Archive for the ‘All’ Category

17 More badges earned from @RealTryHackMe in 3 months!

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

So I’m trying to build up a 180 day hacking streak at TryHackMe, so in the last 3 months, I’ve earned a total of 17 New Badges! and here they all are!

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VMware vExpert Sub Programs

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

So I thought it was time to apply for the VMware vExpert Sub Programs, of which there are several. I’ve been a vExpert PRO for several years, which is one of the sub programs, so this year I also applied for the VMware vSphere vSAN and vSphere sub programs.

and I’m happy to report that I’ve been excepted into the VMware vSphere vSAN and vSphere sub programs for 2024, as well as a vExpert PRO 2024.

 

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End Of General Availability of the free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 7.x and 8.x) (2107518) – ISO Hashes here to help you find the ISOS !

Friday, February 9th, 2024

As Published on the VMware by Broadcom website!

End Of General Availability of the free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 7.x and 8.x) (2107518)

(spelt correctly!)

Sadly ESXi FREE is now longer available! You will need to join VMUG Advantage+ or become a vExpert

Here are the hashes for the ESXi 8.0.2.22380479 8.0U2 ISO before it is removed:

Name: VMware-VMvisor-Installer-8.0U2-22380479.x86_64.iso
Release Date: 2023-09-21
Build Number: 22380479
VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image
Boot your server with this image in order to install or upgrade to ESXi (ESXi requires 64-bit capable servers). This ESXi image includes VMware Tools.
MD5SUM: 2403e11fb6d46dd57ba0a6ee0fa1c833
SHA1SUM: a2773c2519715e28d23f39753f4d6064f29fef48
SHA256SUM: ff062f843be45760b591096fbf7be0b1003f6469db24f2d2e40a4c8ed3d86c21

 

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image

 

Here are the hashes for the ESXi 7.0U3n-21930508 ISO before it is removed:

 

Name: VMware-VMvisor-Installer-7.0U3n-21930508.x86_64.iso
Release Date: 2023-07-06
Build Number: 21930508
VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image
Boot your server with this image in order to install or upgrade to ESXi (ESXi requires 64-bit capable servers). This ESXi image includes VMware Tools.
MD5SUM: 0cacd44568b7f6112c6d003ef210dcfe
SHA1SUM: 07b2f7677b274fca656bac564445c0882b540835
SHA256SUM: b5e65fc738900296dd70d1938d76ebb72dab19b9b722dedad445669fc77f1272
VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi ISO) image

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Some new badges earned from @RealTryHackMe

Monday, January 8th, 2024

For the past 5 years, I’ve been completing the AoC (Advent of Cyber), which is 24/25 days of cyber “hacking” tasks, every day leading up to Christmas Day. These are the new badges I’ve earned for 2023.

This year was a special year, because not only did THM have the usual AoC, they also had some very insanely difficult Side Challenges, to complete a single challenge earned this badge from TryHackMe

To complete ALL the four challenges earned this badge

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A list of all my @ExpertsExchange articles and videos can be found at The CodHeadClub

Monday, August 21st, 2023

A list of all my Experts Exchange articles and videos can be found here – at the  – CodHeadClub – To copy and paste! 

http://tinyurl.com/AwesomeResourcesURL

This is an Awesome List of Computer Science, Technology, Programming and Educational resources for the benefit of all who care to use it.

The list was originally created by Closebracket.

I’ve now written over 140 articles and created 40 hours of tutorial VMware vSphere videos on vSphere 7.0 and 8.0. and today published Part 50 – VMware vSphere videos on vSphere 7.0.

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HOW TO: Perform storage performance tests on VMware vSphere vSAN, using the VMware Hyper-converged Infrastructure Benchmark fling (HCIBench)

Monday, August 14th, 2023

In this video presentation which is part of the Hancock’s VMware Half Hour HOW TO Video Series I will show you HOW TO:  Perform storage performance tests on VMware vSphere vSAN, using the VMware Hyper-converged Infrastructure Benchmark fling (HCIBench).

HCIBench is a storage performance testing automation tool that simplifies and accelerates customer Proof of Concept (POC) performance testing in a consistent and controlled way. VMware vSAN Community Forum provides support for HCIBench.

HCIBench

The storage devices we are using in this video are the Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series 375GB, 2.5in PCIe x4, 3D XPoint™, but this procedure can be use to add any compatible storage devices in ESXi to a vSAN datastore.

This video follows on from the follow video in this series

Part 36: HOW TO: Select an inexpensive HCL Certified 10GBe network interfaces for vSphere ESXi 7.0 and vSphere ESXi 8.0 for VMware vSphere vSAN

Part 37: HOW TO: Change the LBA sector size of storage media to make it compatible with VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 7.0 and ESXi 8.0.

Part 39: HOW TO: Create a VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) for use with VMware vSphere vSAN for the VMware vSphere vSAN Cluster.

If you are creating a design for VMware vSphere vSAN for a Production environment, please ensure you read the  VMware Cloud Foundation Design Guide 01 JUN 2023 – this should be regarded as The Bible!

References

HOW TO: FIX the Warning System logs on host are stored on non-persistent storage, Move system logs to NFS shared storage.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH INTEL OPTANE? – Mr vSAN – Simon Todd

Matt Mancini blog

VMware vSAN 8.0 U1 Express Storage Architecture Deep Dive

VMware vSAN 7.0 U3 Deep Dive Paperback – 5 May 2022

The results generated from this video are available here in these PDFs for download

FIO Benchmarks

4K/70%Read/100%Random

4K/100%Read100%Random

8K/50%Read/100%Random

256K/100%Write/100%Sequential

VDBENCH Benchmarks

4K/70%Read/100%Random
4K/100%Read100%Random
8K/50%Read/100%Random
256K/100%Write/100%Sequential

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Openreach ONT and BBU Service !

Saturday, August 12th, 2023

I thought I would document this, as I could not find any photos, videos, pictures on the internet, of a complete “legacy” system, as Openreach only supply an ONT at present, no BBU, so you don’t have a larger box, which contains, ONT and BBU, and I found it difficult to remove the BBU, you need to push up and pull ! It does budge, it’s not screwed, e.g. you do not need to remove the entire box from wall and disturb the fibre!

It’s been five years now, since the FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) was installed, and during that time it has worked flawlessly with no issues.

But 2023, we’ve had a few issues and recently in the last week we’ve had two major outages, the first outage lasted 5 hours, which was an underground fault 1000m away, and Openreach just physically moved “the shire” onto another fibre in the  ground.

and then Friday just gone, off for 15 hours, whilst I suspect another fibre cable in the ground had failed.

So this has given me a moment to change the AA batteries in the BBU (battery back unit), which has had a failed RED light on for many years, and Openreach no longer supply/install or replace the batteries in these units, it’s Self Service!

So off to Amazon, to purchase 8 x AA Energiser rechargeable batteries, the specifications state any batteries > 2000mAh

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#intel #optane SSD demo units received as part of the vExpert Program not being detected as a datastore in ESXi 7.0 or ESXi 8.0 ?

Monday, July 3rd, 2023

This blog is specific to the #intel #optane demo units received as part of the vExpert Program. but later you will observe that this applies to all storage devices connected to ESXi 7.0 or ESXi 8.0.

and again my special thanks to fellow #vExperts –  Mr vSAN, Matt Mancini, and vCommunity Guy for arranging this fantastic opportunity to work with #intel #optane demo units for free in our #homelabs .

These demo units received may have been previously used as part of the #intel loan program.

I received 10 (ten) #intel #optane – Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series 375GB, 2.5in PCIe x4, 3D XPoint™

the form factor I selected for my #homelab was U.2 15mm, rather than a PCIe slot in card, because I want to use them, in the storage/disk slot of a server, I could connect them to a U.2 to PCIe card, but I would rather use them as “intended”.  More on the complications of that later with my #homelab.

For ease, I did quickly connect them all to a recommended (thanks Mr vSAN) – StarTech.com U.2 to PCIe Adapter – x4 PCIe – For 2.5″ U.2 NVMe SSD – SFF-8639 PCIe Adapter – U.2 SSD – PCIe SSD – U.2 drive (PEX4SFF8639) for testing and formatting in my test bench. In fact I’ve now got a bucket full of these cards, I’ve tried and tested, how difficult can it be to connect a U.2. NVMe interface to a PCIe slot, when some cards are £50 GBP, and other cards are available from that well known China website for £1.99 GBP ! and some are described as Low Profile – NOT! – but more on that later!

You may notice if you look through the above photos, there is one U.2 #intel #optane unit with a RED DOT! Read on.

This because it was faulty, ah, or so I thought! I must admit, it was very odd, because it worked in Windows 10, and on checking in ESXi and Ubuntu, the devices were present.

esxi007-no-storage1

PCIe passthrough devices

esxi007-storage-adapters

Storage Adapters

Device visible in Ubuntu

But when trying to create a datastore, no device was available to create a datastore.

No storage for datastore visible

BUT BUT BUT After discussions with Mr vSAN,  Mr Todd (MrVSAN) suggested checking that the #intel #optane SSD how not been formatted to/with LBA 4K sectors! Because ESXi 7.0 and 8.0 does not support LBA 4K. I was surprised that it would not list the SSD device!

Interestingly on Twitter at the same time, another vExpert was also having similar issues!

Checking with an Ubuntu Live “CDROM” USB flash drive

Dell PowerEdge R730 UEFI BOOT

 

Dell PowerEdge R730 UEFI BOOT

 

Dell PowerEdge R730 Ubuntu

Using the nvme-cli, which you can pull using sudo apt-get install nvem-cli, and use the command sudo nvme list to list NVMe devices

to check the LBA format – sudo nvme id-ns -H /dev/nvmeXnY | grep “LBA format” you can see in the screenshot below I have two NVMe devices /dev/nvme0n1
/dev/nvme1n1 and both show

[3:0] : 03x Current LBA Format Selected

if you look at LBA Format 3: it states Data Size – 4096 bytes !

check LBA  – sudo nvme id-ns -H /dev/nvmeXnY | grep “LBA format”

 

Argh! 4K ! lets just reformat with – sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1, it does not display any progress, as there is no -v verbose option, but eventually it will respond with Success Formatting Namespace:1

sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1,

sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1,

success 512k

for #shitsandgiggles I’ve left /dev/nvme1n1 formatted as 4k, but now above you can see /dev/nvme0n1 is 512 sectors, so now back and restart ESXi. I’ll do a quick video on /dev/nvme1n1 for Hancock’s VMware Half Hour

If I now check the storage devices in ESXi, there is a Local NVMe SSD available

storage devices

and if you now try to create a datastore – Viola!

device for datastore available

You will notice from the above storage device list the 4K formatted NVMe device is still missing. Q.E.D

Anyway kudos and my sincere Thanks to Simon Todd aka Mr vSAN !

So onward with my #intel #optane #homelab journey more later!

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It’s A Proper Job! – Low Profile PCIe Bracket for Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023
 

So I recently blogged here – about the network interfaces I’ve chosen for my #intel #optane #vSAN #homelab, but I cam across a small snag, in the Dell PowerEdge R730 I’m using as one of the #homelab servers uses low profile PCIe cards so I need to purchase a low profile bracket from eBay for it, so it will fit nicely.  I could have swapped the bracket from another network interface card but that then leaves that card I cannot use in the future!

Low profile bracket

flapping in the breeze

So one purchased from the UK, I could purchase one from China, but I’m in a hurry, I could leave the PCIe card floppy around in the breeze, but I do like to do things proper!

R730 riser with Intel-DA2 fitted with low profile bracket

It’s a Proper Job!

oh for those that don’t know, it’s a lovely tipple from Cornwall! A Cornish IPA from St Austell Brewery !

 

 

 

 

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Inexpensive HCL Certified 10GBe network interfaces for vSphere ESXi 7.0 and vSphere ESXi 8.0 #homelab

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023

I’ve been desperately searching for inexpensive 10GBe SFP+ network interface cards for use with my new #intel #optane #homelab #vSAN which support both VMware vSphere 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) and 8.0 (ESXi 8.0), the major reason is so I can use the same lab for vSphere 7.0 and then upgrade to vSphere 8.0.

You can use the VMware Hardware compatibility list to find them, but it does take some searching and testing, so I’ve settled on the following network interface cards

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH – this uses the qfle3i driver in ESXi 7.x and 8.x.

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP this uses the ixgben driver for ESXi 7.x and 8.x

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

which I’ve tested both with ESXi 7.0 and ESXi 8.0.

What does surprise me, in it’s taken many months to find the first card above, which is present on the HCL, and also functions with ESXi 7. and 8.0, without adding any additional drivers, e.g. it works out of the box!

We were scrapping many Dell R910 from the datacentre, and I was surprised after testing that the Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP still functions with ESXi 7.0 and ESXi 8.0, and was manufactured 10 years ago, and is still present on the HCL today! Well done #intel for stopping these cards going to landfill!

10 years old and on the HCL!

10 years old and on the HCL!

This is a bargain card and firmware is still available and can be updated from Dell ! From memory 21.x !

So ideal for an inexpensive #homelab

Argh, I’ve got one issue, more later on that!

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