Add Fusion IO driver to VMware Auto Deploy

A customer of mine, who was already running a vSphere environment on Cisco UCS blades, asked to expand his environment with a number of ESXi hosts that could run a VMware View environment. To be able to run as much View desktops on each host as possible, we offered them Cisco UCS Blades equipped with a Fusion IO card, the UCS 785GB MLC Fusion-io ioDrive2 to be exact.Fusion IO iodrive2

For this customer I had already deployed a vSphere environment a year ago, fully based on VMware Auto Deploy and it now was time to try and add a driver to this Auto Deploy environment, which I had never done before. It wasn’t an easy road, but I wrote down all the steps and hope it helps you should you ever have to do this too. [Read more…]

VMware vSphere 5.1 iPXE problems with AutoDeploy

Short story:
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.

[Read more…]

AutoDeploy Failed to convert ItemList

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…]

Updating your ESXi host using VMware vSphere 5 Auto deploy

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…]

vSphere 5 Auto Deploy PXE booting through Cisco ASA firewall

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.

Rob Ellison, Managed Hosting Technical Architect
Twitter: @robellison
Google Plus: Rob Ellison [Read more…]