ESXi 6 U2 HTML5 Client

Following an upgrade to ESXi 6 U2 I was interested in checking out the new HTML5 client. I entered the hostname in my browser and select the ‘Open the VMware Host Client’ link. 


On a couple of hosts I tested I was immediately presented by an error stating:

‘503 Service Unavailable (Failed to connect to endpoint: [N7Vmacore4Http16LocalServiceSpecE:0x1f0db660] _serverNamespace = /ui _isRedirect = false _port = 8308)’


This was resolved by the following steps (documented on VMware Communities and Tech Llama):

1. Log on to your ESXi host (either via SSH or DCUI/ESXi Shell)

2. Edit /etc/vmware/rhttpproxy/endpoints.conf

3. Remove the line:

/ui local 8308 redirect allow

4. Now restart the rhttpproxy:

/etc/init.d/rhttpproxy restart


Overall the client feels quite responsive and looks good. There are a few sections that stood out to me. The first is a Packages tab which lists the hosts installed VIBs and an option to install new VIBs. I can see this being very useful for checking the specific VIBs are installed and that the correct version is installed.



Also quite useful will be the PCI Devices information on the hardware tab which provides an easy way to get the Device ID information that can then be fed into the VMware Compatibility Guide.


Finally, there is a certificates section in which you can confirm the current certificate details and import a new certificate if needed. Appears to be simpler than connected via SSH and/or SCP to replace certs.



Creating a Custom ESXi Image

1. Download the required ESXi software depot

e.g. from

2. Download any additional software from VMware and/or vendors

e.g. from

3. Run PowerCLI

4. Add the ESXi software depot via ‘Add-EsxSoftwareDepot –DeportUrl [path to zip]’

5. Check the Image Profile name via ‘Get-ESXImageProfile | Select Name’

6. Clone the Image Profile to new via ‘New-EsxImageProfile –CloneProfile [Image Name] –Name “[New Image Name]”’

e.g. New-ESXiImageProfile –CloneProfile ESXi-5.5.0-20160204001-standard –Name “dmz”

7. Add additional software via ‘Add-ESXSoftwareDepot –DepotUrl [path to zip]’

e.g. Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl .\

8. Check the additional software names via ‘Get-EsxSoftwarePackage

9. Add the additional software to your Image Profile via ‘Add-EsxSoftwarePackage –ImageProfile [Your Image Name] –SoftwarePackage [Additional Software name]’

e.g. Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile dmz -SoftwarePackage cisco-vem-v173-esx

10. Export the Image Profile to VIB or ISO via ‘Export-EsxImageProfile [Your Image Name] –ExportTo[ISO/Bundle] -FilePath [Export Path]

e.g. Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile dmz -ExportToBundle -Filepath D:\Deploy\Source\DMZ-Custom\


Note: I have encountered an error running this command stating ‘Export-EsxImageProfile : Can not instantiate ‘certified’ policy: VibSign module missing.’

To work around this issue I have added the ‘-NoSignatureCheck’ switch to the Export command.

This has apparently been fixed in

11. Deploy your image via VUM or direct attached ISO

Test port connectivity in VMware Virtual Appliances

When troubleshooting connectivity for VMware virtual appliances (for example Log Insight, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Orchestrator etc) it can be useful to have a simple way to test that ports are open. Especially in DMZ environments with firewall devices.

In the past I have been asked by VMware support to manually install netcat but I recently came across a VMware KB suggesting curl could be used. This is a simpler solution than installing additional software and while the KB references the vCenter server Appliance I have confirmed the curl is available in the vROps appliance as well.

Expanding an Eager Zero Thick VMDK

Expanding an Eager Zero Thick VMDK via the vsphere client will result in the disk being labelled Lazy Zero Thick. I was not expecting this behaviour but it is described in an article by Cormac Hogan ( A user in the comments section of that article suggests the issue has been fixed in vSphere 6 but I have not been able to test it for myself.

PowerCLI for Host Storage

Thanks to these excellent blogs:


Following the information presented one can easily perform operations such as listing detached storage devices:

$hosts = Get-Cluster [cluster name] | Get-VMHost

Foreach ($vihost in $hosts) {

Write-Host $vihost

$esxcli = get-vmhost $vihost | Get-EsxCli

$ | Select DeviceUID | Format-List



Or you can list the naa ids for all mounted vmfs datastores:

$hosts = Get-Cluster [cluster name] | Get-VMHost

Foreach ($vihost in $hosts) {

Write-Host $vihost

$esxcli = get-vmhost $vihost | Get-EsxCli

$ | Select DeviceName | Format-List


VMworld 2015

VMware’s annual conference, VMworld, kicked off in San Francisco last week a number of interesting announcements came out of it. A few that jumped out at me:


A pre-configured suite of existing products (including vSphere, VSAN and NSX) bundled with a new automation engine (VMware EVO SDDC Manager) and a new service responsible for physical hardware (Hardware Management Services). It will be sold as a converged platform from partners such as Dell.

The aim is to provide cloud capabilities for private infrastructure with simplified configuration/deployment.


Project Skyscraper:

A hybrid cloud development, two features stand out to me –

“Cross-Cloud vMotion” – Live migration between private cloud to vCloud Air and back

“Content Library Sync” – Sync your content library (VMs, OVFs, ISOs) with vCloud Air

Site Recovery Manager 6.1:

New features – Stretched storage support, Storage Policy Protection Groups, Integration with NSX 6.2.

VMware What’s New

VSAN 6.1:

New features – Stretched clusters for high availability across data centers. A new two node cluster deployment (ideal for for branch offices).

VMware Blog

vCloud Air:

Announcement of a SQL service and an object storage service.

SQL datasheet

NSX 6.2 Released

I had though NSX 6.2 would be held for an announcement at VMworld next week but it turns out I was wrong. It’s been released already and brings with it a few nice features. Stand outs include:

  • NSX 6.2 with vSphere 6.0 supports Cross vCenter NSX where logical switches (LS), distributed logical routers (DLR) and distributed firewalls (DFW) can be deployed across multiple vCenters, thereby enabling logical networking and security for applications with workloads (VMs) that span multiple vCenters or multiple physical locations.
  • Consistent firewall policy across multiple vCenters: Firewall Rule Sections in NSX can now be marked as “Universal” whereby the rules defined in these sections get replicated across multiple NSX managers. This simplifies the workflows involving defining consistent firewall policy spanning multiple NSX installations
  • Cross vCenter vMotion with DFW: Virtual Machines that have policies defined in the “Universal” sections can be moved across hosts that belong to different vCenters with consistent security policy enforcement.

These are going to very useful for larger enterprises running multiple vCenter instances. The full release notes may be found on the VMware site.

Which vmdk was deleted?

An admin has deleted a disk from a VM. The only task you see in vCenter simply states “Reconfigure virtual machine”. So which disk was deleted? Where was it located? You can check this in the hostd log.


Enable SSH on the host that the VM was running on at the time of the deletion, log on, run:

cat /var/log/hostd.log | grep [VM name]


You will see entries like this:

2015-06-17T02:30:57.351Z [FFD9C920 verbose ‘Vmsvc.vm:/vmfs/volumes/550c429f-8eb29ae1-4ebb-b82a71234f1d/[VM name]/ [VM name].vmx’ opID=F669BF69-00005F62-4c-70 user=vpxuser] Adjusting tracking state for disk /vmfs/volumes/550c429f-8eb29ae1-4ebb-b82a71234f1d /[VM name]/ [VM name].vmdk to state disabled.

2015-06-17T02:30:57.355Z [FFD9C920 verbose ‘Vmsvc.vm:/vmfs/volumes/550c429f-8eb29ae1-4ebb-b82a71234f1d/[VM name]/[VM name].vmx’ opID=F669BF69-00005F62-4c-70 user=vpxuser] Disk /vmfs/volumes/550c429f-8eb29ae1-4ebb-b82a71234f1d/[VM name]/[VM name].vmdk: Tracking is already deactivated, skipping.


There you can see the location and name of vmdk that was deleted.

PowerCLI One Liners

I have come across various powercli one liners as I work with vSphere that are helpful for quickly collecting information. Some of these come from blogs or the VMware communities pages, thanks to all those contributors! 

This will list the details of RDMs for a VM (very useful if you have many gatekeepers for example):

get-vm -name [VM Name] | get-harddisk -disktype “RawPhysical”,”RawVirtual” | select Parent,Name,DiskType,ScsiCanonicalName,DeviceName | fl


This will list VM mapping to physical vmnic:

Connect-viserver [hostname]

Get-EsxTop -CounterName NetPort | Select PortID, ClientName, TeamUplink


This will get your host DNS settings (Primary / Secondary DNS servers):

Get-VMHost [hostname] | Get-VMHostNetwork | Select Hostname,DnsAddress


This will set your host DNS settings (Primary / Secondary DNS servers)::

Get-VMHostNetwork -VMHost (Get-VMHost -Name [hostname]) | Set-VMHostNetwork -DnsAddress [Primary DNS],[Secondary DNS]


This will list the VMs connected to a specific port group:

Get-VM | where { ($_ | Get-NetworkAdapter | where {$_.networkname -match “portgroupname”})}


This will start the SSH service on all hosts in a cluster:

Get-Datacenter “[datacenter object name]” | Get-Cluster “[cluster name]” | Get-VMHost | Sort Name | Get-VMHostService | Where { $_.Key -eq “TSM-SSH”} | Start-VMHostService -confirm:$false


Stop SSH:

Get-Datacenter “[datacenter object name]” | Get-Cluster “[cluster name]” | Get-VMHost | Sort Name | Get-VMHostService | Where { $_.Key -eq “TSM-SSH”} | Stop-VMHostService -confirm:$false

vSphere 6.0 – The Future Is Here!

vSphere 6.0 has been officially announced. See the VMware vSphere Blog article and the What’s New PDF.

New features that immediately stand out to me include:
· Virtual Volumes
· Long Distance vMotion
· Cross vSwitch and vCenter vMotion
· Content Library
· Storage IOPS reservations
· Virtual SAN 6

The VMTN Blog has posted a page linking to over 80 articles posted by vExperts on the vSphere 6.0 announcement, it’s new features, and it’s deployment. Until I sit down and spend some quality time with the release I can’t add a great deal to this wealth of information. My suggestion is to pick through these articles looking at the features and changes of particular interest to you.