Backing Up your ESX Service Console

Leo’s Ramblings’s has a article on Backing Up your ESX Service Console

I will add this to my future to try scripts.

Look, despite being told about a dozen million times, there’s still plenty of CFOs/IT Managers out there who have a “backup everything” policy, despite the fact that it’s easier to rebuild ESX than to build and recover, especially if you have a repeatable PXE-boot solution.

However, the amount of times I’ve been out on site to see SMB/CIFS mounts fo Windows shares on the console, along with really shocking scripts to back up important files… is well, simply astounding.

So I’m going to give you my solution, that uses NO passwords exposed in clear-text (SMB/CIFS mounts), uses no extra ESX components other than what’s already there (so your support is not void), and does not require installation of backup agents on your ESX console.

Free ESXi Backup Solution for Windows

I found this thread interesting on VMware Communities

Free ESXi Backup Solution for Windows

have spent the last few days trying to find a free backup solution to the newly free ESXi for windows only enviroments (in particular Windows XP). The solution for me was the following:

1. Installing Windows Services for UNIX (WSFU)
2. Copying the ESXi Server password and group files to Windows
3. Configuring WSFU for accepting ESX Server connections
4. Sharing the Windows folder for NFS compatibility
5. Configuring the ESXi Server to mount the Window NFS Share as Datastore.
6. Setup Backup Script

Attached is the complete steps.

I have yet to try this, but I think this is worth looking at, and at the very least worth trying.

How to tweak the 3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controller driver into ESX3i

Maybe old news, but I thought this interesting for those of you playing with VMware ESXi


How to tweak the 3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controller driver into ESX3i

I want give back something to this lovely community, giving me a lot of information and even VMware for
ESX3i a small-footprint OS that can run 24×7 from a USB-drive having a rock solid filesystem VMFS and
beeing a small subset of the industry proven ESX3. This will be the future of the next generation of computing
platform.

Embedding ESX3i into the BIOS of any server, laptop, desktop and workstation and you get “virtualization at
your fingertips

Good stuff!

A Beginner’s Guide to VMware Fusion

I stumbled across this on the VMware Communities, I am sure countless others have saw and linked this, but it was a new read for me.

A Beginner’s Guide to VMware Fusion

This document is intended for someone new to Fusion, and possibly someone who is new to Macs in general. It describes basic terminology/concepts, where to find things, and notes on using virtual machines.

For those of you Mac users, who are getting into Fusion, this is a must read.

Somtimes Monday’s look good

I saw this on the VMware communities, and had to link it, as it mirror’s my testing frustration at times.

Friday Morning Experiments

There is one thing I have learned as a new network administrator. Don’t ever, and I mean ever just ‘try’ something out on a Friday. be the anti-Nike, just don’t do it. You might have something in mind you might want to try out, change or reconfigure to give yourself something to do. But I plead, don’t do it.


Last Friday, I am feeling good about the state of the system and I decide to move a couple of new users to the Exch2007 machine. Do some load testing, and general ironing. I find my subjects, who don’t use OWA or calendars much (makes my life easier) and decide to scoot the mailboxes from Exch2003 to 2007. This is at 8:15 in the morning.



I told the user not to open Outlook till I call them back, hit the move butt and it took all of 5 minutes and from my end everything seemed fine. Called the user back and told them to open Outlook. I was about to hang out and I heard… “oh wait….there is an error”. Crap. “Okay,


Well crap. I wasn’t expecting this, since I had moved a handful of other people to the Exch2007 server with out a hitch


2:00 and a user still has no email

I thought this blog hit home, as I always run into funky error’s like these.

Understanding VMware Roles and Permissions

http://www.vmwarewolf.com has a good article on Understanding VMware Roles and Permissions, This was a good for me, as I have am still very new to VMware.

VMware Virtualcenter roles and permissions are one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of Virtual Infrastructure 3. We constantly receive calls into tech support asking how-to assign the appropriate rights to users and their virtual machines, clusters, etc.


Anything to help understand VMware’s roles and permissions is a good thing.

Read VI3 Roles and Permission
s

Concepts behind this are explained in the paper Management VirtualCenter Roles and Permissions.

A must read.

Updated: Top 10 blogs that VMware administrators must read

http://vmware-land.com has a new updated Top 10 Blogs list,

Top 10 blogs that VMware administrators must read
1) http://www.yellow-bricks.com/
• Duncan Epping’s relatively new blog on VMware topics is another great source for technical tips and information. Duncan recently accepted a job working for VMware and we look forward to more great posts from him.
2) http://blog.scottlowe.org/
• Scott Lowe blogs on many technical areas that administrators will find extremely useful. Scott has a wealth of knowledge and experience and his posts are always worth reading.
3) http://mikedatl.typepad.com/mikedvirtualization/
• A relative newcomer to the VMware blog-o-sphere (well less then a year anyway) Mike DePetrillo is a systems engineer that works for VMware and has been posting some fabulous stuff lately. Mike’s knowledge and experience is evident in his very detailed posts that he writes and he is not afraid to tackle any sensitive issues and set the record straight.
4 ) http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/
• Eric Sloof is a VCI located in the Netherlands that has been blogging on Vmware for many years. His posts are always informative and are another great source for tips and news on VMware related topics.
5 ) http://servervirtualization.blogs.techtarget.com/
• One of Tech Target’s blogs that encompasses all virtualization platforms. In addition to Tech Target’s staff there are several regular contributors including: Rick Vanover, Eric Siebert and Andrew Kutz.
6) http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/
• Another Tech Target blog that focuses solely on VMware related topics. In addition to Tech Target’s staff there are several regular contributors including: Rick Vanover, Eric Siebert and Andrew Kutz.
7) http://vmetc.com/
• Richard Brambley’s blog has many good tips and news items for all virtualization products but with more focus on VMware. Many of his posts also detail his experiences working with VMware and are quite helpful.
8) http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/
• Mike Laverick’s RTFM Education blog is a great source for learning more about VMware. His free guides that he writes on a variety of material are a great source for learning more about VMware and going beyond the manual.
9) http://rationalsecurity.typepad.com/blog/virtualization/index.html
• You gotta love the Hoff, Christofer Hoff’s blog focuses on virtualization security. Hoff doesn’t pull any punches and is not afraid to say what’s on his mind when tackling sensitive security topics. His often witty and shrewd blog posts reflect his intimate knowledge and experience with security related topics.
10) http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek
• Chad Sakac who is a systems engineer that works for EMC, VMware’s parent company knows alot about storage as evidenced by his great posts. Chad’s blog has some very detailed and informative posts and is a must read for all virtual geeks out there.

As you can see, on my blog list, I have a few of the same blogs. But, since I am new in the blog field, I see a few that I need to check out.

Also, check out the other top 10 lists at http://vmware-land.com

Datastore missing – but Disk / Array detected?

I recently was playing around with ESXi and Removed my drives via the motherboard connections, tried another drive type and then tried to reconnect my orginal drive configuration. ( a non supported ICH9 controller, and Sata Drive )

I had no problem with the disk being detected upon a new rescan of LUN’s, but my data store did not show up.

Dave.Mishchenko pointed to page 117-118 of the ESX / ESXi iSCSI San Guide


VMFS Volume Resignaturing
ESX servers need to be able to differentiate between their VMFS volumes and use a
volume signature to do so. When a VMFS volume is replicated or a snapshot is taken,
the resulting LUN copy has the same signature as the source. When an ESX Server sees
two LUNs with the same signature, the ESX Server must handle the condition to
prevent downtime caused by confusion over which LUN it should be using to access
the registered virtual machines. Resignaturing is a feature introduced in ESX Server 3.0
to solve this problem.
Mounting Original, Snapshot, or Replica VMFS Volumes
You can mount original, snapshot, or replica VMFS volumes on the same ESX Server
host.
To mount original, snapshot, or replica VMFS volumes
1 Perform the required storage tasks:
a Make the storage system snapshot or replica.
b Configure access control to allow ESX Server to access the snapshot or replica.
2 In the VI Client, select the host in the inventory panel.
3 Click the Configuration tab and click Advanced Settings.
4 Select LVM in the left panel, then set the LVM.EnableResignature option to 1.
5 Rescan for any new LUNs or VMFS volumes.
After the rescan, the copied VMFS volume appears as
/vmfs/volumes/snap-.
If the VMX file for any of the virtual machines or the VMSD file for virtual machine
snapshots contains /vmfs/volumes/

This seemed to work great!

Thanks to Dave