VMWORLD 2015: TOP 5 SESSIONS

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VMworld 2015 is just around the corner (5 weeks and counting) and the theme this year is Ready for Any …and it looks like there will be some carryover of the Brave IT message from last years event that I believe is VMware’s call to arms to get themselves ready for the shift in IT that’s occurring at the moment. This will be my third VMworld and I am looking forward to spending time networking with industry peers…walking around the Solutions Exchange looking out for the next CloudPhysics or Platform9 and also attending Technical Sessions.

https://vmworld2015.lanyonevents.com/connect/search.ww

The Content Catalogue went live a few weeks ago and yesterday saw the Session Builder go live allowing attendees to start locking in sessions. There are a total of 752 sessions covering

Cloud Native Applications (15)
End-User Computing (94)
Hybrid Cloud (61)
Partner Exchange @ VMworld (49)
Software-Defined Data Center (480)
Technology Deep Dives & Futures (13)

Technologies previously announced at VMworld’s past like VSAN, NSX and vCloud Air have the lions share of sessions this time around, with EUC still a very popular subject. I have already filled up my schedule and from my list of sessions I have come up with the Top 5 sessions that I am looking forward to the most.

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My focus seems to have naturally shifted towards more Cloud Native Apps and Automation of late and it’s reflected in the choices above. Along side that I am also very interested to see how VMware will try to take vCloud Air into the hyperscale/PaaS category and I always I look forward to hearing from respected industry technical leads Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping as they give their perspective on storage and software defined datacenters. For a bit of fun I highly suggest the vExpert Game Show…it has become a tradition and is always a heap of fun.

As has also become tradition, there are a bunch of bloggers who put out their Top picks for VMworld…check out the links below for more insight into what’s going to be hot in San Francisco this VMworld.

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2015/07/22/my-top-15-vmworld-sessions-for-2015/
http://wahlnetwork.com/2015/07/22/top-10-picks/
http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/opinion/Top-10-VMworld-sessions-for-2015

Blue Medora NetApp Management Pack – First Impression

Before playing with the software, I recommend that you review the powerpoint files first. You will find them listed under Resources in this page. The slides (in PDF format) is not based on the vRealize Operations 6.0 release, but it still contains a lot of useful information. It will be useful for you to read them before reading my blog, as mine is based on the 6.0 release.

With a management pack, we certainly expect deeper visibility. There are many things that a VMware admin would love to see from their storage. Often, all they know is the LUNs. What’s backing up those LUNs are not exposed. For example, on the following screenshot you can see that it shows the number of systems I have. For each system, it shows the NetApp aggregate, volume, etc. The Environment tab shows the relationship. Notice I selected a Datastore. The VMs are highlighted, but the LUN is not. Can you guess why?

You are right, it’s an NFS. I have 4 datastores, and 1 of them is an NFS.

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I like the way it’s structured like the above. It’s easy for me to understand the structure, hierarchy and dependancy. You can even see the VM in the datastore, as shown below.

31 VMs are showing

On the screen below, I clicked a LUN. All the associated Datastores, VM, etc are shown. If your Datastores and LUN are not mapped 1:1, they will be visible here. Relevant information is also shown if you do a mouse-over on an object.

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If you click the Map sub tab, you get something like this. This is another visualisation, which some of you may like. Personally, I’d like to see the volume put under the Aggregate, not at the same level.

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You might be wondering, where are the disks? It’s storage after all :-) Well, they are now shown. I did not know that the default setting does not include Disk.

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What you need to do is to go the Advanced Settings, as shown below, and choose the collection you want. I set mine to all as you can see below.

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I like the screen below. It’s one of the default dashboards that come with it. It gives me a good overall summary. I do not have the performance data, which I’m checking with the folks at Blue Medora.

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My first impression is this delivers the visibility that VMware admin often do not have access too. Cool stuff!

VMware vSphere 6.0 – Symantec Backup Exec 15 Backup and Restore

Symantec has just released  Backup Exec 15, one of the first backup products in the market to support VMware vSphere 6.0.

The supported capabilities include (for an exhaustive list check the Software Compatibility List):

  • VMware vCenter 6.0 and VMware ESXi 6.0
  • VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs)
  • VMware EVO:RAIL

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Like other backup solutions, before starting to backup the VMware environment, the vCenter Server or the ESXi Nodes must be added.

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To start a backup job, right click the vCenter Server and select Backup, in this case to Deduplication Disk Storage.

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It’s recommended to test the credentials used to connect to the vCenter Server and to use with the Granular Recovery Technology (GRT).

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Click Edit to select which virtual machines to backup.

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In the Virtual machines options select the appropriate settings.

I selected to enable GRT for files and folders and to use the NBD (Network Block Device) transport mode.

To successfully use the Granular Recovery Technology, the Symantec Agent for Windows must be installed inside the virtual machines.

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Again, like other backup products in the market, Backup Exec 15 takes a snapshot of the virtual machines during the backup.

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The backup job completed successfully.

To start the restore process, right click the vCenter Server and select Restore.

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Select the backup set.

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In case of a test, select a different location.

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The virtual machine has been correctly restored.

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Same result for an individual file restore.

That’s all, the VMware vSphere 6.0 virtual machine backup using Backup Exec 15 has been successfully completed.

Backup products and vSphere 6.0 compatibility

Some days ago I’ve wrote about why upgrade and why don’t upgrade to the new vSphere 6.0and one of the main reason was the compatibility aspect.

Not only with hardware (most of vSphere 5.5 hardware is in HCL also for version 6.0), but mainly for the software part, especially the 3rd part software!

And the most important is your backup solutions: if maybe you can accept some risks using a new release of vSphere, you cannot accept the risk of loose your backup or use beta backup product in an environment. Backup must be, first of all, reliable! Compatibility and support are not an option in a production environment.

Of course, if you are using traditional approach with an agent inside each VM you are not affect at all… compatibility is just with guest operating system and this does not change.

But, in order to gain the most of benefit from the virtualization, you are probably using some native backup solution (that is based on the VMware VADP API). Of course new version of VMware VDP (that now include also VDP Advanced) fully support the new 6.0.

Also some new features, like Virtual Volumes may impact how backup are done… for example will be the SAN transport mode available with Virtual Volumes? This can provide storage visibility and potentially storage offload, but it depends if and how will be supported in backup API. For VDP this is not a problem because it cannot work in SAN transport mode.

So what happen with other vendor?

In the past, Andreas Lesslhumer (leader of VMUG Austria) has built a compatible table forvSphere 5.5, but actually I don’t see any update for 6.0, so I’m going to build something similar for the new version.

Post added: Manfred Hofer (co-leader of VMUG Austria) has now realized a better version of this resource with not only a nice aspect, but more information (including compatibility with Microsoft Hyper-V). Have a look at his post: Backup Interoperability Matrix.

This list include only backup products that are using the VMware VADP API. Other solutions are not considered (just because they not depend by vSphere version, but just by guest OS version). Also I don’t consider products that are out-of support or at end-of-life.

vSphere 5.0 vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0
VMware vSphere Data Protection 6.0Compatibility No  Yes (only hosts)  Yes (only hosts) Yes
Veeam Backup & Replication 8Compatibility Yes Yes Yes April?
Veeam Backup & Replication 7 Yes Yes Yes (7R2) No
Symantec Backup Exec 2014 SP2Compatibility Yes Yes Yes only v2015?
Symantec Backup Exec 2012 SP4 Yes Yes Yes (SP3) No?
Symantec Netbackup 7.6 – Compatibility Yes Yes Yes v7.6.1.1
Unitrends Enterprise Backup Yes Yes Yes (7.3) ?
Unitrends Virtual Backup (formerly PHD Virtual Backup) Yes Yes Yes (8.0) ?
Acronis Backup (formerly vmProtect) 11.5 for VMware Yes Yes Yes April?
Acronis Backup Advanced for VMware Yes Yes Yes Yes*
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments: Data Protection for VMware 7.1 Yes Yes Yes ?
Nakivo Backup & Replication 5.x Yes Yes Yes ?
Nakivo Backup & Replication 3.x and 4.x Yes Yes Yes (3.8) No
CommVault Simpana 10R2 Yes Yes Yes (10.0 SP5) ?
HP Data Protector Yes Yes Yes June?
Dell Software (formerly Quest/Vizioncore) vRanger Yes Yes Yes (7.0) ?
Quantum vmPRO VM Data Protection Software Yes Yes Yes ?
EMC Amavar Yes Yes Yes (7.0SP1) Aug?
EMC (formerly Legato) Networker 8.x Yes Yes Yes (8.1SP1) Aug?
CA ARCserve Yes Yes Yes (r16.5) ?
WD Arkeia VMware vStorage Backup Agent Yes Yes Yes ?
Zmanda Client for VMware vSphere Yes Yes Yes ?
Trilead VM Explorer 5.x Yes Yes Yes (5.0.012) ?

Announced support for vSphere 6.0:

  • Symantec: both NetBackup and Backup Exec are VMware vSphere 6 Ready on their first dates of general availability. Interested customers can read more about the April release of Backup Exec 15 here (http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/backup-exec-15-beta-registration-now-open), more about the just-released NetBackup 7.6.1.1 here, and may plan rollouts knowing they have a backup solution in place for cutting edge virtual environments. We will continue to enhance our vSphere 6 capabilities in NetBackup 7.7 later this year.
  • Veeam: expect to support vSphere 6 by the end of April 2015 as a part of Veeam Backup & Replication 8.0 Update 2 (see also this announce).
  • Nakivo: has simple published this video about the support at vSphere 6.
  • Acronis: see the comment in the post, but April is the expected period for the compatibility of Acronis Backup for VMware. Acronis Backup Advanced for VMware already supports vSphere 6 since Update 6 version ( but not in the Northern American version, that still doesn’t support it yet )

For all the other I’ve put a question mark just because there aren’t (or I’ve not found) information on when (or if) the product will support vSphere 6.0… But I suppose that in the next months we will see some big changes in this table.

VMware Hands-on Labs

It always surprises me how few customers are aware of the Hands-on Labs. The labs are full installations of VMware software running in VMware’s cloud, accessible from any browser and completely free for anyone to use.

Each self-paced lab is guided with a step-by-step lab manual. You can follow the manual from start to finish for a complete look at the specific software product. Alternatively, you can focus on specific learning areas due to the modular structure of the lab manual. You can even ignore the manual completely and use the lab as a playground for self-directed study.

You can give the labs a try here: http://labs.hol.vmware.com/

VCDX5-DCV – RESOURCES

The journey to achieving the VCDX certification is multifaceted, requiring highly developed skills in several areas. To give guidance and structure to my approach, I am compiling a reference library in addition to some of the great resources provided by the VMware community.

Overview

The VCDX Program
Handbook & Application
Design Defense Blueprint
Preparing for the VCDX
Exam Language Options
VCDX Community Resources

Official VMware Communities Page
Gregg Robertson – VCDX Resource Page, VCDX-PREP (Links to many of the VMware BP white papers, Gregg is also leading the EMEA VCDX vBrownbag 2015 study group)
Craig Kilborn – VCDX paying it forward
Derek Seaman – VCDX-link-o-rama
Art of IT Infrastructure Design: The Way of the VCDX – Panel
Preparing for the VCDX Defense Panel
VCDX Success Videos
VCDX Boot Camp Slide Deck
VCDX Boot Camp Videos
VCDX Study Guides & Books
VCDX Holder Blog Resources (tagged “VCDX” search)

Josh Odgers – http://www.joshodgers.com
Rene Van Den Bedem – vcdx133.com
Magnus Andersson – vcdx56.com
Tim Antonowicz – whiteboardninja.wordpress.com
Chris Colotti – http://www.chriscolotti.us
Josh Coen – http://www.valcolabs.com
Brian Suhr – http://www.virtualizetips.com
Frank Denneman – frankdenneman.nl
Duncan Epping – http://www.yellow-bricks.com
Jason Nash – jasonnash.com
Michael Webster – longwhiteclouds.com
Jason Boche – http://www.boche.net
Mike Brown – http://www.vcdx71.com
Hersey Cartwright – http://www.vhersey.com
James Charter – http://www.jamescharter.com
Hugo Phan – vmwire.com
Joep Piscaer – http://www.virtuallifestyle.nl
Tom Ralph – virtualserverguy.com
Derek Seaman – http://www.derekseaman.com
Jason Shiplett – blog.shiplett.org
Kenny Garreau – dudewheresmycloud.com
Joseph Griffiths – blog.jgriffiths.org
Ray Heffer – http://www.rayheffer.com
Viktor van den Berg – http://www.viktorious.nl
Harsha Hosur – harshahosur.com
Kenneth van Ditmarsch – virtualkenneth.com
Chris Wahl – wahlnetwork.com
Safouh Kharrat – http://www.safouh.com
Chris Kranz – http://www.wafl.co.uk
Artur Krzywdzinski – vmwaremine.com
Joe Silvagi – http://www.vmprime.com
Reference Documents:

Design Defense Blueprint
Cloud Architecture Tool Kit
Handbook & Application
Togaf 9 Resources
VMware vSphere Best Practise Guides – mainly information from my VCAP5-DCD study notes.
Books: Most of these i’ve read a few times over and a few which I have only covered lightly. There is only so much you can store mentally from just reading. My personal study method is to: Read, comprehend, write, evaluate, lab (if required). The more I can do of this the better. Its a fairly logical approach which has helped me in the past.

vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive – Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman
VMware vSphere Security Cookbook – Mike Greer
VMware vCloud Security – Prasenjit Sarkar
VMware vSphere Design SE – Scott Lowe, Forbes Guthrie and Kendrik Coleman
The Art of Network Architecture: Business Driven Design – Russ White and Denise Donohue
Virtualising Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere – Matt Liebowitz and Alexander Fontana
Networking for VMware Administrators – Chris Wahl and Steve Pantol
VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) VMware Press : Technical and Operational Guidance for Cloud Success : vCAT Team
Troubleshooting vSphere Storage – Mike Preston
VMware vSphere Resource Management – Jonathan Frappier
Managing and Optimising VMware vSphere – Sean Crookston and Harley Stagner
Storage Implementation in VSphere 5.0 – Mostafa Khalil
Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals: Understanding Techniques and Designs for Highly Efficient Data Centers with Cisco Nexus, UCS, MDS, and Beyond
VMware vSphere Design Best Practises – Brian Bolander
Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware: Doing it Right (Vmware Press Technology) – Michael Corey, Jeff Szastak, Michael Webster
VMware vSphere 5, Building a Virtual Datacenter: Integration into the Datacenter – Eric Mallie, Rene-Francois Menneceir
Mastering vSphere 5.5 – Scott D Lowe, Nick Marshall, Forbes Guthrie, Matt Liebowitz and Josh Artwell

vSphere 6 is GA: The ultimate guide to upgrade your white box to ESXi 6.0

So finally VMware made vSphere 6 generally available (GA)! I already wrote about what we can expect from ESXi 6.0 in terms of white box support and using the free license, and I bet that a lot of people cannot wait to have their boxes upgraded …

In this post I will explain how you can download ESXi 6.0, what you need to take care of with regards to unsupported hardware and software, how you actually do the upgrade, and how you can build your own customized ESXi 6.0 installation ISO for new installs.

1. How to get the bits

I you have a paid vSphere license under subscription then you can download ESXi 6.0 (and all other vSphere 6 components that you are entitled to) from the My VMware Downloads page.

Even if you will use ESXi only with a free license key you will need a My VMware account for the following steps. If you are already running ESXi then you most probably already have one – if not then register now. It’s easy and free.
The free license offering has already been updated to 6.0, so you can then go to the vSphere Hypervisor page to register and download ESXi. There you will also find the license key that you need to enable the features of the free version after installation.

The ESXi installation image can be downloaded in two different formats: On the one hand there is the ISO file (named VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.0.0-2494585.x86_64.iso) that you just burn to a CD media and use to boot your machine and install or upgrade ESXi on it. On the other hand there is the Offline Bundle (named VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-depot.zip) that you can use to update ESXi directly from the command-line using esxcli. You also need the Offline Bundle to customize the ESXi installation and build your own installation ISO (e.g. with additional drivers).

Unfortunately the Offline Bundle is – right now – only available to you if you have a paid vSphere license under subscription registered with your MyVMware account! On the download page of the free vSphere Hypervisor you will only find the ISO file, and even if you register for a vSphere evaluation you will not be able to download the Offline Bundle, but only the ISO file.

Confused already? Here is another option: A different way to download ESXi is through the VMware Online Depot. The primary purpose of the VMware Online Depot is to serve as a synchronization source for VMware Update Manager (VUM), the product that you use to patch/update ESXi hosts that are managed centrally through vCenter. However, since it is all about patching the ESXi 6.0 GA bundle is usually not available in the Online Depot right away at the GA date, but is added there some time later (at least this is how VMware handled it for the release of ESXi 5.5).
My new service, the ESXi Patch Tracker, can notify you once the ESXi 6.0 GA bundle has been added to the VMware Online Depot, because it does nothing else than querying exactly that. I suggest that you subscribe to its RSS feeds and/or follow its Twitter Bot @ESXiPatches to get the news just in time!
Once the ESXi GA Imageprofile is available in the VMware Online Depot you can upgrade your host directly from it provided that your host has a direct Internet connection. For an offline upgrade you can then also use my ESXi-Customizer-PS script to create both the ESXi 6.0 installation ISO and Offline Bundle. But right now this is not yet an option, and I will explain that in a later post to not further confuse you 🙂

2. Beware of driver blacklisting: Identify your devices and drivers used

Standard disclaimer / warning

The workaround described in the following sections and any software package that you install through the V-Front Online Depot are neither endorsed nor supported by VMware! Use at your own risk and never on production systems!

When VMware released ESXi 5.5 in 2013 they decided to drop some drivers for NICs from it that are commonly used in consumer grade hardware: r8168 and r8169 for Realtek chips, sky2 for Marvell chips (and less common: s2io for Neterion 10Gb cards). Luckily you could still keep them installed when upgrading from ESXi 5.1 to 5.5 or install them later on top of ESXi 5.5.

With ESXi 6.0 VMware goes a step further and actively prevents installing these drivers by using a blacklisting method that is based on VIB package dependencies! The ESXi system package misc-drivers is flagged to replace the above mentioned driver packages which means that you cannot install misc-drivers and any of these drivers – misc-drivers though is absolutely necessary for ESXi so you must install that!
As a workaround I created a new package that just includes the driver files of the net-r8168, net-r8169, net-sky2 and net-s2io packages, but uses a new and different name: net51-drivers.

So, are you using one of the blacklisted drivers? Find out by running the command
esxcli network nic list
in an ESXi shell. This command will list all the NICs that are in use on your system together with the associated driver name (in the third column). If this command lists r8168, r8169, sky2 (or s2io) for you then you need to install my anti-blacklist package like this – before upgrading to ESXi 6.0:
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# Lower the system’s acceptance level to allow Community supported packages
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esxcli software acceptance set –level=CommunitySupported
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# open firewall for outgoing http requests:
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esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
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# Install net51-drivers from the V-Front Online Depot
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esxcli software vib install -d https://vibsdepot.v-front.de -n net51-drivers
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# Reboot
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reboot
Please note that the net51-drivers package will also replace the blacklisted packages, but this is not a problem, because it includes the exact same files. So after a reboot your host will work exactly as before.

Another note: In my V-Front Online Depot there is also an updated driver for Realtek 8168 based NICs available that provides better compatibility with newer Realtek cards than the ESXi 5.1 builtin r8168 driver. If you have already installed this one then the workaround explained here is not necessary, because it uses a different package name (net55-r8168) that is not on the blacklist.

3. Check installed packages and take appropriate actions

Before doing the actual upgrade it’s a good idea to check if you have other officially unsupported ESXi packages installed on your host, and how they will behave with ESXi 6.0. Let’s go through the packages that are available through the V-Front Online Depot:
net55-r8168: As stated above it is safe to keep this driver with ESXi 6.0 if it works well for you.
net-e1000e: This driver by GLRoman updates the ESXi builtin e1000e driver and supports additional Intel Gigabit NICs. In ESXi 6.0 VMware has also updated its own e1000e driver, and – as fas as I could check that – the VMware supplied version in ESXi 6.0 now supports the same set of devices as GLRoman’s driver. However, please do not uninstall GLRoman’s driver prior to the ESXi upgrade, because this could potentially render your host unable to boot (because of “no supported NIC found”). Instead follow the clean-up steps below (section 5) after the upgrade!
net-tulip: This package allows to run nested ESXi hosts under Microsoft’s Hyper-V. I have not tested that, but I expect that it is safe to keep that and that it will still work with ESXi 6.0.
sata-xahci: This package enables support for additional SATA AHCI controllers. It is still required with and compatible with ESXi 6.0. Keep it if you have that installed.
cpu-microcode: This package updates CPU microcode files. It is incompatible with ESXi 6.0, but you do not need to uninstall it prior to the upgrade, because ESXi 6.0 comes with a VMware-supplied package with the same name, and that will just replace the community supported package.
ProFTPD: I quickly tested this FTP server with ESXi 6.0 and it worked. However, some users reported that they had issues with this package on ESXi 5.5 that affected system stability, so I no longer recommend using it. Uninstall it with
esxcli software vib remove -n ProFTPD
(no reboot required)
esxcli-shell: This is an esxcli plugin that allows you to run any ESXi shell command through esxcli. It still works with ESXi 6.0, and it is safe to keep it. However, I wonder for what purposes this can still be useful (Please let me know if you use it!)
fw-ntpd: Adds an ESXi firewall rule to allow incoming NTP traffic. The firewall subsystem has not changed in ESXi 6.0, so this package is still compatible and functional with 6.0.
esx-tools-for-esxi: The VMware Tools for nested ESXi hosts is a VMware fling that is very useful for virtual ESXi hosts in lab environments. Actually VMware also finds this so useful that it is now officially included in ESXi 6.0. Unfortunately an upgrade to ESXi 6.0 will not remove the old fling version, so I recommend doing this manually before:
esxcli software vib remove -n esx-tools-for-esxi
(requires a reboot)
vmware-esx-dvfilter-maclearn: Another cool VMware fling that is very useful in nested environments. According to William Lam it is still needed in ESXi 6.0, but none of us has already tested if it is actually still working with ESXi 6.0. At least it survives an upgrade, and it looks like it is safe to keep it.
ib-opensm and iperf: Raphaël Schitz – the author of these packages – will test them on ESXi 6.0 and let us know if they are compatible. I cannot make a recommendation for them right now, sorry!

If you are unsure then you can check whether you have any of these packages installed by running
esxcli software vib list | less
in an ESXi shell. This will create a list of all installed packages that you can scroll through using the cursor keys – press Q to return to the command prompt. You can also search for a specific package with
esxcli software vib list | grep -i

4a. Upgrade to ESXi 6.0 using the Offline Bundle

So, now we are finally ready to upgrade your white box to ESXi 6.0! If you managed to get your hands on the Offline Bundle then you can use the following procedure:

1. Upload the ESXi 6.0 Offline Bundle (VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-depot.zip) to the root directory of a datastore that is accessible for your host. Use the the legacy vSphere Client like this:

Host Configuration – Storage – Datastores – Browse Datastore…: Note the datastore name (“VMStore03” in this example)!

In the datastore browser window select the root directory (/) on the left, click on the Upload icon and select Upload File… from the dropdown list. A file selection dialog will pop up now: Select the Offline Bundle from your local hard disk and it will be uploaded to the datastore then.

2. Log in to an ESXi shell and run the upgrade like this:
esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/VMStore03/VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-depot.zip -p ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-standard
In the command string replace VMStore03 with the name of your datastore! Wait for the command to complete successfully. Then reboot and enjoy!

4b. Upgrade to ESXi using the installation ISO

If you are unable to get your hands on the ESXi 6.0 Offline Bundle and only have the ISO file to your avail then you can still upgrade your host by booting it from the ISO and following the built-in upgrade wizard. I have quickly tested that method with a nested ESXi 5.5 host, and it yielded the same result as the Offline Bundle method – the net51-drivers and sata-xahci packages that I installed before the upgrade were preserved!

Here are the steps:

Boot the machine from the ESXi 6.0 installation ISO and advance to this screen:

Press “Cursor Down” and Space here to select “Upgrade”, press Enter and confirm on the next screen by pressing F11:

Watch the magic happen …

… and finally …

press Enter to reboot to the upgraded system.

4c. If something goes wrong

Please note: If something goes wrong and your system turns out to be unbootable after the ESXi upgrade then it should recover itself by rebooting again from the alternate bootbank that still contains the old system state. You can also manually fail back to the old state by following the KB article Reverting to a previous version of ESXi.

5. Clean-up for net-e1000e users

If you were using GLRoman’s net-e1000e package before the upgrade then you are still using it after the upgrade, although the ESXi 6.0 built-in e1000e driver supports the same set of devices. GLRoman’s driver will probably also work fine with 6.0, but if you want to maximize the supportability of your hardware then you can replace it with the official VMware driver package – provided that you have the Offline Bundle available. Run the following command to do this:
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/VMStore03/VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-depot.zip -n net-e1000e
Use the same path to the ESXi 6.0 Offline Bundle (following -d) that you were using for the upgrade! A reboot is required.

6. Create a custom installation ISO for ESXi 6.0

Do you prefer to do a clean install of ESXi 6.0 (instead of an upgrade), or do you want to install a new white box? My ESXi-Customizer-PS script will help you to create a customized installation ISO that has the necessary packages already included! However, right now this is only possible if you have the ESXi 6.0 Offline Bundle available. Run a command like
C:\scripts\ESXi-Customizer-PS-v2.3.ps1 -izip C:\TEMP\VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-2494585-depot.zip -vft -load net51-drivers,sata-xahci
in a PowerCLI session. You need to specify the full path to the ps1-script (at the beginning) and the full path to the Offline Bundle (following the -izip switch)! In this example the script is stored in the directory C:\scripts and the Offline Bundle is in C:\TEMP.

This command will create a customized ESXi 6.0 installation ISO in the current directory that has the net51-drivers and sata-xahci packages built-in. You can as well add any of the other packages that are available in the V-Front Online Depot by specifying their names in a comma separated list after the -load switch!

7. One more thing …: USB 3.0 support

A while ago I wrote about USB 3.0 support being introduced in ESXi 5.5. Good news: This is also available in ESXi 6.0. Even better: On my test system the xhci-xhci driver that provides this support was loaded automatically on boot, so the workaround of editing the local boot script /etc/rc.local.d/local.sh is no longer needed.

8. To be continued / updated

This is the first version of my Ultimate guide to upgrade your white box to ESXi 6.0 – I hope you like it! I will complement it with a follow-up post as soon as the ESXi 6.0 GA Imageprofile is available in the VMware Online Depot (which will make upgrading ESXi and using ESXi-Customizer-PS even easier). And I will update this post with whatever information adds value. Please comment if you miss anything or have specific questions!

by Andreas Peetz.

Top vBlog 2015 – Blog yarışması

Top vBlog 2015 – Blog yarışması

Oylama yapmak için link burada:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2032977/TopvBlog2015

Nedir bu derseniz eğer. VMware ve virtualization hakkında bilgiler içeren blog’ ların dünya gelenlinde sıralamasını yapan, güzel bir kaynak olarak’ ta kullanılan bir site ayrıca tüm listeyi şu adreste thevpad blog olarak bulabileceğiniz bir site.

Bu siteye eriştiğinizde en çok okunan ve öne çıkan blog’ ları seçmek için sanırım bir kaç yıldır oylama yaparak blog seçimi yapılıyor. Bu oylamaları yapan ve yöneten site ise vSphere-land bu yıl ki oylamalar için de Infinio firması sponsor durumda.

Oylama çok basit yukarıda ki adrese gideceksiniz 10 tane blog sayfasını seçip sonraki ekranda sıralama yapacaksınız.

VMware vSphere 6 annunciato

VMware vSphere 6 è stato ufficialmente annunciato introducendo nuove interessanti funzioni e miglioramenti in ogni parte della piattaforma.

Oltre alle preannunciate evoluzioni di vMotion, VCSA, FT e altri, la nuova release evidenzia come novità i Virtual Volumes (VVols) che cambiano completamente il modo in cui lo storage viene presentato.

 

vSphere configuration maximum

La nuova release supporta valori massimi doppi rispetto alla precedente versione.

Host

  • 64 nodi per cluster
  • 480 CPU
  • 12TB of RAM
  • 2.048 virtual machine per host
  • 8.000 virtual machine per cluster

Virtual machine

  • 128 virtual CPUs
  • 4TB virtual RAM
  • Miglioramenti hot-add RAM per vNUMA
  • Accelerazione WDDM 1.1 GDI
  • USB 3.0 xHCI controller
  • Miglioramenti nelle porte seriali e parallele
  • Virtual hardware 11

 

vCenter Server

Sono disponibili due modelli di distribuzione  per vCenter Server 6.0:

  • Embedded, la nuova Platform Services Controller (PSC) e il sistema vCenter Server installati sulla stessa macchina.
  • External, PSC e l’istanza vCenter Server vengono installati su macchine differenti.

Per semplificare il processo di distribuzione, i servizi VMware vCenter Inventory Service, VMware vSphere Web Client, auto deploy etc., non prevedono più procedure di installazione separate.

Entrambi i modelli di distribuzione supportano un database integrato PostgreSQL, mentre i database esterni supportati sono Microsoft SQL o Oracle per la  versione Windows di vCenter Server  mentre la VCSA supporta Oracle.

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VMware vSphere Update Manager rimane un’applicazione Windows standalone dove il suo database può risiedere in un server SQL esterno o, per un massimo di cinque host, nel database integrato Microsoft SQL Server Express (SQL Express 2012 SP2) .

Se VCSA è utilizzata come vCenter Server, VUM deve essere installato su unamacchina Windows separata.

 

vCenter Server appliance

vCenter Server è ancora disponibile in due piattaforme:

  • Windows
  • Linux (Suse Linux Enterprise Server).

La novità in questa release, comunque, è che VCSA offre le stesse funzionalità della versione Windows di vCenter Server supportando il database integrato PostgreSQL o un database Oracle esterno, segno della volontà di VMware di staccarsi sempre di più da Microsoft.

Ora entrambe le piattaforme vCenter Server supportano la stessa scalabilità numerica.

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Linked Mode in questa versione è abilitato per entrambe le distribuzioni di vCenter Server ma come requisito tutte le istanze vCenter Server devono essere membri dello stesso dominio vCenter Single Sign-On. Questo permette di eliminare tutte le extra configurazioni necessarie rispetto alle versioni precedenti.

 

vSphere Web Client

vSphere Web Client include miglioramenti significativi in termini di prestazioni e usabilità.

  • Il login è 13 volte più veloce
  • I menu con il tasto destro del mouse sono 4 volte più veloci
  • Altre operazioni sono ora il 50% più veloci
  • I menu con il tasto destro del mouse sono stati appiattiti per essere consistenti ovunque
  • Il riquadro dei task è stato spostato nello schermo in basso

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Velocità, usabilità e prestazioni sono stati migliorati notevolmente rendendo il vSphere Web Client paritetico con VMware vSphere Client standalone.

 

vSphere vMotion

La più grossa evoluzione della tecnologia vMotion è la possibilità di eseguire migrazioni live di VM attraverso virtual switch, sistemi vCenter Server e lunghe distanze fino a 100ms RTT.

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E’ ora possibile migrare le VM dalla versione Windows di vCenter Server alla VCSA o vice versa senza scombinare la gestione delle virtual machine.

 

VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance

La tecnologia vSphere FT è stata rivista ed è ora in grado di supportare la protezione di virtual machine fino a:

  • 4 vCPU
  • 64GB RAM

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vSphere FT 6.0 abilita gli amministratori vSphere ad utilizzare i tool VMware Snapshot–based per effettuare il backup delle virtual machine protette da vSphere FT, favorendo un’amministrazione del backup in maniera più semplice.

vSphere FT ora supporta tutti i formati dei dischi virtuali: eager-zeroed thick, thick e thin.

La compatibilità Host per vSphere FT è ora la stessa come per vSphere vMotion.

 

VMware vSphere High Availability

vSphere HA ora include le Virtual Machine Component Protection (VMCP), che aggiungono un miglioramento della protezione per le condizioni di All Paths Down (APD)Permanent Device Loss (PDL) per blocco (FC, iSCSI, FCoE) e per file storage (NFS).

vSphere VMCP è in grado di rilevare le condizioni di APD e PDL nello storage connesso generando un allarme in vCenter ed automaticamente riavvia le VM coinvolte sugli host pienamente funzionali.

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vSphere HA è ora in grado di supportare:

  • 64 ESXi host
  • 6.000 virtual machine
  • Pienamente compatibile con VMware Virtual Volumes, VMware vSphere Network I/O Control, IPv6, VMware NSX e attraverso vCenter Server vSphere vMotion.

 

vSphere Storage

Virtual Volumes

Virtual Volumes rendono i sistemi di storage SAN e NAS capaci di essere gestiti a livello di virtual machine abilitando le operazioni array-based a livello di virtual disk.

vsphere6announced09

I Virtual Volumes implementano una sensibile differenza e miglioria dell’architettura degli storage, favorendo operazioni riconducibili a livello di virtual machine utilizzando le capacità native dell’array.

Con i Virtual Volumes, la maggior parte dei dati sono liberati dagli array degli storage. I Virtual Volumes eliminano la necessità di fornire e gestire un numero elevato di LUN o volumi per host.

 

VMware vSphere Data Protection

Le virtual appliance vSphere Data Protection possono essere distribuite fino ad una capacità di 8TB di dati backup deduplicati. Per ridurre il tempo per il backup e il restore e la banda richiesta, è utilizzata la tecnologia changed block tracking (CBT).

vsphere6announced10

vSphere Data Protection ora include degli agenti che abilitano backup per application-consistent e favoriscono un ripristino affidabile di Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server e Microsoft SharePoint Server.

Con la disponibilità di proxy esterni distribuiti presso location remote, la banda di rete richiesta può essere ridotta significativamente.

 

VMware vSphere Replication

In vSphere Replication l’efficienza è stata migliorata introducendo l’opzione dicompressione dei dati replicati scambiati attraverso la rete.

vsphere6announced11

E’ ora possibile isolare il raffico di rete associato con vSphere Replication migliorando le prestazioni e la sicurezza. Anche il modo in cui viene eseguita la full synchronization è stata notevolmente migliorata.

vSphere Replication può ora interrogare vSphere per le informazioni di allocazione dello storage, per ridurre il tempo richiesto e per la banda di rete richiesta per eseguire la full synchronization.

E’ ora pienamente compatibile con VMware vSphere Storage vMotion in entrambe le location sorgenti e destinatarie rendendo il bilanciamento dell’utilizzo dello storage più semplice con vSphere Storage vMotion e VMware vSphere Storage DRS.

 

vSphere Networking

vSphere Network I/O Control

La nuova versione di vSphere Network I/O Control permette agli amministratori diriservare la banda per un vNIC in una VM o per un intero distributed port group.

vsphere6announced12

Questo miglioramento permette di preservare lo SLA delle VM o tenant che condividono lo stesso link di upstream.

 

Multipli TCP/IP stack per vMotion

Permette al traffico vMotion di avere uno stack di rete dedicato.

vsphere6announced13

vMotion può ora utilizzare il proprio stack TCP/IP andando oltre i limiti L3.

Informazini e documentazioni aggiuntive possono essere consultate nel sito VMware.

firma

ESX RAM disks alarm

One problem I have run into frequently is esx.problem.visorfs.ramdisk.full. This is when the ESX RAM disks that make up the ESXi host file system reaches its resource pool limit and the host becomes unresponsive. The virtual machines are online and available to the business users, but you are no longer capable of managing the host. In a corporate environment, that means you have the choice of restarting the server outside of normal change windows after hours, which will cause an outage to the virtual machines; or leaving the host online until the next approved change window and taking the chance that if something happens to the virtual machine during production hours you won’t be able to fix the problem.

If you catch this problem early enough, you may be able to get to the host before it has becomes fully inaccessible. The server may struggle with vMotion activity when putting it into maintenance mode, but you can move the virtual machines and restart the host without affecting the business community until you can get the underlying issue resolved.

Two of the issues I have come across recently are:

  1.  VMware ESXi 5.x host becomes unresponsive when attempting a vMotion or a configuration change – This issue occurs when SNMPD is enabled and the /var/spool/snmp folder is filled with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) trap files. This issue is resolved in ESXi 5.1 Patch 04. Detail article explaining the entire process can be found here – http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2040707
  2.  ESXi ramdisk full due to /var/log/HpHelper.log file size – File (located at /var/log/) grows excessively. Error Unable to connect to the MKS: To resolve this issue, HP Support has provided an updated hp-ams VIB to stop the excessive logging to the hpHelper.log file. Detailed article explaining the entire process can be found here – http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=2055924

William Lam created a great article that details VMkernal Observations that can be used for creating alarms –Other handy vSphere VOBs for creating vCenter Alarms. We are going to create an alarm for RAM disk full. vCenter alarms can be specified for a particular object and it will apply to all the child-objects beneath in the vCenter server tree. In our instance, we are going to create an alarm to monitor a specific event that applies to all the ESXi hosts.

To start, we are going to go into the vCenter Client and go to the Alarms tab and click on the Definitions view. In the Definitions view, you are going to right click and create a New Alarm…

On the General tab, you are going to give your alert a name and description. You will set the Alarm Type to Host for Monitor, and you click on Monitor for specific events occurring on this object, for example, VM powered on. Finally, check Enable this Alarm.

Next you are going to want Add a trigger. The event is going to be esx.problem.visorfs.ramdisk.full with the Status of Alert.

On the Actions tab, this is where we are going to setup the action taken when the alert hits a threshold. In the image below, I set an e-mail notification to send me an alert when the alarm goes from yellow to red. I have it configured to alert me Once. After this is completed, if you are using a distribution list, then the Ram Disk Full alerts will go to everyone in the distribution list and you will have advanced notification of the impending problem.

 

One last item, to have vCenter Server send an e-mail for a triggered alarm, you are going to want to verify that the Mail Sender Settings have been configured in vCenter with the SMTP server. To configure the setting, from the vCenter Client you will want to go to Administration from the vCenter toolbar and select vCenter Server Settings. You will then select the Mail option on the left hand list. Supply the SMTP Server and the Sender Account information, so that when you receive the e-mail you know where it came from.