Creating an EagerZeroedThick disk with PowerCLI

Hey…. -  that is not possible – I hear you say – well in principle you are right. Up until today…

By mistake of course – I found that there was a change made to the 5.1 release of PowerCLI – but this change has not been documented anywhere – which I think is a shame. This post is the only public reference I know of.

Up until the 5.1 release you could not create an EagerZeroedThick hard disk with PowerCLI. Let’s look at the 5.0 documentation for PowerCLI.


As you can see above the options are Thin or Thick and if you go to look at the
VirtualDiskStorageFormat – Enum you will see the that there is no EagerZeroedThick option.


The PowerCLI changelog has a new Cmdlet Move-Harddisk – which as you can see allows you to migrate a VMDK from one location to another – and if you also noticed..

5.1 New-Harddisk

Yep, EagerZeroedThick is one of the options as you can see above. The VirtualDiskStorageFormat – Enum was not updated though.

So I used this today as part of a bigger automation process to prepare some VM’s for Oracle RAC (which I will post about in the not too distant future)

get-vm $vm1 | New-HardDisk -DiskType flat -CapacityGB 2 -StorageFormat EagerZeroedThick -Datastore $dbds |New-ScsiController -Type ParaVirtual -BusSharingMode NoSharing

Which is so much easier than… (taken from Luc Deken’s post)

$vmName = <vm-name>
$vCenter = <vCenter-name>
$esxAccount = <ESX-account>
$esxPasswd = <ESX-password>

function Set-EagerZeroThick{
	param($vcName, $vmName, $hdName)

# Find ESX host for VM
	$vcHost = Connect-VIServer -Server $vcName -Credential (Get-Credential -Credential "vCenter account")
	$vmImpl = Get-VM $vmName
	if($vmImpl.PowerState -ne "PoweredOff"){
		Write-Host "Guest must be powered off to use this script !" -ForegroundColor red
		return $false

	$vm = $vmImpl | Get-View
	$esxName = (Get-View $vm.Runtime.Host).Name
# Find datastore path
	$dev = $vm.Config.Hardware.Device | where {$_.DeviceInfo.Label -eq $hdName}
		return $false
	$hdPath = $dev.Backing.FileName

# For Virtual Disk Manager we need to connect to the ESX server
	$esxHost = Connect-VIServer -Server $esxName -User $esxAccount -Password $esxPasswd

# Convert HD
	$vDiskMgr = Get-View -Id (Get-View ServiceInstance -Server $esxHost).Content.VirtualDiskManager
	$dc = Get-Datacenter -Server $esxHost | Get-View
	$taskMoRef = $vDiskMgr.EagerZeroVirtualDisk_Task($hdPath, $dc.MoRef)
	$task = Get-View $taskMoRef
	while("running","queued" -contains $task.Info.State){

	Disconnect-VIServer -Server $esxHost -Confirm:$false

# Connect to the vCenter
	Connect-VIServer -Server $vcName -Credential (Get-Credential -Credential "vCenter account")
	if($task.Info.State -eq "success"){
		return $true
		return $false

Set-EagerZeroThick $vCenter $vmName "Hard disk 1"

Ah the little things…..

I wonder what other gems are hidden deep in the bowels of PowerCLI that were not updated in the changelog/release notes?? …. What do you think ??


Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Cloud Architect?

This question is something that I have come across in a number of ways and variations over the past few months and on some occasions I have actually been asked the following:

  • Are you a cloud architect?
  • Can you build me an cloud environment like Amazon?
  • Can you explain to me over lunch how to build a cloud?

Granted, the last one made me laugh, but the rest of them are pretty valid.Build me a Cloud

A while back there was a great demand for the professional that could build a solid and sound virtual infrastructure. Don’t get me wrong – the demand is still there – very much so, but since then a new and more sophisticated skill is being asked for..  - ”Build me a cloud..

So before we can answer the first and most important question – I think it would be fair to ask what is a cloud? And the simple answer to that is – wait .. there is not simple answer to that. It will depend on who you ask. Let’s see how the big cloud players define cloud.


Cloud computing empowers IT through flexible, automated infrastructures, new on-demand service models and new levels of IT efficiency. All this allows IT to shift resources from maintaining existing systems to invest in building innovative services that drive new revenue, improve operations and advance business goals. (Source)


NIST defines five essential characteristics, three service models and four deployment models. The essential characteristics form the core of the definition. The required characteristics for any solution to be called a true “cloud” solution include:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

NIST also defines three service models, or what are sometimes called architecture layers:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Finally, it defines four deployment models:

  • Private Cloud
  • Community Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud (Source)

Cloud Computing is really about delivering IT as a Service, the idea of managing and delivering applications and services for business value and impact, as opposed to focusing on where those applications and services run or what level they run on. “What it Means” is that Cloud Computing gives companies the capability to be more flexible, more agile, in meeting the needs of the business. This is because the Cloud removes the traditional limitations and boundaries associated with allocating or moving services. Once those restriction are removed, it becomes second nature for IT to respond to specific requirements of the business. Thus, changes and optimization become part of the standard run of the business and the time that IT used to spend being reactionary can now be used to be innovative and forward thinking. (Source)


Gartner defines cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies. (Source)

So now that we are all clear – well actually are not quite clear on what a cloud is – let us still try and define what skills are needed from someone to design a cloud solution.

So the first thing that a headhunter would look for is the letters behind someone’s name (and I think we all can safely say that this is not the right way to do it- but still)

I went on a search for which cloud certifications there are and came up with the following list.

VCDX-Cloud which is VMware’s upcoming top-level certification for those architects who can display their qualifications and expertise in designing vCloud solutions. So where was Amazon? Amazon have an Architecture course – no certification. Next up was OpenStack and Rackspace – which is only a technicians course. Microsoft and their Private Cloud Solutions Expert – but I would not really call this a architect level certification – but more of a administration level one. Last but not least – Redhat and their RHCVA – and again I see this as more of an administration exam than anything else.

So here we come back to my original question.

Do you have what it takes to be a cloud architect? Well at the moment I don’t think there is anything that can prove (or test for that matter) if an individual has those skills.

The biggest challenge I see here is that creating a cloud solution is not just creating the virtualization layer, or the storage layer, or the network layer, but also the orchestration behind it, the business model behind it, the elasticity, automation and the list really goes on and on. There is no one skill hat can be mastered here. It requires a multitude of expertise, a broad spectrum of knowledge is multiple fields, with a number of them not being virtualization related at all.

ArchitectI do think that as the market evolved more and more, the demand for such individuals will rise and so will the expertise of the professionals out there. If once upon a time there were only a handful of people that were capable of designing a robust virtual infrastructure – today, a number of years later – that handful has multiplied exponentially, this is the case with cloud architects.

The ease with which we manage and design our virtual infrastructure today will become the same for cloud infrastructures a few years in the future. It is all a matter of time.

If you would like to add your thoughts and comments on this article or which skills and expertise a cloud architect should have – please feel free to add them below.


vCloud Suite Licenses and (NO)vRAM

Yes I said the “v”- word again. That “dirty” term that was abolished at VMworld 2012 this year.
(forgive the cynicism)

To my surprise – it is still haunting me – and I suppose soon us all.

A week ago I received my first vCloud Enterprise Suite license.


Happy as can be, I added it into my vCenter Server and then I realized something which was strange..

vSphere Client

I checked the API as well.



The license itself definitely has a vRAM entitlement embedded into it – of 96GB per CPUNO VRAM.

I reached out to John Troyer who got back to me almost immediately (thanks John!!) with an answer. This is still listed in the license – and was not ripped out in time for the 5.1 release – and can safely be ignored. I received the same answer as well from Mike Laverick 

I opened an SR for clarification – and am waiting on an official answer – I assume this will be the same as I received above.

At the moment KB 2032903 - Managing licenses on ESXi hosts using the vSphere Web Client states the more or less same thing.


I just do not understand if this property is a feature embedded within the license itself (and if so then it should be easy to remove – and so it should have been!), or is this property expected within the API – and if removed will break something.

I will update with my findings.

**Update 29-11-2012**

I received an answer (as expected) from VMware customer support that there is no vRAM limit on ESXi licenses anymore. This seems to have been a problem with the generation process of the vCloud Suite licenses which should now be fixed. The entitlement can be safely ignored.


VCAP5-DCD - Mission Accomplished

As you can deduct from the title of this post – yes I passed. I scored a 345 today (passing mark was 300).

I wanted to share with you my feelings and thoughts about the exam that I sat today. Yeah Baby!!

Not all Pearson VUE exam centers are equal. Some are more strict than others – luckily today the one I went to today was not on the extreme side as opposed to the one where I sat the VCAP-DCA). This does not say that the rules were not adhered to, but it was a bit more relaxed.

The time limit on the exam is 225 minutes – and just to make sure you understand the math,
that is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Those of use that live in non-English speaking countries (like me) get an additional 30 minutes – and that is 4 hours and 15 minutes.

Let me start by saying – sitting and doing an exam for 4:15 is not humane. Really not. It reminds me of the blog post I did on Beta Exams.

During the exam you cannot:

  • eat
  • drink
  • go to the bathroom (if you do you loose precious time)
  • chew gum
  • blow your nose
  • get up from your chair to walk around
  • smoke (if that is your poison)
  • etc..etc..

Concentrating for 4 hours straight is hard, concentrating on a screen for 4 hours is even harder. For those of us that have a long attention span, this is not a simple task, and even more so for those with attention deficits. I personally do not understand why it has to be has to 100 questions. I can remember at least 3 different cases where questions repeated themselves with small nuances between the versions. I am sure that the quantity of questions can be reduced to make the exam more “candidate-friendly” without losing out on the actual content being tested.

I will not go into the detail about the format – there are many posts around with that info.

I will emphasize though – as was pointed out on Forbes’ post – you CANNOT go back to a previous question. That means that you have to complete each question – or make a decision to give up on that question in order to continue. That means you have to watch your time VERY CAREFULLY!!

Don’t get stuck on something. Some questions will take 10 seconds – but others will take a good 15 minutes.

I tried to manage my time in the following way. Complete 25 Questions within an hour, that way you can keep a track on your progress. I more or less managed to keep to this, but still I ran out of time at the end.

One more thing. At the beginning of the exam you will be told how many of the 100 questions will be scenario based questions (94:6). Keep track of the how many scenarios you have completed. Time management –  again, this is they key element of the exam. I did not do track my scenarios today, and when I thought I was finished, question 100 was a ….  badabing!!! –> scenario question.
I did not have time to complete it.

Here are the resources I used to study for this exam:

  1. Experience

    There is nothing to replace hands-on experience and knowledge with vSphere environments and architecture. This was my main resource.
  2. The VDCD-510 Blueprint

    Read the documents provided in the tools for each section. It is a long list, and a lot to read. Some of it was new to me, some I know in my sleep. I have collected the links for you here.

    Objective 1.1
    Five Steps to Determine When to Virtualize Your Servers
    Functional versus Non-functional Requirements
    Conceptual, Logical, Physical:  It is Simple
  3. Objective 1.2
    VMware Cost-Per-Application Calculator
    Virtualizing Oracle Kit
    Virtualizing Exchange Kit
    Virtualizing SQL Kit
    Virtualizing SAP Kit
    Virtualizing Enterprise Java Kit
    Business and Financial Benefits of Virtualization

    Objective 1.3
    Developing a Strategy and Deployment Plan

    Objective 2.1
    VMware vSphere Basics Guide
    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5?
    ITIL v3 Introduction and Overview
    Conceptual, Logical, Physical:  It is Simple

    Objective 2.2
    Datacenter Operational Excellence Through Automated Application Discovery & Dependency

    Objective 2.3
    Improving Business Continuity with VMware Virtualization Solution Brief
    VMware High Availability Deployment Best Practices
    vSphere Availability Guide

    Objective 2.4
    Optimizing Your VMware Environment
    Four Keys to Managing Your VMware Environment
    Operational Readiness Assessment
    Operational Readiness Assessment Tool

    Objective 2.5
    Proven Practice: Implementing ITIL v3 Capacity Management in a VMware environment
    vSphere Monitoring and Performance Guide

    Objective 2.6
    VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Evaluation Guide
    A Practical Guide to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery with VMware Infrastructure
    Mastering Disaster Recovery: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Whitepaper
    Designing Backup Solutions for VMware vSphere

    Objective 2.7
    vSphere Security Guide
    Developing a Strategy and Deployment Plan
    Achieving Compliance in a Virtualized Environment
    Infrastructure Security: Getting to the Bottom of Compliance in the Cloud
    Securing the Cloud

    Objective 3.1
    Conceptual, Logical, Physical:  It is Simple
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide

    Objective 3.2
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    vSphere Installation and Setup Guide
    vMotion Architecture, Performance and Best Practices in VMware vSphere 5
    VMware vSphere™: Deployment Methods for the VMware® vNetwork Distributed Switch
    vNetwork Distributed Switch: Migration and Configuration
    Guidelines for Implementing VMware vSphere with the Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch
    VMware® Network I/O Control: Architecture, Performance and Best Practices

    Objective 3.3
    Fibre Channel SAN Configuration Guide
    iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide
    vSphere Installation and Setup Guide
    Performance Implications of Storage I/O Control–Enabled NFS Datastores in VMware vSphere® 5.0
    Managing Performance Variance of Applications Using Storage I/O Control
    VMware Virtual Machine File System: Technical Overview and Best Practices

    Objective 3.4
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    vSphere Installation and Setup Guide
    vSphere Resource Management Guide

    Objective 3.5
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    Virtual Machine Administration Guide
    Best Practices for Performance Tuning of Latency-Sensitive Workloads in vSphere VMs
    Virtualizing a Windows Active Directory Domain Infrastructure
    Guest Operating System Installation Guide

    Objective 3.6
    vSphere Monitoring and Performance Guide
    vCenter Server and Host Management Guide
    VMware vCenter Update Manager 5.0 Performance and Best Practices

    Objective 4.1
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    Validation Test Plan

    Objective 4.2
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    Operational Test Requirements

    Objective 4.3
    vSphere Server and Host Management Guide
    Deployment Guide

  4. vBrownbags

    I used the vBrownbag sessions that are listed and broken down per-objective on Nick Marshall’s post - VCAP Video Study Guides. This is a great set of resources – but takes a decent amount of time to go through.
  5. Study Guide

    Karim Elatov – has a very nice study guide that gives a good amount of material that will help.

So mission accomplished – VCAP5-DCA and VCAP5-DCD done within the past 2 months.

Guess what’s next?


Guest Customization on Ubuntu 12.04 Fails

I came across an issue today – trying to deploy a Ubuntu Precise VM from a template and applying a customization setting to the VM – with default DHCP configuration.

These are the errors I was getting

deploy error

So first up the second error message is wrong – because the log file should not be <No Log> but rather /var/log/vmware-inc/toolsDeployPkg.log

Going into the log file on the VM I saw the following.

less /var/log/vmware-imc/toolsDeployPkg.log

ERROR: Fatal error occurred during customization !! Customization halted.
ERROR: Error : Could not create file /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf!
at /tmp/.vmware/linux/deploy/scripts/Utils.pm line 475.
INFO: Return code is 252.
Customization process returned with error.
Deployment result = 252
Setting generic error status in vmx.
Transitioning from state INPROGRESS to state ERRORED.
Setting deploy error: Deployment failed. The forked off process returned error code.
Deployment failed. The forked off process returned error code.
Wait before set enable-nics stats in vmx.
Trying to connect network interfaces, attempt 1
Got VMX response 'queryNicsSupported'
Got VMX response 'disconnected'
Got VMX response 'connected'
The network interfaces are connected on 1 second
Launching cleanup.
Command to exec : /bin/rm
sizeof ProcessInternal is 32
Returning, pending output
Returning, pending output
Process exited normally after 0 seconds, returned 0
No more output
No more output
Customization command output:
Deploy error: Deployment failed. The forked off process returned error code.
Package deploy failed in DeployPkg_DeployPackageFromFile
## Closing log

A quick look on Google brought me to this article (in Spanish) describing a similar problem – but with a Debian VM.

The problem is that the VMware customization script is trying to access a path which does not exist.


Solution is to change the template from which you are deploying and create a soft-link to avoid the error.

ln -s /etc/dhcp /etc/dhcp3
Convert the VM back to a template, deploy a new VM with the same configuration..
And all is fine and dandy!



What is VMware KB Number 1?

Have you ever wondered what VMware Knowledge base article Number one is? Where it all started? Genesis is the beginning of the bible… KB number 1 was the beginning of a plethora of knowledge that has changed how we consume technology today.

As of the time of writing this blog post the lastest KB is 2035036.

So far back does it go? I decided to check. Powershell of course helped me out here.

The first public KB article that you can access today is …..
KB 22 - Extremely Slow Power on when Using IDE Virtual Disks.

KB 22

And as you can it was last updated on January 25th, 2011 – Product: VMware Workstation 3.x

So how old is this actually? Wikipedia to the rescue.


History ladies and gentlemen. This KB is probably about 11 years old.

Freaky how today is actually November 1st, 2012, exactly 11 years after Workstation 3.0 was released.

VMware has come a long way since then – changed, evolved. It would be interesting to hear what it was like way back then.

Personally – I am intrigued in hearing what KB 1 is.

If you have any insight into how it was back then – please feel free to add it to the comments below.


Going over the vSphere 5.1.0a Release Notes

Less than a month – that is all it took for VMware to release an update to vSphere 5.1.0.

A good thing? A bad thing – that I will leave for another post – in this one I will go over the release notes once more as I did last month in my post Read the vSphere 5.1 Release Notes!!

Here are my takeaways from the 5.1.0a Release Notes



  • This has changed since the last release notes. It was not there before. This will introduce additional overhead to the upgrade process


  • What changed since a month ago?
  • What is the reason for this recommendation to to do it step by step?



  • This was also not there a month ago – same point as above above the overhead with people with non-English locales.


  • What is the difference between performing from the command-line – than through the GUI. From what I see – there are no extra parameters being passed to the MSI package – so why the recommendation?



  • It is good to see that VMware have fixed some problems with the installation process before.


  • Was the release rushed out – so that these issues were not addressed before hand?
  • Why are the majority of these directly related to SSO? (more on that as well in another post)



  • This is a new issue.


  • I appreciate that VMware says that I have to enable short names on the volumes…. but wouldn’t it have been more productive in explaining how to do that?



  • This is a new issue.
  • Don’t use a Domain account for SSO installation. Again introduces overhead in the upgrade/installation.


  • What is Single Sign On 1.0 – is this the version that was released with 5.1? Have we not had enough of multiple versions of products causing complete and utter confusion?



  • This is a new issue.
  • Don’t use wonky characters in your passwords.


  • I wonder which poor sod has a 32 character password?

Web Client


  • This is a new issue.
  • You might need to reboot your vCenter


  • Would it not have been easier to force the reboot to solve these sort of issues?



  • This is a new issue.
  • Don’t try and be smart when re-installing – stay on the same path.



  • This is a new issue.
  • Additional manual step needed.


  • Why could this not be automated?

Windows Authentication


  • This is a new issue.
  • You will now have to use Local SQL authentication – this could be problem for a number of organizations


  • Why was this removed?
  • If local SQL authentication is not allowed in your environment – what are you going to do?



  • This is a new issue.
  • Not clear to me. Which GPO policy? The one that is applied to the vCenter Server? And if this is the appliance?  What then?
  • Regarding the 32 characters and the wonky characters – see above…



  • This is a new issue.


  • Are you kidding me? 
  • And if I have such a machine – how am I supposed to power it off? I would assume – resume then poweroff. If so why not explain this in the release notes. If I can’t power off a suspended machine – then what?



  • This is a new issue.
  • VMware mentioned that the upgrade should be done with the independent installer – as noted above – perhaps this is why?


  • Where is the list of user provided – and why on earth should any of these users be deleted. AN upgrade is supposed to keep the previous state and updated the software.
  • How am I supposed to get these users back?



  • This is a new issue.
  • Pretty straight forward and obvious. SSO is now a critical component of your VMware environment – you had better get used to this.



  • This is a new issue.
  • SSL certificates is a messy subject – it takes time, and is usually complicated to implement.


  • Is this only for the vCenter Service SSL certificate? What about the other components?
  • And since when is only one kind of key (PKCS#1) supported ?



  • This is a new issue.


  • English is the global language – but not the only one used. If you offer localized installations options then they should be supported the whole way down the chain.

Pointed to KB


  • This is an old issue – the only that changed was the pointer to the official KB on subject.

One last thing that I noticed – but not in the release notes

Update Manager


  • The upgrade of the ESXi hosts – cannot be done with Update manager.


  • Why the heck not? Isn’t that what Update Manager is for?


    vCloud Suite Upgrade – There is No Free Lunch

    As you should have heard by now vCloud Suite will be available as a free – well almost free.

    According to the VMware vCloud Suite Upgrade Promotion you have until December 15, 2012 at 11:59pm Pacific Time (PT) if you have purchased vSphere Enterprise or vSphere Enterprise Plus as of August 27th, 2012 and you have an active Support and Subscription agreement to upgrade to vCloud Standard Edition

    So for the Enterprise Plus customers this is a no-brainer … or is it???

    What many people do not understand is that from a CAPEX perspective you come out on top. But OPEX is where you will feel the hit - with your renewal of your support. Brian Knudston started to address this in his article.

    From the Support FAQ

    Q. Is Subscription and Support (SnS) required?
    A. For the “$0 upgrade” from vSphere Enterprise Plus to vCloud Suite Standard, the existing SnS contract will persist and no additional SnS is required at time of purchase and the new SnS rate will be charged at the next renewal When the upgrade is selected, the same level of support must be chosen for the upgrade that covered the original vSphere Enterprise Plus license. For example, if the vSphere Enterprise Plus was covered by VMware Basic Support, then the upgrade to vCloud Suite Standard must also have VMware Basic Support.

    Let’s put this into numbers for a minute. I have taken the list prices from the VMware site.

    List Prices

    (Of course not many people pay list price so your exact number will differ)

    Take the following example. My infrastructure has 50 vSphere Hosts (Dual socket) with Enterprise Plus edition. My SnS expires on December 31, 2012.

    $874 x 100 = $87,400 to renew my Support and Subscription for one year. Free Lunch?

    I decided to take VMware up on their generous offer and upgrade all my Enterprise Plus hosts to vCloud Standard for a huge amount of 0$.

    Sweet deal!! I now have vCloud Director which I can deploy in my Enterprise – and it did not cost me anything.

    Along comes January 1st, 2013 and I have to pay for my SnS renewal.
    Here is the math.

    $1,249 x 100 = $124,900 to renew my Support and Subscription for one year.
    Hey – my support costs just jumped by – yep… 43%.

    Is this worthwhile – I think that each and every organization will have to do the math for themselves. If your SnS is already paid up for the next 3 years then you might even save money. If you were already going to invest in vCloud director then it could be that will come out on top.

    There is no such a thing as a free lunch.


    Installing RVC on Ubuntu 12.04

    I was trying to install the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) today on my Ubuntu machine running
    Precise Pangolin. I used William Lam’s post as a baseline for the installation – but since there are several differences with Ubuntu – I will post the steps here.

    1. Do not install Ruby from apt-get it will not work
    2. If you have already installed it the remove it
      sudo apt-get --purge remove ruby-rvm
    3. sudo curl -L get.rvm.io | bash -s stable
    4. sudo source /etc/profile
    5. sudo bash -s stable < <(curl -s https://raw.github.com/wayneeseguin/rvm/master/binscripts/rvm-installer )
    6. source /etc/profile.d/rvm.sh
    7. gedit ~/.bashrc and add the following line to the end
      [[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && source "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm"
    8. source ~/.bashrc
    9. rvm install 1.9.3-p327 --with-openssl-dir=$rvm_path/usr
    10. gem install rvc
    11. gem install ffi

    Steps were taken from a mixture of these three sources



    I now have RVC working and am looking forward to using it more.



    TempPlanetV12N - My Daily Virtualization News Replacement

    For those of you who follow the PlanetV12N aggregation feed of anything and everything that is virtualization – you might have noticed that the feed has been stale for over 10 days.
    The reason being.. – well I do not really know – it usually is a problem with one of the feeds in the list – which causes the whole process to commit harakiri. It is extremely annoying. I know. I miss my daily fix of virtualization news. I really missed it during VMworld in Europe last week.
    So here was the chain of events (through my twitter stream) that led me to create my own list of all the blogs that are currently in the feed.

    The lack of having updates from PlanetV12N is really annoying. Eric Siebert has a feed of the top 50 blogs here - http://feeds.feedburner.com/PlanetVsphere-land – but as I stated tonight on Twitter:

    So I collected all the links on the PlanetV12N page – and have made a temporary aggregate feed that you all can follow, until John Troyer can get this mess fixed up.
    I think I got all of the blogs that were listed on the site (there were 314). I stripped out the Youtube channel links and all of those that were not working. This leaves 257 blogs that you can now get in one feed.
    Just to make things clear once more.
    • This is not the definitive list
    • This is temporary – until Planet V12N is fixed
    • I will not add / remove feeds from the list – so don’t ask.
    Please feel free to add TempPlanetV12N to RSS readers.


    Using Powershell to install PowerCLI

    I am currently preparing a deployment package architecture for a full vSphere environment and one of the requests was to include PowerCLI in the installation script.

    I was surprised that I could not find anything already mentioned on how to do this on Google.

    So here is the syntax:

    # Install PowerCLI
    Set-executionPolicy RemoteSigned -Confirm:$false -force
    Write-Host "Installing PowerCLI"
    $myargs = $myargs = '/q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qn '
    $exe = "C:\installs\VMware-PowerCLI-5.1.0-793510.exe"
    Start-process $exe $myargs –Wait
    Add-PSSnapin -Name VMware.VimAutomation.Core

    Line 2:
    Set the execution policy to RemoteSigned

    Line 4-5: Prepare the installation syntax

    Line 7: Add the PowerCLI Snapin

    Easy as that!


    You Can’t Use Onyx with the Web Client

    The Web Client will be VMware’s direction going forward. It was stressed more than once. There was even a slide from one the sessions to state that 5.1 will be the last windows based client – as I blogged about before here.

    If you stop for a moment to think about this it makes sense. VMware is looking to remove any kid of dependency on the Microsoft operating system. We have seen it with move to a direct of a center appliance and now with the new client. I am sure this will be a glorious day for all the Admins who have a Mac and up until now relied on a Windows VM running onyx.pngin Fusion to manage there vSphere environments. Gone now are those days.

    Onyx - remember the fling that VMware have to allow you "peak" into the API? This has proven to be a invaluable tool more than once, not only for me but for anyone who is trying to programmatically perform some kind of operation be it PowerCLI or now more popular – vOrchestrator.

    A multitude of posts can be found about the subject – here are just a small few:

    But new with the web client this will not be possible (at least not at the moment) until VMware releases an update or some other tool to provide this functionality. Which does become problematic, because there is no way to find the API calls that are now going through the new client. And since a sizeable amount of functionality is no longer available in the Windows client – it will not be so simple to find the correct calls.

    I can say that this update is coming - Luc Dekens actually raised this question in session GD26 with William Lam, and they are aware of this problem. When it will be released - I don't know.

    This does just show me that this is a perfect example of how things can become complicated, the larger and more intertwined a solution becomes. Who would have thought that Onyx would have become such a useful tool, and that the community would make such good use of it, to a point that they cannot do things without it. And it has to be modified or replaced to continue to support the community.

    The new client will make things a lot easier moving forward. It will be interesting to see how people find ways to extend the functionality of the the client. I think we will all be quite surprised.

    If anyone has an idea on how to get the API calls going through the new client – please feel free share them in the comments below.


    vSphere Web Client vs. vSphere Client - Sessions

    There are a great number of differences between the two, and it is obvious that the vSphere Web client is where the future lies – VMware made it clear at VMworld that 5.1 will be the last release of the vSphere Client

    vSphere Client EOL
    Picture (c) by Marco Broeken.

    But unfortunately there are things that have / will fall between the cracks – and functionality we are used to – is no longer available.

    One such an example – controlling the current sessions connected to vCenter.

    vSphere Client


    vSphere Web Client

    No Terminate

    Just so that you know how to find it – because it is not where you would expect it.

    vSphere Client


    vSphere Web Client

    Click on your vCenter –> Manage –> Sessions Tab


    I expect we will see a number of these coming up in the near future.

    But if you ask me – the change from the Windows Client to the vSphere Web Client is a great thing and something we all get used to – so you might as well start now.

    Message of the day by the way can be found here in the Web Client:
    (in case you want to broadcast something to your users)