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Category Archives: How-to

Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in vSphere ESX/ESXi

From time to time as a vSphere ESX/ESXi administrator you may need to quickly find out what firmware levels and driver versions are present on your ESX (or ESXi) host in regards to your Network and Storage interface cards. Our video today shows you how!

This new tutorial demonstrates how to determine the driver and firmware versions for Host Bus Adapters (HBA) and physical network interface cards on VMware vSphere ESXi/ESX 4.x and 5.x.

For additional information and instructions see VMware Knowledge Base article Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x (1027206).

Using VMware KVM Mode with VMware Workstation 10.x

Today we have a new VMware Workstation video. In this tutorial we discuss and demonstrate how to use VMware KVM Mode with VMware Workstation 10.x.

VMware Workstation 10.x allows users to run Workstation in VMware KVM mode. This mode allows you to switch between active virtual machines using hotkeys. Virtual machines can be run in full-screen without launching the Workstation UI and manage their power state via CLI (command line interface). VMware KVM mode can be used as an alternative to run virtual machines only in full screen, allowing switching between them using a configurable hot key.

Note: VMware KVM mode is only available for Windows version of Workstation 10.x. As well, VMware Tools must be installed on the guest operating system.

For additional information, check out VMware Knowledge Base article Using VMware KVM Mode with VMware Workstation 10 (2057914).

Virtual SAN Interoperability – Planned migration with vSphere Replication and SRM

We have a new video today which will be of interest to those of you wondering how VMware’s new Virtual SAN offering operates with other VMware solutions that you may have in your environment, specifically with vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager.

We look at how you can perform a planned migration of a set of virtual machines from a traditional storage infrastructure onto your virtual SAN cluster.

For more information and a full write up of the operations performed within this demonstration, head on over to the VMware Blog post VMware Virtual SAN Interoperability: vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager written by Rawlinson Rivera, a Senior Technical Marketing Architect in the Cloud Infrastructure Technical Marketing Group at VMware.

Super Users and Procurement Contacts in My VMware

Following on from our post yesterday, here is another video which discusses Super Users and Procurement Contacts in My VMware and demonstrates how to find their names and email addresses, and how to change the users who have these roles.

For additional information see VMware Knowledge Base article Super Users and Procurement Contacts in My VMware (2011011).

Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues in ESX/ESXi

Today we have a new vSphere video that demonstrates how to use esxtop to identify storage performance issues in a vSphere ESX / ESXi environment.

The esxtop utility and the latency statistics that it provides are very useful when troubleshooting performance issues with SAN-connected storage. Watch our latest video and learn!

For additional information see VMware Knowledge Base article Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues for ESX / ESXi (multiple versions) (1008205).

Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x/5.1 to 5.5

Here is a new vSphere video tutorial which demonstrates how to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance from versions 5.0.x or 5.1 to that of version 5.5.

Before attempting the upgrade:

For additional information and additional instructions, see VMware Knowledge Base article Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x/5.1 to 5.5 (2058441).

Exporting data to a CSV file in My VMware

This video discusses and demonstrates how to export My VMware data to a CSV file. Our video is based on VMware Knowledge Base article Exporting data to a CSV file in My VMware (2045109).

You can export data to a CSV file from numerous pages in My VMware:

  • Exporting data from the Users & Permissions page
  • Exporting folder data from the License Keys page
  • Exporting data from the Account Summary page
  • Exporting data from the Order History page
  • Exporting data from the Support Contract History page
  • Exporting data from Subscription Services pages

Note: The data you can view and export depends on your permissions. For more information about permissions, see VMware Knowledge Base article Users and permissions in My VMware (2006977).

iSCSI Storage and vMotion VLAN Best Practices

We got a question this morning on twitter from a customer asking for our best practices for setting up iSCSI storage and vMotion traffic on a VLAN.

The question caused a bit of a discussion here amongst our Tech Support staff and the answer it seems is too long to fit into a Tweet! Instead, here’s what you need to know if you are working on the best design for your VLANS.

iSCSI and vMotion on the same pipe (VLAN) is a big no-no unless you are using multiple teamed 1GbE uplinks or 10GbE uplinks with NIOC to avoid the two stomping on one another.

While vMotion traffic can be turned off/on/reconfigured on the fly, iSCSI traffic does not  handle any changes to the underlying network (though great improvements have been made 5.1/5.5) on the fly. You will need to take a maintenance window to reconfigure how you want your VLANs to function – especially for the iSCSI network – and then (more than likely) perform a rolling reboot of all hosts. If iSCSI traffic is already VLAN’d off, you should just leave the iSCSI traffic where it is as to avoid taking down the whole environment and just move the vMotion network to a separate VLAN.

That said, here is our most recent iSCSI Best Practice Setup guide from Cormac Hogan. Also see: vMotion Best Practice Setup guide.

Here are the pertinent pages in our documentation on the subject:

pubs.vmware.com…rking-guide.pdf – Page 187

and

pubs.vmware.com…orage-guide.pdf – Page 75