Tag Archives: VMWare

Snapshots with quiescing fails directly after starting the snapshot

A new customer who I’m working for, has Avamar from EMC as their backup solution for VMware and all other products.

By chechking the activities of the backups, I’ve seen that both Exchange Server VM backups fails every night.

After having a look at the Avamar logs, i found an error indicating some problems with quiescing:

avamlog3

avvcbimage Error <17775>: Snapshot ‘Avamar-1430951406e32d32fac65d442458b882c72e09fdd7bd3b0a79’ creation for VM <PATH_TO_VM> task creation encountered a quiesce problem (Log #2

So first of all I tried to make a manual snapshot with the quiesce flag from the vCenter:

snapshot

Directly after the snapshot started, it failed again with the following message:

snapshot2

An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine’s event log for Details.

For me this was now clear that this had to be a vmware related problem. As the error message recommended, I checked the event log of the virtual machine witch is normally located in the VM Folder on the datastore. Scrolling around on the log, I’ve found e interesting error message:

avamlog

ToolsBackup: not enough empty nodes (needed 8, found 7)

For some reason the VM is saying that the SCSI Controller has no more empty nodes. By searching in the vmware knowledge base, I have found a KB article where this Problem was explained: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1037071

When you use quiescing for snapshooting a VM, you can’t add more than 8 disks to a SCSI controller. Normally you can add up to 16 disk to one controller.

It seems like when you snapshot the disks with quiesce option, vSphere adds an additional disk for each disk that is attached. This must be the reason.

So the only way to resolve this problem, was to add an additional SCSI Controller and attached 4 of the disks to the second controller. After this, the VM was snapshoted without any issues:

snapshot3

vCenter Server Appliance in vSphere 6.0 (vCSA)

The vCenter Server Appliance was in older releases a nice feature that was never ended in development.

A lot of features and functions that you had with the Windows Server based vCenter server, were not possible with the appliance. So the appliance was only interesting for really small vSphere environments or for labs.

With vCSA 5.5 we were going better and better. But there were still some things that weren’t supported like:

  • Less scalability
  • Linked Mode
  • Heartbeat
  • IPv6
  • PowerCLI
  • VUM
  • 3d party software plugin

Now let me show you an actual chart from VMWare where they compare the vCSA with the windows based vCenter:

vCSA_6_0

As you can see, the vCSA has now the same scalability as the Windows based vCenter Server. Quite every feature is also integrated in the appliance.

So why we do not just use the appliance? Well there are unfortunately still some reasons for that we will need the Windows vCenter Server:

  • no MSSQL support
  • no Update Manager (the most critical point in my view)

I can’t understand why they don’t port the VUM to the vCSA. With those features on board, I’m quite sure that the Windows based vCenter will no more be used by SME’s with small vSphere environments.

For this I’m already curious to see the features that the new vCSA release will include and hope that this appliance is getting more and more important for vSphere and VMWare. This appliance will simplify many administrators life!

How to get your VCP5-DCV

Some weeks ago I finally got my VCP5-DCV (VMWare Certified Professional – Data 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

vSphere WebClient HTTP Status 404

Last week I had to install a new vCenter Server for a Customer.

After installing all products (SSO, WebClient, Invetory Service and vCenter Server) without any error messages, I restarted the server.

Once the server came up, i checked the services and all came up. So i thought everything would be ok. No, it wasn’t!

I opened the Webclient by typing https://localhost:9443/vsphere-client/ and I recieved the following error message:

webclient

No problem, I thought! There will be a KB article, I thought!

Yes, there was a KB article but VMWare was probably making some maintenance on their page so i had no access to the article.

btw. this is the article: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2044953

So first of all i tried to reinstall the WebClient. Still the same error. After trying and trying everything i thought it could help, I finally gave up and told the customer he should try to open the KB article the next day.

No sooner said than done, the customer called me the next day an said that with the kb article he resolved the problem. He uninstalled the webclient and reinstalled it on a path without blanks at C:webclient.

After this, the webclient ran smoothy and both were happy 🙂

So the actual webclient may have problems with blanks in the installation path. Also if you install it on another partition than the system disk C: the client won’t run.

How to learn VMWare Horizon View Basics

In my free time I do really like to work with young people who is making an IT formation.

From this year on, I decided to support a little bit the education of the IT trainees. For this I signed up as an validation expert for the interdisciplinary project work of them.

After having an introductory course, I selected my first candidate.

He had to write a Script  who installs a complete vSphere and Horizon View environment.

As I’m not an expert in Horizon View i thought that I had to extend my skills on this theme. For this i looked in the internet for some online courses and found the page CBT Nuggets.

I registered me for a 7day trial and looked all the videos: http://www.cbtnuggets.com/it-training/vmware-horizon-6-view

I can really recommend this video for those who are not familiar and would like to learn the basics of it. With the video i had enough knowledge from Horizon View to examine the trainee.

Also other videos seem to be quite cool and I’m already  thinking about to make a premium plan.