How to backup & restore with VMware vCSA 6.7

An ability to back up and restore vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) configurations appeared back in vCSA 6.5. I guess that many have already used it. If you were unlucky to restore from that backup, you know that this procedure is not that straightforward. Bad news: In vCSA 6.7 Update 1 configuration restore process is still like that. In today’s article, I take a closer look at how you back up and restore VMware vCSA 6.7 configuration.

What’s new in VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1? Let’s look under the hood

Some time ago, VMware released VMware vSphere 6.7 U1. You know, I am really happy to, finally, find some time to take a thorough look at it. vSphere 6.7 U1 is the most up-to-date version of this virtualization platform so far, thus it is good to know its new features to predict what to expect of the upcoming versions. Well, I guess that this article is kinda of a long read. Honestly, I could not make it shorter as I wanted it to provide the entire picture of changes that were brought to vSphere 6.7 platform with U1. I hope you like it.

4 ways to extract the content from VMDK when a VM is totally dead

Sometimes, you badly need your ESXi VM data, but that thing just cannot be powered on for some reason! Well, you can try starting that VM one more time according to this article and access the data with a little luck. But, if you are out of luck and the VM is dead, you need another method to extract its VMDK file content.

RDM disks for VMware vSphere VMs: how & why to create them

Sometimes, you need your VMs to access a LUN directly over iSCSI. Direct access comes in handy when you, let’s say, run SAN/NAS-aware applications on vSphere VMs, or if you’re going to deploy some hardware-specific SCSI commands. Also, with direct access, physical-to-virtual conversion becomes possible without migrating a massive LUN to VMDK. Whatever. To enable your VMs to talk directly to LUN, you need a raw device mapping file. Recently, I created vSphere VMs with such disks. Well, apparently, this case is not unique, so I decided to share my experience in today’s article.

Testing iSER on ESXi

VMware ESXi is the industry-leading hypervisor that is installed directly on a physical server. It is a reliable and secure solution with a tiny hardware footprint. At the same time, ESXi architecture is easy in management, patching, and updating.

Recently, Mellanox has released iSER 1.0.0.1, the stable iSER driver build for ESXi. iSER is an iSCSI extension for RDMA that enables the direct data transfer out and into SCSI memory without any intermediate data copies. Here, we study the driver stability and performance to understand how the protocol streamlines ESXi environments.