Upgrading the VM lab

As I recently wrote in a previous post about the ESXi virtualization lab setup, we needed to upgrade the host hypervisor from the originally installed 6.5.0 to 6.7 U2. Following the instructions on TinkerTry:

   https://tinkertry.com/easy-update-to-latest-esxi

This site outlines simple easy to follow steps for upgrading a vSphere ESXi installation to the latest. However it should be noted that the following command simply did not work for my installation:

   esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001-standard -d   
   https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

This command simply resulted in the download hanging. Network access to the Internet was not an issue, as:

   esxcli software sources profile list --depot=https://hostupdate.vmware.com/
   software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

Worked to display the available updates, just fine, as well as the command

   esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001-standard -d 
   https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml --dry-run

produced output which indicated that downloading the installation package itself was successful.

We were finally able to upgrade the lab by manually download the update package directly from VMware’s web site:

   https://my.vmware.com/en/group/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi6

Once downloaded and the file has been uploaded to the host datastore, you can install via the command:

   esxcli software profile update -p <profile name> -d <location of ZIP file> 
   esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-6.7.0-20190402001-standard -d <path to update.zip>

The latest update includes mitigations for recent speculative execution side-channel attacks targeting Intel chips.

Virtualization Lab with ESXi hypervisor 6.5.x

This is a bit of a dated post, but I’m going to discuss virtualization lab configuration for development and experimentation using ESXi hypervisor 6.5.x. It’s particular relevant now as I’ve setup a Kubernetes cluster at home to develop some orchestration scripts and cluster architecture design for scalable applications. This is a much cheaper solution that deploying a cluster into a cloud-based provider. The only resource cost is power which comes in at a significantly cheaper expense than the per-hour provisioning costs of a cloud provider.

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