How to build a home lab using your PC. Part 1: ESXi 6.7 U1

While writing my previous article, I remembered the days when I was only building my first lab. It was a bit tough, you know, as vSphere yet was a black box for me. Those thoughts brought me to the idea of writing this article. The article in which I share my know-how of building a minimalistic lab using… only a PC, switch, and laptop. I’ve divided this topic into 2 parts as I am unsure whether you guys like long-reads. In this part, I discuss how to build an ESXi environment using PC and ESXi 6.7 U1. The next article addresses creating a lab using PC and VMware Workstation 15 Pro. I hope that both of them will be really handy for you!

Installing VMware Tools in different environments

VMware Tools is a handy utility suite that makes your VMs run faster and dramatically simplifies their management on the whole. And, the nice thing is, it installs fairly easy on your VMware VMs regardless of their guest OS. Today, I’m going to talk about VMware Tools in general and how to install the package in different environments.

Starting with VMware? 6 things beginners should know

If you are new to VMware or just starting out in the tech, you may feel a bit confused about products naming. Well, at least I was. There are tons of products in the suite so many have a hard time grasping how all those things come together. For instance, it may be hard for a beginner to tell apart ESXi and vSphere. What should you do? Well, nothing special, you know. Google. Ask fellow admins. Look through forums. Read books. Well, my post is not here to bring you from the very beginning to finish.

Dedupe: Let’s look under the hood

Deduplication is a cool technique that some admins use when it comes to saving storage space. No wonder. By deduping, you can gain some extra storage even without deleting anything. Everyone seems to use it, but how does that thing, actually, work? In this article, I’ll look under dedupe hood to understand better its operating principles. Why one may need this? You see, you always can make the most of things once you understand how they work. I believe this principle to apply to almost everything! So, here’s why I examine such a common storage optimization technique as deduplication in this article.

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.

How to schedule tasks in VMware vCenter Server

Being a sysadmin often means doing some boring stuff on a daily basis. Well, sure, you can use PowerCLI to save yourself the hassle. It’s a powerful tool that I believe any vSphere admin should master at some point. While PowerCLI provides you the ultimate freedom of IT infrastructure management, there’s still a workaround to automate some tasks even through GUI.

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.

Installing vSphere 6.5 U2 update without messing things up

One day, any virtual infrastructure needs to be updated. That may be just due to admin’s wish to keep up with modern trends or the need for some cool features that are brought to life with the latest updates. And, speaking of updates, VMware has recently released their vSphere 6.5 U2.So, being a VMware fan, I decided to update my vSphere 6.5 and describe the entire update process from its planning through the installation itself.