Review: PHD Virtual Backup

Before I start with this post I first want to welcome a new sponsor: PHD Virtual.


In this post I will be doing a short review, sponsored by PHD, of the latest version of PHD backup. In this post I will show the following topics:

  1. install the PHD Virtual Backup Console and Plug-in
  2. Deploy OVF template of the PHD Virtual Backup Appliance
  3. Configure the PHD Virtual Backup Appliance
  4. Add VMs to a Backup job
  5. Restore a complete VM
  6. Restore individual Files
  7. Conclusion

So let’s start with the installation.

Continue reading “Review: PHD Virtual Backup”


Veeam Backup and Symantec Backup Exec side by side


In this post I will show you how easy it is to run Backup Exec Job when Veeam Backup is ready with his job.

First you have to configure your backup job. The only thing different to the “normal” configuration is the Schedule tab. Set the job to Run now. Submit the job and cancel the job.


You will see the job under the Job Setup.


Now we’re going to test the job. Open a command prompt and run the following command:

“C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd.exe” -o01 -jJobName_Backup


If everything went ok, the Backup job should be running now.

More information about bemcmd.exe can be found here: and in one of my earlier posts: backup-exec-start-a-backup-job-from-the-commandline

Now there is only one thing we need to configure in Veeam Backup. Open the Veeam Backup Job. Go to the Backup Destination window and click on Advanced.


Enable the Run the following command check box and enter the bemcmd.exe commando which we used earlier in the command prompt. After that, enable the Run every 1 backup cycle checkbox too.


Now you’re ready to go! When the Veeam Backup job is ready, it will start the Backup job of Symante Backup Exec and writes the Veeam Backup file to the tape drive.

PowerCLI: Get Running VM’s per VMHost and more


This post is inspired by a one-liner from Alan Renouf and question from Jason Boche on Twitter. The original one-liner can be found here:

The first one-liner in this post will show the Cluster name, ESX host and the total running VM’s on the host.

Get-VMHost | Select @{N="Cluster";E={Get-Cluster -VMHost $_}},Name, ` 

@{N="NumVM";E={($_ |Get-VM | where {$_.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn"}).Count}}


The second one-liner will return the hostname with the least running VM’s on it:

Get-VMHost | Select @{N="Cluster";E={Get-Cluster -VMHost $_}},Name,  
@{N="NumVM";E={($_ |Get-VM | where {$_.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn"}).Count}} `
| Sort-Object NumVM | Select-Object Name -first 1



The next “two-liner” will return the VMHost with the least running VM’s and set the VMHost into maintenance mode. This can become handy if you want to patch a VMHost:

$ESXHost = Get-VMHost |Select @{N="Cluster";E={Get-Cluster -VMHost $_}},Name,  
@{N="NumVM";E={($_ |Get-VM |where {$_.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn"}).Count}}`
|Sort-Object NumVM |Select-Object Name -first 1

Get-VMHost $ESXHost.Name |Set-VMHost -State maintenance

The last “two-liner” will return the VMHost with the least running VM’s, Set the host into maintenance mode and shutdown the VMHost:

$ESXHost = Get-VMHost |Select @{N="Cluster";E={Get-Cluster -VMHost $_}},Name,  
@{N="NumVM";E={($_ |Get-VM |where {$_.PowerState -eq "PoweredOn"}).Count}}`
|Sort-Object NumVM |Select-Object Name -first 1

Get-VMHost $ESXHost.Name |Set-VMHost -State maintenance `
|%{Get-View $_.ID} |%{$_.ShutdownHost_Task($TRUE)}

Upgrade ESX3i to ESX4i with the vSphere Host Update Utility


In this post I will introduce a new VMware tool called VMware vSphere Host Update tool. With this tool you’re able to update an ESX host without VUM, just like the VMware Infrastructure Update utility. See my previous post here. An other interesting feature of the vSphere Host Update tool is the option to upgrade an existing ESX(i) Host to vSphere.  In this post I will guide you through the upgrade process of an ESXi host which runs from a memory stick.

Start the vSphere Host Update Utility from  Start – Programs – VMware – VMware vSphere Host Update Utility.  When you already accessed your ESXi host with the VI Client, The host are already added to the Host List. If this is not the case, you can add your host via the Add Host… link at the right corner.  So now we’re ready to upgrade. Select the host and press the upgrade button.


The ESXi 4.0 Upgrade Wizard starts. You’ll have to add the upgrade zip file which you can download from if you’re a Beta user.


Enter the credentials for your host. In the screenshot below, you’ll see an error: The host must be in maintenance mode to perform an upgrade. So when the host is in maintenance mode, we can continue the upgrade process.


After the Host Compatibility check, the host will be upgraded to vShere.


After a couple of minutes the host is ready and is running ESXi 4.


RVTools: Version 2.5 Released


Rob de Veij has released a brand new version of RVTools.

These are the new features:

  • The installation file now understands how to upgrade without the need to uninstall the previous version first.

  • The documentation file is now also deployed to the program directory. You can start the Adobe reader from the RVtools “help” menu.

  • New fields on vInfo tab: Network #1 to Network #4

  • New fields on vDisk tab: Level, Shares, SCSI Controller, Unit id and vmdk path name. I’m now using the “config.hardware” information to fill this tab page. In the previous versions of the program I was using the guest information which have a strong dependency with the VMware tools.

  • New fields on vNetwork tab: Adapter type and Mac Address type. I’m now using the “config.hardware” information to fill this tab page. In the previous versions of the program I was using the guest information which have a strong dependency with the VMware tools.

  • New field on vHost tab: Number of VMs per core

  • New tab! vHealth. Displays health check messages. There are 8 possible “Health Check” messages:

    1. VM has a CDROM device connected!

    2. VM has a Floppy device connected!

    3. VM has an active snapshot!

    4. VMware tools are out of date, not running or not installed!

    5. On disk xx is yy% disk space available! The threshold value is zz%

    6. On datastore xx is yy% disk space available! The threshold value is zz%

    7. There are xx VMs active per core on this host. The threshold value is zz

    8. There are xx VMs active on this datastore. The threshold value is zz

  • You can set your “own” health check threshold values in the “Health Check Properties” form.

  • image

Grab you copy here:

Backup Exec: Start a Backup Job from the Commandline

Today I found some information about the tool called bemcmd.exe. With this little tool you can run and create backup jobs in Symantec Backup Exec.

If you run bemcmd.exe /? >c:\bemcmd.txt a help file will be created. You can also download the file here: bemcmd.pdf

You can run a created job with the following command:

C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd.exe -o01 –j<backupjob>


As you can see, the backup job is started in Backup Exec.


Vista: Photo Gallery Yellow Tint Background Problem

I had the same issue with a Samsung SyncMaster 940bw monitor.

When displaying and viewing photos in Windows Photo Gallery of Vista, some monitors or LCD flat panel displays may have a strange problem in which the images will be shown with a orange or yellowish tinge in photos’ background, affecting the display natural color of pictures to become something like Sepia effect. The entire window on WPG appears to be colored in slightly yellowish tint, and is therefore appear darker, including the panels on either side of the photo display which which appear yellow on the desktop but are white in actual.The yellow tinted photos may also affect other default image viewer in Windows Vista


The first workaround is by removing any existing ICC or WCS color profiles that are been associated with all display devices or monitors. Else, you can also try to change the default color profile for your system’s monitor to sRGB IEC61966-2.1, simply by clicking on Add, and then select sRGB IEC61966-2.1 from the list of profiles installed on system. After adding, click Set as Default Profile button. Exit from all dialogs and reboot your computer, and the color problem on Windows Photo Gallery is fixed.

If your system doesn’t have sRGB IEC61966-2.1 profile under the ICC Profiles, you can download the color profile from Adobe. Unpack the zip file, the right click on each of the .icc files in the RGB Profiles and CMYK Profiles folders (or simply just the one you need to use) and click “Install Profile” on context menu to install the color profile to system.

The first workaround was the solution for my system 😀



VMware: Reference cards

Rick Scherer posted a post about some reference cards for VMware admins. The vmreference card by Forbes Guthrie is a well know one but the other two reference cards mentioned by Rick are also nice to have.

First is the vmreference VI3 card by Forbes Guthrie over at

Second and third are VI3 Command References and Linux Command References from the VMware Deploy, Secure & Analyze class.