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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Automate VMware VM Deployment – Template creation with Packer

Automation is something that I have tried to incorporate as much as possible within my solutions.  The benefits are obvious and often the work behind it is the most interesting, even if it ends up being just a few lines of PowerShell.  Infrastructure as Code is one of the areas I have had on my to-do list for a while and I have finally started dipping my toe into it this year. I’ve discussed previously how I like to handle deploying appliances and VMs using PowerCLI and an existing VM template but I want to take that a stage further...

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Reset vSphere VCSA root password

So I absolutely have not forgotten my appliance root password for my VCSA but I am getting the below error when attempting to logon to the GUI – WTF? Fortunately, there is a simple resolution to this problem.  The password has expired and needs resetting.  This will need attention if I want to perform an upgrade, which I most certainly do (vCenter 6.7 to 7). Logon to the appliance GUI with your SSO administrator account and enable SSH. Then open a SSH session on the appliance using Putty and your expired root credentials. *If you have forgotten the password completely...

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Deploy vCenter with CLI Command Line

I have had to deploy vCenter many times over recent months and I keep meaning to try out the CLI command method provided to do so silently (and repeatedly).  I have finally got around to writing this up. Tools required are the VCSA iso from VMware download here and the preparation of a .json file that defines all your configuration.  Oh, and a mac or windows client to run it from.  I am using Windows in this example but have used the same process on a mac. Whilst you can also perform an upgrade or migration this way I needed...

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Create a nested ESXi template in vSphere

Nested Hosts are a great way to try new features out and can be quickly provisioned/removed in a home lab or test environment.  There is no official VMware support for them however so please no production use. Anyway, using nested hosts is certainly not new – William Lam is the go-to for this and has a load of consumable resources which can be found on his excellent website here.  However, like many, I wanted to have a go myself so here is how I created a template in my lab. For starters let’s get an ESXi VM created.  I’m not...

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Nostalgia Hit – Nintendo A-Z Part 1

I thought it might be nice to have a little change of pace and post something as a bit of fun. I’ve always been a bit of a Nintendo fanboy, as have my 2 brothers and I have many fond memories of playing the games as I was growing up, way back to the days of the NES and Super NES. My children now play on the switch and it’s nice to see things come full circle, there is certainly a lot of comfort that I take from the nostalgia hit! Anyway, my brother put together a bit of a...

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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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