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ESXi

How do you recreate a missing VMDK descriptor file?

Mem.MemMinFreePct calculation example

One of the topics in the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale course is how the amount of RAM is calculated that your host should have available as a minimum before processes such as ballooning and swapping become active.

The course material provides this table that shows us how this minimal free memory is calculated:

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vCPU and logical CPU sizing with Hyper-Threading explained

When sizing virtual machines you should be aware of the number of physical cores available in your ESXi-host and whether or not it has Hyper-Threading enabled. If you blindly follow the number of vCPU's you can add that VMware presents to you, then you could end up with VM's that offer poor performance. If you want to understand Hyper-Threading and why this is important for sizing please read the articles that I have listed at the bottom of this page.

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When did my ESXi host boot?

In the vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client you can find how many days your host has been running. But what happened before that period? How often did your host boot in the past? This information is stored in the file /var/log/vmksummary.log on your ESXi-host. The file is updated  hourly with information how long your host has been up and how many virtual machines are running at that moment.

VirtualHere with Raspberry Pi as USB server

When you want to use USB devices in a virtual machine you don't want to connect them to your physical ESXi-host and then from there pass through to a virtual machine. By doing this you pin the virtual machine to the host. For example with a failover the virtual machine would boot on another host and would not be able to connect to it's USB-device, which is still plugged into the failed host. Also with vMotion your options are limited. To solve this problem several solutions have been around to access USB-devices remotely via the network. 

Ideas for a vSphere home lab in Workstation or Fusion

In this article I would like to share a few ideas on how to setup a lab environment for vSphere. When I deliver VMware-training it is a frequently asked question by my students how they could run the software in their own lab-environment. For those who own multiple physical servers on which they can run ESXi it is not too difficult. But when your resources are limited you might need to look at other possibilities.

Is there a vSphere Client for Linux and Mac?

If you are using a Linux-based pc or Mac OS X and want to manage a vSphere-environment then you might ask yourself the question if there is a native OS-version of the vSphere Client available for your platform.

The short answer is: no.

Install ESXi in a VMware Workstation virtual machine

When you don't have hardware that supports running ESXi and you want to setup this OS for testing or educational purposes then installing it in a VMware Workstation virtual machine allows you to run the OS on generic hardware. This article explains how to do this. It is based on VMware Workstation version 10 and ESXi version 5.5. Doing this is also know as running a nested hypervisor because it runs on another virtualization technology. 

Install and configure Openfiler for ESXi shared storage with NFS and iSCSI

When you have created an ESXi environment and want to work with features such as vMotion and High Availability you will need shared storage in your environment. Openfiler is a good choice to setup a storage appliance to provide shared storage with NFS or iSCSI.

Configure virtual machine startup-shutdown when starting-stopping ESXi

Verifying NTP on ESXi

This article addresses two questions. The first one is: How can I force a time synchronization poll? And the second one is: How can I verify if the NTP-daemon is actually synchronizing with an NTP-server?

I have not found a command to force synchronization (if you know of one please let me know). But a way to do this is to restart the NTP-daemon, once it is loaded it will start with an initial poll and then remains running. To restart the daemon from the ESXi command line run this command:

Create an ESXi installation USB disk

Installation of ESXi can be done from CD or with PXE but it can also be done from a USB-disk / USB-key. The easiest solution to create a bootable ESXi installation medium is to use the program UNetbootin that is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. You can download the program from the UNetbootin home page at unetbootin.sourceforge.net

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