Identify NIC driver and supported driver version for ESXi server

Lately I troubleshoot some NIC driver problems in VMware ESXi 5.x. During the troubleshooting I needed to Identify the NIC driver, software version used and the latest driver version supported by VMware. Here are the steps outlined.

Identify the NIC driver and software version:

  • Make a SSH connection to the ESXi host
  • Identify all the NIC’s by using the following command: esxcli network nic list

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  • In this example you can see that Intel (igb) and Broadcom (tg3) NICs are used.
  • To identify the driver version of the Broadcom NIC (vmnic0) use the following command: ethtool -i vmnic0

driver: tg3
version: 3.135b.v50.1
firmware-version: FFV7.6.14 bc 5720-v1.31
bus-info: 0000:01:00.0

  • The output list the driver used, version and firmware version. Run the “ethtool” command for all different NICs drivers to obtain the driver version

 

Identify the latest NIC driver supported by VMware:

  • We need to find the hardware ID’s of the NIC by using the following command: vmkchdev -L | grep "vmnic"

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The hardware ID contains the following parts:

VID = Vendor Id (Red part)
DID = Device Id  (Yellow part)
SVID = Sub-Vendor Id (Green part)
SSID = Sub-Device Id (Blue part)

  • Open the VMware Compatibility Guide (HCL) webpage and choose IO Devices, Link

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  • On the right you see the “Additional Criteria” Colum. Enter the VID, DID, SVID and SSID generated by the “vmkchdev” command

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  • Click the “Update and View Results” button
  • The NIC is displayed, click on the Model

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  • Expand the version of ESXi (release) used. Click on the the Download link (if exist).

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  • Download the driver and use VMware Update Manager (VUM) or use “esxcli software vib update” command to install the driver 

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What’s new in VMware Horizon 6

VMware Horizon 6 has been today announced. VMware Horizon 6 has five major enhancements:

  • Cloud Pod Architecture.
  • Remote Desktop Session Host (RDS) Hosted Apps
  • Virtual SAN
  • Application Catalog
  • vCops for View 6

Here is an overview picture of the Horizon 6 architecture:

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Cloud Pod Architecture

In version 5 Horizon View supports 10.000 desktops in a Pod.  If you need to to have more or than 10.000 desktops or needed to span a datacenter another Pod was needed.  With the Cloud Pod Architecture the following improvements has been made :

  • Enable Horizon deployments across multiple datacenters
  • New data layer replication across all Horizon Connection Servers (such as pool configurations and user entitlements).
  • Support single namespace for end users with a global URL
  • Global entitlement layer to assign and manage desktops and users

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Benefits:

  • Scale Horizon View deployments to multiple datacenter above 10.000 desktops
  • Support Active/Active and DR use case of Horizon deployments
  • Support geo-reaming users

 

Maximums of the Cloud Pod Architecture

Description Number
Number of sites (datacenters) 2
Number of Pods 4
Number of users/desktops (sessions) 20.000

 

The Horizon 6 View infrastructure servers supports Windows Server 2012 R2 as Operating System.

 

RDS Hosted Apps

Prior Horizon 6 VMware only offers a VDI desktops. With RDS Hosted Apps in Horizon 6, VMware offers access to applications and full desktops running on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Hosts with the PCoIP and Blast protocol. The RDS apps are available to the Horizon View broker.

Benefits

  • Windows 2008 and 2012 Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Hosts are supported
  • Seamless local look, feel and interaction for users
  • Works with Windows and Non-Windows devices such as Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktops, laptops and thin clients, iOS and Android tablets and Mac OSX. A client for Linux will be available soon

In the View clients the full desktops and RDSH applications looks as follows:

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Virtual SAN for Horizon View Desktops

In Horizon View 5.3.1 support for VSAN was added. It was available as separate product. Now in Horizon 6 VSAN is added for free in the Horizon 6 Advanced and Enterprise Edition!

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Application Catalog

The Application Catalog offers a unified workspace for applications. One portal to for all applications (Local ThinApps, Citrix XenApp, SAAS and Remote Apps) from different devices.

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The Application Catalog key themes are:

  • XenApp integration in the Application catalog
  • ThinApp package delivery on any Windows desktop
  • Office 365 and non-SAML web apps
  • Improved resource management & categorization
  • Seamless integration with Horizon View

The application catalog  has multi-forest Active Directory support and can be easily customized by changing logos, login prompt, application launchers, backgrounds etc.

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vCops for View 6

vCenter Operations Manager for View 6 has the following new improvements:

  • Horizon 6 support
  • 25K concurrent users per instance
  • Single integrated console for all vCOPs support environments (desktop, server etc)
  • Application & In Guest Metrics. Drill down to the process level for key resource consumption per user and application

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Licenses

Horizon 6 has three new editions available:

  • Horizon View Standard Edition: Delivers simple, high-performance VDI-based virtual desktops with a great user experience
  • Horizon Advanced Edition: Offers the lowest cost solution for virtual desktop and application management, optimized storage with VMware Virtual SAN, image management and a unified workspace that supports hosted desktops and applications.
  • Horizon Enterprise Edition: Delivers a cloud-ready solution for virtual desktops and applications with advanced cloud automation and management capabilities for hybrid cloud flexibility.

More information can be found on the pricing page, link .

The Horizon 6 enhancements are a big step for the End-User Computing (EUC) market!

More information:

  • VMware Horizon 6 Technical Overview link
  • Horizon View 6.0 Integration with VMware Virtual SAN link
  • VMware Horizon FAQ link

vExpert for the fourth time!

The vExpert 2014  are announced. This year 754 people (including me) are awarded with the vExpert 2014 title. 

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Each of these vExperts have demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others.

This is the fourth time I got the vExpert award. I would like to thank John Troyer, Corey Romero and the rest of the VMware Social & Community Team for making this possible.

Congratulations to all the other 2014 vExperts. The official 2014 vExpert list can be found here, link.

Install a wildcard certificate on a VMware Horizon View Security Server

On a View Security Server I needed to change the default self signed certificate to a signed wildcard certificate. The customer had a wildcard certificate that didn’t include the private key. A certificate that include the private key is a requirement for a VMware View Security server. 

If you have the certificate (*.cer) and private key (*.key), you must convert it to a PCKS#12 (PFX) format before you import the certificate.  To create a certificate that include the private key I used the following steps:

  • Download and install OpenSSL and Visual C++ 2008 Redistributables. Link
  • The install directory of OpenSSL is: C:\OpenSSL-Win64\ 
  • Place the certificate (*.cer) and private key (*.key) file in the C:\OpenSSL-Win64\bin directory directory
  • Open a command prompt and set the environment variable: Set OPENSSL_CONF=c:\OpenSLL-Win64\bin\openssl.cfg
  • Generate a PCKS#12 (PFX) keystore file from the private key and certificate file. Syntax example:  OpenSSL.exe pkcs12 –export -out newcertificatename.p12 –inkey privatekey.key –in certificate.cer

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  • Enter the password for the certificate

The next step is to Import the certificate on the security server:

  • Open the MMC on the Security Server and add the Certifcates snap-in
  • In the Windows local computer store import the generated P12 certificate
  • Type the password for the private key
  • Make sure the certificate is exportable
  • Change the friendly name to “vdm” and make sure that the friendly name of the self signed certificate is changed to something else
  • Restart the View Connection Security service

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The new wildcard certificate has a private key and is trusted in the VMware View client and on the View Administrator page.

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More information about certificates can be found in the Obtaining SSL Certificates for VMware Horizon View Servers. Link

VMware VSAN, vSphere 5.5 Update 1, VMware Horizon View 5.3.1 and PowerCLI 5.5 R2 released

This week the following new VMware update are released:

  • VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 1. This update has support for Virtual SAN (VSAN) 5.5. VMware Virtual SAN is a software-defined storage technology that is available with vSphere 5.5 Update 1 (or later). A minimum of three nodes is needed. To check what hardware is supported, see the VSAN VMware Compatibility Guide for VSAN. Link. VSAN licensing is as follows:

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vSphere 5.5 Update 1 supports vCenter on Windows Server 2012 R2. The release notes can be found here. Link

  • VMware Horizon View Client for Windows 8,1 Store. The new version 2.3 has supports the PCoIP protocol. Link
  • Horizon View 5.3.1 support for Virtual SAN (VSAN). There are no other new features in Horizon View 5.3.1 update besides VSAN.  VSAN Desktop is licensing is per user ($50 per user). More information:
  1. Release Notes. Link 
  2. VDI Performance benchmarking on VMware VSAN 5.5. Link
  3. Horizon View 5.3.1 on VMware Virtual SAN – Quick Start Guide (2073795). Link
  • VMware vSphere PowerCLI 5.5 R2. This new release includes support for Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and expands current capabilities. More information link.