments. It supports both the vCenter Server Appliance or vCenter for Windows. The Fling does not make any changes to your existing vCenter or Platform Service Controller components. Nor does it affect any operations, such as the use of the current vSphere Web Client, as it is meant to run side by side.

HTML5 Client

One of the most import features in my opinion is the feedback tool. Located in the upper right hand corner, Smiley as I like to call him is your chance to provide valuable input back to the engineering team and help shape the future of the product. If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling news fill out the the following form and stay tuned for more to come.

Take the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling for a test drive and most importantly provide feedback. It took six months or so for the Embedded Host Client (EHC) Fling to be a feature rich product now included in vSphere 6.0 U2.  The same could happen with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling, this is your client, help shape its future :)

(Courtesy of Emad Younis)


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VSPHERE 6 – ESXi Upgrade

VSPHERE 6 – ESXi Upgrade

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At this point in my home lab, I have got vCenter, Update Manager, and vSphere Replication all upgraded to vSphere 6. Finally, it’s time for the upgrade of ESXi!

Having the hosts up to 6.0u1 is necessary for all of the really cool things that are part of vSphere 6, including vSAN 6.1 and the cross vCenter functionality of NSX 6.2.

I am going to be upgrading a Dell R410 in this post, from ESXi 5.5u2 to ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 5. Unfortunately, Dell’s site does not supply an OEM rolled ISO of vSphere 6.0 for the 11th generation Dell hardware. Sadly, it looks like 5.5 will be the last supported VMware revision from Dell on the 11thgeneration server set.

Luckily, the upgrade process to 6.0 leaves any custom VIBs, including 3rd party drivers that may already be in place on a previous 5.x version install. I have already had success prior to this post upgrading a Dell R210 to 6.0 by applying the vanilla VMware ESXi 6.0 image on top of the OEM 5.5 installation, so I am hoping for the same success here with the R410. If I can get another few years of use out of the 11thgens in my lab on the latest VMware rev, I will be a very happy admin J

Of course, I am sure this would be an un-supported configuration from both Dell and VMware’s perspectives, but for my home lab this isn’t a concern for me.

LAB ENVIRONMENT

As a reminder, my lab components are in the below matrix. Items in RED remain to be upgraded.

PRODUCT Current Version Current Build Future Version Future Build
vCenter Server 5.5u2d 2442329 6.0u1b 3343019
Update Manager 5.5u2d 2061929 6.0u1 2945804
ESXi 5.5u2 2638301 6.0 Express Patch 5 3568940
vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 5.5.3.2 2945833 7.0 3310032
vSphere Replication Appliance 5.8.0.2 2613527 6.1 3051487
NSX 6.2.0 2986609 6.2.0 2986609

ESXi UPGRADE TO 6.0

Log into my.vmware.com and pull the ISO down for 6.0u1b (latest release at time of this post). Place the download on a system that will be able to run the web client, so that we can upload the ISO into vSphere Update Manager and create a baseline for the host upgrade.

Update Manager Client has finally made its way into the Web Client in vSphere 6.0, so log in and navigate to Update Manager.

Select the name of the registered VUM server in the left hand navigator, and then the tab for “ESXi Images”. Select “Import ESXi image…”


Browse to the ESXi ISO and import.


Once the upload finishes, the image will be imported into VUM.

VUM will verify the integrity and accept the import.

Navigate to the “Hosts Baselines” tab, and add a new baseline.

Enter a name for the baseline, and select type “Host Upgrade”.

Select the imported baseline, and proceed.

Complete the wizard to complete the baseline.

Select the cluster view and navigate to the Update Manager tab. Select “Attach Baseline”.

Attach the newly created upgrade baseline to the cluster.


Scan the cluster to determine upgrade and patch requirements.

For this cluster, I have actually already upgraded my host “ESX4”, and is therefore showing as compliant. “ESX” remains at 5.5u2, and shows as non-compliant. Let’s go ahead and remediate in order to get this host upgraded to 6.0u1b as well.

Ensure the host Upgrade Baseline is selected.

Confirm host selection.

Accept the license agreement.

I already know I am using a non-Dell ISO for the vSphere 6.0 upgrade, and therefore want to definitely know of any issues the installer has with existing devices. I recommend leaving the “Ignore warnings” selection UN-selected.

Run the upgrade immediately.

Select any host remediation options that may apply to your specific environment.

Select any remediation offers that apply to your environment. I usually add the selection for both disabling HA, as well as migrating powered off systems to other hosts.

Finally accept the selections to complete the wizard and kick off the upgrade process!

At this point, the host will enter maintenance mode and reboot as the upgrade and subsequent patches are applied. Progress can be monitored in the Tasks tab of the web client. The entire process for me against my Dell r410 took about 30 minutes across two reboots (one for the upgrade, a second for the patches).

At the completion of the upgrade process, a quick check of the host software version actually shows us at build 3620759. Looks like the most recent set of patches that were included from the “Critical” and “Non-Critical” patch baselines are for 6.0u2.

Sure enough, upon checking the VMware build release matrix athttps://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1014508, I see that 6.0u2 was released just a few days back. Awesome.

Re-scan the host once more to ensure no additional patches on top of the 6.0u2 release are outstanding.

Done! I have migrated machines back over to the upgraded host, and everything is working as expected.

A quick check of the NSX host health shows everything is good post upgrade as well.

CONCLUSION

As a final step, you will need to apply new ESXi licenses to the upgraded hosts. The upgraded 6.0 hosts will come with a fresh 60 day eval license, as the old 5.5 licenses no longer apply. Log into the my.vmware.com licensing portal and upgrade the existing 5.5 licenses, and re-apply to the upgraded hosts before the 60 days is up.

My lab is getting there. I was very excited to see that 6.0u2 was pulled down to this host during the upgrade in this blog – this means that the newest vSAN 6.2 features are going to be available to play with! Time to go back and upgrade the other hosts from 6.0u1b to 6.0u2, and also look at getting vCenter up to the latest 6.0 release as well.

Progress never stops!

(Courtesy of Mistwire)


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vSphere 6 Update 2 – Whats In It for Service Providers

vSphere 6 Update 2 – Whats In It for Service Providers

vSphere 6 Update 2 – Whats In It for Service…

It’s been just over a week since VMware released vSphere 6 Update 2 and I thought I would go through some of the key features and fixes that are included in the latest versions of vCenter and ESXi. As usual I generally keep an eye out for improvements that relate back to Service Providers who use vSphere as the foundation of their Managed or Infrastructure as as Service offerings.


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Build a custom automated ESXi installer image

Build a custom automated ESXi installer image

by Matt Bradford

If you’re like me, you’ve probably performed more manual ESXi installs than you care to admit. It’s not just the installation of the hypervisor, but the installation of the drivers and other bundles that can easily eat into your busy day. Not to mention if you try to image many hosts at the same time there’s a good likelihood that you’ll miss something that will come back and haunt you later.

One of the benefits of working with a great vendor is that they’re usually willing to ship your hosts pre-imaged and built to your spec. In order to make my vendor’s lives easier I wanted an ISO that would install ESXi to our spec without intervention. I needed to build a custom automated ESXi installer image. It may sound complicated but it’s pretty simple and the best thing is it doesn’t take long. Your first time may take 30 minutes, but once you have everything together you will be able to create the ISO in about five. Here’s how you do it…

Download the ESXi Offline Bundle. You can use the generic or vendor provided image.

download_offline_bundle'

 

Download the driver and other offline bundles you want to pack into your image. Copy everything to a folder. (Note that offline bundles may be inside the zip file you download.)

copy_offline_bundles_to_folder

 

Open PowerCLI and add the ESXi offline bundle.

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-Update3-3248547-HPE-550.9.4.5.7-Dec2015-depot.zip

add_esxi_offline_bundle

 

Add the driver offline bundles.

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot .\hpsa-5.5.0.106-offline_bundle-2734178.zip

add_driver_bundles

We need to get the name of the image by entering…

Get-EsxImageProfile | Select Name

In this case our image name is HPE-ESXi-5.5.0-Update3-550.9.4.5.7.

get-esximagteprofile

We’ll take the name of the profile from the previous step and create a new image with it.

New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile HPE-ESXi-5.5.0-Update3-550.9.4.5.7 -Name ESXi-5.5-VMSpot-Customized

By default the acceptance level will be Partner Supported. More info available here.

New-EsxImageProfile

Export the image to an ISO by typing…

Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.5-VMSpot-Customized -ExportToIso -Filepath .\ESXi-5.5.0.VMSpot.iso

Export-To-Iso

Launch WinISO and open the ISO.

WinISO_OpenISO

Create a file called KS_CUST.CFG and add the following…

# Accept the VMware End User License Agreement
vmaccepteula
# Set the root password for the DCUI
rootpw VMwareR0cks!
# The install media is in the CD-ROM drive
installorupgrade --firstdisk --overwritevmfs
# Set the network to DHCP on the first network adapter
network --bootproto=dhcp --device=vmnic0
# reboots the host after the scripted installation is completed
Reboot

Create_KS_CUST_CFG

Copy BOOT.CFG from the ISO and change the kernelopt line as such…

kernelopt=runweasel ks=cdrom:/KS_CUST.CFG

modify_boot_cfg_one_line

Add the KS_CUST.CFG file to the root of the ISO and overwrite BOOT.CFG. Save the ISO.

Add_Files_To_Iso

Mount the ISO to your host and boot.

Mount_the_ISO

The installation process will now run without any manual intervention.

Boot_Menu

Loading_Custom_Installer

Reading_Installation_Script

It’s okay to ignore the DHCP warning. It will clear automatically after a few seconds.

DHCP_Warning

writing_first_boot_scripts

The installation is finished! The host will now reboot automatically!

system_finished_upgrading

(Courtesy of VMSpot)


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First Look: VMware Host Client

First Look: VMware Host Client

Now you can manage an ESXi host with any HTML5-compliant browser.
By Tom Fenton

VMware just announced that VMware Host Client 1.0 is shipping with vSphere 6.0 Update 2 (U2), which was released last week. Host Client allows an HTML 5 Web browser to be used to view and manage an individual ESXi host. It can be used on almost any OS: Windows, OS X, Android or any other OSes that support an HTML 5 browser. Prior to this release, the vSphere native client running on a Windows system was required to access an ESXi host.

I just installed vSphere 6.0 U2 for the first time. Let’s take a brief look at the installation process and key features, before I give my final thoughts on it.

First, I entered the IP address of my ESXi host in my Chrome browser that was running on my Windows laptop and clicked “Open the VMware Host Client.” I was presented with a basic login screen (see Figure 1). I didn’t need to install anything on either my ESXi host or laptop.

Figure 1. The Host Client login screen.

After logging on, I was presented with a dashboard for my ESXi host (Figure 2). It did give a warning about the host being managed by my vCenter server. The desktop had all the features I would expect, including the ability to manage the server, monitor server performance, and shut down or reboot the server.

Figure 2. The Host Client dashboard.

By using the icons on the left hand side of the screen, I was able to dive down and see my virtual machines (Figure 3), storage, and networking on my ESXi host. Let’s take a brief look at each of these features.

Figure 3. Managing virtual machines.

By right-clicking on a virtual machine (VM), I was able to perform common management functions on it (see below). However, it does not allow you to perform cloning, vMotion, or other operations that require a vCenter server. You can even open a console to a VM and access it via your Web browser.

Figure 4. Many, but not all, virtual machine management abilities can be done via the Web browser.

One of the most common tasks on an ESXi server is creating and importing VMs in to your ESXi server. Host Client allows you to created VMs from scratch, deploy VMs from an OVF or OVA file and register an existing VM. I decided to test this functionality by deploying a new instance of Damn Small Linux (DSL) on my host via an OVA file on my laptop. Deploying the OVA was simple and direct via the wizard, as shown in Figure 5. I dropped the DSL OVA file into wizard, specified the storage and networking and clicked finish. In less than one minute, I had a running instance of DSL. It couldn’t have been more intuitive.

Figure 5. Deploying a new OS instance as a VM.

The storage function ( Figure 6) supports most common storage-related functions, including browsing datastores to examine the files on it.

Figure 6. Storage capabilities.

Host Client offers performance-monitoring functions, and as Figure 7 shows, I was able to display graphs for the CPU, memory, disk, and network activity on a host.

Figure 7. Monitoring the environment.

The Monitor function also has panes to track and analyze the events, tasks, logs and notifications that relate to the host.

I was able to log into my ESXi Server using the Host Client via various devices, including my Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone (Figure 8), MacBook and Samsung tablet. The screen size was a little small on the smartphone and tablet, but overall it was still functional; I was able to move the screen around to see the information that I needed.

Figure 8. The Host Client on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Delivering the Goods
Every once in a while, VMware releases a product that makes my life just a little bit easier, and Host Client is definitely one of those products. Prior to Host Client, getting quick access to a single host used to entail finding a Windows system and installing the native client on it; this was always just a little annoying to me.

Having Host Client means that I can conveniently access, monitor, and manage a host from just about any device. With its management functions I can manage the network, storage and VM lifecycle, monitor the performance of an ESXi host, and display events and tasks. I can do all this without having to install anything on my ESXi host; I just need to point my browser at it and access it. This is a fine tool you’ll certainly find useful, and which will add a bit of convenience to your life.

About the Author

Tom Fenton works in VMware’s Education department as a Senior Course Developer. He has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 20 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 10 years focused on virtualization and storage. Before re-joining VMware, Tom was a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, were he headed their Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He’s on Twitter @vDoppler.


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How to update ESXi via CLI

How to update ESXi via CLI

If you don’t want to use VMware Update Manager (VUM) you can leverage several CLI update alternatives.

First of all you should download patch bundle from VMware Product Patches page available at http://www.vmware.com/go/downloadpatches. It is important to know that patch bundles are cumulative. That means you need to download and install only the latest Patch Bundle to make ESXi fully patched.

ESXCLI

You can use esxcli command on each ESXi host.

To list image profiles that are provided by the Patch Bundle use following command

esxcli software sources profile list -d /path/to/.zip

The output will look like this:

[root@esx01:~] esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/NFS-SYNOLOG
Y-SATA/ISO/update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02.zip
Name                              Vendor        Acceptance Level
——————————–  ————  —————-
ESXi-6.0.0-20160301001s-no-tools  VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-6.0.0-20160302001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-6.0.0-20160301001s-standard  VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-6.0.0-20160302001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported

Now you can update the system with specific profile:
esxcli software profile update -d /path/to/.zip -p ESXi-5.5.0-profile-standard

Note: You can run an ESXCLI vCLI command remotely against a specific host or against a vCenter Server system.

ESXCLI over PowerCLI

The same can be done via PowerCLI. The code below is optimized for ESXCLI-Version2 releases in PowerCLI 6.3 R1.

#get esxcli object on particular host
$esxcli = Get-EsxCli -VMhost -V2

#list profiles in patch bundle
$arguments = $esxcli2.software.profile.list.CreateArgs()

$arguments.depot = “vmfs/volumes///update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02.zip”
$esxcli2.software.profile.update.Invoke($arguments)

#update to patch bundle profile
$arguments = $esxcli2.software.profile.update.CreateArgs()
$arguments.depot = “vmfs/volumes///update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02.zip”
$arguments.profile = “ESXi-5.5.0-profile-standard”
$esxcli2.software.profile.update.Invoke($arguments)

PowerCLI Install-VMHostPatch

You can also use special PowerCLI cmdlet Install-VMHostPatch

  1. Download the Update file “ESXi Offline Bundle” update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02.zip
  2. Extract the ZIP file and upload the resulting folder to a datastore on the Virtual Host.
  3. Put host in to maintenance mode
  4. Open PowerCLI
  5. Connect-VIServer
  6. Install-VMHostPatch -HostPath /vmfs/volumes/Datastore/update-from-esxi6.0-6.0_update02/metadata.zip
Note: For Install-VMHostPatch method Patch Bundle must be explicitly unzipped. 

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