Nested ESXi 6.7 Virtual Appliance Updates

I know many of you have been pinging me the last couple of days for an updated Nested ESXi 6.7 Virtual Appliance and I have just finished my strict quality control process ūüôā The only minor change with the 6.7 appliance is the VM is now configured with EFI Firmware, where as in the past it was set to BIOS. As of vSphere 6.5+ appliances, the customization scripts are automatically removed by default which means that customers can turn on Secure Boot feature post-deployment without having to perform any manual workarounds. In addition, you will find a few more updates related to the updated ESXi appliance below. I hope you enjoy these free resources to help learn and plan for your vSphere 6.7 upgrades, Happy Friday!

Note:¬†These solutions are all developed during off hours and does take a considerable amount of time/effort to manage and update. Although they are provided to you as a free solution, the development itself is not ūüôā

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Nested ESXi 6.7 Appliance:

ESXi 6.7 Virtual Appliance (Nested_ESXi6.7_Appliance_Template_v1.ova)

Nested ESXi Content Library

If you are using my Nested ESXi Content Library, I have updated it to include the latest 6.7 Appliance. Simply refresh your Content Library to automatically pull down the image or you can create a new Content Library by subscribing to the following URL: https://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/lib.json For more details, please take a look at this blog post here.

vGhetto vSphere Automated Lab Deployment:

For those that use my vGhetto lab deployment script to automate a fully functional vSphere environment, I have created a new version of the script to support vSphere 6.7 which you can find more details here. One neat feature that was suggested by Christian Mohn awhile back was the ability to get more insights to what is happening during the VCSA deployment since the verbosity can be quite distracting on the primary screen. There is now a new $enableVerboseLoggingToNewShell variable that is enabled by default to spawn a new PowerShell console that will watch the VCSA installer logs, so you have a better idea of what is going on.

All vSphere 6.7 release notes & download links

vSphere 6.7 has officially GA'ed! Below is an aggregation of all the related release notes and downloads for this vSphere release. I have also created a short URL which you can use to access this exact same page using vmwa.re/vsphere67

Note: Not all links are live yet, but they should be available later this morning. Please be patient and in the meantime, you can check out all the vSphere 6.7 collateral which has been published and can be accessed here.

vSphere 6.7

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New VMware Configuration Maximum Tool

VMware has just released a new web-based tool that will enable customers to easily view and compare product configuration maximums across different VMware product versions. You can access the easy to remember URL by going to: https://configmax.vmware.com

In this first release of this tool, customers will have the ability to look up configuration maximums for vSphere (includes VSAN) which will initially support vSphere 6.0, vSphere 6.5, vSphere 6.5 Update 1 & the recently released vSphere 6.7 as well as comparing across versions. To view the existing vSphere configuration maximum, simply click on the "Get Started" button.


As you can see from the screenshot below, you now have a single place where you can view the vSphere configuration maximums across different versions. Once you have selected the target version, you can either view all maximums or you can selectively choose the sections you are interested in.


The other really neat feature is the ability to compare the configuration maximums across different vSphere versions. This is really useful for customers to be able to quickly tell what improvements and enhancements have been made, especially as customers plan for vSphere upgrades. To begin, simply click on the "Compare Limits" button at the top. Next, select  the target vSphere version and then you can add one or more versions to compare against.


Once you click on the Compare button, a new window will popup providing you the comparison between the target and selected vSphere versions. You can quickly see how the maximums have changed across these vSphere versions. You can even export the results to Excel by click on export option on the upper right hand corner and you be prompted to save a CSV file.


I can tell you, this definitely beats having to manually Google for the correct vSphere configuration maximum document since I can never remember the long URL to the static PDF documents! I am excited to see the improved user experience when consuming our product maximums and I know the team will be working on adding more products and features in the future. Definitely keep an eye on this site and also be sure to update your bookmarks. If you have any feedback or things you would like to see, feel free to leave a comment and I will make sure it reaches the Product and Development teams.

Getting started with VMware Pivotal Container Service (PKS) Part 7: Harbor

Now that we have a functional PKS deployment, an optional but very useful add-on to deploy and integrate with PKS is the VMware Harbor solution. Harbor is an Enterprise-class container registry that customers can run within their own Datacenter to securely store and provide access to container images used by their development teams. The process of deploying Harbor is similiar to PKS. You will need to download the Harbor Tile from Pivotal Network, import that into Ops Manager and then configure and deploy using the same interface.

If you missed any of the previous articles, you can find the complete list here:

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How to access the Kubernetes Dashboard UI for a VMware PKS Managed K8S Cluster?

As some of you may have noticed I have been spending some time working with VMware PKS and Google's Kubernetes (K8S). In fact, I have an entire blog series which you can find below if you are interested.

While consuming one of my PKS managed K8S Cluster, I wanted to access the built-in K8S Web UI Dashboard (which is installed by default as part of the K8S setup by PKS) but I was not able to find a way to access it. After speaking with Michael West, who works in our CNABU, I found out that the K8S Dashboard currently does not support OAuth Tokens which prevents us from easily accessing the UI. However, there is a workaround which involves using an SSH tunnel and leveraging K8S proxy to proxy the Dashboard UI to the K8S Master Node which we can then access from our desktop machine.

Step 1 - We need to configure port forwarding using an SSH Tunnel, depending on the OS type that you wish to connect to the Dashboard UI, take a look at the specific steps below.

Windows - You can use any number of SSH Clients, I normally use Putty. Enter the username/hostname as you normally would but before connecting, expand Connection->SSH->Tunnels and add a new forwarded port with source port being 8001 and destination being localhost:8001. Once you have completed this step, you can connect like you normally would.


MacOS/Linux - You can simply use the built-in ssh client and run the following:

ssh [email protected] -L 8001:127.0.0.1:8001 -N

Note: If the system that you are trying to access the Dashboard UI also has kubectl installed, then an SSH tunnel is not required and you can simply go straight to Step 2.

Step 2 - Once you have successfully SSH'ed to your PKS Client VM, you can then run the following command to start the K8S proxy:

kubectl proxy


Step 3 - To access the K8S Dashboard, open a browser and connect to http://localhost:8001/ui which should take you to login page. From here, you will need a copy of the specific K8S Cluster configuration file (stored in ~/.kube/config which can be pulled using pks get-credentials [NAME-OF-PKS-CLUSTER]) and provide that as shown in the screenshot below to login to dashboard.


After signing in with the K8S Configuration file, you should be taken the dashboard for your specific K8S Cluster. If you do not see any of your pods, make sure to toggle the Namespace from the system "Default". Below is a screenshot of my K8S Cluster which was deployed with our Yelb application as shown in Part 6 of my VMware PKS series.