Category: VMware/ESXi

VMware ESXi and vCenter and Virtualization

Installation of Vmware-Exsi 5.0 Server

Installation of Vmware-Exsi 5.0 Server


To get started with your installation of ESXi5, insert the ESXi5 disc into your server and start it up.

In Figure 1 below, you’ll see the first screen that greets you when you start your server. From this menu, choose the first option to start the ESXi 5 installer.

Figure 1: ESXi 5 boot menu

Once you choose the installation option, the installer provides you with a window that details the status of each file that needs to be loaded. Figure 2 shows you this screen. After that, you’re greeted with a familiar screen that shows you some information about your server, including the processor type and system RAM. The target machine for my sample installation is a virtual machine running on my laptop, hence the relatively minimal hardware configuration. You can see this screen in Figure 3.

Figure 2:Installer load status

Figure 3:Yet another boot screen!

With the preliminaries out of the way, the ESXi 5 installer truly kicks off with a welcome screen containing information regarding VMware’s Compatibility Guide. To continue with the installation process, press Enter.

Figure 4: Kick off the ESXi installation.

Of course, no installation would be complete without having to accept an end user license agreement. To accept the agreement as a part of the installer, press F11. If you don’t accept the agreement, press Escape to abort the installation. You can see this screen in Figure 5.

Figure 5: ESXi 5 end user license agreement

A location to which to install ESXi 5 is the first technical decision you have to make. In Figure 6 below, you can see that I have a single 40 GB volume from which to choose as an install location on my machine.


Figure 6: Choose an installation location for ESXi 5

Next up, choose your keyboard layout as US Default.

The root password on your ESXi 5 system is the key to your virtual kingdom, so choose with care. Make sure you provide a strong password. As you can see in figure 7, you have to provide the password twice to make sure you don’t include any typos.

Figure 7: Provide a password for the root user account

The ESXi installer now scans your system to get additional information.

Once that’s complete, you’re asked to confirm the installation by pressing the F11 button .

 Figure 8Confirm the installation

Once you initiate the installation, your selected disk will be repartitioned. Throughout the process, the installer provides you with an installation status like the one shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9Installation status

When the installation process has finished, you’ll get a message indicating such as

Figure 10:Installation is complete

The last screen you’ll see is a yellow and gray one like the one shown below. Take note of the IP address on the screen.

Figure 11: ESXi 5 server display


Thank You,

Arun Bagal.

Selecting virtual SCSI Controllers for Disks (VMware VM)

Selecting virtual SCSI Controllers for Disks (VMware VM)

To access virtual disks, a virtual machine uses virtual SCSI controllers. Each virtual disk that a virtual machine can access through one of the virtual SCSI controllers resides in the VMFS datastore, NFS-based datastore, or on a raw disk. The choice of SCSI controller does not affect whether your virtual disk is an IDE or SCSI disk.

Following virtual SCSI controllers commonly used…

A) BusLogic
– This was one of the first emulated vSCSI controllers available in the VMware platform.
– No updates and considered as legacy or for backward compatibility…

B) LSI Logic Parallel
– This was the other emulated vSCSI controller available originally in the VMware platform.
– Most operating systems had a driver that supported a queue depth of 32 and it became a very common choice, if not the default
– Default for Windows 2003/Vista and Linux

C) LSI Logic SAS
– This is an evolution of the parallel driver to support a new future facing standard.
– It began to grown popularity when Microsoft required its use for MCSC within Windows 2008 ore newer.
– Default for Windows 2008 or newer
– Linux guests SCSI disk hotplug works better with LSI Logic SAS
– Personally I use this
D) VMware Paravirtual (aka PVSCSI)
– This vSCSI controller is virtualization aware and was been designed to support very high throughput with minimal processing cost and is therefore the most efficient driver.
– In the past, there were issues if it was used with virtual machines that didn’t do a lot of IOPS, but that was resolved in vSphere 4.1.

* PVSCSI and LSI Logic Parallel/SAS are essentially the same when it comes to overall performance capability.
* Total of 4 vSCSI adapters are supported per virtual machine.  To provide the best performance, one should also distribute virtual disk across as many vSCSI adapters as possible
* Why not IDE? – IDE adapter completes one command at a time while SCSI can queue commands. So SCSI adapter is better optimized for parallel performance. Also Maximum of 4 IDE Devices per VM (includes CDROM) but SCSI allows 60 devices.

Thank You,

Choosing a NIC (Network Adapter) for VM in Vmware ESXi environment

Choosing a NIC (Network Adapter) for VM in Vmware ESXi environment


NIC types available for VM  are depends on VM Hardware version and Guest OS (Operating System). When you configure a virtual machine, you can add network adapters (NICs) and specify the adapter type…

The following NIC types widely used:

E1000 –
Emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC, with drivers available in most newer guest operating systems, including Windows XP and later and Linux versions 2.4.19 and later.

E1000e – This feature emulates a newer model of Intel Gigabit NIC (number 82574) in the virtual hardware. This is known as the “e1000e” vNIC. e1000e is available only on hardware version 8 (and newer) virtual machines in vSphere.

VMXNET2 (Enhanced)

Optimized for performance in a virtual machine and has no physical counterpart. Because operating system vendors do not provide built-in drivers for this card, you must install VMware Tools to have a driver for the VMXNET network adapter available.
Based on the VMXNET adapter but provides high-performance features commonly used on modern networks, such as jumbo frames and hardware offloads. VMXNET 2 (Enhanced) is available only for some guest operating systems on ESX/ESXi 3.5 and later.


Next generation of a paravirtualized NIC designed for performance. VMXNET 3 offers all the features available in VMXNET 2 and adds several new features, such as multiqueue support (also known as Receive Side Scaling in Windows), IPv6 offloads, and MSI/MSI-X interrupt delivery. VMXNET 3 is not related to VMXNET or VMXNET 2.
– VMXNET 3 is supported only for virtual machines version 7 and later.
– Support 10Gpbs ie 10Gig Network
– Jumbo frame supported

I would suggest to use  “VMXNET3”

Thank you,

VMware Virtual Machine(VM) Configuration File types

VMware Virtual Machine(VM) Configuration File types


When you create VM (Virtual Machine) in VMWare based Virtualization platform. VMware creates  few VM configuration files in  folder with VM name in Datastore (Local Storage or NFS/SAN). Please find the table which describes files types in vmware…


File Usage File Description File Format
.vmx .vmname.vmx Virtual machine configuration file. ASCII
.vmxf vmname.vmxf Additional virtual machine configuration files, available, for example, with teamed virtual machines. ASCII
.vmdk vmname.vmdk Virtual disk file. ASCII
.flat.vmdk vmname.flat.vmdk Preallocated virtual disk in binary format. Binary
.vswp vmname.vswp Swap file.
.nvram vmname.nvram or nvram Non-volatile RAM. Stores virtual machine BIOS information.
.vmss vmname.vmss Virtual machine suspend file.
.log vmware.log Virtual machine log file. ASCII
#.log vmware-#.log Old virtual machine log files. # is a number starting with 1. ASCII


Thank you,
Arun Bagul

VMware ESXi Commands

VMware ESXi Commands


Sometime we need to login to Esxi server to check hardware/networking and performance/stats. Sharing few important ESXi commands..

a)  ESXi NIC List

~ # esxcfg-nics  --list
Name    PCI           Driver      Link Speed    Duplex MAC Address       MTU    Description
vmnic0  0000:01:00.00 tg3   Up   1000Mbps  Full  XX:10:55:DD:CC:XX 1500   Broadcom BCM5720 Gigabit Ethernet
vmnic1  0000:01:00.01 tg3   Up   1000Mbps  Full  XX:10:55:67:CC:XX 1500   Broadcom BCM5720 Gigabit Ethernet
vmnic2  0000:02:00.00 tg3   Up   1000Mbps  Full  XX:10:55:65:CC:YY 1500   Broadcom BCM5720 Gigabit Ethernet
vmnic3  0000:02:00.01 tg3   Up   1000Mbps  Full  XX:10:55:23:CC:00 1500   Broadcom BCM5720 Gigabit Ethernet
~ #
~ # esxcli network ip interface  list
Name: vmk0
MAC Address: 24:b6:fd:XX:XX:YY
Enabled: true
Portset: vSwitch0
Portgroup: Management Network
VDS Name: N/A
VDS Port: N/A
VDS Connection: -1
MTU: 1500
TSO MSS: 65535
Port ID: 33554438

b)  ESXi Storage/iSCSI stats

~# esxcli storage san iscsi stats get
Adapter: vmhba34
Total Number of Sessions: 20
Total Number of Connections: 20
IO Data Sent: 2647449088
IO Data Received: 107921345640
Command PDUs: 15509582
Read Command PDUs: 12353055
Write Command PDUs: 3156497
Bidirectional Command PDUs: 0
No-data Command PDUs: 30
Response PDUs: 15509582
R2T PDUs: 0
Data-in PDUs: 0
Data-out PDUs: 0
Task Mgmt Request PDUs: 0
Task Mgmt Response PDUs: 0
Login Request PDUs: 20
Login Response PDUs: 20
Text Request PDUs: 0
Text Response PDUs: 0
Logout Request PDUs: 0
Logout Response PDUs: 0
NOP-Out PDUs: 1767885
NOP-In PDUs: 1767885
Async Event PDUs: 0
Reject PDUs: 0
Digest Errors: 0
Timeouts: 0
No Tx Buf Count: 0
No Rx Data Count: 232170
~ #


c)  ESXi  ping-

Check connectivity to storage, jumbo frame etc

~ # vmkping  -c 5 -s 8972
PING ( 8972 data bytes
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=2.104 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.693 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.541 ms

d) VMKernel  VMNIC and Check connectivity with VMKernel Port

~ # esxcfg-vmknic  --list
Interface  Port Group/DVPort   IP Family IP Address     Netmask       Broadcast       MAC Address     MTU   TSO MSS Enabled Type
vmk0       Management Network  IPv4  XX:10:55:23:CC:00 1500  65535  true  STATIC
vmk1       iSCSI Kernel 1      IPv4  XX:10:XX:23:CC:YY 1500  65535  true  STATIC
vmk2       iSCSI Kernel 2      IPv4  00:50:56:XX:65:ZZ 1500  65535  true  STATIC     

~ # vmkping  -c 5 -s 8972 -I vmk1
PING ( 8972 data bytes
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.747 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.481 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.523 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.615 ms
8980 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.504 ms

--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 0.481/0.574/0.747 ms
~ #

e) vSwitch list

~ # esxcfg-vswitch --list
Switch Name      Num Ports   Used Ports  Configured Ports  MTU     Uplinks
vSwitch0         128         47          128               1500    vmnic0,vmnic1
PortGroup Name        VLAN ID  Used Ports  Uplinks
NFS                   188      0           vmnic0,vmnic1
DMZ 192.168.X.0/24    1103     13          vmnic0,vmnic1
DMZ 192.168.Y.0/22    1102     22          vmnic0,vmnic1
DMZ 192.168.X.0/24    1101     8           vmnic0,vmnic1
Management Network    1102     1           vmnic0,vmnic1

Switch Name      Num Ports   Used Ports  Configured Ports  MTU     Uplinks
vSwitch1         128         3           128               1500    vmnic2
PortGroup Name        VLAN ID  Used Ports  Uplinks
iSCSI Kernel 1        0        1           vmnic2

Switch Name      Num Ports   Used Ports  Configured Ports  MTU     Uplinks
vSwitch2         128         3           128               1500    vmnic3
PortGroup Name        VLAN ID  Used Ports  Uplinks
iSCSI Kernel 2        0        1           vmnic3
~ #

Thank You,

Log rotation in VMWare ESXi

Log rotation in VMWare ESXi


Last month, while working on ESXi5.1 disconnect issue. we analyzed esxi logs for past 3/4 months. Just sharing information related to ESXi log rotation policy..

/var/log # esxcli system syslog config get
Default Rotation Size: 1024
Default Rotations: 8
Log Output: /scratch/log
Log To Unique Subdirectory: false
Remote Host: <none>
/var/log # cd /scratch/log
/vmfs/volumes/507a011b-acd45a80-9aed-e0db5501b632/log #


Thank you,
Arun Bagul