Don’t forget the logs

Scratch Partition

A design consideration when using ESXi hosts which do not have local storage or a SD/USB device under 5.2GB is where should I place my scratch location?

You may be aware that if you do use Autodeploy, a SD or USB device to boot your hosts then the scratch partition runs on the Ramdisk which is lost after a host reboot for obvious reasons as its non-persistent.

Consider configuring a dedicated NFS or VMFS volume to store the scratch logs, making sure it has the IO characteristics to handle this. You also need to create a separate folder for each ESXi host.

The scratch log location can be specified by configuring the following ESXi advanced setting.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.21.33



Syslog Server

Specifying a remote syslog server allows ESXi to ship its logs to a remote location, so it can help mitigate some of the issues we have just discussed above, however the location of the syslog server is just as important as remembering to configure it in the first place.

You don’t want to place your syslog server in the same cluster as the ESXi hosts your configuring it on or on the same primary storage for that matter, consider placing it inside your management cluster or on another cluster altogether.

The syslog location can be specified by configuring the following ESXi advanced setting.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.24.44

Disabling vSphere vDS Network Rollback

There are certain situations when temporarily disabling network rollback might be a good idea,  notice the use of the word temporarily as it’s not something you would want to leave disabled.

Let’s say you need to change the VLAN configuration on a network port which is used for vSphere management traffic from an access port to a trunk port. Before doing this you would need to change the vDS portgroup to tag the management traffic VLAN, however in doing this the host would lose management network access until the correct configuration was applied on the switch port.

The vDS would detect this change and attempt to rollback the configuration to untagged, obviously we don’t want this to happen in this instance so VMware allow us to disable this rollback feature.

We can do this by configuring the following settings.

  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to a vCenter Server Instance.
  2. On the Manage tab, click Settings.
  3. Select Advanced Settings and click Edit.
  4. Select the key, and change the value to false. If the key is not present, you can add it and set the value to false.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Restart the vCenter Server to apply the changes.

Remember to revert the change once you are finished.

VMware removes the Enterprise edition of vSphere


Yesterday (10th February 2016) VMware announced on its blog that it is simplifying its line up by removing the Enterprise edition. Existing Enterprise users can either stay on the Enterprise edition and be supported until official End of Support or they can upgrade to the Enterprise Plus edition at a special promotional 50% off upgrade price.

This change has been reflected in the Pricing White paper and also on the VMware Site.




Horizon Sizing Estimator

Something which I discovered today which I am sure many partners will find useful is the Horizon Sizing Estimator tool. This is located at  this is available to partners only I believe. You can use the free lakeside assessment tool to generate the assessment data either via the free cloud based tool or the free on site version.

Using this tool you can then generate a XML file which is then fed in to the sizing tool to help size your customer’s environment.  You can also manually specify a whole ton of other variables.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 20.25.32