How to configure USB passthrough from an ESXi host

USB passthrough is a very useful feature that allows to add to a virtual machine residing on a VMware ESXi host USB devices connected to the host itself.

Usually USB passthrough is used to connect security dongles or storage USB devices to virtual machines. The USB devices must be connected only with a VM at time. In order to assign them to other VMs you need to perform a disconnection.

The configuration is extremely simple and involves just a few steps.

How to hot-extend a virtual disk with VMware ESXi

Hot-extending a virtual disk is the act of increasing the capacity of a virtual disk while it’s operating and the guest OS is running. Today is a really simple operation to perform, on both ESXi and Hyper-V, but still very useful.

We are going to see how to hot-extend a virtual disk connected to a running VMware ESXi virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client.

How to configure and administer the ESXi firewall

Securing ESXi and vCenter servers is an essential part of any virtual infrastructure administrator’s responsibilities.

VMware makes available a several features to protect the servers, including the ability to set granular permissions, a directory authentication mechanism, a firewall, a virtual switch layer 2 security and more.

Knowing the capabilities of these features and how to use them is essential to administer ESXi and vCenter enviroments.

Some years ago, only ESX came with a firewall, but with vSphere 5, VMware added a firewall to ESXi 5.

How to add an ESXi Host to an Active Directory Domain

This is a basic tutorial explaining how to add an ESXi Host to a directory service, like Microsoft’s Active Directory, to simplify the administration and security of the ESXi hosts.

As prerequisites, you need:

  • The ESXi host DNS server must resolve AD Domain controller and Domain Name
  • The ESXi host name must be fully qualified with the domain name of the Active Directory forest, for example, esxtest1.contoso.local
  • The time between the AD server and the ESXi Host should be syncronized

Before specifying the Active Directory credentials you need to add the ESXi host to the domain controller.

How to run a Hyper-V server on an ESXi VM (nested virtualization)

We know it’s a weird scenario but you may need to run Hyper-V on an ESXi virtual machine for testing purposes. Let’s make an example: you have an ESXi 5.5 node with a Windows Server 2012 R2 running on it. You need to install Hyper-V.. but you can’t! Because your hardware configuration doesn’t support virtualization (Windows will refuse to add the role).

Is there a solution? Yes, an easy one.

How to convert a VMware Workstation VM into an ESXi one with vCenter Converter

Thanks to VMware vCenter Converter, it’s not difficult to convert a Workstation virtual machine into an ESXi one. The two platform aren’t compatible, you can’t simply move the VM files from a server to another one, but vCenter Converter gives us a simple procedure to get the job done.

You can download VMware vCenter Converter directly from this link, the system will ask you to register.

How to manage VLANs and virtual switches on ESXi/vSphere

VLANs are a great tool to manage business networks and VMware knows that very well. We’ll show you how you can configure ESX(i) to tag packets and how to create virtual switches for your VLANs.

Before reading the guide, it’s important to have VLANs configured in your network. More information on how to segment a LAN into VLANs here.