You may have heard that there's a new vSphere release out in the wild - vSphere 8, which just reached Initial Availability this week. Upgrading the vCenter in my single-host homelab is a very straightforward task, and using the included Lifecycle Manager would make quick work of patching a cluster of hosts... but things get a little trickier with a single host. I could write the installer ISO to a USB drive, boot the host off of that, and go through the install interactively, but what if physical access to the host is kind of inconvenient?
VMware vCenter does wonders for abstracting away the layers of complexity involved in managing a large virtual infrastructure, but when something goes wrong it can be challenging to find exactly where the problem lies. And it can be even harder to proactively address potential issues before they occur.
Fortunately there's a super-handy utility which can making diagnosing vCenter significantly easier, and it comes in the form of the vSphere Diagnostic Tool Fling.
Way back in 2020, VMware released vSphere 7 Update 1 and introduced the new vSphere Clustering Services (vCLS) to improve how cluster services like the Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) operate. vCLS deploys lightweight agent VMs directly on the cluster being managed, and those VMs provide a decoupled and distributed control plane to offload some of the management responsibilities from the vCenter server.
That's very cool, particularly in large continent-spanning environments or those which reach into multiple clouds, but it may not make sense to add those additional workloads in resource-constrained homelabs1.