vSphere 6 Lab Upgrade – Upgrading ESXi 5.5

vsphere logoI tested vSphere 6 quite intensively when it was in beta, but I didn’t ever upgrade my lab – basically because I need a stable environment to work on and I wasn’t sure that I could maintain that with the beta.

Now 6 has been GA a while and I have a little bit of time, I have begun the lab upgrade process. You can see a bit more about my lab hardware over on my lab page.

Checking for driver compatibility

In vSphere 5.5, VMware dropped the drivers for quite a few consumer grade NICs – in 6 they’ve gone a step further and actually blocked quite a few of these using a VIB package. For more information, see this excellent article by Andreas Peetz.

To list the NIC drivers you’re using on your ESXi hosts, use the following command:

esxcli network nic list | awk ‘{print $1}’|grep [0-9]|while read a;do ethtool -i $a;done


As you can see from the results, my HP N54Ls are running 3 NICs, a Broadcom onboard and two Intel PCI NICs. Fortunately the Broadcom chip is supported and the e1000e driver I’m using is compatible with vSphere 6 and is in fact superseded by a native driver package. (more…)

PowerCLI Script to set RDM LUNs to Perennially Reserved – Fixes Slow Boot of ESXi 5.1 with MSCS RDMs

vmware logoI’ve previously posted around this topic as part of another problem but having had to figure out the process again I think it’s worth re-posting a proper script for this. VMware KB 1016106¬†is snappily titled “ESXi/ESX hosts with visibility to RDM LUNs being used by MSCS nodes with RDMs may take a long time to boot or during LUN rescan” and describes the situation where booting ESXi (5.1 in my case) takes a huge amount of time to boot¬†because it’s attempting to gain a SCSI reservation on an RDM disk used by MS Clustering Services. It also details the fix.

The process is fairly simple, but a bit labour intensive if you’re doing it manually on a large cluster.

  1. Retrieve the ScsiCanonicalName for each RDM
  2. Set the configuration for each RDM on each Host to “PerenniallyReserved”