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Set up TPM support in vCenter on Dell R7515

Quick HowTo/reminder to myself on how to activate TPM on ESXi hosts connected to vCenter. The smoothest way is to configure the servers before they are connected to vCenter: Otherwise they must be removed from the inventory and re-added. The BIOS security settings must be correctly configured: Select System Security. TPM Security must be turned […]

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Computing HowTo VMware

Fixing vSAN driver compatibility on Dell R7515

A while back, we purchased some vSAN Ready nodes for a new cluster. The machines came with ESXi installed in an all-NVMe configuration, but when setting up vSAN, Skyline Health kept complaining that the driver used for the write-intensive cache drives wasn’t certified for this purpose. I opened support cases with both VMware and Dell […]

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Computing VMware

Troubleshooting vSphere update woes

It’s 2020 and I still occasionally stumble on products that can’t handle international characters. I’ve been running my update rounds on our vSphere environment, but one host simply refused to perform is update compliance check. To troubleshoot, I enabled the ssh service and remoted in to the host, looking for errors in /var/log/vua.log. Sure enough, […]

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Creating a working Ubuntu 20.04 VMware Image

A while back I was a bit frustrated at Ubuntu for their defaulting to Cloud-Init in the server edition of Ubuntu 18.04. Well I’m right there again, but now with Ubuntu 20.04. First of all, Cloud-Init is back, and it’s not more useful to me now than it was the last time. My process is […]

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Deploying VMware virtual machines using Ansible

I’ve been experimenting with deploying entire environments using Ansible. As usual I had to pass a couple of small thresholds and stumble into a couple of pitfalls before I was comfortable with solution, and so I’m documenting the process here. I’m thinking of creating a separate post describing my general Ansible workflow in more detail […]

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Restoring a really old domain controller from backups

I had an interesting experience this week, where I was faced with the need to restore an entire Active Directory environment from backups that were more than a year old. The company whose servers I was restoring had been using an older version of Veeam Backup and Recovery, which always simplifies matters a lot: The […]

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Monitoring mounted Windows volumes using Zabbix

Sometimes it’s nice to mount a separate disk volume inside a directory structure. For a concrete example: At work we have a legacy system that writes copious amounts of data to subfolders of a network share. While vSphere allows for pretty large vdisks, after you pass 8 TB or so, they become cumbersome to manage. […]

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vSAN Benchmark Analysis

As part of this year’s server upgrades, we put together a new vSAN cluster at work. The machines are Lenovo SR650 servers with dual Xeon Gold 6132 14 Core CPUs, and 768 GB of RAM. Each server is equipped with two disk groups consisting of one 800 GB write intensive SSD and three 3.84 TB […]

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Configuring Lenovo SR650 nodes for running vSphere

As usual nowadays, Lenovo SR650 servers come with energy saving presets that may seem ”green”, but which kill virtualization performance. The regular way to get them running the way they should is to enter the UEFI setup at boot, go to UEFI Settings -> System Settings -> Operating Modes and choose ”Maximum Performance”. Unfortunately, on […]