The monitor_control.restrict_backdoor setting

The monitor_control.restrict_backdoor advanced setting is a strange one that I’ve encountered recently. It was set on a VM that had been (allegedly) security hardened, and researching this setting in a search engine indicated that this was to prevent the backdoor port from being accessed from anything other than ring 0 (source: https://communities.vmware.com/thread/464535). Most of the search results …

vSphere REST API and C++ (Part 1)

One of the new features in vSphere 6.5 is the vSphere REST API. I’ve used the Web Services SDK before and it has never appeared as elegant as other automation APIs I’ve worked with, so the introduction of this held a lot of promise. I rarely see examples for REST services in C++ and as it’s …

Setting VM SDRS automation levels

I learnt recently that when you Storage vMotion a VM within a datastore cluster and you check the box to select which datastore you explicitly want the VM to be migrated to, it sets the SDRS automation level for the VM to disabled. Finding out which VMs have an automation level of disabled can be …

Viewing VM CPU Masks via PowerCLI

This post was updated on 9th May 2017 to fix an error condition in the script. Support for Windows Server 2012 was announced starting with ESXi 5.0 Update 2, but there was a little known flaw in this support – in that without a CPU mask, a VM could blue screen at any time. The …

PowerCLI: Datastore Block Sizes

Before VMFS5 the block size of the datastore determined the maximum size of a hard disk that could be added to a virtual machine. In our new glorious future it now makes no difference, but VMFS datastores that have been upgraded to version 5 will retain their old block size. The following PowerCLI will show …

Installing ESXi 6 onto USB via Workstation 9

This is going to one of those blog posts that is mostly pictures 😉 When installing ESXi 6 I decided to install onto (and therefore boot from) USB instead of installing and booting from local disk. This would allow my SSDs to be used for playing with Flash Cache. I had Workstation 9 available to …