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ESXi Manual Update

You can upgrade your ESXi very easily with vCenter but if you don’t have that well then here is how you can do it manually.

With VMware the depot files contain the VIBs and image profiles (basically everything you need). You can read more about it here.

  • Upload the offline bundle into a datastore (make a note of the full filename)
  • Depending on your setup either migrate the VMs or turn them off

ESXi Config Backup

Backups are a good thing to have. While it can be super quick and easy to rebuild your ESXi config sometimes that is not always the case. It’s a good idea to have a backup just in case. Here’s how to do it.

  • Enable SSH by right clicking on the host and selecting Services > Enable Secure Shell
  • Login with SSH
  • Enter the following commands
vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/sync_config
vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/backup_config

Azure IP Downloader v1

My firewall recently blocked Microsoft Azure AD Connect which caused issues with syncing to 365. Turns out the issue was that my IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) flagged it as being “suspected RST injection”.

Normally when something like this happens it’s typically the IPS being overly sensitive and I usually can whitelist the specific detection however the IPS is blocking other things correctly that are also flagged as “suspected RST injection” because this is Microsoft Azure I can’t simply just whitelist the IP or a short IP range because there are so many and they can change fairly often.

Microsoft does list some of the IPs for most of 365 on their website however the IPs that were being blocked from my side of things was 52.239.186.132 and 52.239.149.106. Which aren’t in the main lists as they are part of the Azure side of things.

There’s a link on the same page that will take you to a download page for all the Azure IPs. However they update that file weekly. AWS publishes a JSON file of their IPs here.

It’s been years that people have asked for Microsoft to just publish the IPs in a JSON file like how AWS does. There’s a feedback request from 2016 asking for something like that here. Microsoft did make the JSON file available but in a roundabout way.

GPO Export and Import

You’ve spent many hours perfecting your GPO (Group Policy Object) and you have it perfect and you want to import it to another location and well you could look at manually comparing all the settings but no one has time for that. There’s an easier way.

  • Open up Group Policy Management on the server that has the GPO you want to export
  • Right click on your GPO and select Back Up
  • Give it a location to put the backup

Convert a system with VMware Converter

There are a few ways to convert a system either P2V (Physical to Virtual) or V2V (Hyper V to VMware). This will show you how to convert a system using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client.

Before you start you should check a few things to make the whole process streamlined.

  1. Check that the system is fully up to date (you might get stuck in an update trap if you don’t)
  2. Check that you have remote access to the system (so that if needed you can at least get back into the system easily)
  3. Make a note of the IP configurations (you will likely need to re add them)
  4. If the system a domain member make sure that you know the local admin username and password (this is so that if it fails to talk to the domain you at least have a way back into the system)
  • Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client on the system you will be converting.
  • Run VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client as Admin
  • Click on Convert machine