Home Lab Update – Adding a NAS

It has been a while since I have written about my home lab.   While the initial purpose was to help me learn, I have been using it more and more to allow me to assist customers.  It has been really useful when talking on the phone or researching topics for them.  So when I had to reconfigure it earlier this summer to brush up on the new release of Site Recovery Manager for booth duty at VMworld, I began to miss it quickly.

My lab is comprised of 3 white-box ESX hosts in a cluster with vSAN.  While each host has a local disk, the only shared storage I have is vSAN.  Normally this works just fine for my needs; but SRM requires 2 separate vSphere environments and in my 3 host scenario it meant that vSAN had to temporarily come down.  I’ve reconfigured the environment back to a single cluster with vSAN; but the exercise has made me wish I had some type of shared storage capability outside of my vSphere environment.  I know SAN/NAS for home labs isn’t a new topic these days; but I learned a few things along the way and I thought I would share in case there are others who are still doing this for the first time.

I had resisted the idea for a while mostly due to cost; but also because I wasn’t sure that I would fully utilize another piece of gear.  TL;DR  Now that I have have it – I love it and in the space of about 10 days have it setup and am getting far more out of it than I had anticipated.  Let’s break down what I am doing…

Use Cases

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vToolbelt – October 2019

Hello everyone!   It may not feel like fall yet; but it is October already!  A few key things in the VMware Virtualization space this month:

  • A number of core vSphere products are nearing the end of General Support (particularly vSphere 6.0 & vCenter Server 6.0).  You can find out the exact date in the Product Watch section.
  • On October 16th, VMware will host the vForum, a live on-line virtual event that you can attend for free.  Get more details below

Upcoming Events


On-Line vForum (October 16th)

vForum is VMware’s largest virtual event and will provides access to the latest information on VMware technology.  It is a live on-line event that is free and does not require travel.  There will be 38 technical breakout sessions, live Q&A Video chats and Instructor Led Hands-On Labs.

Block out your calendar for the afternoon of October 16th and register today!

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vToolbelt – August 2019

I’ve been on Summer Hiatus; but summer break is one of those good things that must eventually come to an end.    I hope that everyone has found some time to get away and re-charge your batteries during the busy summer season.

Upcoming Events

Central Ohio VMUG – 8/6/19
COVMUG is doing a hands-on lab with Docker & Kubernetes.  Bring your laptop for this 8a-2p meeting where you will get hands on keyboard lab time with containers.  Go to VMUG.COM and register

Ohio SLED VMUG – 8/13/19
The Ohio SLED VMUG meeting will have presentations on Day 2 Operations  by the OARnet TAMS (Matt Lydy for Gov and Arron King for EDU).  There will also be a group discussion on IT Careers in SLED.  Register at VMUG.COM

Product Watch

The following products are nearing the End of General Support.  You can find the full list on the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix.

AirWatch Console 9.3 – 9/14/19 App Volumes 2.13 – 10/13/19
Identity Manager 3.2 – 9/14/19 NST-T
2.0, 2.1 – 9/7/19
2.2 – 9/18/19
ThinApp 4.7.3 – 10/31/19 User Environment Manager 9.3 – 1/4/19
vCenter Converter Standalone 6.2 – 12/14/19 vRealize Automation 7.3 – 12/17/19
Log Insight 4.6 – 8/23/19 vRealize Network Insight 3.9 – 12/20/19
vRealize Operations Manger 6.6 – 8/23/19 Workspace ONE UEM Console
9.4 – 11/2/19
9.5 – 1/2/20

Continue reading “vToolbelt – August 2019”

Ohio SLED VMUG Meeting – August 13

Make plans to attend the SLED VMUG on August 13, 2019 for a meeting focused on ​what makes VMUG awesome –  its members. 


  • Introduction to Trace3 – Ben St. John & Sean Voice
  • Day 2 Operations Tips and Tricks – Arron King & Matt Lydy
  • Career Panel Discussion – Ohio SLED IT Community


Tuesday, August 13, 2019




Tree of Life

5000 Arlington Centre Blvd

Columbus, OH 43220

Tree Of Life Center









How to attend

Go to VMUG.COM and register

Central Ohio VMUG Meeting – August 6 2019 – Docker & Kubernetes

The next Central Ohio VMUG (COVMUG) will be held on August 6, 2019. The focus of this meeting will be Docker & Kubernetes in a VMware environment. If this interests you, block off your calendar and register today for this hands-on event!

Don’t forget to bring your laptop and your VMware MyLearn account.  During this meeting you will:

  • Be very hands-on
  • Learn basic Docker and Kubernetes fundamentals
  • Use that knowledge in hands-on labs
  • Deploy, operate, and troubleshoot applications in those Docker & Kubernetes environments

Note:  This is a six-hour event and lunch will be provided.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019




Tree of Life

5000 Arlington Centre Blvd

Columbus, OH 43220

Tree Of Life Center











How to attend

Go to VMUG.COM and register

Bring your laptop, power cord and your VMware MyLearn account

Adding Async VMware Tools versions to Update Manager

Why aren’t VMware Tools at the right version on patched hosts?

A customer called with a question about updating VMware Tools as part of a recent security patch (https://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2019-0009.html).    The patch resolves an address out-of-bounds vulnerability in VMware Tools that was present in certain versions of the software (10.2.x and 10.3.x prior to 10.3.10).  He wanted to install the new version; but the VMware Tools installations on his VMs indicated they were current; but still were running an affected version.  His hosts were patched and up-to-date.  He knew he could manually update VMware Tools on each of his VMs; but was hoping there was an easier way – and there is!

The status of VMware Tools on a virtual machine is relative to the the host.  Typically VMware Tools updates are delivered through an ESXi patch.  In this case, the VMware Tools 10.3.10 release hasn’t been rolled into an ESXi patch yet.  It will be shortly.  The amount of testing that goes into an ESXi patch requires a good amount of time.  When VMware patches VMware Tools like they did in the case of this vulnerability, they release it to customers so they can deploy the fix sooner if they choose.  VMware calls this an Async release.

Continue reading “Adding Async VMware Tools versions to Update Manager”

vToolbelt – April 2019

We are full on into spring.  The flowers are blooming, and I am cutting grass twice a week.  Welcome to the April 2019 edition of vToolBelt.   vSphere 6.7 Update 2 is the big news this month.  It is out and hot. We will also cover VMware Project Skyline.

For those of you still running vSphere 6.0, don’t look over your shoulder – End of General Support is less than a year away.  Time to start planning the upgrade!

Let’s get to it!

Product Watch

The following products are nearing the End of General Support.  You can find the full list on the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix.

NSX-T 2.0/2.1 – 9/7/19 vROPS – 6.6/6.7 – 8/23/19
Horizon View 6.x – 6/19/19 User Environment Manager 9.2 – 5-16/19
vRealize Log Insight 4.6/4.7 – 8/23/19 App Volumes 2.13 – 10/19/19
AirWatch Console 9.3 – 9/14/19 Identity Manger 3.12 – 9/14/19
vRealize Lifecycle Manager 1.0-1.3  – 9/19/19
vSphere 6.0 – 3/12/20

 Notes from the Field

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Installing PowerShell and PowerCLI on Linux

Expanding the Lab

I’ve been working on changing some things in my lab lately, and wanted to build  a jumphost that I could get to from anywhere and use it to work on my VMware Virtualization lab.  While it would be pretty easy to setup a Windows machine, my lab dollars are hard to come by and I wanted to save every bit to grow the capacity.  Ever since PowerShell was made available on multiple platforms, I’ve wanted to try it out on Linux.Tux the Penguin and PowerShell

I am in no way a Linux expert; but have worked in multiple distros and am fairly comfortable – at least for non-production use.  I set up a VM with Ubuntu Desktop and applied all of the patches.  I’ll let others debate the virtues of the various Linux distributions.  I picked Ubuntu a while ago and it seemed to make sense to focus on a single distribution to best develop my expertise.  I chose Ubuntu Desktop as I wanted to have a GUI available should I be working remotely and needed to do a demo or work though something requiring a browser.

What do I need?

The toolset I need for my jumphost is fairly easy to assemble:

  • Modern Web Browser – Chrome and Firefox
  • PowerShell – This is Microsoft’s command-line shell and scripting language.  In the multi-cloud world in which we live in – this can be the tool to help automate all of these platforms together
  • PowerCLI – PowerCli is a PowerShell module for managing VMware vSphere
  • Tools for future projects  (such as Restful API automation, Desired State Configuration , etc)

Continue reading “Installing PowerShell and PowerCLI on Linux”