Posts Tagged ‘ESX 3.5i’

How to format an ESXi / Linux / Multiple Partitions USB key

June 25th, 2009

I recently had a number of vSphere ESX4i  USB Key installs following my article on putting vSphere ESX4i on a USB key / Pen Drive. I needed to format a couple for general windows usage, only to find that the ESX4i image creates a number of partitions on the USB Key. Unfortunately Windows does not appear to support the removal of partitions on removable devices so when I was trying to format a 2GB USB stick I was able to format a 110MB partition and that was it. I was a bit stuck on the best way to rectify the issue and wasn’t finding much to help out on the web.

That’s when I stumbled upon the HP USB Storage Format Tool,  a great little tool that works with a wide range of USB sticks and not just HP ones.  It allowed me to wipe the USB key as a single entity and didn’t care about the partitioning, returning my USB Key to a useable state within windows.

You can download it from HP’s website by clicking on this link,  sometimes you just don’t know if you can trust other download sites.

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Where to start with your VMWare ESX Whitebox

January 17th, 2009

There have been a couple of postings recently by people who have spent some time custom building PC’s capable of running VMWare ESX. A great example is Eric Sloof who has built a monster white box capable of running the new VI4 Beta software.

That’s got me interested in building one,  perhaps to road test new features if I can ever get invited to participate in a VMWare beta program,  or perhaps just to run ESX 3.5i so I can play about with new Microsoft Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 Beta.

One of the main issues with building a whitebox is ensuring compatibility with the VMWare HCL,  so where on earth do you start looking so you can ensure your whitebox works.  Well I’ve put togethere some links together to get you started,  I hope they’re of some help.

VMWare Hardware Compatibility List

The new fully searchable HCL just has to be on the list,  double check your planned components,  you may be suprised to find they are actually supported on the HCL. – The unnofficial VMWare ESX whitebox HCL

This site is stacked full of useful information on tried and tested hardware combinations

The Ultimate Whitebox web site

Though this is a relatively new site it has some really well laid out information on hardware combos

Tim Jacobs post on his Whitebox

This post is just under a year old but still contains some good information.

Now HP were doing some crazy deals on their HP ML tower server range last year.  I was having a look at servers direct in the UK today and the prices are pretty good,  I’m tempted to buy one of these  rather than build a solution from scratch.

So how have people got on with ESX on the HP ML Series server? Well here are a few more links that may help.

instaling ESX 3.5 on the HP ML110 G5

Kiwi Si who runs the TechHead has a great lab article about installing ESX 3.5 on the ML110 G5

ESX 3.5 operating on a ML115 G5

Virtual VCP has put this article together detailing the changes required to get ESX 3.5 working on the new ML115 G5 servers.

Thing to remember with all whiteboxes are they are not supported by VMWare and you will be relying on the VMWare community to help you out with any problems.  My advice is,  if someone has listed the exact components that worked for them,  copy it as it will most likely work for you.  I’ll let you know how I get on with my whitebox,  just need to wait for that much needed January pay cheque ;o)

ESX, VMware ,

Hyper-V vs ESXi installation video

October 10th, 2008

I came across the following video a few days ago when I was looking at some Hyper-V content. It’s a video by VMware and It shows a side by side install of the new Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 and ESX 3.5i.  Now the idea here is to show how long it takes to install both, it should be noted though that this video was done before the release of the bare metal Hyper-V server 2008. Having installed both I’d have to say that the ESX 3.5i install was still by far the easiest and quickest to complete.  Though Hyper-V Server 2008 (bare metal version) is a lot quicker than the windows representation in the video it is still fiddly and involved amending / shutting down the windows firewall from the command line Urrrghhh!!!

ESX3i Vs Hyper-V Installation – Battle of the Hypervisors

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ESX 3.5i – SSL certificate regeneration *Update*

October 1st, 2008

Just had an email from Bluebear pointing me in the direction of the following article,  wish I had found that earlier on today,  would have saved me loads of time.  Hopefully it’ll save someone some time

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ESX 3.5i – Regenerate SSL certificates

October 1st, 2008

Heres an interesting one,  I’ve been looking at Bluebear Kodiak and was trying to get round an issue with SSL certificates when I found that my ESX 3.5i server had localhost.localdomain as it’s name on the certificate that’s presented when you connect to the host using internet explorer.  How did that happen ????

Well it turns out that if you don’t provide a hostname during the install (which you can’t do in ESX 3.5i) then the certificate is generated based on whatever is in the host file,  in this case localhost.localdomain.  Now in ESX 3.x the full fat version this was not an issue as the installer asks for the hostname during the install.

How do I fix it ?? Well first of all you need to get on to the console on your esx 3.5i box.  But there is no console I hear you cry,  well there isn’t really but there is a subset of linux based commands that can be used in what’s known as “Tech support mode”. Everyone should be aware that this is only meant to be used in conjunction with Vmware support and as such is unsupported,  see the kb article for details. 

To get to it hit Alt +F1 at the console and type unsupported (you won’t see the letters on screen) you’ll need to enter the root password to show that you’ve read the warnings about it being unsupported. See Richard Garsthagen article for more indepth details about how this all works,  it’s even got a handy video of how to do it. 

Now at this stage you ESX 3.5i box should have been assigned a valid hostname so that the new name and IP have been automatically added in to the hosts file on the server.  Once in tech support mode type create_certificates to regenerate the local certificates and then reboot the server for the new certificates to take effect.

To test this has worked you can connect to the host using Internet Explorer and attempt to install the certificate,  you should now see the correct hostname appear on that certificate.

This however did not solve my issue with the Bluebear Kodiak software but did teach me something knew.  Always look on the bright side I suppose.

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