vCenter server upgrade

Posted: 29th augustus 2017 by Bert in VMWare
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor vCenter server upgrade

Recently i’ve migrated vcenter server 5.5.0U3 on windows to VCSA 6.5 M1.

During the upgrade i got the following message:

“vCenter CA certificate not verified. Stopping”

Then the installation stops.

After reading several things about this subject, and didn’t get any satisfactional answer,  I’ve started to experiment.

I’v pulled out my vmware workstation.

installed a domain controller with the info from the original site.

Then i’ve installed another server added this to the domain and installed vcenter 5.5.0 U3

i’ve started the migration. and no errors.

Next i’ve pulled all certificates from the c:\programdata\vmware folders and saved them to a usb stick.

with the usbstick i hand went back to the customer and placed then in the folders (before that i’ve made a copy of the certs.) as they where in on the original location.

Started the migration again. and be hold the migration is nolonger getting the message again and continues.

after the migration the VCSA works as it suppost to do without any errors

aanpassing diensten

Posted: 27th september 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor aanpassing diensten

vanaf 1 September 2015

Nieuwe diensten af te nemen voor de klanten:

– Bouwen en onderhouden van websites.
– Bouwen en onderhouden van webwinkels.
– Verbeteren zichtbaarheid van uw website.
– Hosten van Uw website en / of webwinkel.
– Monitoring van Uw website / Webwinkel / lokale  netwerk.

Meer weten?
Vraag het ons via

New Job

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor New Job


Starting today i got a new job @ Centric in Gouda.

New Job

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor New Job


Starting today i start working @ Detron in Veenendaal.

New job

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor New job


Starting today i start working for ORTEC in Zoetermeer.


Stichting Paperweight

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Stichting Paperweight


Dit weekend weer een tevreden klant.

de laatste hand gelegd aan de inrichting van de mail omgeving van

Stichting Paperweight

Maandag even langs om de laatste details te bespreken.

Nieuwe diensten vanaf 1 / 4/ 2013

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Nieuwe diensten vanaf 1 / 4/ 2013

vanaf maandag 1 april 2013

Nieuwe diensten af te nemen voor de klanten:

– Bouwen en onderhouden van webwinkels.
– Verbeteren zichtbaarheid van uw website.
– Hosten van Uw website en / of webwinkel.

Meer weten?
Vraag het ons via


Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Surprise:

On the 1st of Oct 2012 i started a new Company with 2 other entrepreneurs

The company is named : Qlaver (

see more info on the website of Qlaver.

ESX(i) as a VM – vESX

Posted: 1st mei 2015 by Bert in Uncategorized
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor ESX(i) as a VM – vESX

Either ESX or ESXi installable can be installed within a VM on ESXi, but there are a couple of points to note:

  • Some tweaks to the vmx files are needed to be able to start VMs within vESX
  • To demonstrate clustering & HA, each VM will need 4GB RAM and 4 vNICs
  • Two vSwitches on the host are needed specifically for the lab, but these don’t need any pNICs as connectivity will be through the virtual router – but they must be configured to accept promiscuous mode
  • Each vESX needs some disk space for a local datastore

Spreading things over different physical disks will improve disk intensive tasks line cloning VMs, which can get tiresome thrashing a single drive.

The actual installation is covered below – first we need the virtual infrastructure running.


OpenFiler provides iSCSI storage that can be accessed by both vESX’s (for vMotion and HA) and pESX. VM settings are,

  • OS type Other Linux (64-bit)
  • 1 vCPU, 512MB
  • 2 E1000 vNICs
  • Whatever storage you want to give it. I went for 2x 250GB thin provisioned volumes on different physical disks (to speed up cloning operations).

TechHead has an excellent article on getting OpenFiler up and running already as an iSCSI target. The NICs will need an IP address from each subnet accordingly – and in my lab.

Domain Controller

A Windows DC isn’t really needed, but I’ve added one as the course covers the Windows AD integration to provide access rights (roles). vCentreServer also can’t be installed on a domain controller, so I needed two Windows Server VMs. Minimum spec is 1vCPU, 512MB RAM and 1 vNIC (on the vSphereLab LAN). I tend to use 16GB thin provisioned volumes for Server 2003 system volumes.

The DC can be used to provide DHCP and DNS services on the Lab LAN – my subnet configs are given above. Once DNS is running for the LAB domain ( in my case), a forwarder can be added to DNS on the non-Lab LAN for the domain via (the lab DC), and similarly the other way around, so everything can find and talk to everything else.

No DHCP is required on the iSCSI LAN as there will only be a few devices on it anyway.

A lot of effort can be spared by disabling the Windows Firewall and Internet Explorer’s Enhanced Security Configuration (hidden in add/remove programs) on every Windows VM.

vCentre Server

vmware don’t seem to offer a ‘student’ license so getting vSphere means registering for the 60-day evaluation license and grabbing what you can. Annoyingly certain parts of the software covered in the course aren’t available either, like the new Data Recovery Appliance.

The minimum spec for the Windows 2003 Server VM for vCentreServer is 1vCPU, 2GB RAM and 1 vNIC (on the vSphereLab LAN). The installation will include SQL Server Express, hence the additional RAM requirement.

Installation of vCentreServer itself is straightforward and wizard driven.  The Guided Consolidation, Update Manager and Converter should also be installed.

VMware vSphere ESX Test Lab

Installing ESX in a VM (vESX)

This is straightforward – create the VM, make the setting adjustments, connect the ISO to the DVD drive and follow the instructions. I installed ESXi for simplicity and because it will run with 1 vCPU. Once installed add the IP address, DNS server (the Lab DC), and default gateway – that’s it.

VM settings are,

  • OS type: Other 64-bit
  • 1 vCPU (can use 2 if you prefer, but it can kill the performance of other VMs)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4 E1000 vNICs (two on iSCSI vSwitch and two on Lab vSwitch)
  • At least 5GB HDD – plus whatever you want for a local datastore within each vESX

VMware vSphere ESX Test Lab

A few settings need to be adjusted,

  • Expose the NX/XD flag
  • In Configuration Parameters (see image), add a row with name: monitor_control.restrict_backdoor and value: true
  • Set CPU/MMU Virtualisation to Hardware (CPU & MMU)

VMware vSphere ESX Test Lab

In case you were wondering, Jim Mattson has posted an excellent description of the restrict_backdoor function on the vmware community forums.  Without this line, VMs within vESX (nested VMs) can’t be started.

If configuring a 2 vCPU vESX, add a row so that the processor is detected a 1x dual core with name: cpuid.coresPerSocket and value: 2.

Connecting the vESX to OpenFiler

TechHead has this covered here. If your ESX VM is not finding the iSCSI targets, check:

  • that both the OpenFiler and vmkernel IP addresses on the iSCSI LAN can be pinged
  • that promiscuous mode is enabled on the iSCSI and Lab vSwitches within pESXi
  • that the OpenFiler has an ‘allow’ Network Access Rule for the iSCSI subnet.

Controlling the Workloads

Performance of nested VMs is fine for test purposes, but naturally the box overall will start to struggle when pushed too far. My machine typically has 10 to 13 VMs running (three or four being nested) and the physical CPU load when all are idle is around 1.3GHz with 7GB RAM used. The biggest limitation is the RAM capacity – once into the last gigabyte, ESX will activate the balloon driver and performance dives, mainly due to the resulting disk contention.

Fortunately even the free ESXi provides resource pools which can help protect any more important VMs running on the pESXi from being bogged down by the weight of the test environment. Also, for important VMs a RAM reservation of 35% of the allocated RAM will avoid vswapping, which absolutely destroys performance (at least when using SATA disks).

In Summary

Almost everything covered in the official ICM course can be replicated at home with one quad-core ML115G5, the only real exceptions being Fault Tolerance (which starts to work but continually re-starts the guests) and the components that vmware won’t let you get without paying for them, like Data Recovery.

Performance of nested VMs is surprisingly good for lab purposes, each layer of ESX seemingly providing about 10% overhead in raw CPU performance terms, and running virtualised shared storage with OpenFiler enables a virtual high-availability (HA) cluster to be built.

In order to test HA with a reasonable number of slots, each vESX needs around 4GB of RAM. The weight of the overall test environment can be controlled in pESXi with a resource pool, but the 8GB capacity of the ML115G5 can be limiting. This does however result in some good heavy-stress performance analysis work being possible, which couldn’t be demonstrated in the real course lab because the machines couldn’t be loaded enough.


  • Crucial currently have 2GB ECC modules for the ML115G5 at about £24 each
  • To experiment with FT, set Binary Translation mode by adding a row to the Configuration Parameters of the actual VM you want to test (i.e. a Windows VM running in a vESX) with name: replay.allowBTOnly and value: true
  • The VCP410 exam is available now, but delegates must have been on an accredited ICM course to be eligible to gain VCP status.
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Using VMware vCenter Converter 4 to create a Virtual Center Template

I have a set of standard template Virtual Machines under VMware Workstation 6.5 that I use to spin up VMs, Workstation doesn’t have a native template feature but I get a VM to a point where I’m happy with the build, VM tools installed, Windows updates done etc. and then I sysprep it and shut it down.

At this point I mark it read-only and when I want to create a new Windows virtual machine I just right-click it and create a linked-clone.

This is handy for me as each VM only consumes small amounts of space as they are all just differential snapshots.

however, if I want to change the base template (for example to update from SP1 to SP2) this does present an issue as it has lots of children which depend on it so I can’t change the parent VM, in this instance I create a full clone of the base VM and update it and create further linked clones from it (essentially creating a “fork”).


I also have an ESX server farm in my lab and I like to keep my standard images consistent between workstation and ESX/VC to to save me creating and patching multiple templates.

I recently created the following templates and wanted to get a consistent copy on both my lab ESX system and my laptop VM Workstation system, I noted VMware Convertor 4.0 had been released so thought it would be an ideal time to use it to get a fresh set of images with all the current Windows updates applied.

  • Windows Server 2008 x64 as a virtual centre template on my ESX farm
  • Windows Server 2003 Ent, x86, SP2 as a read-only VM on VMware Workstation 6.5.

1st task is to import the Windows Server 2003 image from Workstation to ESX/VC using VM Converter 4.0;

Note the source machine options.


VM Workstation VM Information


Select appropriate target – in this instance it was an ESX farm, controlled by Virtual Center so I chose VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine and put the hostname and credentials for my Virtual Center host, you can of course go direct to each ESX host if you don’t have VC.


This is a new feature, you get shown all the VM’s and can choose the appropriate storage group to on each host because it queries VC


It checks it out against the host and VC image

Some better laid out options for the conversion (reminds me of the PlateSpin UI)


Options to change CPU count and SCSI controller


Options to customize service start-up options post-conversion, for example if you have an application that you don’t want to start-up until you’ve checked the target VM is ok (not applicable in this case as it’s a vanilla template, but handy to know).


These are the new sync options – and a warning that I don’t have sysprep pre-loaded in this VM – not required at this stage as the VM already has sysprep applied within (will change this once its on the target as i can apply a customization template)


Note – I chose to install VM tools, as the ESX version is likely to be different from my Workstation version that is included in the image.


Usual summary screen… much nicer UI than previous versions


Running the conversion process, this is over a GbE network connection.


Note new job copy option.. very handy in previous versions you had to do it from scratch each time.


All done in about 20mins, although it did sit at 95% 1 minute remaining for about 10mins :)


And it shows up in Virtual Center as a normal VM

Worth remembering to use the ‘notes’ field in both workstation and ESX, Converter brings them across so you’ll always know this VM’s history


Now, running under ESX


at 1st logon its detecting newly installed hardware drivers and running deploypkg.exe, which I assume converter injected to do post-conversion tasks

The auto-install of VMtools threw up some errors over unsigned drivers, so had to manually ok the dialog boxes and then it rebooted itself, wonder if I hadn’t logged on manually it may have done all this in the background automatically.

Once the VM was across I got a service failure on boot up, after I did some digging, it turns out it is something related to VMware tools the vmhgfs service failed to start due to the following error: Cannot create a file when that file already exists – I guess this is a left over from the Workstation version of VM Tools as a bit of digging revealed that this driver is related to host/guest shared networking which isn’t in ESX. – in this instance I removed the registry key relating to the driver and all was good (do this at your own risk!)


I also had a failed device in device manager, I right clicked on the VMware Replay Debugging Helper and chose uninstall and all was well, maybe I could have uninstalled/reinstalled VM Tools instead.



A reboot and all was running ok, I then shutdown the newly cleaned up VM and converted it to a Virtual Center template and was able to apply my normal customization templates (see this post for more info on that).

Next part of this article will be to convert the Windows 2008 x64 template I have in ESX into a VMware Workstation image and all my templates will be consistent.