Archives For ESX

Just found this demonstration video of Veeam’s new feature coming in version 5 of their software.

I really can’t wait to start using this technology, Veeam is already my favourite backup software due to its ease of use and reliability and they continue to push the boundaries and improve the functionality they offer. With the introduction of this technology it will allow you to verify your backups every time on every VM and not just the odd one or two a month.

For more information about SureBackup please visit their website

Matt Liebowitz (@mattliebowitz) pointed out the following VMware knowledge base article on twitter the other day. The article goes through a few commands that will help you track the snapshot deletion process, always useful when deleting a large snapshot that has been left there a little too long!

Below is a screenshot of the article encase it is removed from the KB.

Recently I have become a bit of an Apple fan boy purchasing my first Mac and now taking the plunge and purchasing an iPad. One of the first apps I was looking forward to trying on the iPad was Wyse pocket cloud. I have already blogged about Wyse pocket cloud on the iPhone and to this day it is one of my most favourite apps.

Wyse pocket cloud has been written to be a native iPad app taking the new screen size into account and also the ability to use the VGA out adapter more on that later. Wyse pocket cloud can either be used as an RDP client or a VMWare view client.

Of course I am using mine as a View client at present, having the ability to connect to my work desktop from anywhere on my iPad now opens up many more use cases than it did on the iPhone. Whilst the functionality on the iPhone is brilliant the screen size always limited the functionality, you are now able to connect with a resolution native to the iPad of 1024 x 768 and in landscape or portrait. So gone are the days where you need to zoom in to parts of the screen like on the iPhone.

I am currently using Wyse Pocket Cloud to connect to my desktop, using the vSphere client to deploy a new VM. It isn’t only usable but feels a natural device and not really different from connecting in from a PC or thin client. You can pair a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad and use the VGA out adapter to connect to a monitor or projector, the only real limitation is the fact you can’t pair a mouse so need to rely on using the touch screen at all times.

Below are a few screenshots, I will also include some photos and videos in the next few days.

Due to my HQ moving to new premises I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like recently. Now thats all under control I’m playing catchup!

The first post is about a couple of Vizioncore’s free tools, namely vEcoShell and vFoglight Quick View.

With the initial outlay on a virtualised environment the cost for third party tools (not including backup which would be a must have!) can often be seen as a nice to have initially rather than a must have. Which is why i’m a big fan of free products that will assist you with the administration of your virtual environment. Some of these tools are a fully featured free version others offer a limited feature set but with no expiration like demo software. The benefit of a lot of these tools is they will allow you to use them now and if useful, budget for the full version is applicable later.

As any regular readers of my blog or followers on twitter will know I am a big fan of vEcoShell (, the good news is that vEcoShell has now left beta and is still a freeware application. Great thanks must go to Scott Herold (@vmguru) and his team as well as the community for making such a fantastic free product!.

vEcoShell is a freeware application that utilises the power of PowerShell in a graphic user interface to assist administrators manage and report on their virtualised environment.

You don’t need to have any powershell experience or knowledge as everything is presented to you through the GUI, vEcoShell takes care of the powershell code.

With the community being heavily involved in the product some of the best powershell experts in the VMware community have teamed up together to make their own powerpack to help you even further. For more information on the powerpack check out the landing page on Alan Renouf’s blog

With this first GA of the product comes a couple of new features over and above the last beta these include

  • Completely rewritten PowerPack to support VMware PowerCLU 4.0 Update 1 and its ability to manage connections to multiple $viServer objects.
  • Ability to copy and paste code from “PowerShell Code” tab directly into standalone PS1 files (Will still need to Add-PSSnapin and Connect-VIServer for script to function).
  • Ability to copy and paste code snippets from the internet and they will work without needing to add our $managedHost.connection code everywhere.

For the latest information of vEcoShell, blog posts by Scott Herold and to join in with the community visit

vFoglight Quick View

The next free product is vFoglight Quick View, you may already be familiar with Vizioncore’s VMware monitoring product vFoglight ( They have now released a simple cut down version of the product that aims to give you basic monitoring information regarding your virtualised environment. It supports monitoring of 1 vCenter with up to 250 and will give you 6 reports surrounding the health of your environment. An important point to note is that there is no upgrade path between vFoglight Quick view and the fully featured product, so if you are thinking about purchasing vFoglight in the short term you maybe better trialling a vFoglight.

The install process for vFoglight Quickview is very simple and is a point and click operation, it did take a little longer than I expected but when I installed it, it was only in a VMware Fusion VM on my MBP.

Once installed the management console for vFoglight Quick View is accessed by a web browser, this makes it very easy for multiple people to access and for remote access over a VPN etc.

When accessing the console you are presented with a very clear view of the health of your environment, you will see the spinning dials that are a familiar vFoglight view. I have been using the product to monitor my virtual environment for the last week and have been very pleased with the results.

Here is a getting started video put together by Vizioncore

For more information check out the product page and download it at, that’s it for this post but check back for more information about free products as next I will be looking at Veeam’s free offerings.

This is more of a quick one for reference as there are numerous articles on this in the blogosphere. Enabling Cisco CDP on your vSwitch’s is fantastic for troubleshooting NIC problems and Documentations. As Cisco CDP is enabled by default on most devices all you need to do from the ESX side is the following.

From the command line of your ESX host run the following command for each vSwitch

esxcfg-vswitch –B both vSwitch0

Now when you view the vSwitch configuration on your ESX host you will be able to see more information about the physical switchthe host is connected to, including switch name and most importantly the switch port number.


If you login to your cisco switch and run the following command

show cdp entry *

You will then be able to see the reserve of this information from the Cisco switch itself, very usefully when diagnosing networking or cabling issues.


My next step is to write a powershell script that will grab the information from ESX and document it. Watch this space.

Mount a CD-ROM with the following command

mount /mnt/cdrom

Unmount with the following command

umount /mnt/cdrom

Usefull for when you are having to manually install device drivers for new NICS etc.

As I have mentioned numerous times I am a big fan of The VESI and Alan Renouf’s powershell blog, well now Alan has released his powerpack for The VESI which means every VMware admin can have the power of Alan Renouf in their toolkit. Alan has taken his scripts and incorporated them in the VESI powerpack which means they can now be ran simply through the VESI GUI, saving you even more time. Due to current work commitments I haven’t had a lot of time to have a play with the powerpack yet but from the little I have seen it’s fantastic!


More information on The VESI can be found here

and Alan’s powerpack can be found here

If you like what you see and it starts saving you time consider a donation to Alan’s home test environment that will help us all in the long run!

A quick reminder of what the files that make up a virtual machine and what they do.

File Name Description
*.vmx Virtual Machine Configuration File
vmname.vmdk The disk descriptor file containing all the Virtual Hard disks settings
vmname-flat.vmdk The actual virtual hard disk containing the data
*.nvram VM BIOS
*.log VM Log Files, there maybe additional log file with vmname-(Number) that contain old versions of the logs
*.vswp Virtual Machine Swap File – This file is created when the virtual machine boots and is used to swap memory if access to physical memory isn’t possible
*.vmsd Snapshot descriptor file – This file contains the meta data regarding any snapshots that exist for the virtual machine
*.vmsn Stores the state of a virtual machine when a snapshot is taken, if you chose to include the memory state of the VM in your snapshots this file will be slightly larger than the RAM assigned to the VM. One of these files is created for every snapshot

Starting to look into FT a bit more and I am currently reading the following document from VMware this has already raised some more points for me that I didn’t realise such as the system needs to be certified as FT capable by the OEM.

Looking into this more I found out the the HP DL380 G5 and G6 or at least for the models I checked here>> were not listed as being FT capable! I had realised the CPU’s needed to be certified for FT on this list >> previously but not the physical host. It has also been pointed out to me by @FrankDenneman on twitter that the ever popular blade server by HP the BL460 is also not supported.

I think the more I delve into this the more difficult it is becoming to see use cases with such a high amount of restrictions and limitations.


@FrankDenneman did a little more investiagting into this and has found the following utillity that can be used to check your hardware for FT compliance he also found in the following VMWare white paper that VMware are using A Dell PowerEdge 2950 which is also listed as not supporting FT. So this looks to be just a case of waiting for the manufacturers to certify specific hardware. Fingers Crossed.

Recently had to install a VI 3.5 enviroment and needed to use a proxy server for update manager downloads. Found this usefull post on the communities forum by TiBoReR which explains how to add the settings once you have already installed update manager.


1. On the virtualcenter server, stop the Vmware Update Manager Service
2. Edit the vci-integrity.xml file in the Update Manager installation directory
3. Edit these fields for your good proxy settings:
4. Start the VMware Update Manager Service
5. Run the scheduled task to download patchs


If you need to authenticate with the proxy server rdo the following

Configuring Update Manager to Use with an Internet ProxyTo update proxy authentication information

1 Log in to the VMware Update Manager server as an administrator.

2 Stop the VMware Update Manager service.

a Right‐click My Computer and click Manage.

b In the left pane, expand Services and Applications and click Services.

c In the right pane, select VMware Update Manager, click Action, and click Stop.

3 Open the vum-proxyAuthCfg.exe file in the Update Manager directory.

4 Provide updated proxy authentication information.

5 Restart the Update Manager service