Restore experience vCenter appliance

Until a few months ago I worked with vCenters that were running on a Windows OS. Because that was the common practise. The appliance was promising but not ready for production use. When vSphere 5.5 was introduced it became an interesting discussion,should you use the appliance or still go the windows way.
I think one of the points holding people of from going to the appliance was (and maybe still is) the unknown.
I was mostly familiair with a windows OS.Yes the Windows patching was irritating, and if you wanted to upgrade VMware vCenter ….. that also was annoying. But not anymore… (well I guess for over a year that is…)

The appliance in 6.0 is great. I wrote in another article about my experience of migrating to 6.0 appliance with an update manager deployed. ( And I’m loving it. I was impressed by the ease of migrating from vCenter 5.5 running on Windows to 6.0 VCSA.

But there was one, tiny little, issue, called backup and restore.
How should that work when you are running an appliance.
For testing purposes we did a restore of the appliance but ran into a problem. The network adapter changed. The appliance OS didn’t recognize it anymore as eth0 but as eth1.
And our first conclusion was… well…. that is a problem…restoring a VCSA.
Diving into some vmware documentation, I ran into info that restoring a VCSA should work… (see question 29 in…. What did we do wrong….

After examening the events of the restored VCSA we saw an error. vCenter was saying that there was a duplicated MAC address…. so it changed the MAC address of the restored VCSA… hence the eth1.

And yes… that was the issue…. in default vCenter will change a MAC address if it already exists. (that is the short version)…. so I tried it again…. But with a small change.

I created a virtual portgroup on a vswitch, not on the dvswitch. Taking care of the duplicated MAC address in a dvSwitch… I changed the MAC address of the restored VCSA back to the original setting. And I started the VM…. voila….
The VM booted…. and after waiting for the boot process to complete…. I had a restored VCSA, fully functional.


  • restoring a VCSA does work… just keep in mind if you replace the existing VCSA or restoring it next to it (duplicated MAC address)
  • Updating the VCSA is a breeze . You need connection to the internet, and the appliance will take care of the update. No seperate OS updates and vCenter updates.
  • (side note) the webclient interface is faster than the one in 5.5

Update manager 6.0 with vCenter 6.0 after migration wizard

While I was busy at at customer upgrading their VMware environment, I ran into a strange issue.
The upgrade involved migrating from windows vCenter 5.5 to a vcsa 6.0 Update 2. I used the migration wizard for this solution. (6.0 Update 2M).
The old vCenter was running also the update manager. Meaning I had to move the update manager to a new windows server and after the vCenter was migrated I had to upgrade the update manager.
This sounds simple.
And it was ….. for a while…
I successfully moved the 5.5 update manager installation to a new windows server.
The migration to the VCSA also went successfully (loving it)
but then…..
The iso for 6.0Update 2M doesn’t contain the update manager software. So I downloaded the iso for windows installation. From the same page as I downloaded the previous iso. But when I install update manager, I get the error that the vCenter server is incompatible with the update manager…. (what !!!!)
After some (soul) searching…. I found a forum thread that the Update Manager for vCenter 6.0.0b does work. (really…..)

And yes … after downloading that iso, starting the update manager installation, the upgrade was succesfull.

I only wonder… what is the difference between 6.0Update2M and the windows version. Why won’t the update manager from that iso work with the 6.0Update2M version….


If you want to migrate from a 5.5 enviroment to the latest version  on 6.0 (currently update 2a), then after using the migration tool, go to the vCenter Appliance administration site and start from there the update. (https://<fqdn&gt;:5480)
After which you can upgrade vCenter Update Manager to the latest version.



build-vmHostImage v0.2

The script has been modified to exclude certain vibs. The reason is that with some configurations we found out that the wrong vib was loaded on a vspherer host. Resulting in a PSOD, due to driver, hardware, ESXi version conflicts.

With this in mind, I added the functionality to exclude VIBs. The excluded VIBs are listed in the parameters.ps1 file.
After the new image profile has been configured, the script will exclude the VIBs, if they are present. VIBs that are excluded are reported in excluded.txt file.

The script creates a parameters.ps1 file in the project folder, containing the names of the Vibs that are excluded. This file is used to re-create an image if necessary.

You can find the script at github, here

Loading PowerCLI one-line

Finaly 🙂
You can load PowerCLI with a one-liner again.
Why ? well… PowerCLI 6.5 is only moduled based, while the previous versions where a mix off snappins and modules.
When it was mainly snappin bassed I used a one-liner like:

get-pssnapin -registered vmware* | add-pssnappin

When PowerCLI was module and snappin based, I used a custom PowerShell function import-PowerCLI (see my previous post for details). But with PowerCLI 6.5 R1 you can use a one-line once again.
This one-line is :

> Get-Module -ListAvailable vmware* |Import-Module

Powershell script template

To make live a bit easier when writing powershell scripts, it is a good idea to have some kind of a script template.

Why ?

By using a template you don’t have to worry about the standard stuff you always put in a script. And you can also have some customs functions already available. It is a good starting point for writing the script you want.
And it helps you to standardize you scripting. Which makes it in the end easier to maintain etc… Continue reading “Powershell script template”


For my work I use PowerCLI a lot, but I don’t like the shell that is available when installing PowerCLI. I just want to start PowerShell (mostly through PowerShell ISE) and load with one command the PowerCLI modules and/or snapins and not be limited.

Before PowerCLI 6.5, PowerCLI was a mix of powershell snappins and modules. To support older PowerCLI versions, the script will check if there are vmware powershell snappins registered. And will load them.
Powershell modules will have precedence over the snappins. Continue reading “import-PowerCLI”