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  • 00 Building Webster’s Lab – Oops!

    December 12, 2019

    Blog, VMware

    The months of September, October, and November 2019 were brutal months for me. In September, I quit my job with no new job lined up and quickly found another job thanks to the help of the community. October saw the decline in the health of Sir Simon, The Keeper of Webster’s Lab, and then his death on the 11th. November saw the rapid decline in the health of my dad and then his death on the 25th.

    I finished the article series on Building Webster’s Lab in mid-September, but then never did much in the lab until mid-November. When I got around to building Virtual Machines (VMs) in the lab, I quickly found that networking did not work on one host and vMotion didn’t work at all. I eventually found that my VMUG Advantage licenses had expired in September. Even after entering and assigning new license keys, networking and vMotion still didn’t work.

    I decided just to wipe everything out and start over. I assumed I had messed something up. Well, my guess was right. When I went to start configuring networking after installing vCenter, I saw screens and options I had not seen before. The only guess I can make is that when I moved from the vSphere Standard Switch (vSS)  to the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS), I must not have deleted everything on the Standard Switch and networking side.

    I used GParted 1.0.0-5 to destroy all the content on the NVMe and SSD drives in every host and rebuilt the hosts. When I started configuring the vDS, I saw screens and options I had not seen before. After completing the rebuild, both networking and vMotion worked across al hosts. Which means I screwed something up in the move from vSS to vDS.

    Along this additional journey, my new employer Conversant Group became a sponsor of this website and the scripts. I used that money to buy additional equipment for the lab. Adding additional hosts meant I ran out of switch ports. I added a NETGEAR 1Gb switch and additional APC BackUPS units to the lab. There are now four 12-core XenServer hosts in the Infrastructure Pool and six 8-core vSphere hosts in the Lab Cluster (the maximum number supported by the VMUG Advantage license).

    Having a lab is great because it allows for learning and gaining experience. You become an expert by knowledge gained through experience, and experience is gained by learning from your mistakes. All I can say is Oops!…I did it again.

    I will go through and update several of the articles in the original series now that some of the information has changed.

    About Carl Webster

    Carl Webster is an independent consultant specializing in Citrix, Active Directory, and technical documentation. Carl (aka “Webster”) serves the broader Citrix community by writing articles (see and by being the most active person in the Citrix Zone on Experts Exchange. Webster has a long history in the IT industry beginning with mainframes in 1977, PCs and application development in 1986, and network engineering in 2001. He has worked with Citrix products since 1990 with the premiere of their first product – the MULTIUSER OS/2.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

    One Response to “00 Building Webster’s Lab – Oops!”

    1. Silvio Balduzzi Says:

      My deepest condolences, Carl.
      Thank you for what you do for the community. I agree with you that having your own test environment is very useful and I too am working to extend my environment.
      Good job!


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