ESX

ESX 4.1 Host Profile Copy

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Wouldn’t it be nice be able to make a copy of an existing host profile allowing you to create new profile?

vCenter Server 4.1.0 doesn’t have a copy function but you can export the profile then import it with a different name.

Note – Keep in mind this might not work on your destination hardware, you should use a base profile that is simlar and go fromt there. You also might have to tweek the copied profile for it work properly.

In vCenter Server 4.1.0 go to the Host Profiles area on you vCenter server

Simply right click and choose export profile

Choose ok to this warning…

Choose a good name and click on save

When the creation is complete from the main window Choose “Create a new host profile” > Import Profile >, Browse to the Import location and choose your file > Enter a new Name for the profile > Choose Finish

Once your done you can now edit this profile, updated it, add hosts, etc..

ESX – Using USB to IP Adapeters

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Here are some IP to USB Adapters that I know have worked with ESX…

Multi VM Use –http://www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/ubox.html

Single VM Use – http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb.jsp#overview

I’ve worked with the DIGI models and they have pretty well…

One note – if you are working with a true VM then you need to enable Windows USB features…

Special Steps for VMware ESX Server Virtual Machines
Since ESX Server does not provide direct support for USB, USB drivers are not installed in the
guest operating system by default. The AnywhereUSB device depends on the USB core files to
install properly.
To enable the rest of the installation to proceed normally, copy and rename the required file from the original operating system CD.
• Source: usbd.sy_ in the \I386 directory of the CD
• Destination: usbd.sys in the \system32\drivers directory of the guest operating system
After copying this file, reboot your machine. You can then continue with the normal
AnywhereUSB installation.

vSphere Hot Memory Add

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I was playing around with vSphere Hot memory add with ESX 4 U1 on a Windows 2008 ETP x64 VM.

I was simple to configure and could be a quick upgrade…

  1. In vCenter Server Shutdown the VM
  2. Right Click > Edit Settings > Options > Under Advanced Choose Memory/CPU Hotplug
  3. Enable Memory Hot Add and CPU Hot Plug

  4. Power on your VM, Go to the Consol for this VM, Wait for it to boot, logon
  5. I noticed mine had a pop up that it added a snap-in
  6. In vCenter Server Right click on the VM, Edit Settings, click on Memory and add the memory you wish..

    (Notice you can’t go down only up… You’ll need to power down to do this)

     

     

    Notes…

    I noticed after clicking OK, my vm console screen went blank for about 10 seconds and then it came back.

    When it did I had the upgraded memory and all was well.

     

    Here’s a great post with more information…

    http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2009/05/10/vsphere-memory-hot-add-cpu-hot-plug/

     

     

Introduction to vSphere 4 Link

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This link is well worth bookmarking and has been a great reference for me…

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsp40/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm#href=welcome/welcome.html

Installing ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices

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This is one of my favorite references… I seem to need it from time to time… 

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1009080

Installing ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices

Purpose

This article provides quick reference to the information needed for a trouble free installation of vSphere ESX 4.0 and vCenter Server 4.0.

Note: Because each environment is different, many installation decisions require knowledge and understanding beyond the scope of this article, consult the vSphere 4.0 document set for more detailed information regarding your installation at http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vs_pubs.html.

Resolution

Note: Read the VMware vSphere 4.0 Release Notes for known installation issues.

On the vCenter Server

1.Make sure your hardware and operating system requirements are compliant:

Note: For more information, see ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide and VMware Infrastructure Compatibility Guide.

•Processor – 2 CPUs 2.0GHz or higher Intel or AMD x86 processors. Processor may be higher if the database runs on the same machine.

•Memory – 3GB RAM. RAM requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.

•Disk storage – 2GB. Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express disk requirements. The bundled database requires up to 2GB free disk space to decompress the installation archive.

•Networking – 1Gbit recommended.

2.Make sure your database requirements and patch levels are compliant:

Note: For more information, see VMware Infrastructure Compatibility Guide and vCenter Server Database Patch and Configuration Requirements.

•Microsoft SQL server Database Support:

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express

Note: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express is intended to be used for small deployments of up to 5 hosts and/or 50 virtual machines.

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard edition (SP1, SP2, SP3)

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard edition (SP2, SP3) 64bit

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition (SP1, SP2, SP3)

•Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise edition (SP2, SP3) 64bit

•Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition

•Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition 64bit

•Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition

•Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition 64bit

•Oracle Database Support:

•Oracle 10g Standard edition (Release 1 [10.1.0.3.0])

•Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 1 [10.1.0.3.0])

•Oracle 10g Standard edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0])

•Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0])

•Oracle 10g Enterprise edition (Release 2 [10.2.0.1.0]) 64bit

•Oracle 11g Standard edition

•Oracle 11g Enterprise edition

3.Download and fill out the vCenter Server Installation Worksheet.

Note: For more information about the fields in this form, see the Required Data for Installing vCenter Server section of the ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide.

4.The vCenter Server install wizard gives you the option to use the Windows system account or a user-specified account for the purpose of running vCenter Server.

The primary reason to use a user-specified account is to enable the use of Windows authentication for SQL Server.

If you choose this option:

•The user-specified account must be an Administrator on the local machine and act as part of the operating system and login as a service rights.

•You must specify the account name as DomainName\Username in the vCenter Server install wizard.

•You must configure the SQL Server database to allow the domain account access to SQL Server.

5.Make sure your system has all the software prerequisites for vCenter Server:

Note: For more information, see the vCenter Server Prerequisites section of the ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide.

•Make sure your operating system meets the requirements:

Note: For more information, see the Operating System Compatibility for vSphere Client, vCenter Server, and VMware vCenter Update Manager section of the VMware Infrastructure Compatibility Guide.

•Windows XP Pro SP2 (SP2 required)

•Windows Server 2003, SP1 and SP2 32bit and 64bit all editions

•Windows Server 2003, R2 and SP2 32bit and 64bit all editions

•Windows Server 2008 32bit all editions

•Windows Server 2008 64bit Standard and Enterprise editions

•Make sure that the system you use for your vCenter Server installation belongs to a domain, rather than a workgroup.

•It is critical that you have reliable DNS and Time services.

•During the installation, the connection between the machine and the domain controller must be working.

•Log into the system using an account with local administrator rights. If joining another vCenter Server in Linked Mode, the account must be a local Administrator on both systems.

•The computer name cannot be more than 15 characters.

•Assign a static IP address and host name to the Windows server that will host the vCenter Server system. This IP address must have a valid (internal) DNS registration that resolves properly from all managed ESX hosts.

6.Configure your database prior to the vCenter install, unless you are using default Microsoft 2005 Express:

Note: Schema creation scripts mentioned in the documentation for both Microsoft SQL and Oracle are optional and intended for experienced Database Administrators. The vCenter Server installer performs the schema creation automatically if one does not already exist.

•Microsoft SQL Database:

•As the Database Administrator, use a script to create a local or remote Microsoft SQL Server Database.

Optionally, the database can be created as it was in vCenter 2.5 by using SQL Server Management Studio.

•Configure a SQL Server ODBC Connection

When you install the vCenter Server system, you can establish a connection with a SQL Server database.

•Configure Microsoft SQL Server TCP/IP for JDBC

If the Microsoft SQL Server database has TCP/IP disabled and the dynamic ports are not set, the JDBC connection remains closed. This causes the vCenter Server statistics to malfunction.

•Oracle Database:

•As the Database Administrator, use a script to create a local or remote Oracle database.

•Configure an Oracle Database User

If you plan to use an Oracle database when you install vCenter Server, you must configure the database user.

•Configure an Oracle Connection for Local Access or Configure an Oracle Connection for Remote Access depending on where the database is located.

•Connect to an Oracle Database Locally

7.VMware recommends using a separate database for vCenter Server and vCenter Update Manager.

8.Run the vCenter Server installer using the vCenter Server Installation Worksheet filled out in step 3.

On the ESX Server

1.Make sure your hardware is compliant on the Hardware Compatibility Guide.

This includes:

•System compatibility

•I/O compatibility (Network and HBA cards)

•Storage compatibility

•Backup software compatibility

2.VMware ESX 4.0 only installs and runs on servers with 64bit x86 CPUs. 32bit systems are no longer supported.

3.Make sure Intel VT is enabled in the host’s BIOS.

4.If you are installing to the local disks and SAN is connected to the ESX host, detach the fiber before continuing with the installation.

Note: Do not disable HBA cards in the BIOS.

5.The /, swap, and all the optional partitions are stored on a virtual disk called esxconsole-.vmdk. Set a size minimum of 8GB for this virtual disk.

Note: For /var/log, VMware recommends a separate partition to prevent unexpected disk space constraints due to extensive logging.

vSphere 4 – Partition Sizing

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Here are some new guidelines I found today for setting up your vSphere 4 hosts partitions.
Thanks to my buddy Kevin Less at vmware for this information.

Best Practices and URL’s

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Here’s a great check list that I came across today…  Enjoy!

Component Check (per Best Practice)

Host Verify equipment was burned in with memory test for at least 72 hours

Host Verify all host hardware is on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

Host Verify all host hardware meets minimum supported configuration

Host Check CPU compatibility for vMotion and FT

Host Check ESX/ESXi host physical CPU utilization to make sure that it is not saturated or running in a sustained high utilization

Host Verify all hosts in the cluster are compatible versions of ESX/ESXi

Host Check ESX/ESXi host active Swap In/Out rate to make sure that it is not consistently greater than 0

Host Check to make sure that there is sufficient service console memory (max is 800MB)

Host Verify that ESX service console root file system is not getting full

Host Check if any 3rd party agents are running in the ESX service console

Host Verify that NTP is used for time synchronization

Network Verify that networking in configured consistently across all hosts in a cluster

Network Check to make sure there is redundancy in networking paths and components to avoid single points of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each network)

Network If HA is being used, check that physical switches that support PortFast (or equivalent) have PortFast enabled

Network Check that NICs for the same uplink have same speeds and duplex settings

Network Check that Management/Service Console, Vmkernel, and VM traffic is separated (physical or logical using VLANs)

Network Verify that portgroup security settings for ForgedTransmits and MACAddressChanges are set to Reject

Network Check the virtual switch portgroup failover policy for appropriate active and standby NICs for failover

Network Verify that VMotion and FT traffic is on at least a 1 Gb network

Network Check that IP storage traffic is physically separate to prevent sharing network bandwidth

Storage Verify that VMs are on a shared datastore

Storage Check that datastores are masked/zoned to the appropriate hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that datastores are consistently accessible from all hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that the appropriate storage policy is used for the storage array (MRU, Fixed, RR)

Storage Check to make sure there is redundancy in storage paths and components to avoid single point of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each datastore)

Storage Check that datastores are not getting full

Virtual Datacenter Check that all datacenter objects use a consistent naming convention

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts within a cluster maintain a compatible and homogeneous (CPU/mem) to support the required functionality for DRS, DPM, HA, and VMotion

Virtual Datacenter Check that FT primaries are distributed on multiple hosts since FT logging is asymmetric

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts for FT are FT compatible

Virtual Datacenter Check that reservations/limits are used selectively on VMs that need it and are not set to extreme values

Virtual Datacenter Check that vCenter Server is not running other applications and vCenter add-ons (for large environments and heavily loaded vCenter systems) and is sized appropriately

Virtual Datacenter Check that the DB log setting is Normal unless there is a specific reason to set it to High

Virtual Datacenter Check that the vCenter statistics level is set to an appropriate level (1 or 2 recommended)

Virtual Datacenter Check that appropriate vCenter roles, groups, and permissions are being used

VM Check any VMs with CPU READY over 2000 ms

VM Check any VMs with sustained high CPU utilization

VM Check any VMs with incorrect OS type in the VM configuration compared to the guest OS

VM Check any VMs with multiple vCPUs to make sure the applications are not single threaded

VM Check the active Swap In/Out rate of VMs to make sure it is not consistently greater than 0

VM Check that NTP, windows time service, or another timekeeping utility suitable for the OS is used (and not VMware Tools)

VM Check that VMware Tools are installed, running, and not out of date for running VMs

VM Check VMs that are configured and enabled with unnecessary virtual hardware devices (floppy, serial, parallel, CDROM) and any devices that prevent VMotion

VM Check VMs that are not yet on virtual hardware v7

VM Check VM configuration (memory reservation) for VMs running JVM to consider setting reservation to the size of OS+ java heap

Item URL

Documentation http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs

VMTN Technology information http://www.vmware.com/vcommunity/technology

VMTN Knowledge Base http://kb.vmware.com

Discussion forums http://www.vmware.com/community

User groups http://www.vmware.com/vcommunity/usergroups.html

Online support http://www.vmware.com/support

Telephone support http://www.vmware.com/support/phone_support.html

Education Services http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/index.cfm

Certification http://mylearn.vmware.com/portals/certification/

Technical Papers http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources

Network throughput between virtual machines http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1428

Detailed explanation of VMotion considerations http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1022

Time keeping in virtual machines http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/238

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006427

VMFS partitions http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/608

VI3 802.1Q VLAN Solutions http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_vlan_wp.pdf

VMware Virtual Networking Concepts http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/997

Using EMC Celerra IP Storage (VI3 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1036

VMware vCenter Update Manager documentation http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vum_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Update Manager Best Practices http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10022

Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.0 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10041

Recommendations for aligning VMFS partitions http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/608

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-10352

Large Page Performance http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1039

VMware vSphere PowerCLI http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/windowstoolkit/

VI3 security hardening http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/726

VMware HA: Concepts and Best Practices http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/402

Java in Virtual Machine on ESX http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Java_in_Virtual_Machines_on_ESX-FINAL-Jan-15-2009.pdf

CPU scheduler in ESX 4.0 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10059

Dynamic Storage Provisioning (Thin Provisioning) http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10073

Understanding memory resource management on ESX http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10062

ESX 4 – Windows 7 VM cannot connect via RDP

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Today I noticed when rebooting my Windows 7 VM under ESX 4 remote desktop would not allow connections until I logged on locally.

I also noticed vCenter Server reported VMTools wasn’t running.

 

I did a bit of research and found that Remote Desktop Services was in manual mode.
By changing the startup type to Automatic it not only fixed the Remote Desktop issue but vCenter Server reported in properly as well.

ESX 3.5 – Network DNS Settings

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Here’s the quick way to see your DNS settings from command line..

cat /etc/resolv.conf

ESX 3.5 – Keyboard Issues displaying wrong characters

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I ran into an issue getting an ESX 3.5 server to join a Virtual Center 2.5 server today..

For some reason I couldn’t get it to join my VC server and when I tried to I would get the error bad password or user name. Connecting the VI client straight to the server failed, trying to use the web interface failed, but I could remote into the server via an IP KVM and log on without issue.

What I found was my keyboard map on this individual server was set to UK and not US.

Here is how I resolved this issue.

Logged in to the host as root

cd /etc/sysconfig
vi keyboard
Press esc twice
Press insert to edit
Changed KEYTABLE=”uk″ to KEYTABLE=”us″
Press esc twice
Enter :qw > to save the file and exit
Reboot the ESX server
And now it works like a champ..