VMware and PowerCLI

Sooner or later you may have to do some «serious work» outside of the vCenter GUI or vCenter client. PowerCLI on a Windows machine is the obvious choice here. I’m in the middle of upgrading an ESXi 5.0 cluster with a non-SSO based vCenter to a new 5.5 cluster with a SSO-capable vCenter 5.5 server. Downtime is critical, and migration from one cluster to a new when using dvSwitches does not work without some tinkering.

Doing some reading I’ve found that one way to do this is to create old school vSwitches with all the needed VLAN’s and change the Network on all VMs from dvSwitches to vSwitches. Testing show a packet loss of 1-2 packets, which is acceptable. The main issue here is creating the new vSwitches. No biggie if you have a SOHO lab, but with 12 servers and 40 VLANs we’re talking click-click-click if you’re using a GUI.

First of all – get PowerCLI installed and configured



Check the references for PowerCLI and Virtual Switches


Then read these http://www.mikelaverick.com/2014/01/back-to-basics-configuring-standard-vswitch-with-powercli-part-three-of-three/ as well as http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/migrating-distributed-vswitch-to-new-vcenter/ and you should be ready to go!

Another issue here is naturally if you use EVC in you cluster, and maybe stepped up a notch if the new cluster have more recent hardware. We’re in this situation, going from Dell 11G to 12G/13G servers, and we do have to reboot the machines anyhow. To get it somewhat smooth I intend to fill one of the ESXi 5.0 servers with as many VMs as common sense tells me to, remove it from the old vCenter and add it to the new SSO-enabled vCenter. The VMs on this particular server will be shut down and then migrated onto the new cluster, and probably upgraded with the newer hardware version/VMwareTools.

Oracle Solaris Virtualbox and Tools

If you want some VMs on your Solaris-machine, Virtualbox is the simple choice. Feels like a dumbed down version of Vmware workstation or Hyper-V on Windows 8, but it seems to do the job for quick testing. Virtualbox should also work fine on a wide variety of OS’es other than Solaris.

A useful tool if you don’t have easy access to the Solaris GUI you may want to try RemoteBox on your Windows-machine. Download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/remotebox/ and see the following for how to get it running on Windows.


Windows Storage Spaces 2012 – some references

Just a few links and references that I’ve found helpful…