Unable to create VMFS partition

On my home lab I tried to create a new VMFS volume on a RAID-0 disk set that was coming from another host. When creating the new VMFS volume from the vSphere client, the following  error appeared:

Call “HostDatastoreSystem.QueryVmfsDatastoreCreateOptions” for object “datastoresystem-9” on vCenter Server “VC01″ failed.


On the VMware ESXi 5 server I enabled “Local Tech Support Mode” (more information can be found here), so I was able to logging in directly on the console and used the fdisk-l command to see the partition information on the disk. I notice that the disk contains four old partitions from another system.

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I deleted the four partitions by using the following commands (displayed in bold):

fdisk /dev/disk/mpx.vmhba3:C0:T1:LO (see the above picture)

p (for printing the partition information and verify that you choose the right disk)

d and enter the partition numbers (1, 2, 3, and 4) for deleting the partition

– p to verify that all the partitions are deleted

w to write the modifications to disk


After the deletion of the old partitions I was able to create the VMFS volume on the RAID-0 disk set.


Migrate to VMware ESXi? Use the “ESX System Analyzer” tool

VMware Flings did it again. They released another cool tool called “ESX System Analyzer”. This tool helps when you want to migrate from VMware ESX to VMware ESXi. It scans the VMware environment and collects the following information:

– Hardware compatibility with ESXi. It checks if the hardware is compatible with ESXi 4 and ESXi 5.

– VMs registered on the ESX host, as well as VMs located on the host’s local disk

– Modifications to the Service Console
        – RPMs which have been added or removed
        – Files which have been added
        – Users and cronjobs which have been added

This tool also provides summary information for the whole existing environment

– Version of VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware for all VMs

– Version of Filesystem for all datastores

By having this information, administrators can determine what tasks need to be done prior to the migration. Examples include:

– Relocate VMs from local datastores to shared datastores

– Make note of what agent software has been added to the host and obtain the equivalent agentless version

– Replace cronjobs with equivalent remote scripts written with PowerCLI or vCLI

The installation and configuration of the “ESX System Analyzer” appliance is very easy. Here are some screenshots of the appliance:

image 2011-12-05 15h14_18
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Screenshots of the Output in XLS (Excel):

Overview output:


ESX server output:

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This is a very handy tool when you want to migrate from VMware ESX to ESXi. More information can be found on the VMware Flings website found here.

VMware, Microsoft and Starwind software updates

Last weeks a lots of software updates and new releases  are published. Here’s an overview of some of them:


VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1

A new update for vSphere 4.1 is released. Here are the ESX(i) and vCenter improvements:

VMware ESX(i) 4.1  Update 1 improvements:

  • Enablement of Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 can be configured to boot with Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). This boot option can protect ESXi in some cases where system binaries are corrupted or have been tampered with. TXT is currently available on Intel Xeon processor 5600 series servers. For more information, see KB 1033811.
  • Improvement in scalability — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 supports up to 160 logical processors.
  • Support for additional guest operating systems — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 provides support for RHEL 6, RHEL 5.6, SLES 11 SP1 for VMware, Ubuntu 10.10, and Solaris 10 Update 9 guest operating systems. For a complete list of guest operating systems supported in this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • Inclusion of additional drivers — ESXi 4.1 Update 1 includes the 3ware SCSI and Neterion vxge drivers. For earlier releases, these drivers are only available as separate downloads

The release notes can be found here.

VMware vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 improvements:

  • Additional Guest Operating System Customization Support: vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:
    • Windows 7 SP1 (x32 and x64)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (x32 and x64)
    • RHEL 6.0 (x32 and x64)
    • RHEL5.5 (x32 and x64)
  • Additional vCenter Server Database Support: vCenter Server now supports the following databases:
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP3
    • Oracle 11g Standard/Enterprise Release 2, or later,  (x32 and x64)
    • IBM DB2 9.7.2 Express C (x32 and x64)
    • IBM DB2 9.7.2 Enterprise (x32 and x64)
      For more information about using IBM DB2 – 9.7.2 database with vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1, see
      KB 1033201.

The release notes can be found here.

vSphere 4.1 Update 1 can be downloaded here.

VMware Data Recovery (vDR)

There is NO new version of vDR but it is now included  in the standard edition of vSphere since vSphere 4.1 Update 1. You can compare the vSphere versions here. For people who have who already bought vSphere standard and have a current subscription are able to download the vDR.

VMware ESX 3.0.3 patches

A new VMware ESX 3.0.3 patches are released . More information on these patches can be found in the following links:

The ESX 3.0.3 patches can be downloaded here.

VMware vCloud Director 1.0.1

New features are support for vSphere 4.1 Update 1, complies with Internationalization I18N Level 1 and IP Translation for Organization Networks support. The release notes can be found here.

vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 Update 1

The following enhancements  (Note: The features available depend on the version of vCenter Server installed) are available in this release:

  • Enhanced passive server management capabilities — A new deployment option allows the passive server to be managed and monitored remotely, this includes receiving file level antivirus updates. This option is only available for:
    • vCenter 4.0 U1 and its updates, 4.1 and its updates
    • Remote SQL Server 2005, 2008 onl

Please refer to install documentation for detailed requirements and install procedure specifically around DNS and changes required to Active Directory during installation.

  • Secure Client Server Communications — vCenter Server Heartbeat now provides secure client server communications with SSL Encryption using a 2048-bit key.
  • Support for View Composer — This release of VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat now provides support for View Composer v2.5

The vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 Update 1 release notes can be found here and downloaded  here.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.1.1 

VMware SRM 4.1.1 in a maintenance release. It has bugfixes and supports VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1. Before installing VMware SRM 4.1.1 you need to update the vCenter server to 4.1 Update 1.  The release notes can be found here an be downloaded here. 


System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (SCVMM)

Microsoft has published a KB with the recommend hotfixes when performing P2V conversions by using SCVMM R2.

Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7 SP1

On Technet and MSDN SP1 for Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is released. SP1 has a lot of patches and bug fixes. Two new features are memory compression (Hyper-V) and Remote FX (Remote Desktop Services).


Starwind iSCSI SAN 5.6

A new version  of the  Starwind iSCSI SAN 5.6 is released. The Starwind iSCSI SAN  software converts a Windows bases server into a fail-safe, highly available iSCSI SAN. This release has the following improvements:

  • Event Log – Improve your storage management and tracking of system state with new event viewer 
  • Event notifications – Be aware of every single event by e-mail, records to Windows Event Log, records to text files 
  • Experimental version of inline block level Deduplication plugin 
  • Management Console multilevel improvements

Starwind offers a free NFR license valid for 6 months for MCP, MVP and VCP certified people. Request the  NFR here. The installation and configuration is very simple. Within a couple of minutes you have an working iSCSI SAN. it support Microsoft Hyper-V R2 Live migration (SCP-3 persistent reservations) and VMware vSphere clustering with DRS, HA and VMotion.