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Posts Tagged ‘vSphere’

Mobile Watchlist, a new app from VMware to monitor your vSphere virtual machines

February 14, 2014 1 comment

VMware has released VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist. It is available for Android and iOS, iPhone only for now, and will enable any system administrator to keep an eye on their most critical apps from their phones.

It is a very intuitive app to use, below are a series of screenshots from the app installed on my iPhone 5 and connected to my homelab vCenter Server.

From the main screen you can add virtual machines from your vCenter inventory to the default watchlist or create a new watchlist.

Once you have added several virtual machines to your list you can check them in a glance in list or grid mode.

VM watchlist

Tap on a VM and you will access its details, configured resources, VM Tools state, related objects, etc.

As you can see from the screenshot this a multi screen so slide to the left and you can get a console screenshot of the virtual machine and perform different actions on the virtual machine.

Console screenshot    

I hope this is a step towards a new set of mobile apps from VMware focused on the administration of the different components of a virtual and cloud infrastructure :)

Juanma.

vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.6 now supports vCSA Postgres database

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Today VMware has released the latest release of vCenter Chargeback Manager. Although this release is more an update than a completely new one that doesn’t mean it comes without new features, on the contrary. The full list of new features and more information about 2.6 release of Chargeback can be found on its Release Notes. Some of the most interesting are:

  • Compatibility with 5.5 versions of vSphere and vCloud Director
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard support as host operating system
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 s supported database

However amongst every other new feature the one that has immediately captured my attention is that finally the vCenter Server Appliance vPostgres embedded database is supported. For me it is a very welcomed new addition, combining CBM 2.6 with vCSA 5.5 you can now manage the cost of your vSphere environment without the need of having an external Oracle database or a Windows-based vCenter Server.

In the Add a New vCenter Server dialog you will notice that Postgres now appears as an option.

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For this option there no need to configure database user, instance or port; just provide vCSA IP/FQDN, root user password and we are done.

image

When the process is completed the newly configured vCenter Server and its database can be checked as always in the settings tab.

image

Juanma.

Power and maintenance operations in ESXi 5.1 with esxcli

September 18, 2012 4 comments

ESXi 5.1 comes with many improvements and one of them is new namespaces and commands in esxcli.

Those new commands enable a system administrator to perform a shutdown, a reboot or a maintenance operation in a host.

Under the system namespace the new commands are the equivalents of the classic vicfg/esxcfg-hostops which until now was the only way to perform such kind of operations with vCLI and are also accesible locally on ESXi Shell.

image

Maintenance mode operations

Getting the basic usage of the command is as simple as always. You can perform two operations.

  • Get the state of the host
  • Put the the host in or out of Maintenance Mode
~ # esxcli system maintenanceMode 
Usage: esxcli system maintenanceMode {cmd} [cmd options]
Available Commands: 
  get                   Get the maintenance mode state of the system. 
  set                   Enable or disable the maintenance mode of the system. 
~ #
  • Get the state of the host
~ # esxcli system maintenanceMode get 
Disabled 
~ #
  • Put the host in Maintenance Mode
~ # esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true -t 0 
~ # 
~ # esxcli system maintenanceMode get 
Enabled 
~ #

Power operations

With the shutdown command the host can be either rebooted or shutdown. If the ESXi server is not in Maintenance Mode mode the operation will not be allowed.

~ # esxcli system shutdown 
Usage: esxcli system shutdown {cmd} [cmd options]
Available Commands: 
  poweroff              Power off the system. The host must be in maintenance mode. 
  reboot                Reboot the system. The host must be in maintenance mode. 
~ #

For both task the delay and reason parameter must be provided.

~ # esxcli system shutdown poweroff 
Error: Missing required parameter -r|--reason
Usage: esxcli system shutdown poweroff [cmd options]
Description: 
  poweroff              Power off the system. The host must be in maintenance mode.
Cmd options: 
  -d|--delay=<long>     Delay interval in seconds 
  -r|--reason=<str>     Reason for performing the operation (required) 
~ #
  • Power off the host
~ # esxcli system shutdown poweroff --delay=10 --reason=”Hardware maintenance”
  • Reboot the host
~ # esxcli system shutdown reboot -d 10 –r “Patches applied”

Juanma.

VCSA 5.1– Deployment and upgrade

September 5, 2012 23 comments

In the last post we discussed about the new features and changes that comes with version 5.1 of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance. In this new one I will explain how to deploy it and perform an upgrade.

VCSA Deployment

The deployment of the VCSA 5.1 is very similar to the previous version. Use the vSphere Client to deploy a new OVF template and browse to the VCSA OVA package, follow the instructions until you get to the Networking Properties screen.

Here you can pre-set the networking configuration values of the appliance.

image

If you are going to do a fresh VCSA or vSphere installation enter the appropriate values on each field. If you want to perform an upgrade instead leave them blank to get the info by DHCP or put a temporal IP address if there is no DCHP server in place. You don’t need to put here the final values since during the upgrading process all the network settings will be migrated.

Let the deployment process finish and power on the vCenter appliance. During the boot process you can see how the network configuration is applied to the VM.

image

And finally you will reach the familiar blue screen.

image

That’s it, now proceed to the WebUI to complete VCSA setup. In your first log into the vCenter a wizard will appear.

image

After accepting the EULA you will presented with four options:

  • Configure with default settings
  • Upgrade from a previous version, which also gives you the option to use the default Single Sign On configuration.
  • Upload configuration file. Very useful in case your vCenter Server virtual machine gets corrupted or you messed it up, if have a saved copy of the most recent configuration file you can deploy a new appliance and quickly restore its settings by uploading it.
  • Set custom configuration <- I used this option for my homelab testing.

image

In the next screen you choose which database you want to use, the vPostgres embedded or an Oracle external.

image

Now we must choose the options for the Single Sign On server. vCenter 5.1 comes with a new component known as the Single Sign On server, or SSO.

SSO allows an administrator to login through the vSphere Web Client or the API and perform operations across all components of the vCloud Suite without having to log into them separately. It integrates with multiple identity sources like Windows Active Directory, NIS and OpenLDAP. The SSO is a requirement for the Inventory Service, vCenter Server and the Web Client.

In the Windows based vCenter installer SSO comes as a separate component that can be installed in the same VM as the vCenter or in a different one as a stand-alone server, in High Availability mode or even in a multisite environment.

The VCSA comes with the SSO embedded however it is prepared to use an external SSO server too. If choose the external SSO deployment mode all the appropriate information must be provided in this screen. Again as with the vCenter itself the database type must be set.

image

Finally set the Active Directory configuration accordingly to your environment, review the configuration and click Start to begin.

image

At the end if everything goes fine you will see a screen with a confirmation, click close and will see al the vCenter services up and ready in the main screen of the WebUI.

image

The deployment and basic setup of the VCSA is done, at this point all other components and settings can be setup from here.

VCSA Upgrade

The upgrade of the vCenter Server Appliance will allow to update to a different OS version and migrate to a different database.

If you are upgrading from 5.0 to 5.1 and using the embedded database, it will be migrated from IBM DB2 to VMware vPostgres.  The configuration state will be preserved and the schema will be upgraded in order to be compatible with 5.1. VCSA 5.0 Update 1 already comes with vPostgres instead of DB2.

The major upgrade is supported from 5.0 and updates to 5.1.

The upgrading process is relatively simple:

  • Deploy VCSA 5.1.
  • Set the 5.0 appliance as source and 5.1 as destination.
  • Establish a connection between both VCSAs.
  • Import network configuration of existing VCSA.
    Prior to the upgrading the VCVA 5.1 must have a valid network connection and vCenter Server service must be stopped and un-configured.

Deploy the appliance as shown above, log into the WebUI and in the wizard accept the EULA in the first screen and select Upgrade from previous version in the second, let Use default SSO configuration as it comes by default.

The next screen that will be displayed is the Local and Remote Appliance keys.

image

Here we have put the current VCSA 5.0 key. To do so go to the Upgrade tab in VCSA 5.0 web interface. In the Prepare section select source and click Set role.

image

Go back to the VCSA 5.1 and copy the Local appliance key. On the 5.0 appliance click on Establish Trust and paste the copied key in the Remote key appliance key field. Click on Import remote key and wait for the import to complete.

image

In the VCSA 5.0 copy the Local appliance key. Go to 5.1 vCenter, paste that key on the Remote appliance key field of the setup wizard screen and click Next. The Pre-Upgrade Checker screen will show up.

image

After this a check will be run against the ESX/ESXi managed by the old VCSA and it will generate a report.

image

And the final screen will appear asking for confirmation. Click on the confirmation checkbox and in Start.

image

During the upgrade VCSA 5.1 will shutdown the 5.0 virtual appliance and assumes its network identity.

When the process is done a final screen will appear.

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If you want to check if the process is done log into the VCSA through SSH and list the vmware services, vmware-sso just to name one will show up on the list.

image

Also you can access the vSphere Web Client and will see the new 5.1 client.

image

Juanma.

VCSA 5.1– A quick look

August 28, 2012 2 comments

Yesterday was a very exciting day, VMware finally announced the new vCloud Suite 5.1. With new products and features announced, each one of them as great as ever.

But yours truly decided that instead of presenting you a generic “What’s new” post it was more interesting, at least for me and hope also to you, to focus in one of my favorite pieces of vSphere, the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance and in a couple of articles describe what new features are coming and how to perform an upgrade from 5.0 to 5.1.

What’s new in the VCSA 5.1

With this new release of the vCenter Server VA a few new features have been added, most of them related to the WebUI and to the new features and services that have been released globally for the vCenter 5.1, Windows and Linux based versions.

These new enhancements can be seen in the Summary section of the vCenter Server Tab as shown in the screenshot below.

image

From here all the vCenter Service can be started and stopped. The Services Tab no longer exists and it’s now a section of the vCenter Server Tab.

In the Storage Usage are you can check the disk usage of the different components of the VCSA.

There is also a Utilities are where you can:

  • Generate a support bundle in case of an incidence with the vCenter Server.
  • Download the configuration file of the VCSA and then open it in your favorite text editor.

image

  • Launch again the Setup Wizard to configure the VCSA from scratch or make modifications to some of he initial settings.
  • Upload the Windows Sysprep files to the vCenter VA.
      For this last option the procedure is quite simple. Click the

Upload

    button.

image

A new windows will open, select the operating system and browse for the location of the files.

image

The files will be uploaded to /etc/vmware-vpx/sysprep/<OS>.

Additionally in the vCenter Server Tab two new sections have been added.

The Service section where the VCSA administrator can setup:

  • ESXi Dump Collector repository size
  • vSphere Auto Deploy repository size
  • Inventory size

image

The SSO section. Here you can configure all the settings related to the newly introduced Single Sign On server.

image

In the next post we will discuss about VCSA 5.1 initial deployment and how to upgrade from 5.0 and 5.1.

Juanma.

Change ESXi 5 iSCSI iqn with esxcli

After my previous post about getting the iqn of an ESXi using esxcli Andy Banta (@andybanta) commented on Twitter that you can also change the iqn of the host with esxcli.

As he said it would be tremendously useful if you need to physically replace the server and don’t want to modify all your storage infrastructure, it’s easier to just modify the iqn of the new server and set it to the old name.

The task is as easier as the one described in last post. Using esxcli command with the iscsi namespace you can change the name and the alias of the adapter.

Screenshot from 2012-08-02 21_15_52

As a precaution first retrieve the current iqn to check that it’s the correct server.

Screenshot from 2012-08-02 21_20_08

To change the name you have to provide the adapter and the new name.

Screenshot from 2012-08-02 21_22_03

Hope you find this useful, any comments and suggestions are welcome as always.

Juanma.

How to get iSCSI iqn using esxcli in ESXi 5

Back in 2010 I wrote a post about how to get the iSCSI iqn of an ESXi 4.x server using vSphere CLI from the vMA or any other system with the vCLI installed on it.

The method described in that article is still valid for ESXi 5.0 since the old vicfg and esxcfg commands are still available, however with 5.0 version you can get a similar result using the new esxcli namespaces, following is how to do it.

First task is to get a list of the iSCSI HBAs in order to know the name of the software iSCSI initiator.

image

Next we get the info of the adapter.

image

Look at the Name field to get the iqn and we are done.

Juanma.

How to upgrade the vMA 5

March 20, 2012 4 comments

Last week vSphere 5 Update 1 was released by VMware, along with the main products some of the SDKs and automation tools were also updated, including the vMA.

As you should remember from my first post about vMA 5 the classic vma-update utility is no longer available. So to be able to update our vMA to the new version we have to use the Web UI. Following is the procedure to perform the upgrade.

First access the web interface using the vi-admin user as always.

image

From the main screen go to the Update tab. In the Status screen click on Check Updates.

image

After a few seconds a message will appear showing the new update available.

image

Click on Install Updates and after asking for confirmation the update process will start.

image

Once the update process is complete the appliance will ask for a system reboot.

image

Go to the System tab and perform the reboot. After the reboot is done you can check the new version in the appliance console,

image

And in the vma-release file, located at /etc.

vi-admin@vma:~> cat /etc/vma-release
vMA 5.0.0 BUILD-643553

Copyright (C) 1998-2011 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved.
This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and
intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more U.S.
Patent Numbers D617,808, D617,809, D617,810, D617,811, 6,075,938,
6,397,242, 6,496,847, 6,704,925, 6,711,672, 6,725,289, 6,735,601,
6,785,886, 6,789,156, 6,795,966, 6,880,022, 6,883,095, 6,940,980,
6,944,699, 6,961,806, 6,961,941, 6,970,562, 7,017,041, 7,055,032,
7,065,642, 7,069,413, 7,069,435, 7,082,598, 7,089,377, 7,111,086,
7,111,145, 7,117,481, 7,149,310, 7,149,843, 7,155,558, 7,222,221,
7,260,815, 7,260,820, 7,269,683, 7,275,136, 7,277,998, 7,277,999,
7,278,030, 7,281,102, 7,290,253, 7,343,599, 7,356,679, 7,386,720,
7,409,487, 7,412,492, 7,412,702, 7,424,710, 7,428,636, 7,433,951,
7,434,002, 7,447,854, 7,447,903, 7,467,067, 7,475,002, 7,478,173,
7,478,180, 7,478,218, 7,478,388, 7,484,208, 7,487,313, 7,487,314,
7,490,216, 7,500,048, 7,506,122, 7,516,453, 7,529,897, 7,543,301,
7,555,747, 7,565,527, 7,571,471, 7,577,722, 7,581,064, 7,590,715,
7,590,982, 7,594,111, 7,596,594, 7,596,697, 7,599,493, 7,603,704,
7,606,868, 7,620,523, 7,620,766, 7,620,955, 7,624,240, 7,630,493,
7,636,831, 7,657,659, 7,657,937, 7,665,088, 7,672,814, 7,680,919,
7,689,986, 7,693,996, 7,694,101, 7,702,843, 7,707,185, 7,707,285,
7,707,578, 7,716,446, 7,734,045, 7,734,911, 7,734,912, 7,735,136,
7,743,389, 7,761,917, 7,765,543, 7,774,391, 7,779,091, 7,783,779,
7,783,838, 7,793,279, 7,797,748, 7,801,703, 7,802,000, 7,802,248,
7,805,676, 7,814,495, 7,823,145, 7,831,661, 7,831,739, 7,831,761,
7,831,773, 7,840,790, 7,840,839, 7,840,993, 7,844,954, 7,849,098,
7,853,744, 7,853,960, 7,856,419, 7,856,531, 7,856,637, 7,865,663,
7,869,967, 7,886,127, 7,886,148, 7,886,346, 7,890,754, 7,895,437,
7,908,646, 7,912,951, 7,921,197, 7,925,850; patents pending.
VMware, the VMware "boxes" logo and design, Virtual SMP and VMotion are
registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States
and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may
be trademarks of their respective companies.
vi-admin@vma:~>

The above procedure use the default VMware repository and your appliance must be able to resolve public DNS addresses and access the internet in order to download de upgrade bits.

Juanma.

More HP sauce on ESXi 5.0

February 24, 2012 3 comments

On my first post about HP ESXi 5.0 customized image I discussed about the new esxcli namespaces added by HP. But those tools aren’t the only ones included.

If you list the software bundles and filter the output to display only the included by HP will notice an hponcfg package.

~ # esxcli software vib list |grep Hewlett
char-hpcru            5.0.0.8-1OEM.500.0.0.434156         Hewlett-Packard     PartnerSupported  2011-05-24 
char-hpilo            500.9.0.0.8-1OEM.500.0.0.434156     Hewlett-Packard     PartnerSupported  2011-05-24 
hp-smx-provider       500.02.10.13.44-434156              Hewlett-Packard     VMwareAccepted    2011-05-24 
hpbootcfg             01-00.10                            Hewlett-Packard     PartnerSupported  2011-05-24 
hponcfg               03-02.04                            Hewlett-Packard     PartnerSupported  2011-05-24 
~ #

Hponcfg, also included on ProLiant Support Pack for Linux, is a tool that enable a System Administrator to manage the iLO of a ProLiant server from the operative system.

~ # esxcli software vib get -n hponcfg
Hewlett-Packard_bootbank_hponcfg_03-02.04
   Name: hponcfg
   Version: 03-02.04
   Type: bootbank
   Vendor: Hewlett-Packard
   Acceptance Level: PartnerSupported
   Summary: HP ProLiant Lights-Out Configuration Utility for ESXi
   Description: HP ProLiant Lights-Out Configuration Utility for ESXi
   Release Date: 2011-08-09
   Depends:
   Conflicts:
   Replaces:
   Provides:
   Maintenance Mode Required: False
   Hardware Platforms Required: HP, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hewlett-Packard, hp
   Live Install Allowed: False
   Live Remove Allowed: False
   Stateless Ready: True
   Overlay: False
   Tags:
   Payloads: hponcfg
~ #

The tool is located at /opt/hp/tools.

/opt/hp/tools # ls
hpbootcfg         hpbootcfg_esxcli  hponcfg
/opt/hp/tools #

Launch the utility without arguments and you will get the usage and it will also display current firmware version of the iLO.

/opt/hp/tools # ./hponcfg
HP Lights-Out Online Configuration utility
Version 3.2-4 (c) Hewlett-Packard Company, 2011
Firmware Revision = 1.26 Device type = iLO 3 Driver name = hpilo
USAGE:
  hponcfg  -?
  hponcfg  -h
  hponcfg  -m minFw
  hponcfg  -r [-m minFw ]
  hponcfg  [-a] -w filename [-m minFw]
  hponcfg  -g [-m minFw]
  hponcfg  -f filename [-l filename] [-s namevaluepair] [-v] [-m minFw]
  hponcfg  -i [-l filename] [-s namevaluepair] [-v] [-m minFw]
  -h,  --help           Display this message
  -?                    Display this message
  -r,  --reset          Reset the Management Processor to factory defaults
  -f,  --file           Get/Set Management Processor configuration from "filename"
  -i,  --input          Get/Set Management Processor configuration from the XML input
                        received through the standard input stream.
  -w,  --writeconfig    Write the Management Processor configuration to "filename"
  -a,  --all            Capture complete Management Processor configuration to the file.
                        This should be used along with '-w' option
  -l,  --log            Log replies to "filename"
  -v,  --xmlverbose     Display all the responses from Management Processor
  -s,  --substitute     Substitute variables present in input config file
                        with values specified in "namevaluepairs"
  -g,  --get_hostinfo   Get the Host information
  -m,  --minfwlevel     Minimum firmware level
/opt/hp/tools #

As a non intrusive example you can use -g switch to get the server info.

/opt/hp/tools # ./hponcfg  -g
HP Lights-Out Online Configuration utility
Version 3.2-4 (c) Hewlett-Packard Company, 2011
Firmware Revision = 1.26 Device type = iLO 3 Driver name = hpilo
Host Information:
                        Server Name: esxi01.hp.local
                        Server Number:
/opt/hp/tools #

I’ll let you to investigate the rest of the options carefully.

Juanma.

vMotion error, virtual machine refuses to be migrated.

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Last night during a patching job in a customer I found the following error for several VMs when I put a host in maintenance mode and DRS tried to evacuate the virtual machines to the other nodes of the cluster.

image

Very strange since as far as I could see the virtual machines were running without errors, I was logged into some of them through SSH, and they also appeared as powered on in vSphere Client.

I decided to go to Tech Support Mode on the ESXi and check the virtual machine power state.

image

Everything looked exactly as it should be, no error logs, nothing. At this point I decided to restart the ESXi management agents.

image

And it worked, after a few seconds I was able to perform a successful vMotion and the host could be evacuated.

Juanma.

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