All posts by Shawn Cannon

I have been in IT since 1996. I am our Executive Senior Blogger with experience in VMware, Microsoft, EMC storage, Veeam and Dell servers. I love technology and love to blog about it!

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d recently released

On January 27 2015 VMware released an update for vCenter Server 5.5.  The release notes are located here.  A brief summary of the resolved issues from the release notes are below.

vCenter Single Sign-On

  • VMware Directory Service consumes excessive memory
  • Backup and restore of vCenter Single Sign-On database might not replicate the data between primary and secondary nodes correctly
  • Attempts to logout through the vCloud Automation Center UI might fail

Networking

  • Network Interface Cards of virtual machines in disconnected state might get ejected during vMotion

vCenter Server, vSphere Client, and vSphere Web Access

  • Virtual machines on ESXi hosts containing NSX Endpoint virtual machines might not power on
  • Update to SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition Server in vCenter Server Appliance to address time zone changes
  • vpxd reports massive logging
  • Accessing the Storage View tab fails with the error
  • Scheduled tasks cannot be created for a different time on the same day in vSphere Web Client
  • The VMware VirtualCenter Server service fails intermittently
  • HTML console cannot be launched with custom port
  • Datastore browser in vSphere Web Client does not overwrite existing files
  • VMware VirtualCenter Server service fails

Virtual Machine Management

  • Cloning or deploying deploying virtual machines over the network causes performance degradation
  • Alert event is not triggered when one VM has multiple vNICs with same MAC address

vMotion and Storage vMotion

  • The default behavior of DRS has been changed to make the feature less aggressive during cluster upgrade

Initial Configuration of SolarWinds Virtualization Manager v6.1.1

So now that the Virtualization Manager appliance is installed and powered on we need to configure it.  The vBrainstorm lab has DHCP enabled but we are using static IP addresses so we need to change the appliance to use a static IP.  To do this, just right-click on the appliance in vCenter and choose to Open Console.  To configure a static IP, arrow down and hit enter on Configure Network.

setup (1)

Enter the info as prompted.

setup (2)

After the IP is set just open up a browser and go to the IP via HTTPS.  The default username and password is admin.

setup (3)

Once you are logged in you have to accept the license agreement (after you review it of course).

setup (4)

Next is the configuration wizard.  Just click begin!

setup (5)

The first screen is going to ask you for your registration info.  Enter that information and click Next.

setup (6)

The next screen is used to configure your credentials to access the server(s) you are going to access.

setup (7)

 

Click on the Add button to add the proper credentials.  In our case we are connecting to a vCenter server.  Enter the credentials and click Save.  Click Next.

setup (8)

 

The next screen is the data sources screen.  This is where you add your servers.  Click the Add button.

setup (9)

Choose Virtual Center.

setup (10)

Enter your vCenter server information.  Click Save.  Click Next.

setup (16)

The next screen lets you select collection schedules.  These are used to gather the data needed to populate Virtualization Manager.  For this lab setup I enabled both of these tasks.  You do that by highlighting the task and clicking thee Enable button.  Click Next.

setup (11)

 

The next screen is where you configure your SMTP settings so that you can receive email alerts.  After the info is entered click Next.

setup (12)

 

The final wizard screen is for integration with Storage Manager.  In our lab we are not using Storage Manager at this time.  Click Finish.

setup (13)

The Configuration Summary screen will appear.  A configuration status bar will show in the middle of the screen under Active Data Collection Jobs.

setup (14)

 

That’s it! Virtualization Manager has been configured for the vCenter instance in our lab!  The next blog post will go over the different screens in the software after data has been collected for a few days.

 

 

Installing SolarWinds Virtualization Manager v6.1.1 in a vSphere 5.x environment

Today I am installing SolarWinds Virtualization Manager v6.1.1 in our lab here at vBrainstorm.  If you are not sure what Virtualization Manager is, here is a quick blurb from the Solarwinds website:

Virtualization Manager
Comprehensive Virtualization Management for VMware ® & Hyper-V ® – From VM to Storage

  • Real-time dashboards simplify identification & troubleshooting of performance, capacity & configuration problems
  • Identifies VM sprawl, helps you reclaim & optimize space, and reduces licensing costs
  • Integration with Server & Application Monitor provides complete visibility of the application stack – from app to VM to datastore
  • All the functionality & more of other leading virtualization management tools – at a fraction of the cost
  • Easy to download, deploy & use – start monitoring your VMs in less than an hour

I will be installing this in a vSphere 5.x environment.  This is installed as a virtual appliance download from the Solarwinds web site.  The virtual appliance requirements are shown below:

CPU

2 GHz quad-core

Virtual CPUs

4 vCPUs

Memory

8 GB or more

Disk Space

200 GB or more

Virtual NIC

1 Gigabit vNIC

The download file for version 6.1.1 is approx 1479 MB.  After the file is downloaded, extract the ZIP file and then open up your vSphere client and log into your Virtual Center server.

To install the virtual appliance click on File – Deploy OVF Template.

virtmgr01

Choose the OVA file from the unzipped contents.

virtmgr02

Review the template details and click Next.

virtmgr03

Give the appliance a name and choose its location in your inventory.  Click Next.

virtmgr04

Choose the storage to place the appliance on.  In our lab we are using Nexenta for the storage.  Click Next.

virtmgr05

Choose the disk format.  In our lab Thin is the only choice so this screen is greyed out. Click Next.

virtmgr06

Choose the network mapping for the appliance and click Next.

virtmgr07

Choose how the appliance will get an IP address.  In our lab we are using static IPs so I chose Fixed.  Click Next.
(UPDATE:  Choosing static gave me an error on starting up the VM.  The error basically said “Cannot initialize property ‘vami.DNS0.SolarWinds_Virtualization_Manager’.  Choose DHCP and the VM will boot up.  You can change to a static IP via the console on the VM)

virtmgr08

Since I chose fixed I need to enter a valid IP address on this screen and then click Next.

virtmgr09

Finally I am presented with a summary screen.  Review it to make sure everything is correct and then click Finish.

virtmgr10

The appliance will be deployed.

virtmgr11

Power it up and the appliance is installed!  The next post will go into how to configure the appliance and connect it to your vCenter server.

vBrainstorm and vExpert 2014

VMware-vExpert-2014-400x57

The new class of vExperts have been announced today by VMware.  I am happy to announce that Roger Lund and myself were once again selected as vExperts.  This is a huge honor and humbling to know that our peers in the field believe we represent VMware and virtualization n a positive light.  I know that both of us are passionate supporters of VMware and the community. I am an end user of VMware products and I manage them on a daily basis.  VMware is a major part of my job and it makes my job so much easier!  The complete list of vExperts can be found at the link below.  Congratulations to everyone that was selected as vExpert 2014.  This is going to be a great year!

vExpert 2014 announcement: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2014/04/vexpert-2014-announcement.html

Welcome to the new vBrainstorm

You may have noticed some changes here at vBrainstorm. We have changed hosts and platforms with plans to bring you a better experience. The changes are not complete as the theme may change but the content will continue to be what you expect from us. We are excited and hope you are as well. Roger and I have a new blog series starting very soon so stay tuned.

EMC Elect 2014 Judge

I am proud to announce on vBrainstorm.com  and vTech411.com that I was selected to be one of the judges that will choose the 2014 EMC Elect!  I was selected as EMC Elect 2013 which was the inaugural year of the program.  Some of you may be asking what the EMC Elect is.  Head on over to this site to answer that question:  https://community.emc.com/community/connect/emc_elect

I was chosen as an EMC Elect due to my community contributions to Twitter, blogs and EMC Community Network (ECN) participation.  We will be contacting all of those nominated soon and start the judging process thereafter.  Those selected as 2014 EMC Elect will be notified in January.
I am excited for this opportunity to give back to the EMC community.  I have never been a judge for anything so it will be a learning process.  It will be tough narrowing the nominations down but anything challenging is always rewarding.  If you have been nominated, I wish you good luck!  I cannot wait to help pick the next round of EMC Elect champions!

Clearing the ARP cache table in ESXi 5.5

A new feature has been added in the new 5.5 release of ESXi.  You can now clear the ARP cache on an ESXi server.  This is a very useful feature that should have always been part of ESXi.  This feature ONLY works with ESXi 5.5.  The KB article contents are below and were copied from http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2049667

Clearing the ARP cache table in ESXi 5.5 (2049667)

Purpose

This article provides information on the new esxcli command introduced in vSphere 5.5 to clear the ARP table. ESXi 3.x, 4.x, and ESXi 5.0/5.1 do not include any mechanism to clear the ARP table.

For more information, see Troubleshooting network connection issues using Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) (1008184).

Resolution

vSphere 5.5 introduces the a new esxcli network ip neighbor remove command to clear the ARP cache table.

To clear the ARP cache table in ESXi 5.5, use this command:

esxcli network ip neighbor remove

[options]

Where options includes:

  • -i string or --interface-name=string

    Where string is the name of the VMkernel network interface from which the neighbor entry must be removed. If this option is not specified, the neighbor is removed from all interfaces.

  • -a address or --neighbor-addr=address

    Where address is the IPv4/IPv6 address of the neighbor. This is mandatory.

  • -N instance or --netstack=instance

    Where instance is the network stack instance. If unspecified, the default netstack instance is used.

  • -v number or --version=number

    Where number is the IP version and can either be 4 or 6. This is mandatory.

For example, to delete the ARP entry for address 10.131.0.103:

  1. Connect to the ESXi 5.5 host using SSH. For more information, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1017910).
  2. View the current ARP table using this command:

    # esxcli network ip neighbor list

    You see output similar to:

    Neighbor      Mac Address        Vmknic    Expiry  State  Type
    ------------  -----------------  ------   -------  -----  -----
    10.131.0.103  00:1c:c4:a9:6f:fc   vmk0     908 sec        Unknown
    10.131.0.179  00:1e:0b:bf:7a:50   vmk0    1062 sec        Unknown

  3. To delete the ARP entry for address 10.131.0.103, run one of these commands:
    • # esxcli network ip neighbor -v 4 -a 10.131.0.103
    • # esxcli network ip neighbor --version=4 --neighbor-addr=10.131.0.103
  4. View the ARP table again using this command:

    # esxcli network ip neighbor list

    You see output similar to:

    Neighbor      Mac Address        Vmknic    Expiry  State  Type
    ------------  -----------------  ------   -------  -----  -----
    10.131.0.179  00:1e:0b:bf:7a:50   vmk0    750 sec        Unknown