Find The BIOS Version Of An ESX Host
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I'm trying to make sure that I have the correct BIOS versions on a series of HP Proliant servers running ESXi. I would like to use PowerCLI to return the BIOS Major Release and BIOS Minor Release information for each host.
Today i was asked to confirm the BIOS version of all the hosts in a customers estates to allow them to plan an upgrade. Initially they had planned to check each iLO individually which would have been extremely time consuming, fortunately, there is a quick PowerCLI method:
In recent years he has been working in a variety of enviroments varying in scale from 3 hosts up to 10,000 and ESXi version from 4.5 up to 6.7.He is attempting to help clients leverage automation via PowerCLI to empower their engineers and reduce time taken for deployments and daily robotic tasks.
Back to one of the very handy use cases for being able to query physical hardware information from the command line is when you are trying to remember or figure out the memory layout in your ESXi host. Using the smbiosdump utility, you can see detailed information regarding the memory configuration of your host. This includes:
CIM > base (cim.mfx)The Common Information Model (CIM) is used on ESXi hosts instead of installing hardware agents. CIM providers are available for the server itself and different hardware such as network cards, HBAs or RAID controllers.These commands and files are useful to identify built-in hardware, firmware versions and hardware status.
System > BaseMinmal* (base-minimal.mfx) System > Base (base.mfx)Gathers general system information from the ESXi host including version, date, time, coredump configuration. This also includes a comprehensive configuration and status dump. Some ESXi VMkernel state information are not included in the BaseMinimal manifest.
After this change, VMs with hardware version > = 12 will be reported as old hardware versions, presenting the SMBIOS 2.4 instead of SMBIOS 2.7 and as consequence causing issues related to the virt-who host-guest mapping.
Also, when creating a new VM in version 14 for example, you can see via dmidecode command that the BIOS will be 2.7. However, after upgrading the hardware compatibility of the VM, when reruning the dmidecode you will see the BIOS version 2.4, which means, the acpi.smbiosVersion2.7 it's TRUE by default when creating new VMs.
You do want to check with VMware on Vcenter to ESXi compatibility to make sure the various ESXi host versions you may have in your environment would still work correctly with an upgraded Vcenter version.
Once you have installed ESXi 7.0 on your server you see a grey and yellow screen that is called ESXi direct console (DCUI). On this screen you can see the ESXi version, build number, CPU, memory configuration, the IP address, and a link that can be opened in a web browser to manage the ESXi host.
Now you are using VMware Host Client to manage an ESXi host. Select Host in the Navigator to see the general information about an ESXi host such as version, host name, CPU, memory, and storage usage.
This blog post has covered vSphere installation and setup for vSphere version 7. You need to install ESXi on servers, deploy vCenter Server Appliance as a virtual machine for centralized management of ESXi hosts, and then perform the final configuration of your VMware vSphere environment. The main difference between deploying vSphere 7 and vSphere 6 is that vCeвуnter must be installed only as vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), that is as a virtual machine based on a Photon OS (a special modification of Linux made by VMware), and vCenter 7 cannot be installed on a Windows machine. Regardless of the vSphere version, backup for VMware vSphere is a must. NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports VMware vSphere 7 and can protect your VMs even if they are running in a cluster and with Fault Tolerance enabled.
Before installing or upgrading to a version of ESX or ESXi, it's important to confirm that the hardware of the target system is compatible with the hypervisor. Even if a previous version of ESX/ESXi works with the machine, that doesn't mean a more recent version will work just as well. Review the minimum requirements to confirm that your hardware is supported.Some hardware issues can be worked around, however, and some errors that seem hardware-related are instead caused simply by misconfigured settings. Below is a list of common compatibility errors or issues you might encounter after installing the hypervisor, configuring resources, or creating a virtual machine, as well as solutions for resolving these problems.DatastoresESX/ESXi 4.0 does not support LUNs larger than 2TB in size. If the size of a LUN surpasses 2TB, the host will fail to assign block devices, or storage resources, to the LUN, and prevent VMware from creating a datastore on the device.You can use extents to work around this limitation. An extent is a partition on a LUN. A datastore can consist of up to 32 extents. Since each LUN is limited to 2TB in size, and a datastore can utilize 32 extents in total, volumes of up to 64TB in size are possible in VMware. In other words, if you need a datastore to be larger than 2TBs, spread the datastore across multiple LUNs to expand the size of the volume.To expand a datastore in VMware:1. Select the target host. Click "Configuration" and then select "Storage" from the Hardware pane.2. Right-click the target datastore and then click "Properties." Click "Increase."3. Select the appropriate LUN from the options and then click "Next." To create a new extent, select a LUN marked as un-expandable (listed as "No" under the "Expandable" category); to increase the size of an extent, select a LUN marked as expandable. Select the appropriate disk layout and then click "Next."4. Check "Maximize Capacity" to use all available disk space, or enter the desired amount in the applicable field. Click "Next."5. Review your options on the summary screen and then click "Finish."Central Processing UnitWhile older versions of the hypervisor, such as ESX/ESXi 3.5, can run without issue on 32-bit processors, ESX/ESXi 4.0 and ESXi 5.0 both require 64-bit CPUs. ESXi 5.0 has additional hardware requirements above what ESX 4.0 and ESXi 4.0 require, as well: the latest version of the hypervisor must run off, at minimum, a dual-core CPU that supports SAHF and LAHF (instructions that control which flags are loaded into the upper half of the AX register, the latter of which is used to gather the results from arithmetic and logic calculations). Chip manufacturers didn't begin integrating SAHF and LAHF into the 64-bit instruction set until 2005, however, so even if you're running a 64-bit multi-core CPU, it still might not work with ESXi 5.0. If the CPU isn't compatible with the hypervisor, installing/upgrading ESX/ESXi will fail.Even if the host is able to run off the processor, however, certain virtual machines might not. As to be expected, a 64-bit guest operating system utilizes a 64-bit CPU. However, just having a processor with a 64-bit instruction set isn't enough to run a 64-bit virtual machine; the CPU also must have virtualization technology enabled.If VT is disabled, the following error is likely to appear when attempting to run a 64-bit guest OS in VMware: "Host CPU is incompatible with the virtual machine's requirements at CPUID level." Enabling Intel VT-x or AMD-V in the BIOS should resolve the above error, allowing the virtual machine to boot. Since the BIOS varies based on the make and model of the motherboard or computer, consult the documentation for your machine to determine how to enable virtualization technology.Optical DriveWhen performing a cold migration, the error "Incompatible device backing specified for device" will appear if the optical disc drive is misconfigured. To reconfigure the drive in vSphere:1. Right-click the virtual machine and then click "Edit Settings."2. Select the CD- or DVD-ROM from the Hardware tab. Choose "Client Device" as the device type and then click "OK."If the above steps fail to resolve the error, check the VMX file associated with the virtual machine to see if the optical device is connected in the configuration data. If the file indicates that the optical device is connected, remove and then re-add the CD- or DVD-ROM from the same window.TEAC DV-28 series DVD-ROM drives can also cause, at random, an ESX or ESXi 4.0 host to stop responding in vCenter Server or refuse connections from VMware vSphere. While certain models are incompatible with ESX/ESXi altogether, upgrading the outdated firmware on some devices will resolve the issue and restore function to the host. (Some manufacturers, such as Dell, provide firmware flash upgrades for certain TEAC DV-28 series models.)Virtual DisksWhen attempting to run a virtual machine created in another VMware virtualization platform, such as VMware Workstation, the VM will fail to start and the message "Unsupported and/or invalid disk type" will appear. This error occurs because the virtual disk formats associated with the different virtualization platforms are incompatible with ESX/ESXi.You can use VMware vCenter Converter to convert the disk and import the virtual machine into vSphere. This is a called a cold migration in ESXi (V2V).Running the following command from the server console will also convert the virtual disk to a format that ESX/ESXi can understand:vmkfstools -i .vmdk .vmdkNetworkingVMware vSphere can run virtual standard switches (vSwitches), which apply to a single host, or virtual distributed switches (vDS), which span across multiple hosts. If the license is incompatible with the vDS feature, vCenter Server will fail when creating a distributed switch. To work around this error in vSphere 5, you must upgrade each host to the Enterprise Plus license.ConclusionsIt's important to keep in mind although there are workarounds for some compatibility issues, if a critical hardware device isn't supported by the hypervisor, there's little recourse. For example, if the hypervisor requires a 64-bit CPU but your system only includes a 32-bit processor, you have no choice but to upgrade the hardware or stick with an older version of ESX/ESXi.Get our content first. In your inbox.1041Redirect LinkThank you! Your information has been submitted.Loading form... 2b1af7f3a8