So you’re still using ESX 3.5 and need to patch it manually? Bummer, I know, I’m in that boat right now, or was. I ran “esxupdate -a query” to find out the latest patch and saw, “ESX Server 3.5.0 Update 4”. Then went to VMware’s downloads site to download Update 5a, and when it prompted me to download all dependencies, I did.
What did that give me? Nineteen (19) bundles/depots/zip files, one of which was ‘ESX350-Update05a.zip’
Lets face it, repetition sucks. When provisioning ESX hosts, using such things as the EDA make life easier, but it only does so much for ESXi.
The install for ESXi is simple and straight forward, but when done, you have to go and set everything else (IP, hostname, DNS, local users, etc…). Doing this for 20 hosts could be a PITA (Pain In The A..), so I set out on writing a script that does all of this for you.
All you have to do is set the IP & root password, then verify you can ping the host by it’s hostname (set host/A record in DNS). Once that’s verified, here’s what the script does for you:
Creates an Admins group and assigns it to the Administrator role
Creates local users, sets their default password, and adds them to the Admins group
Sets primary & secondary NTP & DNS servers
Sets DNS search suffix
Combines the provided hostname with DNS search suffix to populate the hostname FQDN
Sets EnableNaviReg to 0, disabled (requested by my storage team)
Disables iSCSI (disabled by default, but enabled in my sd image I created from previous post, thus the need to disable)
Disabled Tech Support Mode, aka ‘unsupported’ console
This is a slightly more advanced script, and it’s not fully polished, but works.
When building a new cluster, your storage team (or you) may need to add several hosts into the shared storage zone. It’s a pain to go to each host, configuration, storage adapters, then copy out the WWN.
With this script, you can supply a vCenter server and Cluster/Folder/Datacenter (any logical container) and it will list all the WWNs for Fibre Channel devices. But what if you don’t have vCenter stood up yet? No problem, you can also supply a list of ESX/ESXi hosts to scan.
Shawn & I built this because we have 20 hosts we need the WWNs from to provide to our storage team, and vCenter isn’t alive yet.
When we’re ready to deploy new ESXi hosts in our environment, we order them from Dell with ESXi pre-loaded on the internal SD-Card. This is nice and all, but what do you do when you have to go through and configure NTP, Users, Groups, Scratch directory, lockdown mode, and the list goes on?
You’d have to fire up each server, go through and configure everything, x10 if you had 10 new servers.
Since we’re working on a new rather larger virtualization deployment, we were looking at ways to overcome this.
We were some of the earliest of ‘adopters’ for a paid POC to get the Cisco UCS system in-house.
Cisco sent the hardware & a group of techs to get this thing off the ground. Any new hardware being deployed shouldn’t require a group of people from the vendor to come out to set it up, should it? In today’s society, it should be user friendly, plug-n-play, which we all know Cisco to be, right? Heh, okay, or not, but anyway, our trouble had just begun.