Tag Archive for vSphere

Creating vSphere 5.5 Virtual Lab Environment – Part 1

I’ve finally decided to make another instruction on how to setup virtual lab environment for vSphere 5.5. As the previous instruction was based on vSphere 5.0 and there has been few changed to the vSphere environment setup requirement and architecture, I thought another instruction may be necessary.

Tools you need

  1. Laptop/Desktop with minimum of 12GB RAM (16GB or more is preferable)
  2. VMware Workstation 10 ( Can be done with other editions but the instruction is based on 10)
  3. Windows 2008 x64 ISO (This will be used by vCenter Server and Domain Controller)
  4. Windows 2003 x32 ISO (This can be used in Lab, you use other OS you wish)
  5. vCenter Server 5.5 Windows Edition ISO (I am using VMware-VIMSetup-all-5.5.0-1476387-20131201.iso)
  6. ESXi 5.5 ISO (I am using VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0-1331820.x86_64.iso)
  7. Openfiler ISO (I am using openfileresa-2.99.1-x86_64-disc1.iso)

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 17.17.57

Network Diagram

vSphere5.5VirtualLabDiagram

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Hardware Status tab is not available

vSphere Client doesn’t show Hardware Status tab when you login to vCenter Server, it is due to vCenter Hardware Status Plugin is not running on vSphere Client. Try enabling this plugin to see if it helps.

If you get an error message like below, and you are running Windows 2003 (maybe XP, too) then your system where vSphere Client is installed is missing a update.

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Obtain and install this hotfix from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948963. Then restart the system.

After restart, you got your Hardware Status tab back, and plugins are running fine.

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Discovering VMs that require Snapshot Consolidation

In the event when you restore VMs from backup or when delete Snapshot operation fails, then Snapshot List and actual Snapshot (Delta VMDK files) could become inconsistent. In this case VMs require Snapshot Consolidation, otherwise Delta-VMDK file continue growing its size without your ability to delete the snapshot as it is not listed in the Snapshot Manager.

In vSphere 5.0 above, VMs that require Snapshot Consolidation can be shown the message as you see below.

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Re-Register to vCenter Server using Update Manager Utility

Re-Register to vCenter Server using Update Manager Utility

It is necessary to re-register vCenter Server from Update Manager, for example when you change IP Address, Hostname or Certificate of vCenter Server. When you get an error message like below, then you know that you will need to re-register vCenter Server from Update Manager.

There was an error connection to VMware vSphere Manager
sysimage.fault.SSLCertificateError

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When Update Manager is installed, it installs VMwareUpdateManagerUtility under  C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager folder.

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Replace vCenter Server Certificate

Replace vCenter Server Certificate

vCenter server uses an automatically generated self-signed certificate after the installation. As with ESXi Server, this may not be desirable in some environment and requires use of a CA signed certificate.

As you may be aware when you access vCenter for the first time using vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client, you will receive a certificate warning message as the certificate vCenter uses is not signed by a known CA.

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Replace ESXi Certificate

Replace ESXi Certificate

The ESXi host uses automatically generated certificates that are created as part of the installation process. These certificates are unique and make it possible to begin using the server, but they are not verifiable and they are not signed by a trusted, well-known certificate authority (CA).

Using default certificates might not comply with the security policy of your organization. If you require a certificate from a trusted certificate authority, you can replace the default certificate.

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Configure Bulk Licensing

Bulk Licensing Feature of vSphere is especially useful when ESXi servers are deployed by AutoDeploy. As there is not option to specify the license key via Host Profile, Administrator must manually attach license to ESXi Servers.

Bulk Licensing allows administrator to use pre-defined license keys to ESXi server automatically including AutoDeployed ESXi server.

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Create a custom ESXi Firewall service

ESXi Server has a built-in Firewall to protect your ESXi Server.
There are pre-defined services (source and destination TCP/UDP Port) that you can configure via vSphere Client or CLI, such as permitting or restricting SSH from specified IP Address or Network. These pre-defined services should be sufficient for most of environment.
However there may be a case that you wish to create a custom service, for example when you install a third-party plugin and it uses TCP/UDP that is not defined in the pre-defined list.

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Objective 1.2 – Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment

Objective 1.2 – Manage Storage Capacity in a vSphere Environment

Knowledge 

Identify storage provisioning methods

vSphere support several Storage provisioning methods

VMDK based

  • Thin
  • Thick – Lazy Zero
  • Thick – Eager Zero

RDM

  • Physical mode
  • Virtual Mode

I have already posted about VMDK disk provision types in here.

I have already posted about RDM in here

Identify available storage monitoring tools, metrics and alarms

vSphere comes with several monitoring tools for Storage including Performance tab in vSphere Client.

Here are the some of the metrics and corresponding (R)ESXTOP metric that you should be aware of

  • Device Command Latency (DAVG/cmd)
  • Kernel Command Latency (KAVG/cmd)
  • Virtual Machine Latency (GAVG/cmd = DAVG/cmd + KAVG/cmd)
  • Device Queue
  • LUN Queue
  • Number of Aborted disk Command(ABRTS/s)
  • Number of disk Command issue (ACTV)
  • Number of Command in Queue (QUED)
  • Read/Write Rate (READs/s, WRITEs/s, MBREAD/s, MBWRTN/s)

Skills and Ability

Apply space utilization data to manage storage resources 

Provision and manage storage resources according to Virtual Machine requirements

Understand interactions between virtual storage provisioning and physical storage provisioning 

Apply VMware storage best practices 

Configure Datastore Alarms

Analyze Datastore Alarms and errors to determine space availability 

Configure Datastore Clusters 

 

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VCAP5-DCA Objective 1.1 – Implement and Manage Complex Storage Solutions – Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use cases for and configure VMware DirectPath I/O
  • Determine requirements for and configure NPIV
  • Determine appropriate RAID level for various Virtual Machine workloads
  • Apply VMware storage best practices
  • Understand use cases for Raw Device Mapping
  • Configure vCenter Server storage filters
  • Understand and apply VMFS re-signaturing
  • Understand and apply LUN masking using PSA-related commands
  • Analyze I/O workloads to determine storage performance requirements
  • Identify and tag SSD devices
  • Administer hardware acceleration for VAAI
  • Configure and administer profile-based storage
  • Prepare storage for maintenance
  • Upgrade VMware storage infrastructure
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