VMware: ESXi 4.1 in Workstation

Today I wanted to record the installation of VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1 using VMware workstation. It turns out that ESXi 4.1 cannot run in VMware Workstation 7.0, after the upgrade to 7.1 everything works just fine.

 esxi41ws

Installation video;

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VMware: HA Advanced Runtime Info

A few minutes ago I took a quick look at the summary tab of my cluster. In the VMware HA box I noticed the following line: “Current Failover Capacity: 0 hosts”…

After opening the “HA Advanced Runtime Info” link it turns out I had only 80 HA Slots in my cluster (256 MHz, 2 vCPU’s and 2048MB RAM). After some research I detected 1 VM with a memory reservation (2048MB), after I removed the reservation the available slots jumped from 80 to 329 🙂

The HA box now say “Current Failover Capacity: 4 hosts”. Just another example why you don’t want to use reservations in a vSphere cluster.

For more details and technical background regarding VMware HA I suggest reading the “HA Deepdive” article written by Duncan Epping @ yellow-bricks.com: http://www.yellow-bricks.com/vmware-high-availability-deepdiv/

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VMware: Upgrading the datacenter

After the upgrade of vCenter yesterday, the goal for today was to upgrade 2 hosts to ESXi 4.1. The old hosts are running VMware ESX 4.0, since vSphere 4.1 is the last release containing VMware ESX I decided to make the move to ESXi to be prepared for future releases.

Because I was running ESX I had to perform new installations on the metal. The initial installation of ESXi 4.1 is pretty strait forward, just download the installable iso, burn it to a CD-ROM, put it into the server, boot from the CD, answer some questions and you’re ready to go.

I was surprised that all my old ESX 4.0 configuration scripts (PowerCLI) after some minor changes worked on the new ESXi host.

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Bottom line, 2 hosts down, 6 to go.

VMware: Upgrade vCenter 4.0 to vCenter 4.1 on new machine

Today I performed the upgrade from VMware vCenter 4.0 to vCenter 4.1. My old vCenter server runs Microsoft Windows Server 2003 32-bits, since vCenter 4.1 is not supported on a 32-bit operating system I made a new 2008R2 VM on which I will install the new version.

First make a back-up of the VMware vCenter database, the datamigration utility will upgrade the database. After the upgrade it isn’t possible to start the vCenter 4.0 service anymore!

For the migration I’ve used the datamigration utility which is available on the vCenter 4.1. media kit. Everything worked strait forward except the backup of the vCenter database (MS SQL Express 2005). I think the problem occurs because in the past this instance is upgraded from MSDE 2000 to SQL Express 2005. After I changed the named pipe string in the SQL connection manager from \.pipeMSSQL$SQLEXPRESSsqlquery to \.pipesqlquery (VMware KB 1024490) and restarted the SQL service it worked fine.

See VMware KB 1021635 for datamigration instructions. This instruction is also availible as VMware KB Video;

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