Latest Posts

vExpert 2020

Just a brief note to say that I’m absolutely delighted to be made a vExpert for 2020, the 3rd year in a row for me.  It’s a fantastic community to be part of and long may it continue.  If you are thinking about working towards it this year then you absolutely must, is a great thing to be part of. Plans for this year include trying to generate some more really useful and hopefully interesting content here on thecjtlab.com  You never really know what is going to happen over the course of a year but I’m slanting towards more automation...

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vSAN Unicast Agent List Issue

I had a few problems with my homelab last week after rebuilding one of the hosts in my vSAN cluster. I moved the ESXi install from an increasingly ancient USB drive to an internal SD card. That part was relatively painless. But when I tried to put the “new” host back into the vSAN cluster I ran into issues. It would just not rejoin. I initially thought I might have knocked a few cables in the change around but vmkpings on all vSAN interfaces checked out so time to run some cli commands. esxcli vsan cluster get This gave me...

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vSphere 7 – ESXi upgrade

So having upgraded vCenter it’s time to do the hosts.  I’d normally use Update Manager for this – which has had an overhaul and is now Lifecycle Manager. One thing to call out here is that I ran a test prior to upgrading my hosts by installing the hypervisor onto a USB stick and booting from that to make sure there were no hardware issues.  I used remote management to attach the iso to the host and plugged in a USB key to install vSphere 7 onto.  If you don’t have remote management the same can be achieved by creating...

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vSphere 7 – VCSA upgrade

So Big News – as you have no doubt heard vSphere 7 is now GA so time to upgrade the homelab and take a look! I am currently running (an increasingly under spec) vSAN 6.7 cluster consisting of 3 HP Gen 8 Microservers.  I keep threatening to take my lab into the cloud but there is something comforting about having the hardware sat in the corner of the room (albeit majorly time-consuming).  Anyway, onto stage 1 vCenter! The VCSA upgrade process is pretty slick now and I had no bother following the basic instructions to complete the migration.  The 2...

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vRO and using Input Forms

If you have a vCenter license then you are entitled to use vRealize Orchestrator in Standalone mode. vRO is a great entry point into automation and creating workflows. I’ve used vRO workflows previously, but not for a while, and wanted to check out the new HTML5 interface that is available with the latest releases. I’m using v7.6 in my lab at the moment but will be transferring to v8 shortly as I try and get more familiar with the vRealize suite and automation in general. Anyway, I wanted to touch on the use of input forms. vRO has a bunch...

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Windows 2008 End of Support – VM report

So hopefully everyone has already long dealt with the upcoming end of support date for Windows 2008 as detailed by MS here right? Paying for extended support might be an option at this late stage but good to know exactly what you are dealing with. I have used the following powercli code to query all vCenters for a report on 2008/2008r2 VMs to identify any stragglers or virtual servers that app owners have been too busy to update or mitigate. Change the variables to suit your environment and comment out the filter (highlighted lines below) if you want to use...

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Documentation – vSphere Clusters

I have put this function together for the purpose of documenting cluster settings.  Used it a fair bit to gather information on environments that I have come accross that have not been well documented.  In can be used as is but I’m fiddling around with it to produce some further information so likely to be updated in the near future. Hopefully of some use – connect to vCenter from POWERCLI and run the function. get-clusterdetails  

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Documentation – ESXi Host vMotion IPs

I’ve recently had to audit and document several vSphere environments.  Multiple hosts had been configured manually and there were some mistakes in the IP settings.  I put together this POWERCLI function to report back on these settings and will now use it for documentation moving forward.  Hopefully of some use to others too. Connect to a host or vCenter and give it a go.  

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Managing ESXi Hosts with AD Credentials

As part of a security hardening exercise or indeed just because, it may be desirable to change the root account of your ESXi hosts to a complex password, bung it in a safe and let you admins connect via their AD credentials. To start with, join your ESXi hosts to your AD domain.  I have pre-created computer objects in my test environment. I have also created an ESX Admins AD security group which by default allows its members admin access to an ESXi host once it has been joined to the domain. To join the domain run the following powercli...

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Documentation – ESXi Host Hardware and Build Details

I don’t know many people that enjoy writing documentation but it is a nessesary evil and can give you the opportunity to be creative with how you produce it. Often I will need to document a point in time install for ESXi hosts so have put together the below PowerCLI function to obtain some hardware and build information back.  Running Get-HostDetails after connecting to a host or vCenter There are loads of good examples available but this works well for me. Output as below

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