How to enable Lockdown Mode on VMware ESXi

The Lockdown Mode is a nice feature of VMware ESXi. When an ESXi host is in Lockdown Mode, it will only perform operations coming from the vSphere Server that is controlling it. vSphere Clients and other sources won’t “work”.

The ESXi Shell, the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) and SSH won’t be affected.

Lockdown Mode has been created to offer improved security in complex virtual environment. It’s really easy to enable the Lockdown Mode from the DCUI.

How to create a vApp on VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is a very flexible platform, making you able to manage a group of virtual machines and resource pools in a single entity named vApp.

Let’s think about a web application running on a VM. The application also needs a database and other resources running on differente virtual machines. From a service point of view, all the virtual machines are part of the same entity and that’s why vApp exists.

How to create a Template from a VM on VMware vSphere

Cloning virtual machines is a common task in virtualized environments, so common VMware created a different type of virtual machine to be used as a Template (and named Template). The difference between a VM and a Template is simple: you can’t power on a Template so you can’t modify it without converting it back to a virtual machine.

When a VM is converted to a template its .vmx file become a .vmtx file.

It’s pretty easy and quick to convert a VM to a template with VMWare vSphere Web Client, just follows these steps.

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.

Convert a thick provisioned disk to thin and vice versa on VMware ESXi

Thick-to-thin and thin-to-thick virtual disk provisioning conversion is one of the most common operations performed by the IT staff administering a virtual environment. The allocated spaces of a thin provisioned virtual disk is equal to the used space plus a bunch of bytes while with a thick provisioned virtual disk the maximum capacity will be allocated despite the usage of the drive.

Thin provisioned disks allow IT admins to store more virtual machines in the same datastore. It’s possible to convert a thick provisioned disk to a thin one in a bunch of clicks thanks to the powerful vSphere Web Client, for VMware ESXi virtual machines. It’s also possible to perform the inverse operation.