VMware vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO) – how does it work?
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on November 8, 2017
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VMware has recently released VMware vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO), a handy document that highlights the VAIO I/O Filtering technology operational principles. Here, we shed light on them briefly and discuss how VAIO can be implemented in a production environment.

VAIO is a technology and an API providing the direct access to the virtual machines’ guest OS I/O Stream. VAIO is already employed in partner products for maintaining various tasks (i.e., caching write-back and write-through). VAIO is based on the Storage Policy Based Management framework, dedicated to managing virtual machines storages and set the storage rules.

VAIO filter driver installed on a VMware ESXi host as a VIB package

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Getting started with PowerShell and VMware vSphere
Posted by Romain Serre on November 2, 2017
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Since some time, VMware provides PowerCLI which is a set of modules for VMware vSphere. Except if you were in a cave last 10 years, you should know that PowerShell is a powerful scripting language. Initially, PowerShell enabled to manage only Windows Workstation or Server but since sometimes, a lot of vendors make their own modules to manage their solutions (such as Veeam, VMware and so on). Moreover, PowerShell is available on Linux.

For my job, I always use PowerShell. I’m a lazy guy, and if I have to make something two times, I make a script. This is the same thing for VMware vSphere. In this topic, we’ll see how to connect to vCenter and some commands to start.

install PowerCli from the PowerShell gallery

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vSphere Upgrade Options
Posted by Mike Preston on October 26, 2017
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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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Accessing esxcli through PowerCLI
Posted by Mike Preston on October 4, 2017
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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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vSphere 6.5: HA & DRS improvements. Part I
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on March 2, 2017
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A number of improvements that have been introduced in vSphere HA and DRS in the last several years are impressive. vSphere 6.5 continues this tradition by bringing new features into HA Admission Control, by adding flexibility with HA Orchestrated Restart and by enabling DRS to make more intelligent balancing.

I will be trying a new format today. First, I will be explaining the challenges you might have had in previous vSphere releases and then I will show you how the new vSphere 6.5 HA & DRS features address those challenges.

vSphere admission control cluster resource percentage

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PowerShell ROBO
Posted by Mike Preston on January 17, 2017
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Picture this – you are a systems administrator working at a major banking institution.   The security team walks into your office and lets you know that a major update needs to be applied to all of the servers within the institution – not a problem for most organizations, but in the case of a bank, you could have hundreds if not thousands of remote and branch offices.  Sure, we can write scripts to copy out the update files and even execute them remotely from our head office – but the problem most ROBO scenarios are ever-changing – with new offices being created and others closing down all the time.  Keeping track of server names, IP schemes, etc. can be quite a time-consuming process.  Naturally, we want the same updates, patches, and fixes to be deployed everywhere, in the same manner, in order to provide consistency – so having this up to date list available when we need it is key to driving success within our environment.

cmdlet run

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Exploring VMWare’s VPID Technology
Posted by Gary Williams on January 11, 2017
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I’ve been using VMWare’s VPID (Virtual Port ID) technology for some time now both in work and in the home lab but I was curious to see just how VMWare handled a NIC going down and then coming back up and it turned out to be a lot more powerful and smooth than I first though.

In my lab, I’ve got several HP Microservers and a mix of TP-Link and Netgear switches.
I’ve found the TP-Link switches to be perfect for a lab as they have 48 1GBit ports and 4 1GBit FC ports. They haven’t cheapened out like Netgear have with the link between the last two Ethernet and the first two FC. With Netgear, you can only use last two Ethernet OR the first two FC ports.
You cannot use all of the ports on the switch. With TP-Link, all the ports are available and I find the web GUI a little more initiative although I did experience a bug on the TP-Link where the SNMP Engine kept crashing. This was fixed in a firmware upgrade so it wasn’t a major issue.

Anyway back to VMWare and VPID!

Virtual Machine Port Group

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