Thursday, 3 July 2014

VMware announces public Beta of vSphere 6

I've been talking to my VMware Technical Account Manager about access to the vSphere Beta for a while now but in a surprising move (for me at least) VMware have just announced the public beta of vSphere 6. Of course, the usual beta rules apply, meaning no public disclosure about the contents of the beta, but since it's a public beta, anyone and everyone can sign up for it.  That means I don't need to tell you anything as you can go and look for yourself.

To join the Public Beta
  •  Browse to https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta and click the big  “JOIN NOW!” button on the right hand side!
  • Log in with your My VMware account. (it's easy to register for an account if you don’t have one).
  • Once you have an account and are logged in, you will have to accept the Master Software Beta Test Agreement (MSBTA) and Program Rules screens if you have not already done so in the past.
  • After doing this you should be in the vSphere Beta 2 community.
There are also a number of public webinars coming up to review a number of the intended new features which start on July 8th, so get in quick....
 
I'm downloading all the new goodies now, well, the basics of vSphere 6.0 at least. Seeya on the beta forums...

Install and Boot ESXi from a USB stick

An increasing number of motherboards these days have USB sockets built in, which makes it very easy (and cheap) to run an ESX host, without having to obtain any local DAS storage. Good for the home labber, also good for the corporate guy who's boot-from-SAN usually.

There's no point re-inventing the wheel here, since there are already blogs out there that talk you through the entire process - like this one from Brian Graf at vtagion;
http://www.vtagion.com/boot-esxi-usb-flash-drive/

He's also got the get-out for when you are finished with the USB key as well, since Windows only shows you the installer / ISO image size not the full size of the USB key, if all you have done is use the USB key to install to local disk, which for windows users like me, leverages diskpart;
http://www.vtagion.com/reformat-bootable-esxi-usb-flash-drive/

Whilst writing this, I thought I would have need of this for a quick install job, but it turned out that I didn't. However, this is a good-to-have-in-the-back-pocket setup which is just the sort of thing I can blog about for posterity or maybe it will even help someone else?