October 2021 Boston VMUG UserCon Presentation - The future of USB/SD in the vSphere Data Center and Home Lab

As promised to attendees, my presentation from today's Boston VMUG. Always a great honor to be asked to speak, so glad that I had this chance to co-present with Matt Kosloski! See also my new article referenced in the presentation. No future for booting ESXi from USB in VMware home labs, using…

Oct 27 2021

No future for booting ESXi from USB in VMware home labs, using max endurance microSD for ESXi 7.0U3 now, SATA/SATADOM or M.2 later

It's been well over a year since we learned that vSphere 7.0 was making big changes in filesystem layout of the hypervisor. It's gotten even tougher with 7.0 Update 2, more writes and some more troubles, see also recent articles about the use of USB devices to boot ESXi by William Lam and Duncan…

Oct 26 2021

VMware vSphere 7 Update 3 and Microsoft Windows 11 both arrived on October 5 2021, many great lessons learned the hard way but testing is going well

To my delight and surprise, both VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3 and Microsoft Windows 11 went GA on the same exact day, October 5 2021! Windows 11 has had quite a bit of attention since it's release as a Windows Insider Preview, and much of the controversy has surrounded the ability to run it under…

Oct 8 2021

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3 is now GA, here's how to download it any which way!

Table of Contents WARNING - VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3 was released on Oct 5 2021, but was pulled on Nov 18 2021, all the details at TinkerTry here. Partial screenshot of VMware KB 2143832 on Jan 06 2022, click/tap to view the full article. Article as it originally appeared below. VMware vSphere…

Oct 6 2021

vSphere 7.0 Update 3 What's New article, video, and podcast from VMware

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 3 video was released on Sep 28, 2021, as was the blog post vSphere 7 Update 3 - What's New. While there's no generally available release date announced yet, you can refer to the many new blog posts showing up today at core.vmware.com/blog, including the always-wonderful…

Sep 28 2021

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 2c is now GA, here's how to download it any which way!

Table of Contents VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 2c was released on August 24 and isn't available for download on all 4 channels listed below quite yet, it's only on my.vmware.com so far. Don't worry, you can still get your lab updated to 7.0U2c now, read onward for details. I'll update this article…

Aug 26 2021

How to get Windows 11 Insider Preview running as a VMware ESXi 7 VM

On Oct 5th, Windows 11 became now Generally Available! I've added a new video to the library below using an alternative technique Install Windows 11 as VM on VMware vSphere / Workstation without TPM 2.0 chipset by Ivo Beerens. Step-by-step upgrade instructions and video below! If you already have a…

Aug 1 2021

VMware ESXi 7.0 Update 2a not available yet via ESXCLI (Update - available on Apr 29 2021)

This is just a quick, fleeting article about my tinkering in my home lab tonight, featuring a video of me trying to lab test the ESXCLI method of updating my ESXi 7.0 Update 2 (VMware ESXi 7.0.2 Build 17630552) to ESXi 7.0 Update 2a (VMware ESXi 7.0.2 Build 17920168). See also the VMware vSphere…

Apr 27 2021

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 2b is now GA, here's how to download it any which way!

Text: Table of Contents To get started with your lab testing, jump to the appropriate download section: If you have a free My VMware account If you're currently a vExpert If you're currently a VMUG Advantage EVALExperience subscriber If you're seeking the Free Hypervisor Download and License The…

Mar 10 2021

New 1-year-duration VMware vSphere 7 license keys are now available to 2021's vExperts

Like many home lab enthusiasts, I was getting a little nervous about the impending expiration of my vExpert license keys, it's been nagging me for weeks now. Today I happened to spot that a bunch of license keys have been apparently just been added, notice the dates below the new "Date…

Mar 3 2021

How to easily install VMware ESXi 7.0 Update 1 onto a 32GB or larger USB flash drive

This article is still undergoing minor refinement based on further testing. This is a basic overview document of the fresh install process, highlighting the steps that I walk you right through in the accompanying video below, should work on any supported VMware ESXi server. One advantage of this…

Oct 18 2020

VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 announced, with vSAN 7 Update 1 featuring HCI Mesh

There's a pattern here. VMware announced VMware vSphere 7 on March 10 2020, and the code went GA and became available for download on April 2, 2020. This week, VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 was announced on September 15, so when can we download it? We'll likely found out for sure soon with VMworld…

Sep 20 2020

VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0d resolves issue with 7.0.0c high CPU usage in VCSA VM

You can probably figure out that I upgraded from 7.0.0b to 7.0.0c around August 20th, and gave it 4 vCPUs. Note the daily spikes, presumably backups, I haven't yet verified. Also note that this screenshot is vSphere Client on iOS Safari, with no certificate errors. VMware Fling called vSphere…

Aug 26 2020

How to easily kill a zombie datastore in your VMware vSphere lab

Backstory So there's your problem, eh? Note that Delete Datastore is greyed out, and there is no Device Backing. So, you're tinkering around in your home lab, and at some point you've left an ESXi host powered off for a while. You pull one of it's M.2 SSDs to re-use in another system. What can…

Jul 18 2020

How to workaround "Update installation failed. vCenter Server is non-operational." message during VCSA 7.0 update

This article is short and simple, hopefully helping some of the many folks that have watched either my Jun 24 2020 or Jun 25 2020 VCSA 7.0 upgrade attempt videos, using VAMI. For me, my home lab had a healthy VCSA 6.7 upgrade to VCSA 7.0 GA, performed successfully on camera on release day Apr 02…

Jul 3 2020

How to change or disable your VMware vSphere Client default inactivity timeout

Maybe you're a demo master, and you want to conquer your private lab and show it whose boss. You're sick and tired of fat-fingering that dang adminstrator@vsphere.local username then password into your vSphere Client at the most inopportune times, especially if you (wisely) didn't use your…

Jun 10 2020

How to apply your VMUG Advantage EVALExperience vSphere 7 license keys to your home lab

This article and video assume you've already installed vSphere 7 in your home lab, and you are now seeking a little guidance on exactly how to go about applying your license keys during the 60 day evaluation period, without any interruption in running your (non-production) workloads. If you're…

May 6 2020

VMware vSphere / ESXi 7.0 GA work-around for GPU passthrough issues including disabled-after-reboot bug and UI bug

A new and improved workaround is available as of Jun 18 2020, details below. As of Nov 18 2020, sadly, this workaround is still needed with the latest ESXi 7.0 Update 1a. When I was upgrading my primary Supermicro SuperServer Workstation / Datacenter, I ran into some strange problems with getting…

Apr 25 2020

Folding@homelab - Inspiring podcasts about the global vCommunity, with nerd stats on TinkerTry's 4 F@h VMs on VMware ESXi 7.0 on 4 Xeon D Servers

If you haven't already come across my article with a walk-through video about how easy it is to get started with Folding@home VMs, have a look! VMware Appliance for Folding@home - help researchers unfold the mystery of diseases like Coronavirus/COVID-19 virtually Mar 21 2020 It's now been about…

Apr 15 2020

Quick look at 5 VMware vSphere 7.0 features & tips to organize and personalize your vSphere Client

I thought I'd sprinkle a bit of home lab cheer for you all in this world-wide cooped-up weekend we're all in together. I thought you might find at least one or two tips in here that you didn't already know about vSphere Web Client, let me know! Got some more tips? Here's your chance for fame, just…

Apr 2 2020

How to upgrade from VMware vSphere 6.7 to vSphere 7.0, vCenter/VCSA first, then ESXi host(s) next

A nice dark-mode view of the TinkerTry Datacenter, consisting of 3 Xeon D-1500 systems and 1 Xeon D-2100 system. This is a placeholder, where I'll be describing the process of install, featuring most walk-through video for now. If you've done these updates before, this library of walk-through…

Apr 2 2020

William Lam's "Homelab considerations for vSphere 7" predicts an easy install for Xeon D Supermicro SuperServers!

Back on March 10 2020, VMware announced vSphere 7. On Thursday, April 2nd, they've got a launch event planned, and I was originally hoping it'd also be the day we can finally get our hands-on the GA level bits. Like many others, I'll be having myself a close look at both the vExpert downloads and…

Mar 31 2020

VMware Appliance for Folding@home - help researchers unfold the mystery of diseases like COVID-19 virtually

Tips added since initial publication: There are server-side issues that result in failing to get work assigned to your VM, see ongoing discussions here, new automatic bigadv on 16 CPU or larger VMs seems to have helped. I have now published a short video of downloading/deploying/configuring 1.0.1…

Mar 21 2020

VMware vSphere 7 Announced

Check out the many related articles on the web in my See Also section below. If you're feeling kinda TLDR, try the video gallery below, with General Availability expected by May 1 2020. This long awaited major vSphere release was officially announced earlier today, and I've included 3 key excerpts…

Mar 10 2020