Tag Archives: Virtualization

Extending The Life of Your VMware vCloud Director Appliance and Changing Certificates

vCloudDirectorVMware is distributing a limited usage vCloud Director virtual appliance to facilitate and support evaluation of the product.  I wanted to stand it up in my lab as a test-bed and to get to know the product better, but after checking into it, it’s not just the eval licenses that will expire.  The http certificates will also expire within 60 days of the certificates being generated since it uses the Java ‘keytool’ utility and it’s configured to.  As a VMware partner and I have access to licenses to extend the life of the appliance but due to my environment, I cannot work with expired certificates.

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My vSphere 5 Upgrade – Notes and Lessons

vSphere 5 box shot
vSphere 5 box shot
With the release of VMware vSphere 5, I decided to upgrade my lab from 4.1.  The process was pretty painless for the most part, but I thought I would right a few notes about the experience and a couple of things I did to help my scenario along.

I upgraded 3 vSphere 4 (ESXi) hosts and a virtual vCenter Server.

Create a Router with Front Firewall using Vyatta on VMware Workstation

Vyatta is a powerful enterprise class software router that has some really incredible features.  It has a CLI (command line interface) as well as a web interface.  I’ve gotten a few requests about configuring it as a front system but until now have only really worked with Vyatta as a pure routing appliance internal to my network.  It has been my traffic cop between my lab subnet, user subnet, and server subnet but now I’ll try to configure it as a front end based on an exchange I had on another thread.

This should be able to give you some examples with getting started using Vyatta as a front firewall.

If you don’t have the software, you can download a free version, called Vyatta Core, from Vyatta’s website.  You have to register, but don’t worry, they won’t spam you and they have extensive documentation on the product that you can pull down after registering.  It’s an excellent resource to learn and practice your routing skills, especially since you can stand up the product on random hardware or in a virtual machine.  Vyatta even has downloads specific to VMware implementations.  Check it out and come back if you’re interested in seeing this post through.  http://www.vyatta.com.

And now for the good part.

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Creating an Activated Windows Server 2008 R2 VMware Template using Microsoft Sysprep

EDIT: 2011/04/14 – I’m working on another method of doing this since it appears that this only works sporadically or no longer works as written. I will update this post if I can figure out where the disconnect / issues are.

I’ve been experimenting with creating a good Windows Server 2008 R2 template for VMware vSphere 4 and wondered just how many times Microsoft would allow an activation on the same MSDN license key (Multiple Activation) for the OS.  I often deploy multiple servers at a time and am always fearful of activating since I don’t want the key to be shut off.  Typically I only run these servers for short periods of time so not activating is no big deal, however in longer running projects I often have no choice but to either activate or destroy and redeploy.  With information that I’ve come across on the Internet, I’ve managed to consolidate a method that does not break the Windows Server 2008 activation, while still sysprep’ing and generating a new SID.


This process can be used for other virtualized environments as well I’m sure, but in this case I created it for VMware vSphere.

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Use Console to Connect ESX to a NAS

UPDATED 12/5/2009 to include vSphere commands.

This is a quick note, mostly to help remind me and hopefully help someone else out.

You can use standard Linux commands to connect an ESX host to a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device.  You can use a NAS to store things like ISO’s and backups.  I have many gig’s of ISO’s and I really don’t like them taking up valuable storage on my ESX host.  In production, they’d be taking up SAN space, so I offload them to a Buffalo Terastation, and use Linux commands to mount the Terastation so that ESX can utilize it.

First you can make a directory under vmimages.

mkdir /vmimages/ISO2

ISO2 is the directory that you are creating.  For me, ISO already points to a local directory on my server where I keep one or two ISO’s that I am continually using.  Then you can run the command:

(ESX 3.5)  mount –t smbfs //[nas]/[folder] /vmimages/ISO2
(vSphere) mount –t cifs //[nas]/[folder] /vmimages/ISO2

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vSphere PowerCLI Commandlet Poster

Pablo Roesch, VMware, has put out a poster that their marketing department did, that has a listing of the PowerCLI commandlets.  This is a very useful tool for anyone working in PowerShell using the VMware Toolkit for Windows.

It’s originally posted in this forum a VMware forum: http://bit.ly/1602Au

I’ve placed a the file in my media library and linked to it from here, just in case it disappears. 😉

PowerCli Poster in PDF format.

PowerCLI Poster

Thanks for the great poster VMware, and thanks for linking it Pablo!

Get the vSphere Client Running on Windows 7

I found an article in the VMware forums that had these steps so I decided to document them a little better and blog about it so that I have it.  Until VMware releases the officially supported Windows 7 version of the VI Client, I guess this hack will have to do.

Make sure you have the VI / vSphere Client installed.  The typical installation works just fine.  You can also download the files attached at the end of this post, to make the process a little easier.

When I tried to run the client without following these steps, I got an error, as I’m sure many others have, upon trying to log in to the server.


Error reads: Error parsing the server “[server]” “clients.xml” file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator.

After a little research, I came across this solution…

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