Category Archives: VMWare

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Installing ESXi 6.0 on a HP BL460 Gen9

I would like to show you in some simple steps how to install ESXi on a HP BL460 Gen9.

First of all let us have a look at the hardware settings. As you may know with ESXi 6.0 UEFI is supported as for VM and for Hardware. So let us configure the system to boot with UEFI.

While the system is booting up and making some prechecks please press f9 to enter to the system utilities menu.

systemutilities

systemsettings

now that you have opened the settings, select “system configuration”

Then select “BIOS/Platform Configuration RBSU”

bios

You see now the following options that can be made.

rbsu

For my customers I usually select the following settings:

System Options -> USB Options -> Internal SD Card Slot [enable]
System Options -> Processor Options -> Intel HT [enable]
System Options -> Processor Options -> x2APIC Support [enable]
System Options -> Virtualization Options -> Virtualization Technology [enable]
System Options -> Virtualization Options -> Intel VT-d [enable]
System Options -> Virtualization Options -> SR-IOV [enable]

Boot Options -> Boot mode [UEFI Mode]
Boot Options -> UEFI Optimized Boot [enabled]

Power Management -> Power Profile [Maximum Performance]

Server Asset Options -> Server Information -> Server Name [Hostname]

Date and Time -> Date [set date]
Date and Time -> Time [set time]
Date and Time -> Time Zone [UTC+1]
Date and Time -> Daylight saving time [enabled]

If you need more information for the configuration settings, please write a comment on this post!

Save all settings with F10 and then press Y (or Z for Swiss and other keyboards). Now please reboot the system.

Now we are ready to install the Hypervisor. With HP server you have the possibility to attach an ISO with an advanced ILO license. If you haven’t a license, you can boot by CD or USB stick. In this post we will do it with ILO and an mounted iso file.

btw. you have also the possibility to install an HP customized ISO with hp drivers on it. I always recommend to install the “vanilla” iso and then add the drivers and tools by hand with the update managers.

Please open the ILO integrated remote console and select “virtual drives” in the menu bar.

ilo_iso_mount

select now the latest hypervisor ISO that you have:

iso_esxi_60_u2

Now that you have mounted the ISO please restart the system and while the system is booting select F11 for boot menu.

f11_boot_menu

Select no the drive “ILO Virtual USB 2: HPE iLO Virtual USB CD/DVD ROM”:

boot_menu

The system begins now to boot from iso. You should see a screen like this:

bootup_esxi

when the ISO is loaded, you see the following message. Confirm this message with enter:

welcome_esxi_6

First of all you have to accept the EULA with F11:

esxi_6_eula

Now you have to select the storage medium on witch you would like to install the Hypervisor. In our case we will install the hypervisor on an internal SD-Card with 8GB of space. The remote disks are SAN disks that were already zoned to this system.

Select the SD and press enter

esxi_6_install_sd

In my case I received the following message:

esxi_6_install_or_upgrade

This message appears because we had installed esxi 5.5 already on this system. I recommend to select “install” and not “upgrade”. This is the only way to have a clean installation of your system.

Next you have to select keyboard layout. This is an important step because you will have to set a root password in the following step. I always recommend to use the local keyboard layout or us English.

esxi_6_select_language

Please enter here your root password. Keep in mind to enter here a complex password. With this user you can do a lot of dirty things on the system so try to keep the system secure. btw. the password must have at least 7 characters

esxi_6_root_password

When passwords do match, you can press enter to continue.

Confirm now this message with F11.  This indicates only that the volume will be deleted and repartitioned.

esxi_6_repartitioning

The installation has now begone:

esxi_6_installation

After some minutes you will receive and information that the system has been installed successfully. Please confirm this information with “enter”. Now the system will be restarted.

After the system has booted, the system should look like this. You can now press F2 to configure the system.

esxi_6_screen

Please select the right keyboard if need, enter the root as user and enter your custom password.

esxi_6_login

The first thing that we have to do is to configure the management network to manage the system with vCenter, PowerCLI or the VIClient.

esxi_6_configure_managenent_network

You have now the following settings to set.

esxi_6_initial_settings

I always recommend to configure as much as possible to have no connection problems while configuring the esx host.

  • Network Adapters: Please select the network adapter which you would like to use as management interface.
  • Network Adapters: If you have configured VLAN tagging on your switch port, enter here the VLAN number of your VLAN
  • IPv4 Configuration: Please do not use DHCP for your ESXi server. Enter static ip address, subnet and if needed also an gateway.
  • IPv6 Configuration: If you don’t need IPv6 I would recommend to disable it. If you use it, please configure it.
  • DNS Configuration: Enter your DNS servers and the hostname of the esxi server in short name. Do not use the FQDN.
  • Custom DNS Suffixes: If you have DNS suffixes, please enter them by using commas to separate them.

Now that we have configured the network, we have to restart the system. After the system has restarted try first to ping the system. If you receive a ICMP response, the system may be ready to be connected. In my case I will now add the ESXi server to the vCenter.

Open the vCenter and rightclick the datacenter. Then select “add host”:

vcenter_6_add_host

Now enter the hostname of your esxi system and click next:

vcenter_6_add_host_hostname

Please provide root credentials and click next

vcenter_6_add_host_creds

Confirm the thumbprint by clicking on yes.

vcenter_6_add_host_thumbprint

If the esxi host already had some VMs running on it, you would here see what VMs will be imported to the vCenter

vcenter_6_add_host_vms

Add a license to your ESXi host and click next.

vcenter_6_add_host_license

For our customer we enabled the normal lockdown mode. I find the strict a little bit to hard 🙂

vcenter_6_add_host_lockdown

At the finish now you will see a summary of what objects will be added to the vCenter

vcenter_6_add_host_summary

Now you are ready customize your esxi host configuration and deploy your first vms.

If you have installed the vanilla version, please do not forget to install the HP VIBs. This can be done with the VUM.

vSphere 6.5 is here!

A new version, again. VMWare officially released today vSphere 6.5.

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/10/introducing-vsphere-6-5.html

Let me list here some of their new features. I will explain in the following posts the new features in detail.

  • VCSA has now the Update Manager integrated
  • Scalability
  • HTML 5 vSphere Client (halleluja!)
  • A lot of security features
    • VM level encryption
    • encrypted VMotion
    • secure boot for ESXi and VMs
  • vSphere integrated containers
  • Cloud integration
  • Enhanced Host profiles
  • enhancements in HA, DRS and FT
  • PowerCli with autocomplete

You will hear from me 🙂

VMWare Tools 10 repository

Most of you may even know the old VMWare Tools repository.

https://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/index.html

VMWare communicated that the new VMWare Tools 10.x will be developed independed of the vSphere enviroment. So from now on, you will not find anymore the latest tools at the above-mentioned link.

From now on, you can dowload the latest tool versions from here:

https://packages.vmware.com/tools/releases/index.html

vmware_repo

Click on the highest number folder or on the latest folder and you will be redirected to the newest tool version for each supported OS.

vmware_repo2

Regards

VMWare Tools 10.0.5.3227872 & SydeBySide Event ID 33

One of our customers had some problems with the new deployed VMWare Tools 10.0.5 on their W2k12 r2 Systems. The W2k8 r2 systems had no problems.

From time to time we found the event ID 33 with the following two errors:

Activation context generation failed for “C:\Program Files\VMWareTools\plugins\vmusr\vmtray.dll”. Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC90.MFC,processorArchitecture=”amd64″,publicKeyToken=”1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b”,type=”win32″,version=”9.0.30729.4148″ could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.

error33

Activation context generation failed for “C:\Program Files\VMWareTools\plugins\vmusr\dndcp.dll”. Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC90.MFC,processorArchitecture=”amd64″,publicKeyToken=”1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b”,type=”win32″,version=”9.0.30729.4148″ could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.

error33_

After searching a while I found out that this error message only appears when a new user logs in to the server. There was neither a VMWare Tools icon on the notification area visible.

Most of similar problems where indicating that there is a problem with the Visual Studio for C++.

First of all I used the SFC command (sfc /scannow) to check if all system binaries where ok. Did received no error from the system.

sfc

Then I used the sxstrace like in the event written. First of all i started the sxstrace to trace the errors:

c:\windows\system32\sxstrace Trace -logfile:c:\temp\sxstrace.log

sxstrace

A friend of me logged now also in to the system to reproduce the error. After he logged in, I saw the new event entries in the event viewer. Now I could stop the the tracing by pressing enter.

The binary output c:\temp\sxstrace.log could now be converted in a txt file. For this, we used the following command:

c:\windows\system32\sxstrace Parse -logfile:c:\temp\sxstrace.log -outfile:c:\temp\sxstraceOutPut.txt

 

sxstrace2

Now the txt file was readable and it could be opened and searched for error messages like this one:

ERROR: Cannot resolve reference Microsoft.VC90.MFC,processorArchitecture=”amd64″,publicKeyToken=”1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b”,type=”amd64″,version=”9.0.30729.4148″.

So, I compared the installed Visual C++ versions on the W2k8 and W2k12 systems. There I found out that the following version was not installed on the w2k12 systems:

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable – x86 9.0.30729.4148

visualC

 

I download it from the microsoft site and installed it manually.

After installing it, I didn’t receive any more those errors. This seems to be the SP1 for the Visual C++ 2008 Redestributable package.

But why this isn’t installed with the VMWare Tools package? Is this maybe not included in the package?

After checking with the software packager of the enterprise, we found out that by installing only the MSI, the C++ will not be installed. When you install the software with the EXE, the C++ is preinstalled.

So, we had to package the following two software packages:

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable – x64 9.0.30729.6161

Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable – x86 9.0.30729.4148

visualC++

After deploying those two packages, every w2k12 was running perfectly again.

vExpert 2016

Hi people out there!

I HAVE IT! Yes, VMWare announced yesterday the new vExperts for 2016 and I’m also one of them! Yeah 🙂

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-k

You can have a look at the announcement page: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2016/02/vexpert-2016-award-announcement.html

Thanks to VMWare and also thanks to all credentials who gave such a good feedback for my work in the last years

Hope I can contribute this year as much as I did in 2015!

Regards

ESXI 5.5 and & BL460C G9 having problem with SDs

I recently have seen the following error on a customer environment:

ESX

In the IML I’ve found the following errors:

ILO

after searching a while for the problem, I rebooted the esx host and the error was gone. Some days later the error appeared again but this time on another host.

It’s already the 5. or 6. time this error appears irregular on the esx hosts.

So I decided to check the internet if somebody else also has this problem. I quickly have found someone with the same problem:

https://www.virtuallyboring.com/lost-connectivity-to-the-device-backing-the-boot-filesystem/

As I’ve read, there may be a problem with the ILO firmware 2.20. So we will try to update it to the last version and we will see how this goes on.

I’ll update this post as soon as I have news.

vExpert 2016 Applications are now open

Kind VMWare enthusiasts

Just wanted to let you know that the vExpert applications are now open.

I will try it this year for the first time and hope that I recieve a positive feedback from VMWare. If I get the certificate I will write a little “how to” for getting the certificate.

For new applicants please use this form: https://form.jotform.com/52986265867980

Current vExperts can use this form: https://form.jotform.com/40345965737969

If you want to get more information about the vExpert program, please have a look at the VMWare vExpert Blog:

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2015/11/vexpert-2016-applications-are-now-open.html

Backing up VMs from a standalone ESXi for FREE

People often ask me how they should backup their VMs from an standalone free ESXi server before maintenance of hardware or when they want to upgrade their ESXi to a newer version.

Well, for this I will list here some possibilities to backup your VM  once or scheduled and for free:

ONCE:

Export to OVA: The easiest way is to use the vSphere Client and export the VM to OVA. The exported VM can then be saved on your client workstation where the vSphere Client is running. In the vSphere documentation you can read how to do it:

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.vm_admin.doc%2FGUID-B05A4E9F-DD21-4397-95A1-00125AFDA9C8.html

Veeam Backup free Edition: Veeam Backup free Edition is probably the most powerful solution to backup your VMs for free.  In adtition of backing up VMs, you can also migrate the VMs between multiple ESXi server, work with tapes and other nice features. Please visit the Veeam site to get more information:

http://www.veeam.com/

Trilead VM Explorer: from the Internet i’ve found this tool that some people can recommend. I have never installed neither tried it. Have a try and give me some feedback. I would appreciate it.

https://www.trilead.com/

SCHEDULED:

ghettoVCB: ghettoVCB is a shell script which uses the API from VMWare to backup the VMs. It is not that easy to configure but when you have it configured once, it’s cool to work with it. The BIG advantage on this tool is, that you can schedule the script with an cronjob. So you have periodically backups of your system without having to interact. You will find more information on the VMWare community site:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8760

 

 

I will update this post when I’ve found more tools to backup VMs for free…

Network Port Diagram for vSphere 6.0

VMWare finally released a “BIG PICTURE” network port diagram at their knowledge base site:

kb.vmware.com/kb/2131180

This is really a MUST HAVE if you are working in environments with security firewalls between the systems. So go and take it.

In older releases we had to work with this shitty table:

kb.vmware.com/kb/1012382

Thanks to VMWare and have fun with the diagram.