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Updating Dell Firmware/BIOS en mass

We recently ran into an issue where we had to update the Firmware & Bios on a bunch of Dell servers.  As these are VMware hosts, we couldn’t just run the Dell System Update Utility, as I would on a normal Windows host.  My coworker, @bspagna, and I decided to look at doing this via the iDRAC. Prerequisites:  Dell Repository Manager, a TFTP Server (like Solarwinds Free TFTP Server) First, we used Dell Repository Manager (Data Center Version) to build

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PowerCLI Script to Check Host Over-commitment Percentage & Ratios

At my previous employer, we had a Dev/QA vSphere environment that was very over provisioned.  The environment had lots of CPUReady issues with VMs having to wait for CPU time, which caused things to be slow, etc.  We knew this but the application teams didn’t understand.  I ended up writing a PowerCLI script to check the CPU overcommitment and sent the results to my manager who was able to go to the application team’s management and get them to clean

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Script to backup your vCenter DRS Rules

I was thinking yesterday, I have a script that I run on a monthly basis to backup my vDS configs…  Shouldn’t I also have something that does the same for my DRS rules?  So, I wrote a script that I can schedule to run on a weekly/monthly basis to backup my DRS rules. I have multiple vCenter servers, so I used an array to connect to each one and then exported the rules for each cluster within those vCenters. The

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PowerCLI Script to create new vDS Portgroups

We deployed new hosts into one of our office locations.  Because these hosts would have different number of uplinks as well as use a LAG group instead of normal dvUplinks, we decided to create a new vDS Switch.  Then, we needed to re-create all the portgroups as well.  I figured, instead of manually adding 15-20 portgroups, I’ll automate it.  I used this blog post as reference to do some of the work, and added the LAG and uplink changes. When

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Disabling FCOE on vSphere 10gb NICs per VMware KB 2130092

So, we recently had an issue with some of our Dell blade vSphere hosts.  Seems they all crashed (PSOD) at the same time (6 nodes across 2 different clusters).  After submitting the log bundles and Dell TSRs, support recommended, along with upgrading drivers & firmware (the support go to!) that we remove FCoE from the NICs (as it’s not being used).  VMware said the FCoE messages in the logs was just “log spam” and not anything they felt would have

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Creating shortcuts for PowerCLI that automatically log you in.

So, I started a new job a couple of months ago and we have multiple vCenter environments.  My friend & temporary co-worker, Brian Spagna (@bspagna) and I both wanted to have shortcuts to launch PowerCLI windows and have a different background color for each to easily identify which environment we were in.  We thought it would be cool to have it automatically connect to it’s respective vCenter also! I recommend you upgrade to the latest version of PowerCLI (6.5.1) for

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Configuring my Dell PowerEdge R920 for dual SD Cards instead of Internal HDs

We recently setup a Dell PowerEdge R920 that was in storage to add to our VDI Environment for additional resources.  This server differs from the other R920s in our environment as it has dual SD Cards internally instead of Hard Disks.  I had to configure the SD Cards in a mirror so we had fault tolerance, so this is the procedure I followed… 1. Power on the server.  The server will undergo a memory test. 2.  Once the memory test

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Mission: VMUG Virtual Event – May 17, 2016

As a VMUG Leader, I felt like I needed to post a blog entry on the upcoming VMUG Virtual event on May 17th, 2016.  The VMUG Virtual Events are always packed with information from VMware and vendors as well. VMware is presenting on topics like:  VSAN 6.2, vRA & NSX Technical Deepdive, AirWatch, Taking Virtualization to the next level, EUC, & “You Built a Software Defined Datacenter – Horray! Now What?” Some vendors presenting are: Veeam Software, Nimble Storage, SimpliVity,

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What do you do when a path to a NFS Datastore goes down?

My QA environment uses Isilon as it’s backend storage platform.  The Isilon share is one large storage volume that is setup with different paths (IPs) to the storage.  This environment has 6 datastores (6 paths).  The other day, we had one of those paths go down, taking down approx 75 VMs with it. I debated attempting to remove the down datastore and then add it back with the same name (with a different IP) but didn’t know what that would

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Adding a PowerShell Windows Update Script to my VMware Customizations

In my environments, we typically convert the templates to Virtual Machines once a quarter so we can install Windows Updates.  This means, there could be a number of patches to install if you’re 2+ months out from the last time they were updated.  So I decided to use a PowerShell script that my coworker wrote to do Windows Updates and run it during the Run Once phase of the vCenter Customizations. Typically, I have my customizations set to automatically login

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