Bye, bye Service Console

This isn’t just another article about vSphere 5. It’s not my aim simply to rattle off a list of new and improved features. There are probably a plethora of those posts out there already, some better than others – use Google to find them. I was inspired to write this after I saw white paper linked to on Twitter about the differences between ESX and ESXi written by Global Knowledge. Actually it was the responses to that article that prompted me. Of all of the many changes announced today, it is the departure of the Service Console that is…

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VMware Version Numbers

I've been invited onto the beta of the next version of VMware Workstation. There's nothing much unusual about that. I have a licensed copy of it and have participated before. What's different this time is the version number. VMware are (at present) calling this next version “VMware Workstation 2011”. (I don't think I'm breaking the EULA or anything by mentioning this.) This would, if they stick with it, represent a change from previous versions (4.x, 5x, 6.x and 7.x to name but a few). This will be a marketing tactic. I'm not about to try…

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ESX and ESXi AD Integration

If, like me, you make your ESX / ESXi server passwords nice and complex you end up having to dig them out of a password safe every time you want to connect directly to one of them. Or you have an SSH connection manager of some sort perhaps. Even then, there will come a time when you want to connect directly and that 16 character, random, mixed case password just isn't memorable enough for you to use it. Luckily if you're running vSphere 4.1 or later you can configure your hosts to use AD authentication. Hooray! Obviously there are security…

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PowerCLI: Adding New PortGroups

I'm sure that someone somewhere has written a script exactly like this in the past but I wanted to write my own for a number of reasons. While I'll probably never be a PowerCLI hero, it really doesn't hurt to keep in practice and hone your skills. Let's start with what I want to accomplish. I'm working with an ESX 3.5 web hosting environment and there's a new project in the pipelines. A brace of new servers are required and they'll be on a new VLAN. The VLAN has been created and configured on the various switches that the…

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VMTools Version Mismatch

Before I get started, I just want to say that I don't know for sure if this is an issue that is causing problems for some VMs that I have been looking at or not. I'd welcome any feedback, comment or help anyone has to offer on the topic. I thought that I'd share this just in case it helps anyone at any point. The environment that I've been working in is a shared web hosting platform built on ESX 3.5 and vCenter 2.5. Recently the focus of effort has been on data centre migrations, service migrations and…

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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…

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Installing VMtools on 2008 Server R2 Core

Have you ever wondered how to install VMtools on a Windows 2008 Server R2 Core guest running on an ESX 3.5 host? “Hang on,” you say, “R2 is officially supported on ESX 3.5!” And you'd be right, for the moment at least. ESX 3.5 U4 does indeed not support R2 officially yet although VMware support hinted that U5 is due at some point. Still, the customer is king and mine wanted an R2 VM. First things first, the WoW64 Execution Layer needs to be installed and the server rebooted to allow R2 to…

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Windows VM MAC Address Change

Sometimes moving a server into a Virtual Infrastructure is not straightforward. Consider a server that has software on it that is licensed based on a MAC address for instance. MAC addresses start with a vendor ID and the rest of the address is made up with hexadecimal numbers to make each MAC address unique. VMware's vendor ID is 00:50:56, all VM NICs will have MAC addresses starting with it. So, suppose you have a piece of software installed on a Windows server that is licensed to a MAC address of 00:0B:CD:6D:17:D9. How do…

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