VMworld

What new in vSphere 6.5

Posted on Updated on

Hey folks — This great video came my way today.  Watch Kevin Steil, (Southeast VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) Team Lead) talk about HOL-1710-SDC-3 – vSphere with Operations Management: Product Deep Dive which introduces the cool, new features coming in vSphere 6.5.

Wiggle it just a little bit– Keeping your computer awake and avoiding timeouts

Posted on Updated on

We have been there so many times: You’re working on one PC, then suddenly, the screen dims on your other PC and you get locked out. Not to mention if you use IM programs it can show you away quite frequently. As an IT admin it’s hard enough trying to get multiple things done without having to log in an out or move the mouse every so often.

What could be the cause? The usual suspects are either due to a Domain policy or because Windows power-saving / screensaver settings kick in.

The up and downside — If you are lucky enough have non-domain client or a relaxed domain policy you could adjust Windows’ power and screen saver settings. The down side is you most likely want those settings if you’re running a laptop to keep battery life at a maximum. There is nothing worse than traveling with a dead battery, except maybe a flight delay. Additionally, if you are on a domain there might be a policy not allowing you to change these settings. If only you could have a monkey in your office to wiggle the mouse every now and then.

Possible Solution? If your domain policies allow then you might try a software solution like: Jiggler

Mouse Jiggler is just a tiny app and as needed will “wiggle” your mouse icon “just a little bit”. Okay, if you haven’t got the reference yet then you need to get up to speed on your early 90’s hip hop.

After the app starts you’ll notice your pointer start to, wiggle and jiggle just a little bit. If this movement keeps Windows active. If the movement isn’t pleasant then enable the Zen Jiggle option, which does the “jiggling” behind the scenes. I prefer to see it “wiggle it just a little bit” as a reminder that it’s active. Finally push the down arrow on the app to minimize the program.

It’s as simple as that, happy computing and if you’ve found other tools to help with this please post up!

vSphere 6.x licensing and feature product matrix

Posted on

Ever want to compare a full list of the vSphere features to the associated licensing level?

Well now you can… Check out >> https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2109507

For vSphere 5 >> https://vmexplorer.com/2014/02/27/vsphere-5-x-licensing-matrix-2/

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!

 

Supported features for VMware virtual machine compatibility

Posted on

Here is one of my most favorite VMware KB articles.

Supported features for virtual machine compatibility

Hardware

ESXi 6.0 and later

ESXi 5.5 and later

ESXi 5.1 and later

ESXi 5.0 and later

ESX/ESXi 4.x and later 

Hardware version

11

10

9

8

7

Maximum memory (GB)

4080

1011

1011

1011

255

Maximum number of logical
processors

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum number of cores (virtual CPUs) per socket

128

64

64

32

8

Maximum SCSI adapters

4

4

4

4

4

Bus Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI Logic adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

LSI-Logic SAS adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SATA adapters

Yes*

Yes*

No

No

No

VMware Paravirtual controllers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual SCSI disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI passthrough

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SCSI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE nodes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE disk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE CDROMs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IDE hot plug support

No

No

No

No

No

Maximum NICs

10

10

10

10

10

PCNet32

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMXNet3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

E1000e

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

USB 1.x and 2.0

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

USB 3.0

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

Yes**

No

Maximum video memory (MB)

512

512

512

128

128

SVGA displays

10

10

10

10

10

SVGA 3D hardware acceleration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

VMCI

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

PCI passthrough

16

6

6

6

6

PCI hot plug support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nested HV support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

vPMC support

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Serial ports

32

4

4

4

4

Parallel ports

3

3

3

3

3

Floppy devices

2

2

2

2

2

Guest OS support

91

91

91

91

78

Free vSphere 6 Webinar Series!

Posted on

VMware has a great webinar series coming up, see the chart below for dates and times.

These sessions would be a great primer before going to VMworld!

Date

Webcast Topic

vSphere Expert

Registration / Replay

June 2

vCenter ServerWhat’s new in vCenter Server including differences between Windows install and the virtual appliance.

Mohan Potheri

Replay

June 16

vSphere SecuritySecurity at the top of mind?  Learn about security in vSphere 6 including considerations for Platform Services Controller.

Mike Foley

Register

June 30

Business Continuity
Business continuity equals business productivity.  Learn how vSphere 6 minimizes downtime for applications and maximizes productivity for businesses.  Availability and data protection aspects of vSphere 6 will be covered.

Matt Meyer

Register

July 7

PowerCLIIncrease data center efficiency through automation.  Learn what’s new with PowerCLI including some tips and tricks that may surprise you.

Brian Graf

Register

July 14

vSphere Web ClientThe Web Client is one of the most improved areas of vSphere 6.  Streamlined design, improved responsiveness, and better overall usability are just a sampling of what makes the Web Client cool.  Learn what else the vSphere 6 Web Client has to offer.

Dennis Lu

Register

July 21

vSphere 6 PerformanceLearn about all the new performance improvements that vSphere 6 has to offer.  With the time you save, you may have time for an additional coffee break.

Mark Achtemichuk

Register

July 28

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based ManagementvSphere 6 has transformed storage for virtual machines.  Learn how Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based Management redefines how you should think about storage.

Rawlinson Rivera

Register

August 11

vCenter Server AvailabilityFor some vCenter Server has become mission critical.  Learn how to provide high availability for vCenter Server.  Also covered with be Platform Services Controller.

Johnny Ferguson

Register

 

More information here — http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2015/05/vsphere-6-webcast-series.html

 

Quick ways to check disk alignment with ESXi and Windows VM’s

Posted on Updated on

There are two simple checks a virtual infrastructure (VI) admin should be doing to ensure ESXi Datastores and the Windows VM’s are properly aligned. If either are misaligned then performance issues will follow. Though I’m not going to get into the whys and how’s of alignment issues I will show you how to quickly check.

1 – ESXi Datastores (DS)

By default if the VI admin formats the DS with vCenter Server or directly connected to a host via the VI Client the starting sector will be 2048. A starting sector of 2048 will satisfy nearly all of the storage vendors out there, however 2048 starting sector should be validated with your storage vendor.

If the VI Admin chose to format the DS via a script then they should choose a starting sector of 2048 or what the storage vendor recommends

Example — partedUtil setptbl \$disk gpt “1 2048…..” More info here on partedUtil

Here is a simple command to check your “Start Sector”.   SSH or Direct console into a host that has DSs you want to check and run this command.

~ # esxcli storage core device partition list

esxistartingsector

 

Some note about this –

RED Box – Is the local boot disk, so its starting sector will be 64, this is okay it’s just a ESXi Boot disk

Yellow, Green, and Blue – Are all VSAN Disks and all have a starting sector of 2048   << This is what I’m looking for, I want to make sure all DS disks start at 2048, if not they could experience performance issues.

 

2 – Windows VM Check

Windows checks are pretty easy too, the starting sector offset should be 2048. Note the screenshot below shows the Partition starting offset of 1,048,576, also note it’s in labeled in bytes not sectors. To find the starting sector just divide the Partition Starting Offset by the Bytes per Sector.   Simple math tells us its right — 1048576/512 = 2048 Sector. If your Partition Starting offset is anything other than 1,048,576 Bytes or 2048 Sectors then the VM is not aligned and will need adjusted.

From a Command Prompt, type in ‘msinfo32.exe’ to bring up this screen, navigate as shown below, and note your Partition Starting Offset.

windowsstartingsector

 


Cannot install vCenter Server Appliance 6 Error “No apps are installed to open this type of link”

Posted on Updated on

A requirement for the installation of VCSA 6.0 is installing the Client Integration Plug-in. Normally, this can be done during the time you install the VCSA.   However, during a recent installation, I got the error “No apps are installed to open this type of link”

My first thought was there was a browser compatibility issue with IE11 and the installer, so I tried Firefox and Chome but I got the same results.  Next was a quick reboot, still same error.

Finally, I tried installing  “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” manually and then running the VCSA installer.  What do you know it installed without issue.

Simple fix on this one — Manually, install the “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” first and then run the VCSA installer.

 

You can find the “VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0” in the ‘vcsa’ folder in the VCSA ISO.

 

 

Single Source Information for Affected Products of VMware Security Advisories

Posted on Updated on

Ever wish there was a better way to track VMware Security Advisory’s? Tired of tracing through email threads, RSS, Twitter feeds, etc.

Well there isn’t an APP for that but there is a “Spreadsheet for that”. That’s right a good old spreadsheet.

See this link for more information >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2078735

How could one use this sheet? Simply put this spreadsheet is updated when advisors are released or updated. This allows users to sort by all types of fields to get the latest information they are looking for in one place.

Here are some ways I have used it….

Sort by specific Vulnerability title, in this case ‘Bash’

 

Here’s a view filtered by ESXi 5.5…

 

VSAN – Setting up VSAN Observer in my Home Lab

Posted on Updated on

VSAN Observer is a slick way to display diagnostic statics not only around how the VSAN is performing but how the VM’s are as well.

Here are the commands I entered in my Home Lab to enable and disable the Observer.

Note: this is a diagnostic tool and should not be allowed to run for long periods of time as it will consume many GB of disk space. Ctrl+C will stop the collection

How to Start the collection….

  • vCenter239:~ # rvc root@localhost << Logon into vCenter Server Appliance | Note you may have to enable SSH
  • password:
  • /localhost> cd /localhost/Home.Lab
  • /localhost/Home.Lab> cd computers/Home.Lab.C1 << Navigate to your cluster | Mine Datacenter is Home.Lab, and cluster is Home.Lab.C1
  • /localhost/Home.Lab/computers/Home.Lab.C1> vsan.observer ~/computers/Home.Lab.C1 –run-webserver –force << Enter this command to get things started, keep in mind double dashes “—” are used in front of run-webserver and force
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO WEBrick 1.3.1
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO ruby 1.9.2 (2011-07-09) [x86_64-linux]
  • [2014-09-17 03:39:54] WARN TCPServer Error: Address already in use – bind(2)
  • Press <Ctrl>+<C> to stop observing at any point ...[2014-09-17 03:39:54] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=25461 port=8010 << Note the Port and that Ctrl+C to stop
  • 2014-09-17 03:39:54 +0000: Collect one inventory snapshot
  • Query VM properties: 0.05 sec
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.231: 0.65 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 241KB)
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.233: 0.63 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 241KB)
  • Query Stats on 172.16.76.232: 0.68 sec (on ESX: 0.15, json size: 257KB)
  • Query CMMDS from 172.16.76.231: 0.74 sec (json size: 133KB)
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Live-Processing inventory snapshot
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Collection took 20.77s, sleeping for 39.23s
  • 2014-09-17 03:40:15 +0000: Press <Ctrl>+<C> to stop observing

How to stop the collection… Note: the collection has to be started and running to web statics as in the screenshots below

  • ^C2014-09-17 03:40:26 +0000: Execution interrupted, wrapping up … << Control+C is entered and the observer goes into shutdown mode
  • [2014-09-17 03:40:26] INFO going to shutdown …
  • [2014-09-17 03:40:26] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start done.
  • /localhost/Home.Lab/computers/Home.Lab.C1>

How to launch the web interface…

I used Firefox to logon to the web interface of VSAN Observer, IE didn’t seem to function correctly

Simply go to http://[IP of vCenter Server]:8010 Note: this is the port number noted above when starting and its http not https

 

So what does it look like and what is the purpose of each screen… Note: By Default the ‘? What am I looking at’ is not displayed, I expanded this view to enhance the description of the screenshot.

 

 

 

 

References:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2064240

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/10/21/configure-virtual-san-observer-monitoring/

vCenter Operations Manager 5.8.2 Assigning a Licensing Key

Posted on

One of the items I noticed hanging up many users is how to assign a license key for vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS). In this blog I’m going to review the basic steps around this.

After the installing vCOPS most users logon to the vCOPS Admin page and they notice the ‘License Status’ is listed as ‘Licensed’. This is the first item that trips up most. However if you notice directly above License Status the ‘License Mode’ is listed as ‘Foundation’. The foundation licensing mode is basically the “free” version of vCOPS. Foundation will allow you to do some of the functions of vCOPS for free. Follow this URL to compare different vCOPS versions and Eric Sloof does a great short video here outlining the basic functions.

Now the question becomes — How do I enable my vCOPS license key? VMware KB 2017464 does a great job to enable the key but it leaves the pre-step of key entry and to use the Web Client to complete this task.

Here are the steps to enter and enable your vCOPS License Key via the Web Client

Start at the Home Screen within the Web Client > Licensing Icon > Licenses > Ensure ‘License Keys’ tab is selected and then choose the Green Plus mark to add your key.

Once completed choose the ‘Solutions’ tab > Right Click on your key > ‘Assign License Key’ > then choose the license key you want to apply.

Finally logon to the vCOPS Admin page and ensure the key has updated.

Note – if you are already logged into this page you may have refresh or login again for the status to update.