Posted by Vladyslav Savchenko on June 26, 2018
Secure your data for good with Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol

Today we will look at one of them – Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol or CHAP. Before we start, let me tell you a few words about CHAP. Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) is a network login protocol that uses a challenge-response mechanism. You can use CHAP authentication to restrict iSCSI access to volumes and snapshots to hosts that supply the correct account name and password (or “secret”) combination. Using CHAP authentication can facilitate management of access controls because it restricts the access through account names and passwords, instead of IP addresses or iSCSI initiator names.

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Posted by Ivan Ischenko on March 7, 2018
Creating ESXi VMs on the Windows based NFS share

Many words were said about NFS (Network File System), but what exactly NFS can give us? In general, NFS used as the ISO library or just simple network file share with easy access from any Windows or Linux based machine. However, starts from NFS 3.0 protocol can give us the good performance and can be as the shared storage for ESXi or any Linux based Hypervisors. In this article, I will create the NFS share on the Windows Server 2016 and then mount NFS share on the ESXi 6.5 and will create the VM on it.

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Posted by Alex Samoylenko on January 18, 2018
Why should you install the latest VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1d /1e?

Throughout the last month, VMware has released two important updates for virtual infrastructure management server – VMware vCenter 6.5 Update 1d and 1e. Both updates have significantly improved the functionality of the vCenter management server, despite it’s just one more letter added to Update 1.

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Posted by Mike Preston on October 26, 2017
vSphere Upgrade Options

When it comes time for your vSphere upgrade there are many different approaches to how you perform the upgrades on your ESXi hosts.   An administrator who looks after a small cluster may update one way, whereas an administrator who looks after an enterprise with 1000s of hosts may opt to go another.  Also, depending on how your environment is deployed you might want to choose one method over another.  Factors such as a whether or not your hosts are managed by a vCenter server, whether or not they are members of a cluster – these things all impact the methods in which you chose to update to the latest version of ESXi.  Certainly, some methods are much more simplistic than others to perform, some offer more advantages when upgrading at scale, and some are more prone to user error – let’s take a look at each method of upgrading our hosts below and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each…

VMware vSphere logo

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Posted by Mike Preston on October 4, 2017
Accessing esxcli through PowerCLI

Picture this – you are working away developing a PowerCLI script that is performing multiple actions – you have it just about complete when you come to a roadblock.  After frantically googling around you find out that this one task you are trying to perform simply cannot be done through PowerShell, yet you know it exists within the local ESXi esxcli command namespace!  This has happened multiple times to me and thankfully, there is a way to access ESXi’s esxcli command namespace without having to leave the comforts of the PowerShell Console.

Chances are that if you have been working at all with ESXi you are familiar with the esxcli command – but for those that aren’t let’s take a quick look at what exactly it does.

esxcli namespaces

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Posted by Romain Serre on September 6, 2017
Convert a physical Linux server to VMware VM

When you implement a virtual infrastructure, you may want to convert your physical servers to virtual to improve your datacenter consolidation. In this topic, we will see how to convert a physical Linux server to a VMware VM. To make this conversion, I used VMware vCenter Converter Standalone.

Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

To host VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, you need a physical or virtual machine based on Windows Server. Usually, when I run this tool, I use a virtual machine. Then run the executable to process the product installation.

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

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Posted by Dmytro Malynka on August 23, 2017
Top 5 Best Utilities for your vSphere infrastructure presented on VMware Labs in 2017

As all of you know, VMware Labs posts handful utilities for VMware administrators to make the management of vSphere virtualization infrastructure easer. Those tools are being developed by VMware Engineers, Community, and Open Source. Today I would like to emphasize some of the latest tools available to download and implement.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

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Posted by Askar Kopbayev on August 15, 2017
3 Generations of My Homelabs

Sooner or later every single IT guy comes to the idea of having some lab. There are a million reasons why you would need a lab: learning new technologies, improving skills, trying crazy ideas you would never dare to try in the production network, you name it. Even though it is a work-related activity for most home labbers this is just another hobby for many of us.  That’s why people spend so many hours of their personal time building the homelab, investing significant funds into new hardware, thoroughly planning its setup, looking for a help in online communities or sharing their experience to help others. There is a whole universe of home labbers and I am happy to be part of this community.

In this post, I would like to share my experience with 3 generations of home labs I have had so far and the thoughts about next generation.

high-level network diagram

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Posted by Vladan Seget on June 15, 2017
VMware vCenter Server Appliance Homelab tips

Many IT administrators or virtualization guys runs their homelabs at home. It is a good way to learn new technologies, be able to break things in a lab to get stronger skills.

It is sometimes a challenge, to squeeze as much RAM as possible from it. The main challenge is always a memory utilization. VMware VMs are getting memory hungry all the time and they are not “optimized” for Homelab use, but rather for production environments. Yes, it is the main purpose of those VMs after all.

One of the large VMs, but most critical, is VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). This product is becoming very popular within VMware communities and it is very easy to setup. Today we will have a look if we can do some optimizations and some “tweaks” to make it less memory hungry.

Set service startup manual

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Posted by Andrea Mauro on June 7, 2017
Design a ROBO infrastructure. Part 4: HCI solutions

2-nodes hyperconverged solution

As written in the previous post, for ROBO scenario the most interesting HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure) configuration is a two nodes configuration, considering that two nodes could be enough to run dozen VMs (or also more).

For this reason, not all hyperconverged solutions could be suitable for this case (for example Nutanix or Simplivity need at least 3 nodes). And is not simple scale down an enterprise solution to a small size, due to the architecture constraints.

Actually, there are some interesting products specific for HCI in ROBO scenario:

  • VMware Virtual SAN in a 2 nodes clusters
  • StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance
  • StorMagic SvSAN

StarWind Virtual SAN overall architecture

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