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ESXi 4.1 MegaRAID Storage Manager

This article shows how to Configuring  MegaRAID Storage Manager (MSM) with ESXi 4.1 and an SRCSAS18E RAID controller.

NOTE: In the comments below the article Ryan states vmware now has the correct driver package for ESXi 4.x.The link he provided is, http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/esx4_lsi_megaraid_dt/ZCV0YnRlcHBidHdw

To get this to work you will need:
The latest version of the vSphere Remote CLI on a Physical computer (not a guest on the ESXi host that you are configuring.)
MegaRAID Storage Manager version 2.91-05 2.91-05_Windows_MSM.zip (This link no longer works and may not be needed any longer due to the new driver from VMware.)
Depending on the age of the RAID card you will need the updated BIOS from the Intel SRCSAS18E Support website.

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Schedule your ESXi backup

Ok, so you've setup ghettoVCB on your ESXi or vSphere Hypervisor to backup your VM's but your sick of logging into the server and running the command manually. Don't fret, there is a solution. 

This solution requires that you have SSH enabled on your ESXi Server, you have previously configured ESXi backups with ghettoVCB. If you have not done this yet. Please look at how to complete these tasks in the ESXi Tutorial section of this site. 

Many of you are familiar with Putty which is great Free SSH program. The Putty developer also has a program called Plink. Plink is a command shell interface into Putty that can make this possible.

First, download Plink and Putty from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html.

Now gather some information to create the batch file that we will call with Plink. I've included reference information below.

Path to Putty & Plink.exe: c:\putty\plink.exe
ESXi user:root
ESXi Server Host or IP: 192.168.1.100
ESXi root password: ESXiRocks01
Path to ghettoVCB.sh: /vmfs/volumes/DataStore1/backup
Path to list of VMs to backup: /vmfs/volumes/DataStore1/ backup/vm-list

Now that the information is gathered it's time to create the batch file that will run. We do this by taking all of the information above and adding it to a new notepad document.

c:\putty\plink.exe root@192.168. 1.100 -pw "nohup ./vmfs/volumes/DataStore/backup/ghettoVCB.sh -f /vmfs/volumes/DataStore1/backup/vm-list"

What the bath file does is login to the ESXi server using root, nohup starts the ghettoVCB script to continue running even after Plink.exe has closed the connection. GhettoVCB calls the file that contains the list of VM's that we want to backup.

There are several variation on this command line.
If you are not concerned about logging out of the session simply don't include "nohup" in the batch file. If you would like to create a log add

" > /logfilepath/backuplog.txt"
to the end of the file. Make sure that /logfilepath/ exists on your server. To keep it with the ghettoVCB files utilize the same path as your ghettoVCB script. In the case above it would be
/vmfs/volumes/Datastore1/backup/backuplog.txt 

The whole command would be

c:\putty\plink.exe root@192.168. 1.100 -pw " ./vmfs/volumes/DataStore/backup/ghettoVCB.sh -f /vmfs/volumes/DataStore1/backup/vm-list >  /vmfs/volumes/Datastore1/backup/backuplog.txt "

Save the file on your computer. I saved mine as "c:\esxibackup\vibackup.bat"

Now simply use the task scheduler, located in administrative tools,  in Windows to schedule the batch file to run whenever you want your Virtual Machines backed up.


Alternatively, if you are running Linux, install the Plink package, use your favorite text editor to create the script, give it the appropriate permissions, setup a cron job to run the command at a specified time.

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Automate ESXi Backups

Ok, so you've setup ghettoVCB on your ESXi or vSphere Hypervisor to backup your VM's but your sick of logging into the server and running the command manually. Don't fret, there is a solution. 

This solution requires that you have SSH enabled on your ESXi Server, you have previously configured ESXi backups with ghettoVCB. If you have not done this yet. Please look at how to complete these tasks in the ESXi Tutorial section of this site. 

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Read more: Automate ESXi Backups

Change ESXi Password Complexity

ESXi 4.x requires a much stronger password than 3.5 did. If you are doing an upgrade you may not notice the difference until you go to change your password. If you are doing a new install, you will notice pretty quickly that it requires a very strong password.

Many will want to modify the password settings to make the password standards for ESXi 4.x weaker or in some cases stronger.

Prior to making any changes there are some things that you need to know. First, changes to this file will take effect immediately and will not require a reboot. Second, the sticky bit for the file is enabled, so changes will be backed up into the system configuration backup file for the host and you will not need to reapply this fix at every reboot. Third and most importantly, this is not a supported change.

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