Configure the Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) in vSphere 5

Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)is a vendor-neutral open standard discovery protocol that is supported by multiple vendors such as Cisco, HP and Juniper for example. LLDP displays for example on what network switch and port the NIC in the ESXi hosts is connected. Prior VMware vSphere 5 only Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) was supported.

In vSphere 5 Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is supported. CDP and LLDP can be handy for example when you want to know that the correct network switch port is used when installing or troubleshooting ESXi hosts. 

LLDP is only available on the vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS), so you need an Enterprise Plus license to use LLDP!

Enable the LLDP protocol

  • Right-click the vSphere distributed switch in the inventory pane, and select Edit Settings.
  • On the Properties tab, select Advanced.
  • Select Enabled from the Status drop-down menu.
  • Select Link Layer Discovery Protocol from the Type drop-down menu.
  • Select the LLDP mode from the Operation drop-down menu.


There are three operation modes:

ESXi detects and displays information about the associated physical switch port, but information about the vSphere distributed switch is not available to the switch administrator.

ESXi makes information about the vSphere distributed switch available to the switch administrator, but does not detect and display information about the physical switch.

ESXi detects and displays information about the associated physical switch and makes information about the vSphere distributed switch available to the switch administrator.

Checking LLDP statistics

After configuring LLDP, you can check the port statistics by clicking on the ‘blue Information icon’ on the NIC in the ESXi host:




VM snapshot needs consolidation

When a snapshot didn’t commit properly, it can happen that the snapshot manager in the vCenter server shows no snapshot(s), but that there are still active delta files on the datastore. These ‘hidden’ snapshot can cause the datastore to run out of space.

To report these ‘hidden’ snapshots (prior vSphere 5), I created a script that searches all the datastores  for ‘*.delta’ files and reported them by mail.

In vSphere 5 you have a new feature that reports and make it possible to consolidate these  ‘hidden’ snapshot(s). In vSphere 5 you get  a warning ‘Virtual machine disks consolidation is needed’ when the virtual machine snapshot consolidation has failed.


The snapshot manager shows no snapshots but there are delta files present on the datastore(s).

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In the vCenter server on the Virtual Machines tab you can enable the field “Needs Consolidation” to filter all the VMs that needs consolidation.


To consolidate the snapshot, right-click the virtual machine and choose Snapshot Consolidate.


Confirm the consolidate


Check the datastore and all the delta files are consolidated



With PowerCLI you can use the following one liner to list all the VMs that needs consolidation (thanks to Luc Dekens ):

Get-VM | where {$_.ExtensionData.Runtime.consolidationNeeded} | Select Name 


vSphere 5 issues to watch out before upgrading

Here are some vSphere 5 issues. Be aware before upgrading to vSphere 5:

ESXi 4.0 Update 2 hosts may experience a purple screen after vCenter Server is upgraded to 5.0

ESXi 5.x boot delays when configured for Software iSCSI

Update 03-11-2011 VMware released a patch that solves this problem. More information can be found here.

HP BladeSystem – Emulex be2net Inbox Driver Version Does Not Support Flex-10 or Flex Fabric Adapters on VMware ESXi 5.0 in a Virtual Connect Environment and Emulex OneConnect driver not supported on vSphere 5.0 for HP hardware

Update 02-11-2011 HP has a new firmware and driver to fix this problem. More info can be found here.

Disabling VAAI Thin Provisioning Block Space Reclamation (UNMAP) in ESXi 5.0

VMware ESXi 5.0 – Unable to Add Host to vCenter After Applying a VMware License to a Host Running the HP Custom Image for VMware ESXi 5.0