Install vCenter 5.0 plus update manager trial on Windows 2008 R2

Written by employee #33. Posted in just going through the motions

For the server part you only need .NET framework 3.5. Make sure it is installed and patched.

Domain it not mandatory. i.e. you can run this vCenter installation in a workgroup if you like. For a home lab setup, a single disk should be fine, but as we need to install MS SQL, a separate disk for the SQL server is perhaps a good idea.

For this run i will install the database separately, and when the db is up and running, i will install vCenter 5.0. I shouldn't be necessary - but for some reason, the default vCenter installation seems to do a fairly poor job with the SQL setup. Or at least I don’t understand the setup and consequently Update Manager fails.

Upgrading ESXi 5.0 to 5.1 using ESXCLI

Written by employee #33. Posted in just going through the motions

Shut down all running instances and put your host in maintenance mode. Your host must have SSH enabled.

1) Download the upgrade from VMWare and copy to ESXi host
2) Get the name or code for this update
3) Perform the update

1) At this time, the most recent version is If updated, you should be looking for "Download VMware ESXi 5.1 Installable" That is something like Home -> All Downloads -> VMware vSphere -> VMware ESXi 5.1 Installable. It's not all that easy to find. You need a login at VMware. When the file is downloaded, copy the file to somewhere on the host. Somewhere you can find.

ESXi 5.0/GhettoVCB with NFS on FreeNAS 8.2

Written by employee #33. Posted in just going through the motions

Basically a very simple setup, but have eluded me for some time now: Simply backup some running VM's on a ESXi 5.x to a FreeNAS NFS service. I'm running FreeNAS 8.2 (FreeNAS update routine is also give me some strange access rights errors lately, so never got round to updating the bugger) Shouldn’t be a problem with version 8.1 or 8.3.

Things might be done differently with better preference/lesser work. I'm no expert, so please let me know if your setup performs better, or to point out some stupid mistakes I have made. But the following will get backups of your VM's to a FreeNAS box.

I'm still struggling with some kind of synchronisation with Amazon S3 from FreeNAS. If you have done any kind of progress along offsite sync from FreeNAS or any throughs on this, please let me know.

All glory is going to William Lam ( for his work on ghettoVCB script. There is nothing original here, I just put some snips together.

Updating/patching ESXi 5.0.0

Written by employee #33. Posted in just going through the motions

Get the patches from VMWare at

There a some strange Java things going on there, but you should be able to search for ESXi 5.0.0. I believe there are 7 or 8 patches available. Not sure about this. I got them all and installed them – but they could be accumulative. Maybe the latest is enough? Not sure. If you download and install all of them, your host will be updated perfectly, but I will take you a couple of hours. You should of course be careful of the order you apply the patches … Something like this (and you will need to apply them in the opposite order)


Written by employee #33. Posted in just going through the motions

A central backup server is definitely a very nice thing and Bacula is a very good central backup server - but unfortunately very tricky to install and configure. Very. I never got this project beyond the 'hello world' stage, but i didn’t have this tutorial available at the time. If your are inn for a Bacula full scale backup scenario, then have a look at this webmodelling tutorial. The chances are still slim, but you have a chance :) For some one familiar with IBM Tivoli (and especially if you do not use the GUI), then Bacula setup is not extremely strange.