What's new in the V-Front Online Depot - or - how to install ESXi on an HP Pavilion 17 notebook

Recently I added some new NIC drivers to the V-Front Online Depot. Well, they are not really new, but were created back in 2011/12 by a Japanese guy who goes by the nickname ichi. He was actively participating in Dave Mishchenko's vm-help.com forums and posted the drivers there.

Although I was aware of them since then I did not add them to the Depot before - I thought that no one would really need them these days, because the NIC models that they support are pretty old and rarely used today. I was wrong, at least in one case, because I needed one of these drivers myself to install ESXi on a brand new HP Pavilion 17 notebook that I just purchased ...

CPU Microcode Updates revisited: What's new in ESXi 6.0?

Almost two years ago I wrote an FAQ post on CPU Microcode updates with ESXi 5.x. This still gets a lot of hits, but - although the general information about Microcodes still applies - the ESXi related information needs an update, because things have changed with ESXi 6.0.

So what's new and different now?

[Release] ESXi-Customizer-PS 2.4 - The ESXi image customization script

I have just released version 2.4 of my ESXi-Customizer-PS script - a PowerCLI script to create customized ESXi installation images and the successor of my legacy ESXi-Customizer tool.

This is a minor, but important update, because it fixes an annoyance that users of the latest PowerCLI version 6.0 ran into.

ESXi 6.0 hits the VMware Online Depot - What does that mean?

On April 9th VMware published the first ESXi 6.0 patch (see the ESXi Patch Tracker and KB2111976), and at the same time the Imageprofiles of both this patch and the ESXi 6.0 GA release appeared in the VMware Online Depot. Unfortunately they did not also upload all the ESXi 6.0 VIB packages at that time, but only the one that was updated with the first patch. Today, they finally made up for this, and I cannot only publish this article again, but now the instructions and examples in it will really work :-)

What does it mean to have ESXi 6.0 available in the VMware Online Depot? It makes it a lot easier to upgrade an ESXi host and to build customized ESXi 6.0 installation images, especially for free license users who do not have easy access to the GA Offline bundle. I wrote about this already in my Ultimate guide to upgrade your white box, and this is the promised update to it.

So what are the new possibilities now?

Watch out: ESXi 6.0 introduces root account lockout!

A few days ago I got an e-mail from one of my blog readers asking for help ... He had upgraded his host to ESXi 6.0 and since then he was repeatedly seeing events in the host log like the one displayed above:
Remote access for ESXi local user account 'root' has been locked for 120 seconds after xxx failed login attempts.
At the same time he could no longer log in to the vSphere client although he was using the correct password. I immediately thought: Wow, this is new in 6.0, never heard of this before! What the heck was going on here?