Howto update ESXi without vCenter (Update Manager)

Use the following steps to upgrade your ESXi version to the latest version without download patches first! We are going to use Putty to talk against the command line šŸ™‚

First step, put your ESXi server into maintenance mode :

Now we are going to check the profile version we are running

Or check the build version using the UI:

Now enable the host firewall rule to allow web traffic

Run the following command to list the online depot profiles available :

When you run into an error using the above command. Check your DNS and Gateway settings. ESXi needs to resolve some information using the internet!

Now let’s install the appropriate update, in my case I found out that I’m currently running 20170601001s. In your situation that can be different!

You can see what version you’re running using the previous command :

Ok, let’s reboot!

After installation I noticed the latest build :

Now set the firewall rule to the previous setting :

Final step exit maintenance mode :

How to convert OVA to VHDX for Hyper-V 3

If you have found yourself in a scenario where you would like to use Hyper-V as a test environment for your virtual machines, but you are usingĀ VMware ESXi Server,Citrix XenServer orĀ VirtualBoxĀ then this tutorial is for you.

Required software

  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 availableĀ here.
  • WinRar (or any tool you prefer to extract .tar files)
  • Your OVA export unzipped into a folder.


  • Download and install Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0.

An OVA file is simply a tar archive file containing the OVF directory. First you rename the .ova file to a .tar extension. Now you can use WinRAR and extract the .vmdk files within to get the virtual machines disks. VMDK is an open format used by VMware and other vendors.

Convert The Image

Next we will need to convert our VMware Image in order for Hyper-V to run it. This can be done using Powershell:

Copy you .VHDX to the folder containing you Hyper-V virtual machine.Ā  When creating your new virtual machine, you must ensure you select ā€œGeneration 1ā€ when choosing the generation of the virtual machine :

How to fix VM guest only showing 1/4th of the console window

I’ve noticed that when I’m running on some (high resolution) laptops I’m unable to see the whole console screen of a VM guest. Connecting those laptops to a docking resolves the problem.

As you can see in the following example you don’t see only a quarter of the console session :


After some investigation I found the solution. Open the shortcut of the VMware Client and open the properties. Enable the disable display scaling option.


Make sure you save the settings and try again.


As you can see in the above example, the whole screen is displayed!

VMware OS Optimization tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7/8/2008/2012/10 systems for use with the VMware Hypervisor. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Local Analyze/Optimize
  • Remote Analyze
  • Optimization History and Rollback
  • Managing Templates


After scanning the system you can select/de-select several optimizations:


You can even scan remote clients:


And all the settings can be saved in a template, there are public templates (for example LoginVSI) available:


I think this is a great tool what you can use to tune your VM’s. Use with caution!

More info here

Review: vembu BDR Suite 3.6

Hereby my review of Vembu BDR version 3.6.Ā Vembu BDR Suite is an all-in-one universal solution for backing up your VMware and Hyper-V environments as well as physical servers. Ā Vembu BDR Suite products cover backup & recovery of VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Physical Windows Servers Desktops/Laptops, File Servers, Applications like MS Exchange, Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint and Outlook etc.

In this review, I shallĀ take a look at it’s basic features and functionality. Advanced functionally and more in depth reviews are going to appear in future blog posts.

A few of the features of Vembu BDR Suite 3.6 capabilities and functionality are as follows:

  • Support for VMware
    • Complete support for all the VMware versions (Supported from VMware 4.X version)
    • VMware Hot-Add and SAN transport mode for LAN free data transfer
    • VMware vSphere Replication for High Availability
    • CBT enabled incremental data transfer using VMware VADP (vStorage API for data protection)
  • Support for Hyper-V (support for VM in SMB)
    • Support for Hyper-V Cluster Shared Volumes
    • Vembu CBT driver for high performance incremental backups
    • Hot backup ensures zero VM downtime
    • VSS aware technology for application consistency
  • Support for Physical enviroments
    • Backs up entire disk image of Windows Server(s),Ā including operation system and filesDuring system crash or any major disaster, bare-metal recovery helps to recover the Windows machines into the same or other hardware
    • Vembu ImageBackup helps you to migrate the Windows Servers and Workstation from your physical enviroment to VMware or Hyper-V environment.

Installation and configuration of Vembu BDR 3.6 for VMware

(Hyper-V and physical will be in another blog post)

Installation is pretty straightforward. Just hit enter 3 times and notice the advice & option to change the default admin/admin credentialsĀ and 32004 en 6061 ports etc. (Vembu uses MySQL en MonogDB).

installation configuration

Vembu installs a webserver. Make sure that you create a new firewall rule for port range 6060-6061 for TCP traffic:


After installation it’s time to add your (first) VMware server. This is done in a few clicks. Just make sure you use the appriopiate creds and correct port.

add vmware server 1

add vmware server 2

Not let’s add the first VM. Go to Backup/VMware and click at Backup Now (arrow in square box) .Ā Go through the following steps:

Backup steps

After creating your backup your first backup is automatically made.

Monitor backup progress

You can monitor the backup progress, go to backup and List jobs. The green triangle indicates that the backup is in progress right now.


Ok, next step. Let’s go through the interface:

Dashboard is your quick info place, your overview and the place to start. Backup gives you the option to backup and configure backup jobs.
VM Replication gives you the option to replicate your VM’s. (I shall write about it in another blog post)

Recovery.., now that we have made one of more backup we want to test them!
One of the most interesting features is instant recovery/restore. If your server is down by for example ransom ware you need to be up and running as fast as possible.
Vembu uses their Virtual Drive. Their latest backup is easily mounted and you can access all of the files.

Vembu also offers the following options :

I’ve tested all of the above restore options and found that they worked fast and flawlessly.


Reporting options are clear and simple. Everything you need. Reports can easily be scheduled to be emailed to one or more email addresses.


Here you can choose the server (user management, software update) and storage management options. (Add extra storage to the repository etc)

Vembu Universal Explorer

Vembu offers free tooling for their backup solution. One of them is Vembu universal explorer.
This single recovery tool allows administrators to recover different Microsoft application backups like Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint and Active Directory.

Universal Explorers offers:

  • instant restores emails/mailboxen/exchange stores from Microsoft Exchange
  • instant restore Microsoft SQL databases and tables
  • document level restore for Microsoft Sharepoint
  • granular recovery for Microsoft Active Directory


In this review, I found Vembu BDR 3.6 to be a full featured tool set for effectively backing up both VMware, Hyper-V environments and physical servers. The interface is extremely simple and easy to use with everything placed where you would expect it to be. Although Vembu offers more products, their backup solution offers everything you need against failures, ransomware or even complete site loss. Vembu vould be your answer for small companies and large companies seeking for a complete backup solution.

I found no issues with installing the product, backups and restores from either a VMware or Hyper-V environment, or performance with any of the operations that were performed. The GUI is nice and straightforward. A minor issue is the performance of the interface. Sometimes you have to wait a few seconds for it to respond. A drawback of using a webserver. The online portal for all your licenses and downloads is looking good also. It’s even possible to view the status of the VM’s being backup ed using BDRSuite also.

Check out the banner on vWorld.nl for the appropriate link.


More information, check out the website here or email support @ vembu-support@vembu.com
I contacted support for a couple of questions and I received information pretty quick and found it to be helpful.

NFR key for Veeam Availability SuiteĀ 9.5

VeeamĀ® is happy to provide a free NFR license (1 year, 2 sockets) to all VMware vExperts, MVPs, VTEC members, Certified Engineers and Trainers*. This license allows for non-production use of Veeam Availabilty Suiteā„¢ 9,5 in your home lab, without any feature limitations. The license works for both VMware and Hyper-V environments.

Veeam Availability SuiteĀ 9.5 is a combination of Veeam Backup & Replicationā„¢ and Veeam ONEā„¢, and is your key to achieving Availability for the Always-On Enterpriseā„¢.

By using Veeam Availability SuiteĀ 9.5, you’ll get everything you need to reliably protect and manage your VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments:

  • High-Speed Recovery
  • Data Loss Avoidance
  • Verified Recoverability
  • Leveraged Data
  • Complete Visibility
Fill in the form here get your FREE NFR key NOW!
*Only for vExpert, VCP, VCAP, VCI, VCDX, VMUG Leader, VTEC, VMCE, MVP, MCSE, MCSA, MCT, CiscoĀ Champion, PernixProĀ Member and others.

Review: Nakivo backup & Replication for VMware

Backup is more and more important. That’s why there are several company’s proving great products for this.
Nakivo has their Backup & Replication tool for VMware (and Amazon but that will not be covered right now) and in this blogpost you find my experiences.

Nakivo backup & Replication (NBR from now..) comes in different distribution formats:

  • VMware Virtual Appliance (OVF)
  • NAS Package (Western Digital and Synology)
  • Pre configured Amazon Machine Image
  • Linux version
  • and a Windows version


I’ve tried the Linux, Windows and the NAS version. All the versions offer the same functionality. I installed the OVF version in my VMware environment and found that the installation was very straightforward and was done in minutes. After logging on the first time just add your VMware server(s) or vCenter and off you go! Don’t forget to change the default password although!

The interface is very to the point. Just make a https connection to port 4443 and login with your credentials.

Ok let’s create a job :

Choose Create and select the VMware vSphere backup job.

Select the VM you wish to backup:

Select the repository you wish to save your backup file to. You can choose not to select all the virtual machine hard drives.

Schedule your job

You have the option to change some advanced options

Click Finish & Run and your first back-up is done!

Synology Package

I also installed the Synology Package on my NAS. Like as expected that was very ease. Just make sure all sources are trusted and install the package. After a few steps the package is installed and provides the same functionality as the (for example) Windows version. I tried the package on 2 different Synology models. A high end and entry level and it worked fine on both devices. I saw minor differences in performance.Ā  I think installing a product like this on a NAS provides great functionality. Many of my customers use a Synology NAS for their backup only. Now there is no Windows or Linux VM and hypervisor on location necessary.


I had some technical questions (concering transport role) so I went to the Nakivo homepage. After a short chat session I was helped by a technical support engineer which friendly helped me. It seems that their support is quite adequate. I shall continuing test this product and shall share my support experiences.

Send Nakivo Feedback, Get $20 Gift Card

Nakivo loves to know what you think about their product. Get $20 Amazon gift card for performing the following tasks:

  1. Install NAKIVO Backup & Replication and discover your infrastructure.
  2. Use the product, such as create and run at least one backup job.
  3. Send the support bundle to support@nakivo.com by December 30, 2016.
  4. Provide your feedback by filling out a short survey.

Read the Terms and Conditions


Nakivo comes in 4 different versions : Pro Essentials ($199), Enterprise Essentials($299), Pro ($399) and Enterprise ($599). I think their pricing is very competitive. Check out more information about pricing here.

Wishlist and improvements

After testing Nakivo Backup & Replication (and some of the other vendors and their products) I think Nakivo is a very interesting product. Altough their is some room for improvement concerning the GUI (interface). (For example you are able to add 2 jobs with the same name/description and that can be confusing) I also would like to see the following :

  • Support for other NAS vendors (for example Qnap)
  • Support for Azure
  • Deploy Transport role/VM within the user interface
  • Update/upgrade within the GUI


I think Nakivo provides a very interesting product which lots of interesting functionality. I especially like the Synology NAS appliance because it makes the life of the system administrator easier. Also their pricing is very competitive. Their is room for improvement (as always) but the product seems very stabile. In my next review about nakivo I’m going to test the transport role, multi tenancy, self-service, Exchange log truncation, self service and their API interface. Lot’s to come! When you have experience with Nakivo also, please leave a reply.