Category: Homelab

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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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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Deploy VMs using Templates, customisation specs and POWERCLI

Who doesn’t love a bit of automation these days, I certainly like to use code snippets and shortcuts whenever I can.  Recently I’ve been deploying some VMs in my homelab and thought I would share some of the POWERCLI I use. I have a Windows 2016 template stored in vCenter that I have recently patched and tweaked to my satisfaction and deploy that with a temporary customization spec to deploy and do the initial config (IP settings and domain join). The key commands to use here to get the IP settings are Get-OScustomizationNicMapping Set-OSCustomizationNicMapping Only started playing with these recently...

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