Category Archives: other

All about other VMWare Products

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 ūüôā

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.

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.

 

How to get your VCP5-DCV

Some weeks ago I finally got my VCP5-DCV (VMWare Certified Professional РData Center Virtualization) certification. Now I would like to share the collected information with you.

First of all here we go with some facts:

  • The exam organizer¬†is Pearson Vue
  • To be proved for the exam you have to visit a vmware certified course. Here some of the courses you can visit.
    • vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage
    • vSphere: ¬†Fast Track
    • vSphere: Optimize & Scale
  • After participating a course, you can request on the VMWare Learning page
  • You have to respond 135 questions
  • The passing score is 300 of 500
  • You have a total of 120 minutes for the exam
    • If your native¬†language¬†isn’t english, you have extra 30 minutes
  • All questions are multiple choice questions with 4 possibles answers

Now lets go to the themes of the exam:

Well let me say you that the actual exam is not like before. I know from business partners that older exams where only questions about architecture limits,  key data and some simple functions of the vSphere suite. With some theory know-how everybody could pass older exams.

But now it’s quite more difficult to pass the exam. There are a lot of workplace related questions which you only can know if you also work with them. Another challenge is the great variety of the questions. You will be asked for ALL¬†vSphere products and possible additions like vSphere Data Protection, Syslog Collector, vSAN, Update Manager and so on. But the focus of the exam are troubleshooting with logs or the newer features like the vCenter Appliance, vSAN, Replication and so on.

If you need more topics for preparing your exam, have a look at the Blueprint at the of this post.

How you can prepare for the exam?

As I already mentioned, its quite impossible to pass the exam without practice. So the best thing you can do, is to install the whole vSphere Suite on a lab and play a little bit with all features. Another hint I can give, is to have a look at CBT Nuggets and watch the learning video. They explain a lot of the themes that were asked at the exam. And now for the end, I can only wish you good luck!

 

btw. the never VCP 6 exam was already released but mosts of those informations i wrote in this post, you can also use for the newer exam.

 

I’ve got the exam facts¬†from the VMWare Blueprint for the exam:

https://mylearn.vmware.com/lcms/web/portals/certification/VCP_Blueprints/VCP-DCV-VCP550-Exam-Blueprint-v3_7.pdf