Tag Archives: vsphere

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

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.

 

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!