VMware Product Walkthroughs are a great, quick way to learn more about specific VMware or ESXi specific features. Excellent visual resource.
Duncan Epping is a Chief Technologist in the office of CTO at VMware. He has published some great virtualization technical references, some of which are available for free. His blog, yellow-bricks.com is a VMware Administrators go-to black book for managing enterprise environments or studying for a VCP or VCDX certification.
Long time virtualization blogger and storage enthusiast Frank Denneman is a VMware expert who has multiple white papers and formal publications. Check out his deep dives here and his list of the top 25 virtualization bloggers here.
VLADAN blog site contains various instructional posts regarding VMware-based infrastructures. Also contains great free study guides for certifications and links to valuable free tools for your toolbox.
This is an update to a 2015 post regarding injecting drivers into ESXi installation media. VMware Front website has discontinued it's support for the GUI-based utility due to core architecture changes to newer versions of ESXi. Formally, the ESXi-Customizer tool is now a PowerShell script that leverages VMware's PowerCLI snap-in for PowerShell.
Chris Wahl's Wahl Network is a great resource for getting up to speed on VMware networking, technical deep dives, product-specific technologies such as NSX and how-to build VMware home labs.
Rob de Veij's RV Tools is definitely a toolbox staple for anyone in the vicinity of a VMware ESXi server. Leveraging the VI SDK, RV Tools brings together a suite of about 25 various scripts that can query and report on the most important pieces of ESX, ESXi and vCenter components. Useful for quickly identifying dangerous performance killers, like snapshots. Great troubleshooting tool.
When white-box'ing a VMware ESXi host, there is little support for the storage and NIC support. With the help of a handy utility called ESXi Customizer (VMware Front) and identifying the make of the on-baord NIC, injecting the driver into the installation ISO can get you up and running quickly. Check out the excellent write up information from Kihltech regarding the process for most Intel and ASUS motherboards.
Desktop Hypervisors: Hyper-V Vs. VMware Workstation
For those who test and prepare using personal VM's and snapshots, VMware Workstation is unmatched in it's abilities. Now there are alternative choices to the hypervisor used on a workstation. Oracle's VirtualBox and Microsoft's Hyper-V are now available for desktop Windows. We'll focus on Hyper-V and save VirtualBox for a future post. Since the hardware needs VT enabled in the BIOS, only one hypervisor can be used. VMware Workstation is full-featured and the Snapshot Manager beats both Oracle and Microsoft's abilities. However, Hyper-V is free with Windows 8, VMware Workstation is around $180. VMware offers the VM Player for free but with limited features.
My first experience with Cisco UCS chassis and blade servers was a memorable one. Virtualization is new to most Cisco engineers it seems because managing the UCS firmware is almost always performed incorrectly and is the cause for various communication, application, overall server performance issues. UCS produces a central status report showing green and red lights regarding system health. This can be used to quickly identify firmware mismatches which is the most common cause of PSOD (purple screen of death) hit to the hypervisor.