Back up the vCenter Server Appliance

Now that you have migrated to the vCenter Server Appliance (or VCSA), you should start exploring some of the features included in the 6.5 version of the VCSA. Today, we will be looking at one of those features that you should definitely be using – Backup!

The VCSA Backup function allows you to create a backup of the vCenter Configuration, Inventory, and Historical data. If the appliance becomes inoperable you can use this backup during a reinstall of the appliance to get back to the current state.

Backing up the vCenter Server Appliance

Login to the vSphere Appliance Management Interface (or VAMI) by pointing your web browser to the VCSA IP Address or FQDN at port 5480.








Enter the username and password for your appliance and click Login. Once the VAMI loads, you will find the Backup function in the Summary section.

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vToolbelt – February 2018

And here we are at the end of February already!  Time and tech continue to

keep moving.  If the weather outside is too cold for you to get outside – there is plenty of VMware news in this newsletter to keep you busy – treadmill or not!

Upcoming Events

Toledo Q1 VMUG (March 7th, 2018) – This is for those of you in the Northwest part of Ohio. The Toledo VMUG is meeting again!  This event is Wednesday, March 7th from 11:30am-1:30pm.  Lunch will be provided. VMware Staff Engineer Tom Zukowski will be presenting on NSX.  Get more information and register here.

Central Ohio VMUG UserCON (April 3, 2018) – Save the date, and plan to be at the Convention Center in Columbus on April 4 for one of the largest VMUG events in the mid-west!  View the Agenda and register.

Cincinnati VMUG UserCON (September 11, 2018) – Save the Date!  I’ll post more details here when available…

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vToolbelt – January 2018

And just like that, we are heading into the home stretch of January!  When I began

writing this newsletter when we had 4-5 inches of white stuff on the ground.  I can happily report that now that I’ve published the article – the snow is gone.  However, I am writing this in Ohio, so by the time you are reading this we probably have another inch or so…

Upcoming Events

Toledo Q1 VMUG (3/7) – This is for those of you in the Northwest part of Ohio. The Toledo VMUG is meeting again!  This event is Wednesday, March 7th from 11:30am-1:30pm.  Lunch will be provided. VMware Staff Engineer Tom Zukowski will be presenting on NSX.  Get more information and register here.

OARnet / VMware Education Day (3/27) – OARnet and VMware invite you to a free educational event at the Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus, Ohio on March 27th.  There will be education tracks along a number of topics (Cloud, Automation, Security and more!)  Sign up today!  View the agenda and register.

Central Ohio VMUG UserCON (4/3) – Save the date, and plan to be at the Convention Center in Columbus on April 4 for one of the largest VMUG events in the mid-west!   The agenda hasn’t been released yet; but watch the VMUG UserCon page for news!  I will post an update once I hear the registration page is up.

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Save the Date – 2018 Central Ohio VMUG UserCON

The 2018 Central Ohio VMUG UserCON will be held Tuesday, April 3rd at the VMware VMUG UserCONColumbus Convention Center.  Mark your calendars now and plan to be there!

If you haven’t attended a VMUG UserCON before here are a few reasons why this is a can’t miss event:

  • Breakout Sessions – There will be multiple breakout sessions with different topics that help you focus your time on learning that will help you take value back to your organization.
  • Speakers – Come to hear VMware employees, industry thought leaders and tech bloggers share their insight and expertise on the latest topics and technologies.
  • Connect with other VMware Admins – Guess who else will be at the UseCON – other sysadmins and engineers in your area.  This is a great opportunity to mingle as well as share ideas and experiences.
  • Technology Showcase – Come and talk to VMware parnters to learn more about the products and services they offer that can help take your systems to the next level.

The agenda hasn’t been publisdhed yet.  Watch the VMUG.COM side to watch for the agenda and register for the event!

vToolbelt – December 2017

Somehow, November managed to slip right past me!  I’ll blame it on all of the Turkey I ate…    This newsletter has a number of articles you might find useful in your own environments.    There should be a little something here for everyone – from VDI to vSAN, and NSX, and vSphere.


Now excuse me – I have to go finish start my Christmas shopping!

Notes from the Field

Do you have a Microsoft Licensing agreement that comes with Azure credits?  If so, you may be able to use them to host Desktops or Applications for your users.  That’s right, with Horizon Cloud, you can use Azure credits to run Windows Desktops and Applications in the Azure Cloud.

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VMware – AWS Partnership expanding!

The partnership between VMware and AWS is expanding!  You probably have already heard about VMware Cloud on AWS.  This is a service offering that lets you run VMware CloudVMware vSphere on Amazon bare metal.  You can run this as a stand-alone environment or make it an extension of your on-premises datacenter.

VMware and Amazon made some announcements this week that expanded upon that offering.

VMware Site Recovery

VMware Site Recovery is a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offering that can help accelerate and simplify your DR processes.  The major use cases for this are:

  • Protect your on-premises applications and data with failover to VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Provide that same protection for your VMware Cloud on AWS instance back to your on-premises infrastructure
  • Provide protection between AWS region’s or Availability zones for your VMware Cloud on AWS instance
  • Migration – if you are looking to take those on-premises workloads and move them to the cloud, this would be a very painless way to go
Your cloud in more places – AWS Region Expansion

VMW on AWS is now available in an additional region –  Initially this offering was only located  in the U.S. West region (Oregon).    It was announced on Wednesday that VMware Cloud on AWS is now also available in the U.S. East region (Northern Virginia).

There has certainly been a lot of interest in using AWS to host VMware infrastructure.  This expansion is very timely and will certainly help customers on the east cost of the U.S.!




vToolbelt – October 2017

Whelp,  September flew right by me!    The VMware ecosphere (vSphere, vSAN, NSX, et all) is moving at an unbelievable pace.  VMworld provided a number of large announcements and a tremendous amount of knowledge!

In addition to the big announcements, there has been a lot of information to take in.  Let’s get to it…

Upcoming Ohio VMware Events

Cleveland VMUG (November 1) – Progressive Insurance is hosting the next VMUG in Cleveland.  They will be peeling back the covers on their operation and sharing their experiences. Get more information and register here.

Cincinnati VMUG UserCON (November 2) – Save the date and plan to be at the Sharonville Convention Center on November 2nd for the VMUG UserCon in Cincinnati.  Visit the VMUG.COM site to view the agenda and register. Continue reading

vToolbelt – August 2017

Well summer is starting to wind down.  Kids are headed back to school.  Mine is about to trek off to college (yikes!)  We are also just about a week away from VMworld 2017!    It is not too late to sign up!    There is going to be a lot of great virtualization learning and events going on.

Upcoming Ohio VMware Events

Cincinnati VMUG UserCON (November 2) – Created by VMware users for VMware users.  Plan to be at the UserCon in Cincinnati on November 2nd for one of the largest VMware events in the Midwest.  Visit the VMUG.COM site to view the agenda & register.

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Changes in VMware Tools Bundling for vSphere 6.5 Update 1

One of the changes with vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is how VMware Tools are bundled.  This will primarily affect those who have older Windows systems, or are running operating systems outside of Windows or Linux.

Quick Review

Each build of ESXi contains ISO images for the current VMware tools installer for guest operating systems that run on top of it.    When an administrator tells the vSphere Client to update VMware Tools, the hypervisor mounts the appropriate ISO image from the ESXi filesystem to the virtual machine and presents it as a CD-Rom.  The guest OS can then be updated.

When you upgrade an ESXi host to a newer version or apply patches, those ISO images will be updated with the newest version of VMware Tools.

What Changes in 6.5 Update 1

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 only contains a subset of the VMware Tools ISO images for the supported guest operating systems.  These appear to support the latest variants in the Windows and Linux worlds.   Continue reading

VMware Updates – vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is now GA

A number of VMware updates were released last night.  This includes the highly anticipated Update 1 for vSphere 6.5.  This will allow upgrades from vSphere 6.0 Update 3.

Lets get right to the details…

vSphere 6.5 Update 1

This is the much awaited release that will allow anyone running vSphere 6.0 Update 3 to get onto vSphere 6.5.  Some of the other new additions include:

  • The ability to use vSphere Update Manager to enable vSAN upgrades
  • Driver updates to a number of I/O devices

For the full list, read the release notes.

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