Intel SSD 760p Series M.2 NVMe will be available in up to 2TB capacity at near SATA pricing and double 600p performance

Disclosure This consumer focused article is intended for my home lab enthusiast audience at TinkerTry, and is not representative of VMware's official position on the use of consumer SSDs for VMware ESXi workloads. I'm a VMware vSAN Systems Engineer, but this article represents only my personal…

Jan 23 2018

How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor from 6.x to 6.5 Update 1 Patch Release ESXi650-201801001 (ESXi Build 7388607) for Meltdown/Spectre remediation (patch has been pulled)

Jan 14 2018 Update - This patch has been pulled, details will be added here. The comment above is still relevant, as I'm admittedly this is just one more-universal way to upgrade ESXi, avoiding the need to download the ISO separately. Booting from a new ISO has the advantage of checking for CPU…

Jan 13 2018

How to easily update your VMware vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5.x to 6.5 Update 1e (VCSA 6.5 U1e) for Meltdown/Spectre remediation

Meltdown and Spectre loom large this year, and this article is in direct response to all that, see also at TinkerTry Meltdown and Spectre side-channel attack risk mitigation information from processor, server, and software vendors Google Project Zero (Spectre and Meltdown) patch and flash info for…

Jan 13 2018

How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor from 6.x to 6.5 Update 1 Patch 02 (ESXi Build 7388607)

The comment above is still relevant, as I'm admittedly this is just one more-universal way to upgrade ESXi, avoiding the need to download the ISO separately. All upgrades come with risks, including the possibility of losing your network connections. Proceed at your own risk, and always back up…

Dec 23 2017

How to easily update your VMware vCenter Server Appliance from 6.5.x to 6.5 Update 1d (VCSA 6.5 U1d)

It's that time of year when IT Pros lucky enough to have a few days off upgrade their home labs. This VMware update arrives just in time for the holidays, and this article gets you ready to start 2018 off right! VMware vCenter Server Appliance Read the Release Notes. The simple update method that…

Dec 23 2017

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.3 released with faster backup speeds for deduplication appliances

click to view "What's New in v7.3" Full NAKIVO v7 install/configure demo video below is available, using my home lab's vSphere 6.5 environment! I haven't had a chance to test v7.3 yet, as it just came out today, and I haven't gotten my hands on the NFR version yet. The trial version is…

Nov 28 2017

Intel announcements include details about benchmarking Optane P4800X in VMware ESXi, new 750GB capacity, and 3D XPoint fab expansion

There are three recent Intel announcements that are quite interesting. The first is about 4 recent detailed technical publications, the second is about a maximum Optane capacity doubling, and the third is about a new 3D XPoint fab, in collaboration with Micron. Of most interest to me personally is…

Nov 13 2017

Intel released Intel Xeon D 10GbE X552/X557 driver version 4.5.3 today for VMware ESXi, testing underway

I'm in the middle of testing this driver. Keep an eye on the process at this spot in the original article: How to download and install the Intel Xeon D 10GbE X552/X557 driver/VIB for VMware ESXi 6.x, works for X540 too Nov 02 2015 that has been updated many times since it was initially published.…

Oct 31 2017

How to check network driver and NIC firmware details in VMware ESXi

When working on my recent article, How to check that your TCP Segmentation Offload is turned on in both your VMware ESXi server and your VMs I quickly discovered that there seemed to be some shortcomings when checking the device driver versions for some network adapters, such as those that are…

Oct 31 2017

If you'd like to get your mitts on the next vSphere bits, take 2 minutes to join the VMware vSphere Beta program

Photo of my actual "Bug Hunt Winner" certificate, mailed to me back in 2014. I don't usually cover news on TinkerTry, but this time the news is big enough for home virtualization lab enthusiasts that I just had to be sure you saw this. Did you know that VMware has opened up the beta…

Oct 31 2017

Intel Optane SSD 900P Series is the latest in 3D XPoint NVMe hotness but it is not ideal for most home virtualization lab enthusiasts

Disclosure: The U.2 version of the 900P 280GB was the only model available anywhere, so I purchased one to test. Intel later provided me a loaner AIC version of the 900P as well, in the 280GB capacity. There were no stipulations, I continue to candidly share my experiences. Unfortnately, things did…

Oct 31 2017

How to check that your TCP Segmentation Offload is turned on in both your VMware ESXi server and your VM

Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback. It's likely you've heard many folks rave about Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort's VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive book (on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback). I can only imagine the amount of time and dedication it took for them to get this…

Oct 29 2017

It's Bugtober, with Adobe Flash crashes, numerous CVE vulnerability patches for Wi-Fi and routers, and an Intel SPI vulnerability patch for most Xeon D Supermicro SuperServers

Sometimes a home lab can be kept operational for months with minimal maintenance. This month, many things happened that required more immediate attention. Maybe this month should have been called Bugtober instead of Blogtober, and it ain't even over yet! None of these took terribly long to fix, but…

Oct 24 2017

VMUG Advantage EVALExperience includes latest VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5 syslog server appliance for easy vSphere, vSAN, IoT, and networking gear log file analysis

Main Dashboard looks pretty cool, click the image to zoom in and have a look around. Boo hoo, my 10GbE network falls to 1GbE and can't get up I was working with Netgear ProSUPPORT Services for Business Users on an issue I was having with one of my 2 Xeon D SuperServers this past summer.…

Oct 16 2017

VMUG Advantage just added the latest VMware Workstation 14 Pro and Fusion 10 Pro to EVALExperience

List of VMware software included in EVALExperience, as of October 2017. There have been many enhancements to this invaluable $200-a-year EVALExperience program lately, including the additions of vSAN 6.6 / NSX 6.3.1 and vRealize Automation Enterprise. Don't forget that your $20 discount is still…

Oct 12 2017

How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor from 6.5.x to 6.5 Update 1 Express Patch 4 (ESXi 6.5 U1 EP4)

A newer ESXi has been released, see: How to easily update your VMware Hypervisor from 6.x to 6.5 Update 1 Patch 02 (ESXi Build 7388607) Dec 23 2017 Article as it originally appeared below. Once you've performed this patch and rebooted, your ESXi system will show as: 6.5.0 Update 1 (Build…

Oct 8 2017

How to use Intel isdct to change NVMe SSD variable sector size before using as VMFS or vSAN, note 4Kn (native) drives aren't supported by VMware yet

This article underwent significant changes since first published, as it was quickly found to contain conclusions that were incorrect. It was based on just one very early engineering sample I obtained directly from Intel that turned out not to be a reflection of the now generally available P4800X…

Oct 8 2017

My VMworld 2017 US Experience

If you're at all curious about how my VMworld 2017 US experience went, it just so happens I captured many of the highlights with pictures on Twitter. I made the most of every minute, my first time going as a VMware Employee. I went to as many customer events as I could, prioritizing those events…

Sep 24 2017

Featured on "Home Gadget Geeks" Episode #325 "Paul Braren with Updates on VMware, the World’s first look at Intel Optane P4800X, eero and much more!- HGG325"

New podcast episode announced at the averageguy.tv, where you can also listen and/or subscribe: Paul Braren (@paulbraren) joins us to talk about his current work load at VMware and an update on some super fast VM parts that will make his home lab a bunch faster, his home Wifi set up with Eero, a…

Sep 8 2017

VMworld 2017 US VMTN Community Blogger - VMware vSphere 6.5U1 home datacenter demo

I realize a vast majority of my readers can't make it to VMworld: Meet me at the VMworld 2017 US PEX and HCI Zone booths, or at the TinkerTry Virtualization Hardware Discussion Zone in the VMTN Community Blogger area Tue. Aug. 29 11am-2pm Aug 17 2017 This video helps you feel a little like you…

Sep 2 2017

VMworld 2017 US Solutions Exchange - vendor visit videos

Video Index Click or Tap the company name to jump down to the video. AIC - NVMe and wide-gumstick NGSFF HPE - Synergy Composable Infrastructure Platform HyTrust - KeyControl requests Intel - NVMe SSDs including M.2, U.2, Ruler, and Optane NAKIVO - Backup & Replication v7.2 & integration…

Aug 29 2017

How to configure VMware ESXi 6.5.x for VMDirectPath I/O pass-through of any NVMe SSD, such as Windows Server 2016 installed directly on an Intel Optane P4800X booted in an EFI VM

There was a little-discussed and finally mature capability that arrived with VMware ESXi 6.5, back in November of 2016. With last month's release of ESXi 6.5 Update 1, it's only gotten easier to configure your ESXi server to allow you to pass a single NVMe storage device, such as an Intel Optane…

Aug 24 2017

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 2 has full vSphere 6.5 Update 1 support, free NFR also available for Veeam Agent for Windows, Linux, and Backup for MS Office 365

Turns out the question of what backup solution to use to protect a home lab's VMs in a home lab comes up a lot here at TinkerTry, especially when a major new release of vSphere arrives on the scene. It's become such an important thing to consider for IT Pros working off the NFR code…

Aug 23 2017

Meet me at the VMworld 2017 US PEX and HCI Zone booths, or at the TinkerTry Virtualization Hardware Discussion Zone in the VMTN Community Blogger area Tue. Aug. 29 11am-2pm

I'm super happy to have just been approved to have an informal TinkerTry meetup of sorts, over in the new VMTN Community area of VMvillage, as part of VMworld 2017 Las Vegas being held at Mandalay Bay again this year. One of my favorite things about meeting hardware enthusiasts is hearing more…

Aug 17 2017