ESXi on ARM rPI4 failed to add to vCenter

I tried to add my freshly installed rPI 4 running ESXi on ARM to my HomeLab vCenter. It failed with “A general system error occurred: Unable to push signed certificate to host 192.168.0.99”

The root cause is that the rPI has no battery backed RTC therefore the time is out of sync and all certificates are invalid.

Quick fix:

Configure NTP in ESXi

Login to the Host client

Go to Manage, System Tab, Time & date:

Edit NTP settings

change it to:

and click Save

Now click on the Services tab and start the NTPD service:

Select the NTPD service and click on start.

Now verify on the System tab if the time is in sync if this is not the case restart NTPD again from the Services tab which will force the time sync.

Afterwards you can add the ESXi running on a rPI4 to your vCenter.

Build Photon OS appliance using packer.io

I found a great article from William Lam about how to build an Photon OS virtual appliance which includes OVF settings for configuration. During my initial tests I faced some issues like the virtual machine network did not connect properly and others. First I had changed the existing scripts to work with the vmware-iso builder which was in the end working but the performance was pretty bad. So I decided to convert the existing template from vmware-iso to vsphere-iso.

The base code is really good an most of it can be re-used. My changes can be found in my fork of his repo.

https://github.com/mdhemmi/photonos-appliance

And here a video of a build run.

Source:

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2019/11/packer-reference-for-building-photonos-virtual-appliance-using-ovf-properties.html

vCenter notification send push message using Prowl to iOS devices

I would like to receive push messages for triggered alerts from my vCenter. There is the possibility to execute a command when a alert has been triggered so I decided to write a script which will use Prowl to send push notification to my mobile apple device. I used Prowl already for other devices like my Homematic home automation system. It’s easy to use with an simple curl command. You can find a lot of good examples available by using Google.

Sources and Services:

VMware Documentation

Push notification service

You have to create an account on www.prowlapp.com and generate a new API key. The new API key has to be added to script (replace PLACE_YOUR_API_KEY_HERE with your API key).

Script:

This script is really basic and is only a proof of concept. I will extend and improve it over time.

root@vcenter [ ~ ]# mkdir bin
root@vcenter [ ~ ]# 

Homelab the current state

It’s time for a new update about my new Homelab. In the past I was running HP Microserver 2x N40L and 1x Gen8. All these machines are still here but no longer in use and will be for sale soon. My new Homelab contains now 2x HP ML10v2, 1x Zyxel 16 Gbit Switch, 1x Lenovo ix4-300d storage.

2x Server HP ML10 v2: HP ProLiant ML10 v2 G3240-Server (nicht Hot-Plug-fähig, 4 GB-U, B120i, 4 LFF, 350-W-Netzteil)
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35 SATA DriveCarrier Einbaurahmen für 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) bis 8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll) schwarz
Memory: Samsung 8GB (1x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800E) 2Rx8 ECC Unbuffered Dimm Server Workstation Arbeitsspeicher RAM Memory
1x Zyxel 16 Port Gbit Switch: Zyxel GS1100-16-EU0101F Gigabit Switch (16-Port, RJ-45)
1x Lenovo ix4-300d Storage: Lenovo Iomega ix4-300d Network Storage (0TB Diskless EMEA, Marvell Armada TM XP, 1,3GHz, 4x HDD, 512MB RAM)
2x HP Quad …

Alternative Setup of a VMware Homelab

My planed new Homelab requires a lot of space due to the fact of the size of the components. But what if someone would like to have a Homelab but does not have the space in the office. One option would be to run a fully virtualized Homelab but this is limited to the resources of the computer/laptop. A more costly option would be to use multiple INTEL NUC and a storage system.

Shopping list:

2x Intel NUC i5: Intel NUC6i5SYH
2x Samsung 32GB Memory: SAMSUNG 32GB Dual Channel Kit 2 x 16 GB 260 pin DDR4 2133 SO-DIMM (2133Mhz, PC4-17000, CL15) passend für alle Intel “Skylake” Notebooks mit DDR4 Standard
2x Samsung M2 SSD 250GB: Samsung MZ-N5E250BW 850 EVO interne SSD 250GB (SATA) grün
1x QNAP NAS 4 Bay: QNAP TS-453A-8G-NAS 4-Bay Intel Celeron Braswell N
4x WD Red 3TB: WD 3TB Red interne NAS-Festplatte (8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll)

How to configure VMware monitoring in Check_MK

Check_MK is able to monitor ESXi or vCenter out of the box. The configuration requires 2 steps and preferred a read only user.

1. Login to Check_MK

check_mk_login

2. Create new Host

create_new_host

Hostname: ESXi/vCenter Name or fqdn
IP Address: ESXi/vCenter Management IP

create_new_host_esxi

Save & Go to Services

The error message is normal and we can ignore it.

create_host_error

3. Go to Host & Service Parameters

host_service_parameters

4. Click on Datasource Programs

datasource_programs

5. Click Check state of VMWare ESX via vSphere

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 14.53.28

6. Create rule in folder Main directory

Explicit hosts: ESXi-Name
vSphere User name: ReadOnlyUser-Name
vSphere secret: Password of the ReadOnlyUser
Select  
 Host Systems
 Virtual Machines
 Datastores
 Performance Counters
 License Usage
Select
 Display ESX Host power state on 
 Display VM power state on
 Placeholder VMs 

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 14.57.08

8. Click on Save

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9. Activate your changes

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10. Click on Hosts

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11. Click on Hosts

3rd icon – Edit services of host

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12. Activate missing

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 15.08.40

13. Activate your …

VMware vSphere 6 available

Today VMware released the new VMware vSphere 6. I was running the Beta for a long time and I must say it was working very good.

VMware vSphere 6
VMware vSphere 6 Whats New

The release of vSphere 6 is already exciting but there is one additional extrem cool new product from VMware called VIO (VMware Integrated OpenStack). It is an fully automated setup of an complete OpenStack environment based on VMware. I will try it asap because I’m playing around with OpenStack since a long time and it is definitely not an easy setup. Additionally as stated on the VMware page “Available for free for all customers with vSphere Enterprise Plus, vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus or vCloud Suite.” it’s included in some of the licenses.

VMware Integrated OpenStack

As soon as I could play around with I will write an article about the complete setup process. …