Monitor VMware vSphere from FreeBSD using the Perl SDK


VMware provides a CLI and a Perl SDK that allows managing and monitoring vSphere and ESXi environment from Windows and Linux. The Perl SDK is also available in the FreeBSD ports tree. Here’s how to install and, basically, use the VMware Perl SDK on FreeBSD.

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Buffalo LinkStation Mini as an iSCSI target for VMware ESXi


I own a Buffalo LinkStation Mini that does nothing now that the Synology DS409slim owns my files. Because the LS Mini has two 500GB disks, I thought it might do a nice iSCSI target for my ESXi. The thing is: the stock firmware doesn’t offer iSCSI feature. This is how I turned my LinkStation Mini into a iSCSI target for VMware, using Debian 6.

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Restore thin provisioning on ESXi


When I wrote about moving VM on ESXi without VMotion or Storage VMotion , I forgot about one neat VMware feature: thin provisioning. Quoting VMware: “(…) Thin Provisioning, a key component of vStorage, allows over-allocation of storage capacity for increased storage utilization, enhanced application uptime and simplified storage capacity management. (…)”. This means that a virtual machine configured with a 20GB virtual disk and only using 7GB of real data will see a 20GB disk but the file will only consume 7GB on the ESX storage. If the VM uses more storage, the file will grow until it reaches 20GB. Since then, you can save the storage for other VM.

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Providing a Nexenta iSCSI target to an ESXi initiator


Here’s the deal: create a ZFS volume on the Nexenta server, share it as iSCSI and attach it using the software iSCSI initiator from ESXi 5.

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Run a virtual ESXi 5 in VMware ESXi 5


I now have a (quite) powerfull server: Intel Core i5 with 4 cores and 16GB of RAM. I want to virtualize as many things as possible. So I installed the free VMware ESXi 5 on the physical server and started populating it with virtual machines. I have a main virtual machine that has been P2Ved and run on the local storage of the ESXi. Then I have a virtual Nexenta that accesses some raw disks of the physical server to populate the storage. This is how to install and run a virtual ESXi 5.0.0 inside a physical ESXi 5.0.0 instance.

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