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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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