Can I replace the new vCenter 5.1 iPXE boot with good old vCenter 5.0 PXE? Yes you can !!!! I called on twitter for help for someone to send me the contents of their AutopDeploy 5.0 FTPRoot directory and I promptly received a response from Roman ( @medea61 ). After placing the AutoDeploy 5.0 contents in the FTPRoot directory and editing the TRAMP file to reflect the IP address of the AutoDeploy server, all hosts booted without issues. I’m still not sure why iPXE fails on some hosts, but now at least there is a workaround.
When working with VMware vSphere AutoDeploy and creating or editing rules I sometimes get the following error when running a Get-DeployRule: “Failed to convert ItemList to VI Object: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object” (See screenshot).
Often I also have one or more rules not working correctly then. Turns out that an unsupported character had been using when creating the rule. This sometimes happens when using your comma’s or spaces incorrectly. Then the command seems to work but the properties end up in the incorrect fields. [Read more...]
In my previous post on VMware vSphere5 Auto deploy I explained how to setup an auto deploy environment. This is great for initial setup and to deploy your hosts, but what when an update is released by VMware? The easiest thing is to just delete the deploy rules and recreate them which is ok for a small environment but not in a large environment. In this post I will show you how to adjust your existing rules. [Read more...]
In response to my blog post on “vSphere 5 – How to run ESXi stateless with vSphere Auto Deploy“, I received a comment from Rob Ellison, who ran into issues when PXE booting through a Cisco ASA firewall. In a second comment he explained how he solved the issue. Turned out there was an issue with the frame size of the gPXE client. Below is his solution to this issue. Should you have any questions on this specific issue, feel free to contact Rob. Thank you Rob for this solution.
A great new feature of vSphere 5 is the possibility to run ESXi stateless. Long, long time ago when ESX 3.0 was hip, we would all install ESX on the local harddisk (or SAN disk). With ESX 3.5, the first ESXi version was released but only few were using it. With 4.x ESXi really got a large install base and more and more people were moving to installing ESXi on USB or SD card. Now with vSphere 5 and ESXi as the only hypervisor (no more ESX), we don’t need to install ESXi at all.
When running ESXi stateless, the host will PXE boot and load an ESXi image into memory. There is no more need to have local disks, SD card or USB on your host. Another advantage is that you can now switch the ESXi version the host is running by just rebooting or refresh the host configuration with a reboot. Adding new ESXi hosts to your cluster has become a task of just a few minutes. Let’s have a look at how to configure auto deploy. This blog post will take you through the steps of setting up the required infrastructure and prepare an image and deploy it to a host. [Read more...]