Category Archives: VMware

How To Properly Shutdown vCenter Appliance 6.5

OK so this may seem like a stupid thing to post about but I have been out of the VMware game for a little over a year now.  I have been dabbling in it a bit again as we are building a lab at work. I installed the vCenter Appliance today and I needed to shut it down to move it to a different host (No vMotion license for the work lab).  I just went into the built in web client on my ESXi server that had VCSA on it and chose to shutdown the guest OS.  It did power it down so when I brought it up on the other ESXi host it did not come back up as I expected it to.

Yes, I did it wrong as I had forgotten about the management interface of the VCSA, which is located at https://<vcenter FQDN or IP>:5480.  Once you login as the root account for the VCSA, there is a nice SHUTDOWN button on the far right at the top.  Isn’t that nice?

The moral of the story?  Don’t just shutdown your VCSA from the vCenter client, use the management console on the VCSA itself to shut it down.  Lesson learned!

vCenterServer FQDN does not match DNS when upgrading vCenter Appliance from 5.5 to 6.0

Thanks to the vExpert program I have some new licenses for my lab systems.  Since I only have vCenter 6 Standard licenses and my current vCenter Appliance is running 5.5, I need to upgrade to 6.0.  I found a great walkthrough article on the VMware site that I followed.  During step 4 of the appliance deployment, the wizard goes out to confirm communication to the existing 5.5 appliance.  I ran across the following error and could not proceed:

vCenterServer FQDN Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_FQDN does not match DNS servers “localhost.localdom,localhost” and IP addresses “Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_IP_Address” from VC Certificate

As usual I did some research and found KB Article 2110772 which explained how to fix this issue.  I have included the steps from this article to fix the issue:

To resolve this issue, toggle the certificate settings on the source vCenter Server Appliance to regenerate new certificates with the appropriate hostname and IP address.
To toggle the certificate settings:
  1. Log in to the source vCenter Server Appliance Web interface athttps://Source_vCenter_Server_Appliance_FQDN:5480/.
  2. Click the Admin tab.
  3. Regenerate certificates:
    • vCenter Server 5.1: Select Toggle certificate setting so that the Certificate regeneration enabled displays Yes.
    • vCenter Server 5.5: Select Yes under Certificate regeneration enabled.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance.
  6. After the vCenter Server Appliance reboots, ensure that the Certificate regeneration enabled option is set to disabled and disable if it is enabled.

After completing, attempt to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance 5.x to vSphere 6.0.

After performing these steps I was able to successfully upgrade my appliance from 5.5. to 6.0.

Introducing Altaro VM Backup

Altaro is introducing a new version of their backup software that now adds support for VMware. The previous version was called Altaro Hyper-V Backup. The name change reflects support for backing up VMs regardless of Hyper-V or VMware. I had the opportunity to Beta test the new version and I wanted to share with you the results of my testing.

First things first, what do I install the Altaro software on? It has to be installed on one of the following operating systems:

• Windows 2008 R2
• Windows Server 2012
• Windows Server 2012 R2
• Windows 7 (64-Bit)
• Windows 8 (64-Bit)
• Windows 10 (64-Bit)

In my lab environment I had access to a Windows 2008 R2 system so that is what I installed it to.
Here are the versions of VMware that are supported in this new version:

Versions of VMware supported:
• VMware vSphere 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0
• VMware vCenter 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0
• VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0

In our lab we are running 6.0. All the prerequisites have been met. The installation of the Altaro software is very simple. Accept license agreement, tell it what path you want to install it and click Install. Like I said, simple!

After the software is installed, fire it up. You will be presented with the screen below:

Altaro (1)

Since this is the Altaro instance that I want, I will choose this machine and click Connect. This will send you to the dashboard. Now you need to add your VMware hosts. To do this, click on Setup > Hosts and click the Add Host button to get the wizard below.

Altaro (2)

I have a vCenter server in my lab so I am going to click on that option.

Altaro (3)

Enter your vCenter server name and admin username and password. Click Test Connection to make sure your credentials are working properly and then click Next. You will be presented with the hosts that the vCenter instance knows about.

Altaro (4)

Click Finish and the hosts will be added.

Next we need to setup our backup location. This can be a local drive on the Altaro server or a network path. For my lab test I am using a local drive on the Altaro server. To add the backup location, go to Setup > Backup Locations and click the Add Backup Location button.

Altaro (5)

I am going to click Physical Drive and click next and choose my D drive. I can specify a folder if I want the backups to always go into a certain folder. Once I have decided I just click finish and the backup location is set.

Now let’s setup a VM for this backup location. While I am on the Backup location screen there is an inventory view of all the VMs known to Altaro as shown below.

Altaro (6)

To assign VMs to my D drive backup location, I just select the VMs on the left and drag them over to the D drive.  I am going to set TTYLinux to this location.

Altaro (7)

As you can see in the shot above TTYLinux will now use D as its backup location.  Click SAVE CHANGES at bottom right to save these changes.  If you forget to do this, the software will remind you.

Now let’s setup a backup schedule.  To do this go to Setup > Schedules.

There are 2 default backup schedules already set:  M-F at 10 PM and Sa-Su and 10 PM.  I am going to use the Sa-Su 8 PM backup schedule.  To do it, you just drag and drop the VMs to assign to that schedule.  Click SAVE CHANGES to save it.

That is the basics of setting up Altaro for backing up VMware VMs.  I will now cover a few other options of interest, the first one being Backup Retention.

To view the default options for backup retention, go to Setup > Retention Policy.

Altaro (8)

By default you will see the following retention policies:  Never delete, 2 weeks, 1 month and 6 months.  These are default policies for local and Offsite copies.  You can create your own as well.  You simply drag and drop the VMs to the proper retention policies that you need and click SAVE CHANGES.

You can take a backup at any time by going to Virtual Machines > Take Backup

Altaro (9)

Just click the machine you want to backup and click the red TAKE BACKUP button.  I already did that and you can see in the screenshot that a backup is running for TTYLinux.

Restore options are what you would expect from backup software.  You can do a full restore or a granular restore, which in Altaro’s case is file level restore or Exchange Item Level Restore.

There is also a Sandbox and Verification option so you can mount backups in a sandbox to test restores.  I will show you a full restore in the sandbox so I can power a backup on to verify it was a good backup.  To test in sandbox, go to Sandbox & Verification > Test & Verify Backups.

Altaro (10)

I want to test a full restore so for Step 1 I am selecting that.  Click Next to proceed to Step 2.

Altaro (11)

Check the backup locations to test.  In my test environment this will be the D drive so I have checked that. Click Next to process to Step 3.

Altaro (12)

The VMs you can test a full restore of are shown.  I only have one VM although for some reason it is showing twice.  I will just select the first one and click Next to proceed to Step 4.

Altaro (13)

Step 4 are the restore options.  You can pick the backup you want to restore.  If you have multiple backups of the VMs you can select the instance you want to test.  You can also choose the host and datastore to restore to.  I chose a different host and datastore to test with.  Click Perform Test Restore to start the process.

Altaro (14)

A green notification will appear that tells you to go to the Dashboard to monitor the progress.  Click the green button to head over there.

Once the test restore is complete you will see the VM in your vCenter inventory.  The VM name will be similar to TTYLinux-Sandbox-2015-09-09 19-59 but it does not look like it actually puts the VM into a different network group to truly sandbox the VM off from the original.  You would need to assign this VM to a different network to not interrupt the production VM.  Having to do this manually is not ideal and I would recommend to Altaro that this be added into a future release.  Once assigned to a “sandbox” network, power it on to make sure it works.  When you are finished testing, power the VM down and delete it.

Overall Altaro is a very nice and easy to use solution for backing up VMware VMs.  I like the fact that all the VMs you would assign to storage, backups, retention, etc show on the same screen as what are are trying to configure.  That way you can easily select VMs from the left pane to drag and drop to the right pane.  I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars as it has all the main features you would want in backup/protection software.  The only negative for me is the sandbox feature missing the ability to choose a different network as part of the test restore.

For product information, please visit the Altaro VM Backup site.  You can also pull up the latest user guide here.

Early peak at the #vBrownBag TechTalks Schedule at VMworld US 2015

The professionalvmware.com site, the home of the #vBrownBag goodness, has posted an early look at the schedule for the #vBrownBag TechTalks in the hang space at VMworld US 2015.  I wanted to re-post the schedule here to increase awareness of these talks.  If you are going to hang out in the hang space, please come and support this individuals!
(Note:  Info shared from http://professionalvmware.com/2015/08/vbrownbag-techtalks-schedule-vmworld-usa-2015/)

Time   Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
10:30 vExpert Daily vExpert Daily vExpert Daily vExpert Daily
11:00 Edward Haletky @Texiwill 6-Step Program for Hybrid Cloud Edward Haletky @Texiwill Let’s Throw in Some Security: A hybrid
Cloud Security Model
Virtualization Practise Panel Chris Wahl -Scripting and Versioning with PowerShell ISE and Git Shell
11:15 Irfan Ahmad – CloudPhysics – The Unofficial VCDX Toolchest Irfan Ahmad – CloudPhysics – Help! My Dashboards Suck! continued Vaughn Stewart – Run 20% – 40% more VMs per host with Flash Storage
11:30 Michael White – Spotlight on Your Data Kenneth Hui -The Easy Button For Turning Your vSphere Environment Into A Private Cloud Gabriel Chapman – Solidfire – Infrastructure Agility in the Software Defined Data Center Josh Atwell – DevOps with PowerCLI and PowerShell DSC
11:45 Andy Warfield – Coho Data Andy Warfield – Coho Data continued Cody Hosterman – Space Reclamation in vSphere 6
12:00 VMUG LATAM Panel (Spanish) Anthony Spiteri – NSX – An Unexpected Journey VMware Communities Podcast Eric Wright – Getting to the Core with CoreOS
12:15 continued Ken Thomas -One Solution for All: Deploy to VMs and Physical using MDT continued James Brown -Virtual Design Master
12:30 Dave LeClair – Unitrends – Recover Simplicity! Dave LeClair – Unitrends – Is your data protection and DR solution built for a cloud-driven world? continued continued
12:45 Joseph Griffiths – Reference Architecture for Automation Luis Concistre – Horizon View & VMware NSX continued Tim Carr – Versioning deployments with Puppet, R10K, and Git
13:00  Kevin Moats – GPU virtualization in the home lab HP Blogger Briefing Dave Frederick – The Advantages of a Tiered Approach to VM Storage Steve Flanders – The importance of customer experience
13:15 Gina Rosenthal (Minks) – Why you need to #BackThatSaaSUp continued Gabriel Maciel – VMware NSX Architecture and Components Interaction
13:30 Scott Davis – Infinio – Disruptive Storage Innovations and the Impact on Virtual Desktop Solutions continued vBrownBag LATAM Panel (Spanish)
13:45 Scott Davis – cont continued continued
14:00 Jaison Bailley and the vBrisket community continued Paul Braren – Home Virtualization Lab Productivity Tips Hang Space Closed
14:15 Luke Brown – Dinosaurs Didn’t Do DR continued Anthony Chow – Micro-Segmentation – a perfect fit for microservices security
14:30 Craig Waters – Anatomy of an SSD Craig Waters  – How to start a user group (BYOUG) Shruti Bhat – Liuve demo – Running your ESXi workloads in AWS
14:45 Jonathan Frappier and Tim Jabaut – Stop being an “Admin” and learn to embrace “DevOps” Edward Haletky @Texiwill – Proper Use of RBAC to Secure your Virtual Environment John Arrasjid – IT Architect: Foundation in the Art of IT Infrastructure Design
15:00 In Tech We Trust Podcast Speaking in Tech Podcast Geek Whisperers Podcast
15:15 continued continued continued
15:30 continued continued continued
15:45 continued continued continued
16:00 Dennis Bray and Chip Copper – Brocade – NSX based Advanced Network Architecture in SDDC to deploy highly automated IT Service Delivery Elver Sena Sosa and Anuj Dewangan – Brocade -Scaling your cloud network: Building a massively scalable cloud infrastructure with VMware NSX & advanced physical network architectures Tony Foster – Sizing for GPU Workloads
16:15 David Siles – Proactive Data-Awareness Inside Your VMs David Klebanov – SDDC Gone Global with Software Defined WAN Brian Trainor – Automatic” remediation with vRealize Operations
16:30 Michaell Rice – Rackspace – Stop testing scripts in production; Meet vCenter Simulator Luke Huckaba – Rackspace – A distilled version of the SRM talk David Klee – SQL Server Virtualization Gotchya’s
16:45 Michael Rice – Introduction to pyVmomi Michael Rice – YAVIJAVA an alternative Java SDK for vSphere Michael Rice – vCenter Simulator For Functional Testing
17:00 Hersey Cartwright – Using PowerCLI to manage SSH on ESXi Hersey Cartwright – Managing vCenter Roles and Permissions with PowerCLI Hang Space closed
17:15 Eric Wright – Abstract all the things! Simplifying the whole stack James Green, Emad Younis – ”Batman” is Not A Career Strategy
17:30 Cisco Panel Nigel Hickey – The #vExpertSpotlight
17:45  continued Steve Flanders – Quality log messages and how to write them  

My vCenter C: drive ran out of space

I came across something interesting today. The 160 GB C: drive on my vCenter Server ran out of space today…rather embarrassing. The first thing I checked is why in the heck my alerts didn’t go off…ok..problem fixed. After a couple of Google searches I came across and interesting VMware KB. Apparently there is a bug in the vCenter 5.5 upgrade that enables debug logging on the VMware Syslog Collector service and logs to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Syslog Collector\logs\debug.log. In this case, my debug log was 62GB. The fix is rather simple. Stop the ‘VMware Syslog Collector’ service and edit the C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Syslog Collector\vmconfig-syslog.xml file (make a copy of it first) and change the following:

<debug> <level>1</level> </debug>

to

<debug> <level>0</level> </debug>

 

Remove the debug.log file and start the service again.

 

After upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5, the debug.log file of syslog collector is growing without limit (2094175)

KB: 2094175

  • Updated: Mar 3, 2015
  • Categories:
    Troubleshooting
  • Languages:
    English
  • Product(s):
    VMware vCenter Server
  • Product Version(s):
    VMware vCenter Server 5.5.x

 

Symptoms

  • After upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5, the debug.log file of syslog collector is growing without limit
  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Syslog Collector\logs\debug.log continues to grow without being rotated

Resolution

This is a known issue affecting VMware Syslog Collector 5.5.

 

Currently, there is no resolution.

To work around this issue:

  1. Stop the VMware Syslog Collector service. For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting VMware vCenter Server services (1003895).
  2. On the server running the VMware Syslog Collector service, navigate to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Syslog Collector and save a copy of vmconfig-syslog.xml.
  3. In a text editor, open vmconfig-syslog.xml and modify  from:

    <debug> <level>1</level> </debug>

    to

    <debug> <level>0</level> </debug>

  4. Start the VMware Syslog Collector service. For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting VMware vCenter Server services (1003895).

 

-Aaron

vBrainstorm will be at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco!

VMworld 2015 is right around the corner in San Francisco and vBrainstorm.com will be there as an official blogger of VMworld!  What can you expect?  All the announcements made at the keynotes will be reported and summarized here.  We will be meeting with some of the vendors to report on their products.  These reports will be blog posts as well as videos.  We will also use Periscope for some live video reports so make sure you check us out there.  It should be a great week of virtual goodness and fun so stay tuned!

Shawn Cannon – vBrainstorm Blogger

VMware vSphere 6.0 is now available

Looks like VMware has made the 6.0 version of their vSphere and related product lines available today.  Here are the links to download.  Note:  These links require a My VMware account that is licensed for these products.

VMware vCloud Suite 6.0 (You can get ESXi 6.0, vCenter Server 6.0, vSphere Replication 6.0, vSphere Data Protection 6.0, vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.0,  vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 6.0.1 and vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.1 from this link.  Virtual SAN is included with ESXi and vCenter Server downloads)

Short and simple right?

 

This is from the VMware Site.

 

VMware Announces General Availability of vSphere 6

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of VMware vSphere 6 along with a slew of other Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) products including VMware Integrated OpenStack, VMware Virtual SAN 6, VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes, VMware vCloud Suite 6, and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 6.

vSphere 6 is the latest release of the industry-leading virtualization platform and serves as the foundation of the SDDC. This is the largest ever release of vSphere and is the first major release of the flagship product in over three years.  vSphere 6 is jammed pack with features and innovations that enable users to virtualize any application, including both scale-up and scale-out applications, with confidence. New capabilities include increased scale and performance, breakthrough industry-first availability, storage efficiencies for virtual machines, and simplified management  at scale. For more details on the blockbuster features please refer to the vSphere 6 announcement.

If you are interested in learning more about vSphere 6, there are several options: