If like me you picked up the VMworld ESX3i Beta Memory stick a couple of weeks ago. It might interest you to know that it can be duplicated to an image file (IMG) and mounted using an ILO’s “Virtual Media” feature. I used the Linux command DD (device to device) to duplicate the memory stick. I did try to pick up more than one of the memory sticks offered to delegates at VMworld. I wanted 4 for each of my HP DL 385 and another two for some instructor buddies of mine. Unfortunately, there was no extra memory sticks “going spare”. Fortunately, duplicating the memory stick was very easy.
I inserted the memory stick into one of my ESX hosts, and worked out the Linux Dev(ice) name. This was easy to do using dmseg | grep ‘removable disk’ (note the single ‘ quotes are required). This returned the information
“Attached scsi removable disk sdk at scsi1, channel 0, id 0, and lun 0″
So now I knew the memory stick was /dev/sdk. I used fdisk -l /dev/sdk to double check I had found the correct device/disk. I then used the dd command to duplicate the stick with dd if=/dev/sdk of=/tmp/esx3i-beta.img. Next I upload the IMG file to shared location on a Windows file server and mounted it with my HP ILO’s virtual media options using “Floppy Disk” as the type. I was able to configure the servers root password, hostname and network settings.
I doubt this duplication process sticks to the absolute letter of the EULA. But as I am using the IMG internally and not distributing it then I don’t see the problem, and did ask very politely for more than one memory stick.