Category Archives: VMware

VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 4.1 – What’s new?

Last week was big release week from VMware prospective, where VMware released vSphere 7 Update 1, vSAN 7 Update 1, and VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 4.1. There are some nice new enhancements with VCF 4.1. In this post, I’ll highlight the big features which customers and architects were looking  with upcoming release.

Rename Objects
With VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1, you can now rename domains, clusters, as well as network pools. Domain and Network Pool objects can be renamed from SDDC Manager UI. And Cluster objects can be renamed from vCenter Server. Once you do, you can go back to the SDDC Manager and refresh the UI, the new cluster name will be retrieved by the SDDC Manager.

SDDC Manager Backup Enhancements
With this release of VCF 4.1 backup can be scheduled on a reoccurring basis, Now customer can enable backup state change and SDDC manager backup will occur 10 minutes after the successful completion of the event, such as the creation of a workload domain.

Support for vVols as a Principal Storage for Workload Domains          With Cloud Foundation 4.1, vVols can now be used for principle storage for workload domains and secondary storage for both management domain as well as workload domains.

If you want to read in details about vVols, please refer blog written by Cormac Hogan (Director and Chief Technologist in the Office of the CTO in the Cloud Platform Business Unit (CPBU) at VMwarehttps://cormachogan.com/2015/02/17/vsphere-6-0-storage-features-part-5-virtual-volumes/

Support for Remote Clusters (Extends VCF at the Remote/Edge)         We continue to see growing demands of Remote or Edge sites, where customer wants to have small infra footprint at remote or edge sites, but wanted to have automated deployment and lifecycle management as unified management.

With release of VCF 4.1, Support for remote clusters will be a minimum of 3 nodes and maximum of 4 nodes vSAN Ready Node configuration. Remote clusters can be implemented in two different design. The first is when each remote site is managed as a separate workload domain. In this design, each remote site has a dedicated vCenter Server instance. The second  is when each remote site is managed as a cluster within a single workload domain. In this design, each remote site shares a single vCenter Server instance. Day 2 operations (such as lifecycle management, adding and removing clusters) can be performed centrally from the data center to the remote sites. 

Improved Lifecycle Management (VCF Upgrade Process)                              In previous editions of VCF, the upgrade process was sequential in nature. For example, if you started at Cloud Foundation version 4.0, And you wanted to go to Cloud Foundation version 4.1, You had go through a process where you first upgraded to any versions that may existed in-between and eventually upgrading to the desired version. This resulted in the need to schedule multiple maintenance windows and took more time to get to the desired state.

Now with release of VCF 4.1 has ability to perform skip level upgrades for the SDDC Manager. With this feature, you can schedule a single maintenance window and update to the desired state in a single action. This can result in a reduction in the time needed to perform the upgrades.

vRealize Suite for VCF                                                                                                     With Cloud Foundation 4.1, VCF now deploys a ‘VCF Aware’ vRSLCM appliance. First enhancement is no need to manually download and deploy vRSLCM. Once you have management domain bring up done and SDDC Manager up and running, you can initiate the installation of vRSLCM from SDDC Manager.

Now with VCF 4.1, there will be also bidirectional vRSLCM and SDDC Manager relationship. This will provide unified product experience. Users can log into vRSCLM to perform operations, and SDDC Manager can now discover if vRSLCM was used to deploy vRealize suite of products such as vRealize Automation (vRA), vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) and vRealize Log Insight (vRLI). This will ease the deployment for customers and any potential interoperability issues between vRSLCM and SDDC Manager.

Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) Integration 

With the release of VCF 4.1, HCX R143 now has native support for Cloud Foundation 4.1 with Converged Virtual Distributed Switches (CVDS). This will be extremely helpful for customers who have a need to migrate existing workloads to a new Cloud Foundation installation. 

Role-Based Access Control for VCF

A New VCF User Role – ‘viewer’

A new ‘view-only’ role has been added to VCF 4.1, In previous edition of  VCF had only 2 roles, Administrator and Operator. Now third role available called a ‘viewer’. As name suggest, with this view only role Users has no ability to create, delete, or modify objects. with this limited ‘view-only’ role assigned users may also see a message saying they are unauthorized to perform certain actions.

 

VCF Local Account

With VCF 4.1, Custer can have local account that can be used during a SSO failure.

What happens when the SSO domain is unavailable for some reason? In this case, the user would not be able to login. To address this, customers now can create VCF local account called admin@local. This account will allow to perform certain actions until the SSO domain is functional again.

This VCF local account can be defined in the deployment bring up worksheet. 

Summary

I tried to cover all the new enhancements with VCF 4.1 release, But always  refer official documentation for more and complete details :- https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-Foundation/index.html

 

 

vSphere Syslog Collector 5.5 – Install and Configure

Syslog Collector

Syslog is a way for network devices to send event messages to a logging server – usually known as a Syslog server. The Syslog protocol is supported by a wide range of devices and can be used to log different types of events. An ESXi host will by defaults save its log files locally. This is particularly important for hosts deployed without a persistent scratch Partition, Such as a Stateless host provisioned by Auto Deploy. Syslog Collector also addresses the issue of an Auto Deployed host not having a local disk.  With no local disk the log files are stored on a Ramdisk, which means each time the server boots the logs are lost.   Not having persistent logs can complicate troubleshooting.  Use the syslog collector to capture the ESXi host’s log on a network server.

Syslog Collector on VCSA

A Syslog Collector is bundled with the the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and requires no extra setup. By default logs are saved in /var/log/remote/<HostName>. Just configure the hosts to send their logs to the Syslog collector.

Syslog Collector on a Windows Server

Syslog Collector can be installed on vCenter Server or on a standalone Windows Server.

1. From VMware vCenter Installer media choose vSphere Syslog Collector and Click Install to start the installation process.

SLS12. Select the appropriate language for the Syslog Collector and Click OK.

SLS23. Installer will prepare setup process to guide and install Syslog Collector.

SLS34. On the Welcome screen Click Next to continue.

SLS45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and Click Next.

SLS56. Select where to install the application and where to stored the logs and also Size of the log file before Rotation and Number of Logs to keep on the Syslog Collector Server. Unless you have specific requirements select default settings and Click Next.

SLS67. Setup Type screen allows to register the Syslog Collector instance with vCenter Server instance. Select VMware vCenter Server Installation and Click Next.

SLS78. On VMware vCenter Server Information screen provide the vCenter Server Name, Port, and Appropriate account credentials to Register Syslog Collector to vCenter Server and Click Next.

SLS8.19. Accept the default ports settings and Click Next.

SLS810. The Next screen allows to choose how the Syslog Collector will be identified on the networks and by the ESXi hosts. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Syslog collector choose default name and Click Next.

SLS911. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

SLS1012. On Installation Completed screen click Finish to complete the Installation.

SLS1613. Once Installation completed connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> VMware Syslog Collector–> Double Click to open Syslog Collector.

SLS12

SLS13===========================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts to Redirect to a Syslog Collector

There are several ways to Configure ESXi hosts to redirect logs to a Syslog Collector.

  • Advanced Configuration Options on the ESXi host
  • Via Host’s command Line
  • Host Profile

Configuring ESXi Hosts using the Advanced Configuration Options

1. Connect to vCenter Server using vSphere Client or Web Client –> Home –> Select Host and Clusters.

2. Select the ESXi Host –> Configuration –> Under Software Advanced Settings.

SLS143. Under Advanced Settings –> Syslog –> Global –> Syslog.global.loghost enter Syslog Collector host name and Click OK to complete the configuration.

SLS15===============================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts using Host’s Command Line

1. Connect ESXi host using putty.

SLS172. Enter the Root credentials to log into to host.

SLS183. Review the existing Syslog Collector Configuration using below command –                                 esxcli system syslog config get

SLS194. If you do not remember the configuration parameters/options use below commands to get the help – esxcli system syslog config set –help

SLS205. To configure the remote log host server and enable syslog collector server on host use this command –

esxcli system syslog set –loghost=vum.dca.com –logdir-unique=true                    

esxcli system syslog reload

SLS216. Verify configuration using below command – esxcli system syslog config get

SLS22=============================================================

Configuring ESXi Hosts using Host Profile.

1. Edit the Host profile with below settings.

Advanced Configuration Option –> syslog.global.loghost –> Enter the syslog Collector host name and click OK. Apply this Host Profile on other hosts and compliant.

SLS23

Done. We are all set now 🙂

 

Cheers..Roshan Jha

Setting up the ESXi 5.5 Dump Collector

The ESXi Dump Collector is a centralized service that can receive and store Memory dumps from ESXi servers when they crashed unexpectedly. These Memory Dumps occurs when an ESXi hosts crashed with PSOD (Purple Screen of death). The Kernel grabs the contents of Memory and dumps them to nonvolatile disk storage before the server reboots. By default, a core dump is saved to the local disk.  In the case where there may not be a local disk the core dump will be saved to a ramdisk in memory, which is a problem because the core dumps will be lost when the host reboots.

To solve this vSphere 5.0 includes a new feature called the ESXi Dump Collector.  The Dump Collector enables you redirect ESXi host core dumps onto a network server.

The dump collector is included as part of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and requires no extra setup.

CDC1

How to Install ESXi Dump Collector on Windows.

1. To install the dump collector on Windows simply load the VMware vCenter installation media, launch autorun.exe and from the main install menu choose “vSphere ESXi Dump Collector”.

DC12. Select the appropriate language for ESXi Dump Collector and Click OK.

DC23. Installer will prepare setup process for ESXi Dump Collector.

DC34. On the Welcome screen Click Next to start installation process.

DC45. Select Radio button to accept End User License Agreement and click Next.

DC56. Select where to install the ESXi Dump Collector and Where to store the Dump (Repository Directory), If desired change the location and Repository Size and Click Next.

DC67. Setup Type screen allows to register the ESXi Dump Collector instance with vCenter Server instance. Select VMware vCenter Server Installation and Click Next.

DC78. On VMware vCenter Server Information screen provide the vCenter Server Name, Port, and Appropriate account credentials to Register ESXi Dump Collector to vCenter Server and Click Next.

DC89. Accept default port 6500 and Click Next.

DC910. The Next screen allows to choose how the ESXi Dump Collector will be identified on the networks and by the ESXi hosts. It Will detect host name on which we are installing Dump collector choose default name name Click Next.

DC1011. On Ready to Install screen click Install to begin the installation.

DC1112. On Installation Completed screen click Finish to complete the Installation.

DC1213. Once Installation completed connect to vCenter Server –> Home –> Administration –> VMware ESXi Dump Collector–> Double Click to open ESXi Dump Collector.

DC13You can see Dump Collector’s details and Port Number.

DC14=============================================================

Now we need to configure ESXi host to Redirect their Core Dumps

There are 2 methods to configure ESXi Hosts to redirects Core Dumps to ESXi Dump Collector server.

  • Using ESXCLI command-line Tools
  • Using Host Profile.

1. Log into ESXi host via SSH.

DC152. Enter the Root credentials to log into to host.

DC163. Review the existing Dump Collector Configuration using below command –                                 esxcli system coredump network get

DC174. If you do not remember the configuration parameters/options use below commands to get the help – esxcli system coredump network set –help

DC195. Use below command to configure the host’s dump redirection settings                             esxcli system coredump network set -v vmk0 -i 192.168.174.204 -o 6500

6. Turn On / enable Dump Collector using below command                                                     esxcli system coredump network set -e true

DC207. At the end verify Dump Collector service status with this command.                                             esxcli system coredump network check

DC21

Done!

===========================================================

Now will configure ESXi Dump Collector on hosts using Host Profile

1. Create Host Profile and Edit Host Profile with Below settings to enable and configuration Network Coredump Settings. Once done apply this Profile on the rest of Hosts to make complaint with hosts.

DC22

We are all set now.

 

Thank You!

Roshan Jha

Upgrade vCenter Server 4.1 to 5.5

Last night upgraded my home lab from vSphere 4.1 to vSphere 5.5.

The vCenter upgrade process is actually fairly simple, (all things considered). You basically just backup your existing database (SQL or Oracle), snapshot (or clone) your existing vCenter (if virtual), mount the ISO and start the upgrade process.

There are Prerequisites for vCenter Server 5.1 and Later (vCenter Single Sign-On and vCenter Inventory Service) which does not include in vCenter Server 5.0 and earlier so we need to install these 2 components before starting upgrade from 4.1 to 5.5.

up1You can install vCenter Single Sign-On, the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install) or on different machines as Custom Install.

Let’s start to Install vCenter Single Sign-On

1. Download or Copy Installation Media VMware VMware-VIMSetup-all-5.5.0-2105955-20140901-update02 on the server where want to install vCenter Single Sign-On and Double-click autorun.exe to Start the Installer Media.

up22. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vCenter Single Sign-On and then Click Install button to start vCenter Single Sign-On installation.

up33. On Welcome vCenter Single Sign-On Setup screen click Next to continue..

SSO14. Select the tick box to Accept the Licence Agreement and Click NEXT..

SS)25. It will Auto check Prerequisites for vCenter Single Sign-On (e.g. Host Name, FQDN name of the Host, IP Address of the host, Machine is part of the Domain or not, and DNS is able to resolve the host name or Not). As you can see in below screen. If you want to add this Domain as identity Source in SSO check the tick box and Click NEXT..

SSO36. As this is First vCenter Server so choose Standalone vCenter Single Sign-On Server and click NEXT (For more details on all these please refer http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-55-upgrade-guide.pdf)

SSO47. Installation will create default SSO Domain. Choose a password for the SSO administrator – the “Master SSO Password” (administrator@vsphere.local).Enter Password and the click Next

SSO58. Choose an appropriate Site Name for this Installation and then Click NEXT..

SSO69. On the SSO Port settings page enter the port number and then Click NEXT..                   ( Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default      Port Number)

SSO710. Change the Directory for installation if desired and Click NEXT..

SSO811. Finally, Review the installation options and click Install to start the installation.

SSO912. It will take few minutes to install. Once the installation is complete, Click Finish to close the Installer.

SSO10==========================================================

Installing vCenter Inventory Service

The second prerequisite for vCenter Server installation is the vCenter Inventory Service:

1. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vCenter Inventory Service and then click Install to start the installer.

IC12. Select the language for the installation and Click OK.

IC23. VMware vCenter Inventory Service installer will start..

IC34. From the vCenter Inventory Service installer Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue..

IC45. Select the radio button to accept the End User License Agreement and Click Next.

IC56. Change the directory for installation if desired and click Next to continue.

IC67. Enter the vCenter Inventory Service local system name or select default and Click Next.

IC78. On the Configure Port settings page enter the port number and then Click NEXT..           ( Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default      Port Number)

IC89. On the JVM Memory screen asks how big your vCenter Inventory will be once it’s fully configured. Select the desired option depending on your requirement and click Next.

IC910. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

IC1011. Because this is the first installation of vCenter Server, So default security certificates need to be accepted. These can be changed to “self-Signed” at a later time. Click Yes to accept and Click Install Certificates to install default certificates.

IC11

 

IC1212. Finally Click Install to commence the Installation and start the services.

IC1313. It will take few minutes to install and register with SSO.

IC1414. Once the installation is complete, Click Finish to Close the installer.

IC15=============================================================

 Installing vCenter Server

We have installed both prerequisites for vCenter Server now ready to upgrade vCenter Server 4.1 to 5.5.

Logged on as Administrative user (Administrator or Service Account) to the computer that will run vCenter Server.

1. Start the vCenter Server installation process by selecting vCenter Server and then Click Install.

VC32. As you can see that minimum RAM required is 4GB and i was started installation on host with 2GB So got failed with NOT ENOUGH SYSTEM RAM. Increased RAM to 4 GB on this VM and restarted installation process.

VC23. Select the language for the installation and click OK.

VC44. Setup will Prepare the InstallSheild Wizard to guide through the setup process…

VC55. On the Welcome screen you can see that An earlier version of vCenter Server is already installed on this computer and will be upgraded to vCenter Server 5.5.warning message. Click Next to continue upgrade process.

VC66. Select the Radio Button to Accept End User License Agreement and click Next.

VC77. Enter vCenter Server license key or leave it blank to install in evaluation mode for 60 days trail click Next to continue.

VC88. At this point you must select whether to use SQL Server 2008 Express Edition or a Separate Database server. I am using embedded database for my Home lab.

UP49. You will get Database Upgrade Warning choose as per your requirement and click Next.

VC1110.  By default the vCenter Server service use Windows Local System Account, if you are using another administrative user service account, provide the credentials and click Next to continue.

VC1311. On the vCenter Agent Upgrade screen choose how do you want to upgrade vCenter Agent on connected ESXi Host and Click Next.

VC1212. The next screen provides the option to change the default TCP and UDP ports on which vCenter server communicates. (Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default Port Numbers)

VC1413. On the JVM Memory screen asks how big your vCenter Server will be once it’s fully configured. Select the desired option depending on your requirement and click Next.

VC1514. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

VC1615. Click Yes to accept Certificates and continue.

VC1716. Change the Inventory service address and Port if required and Click Next to continue.

VC1817. As we are upgrading the earlier version so can not change installation directory Click next to accept the location and continue.

VC1918. On the Ready to Install screen Click Install to start the Installation Process ( If you want to Participate in Customer Experience Improvement Program Tick the Enable Data Collection Box – by enabling this we are agreeing to send technical data weekly to VMware)

VC2019. As you can see on Installing VMware vCenter Server Screen it will take 15-20 minutes (depending on how big your environment is) to complete the upgrade.

VC2120. It is being installed as per options/features selected..

VC2221. Once Installation completed click Finish to close the Wizard.

VC23===============================================================

Installing vSphere Web Client

There are 2 different clients that can be used to administer a vCenter Server.

  • vSphere C# Client
  • vSphere Web Client

From vSphere 5.1 onward, VMware stated that it was no longer adding features to the .NET vSphere client: only the vSphere Web Client would gain new feature capabilities.

Any few features that are part of the vSphere 5.5 release are not available from the vSphere Client.

1. From the VMware vCenter Installer, Select vSphere Web Client and then Click Install to start process.

WC12. Select the appropriate language and click OK.

WC23. Installer will prepare the setup process..

WC34. On the Welcome screen click Next to continue.

WC45. Select radio button to accept End User License Agreement and click Next to continue.

WC56. Change the Installation Directory if required and Click Next to continue.

WC67. The next screen provides the option to change or accept the default ports for HTTP and HTTPS on which vSphere Web Client will communicate. (Unless there is conflict in the environment, recommend not to change default Port Numbers)

WC78. On the vCenter Single Sign-On Information Screen enter the “Master Password” you choosed during SSO installation. Enter the Password (changed port number in the Lookup Service URL if you changed in SSO installation) and click Next to Continue..

WC89. Click Yes to accept the certificate.

WC910. On the Ready to Install screen click Install to start the installation.

WC1011. It will take few minutes to install.

WC1112. Once Installation completed click Finish to exit the Wizard.

WC12Done!

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