VMware Labs' latest fling: VIB Author and how it compares to the ESXi5 Community Packaging Tools

The VMware Labs have published a new tool called VIB Author that "allows ESXi administrator to create custom VIBs at the CommunitySupported level". When I read this news my first thought was: Hey, that's exactly what my ESXi5 Community Packaging Tools (ESXi5-CPT, consisting of tgz2vib and vib2zip) are supposed to do! So, how do these two compare?

ESXi-Customizer-PS script updated to be compatible with PowerCLI 5.1

I was made aware that my ESXi-Customizer-PS script fails when running with the new PowerCLI version 5.1. With this version VMware made changes to the ImageBuilder object model (dropping the SoftwareChannel object) that broke my script.

The SBHVL project - Part 3: Management, Remote Access and more Security

This is the third and last part of the SBHVL (Small Budget Hosted Virtual Lab) project post series (I will assume that you have already read at least Part 1, see also Part 2). This time I will explain how to remotely access, use and manage the environment.

Updated ESXi-Customizer-PS script allows to create ESXi 5.1 Offline bundle

Following the availability of the ESXi 5.1 packages in the VMware Online depot I have updated my ESXi-Customizer-PS script and made two minor, but important changes:

ESXi 5.1 GA is now available in the VMware Online Depot

The brand new ESXi 5.1 GA packages have finally been uploaded to the VMware Online Depot. That means you can use them with the PowerCLI ImageBuilder snapin and my ESXi-Customizer-PS script to build your own customized installation ISOs or Offline bundles.

To improve the usage of the new ESXi 5.1 ImageProfiles I have updated my ESXi-Customizer-PS script (see my next post).

The ESXi 5.1 GA ImageProfiles

[Updated] How to update your (free / whitebox) ESXi server to ESXi 5.1

Now that vSphere 5.1 (incl. ESXi 5.1) has been released one of the most frequently asked questions of home users is: How can I update my existing ESXi 5.0 installation without too much effort and without taking any risk? Here is a step-by-step procedure:

vSphere 5.1 is generally available (incl. the free and the HP customized version of ESXi)

Late yesterday VMware made vSphere 5.1 generally available. Go to
to download. The free version of ESXi 5.1 is also already available:

And HP hardware owners will be happy to find that there is also an HP customized version of the ESXi 5.1 ISO available for download. The shortcut http://www.vmware.com/go/downloads-image-hp-esxi still points to the 5.0 version, but HP's ESXi 5.1 GA is available here:

Right now it is not yet possible to update an existing ESXi 5.0 installation to 5.1 using the well known methods (via Update Manager and the VMware Online Depot). You will probably be able to update by booting the host with the ESXi 5.1 ISO, but the other methods should also be available shortly.

The SBHVL project - Part 2: Backup and Disaster Recovery

This is part 2 of the SBHVL (Small Budget Hosted Virtual Lab) project post series (see also the Introduction and Part 1). This time it's about backing things up and recovering from a disaster.

Installing and maintaining a test lab can cause significant efforts and will take time. This is true for the initial installation and configuration of the lab infrastructure (our physical host), but also for every single test scenario that usually consists of multiple VMs, software installed on them, configuration work, test data etc. All this is definitely worth being backed up, although it's just a test lab...

HP releases new Service Pack for ProLiant and new drivers for ESXi 5.0 und 5.1

HP has released version 2012.08.0 of their Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP). This is a (bootable) ISO file that contains the latest firmware and driver packages for ProLiant servers. What's new:

Sep2012 release of the HP Customized ESXi 5.0 ISO

HP has just published updated software packages and device drivers for VMware ESXi 5.0 (at http://vibsdepot.hp.com). With this Sep2012 release HP changes the way how they provide this software: Up to now they have made a complete customized installation ISO (including all the packages) available for download on their own web site. Now they have replaced this download link with a shortcut URL that redirects to a VMware download page: http://www.vmware.com/go/downloads-image-hp-esxi.

The SBHVL project - Part 1: Basic setup, Networking and Security

This week I introduced the Small Budget Hosted Virtual Lab (SBHVL) project, and in this post I will describe the basic setup of the physical lab host, the network architecture and some related security aspects.