ESXi Shell history

Someone asked me this question this week – how do I see the history of my commands in the the ESXi shell?

There is no history command on an ESXi host..


So how do you go about getting the history of the shell commands?

William Lam posted an answer today on the VMware Communities.

The command history is located in /var/log/shell.log


Of course also there is a KB stating this information as well - KB2004201


OpenIndiana Installation walkthrough - Part 4

This is Part 4 of a series of posts explaining how to configure OpenIndiana as NAS storage device. The series is made up of the following parts:

  • Background information about OpenIndiana and OS installation
  • Network configuration and Setting up storage
  • Presenting storage to your Hosts with iSCSI and/or NFS
  • Performance testing

    Today we will go into the performance I was able to get out of the OpenIndiana appliance that I have installed.

    But first a small bit of detail around the hardware setup this is actually running on.

    This a lab – therefore the setup is not optimal.

    I am using an HP DC7800 PC for an ESXi imagehost. The PC can hold 4 SATA devices and up to 8GB of RAM.
    I also have 2 hard disks in the Host – 1 Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" where I have ESX installed and use as a local storage, and also 1 Intel® Solid-State Drive 520 Series – 180GB. And on this drive I have installed OpenIndiana. 

    The setup was identical to the walkthrough from the previous stages, with some exceptions.

    The VM has 10 VMDK’s attached to it – each 15GB in size and they are all connected to a separate SCSI adapter (SCSI1).


    I then created a RAIDZ1 volume of all of these disks and presented this as both NFS and iSCSI storage.

    root@nas1:~# zpool list -v
    disk1         146G  66.1G  79.9G         -    45%  1.00x  ONLINE  -
      raidz1      146G  66.1G  79.9G         -
        c4t0d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t1d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t2d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t3d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t4d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t5d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t6d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t8d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t9d0       -      -      -         -
        c4t10d0      -      -      -         -

    root@nas1:~# zfs list
    NAME                       USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
    disk1                      103G  25.1G  51.9K  /disk1
    disk1/iscsi_1              103G  69.4G  58.8G  -
    disk1/nfs_1                317M  25.1G   317M  /disk1/nfs_1
    rpool                     6.30G  5.45G  45.5K  /rpool
    rpool/ROOT                3.20G  5.45G    31K  legacy
    rpool/ROOT/openindiana    10.6M  5.45G  1.95G  /
    rpool/ROOT/openindiana-1   816M  5.45G  1.87G  /
    rpool/ROOT/openindiana-2  2.39G  5.45G  1.96G  /
    rpool/dump                1.50G  5.45G  1.50G  -

    OpenIndiana has 3 NICs (eth0-2) where eth1 & eth2 are used for iSCSI traffic and eth2 is used for NFS traffic (the reason being I wanted to check the multipathing options)

    The Openindiana VM was configured with two configurations. 2GB RAM and 4GB RAM. The test I performed was Max IOPs (512b block 0% Random – 100% Read) from VMware’s I/O Analyzer 1.1.

    The tests were done on:

  • Native SSD (not through OpenIndiana)
  • NFS mount

    And here are the results

    Native SSD

    Maximum IOPs 9,364.23 with ~2.6 ms latency






    Maximum IOPs 9,364.23 with ~2.6 ms latency




    The interesting thing you may notice here about the last graphic – is that the NFS disk is actually pushing a large amount of IO requests but the underlying physical disk is actually not really working very hard.image

    Memory\Kernel MBytes913
    Memory\NonKernel MBytes2461
    Group Cpu(416665:nas2)\% Used64.2
    Network Port(vSwitch2:50331656:vmk3)\MBits Received/sec85.5


    Maximum IOPs 14,331 with ~1.3 ms latency





    Again note the actual IO to the SSD


    The numbers are quite impressive as you can see.

    What I learned from this:

    1. NFS/iSCSI performance was very much the same – besides the fact the NFS put a much higher load on the OpenIndiana server than iSCSI did (something like 60 times more CPU usage!)
    2. The performance achieved through OpenIndiana was higher than native disk – due to the fact that OpenIndiana makes use of RAM as a caching mechanism.

    My apologies for the delay in the last part of this series.

  • 2012-06-11

    New VMware Visio Stencils - v3

    About 2 weeks ago – VMware released a new set of VMware Icons and Diagrams in the traditional PowerPoint format.

    It takes a while to convert them to a usable format for Visio drawings. Since I have released the first version, and the second version – I must say that this is the most popular most and on of the biggest drivers of traffic to my blog.

    Today the first part is now ready. Why only one part you may ask – well because I have not yet had time to complete the other two yet, but they are a a work in progress.

    Besides just updating the icons to their new versions and putting them into a Visio Stencil – I have tried to give additional value to the new stencils.

    First the legal part:

    This document was created using the official VMware icon and diagram library. Copyright © 2012 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at http://www.vmware.com/go/patents.

    VMware does not endorse or make any representations about  third party information included in this document, nor does the inclusion of any VMware icon or diagram in this document imply such an endorsement.

    Now that is out the way.. So what is new?

    1. The images are now Flat Vector images – which improves the quality and allows for easier image resizing.
    2. The stencils are now better organized.
    3. All Icons have a standard size – and standard connection points.
    4. Build your own stencils – are now available and customizable.

    So without further a due – here is part 1 of 3.

    Download Part 1

    Download Part 2

    1_3.rar (18MB)


    Part 1 contains:

    • Box Shots
    • Icons
    • 2D icons
    • Shapes and Assets
    • Build Your Own – a preset group of Icons with which you can build your own Visio Diagrams

    I will continue to update this post with parts Two and Three when they are available.

    -- Update June 26, 2012 --

    Part 2 is now available.

    This part is contains:

    • VMware concepts (i.e. HA, vMotion, FT, VDR) – with which you can expand your diagrams.
    • Additional Icons (not in part 1)

    There were also several small changes and additions made to the first Package.


    Something Awesome from Veeam

    So if you have not heard by now Veeam have released the 6.1 version of Veeam Backup & Replication.

    Here are some of the new features


    Version 6.1 includes a new capability for performing ad-hoc backups. In many
    ways, it functions like a zip utility for VMs. For this reason, it’s called VeeamZIPTM.
    Use VeeamZIP whenever you need to:


    • Backup a VM on-the-fly (for example, before making changes to it). Instead
      of running the regular backup job (which typically contains multiple VMs
      and a specified number of restore points) or creating a new backup job, simply
      VeeamZIP the VM.
    • Archive a VM (for example, before decommissioning it). VeeamZIP is a powerful
      weapon in the fight against VM sprawl. You no longer need to keep unused
      VMs just in case someone comes around later asking for them. Instead,
      VeeamZIP and then delete unused VMs. It’s a great way to reclaim expensive
      production storage.
    • Copy a VM (to your test lab, training center, to give to a client, etc.). To install
      the VM in a new location, simply restore it from the backup using Veeam
      Backup & Replication or Veeam BackupTM Free Edition (see next section).
      Unlike copying, cloning or exporting a VM:
      • You can VeeamZIP a VM without pausing or powering it off.
      • VeeamZIP compresses and deduplicates the data to minimize file size.
      • VMs are fully encapsulated, and all configuration settings are correctly restored.
      • Thin provisioned disks are maintained as thin throughout the backup and restore process.
      • You can extract guest files from the backup.

    Veeam Backup Free Edition

    Version 6.1 introduces a new free mode. The free mode, called Veeam Backup Free Edition, provides
    a subset of the functionality in the full (paid) editions of Veeam Backup & Replication, including VM
    and file recovery. So if you ever need to perform a restore but don’t have access to a Veeam backup
    server, you can simply download and install Veeam Backup Free Edition. You don’t need a license key,
    and you can recover VMs, VM files and guest files.
    Veeam Backup Free Edition also includes file management capabilities. For this reason, it is sometimes
    referred to as “the New FastSCP”.

    New console

    Enhancements include:

    • Use of Microsoft design standards.
    • Dynamic nodes. Reduces clutter by only showing relevant management tree nodes.
    • Extensibility. Multiple task-focused management trees and Outlook-style tabs provide real estate for new functionality planned for the next major release.
    • Instant search. Search any object list to quickly find VMs, jobs, backup proxy servers or other objects,even if you have thousands of them. UI performance and virtual infrastructure tree retrieval time have also been improved, so browsing, expanding and searching for objects is faster, especially

    vPower for Hyper-V

    Version 6.1 extends Veeam’s patent-pending vPower® technology—as well as Instant VM Recovery—
    to Hyper-V. vPower runs a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup
    storage. You can run a VM from any restore point (full or incremental), without changing the backup.
    vPower enables Instant VM Recovery, which lets you restart a failed VM from a regular backup
    in as little as 2 minutes.

    There are a number of additional enhancements as well – and I advise you to go over the release notes for the full list.

    Instant Recovery


    Even though Veeam is a sponsor on my blog – I was not asked or paid to write this review. I did receive a pre-briefing under embargo until the product was released and a 30-day trial license for the enterprise version (which you can get on their site for free anyways) + some marketing material.

    The product looks interesting and having the option to backup your VM’s – albeit in a somewhat limited way – is a great thing to have – so thank you Veeam for thi gift. I have always like FastSCP (even though the product has not been developed actively as of late) – and already had some ideas about how to make use of the new product in unconventional ways – but unfortunately the functionality is not there (moving VM’s between hypervisors…)