vSphere Survival Training

vSphere Survival Training

– admins of small vSphere-environments
– admins that live in areas with unreliable power-supply
– admins that need to deal with sabotage issues
– admins that are looking for knowhow beyond the manual
-anybody missing an undelete function in vSphere

This is not for you if
– you only trust VMware certified instructors
– you do not speak english or german or do not understand the typical slang terms like “vmdks”, “thick”, “thin” …
– you hate the commandline
– you expect polished scripted content

Expect and be ready to do all the work yourself.

Training will be offered as a one-on-one remote session via Skype, Anydesk, Teamviewer or the tool of your choice.
Scenario of the training: Your mission-critical Exchange-server was deleted, you dont have any backups and you are in charge of the situation.
Location of the training: Your home location

During the training we will do nothing that requires special scripting skills or expensive third party tools.
This makes sure the lesson really applies to your environment.


Install a new VM in your own environment
Once installed “destroy” it in various ways.
Learn how different problems manifest themselves and how to fix them.
Finally delete the VM and learn how to deal with such a case.

A little bit of theory first:

– VMX-files: Syntax-rules etc …
– VMDK-files: Thin vs thick etc …
– Why you can not use vSphere-Datastorebrowser for repair work
– Why there is no undelete function

Time to get your hands dirty …

Why you need WinSCP and Putty:
– How to create a new working vmx-file from a log-file
– How to create a new working vmdk-descriptorfiles from a log-file
– How to clean up a VM that is in an unconsistent state

Why you need a Linux-LiveCD:
– How to work with Datastores that filled up by accident.
– How to work with VMDKs with I/O errors and similar problems

Time to “accidentaly” delete the VM you created before.

– How to undelete a vmx-file
– How to undelete a vmdk-descriptor file
– How to undelete a flat.vmdk – or why this is hopeless in most cases
– How to undelete a delta.vmdk – or why this is hopeless in most cases
– Conclusion: Thin provisioned VMDKs – when should I use them ?
– How to make sure you can undelete a flat.vmdk next time
– How to make sure you can undelete a delta.vmdk next time
– Drawbacks of this approach
– Comparison with standard backup procedures

Summary and conclusion:
– You now have an undocumented low-level way to protect your VMs against accidental deletes, sabotage and VMFS corruptions
– You will improve your troubleshooting skills


If you are interested call me via skype “sanbarrow”