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vCloud Director reports ESXi host is down, when it’s not October 15, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs, VMware Training.
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Today (15/10/13) I’m messing about with VMware vCloud Director 5.1 and when I came to create my provider VDC I got an error stating that one of my hosts was down.

I checked my host and it was indeed UP not DOWN.

My fix was, stick the host into maintenance mode, do a reboot and then take the host out of maintenance mode.

I then went back into the vCloud Director Console and enabled the host; all was then good with the world.

I then had a look on Google and found the following blog on VMware’s Blog site.

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2013/02/unable-to-prepare-vcd-host-host-hostname-is-powered-off.html

Deploying and Configuring the Linux based vCenter Appliance June 19, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs, VMware Training.
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Do you have multiple VMware ESXi hosts?

Do you want to manage them all from a central location?

If the answer to the above questions is yes, then you will require a VMware vCenter Server.

VMware vCenter Server is a service that acts as a central administration point for VMware vSphere hosts connected on a network. This service directs actions on the virtual machines and the hosts.

VMware vCenter Server software consists of many services and modules. The software is installed on a supported Windows operating system or deployed as a Linux-based virtual appliance. VMware vCenter Server provides advanced features, such as VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler, VMware vSphere High Availability, VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance, VMware vSphere vMotion, and VMware vSphere Storage vMotion.

A single vCenter Server instance supports a maximum of 1,000 hosts. A vCenter Server instance also supports 10,000 virtual machines that are powered on at the same time and 15,000 registered virtual machines.

 

For a nice comparison of the two different flavours of vCenter visit VMware’s Blog Site

For a demonstration of deploying the Linux vCenter Appliance visit BryanQA Youtube Site.

For information on VMware course offerings from QA visit our website

Installing the Windows VMware vSphere 5.1 Client April 21, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in VMware Training.
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One of the courses I teach is the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage [5.1]

In this demonstration, we look at Lab 1 of the course, this lab demonstrates how to install the Windows VMware vSphere Client 5.1

The vSphere Client allows for management of all aspects of the VMware vSphere environment. It also provides console access to virtual machines. The vSphere Client is used to connect remotely to ESXi Hosts and vCenter systems from a supported Windows system.

The demonstration is available as a video at the BryanQA Youtube channel

Creating or upgrading a VMware Hardware Version 9 VM March 13, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs, VMware Training.
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On my VMware 5.1 ICM course this week we came up against the module on creating Virtual Machines. We state that ESXi 5.1 now uses hardware version 9

In the lab we create the VM via the vSphere Client (C# client) and the delegates always say.

“Hang on I can only create Hardware Version 8 VMs”

I say.

“Yep, you create the Hardware version 9 VM through the Web client.”

The options are as follows

When creating the VM we specify the compatibility level.

So the options

ESXi5.1 and later = Hardware Version 9

ESX 5.0 and later = Hardware Version 8

ESX 4.x and later = Hardware Version 7

ESX 3.x and later = Hardware Version 4

Upgrading Existing VMs to Hardware Version 9

In the web client select your VM that you want to upgrade.

Right Click in VM > All vCenter Actions > Compatibility > Upgrade VM Compatibility 9 (if powered off), Schedule upgrade VM Compatibility (if powered on)

You then get shoved into a wizard, select Yes and then select Compatible with ESX 5.1 and later.

Hey presto Hardware version 9

Network Health Check in vSphere 5.1 February 19, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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I’ve been playing with the new features of the Distributed Virtual Switches in vSphere 5.1 lately as part of my prep for the vSphere 5.1 Optimise and Scale course.

One of the new features is a marvellous thing called Network Health Check

The purpose of this feature is to detect certain issues and inconsistencies between the physical and virtual networks.

Certain key parameters such as MTU, NIC Teaming configuration and VLANs need to be configured consistently on the virtual and physical networks. If not we could than get some rather dramatic network connectivity issues.

What Network Health Check does is to search for these inconsistencies and report them to the administrator.

Network Health Check can detect and report the configuration differences between the port group and the switch port configuration by using layer two Ethernet packets. At one-minute intervals (by default), request and acknowledge packets are sent back and forth between the virtual interface and the switch. When packets are dropped, a configuration warning is displayed on the VMware vSphere® Web Client.

The requirements for Network Health Check include:

For VLAN and MTU checks, there must be at least two physical uplinks connected to the distributed virtual switch.

For the teaming policy check, there must be at least two active uplinks in the team and at least two ESXi hosts connected to the virtual distributed switch.

For a wonderful little demo visit the VMware Knowledge Base

 

The new VMware vSphere web client, it’s rather good November 7, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Training.
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I’ve been playing with vSphere 5.1 for some time now and I’ve got to say that I really do like the new VMware vSphere Web Client, however I didn’t at first.

The two big things that impress me are.

PAUSE FUNCTIONALITY

How many times have you started a task and then the phone rings and you get interrupted and tasked with a more serious problem?

Me personally quite a bit, this gave me two options; the first was cancelling the task, or open another instance of the old vSphere Client.

With the new vSphere web client we can now PAUSE the task, save it to our workplace and then resume the task at a later time. This can be on either the original web client, or I could launch the web client from home and continue the task. The workspace is server side.

The other function is TAGS

With the old vSphere Client I could only place an object in a single folder.

With TAGS I can create a TAG and associate it with a VM let’s say a TAG of Newcastle, but those VMs may also be used by HR, so I create an HR TAG and associate the VM with this TAG as well.

When I do a search I search for all VMs in Newcastle used by HR.

VMware have very kindly produced some rather nice how to videos on the new vSphere Web client, they’re worth a look.

 

 

Virtual Center on 5.1 won’t start after upgrade September 26, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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Hi all, I’ve been playing with vSphere 5.1 now for a few weeks and all in all it’s a fine product.

On my daily visit to VMware’s website I came across a couple of knowledge base articles which may be of some use to all.

In some situations, after installing or upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1, the vCenter Service fails to start up.

In some situations vSphere Replication 5.1 (VR) cannot recover protected virtual machines.

VMware and EMC have identified two issues with PowerPath/VE 5.7 and VMware vSphere 5.1.

To be fair all software at some point has issues, but this goes to prove that the majority admit the issue and fix it fast.

 

What’s new in vSphere 5.1 part 8 September 25, 2012

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Auto Deploy was introduced in VMware vSphere 5.0. vSphere Auto Deploy facilitates the rapid provisioning of vSphere hosts by leveraging the network boot capabilities of x86 servers together with the small footprint of the ESXi hypervisor.

Once installed a vCenter host profile is used to configure the host.  After configuration the host is connected to vCenter where it is available to host virtual machines.   The entire process is fully automated allowing new hosts to be quickly provisioned with no manual intervention.

However if we lost the Autodeploy server we lost the ability to boot our hosts

In vSphere 5.1, autodeploy supports:

Stateless or diskless caching host deployments lets you continue operation if the Auto Deploy server becomes unreachable. This was the only mode of install available in vSphere 5.0.

Stateless Caching caches the image when you apply the host profile. When you later reboot, the host continues to use the Auto Deploy infrastructure to retrieve its image. If the Auto Deploy server is not available, the host uses the cached image.

Stateful or disk-backed install:  Lets you obtain the master image from the Auto Deploy Server to quickly and easily install a new host. When you reboot the host, the host boots from disk, just like a host that was provisioned with the installer. Auto Deploy no longer provisions the host.

What’s new in vSphere 5.1 part 7 September 25, 2012

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One of the courses I teach is Site Recovery Manager 5.0, within the course we install, configure and manage vSphere replication; this allows us to replicate and then migrate or failover VMs from our production to our recovery sites without the need of specialist SANs.

Good news is that we now get this functionality natively within VMware vSphere 5.1. With this technology, a virtual machine is replicated by components of the hypervisor, removing any dependency on the underlying storage, and without the need for storage-level replication.

VMs can be replicated between any type of storage platform for example you can replicate between VMFS and NFS or from iSCSI to local disk.  Because vSphere replication works above the storage layer it can replicated independently of the file systems.

Replication is controlled as a property of the VM itself and its VMDKs, eliminating the need to configure storage any differently or to impose constraints on storage layout or management.  If the VM is changed or migrated then the policy for replication will follow the VM.

vSphere replication creates a “shadow VM” at the recovery side, then populates the VM’s data through replication of changed data. This is not however Fault tolerance.

What’s new in vSphere 5.1 part 6 September 25, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in Uncategorized.
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As a Hyper-V trainer and a VMware trainer I look at both products, and one of the nice features of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 is the live migration without shared storage, and this led to many questions about “Why don’t VMware have that?” As I’d signed my NDA with VMware I simply said, that at the moment we can’t do this, but now with VMware vSphere 5.1, I can say we do.

Enhanced vMotion enables a VM to change its datastore and host simultaneously, even if the two hosts don’t have any shared storage in common.

Another way of looking at this functionality is supporting VMotion without shared storage.  To use this enhanced functionality the hosts must be connected to the same VMware vCenter and be part of the same datacentre object.  Also the hosts must be on the same layer-2 network.

This vMotion enhancement ensures, zero downtime migration, no dependency on shared storage, and lower operating cost as a SAN is no longer required (but I’d still have one, I really like High Availability).