Massimiliano Daneri is back: PXE Manager for vCenter

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How many readers remember Massimiliano Daneri?

Daneri was the brilliant creator of VMKB, the free Perl script able to perform live backup of ESX virtual machines (released in 2004), and VMTSPatchManager, the precursor of VMware Update Manager (released in mid 2007).

VMware hired Daneri in October 2007 and since then only few customers had the opportunity to see him in action.

He reappeared last week during the VMworld Europe 2009 (see live coverage of day 1 and day 2), where he presented his new work during a breakout session: PXE Manager for vCenter.

Basically the tool is Windows service that comes with a vCenter management plug-in to:

  • automate the provisioning of new ESX and ESXi hosts
  • backup and restore the host state
  • select the ESX/ESXi build to deploy and its installation mode (diskless, unattended or manual)


The product supports multiple vCenters and multiple network segments but has some limitations: it can’t automate the VMware Tools installation, it can’t provide the host web access interface, and doesn’t include the vCenter Client package for remote download.

PXE Manager is not an official VMware tool so the company doesn’t endorse it or provide support for it.
But the things may change if several customers ask for it.

Unfortunately at the moment there’s no way to download the tool.