Tag Archives: VMWare

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

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.

 

Install ESXi 6.0 on a DL380 G5 – yes it works

For a VMWare Horizon View POC in our environment we recieved an old HP DL380 G5 with nice specs: 2 phy. Quad-CPUs, 32GB RAM, RAID-Controller with write Cache, and quite everything redundant.

As SSDs are getting more and more beneficial, we bought 4 Kingston 300v SSD with 480GB of space and installed them in the OEM cases of the HP disks. Yes, this works!

For our tests this hardware is more than enough.

First of all I googled around to see if there was already someone who tried to install ESXi 6.0 on an old DL380 G5 as it isn’t a supported hardware. I’ve found this article from a guy that was having problems with the HP custom iso installing it on a G5 server:

http://htluo.blogspot.ch/2015/05/esxi-60-on-hp-dl380-g5.html

So I decided to have a try with the original ISO. After booting the Image I received an error message saying that I’m using unsupported hardware. Thank’s for the information but I know this already 😉 You can accept the information an run-through.

After the installation completed, I connected to the ESXi server with the VIClient. Everything looked well with the exception of the hardware. There was no hardware listed.

This is because the HP drivers are not integrated into the image. So I downloaded the needed VIBs from the HP VIB repository and installed them (the text in the brackets is not part of the command). For those who don’t know what a VIB is, have a look on this article:

Before I could install the VIBs I had to put the ESX server in maintenance mode:

If you receive a message like this, this is because there are VMs running on the system:

So I had to check what VMs are running on the system and stop them. You can do this with the VI Client or with the shell:

Now that we have the world id of the VM (similar to the PID), we can stop the VMs with those commands:

Retry now to run the enter maintenance mode command and check the state with this command:

The output should look similar to this:

As you can see, the ESX server is now in maintenance mode. So i could begin with the installation of the VIBs. For this I used the esxcli “software vib install”. It is important that you write the full path to the VIB file. Otherwise the command ends with an error:

The output should look similar to this:

As you can see in the message, the system requires a reboot after the installation. So we can now reboot the system with the reboot command.

After the reboot we can connect us with the VIClient to the esx server and now we should see all the hardware and sensors installed on the system:

ESX Hardware

So then, I wish you happy virtualizing with your new ESXi server and do not forget to configure the rest such as ntp, ssh, portgroups, vm settings and so on.

P.S. this server is running now about 4 weeks without any problems or PSOD

Getting all Snapshots with Powershell

Every vSphere Admin knows, that if you give someone in your organization the rights to take snapshots, you will lose the control of them.

Often they forget to delete the snapshot after their maintenance. So the snapshots gets bigger and bigger. The results are full datastores, big snapshots that can’t be no-more deleted and in the worst case you will have corrupted VM.

To counter against those problems, I’ve wrote a Powershell script that gets all snapshots in your environment and sends you an email with the name, size, time and the description of the snapshots.

You just have to edit the global variables with yours and then schedule the script.

After this, you can control your snapshots much more better.

Feel free to use, edit and share it:

Check Lockdown Mode Powershell Script

For security reasons one of my customer has Lockdown mode activated on all them ESXi server. Unfortunately, with vSphere 5.5 at least, there is no way to configure the lockdown mode on the host profile. So you have to do it manually on each ESXi server that you add to the vCenter.

Then when an administrator want’s to manage something with SSH or vSphere Client directly to the ESXi host, they have first to disable the Lockdown mode. Often they forget to enable the Lockdown mode again.

For this reason I created this script whitch is scheduled on the vCenter Server with the Windows Task Scheduler. It checks every ESXi host if it has the Lockdown Mode enabled and when not, it enables it.

As an “nice to have”, it sends after every schedule an email with the hosts that were configured. If no ESXi server was configured, it sends an email saying everything is ok.

You just have to edit the 6 first variables with your system informations and it works.

Please be aware that I haven’t implemented any error handling in the script. It’s just an quick and dirty script for my own.

Feel free to use it and share it

RV Tools – the quickest way to get all information from you vSphere environment

RV Tools is one of my favorite 3rd party tools for vSphere. If you are not familiar with PowerCLI this is a “MUST HAVE” for you. With this tool, you can get quite all the information you need from your VMWare environment. You can check all information from your VMs, ESX(i), vCenters, Clusters, vSwitchs and so on.

Here a short extract from their website with a print screen:

RVTools is a windows .NET 2.0 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual machines and ESX hosts. Interacting with VirtualCenter 2.5, ESX Server 3.5, ESX Server 3i, VirtualCenter 4.x, ESX Server 4.x, VirtualCenter 5.0, VirtualCenter Appliance, ESX Server 5.0, VirtualCenter 5.1, ESX Server 5.1, VirtualCenter 5.5, ESX Server 5.5. RVTools is able to list information about VMs, CPU, Memory, Disks, Partitions, Network, Floppy drives, CD drives, Snapshots, VMware tools, Resource pools, Clusters, ESX hosts, HBAs, Nics, Switches, Ports, Distributed Switches, Distributed Ports, Service consoles, VM Kernels, Datastores, Multipath info and health checks. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and RVTools is able to update the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine to the latest version.

rvtools

Normally I use the tool to make Excel extracts from the VMs to know which VM tools are outdated. An other nice feature that I use is the vDatastore tab. There I have a nice overview of all datastores to check free space, quantity of VMs and so on.

However, my favorite tab is the vHealth tab. There you can find a lot information about misconfigurations ore threshold values that have passed over. Here some possible error messages from a customer’s environment(the VM/ESX/Datastore names were cutted out):vhealth_errors

Please feel free to visit the developer’s page, register and download the tool for free:

http://www.robware.net/

There are a lot of nice features and information to use with this tool. Go ahead, install it and try it!

If you like this tool as much as I do, you can also donate some money via paypal!