Updating from 5.0 to 5.0 U1 without VUM

I was trying to get a small cluster updated from 5.0 to 5.0 update 1 today. With VUM in play it’s pretty simple right. The issue was I didn’t have VUM and we are not using Auto Deploy yet. So that left me with the CLI options to update the hosts.

Turns out it’s pretty straight forward:

  • Download the update zip file here . In case that link goes stale you can get the update from http://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/findPatch.portal
  • Copy it to a local datastore on the host you want to update (I was not able to update using my shared storage for some reason)
  • Once you have copied the zip file, enable SSH on the host
  • Enter the host into maintenance mode (very important)
  • SSH into the host and type

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[Datastore]/update-from-esxi5.0-5.0_update01.zip

Where [Datastore] is the name of your datastore

Once you run the command above, there will be a pause for a few seconds and then your screen will be full of a bunch of bla bla bla.. scroll all the way up right under where you executed the command and you should see:

Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective
Reboot Required: true

If you see that you are all set, reboot your host. Once your host reboots, it will have U1 running (Build 623860). You can repeat the steps for any other hosts that you may want to update.

Now once your host is running U1, guess what!! Windows 8 appears in the drop down and works all the way from powering on, installing OS to installing VMware tools etc.. have fun.. ESXi 5 Update 1 release notes are here.

Cloud Computing Offering Big Business Benefits to the Smallest Firms

*** This is a guest blog post by Carlo who lives in London and blogs about technology, business and online accounting software. When he’s not online or cycling around town you can’t get him out of the kitchen for his love of food. ***

Cloud computing is rapidly becoming the choice of businesses across the UK and is a natural choice for small to medium businesses.  Understanding cloud computing is straightforward and the benefits, especially to the small business sector, are also simple to understand.  Basically, traditional computing relies on software and programmes that are stored on your computer, cloud computing utilises software and programmes accessed via the web.  The best way to understand this is to think about how you access email – via software on your computer or via a webmail option.  The latter is effectively cloud computing.  Today, thanks to modern broadband speeds, a whole range of services can be hosted remotely.  From document storage to online accounting software, cloud computing allows you to securely access your software and documents via the web.  This can free up space on your hard drive, improve the computer’s performance and keep data safe in the event of disasters.

The Key Advantages of Cloud Computing

  • Not every company can afford its own IT crowd.  Most small businesses will rely on just one or two computers and the cost of IT support is usually prohibitive.  Software installation, management and upgrading can take up valuable time, which should be spent working for clients.  For those with limited IT skills dealing with these issues can also be frustrating.  With cloud based software there is no need to install or update the systems on your PC.  It is all accessible via the web and updates and technical issues are normally managed by your provider.
  • Access to your business documents and programmes relies on you being able to access your computer.  As cloud based applications and software are accessible via the internet this problem is removed once and for all.  You have ready access to everything from letters, reports or business accounts, wherever you are.  For mobile workers this has endless benefits.  With accounting software for example, you can produce an invoice the moment you finish a job at a client’s premises, without the need to call back at the office, or complete it when you get home.
  • Productivity is highly likely to increase when using cloud computing solutions.  This is a result of the above points, less time on IT management and ability to access details and documents wherever and whenever required means that your business can go mobile, stay mobile and allow you to make the most of your working day.
  • Integration issues.  Not all systems, applications and software are compatible with each other.  Cloud computing allows you to standardise your software across your organisation and to share documents with colleagues wherever they are and whatever systems they are using.  This is a key benefit for medium and larger businesses but it can also help small firms.
  • Computer crashes can be disastrous for any business and fatal for the smaller type.  With a cloud solution the untimely death of a computer doesn’t need to ring the death knell for your business.  Data, accounts, documents and customer databases will all still be there and can be accessed from any PC.
  • Money saving can also be achieved by using online accounting software.  In addition to producing professional invoices you can also keep accounts up to date, not risk losing important records and allow your accountant access to your accounts via web applications.  This eliminates delays and saves time for you and your accountant, which also saves you money.  Software conflicts can also be eliminated and professional accounts will be easier for the accountant to process – again saving you money on their bill.

vCloud Integration Manager is GAed

A few weeks ago, I posted about a cool new tool that will make most service providers feel great. Yes, I am talking about vCloud Integration manager that is supposed to sit between your customers and your virtual environment.

vCIM is GAed as of today and what’s even better is that for a limited time VMware will be giving some eligible VSPP the opportunity to start using vCIM for free. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself here

In a nutshell any service provider can expect the following from vCIM:

  • Accelerate delivery: vCIM is tightly integrated with vCloud Director, vShield, vSphere and vCenter Chargeback Manager which will enable service delivery in a relatively shorter period. No need for in-house tools that need a never ending cycles of facelifts and updates.
  • Boost Operational Efficiency: Through a Web-based portal, vCloud Service Providers can manage existing and new customers, products and partners in single location and manage end-to-end lifecycle and effortless on-boarding.
  • Increase revenue by selling through more channels: No need to simply rely on your internal sales team. You can use more channels than what were available before and market your services through resellers. They too get a little view of your environment and will be able to do the sales part for you so that you can continue to work on bigger and better things.

A product like vCIM will help in replacing in-house developed tools that didn’t always work as you hoped and were always at the mercy of the all important developers. This will also open more windows for customers to look into all the service providers that are out there before choosing one. Hmmmm… does that mean one can call CDW to get pricing comparison for a few service providers? Who knows, vCIM will make all kinds of great and crazy things happen soon.

Service Providers, make use of the special offer thats in place, you don’t have to be worried about being billed until Nov 21st 2012.

Windows 8 and vSphere 5

In case you were living under a rock like myself, Windows 8 can be deployed in vSphere 5. Yes! On March 6th, this kb article was updated that walks you through on how to get this done. I would recommend that you subscribe to that for future updates.

Also note the KB article states:

VMware does not recommend installing VMware’s WDDM video driver. Use the default VESA driver.

With vSphere 5 Update 1 that got released today, this issue has been sort of addressed

If you install WDDM driver on a Windows 8 desktop virtual machine on which 3D is disabled, the virtual machine’s console might display a black screen.

In this release, the WDDM driver is not installed in Windows 8 virtual machines by default.

That was a little insight for those of you who may have mistakingly told their boses (like myself) that Win8 and vSphere 5 are not happy together yet. Of course its only going to get better with time. Btw you will still have to use e1000 or e1000e according to the KB.

As for Update 1, there is a lot more that has been fixed/resolved for all the details please read the release notes.

I think I should now try building a Win 8 VM and see if the view agent would install. If it does, it might be interesting to see how Win 8 would look on an iPad with the view client.


vCenter Ops Mgr license types and upgrade paths

In January vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 was announced which has promised tons of features that IMO are extremely useful and a must have in most environments. Having a virtual aware tool to manage the infrastructure is always great. I did an overview of it back in January.

I wanted to give some insight on the four types of licenses this product is packaged in and what level of functionality you can expect from each type of license you purchase. As I mentioned before, the product is licensed per VM and below is the license breakdown along with suggested environment size for each kind of license. Of course more functionality means more moolah!!

Now of course the next natural thing that comes to mind is, what about me, I purchased CapIQ bla bla bla. Well for all those who shot vRAM (yes I brought it up again :)), VMware has you covered. There are all kinds of upgrade paths and below are the details for that.

Whats next? Figure out what will work best for you and the best way to do that is to take this for a spin. This is by far one of the best all in one type of tool from VMware. If you can get past the CapIQ, I think this it is a pretty awesome tool to have. Yes, I am not  a big CapIQ fan, but everything else about ops manager makes it the Cadillac of  all virtual aware management tools.